home, Random

Transitioning

If you’ve followed along for a while, you know that my life is split between Maine and Houston.  I enjoy both places, but transitioning into Houston does have its challenges.

West UThere are some highlights, including coming home to the house I love.  

Houston houseThe first few minutes are spent wandering from room to room reacquainting myself with each one.

tablescape/barEven before bags are unpacked, I go to buy foodstuffs.  Now, that is one of the joys of being in Houston.  Costco and Trader Joe’s are just a few minutes away as well as a grocery store that has everything and then some.  Between the three the pantry is well stocked and bunches of flowers make it seem like home.

Office View HoustonNow for the hard part. Compared to Rockport, Houston is a behemoth!  What that means is traffic, lots of it.  Already I’ve had to do some freeway driving and after traveling mostly two lane roads for the last few months, six lanes of cars moving at fast speeds is a trifle scary.

Houston has been home for many years, and I do have good friends here that I am anxious to see.  I appreciate the amenities this big city offers, but I miss the simple life and the natural beauty in Maine.  Heck, I even miss shopping at TJ Maxx!

Rockport HarborI especially miss opening my eyes every morning and looking out to see how Rockport Harbor is welcoming the day.  Here, when I turn my head all I see is the wooden fence that separates us from the neighbors.  

Oh well, it’s a good life and I am very grateful for all that each place affords.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Tablescapes

A Time to Play

Creating a centerpiece is fun, a time to play and let creativity shine.  

tablescapeIt can begin with a kid’s toy

filled with flowersor a collection of sprinkler cans.

southwestern tableWhen the garden is blooming wildly,  gather a handful of blooms and arrange them in a collection of favorite bottles.  This is the simplest way to stage any tabletop.

tablescapeSculptural shapes are fun to use as part of a centerpiece and interesting textiles are great inspiration for color.

Halloween tablescapeSeasonal creations can be full of whimsey

white tablescapeas well as reflect the season’s bounty.

Valentine tableThere’s no time better than holidays for play.

Christmas decorPull out those favorite things and let them star on a table.birdhouse tableHave a collection?  Use pieces from it as part of a playful creation.

tablescapeEven a serious table can be play as it involves bringing beautiful glass and china and silver out of hiding.

IMG_1975What is wonderful about creating a centerpiece is that it can be used again and again as inspiration for tables.  Simple changes can create an entirely different look, so play and see where it leads!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Tablescape Thursday

Tablescapes

The Why of Table Setting

Friends who know I enjoy table setting have asked me why.  There are several answers, but the one that comes to mind first is that it is opportunity to be creative.  It took me a long time to recognize that, and once I did it opened the door to a new way of seeing.  The story of how I began to view setting the table as creative is another story which would take some time to tell.

flowers/tablescapeSo, how does one make table setting a creative process?  For me, it begins with there always being something on the table from which to draw inspiration.  Does that say something about my not liking bare surfaces? Here, it was nothing more than flowers arranged simply on a runner.

Now, I have to confess to being a dishaholic.  The beauty  is that it creates a variety of options when it comes to selecting.  With the colors of the flowers and the runner as influences, I picked these dishes for our evening meal, but the selection could just as easily have been a solid color that works well with a variety of accents.  By the way, places like TJ Maxx, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Goodwill are great resources for items that are both inexpensive and add flair to your table.

You will notice that the table is prepared for two, the hubby and me.  Whether it’s the two or us or company coming, the table will add to the experience of eating. That is a gift I give to others as well as myself.  

What is really important about setting tables or anything else for that matter is allowing yourself to acknowledge that you are creative!  From there, how you begin to see and think becomes second nature.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Tablescape Thursday

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Inner Peace, musings

A Special Place

IMG_1557Roughly 11 miles from home down a curvy road leading to the woods where the only sounds are bird songs is a special place.

IMG_8977Arriving at this little cottage slows my heart and calms my spirit.

IMG_1555I love walking beneath the arbor where the sweet smell of roses perfumes the air.

IMG_1556All around is a profusion of colorful blooms that last until leaves fall and there is a hint of frost.

