Thursday, October 13, 2022

totally random ~ catching up

First and foremost, the 13-year anniversary of my oldest son, Philip's passing was September 25th. When you're a parent, it doesn't matter how many years it's been since your child has died. The pain of that day will never fade. I had a headache and basically moped around the house all that day. I could finally exhale a bit on the 26th. 

I love this photo of Phil with his bedhead, unshaven face, wearing his comfy worn out hoodie. It was Christmas 2008 and he was 20 years old. It was his last Christmas with us. He's checking out his new phone with texting keyboard. Hard to grasp the reality that he's never seen a smartphone like we have now.

Fall is here in full force with a beautiful color change and leaves falling like mad. As I do every year, I'm documenting the color change of the gorgeous maple across the street.

The leaf blower can't keep up anymore. It's like shoveling during a snowstorm.

The patio table got taken apart today, covered with a tarp, and put up against the house. We left the two rockers out for now because we're hoping we can still sit outside on the patio at least a couple more times before the end of the month. We'll see. The weather here in Illinois can fluctuate anywhere between the 30's and 60's during the day. 

The glider finally bit the dust this year. It still works, but is falling apart, as you can see by all the wicker pieces that are falling off. We've had this set over 10 years and it was given to us by friends. I don't know how long they had it, so this set has seen good use. We'll possibly be in the market for a new patio set next spring unless we decide to stick with just the two rocking chairs for now.

Back in June, I wrote a post about stray cats that were hanging around our property. I'll update you about the female (Goldie) and her kitten another time. Spoiler alert: that news is all good but there was a little surprise. 

The feral male, Blanco, is still coming around. He's gotten friendlier towards me, though I still can't get within 10 feet of him. He shows up at my house most every evening for food now. 

Sometimes he doesn't show up 'til late at night and I see him out my front door, waiting patiently for me on my porch. He's such a beautiful kitty. The minute I open the door, he takes off. I then set a bowl of food for him on the porch and he eventually comes back to eat it. Long story short, I've been in contact with the county Trap, Neuter, Release program and I'm hoping to be able to trap him so he can at least get neutered. I'm sure he was the daddy of Goldie's kittens. Who knows how many more he's fathered around here. 

I also purchased an outdoor feral cat "house" from a local shelter this past weekend. Volunteers made them out of used ice chests and lined them with straw. They have a flap door where the cat can go in and out. I read online that it's to be put in more of a hiding spot and put up on bricks or pavers about 6" off the ground so that the "house" doesn't get wet from rain or snow. I hope Blanco ends up using it, especially in the winter. I worry about him.

My house is cozily decorated for fall and it'll stay that way til the end of November. You can see Clementine curled up on the throw on the sofa. She's is still hanging in there, though she's now in stage 4 of chronic kidney disease. She's showing more signs of decline with UTIs about once a month and now constipation (which is due to dehyrdration, even though we give her subcutaneous fluids). But she still eats all her food, uses the litter box, grooms herself, interacts with us, and plays with her toys. 

Little touches of autumn decor in the living room and "fauxyer"...

and in the kitchen...

Spent a day antiquing last weekend during the 2022 Midwest Shop Hop. Fun to look around, but only a couple of small things came home with me.

Surprise, it wasn't these cats!

It was almost this mirror, which I initially thought would look above my nightstand. But after taking measurements and also realizing it wouldn't go with the modern prints above our bed, I passed.

It wasn't this lovely chandelier either, as I have nowhere to hang it.

If I had a grandchild, I might've purchased this 1970's dollhouse. I had one just like it when I was growing up. I still have the plastic furniture that came with the dollhouse!

Sorry for the bad quality photo - I had to close the blinds on the kitchen door because the sunlight was so bright. See the two vintage wood pieces in the doorway? That's what I bought. I'm not sure I like these pieces here. I was trying to add some interest to the boring builder grade opening from the living room into the kitchen. No big deal if I decide to move them: they're attached to the wall with Command strips.

Here's where I tried the pieces at first. Big nope.

That's it in a nutshell. More I could talk about, but this post is already too long. Life is busy and it's hard to keep up with blogging sometimes. Other times, I'm simply not in the mood to post. Thanks for sticking with me.



  1. Hi Melanie. This is my second try at commenting. I was finishing up the first comment and it disappeared. Go figure. It is always good to hear from you when you post. That tree across is gorgeous! I love the way you have decorated your home for fall. The antique store looks like a fun place to browse. That doll house is in great shape and brings back lots of memories. We must be about the same age. I love that picture of Phil. Our children are always a part of us. They are always in our hearts, no matter what. I can feel of your love for Phil whenever you post about him. I hope you enjoy the rest of October. See you again next time you post.

  2. It's always good to see a new post from you in my feed. Your house always looks so cozy decorated for each season. That antique store would be so much fun! I think there are better shops on the eastern side of the country. At least that's been my experience. And great used bookstores, too! That's a great picture of Phil. Thinking about the things our loved ones have missed, such as the smartphone, makes the time passed seem beyond belief. And yet, our memories and love is timeless, so it also feels as though they've never left. Sending you love and hugs, my friend.

  3. Oh, the white cat is beautiful! Reminds me of my little Gracie I only had for 6 months. Still wonder what happened to her. I know it's so hard for you every anniversary. I can't even imagine. I'm glad Clementine is still hanging in there, my friend.

  4. Blanco is absolutely gorgeous! I love that you have a soft heart for kitties. What a great memory of your son. I know those dates can be so tough each year. Your fall decor is beautiful! Take care.

  5. I hope you can catch the white beautiful boy and get him neutered. Glad Clementine is still doing so well. That is so awesome. Love the color of the trees changing by us too. What a sweet pic of Phil from a few Christmas's ago. I am sure you treasure memories and pics like this. Hugs. Kris

  6. You seem to know exactly when to be gentle with yourself.

  7. That white cat is just a beauty. Hope you can catch him. My heart aches for your loss-I know it never subsides and is always there. Wonderful catch up post here. xo Diana

  8. Oh, that Blanco is a gorgeous boy. I hope, too, he uses the house you got for him.
    Sweet Clementine has known lots of love since she came to you.
    I always think of Phil at this time of year, just before B's birthday. ♥

  9. I love that photo of Phil.
    I also like the photo of Blanco with the sunbeams.
    Your house is a lovely haven.
    I am so grateful to have you in my life. ❤️

  10. Always fun to catch up with you, Melanie. Your house looks very cozy and set for fall. What a beautiful kitty, it's kind of you to care for him. What a sweet photo of Phil. Big, big hugs to you, my friend.

  11. Every little crook and cranny of your home whispers a love song. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Thank you for sharing:)

  12. Melanie, I can't even begin to imagine the courage it takes you getting through this anniversary and every day but I love seeing pictures of your Phillip. And I admire so much the heart you have for these cats who visit your garden. To not only feed them but to think about helping them stay warm and even to find help for rescuing them.

    I read the comment above from Connie and she put into words what I think when I see pictures of your home and garden, where you express your love for your "Comfy House." I always enjoy seeing it.

  13. My daughter loves to feed and care for feral cats too. She sure has a heart for them. I’m with you, autumn decor stays up from October until Thanksgiving. Sending hugs for the anniversary of Phil’s passing. I’m sure it never gets any easier.


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