Still Some Blooms


Can you believe we are at the end of October? 

This morning I heard the resident ducks quacking. I don't know where they are though I hear them most every day. 

Sounds like the alley. But I've never actually seen them. 


It is clear that Jade the tree is entering her fall phase. You can see her leaves shadowed on the fence.


We had cold temperatures over the weekend. But many of my flowers are still hanging tough on the patio, much to my delight. 

The stems are drying up, proving that they're on their last legs. But I'll enjoy the blooms while I can.

 

I'm a bit under the weather and am going into the doctor's office this morning. I can't get in to see my doctor on such short notice, but the nurse has a 15 minute opening for me.

Abi will as always fight me at the door. I guess she thinks if she bites my shoe, it will somehow change the fact that obviously I am going somewhere. 

Happens every time with Charlie barking frantically in the background. Just another normal day around here.

Happy Halloween!


A Few Living Room Additions


As you can see above, I added two of my vintage washboards to the wall above the couch. I just thought they belonged there.
 
 
A photo of Charlie on the couch on his bed. He does loves his bed.

I think the pupsters will probably have to go to the groomer soon. They're starting to look a little rough around the edges.

 

I added a few things to this small strip of wall that is in my living room.


I haven't purchased a magazine in quite some time. But I have older ones here on the coffee table in a basket.


I'm kind of surprised at the minimal amount of color I now have in my apartment living room. Maybe just a phase I'm in.


I brought in these house plants from the patio because it was close to freezing weather over the weekend. 

I found the Pier 1 pumpkin spice oil in a drawer the other day. I'll have to find something to add this seasonal scent to.

Hard to believe that October is all but over! The holidays are right around the corner now.


Making Peace With Dust


There was a time not so awful long ago when I thought everything had to be so-so. My home was clean and organized. The floors were mopped. There was no dust lingering on furniture.

But something changed. 

Now I often sit on my couch and stare at the dust on my coffee table. And instead of jumping right up like I once would have and grabbing a rag to clean it, I just sit here. 

Dust particles seem to fascinate me as they drift in the sunlight from my patio doors. Nothing immediately moves me to get up.

I was reading an article in the New Yorker about a woman liberating herself from her bra. And we're not referring to one of those women with small breasts either. We're talking triple D.

One day she got sick of the trappings of the bra that signified she was a part of society that follows the unwritten rules. And so she ditched it. If you'd like to read the piece, click here. It's a good one.

I hate wearing a bra. In fact, unless I go out, I don't wear one. I will admit that from time to time when I'm just going through a drive-thru for something to eat or to pick up prescriptions, I often don't wear it. 

But I'm still circumspect enough to put my arm in the window so that my "bra-lessness" goes undetected. There is still some degree of pride involved.


As for that dust, I have kind of made peace with it. I'll put it this way: we're not arch enemies. We can abide the presence of one another.

I don't know. I just don't beat myself up about it anymore. My floors need mopping. I spy dust from my perch on the couch. 

But I'd rather turn my head and watch the birds hop about the patio. Or the squirrels race across the fence.

I'm kind of surprised I've gotten to this place in life.


There is so much I could be doing. Sweeping the patio. Cleaning the coffee maker. 

But instead I just sit here and contemplate life. I guess with age comes acceptance and less urgency about certain things. 

I've accepted much that I once worried about. The law of gravity that is taking over my body. The tummy that can shake like a bowl of Jello. The black hairs that sprout on my chin.  

I figure there's just no point in worrying about things that are imminent in life.

So I'll just sit here in my bra-less state and stare at the floating dust motes.


A Few Days Of Cold Weather


A cold front came through night before last. 

Yesterday I braved the cold to go out and take a few pics, as it will be freezing any day now. Then it's supposed to go back to warmer temps. 

I may not have blooms for much longer, so I wanted to capture a few while I still can.

 
I still have a few rose blooms. The wind has been blowing hard, so I'm kind of surprised the petals are still in one piece.

 
I've been bringing my pot of Johnny Jump Ups inside at night. I'd like to enjoy them as long as I can.

