Sunday, July 31, 2022

Something for Sunday

Have you heard about...
...the "Coastal Grandmother" style? Coastal Grandmother is about utilizing what you have available to you in the form of heirlooms and mixing it with elements that encourage relaxation and calm. 

Well, doesn't that sound just dandy! Like every "old" person's house? When you are old, so is your stuff! Our homes and furniture are already broken in, so that's where the relaxation and comfort comes in. Add a scented candle, soft music, and voila'--coastal grandmother!

So, if you are not of the age, but want to get the look, you are supposed to use a neutral color palette with a mix of antique and modern pieces. Add a combination of textures like mohair, linen, boucle, and nubby knits. I think I've accomplished it with several rooms in my house:
Lots of texture on the bed with a few antiques in a neutral color palette.
Linen draperies--light and airy.
Antique mirrors mixed with modern touches. 
The same linen that was used in the drapes was used for the shade. 

There should be loads of detail and--get this--maximalism! What, maximalism? That sounds like a "made up" word if I've ever heard one! Obviously, it's the opposite of minimalism. I guess that makes sense. I've been preaching for years that our kids don't want our stuff. They are the "minimalists." Turns out the "grands" do! They are the "maximalists"! See, I can make up new words too!

"They" (and I don't know who "they" are) are calling it the "grandmillennial" trend. Basically, I guess that translates to the grandmother of a millennial. Call it what you will--I'm just glad to have "grands" that might want my stuff!

Apparently, I've gone from a "baby boomer" to a "grandmillennial." Is there anything left? Maybe a "greatgrandmillennial!" Surely I have to be really old for that!!

Saturday, July 30, 2022

A Few Things

1. Let me start by saying that 1822 Denim are my favorite jeans.
I also love the tags that are on the jeans. They are really thing with heavy string and a metal eyelet. I figured out a way to use them for my scrapbook pages. I used a couple stickers to cover the 18. Depending on the page I'm doing, I'll use my labelmazer to cover the "denim" part. That's what I call "free" scrapbook supplies!

2. I don't understand how you can move an oversize load on a two way street without anyone stopping the traffic. What ended up happening was that we were stopped on our side for soooo long. This is a busy road. No one is going to just stop and pull over so you can get through. 
I was really annoyed. Finally, the "oversize load" truck in front of me pulled in to the lane of oncoming traffic and started moving up past the wide load. It took quite awhile to get through. Poor planning if you ask me. Very poor. Especially on a very busy road like this!

3. Ya' gotta' love it when your son-in-law is a cook and remembers you when he makes something.
He knows how much I love French onion soup. I told him that I felt almost like a traitor by saying that his soup was better than my mom's recipe! It really was. 

4. We have the most interesting insects in our yard.

I don't know anything about insects. I don't even know how to go about looking them up. This one appears to have white pearl-like things on his back. Hey, wait a minute. I'll look it up like that. OMGosh! The first thing that popped up was a page full of gross looking bugs! Then I refined the search by changing "insect" to caterpillar. It popped right up! It's called a "White marked Tussock Moth." The white things are larvae. Ick. I'm not really an insect lover. I can appreciate an unusual looking one, but I don't like 'em!

5. This guy.
He absolutely cannot sit still or relax! He rarely gets in the pool. Mostly, when the family is here, the girls will convince him to get in. Even at that, he found some work to do. Me, I'm happy to just float for hours! Or until I have to get out and make food!

Friday, July 29, 2022

Friday Funnies

Recently Butch was so proud of himself. He had something that he had saved forever that he ended up needing. I said, "I'm so happy you saved that for 30 years so you could save a dollar!"

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Five Things Thursday

1. Poison ivy.
Everyone knows about the 3 leaves, there's a little more to it than that. Virginia creeper starts out looking like poison ivy. To determine if it's poison ivy, pay attention to the leaves. All of the outer leaves are jagged while the inner side of the leaves are smooth. That's a pretty simple way to tell.

2. This was completely new to me. 

At 70, I had no idea about the numbers of the interstates. It all makes so much sense. I wish I'd known that sooner. I don't know why. I just do.

3. This is great advice no matter what your age.
I'd say I average 8 out of 10 just about every day.

4. I wish I had seen this before Butch got rid of all of his suits and 50+ ties! 

I loved his ties and hated seeing them go to Good Will. 

