Sunday, June 5, 2016

Give me a Sunday Morning Full of Grace

...a simple life and I'll be okay, here is small town USA.

Good morning dreamer friends!  How are ya?  This Sunday morning I was up early and enjoying all the beautiful visions out in blogland.  Y'all sure do have it going on and looking good!  I am always so amazed at how much others are able to accomplish when I barely am able to keep up with what we have.  I sure haven't been keeping up with blogging like I had hoped to.  One reason I haven't kept up with posts is because I've been waiting for something great or something inspiring to show you.  You know, something pretty to see!

So I ran outside to take a few shots, because I think there is beauty in my backyard.  Then I stood there looking around on this dreary morning and thought beauty?  Maybe....for me, maybe not so much for you.  Last night we had a few rains that came through and well, our backyard looks much like the morning after today.

I couldn't help but notice I had left my beach towel out and it got soaked in the rains, The chair cushions are a little damp but not as much as they could be because they usually end up staying in this position all the time because we don't like the cats getting cat hair all over them.  And then there's the puppy float below that sits around the pool all summer but rarely in it just waiting to take our dog (who never wants to get into the pool) for a ride.  It sits out because even with all this decking we have, we still don't own a deck box for storage.

Storage that is well needed to store things like floats and the pool brush that is laying on my patio table.  Yes this one here below.  Thats right, that the one with the paint project that still needs finishing, the one with 3 white chairs and the last black chair sitting there like an outcast.

Even with the sun just now starting to peek out as I type, I resisted the urge to wait on a post.  I could have waited until the sun was all the way out and shining, and I could have waited until I cleaned things up a bit more.  I could have waited until I finished all the little things I want to get done.  But friends, I if I wait, and I stage, and I make sure everything is spot on, well then, your not getting the true picture here and that is what I want you to have today.  I want you to know that as I live and breathe in a dreamers world, I also stay grounded in reality that is full of grace.

At first glance, I thought my deck was looking quite enjoyable,even after being soaked in the precious rains.   I thought with all the color I've added this year I'd go up the steps to get some closeup shots.

I could have moved the camera just a bit so you would see only the ferns and the beautiful Ivy geraniums.  I could have angled it just perfectly so you wouldn't see the small deck planter I insisted my husband include on this deck when he built it.  You know the one, that I now dread because it has thrown off the whole balance of the deck for me with the planters but we are too thrifty to just yank up all those boards and replace them until they actually need it.

I could have zoomed in close on the Tomato plants to show you only the green parts.  You didn't need to see that they are struggling did you?  

Or that the small leftover florals I stuck in the these pots aren't really going to take off like I had hoped they might, and if I'm going to add more to them, well then perhaps I should.

You might find these flowers quite pretty and doing very well if you overlook the fact they are still in their original containers.  The truth here is I intended to leave these in their actual containers but I had also intended to cover the containers with burlap and twine.  Hasn't happened yet!

Nor have I found the perfect pot for this beautiful plant even though I have found the perfect spot for where I want it to sit when I find that beautiful new pot I want.

Yes, honestly I know what you are thinking now. How much more of this do we need to see right?  
 I could have skipped sharing this photo too.  What is there to look at here?  A ladder laying in the side yard, that the Mr. needs to put back up.   Never mind the fact that its there because he stores it under the house and it's near the entry underneath.  It's not pretty to see is it?  But it has a story.  He pulled it out because we can hear something through one of the vents in the house...something like a creature moving about. EEK!   We are pretty sure it is a possum that has figured out a way to get in and out near the heating and air conditioner units but we cannot catch him yet.  Well let me rephrase that...hubby cannot catch him yet. I want no part of it!  I want to call the exterminator.

Sorry, I get sidetracked, let me refocus on the backyard again.  All righty now, yes I could have cleaned up all the spent blooms that have fallen off my beautiful hibiscus plant before taking pictures...

...and cleaned up all the ones from gardenias too.  Could have, should have, right? 

