Saturday, July 31, 2010

simple, succulent saturday

It was a morning of succulence.

(Or succulents, depending on how you look at it.)

I spent the morning with my fantastic friend M. M is a beautiful, strong, and intelligent woman. We are kindred spirits!

Anyway, this was my first outing with M since becoming a blogger...and hopefully I didn't scare her with my erratic impulses to take photographs of everything we encountered on our morning adventure. Here are some glimpses of our stops along the way:

1. We rescued the neighborhood planters that some punks had knocked over into the street. We literally parked, got out and heaved the toppled urns back upright. Hopefully the local garden society nurses them back to their former beauty.

2. Ate breakfast at my favorite local coffee shop. I ordered my usual "senior citizen" meal of oatmeal with cranberries and walnuts. Oh, and brown sugar. Pure heaven.

3. Strolled down the street to weekend farmer's market. You must realize by now that I adore farmer's markets.

The highlight of this one was Bob. Bob was there selling his plants, which are grown locally in the city. Bob was delightfully eager to give me all the details. (Bob may possibly be 90-years-old.)

This is Bob's helpful hand:

Bob told me all about the "hen and chicks" plant (below) I thought it looked like a succulent.

Bob assured me it is actually a cactus.

(That'll teach me for trying to appear knowledgeable! At least I was in the correct family.)

Then I asked Bob, "How often do you have to water this?"

Bob replied matter-of-factly: "Never."

Nice! Sounds like my kind of plant. Low-maintenance, yet so very pretty.

4. The final stop M and I made was at a garage sale/flea market type place. M was first attracted to the Vietnamese delivery bike on the sidewalk out front. M, by the way, is incredibly knowledgeable. She know all kinds of random things about old stuff, which I found fascinating. I know nothing about antiquing. Zip. We did find some treasures to take home. M found some lovely and dainty hand-stitched handkerchiefs for $1.50. I went for some blue glass Mason jars (three for $27 - may have been ripped off, but don't really care.) I love the ocean blue color and the functionality - I have a million ideas for what to do with them!
{my blue lovelies}

So that was my morning -- indulging in some of my favorite things: coffee, food, flowers, shopping, and conversation with a good friend.

Hope you are having a simple, succulent Saturday as well! :o)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

i need coffee

{recent cup of joe}

After five nights of working 3rd shift I realized something:

I am not a night person.

The truth hit home was when a guy (who usually sees me during the day when I am ms. upbeat and perky!) popped his head into my office at 8am, burst out laughing, and exclaimed: "You look like death warmed over!" What?!?! A rotting corpse? Me? Nawww...can't be. Then I looked in the bathroom mirror: hair sticking up, face pale, eyeliner smudged.

Yup. Death warmed over.

Oh well. It is not a beauty contest. It's a job. That I really like.
Besides.. gives me an excuse to drink obscene amounts of coffee.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

vintage memories: the farm

{view from the farm I grew up on in Minnesota}

Life was simple
There was always a breeze,
One you could actually hear.
Mom was there when you needed her,
Not thousands of miles a way
But present with a hug and
A glass of lemonade.
There was a chance to get bored
Go outside and explore
Fireflies buzzed and were
Kept in jars like fancy lamps.
No buildings or smog, just
Wide open skies that
Seemed to never end.

Monday, July 26, 2010

poor black-eyed susan, poor tired me!

I am working third shifts now. Well not right now.

Though I am tired. Right now.

Not too tired to share this photo of beautiful Susan, though. Black-Eyed Susan. Not a huge fan of this particular flower moniker, at least the "black-eyed" part. I guess that they can't all have sweet names like Jane Magnolia or exotic like Azalea. Anyway, Susan seems like she is everywhere lately, always planted en masse creating all kinds of gorgeous garden drama.

Susan, though battered, is beautiful.

And I, though exhausted, am awake.

It seems unnatural to be sleeping when the sun is shining, and there is so much I could be doing! Hanging picture ledges in my office, painting an accent wall in my bedroom...


Laundry...or not.

Guess I'll go drink some warm vanilla soy milk, snuggle in bed with my book, and hope my mind will slow enough to find some zzzz's.

Happy Monday to you -- good "night"! :o)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

front steps of my 'hood

I tend to get up obnoxiously early.

Even on the weekends.

So this morning at 6am I took Colbie for a stroll and I couldn't help notice the lovely things people place on their front steps. Like these little guys...not sure what they are. Not roses...more like maybe a cactus? Either way, it lured me in for a shot.

Then I saw these pots and was inspired by the colorful simplicity of the look. Even the mismatched pots seems to flow together to create a cute, homey look. I am terrible at container gardening, so I am always in awe of those who make it seem effortless.

Nothing says "Welcome!" like a red front door. Unless you put pots of plants in front of it. Then it says, "Do not come in!" But in a nice way. Or at least a pretty way.

Yes. Those are Crocs. Used as planters. Not my favorite look, but these folks get points for thinking outside the box. About Crocs.

