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Saturday, September 23, 2017

What is in store for your weekend?

The weekend is here once more and what a beautiful one this will be. We are set to maybe break a heat record with predictions of 88. We removed our air conditioners but our house usually stays fairly cool. The hills are starting to color up so this evening I’d like to take my camera out for a walk and get some pictures. Today is the first day of my painting class Once Upon a Time in Provence. I’m in love with the way Dreama teaches. Her idea is for us to use our imaginations and pretend that we are on a painting trip to Provence. To further enhance that idea she included videos of France. In the first she takes us on a tour of the home that we will be staying in (just pretend). It is a lovely French home in Provence. She included a link to French music that we can play while we paint, recipes for macaroons, links to French movies, and mediation videos where we feel like we are standing in a lavender field.  Her idea is for us to really enjoy this process. To take our time and slow down. I am going to do just that! There is no hurry. So I may not even start painting until tomorrow.

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Friday, September 22, 2017

A little fall decorating

I am noticing a trend in decorating this fall. Actually several. One is that the traditional bright orange is giving way to softer colors. As many are decorating their homes with neutrals, beige and cream, the starkness of the pumpkins orange is too stark so they are going for white pumpkins or shades of green or blue. 

Another thing I am noticing is that the decorating is tending to be more subtle not overwhelming this year. A few touches here and there not a pumpkin on every surface. 

And I think I am following the trend too. This year a lot of my decorations in the attic bins didn't make it down. I still put out a lot but in the sunroom I chose to go a little more elegant. 

I added some sunflowers to my silver trophy and a white pumpkin sits on the French styled vase that my sister Diane gave me for my birthday. The little fox I picked up at an antique coop in Virginia. 

A banner adorns the baker's rack above a wicker tray with berries, leaves, and a white pumpkin. The runner below is a needlepoint curtain I found at Snow Creek Farm. 

A small garland was added to the silver pieces on the lower shelf of the baker's rack. 

I love the fall pillow that Linda gave me for my birthday. 

I always like to use the large wooden trough that my sister had at a yard sale. I grabbed it up right away and it is perfect for decorating. 

A pumpkin pillow always says fall. 

Pears and grapes make a nice centerpiece.

This fall themed embroidered fall arrangement was done by the mother of one of my friends. I hope you enjoyed the tour of my fall sunroom. Are you decorating?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Once in a while

Once in a while we have to deal with some health issues and today was my day. I went in this morning for a scope of my esophagus and stomach. I have had choking issues many times and have had my throats stretched about seven times. This was another of those. The doctor told me once again that I had a lot of scarring possibly caused by food allergies. He did a biopsy to check for that. The scarring causes the esophagus to narrow and mine was very narrow. 
  I once went to a very good medium before all my troubles with my throats and she asked me if I had open heart surgery. When I said no she told me she saw scarring here. And ran her hand up and down her chest. Imagine my surprise when years later the doctor told me I had scarring in my esophagus. She was right on about so many things that day like insisting I would have trouble with my right hip which later was exactly where I had bursitis. 
  I will wait to find out the results. I am already taking medicine for ulcers and I'm not sure what the treatment for this might be. I was at one time allergic to milk so maybe that is it. We will see.  Meanwhile my throats is hurting and I'm groggy from the anesthesia. Tomorrow will be a better day. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

A little fruit


On my little photo walk with Donna we passed a small stand selling vegetables and fruit. We stopped to take a few photos. Donna, who is outstandingly polite, asked permission and told the vendor what we were doing. Here are some of my favorite shots.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Can you answer these?

Sometimes it’s fun to do a little Facebook quiz. Here are my answers to the questions posed.

1. What was the last thing you put in your mouth?
peaches with no sugar added
2. Where was your profile pic taken?
at home
3. Worst pain you've ever experienced? having my babies

4. Favorite place you've traveled
5. How late did you stay up last night?
sleeping by ten thirty
6. If you could move somewhere else, where would it be?
southern France..Provence
7. Which of your Facebook friends live closest you?
8. When was the last time you cried?
A few days a week I miss my best friend and tears come to my eyes
9. Who took your profile picture?
10. Who was the last person you took a picture with?
my two sisters
11. What's your favorite season?
12. If you could have any career, what would it be?
artist or window dresser
13. What was the last book you read/are reading?
a James Patterson novel
14. If you could talk to ANYONE right now who
would it be?
I’d love to talk to those who passed again
16. Does pineapple belong on pizza?
17. You have the remote, what channel?
Amazon Prime….Poldark or Outlander

Add a little fun into your life

On Saturday Don and I went to Jamestown to have dinner at the Red Lobster. Don loves seafood and never wants to miss their all you can eat shrimp…so tasty. I had the maple glazed chicken which was equally as good. It’s was a beautiful day for a ride with the temperature hitting 81. After dinner we stopped at Michael’s for some art supplies for my upcoming course. I had some 50% coupons and bought a brush and 4 canvases. There were a lot of paint colors that I needed but I am ordering most of them from the Dick Blick catalog which beat Michael’s prices by half.