 
My pineapple sage is just now sporting a bloom. I'm not sure why it's taken so long. Seems a bit odd that we're nearly to November before it's blooming.

 
Here's Abi sniffing that same pineapple sage. They seem really attracted to this plant more than any other out on the patio.

 
If it's getting cold where you live, remember to unhook and drain your water hose. 

Do what you can to put your garden to bed for winter.

 

Paring Things Down

 

I got up yesterday morning and decided I wanted to simplify things around my apartment and put things away. 

When you live in a smallish space, the desire to pare things down sometimes overcomes your desire to pile on the pretties.

So I started changing things up on the walls and tables. It just depends on my mood on how I want things decorated.

 
I love all the old jars and bottles I've collected over time. And I also love the vintage boxes I have. So I left them out.

 
Charlie laid on the ottoman and watched as I moved about the room. Abi was probably following me. 

Sometimes I step backwards and almost fall over her.

 

We're supposed to be getting some cold weather, and I feel ready for it. I'm sick of the heat, which is about six months out of the year now. I could never live in a really warm climate.

I switched up the living room wall. The grocery sign is one of the things I ordered from Kirklands, and the flea market sign was something I picked up last time I went to the antique mall. 

I seem to want to go from a whole lot of color to not much at all. And then sometimes I'm on more middle ground.


I even changed up the dining space. And switched out the wall decor. I had to move the blue cupboard from the back wall to the side. 

I was getting up from my chair at the table recently and backed into the cupboard and nearly knocked everything down. So I had to have more space behind my chair. Or I was going to be cleaning up a whole lot of glass.

 
 
Do you ever get in the mood to scale things down and put things away? I get in this mood from time to time. But the pendulum will swing back the other way at some point.

Do you have any weekend plans? Is it cold where you live yet?


Learning To Step Aside


I was driving to get a few groceries yesterday when this car jumped in front of me. So I got in the other lane. 

Before I hardly knew what was happening, the car revved up and then zoomed up behind me really fast.

It caught me by surprise, but my instinct was to veer away. The car then changed lanes and pulled ahead. I have no idea what he was trying to prove. But it was reckless and stupid. 

Why are people so angry? It seems that people are angrier these days. 

In traffic. In politics. In general. What has happened to cause such rage?

It's bad enough that idiots text and stare at their phones while driving. That's pretty darned reckless and many times it is how someone is killed. 

People are preoccupied. Everything seems to be about them

 
I've read that children are more depressed in this era because so much is done for them and they don't have to think for themselves until they reach adulthood. 

And then they are utterly unprepared to make decisions for themselves. What "helicopter parents" don't seem to understand is that you can't feel pain for your children. 

Planning their every minute is not going to keep bad things from happening. 

We grow up thinking our elders are clueless. That they are soooo old fashioned and out of the loop.

Then we grow older and we're no longer in that loop we thought we'd always be part of. Life kind of passed us by with its fast pace. 

And somehow it happened when we weren't aware it was even occurring.

We become that older person. That older person takes over our bodies. And when we look in the mirror, we look at someone with wrinkles and laugh lines and another chin forming. 

When did that happen?


It all goes by in a flash, doesn't it? One day we're in high school and we can't wait for time to pass so we can live by adult rules. 

And suddenly we're grandmothers. 

We step aside with our own ways because our children are now the parents. We might disagree, but we try to hold our tongues. We learn to live our lives on the periphery of theirs.

What they don't understand, what we didn't understand, is that with age comes a wisdom that can't be learned any other way than by the passage of time.

There is so much we could tell them. So much sadness we might spare them. 

But we have to let them do it their way. And make their own mistakes. Because that is the natural order of things in the universe. 

Meanwhile, we learn that stepping aside is a part of life too.



Life Is Ever Changing


The other night before I fell asleep, I found myself thinking about decorating. Which is something I've pondered a lot in my life, as I've always loved decorating. 

How many times have I laid awake at night before moving to a new home thinking how I'd arrange the furniture? Too many to count.

I almost majored in interior design in college. But my advisor said there was no money in it. Which then lead me to journalism. It isn't exactly a path to money either. Unfortunately I've never been drawn to money-making ventures.

