Saturday, March 31, 2007

Spring 2007

I see that everyone is way ahead of me in decorating for Easter/spring. I actually had all my decorations in one place this time, so it was easy to pull them out (for a change!). *I am missing, however, some of my dyed eggs. I admit, I haven't looked too hard for them, but it's the colorful polka dot and striped ones that seem to have flown the coop. I did not do any dying this year, not even playful ones. Oh well.

Above is my Muffy and Hoppy collection. I prefer Hoppy, being partial to bunnies. You should see my sister-in-law's collection. I don't even consider mine a collection compared with her sets! I also enjoy collecting these glass bunnies. I have several that I normally fill with my dyed eggs (see above*). Last year, I found these Bethany Lowe paper mache baskets. Aren't they adorable? I may hit the stores after Easter and see if any are on sale.

These are my Gail Pittman bunnies. (She's mostly known for her Southern Living pieces.) There's an outlet in Foley, AL that I visit each time I'm there (about 10 minutes from Fairhope). This is her new bunny for 2007. This is another favorite pieces of hers that I own. I love that Tiffany blue!

Here's a couple of blooms from my lilac bush, another fav. I actually brought two saplings from my mom's huge bushes when we first moved into this house. They are about four feet high now. I think the new watering system will help them out a bit this year. The smell is right up there with the wisteria. I love the smell of lilac so much, I had them in my bridal bouquet, but in white. The white didn't have a speck of a scent! I was disappointed but they were still pretty.

Oh, and plums came in as the fruit of the month from brutha. They're just about gone!

PS The hub is now in Singapore. Tomorrow is his birthday. I hate when he's not in town to celebrate. The last time he was out of town for his birthday, he was in China. I phoned the hotel and wanted to have a bottle of scotch sent to his room (his poison of choice). He was travelling with several comrades so I knew this would make a celebration out of the day. I can't tell you how long that phone call lasted (and how much $$) trying to explain what scotch was and why I wanted to have it sent to his room! I won't do that again! He's on his own, this time. Sorry hub, we'll have to wait until you get home!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Spring has Sprung

I finally did a walk about this morning looking at the bloomings of the place. My tulips are in full force, some already come and gone since I've been away. I think this fall, I need to get my Tennessee Bulb Planters (the hub) to plant some more. He has always been so good at planting bulbs. He just digs, throws 'er in and covers 'er up. Me, I dig precisely what it says on the package, make sure the roots are down, throw in some bulb food and mix in some top soil with the old dirt then cover. His come out nicer. Mine sometimes don't come up at all. Therefore, he has titled his "process" TN Bulb Planters. So, remind me in the fall to get some more bulbs for him to "throw" in the soil. I always have good results from White Flower Farm's plants and bulbs. Their mixes are fabulous.

This is about how I'm feeling, tired and spent. These hedges were planted before I left. That, along with installing a sprinkler system so everything would grow. Do you think they turned the water system on? Nope. Now they're just about dead. I spoke with the owner this morning and his reply "I didn't know you were going away." Well, if he had returned any of my several phone calls, he would have known. Geesh. Now, he's going to have to replace them all, at no expense to me, thank you very much. Every time I use these people, I say it's going to be the last. This is the last, a promise to myself.

And with the withered old dried stuff comes new growth. These are my hydrangea. There's that lovely spring green again. So refreshing. I always look so forward to seeing the new sprouts each spring as these are some of my favorite plants and flowers. They came with the house and they are very happy where they are planted. I didn't have as much luck with mine in Virginia. Maybe that's because I never cut them back in the early winter. Hmmmm. Ya think?

I took mom out to lunch, got her hair washed and cut. She doesn't seem to wash her hair at home any more so I am now taking her to the salon--a little TLC. Who doesn't love having their hair washed and massaged? Then we had lunch and came home where I put her in the shower and got her "shiny as a new penny." (That's was one of her little sayings when I was growing up.) I changed her bed clothes so she is all cleaned up and fresh. She did very well while we were away. The kid said she was so alert when they arrived home on Sunday. As I've said before, I think it does her well when we leave for a bit. She relies on me so much that it makes her "do" for herself every once in a while. Keeps her mind working. She said before we left "I was afraid at first, but I told myself, I can do it" (meaning she can stay by herself). That just tugged at my heart strings. It must be so difficult aging like that. Of course, I had our friend come in every day and give her her medicine and take her to lunch or breakfast. She enjoyed that. A fresh face, rather than the old haggard one (me!). hehe.

