Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Coast in Autumn -


Yes, I did dip my toes and the water was quite warm.
It was a fun time, peace and quiet before the Christmas rush!

Monday, November 28, 2022

Down to the sea. . . . . .

Arrival at the coast yesterday was somewhat rough. We eventually
 left the rain behind, dealt with very high winds, and had a wonderful
day and evening at our favorite places.
This morning, granddaughter Jasmin and I were up early taking
photos of the sunrise from our hotel balconies.
Now off to breakfast, a beach walk and a coastal drive in really
great late Autumn weather.

They never cease to grip me in their vast beauty. Oceans, this one the
 Atlantic . . . . . . and waking early to catch the perfect 
sunrise was so worthwhile.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Amaryllis time again!

I was checking new amaryllis bulbs at the store this week and shocked to see how much they've increased in price this season. These are the old amaryllis bulbs planted in the garden last Spring after perhaps the third or fourth year of indoor blooming. They didn't bloom again in the garden as they did last year, but grew tall, healthy leaves all Summer. I dug up the bulbs and trimmed the leaves and roots in September, then kept them in the potting shed until repotting again early in November. Today when I raised the dining room blinds to let the lovely sunshine in, I saw a change. Tinges of green again!  They won't bloom for Christmas, more likely in mid-January. I'm so excited and grateful. Sometimes I lack patience, waiting about bothers me and I just want to get on with things. Perhaps the couple of pandemic years changed much of that. Having more time I am more attune to waiting for things to happen. Or am I getting old and slowing down?  Have to be honest here!

Tomorrow we'll be off to the coast for a few days and I can hardly wait to see the ocean, walk the beach, and enjoy fresh seafood. Weather includes some rain but at least one day should be warmish and sunny. . . . . .perhaps we can dip our toes while waving across the vast Atlantic to family and friends on the other side of the pond!

Enjoy your after-Thanksgiving weekend. Before you know it, if you haven't already started, pulling out the storage boxes and decorating for Christmas will be underway. That's at the top of my list for when I return to town.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Good morning Jack!

Two very cold nights below freezing were obvious invitations to 'Jack' who furtively slunk through the trees, climbed the fence, swished his way through piles of crisp oak leaves, bent under bird feeders - perhaps stopping to peer through the somewhat dirty windows of the potting shed - before breathing on the rosy pink camellias.  He left them pale, their edges tinged in sepia brown giving them a vintage look as they bowed toward the bird bath. 

Stay warm dear friends. . . . . . . . and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

SuzAnna's Antiques - Holiday Open House

SuzAnna's Antiques 2022

Many of you may recall my days at SuzAnna's Antiques. Memories are many and happy. The friends made there during the years when I shared a booth with Vanessa, and then my granddaughter Jasmin working there for several years, all remain close to my heart. I look around the cottage and see so many things purchased there. Yes, SuzAnna's is special.
Now located further away from Raleigh I don't get there as often, but the Holiday Open House is never missed. This year we headed north with Jasmin, met up with Vanessa and her daughter Luna who have moved back to North Carolina from California (so glad!), and we joined the crowd of shoppers for a lovely evening with shop owners, mother and daughter Susie and Jennie.  
Did I buy anything? The brass angel came home and will soon be hanging somewhere for the Christmas holidays!  Despite trying to downsize I couldn't leave without something to remind me of another special visit.

So, who is already starting holiday decorating?  Perhaps most of you, like me, don't do much until after Thanksgiving here in the USA. I have noticed in my neighborhood some lights are being strung outside and probably by next weekend lighted trees will appear in windows. Dusk creeps in early now. Woodsmoke lingers in the colder air. We readied the fireplace this week and stacked wood near the back door. The fire tools are aging but a new fire screen looks smart, and unrolling the hearth rug brought back memories, fortunately no cinder burns so it will last a while longer!  We'll light a fire on Thanksgiving Day when it will be quite cold and cloudy.

Best wishes to all who will be celebrating Thanksgiving this Thursday.  

Monday, November 14, 2022

Night light -

Many people are sad at the thought of the winter months ahead. They sigh. They moan. They complain. They wish for springtime, summer, for autumn to stay longer. In all honesty the latter would be fine with me, autumn truly is my favorite season, but the coming of winter fills my thoughts today. 
This morning was cold, our first day since last winter with the temperature hitting freezing right at dawn. At 7AM I opened the front door, walked down the driveway to pick up the paper, breathing in the chill and tasting it. Different.
Now the clocks have changed and the evenings draw in earlier, and I gather the feelings, the woodsmoke fragrance, sounds from rustling trees. Different.  Outside on the fig tree the hanging lanterns turn on at dusk. I'm thankful for modern battery operated candles - placing them in plastic baggies keeps them free from wet conditions. 
I light the candles placed around the house, on the kitchen island, dining room table, sideboard (above) and Welsh dresser. One or two in the living room brighten that area when I knit and watch television, read a book or flip through a magazine. 
The house is small, cozy in winter. Soon the hearth will glow as oak and hickory logs fill the empty hearth, illuminating the bricks and turning them rich and rust colored as the dancing flames shoot high and warm the room. There really is nothing better than a crackling wood fire in wintertime.
How do you stay cozy in winter? Do you embrace the changing weather here in the northern hemisphere? I do feel that as we age cold weather is more difficult to deal with however there are ways to stay snug and safe, especially at home.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

A Walk in the Park -


Our neighborhood park and pond have been really scenic lately. . . . . . 

. . . . . . and even the garden has sprung back to life with more color in
dahlia blooms - after I cut the plants almost to the ground ready for
 winter - plus more roses and camellias.  

We are incredibly busy lately - or perhaps incredibly slow getting
 things done!! Bob is so busy daily raking and blowing the masses of falling
 leaves and acorns, the latter huge, all raining down and covering every
 surface. Mowing the grass continues as with the very warm
 temperatures it continues to grow non-stop. 
Daily doings just keep rearing their heads - some pleasant, others
 ugly - all requiring time. Changing the clocks. . . . . . and then getting
up at 5 AM on Tuesday to watch the spectacular lunar eclipse in our
dressing gowns and slippers from the garden. . . . . . seem to have us, 
well at least me, a bit groggy and unstable this week.

Despite the downs there of course plenty of ups and we feel
grateful that we can do what we do these days.
I see Holiday Open House signs and ads everywhere, and tomorrow
 evening we plan to head to a favorite location of so many years, 
SuzAnna's Antiques, at their always fabulous venue. Although they did
 move from Raleigh and we have a much longer drive, we can't miss
 it as there are many friends there to catch up with, and lots of holiday
 merchandise to view.  Just hope the coming heavy rains don't get here
 until Friday. Driving at night in heavy rain is no longer fun for us - know
 what I mean?

Are you ready to "deck the halls" yet?
I see some of you have already started.  I will need to get
 organized and and start pulling out the storage boxes soon!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

A nod to November. . . . .

Thank you for the kind Birthday greetings.
October was such a busy month with a lot happening, 
mostly good, and using up my time. It flew by and now
 today, All Saints' Day, November is upon us along with the 
holiday season ahead. Things will stay hectic I'm sure.

Lakeside Birthday picnic.

Fall brings back frothy coffees!

Halloween was brief with less than handful of costumed 
kiddies at the door last evening - times have changed!

. . . . . and yes, the fig tree is dropping its beautiful leaves, crunchy
and curled, Bob rakes them daily. It was a good year though
and fruit was plentiful and delicious.

Today was a beautiful, colorful start to November
Hoping November will be an enjoyable month for all.