jump to navigation

Bok Tower Gardens June 25, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
Tags: , , , , ,
45 comments

Early May, we drove across state to Bok Tower Gardens, a national historic landmark in Lake Wales.

2015-05-08 12-52-41_0012

Established in 1929 by Edward W. Bok as a gift to the American people, the 50-acre garden was designed by noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.

2015-05-08 12-25-08_0010

The acres include ferns, palms, oaks, pine, flowering foliage, fountains, and wide expanses of manicured lawns.

2015-05-08 13-30-47_0039

This flower waved at us from its shady perch . . .

2015-05-08 13-07-39_0024

This plant’s radiant spikes caught our attention . . .

2015-05-08 13-22-59_0028

Here’s some perspective on the size of its spikes . . .

2015-05-08 13-22-47_0027

In the midst of the greenery stands the 205-foot-tall marble and coquina Singing Tower.

2015-05-08 12-55-36_0016

Each day, a carilloner climbs into the tower to present a concert on the 60-bell carillon.

2015-05-08 13-01-18_0023

The bells range in size from 22,000 pounds to 12 pounds.

After the tower’s construction, the bells got lifted into position through an opening now filled with this sundial.

2015-05-08 12-58-57_0018

The grounds include a Visitor Center and Museum with changing art exhibits and a 9-minute introductory video about the Tower and the Gardens ~> an air-conditioned oasis on the HOT day we visited.

2015-05-08 12-24-24_0009

The gardens are quiet, peaceful, and contemplative, especially when the carillon’s peals ring out from the Singing Tower.

2015-05-08 13-13-59_0025

The site also includes Pinewood Estate and Gardens ~ a one-of-a-kind 1930’s Mediterranean style home surrounded by rolling hills and crowds of blooms.

2015-05-08 13-24-25_0033

Wandering a remote path near Pinewood Estate, we found a baby scrub jay out of its nest.

2015-05-08 13-23-51_0031

After giving it water and building a lean-to to shield it from the sun, we returned to the 20-room mansion to alert a director ~ she hoped to find someone knowledgeable enough to save the baby bird.

2015-05-08 13-24-52_0035

Also on site ~ a Gift Shop, a Plant Shop, and the Blue Palmetto Cafe.

2015-05-08 12-24-19_0008

After admiring the sights and sounds while walking 2-3 miles around and around the grounds with the blazing sun beating down, we climbed into our air-conditioned chariot for the ride home.

Aah . . . that’s better!

And now a few quotes for the Three Quote Challenge (thanks, Sylvia!):

* The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul. ~ Alfred Austin

* My family lived off the land; summer evening meals featured baked stuffed tomatoes, potato salad, corn on the cob, fresh shelled peas and homemade ice cream with strawberries from our garden. With no air conditioning, the cool porch was the center of our universe after the scorching days. ~ David Mixner

* If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

If you want to play along, consider yourself nominated.  Then swing by Another Day in Paradise to see how many rules I failed to follow.

Upcycling: Cell Phone Caddy June 9, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Sustainable Living.
Tags: , , , ,
44 comments

This weekend, I upcycled a worn out t-shirt.

The t-shirt, decorated by a local artist, had seen better days but the batik design on the back still looked great.

I cut off the hem to use as a shoulder strap, folded the t-shirt so the batik shell design was front and center, and stitched the side seams.

Making the bag was a *snap* . . . except for adding the snap closure.

2015-06-07 18-09-02_0003

Now I’ve got a “cell phone caddy” perfect for hands-free walks on the beach.

This beach . . .

2015-05-11 09-23-18_0001

Aah . . . that’s better!

Have you repurposed or upcycled any “stuff” with good results?  Do tell.

Related post:  No Sew Valance * Upcycled Cat Tent (Upcycle That)

SILENCE! May 23, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , ,
37 comments

I enjoy silence.

2014-09-10 16-09-33_0003

During the day, we don’t have the TV on or music playing.

IMGP4182

Instead, we listen to the whir of the ceiling fan, the ticking of the clock, the rustle of palm fronds, the quack of the duck, and . . .

2014-03-21 07-42-58_0033

. . . the loud insistence of The Cat.

Aah . . . that’s better!

From See To Shining See May 21, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Mindfulness, Nature, Word Play.
Tags: , , , , , ,
42 comments

Florida is not all blue skies and palm trees.

2015-01-20 16-36-42_0021

We also enjoy pink spring blossoms.

