Thursday, April 9, 2015

around here

I'm writing this post at 10:00 PM on Thursday night - thankfully, upstairs and safe -  after being in the basement family room for a couple of hours due to tornado warnings. We had thunderstorms all day with brief pauses where during one of them, I went outside to take some photos. I love spring and finding the promise of new growth after a long winter.

Sedum in the butterfly garden...

Chives in the herb garden ~ and, of course, the lemon balm is already popping up too, as you can see in the background...

The tiger lilies in the backyard around the composting bin are loving the rain. I swear they grow at least an inch a day!

Lilac buds...

Since I can't play in the dirt outside yet, I bought some succulents and planted them in teacups, two new mini vintage planters (the deer and the chick), and a milk glass container. How do you like that gorgeous teapot? I recently found it - plus matching teacups, saucers, little plates and a creamer - at Goodwill. The milk glass container was also a Goodwill find. More on all that in another post.

I did some painting today, too. My aunt had given me a painting last fall when she was packing her house to move out-of-state. I loved the painting itself, but not the frame. Auntie had painted the frame red, which - to me - clashed with the painting. I got a small jar of Americana Decor chalk paint (the color is Serene) at Hobby Lobby and gave it a whirl. I'm not much of a crafty person, nor am I a DIYer, so I was a little nervous at first.

Here's the painting after the first coat. Much better, don't you think? I just now noticed after uploading this picture to my blog that Clementine is photobombing this photo. I shouldn't be surprised - usually one of the cats is doing so. Anyway, I have to give a thumbs up for this paint. It went on very smoothly, gave great coverage without having to use a primer, dried quickly, and had no odor at all. Now I just have to wax the frame and then decide where to hang this painting. At first I thought it could go in the living room, but the light blue frame clashed with the aqua accents in the room. Blue overload! I think I'll wait and hang it in our bedroom after we paint and re-do that room. (And that's another huge, looming project.)

I'm turning the laptop off now and reading for awhile before I go to bed. I'm in the middle of "The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy" by Rachel Joyce. She's the author of, "The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry." Are you familiar with that book? Brian and I read it last year and we both loved it. So when the author came out with this sequel, we couldn't wait to read it. I've had the book on my amazon wish list since it came out, but the price has been too high to buy the book. I kept checking my library's web site and was thrilled to see last week that they got the book! Brian read it first - in two days - and he said it was excellent. I'm halfway through and loving this book. One of those that's hard to put down and has you reading way past your bedtime.


  1. That sounds exhausting. At least you are okay. I hope you have a good weekend.

  2. We have had crazy weather here, too. Ready for the rain to stop. Isn't it wonderful to see things popping up out of the ground. xo Laura

  3. I've never lived anywhere that gets tornadoes--it sounds terrifying! But the outdoor photos are lovely and you made a huge improvement with that picture frame!

  4. I just got on my library's web site and reserved those two books.
    Jess is going with me to a succulents seminar at a local nursery on the 18th. She's already gathering containers, a large tea cup and a china creamer that is very delicate. I'm going to take a soup tureen and an old rusty Tonka dump truck.
    I'm anxious to get into the garden, too, but not yet. While you were having thunderstorms yesterday, we were getting snow. :(

  5. So glad you are out of the basement and safe! Days like that are scary. Love the little planters and succulents. I think I need to get some this year. Charlie photo bombs but usually smack dab in the middle of stuff! The paint on the frame is very pretty. I've not used any chalk paint yet, but just may try it on a frame I have. Hope you day is wonderful and no more warnings of storms.


  6. Melanie,
    Tornado's are so frightening and so unpredictable, I am so thankful you are safe. Living in "Tornado Alley,"
    as most of our family do, we spend frequent moments undercover. Our daughter Rebecca lives very near Moore Oklahoma and each time I visit her, I am reminded of the fury of these natural occurrences.
    On a happy this painting and how you are updating the frame.
    Have a safe and pleasant weekend

  7. Thought of you when I heard the weather yesterday and hoping for your safety. Tornados are so scary - at least you have a basement. That's good.


  8. Glad you are safe. I grew up in Indiana and hated tornado season. We are even getting T storms now and it is not even warm. Love the succulent in the cute containers. Visiting from Over 40 Bloggers.

  9. Yes, you were quite right to paint the frame. The picture really stands out now. Glad to hear the book is good. I have it on my want list, too.

  10. I like the new frame color, very nice. Those were some pretty scary storms.

  11. We got hit by the rain, greenhouse in tatters, leaks around fireplace, but happy everyone is well. I love seeing all the green sprouting up all around. spring is coming for sure! Love how you painted the frame, looks really nice.

  12. It looks like your garden is growing fast now.. our lilacs are in full bloom here in Oregon. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  13. Love the painting and thank goodness you are safe! Those warnings are very scary. We're having great weather this weekend, I hope you are too!


  14. It's so wonderful to see new growth peeking up after the winter. Our warmer temps the last couple of days have really pushed out the blossoms. The frame looks great with its little makeover!
    Mary Alice

  15. I'm glad to hear that you are safe, worrying about tornado's and weather like that isn't usually something that we encounter here.

    The book sounds interesting, I am going to have to take a look.


  16. I'm so glad you are finally seeing some spring, but doing so with tornadoes isn't quite what I wished for! I saw all that madness in Illinois, and was worried about you. Spring is arriving at rapid speed here, and BOY AM I GLAD! Ha ha ha!

  17. Although highly unusual, we have experienced tornados here in the northeast, most recently about two years ago which did a considerable amount of damage, although nothing like what those of you in tornado alley have to deal with. Very scary, and thank goodness everyone is safe.

    The frame definitely compliments the painting now. :)


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