decorating with dodi

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Friday, April 29, 2016

So Many Choices

I love this time of the year. Everything in the garden is at its "showiest" best-before the Florida sun starts to take its toll in the even hotter summer months.

And, since I am trying sooo hard not to overdo anything so my back has a chance to recover, I find myself simply perusing the gardens even more than usual. I head out with a cup of morning coffee and walk around trying hard not to notice the weeds just starting to pop back up after the "back-breaking" weeding job I just finished-but, I digress.

Each morning I cut something. Today I decided on a fragrant spring bouquet in pinks and purples-and then, of course, another vase simply full of the newest gardenia blooms of the day-I can never get enough of that fragrance!!

Proof that I am trying to be good-my gated trellis in bloom on the other side of the pool. Usually a surefire way to get me over to the far side of the yard but not right now. Once I go through that gate, I will see all of the work still to be done. That will just have to wait a bit longer.

And, some perennial delphiniums that I just picked up. I have tried annual delphiniums before without much luck but this is a new variety for Florida so I am going to give it a try-but not in the ground until my back is feeling better.

We are getting ready for a little one-on-one time with grandson #2. His mom and older brother are off to Savannah for a 5th grade boy and mom trip-they tell me it is a tradition at their school but I wonder if it may not just be some moms who want a weekend in a beautiful city-lol. His younger sister has three birthday parties with an overnight so, not wanting to be left out, Hud asked for an overnight with Nana and Papa. I am keeping it pretty simple and we will see what he wants to do-should be fun. Stay tuned.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Don't Fence Me In!

Since I am pretty much relegated to walking and not lifting anything much heavier than my camera, I have spent the morning out in the yard in this beautiful spring weather. Look at the newest beauties I found just starting to put on their show:

Climbing roses on the trellis,

Jasmine over the gate,

An early hydrangea just popping out,

Sun vine blooms hanging everywhere,

First of the gardenias just starting,

Herbs beginning to take off,

 If you look very closely, the grape tomatoes are starting to flower...

And, the mock oranges are going to town. I love these bushes because they remind me of my childhood. I grew up down by the groves that ran along the Indian River in south Florida. I will NEVER forget the intoxicating smell of those trees in blossom. I loved it so much that every time my cousins and I would visit McKee Jungle Gardens-a local Florida tourist spot that we would visit often on a lazy Sunday afternoon because we always had season passes and I guess it was a good way to keep 5 kids entertained for a day-we had to leave with a small bottle of their orange blossom perfume...but, I digress. In any case, even though I know these mock orange blooms do not contain that exotic fragrance, every time they bloom I am compelled to stick my nose into them just to make sure!

Even though they always disappoint with the lack of fragrance, they never disappoint with how pretty they are in a large display simply put in a vase.

This is my nod to spring branches in a bouquet. It may not be apple blossoms or forsythia but lovely never the less...and I will take what I can get!

So I am trying hard not to do any lifting or bending but that is NOT an easy thing for me. There are still some things on the list to accomplish outside and I am having a hard time just "chilling". I brought my coffee out with me and then picked a few gardenias to stop and "smell the "roses"". As long as I don't look down at weeds popping up since I weeded here just a week ago or over to that high stack of bags of mulch, I will be O.K. And, just when I thought I had to head in and find a book or magazine, I noticed some movement on the other side of the yard.

I know this sounds crazy, but we have had a resident cardinal couple here for many years-and yes, I AM SURE it is the same two birds all these years! The male of the couple loves us so much that he wants in. If we are at the table in the sun room, he keeps coming to the nearest screen and hanging on to see what we are up to. If I am sitting in the living room, he is on the jasmine out front and, believe it or not, when we are in the family room, he literally comes to the side door and hangs on the grill to peek in.

In any case, today he was trying to get my husband's attention to let him know that his favorite feeder is empty. If you look really hard you can see him knocking on the window closest to my husband's office. This actually gave me many minutes of entertainment...and no, I haven't taken any meds-lol. No telling what I will find to do to keep me more entertained the next few days-stay tuned!

Sunday, April 24, 2016


So remember in my last post where I said I had been doing some poking around in my "stuff" trying to find what I might have left out of my spring decor? Well, I did happen upon two things that are usually out that I had forgotten so out they came today.

The first is this set of plates that hang in the sun room. I have hung them in the past because of their colors but never paid much more attention to them than that. But, today as I hung them, I realized how closely the pictures on them resemble vignettes I have used in my decor for years.

Pitchers and urns and cloches and nests...oh my!

