Tuesday, March 31, 2020

a few minutes of diversion ~ decorating

Hello friends, how is everyone doing? I'm definitely going stir-crazy and have moments where I feel sad and/or anxious, but I know everyone else is feeling the same. The main thing is that we all stay well and healthy. I'm enjoying reading on blogs and social media what everyone is doing to stay sane and upbeat...there's a lot of good ideas out there. I've been puttering with decor and rearranging some things, walking every day outside every day even though the weather is still pretty crappy (it feels good to get some fresh air and exercise; grateful we can at least go outside!), practicing yoga, cleaning out drawers and closets (ho hum!), talking every day via text or phone with friends and family members, reading, and doing even more cooking. I even tried my hand at acrylic painting, though it pretty much looked like a five-year old got into the paints.

To take your mind off the pandemic for a few minutes, I thought I'd share some of my latest putterings with you...

I didn't do much decorating for Easter. If we can't get together with family or friends, I feel there's not much of a point. I do like some of my bunny decor though, so I made a vignette on the dresser in the guest room.

I lightened up the china cabinet for spring and used washi tape to line each shelf.

The washi tape was such an easy, quick way to add a little cheer, so I stuck a couple of strips on the shelves on the kitchen wall, as well.

This yellow spring chick that I've had for years adds a little whimsy under the spider plant.

That's a new philodendron plant on top of the china cabinet. I grabbed a couple of plants when we had to run to Home Depot a few days ago for specialty light bulbs.

Here's the other plant - some sort of succulent - on top of my fridge. 

 The console table in the living room got a couple of small changes. The blue bottle used to be on the ledge of the wall cut-out, and I also added a couple of little bunnies.


Do you remember my lamp dilemma in Brian's office? I couldn't decide whether to keep this lamp, as it wasn't the right height with the "window" above the black cube unit. Well, once I put a couple of books under the lamp and added decor to the cube and the shelf, I decided I liked the lamp after all. Brian likes it, too and said the lamp gives off the perfect reading light for when he's sitting in the arm chair. We still need a rug for this room, but I haven't found "just the right one" online yet.

Back to the Coronavirus (my few minutes of decorating diversion are up), Brian and I have been playing cards and board games on the days he's home from work. He's in the emergency services field, so yes, he's still working outside the home. Clementine loves to be wherever we are, which often means right in the middle of one of our games.

Lastly, I'll leave you with this piece that I just read on Facebook.
Love to you all!
We (all of us) are currently going through
a collective traumatic experience.
Trauma is often thought of as "too much, too fast“…
which is exactly what’s happening.
Of course you’re exhausted. Of course you’re afraid.
Of course you’re overwhelmed. Of course you’re
clinging to certainty in the midst of so much unknown.
Of course you aren’t as productive, feeling foggy,
or wondering how you can possibly go through
so many waves of emotions all in the same day.
This all makes so much sense in the context
of our circumstances. Be gentle with yourself.
Have compassion for your process.
Give yourself grace. You are good,
no matter how you are managing
this completely new experience.

(Lisa Olivera)

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

some of the things we did ~ including meeting a blogger friend

We packed a lot of activity into the few days we were in California. One of the places we went was the Museum of Illusions. Such a cool place! 

 We also took a hike in Runyon Canyon Park, despite the light rain. It was beautiful and peaceful. We only came across one other person while we were there.

 Took a stroll on the Hollywood Walk of Fame...

Another day, we walked around the Fashion District in downtown Los Angeles. That was rather umm...interesting!

Our last full day in California, we headed to Ventura...

for me to meet up with Carol at Art and Sand! I'm sure most of you recognize this view of her house.

It was an absolute delight to meet Carol in person and spend some time with her.

I can personally vouch for how sweet Lulu is in person and how soft her fur is.

After Carol and I had lunch, she drove me to the beach so I could see the ocean and take some pictures, even though it was cloudy and rainy.

I am so thankful we were able to go on this trip to visit with our son. It was right before all the stay-at-home orders went into place. One more week and we would've had to cancel our trip.

Hope you all are staying well and healthy.

Friday, March 20, 2020

in the meantime

Hello friends, time for a break from vacation photos to show you a little bit of what's going on here. Hope you all are well and hanging in there as we all go through this Coronavirus epidemic together. I think together is the key word. Even though we can't physically be together because of self-quarantine, we can support each other emotionally right now.

