THANKFUL BUT CONTEMPLATIVE

So many conflicting emotions running through my brain these days, and I feel quite certain that I am not the only one. 

I feel adrift and stuck between being thankful for all the wonderful things that I have, but at the same time feeling restless and stuck in a rut.

It's kind of like what is happening in nature outside my apartment. On one hand there are still summer flowers holding on for dear life,

but on the other hand fall is taking over, and winter is just around the corner. 


I know just how Mother Nature feels. Like everyone else in this country I am sick of the pandemic and the restrictions that we have to live with. I want to open my window and scream out into the world, "go away you evil monster", but the pandemic doesn't care how I feel or what I scream out.


I spent Thanksgiving day alone this year. I watched the parade on television, which by the way I thought was one of the best parades ever, and when Santa came on I clapped, cheered, and danced along with him alone in my apartment because he brought about a sense of normalcy. 

I know that we will return to a more normal world at some point, although it may not be exactly as it was before. We will get vaccines and although things will be difficult for millions of people, I know that if I do my part by wearing a mask and social distancing, I am doing what I can to help stop the spread until that happens.

In the meantime I am thankful for the things that I have. I saw my family briefly on Wednesday. I took them turkey and in return they gave me delicious side dishes. I think I got the best deal.


My apartment is decorated for Christmas and is feeling cozy. It makes me happy.

Now, about that rut. Only I can change it. I need to get outside and walk more, take on some of the projects in my apartment that I want to do, and breathe in life as life is now. 

Sometimes we need to scream, and that is okay. Other times we need to just contemplate on our lives, and that is okay too. it's important that we take care of ourselves.

How are you feeling these days?


FALL VIBES AND THANKSGIVING PLANS

While many of you are past fall and into more wintery weather, here in Atlanta we are in full on fall.

Autumn is one of the prettiest times here and seems to coincide quite nicely with Thanksgiving.


The leaves are changing and the temperatures are perfect. Cool overnights turn into the sixties during the day and even a seventy degree day today.

This weather makes me happy.

Thanksgiving day will definitely be different this year. I will not be gathering together with my family. Although it makes me feel sad, I know that we have to make sacrifices in order to save lives. 

I will be eating well though. I will be cooking a turkey to share with my two daughters, and my daughter Cary and her husband will be sharing their food with Katy and me. 

Katy and I will each be eating in our own homes, and although we won't all be sitting around the same table the love of shared food will be with us. 

I feel so blessed to be near enough to my family to be able to share in this way, but if I was far away I would follow the CDC guidelines to not travel. I know that this would be best for me.

We are all doing the best we can to stay safe and comfortable. 

I am going to be thinking about what I am thankful for this year. I am thankful for a safe and cozy apartment, for a family that is close enough that we can have outdoor visits, and that my immediate family has been safe from covid.

What are you thankful for?

 



THE THANKSGIVING POLICE

This week I ran up against the Thanksgiving police aka Tessa.

When I mentioned last weekend that I was going to decorate  for Christmas this week I got the evil eye. Tessa doesn't believe in decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving. Apparently it is disrespectful of Thanksgiving.

fall

Soon I found myself defending my decision, but then I thought why am I arguing with an eight year old about my apartment. Although Tessa definitely wields some major power I won out. (Probably because I was alone in my apartment)

Wednesday I pulled out all of my Christmas decorations and went to work. How is it that I still have so many. 

I got my tree up and decorated and sat down on my chair to admire it. That's when it happened, the fully decorated tree fell over. I sat staring at it in stunned silence and the first thing that I thought of was that maybe Tessa, aka the Thanksgiving police, was right. Thanksgiving was letting me know that I shouldn't be skipping over it. 

After realizing how silly that was I got up, and after tying that tree to the table, I started over. Needless to say I was exhausted, but a nice cup of Christmas Thanksgiving eggnog, while sitting in my chair and admiring my handiwork, made me feel much better.

camellias blooming outside my building

I'm not going to share the tree yet. After all I don't want the Thanksgiving police to show up at my door with a warrant for my arrest. 

