Thursday, March 31, 2016

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

It's time to party at Foodie Friday and Everything Else. 
What have you been up to this week? Me, I'm waiting for April 15th, the traditional planting time in the mid-South. Our weather has skidded all over the place--a warm, sunny day is followed by wind, rain, and cold snaps. During this in-between time, I've kept busy.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Kitchen Garden in Late March

When I first saw the ranchburger, I was drawn to the fenced garden area. It had three raised beds (the herb garden was in the middle) and a small orchard. After we moved, my husband claimed the first bed. Earlier this month, he planted cold weather crops.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Temperature of Happiness

Did you know that happiness has an actual temperature? According to the American Meteorological Society, we are happiest when the mercury hits 57 degrees Fahrenheit. After being cooped up all weekend, I wasn't sad, but I wasn't dancing in the street. I was in a neutral mood, ready for breakfast and an hour of journal writing. Then, as I sipped coffee, I glanced out the window.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Potting Shed Goals and Ideas

I've had all winter to think about the potting shed. How would it function? How could I prevent my husband from using it as a storage room hoarding spot? Would whimsical touches get pushed aside by twisted sacks and seed spreaders? 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Foodie Friday and Everything Else Link Party

Welcome to Foodie Friday and Everything Else, where great food and ideas are always on the menu. Wherever you are, I hope the weather is treating you kindly. In my neck of the woods, we awoke to wind and slashing rain. But now, as I work on the party, the sun is shining, birds are gathering around the feeders, and the grass is turning greener by the second.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Easter Ideas for Exhausted People

In celebration of Easter weekend, I'm sharing my favorite ideas for food and centerpieces--all are super easy.

Monday, March 21, 2016

They Came Undone

The hilltop has an unusual and beguiling feature: pine trellises. They line one edge of the driveway, creating a dramatic screen. Below, on the ground, are three raised flower beds and a small rose garden. Installed by a previous owner, the vines and shrubs were mature by the time I came along, and they trailed fetchingly over the lattice boards. The trellises were a marvelous structure, adding privacy and beauty: the neighbors' yard was only a few feet away, down a small embankment. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

In the Presence of Tulips

I've gotten spoiled by the balmy 70 and 80 degree days. But now, the temperature has slid downward, and it's 52 degrees, nippy in the shade. Here we are on the cusp of spring, and we have moved into sweater weather.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Hidden Music

Spring begins with music. The notes are, at first, delicate and tentative, a bit out-of-sync, rather like an orchestra tuning its instruments. Sounds clash, as if disagreements are brewing, then they meander together, creating a pleasing melody. Here on my hilltop, drumbeats are added when the rain starts, a slow, drippy tap-tap-tap, a song that makes the world turn green.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

You've Got Mail: A Spring Mailbox Makeover

For too long, my mailbox had looked forlorn and forgotten, as if no one lived in the house on the hill. To be sure, I had never given my previous box a second thought, other than to be thankful that rural teenagers hadn't whacked it to pieces with baseball bats. The old road had been dangerous and busy, an unpleasant spot. But the new house-in-the-suburbs was situated on a quiet street, a place where people walked their dogs. The yards were well-tended and well-loved. In the middle of this sat our neglected mailbox. If you're wondering why it was in such a state, let me explain. It was the most unusual box I'd ever seen, formal and elegant, with three separate planters. Built of Tennessee limestone, the structure was complicated yet symmetrical, shaped like an upside-down "T." The mail box was located in the center column. On the top sat a large concrete planter, bowl-shaped and rather shallow. Way below, at ground level, two planters hugged the center column on either side.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

Welcome to Foodie Friday and Everything Else. 
Earlier this week, I awoke at 5:30 a.m. to take my mom for her cataract surgery, and I was greeted by a magnificent sunrise. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Wild Life: Protecting Songbirds from Predators

When I set up feeding stations on my hilltop, I began watching the air. It was filled with winged beauties--Titmice, Carolina Chikadees, Cardinals, Blue jays, woodpeckers, and the darling finches. As I watched them flit from feeder to bush to tree, the knots in my chest slowly loosened, and I could breathe for the first time in over a year. The Chickadees were surely the souls of babies, and the squirrels reminded me of rambunctious human toddlers. A day can start out poorly, but it can flip around in an instant if you spot a cardinal.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

This afternoon, as I sit down at my desk, it's 40 degrees, damp and foggy. The new-old house has turned into an adventure, one that I am welcoming with open arms. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

When a Room Turns Churlish

I am in the middle of a skirmish with my old furniture. The hostilities began when the man cave's furniture arrived, and the old blue sofa was moved to a space that was empty and echoing: the living room.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Slice of Life: March 1st on the Hilltop

 Tuesday, March 1st
I am slowly becoming acquainted with the new house. 
Early one Saturday morning, I pour coffee and watch the sun climb over the mountains, drenching my world in pear colored light.