Monday, August 22, 2016

on the homefront ~ from morning 'til evening

The past couple of days here have been picture-perfect. Temps are in the 70's, the humidity is low and sunshine abounds.

 It's delightful to turn off the AC and open the windows to feel the fresh air. The kitties concur.

 My front door, which faces east, opens right into the living room so there's always always a nice sun puddle on the floor in the morning. With the cool breeze coming in through the front door, too ~ just heavenly.

When you walk in the front door into the living room, there's a little foyer-like area. I got a new console table from Target a few weeks ago. The original console table we had there was dark brown - and now that's in our bedroom with a TV on top of it. Then, I was using my grandma's antique secretary desk, but it didn't really fit the space. It was too tall and not wide enough. This new table fits the space perfectly, brightens up the area, and I like the empty space underneath (the original dark brown console table had shelving underneath). Our leather ottomans - which open for storage - fit perfectly underneath this table.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, things are a bit more chaotic. When the husband works an overnight shift and thus is sleeping during the day, I lose the use of our bed as my spot for folding laundry. So, the kitchen table does double-duty as a folding spot. Oops, I see a kitty tail underneath one of the kitchen chairs! Somehow, a cat always makes it into most of my photos. Good thing I only have three. I met a lady in my yoga class last week who has 11. Not going there so don't even say it. ;-)

And now with Tim being home, it seems like there's three extra people in the house instead of just one. I think I got too used to be an empty nester after three years. I'm back to making big batches of food to keep in the fridge for hungry men. With the cooler weather, yesterday was a perfect time to make a pot of veggie-beef soup. I don't follow a recipe ~ I just make things up as I go along. I started out by lightly sauteeing chopped up onion, carrots, celery and garlic - just enough to bring out the flavors. Then I added a pound of organic, grass-fed ground beef. Browned that up with the veggies, drained the grease, then added four cups of organic beef broth, two cups of organic vegetable broth, and a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes.  Let that simmer for a few minutes, then in went the diced zucchini, green beans, and frozen corn. Spices were next - some Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Blend, freshly ground pepper, and Italian seasoning. Brought this up to a boil and added 1/2 cup ditalini pasta. Let simmer for eight minutes - and done!

Today I made a batch of corn muffins. A perfect accompaniment to the soup.

With so much cooking going on (Tim does a lot of his own, too), the dishwasher usually goes twice a day now. I relish the times the kitchen is finally clean ~ which doesn't last long ~ and the table is clear of laundry. ;-)

I always love to have fresh flowers around the house and my gardens have been supplying most of them, but when I saw a bunch of chamomile flowers at Trader Joe's, I couldn't resist. They look like miniature daisies, don't they?

The thing is, these cut flowers don't last very long. Interestingly enough, at the beginning of summer I had a pot of chamomile flowers growing and the entire plant died off within less than two months. I'm assuming it's just a delicate plant. 

The sun is setting noticeably earlier these days - about 7:40. 

This late summer sun casts the most beautiful glow down the patio on onto the Joe Pye Weed...

which the bees love.

Savoring every moment of these last summer days and nights.

Have a beautiful week!


  1. I think your home looks so warm and cozy, Mel. The new coffee table is perfect and all of the other changes. The weather here of course is the same and it sure is getting a bit darker earlier. I like to sit outside with the hounds about 7:00 after dinner and we are usually feeling the coming of the hazy night about 45 minute later.

    I hear you on Tim coming home and the meals. Funny, I make recipe that say they serve 4-6 yet Al and I make a huge dent in it with just a tiny portion left!! I do my soup (and stews) much the same as you except I cook my meat first and drain it so I don't lose the juices of the veggies. And I've always folded my laundry at the kitchen table as it's central to all the rooms. We all have our habits.

    The sun looks so pretty in your yard. I have Joe Pie weed in my front yard and it overgrows every year. Do you know when it's a good time to divide? I love it but it blooms now and otherwise there is no color all summer long, so I want to move most of it. Mine is purple. I like yours better! ;-D

    Enjoy our great weather, it's supposed to last all week. I own you an email. We can talk about my latest maladies!! Ha!

    Jane x

  2. It's arrived here as well...a blessed cool-down. It was 58 degrees this morning. Oh yes, young men can certainly eat, can't they! I am sure that he's happy to be home with mama's cooking! :)

  3. Your foyer area is styled beautifully with the new table, Melanie. You always seem to hit on just the right arrangement for your tables.

    Oh, to turn off the AC and open the windows in 70s weather! That was always the best. I love to be able to hear the sound of the birds coming through the open windows and I bet your cats do too! Yum, vegetable soup cooking and fall coming, nothing better. And I add ditalini pasta to leftover pinto beans the second day!

    Your arrangement of chamomile in that sweet jug is perfection!

  4. Your kitties are too cute! Continue to enjoy what is left of summer♥

  5. Love the way the new console looks there! I must have missed something. Did Tim move back home?

  6. I think the room looks good with the new table. Its been great opening the windows and the beautiful cooler air coming through. With our bedroom window open I can hear the waterfall running and it so zen to fall asleep to. We have only one cat let and miss our other two...have a great day..

  7. Your console looks very nice, and it's great to see glimpses of your lovely home and critters.

    I noticed a tiny, teeny 'hint' of fall today myself, way down here in s.e. FL. We've still got September to get through which can be pretty miserable.

    Enjoy ~ FlowerLady

  8. Everything looks lovely, inside and out, and the pic of the three kitties is fabulous Melanie. Love the rug under your table.
    Off to make roasted red pepper and tomato soup for supper - cheese whole wheat scones to accompany.

  9. I don't remember which kind of chamomile that I have growing outside, but after it blooms in early summer, it fades away. And it drops seedlings everywhere! You might like it in your garden, it has a nice apple fragrance, and those tiny little daisy flowers are cute. The look good planted next to chives, which I mostly grow because the flowers are pretty. And chives are super easy to grow from seed too.

  10. Your home is so beautiful my friend. SO warm and inviting. I bet it is wonderful to have your son home again.

  11. I love the new console table and I have always loved that mirror! I laughed at the 3 cats in the window photo...just made me happy. I have a friend staying with me while he searches for a new home to purchase and wow it's hard having someone here after living alone for 3 years. I'm glad I can help and he is Mr. Toes owner so I've still got the cat here also. Helps me heal from losing Charlie. Take care, it's a rainy day in Georgia!

  12. Love this little peek into your very cozy home!! Ps - drooling over that mirror!!!!

  13. Lovely this-and-that post, Melanie! Your home is so welcoming and charming...I love what you did with your entryway, and the tail photobomb is so cute! We are having beautiful weather here, too!

  14. Corm muffins and veggie beef soup? Ok, that's ALMOST enough to make me wish fall was upon us. Almost!! ;)

  15. You have been busy with your camera and I am loving all your beautiful pics on IG.

  16. Love that all your kitties are getting the best of the sun!

  17. Savoring summer and soup...what a great combo! So looking forward to soup season myself. Our weather turned warmer again but I know it's time is limited! Also, is there anything cuter than cats in an open window?


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