Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ahhh


You know that feeling you get when spring finally arrives?




I'm not talking about those teaser days where you think spring has come, I mean that moment you really and truly know that it's here and you can break out your sandals and short sleeved shirts.




I felt that moment yesterday...and it was pure bliss!!!




I wanted to smile all day long, throw open my windows, and clean nooks an crannies in my house that haven't seen the light of day since many months ago.




Spring has the power to do that to us, it provides a heady mix of beauty and promise that can make even the sanest of people a bit giddy.  No wonder it has been the subject of so many sonnets and songs.




I feel like I want to savor every moment of this fleeting season, really stop and smell the roses, and anything else in bloom.




Ahhh...Spring has Sprung!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Prairie Style


The weather here is finally starting to hint that spring is on its way, daffodils are blooming, trees are budding out, and I feel excited for warmer weather and spring cleaning!

Along with a change in temperature, there are some other exciting things going on in other parts of  the world, that being the world of publishing...my friend Fifi O'Neill is at it again with the upcoming publication of Prairie Style Magazine!




If there is one thing Fifi knows (actually she knows lots of things), it's about beautifully decorated homes, simple living, and casual elegant decor, and she is bringing all of that knowledge to you through the pages of her latest venture.



She recently sent me a preview of this beautiful new publication and asked me to share some snippets of it with all of you.  Below is just a sampling of what you can expect when it hits newsstands in May!

Because we all know that a picture is worth a thousand words, or in this case, sighs and drools, I will let the pictures do the talking.  Just be sure to scroll to the end of the post to find out how you can get your very own copy.













Are you sighing yet?!!!













Or do you prefer to drool?! ;)















But this magazine is about more than just pretty pictures and beautifully appointed homes found throughout North America.  It's a resource for creating the life you long to live, one where simple pleasures supersede high tech craziness, and one where living a life less ordinary is any but boring!

And if you're not quite ready to get back to the simple life, at least you can live vicariously through it's beautiful, high quality printed pages (over 144 pages my friends)!  Or find a few wonderful artisans along the way for those one of a kind gifts you want to share with others, or better yet, yourself!



At a time when we are all lamenting the loss of so many wonderful shelter magazines, why not support this great publication which is back by popular demand!

But don't wait, there are limited quantities and as you can see, it will sell out quickly.  You can pre-order by using the link below, and for bulk orders with a reduced rate, you can also click the link below.

Congratulations Fifi, and I wish you much success with this wonderful venture! :)

To Pre-Order a single copy for $9.99 CLICK HERE

For Bulk Orders of 10 or more at a reduced rate of $4.99 each, CLICK HERE and then click on the BULK ORDERS TAB.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Everything and Nothing


The weather here and up and down much of the eastern seaboard has not been cooperating lately.  High winds, freezing temps, snow, and now heavy rain is on its way.  I haven't been able to find anything news worthy to post, and until today, I hadn't used my camera in weeks!

I decided that instead of waiting for spring to arrive so that I could take some new pictures, I would go back into my files from our trip to Hilton Head and work on some of those images.  This little blue heron was kind enough to let me snap a few pics before flying off to parts unknown.  It was so interesting to see these much smaller versions of the great blue herons we have locally.  They look almost identical, except for the little blue's demure stature, you would swear these were just young great blues.  Come to think of it, I've never seen a young great blue heron...they must grow quickly because the ones on our creek are huge.

Aside from their "mini me" status, they also seemed a little less skittish than their larger relatives.  Not sure if it was because they were in an area that has way more people traffic, or if they are just a calmer species of shore bird.  Either way, I was happy this little guy or girl chose to pose for a few minutes.




It's cloudy but warmer today, and it's been spitting rain off an on since lunchtime.  Tomorrow is supposed to be a gully washer, so I plan to curl up with a warm cup of tea, watch movies on Netflix, and likely stay in my jammies for most of the day.

I made a grocery store run and visited an elderly friend today knowing that tomorrow wouldn't be a great day to be out.  Mr. Tide is half a world away, so the pups and I are all set for a quiet day of nothingness.




I picked these little violas up about a week ago to help convince myself that spring really will appear at some point.  As I was going through some of my images from this time last year, I realized that my yard was full of daffodils, my iris were blooming, and even the cherry blossoms were blooming...no such luck this year.  

In time, this crazy weather will sort itself out and things will be in bloom once again.  I guess it's like the old saying goes...you can't have everything.  So I will choose to be content, thankful for so many things with all that is going on in the world right now, and happy that little violas can make the day a whole lot more cheerful!

Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Fresh Start


I can't believe I'm typing a post on St. Patrick's Day while it is snowing outside!  Dear Spring, whatever we have done to upset you, please accept our sincerest apologies and come back, we miss you!





These pictures are almost 2 weeks old, from when we had our last snowstorm.  This snow is even heavier, and as of now we have about 5 inches on the ground and it's still spitting snow.  It is lovely though, I have to admit that much.




The last of the Tundra Swans said goodbye to us late last week, and though I will miss them and the lovely calls they make to one another, it does mean that spring must be just around the corner.




I know this not only because of the swans' departure, but because this guy paid us a visit last Saturday when the weather was nice and balmy. Sorry for the brown lines in the foreground on this image, those are the grasses that line our shore, and I was too lazy to photoshop them out.