I'm feeling so tired and unmotivated today. If I could, I would just crawl back into bed. It's always the day after that just tires me out from a trip. I've sorted through the mail but have yet to do anything with what needs to be addressed. I got back to some of my emails which I had not looked at since leaving but not many. Geesh, can I get any more junk mail--in both forms?

A little package was in with all that junk, thank goodness. I needed a little pick-me-up. Sweet Ms*Robyn sent me a doll, a tag and a lovely inspiring card. She is so sweet. This is just what the doctor ordered. Thank you Robyn. You came through when I needed it! Secretly, I envied all that had received her dolls; and now I have one of my own. I can't tell you how much I love her! Just lovely.

The clouds are rolling in and I have a headache forming to prove that we will probably have thunderstorms this afternoon. I wish we would get the rain we need and hope stays for days. That's about what I need right now. For some reason, the rain can motivate me as much as the sun. Perhaps a little rain dance is in order?

Still have to head to the grocer's to stock up here at home. Guess I better get going before the natives get restless. (The hub is in China, so that helps with dinners. Can you say hot dogs???!)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Foggy Sendoff

I awoke to a thick fog on the river. I couldn't even see the trees across the way; but by the time I dressed and found my camera, it had thinned quite a bit. I almost caught the boat flying by, see the waves?

It took me EIGHT hours to get home! A normal six was in sight until I got about ten miles from home and it started to drizzle. And then, boom, the traffic came to a complete stop the highway. I called the kid to see what was happening and he said there had just been an accident with three tractor trailers. I always say my prayers that I wasn't involved when I come that close to a horrible wreck. I could have been in it, say, if I hadn't stopped for gas, or whatever. It's always scary when that happens. So, this all happened once I had made the decision I could make it home on the last two gallons of gas I had left in the old wagon and just passed the exit with all the gas stations. No where to turn back, I just sat there, crawling the last ten miles, praying I wouldn't run out. I made it though, barely. Phew!

Anyhow, I did a little detour on my last day. I went into town to the bluff above the pier that goes out into Mobile Bay. I had to show you how beautiful it is there. I wish I had more time because I could have just sat there in the park overlooking the bay for hours. It is so peaceful up there. You can see the beach down there which the kid is dying to hit.

Here is a monument in the front of the park. I can't wait to go back and spend some time here.

Look at some of the original bungalows on the bluff. What views they must have. Oooooh. Both looked like they needed a lot of work. Probably got quite a hit from the last hurricane and need a lot of TLC.

Last, but not least, here are some shots of mom's room. It turned out nice, I think. I can't wait to get her down there!! It looks really lemony yellow, but it's a tad more soft than it looks here (I think!). I found this vintage lamp before I left TN. Recognize the rocking chair? This is from the set of four "cottage" chairs I got eons ago! Remember??? hehe.

Off to beddy bye. I didn't sleep well last night. I knew that was coming. I never do when I have a big day ahead of me. I had a dream that the place was haunted--thanks to the kid for putting that in my head!! Geesh. I leave you with visions of mermaids dancing in your head.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Peeping Toad

Ok, I know this isn't a toad, but that title sure did sound good, didn't it? This little fella was on my bedroom window last night when I came up to go to bed. At first I thought it was a moth until I took a little closer look. Can you see the big fat spider he's admiring for dinner? Ew.

This morning I was awoken by Reese, the neighborhood dog. When the kid and I arrived here, we were greeted by Reese, welcoming us to the neighborhood. She made herself at home and watched carefully as we carried the contents of the van in. She is the sweetest dog ever. She's a chocolate lab and I have pictures of her on the hub's laptop which I will share with you later. Anyway, she has discovered how to push open the screen door to the porch and let herself in. This morning, I thought I heard it trying to be opened (I put the latch on at night when I'm alone) but I then quickly dismissed it in my slumber. Then, I heard a dog barking and barking and barking. I looked out and it was Reese! She was looking up at the house telling me to let her in! I cracked up. Of course, I just crawled back into bed.