In the morning I cleaned up the back bedroom to make it a place for painting. I want to feel the Provence atmosphere so I will add a faux lavender plant and burn a lavender candle so it will remind me of standing in the lavender fields when I visited Provence. If ever there was a painting course tailor made for me this one is.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Living every moment

“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, desparingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”  Agatha Christie

“Normal day, Let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
Let me hold you while I may.”

~Mary Jean Irion

“Never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.”  Katherine Hepburn

”Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.” –Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

I don’t know about you but time is flying by…and I mean flying!!! The days go so fast and the weekends come so quickly that I wonder where the week went. For someone who is retired it seems I am always busy and have something to do waiting for me. Just keeping up a house seems to take up more time than it used to when I was working. (Or maybe…just maybe…I’m slowing down?) Right now I have a back room just filled up…(you know..the place where everything gets thrown instead of put away…You don’t have one of those, do you?)….and I need to get to it tomorrow. One of the suggestions from my art course, Once Upon a Time in Provence, is that you create a painting space for yourself. It is not selfish to have a spot to call your own. I am using that back bedroom (yes, the same one where everything gets thrown). There is space for a table and I already have in it a lot of art supplies. Dreama (yes, isn’t that a cute name) suggested that you play music when you paint, have quotes or inspirational objects around you, and light candles or some scent to create the creative atmosphere. So this weekend I am going to create a space of my own. Do you have your own space?

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. … No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others”

This is from Dreama…….

We can only answer to that which calls to us.

That thing that calls me.
That thing that calls you.
And we each have a unique calling.

THE thing that calls us by name, that wakes us in the night and shakes us gently in our days.
Appearing again and again in unexpected ways and unforeseen times.

It’s important to realize this.

We, you and I, are not missing out on anything that sits in the ‘should’ category.
It was/is not for us.
It is tagged for someone else and is thus calling their name and they are answering that call with all that is within them.

We, you and I, each have our calling and we can only answer to that which calls for us.
With all that lies within us.

― Martha Graham

Do we know how to celebrate or what?

We love a celebration and when the sisters get together it is fun city!

Scott, the drummer

Scott has always been musical. He first took guitar lessons but when he sat down at a drum set it was love at first sight. He has an ability to hear the nuances in music and the syncopated rhythms. He began drum lessons and found a band to play in. Besides being a good drummer he has an excellent ear for music and is knowledgeable about different genres of music, their singers or band members and  collects old vinyl records. 
  Scott is 22 and currently trying like a lot of kids at his age to find a career that interests and challenges him. We always thought he would be a writer.  From the time he was three he always has carried a tablet and pen wherever he went in a book bag. He loved to organize, sort cards and draw and write. He is a very talented writer and artist. He draws commissions of My Little Pony characters. I hope his work will combine all his good attributes. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Who needs pumpkins?

One of the nicest things about visiting my sister is going to consignment stores. It's always fun to see what they have. Favorite store of ours is called through the garden gate. I found this beautiful Vase there. I also found this Beautiful ivory pear.  My sister Linda gave me the mirror with all with leaves which is beautiful laying down on the table. The runner I found at big lots and it is pretty as any other I've ever seen.

I love the way my table looks now.  

Making Art

I need to print out these quotes and hang them in front of me. I tend to not make time for art.  This year for my birthday I treated myself to an online course in oil painting. Everything about this course appealed to me. It’s called Once Upon a Time in Provence…love. paint Provence! It is not only a painting course but immerses you in southern France with videos, music, and recipes. It will e a total experience that you will hear more of.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A personal touch

I met my blogging friend Donna on Friday morning in downtown Fredericksburg for a little photo walk. Donna is an expert photographer and just being with her elevated my game. I have admired her “eye” for pictures for quite a while and was delighted that I got to meet her in person last year. I was so happy that she agreed to take me on a walk (as she does every single day) and help me improve my photography.

She was amazing and I learned so much just in that hour that we had. She was very patient with me as she showed me how to adjust the aperture on my camera and how to notice the details all around me. She noticed that I angle my pictures while she tends to shoot head on so we practiced each other’s techniques. She urged me to look at the light and see what stance I needed to take to get the right shot. One thing I found out is that I need to work on focusing my camera better. I need a lot more practice but I’m certainly enthused. Here are a few of my favorite pictures.


All at once

This early morning I'm sitting here in my favorite chair with a warm fuzzy robe wrapped around my body. Even though it's September there is a slight chill in the air...enough for me to turn on my heated mattress pad for a quick warm up before hopping out of bed. I must admit that I like the crisp weather much better than the oppressive heat of the summer. 
  After a weekend away I'm glad to be back and now the routines of the week will start once more.  My friends and I will meet this morning for coffee and I will tell them of my exciting weekend. It's so nice to be able to relive and talk about my trip with people who are interested and excited for me. Our coffee group was once eight girls but due to different circumstances we are down to from three to six at times. We are even thinking of doing it three times a week instead of every day. I would miss our daily talks but in the winter it might be best. 
     Today I will go up in the attic and find my fall decorations. I am ready to pull out the white pumpkins.  I saw a lot of them this past weekend. There is a trend now for blue painted pumpkins with white ones. It's a subtle look and quite pretty with light green leaves. But it doesn't suit my color scheme.  

