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. 


NONE OF US ARE IMMUNE

As the days drag on I have begun to realize that the way we are living now is our new normal. As much as we may want to fight it we are not going to see changes anytime in the near future.


I am following the recommendations and the mandates where I live. I always wear a mask when I leave my apartment, I social distance, I stay at home for the most part, and I wash my hands at least a million times a day.

This week I found out a very close friend of mine from where I lived before I moved here has tested positive for Covid. She is 94 with underlying health conditions. Needless to say I am very concerned for her. She was doing everything right. She has been wearing a mask, having her groceries delivered, washing her hands, and social distancing. The only time she has left her apartment is to go to the doctor. 


None of us are immune from this illness, and the best we can do is follow the guidelines to keep ourselves safe. 

I definitely get cabin fever, so I have started to get out and walk again. I know that the risk of transmitting the illness is less outside, but if I see another walker or runner heading towards me, who is not wearing a mask, I move off the sidewalk and turn my back so I can social distance.


I also work on my little garden. It is not producing much this year except for my flowers. I gave up on the tomatoes and pulled the plant out. The squirrels were the only ones benefiting from it. 

The cases in Georgia are really going up although the hot spot seems to be in the middle of the state. Most people in Atlanta are now wearing masks as they are now mandated here.


I was scared last week to find out a staff person in my apartment building tested positive, but the health department determined that no one here was put at risk and no one else has tested positive. 

Today I will go for my outside social distancing visits with my family. I feel so lucky to live so close to them and can't imagine what it would be like if I was still 400 miles away from them. 

My wish is for everyone to stay safe. Unfortunately, none of us are immune. 


FINDING JOY, KEEPING JOY, AND SHARING JOY

It can sometimes be difficult to find joy these days. So many people are tired. We are tired of being confined to our homes, we are tired of being scared of a virus, and we are tired of worrying about what our futures are going to look like. 


It is difficult to live without joy in our hearts.  

"Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm 
and our intelligence aglow."
Helen Keller

Joy is defined as the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something good and we each find joy in different but often similar ways. Love, our families, small moments, a job we love, gardening, a flower, and much more can bring us joy.


The most important thing is to choose joy, to allow it into our lives, and then to find ways to hold onto it, to hug it close to us.

It is not only okay to find joy and keep it in these difficult times, it is also important to share it. When we find ways to bring joy to others we enrich our own lives. 


I know how much Tessa loves water. She has always been a water baby. I also know that she was sad that their pool had to close. Well I couldn't give her a swimming pool, but I found something I thought would bring her joy. 


I think the splash pad was a hit and seeing the joy on her face brings me so much joy.

How about you? Do you choose joy?





COOKING, NEEDLEPOINT, AND TESSA

I always thought of the dog days of summer as August, but time is so different these days, and the heat is on. 

I have been doing some cooking and baking this past week. My garden is definitely not producing like it did last year. Last summer I had more cucumbers and eggplants than I knew what to do with. 

love my cutting garden

This year, although I have lots of flowers on my cucumbers, it is not producing any fruit, and I have only had one eggplant.

I was able to harvest the one eggplant and I used it to make my favorite eggplant tomato casserole (had to buy tomatoes as I can't seem to beat the squirrels to the tomatoes). You can find the recipe here



I also decided to try my hand at baking a loaf of blueberry gluten free bread with crumb topping. So happy I did because it was delicious. 


The original recipe is not gluten free, but I just all purpose gluten free flour and it was perfect. I ate it as a dessert.
The original recipe is here. Be prepared for some unwanted, but worth it pounds to show up on your scales. 

I have been working on a needlepoint pillow for the last couple of months. I have learned to cut myself some slack when it comes to making it absolutely perfect. I have found that I am really enjoying the process and that it is relaxing for me. Thought I would share with you the progress I have made. 



Visited with my family on Thursday this week. Tessa and I had a Facetime breakfast tea party last week, but I hadn't seen her or my other grandchildren for a week and a half. 


Tessa of course wanted to show me how large the chicks and the ducks are now, The first group of chicks are as big as Trixie and the ducks are pretty much full grown. My son-in-law built a little door from the chicken coop into the duck pen so that the chickens can be in the larger space during the day. It then gets closed up at night so the ducks are safe from the fox. 

We finished up our visit with Tessa running through the sprinkler, a normal summertime childhood activity. Oh to be eight again. The pool they belong to had to be closed back down because one of the employees tested positive for Covid and Atlanta is back on phase one restrictions.


I am so grateful for those couple of hours a week. 



KEEPING PACE WITH LIFE

Even in this time when life has slowed down it still seems to be going by too quickly. The older I get the harder it seems to keep up the pace. 

Monday was a lovely day with family. It was Tessa's eighth birthday and she definitely had a fun filled day. Their pool opened and they made an appointment for swimming in the morning. Tessa loves to swim and I know she is missing the swim team this year. Maybe by next summer things will get back to normal.


I have a tradition of calling each of my grandchildren and singing happy birthday to them on their special day. Cary had told me Tessa's busy schedule, and as I knew I would be seeing her that afternoon I didn't make the call.

Apparently one of the first things she said that morning was that Nana would be calling her to sing happy birthday. I felt terrible that I didn't call. 


Tessa of course in her sweet way, after my third apology, said, "Don't worry about it, Nana. It's okay." I know I will never not call again.

Tessa's other grandparents and her cousin were there when I arrived and so we had a nice visit, ate delicious gluten free cupcakes that Sidney baked, and watched while Tessa opened her gifts.


After her other grandparents left, Katy was able to come over and visit. It was her first time out of her house, since the first of March, other than the medical appointment she went to in June, . Tessa was so excited and one of the gifts Katy brought was very special. 

She did a watercolor of a photo she took of Tessa five years ago when they all came to Kentucky to visit me and Tessa was walking through one of my family's green houses. On the back she wrote out a description of the visit. I know it is something that Tessa will always treasure. 


Summer is especially nice this year as we are able to gather safely outside for family visits. 

The swiftness of the pace of life ebbs and flows, but it keeps moving forward as must we.
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