Monday, June 25, 2018

A View From the Garden

Last week was Pollinator Week here in the U.S. when we celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what we can do to protect them.  Our Master Gardener group has planted numerous native gardens that help the pollinators in our area feel right at home.

On my daily walk to the mailbox Saturday, I enjoyed the 'company' of several of my winged neighbors.  I had to share - sorry about the quality but I just had my cell phone.

 Painted Lady on Wild Aster
Bumble Bee on Coneflower

 Monarch on Coneflower
What are you seeing on your daily walk?

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Man Cave

There, I said it...Man Cave.  When we were planning the house, remember I wanted to call it 'The Lodge,' J's Space, etc. etc.   Anything but CAVE, but there you have it.  Everyone else calls it that so...

I really have to admit that when everyone is there, watching television, it is pretty dark and cave-like and I think that's the way they like it!

I'm going to show you start to finish how we created this space for J and anyone and everyone who wants to watch Cardinal baseball or Blues hockey.

We framed out a portion of the basement in the new house, that opened from the stairs. 
There is an extended section for a bar area.
Chipboard (that's what we call it) plywood was added to the back wall studs so barn wood could be secured.  Before adding those planks, we stapled tar paper to keep any gaps that peeked through dark.
(This photo was taken just after J jumped off the front porch and sprained his ankle.  Very few things slow him down!)
Here is the (almost) finished product!  The barn wood on the back wall and bar area are actually from an old farrowing house J tore down on the farm.  His grandfather and uncle raised hogs and J remembers the old building well.  He had the wood for years and wanted to use it.  I kept telling him to wait for the new house and it makes a wonderful statement for his 'lodge' area, don't you think?
The color variation was natural and happened as the once-painted barn weathered.  
Our carpenter guys had fun creating the pattern!  It looks like it has movement to it.
The flooring is a luxury vinyl TruPlank from Mannington called Barnbrook Oak Timber.  The walls are Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray.
Here is how the room looked the first Christmas we moved in.  
We used our old furniture until we knew more what we wanted to do with the space.
This Christmas, the kids and I added a gallery wall for J including some of his golfing, hunting and fishing pictures.  He really like them!  
Over the year, J also refurbished the bar he and Favorite Son made several years ago.  He added more barn wood to the front but kept the cherry top.  Two European deer mounts flank the television and he's filled the display cubby he made for me years ago in the old house.  Click HERE to see how it was styled when it was mine.   
And we had to find a spot for J's foosball table.  This was a bit challenging but I think we finally did it!
The hooser cabinet was J's grandparents (who lived on this farm), as is the wooden storage box.  Grandpa made it and is a treasured heirloom.
J really likes how the deer mounts look on the barn wood.
After lots of shopping and measuring, we finally decided on a leather set.  The sofa is long enough for J (or anyone) to lay down on.  It also seats three comfortable.  The loveseat is roomy enough for two and both pieces recline.  The coffee table is re-purposed from our old home.  
The rug is from Target.
The furniture we had before was too crowded with the foosball table.  
The new choices work so much better!

You can get a peek in one of two bedrooms downstairs.  
I just realized the cords are sticking out in this picture!  We've now hidden them better.  We also moved the wooden box between the sofa and loveseat.

We are so happy how J's lodge/man cave has turned out!  We are really enjoying this space!!

Thanks for visiting.  Wishing all the Dads out there a very 
Happy Father's Day!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Gardens Are Starting To Bloom!

We've been in our new home for almost two years now and I've been busy working on gardens around the property.  Our home sits on the edge of 90 acres of farm ground.  We've had more than our fair share of weeds and wild things but I think we are starting to see some fruits of our labor. 

The first garden I put in was what I call my "Secret Garden" as it sits near the walkout door of our basement.  Few people see it, so that's why it's a "Secret."  This is the only bed that has a lot of shade so I chose to put my hostas and heurchera here.
There are also ferns, quince, lilies and iris.
Here was the quince about a month ago -
and today.  The blooms have fallen but it's leafed out nicely.  
Last year, I planted two and was worried they might not live. 
They look like they're very happy now! 

My mother had lots of irises and she shared some with me years ago. 
She really liked the bronze color.  
They aren't my favorite but they remind me of her. I kept them in a holding bed while we moved and my, how they have multiplied!  I put them in last spring and just a few bloomed.  This year there are LOTS of them!
I love these 'old fashioned' iris, as Mom called them. 
They have done well, too.
There are also white bearded iris.
Early last fall a flower bed was added in front of our house, across the circle drive.  I put in foundation plants like hydrangea, crab apple, lilac, nine bark and peony.  
Some of the 'end of the season' perennials' made it through the winter 
but I've been busy added a lot more - 
coneflowers, rudbeckia, stone crop, etc.  

