Monday, December 8, 2014

The Holidays Have Arrived...well not quite!

Hi all, The days are going by so fast, and the only thing I've managed to do here at the house, is a deep cleaning, something I like to do every year before I put up all the Christmas Decor. So far all I have up is the Poinsettia Garlands in the Main Bath, pitiful..But we are having the carpets in the whole house cleaned, so it will be the middle of the month before I get started, really cutting it close.

In the mean time this is the second year I have helped with the Nutcracker Tea, this is a charitable event that is associated with the Make a Wish Foundation. This event is hosted every year by Claire Duffy, and has grown in size and has become more lavish. I help put together the centerpieces for about 40 tables.

My first attempt at decorating Gingerbread Houses too! Such a fun event!
The Tea has about 400 guest and they not only have a fun lunch, but they are given an abbreviated performance of the Ballet "The Nutcracker", Clair's Mom, Felicia is the Grand Dame of the whole event and it is her dancers that perform.

Last week I decorated Dr. Duffy's Office for Christmas. I do this about every three months, the change of every season, It's always fun coming up with different designs every year!

I always love the topper to the main display cabinet in the lobby, this year it is in Red, White, Silver and Green, painted twigs from my garden white and added them to finish it off. I also rearrange the shelving in the cabinets and add Christmas touches throughout the offices.
Now all that is left is for me to do is to get my home decorated, and get some outside lights put up before we are labeled the neighborhood Grinches!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Catching You Up With My Life!

I can't believe it has been five months since I have posted! Talk about life getting in the way, I really do try and post at least once a month, sometimes more, but I will try and catch you up on all my unexciting life..waaa!
Have had so many changes, most non visible but felt all the same, still adjusting to Wayne having to close his company and totally re-inventing his life in his mid sixties, this has not been easy on either of us. But I will say he has managed and does love his new work, so that is all anyone can ask for. Again coping. Also we are down to one car!! I had to let my Beach Hearse go out to pasture (transmission fail), so that keeps me from shopping!! Now I am relegated to just on weekends, which totally sucks. Again coping. Have had to lose contact with so many people that meant so much to me, but again coping. I have fought through a deep depression, finally seeing the light, again coping. But through family and a few friends I have managed to get things back on track, and I thank them so much for all their love. Ain't family great!

Well lets start with July, Had a really hot summer, worked in the garden and had a few trips to the Beach

We love to go early in the morning and have coffee and read the paper, with the occasional doughnut! Just so relaxing, walk the beach and look for sharks teeth and special shells, just reflect..
We got a parakeet, my Daughter was at a cookout with her friends, when all of a sudden a parakeet flew down and landed on my Son in Law! They ended up bring the bird home, after checking with all the surrounding neighbors, but guess who ended up with the bird..oh yeah dear Mom.

Introducing the Bird to Dixie Boy, then moved birdie to a much larger cage, where she chirps all the time.

In late August I was in the garden chopping some vines, when I guess I knocked one of my hanging birdhouses, that was the home to Alien Wasps!! I felt a sting on my neck, that knocked my head back, I went running out to the middle of the yard, but soon realized I was being attacked by something I really couldn't see, Bam I was stung on the shoulder, TWICE ! I must have looked like a Whirling Dervish trying to fight them off, Bam twice on the forearm! I started running down the walkway, through the gate, to the garage. In the garage I could see what was STILL ATTACKING ME!! They were HUGE BLACK WASP! I managed to kill one with a whack of my open hand, and then I knocked one onto the pavement.

This Alien being is about 1 inch long, and the stings are brutal, it took three days for the pain to finally go away. When the Lawn Guy came I told him about the nest and he said he would try and get them, I said you don't understand these guys are relentless. So as he was mowing near the their tree, Bam one stung him on his leg! It kept chasing him down till he finally made it into our screened room! I said "See I told You"! He said "I'll be back tomorrow with wasp spray". Well he returned the next day, armed with wasp spray and a tennis racket, they were finally exterminated. It took me another month to even go out in the back yard again. Traumatized !!
Had some fun cookouts with the Kids at the home they moved into, only maybe two miles down the road, and had lunch with my Daughter and Granddaughter Kingsley, I always love seeing them, my heart swells.