IMG_1558They are tended by the same loving hands that know all the secrets of my body.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Carrying outside images in my head, I enter the cottage, take the stairs to the second level and nestle on the massage table beneath a light cover. I close my eyes and a peacefulness washes over me as I await the touch of those hands.

As they begin their work relieving the tightness and tension of muscle and joints, my mind stills.

I breathe. I sometimes cry softly when I remember my brother or a friend or wonder how to resolve a troubling brokenness that from time to time occurs in the family.  The hands stroke my hair with understanding.

Two hours fly by and when they are over I am renewed and so appreciative of those tender loving hands that exist in this very special place.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

at home, happy place

First Things First

Changing houses takes a little time to settle in, but there is one thing that has priority, and I don’t mean unpacking suitcases or going to the grocery.  I mean getting the porch ready for the hours we spend there.

IMG_0592The porch is where we often start our day enjoying morning coffee

lobster boats/Rockport Harborand watching the lobster boats heading out for or returning from the day’s work.

It is where we relax with a book,

observe the birds that come to the feeder

enjoy time with friends and family

IMG_1523and have afternoon tini time.

IMG_1359Once the furniture is in place, the next step is to go to the nursery to replenish the potted plants that did not make it through the winter.

IMG_1364Now all is done and that means I can sit and rock. 

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

farmers market, Travel

To Market, To Market

Most travel from Alaska goes through Seattle.  It’s been some years since we visited, so it seemed a good idea to spend a little time there.

One thing that has not changed is the Pike Place Market.  

Throngs of people crowd the area, many there out of curiosity and some actually trying to shop.

Now, I’ve been to farmers markets in many different places, but the Seattle market may be among the most interesting.  Fresh seafood is a specialty, and its fishy smell permeates the market.

There are foodstuffs of every kind from baked goods to pasta

and sweet smelling fruits and vegetables. 

There is a section for arts and crafts, and if all the wandering makes you hungry there are a number of restaurants and food vendors inside the market.

No where have I ever seen so many flowers.  It was hard to pick favorites with such an abundance of choices.

Selecting was made easier by the women behind the flowers who combined beautiful blooms into works of art.  From what I observed, many folks had a hard time resisting their creations.

Being surrounded by so much temptation, it was impossible not to indulge in a few things which made for a most enjoyable tini time on our hotel’s rooftop sitting area.  

From there we could take in all the action below us, watch the ferris wheel go round and round and take in the comings and going of cargo ships and huge cruise liners.  Somehow I enjoyed that as much as being surrounded by mass humanity.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Tablescapes

International Flair

You never know what is going to inspire a tablescape.  This one started with orchids which were thoughtful gifts deserving  special attention. 

Orchids made me think of Thailand where the markets literally had bags stuffed full with purple, pink and white blooms.  That thought led me to choose this beautiful handwoven silk table runner that was made in Bangkok.  Thanks to Jim Thompson, the weaving as a cottage industry is alive and well there.

The runner paired nicely with placemats purchased from a street vendor in that same city.  I love finding things for the table that are light and take little suitcase space when I travel.

Because it is spring, a season of gardens bursting with color,  these dishes that once belonged to my mother-in-law seemed a nice complement all the pink tones.  According to the writing on the back, they were handpainted by a woman named Ernestine in Salerno, Italy. I believe they were sent home by a soldier husband during World War II.  I would love to know the whole story.

OK, Thailand and Italy are covered, so let’s go with napkins from a Saigon market.  Each little flower is hand embroidered.  In addition to this table showcasing pieces gathered from my travels, it also confirms my attraction to all things hand done.

All that is left to complete the table is glasses, and they, too, have a story.  I don’t know where they are from, but they belonged to a special friend’s grandmother.  My friend thought I would use them more than she and gave them to me.  She was not wrong, and the glasses with their wonderful texture are much used.

So many of my tables are filled with special memories of people and places.  This one, with its international flair, is especially so as with each piece my mind wandered to another place and the experiences had there.  

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Tablescape Thursday