In the well of my thoughts in the dark of night as I waited for sleep, I realized that I kind of have my apartment the way I want it. 

There aren't a lot of ways to arrange the furniture. The couch has always been along that one wall. I like my bed facing the door. I've always wanted my bed facing the door. So that's a no-brainer.


And though I still like to change things up on the walls and on tables, I know that I'm not only here with you just to put pretty things on display.

Gardening is a true love of mine. I'll always garden, because it somehow feeds my soul in a way that nothing else does. 

I love to plant seeds and watch them sprout from the soil. To plant seedlings and eventually have blooms. I am happiest with a camera in my hand and my eye focusing on various outdoor elements.

I like to sit and enjoy the breeze caressing my face. I am at a point in my life where I no longer yearn for human touch, foreign as that may sound to some. 

I feel relaxed around gardens and nature in a way I never am when around human beings. I'm always thinking and worrying about saying the right things and acting the right way. Even around my own family.

I don't need a lot of human interaction. In fact I can't abide much of it before I want to close the door and be alone again. I know that probably isn't the way most feel.  

But it's the way I feel. Whether I want to feel that way or not. I'm just not a social person. I never have been.


But then there is the outdoors and nature. The birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees. Which never stands still.  

Nature is ever changing. It isn't like you have to decorate it or rearrange anything. Mother Nature does all the changes for you. 

The seasons arrive and then intermingle, and there is always something outdoors that captures and holds my attention. 

Life is about change. We change. Our desires ebb and flow. We grow tired of some aspects of our lives and suddenly overjoyed about others.

You will always see decorating here. You will see how I aim to live fully in a small space. I love to share that.

I will always fix my cup of coffee and sit down and look around me and think: I sure do love my cozy little apartment. I will always strive to have a pretty home.

But you should know that in many ways my heart is outside on that rectangle of cement patio. Where my garden life resides.

Where I find and enjoy true serenity. And the feel of a soft breeze cooling my face is a touch that does not make me flinch.

I guess the moral of the story is this: Accept who you are. Don't apologize for it.

“The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.” 
Mark Twain


Sunny Fall Days & Getting Chores Done


This red-lipped ceramic vessel with the closed eyes makes me smile every morning when I walk into the kitchen. 

Now I wish I'd picked up her male counterpart when they had it in my grocery store, because they no longer sell them.

You put off buying something, telling yourself you're just not quite sure yet. And then it's no longer around, so the decision is made for you.


There aren't many petunias left. 

This flower is surrounded by dried up leaves. Reminds me of someone blooming in less than hospitable surroundings. 

An apt motto for life. To bloom where you are planted. To accept where you currently live, and to embrace that space and make it your own.


Every day I spend several hours out on the patio getting things ready for fall. 

Snipping and trimming the lemon grass so the sun can get to other plants underneath it. 

Like my one tomato plant. It has more yellow flowers on it, which means more tomatoes. But the huge lemon grass was shadowing it.

I enjoy these cooler days with the sun shining down while doing these tasks. There's always something to do in a garden.


A daisy preparing to bloom. 

I just love to take photos of flowers in the transformation they make from bud to bloom to flower.

The above photo is what this daisy looks like as the individual petals begin to unfold.


I'm so relieved that the problem trees are cut down, though I miss their shade and the way they helped hide the view of the back of the strip mall.

But that is just another challenge. To attempt to hide some of that ugly view. I look forward to that challenge.


An image from the right side of my couch. Don't you just love the patina of old vintage boxes?


And last but certainly not least, Jade's leaves are starting to turn various shades of yellow. 
 
They told me at the nursery to be sure I watered Jade throughout the winter. The first year you have a tree is the most important to make sure it gets a good start.


I'm afraid if I can't see it from where I sit on the couch, I might forget to check the soil for moisture on a daily basis. So I've rolled Jade where I can view it. I'll move it down the line.

The leaves will be falling off Jade in the next few weeks I think, since the leaves are turning. 

Come spring when I'm planning out the look of my summer patio, I will move Jade to a better spot as the buds form for another season.