Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall Garden Walk

Came home this evening to find my beautiful new bird house is up!
When I left for work this morning it was still in the garage with the other
birdhouse we picked up for my friend at work. Thanks to Frankie, I couldn't
leave with just the one for my friend, I had to have this one for our garden
too. This makes number three for us from Frankie and number eight, if you
are counting all of the birdhouses on our property. I better stop buying them
because if I don't, the birds may end up with more square footage than me!
Now, Frankie's husband Darrell builds beautiful, heirloom-quality birdhouses;
however, we're not in Monterey any more... We have four seasons here, and our
weather can be extreme, brutal even. Therefore, I like to take out a little extra
insurance with Army Dad to ensure our birdhouses stay beautiful and last a very
long time. What kind of insurance? Well, it's a little thing he does called caulk
and heavy-duty paint! Before they go up in the yard, every seam and joint is
caulked, and then the whole thing gets a fresh coat of exterior house paint!
You can't tell... But I know it's there!
So let's stroll the gardens. Because it's Fall, and because the mosquitos are gone
and we can! Just look at that Japanese Maple tree in the front yard. Another
three to four weeks and it'll be bright yellow, red and orange... And, on fire!
Speaking of on-fire... Someone went to the Farmer's Market and picked up a few
of my favorite pumpkins for the porch. I love Cinderella Pumpkins, don't you?
The leaves over here on the trees in the
woodline are already beginning to turn...
And, all of the dogwood trees are full of the bright red berries the birds love!
And, around here it's all about what the birds love!
On the back deck, the pots are already on fire... Just take a look at
this Coleus! It comes in so many colors, but this one is my favorite!
Another fav is snapdragons and here on the
deck railing they are looking especially happy!
Fall weather really agrees with everything in the garden... The rain and cooler
temperatures make the trees turn colors and the lawn revert to Spring-green!
I do love the green!
And red, and orange, and pink and purple...
And, so it goes...
Another terrific summer draws to a colorful close. By the end of the week the pool
will be winterized and covered... And, the jacuzzi on the deck will take its place
We're not using the pool any more, but the critters are! We rescued these baby
snappers on Monday night, and it kinda freaked me out. Why? Because this means
that huge, ugly, prehistoric monster-looking thing we know lives in the creek must
have at some point had company... Which also means there's more than the one I
already fear. Plus, it means that she laid eggs close enough to my pool so that her
offspring could pop over for a swim. What ever happened to healthy boundaries?
Seems the azalea doesn't have any either because it  is not letting
the fence stand in its way from visiting me here on the other side!
But late-blooming azaleas poking through the fence are
welcome... Snapping turtles in my pool... Not so much!

So that's all for this evening's garden walk. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, and I do hope you're having a fabulous Fall like we are! 

As they say here in the South, Happy Fall, 'yall!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A 4-year hunt comes to a Happy end!

After being out of bed at the crack of dawn the past few weekends to chase Antique festivals, such as the one in Dublin, Virginia last weekend, it felt pretty great not to have anything on the agenda today. When I opened my eyes at five-thirty this morning, my first thought was, thank God we get to sleep in... And, after I fed sweet Bingee his weekend fancy feast treat, that's exactly what we did. Until noon!

Now there was a couple of things on the agenda today... A friend I work with loved the birdhouse we have in the front yard when she came to visit so I offered to contact my birdhouse connection to order one for her. Of course, I called Frankie whose husband, Darrell builds the most beautiful, handmade birdhouses and feeders! I ordered it earlier this week on my friend's birthday with a promise for delivery today - Such great service

Any way, I ordered this one for my friend, which is exactly like mine here; however, as I was scanning Frankie and Darrell's website, I couldn't help but notice this new style... Oh, my! 

