Friday, February 5, 2016

Raining all around. . . . . . . . . . .

We've had a lot of rain the past couple of days - not just showers either. 
Heavy rain, saturating the garden, running in a river down the driveway,
filling the bird baths and causing fountain effects as the rain toppled over
 the edges, bring down dead branches and the remaining crumpled
brown leaves from aging oaks around us.
If it had been cold it would have been a massive snowfall.

Despite the conditions, yesterday morning early, when the downpour 
had let up for a while, I hurried out into the garden, still in my night clothes
(older people do things like that), to scatter fertilizer on the many green tips of
 Spring bulbs now appearing everywhere. With rain expected all day I needed
to get going with feeding what hopefully will be a glorious display of blooms
 come March and April.

1975 publication of the enlarged version of Scottish poet
 Robert Louis Stevenson's 1896 edition of 
A Child's Garden of Verses
Magnificent illustrations by Charles Robinson ~ 1870-1937
This was the first full book he illustrated with over 100 pages of pen and ink
 drawings where a distinct beautiful Art Nouveau flavor is evident.

I found my lovely copy in a used book shop several years back and
look at it often. Old people in pajamas reading awesome books for children -
what is the world coming to? 

By the way, the sun is shining brightly this morning and there
 will be some drying out  - but colder days and nights are
 coming with a tiny chance of snowflakes next week. 
Keeping those warm pajamas handy. . . .along with more special books!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Strong Hearts. . . . . . . . . . .

February is American Heart Month.

But, this month is not just about St.Valentine's Day, chocolate hearts and pretty flowers.
Even more important, it is about taking care of your own heart in a healthy way.

This national awareness month provides WomenHeart - The National Coalition 
for Women with Heart Disease, the opportunity to spread the message about heart disease.

Heart disease affects more than 6 million American women, and another 37 million
 women are at risk. It is the number one killer of women and is responsible for
 1 in 3 deaths in women annually. 
In this country a woman dies every 80 seconds of heart disease!

A strong 'iron heart' - noticed at SuzAnna's Antiques on Monday

Tomorrow is National Go Red Day
Click HERE for more information - and be sure to wear something RED to show support for heart health.

Tomorrow I'll be wearing my red coat - and I'll be on the lookout for other 
women displaying red, knowing they too are supporting and loving healthy hearts.
Then, no matter which country you live in, waste no time, educate yourself
 as what is necessary for you to keep your own beautiful heart healthy and strong
 for many more years. For what are we without our beating hearts.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Moving on - can it get any better?

Like me, many of you follow Loi Thai's beautiful blog Tone on Tone Swedish Antiques & More.
Also, just like me, every one of you fell in love with that stunningly beautiful
 house and garden in our nation's capital which became the home of Loi and Tom.
 Just looking through Loi's always charming posts one can see how much time,
 energy and love they put into that house.
One Saturday, early last Spring, Bob and I were fortunate enough to meet Loi in person
at their amazing shop, also named Tone on Tone. I knew that Tom was at home - he was
washing the windows according to Loi - that chilly day, preparing for the photo shoot
 by the Martha Stewart Living publication crew!
The story is in this February issue of the magazine - it's good but I think could have
 been even better with more pages of photos. You can see much more of the 
house on Loi's blog post HERE. . . . . . 

. . . . . . and in this latest post, after viewing the beautiful rooms in the house,
 you will learn that Loi and Tom have just sold their home and are moving
 on in the search for a new property.
I was preparing to show you more of the magazine article from my copy shown
 here in the armoire when Loi's latest post appeared. I was not overly surprised
 at the news knowing they were looking to sell and move on to another property,
 however still saddened that we will no longer be blown away by Loi's decorating
 and gardening in that particular house. 

So, here's to Loi and Tom finding a new home soon - you can see in Loi's post
 where they are searching - and we followers, who love seeing what they can do with
 any space, commercial or residential, know there will be great times ahead.
Good luck in your search dear friends.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Downtown into Outer Space!

Well, total weekend relaxation didn't quite happen after all, especially Saturday, when suddenly my day became full of wonderful hours, including outdoors and walking around downtown in sunshine and warm temperatures - so different from the previous weekend of snow and ice. We headed into town after reading in the newspaper there were exciting things happening at the Museum of Natural Sciences, namely, Astronomy Days, and it would be a chance to meet a real astronaut! We were ready and out the door for this one. . . . . .along with everyone else and their children from a 50 mile radius most likely. It was all fun.

Just a small part of huge crowds out enjoying perfect weather on Saturday - the line inside this museum was long for the presentation we went to hear - given by the amazing Christina Hammock Koch, one of NASA's newest astronauts. A North Carolina woman, and graduate of NC State University, she is one of just eight most recent trainees - apparently picked from a field of 6,372 applicants! We were absolutely blown away by Christina's hour long presentation, and all she has accomplished. Just learning what the training consists of was an eye-opener - such as piloting the T-8 Supersonic jet plane, learning the Russian language, swimming dressed in complete astronaut gear, and so much more. Because she also spent a year stationed at Palmer Station in Antarctica (which I viewed briefly from the deck of the expedition ship I sailed on in 2013), her stay included an over-Winter where temperatures dropped to -150F (-101C), I was also captivated by stories of her time there, and viewing her videos and slides. Christina's dream now is to be part of the Mars landing planned for the 2030's!

Leaving the museum complex, and yes we do have wonderful museums here, and we should come visit them more often, we headed through town, stopping here (below) to get a few photos of a favorite house nestled in between the huge modern buildings of the State Government complex.

The Heck-Andrews House ~ Built in 1869
Second Empire Style

Needless to say there are many stories and published articles on this historic
 downtown property. This is a favorite recent one of great interest as it shares 
 fabulous interior photos which until now we never were able to view.
 Click here for the story > HECK-ANDREWS House

Owned by the State for the past 30 years, the exterior was restored at a huge cost, 
however, they put the property up for sale not wishing to spend more public money. 
The house apparently sold last week and the new owners will now, hopefully, 
complete the massive job of interior restoration. 
This is a beauty too special to lose to a wrecking ball.

Speaking of houses. . . . . .  .another stop was a favorite garden center located at the old train station downtown - loved the birdhouses, and I need a new one! Already a great display of beautiful pottery - these brilliant blue ones are gorgeous. Gardening is still a favorite hobby but unfortunately getting more difficult with my back problem. Filling lovely pots raised on a table is much easier than getting down and digging in the dirt - know what I mean?

Last but not least by any means - there were plenty of very pretty blooming
 Spring flowers on offer. We are in for a run of Spring-like days here - temps. 
reaching 71F today. Hello and welcome to February.

~~~~~~~~~~oh, and as for Sunday, I did relax a bit by staying away from the laptop - cooking, going through family photos, and later watching some TV, including that really surprising episode of Downton Abbey!  Anyone watching Mercy Street? If so what are your thoughts on that show. We're finding it interesting from a historical point of view, but rather gruesome seeing how archaic medical facilities and treatment options were during the American Civil War.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Have a restful weekend. . . . . . .

via Anthropologie

Taking a little break for a couple of days - enjoy your weekend.

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