Lastly, (because I know your getting a little disappointed or bored by now) I could have angled this shot a little better as well right?  You didn't have to see the dirt we piling in the corner  behind my newly planted palm to try and level it off from the slope that happens beyond the fence.  

And just like the poison ivy that is growing up my deck, I didn't have to share any of this with you.  I could have kept it all perfectly posh when sharing.  I could have shared only that which is the most pleasing.  I could have just not shared at all as I have a tendency to do when everything isn't perfect.  Yes, I certainly could have let the poison of feeling inadequate, of feeling less then choke out the joys that I do have and that I do see.

  When all I  (or you) can focus on is the ugly, something is wrong.  It's time for a reality check.  It's time for a step back and to take another look.  Thank you God for showing me that pesky old poison ivy vine. The one that if left unchecked will grow and grow and choke out everything around it and causing an itch that won't go away untreated.

My life is certainly not picture perfect.  I certainly don't have the best of everything and a lot of what I share is not going to take your breath away and I'm not going to pretend it does.  

But did you notice among all the chaos, there is life going on?  What some of you probably don't see here in these pictures is someone who is living and loving her reality.  I don't begrudge those who have finished up this and that because I know how hard you work for it and I'm glad to see it.  I work for it too but I've also learned to slow it down more and to focus on enjoying it more as well.  It's okay if everything doesn't get finished quickly.  It's okay if I seem to be jumping from one project to another before totally finishing one.  It's been crazy this summer so far and so much has gotten done really yet all I seem to be able to share with you in my blog is the outside.  LOL!  

I guess I'm sharing outside again because even among all the ugly,  I can still see the beauty in what is and how far things have come.

I remember when we built this pool I had a vision of this planter area between the deck and block wall being filled with gardenias.  It has taken several years to fill in nicely.

This year that vision has come true in abundance, and it smells devine!

I've also had a plan to save money on plants this year because I'm not working outside the house anymore.  My plan included buying less, but also searching for discounted plants.

I purchased lots of flowering plants that were marked down because they were either neglected or in need of pesticides.  I also looked for very large pots of flowers that were marked down so that I could divide them and spread them around.  Husband hit them once with the strong stuff but I have also been treating them with a spray bottle of dish washing liquid mixed with water.  The combination will kill bugs on contact but not harm your flowers.  I'd say they are adapting well wouldn't you?

My very inexpensive water feature got a boost this year when I repainted the urn pot blue to match the pool and the containers around it.  Suddenly the cheap PVC pipe even looks better to me.  Not to shabby for a makeshift fountain.

Yes, we have a ways to go outside and sometimes I wonder if it will ever be what I'd like to see.  

But look how far we have come!  Sometimes that all it takes to see the beauty of things.  A step back and fresh perspective and heart of grace.
Thank you Lord!

Have a blessed Sunday friends!

Hugs and Waves!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Pretty Pink Front Door

Good Morning blog friends and fellow dreamers!
I hope you all had a wonderful Mothers day, either celebrating being a Mom or having a Mom.  I was privileged to be able to celebrate both.  It was such a beautiful and wonderfully relaxing day this year. I really hope yours was as well!

Progress has been rolling along very well with new color updates here and there at our house.  While there is still yet more to be done on the front porch, I wanted to share where it is now.  I've decided to link this up with

 I really feel like the front porch has gone from being stuck in a dull cocoon to a beautiful new butterfly now.  Let's take a look back now at how it looked in March when the transformation began.

In these two pictures above you can see the decking stain in it's old lighter beige color, Monterray Tan from Sherwin Williams, and how it was beginning to show some wear  Below is how things looked just after I restained the deck and steps in a darker shade called Tobacco by Sherwin Williams. 

With the decking all finished it was time to accessorize.  I repainted this small table and chairs from the pool area in the backyard in white and decided to bring it to the front porch this year.

