Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer in the House: The Mudroom

I love yellow. Out of all the colors in my home, this one is my favorite. It says howdy in such a big way.


I wouldn't want this wild color in every room, mind you. We all like peace and quiet once in a while. Still, I have no regrets about going bold here.


As they say, it's just paint, and I am not afraid of paint. Or color.




The powder room is just off the mudroom. For a while now, I've considered wallpapering it, but still haven't committed for some reason.



At the end of the day, it's nice to have that buffer zone, a place where kids can drop backpacks and take off shoes. Plus, this little space is like summer all year!





Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Happy Campers

My girls started summer camp this week, and they are eager to get up in the mornings and fairly willing to go to bed at night. I love watching the whole thing and hearing their stories. And they have many stories, some rather disturbing, but I guess that's part of the summer camp journey. Apparently, the arts and crafts teacher is a Trunchbull twin, and Elsbeth is in a group with mostly boys. Flannery stumbled upon a haunted house yesterday, complete with a growling chainsaw.

I did not ask for specifics.
Sometimes it's good to just let them have their journey.


To smile at the wacky faces.


To assume that the youngest child will eventually outgrow this particular pose for pictures.


And to encourage your oldest daughter to get in the car you see behind these two clowns and head off to California. That's right, the oldest will soon be attending graduate school at the University of Southern California.



I suppose I'll post about this when the time for her departure draws near. I sincerely hope that those of you who have been through the letting-them-fly stage will offer sage advice or at least a few cyber tissues.



Monday, June 24, 2013

Pretty Little Towns

I am a small town girl at heart. I'm also a girl who loves the water. Lucky for me I married a guy who feels the same way. And, so, we spend a great deal of time on the Eastern Shore of Maryland during the summer months. Our favorite pretty little towns are Oxford and St. Michael's, and this weekend we managed to squeeze in a quick trip to both.



My husband sailed from Oxford to St. Michael's. As the crow flies, it's about seven miles. By sailboat, however, it was a six hour trip (one way). The girls and I were not up for this, so we cheated and drove. Had a table and a beer waiting for the weary sailor when he arrived.


Youngest daughter said she would have no trouble traveling the distance in this boat, however.


We had crabs at our favorite spot, The Crab Claw, then headed to Justine's for ice cream. After that it was back to the sailboat for a peaceful night. If the weather's just right (not too hot or raining), sleeping on a boat is a little like sleeping in a cradle.


Just across from where we anchored is The Inn at Perry Cabin. It's a gorgeous place. We've witnessed many weddings from this spot. We've also stayed here a couple of times. Very, very nice!



The moon was shining bright on this first night of summer.



Youngest daughter would do gymnastics just about anywhere, boat included.


I had to get a shot of this dreamy little cottage. Just look at this wonderful porch. And those lovely colors.



After I stopped traffic with my picture taking, the girls and I headed to Oxford for a day at the pool.


A cool place to swim, minus the nettles, AND a view of the Bay to boot.




After a few hours of sun and fun, we headed to the market for what I've deemed The Best Chicken Salad Sandwiches on the Planet. They even serve fresh muffins in the morning, still warm and in the baking pan.


The park is right across the street, so the girls and I had a picnic.





There were even cardboard boat races.



I think my favorite part of these trips, other than the chance to hang with the family, are the lovely homes. I've nearly wrecked my bike more times than I can count (this past weekend included) because I am gawking at all the pretty sights.


 So many porches!


And picket fences. And neatly trimmed hedges.


Did I mention porches?


And picket fences?



Heck, even the garages are cute!



Thursday, June 20, 2013

Morning Light

Once I'm finished writing for the morning, I like to wander around and just "be" in my house. I know how weird that sounds, but I spent a lot of time this past year away from home. Now that I'm here 24/7, I intend to enjoy and savor and relish every minute at H-O-M-E, which for me means basking in the morning light.



The foyer continues to be one of my favorite places. The wallpaper, the cheery rug, the canes I've collected these past couple of years and the family photos make me happy all day long, but this space is especially pretty in the morning.


After so many years of decorating spaces, I know what I like and what I need. I like/need flowers and color and lots of light. In our old house, I wrote in the sunroom. Oodles of light there, obviously. When we moved there was no upstairs space for writing, so my office was stuck in the basement. It took me three years to realize that just wasn't working. So, I bought a Mac Book Air and came up for air (and, yes, light). Now I write in the living room or on the screened porch or in the family room.


Back when I was a teenager and could sleep until noon, I thought my mother was crazy for saying things like, "Oh, I just love the morning!" And she did love the morning. She sang along with the radio while "putting on her face," as she called it. She often phoned friends early in the morning. At her office she was the first person to arrive. In this respect I am a lot like my mother. I love the morning. I love the promise of another day. I love toast with butter and the smell of coffee, even though I don't like its taste. I love the squeak of the front door and the feel of clean dishes, still warm from the previous night's drying cycle. These are blessing, right?

A home is such a blessing.


No wonder we blog about it and spend so much time tending to it.


No matter how grand or modest, I like to look at houses and imagine how the setting has shaped the people inside.


Our house tells a story. It signals how we live. Do we fling the windows open in spring or keep them shut? Do we cut the grass or let it go to seed? I once knew someone who left a pair of trimming shears on the front porch until they completely rusted. We're talking years. It was fascinating in a strange way, but it also made me wonder what else he'd neglected to bring in from the elements.


I'm not sure how I went from morning light to rusted trimming shears, but there you have it. Enjoy the morning and the rest of your day!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Red Door

School's officially out for the summer as of last Friday. And what a whirlwind year it's been. Rising at 4:15 AM to write then getting ready and leaving the house before dark for many months. What a wonderful thing it was to drive to work in the daylight come spring! There were the usual challenges that go along with raising children and maintaining a household and trying to water the garden that is my marriage. I can't say this year of full-time teaching has been easy, but I can say it's been rewarding. This time last year I was filled with angst about everything, but now I'm so glad I took the plunge. I like the paychecks. I love my students. And it's good to feel that I'm back in the game.

For now, though, it's summer and time to play and read and write for as many hours as I want. And yesterday, I watched Sarah 101 while eating lunch! There are many projects on the list for summer. First on my list was to repaint the front door. It looks just okay here, but this shot was taken a while ago, and the front door was faded big time. So, it went from this....


To this!


There was a good bit of taping off and sanding and priming and sanding some more and second coating and lots of cleaning up. It's an oil based paint, the reason for the sheen. I absolutely LOVE the changes, though. It truly brightens up the entire house.

Take a look at these shots.


The water stains are annoying—could turn into another summer project.




The wreath was a deeply discounted (15 bucks!) JoAnn's find.


And here are a few front garden shots.




Iris is photo-bombing.


Some garden jewelry. Gnomes could be next. Seriously, outdoor trinkets are tempting.


I'm so glad you stopped by, and I am so happy to be blogging again. There's more to come.
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