5. I would love to come across something like this at the beach.

Some people are so talented. I am a terrible artist. I can barely draw a stick figure. I'd like to just see this and have someone take a picture of me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

What I Buy Wednesday!

Today, I have several random "What I Buy..." things to share.

When we had our meeting about our upcoming safari and were discussing the clothing we needed, I made the statement that I was going to have the cutest hat. Well, here it is:
They recommended a wide brimmed hat due to the hot sun. I did an Amazon search for "safari hats" and this is what popped up. I love it!
It's supposed to be light so that it's not too hot, yet protects you from the sun. This looks like it will work just fine! The strap is needed so that it doesn't blow off while bouncing through the bush!!

The scrapbook supplies that I ordered finally came in.
I bought fall and Christmas. Just bits and bobs, but I couldn't resist. Not that I needed any of it. But we all know that need has nothing to do with it!
This is a travel set. There are a lot of animals too. Surely I'll use at least a couple things when it's time to scrapbook the safari!

So, I've mentioned that Camp Aunt Barb is this week. I'm doing a "mash-up" sort of activity with Survivor and the Amazing Race for the kids. I knew that I wanted to get bandanas for the "tribes." Butch and I went to the dollar store--that no longer is a dollar and found these:
They were $1.50 a pair. That's okay, still worth 75 cents apiece. Unless.... could get them for FREE! Imagine my surprise when I was getting a tablecloth out to use on the patio. I discovered this:
Are you kidding me? I have at least a dozen bandanas. They have been in this cabinet in the laundry room for--oh, maybe 20 years at least. I remember I did some sort of country, cowboy-themed party. I used the cowboy hats as centerpieces with flowers in them. I just didn't remember that I had them. Oh well, at least the new bandanas were only 3 bucks! I think I'm going to have to host another bbq themed party just to get one more use out of this stuff. I have to show that it was worth saving for 20+ years! After that, I'm letting it go!

And finally, this particular purchase by Mindy has just about become a tradition. Each year she tries to find the biggest, most obnoxious pool float just so her dad has one more annoying thing to contend with! This year, it's a giant pair of sunglasses!
Since Butch is gone, she sent him this picture. 

And now for a little history.
2021 was a giant tank that actually shoots water.
2020 was a humongous guitar!
2019--the float that started it all---a giant pink flamingo!
Butch just shakes his head. These things usually only last a year. They are bulky to store and end up dry rotting. Still, it's fun to see what they (and by they, I think it's just Mindy) will come up with! We always get a kick out of it. I'm sure Butch just thinks they are a huge waste of money!

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Travel Tuesday

Not me---Butch. 
This is the week of his Ecuador trip with his buddies. He goes on a guy's trip about once a year. I'm happy that he has friends to go with him to the places I have no interest in!
He sent me this picture yesterday. They went on two hikes that he said were amazing--at an elevation of 11,000 ft. The night before he said that when he got to his room, there was a fire going in the fireplace and a bedwarmer in the bed. It was kind of chilly, so that made it all cozy. I've never been greeted by a fire while traveling. And you know how much I love a good fire. 

Last night, he lounged in a thermal pool outside his room. He said the hot water runs under the floor so it's warm. That's how they heat the rooms. 

Today he's going to be in and on the Amazon. He's really excited about it. Somehow, going to a place that is full of bugs and creepy crawly things that can kill you doesn't appeal to me. On the other hand, the luxury does!!

He just sent me these pictures from his room:

Now it sort of sounds like I'm missing something. You know I have an extreme case of FOMO!

Meanwhile, I'm gearing up for "Camp Aunt Barb" later this week. 

Monday, July 25, 2022

Mitchell's New House

It's been several months now since Mitchell bought his first house. We've been dying to see it, but he kept saying, "It's under construction!" I get it. When you are excited about your very first house, you want people to see it at its best. His home is older, so he has a lot of plans and ideas. It took him awhile to get the place painted and cleaned to his satisfaction. 

Well, last week he invited us over for happy hour. 
I thought the house was cute as soon as we pulled up. He has a nice yard with mature trees. 

