IT'S SPRING IN ATLANTA

I have been spoiled by the weather this last week. The days have been filled with sunlight and afternoon temperatures in the seventies and I have tried to take advantage of every minute. 

I spent one afternoon visiting with family and of course that meant playing with Tessa. She loves spring as much as I do and she couldn't wait for me to see that the daffodils in her backyard were blooming. 

I did the appropriate oohing and aahing and pulled out my phone so we would have a record of the momentous occasion. 

When that was over she was anxious to get the playing underway. Hula hoops were pulled out first. Yes, I humiliated myself by trying to hula hoop. I think I was able to keep it going for two seconds Remember when you could keep it going for ever. That is definitely a distant memory. I think my side may have a permanent stitch.

We also played with paddles and a tennis ball. When I was finally able to hit it back Tessa threw her arms up in the air and said, "I'm so proud of you, Nana. I'm just so proud." (Apparently in her eyes I am ready for the nursing home) I was pretty proud that I managed to not fall down while trying to get to the ball.

Now that the weather is warmer I have started walking again. and I am trying to find new walking trails as I got sick of my neighborhood pretty fast. 

I found a park called Briarlake Forest Park just down the road from me. Atlanta seems to have a lot of these parks throughout the area. It was a great park to walk in. There were short hiking trails and there were just enough people to make me feel comfortable being by myself.

I love that they have a Friends of the Park group that meets once a month to maintain the park. 

There is even an old home site sitting on the 21 acres of urban forest.

I will definitely be walking here more, and I am looking forward to the trees budding out this next month. 

Welcome back, spring. 




LIFE WITH HOUSEPLANTS

There is no doubt that I love my houseplants Some people have dogs, some have cats, I have houseplants. 

Don't get me wrong. I love pets, but I live in a small third floor apartment and don't feel it is practical right now. I would love to have a small dog, but don't feel that I can afford one and well I am terribly allergic to cats. 

So, I lavish my attention on my houseplants. I have found that no matter how much you neglect some houseplants they will continue to thrive, while for other houseplants, no matter how much love you give them they will wither and die. 


I guess that is the way it is with most things in life. People are like that. Some love to be nurtured and some just want to be left alone.

Winter is a hard season for houseplants, and as I sit here today I can almost hear them whispering to each other that surely is is almost spring, and that they are wishing for a new growing season to begin. I know how they feel, although I certainly don't need to grow. 

I learn new things about houseplants and their needs all of the time, but I find that some things I forget almost as soon as I learn them, so I am going to get another notebook. I want to learn all of their names and what I have found out about their care. Maybe I will even try to draw pictures of them, although my drawing skills might not actually help me when I try to differentiate between them.

I think I will also use the notebook to keep track of my little garden this summer. 

Finally hung my plant hanger this week. Ignore the messy bits in the photo.

Yes, there are apps to do all of this, but I'm a bit old fashioned I guess and like to leaf through a notebook. 

One of my favorite things about my life with houseplants is that I can talk to them and they never talk back. 



TRIXIE THE GENIUS CHICKEN AND SPRING FLOWERS

There is a lot to pack into today's blog post, and if I wasn't such a slacker I would have written two posts this week.

This past week was beautiful in Atlanta. Warm days with sunny skies meant a chance to spend lots of time outdoors enjoying it all. 

Monday was the start of the warmer weather and I decided to take advantage of it and have some outdoor family time. I hadn't visited with Trixie for awhile so the first order of business was for Tessa and I to head out to the backyard and see what that chicken was up to. 

Trixie is still very unhappy about having to still be cooped up with those much less intelligent chickens and ducks, but it is for her own safety as the coyote is still lurking around. 

As soon as I called her name she came up to the chicken wire to let me know that she is not being treated well. She then played a game with Tessa and a pencil where she followed the pencil round and round with her head and tried to get it. She is an absolute genius chicken, and Tessa and I will not allow any argument on that.


Tessa had decided that she wanted to play a game of searching for a magic spell, so we spent the next hour or so tromping around the backyard. When I heard rustling in the bushes where the coyote had been  I decided it was time to head to the front  and the safety of the porch.

