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. 






REALITY

This morning as I sat here in my comfortable chair, in my cozy apartment, watching the early sunshine play across the leaves of my plant I thought about reality.


Do you remember the movie Reality Bites? Well sometimes reality does bite, but at other times our reality is pretty okay. Most of the time reality is a mixed bag of good and bad. 

I think what prompted me to think about reality was my early morning walk today. The sun was rising in a clear sky as I set out, the sound of the cicadas was soothing, and there was a sense of well being in the air.


My reality was good. 

When I crossed the street I noticed this plastic bag and pillow, which were apparently left by a homeless person.


It was a stark reminder that not everyone has the same reality that I have. Not everyone has a warm bed in a cozy safe home where they can lay there head at night. I wondered about the reality of this unknown person. 

As I walked on I drank in my surroundings. I paused here and there to take a photograph and I called out a hello to a fellow walker as we maintained a safe distance. 



It was then that I saw her, lying so still on the grass of the church across from my apartment. My reality once again shifted. Was she okay? Was she just sleeping? I wondered about her reality. Is her reality ever good these days? 



The reality is that the homeless population is growing. Their reality is very bleak compared to mine. Their reality bites.

There are things that each of us can do to help the homeless. Go here  to a link for some ideas. 

I hope your reality is a good one today,



HELLO SEPTEMBER

What happened to summer? Seriously, how did it suddenly turn into September? 

Saturday I suddenly realized that I had rolled right through the last week of August without writing a weekly blog post. In my defense.....okay I have no defense. 


It isn't as if summer is actually over. Atlanta will be hot this week and realistically it will be a while before we actually have any fall weather, but for some reason I always feel a bit melancholy when September rolls around. 

Maybe it goes back to my school days. Honestly, I was not a fan of school in those days, although I definitely liked to socialize. I seem to remember that I talked too much in class. Imagine that. 

It wasn't until I went back to college and grad school in my later years that I really hunkered down. At that point I no longer wanted to be a flibbertigibbet. 

This was a very rainy summer in Atlanta and I am hoping that maybe some of that summer rain will turn into sunny fall days. I am definitely a lover of sun.

I am trying to turn over a new leaf, concerning taking better care of myself, and September seems like a good time to start. I am blessed to have a cozy place to live and plenty of food in my pantry and freezer and I am working on turning that food into healthy meals. 

Kicking myself out of my bed early in the morning so that I can get out and walk before the day gets too hot is a new habit. When I get back I brew up some tea or decaf coffee and plan my day while I eat breakfast. 

I am ramping up my Etsy business (a girl has to have income to buy those healthy ingredients), which means photographing and listing. 

Venturing out for new stuff is not on my immediate to do list because I still have plenty of things that I never put in the shop, and I am determined to sell the beautiful things I already have in stock. I know that at some point I will have to start searching for treasures again, but I am hoping the state of Georgia will get a better grip on the pandemic before I sally forth to thrift stores and auctions. 

Finally, I have gotten up off my lazy rear end and started to work on my apartment. Cleaning and rearranging are not my favorite things to do, but I know that I will be happy when things are more organized. 

So bring it on September. I am ready for you. 



FINDING TRANQUILITY

When I was working as a counselor I worked with many people who were living with chaos in their own lives. I also knew that there was chaos out in the world that affected people, but I really never imagined a time like we are living through today. 

Finding tranquility while being surrounded by chaos and uncertainty can make it difficult to find, but we can find peace and tranquility within ourselves. 

Feeling Stressed

Last week I found out there was a case of Covid in my apartment building. There was also a visitor, who had just been in someone's apartment, who got on the elevator with me while not wearing a mask.

Needless to say I immediately felt stress from both things. I reported the person who was not wearing the mask along with a resident, who was in the community computer room and was not wearing a mask, when I went in to use the computer. 

It is now considered a breach of the rental agreement to not have on a mask, and visitors will be made to leave if they have removed their mask.

Take Back Your Power

So how do we find tranquility when we are bombarded with these things? 