  Then I brought out a few houseplants, some pillows for the rocking chairs and rehung the hammock chair.

This small washstand moved from the backporch to the front porch after receiving a fresh new coat of paint.  It went from a pretty light green to this more trendier mint.  But, I didn't stop there.  As you can see below, I decided a few more things needed a fresh burst of color as well this year. 

 Shut the front door right?  Oh no she didn't, Oh YES she did!  You better believe I am loving my new front door color!   Before we talk about the showstopper here though, let's talk about a few other things that got a redo, Okay?

 My metal initial K wreath went from red to bright yellow.  I originally did not intend for it to go on the door but to stay on the siding where the wooden sailboat is now.  I intended for the sailboat to be on the door but because of the way the sailboat is made it doesn't lay flat on the door when on the hook.  Still needing to rework that, so for now, the bright yellow K is popping off this pretty pink door.

The little metal bench beside the front door also went from black to navy and a new colorful welcome mat helped me to start to pull it all together.

Ok, now since you have been so patient, let's talk about my new front door.  Talk about a bold move here.  After I repainted the porch flooring I realized my black door just didn't cut it.  My house siding is an off white cream color and the black and the brown with the cream was super dull to me and not so inviting.  I really wanted something that would pop from underneath the covered porch and would also fit into the change of seasons.  Where I live near the lake there are many of us who have fun and brightly colored doors.  I seriously considered a beautiful turquoise but knew it would not fit into my holiday decorating at Christmas and I wasn't keen on the idea or redoing all my outdoor Christmas decor.  My husband wanted a red door but I new it would really have looked odd with the siding and the porch floor and honestly, I just wasn't into it.

So i searched and searched for a month and finally found the color I wanted. It was called Mom's Lipstick by Olympic paints.  I picked up the swatch from Lowes took it home and mulled over it for a few weeks then went back to get the paint and wouldn't you know it was no longer on display.  Olympic paints had done a total reset on their colors and I didn't have my swatch with me the day I decided to buy the paint.  The poor man who worked the counter wasn't feeling well that day but hung in there looking up the combination and mixing the paint for me.  When he opened the lid I looked in the can and saw a very pepto pink.  I said, umm, that's not quite right, sorry.  But rather then go home and get the swatch and come back I asked him to deepen it up closer to a new swatch I pulled and this is what I ended up with.  

I decided to bring home the paint and see if it was close enough for me with the understanding I could return it if I didn't like it.  I am so glad I did, because while it's not quite an exact match to the swatch it's close enough and honestly I really like it even more.   I am thinking someone else around here really did too because I noticed a neighbors house down the street whose door and her front porch rockers n have also changed into a color very close to this color just recently. 

While I may not have lots of pretty flowers all over the front yard, I can't help but think of Azaleas every time I look at my door. I cannot wait to see how floral wreath are going to look on the door as well.  So pretty! 

Well, I gotta run now, I am repainting my Master bedroom starting today and I'm chomping at the bit.  I wanted to hurry up and get this out there though before too much time goes by again between posts. It's turning out to be a beautiful spring and a very promising summer.

Thanks so much for popping in today, I hope you liked what you saw.
As always I love hearing from you too.  Have great day and great week friends!

Hugs and Waves,

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Looks whats Blooming Now

Good Morning!  The sun is just barely peeking out this morning as I was sitting inside browsing on my  little Chromebook when I saw there was a garden party going on in blogland.  Well, immediately, I knew I had to get my butt, um I mean myself in gear and share a little outdoor love myself.  

 It seems time is flying by so fast lately and I've hardly blogged at all.  I truly intended to do more blogging but time just ticks away so fast.  To be honest, I enjoy sharing my photos and projects but sharing them is not on the top of my list these days.  I know this is probably one of the most discouraging things I could say as a blogger but its true.  I say this because I am more in the phase of just getting things done lately.  I am learning to take things slower and not to pressure myself with adding in so many additional responsibilities.  For me, adding in the time it takes to snap photos and write a post often comes at the expense of putting aside something else.  I am choosing a little less of that right now because when the weather is nice I am all about "living" outside.  I wish I could juggle it better as so many do and share it all but I cannot.  I don't want to stress either so its hit and miss blogging for me right now.  I hope you will understand.

