Monday, July 31, 2023

end of july

Can't believe tomorrow is August 1st already. Where has the summer gone? It's my favorite season and it's far too short. My butterfly garden is in its glory; tomatoes, onions and peppers (trying purple ones this year) are almost ready; herbs are prolific (and I somehow got one lone petunia flower in the pot of basil and thyme...where it came from, I have no idea. I don't have petunias here this year. Love these little gifts from the Universe!).

Clementine is still doing fantastic despite her age and stage 4 kidney disease (and hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure and dental disease). You'd never know this sweet baby is so ill. She eats all her meals, uses her cat box, is very interactive with us, runs around, can still jump up to high places.

This month has been filled with various farmer's markets, sidewalk sales, and street fairs. I've been lucky to find some "treasures" at fantastic prices: a leather owl made in Italy; a vintage drinking vessel made in Israel; a stack of books and a CD for $3; a freezer Ball jar that I'm currently using as a vase; vintage pottery (those lines and colors!); a mini metal pitcher with a kitty on it...and then a splurge ~ a new mid-century modern style lamp for our basement family room. Found this beauty at Praha in Chicago. 

Phil would've been 35 years old on July 21st. I don't know when the photo of the two of us was taken, why both of our heads of hair look so dark, or who took the photo. But it looks like Phil was about 14-15 in this photo. How I miss my oldest son. 

And then we celebrated Brian's birthday in July, as well. We had a lovely day together, going out to a restaurant of his choice and seeing the movie, Oppenheimer. Brian liked the movie; I didn't care for it. You really need to know your WW2 history to get into this movie. I had a horrible history teacher in high school and it was a subject that didn't interest me. Plus, the movie was three hours long. We were squirming in our seats.

I know it's the height of summer when the local farmstands start selling their corn. There's nothing like Midwest corn! We had it for the first time this summer on the grill and agreed that next time, we are going for two ears each. Even better when it's eaten outside on the patio. 

If you've stuck around with me through this long post, thank you. I'm not sure what to think about blogging anymore. It's so much easier to keep up with Instagram. Are you following me there? I'm at @melaniescomfyhouse. My account is private, so you'll have to send me a follow request. Anyway, this is by no means goodbye. If I decide to formally stop my blog, I'll let you know. For right now, it's more of an explanation of why I don't post much anymore.


Monday, July 3, 2023

hellooo ~ this & that

Hello and happy July! I recently finished repainting the little table on the porch. I've this table for at least 30 years - a cast off from a neighbor. It's been several colors. The last few years it was yellow and it was fading and peeling. I was tired of the yellow anyway.

The Chicago area has been hit hard with the smoke from the Canada wildfires. I took this photo last week, when the sun was trying to peek out through the haze right before sunset. That was the day we had the worst air quality in the world.

My little veggie garden is doing great. There's two tomato plants on the left, then red onions, and purple beauty bell pepper. 

Exciting to see the first fruits.

This beautiful purple flowered perennial has turned out to be one of my favorites. It's in the geranium family (geranium pratense); more commonly known as Meadow Cranesbill. I purchased this plant at least 25 years ago with my then next-door neighbor, Thanam. She had recently moved here from Malaysia and didn't have a car. I took her to the garden center with me and we each bought one of these plants. For some reason, she thought the name of this plant was Heavenly Death. That's what she always called it. Did it have that name on the plant tag? I don't remember. I've Googled to see if any variety of Meadow Cranesbill has this name and don't come up with anything. But to this day, I still call this plant Heavenly Death because of Thanam. It reminds me of her. (She moved back to Malaysia 20 years ago.) 

Another interesting thing about this perennial is that it's been moved several times and has always done well. It loves where it is now, nestled in-between coral bells. It gets a nice mixture of sun and shade.

Our new(ish) next door neighbor never did cut down the mulberry tree like he told us he was going to. We even left him a nice note on his gate last month, offering once again to help him pay for having the tree cut down and to let us know if he needed any help finding a tree trimming service. We left our phone numbers and also told him he was welcome to stop by and talk to us. Never heard from him. *sigh*  

So, you guessed it, we're once again having to deal with millions of mushy mulberries falling all over our patio, in the hostas, and all the other plants that run along the privacy fence ~ not to mention the walking path to the patio and in all the fresh mulch we lay down in the spring. We haven't been able to use our patio in for three weeks, so far. And when the mulberries are done falling, Brian will then have to power wash the patio to get all the stains off. Have I ever said how much I hate this tree? ๐Ÿ˜œ


I got tired of looking at this squished space in "my" room. (I never know what to call this space. I have several names for it: Phil's room {used to be my son, Phil's bedroom}, the guest room, my room, my office.) 

I cleared the space out, including the bookcase so I could move it.

I started by moving the bookcase underneath the mirror. Clementine immediately took up residency on the chair moved to the side. I stashed my yoga and exercise equipment into a basket in the corner.

In this view, you can see the opening to the room, as well as how the wall next to the door juts out, creating a little nook next to the bookcase. 

I decided I didn't like the basket of exercise equipment in the corner. The corner needed some height. So I moved the exercise stuff into a smaller basket, tucked the yoga mat and bolster next to the other side of the bookcase (as seen in photo above), and put a stool with a plant on it in the corner.

Took the framed cat art print from the kitchen and moved it to this wall. 

I think this space looks much better now. Less cramped.

The white chair got moved into the living room across from the couch. The chair has become Clementine's new favorite napping spot. Funny, because she rarely napped on it when it was in "my" room.

For those of you in the US, have a happy and safe 4th of July. (Clementine doesn't like fireworks ~ and neither do I.)