Saturday, May 29, 2021

Antiquing Weekend - Open for Business Part II


This was our second stop last weekend when escaping from the house at last.
Going out into the world of 'treasure hunting' was so much fun - despite
 being masked and very hot and sticky in such high temps.

Market Imports is an amazing local business which I've always enjoyed
and have purchased many things from over the years, mostly garden items
 which they specialize in. Check their website and you will be amazed at the
 size and inventory at this great venue which is located in downtown Raleigh
 at the State Farmers Market.

On this visit I was blown away by so much, especially the great display of
Chinoiserie - blue and white - and may have to think about adding more
to my home.  Since purchasing the lamps in this style for the living room
I can see perhaps a decorative piece for my mantel or shelves on each
 side of the fireplace.

 I would love any of these pieces!

Outside, just walking through the two plus acres of garden paraphernalia was a
job and a half, it was sooooo hot, but we wanted to see everything!
The colors of the ceramics were stunning and made me want to start all over in
 my own garden design, the citron yellow ones were certainly eye catching!
Of course I can never have too many of the gorgeous shades of blue and teal.

Of course I also fell for these neutral beauties from Germany. 
They were so well made with a smooth as silk finish - would be lovely 
in the house where they would stay clean, or I could use a couple on my
 covered front porch. . . . . . .so I may be heading back to make a
 purchase this weekend!

So what did I purchase at Market Imports?
This gorgeous ceramic bird bath made in Vietnam. 
Well made, in two pieces so easy to carry/move, and top locks onto
 the base, $95 was a good price.
They come in a lot of brilliant colors and, as I already have two blue
 and teal pots (this is the smaller one), I fell for the teal one which
 also blends with the three lanterns hanging in the fig tree.
Our garden birds seem to be enjoying their new blue swimming 'pool', 
and the old concrete one has been moved to the side garden.
We now have five bird baths - and with mosquito season upon us
it will mean keeping them spiffy clean and filled each day.

This coming week we'll be refreshing this area as the bluebell leaves
 should be dead enough to remove, then spreading mulch after
 planting the new hydrangea in the ground and finding something else
 for the blue pot. . . . . .of course!
Always something to do in the garden at this time of year.


A quick look back at the REVIVAL purchases I mentioned in my former
 post.  Above the two botanic prints waiting to be hung in a perfect spot.

The ceramic pots in their caddy are now holding an assortment 
of flatware, antique silver serving pieces and Portmeirion 
cake forks and spoons. . . . . .

 . . . . .and the attached bud vases are being put to good use with
garden snippets changing on a daily basis, I really love this one!

It's been a busy week again with more social interaction now that we
 and many of our friends have been vaccinated. We're still cautious but 
have been out to a pub supper with a friend, had another to the house for
 coffee on the porch, and granddaughter stopped by for supper in the
 gazebo last night. It was lovely as the birds were loud as darkness fell,
and a gentle shower brought cooler air and 'music' on the cedar shake roof.

Monday, Memorial Day here, we will have a cookout with our
 next door neighbor - grill salmon on the salt block - and eating in the
 gazebo again. We had planned that for tonight however with heavy
rain expected we've postponed to a promised sunny Monday.

Enjoy your long weekend/bank holiday - may the sun shine
 and the breeze be gentle wherever you are.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Antiquing Weekend - Open for Business Part I -

               REVIVAL ANTIQUES

The glorious weekend weather fired up my 'treasure hunting' gene and off I went to REVIVAL ANTIQUES with granddaughter and husband on Sunday afternoon. Due to COVID it had been such a long time since visiting one of our favorite spots, and even now they are just open on the weekends......masks were still required and a limited number of shoppers in the store at one time which we were comfortable with.

Jasmin and I fell in love with so many 'smalls - we weren't looking for furniture
 this time around. I brought home this set of attached/moveable bud vases
which will be such fun for single stems.

Another find for me was the metal holder with three good sized cream
 pottery pots - yes they have moved onto my Welsh dresser in the
 dining room.........I'll share what they are holding soon.