The peonies were beautiful this year!
I'll be on the look out for a few different colors to add to my garden.

The last bed I'll share today is the perennial in the front.  It gets lots of sun and we've had plenty of rain lately so things have grown well. 
The pineapple sage, cat mint, scabiosa, and dianthus are blooming now.  Hopefully the garden phlox will start soon. 
If you look closely, you'll see a flying bumble bee.  They like these blooms and buzz around this bed all day long.  Here's another picture of one.
**NOTE: The fence in front is because of our 'puppy' Ranger.  
You may remember I shared  news of him last summer.  
Well, he's about grown up but still gets into mischief sometimes!  
Isn't he a big boy now?

It's so fun to read everyone's blogs and see what's outside at your homes!  Here's wishing you a beautiful week!  

Thanks for stopping by ~ Zenda

Sharing this week at Tuesdays At Our Home party

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Celebrating Favorite Tablescapes

Susan, from the blog Between Naps on the Porch, is celebrating her 500th TABLESCAPE THURSDAY this week and she has asked everyone to share their favorite tablescapes from past years.  It seems like forever since I wrote a post, much less put together a tablescape.  This has given me an excuse to revisit some of my old posts and I hope you enjoy these memories as much as I did!  

As I neared retirement five years ago, I happened upon some blogs that dabbled in a new-to-me hobby, tablescaping.  I was so intrigued by this that I wanted to join in.  Both my mother and mother-in-law loved dishes so I had some to start with.  My first table was this one in July of 2013 - "Dining on the Porch."
I used what I had on hand from family members and antique auctions.  What fun to put together 'pretend table settings!'
 Our old house had lovely hydrangea bushes that helped me create these beautiful arrangements.  I've planted new ones at this home.

One of the most popular posts was this one from January 2014 entitled 'Rustic and Refined.'  The bowls, mugs and place mats were from William Sonoma.  The woodland friends were collected from here and there.  This has always been one of my favorites.  The setting was created in front of the fireplace in our former home.
 These are my favorite mugs!  One has a cardinal and the other one a deer.

The next setting showcased an unusual (to me) tea set. I found it at a local resale shop then added the teapot from another shop.  

One of the most fun tables was this one from June, 2014.  I had wanted to do a purple table but the week turned out cloudy with rain off and on.  Lucky, there was a break one day and I hurriedly put this table together - just before another downpour.  Oh, the lengths we Tablescapers go to 
to get those posts in!

This simple setting used woodland bird plates I love.  Husband, J, is an outdoorsman and I bought these at a resale shop for him but I have them on my hutch right now. 

We've all done those over-the-top holiday tables.  Here are a few of mine.

Even a glitzy Halloween table!
 I've always loved silver and white together!

One of my favorite sets of dishes in my Moderntone, gifted to me by my mother-in-law.  As a child, my own mother used pink Moderntone as our everyday dishes.  She had traded the rest of the colors in the set to her sisters so she only had the pink plates left.  She had no other pieces in the set except the pink salt and pepper shakers.  When I first started dating J, I went in their basement one day and saw the COMPLETE set of these dishes from my childhood!  I was totally amazed there were other colors and lots of other pieces!  My mother-in-law also collected depression glass and gifted those to her daughter.  But she let ME have her Moderntone collection!!  Oh, my, how I love them!!!  I have some of them on display in the cabinets in our new kitchen.

My book club read the Orphan Train in May of 2015 so I used these dishes (ALL OF THEM!) with a vintage tablecloth (another love of mine!) and served Dorothy's Current Cake and popcorn!

And, as it is our 30th wedding anniversary this year, I'll share our wedding dishes.  Kathleen, of Cuisine Kathleen, encouraged everyone to share their wedding china in May of 2014.
 We live in the country so my "wedding china" was Pfaltzgraff dishes...much more practical...but we chose this set together and we both still love it after all of these years!

What fun it's been to look over these tables. I think it's inspired me to begin again. Thank you, Susan for this great suggestion and Happy 500th Tablescape Thursday!  Here's to many more!!

Join in the fun and see other's posts for the party here:  10 Years and 500 Tablescape Thursdays

As always, I love reading your comments.  Wishing you a happy day!