As I was taking a walk the other day in my neighborhood ~ the only sunny day we've had all week ~ I came upon my neighbor-friend who was bundled up, sitting in the sunshine in her front yard. We talked for a bit about how much this isolation sucks. That it's ridiculous we can't even give each other a hug. That we can't watch the news or go on Facebook often because it fuels our anxiety. That we feel like we're living in an alternate universe. Then I turned and saw snowdrops under her pine tree. She said they weren't there before; they only recently appeared. I told her they were our little bit of joy that we found in the day. Those are the things we have to look for right now.

My lilac bush is budding. Another joy.

 I was trying to explain to an online friend recently why I needed to stock up often on grocery items, especially fresh produce. Brian works 12-hour shifts in the emergency services field. He is not allowed to leave his work place to go out and get food. That means he has to bring three meals ~ breakfast, lunch and dinner ~ to work. When he works three 12-hour shifts in a row, that means nine meals he has to prepare ahead of time! This is what our fridge looked like the other night after he was done packaging up his meals. And yes, I do feel blessed just looking at this photo, as it means we have access to an abundance of food.

A local vintage shop is moving their current location and so the owner is selling certain items at excellent prices. She's been posting photos on Instagram of what she's selling and when I saw this red bench, it called my name. She warned me it "needed work", but I didn't care, because it's going to stay outside. Once the weather warms up a bit, I'm going to move this into my side garden. It won't be for sitting on; I'm going to use it for potted plants.

You can see where a piece is missing. And one of the arms on the bench falls off, but I think it can be screwed back on. If not, no big deal. With a little bit of clean up and potted flowers and plants, I think this piece will add some charm to the garden.

This vintage metal plant hanger was the other thing I picked up from the shop. See that ugly bench in the background? That's where the red bench is going. I'm not sure yet where the permanent place for the plant hanger will be. To be determined once spring yard clean up starts!

I'm still working on decorating Brian's office (what used to be Tim's bedroom). I admire those of you who can put together a room in a weekend, or even a week. Or a month! I found this window in my basement the other day and I thought it might look nice above the black cube. Thing is, before we hung the window, I had just purchased the lamp on top of the black cube: That's why the plastic is still on the shade. The lamp looked great there before the window was hung. (That little chick is not staying on the window shelf. I just stuck it there when I was working in the room.) πŸ˜‰

But now that the window is hung, I'm not so sure about the lamp. Is it okay that it comes above the shelf of the window? We really need lighting in this space because of the chair next to this piece of furniture. I guess I could put a floor lamp between the cube and the chair, but this room is so small, I don't want anything else on the floor. If I buy a smaller lamp that would go under the shelf of the window, that lamp wouldn't be big enough to cast enough reading light. Thoughts? Do you like the current lamp where it is?

A recent purchase ~ a little decorating pick-me-up ~ was this bird pillow for the entryway bench. I found it at Walmart, of all places. I think it's cheery and perfect for spring.

I've also been working on a little spring decorating.

The daffodils in the blue Mason jar will look so pretty once they burst open.

 I have my Easter decor spread out on the guest bed, trying to decide what I'm going to do with it. I'm not much into holiday decorating anymore. Most of it will probably end up going back into the storage container.

 I'll probably do a little vignette on top of the dresser and maybe on the kitchen table or shelves, but that's it.

 Thank you all so much for your friendship and kind comments. They really make my day. Your comments come through my email account and I've noticed there's some of you where your email shows up as a "no-reply blogger". So if you ask me a question in the comments, I can't answer you privately. Or, if you're new to my blog and leave a comment, I can't email you back to thank you for visiting. How do you know if you're a no-reply blogger, or what to if you want to fix this? That's too much (and too techy!) for me to answer here. Your best bet would be to Google it and find a site that can directly answer those questions and offer help.

Until next time, wishing you all peace and good health.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

beautiful views, homes and landscaping

California vacation, part two ~

One morning, we woke early and before we headed out to pick up Tim and go about our day, we decided to walk the neighborhood.

I don't think I'd ever get tired of this beautiful view. Even in the overcast weather, the mountains are beautiful shrouded in clouds.

This is the owner's house of the guest cottage we stayed in.

While walking around the neighborhood, we noticed a lot of Spanish-style architecture....

and beautiful foliage and landscaping. We don't have any of these plants and trees in the Midwest, so it was all fascinating to me...

Like I said in my last post, I couldn't get over all the lemon and orange trees in people's yards. To be able to just walk out your front door and pick fresh citrus any time you want it, is incredible to me.

I know we're living in a stressful time right now. I'm finding that reading blogs is a nice diversion. It always is, but moreso now. I hope you all are doing well ~ physically, mentally and spiritually. πŸ’“