I always say I'm going to keep it simple but when I open the bins it's like Christmas and I see such beautiful things that I want to put it all out. Restraint should be the word of the day...we'll see. When I taught one of my favorite things was to change the bulletin boards. It was a chance to use my creativity and make the classroom a lovely place for the students. And decorating my house is like that. I want to have lovely things to look at. 
   Are you settling into your fall routines now? What special things are you doing to get ready for fall?

Sunday, September 10, 2017

This is Us

My birthday this year is very special because I am spending it with my sisters Diane and Linda. We are having a great time in Virginia.  On Friday I had a special treat when I met a blogging friend of mine. Donna is a great photographer and we went on a photo walk where she was such a great help to me showing me things about my camera and how to compose a shot and add light into it. I am such an admirer of her blog like medicine for Me which you can find on my sidebar. She is so  delightful to be with and is a person who brings joy into your life. Later I will post some of the pictures I took. We spent an hour just walking around the streets of Fredericksburg finding scenes everywhere we went. I wish I lived here so that I could do that everyday with her. When we were done I met my sisters and we were off walking around the downtown stores shopping.  I found an equestrian scarf and had a lot of fun browsing. We ate at the Virginia deli for lunch where I had a delicious turkey cheddar cheese and cranberry sandwich. We shopped around for a long time until we worked up an appetite for dinner. My friend joan had told me about Durangos A bar and Grill on by her nephew so we stopped in to see what it was all about. What a great time we had. We met Steve her nephew who treated us to a quesadilla. It was so delicious that we got another One and some onion petals along with beer it was our dinner.

Saturday was a very full day as we headed to Richmond. We stopped at a few of our favorite stores like World Market then headed south on interstate 95. We ate lunch at homemade by Suzanne's in Ashland where we enjoyed quiche and Waldorf salad which was extremely good. Everything was fresh and homemade. More shopping ensued as we got to the Short Pump outdoor mall which is the most beautiful one I have ever been to.  

Our final treat for the night was a special birthday dinner at Maggiano's an Italian restaurant where the meatball I had on my spaghetti was as large as a baseball...and I'm not exaggerating. It was a perfect day. 

Wednesday, September 06, 2017


I will be missing in action for a few days while I go to Fredericksburg, Va. Every September my two sisters and I celebrate out birthday month together. We have some loose plans…maybe a women’s expo and a trip to Richmond along with shopping at all our favorite stores and eating at all the good restaurants. I am also planning a photo walk with a fellow blogger. I’ll tell you all about it when I get home.

Love fall?


I borrowed today’s topic from Preppy Empty Nester a new blog that I have been following.
When do you think about your future and what do you fear most?  Hope for the most?

I think about the future all the time…especially since I will be turning 73 in a few days. I know people who have had their life changed just by one single event and I know that your life can change on a dime. So I wonder about that. Will I remain lucky and blessed and live a full life to the end or will I have some unfortunate thing happen that will end my way of life as I know it? What I fear the most is laying in a bed without being able to communicate and having people think that I am not aware of anything when I am. What I hope for the most is to die in my sleep.

September is National Chicken Month.  How often is chicken on the menu at your house?  What's  a favorite dish made with chicken?  What's something that you're a chicken about doing?

We eat chicken a few times a week and my favorite dish is my mother’s recipe for Chicken Pot Pie. When I fix it I always remember mom’s dinners and how we sat around the table.
I am chicken about riding roller coasters. I am terrified. Once my kids talked me into it and not only did it go up and down but did two loops…positively horrendous. I cried afterwards for about a half an hour I was so scared.

What are three things that you don't own but wish you did?
1. A waist so tiny I would be proud to put on a belt.

2. A villa in Provence.

3. An art studio.

French Villas for Sale Photos | Architectural Digest

Would you rather be a jack of all trades or a master of one?  Elaborate.  If you answered one, which one?

I would much rather have a little bit of knowledge about a lot of things than be an expert at one…what fun is that? I’ve always dabbled in learning different things.

Ketchup or mustard?  On what?
Ketchup on a burger or hot dog with mustard too. And ketchup on fries.

Insert your random thought here…
Seeing all the fall decorations in the stores sure makes me want to get out my pumpkins…

How would you answer the questions?

Monday, September 04, 2017

A Perfect day for a walk

What a perfect day this is. It was a cool morning so I decided to take Sadie out for a buggy walk. I love the University trail because it is paved. There are many aspects to the trail and my usual route is parking by the fitness center and walking for twenty minutes on the section of the trail that is flat. But they have been doing a lot of road work at the entrance to Pitt and it is not as easy to get to the parking area for the trail so I park at the far end instead. This isn't as easy a walk. It is mildly hilly and gives me a workout pushing the dog in the stroller. 

I wan't the only one who thought it was a great day for a walk. I passed more people than I've ever seen on the trail..joggers, walkers, dog walkers, skateboarders and bicyclists. 

The leaves are just beginning to turn colors and already are falling.Autumn is coming in a rush this year.