First of all I am a big believer in taking back your power. I did that when I reported what was going on. Yes, I was possibly exposed and no I am now staying away from my family temporarily, but I will be much less likely to be exposed, in the future, where I live. 

For me that helps to alleviate the stress I was feeling.

How To Find Tranquility

Each of us find tranquility in ways that work best for us, but I know there are ways that we can each try.

Peaceful surroundings certainly help. I love being by the water, but living in the middle of a large city makes that somewhat difficult. The garden center is somewhere I like to wander, enjoying the plants, and focusing on nature. I did that this week.

Meditation is a known stress reliever. There are many resources to help you with meditation. Google has resources and YouTube has many guided meditations for the beginner and the more experienced meditator.

Healthy eating is important. I know that I have not been eating healthy these last few months and frankly I don't feel as well. That stresses me out and I am going to work on doing better.

Walking is a great stress reliever and is also a good way to get out and enjoy nature. All forms of exercise are good, but as I am not someone who finds tranquility in sweating I will probably stick to walking, especially as the mornings here in Georgia are now cooler. 

It seems hard to find tranquility when there are so many things that we can't control, so focus on the things you can control. 

Ask For Help

Don't be afraid to ask for help if you are feeling overwhelmed. Talk to someone, a family member, your doctor, a clergy person, or a trained professional. We are living through very difficult times right now and we are all feeling the strain. 

It is important to know you are not alone and breathe, just breathe. 


WHAT A COUPLE OF WEEKS

Well, I had planned to post last week. Since I started posting just once a week I have been writing my post on Fridays, but last Friday there were a few things that got in my way.

My brakes had started to squeal a little a few days before and I planned to drop my car off at the mechanic around the corner that morning.

Doctor Visit:

Unfortunately that got sidelined when there was blood in my urine that morning. I called my doctor's office, but she has been cut back to two days a week because of covid and there was no one else in that office that day that could see me. 

The woman I talked to did find me an appointment that afternoon with a doctor in another one of their offices. I definitely needed my car to get there so I figured I would take it in the next day.

About a mile from the doctor's my brakes started making a terrible grinding noise. I managed to get to my appointment, go through the covid screening, and see the doctor, who I named the nutty professor. My urinalysis showed infection, but he wanted to send it off to have it cultured before he gave me an antibiotic. Of course it was the weekend. 

The Car Ordeal:

My next task was to call AAA for a tow truck and text my daughter to see if my son-in-law could come and drive me home. He could. Forty five minutes later the tow truck arrived with a driver who was not wearing a mask and kept getting in my personal space. I finally had to ask him to please keep his distance. What is wrong with people? Covid is raging here in Atlanta. 

Saturday, when I hadn't heard from my mechanic by noon I called to see what was going on. He said he had spoken to someone, a man, who told him to go ahead with the work. WHAT??? There is no man here. I asked him if the man had given him his credit card. 

It seems my right front brake line had broken and the left front brake had been doing all of the work. I had to get two new rotors, new pads, a new brake line, etc. etc. YIKES!!! You can only imagine what that set me back. I offered up my youngest grandchild (Tessa), but apparently her reputation preceded her because they declined. 

The Rest Of The Story:

The nutty professor messaged me to say there was bacteria in my urine, but it was up to me if I wanted an antibiotic or not. Okay, when did I become the doctor? I opted out because I don't like to be on too many antibiotics and I had just had one two months ago for another UTI. 

Later that day I heard from my regular doctor who was not pleased with that and wanted me on an antibiotic. I was feeling a bit cranky by that point and tried digging in my heels. However, my heels were a bit slippery and I finally agreed to the antibiotic Tuesday. By Wednesday, when it was finally called in to the pharmacy I was glad because I think the infection was worse. 

So, the story ends with me spending Wednesday afternoon porch sitting with my two daughters, while the grandchildren were out of town with their other grandparents and I am now being a good patient (sort of) and relaxing at home.

I definitely feel like I deserve a cookie. Don't even ask how much Covid weight I have put on. 


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