Just a little aside-there are now 3 eggs in this nest!

Then I found my old, rusty terrarium. Right now it is just sitting on the hearth with a candle because my back is hurting too much to do anything else at this moment. I have once again done my "annual" back "thing". This year it at least waited until I was almost done with everything-although there are still a few heavy lifting things on the list. I have a pretty strong back and can do just about anything I put my mind to but there are some things that I just know I shouldn't try even before I start. This year it was uprooting a fair sized, deeply rooted shrub. The whole time I was doing it, I knew I should just cut it off and call it a day-but, NO, not me. I wanted to transfer it somewhere else in the yard.

In any case, this year I not only felt it go, I heard it kind if snap-and I knew I would be paying for it for a number of days. I am one of those people who doesn't like to be told "no", so I usually keep on. And so I did-until I couldn't any more. I am now walking around-if I do it "correctly" it doesn't hurt at all and playing with things of little weight or bending. If it follows course, it should be feeling much better in a day or two-and then, watch out to-do list. Here I come again! Stay tuned.

Won't this look so much better with a plant or even another nest-soon, soon.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

What Is It?

Do you ever have that feeling that something is not quite right but you just can't put your finger on it? That is what I have felt ever since I finished my spring decorating...something was missing but I just couldn't figure out what. I went around and tweaked vignettes but that wasn't it. I searched all of my hiding storage areas but to no avail. And then last night-in the middle of the night-it came to me. I still had all of the autumn/winter bedding in our bedroom. Spring had sprung everywhere but there!

And so, one of my projects today was to remedy that. First, clean sheets-a job I have come to loathe as our new mattress is soooo THICK and soooo HEAVY that even with the extra deep sheets, this is a true struggle every time! And, I did in my back once again the other day so I wasn't in the best of moods tackling this job as it was.

Once the sheets were firmly in place I moved on to the bedding. I actually have two RL spring/summer bedding sets but I keep going to this one so it may be time to make a trip to Goodwill with the other. In any case, I decided to also go back to the bed hangings. I used to use them where they are and then drape yards of extra fabric up and around the bar going across the top of the bed. I saw that once in a very chic decorator's store in Mount Dora and I loved the look for awhile but all of a sudden it just became too fussy for me and I have left the four posts bare for a number of years. I have a valance over the shades in the bay window area that is the solid green color and I just felt the other side of the room needed some too to pull it together. We'll see how long they last.

I am always amazed when I see pictures I have taken of this room as it looks totally blue-and anyone who knows me knows that blue is not a favorite color of mine. It is actually a soft seafoamy green sort of color and doesn't clash with the bedding anywhere near in real life as it does in the pix.

And do you remember me telling you not to stand still too long in the garden these days as I was on a quest to clean and clear? Well, the poor  Rubbermaid storage unit that used to sit here didn't listen-neither did the Rubbermaid garden sink. Both of them are now gone. We moved the storage unit to the other side of the yard where the potting bench is. It makes more sense there even though I liked having it closer to where I am usually working more often. Since it was so close to the A/C fence and hose connection, it was a great place for leaves and mud to build up after the lawn guys would blow over there and I just got tired of constantly cleaning under it!

The sink unit had a hose storage area so now we need to go get another hose holder also. I think it will be easier to wrangle the hose if it is a bit higher. I also see that we have to replace the back post on the fence as it is really leaning. Maybe without the weight of the sink and hose it will stand a little straighter. The junk pile for Tuesday's pick-up continues to grow. Better watch out-you never know what may be next! Stay tuned.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Strike That!

I had fully intended to post today about my haphazard style of gardening. Everyone always says what a wonderful gardener I am...but, that is really not true. What IS true is that I love gardening-I love color-I love flowers. But, that does not a gardener make! And this point was really driven home to me this morning.

It was another simply perfect spring day so I set out to do a few more things outside-including getting the newly purchased plants down. I knew when I was buying the plants the other day that I really wasn't sure where I would put them...I just knew I loved them and can always find room for more color.

I sort of thought that I would add the gerbera daisies to the garden where all of the other gerberas are. But, for some reason I decided I wanted them in the terraced garden by the pool. Then, I was going to put the pentas in another area but changed my mind at the last minute and decided to add them to this garden as well. And so it went. Everything except one penta and the lavender plant ended up here.

And what, you ask, is wrong with that? Nothing except that I just stuck them wherever there was a spot-with no regard to height, bushiness, etc. I decided that at my age I can pretty much do what I want and I kind of like the look of the haphazard garden-bursting with bloom with no regard to anything else-kind of like it "just happened". Of course now I have decided that there are more spots that need filling in so I will be heading back to the store in the morning.

