Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Flowers on a Stool

It doesn't take much to make me happy.  I moved things around just a little while putting out Christmas decor.  I needed to move this kalanchoe to a new location.  I put it on this fabulous old stool from my porch.

I have a thing for old stools.  I never can pass them by at yard sales, auctions and such.  I love the blue pot, too.  I even like how it's all crusty towards the bottom.  And that color!  Mmmmmmm.

And the plant - I love kalanchoes.  I haven't had one in ages, but several decades ago, I had one that lasted for years and years.  I'm glad I finally got around to getting another one.

Monday, November 26, 2012

I Do Not Blog Alone

I have plenty of help when I work on the computer.  Sissy is almost always by my side.  She mostly sits to the side and offers advice.  Occasionally, when she feels very strongly about something, she will walk in front of the computer, over the keyboard, or bite my fingers.  She needs to be picked up and cuddled while she elaborates.

Sissy is a fairly small cat which makes her seem forever a kitten.  She's incredibly smart.  She watches television. I thought I had blogged about that before, but I couldn't find it in my posts.  The photo below is from 2007.  Her favorite show at the time was Meerkat Manor.

Sissy understands English quite well and carries on conversations with us. Her language s a bit harder to understand to others, but she lets Rudy and I know exactly what's she's thinking on a regular basis.  In the photo below, she's just yawning, but catching a cat on camera in mid-conversation is not easy.

Oh my gosh, I love this cat!

By the way, her "new" blankie is a fabulous vintage throw from my friend, Sharon's, yard sale.  It had been her son's.  I fell in love with the color and feel.  It's nice and thick.  Sissy has a very good sense of style and she decided it suited her as well.  She claimed it and since she is a bit on the spoiled side, I let her have her way.  At least I still get to look at the blankie on my desk.  :-P

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pet Friendly Christmas Cheer

Yesterday, I brought out a few holiday decorations.  I can't seem to get in the mood for pulling out everything like I do some years.  In fact, I don't think I'll even do my main tree this year.  Some of our furry four legged babies are getting old and have issues.  A bit of incontinence. (That part is driving me slowly insane.)  Not as sure footed as they once were.  And one of our cats seems to be almost completely blind.  The younger fur babies are destructive crazy overly playful.  Decorating in a zoo can be tricky and I'm not prepared to create a pet friendly Christmas wonderland.  Less will be more this year.

The easiest spots to decorate are those up high.  So that's mostly what I did.

These trees were meant to be part of a porch vignette, near the front door.  Our black labs (also affectionately know as  The Little Heathens) are still requiring a minimalist look on the porch.  They are still in the chew and destroy years.  So, I set up the trees inside.  It's not great, but I wanted to see them.  The Heathens will probably (hopefully) be past the worst of their chewing by next year.  Meanwhile, they are so much fun that it seems silly to worry about where those trees are.

I put a 36 inch tree on top of the old wardrobe in our family room.  This photo doesn't do it justice.  It has some really really pretty ornaments on it.  Many of the prettiest ones came from two different yard sales.  Both were ones where the people these items had belonged to had significant stories that really impacted me.  Some of the other ornaments were ones I've had for years.  I've never really been particularly into the all gold Christmas tree look.  It seems too formal for us.  Still, I'm enjoying it and not letting the fact that it doesn't go with our look bother me at all.

The Christmas card holder hanging on the knob is actually a walker bag.  I had made several of these bags for my sweet mother-in-law years ago.  This one was just for Christmas with a cross stitched Santa. My mother-in-law has been gone for a long time, but I kept this bag and use it to hold Christmas cards.  I sure do miss her.

I usually put old Christmas photos under the glass on this table every year.  I save all the photos and photo cards I get every year.  The table full of photo memories really is one of my favorite holiday decorations.  Yesterday, I didn't even want to bother with it.  What is wrong with me?  I really am happy about the upcoming holidays.  I'm not in a bad mood.  I just don't feel like pulling out all the stuff.  Instead, I stuck a Christmas tree skirt under the glass.  I like the skirt.  I didn't have a Christmas tablecloth.  I wanted some color.  It's a little bit tacky, but who cares!  By the way, the bowl in the center is not filled with potpourri.  It's cat food.  If the cat food is left in the floor, the dogs will get it.  They know not to get it when we are nearby, but they are incredibly clever about getting it when we are in another room.  The food needed to be put out of reach from the dogs.  Since Rudy and I seldom dine at this table, it became the cats dining table.  Oh my gosh.  I am fully aware of just how low we have sunk.

I put out some other decor, too and hope the mood will hit me for a little more.  We'll see!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Naturally Flavored Water

I like water.  I have a PUR faucet filter, so I guess it's a little step up from saying it's just regular tap water.  But sometimes, I like to make my water a little more special. It's so easy to cut up a fruit or vegetable and put it in a pitcher.  Voila!  Flavored water.

Not every fruit or vegetable is a good fit, but many are.  Citrus and berries are easy favorites.  Cucumber is really refreshing and super hydrating. Fresh, frozen... it doesn't matter.  You just need to let it sit for a while in the fridge.  Give it time to flavor the water.  As you drink from it, you can keep adding a bit of water and it will last all day.

It tastes great and adds a few extra vitamins to your day. And - it's really pretty.  Suddenly, your day seems a bit more special.

Here's a shot from a few weeks back.  I cut up an orange and I added a couple of kumquats that my friend, Martie, grew in her back yard.  De-Lish!

I must have been feeling really special that day since I even took the time to stage the photo.  I keep thinking about a recent post on Funky Junk where Donna talked about how our blog photos are often smoke and mirrors and that the camera is often focusing on the only clean spot in the house.  I'd be willing to bet there was a giant mess behind me the day I took this photo.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

New Painting in the Foyer

We have been living with many naked walls since we moved to our "new" house almost 4 years ago.  I've been hanging things piece by piece, but only when I found something I really liked.  One more wall has been dressed.  I just hung a wonderful painting on the huge wall in the foyer.

Painting is by Mary Winterer, 1980 - Shirley said the painting came from the Theo Waddington Gallery in Montreal.  
Shirley, my booth neighbor and friend,  brought it to the store ages ago.  I was drawn to it immediately.  I find it very relaxing and fresh feeling.  I adore porches, so I suppose this painting was meant for me.

It stayed at the store for a long time and I thought about getting it, but never could figure out where it could go.  Then Shirley took it home. I missed seeing it.  One day, I asked her about it and one thing led to another.  Shirley's booth mate and master carpenter, Joe, built a wonderful rustic frame for it and now it's mine.

I still had no idea where it would go when I brought it home yesterday.  I didn't really think it would work in the foyer because I stupidly didn't think it was large enough for the wall.  I propped it on the bench and immediately realized - it was perfect for that spot.

The painting is much larger than I realized.  That's great because there's a lot of wall space to cover.  The bench (an old church pew from Rudy's grandmother's church) is around 8 feet long.

It's a painting I love and now I'll get to see it every day.  Doesn't art make a home more homey?

Since I had all the picture hanging tools out - level, stud finder, hammer, nails... - I hung 3 more pictures.  These are some I came across while yard sale-ing.  I had put them in my booth and put a great price on them.  One day I saw they were gone and I panicked.  I missed them.  I had fallen in love with the colors.

I hung them in the stairwell opposite the porch painting and church pew.  My husband, the fine art critic, says they look like giant boobs.  I tried to shake my head and act all mature, but I have to admit, they really do!  Oh dear.


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