Needless to say, it was a Must-have. So we picked
up the one for my friend... And, a new one for me!
After our visit with Frankie and the birdhouse pick, we decided to take a
little ride out to the Liberty Antiques Festival. I know, we can't help it! Ever
since the boys left home, antiquing has become our hobby! But Liberty was
a mess... The festival is held twice a year on pasture property and since it's
done nothing but rain for the past three days, it looked a little like this...
And, I wanted No part of it! So we paid our fee and then ran back to the truck. Then,
we told the nice guy at the gate that we had a pick-up to make at one of the vendor
booths so that we could drive through without getting our shoes dirty... Genius,
I know! However, the weather and the conditions of the grounds had taken
their toll on this festival, so what we found were dealers quickly packing it
in and heading out. So we followed their lead and got out before the herd
had a chance to get moving. On our way home we stopped at a relatively
new antique mall in Greensboro where I found this beautiful piece!
I have been looking for one for four years! Ever since I saw one similar at
the home of a nice woman that hosted a baby shower for a lady I work
with. She had just the meat dome sitting on top of a cabinet in her dining
room. When I asked her where she found it, she told me it was a wedding
gift from her mother who bought it at The Bombay Company. Of course,
The Bombay Company liquidated and closed all stores in 2008. So I've
been hunting... It's the piece I'm always watching out for. But all of the
plated meat domes I find at estate auctions and in antique stores have
never been priced less than $400. I began to think that I'd never find
one at a reasonable price. And then today, out of the blue... I saw this!
It's beautiful. And, nearly perfect! And, not only is it the meat dome I
have always wanted, this is a set that includes the warming tray too!
There is a screw-cap on one end of the tray where it can be filled with
hot water to keep it warming the meat during service, or on a buffet
Have I mentioned yet that I love it?
I really, really do!
This is a piece you build dinner parties around!
This is engraved on both sides...
Latin for, Love of Country Conquers
And, English for, So meant for Me!
I still can't believe it's sitting in my dining room... So worth
getting out of bed for... And, so worth waiting four years for!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What we saw in Dublin... Virginia!

It took me a couple of weeks to recover from three days of
treasure hunting fun we had in Hillsville Virginia, but
yesterday morning at 5AM I was ready to take on Dublin!
The weather was Fantasticly cool. Clearly, autumn has
already wrapped its arms around Southern Virginia!
Our first stop...
Was for a warm, hand-glazed doughnut!
So good!
It began to sprinkle so we took our warm
doughnut and headed over to the cattle barn
Because the Dublin Virginia flea market and antique
show happens at the New River Valley fairgrounds!
This is so much better than those smelly fair animals!
Much better!
Looked like these sweet little girls found something fun to do
to occupy themselves while their parents sold things nearby!
There was a lot here... Certainly a little something for everyone!
For me the attraction was the view!
I love the rolling hills of Virginia, and I especially love this time of year!
And, I love vintage scales! I swear... If I had any space left on my
counter, that one on the right would be sitting in the kitchen right now!
We walked a lot!
And, we noted how the people, what we find and what
we see always changes according to where we are...
And yesterday, we were so obviously not in Monterey any more!
Not even close!
Down at the stables, we found the Army/Navy Surplus folks!
I liked how they travel!
Now, I'd never seen these before...
But apparently, if you add them to hot discarded motor oil...
They pop up into something people can't wait to line up to buy!
Now, if Michelle Obama really cared, she'd be right here!
But I guess eliminating fries from the kids
meal at the Olive Garden is important work too!
What is it with flea markets and pork rinds? Remember these? I don't
know... But I do know it's never difficult for me to resist them - Ick!
One thing I could not resist was this view of the Blue Ridge Mountains...
So what did I find? Well, I almost began to think I would be leaving empty handed...
But then I noticed this little gem...
Vintage Limoges in perfect condition... And, you know how
much I love perfect. And, you know how much I love seashells!
Oh, and how much I love trinket boxes!
So finding it there in Dublin, I took it as a sign
that it was a match that was meant to be...
For me!