Saturday, June 28, 2014

Inside and Cool............

........Considering the rain, the heat and the mosquitoes, I have been staying inside most of the time.  And, since it has been a long time since I showed anything much from the inside, today is the day.........

First, the little half table in my sitting room with it's summer adornment.  There is really nothing new here and some of you have seen it before but this is the summer arrangement.

Right above the table is the little boy blowing bubbles picture.

I don't like taking inside pictures because the lighting is so difficult.

There is a lot on the table for it's size but these things look o.k. crowded together.

Now, in the kitchen this two-tier stand is new. It's half off price from Hobby Lobby made it a reasonable purchase.

I like it for holding fruit and vegetables.

My little grape tomatoes that I grew.

And, when I don't have fruit, these old stemware dishes......

I think these are from the fifties although the glass part looks like depression glass. I am not sure of the age period.

On the top tier is some of my tea time things.

Also new is this small oval dish.  I love it's size and the bird and chirp.

That gives you just a glimpse of what is going on inside this summer. 


Where are you hanging out through the hot weather?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer Solstice and the Old Chair.......

...........What better way to spend part of the first day of summer than down by the mossy bench with the old white chair........

.........and nothing goes better with the old chair than this lacy umbrella. The umbrella brings to mind great memories of a visit to San Francisco. I got it in China town there. Although I would not want to live there I loved touring that city and staying at the Ritz on Nob Hill.

Near the chair is hanging this Live, Laugh, and Love can.  I put a few cut flowers in it for this first summer morning.

And what better motto than these three words for this occasion.

A book on old roses, my old copy of "Christy", a pair of vintage gloves and a frosty glass of lime water.

It is such a peaceful spot in my early morning garden.

With all our rain lately the wooden slats of the bench are just covered with moss and even some resurrection fern. I left the pine cone just where it had landed.

I chose Christy to be a part of the chair scene this time because my daughter and son-in-law are in the Great Smoky mountains this week and visited Cades Cove the setting of Christy - one of my all time favorite books. My mother came from near this area and would have been thirteen when the story takes place. Mom had a Cherokee Indian grandma a little way back in her lineage.  

Another thing that made up this vignette is this vintage looking, ribbon embroidered, bag. Another gift from my niece who gave me the garden welcome sign which was shown in the last post. She really spoiled me while she was here.

I love this little scene so much that I ended up taking 89 photos! Which is foolish because I only deleted ten and do you know how hard it is to pick just a few out of that many!!! I needed the drink of good lime water.

I hope you are enjoying your first day of summer living, laughing and loving. Now, I'm going to get started on re-reading Christy.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Gems of June........

Due to a lot of very hot, rainy days my garden activity has slowed down. The garden, however, has not. It looks like a jungle out there!  I go out early in the day and work just enough to keep it as neat as possible and to enjoy the changes. There is always something to see that puts a special sparkle in every day.

I am seeing butterflies on a regular basis.

It's always amazing  how the brown, dead looking resurrection fern perks up in the rainy season.

Some of you have seen this pot with my little watchman hoping for a sign of new life. Well, just look what we saw early one morning a couple of weeks ago!  After months of waiting and watching - a new little leaf had appeared. Seeing this was definitely a gem for the morning.

It has been sitting in this area near my back porch door.  It appears to be a very slow grower. I think I will move it now to a spot where it will get a little more sun.

Some of the rains have included some high wind gusts and I have had a lot of debris to pick up, including small branches covered with lichen and some air plants.  They usually break when they hit the ground. I have saved a little pile. I suppose not many gardeners would call this a gem pile but, I like it.

This more recent picture shows a little growth in the new leaf. I am disappointed that the dots have faded. The dots are what I liked about the bush where the two leaves came from.

In the meantime, this dotted plant caught my eye in the grocery store, of all places. I have never seen this before and couldn't resist getting one. It is sitting in the dry creek bed and is doing good so far. It has an embossed look and the edges are ruffled.

Another new garden gem brought to me by my visiting niece and nephew. I love it here near the blue-eyed grass and caladiums. It looks right at home in my garden.

What a surprise this was. After years of being in the ground without blooming this is what I saw when I walked out one morning,

They are such a pretty shade of pink, almost salmon.

The stokes asters started blooming last week.

And last, one more vine of gloriosa lily is blooming.
I am wondering what this week will bring.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Side Tracked!!

Last week I set out to organize my bedroom closet. It was filled so full and not in anything close to a good organized way. I emptied the closet of everything except the hanging clothes. You would have had to see it to believe how much stuff that was! I decided to sort through containers before placing them back in the closet and that was the beginning of the side track..........

I emptied several boxes of my collection of old mementos, crocheted pieces, lace and assorted other things. Some I had not looked at for awhile so it was very enjoyable to sit on the bed and sort and organize. 