 September is always a full and fun Month, My Birthday, Wayne's Birthday, the onset of Fall, just that feeling in the air that comes with the changing of the seasons. Did some fun things like shopping Goodwill and finding two great pictures of Nice France, they will be perfect in my Shabby Chic guest room!  Have you been to Nice France? If you ever get the chance take it! Nice is so beautiful that pictures just can't capture what your eye sees...I could live there.

These canvas pictures were distributed by the Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean Train Line, the PLM..They advertised all the stops along the trains route!Awesome huh!

I had fun doing my nails, I just love nail art and cool colors! Oh! and Bling!!

I also did some fall decorating for Dr. Duffy's office, I always look forward to Claire Duffy's call "Time to change the Seasons"!

This is the top of their large display case that I designed for Fall, I used some of the bark off my Crepe Myrtle tree that I saved and flattened, till it dried and it kind of looked like pieces of driftwood.

October has been busy too, Lunch with Birthday Girl Pam and Friend Esther, great to toast another year!

Did some chair coverings for a friend (Claire), and started getting the House decorated for Fall and put up a little Halloween,

 Did my Fall Mantel, Using more bark from my Crepe Myrtle tree.

 My Scarecrow that I've had for 14 years, I can't believe that he is still hanging in there!

My arrangement at my front entryway, sunflowers, pearly berries and fall ribbon, transforms my existing arrangement into Fall.
Just a few Halloween fun pieces , my old Hag Mask with the feather Witches hat I added, my black scaredy cat and little black haunted house on the dining room table with fall berries added to that arrangement,
Well we are all caught up with my Life!, but now it is November and Wayne and I have had our 32nd Wedding Anniversary! He's a mighty lucky Man!
I am doing some tablescape pieces for The Nutcracker Tea later this month. Thanksgiving is almost here! We will be joining family at my Daughters Home for a Fun Day! Give Thanks for all Your Blessings, You never know when they can all be taken away..

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Missing the Fruit of My Youth!

One of my Facebook Friends posted a picture of some mighty fine looking Peaches today. Everyone was commenting on them, saying "I love Peach Pie" or "I'm gunna make a Peach Cobbler", every one's mouth was watering just thinking of those Peaches! It made me think of my trip to the Winn Dixie yesterday,
I passed the Peaches in the produce department and you couldn't even smell them, they were so pretty all stacked up into a big Pyramid and they felt like rocks!!! Not the same juicy peaches that we had when I was growing up. You would take a bite and have to bend forward so the juice wouldn't  drip on you, you'd hold out your elbow cuz the juice had ran down your arm and was dripping from them. Mom always made us eat Peaches out in the yard, she'd almost have to hose us down afterwards. Smiling just thinking of it..Peaches in a bowl on the kitchen counter would always make the whole room smell so good! But something has happened, I don't know what it is, but it is sad. It is something I fear our Grand Children will never get to experience, and it is the TRUE TASTE OF FRUIT!!  Are you with Me on this?? The taste and  the juice, are just not there, now how can you cut into a Peach and not have one drop of juice come from it , or the aroma alone just makes you wanna  stuff a big ol bite in your mouth. I miss it. Now if you go to a farm and buy homegrown you will get that tasty fruit. But why can't we get that at the store? There is a whole generation of Kids that have never seen a farm, much less be able to drive to one!

And that is the same with Watermelon, we would cut one open and the whole kitchen would fill with the clean crisp aroma of mouthwatering Watermelon, now you can cut one open and nothing...I mean you might as well spray it with Glade to get a smell. and the taste...where in the hell did it go??? Is it a new variation, one that is totally tasteless? Daddy would bring home the largest Watermelons ever, I remember him taking his pocket knife and cutting along the top, grabbing each side and pulling , causing a loud CRACK! as it split in half! Then a huge explosion of Watermelon smell filling the kitchen..don't you have memories like that? Dad always like to shake salt on his  bite, but that sweet taste mm mm mm just can't beat it. Now when I get a Watermelon I actually put salt on it, just to get FLAVOR! wha?? Dad said "Salt on Watermelon and Pepper on Cantaloupe"! word.