When we stepped inside, we discovered that Mindy and Justin were there. Stephanie and Nicky arrived a few minutes later. We didn't know he was hosting a "full on" family happy hour! He gave us the tour. As you can see, his living room is really nice and big. Don't let the lighting fool you, the walls are not pink! He has some colored lights over the cabinets in the kitchen.
His kitchen has already been remodeled. It's really nice. He has replaced the dishwasher and stove. There isn't anything that needs to be done in here. I didn't take any pictures of the bedrooms. He has 3--one will be a guest room, but it's empty at the moment. He plans to turn one of the bedrooms into his office since he mostly works from home. 
His house has a bit of a "frat boy" vibe going on. But, I have to admit that I was happy to see this Schlitz light hanging on the wall. Butch and I had this light from about 1972. We used it ourselves for many years. When we moved into this house, I didn't want to use it anymore. I didn't think it was "classy" enough. I didn't know we even still had it. I'm thrilled that Mitchell's using it! Apparently, our grandkids might want our stuff! He took quite a few things we had in the attic. I wish he'd taken everything!! He did take all the rugs. He has nice hardwood floors. The bedrooms have old carpeting that needs replacing, but that's not in the budget right now. He did get them cleaned--upon my recommendation. I always had the carpet cleaned whenever we moved into a new house. Even if you can't replace it yet, at least you know it's clean.

The backyard is nice and big. The deck needs some work. Well, actually, it needs to be replaced! Mitchell stepped through it soon after taking possession. Then, a couple weeks ago, his girlfriend, Emily stepped through it up to her thigh! Greg is going to come into town to help him rebuild it. Butch has offered to help too. 

We were sitting there talking for about 20 minutes when I finally said, "Well Mitchell, you invited us for happy hour. Are you going to offer us something to drink?" He said, "Oh yeah, I have wine, whiskey, milk or water." That's quite a selection! Everybody passed on the milk!

We brought some housewarming gifts for him to open. We are so proud of him--a young guy with his first home. He's done so much already. Of course, he's also learning that homeownership isn't always easy! One thing after another! But, I told him that real estate is the best investment so he's already ahead of the game at 26. Way better than throwing money away on rent. 

I can't wait to see what else he does with the place. He's planning to do some landscaping this fall. It will be interesting to see if he takes an interest in gardening. We'll see!

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Something for Sunday

So yesterday, I met my friends for a movie and a late lunch/early dinner. On the way to pick up Connie and Analise, I just had to stop when I saw this roadside stand. A couple of young starving artists were selling their pictures. I pulled over and approached the stand. The little boy said, "Do you have money?"  To which I responded, "Yes, I have a lot of money!"

He asked if I liked the earth. I said "yes." I went to my wallet for money. I handed over $5.00. for this one-of-a kind crayon picture.

After I paid, the little girl asked if I was going to buy one of her pictures. Well of course, I said yes! I couldn't NOT buy her picture.
I'm not sure how I get myself into these predicaments. I spent 10 bucks on two little starving artists' pictures. I asked them to sign their work.
Look really close--can you see the little boy's signature?
His name is "Hawk!" OMGosh! Considering my obsession with hawks after yesterday's post, it seemed pretty fortuitous to me! What are the odds?
I'm not quite sure what the little girl's name was. Kind of hard to tell by her signature!

I wanted to take a picture of those cute little artists but decided that the parents might think it was a little creepy. I had a fun conversation with those littles for a few minutes. Their math skills weren't all that great, but then, they were only about 4 years old. The mom thanked me for supporting their "small business." Indeed, I did! 

I love little entrepreneurs! Especially ones who don't mind standing out on a hot, oppressively humid 99-degree day!

Saturday, July 23, 2022

More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About...


A couple of months ago while having happy hour in the sunroom, a hawk flew by. We all jumped up to get a better look. Well, ever since then, he's been hanging around. We were certain that he was living in the trees in our side yard. 

You know what that means? I've become obsessed. And what do I do when I become obsessed? I search the internet and read everything I can find about hawks!

These pictures are not very good since I had to "sneak" them from inside the house while not scaring it away.

Okay, so a hawk may not seem all that interesting. But, a couple things happened recently to cause my obsession.

1. Two days in a row earlier this week, while I was on the treadmill--around 6 a.m. I noticed the hawk perched on the top of the roof next door staring at me. The first day I thought it was kind of cool. The second day, I thought, "OMGosh! Is this hawk stalking me?" I haven't had a chance to see if he comes back at the same time each day, since I haven't been on the treadmill at that time. There's that.