I'm all in on fighting magical creatures, but not so sure I want to tackle a real coyote.

Today is my daughter Katy's birthday. She has to get a covid test this morning before some scheduled medical tests next week (she hasn't been anywhere since June when she went for some tests) and I am getting my second covid vaccine today, so along with cooler rainier weather today we decided to get together on her front porch Wednesday afternoon.


Katy and I a few short years ago

I picked up some cupcakes at the gluten free bakery and headed over to Katy's where Cary joined us for a nice couple of hours. The fact that it was 70 degrees helped me to want the visit to never end. 

Now about those spring flowers. One of the perks of living in Atlanta is a much milder and shorter winter. I expect the daffodils to bloom in February and I was not disappointed. 

I wasn't expecting to see a blooming iris, but it was a nice little bonus. 


Lots of rain coming up, but I'm happy it isn't snow and ice.


JUST HANGING AROUND

I think Covid fatigue has set in, as it seems to have done for most people. It has been 11 months since I started to self isolate and sometimes I get sick of my own company. 


When the virus eased up at bit in the summer I masked up and made my way back into the grocery stores, but as it has intensified again I am either doing delivery or curbside pickup. I prefer doing the pickup as I don't have to pay a delivery fee or a tip. Pennies count. 

I am still doing visits with my family. Wednesday was my oldest daughter Cary's birthday so we double masked and had a birthday visit on Katy's front porch. It was just the three of us for the afternoon and although it was only 47 degrees the sun was shining on us and it didn't feel too bad. 

Katy served us decaf coffee and some homemade gluten free bread, which was delicious. I had picked up some cupcakes from the gluten free bakery, which Cary took home with her. Spending time alone with my daughters is definitely one of my favorite things to do. 

I made a play date with Tessa for this next Monday. We will be doing something really important like hunting dinosaurs or playing Little House on the Prairie in her backyard. Hopefully she can be persuaded to put on some shoes and a jacket. That child does not feel the cold and she hates wearing shoes. 

It's been two weeks since I got my first Pfizer vaccine, which means I have about 50% immunity at this point. I should be getting my next one at the end of next week, but they haven't given us a schedule yet. 

I'll definitely be glad to get that. I know that I will have about 95% immunity a week after that so I am going to make an appointment with the dentist. I've been putting it off, but my aching tooth is telling me I need to get in there. I also need to see the dermatologist. 

Have any of you been postponing medical appointments because of the virus?

Blogging has been taking a backseat lately because I have been focusing on my Etsy shop. It is where I make most of the extra money that I need to get by every month. It's amazing how many things I still have to list since I haven't been in a thrift store or gone to an auction for almost a year. 

etsy collage
                                                                                Etsy

I'm finally getting the vintage jewelry in the shop along with more china, linens, and vintage fashion.

I don't feel like I can complain too much. I know many of you have  been bombarded with snow, while I saw a tree yesterday that looks like it will be blooming soon. The daffodils should be blooming soon too and that is always such hopeful sign for me.

Spring will be here before we know it.


TIME OFF FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR

Okay, my blog title might not be completely accurate, Yes I have been taking some time off, but it may more accurately be because I just wanted to spend some time away from it all. 

January has been a stressful month with Covid raging and the attack on our Capital, and I have spent the month primarily at home. I did finally go and visit my daughters and grandchildren on Tuesday. I definitely needed a Tessa fix, but she was pretty much of a cranky pants. 

Cary took this photo of Tessa watching the children's special programming of the inauguration. She was enthralled sitting there in her pajamas and the pearl necklace I gave her.

I am ordering my groceries again as I don't want to go into the grocery store, but the good news is I am scheduled to get my first Covid vaccine this morning. We are having a vaccine clinic in my apartment building so I don't have to go anywhere that I might be exposed. 

They were working hard on getting it all set up yesterday and even had cute little ladybug timers to set for the 15 minutes we have to be monitored. 