Sad to say the same can be said for all the fruits,  they look the same, but the aroma and their wonderful juices just aren't there. Big ol juicy Strawberries, now some are hollow and dry, and you have to put your nose in the box just to smell them, Apples would give off an aroma like no other, their different taste, sweet or sour, Bananas! I sliced one on cereal the other morning and I could feel it in my mouth, but that strong Banana flavor wasn't there, even though the color was yellow, the taste was green! And being a Floridian don't get me started on Oranges! Mom and Dad would stop at Stuckey's and buy a big red mesh bag full of Navel Oranges, they would be half the size of a bowling ball! Mom would peel them and then pull apart, giving Me and my Brother each a half, send us out to the yard, pulling those big plugs apart, juice squirting out in the sun, the smell making your mouth water with anticipation, so much so you would get a little lock jaw! Such a sweet flavor as you bit into that plug, the juice was coming out the corners of our mouths dripping right down our tummies...uhoh here comes the hose!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Summer's a Come'n!

My Granddaughter Kingsley just told me the last day of  her Junior year is June 6th! Now I know I seem to always start of with the mention of how I feel time is flying by, but come on..June already! You have got to  be agreeing with me! I already see Christmas on Pinterest! But June does bring on the Summer, and really isn't that what we all live for, I know I do. Finally all my plants have recovered from the Winter Freezes, their leaves are full and buds are on everything, all the "Brown" is gone!

 Just look at my Kings Crown Shrimp Plant! I always look forward to these Pink Pompoms, and it blooms all summer!

My Staghorn Fern is about 15 years old, you can't tell by this picture, but it is over 5 feet across, and Kudos to my Wayne for lugging this giant thing into the garage at the mere hint of a freeze!

The African Iris have been blooming like mad this year, the most blooms ever! Maybe they like the freeze, hmm. You know some plants have to go through the cold to bloom in the spring.

We recently took a day trip to Big Talbot Island State Park, right on the ocean, only about a half hour away. This is the most extraordinary place, the ocean has washed away so much of the Island that the erosion has caused these cliffs at the edge. This has caused the Oaks to fall onto the beach, where over time they have almost turned white and are now huge forms of driftwood. When we first started coming to the Island you could access the beach by wooden steps, but now, due to many storms washing all away, the stairs are gone and they have made a trail through the woods that goes about a half mile to a place that is easier to climb down , still a bit scary to try and make your way down to the beach, but sooo worth it.  Just walking among all the huge driftwood trees, it's just wonderful. And since this place is kinda off the beaten path, there isn't very many people there. You are not allowed to take any of the wood off the Island...drats!

 Now is this fantastic or what! In person so much of the wood is totally bleached by the sun, you definitely need your Sunglasses!
Can you see the white line on the horizon? Well that is a sandbar, I bet I stared at that thing for the longest time, if I could walk on water I would have loved to have gone over there!

You can see the edge of the Island Cliffs here on Big Talbot Island.

I still do my Decorating for Dr. Duffy's office,  his Wife Claire is so good to Me and I enjoy every moment coming up with ideas to use in My designs.

 This is one of the toppers to their large display cabinet in their waiting room, I designed this for Spring. Huge flowers in shades of peach and cream, of course I love using the Mesh ribbon for drama, and adding that cute watering can I found at Goodwill!
This is the latest design, I wanted it to look like a cool Summer, with shades of blue, burlap like the sand, and I made a wreath out of the vines I collected from My yard, adding Sea Grape leaves, Shells, Lichen and Mesh ribbon. Put some Twigs up there from my yard too.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

It's Almost Easter!

Good grief today was Palm Sunday! I just can't believe how fast this year is already passing! What is with time?? Has Global Warming somehow changed the perception of time? At, first I thought it was because I was getting older, but I'm not so sure that's it. With all the different Blogs and sites on the Internet, like Pinterest and Facebook, all the Holidays are being rushed! I mean probably the day after Easter, on all these sites we will see Recipes, Decorations, DIY Ideas, Games and anything you can think of to get you through the 4th of July!! Oh we might see some Brunch postings for Mothers Day and Fathers Day. But the majority with be for the 4th. So this is how it changes the Time Continuum, here it is April, but our minds are already thinking of July, absolutely ignoring May and June! See what I mean? And then all the posts for Christmas, will start in the latter part of August. I feel the Internet has absolutely turned Christmas into the Mother of all Holiday Decorating! Halloween has also become a huge decorating Holiday, and it takes all we can do to allow Thanksgiving to interrupt our Decorating Frenzy! I mean for real! Thanksgiving is becoming a nuisance!! Wha?
With time flying by, I did manage to get in a little Easter decorating , of course I did my Mantel, and a Dining Room table scape.I haven't really purchased anything to really alter the look of what I do, so I just try to change it up, kinda like shuffling a deck of cards. 


