Friday, June 30, 2017

Garden Friday

On this Garden Friday's post,
I thought I'd take you on my daily walk
in our new neighborhood.
There is a lot to see!

 I've been so impressed with the gardens I've seen here.
Many of our neighbors have a green thumb.

 Shasta daisies are one of my favorites
and it brought a smile to my face to see this display.

One of the best things about our community
is the vast amount of mature trees here.
So much of the natural landscape was left
when the neighborhood was built
and it is so appealing.

At least a half a dozen or so veggie beds have been discovered.

 I'm hoping to meet these folks soon,
as their yard is absolutely beautiful.
They have backyard chickens,
which is something we'd like to add to our homestead.
Can I just tell you how glad we are to be out of the HOA?!

 Their vegetable garden is thriving as well.
They obviously know what they're doing.
It does my heart good to know that there are gardeners about.
It's a well-known fact that gardeners are generous souls.

 This zebra grass is stunning!
I will have to find a source for this,
as I can see it used as a border along the street.

Many of our neighbors have gotten creative
with regard to the grade changes in their yards.
Just look at this gorgeous planting along this sloped driveway.

Hostas are something I've always wanted to grow.
In Florida, it never happened because of the heat.
My garden was not shady enough to support them.
It will be a real treat to see them growing in our woodland garden out back.

The glads are blooming all over the community.
They come in a wide array of colors,
including this coral shade.
We have some on our property,
and I need to remember to go out and stake them.
They get so heavy, that they are often lying on the ground.

 A few other souls were out at the same time I was walking.
We do see wild rabbits sprinting about.

Imagine my surprise when I walked past this mailbox
and a bird whisked off into the air.
Once I peeked in, I understood why.
Hopefully, the newspaper delivery person has found an alternative place for their paper to land.

This poor fella was being harassed by a couple of mockingbirds.
Eventually, he grew tired of their bullying, and flew off.

This is the wooded area of our property,
which forms a border on the eastern side of the house.
It's a blessing to be able to observe all of the nature that abounds here.
We have so many birds visiting every day,
and their songs are a joyful awakening each morning.

 Some of the apples on our fruit trees are ripening,
but it's hard to beat the squirrels and deer to get them.
It amazes me that God is providing for us in so many ways.

When I begin the day walking through this lovely place,
it summons gratitude beyond measure.
And fortunately, 
these are the only bears we will probably see.

Hoping you have somewhere to stroll
that brings you peace and joy.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Moving Toward Bliss

This was the rental house we leased for 6 months
while we did our house hunting.
We moved up to North Carolina in December,
relocating from Central Florida.
We moved into our house last week
and bid adieu to this 100-year old home.
I can't say we'll miss it.
There were a number of issues in renting a place that old,
but we made the best of it and muddled through.

The bad thing about leaving,
is that my tomatoes were coming along quite nicely.

 The Romas were growing well and will probably be ready
for picking in a couple of weeks.
I may just sneak by there and pilfer a few in the dark of night
and hope the new renters don't call authorities should I get caught.

 One thing that I've learned is that if you move to get away from something,
you'll never be content in your new surroundings.
It's more advantageous to move toward something,
something that will grow your spirit
and help you appreciate every single day here on this earth.
So,when the first movers never showed on moving day,
we went to plan B and found The Bellhops.
They did a smashing job, working over 6 hours to get our household relocated,
despite the fact that the lift gate on their truck was not working.
This meant that they had to lift lots of heavy stuff up and over the truck threshold.
A second truck with a working lift gate was called into action,
so that we could move our refrigerator, tool box, and lawn mower. 

 This is what we woke up to on Friday morning.
Even though we had purged many items
and sold off or gave away some of our furniture in Winter Haven,
we still had all this stuff with which to contend.

Our new home, at 1400 square feet,
has about four hundred less square footage.
More paring down will be necessary.
We are embracing simplicity and minimalism.
Truth be told, I am welcoming it,
the boys are still wrestling with the idea of parting with some things.

With cool mornings still lingering,
I decided to tackle as much of the chaos as I could get done before lunch.
I set up my tent as a staging area,
so that I could easily define where items would go.
This is a great way to go through items when organizing spaces.
It gives you a boundary, so that you can visualize the amount of room you will have.

 Always focused on recycling and reusing,
I set up empty boxes to house packing paper, foam and bubble wrap.
These can easily be sorted.

 Some boxes were broken down and folded flat.

Larger boxes, like the wardrobe size, are left intact.
All the boxes and materials were offered on Craig's List for free
so that others can reuse them and then pass them on. 
After all, there is always someone moving.