I have been thinking about what to focus my energy (do I still have any of that?) on and have decided to work harder on my Etsy business. Fortunately I still have lots of inventory to list in my shop. as I haven't been able to go out searching for new items for almost a year.

I think it is good that I am getting things sold that are taking up space that I would like to have for new inventory when I am able to get back out there and hit the thrift stores and auctions. Also, it is forcing me to get a bit more organized as I go through closets and cupboards. 

I have an amazing amount of vintage jewelry and I am having fun getting that in the shop. The fact is I really don't need any new stuff right now, but I sure do miss the hunt. 

I'm hoping that a couple of weeks after I get the second vaccine I will be able to go into my favorite thrift store again. Of course I will continue to mask up, social distance, and wash my hands. 

In other exciting news I gave my living room a good spring cleaning including washing the one large window and now that I have had a week to recuperate I am moving on to the bedroom. Try not to get over excited about that news. 

Well now that I have taken a bite out of the old bullet I will try to start posting more regularly again and visiting blogs. I feel pretty optimistic about things. It's almost February and in Georgia that means the daffodils will be up soon. 


LOOKING FORWARD

If there ever was another year when looking forward was so important it isn't a year in my memory.

That doesn't mean that we should or could forget 2020. 

gold poinsettia

This past year has been difficult in so many ways, and I hope that we learn from it. 

I hope that we will carry forward the lessons of love, of family, and of the importance of enjoying every moment of our lives. 

We are certainly not out of the woods yet when it comes to the pandemic and we must continue to practice the guidelines we have been given to stay safe, but the vaccines have brought us hope that there is an end in sight.

mask up

My hope for each and every one of you is that you will find happiness in this new year and that you will stay safe and healthy.

I am looking forward to new adventures this year and hope to share whatever they are with you, dear friends. 

happy new year

Cheers!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

Christmas is going to be different for many of us this year. Normally on Christmas eve I go to be with my family for pancakes and to track Santa on the radar with Tessa.

christmas

This year I won't be doing that, but Tessa suggested we Zoom and watch Santa's progress together. That girl is so sweet. 

We will be opening gifts together on Christmas morning on my daughter Cary's big front porch. They have two outdoor heaters so hopefully we won't freeze. It is going to be a really cold day here in Georgia. 

Christmas gift


My daughter Katy will be joining us She hasn't left her house in months, but we will be taking every precaution to keep her safe along with the rest of us.

christmas ornaments

I feel very blessed because I know that many of you are unable to be with your families this Christmas.

While I am home alone I am enjoying the peace of a good book, a cup of eggnog, and a crackling fire with soft Christmas music courtesy of YouTube.

It is amazing how relaxing it is.

Now on to the birthday. On Sunday I will be starting a whole new decade in my life. I was a bit depressed about turning 70, but I have decided to embrace it. I want it to be the best decade of my life. 

I think the pandemic has taught me to enjoy each moment and I intend to do that. I want to laugh more, spend more time with my family, hopefully take a trip to my childhood town in Canada, and see what life has to offer. 

santa

So Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you. Thank you for being here. 

A BUSY DECEMBER

Where has this month gone? I can't believe that it is half over and this is my first post of the month.

Have I been busy? Yes, of course I have. It's the holiday season and along with decorating and gift buying there seems to be so many other things to do.

It's my birthday month so my car registration had to be renewed along with the yearly emissions inspection. Done.

The probate papers on my mom's estate had to be completed and sent to the court in Kentucky. Done.

Stocking, selling, and shipping for my Etsy shop. Still being done.

My oldest grandchild, Jack Henry, turned eighteen (how is that possible?) and that had to be celebrated. Done.

Playdates with Tessa and Trixie. Ongoing.

Christmas cards and stamps ordered and received. Will be done today.

And on and on it goes. 

Christmas will be different this year. With covid raging out of control most of us will be hunkered down in our homes. We haven't decided how we are going to do things yet, but they will not be like other years. Tessa likes to watch Santa's progress, as he makes his way around the world, with me so she said we can do it together on Facetime this year. 

As the month rolls by I am cozy and safe in my apartment. I feel blessed.



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?

 



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