Wednesday, May 29, 2019

easy way to lighten up a room for summer

I've been wanting a new living room rug for awhile, but that was something that was put on the back burner. The dark brown rug that we currently had made the entire living room look too dark. The rug was also starting to pill. The living room needed a lighter look, especially for the warmer months. With Wayfair's Summer at Home campaign, I figured this was the perfect time for that new rug. 
(Disclaimer: As a member of the Wayfair Homemaker program, I have been compensated for this post. All ideas and opinions are completely my own.)

I was tired of all the beige and brown going on in this room with all the main elements: walls, couch, coffee table, rug.

Sure, I used lighter colored decor and even some white, but still...

I was ready for a new, lighter feature in this room.

 I was looking for an ivory rug with an unobtrusive, neutral pattern. Wayfair has a huge array of rugs to choose from. I ended up choosing this plush ivory area rug and I couldn't be more pleased!

It lightens up the room just as I had hoped.

I'm also super impressed with the quality of this rug. It's plush and well made and feels wonderful underfoot. We are loving this rug so much, we are thinking about ordering the same one for the second spare bedroom!

There'll be some other changes going on in my living room...slowly but surely. Have you changed any of your decor for the warmer months?

Friday, May 24, 2019

cat bite, around my yard, and the snowball effect


There's an orange and white cat that roams the neighborhood and frequently comes into my backyard. He drives my cats insane when they see him through the windows. Our county has a leash law for both dogs and cats, but I had no idea who this kitty belonged to, so I couldn't go talk to the owner.

This past Monday, I was snipping herbs and pulling weeds in the backyard, and orange kitty sauntered up to me and rubbed up against my legs. That's a sign of affection, so I reached down and petted the kitty on his back. That's when he turned on me and attacked my leg so quickly, I didn't even see it happening. All I felt was a knock into my leg and immediate pain. I lifted up my pant leg (just thin yoga pants) and saw blood dripping down both sides of my calf. I started yelling (OK, and swearing) at the cat and he just sat there staring at me.

I washed the wounds with soap and water then went to an Immediate Care center. They flushed the wounds with saline, took an x-ray to make sure there weren't any broken off tooth fragments in the puncture wounds - which was going a little overboard, I think - bandaged me up, gave me a tetanus shot and a prescription for Augmentin.

Turns out, the Augmentin made me sick, so then I was prescribed Doxycycline - which also made me sick plus gave me a raging headache. So I saw my regular doctor yesterday for a follow up. Since my wounds are healing nicely on their own with no signs of infection, she decided not to try a third antibiotic. I do have a hematoma under the main puncture wound, so I have to massage it and use heat on it to try and break it up.

Isn't my calf lovely?! That's the bites. The other side of my calf has scratches.

It's been a nightmare dealing with Animal Control who have claimed they never got the faxed report from Immediate Care - who claim they sent it right away and can't do so again because they no longer have the hard copy. Then Animal Control wanted me to try and find the owners of this cat, so I took a ride over to the street behind me. A neighbor was outside in her front yard. I asked if she knew anyone on that street who had an orange and white cat. She said yes - and pointed to the house across from her. There was a man on the driveway, so I went over and talked to him. He claimed it was his teenage granddaughter's cat and invited me in to talk to her. She was mortified and genuinely apologized. I told her that Animal Control would be contacting her. I believe they quarantine the cat for 10 days and test it for rabies.

The thing is, even if this young woman then tries to keep the cat indoors, since it's been an outside cat, it will easily sneak out. It will fly out the door the minute someone opens it. I'm not only scared of this cat, but the neighbors behind me have two little kids plus babysit three others. The children play in the backyard. I talked to the mom the other day and warned her about this cat. She said the cat is in her yard all the time and even in her garage! Imagine if one of those little kids petted the cat! I'm also trying not to freak out that this cat could have rabies. From what I read online, the incubation period in humans after being bitten by an infected animal is anywhere from five days to over a year!