DAILY LIFE DURING A PANDEMIC

This is a post that I planned and started a week ago, but like the best laid plans, things went awry. Hurricane Zeta had other plans for me and on that Thursday morning a large tree blew down and fell across my road snapping a utility pole and taking down wires. 


For the next three days I had no power. It was not fun and I ended up losing all of the food I had in my refrigerator and freezer. My insurance company informed me I wasn't covered because the outage affect more than my property. Of course I had done a large shopping the day before. 

So now on with the original post

I was watching an infectious disease specialist a couple of days ago talking about what to expect from our daily lives, and I realized that I have settled into the new normal.

bouquet


Is it a normal that I love? No, but it is our reality and I am determined to make the best of it, because as he said this is not going to end anytime soon. 

I feel blessed in so many ways. I don't live in a big house, but I love my cozy little apartment, and hey, it is a lot less to keep clean.

keys

It is a place where I am safe and secure, and although I do get lonely at times I can wander downstairs and there is always someone there to talk to. 

I am also blessed to live so close to my family. Every week I spend one afternoon visiting them, and I know that many of you don't have that. I do miss hugging my daughters, but one of them is high risk and the other one is extremely medically fragile. 

blotter

I get time with my grandchildren. It is time that I didn't have before I moved here, and although we have to visit outside I am so grateful for our bonding moments. 

Running into the grocery two or three times a week is no longer an option, but I make my one weekly trip to the grocery count. Fortunately I live where masks are mandated to enter the store and shoppers are very respectful about keeping their distance. 

tea towel

Last Saturday was Sidney's 15th birthday. I know that it was probably not the birthday that she wished for, but we had a wonderful family day outside. We staggered family members and Sid's best friend who lives around the corner from her came over. 


She is such an amazing girl, and I adore her.

So life goes on and we have to try and make the best of it.



IT'S A FOWL LIFE WITH TESSA AND TRIXIE

 If you have been reading my posts for awhile you are probably familiar with Tessa, my eight year old granddaughter, and Trixie, her pet chicken.

Back in the spring Trixie became broody. A fox had gotten her sisters and all the ducks, but after flying over the fence and hiding out in a neighbors yard Trixie returned home, where she became Trixie the lonely chicken. You can read about that here


Tessa decided that Trixie needed some babies to take care of so my daughter and son-in-law bought her some fertilized eggs to hatch. You can read the updates here, where she settles into being a broody hen, and here where more baby chicks were purchased to give some company to the one demented baby who was kicked out of the nest by Trixie. 

To make a long story short the babies grew and grew and along with the purchase of four new baby ducks, Trixie was definitely not lonely anymore. 

What did happen was that like many mothers, Trixie was no longer feeling the love for those grown up and annoying interlopers. 

She just wanted them to leave her alone.

ducks

The ducks especially seemed to love to annoy her. They would chase after her and when she got really mad at them one of the ducks would throw back her head and start laughing. Ducks can be pretty entertaining, although I don't think Trixie sees it that way. 

Two of the sweet little chicks grew up to be roosters. Tessa's favorite is Lemony Snicket, a real beauty. The other rooster has become overly protective of Trixie and comes after Tessa when she tries to get the eggs.

rooster

Tessa, the intrepid rooster hunter soon put a stop to that with her red umbrella. That rooster goes flying across the yard when Tessa wooshes that umbrella open at her.

tessa

That Rooster is no match for Tessa.

A Footnote.

I originally planned to post this on Saturday, but time got away from me and I wanted to spend the afternoon with my family. Tessa and I spent some wonderful time in the backyard tracking dinosaurs, and while out there I noticed that the chickens and ducks were congregating in and around the chicken coop. Trixie usually comes out to talk to me, but stayed inside the coop.  

Winky, their chorkie, came out on the back deck and started barking. I asked Tessa if she could see what she was barking at, but she brushed it off and said it was probably a squirrel. I wandered over to the area that Winky was looking at, under the pretense of looking for escaped dinosaurs, but didn't see anything.

A couple of hours after I left Cary texted me to say that something, either a fox or coyote, had gotten one of the black hens and Lemony Snicket. It is pretty bold for one of them to come into the yard in the daytime.