I was going to show you lots of pictures but just as I was about to start taking them, the afternoon skies opened up and we are getting the most beautiful of spring rains. I know the plants are loving it and, honestly, so am I as it gives me an excuse to "call it a day".

Last night we got to attend one of our favorite school functions with the kids- the annual spaghetti dinner followed by an art and music show. Each grade level gets to sings a few songs and now that they have the stage set up outdoors, it is a beautiful way to spend a spring evening.

I always sneak up to the front as they are just getting ready because I "embarrass" them if I do it while they are performing. You can tell from each picture which one is "mine" as they are pretty much the only ones looking at me-lol.

I think the boy in the front row recognized me as Harrison's Nana-either that or he was just happy to have his picture taken.

So that is pretty much it for this week. I truly can't believe all of the projects I have accomplished-some of them were large but the ones I am the happiest about are the small ones. You know, those things that you keep seeing and thinking. "some day I need to ...". Well, I am proud to say I finally DID! Of course, that just opens up more plans so stay tuned.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Slow Going...

...but not our fault.

I headed out pretty early today to start painting the door...and, somehow, convinced my hubby that he would just LOVE to help by painting the gate. Neither one is a job I love but they were jobs that had to be done. Here is how the door is looking now:

I still need to go back and clean paint off of the windows and touch up a few areas. I know the difference is very subtle but it went from this:

to this:

And, the gate is wearing a lovely new coat as well:

And, I even managed to finish the two sun room doors-pretty good day's work if I do say so myself!

I still have all of the mulch and plants to put in but little by little, the list is dwindling. I have also been going around the yard and gathering up things that just don't need to be here any more-especially small flower pots that once held small plants. The problem with that is if you don't water every one at least once a day, the lovely small plant dies quickly...and then it really doesn't matter how cute the pot is-the plant is dead. And that is not anything lovely to look at-and so, I am simplifying a bit! As much as I love my gardens and gardening, some of the tasks have become too much of a chore and so I am getting rid of those things and moving on! Better not get in my way. Stay tuned.

Want to share the smiling face of our oldest grand daughter as she nears the completion of her first Boston proud of this young woman and can't wait to see where life takes her! Way to go Hannah!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Devil Made Me Do It!

So going to a home improvement store should be a simple thing-right? That is, unless you are me. You see, I always park by the garden section of these stores so I can go in through all of that fragrant beauty before getting to the real point of my visit. And, as usually happens, before I even get three feet into the store, I am grabbing a cart and filling it full of that very same fragrant beauty.

Just when I thought I had all of the new plants put in and almost all of the mulch put down, I followed my usual pattern of not being able to resist. And now, I am once again facing this:

But, I did eventually make my way into the store and also came home with this. And while we are on the subject of paint-it can no longer be said that a new coat of paint can be a cheap make-over. Paint-regular old one gallon cans of paint-can now be as much as $50 a can! Since I change colors and moods often, I opted for the almost $40 a can stuff-a real bargain in my book-lol. In any case, I am heading out to do some preliminary cleaning so I can hit the bricks running-so to speak- in the morning and get one more spring project in the record books.

I just looked at this can and if this is the Maximum weather protection, what more can the more expensive can possibly offer?

And then, I think I am going to skip making the fence slat sign I was planning for spring and jump ahead to something like this for July 4th. The porch looks just fine the way it is right now with the pots of pretty spring blooms and the 4th deserves a bit more pizazz. Plus, I usually decorate for July 4th at the end of May and with the crazy, busy spring we have in our family, I need to get ahead of the game.

We are having the most incredible weather-so glad spring has sprung! Stay tuned.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Yay! Just Gained a Day!

Best laid plans...hubby and I thought we knew where today was going to take us but plans changed and the errands we thought we had to head out to do actually "came to us"-don't ask. And so, I find myself with a full day at home and none of my big projects looming. Usually this would derail me but, our oldest grand daughter is actually running the Boston marathon as we speak so I am having fun tracking her and taking time to smell some of the roses and jasmine and tea my garden.

New umbrellas are "assembled-can you believe they actually came with a multi-paged booklet telling you how to put post A into hole B?!!-and looking good.

And, a few old friends popped out overnight as well.

This spot is calling my name-won't be long now!!

And, as indecisive as I can be, I think I have finally picked the color for the doors. It is similar to what they were originally but just a tad "greener". Looks like the rest of my week will be filled up so I am going to enjoy the break while I can! Stay tuned.