Saturday, October 5, 2019

Don't Forget The Baskets!

Fall decor can look just as lovely in a traditional fashion as a not so traditional look.
 I like to give a little twist to my pumpkins, gourds and mums on the back porch by adding a couple of colorful baskts.
 Baskets from our local veggie market (Ikenberrys) come in enough colors to boggle your mind when it comes to making a choice of just one or two.
 I'd love having half a dozen or so, but the prices of these baskets limited me, only because I didn't want them to cut into my decorating budget too deeply.
 I've already used them for transporting baked goods and a bottle of wine to the neighbors' grilled ham dinner a couple of weeks ago, and we have another dinner to attend next week where these gorgeous creations will see a usefulness once again.
 I love their misshapen look, but here's the thing. if you want that 'perfect look' in a basket, all you have to do is dampen them and bend them to the shape that suits you better.

 Put some pretty fall Indian corn it it!
 Set your bright potted yellow mums in it!
 Baskets ALWAYS have multiple uses, so spend the money and get some super nice ones that will last a long time.

 And if you are wondering where all of my pretty seasonal pillows are that I usually have on the porch, well, it's sort of a damp day, ready to rain any minute, so they are stacked inside the door on the table.  LOL  They will be coming back to their home on the porch as soon as the sun shines.  We eat at the kitchen island, so their temporary place on the table is not an issue.
Happy fall, ya'll.  Now go get creative with your baskets!

Sunday, September 15, 2019

And......Five Months Later.....

 Summertime is beginning to close it's doors and autumn is peeking in the windows.

I can't begin to express how happy this makes me, considering that #1, I don't enjoy heat, humidity, bugs and the sheer discomfort of it all.
Some will beg to differ with me, those who live for summer, but we all have different souls with different loves, and autumn just happens to be MY love.

 Our pups enjoy the lushness of the lawn and rolling down the hill that we refer to as our 'backyard', but after only five minutes of enjoyment they are panting and ready to head back inside.... especially THIS particular summer which has had extreme temperatures for weeks and also months on end. Enough is enough Global Warming!
Mankind, or Manevil rather, has caused much of this and it's an issue that I highly doubt will be solved.  It's just sad.
 As happens every year, August and now the past couple of days in September brings foggy early mornings and spider webs. Makes for some nice camera shots, but OH those spider webs that string from tree to bush, bush to house, and across sidewalks at face height!  LOL  You should see us swat at them as they surprise us walking down our own sidewalk.
 Our garden did a great job of growing tomatoes, bell peppers and jalapenos once the early summer lettuce was done.  One or two years ago we had tomatoes up through Thanksgiving.... the plants that just kept on giving I guess you could say,
but this year that's not happening.... no rain other than just a few sprinkles here and there which is really not enough to sustain the garden, or the lawn for that matter.  We took what we could get because each year is different when you garden.  Ask any gardener and they will agree.

 And so, not enough time was spent on the deck and porch, other than the evening dinner grilling.  Autumn always pushes us to spend more quality time out there, and most days no one needs to twist my arm to get me to have my morning coffee there.

 July saw us with eleven inches of rain!
Less in August, and halfway through September and the lawn is crunchy, brown and dry with only 8 tenths of an inch so far.
These photos of the crepe myrtle were taken in August, and the intense heat for weeks on end caused a not so beautiful bush this year.  It gave it it's best shot, but it certainly was not as pretty as most years.

So, in summary, summer has had us dragging our feets and heads a little bit closer to the ground.  Just ask Izzy and Rowdy!

We had a lot of old and broken items piling up around the place, mostly in the basement, so we rented a large rollaway dumpster and filled it up.  We feel a bit lighter having some of the 'junk' gone.

 Here's the last tomato on the vine which my husband picked yesterday.
Game over, Garden!  See ya next year!!
We always have a lot of wildlife in the yard, but this year there seems to be a lot more deer than in years past.  They poop everywhere and eat everything.... except for the garden which is fenced, and the hosta, which we planted basil around and also used a deer spray, so they left those alone.
 It's not like I can't see you!!!
Stop pretending you are invisible and SHOO!

So, now that temperatures are beginning to drop in the evenings, we have taken back ownership of our screened porch and even taken a few naps as the sun goes down.
I paid a shopping visit to Marshalls, where the pillows and throws as well as other autumn decorations were in abundance.
I had purchased two fall pillows last year and added to my collection.

Ikenberys, about five miles from home, had tables filled with orange pumpkins, of which I need to go back and buy a few for the front porch,
 but for the back porch I chose three heirloom pumpkins, for which they charge you a bazillion dollars as well as an arm and a leg and your first born child.
Are these things that rare that they need to charge the price of gold for them?

I dug Mr. Scarecrow out of the basement closet.
See him?  Just his feet I guess.
Oh, THERE YOU ARE, you silly scarecrow.
I adopted him way back in our years between 2000-2004 when we lived in Maryland.
He's gone everywhere we have moved and is still in great physical condition.
I think I'll keep him around forever.