RIP Lemon

Farm life, even in the middle of a city, is tough, but Tessa is tougher. She usually takes these things in stride. It is scary that that animal was lurking there while we were playing, and I hate that Tessa might not feel completely safe in her own backyard. 

Cary said they may have to consider getting another large dog to protect Tessa, the chickens, ducks, and Trixie, the pet chicken. I'm all for that idea. 


DECORATING WITH VINTAGE AND ANTIQUE CHINA

I have always had a love for beautiful china.  I think it started when I was a child and visited my grandparents.

I slept in my Great Aunt Rose's old room and there was a china cabinet in her sitting room full of china and glassware. I eventually got that china cabinet, and after having it for 40 years, I passed it on to my oldest daughter, Cary.

Aunt Rose loved hand painted pieces featuring roses, and although I think those pieces are beautiful I have always had a love for blue and white transferware.

If I see a blue transferware piece for a good price, I cant resist buying it, and if I can't find a place for it in my own home I put it in my shop to sell.

turkey plate

 This is a turkey plate I found a few years ago, which I take out this time of year as part of my fall decor. I actually had nine of these, but sold the other eight as I just didn't have anywhere to put them. 


Yes, I know I have shown you my hanging plate rack before, but it makes me so happy to look across my room and see it that I have to keep sharing it. 

It is such a great place for my blue and white pieces.

pine cupboard

My pine cupboard holds my large set of Royal Doulton china, which was my mom's, along with another favorite of mine white ironstone. 

There are so many ways to use china in your home decor. I wish I had more space to display mine, but lack of space means I have to let a lot of it go, and that is where my Etsy shop comes in. 

brown transferware

Saturday is usually Tessa day, but as it is supposed to rain all day and we have to visit outside I am waiting to make a decision on visiting. 








EASING INTO FALL AND COVID

I have really enjoyed seeing all of the beautiful photos of fall foliage on Instagram recently. So many places are at their peak of color. 

Here in Atlanta I have seen very little evidence of fall, although our temperatures have lowered and I imagine that the cooler nighttime temps will bring on changes. 

This is the only tree I was able to find this week that was in full on fall dress.


I'm looking forward to fall leaves. 

In the meantime my zinnias are still producing and I was able to cut a bouquet for my apartment Thursday. It is nice to still have summer inside.


On the other side of my living room I have a fall vignette on my coffee table. It's a bit of both seasons.


I am really concerned for the health of people of this country. Whether people want to admit it or not, Covid is real and it doesn't discriminate.

Too many people are not following the simple guidelines of washing your hands often, social distancing, wearing a mask, covering coughs and sneezes, and disinfecting surfaces.


No, these things don't provide 100% protection, but other than living in a bubble they provide the best protection we have. 

Also, I want to make one more suggestion. Get your flu shot. I got mine ten days ago. 

I am fortunate that I haven't lost anyone to Covid and I hope it will stay that way because I love you all dear readers.

Have a safe and happy weekend.









DECORATING WITH HOUSEPLANTS

When the exterminator came into my apartment this week he asked if I had any pets. I responded with nope, nothing that bites, barks, claws, or scratches, but I do have lots of houseplants. I guess my plants have taken the place of the other pets I used to have. 

A couple of days ago I went to visit the garden center, which I call my happy place because I feel so serene when I visit there. I went with a specific purchase in mind, a hanging spider plant. Unfortunately they seemed to have everything except that, but I of course couldn't leave empty handed. 

This sparked my interest because of its large two toned leaves and it just seemed to hop into my cart along with some more potting soil. 


It is an Aglaonema Silver Bay or commonly known as a Chinese Evergreen. It is a plant I didn't already have so I was happy to find it. Finding plants that like low to medium light can be difficult. 

My living room/dining room and my bedroom are quickly filling up with plants.

This three tier wicker stand has been in my bedroom since I moved, but I didn't get it for that purpose and I wasn't happy with it there. It does however make a perfect stand for plants in front of my living room window, and when sitting in my chair it helps to block the view of the parking lot next door. 