Monica our French Maid Server is wearing the Easter Visor I
made using only Dollar Tree flowers.

Now you can see what fun they were to wear for the Blessing of the Fleet. I surprised all the girls with an Easter Visor, and as the boat sailed pass the Priest, he yelled out "Great hats Ladies"!

 My little Easter Egg Tree, also the little Hippie Rabbit I gave my Mom when I was 18 years old.

 I also collect Paper Mache Rabbits, aren't they the cutest!

Indian Hawthorn is in full bloom, the color always reminds me of Bazooka Bubble Gum!

I just have to end my post with pictures of My Granddaughter going to her Junior/Senior Prom. She is a Junior, so she gets another Prom next year!

Hugging her Mom, My Daughter! Ain't Family Great! Happy Easter!!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Rushing Spring!

I have been in the slumps with this Winter weather. This has been the greyest Winter ever here in Neptune Beach, and we are all sick of it! Now I know, this in no way compares to what all our friends in the upper tiers of the USA goes through each Winter, but here in Florida it's just not what we are used to. I am so glad this is all finally coming to an END!! My Friends and I tried to Rush Spring, and took a trip to Fernandina Beach, a really quaint fishing town, with great shops, restaurants and beautiful Amelia Island Resort.
For a couple of years I had been following the postings of The Dove Cote Brocante in St Marys Georgia, vowing to my friends that we would take a drive up to see this great looking shop, but life gets in the way, and we never went. But just about a month ago, I saw Aspen, the owner of  DCB, say she had moved to Fernandina Beach!! Ok no excuses now! Trip on! So I headed out with an Artist friend of mine, her Mom and Daughter for such a delightful, but chilly day in Fernandina. Dove Cote Brocante here we come! You know how you see pictures. and you just love everything you see, well that is how we all felt about the treasures in this great shop.
Sharon Hayes Westbrook, a wonderful artist and friend, took this picture of her Mom, Daughter and Me as we were about to enter the shop we had waited so long to see,the beginning of a fun day!

We were greeted by Aspen, the owner  of The Dove Cote Brocante. So pretty and such a sweet person!
We all loved her goat head above her desk, with a cute chapeau! See I said Aspen was pretty!

 Cute Glitter Rabbits, so whimsical, and Santos, that I wish I could afford! All kinds of Architectural Elements, and I purchased a Cement flower pot with Roses and a Burlap makeup bag with the Fleur de Lis, for my Granddaughters trip to Paris in March. I wish I had taken a picture of the Burlap full length Curtains, they were  smocked at the top, about a foot down and tied back with a Burlap Bow, they were beautiful! If you ever visit Fernandina please take the time to visit this great shop, you'll be glad you did! Before we left her shop, she told us about her Mothers Garden Shop just down the block, so off we went .

 We found it! the Dove Cote Garden Shop, now when I see something like this, I just have to stop and check it out. Don't you?! All the little Chippy pieces and cement elements, we all just couldn't stand our own excitement!

 Cutest tiny terracotta pot display in an old wooden crate.

 This Art Deco Angel Lantern was huge, hanging between two Metal Columns, we all wanted all this!

                              Me and Sharon Hayes Westbrook, a great artist known all over the USA!

Wish  I could show you all the things that this wonderful Dove Cote Garden Shop has to offer, can't wait to
go back and see in the warmer months!
Aspen's Mom Cathy, now we can see where the beauty comes from.

We were now off in search of a good place, but a quaint place to have lunch, and we found LULU's!
But on the way we stopped in several Boutiques, and I picked up a stranger! No not really, but really yes! I noticed in several of the shops we were in, another lady all by herself was looking too, so as we left the last shop heading to lunch, I noticed she was walking behind us, we started a conversation and invited her to join us for lunch and she accepted. She wasn't afraid of us at all!! lol

Charlotte and her husband were in Fernandina,  vacationing  from Tuscaloosa, so I can now say I have a new friend in Alabama! This was a great trip and we can't wait to return.