I didn't bring home the truly lovely set of delicately colored cordial/liqueur
 glasses. . . . . but admit to being tempted!

Revival is known for its excellent paint finishes on the antique and vintage
wood furniture pieces sourced mostly from the northeast states.
They offer these pieces for sale 'as is' or refinished in your choice of color.

More next time - botanical framed prints I purchased, and then a stop
 at a second place where I bought something special for the garden!

Friday, May 21, 2021

Spring gardening check list -

General maintenance, planning, planting, watering - all required in May.

This has been an amazing spring but it's about to change with a
 heatwave descending on us for the weekend!  Shorts and sun hats
 are at the ready for any outdoor activity. (Sorry Brits and European
readers - know your weather is not good yet - I'm trying to blow our
 warmth and sunshine across the pond). All this week I've been very
busy piddling and pottering to get things done in the garden before
 it's just too hot. The first mosquitoes have arrived and I was bitten
 several times yesterday so bug spray is at hand, yuck!

I found a favorite at the Farmers Market - a pot of Heliotrope.
Then, at LIDL, the awesome pot of French lavender at a very good price.
I didn't grow the basil - bought it at the grocery store as my pots, which
 you can see below, are freshly planted seeds from a couple of weeks
 ago - but they are coming along well and I'm looking forward to pesto
 making days ahead!

This is the best time, early morning, for hydrangeas and hostas 
around here - sunny and cooler, but the afternoons are really too hot 
with blazing sun. Too late now to move them though and they've survived
 for many years so we keep on doing what we've always done with fingers
 crossed they will not fail to glorify this spot in front of the porch where 
we love to sit after a busy day.

Thanks to all who have asked how I'm doing after almost a month on
 medication for the Polymyalgia Rheumatica flare. Along with the
 drastic Low-Histamine diet (which is really no fun at all) I must say I truly
 am 100% better. I am just about pain free, several pounds lighter, have
 much more energy, can lift things again, and feel ten years younger, haha!
Monday I go for a follow up visit with my doctor and am hoping to celebrate
 my good fortune with a glass of wine and some cheese on the front porch,
 oh how I've missed cheese!

Enjoy your weekend. I'll be back at the farmers market with my granddaughter,
then we'll be checking a local antiques shop now re-opened with the COVID
rules changing. We are vaccinated however still wearing masks in public
despite them being no longer mandatory in many stores. 
Rather safe than sorry.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Another week.......and all is good!

A very good morning dear friends on another beautiful day in the
This past week we've had awesome weather so time in the garden
 has kept me busy, weeding, pruning, watering and just fiddling about.
Occasional sniffing of the now blooming peonies, and sticking my
 nose in the huge waterfalls of jasmine and honeysuckle pouring
over the fences around the back garden is a lovely pastime, 
especially in the evenings when the fragrance peaks and I swoon!

I've been getting up much earlier and sitting on the front porch with
my favorite mug full of steaming coffee, a throw, and a camera of
course. It's still cool then but soon warms to a comfortable 
temperature as the sun comes up.

I'm also cat sitting Ms. Nala next door for a week while her 
person is out of town. Twice a day I pop over to do the necessary
cat chores, and in the morning allow her onto the enclosed 
sunroom which she loves as she can watch birds, squirrels and
 that fat rabbit who seems to have moved into the garden.

I did make a side trip to AT HOME whilst out grocery shopping - 
and bought a new candle, yes another, really for the kitchen.
It's a lovely soft, mellow fragrance of Lime, Basil & Mandarin .........
and last evening I actually moved it into the living room for 
a while when we flopped down to watch a bit of TV
after supper in the gazebo at sunset.

I'm still following the Low Histamine diet however, as you can see here,
I cheated last night and had a glass of rosé with my salad and veggies!
Rosé is the wine lowest in histamine and I really needed a treat after so
much boring eating and no drinking!

Enjoy your Sunday and let's all catch up next week.
I'm feeling a lot better thankfully and hope to get a lot done around
 the house . . . . . . especially some much needed spring cleaning!