By the way the stand was free. I picked it by the dumpster at an old apartment I lived in. A home stager left it there along with some other brand new items. 

I love grouping plants in my apartment and plants love to be grouped. I think it is important to use different types of plants and containers together.


Don't forget that plants can bring your eye upwards and the tops of tall pieces of furniture are great places to nestle a plant. 


Is it possible to have too many houseplants? If so I haven't reached my limit yet. I'm sure I will probably switch out the vintage linens in that wicker stand for more plants at some point.

These are just some of my living area plants and there are of course more plants in my bedroom, but I will save those for another day.







PARTIAL BEDROOM REVEAL

In my last post I showed you some small changes in my dining area. If you missed that you can read it here and today I wanted to share some of my bedroom.

Fall is in the air, and although it will be awhile before we see any really cool weather in Georgia, I can feel the changes coming. This is always the time of year that I feel the urge to make my home cozy and comfortable, and with Covid still keeping me primarily at home I am feeling it even more this year. 

I haven't been completely satisfied with my bedroom for awhile, but haven't been sure exactly what I wanted to change. 

I bought this dressing table and mirror at an auction several years ago. 

It was a great deal for $45. Especially as it came with a wood and rattan stool that I later sold for $45. Hmmm, that made it free. 

I have never really loved the beige color and was thinking about repainting it, but after adding the blue chair, a $1 yard sale buy, and the blue hat I have decided to leave it as is for now. 

I don't buy many things new, and my bedroom is a good example of that. 


I did get the two brass candlestick lamps new about forty five years ago, but I owned a clothing boutique and traded for them. 

Some of my other purchases for this room include the iron bed for $25. (I talked the seller down from $50.) I found the oil painting, which is an early original reproduction of the painting Whistling Boy by Frank Duveneck at an estate sale and paid $10 for it. (yes, that was a steal) The butterfly prints were my mom's and the antique rug was sitting under some things at a garage sale. I moved the stuff off the rug, rolled it up, and walked out with it for $5.

 


I bought the hat rack new from Home Goods last year. I originally intended to use it in my front hall, but right after I painted it I found an iron one while thrifting that I liked better in there. The sweet picnic basket is holding more of my vintage jewelry and was a great buy for $2. 

There are other things to be done in this room, but I am already feeling cozy in here.

Living in a small apartment doesn't have to be generic, and decorating with beautiful things doesn't have to be super expensive. 

It takes some searching to find great deals, but for me that is half the fun.




SMALL DINING ROOM CHANGES

 My dining area is pretty small, but in keeping with my English cottage theme I have managed to decorate it so that it is cozy and inviting. 

Every once in a while I make a few small changes here and there when I am feeling a bit restless and in need of some decorating therapy. 

This is the most recent photo of my dining table.

 


That pretty chinoiserie bowl on the table has been sold on Etsy and will be sent off to its new owner today. That is what living with vintage and being a vintage dealer means. I often incorporate my finds into my home and then pass them on to be enjoyed by a new owner. 

Of course there are many things that I will not be parting with anytime soon. 

I love the look of that whisk broom and thought about buying some more to add to it, but when I was cleaning out drawers last week I found these two old paint brushes I had forgotten about. 


I added some jute to hang them and decided not only were they perfect, but I saved myself some money. 

A couple of weeks ago I added this large vintage cedar tray to the table. It was inside my cedar chest (it was original to the chest) where it was hidden away since I purchased it 40 years ago. It is much too pretty to not be seen.


I loved having my pretty garden flowers there in an old enamel pitcher, but the flowers in the garden are now fading. 

On a side note, I didn't realize that old pitcher had a small leak and the water oxidized the metal in one of the candle holders leaving a terrible black ring on the tray. Yikes!! I started to panic, but a paste made from Barkeepers Friend got it right out. That stuff is amazing. 

I replaced the pitcher with this beautiful large pottery bowl I purchased about 15 years ago. It is one of the few decor pieces in my home that is actually not vintage, but I fell in love with it when I saw it.


This is the finished look.


Hope everyone has a great weekend. I'll be visiting family this afternoon. 






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