Nothing incredibly extraordinary about this one, but I do like the flow and the differentiation of leaf color and pot size. Sort of guides your eye along the ascent to the porch. Or something like that.

Pretty sure I was Asian in another life. I LOVE asian-inspired decor, and these Buddha statues guarding the front door make my heart pitter-patter. Or want to drink tea and meditate. Either way, a good feeling.

That's it for that 'journey through my 'hood.' There will be many more of these to come, as I have a pretty darn inspiring 'hood.

And I walk a lot.

Hope your Sunday is peaceful and inspiring as well!

local sweet spot: findlay market

I fell a little bit more in love with Cincinnati after a recent trip to the much heard about farmer's market downtown -- Findlay Market.

Despite being located smack in the middle of an area of town even my ever-confident husband seemed nervous about leaving his Honda parked in, this mecca of fresh, delicious, and creative wares evoked various memories in my head. Good, wholesome travel memories of places like Pike Place Public Market in Seattle and Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, albeit on a much smaller scale.

So much fresh produce, but not only that: beer garden, bakeries, flowers, little blogger head was spinning!

I couldn't resist indulging in an amazing freshly baked belgium waffle piled high with mouthwatering strawberries and whipped cream and a cup of gelato had me drooling before the poor guy served it to me. That good.

No counting calories on the weekend!

We even bought Colbie some organic dog treats. Spoiled hound.

Here are a few of the other things I couldn't resist purchasing...

Blackberries! This photo does not even begin to capture the plump deliciousness of these blackberries. YUM.

The colors were unlike what you find at your local grocer. Prices were better, too!

Had to snag a few ears of bicolor corn to throw in a pot that night.

Wherever it is you live in this world, I assure that somewhere near you is a farmer's market you will fall in love with. Find it. Buy local! :o)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

pretty little books

My living room has fabulous floor-to-ceiling bookshelves that drove me wild when I first looked at the house. It was previously owned by a female English professor, who installed said shelves. That fact in itself had me thinking Fate had guided me to this house.

We have lived here one year now, and still, the shelves remain barren. Collecting dust.

Between my husband and I we own lots and lots of books. Not many which I can in good conscience (style) put on these shelves. They are ratty paperbacks in a crazy assortment of colors and sizes, many of which have the telltale yellow USED sticker.

Since we are no longer in a college dorm room, but a grown-up house, I'd like our books to scream "stylish" and not "undergrad."

So I am on quest for pretty books, hardcover books. They should be art!

Sort of like these lovelies --

Right now (besides dust) my barren bookshelves have some pretty things on them, but not many books...

There are just so many shelves to fill!

This may give me a mild complex...

...but at least I have an excuse to buy more books. :D

love the rain

Sometimes after it rains you get the perfect light for taking photographs. Especially for flowers. The rain perks them up, and they are much more photogenic!

It rained last night, and afterward, since I still had some light, I rushed out to snap a few shots. I managed to capture the coneflowers (above) looking especially inquisitive.

If you look closely at these green hydrangea blooms you can see the rain drops - love!

Yeah, I am a complete flower geek. Guilty.
What are you growing in your garden? I'd love to see... :o)

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bedding Bliss

I am in the dreaming stages of a bedroom remodel....

Where I dream currently looks like this...

...and although I love the simplicity, and I adore chocolate brown....
...I am bored!!!! I've had this simple chocolate linen duvet and beige/cream linen shams from West Elm for the past 5 years and I am ready for something new and a little more luxurious. Besides that, I want to add more personality into the bedroom by adding more accessories and a rug, and perhaps a dramatic piece of artwork in lieu of a headboard (since we won't have this dramatic cut-out window in the new bedroom.)

I am determined that the bedroom redo -- which will occur when we move from this room (the future site of the nursery) to the actual master bedroom suite of our home -- will create a much dreamier dreaming spot.

Here are some master bedroom inspirations that have me barely able to sleep...



So now I just need to convince my hubby to that we should make the move to the new bedroom sooner, rather than later...

I will keep posting on the progress! :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

garden praise

It is Sunday morning, therefore I am in my garden.

Don't be shocked - I firmly believe I will still go to heaven. :)

Paul and I have yet to find a church that we would like to join, so many Sunday mornings are spent doing things that make me feel close to God. One is digging in the dirt.

Anyway, here are some shots of my fellow "worshipers" in God's beautiful creation...

This is a daylily plant I inherited from the previous owner of our property (one of the few elements I kept.) She has been moved several times before finding her home here.

This little man is a Sky Pencil Japanese Holly - my newest addition.

My azalea bush finally has some blooms! I adore the shiny, tropical looking leaves.

Looking down at a cluster of buds on an Althea bush.

I think of the many trips my [Lutheran pastor] father took us on throughout the years, and how so often we were in a location on a Sunday morning where no actual church building could be found. We worshipped in forests, next to lakes, huddled beside frozen streams and gigantic snowbanks, and in a valley surrounded by snowcapped mountains. Never had I felt so spiritual as moments like that. Praying and singing out in the open air of God's creation.

Hope everyone is enjoying a beautiful Sunday morning!