It's overcast today. This is the first day we haven't had full sunshine. I know, like home, we need the rain here, so I'm hoping it rains today. Not tomorrow, mind you, I have to drive home. That would be a long drive in the rain. This is a shot of our master bedroom nook. (Don't you love the green??? Yuk.) This is where the sun rises each morning and wakes me up. Who said shutters??!!! I want to add French doors across here where it breaks away from the room, and this is where the hub is going to write the next great American novel. (Who could not be inspired by this view?) He'll be the next Tom Clancy. (I say that only because he lives near the Chesapeake Bay). The hub loves all the writers that seem to congregate here in Fairhope. That has always been his dream, to write. I hope Riverside inspires him to do so.

Well, I'm off to do my last day of chores. I have switched out the smoke detectors with new ones, except the one in mom's room which, for some reason, doesn't have a breaker that turns the power off there. I'm in search of that today. I have added door stoppers on all the doors that bang against walls and glass windows, added a toilet paper holder that was just never there (odd?), changed the shower head in our bath--well, I'm giong to anyway, added hooks in the hall closet, etc. These are the little things that seemed to be missing from Riverside. (Except the shower head--the old one just kind of spits out water at an enormously slow rate.) Funny the things we take for granted. Ciao.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Real Thing

Plate by Lisa Oceandreamer

My first morning here alone and it's starting to feel a little like ours. I slept in and got my coffee and sat on the porch. My friend was there to greet me again this morning. I say friend because he is on the other side of the screen, of course. A local waterman came floating by fly fishing, probably for his lunch. Can't get any fresher than that. He must have found a hot spot as he stopped for a bit over at the fork up from us. I'm dying to get out there and explore. For the time being, I am enjoying, so much, just watching from the land.
It's almost as peaceful from here. The kid was the only one able to catch a fish so far from the docks. We have these mullets that jump right out of the water, some quite large. It's fun to hear them at night when you are sitting and all is quiet except for the splashes they make. Of course, I've tried to capture that on my camera, but to no avail. One day, I'm bound to.

I finished mom's room yesterday but need to go back over a few places. I hate that. Once I'm cleaned up, I despise getting everything back out. Grumpy me. The shutter people are coming back today to remeasure for the plantation shutters. Mom's headboards come in today also.

I need to find a little table for her and some douvet covers and her room is boom, done. We have a Westpoint Stevens outlet here, so guess where I will be later? I found some great dust ruffles there for a bargain.

Well, guess it's about that time to get out and about. Always one more item to get. Here's your day's fill of wisteria.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Coming Along

First let me say that it has taken about two hours to get to this point of starting typing on this post. I tell you this, when we return this summer, my imac is coming with me. This laptop is for the birds! Grrrrr.

Okay, with that out of the way. . . sigh. The heathens--errr, teenagers-- left for home yesterday. They were barely out of the driveway before I began "disinfecting" their "areas." Ew. What slobs. I think I will put them all on the screened-in porch next time and let them use the hose for a shower. Since they made it home safely, I can now say I was happy to see them go. Isn't that horrible? My idea of Riverside is NOT cleaning up after the neanderthals. You should have seen the bath. There were hairs and grass and sand everywhere. It is now nice and sparkly! (We even went out and bought new toilet seats--which truly needed to be changed anyway--another ew. Guess that's a given with a used home, eh?)

The kid's room has come along nicely. We found some pieces tucked away in the back of a furniture store and they worked! My favorite parts of the room, though, are these fantastic lamps! They are by an artist in New Orleans named Paul Gruer. You can see more at I'm not going to spend the time to link it, sorry. Aren't they just the best?? Are you digging the hippy-dippy window treatments (beach towels)? Plantation shutters are going in here which will make the room.

