Monday, October 31, 2016

Not Your Typical Before and After

This is not a post that features a "meh" before and an awesome after. Rather, I'm sharing an "after" that's experimental. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Spells and Spirits

The magical light of October calls for a celebration. Since we're on the cusp of All Hallows Eve, my thoughts turned playful. Why not serve something mystical? A tiny feast with spells and spirits. I set up a wine and cheese bar on the porch, complete with a resident ghost. If you don't blink, you can see him floating over the table, peering into the orange wine glasses.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

Welcome to Foodie Friday and Everything Else, our last party in October. The next time I see you, we'll be in the 11th month, a time that launches the holiday season. November summons images of warm browns and gold, feathers and acorns, woolly scarves and walking sticks, nubby sweaters and herringbone jackets. The first frost is the last call for the garden, a reminder of things to come. November is Winter's opening act. But we have a few more sparkling days in October, and I'm enjoying every minute. I hope you are, too.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Charm of a Store-bought Picnic

It is a sunny, mellow afternoon in October, the kind that makes you crave a picnic. But I wasn't prepared. The fast-food cupboard was empty, and I didn't have time to bake something from scratch.  Also, I didn't want to miss one moment of this warm, sparkling day. All too soon we'll be pulling on boots and heavy sweaters. I dashed off to the grocery, gathering a few delectable items.

A Walk in the Country

All of a sudden, October is winding down. Sunset comes sooner and sooner, bringing a sharpness to the air, making me think of two words I dread more than rats and bees (polar vortex). It's time to bring out nubby sweaters, scarves, and tartan blankets. Time to relish these waning days, enjoying the last of the roses and hydrangeas, watching the sun stretch out over the hilltop. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Late October in the Living Room

Even before we moved to Rattlebridge, I knew the living room would present design issues. In its former life, it was all cut up, with a 1970s sunken living room. At some point, a sun room was added. Our contribution was to open the space, allowing for unrestricted views of the distant mountains; but the remodel also created my biggest decorating challenge to date. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

Welcome to Foodie Friday and Everything Else. This week, I've been busy painting my old wicker and re-doing the upper level screened porch. I had planned on neutrals, but the man cave's ambient beige has made me realize how much I love--and need--color (along with old fashioned comfort and simplicity). Though the wicker project hasn't been without mishaps, it's been interesting--and colorful. I still haven't painted the sofa (glossy black, maybe).

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Simple, Country Table

"She's gone Primitive and country on me," my formal-loving husband said when he walked into the room. He may think this is temporary, like a virus, but I've found my groove. It's comfortable, laid-back, un-trendy, and follows no logical design. I like that.

Monday, October 17, 2016

October on the Motel 6 Balcony

It was a magical October afternoon when I stepped onto the balcony to serve lunch. Dappled sunlight danced across the floor, and way up in a tree, I heard a cardinal singing. Only a few years ago, this second story balcony had made a different impression. We'd dubbed it the Motel 6 porch. It still looked rather homely after we added the cedar shake.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Halloween Cupboard

I'm enjoying the slow rhythm of decorating the house for autumn. It's been quite a few years since I've done this, and I've had such fun. I usually keep white ironstone in the wee pine cupboard, so the foundation was already there. I just added a few playful items. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

Welcome to Foodie Friday and Everything Else. I'm glad you're here. Have a seat at the table, and let's talk. I hope you're enjoying autumn.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ain't She Sweet

Here on the hilltop, I've embraced Halloween with a childlike enthusiasm. Maybe it's because I will turn 63 years young this week, or maybe I'm just out for the candy. Either way, whimsy is the word of the month, and I can't remember when I've had this much fun.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Nothing Wicked This Way Comes

Come if you dare to a place where spiders weave secrets and witches can't cast spells.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Lunch in the Butterfly Garden

A few years ago, when we bought a 70s ranch house, I was charmed by a fenced rose garden. After the remodeling process, we made an alarming discovery: the bushes had every symptom of rose rosette disease.  Since there's no treatment, the bushes were removed and destroyed. I slowly began building a butterfly garden.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

60 Second Joy Lesson

What if joy was a rare event, occurring only once a year? Not only would we look forward to that day, we would also worry that something might steal it. Oh, Lord, what if we got food poisoning that day? What if we fell off a mountain or a mountain fell on us? We might string up imaginary barbed wire, hoping to snag trouble before it had a chance to creep up and steal our joy. The problem is, we could get tangled in our self-protection, sabotaging that one, magical day.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

Happy Autumn!
And welcome to Foodie Friday and Everything Else. It's time to put on your party shoes and dance your way from house to house, sipping cider, eating caramel cake, and jotting down ideas for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Last week's party had plenty of goodies.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Cozy, Colorful Autumn Table

Early October feels like a bridge between September's playful warmth and the frosty weather of deep autumn.  I love this journey. If only October could last a bit longer. With this feeling in mind, I reached for colorful linens that evoked the beauty of the month. For tabletop decorations, I added pumpkins, antlers, and sunflowers--and a lone, black crow figurine.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Pumpkins and Sunflowers: an Al Fresco Lunch

I love the bright, bold colors of autumn--a dash of paprika, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a pinch of saffron. Now that the weather is a bit cooler, I'm enjoying the porch. It's fun to switch around the furniture and make cozy dining areas.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

How to Be a Happy Blogger: Grace Notes

At times, blogging reminds me of a fast-moving river, its powerful current rushing downstream, washing away everything in its path. Rocks are eroded, creek beds are carved out, and debris is carried for many miles. Drop a penny into the water, and it disappears. Writing a blog post is like building a paper boat and setting it gently into a wave. The boat launches, scurrying into the tumultuous current. Will it stay afloat or get sucked to the bottom?

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Hello, October

Hello, October. I've been waiting for you. Waiting for a certain shift of the light, waiting for temperatures to drop just a little. But not too much.