Around the House

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Breaking the house rules

I got a laugh from this pic my daughter sent of the “grandkitty.” The cat is not allowed on the table. But . . . she found a loophole! I mean, really, what are boxes for?!
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Envy spurs new project

I admit, my husband and I have garden envy. In our walks around the neighborhood the last couple of years, we’ve seen some great summer flower beds profusely full of zinnias, cosmos and coneflowers–all plants we struggle to grow. Our yard tends to be best for spring azaleas. The large, mature trees all around our yard make it too shady for a lot of the summer flowers. So over the weekend we did some research and decided to create a summer bed in a sunny space beside our driveway. First step is to kill the “grass.” Hopefully in the spring
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Aalto Vase

My daughter-in-law (who is Finnish) gave me a vase designed by Alvar Aalto, a Finnish architect and designer. I love the waving lines, and we display it in our great room—one of the few non-utilitarian pieces in our home. Our house faces a golf course, and occasionally we get an errant golf ball on our lawn. When we do, I wash it off and put it in the Aalto vase. I sent the first few balls to my brother who is a golfer, but the vase currently holds all the balls I’ve found in the last two and a half
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Black-eyed Susans

We did some landscaping last summer. I am not a gardener, so that means I hired someone to do it for us. In a corner of our backyard, we had five black-eyed Susans and five coneflowers planted. This year, the black-eyed Susans are going gangbusters. Unfortunately, only one of the coneflower plants grew again this year. The coneflowers we have out front are doing well, but the backyard ones didn’t get enough water. But I’m grateful for the cheery black-eyed Susans. Which landscaping projects have gone well for you and which have failed?
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So many pretty petals!

It’s lily season! And the ones at my house seem to be happier than usual! I’ve got colors blooming that I didn’t even realize I had. The peach ones are particularly showy! There’s also a deep, reddish pink that’s quite dramatic. They really brighten the yard and have the added bonus of being perennials! What’s showing off in your yard this month?
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Bedroom Remodel

Pinterest is loaded with ideas for bedroom remodels. I like the idea of doing wainscoting on the wall behind the bed (instead of a headboard). Our closet is small, but with my daughter’s help, we’ll make it better. I’ve already cleaned out the dresser drawers and donated lots of clothes I don’t wear anymore. Feels good to simplify things!
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Raspberries are ready!

If I had to grow my own food to survive, I would’ve starved decades ago. My husband and I have not had much luck growing foods over the years, but we do have a patch of raspberries that has produced fruit for several years now. It always surprises me when we get them — and when we get to harvest them before the birds do! Do you grow fruits or veggies?
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It’s turning yellow out there!

A true sign of summer — the lilies start to bloom. I have tons of Stella d’oro, which I love because they bloom all summer and they are such cheery yellow flowers. I also have quite a few plain old standard orange. They make a statement for a few days and then they’re done. But I love the color they create in the yard and the fact tat they are so low maintenance! What happy flowers do you enjoy in your yard?
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Timid Visitor

With all the new houses in our development, we don’t see as many deer as a couple of years ago. But this lady was visiting a few nights ago . . . until something scared her off. I’m hoping we’ll see fawns in the next few weeks, like we have in years past.
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Lunar Eclipse Last Sunday Night

I knew there was a super flower blood moon (see NOTE below) predicted for last Sunday night, but I didn’t have any serious plans to watch it. I am usually fast asleep before night-time events occur. But I happened to wake up about 10:00pm. (Yes, I know, most people weren’t yet in bed.) So I went outside on my driveway to watch, and I’m glad I did. I took many pictures as the lunar eclipse developed and the earth blocked the sun from hitting the moon. This is my favorite shot. There is still a sliver of moonlight showing before