Monday, October 16, 2017

The Edge of Wildness

I know a place on the edge of wildness, where brambles twist up from the ground, green and alive, welded to the barbed wire. Just beyond the old fence, you'll find a world untouched by developers.

Friday, October 13, 2017

She Shed Diaries: The Ugly Wall

I've always liked exterior brick walls. They are downright pretty, adding texture and subtle color, creating a pleasing backdrop to vines, hydrangeas, or trellises. Also, they can be wonderfully neutral. Never in my life did I think about sprucing up an exterior wall, not until I began working on the She Shed.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

Welcome to Foodie Friday and Everything Else. I'm looking forward to your ideas and recipes. I'm working on the She Shed--this time, the makeover centers around an ugly exterior wall--and I'll have an update this Saturday.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Along the Path

I've been meaning to paint inside the She Shed, but it's just too hot. Still, there's plenty to do outside the little house. Want to join me for a brainstorming session?

Monday, October 9, 2017

October Evening in the Butterfly Garden

I love October's temperature extremes. A hot-as-blazes day can turn into a crisp evening, prompting me to reach for a lightweight sweater. This is the month to play in the yard, to relish the pure joy of being home on a sweet night. What could be better than a marshmallow roast?

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Autumn Casts a Spell

"There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October." 
-- Nathaniel Hawthorne
The slightest breeze sends great drifts of leaves falling in the back yard. I wouldn't dream of sweeping them away--that's the same as sweeping away charm. I am enchanted by October, hoping to savor every leaf.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

Welcome to our first party in October. I'm glad you're here. Pull up a chair, grab a cinnamon donut and a mug of hot apple cider.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A Room of Your Own

I haven't had a dedicated writing room since the late 80s and early 90s. It was a narrow space with a built-in desk and white cabinets. Through the north-facing window, I saw chips of blue sky. Tulip-covered wallpaper gave me the garden I'd always craved, and long Formica counters offered plenty of space to spread out my papers. In this quiet spot, writer's block didn't exist. Words broke loose like ice sheets from a glacier, falling into a warm, bubbling cauldron.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Spiders and Pumpkins: A Halloween Party

Every October, I pull out the Halloween goodies and decorate the house with childlike delight. When the boys were small, I put up spooky trees and iced spider web cookies, loving every moment. One year, I froze punch in surgical gloves, and when I peeled them, icy fingers adorned the punch bowl. On Halloween night, I always made chili--with chili dogs for the boys--and we'd watch a movie marathon. All these years later, I still enjoy the playful side of Halloween. I'm not the only one--this week, I'm partying with a group of darling, talented bloggers for a Halloween Tablescape Blog Hop.

Monday, October 2, 2017

One Pot Meals: Southern-Style Pinto Beans

When crisp, chilly October days arrive in Tennessee, I start dreaming of one-pot meals. They're for homebodies. However, one-pot meals aren't for exhausted cooks. When you are frayed and weary, the thing to do is have food brought to you--pizza or take-out Sweet and Sour Pork. But for cooks with a tad of energy, a pot of pinto beans can be a salvation. Dress them up with a loaf of deli bread and a tossed salad. Serve a cobbler and red wine if you'd like a fancy touch. Either way, you can't lose.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Part 2 of A Pool House-into-a-She Shed: 1 Week Later

A week ago, I was in the middle of a long overdue DIY project: transforming a 70s era pool house into a She Shed. I plodded along, working diligently and passionately, if ineptly. The rest of the little cottage is waiting for another coat of paint and brainstorming, but I wanted to share my progress.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

Foodie Friday and Everything Else
The other day I looked at the calendar, and I couldn't believe that September was on the wane. I don't know about you, but I've barely had time to adjust to the new season--my favorite season, I might add. Just yesterday, the temperature inched up to 90 degrees, and I set aside plans to cook hearty soups. The next time I see you, we'll be in the golden month of October. . . I hope the month takes its time, 31 long, meandering days.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Barks and Recreation

Last weekend, I grabbed the camera and followed Jasper and Tyler around the yard. My goal is to create a puppy journal, but it's a challenge to take photos of a fast-moving Scottie. Usually, after a long "walkie," he's ready for the puparazzi. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Pool House into a She Shed-- The Beginning

For a long time, I'd had my eye on the pool house. It was private, yet close to the house. Best of all it was self-contained, with heating, air, sinks, a fridge, and a bathroom. It felt like a quiet, simple retreat, a place to write and tinker. In 2015, we added cedar shingles, white trim, and bronze gutters. But it would be two more years before I turned my attention to the interior.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

It's always a pleasure to see you at Foodie Friday and Everything Else. Can't wait to see what you've brought to the party! 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Autumn Lessons

"Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree."

-- Emily Brontë, English Novelist and Poet 

After a few days of chilly weather, the trees took notice. It's easy to miss these early signs if I'm not alert. But this year, I'm paying attention. At first, the world around me seems unchanged, lush and green, as if summer will last forever, but I wouldn't want that. All year, I wait for autumn, and the equinox arrives on September 22nd. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Shredded Chicken Enchiladas

As the warm, golden days of September blend into chilly evenings, I start to crave spicy foods. Last weekend, time and energy collided, along with crisp weather--it was the perfect moment to make chicken enchiladas.