The hub and kid are leaving today. I absolutely hate to see them leave. Pout. I am so tempted in letting the kid stay until I return on Wednesday but the hub has already said no. Pout, again. The hub has taken all the garbage out to the curb--which is quite an undertaking. With the beds arriving in boxes, you can imagine all the cardboard we have stacked up, not to mention lots of trash.

As soon as they leave, I am starting on momma's room. I can't wait to see the new paint in there. Fun. Since I have two extra gallons of each color, the kid's and nanna's, I may do the bathrooms too. We'll see how motivated I am.

More deliveries tomorrow. Mom's headboards come in and two bedside tables for our room. I've been using the stools from the kitchen for a table on my side of the bed. So pretty, hehe.

Well, it looks like the hub is in almost ready to help me move the stuff out of mom's room, so I best get going. Here's a new bouquet of fresh wisteria picked yesterday. I have never had one that bloomed, so you can only imagine how much I am enjoying it while it's blooming.

PS Don't know if I am liking this beta version. I still can't get the spell check to work. Please excuse the misspellings and extra letters (due to laptop keyboard). I will fix it later. Bear with me!)

Thursday, March 22, 2007


It's been a busy week. But it's all worth it. Riverside is everything we were looking for and more. Even with all the busy work, it is still relaxing to be here. I admit, I am finding it hard to settle down with all all I want to do with the place. That will come in time. The boys, however, have had no problem at all sliding into the relaxing mode. The hub, unfortunately, had to fly out on Wednesday for biz and will return on Friday. He says he already misses the place.

Yesterday, I found this old wisteria vine blooming on the property. I can't tell you how luscious it smells in the kitchen. This is the view off the back of the house. I am enjoying hearing the birds, even woodpeckers across the river, as they flitter about in the spring air. This morning I noticed a little lizard walking about the outside (thank goodness) of the screen bulging his pink balloon neck. Guess love is in the air. We have had a school of porpoise swim by and were greeted by a pelican resting on an old piling across the way. How exciting.

I've been busy having various tradesmen in and out. Got the cable hooked up the first day we were here--knew that was important to the younger folks. The kid and I ran out before the hub and teenager arrived and purchased a refrigerator, washer and dryer. Even had it delivered within the hour! Aw, small-town service. (I received a call from Sears the next day asking me to read the numbers off the fridge. When I did, the lady said they had made a terrible mistake. I had purchased a $1500 fridge at $700! Well that paid for the washer and dryer! Good deal baby!) I have a guy building us a ramp for the hub's mother (and us!) on the side of the house. The steps here are quite steep and I worry about anyone falling down them, even my mom. He gets started today. I've also had a window lady come in and she will be installing plantation shutters on most of the windows. The master bedroom is awakened with the sunrise every morning. The previous owners, as noted before, left nothing on any of the windows. Literally ripped the treatments and hardware out of the wall. Gee, thanks. She even took the door knocker and didn't replace it with anything! Oh, and the doorbell doesn't work, so I've put a little note out there to knock! hehe. Gee whiz. Another "grrrrrrr," she didn't leave us a phone book either. I've had to literally look things up on the computer--which isn't always great or run around town looking for things. Oh well. Such is life.

I painted the kid's room. The pink didn't look too bad when there was furniture in it, but once we arrived to an empty room, I could tell right away, it wasn't going to work. (Of course, the hub had the before and after shots on his computer--I am working on the communal "dog" of a laptop. It is soooo slow. I have had to upgrade all the programs on it since no one else seems to see a need to do so and move my blog to beta--yes, finally I had no choice but to do so. They had me over a barrel. I hope to get to mom's room tomorrow and get it a lighter shade of yellow. You know how paint just starts to look old? It's at that stage. I would love to have the whole place done, but one step at a time. You can see here, the cantaloupe color is a tad outdated. I can definitely live with it though. smile. I ordered a huge sofa to put in here that has a chaise lounge attached so it will sleep two comfortably. Perhaps when that arrives, our next trip down, it will then be time to paint. We'll see how that goes.

We ran into town yesterday and here is a shot of a local artists' "pelican" that are on each street corner. I have more (again, on the hub's laptop) that I will share later. Such a pretty little town.

Well, I better run. The carpenter is on his way to get started on the ramp. Will keep you posted how that goes.




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