We finally got one day of beautiful weather yesterday in-between the non-stop rain. I was outside practically the entire day except for my quick doctor visit. I even had my neighbor-friend over in the evening for wine on my patio. The sun was still present, there was a cool breeze, and all the birds were singing. It was glorious. We're back to rain today and looking at the 10-day forecast, there are scattered thunderstorms EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I just wanna cry. My friend and I were saying last night that we feel we'll never get all our flowers and veggies planted. That it'll be mid-June before they'll even get in the ground or in containers.

 So yesterday, I only got a few pots of flowers and herbs planted before I ran out of potting soil. 

My neighbor's bushes hang over onto our patio and this time of year, they are so pretty with the pink flowers. They don't have any scent. Could they be honeysuckle? The branches are very heavy right now after all the rain.

I'm afraid this is the last of my lilacs. They also weren't as colorful this year as they were all the past years. They were always a pale purple, but I don't remember them being almost white. Again, probably way too much rain.

I don't think I ever showed you our new front porch/deck. Last November, we had our old, rotting wood porch/deck taken out and a new Trex deck built. I know in this photo you can't see the entire thing - I had too much gardening stuff piled up on the right side of the porch...all the plant pots and I purposely took a photo off to the left. And because of the construction, there is mud all around the deck where we need to put down grass seed. But can't do so right now because - no surprise - too much rain. We also need a new sidewalk that leads up to the deck. It is old and sinking sideways into the ground. Anyway, we are loving our new deck. Best part is no maintenance - no staining or painting, no pressure washing or scrubbing, no sealing, no splinters!


You know how you change one thing in your house and then it leads to more? That's how my house is right now. We got a new rug for the living room (that'll be another post) and also moved the old rug into the second spare bedroom - which is being made into an office and TV room for Brian. After moving the rug into the spare room, we realized it was too big and also didn't look good. So now we'll need a rug for that room. We also need a floor lamp, curtains, and are looking for an antique desk chair.

Then we decided we needed a twin bed in one of the spare bedrooms in case we ever had an overnight guest. My friend from Ohio was supposed to visit me the first week of June, so that prompted me to get my butt in gear. Turns out she isn't able to visit me, but at least I'm now prepared. I ordered this beautiful bed and a foam mattress from Wayfair, found pretty sheets at Target, and used an old quilt that was passed down to us from an elderly family friend. He slept under this quilt as a child.

So now "my" room - the first spare bedroom that used to be Phil's bedroom - is also a guest room! However, like I mentioned about a snowball effect....the side table with the lamp and plants will need to be moved elsewhere. There's too much furniture in this room now and it's very crowded. I'll be replacing the table with a small nightstand that my mom is going to paint for me.  (I guess I'll have to find somewhere else to put all those plants, too - see what I mean by the snowball effect?!)  And the metal "chandelier" over the bed will have to be moved. I don't think anyone wants to lie in that bed, worrying about the possibility of the chandy falling on their head. 😧

Here in the US, this is Memorial Day weekend. It usually means barbeques and get-togethers and sun...the unofficial start to summer. A friend of mine is having a barbeque this weekend, but looks like she'll be grilling in the rain and we'll be eating indoors instead of sitting outside on her patio. Whatever your plans are, have fun and be safe.

Until next time ~ thanks for visiting! 💓

Friday, May 17, 2019

crazy may

Me, Brian and my mom last weekend...yes, all bundled up. We were freezing and couldn't wait to get to our car when this picture was taken. And look at those gray skies. That's how it's been most of this month ~ with a ton of rain. I saw on a news site the other day that last year at this time, 88% of the farmer's crops were planted. This year, only 11%. I feel bad for the farmers, but also for us as consumers. Because you know it's going to hit our pocketbook.