 We'll have a lot of materials to give away,
and the boxes are not yet all unpacked.
This process will be repeated until everything is where it should be.

I'm pleased with this morning's work.
We can now get to the mower
and the stash of items we took down from the walls
to sell on Craig's List.
Let the posting begin.
Slowly but surely, it's coming together
and I am really enjoying the process of simplifying our homestead.
More organizing posts will be coming in the next few weeks
as we refashion this home to be our very own.
It's a humbling and appealing procedure.

This neighborhood is quiet and secluded.
This is what greeted me yesterday morning.
She found the apple tree.
Yes, we are moving toward bliss with every step.
Hope you are feeling your blessings today.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Garden Friday

 The move to the new house was finally complete this week.
Our home is on just over 1/2 acre of land,
which is far less than we were originally hoping for.
Turns out, there is plenty of outdoor space for our various projects.
It was lovely to discover the magnolia tree smack in the front yard.
It just screams Southern Home.

One of the first ventures I'd like to work on is our mailbox planter.
We will replace the mailbox itself with a larger one
(we tend to get lots of packages).
Then I'd like to add some native flowers around it,
as well as sow some sunflowers for the birds and bees.

This butterfly bush will no doubt be a gathering spot
for local pollinators.
I look forward to adding a number of butterfly host and nectar plants.
Consideration is being made to creating a butterfly nursery in the side yard,
so that we can share our love of these critters with others.

This is the side yard where I hope to create various gardens
and possibly start a native nursery.
The mature trees that surround it provide a wonderful backdrop
for just about anything we can dream up.

 Tucked into the corner of those massive trees
is this alcove, perfect for a compost pile.
This will be one of the first outdoor projects we tackle in the fall.

 Our backyard is mostly wooded and quite sloped.
I'd love to create a woodland garden here,
again using native plants
(but no poison ivy!).
The bird population is fantastic,
and we awakened on our first morning
to the glorious sounds of our feathered friends.
The goal here would be to make it more usable.

 This is the view from the edge of our property line
looking toward the house.
The privacy is stellar,
especially considering that we came from a house
where you could literally see into your neighbor's house.
We love that we are part of a community,
but everyone has ample seclusion.
We are blessed with the best of both worlds.

One of the things I soon discovered (to my delight),
is that almost everyone who lives here is a gardener.
I counted numerous veggie beds planted,
as well as expansive landscaping along my walking route.
It seems that I am in good company.

For now, the "tin can garden" that we started at the rental,
will be housed in this little area on the southeast side of the house.
I'm hoping that in a couple of weeks, when the boxes have all been unpacked,
the sowing can commence for summer and fall crops.
Until then, what we have will be nurtured as time allows.

So many possibilities for this piece of property.
We are so happy to have our own hunk of dirt.

What's growing in your garden this first week of summer?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

And so it begins...

We are moving into our new home tomorrow.
It's been a long time coming,
and we're really looking forward to the adventures that await us.
The former owners have been out of the house for a week,
so we took some time to paint before actually moving in.
It feels so good to be able to put our own stamp on the place.

C decided on a lively shade of orange for his room.
We started painting and then realized that the color we were using (on the right),
was actually slated for the fireplace.
Thankfully, we made the discovery before we got too far.
 This is the first time we've gone to the expense of using
No VOC paint.
Better for us, better for the environment.

It's so great to see him taking ownership of his space.
He enthusiastically helped with the painting
and a few other chores we got done this week.
We all feel very comfortable in this home,
and have from the first time we saw it. 

Big K chose a sage green hue for the master bedroom.
This room faces the north side of the property
and doesn't get much light, especially when the trees are full.
This house is very light and airy,
and the pastel colors we're using will enhance this feature.

My room is a shade of my favorite color on the planet, periwinkle.
It's calming, soothing and centering.
This room will consist of a daybed and my sewing machine.
We will customize all of the closets.
I'm hoping to fit all of my "daisy tote"  materials here.

 The painting took us a couple of days.
We plan to go back and touch up the trim in a crisp white.

One thing I have to say
is that I don't know anyone who is a messier painter than me.
Big K paints and paints and never has a drop on him.
I, on the other hand, have paint in every nook and cranny.
A good scrubbing and I'm good to go.

Another job C assisted with was to remove the many items hanging on the walls.
Here he is dismantling the molding that was covering up the tv wires.
He also installed the back door locks.
One of the first things we did was change the locks on the doors,
because you just don't know who might have been given a key.

With the bedrooms painted and the locks changed,
we're ready to tackle a few more things.
It'll be so much easier to work on projects 
once we are actually there.
No doubt the next few days will be busy,
but we'll try to keep you posted on our progress.

It's wonderful being a home owner again!