2. On Thursday night, I saw two hawks on the pool deck. I was so surprised as I've seen the one hawk dozens of times. They were so close, but if I moved to try to get my phone for a picture, I knew they'd fly off. So I watched them for a while. And when I moved, they flew off. One of them had what I think was a bird in its talons. This sighting did solve a little mystery for me. I thought sometimes the hawk looked different. I didn't realize I was seeing two of them! Obviously, males and females look very different. The female is much larger and appeared to have longer tail feathers. 

3. Then last night, I saw 3 hawks---yes, three! One was smaller, so I figured it was the baby. I moved into the sunroom to get a better look and to figure out what they were doing. It looked to me like they were stalking a squirrel. One was on the top of the gate near where the squirrel was. The smaller one was on a tree branch much higher up and the other was on a lower tree branch on the left side--sort of surrounding the squirrel. Now I might have said the "poor" squirrel, but there's no such thing. The squirrels (and chipmunks) have been annoying us for years! They do so much damage--you might recall this post from all the way back in 2011! Also, they are a nuisance with the bird feeders and tearing up my flower pots. Anyway, we hate the squirrels. That's when it dawned on me. I haven't been noticing so many squirrels lately. Hmmm. I wonder. 

So on to my research. I found out that hawks:
A. Mate for life. They even mourn their spouse (if that's what they are called in the animal kingdom) before finding another mate. 

B. Even though they mate for life, the male and female each have their own nest except for their mating period. Now that sounds like a pretty good idea! I think a whole lot of marriages would survive if the spouses each had their own place!

C. They have a keen paternal and maternal instinct. Both are involved in the raising of the young.

D. They tend to stay in the same area. If they migrate, they will often come back to the same nest(s) year after year.

E. They are attracted to large, dense trees that provide adequate protection and a ready food source. And here, I lamented the fact that the neighbor cut down so many huge trees behind us. Apparently, there are still enough big trees to continue attracting the wildlife in our backyard.

F. They stay and hunt in their nesting area. As long as the hunting is good, they will stay for life. They are territorial birds. 

G. They hunt from the air and on the ground. They can sit for long periods of time --up to six hours--completely still--either stalking their prey or waiting for something to come along. 

H. They are opportunistic hunters. With their keen eyesight (I guess that's where the term "hawk eye" comes from) these raptors can swoop down at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour, talons extended and grab unsuspecting prey while still moving at 30 miles per hour. 

I. They can soar in the air for hours at a time without resting. They exert very little energy while doing it.

J. They eat small rodents like squirrels, mice, rats, and birds. That lead to a discussion while floating in the pool with my friends. So, I did a little more research. They cannot carry off your pets. But, they can kill them with their sharp talons and eat them on the spot! That got me to thinking. I began to wonder if they eat fish. Of course, they do!! Although they do not go underwater to get them, they can see them from such a distance that they do the "swoop down thing" and grab them with their talons. 

We were pretty sure that another heron had gotten our goldfish. But armed with my new knowledge--and the fact that the fish are acting very weird--I'm certain it's the hawks. 

The fish have always been the "friendly" sort. They always come up to say "hi" whenever you approach the pond. Actually, they are expecting to be fed. Any visiting kids always like to feed the fish. Well, this year, the fish are NOT coming to the top to be fed. They are skittish, which is so unlike them. I'm pretty sure the hawks have terrorized them. 

Now we have a dilemma. Do we sacrifice those poor little fishies for the love of the hawks? Sort of like when we had our outside cats. Someone said, "Oh, so you have a bird feeder to attract birds so your cats can kill them?" No, that wasn't it at all. It's called "the survival of the fittest." My dad always said that cats would only be able to get the old or sick animals. I guess that makes it seem better. But cute little defenseless fish...I don't know about that. It makes me feel kind of bad. But on the other hand, the fish seemed to have learned what they need to do to survive. As for the squirrels, the hawks can have as many as they want! 

And we've been taught that man is the biggest predator! 

PS I loved making this report. It reminds me of my school days. I always said that I would rather write 10 reports than take one test! 

After I wrote this post, I was able to get this picture. 

Can you see them? All three. 
None of these look like the smaller one I saw last night. I don't really know what we've got going on here. I'm obsessed, I tell you! 

I have been sitting in the sunroom for over an hour with the binoculars. I've gotten a lot of pictures, but you just can't tell how huge they are from the pictures. 
Taking a bath together. How romantic is that?
I'm in awe!