We've seen a number of nesting pairs of Osprey high up in their abandoned perches from last summer, a sure sign that warmer temps are on their way.  I'm betting the early arrivals are wondering if perhaps they should have stayed down south just a few days longer since they are now likely huddled up trying to keep warm.




Last week I was huddled up myself, and wondering if a visit to the hospital might not be in order.  I managed to make it through Sunday, and on Monday, first thing, I was at the doctor's office where he diagnosed me with 2 flu bugs and a sinus infection!  Mr. Tide reminded me that my overachiever personality could leave illnesses out of my repertoire...and after feeling like I'd been hit by a truck, or 2, I wholeheartedly agree!

I laid in bed for days and watched almost every movie Netflix has to offer I think.  Some of them were good, others were just a way to kill the time since I wasn't even feeling up to using my laptop.




After a week of being bored to tears, but being smart enough to take it easy, we ventured out to buy groceries and birdseed yesterday.  I really didn't believe we would get much snow, but mother nature proved me wrong and wanted me to take it easy an extra few days I think.  

I think it was her way of giving us one last blast of winter to remind us of how wonderful springtime will be this year...a fresh start of sorts for things to come.

I hope all is well in your world and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Lion and The Lamb


It seems that March is being ushered in under the guise of a lamb, but the weather forecast speaks to the fact that a lion will soon be taking the place of our lamb like temperatures by bringing us snow, and worse still, ice!

It's hard to believe that this time last week I was enjoying short sleeved weather while visiting Hilton Head, South Carolina.  I did my best to envision bringing that weather back with me, but alas it was not to be.




It's ok though, at least I was able to suspend my reality for a few days and remind myself that warm weather is just around the corner.  And I took plenty of pictures to keep me busy if we do get snowed in for a long time.




It had been nearly 30 years since I last visited Hilton Head, though I've been to other parts of SC since that time, and the last time I was there I spent most of my time on the beach or playing in tennis tournaments, so this visit was vastly different.

This time, far removed from my youth, I paid attention to things like architecture instead of cute guys on the beach.  I was already with my own cute guy after all, so I could focus on other matters this time around.




I love how architecture speaks to an area and its heritage, and I feel a close kinship to my southern roots through the beautiful architecture of the south.




Throw in a bit of spanish moss for good measure, and I'm in hog heaven.




I also love the way most people slow down when they are at the beach.  They seem to reconnect with a part of themselves they often put on the back burner in their everyday lives, and find solace in the simple pleasures like surf fishing...




Or watching the waves come and go, wondering if the sea foam will reveal tales of mermaids and sea creatures.




Old Oaks, draped in moss, could tell tales of storms and other hardships they and others have endured over the years.  Or maybe they would entertain us with fanciful yarns about young love and first kisses stolen under their arching branches.




That is the joy of venturing outside our own four walls, it opens us up to beautiful places, new people, and things we might not otherwise experience.  As in weather, life is full of lions and lambs, each meant to broaden our horizons and make us appreciate all that we have.

I hope you each have a lamb of a week or that the lion won't roar too loudly!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Calm


We've been away for a few days.




Enjoying the sounds of pounding surf, the smell of salt air, and taking long walks, hand in hand, along sandy shores.




Though I am lucky enough to live on the water, there is nothing quite like the ocean to help soothe the savage beast in us all.




It had been far too long since we had gazed out across her boundless beauty, contemplating things large and small, and we decided we won't let so much time past before we visit her again.

I hope all is well in your world. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Slow Moving


It's been slow going around here since my last post.  I came down with the flu, then our son, then our daughter...their significant others, and so on, and so on until Mr. Tide was the last man standing.




I literally stayed in bed for days, hoping that someone would either shoot me, or that my head would stop feeling as though it was inside a giant vise!




I didn't return emails, so I apologize to those of you who so kindly wrote to me or left comments, but I just couldn't even bring myself to type a few words in return.  Today is the first day I really even felt like a human being again, and I truly can't remember feeling as badly as I have for the past week and a half, for a very long time!  Thankfully I have a wonderful nurse in the form of my husband, who took really good care of me and catered to my every whim.

Now, there is just a bit of a cough lingering, and I'm still easily tired out, but I can live with that, no problemo!




Needless to say, the picture taking has been at a standstill since I came down with my virus, so the swan pics in this post are from a few weeks ago.

The tundra swans were late in arriving this year, by almost 2 months.  We had nearly given up hope that they would come, when one day we looked outside the window and saw a few.  Slowly but surely, over the past 3 or 4 weeks, more have come to join us, even when our creek was frozen over.  They would Jemima Puddle Duck their way from one end of the creek to the other, stopping to feed at any open spot, or sleeping on the huge patches of ice.  It was slow going for them too, but they didn't seem to mind.

In the pictures above, the swans showing a bit of bravado are standing on ice, and giving us their best moves.  Their wings remind me so much of angel wings that I wanted to darken the images and really give them that ethereal, otherworldly appearance, hence the dark and soft feel of these particular pics.

At last count we had 38 swans, including cygnets, gliding along our shores, eating our underwater vegetation, and making a racket after the sun goes down...for reasons we don't yet understand.  We will be sad to see them go when the weather begins to warm, but we are happy they chose to spend another winter with us!

I will be out of pocket for a few days tending to some family/work stuff, but hopefully everything will be back to normal by the end of next week!  I hope you all enjoy your week!