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

News from the garden -

Yesterday, with the surprise of what must have been quite a soaking
 rain during the night - the best kind for the garden - I opened
 the front door to a beautiful shock of green. Layers of color all the
 same hue but each a different shade. Washed clean, undamaged, 
refreshed, with no fallen leaves or twigs.
Many birds were at the feeders - including the invincible four-legged
 versions with the bushy tails! A large rabbit hopped across the lawn, and 
two chipmunks scampered around the front porch, one stopping for a
 drink at the fountain which I'd not seen happen before.

I baked a French pear Gateau de Mamy (Grandma's Cake) for Mother's Day
and decorated simply with garden pansies. I couldn't eat any though whilst
 on the Low Histamine diet!  I'm feeling great though cutting out so many 
food items which may have been causing problems. I did cheat a bit for
 Mother's Day by drinking a glass of sparkling Prosecco during a visit 
with a dear friend. She bought it especially for me to sip, along with
 thoughtful carrots and broccoli rather than cheese and crackers which
I've had to give up for a while!

She also gifted me with this..........

.........a very pretty bird snack wreath now hanging on the porch.
Note my special 'garden boy' Bob working in the background!

This was another beautiful gift from Anthropologie for Mother's Day, 
one I'll be using a lot - even later today as I'm heading into the garden
 now to prune the massive azalea bushes. If you have azaleas always
 prune at this time when the blooms have died - that way they can set
 buds during the summer for next spring's glorious display.

Who doesn't love peonies! I cut the first open bloom from the garden
yesterday as it was so heavy and hanging down - the perfume is
 awesome, I wish you could sniff, and the petals so pretty.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

A Memoir for Mother's Day 2021 -

Leaving home and mother . . . . . October 1962

Heathrow Airport suddenly appeared so small. Knowing she was standing down there somewhere, my father at her side, my much loved mother perhaps was looking skyward where the grey clouds soon enveloped every plane going and coming, but having no idea which one was taking her only daughter so far away. She already missed her own mother so dear to her, and must have wondered what on earth was I thinking, leaving her, father, brother, family, friends, home, and even country, even though I had been given her blessing, and she worked hard to help me in my dream to see America.

The airplane food was strange. Different, with lots of caraway seeds. Scared?  Yes definitely as this was my first ever flight. Travel to date had been in cars belonging to friends with wealthier parents for Sunday picnics on Dartmoor; double-decker buses into town; the old Western Lady ferry across Tor Bay; day out motor coach trips to Cornwall or North Devon with maiden aunts; tiny row boats on herring fishing trips along the Torbay coastline; trains now and then for school trips to London followed by a boat up the River Thames in the rain to see where the Magna Carta was signed. Another major school trip was a memorable endless train ride north to Shakespeare country to visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, then swooning over a very young Albert Finney in an amazing production of 'Othello' at the Royal Stratford Theatre  . . . . . . but never an airplane.

Coming into New York was exciting. It still is. Breaking through the late October cloud cover, seeing such a huge city from above in shades of dusty grey and misty blue, two thoughts came to mind. How does one ever find the way around a place so huge, and how does the pilot get this huge plane back on the ground! Of course only first time flyers feel that way. When you’ve done it once you know all the answers for ever more . . . . . . . . .

A tribute to my wonderful mother. 

I "crossed the pond" home so many times to see her, and

 she came to visit me many times in the ensuing years.

I miss her and think of her every day.  

A special lady - Gladys Mary 1911 - 2003


Saturday, May 8, 2021

Back to SuzAnna's Antiques!

It was far too long since I last visited SuzAnna's at their new location
 outside of Raleigh. I went once early last year when we were just
 starting to wear masks, and then two weeks ago, still masked, I had a
 wonderful visit there to see old friends. 
Of course couldn't resist doing a little shopping.

I brought home dried lavender and this bird art . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . hanging here now.

Will be heading that way again soon - treasure hunting is so much fun.
Did I hear someone say what happened to "downsizing" - well I'm still 
working on that!

Have a fine Saturday. We're off to the market for fresh eggs and veggies, 
then a walk in full sun and 72 degrees - that's what I call perfect!