Monday, May 8, 2017

Weekend Roundup

I hate to be cliché (a lot), but Mondays are almost always bad days for me.

For one - and this is really corny - I miss my husband!  We always seem to have the best weekends together and then Monday rolls around and we have this pitiful goodbye ritual in the morning before he rolls out to go to work 😢 because we're both sad that our weekend time together is over.

So he leaves and I stagger up to my office with a massive cup of coffee...and then I waste several hours doing absolutely nothing productive.  For example, it's 12:40pm as I write this and it will be the only thing I've started so far today...although I did start and finish a really good tomato sandwich a little while ago.  🍅

Despite crappy weather - we are experiencing some Blackberry Winter right now (springtime cold snap that happens just when the blackberries bloom) - we did still manage to get a lot done and have some fun in the middle of it.

We started off Saturday at a local house and garden show at one of the fairgrounds nearby.  So nice to be outside again at these kinds of things but I do have to complain about one thing: why oh why do vendor-type people insist on accosting you as you stroll by their booth or table?!  I mean, we see what you have and if we're interested in it, we will surely come over and talk to you.  We had one lady nearly chasing us down to buy a deck from her and when we told her we already have one, she switched gears and started pushing an enclosed sun room for the deck we already have! And she didn't leave out that they offer easy financing.  All this in the few seconds it took to walk past her booth!  She was up and chasing us!  Obnoxious and intrusive never really sells anything, now does it?

We weren't quite ready to go home after that so we headed over to a local winery to try some of their new stuff.  We sampled about five of their red wines, settled on one, bought 4 bottles of it, then we also bought a glass to have right then and there to enjoy on their covered patio which overlooks their grapevine fields.  We had the place almost all to ourselves which is always a bonus for me as I do not love crowded places very much at all.

We finished up the afternoon at a nursery where we bought a beautiful hydrangea plant and some other stuff.

Hydrangeas are my utmost favorite and we're planting a bunch of them out by the front porch. They're such lovely old fashioned flowers.

I'll post pictures when they're in the ground looking pretty.

On Saturday night while sharing a simple dinner of meatball sandwiches, we got to talking about North Carolina.  I spent a significant part of my childhood in NC and I miss it a lot and we talk often of buying a little house down there where we'll probably ultimately retire to.  That's years away, but still.

If you are at all familiar with the Andy Griffith show you will have heard them talking about Mt. Pilot which is really Pilot Mountain which is a very real place and is where my heart is.  My father and his girlfriend moved to Pilot Mountain when I was really young and I spent all my free time down there with them. I was quite the little jet-setter back then and used to fly by myself when I was still in elementary school.  One time I was supposed to fly back to NJ but somehow my father "forgot" to bring me to the airport and the next day wouldn't you know it but my mother and stepfather showed up on our NC doorstep...along with some of the officers from the sheriff's department.
Seems they don't take too kindly to attempted kidnapping in them parts.
Nothing says "your dad really loves you" like when he attempts to kidnap you.  Or to put in another kinder way, attempts to keep you all to himself.
Good times, good times.

Pilot Mountain, NC
After talking on Saturday night it seems we might start taking some exploring trips down there soon...so my fingers and toes are crossed.  You can take the girl out of North Carolina but you can't the North Carolina out of the girl!  JP tells me he can sometimes still hear a little bit of NC in the way I talk...combined with my northern NJ accent!  It's a wonder anyone can understand me.

Ever since we bought our house, Serenity Hill, back in January 2016, we wind up spending our Sunday mornings at either Home Depot of Lowe's.  Yesterday was no exception.  I've been wanting a little gardening spot somewhere on our property.  I used to always have a really big garden but it was a lot of work and we'd just wind up giving away all our bounty anyway.  Serenity Hill is literally covered in the most beautiful shade trees so we have very little sun for a garden (but just enough that shines directly on our swimming pool in the afternoon hours).  Still, I missed growing stuff - particularly eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes - so we designed a tiny spot in the backyard where I can grow just those things that does get some of that afternoon sun and JP decided that yesterday would be the day to build it for me.

Ladies, if you can at all help it, do try and marry a man that can build and fix stuff.  I am so lucky to be married to a man that not only can build and fix anything, but does it gladly because as he says, he "likes to do stuff that makes me happy".
Yes, I did win the husband lottery.  And, yes, I do know that woman can fix and build things - I do it all the time.  But I can't do the things my husband does and that is exactly how I like it.
My Little Tiny Garden.
We're adding slate pieces to it to pretty it up.  They're almost done so I'll post a picture when it's completed.
Before I finish this up, I have to tell you about what happened at Lowe's.  We had a big old wagon filled with cinder and end blocks for my Little Tiny Garden and other projects.  We rolled it outside and I stood with it while JP went to get the pickup.  When he pulled up and dropped the tailgate, I noticed a couple walking from the parking lot toward us and the store.  I thought it was odd that they were going to pass between me with the wagon and our pickup truck (tight squeeze).  But I read it wrong.  When the man - who was not young, by the way - got right next to me and the wagon, he stopped and grabbed the first cinder block and handed it to JP who was standing in the back of the pickup moving some bags of dirt we had purchased earlier.
That man picked up and handed off to JP our entire wagon of block.
Now that might seem like a small thing to you but to us it wasn't.
We thanked them profusely and I looked at JP and said "faith in humanity, restored".
It's true:  kindness rocks.

Here is where we finished up our weekend:

This spot is so not done yet - it still needs new cushions and curtains and plants - but it worked very nicely last evening for some warmth from the chimenea while sharing an end-of-weekend glass of wine.

Overall I think we achieved splendidly our constant mutual goal of simplicity.
Low, slow, and easy.

Hope you had a similar weekend experience,


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Nobodies Are Better Than Somebodies

Have you ever noticed that you'll be loving on some website/business/tv show that has a whole bunch of the stuff you love - whether that is things they sell or some service they offer or just words they write or some other content that just really speaks to you - and you're thinking that finally there's some down to earth people out there who get it...and then the next thing you know they're gurgling about how they're hobnobbing with this or that celebrity?  It's as if now that some celebrity(ies) has graced them with their attention, they are validated by them. They have arrived, they're now successful, and they are dropping names and unabashedly gushing about rubbing shoulders with people whose name is well known. Twisted, isn't it? Validated by celebrities?  Now that is a concept that is seriously lost on me...and I've known a few celebrities in my time.

Celebrities are just people who had/have to perform publicly for their chance to win the lottery.   That's it. They are not divinely sent (sorry Kanye) or possess some special gene.  God does not love them any more than he does you or me.  Don't let them tell (sell) you otherwise.  And, good Lord, please don't be so influenced by them that you make important decisions in your life based on their opinions!
You are not a sheep and they sure as heck are not shepherds.  Make up your own mind.

I am not a starstruck person. I couldn't care less if you are the world's highest paid celebrity or politician or some other random bigwig. I am way more interested in non-famous, ordinary people.
That's the real truth.  Real, everyday people are far more interesting because their stories are not one-dimensional.  Celebrities don't want the public to know about their real lives, they only want you to keep worshipping them and giving them your money simply because you know who they are.  There are exceptions, of course, but they are few and far between.

Oh, and if I'm ever going to want to be validated by anyone, it's going to be the person who's struggling to get by with limited resources of both time and money who is spending some of that on me and my stuff.

That's where my attention and gratitude lies.

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