 One of my most favorite visions each morning is this gigantic knock out rose.  I love seeing it outside of my glass kitchen doors and how it cascades beautifully over the railing. 

It just blooms so beautifully!  Unfortunately, it is also so very aggressive and has almost completely taken over one corner of the bedding area by the deck.  I think it's trying to make its way past our rooftops.  LOL!

In that same area we have two very large camellia bushes (trees) and a snowball viburnum, shown here.  We are relocating the snowball viburnum soon to the back yard along the fence.  As you can see here, I also have gardenias in this bedding area as well.  I have them all around my house and they are all budding well but not blooming yet.  The gardenias are one of my summer delights.

This is the area I hope to relocate the viburnum too.  As you can see it is a very shady area under large oaks.  It's problematic because we have red clay and abundance of leaves that fall ever year.  We let it go for awhile now and just this year I cleared away years of dead leaves.  I am taking a risk putting it here but I think it's going to be fine as we do get a some sun here and I have been able to sustain the gardenias and azaleas that I've planted here as well.  I say sustain because that's what they are doing, not quite flourishing though.  What really needs to happen over here is amending the soil more and perhaps adding a better bedding base.  Again, more work and more time!

As you walk towards the gate from the backyard to side yard I have few more budding beauties.  First is a little bed near the back steps and deck that I've shared recently but I wanted you to see the mint that is growing so vigorously despite the ivy it is pushing up out of.  

Smells devine!  It's so funny that the cats rarely ever take notice of these.  

 The jasmine that I planted last year along the fence gate area is starting to take off.  I cannot wait to see this spread more this summer.

And though I hadn't realized it until just this morning, my Oakleaf hydrangea next to the side steps and screen porch are indeed starting to bloom.  Stacy, I have no idea how I could have not noticed one of the largest bloomers in my yard.  LOL!

Okay, now let's move on into our side yard where we have new blooms popping up everywhere. 

I have a row of these bushes that separates our yard from out neighbors drive.  They are tall and beautiful when in bloom and then bushy and green the rest of the summer.  I'm sorry but I cannot seem to ever remember the name of them.

Along this side of the house where the utilities are is where I have also transplanted Iris several years ago.  It was also a great spot for the Christmas amaryllis to end up as well.  They seem to love it here!

This beautiful climbing rose is the only one left from when we bought the house.  We had a whole bed of roses in another area that I struggled with.  So they all came up and this one I relocated to the side of the house.  It was cut back drastically and is now on the mend.  I see I will need to find a trellis for it this year.  So pretty!

The Iris are finally just starting to bloom.  I have them everywhere but they are no where near full bloom yet.   I wanted to share a few with you anyway.  I cannot tell you how much I enjoy these flowers.  I love everything about them.  I love their shapes and variances of colors.  I have many different colors but only the purples have started to bloom.  Each one is so unique!

As you can see, I love enjoying the beauty of outdoors, but I still have so much more to do out here.  We desperately need to mulch all the outer beds and continue removing more leaves.  We have mostly been very focused on getting the pool area ready for the summer recently.  I have so much more I could share around the pool area but I will stop for now and make that another outdoor post for another day.  If you enjoyed this post be sure and check out more similar posts from so many others by clicking this link for;

The Garden Party 
hosted by Stacy at Poofing the Pillows

Thank you all so very much for stopping in today.  If you do I'd love to hear from you if you have the time.  If not, that's okay to because believe me when I say I totally get it!  If a peek in my yard gets you going to your yard and you don't have time to comment...then Yay!!!!  I've done my job here today!!!  

Have a great day dreamers,
until next time,
Hugs and Waves!