Monday, May 31, 2010

Hello, Summer!

So, here it is - the unofficial start to summer! And in grand Virginia style, Memorial Day 2010 is weighing in at 94 degrees, 72% humidity, and possible thunderstorms on the horizon! I got a fairly early start this morning and got my front yard mowed. I would have done the backyard, but by then it was already in the mid-80's and I thought I might pass out. So, the mower is now parked under a tree in the side yard, just in case I want to go back out later this evening and finish up (yeah right). After mowing, I parked myself in the shade and planted (finally) the last of my perennials in the flower bed. They were all looking very sad and bedraggled (and I would too, if my new owner left me sitting in tiny plastic pots for 3 weeks on a hot deck) but I have to say, after I got them planted, mulched and watered they really perked up, so maybe they'll make it!

Among the items I planted was a GORGEOUS hydrangea that my friend Cathy gave me (and also one to G) as a thank you for hosting her bridal shower on Saturday. Cathy, it looks awesome already - thank you!! The shower went off without a hitch, and I think everyone had a good time. It was a very nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon! The photo above is of one of the flower arrangements that G and I put together for it - I don't know, G, I think maybe we should open that florist shop afterall!

Lastly, a decision has been made re: my last post. Stay tuned for results!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

The Ikea dropleaf table. Hmmmm...

Details of the farmhouse table that Pottery Barn sells. If I had a billion dollars, this is the way I would go.

Much like G over at Dandelion Garden, I need some help making a decision. I'm an incredibly indecisive person on a good day, and this particular decorating decision has been going back and forth in my head for far too long!

Here's the issue: my spare bedroom is very small, and it has to serve two main purposes - an office/crafting room, and a guest room. Therefore I need both a bed and a table or worksurface in the room. One twin bed would fit easily in the space and leave enough room for a fairly good-sized table, but I would really like to put in a twin-sized trundle bed, so that I can sleep two people in there comfortably. Two twin beds will only fit in the room, if whatever table I have can be moved out entirely or folded up in some manner. Hence the dilemma.

What I've always dreamed of is a big old heavy farm table with turned legs - it would look great in the room and would give me the huge expanse of work surface that I've never had before. However, such a table would not be something I could move easily, nor does it fold up. Another option would be an old drop leaf table, which as it happens my parents have in their basement (currently holding a pile of dropcloths and paint cans). This particular table has the vintage charm, and it could fold up fairly small when I have guests, but it would not be as big as my dream farmhouse table. Also, by design, drop leaf tables have their legs in the center, which makes the ADORABLE rolling office chair that I bought at a flea market last weekend somewhat hard to use with the table (I would constantly be banging my knees against the legs, and I know this would eventually drive me up a wall). There are 2 other options that I have conceived of - one super-easy, but not satisfactory in the style department, and one super-complicated but possibly a solution to all my problems. Super-easy would be to buy the white drop leaf table that Ikea sells, which is the same surface size as any farmhouse table I could fit in there, and has the added bonus of having drawer storage. This table however, is very sleek and modern, and does not fit the style of the room very well at all. The super-complicated option is to buy either a vintage farm table or a new one and come up with a clever way of mounting it to the wall on hinges, so that it could be lowered when necessary. My dad has some thoughts on how to do this - none of which I really understood.

So, what should I do? Go for the big, old table of my dreams and put possibly days of my life into figuring out how to make it collapsible OR purchase a cheap but functional Ikea table OR go with my parents' FREE drop leaf table that has some drawbacks?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wandering Thoughts on a Day Off

In a bold move this week, I have taken today, tomorrow and Friday off from work. Yes, its 10:00am and I'm still in my PJ's, sipping coffee, and I LOVE IT!!! Of course, I have a huge list of things I want to accomplish, but at the moment I'm not feeling any pressure to get them done. On Friday I'm going to head up to the parents' house to celebrate a belated Mother's Day - plant shopping and tea at the Frick in Pittsburgh! It should be a nice, restful vacation...

In other news, the battery in my camera died last week, and I'm having a mental block about charging it. So, every time I've wanted to take a picture in the last few days, I've reached for the camera and then said "oh, crap! I forgot...". Hence, the lack of photos with posts recently. Its charging away right now, though - photos will be back soon!

In other, other news, Pepper and her boyrfriend had a spat the other night, and I think she's depressed over their break-up. I don't know if I've mentioned Harvey - the neighbor's huge Maine-coon cat - but he and Pepper have a "through-the-screen-door" relationship (i.e. Harvey sits on the front stoop studiously ignoring Pepper, who is purring, rubbing, rolling on her back and everything else she can do to get his attention). Well, the other evening for some reason Pepper and Harvey started hissing at eachother. It went on for 5 minutes, then Harvey took off and hasn't been back since. Now Pepper just sits in the window staring wistfully at Harvey's house. I swear I'm not projecting, either - she's definitely wistful! Anyway, I have hopes that Harvey will be back soon...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

There are Days...

...when it all just gets to be too much. You know what I mean? I had one of those days yesterday. I've been battling a cold all week - a week during which I was doing exhibit de-installation and re-installation at the museum (which I swear is the most stressful part of my job) - and yesterday, when I could finally relax a bit, the cold exploded. I think I'd just been pushing through it to get the work done, and as soon as I didn't have deadlines hanging over my head, it just hit me like a Mac truck. In one day I managed to run out of Kleenex, chapstick, orange juice and Jell-O. Unfortunately, there's a lot of stuff around the house that I'd been putting off "until the weekend" that was still up in the air - my nemesis mowing the lawn, piles of laundry, huge stacks of bills to pay, a long list of calls and messages to return, grocery shopping and cleaning the house (its been WAY too long) were just a few. Then on top of that, I discovered that the ventilation fan in my attic shorted out, and the ant invasion from last week returned. I think the moment when I just about lost it, though, came when I noticed that some little animal had systematically pulled up every single one of the strawberry plants I planted a few weeks ago.

So, I did probably the worst thing I could have done - or maybe, it was the best thing (hard to say). I marched inside, got my PJ's on, layed down on the couch and watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding, followed by The Blind Side, followed by an array of ghost hunting/UFO programming on the Discovery Channel. I still felt like crap, but at least I was horizontal instead of vertical.

This morning, thank God, I seem to be feeling better. I'm going to take stab at the lawn, and tackle the stack of dishes in the sink. Wish me luck! And send Kleenex...

Monday, May 3, 2010


I just got home from a 3-day weekend in Massachusetts for my cousin's wedding, and I was greeted with two surprises - one good, and one not so good. First the bad news: I have been invaded by ants! Poor G had to deal with the swarm when she came in to feed my cats (sorry G - but thanks for the clean-up effort!) and unfortunately they had returned by the time I got home. They're those teeny-tiny ants that walk in straight lines across your floor - it would be fascinating if the floor they were crawling across wasn't my kitchen! They seem to have come in around the kitchen door, and they were drawn in by the cats' food bowls. Poor Bailey and Pepper - I'm not sure how much ant-free food they got this weekend! Now for the good news: after I spent about 45 minutes trying to clean up the ant mess (I went all-out and used the serious, chemical ant-killer stuff) I noticed that the rose bush outside was blooming! I'd almost completely forgotten about the "yellow rose of Texas" that was here when I moved in. I don't think it even had buds in it when I left on Friday, but its covered witht hem now and there are too full roses already. It made up for the ant invasion...