Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Whatever Floats Your Boat

As I took this photo yesterday,

 the term, "whatever floats your boat" came to mind.

I love this definition from The Urban Dictionary and the phrase, whatever "soothes your soul".

Sitting in the garden lazily looking at decorating books, I was reflecting on what "soothes my soul" when Steve dropped some mail onto the table.

Reading letters from former students, despite the tears that flowed, definitely soothed my soul.

This beautiful young lady who played on my volleyball team and was in my AVID class wrote to let me know that she had graduated from high school and is off to UC Santa Cruz in fall.

Nini remembered my blog and said she included the card for me to display in the house.

Decorating is always something I "feel like doing", 

but I am not doing much lately because I am knee deep in wedding decorations.

Creating for this wedding brings me more pleasure than I could imagine.

The guest book is finished - except for flowers that the florist will add to the card catalogue.

I love the quote Aylin chose for the papier mache books I painted - it sums up the "Love Story" of the two English majors.

Lately, taking photographs is a daily activity that "floats my boat".

Every single day, I take one photo to post on Instagram.

And now I'm wondering, what "floats your boat"?

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Join me at 

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson for Share Your Cup Thursday

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Garden Party

 When Brenda of Cozy Little House invited me to join her 
Summer Cottage Garden Party, I was excited for several reasons.

First was to be joining some of my favorite bloggers who boast of beautiful homes and gardens.

But more important for me, was the motivation to get my garden in order.

The lyrics to Ricky Nelson's Garden Party (I grew up with Ozzie and Harriet) came to mind.

The line that I always liked best is,

"You see ya, can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself".

That line really resonated with me as I was planting flowers, weeding flower beds, moving furniture and fluffing the garden to please myself.

A major change in the garden this summer is new covers for the IKEA chaises.

I'm on a "use what you have" kick and remembered an old duvet cover with matching shams that were languishing in the window seat.

Essentially, I made tablecloths with ruffles that just drape over the chaises.

They can quickly be put on, whisked off and stored in my little Garden House every day.

Lulu thinks the chaises are for her and spends more time on the chaises than we do.

With the chaises ready for summer, the next step was to move a bench from the side of the garage to underneath a tree next to the fire pit.

I found another sham in the attic to use as a cushion for the bench.

The fit of the pillow is "close enough" and an old SUMMER banner finishes off the look.

On the trip to the attic, I also unearthed the yellow pillows that used to be on our sofa and brought them down for the adirondack chairs.

 I came across a scarf my mother brought me from a visit to relatives in Norway.

 The scarf works well as a tablecloth and I smile when I look at it wishing that my mother could be here sitting in the garden having a cup of tea and reading - she was never without a book.

It has been 14 years since my mother passed away (she would have been 101 last Sunday), but I still remember the last time she visited me -she sat in the garden and chatted with me while I planted flowers.

The rest of my preparation for the Garden Party was weeding, planting, trimming and adding little touches.

A little red, white & blue on my vintage window,

 and a patriotic display on the porch

will remain through Labor Day.

Everything I did was to please myself

and of course Steve, who likes to see his quiver of old boards in the garden.

I only wish that all of you could actually drop by today and visit me in the garden.

Don't forget to visit the other ladies participating in the Summer Cottage Garden Party.

Brenda of Cozy Little House

Jennifer of The Cottage Nest

Kris of Junk Chic Cottage

Sunday, June 14, 2015

the other side of the tracks

I have been spending my mornings working in the garden

and in the afternoon we take long walks on the beach.

So grab your flip flops and look both ways

because we are going to "the other side of the tracks".

The term "the other side of the tracks" usually has unsavory connotations, but in this case it just means we are getting ourselves onto the beach.

"June Gloom" means gray skies, but I like to think of the beach on these days as being bathed in pastel shades.

This is one of Lulu's favorite beaches at low tide because she can chase her ball and play in the surf for miles - actually our round trip walk was 5.5 miles.

I like this beach because the houses vary from quintessential beach cottages right on the sand

to McMansions built for luxury living.

Each time we walk this beach I notice something different

like the buoys hanging along the edge of this blue house

and the little cabana covered with buoys.

These little cottages

are hidden next to a larger house

so I assume they form a compound for a large extended family.

I saw lots of workmen at this house which tells me that the owners are probably getting it ready for summer visitors.

This house

and this house sit next to each other up on the hill

and just below them is a tiny little cottage that sits right on the sand.

I enjoy the variety of stairs people have created to get themselves down to the water -

these look like they have melted into the sand.

I love the old ropes on these steps

that lead up to the cutest cottage

that I can only glimpse from below.

All the steps vary in construction

and height,

but they all serve their purpose in getting the owners down to the water.

Despite it being a public beach,

there are chairs scattered across the sand

just waiting for the owners and their friends to spend the day sitting on the beach.

Despite the haze coating the hillside, it was another lovely day on the beach.

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Here is an aerial view of the beach on a clear day - obviously not a photo I took.

In case you are in the market, there are a couple of houses on the strip of beach for sale - the cheapest is listed for $11 million.