The tiny folded yellow dress was worn by both my daughters.  The little handmade ivory gown was my brother's who was born in 1926 and only lived 2 1/2 years. I was born thirteen years after him and never knew him but am so glad to have his little gown. The tiny shoe was worn by my mother-in-law. I sure wish I had the other one, too. 

I  ran across this little bonnet which was also hers. I can imagine her mother (I was able to visit with her several times) sitting at a treadle Singer machine making this for her tiny girl. And, then seeing that cute little girl wearing it. She may have been wearing the little black shoes. It is obvious that she walked in this one. She had very small feet as an adult. When I see the ragged tie end I wonder if, as children are prone to do, she sucked on it.

While sorting through the lace I decided to print off some neat graphics I have saved on Pinterest and  use them to wind some of the old fashioned lace on them.

I love bits of lace but to have them fixed like this to look at is double love!

I used card stock and only used short pieces of lace to not cover all the pictures.

This was not in the closet but I thought it would be a good time to share this cute little crocheted basket that I bought at a wonderful special flea market sale on Saturday. Had I not just been sorting through my collections I probably would not have bought this but now it holds the tiny lace cards.

They are only two and a half inches tall and the cutest little things.
Yes, I really got side tracked with this project and the closet is still not totally back together. But, it has been a fun time in the process. I did finally empty out all the hanging clothes and hauled a big load of them to Good Will. It looks almost empty compared to the way it was. But, now at least I know what is in there and can get to everything easily and what is left fits - love it!!
I should have done some work on some of these pictures before using them but, sometimes you just have to save time somewhere. Besides, I kinda like the creamy look for these old things. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Dry Creek Bed - Florida Style

........My house is small and my lot is big with much of it in the shade most of the time. The back yard is not suitable for grass, due to the shade and being prone to flooding a few times a year. When I moved here ten years ago, there was nearly nothing desirable growing in the back (or anywhere else) except for many trees, a few wild coffee bushes, one azalea bush and a few wild flowers. It was home to many, many weeds. There was also a lot of bare white sandy soil where it seemed nothing would grow, not even weeds. I disliked the bare sand the most. I began trying different things with little success for the longest time. Assorted types of ferns and other small shade loving plants finally took root and began to fill in the emptiness. Oh, and a few kinds of ground-covers and, after ten years most of the back is covered with something that looks o.k. There was still one area close to the back of the house however, that needed an improved look. A few years ago I had covered a small portion of that with what I called a dry creek bed but wasn't satisfied with it and had always intended to lengthen it. Finally this week I did just that and, so far, I am very pleased with the overall look and am excited to show it to you.

 The stone path has been here awhile and the first stage of the dry creek stopped at the upper edge of the path and was not as wide. It needed some larger stones which were added along with the new lengthening addition last week.

Another long shot showing the corner of the screen porch and where the "creek" begins.

In this photo you see the blue pot which is the source of  the creek. I stretched out a hose and first had the stone edge very straight and even but it didn't look good or natural so I messed up the edges.

When I first came here, all across the back of the porch and down to where the stone path is was nothing but weeds and eroding sand until I put in the Asiatic Jasmine. It was in a friends yard but deer kept eating it there. One day she brought over bunches of Jasmine roots for me to plant. It took awhile but finally filled in the whole area. I haven't seen any grazing deer! I mow it with my weed whacker. 

This is looking  back towards the source from the bottom where the creek enters a cluster of Papyrus plants, some walking lilies and a few other plants. You can see that there is a noticeable incline which helps with the "flow". Which also explains the flooding/standing water problem - the back yard was never filled in or graded as it should have been.

Oh yes, this is where my mosaic birdbath is too. Now I will show a few up-close pictures so you can better see what makes up the dry creek bed.

Most of the stone is marble chips and the round ones are called egg rocks, a different type stone which really made the whole thing look more like a creek bed. I hope to eventually add about five much larger round stones here and there along the length of the creek. That probably means another trip back to Pebble Junction.

There are quite a few sea shells and also sea glass. I ran across a large bag of nice large and medium size shells at the Christmas Tree Store. Believe it or not, shells are usually expensive to buy around here but these weren't and added greatly to the look. Some of them are about five inches across. Even though they look better like I have them, I plan to turn over the large ones that catch water to prevent running a mosquito farm.

Now. there is that fact that I live under a bunch of trees and they will be dropping leaves in my creek bed!  If I can't keep this neat I am not going to like it. Can you envision me out there picking up leaves and pine needles, one by one.  Actually, I have a small electric blower that does a pretty good job of blowing leaves. You can take my word for it, it would take a hurricane to blow the rocks around. Those things are heavy! I do know it probably looks better right now than it ever will again so, you better hurry on over if you want to see it at it's very best. Ideally, I would rather have the look of a dry creek that you might see meandering through the Smokey Mountains with all it's round, brown, water tumbled rocks but for this location I think this choice fits in pretty good, considering the palms and tropical plants.