Despite the cold, gloomy weather, the three of us had a good time at an outdoor spring market, then going out to lunch. It was the day before Mother's Day, so this was our "celebration". The actual day of Mother's Day was low-key for me, which is how I like it. We met up with Tim later in the day to have soup and salad at Panera and just sit and talk a bit. I've never been the type of person who likes to get dressed up and go somewhere fancy, especially on a holiday. I think this day is over-rated anyway...and can also be painful for a lot of women. There are those of us, such as myself, who have lost a child, who have lost their mother, who don't have a good relationship with their mother, who haven't been able to have a child, have chosen not to have a child, or even have a toxic relationship with their child.

On the occasional rare day this month that we've had sunshine, I've been going around with my camera taking photos of all the beautiful blooms. These are Benjamin Franklin daffodils in my neighbor-friend's yard.

Her crab apple tree was also budding...and now is in full bloom with gorgeous white flowers. I love how this tree changes like that.

After yesterday's rain, my lilacs burst into bloom. I wish you could smell them!

Bishop's Cap is a woodland plant that loves this cool, damp weather. Aren't those teeny white flowers on it amazing? 

Earlier in the week when we had a day of sunshine, I headed to a nearby nursery to see what plants they had. I came home with most of this mass. (That's lettuce sprouting in the planter.) I'm going to make Tim a planter with the red geraniums and trailing ivy for his apartment balcony. I need to make large pots of flowers for the porch and patio, as well as small pots to tuck here and there. And then I still need to decide what to do with Zippo's memorial garden and a circular garden in the back yard. So this is just a dent. I won't be getting any planting done this weekend because of ~ you guessed it ~ more rain. If we have flowers planted by Memorial Day this year, it'll be a miracle.

Another perk of sunny days...beautiful sunsets on the nearby lake.

And having a glass of wine on the patio in the evening.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 10, 2019

spring garden planning

This spring has been so fickle. I thought for sure that our wet, cold (and even snowy) April would bring warmer temps and drier weather for May. That hasn't come true, so far. It's been mostly chilly, damp, and rainy. I feel like we'll never get the yard cleaned up and mowed, garden beds mulched and flowers planted. The positive side: everything is so green now!

 Can't wait to make a strawberry-rhubarb crisp with my own rhubarb.

Clematis has really taken off, but right now it looks like a tangled mess. Pretty soon it'll have huge, purple flowers.

Peony about to bloom...

This past Tuesday after physical therapy (which is going OK...slower progress than expected, but no surprise always is for me!), I stopped by the garden center even though it was barely 50 degrees with whipping winds. I wanted to see what was available right now to plant in flower pots and perhaps pick up some herbs. I was walking around with pots of basil and cilantro in my hands and one of the garden employees said to me, "I hope you're not planning on planting those right now!" She said it was still too cold for the basil. I asked about the cilantro and she said it was too windy. Sigh. I put the plants back. No use in buying anything right now and then having to keep it in the garage.

 Every spring on my first visit to a garden center, I get a little excited and want to buy every plant and flower I see. The adult version of a kid in a candy store.

Who can blame me when there's all these bright, beautiful colors?

 Gerbera daisies - one of my favorites.

And beautiful, romantic dahlias.

I've been thinking about what I want to do for Zippo's memorial garden. When we had Zippo put down last November in our home via mobile vet, Brian buried him in our back yard. It's a spot close to the back pine trees, near the composting bin and by the neighbor's fence. It's a bare, weedy spot, so needs a lot of work. In the meantime, I ordered this plaque on etsy.

I was thinking Forget-Me-Nots would be appropriate for the memorial garden...

 and perhaps some catmint, too.

There was another day that I visited a couple of nearby antique shops during their garden days spring sale. I poked around, outdoors and in...

and ended up coming home with this.

I haven't decided yet where I'm going to use it outdoors (hung on the fence?) or what I'm going to do with it, but it's all part of the spring garden planning that's going on.

Well, I wrote most of this post yesterday - Thursday - and today when I got up, I was happy to see the sun was shining. Granted, it's only 43 degrees, but I'll take the sunshine and dry weather after so much rain. I read that the farmers are behind in planting because of the flooded fields, so I shouldn't complain about not being able to plant flowers just yet.

Have a wonderful weekend!