 Here's a bigger view of the porch.  Lots of black and white gingham and buffalo check happening here this year.  A casual fall look that reflects our lifestyle.
So, a few more days of temperatures in the 80's and summer will be history, as we fall into fall and once again take big breaths of cooler air before the really cold air of winter arrives.
Thanks to any of you who are still here and still read blogs.
I'm on Instagram as well under the name dianehakey.
Stop by and pay me a visit!

Love ya!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Clean Up On Aisle Nine

It's spring!
This is the time of year our yard needs the most clean-up after the heavy snowfalls of winter have taken down the weakest branches and trees.  We rid ourselves of winter rubble in the yard and ready for the rainy, windy days of spring and summer that always prove to bring their damaging winter patterns.

Here is what our yard looked like yesterday before the tree cutters and mulching machines arrive to chomp up winter's damage.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

A Debate In My Own Head

These are all photos, and also a video of our mountain views from our home.  Some are taken at ground level from the side of the house, and some from the porch and deck which are at the second level of the back of our home where we spend most of our outdoor hours during the warmer months of the year.  We enjoy coffee, lunches, and grilling from the second level which is where our family room and kitchen are, so much time is spent looking at the mountain views.
When we purchased our home in 2013 there was a better view, but our trees which are on the forested area of our property,  have since grown quite a bit taller and robbed us of the view we loved.

I dislike cutting down healthy trees, but some of the trees are not so healthy, and when storm winds blow we always end up losing a tree or two or three it seems. 
So I am in the midst of making the decision as to which trees need to come down, and hiring a company for a day to visit our woods and take a few out.  Six or ten trees to be exact.  Some are blight and bug ridden and not so healthy anyway. 

Taking out a few trees will mean healthier conditions for those that remain, better views for us to enjoy, and a 'mountain view' always adds value to a home.  Win win for everyone.

I want my view back year round.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Early Bird

Red Nose Day was started in the UK and in 2015 it came to the US.
It's all about the mission to end child poverty, and having been raised in a middle income family in the heart of America in the 60's and 70's, I suppose you could deduce that I don't have any idea how that must feel to a child who perhaps has no roof over their head, no real bed, blanket or pillow, and experiences hunger pangs all day every day. 

Last year I was a bit late in promoting it, and also late in purchasing MY red nose at Walgreens, who supports the project to end child poverty, along with other companies of note.
Because governments around the world have not acted on this 'child starvation' issue in a strong enough way, (and isn't that par for the course?) Red Nose Day and those involved in it (READ THIS) are doing so.

Thursday, May 23rd, is designated as Red Nose Day this year.  You can read more about it

Go ahead.... Put A Nose On It! (from 2017)

Put A Nose On It! - Official Red Nose Day Schools' Song 2017 | Comic Relief

Thanks for reading this regarding helping to end Child hunger and Poverty.

P.S.  The red noses will be sold at Walgreens, with 50 cents going towards child poverty and hunger and the remaining 50 cents goes towards paying for the production of the noses.  Walgreens does not make a profit.

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Passage Of Time And Some Patience Too

 I know ladies that have gorgeous hydrangea in there yards that bloom EVERY summer come heck or high water.
 I've always loved their soft coloring and how they just fill a bush with huge blooming displays of nature at her best.

 And so it was that in the summer of 2014 I purchased two small bushes that had blooms on them and figured,
"hey.... this should be a breeze to grow in our yard".
 Not so fast, Diane..... perhaps you should have read about them first as to where to plant in the yard so they get the perfect amount of light and shade.  But nope.... I dove in head first.

 Each summer I waited for them to give me what I had hoped for... bushes splashed full of pastel colors, and OH SO EYECATCHING at t he corner of our front yard.  
But nope.
 We had a couple of harshly cold winters, and not so snow, but simply COLD COLD temperatures, so every summer the bushes would simply not bloom.
 Each summer came and went, and I would kick myself for having not done my homework on hydrangeas.
 2015 came and went
then 2016 came and went
and then 2017, more disappointment
as they bushes stayed green at the corner of the yard with no fanciful blooms.
*cue the tiny violins*
 But this year was different.
We had nine inches of rain in the month of May
also above average temperatures,
so this combination of factors seems to have kicked the bushes into high bloom gear.
 I can't tell you how happy we are that these large green leafed bushes with their delicate colored blossoms have made me.

 They have given me hope that perhaps if I plant a few more hydrangea
that they too will bring a bit of happiness into our summer months.

Moral of this story
Sometimes it just takes the passing of time,
just the right weather,
a whole lot of patience.
P.S.  I have since read that hydrangea may take as long as 5-7 years before they give you blooms, so I guess my hydrangea bush is right within that range, although the second bush is still not giving blooms.... perhaps next year??
P.S.S.  We are in growing zone 7.