2015-01-20 16-42-58_0028.ajpg

Framed by palm fronds.

2015-01-20 16-43-45_0030a

And budding families of Sandhill Cranes.

IMGP1186

Brilliant reds dot the landscape.

IMGP2608b

While Great White Egrets patrol for lizards al fresco.

IMGP1648a

Gardens may be a wild riot of competing colors.

IMGP1937b

Or a single shade of shade-loving ground cover.

IMGP2535b

That’s why I keep my eyes open when prowling from see to shining see!

IMGP2532b

Here . . . see for yourself:

Aah . . . that’s better!

Creating A Zen Garden May 13, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Mindfulness, Nature.
Tags: , , , ,
36 comments

Ego’s appetite for accolades, approval, acclaim, acknowledgment, applause, admiration, etc., etc., etc., is insatiable.

The bigger it gets, the more often it asks to be fed.

2015-03-19 09-38-56_0002

It is up to us to cut it down to size.

2015-03-19 10-30-38_0007

Allowing the rest of the garden to emerge from shade to sunlight.

2015-03-19 09-49-58_0005

TIP:  To remove tenacious roots, use a bulldozer.

2015-03-19 10-33-41_0008

Once we evict overgrown and overblown tenants, we can replant.

2015-03-19 09-38-47_0001

Mulching new blooms with care to prevent weeds from taking root.

2015-03-25 13-41-48_0005

Buoyed by success, we expand our efforts to encompass other beds.

2015-01-20 16-16-09_0002

Transforming a landscape of uncontrolled chaos into an oasis of peace.

2015-03-26 16-24-16_0006

Aah . . . that’s better!

Talk About The Midnight Rambler May 7, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , , ,
46 comments

StreetlightWhen mom moved in with my younger brother and his family, my techie sibling set up motion detectors, infared lights, and alarms to monitor mom’s nocturnal wanderings and midnight rambles.

If she walks from bedroom to bathroom and back, it doesn’t break the beam and no alarm sounds.

If she walks outside the expected trajectory, an alarm goes off and my brother heads down to investigate.

One week, the alarm went off in my brother’s bedroom at 1 am, 3 am, and midnight on two different nights:

* The first time she said she was going marketing with my brother’s wife.
* The second time she said she was heading out for a walk.
* The last time she said she got up to make coffee for my other brother (who was sound asleep . . . 2000 miles away).

Scruffy-CatEach time, my brother managed to direct mom back to bed . . . with only minimal disruption to the household’s beauty sleep.

Aah . . . that’s better!

TIP: Parents of teens (prone to wandering in the wee hours) might also find this type of technology useful.

Be Afraid . . . Be Very Very Afraid May 2, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Joke.
Tags: , ,
36 comments

Donald-DuckA police officer called the station on his radio.

*Officer* : “I have a case of domestic violence here. A woman shot her husband for stepping on the floor she just mopped.”

*Dispatch* : “Have you arrested the woman?”

*Officer* : “Not yet. The floor’s still wet.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Reclining Happily-Ever-After April 23, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Simplify Your Life.
Tags: , , ,
49 comments

Last July, we gave the sofa we inherited with our villa to a niece setting up her first apartment ~ pick up, not delivery.

At Thanksgiving, we delivered the matching loveseat to her as a hostess gift.

That left us with a sizable gap in the middle of our living room.

2014-11-24 17-58-41_0014

Consistent with my guiding philosophy (“do what you can, with what you have, where you are”), we filled the gap with deck chairs as a temporary fix . . . until we got ready to shop.

2014-11-26 15-43-40_0016

Have I ever told you how much I hate shopping?

I decided we would go shopping AFTER Christmas . . . just in case Santa dropped the sofa of my dreams down the chimney we don’t have.

He didn’t.

I then decided we would go shopping AFTER the Christmas decorations had been put away so as not to confuse the issue with seasonal clutter.

IMGP2758b

And we did just that.  We went shopping . . .

AFTER January morphed into February.
AFTER Valentine’s Day came and went.
AFTER President’s Day sales flyers began to yellow with age.
AFTER Shrove Tuesday.
AFTER Ash Wednesday.
AFTER the Chinese New Year.
AFTER the dawn of Daylight Savings Time.

With the Ides of March and St. Paddy’s Day on the horizon, my sister asked whether I regretted consigning our previous sofa and loveseat to her daughter.

Nope.  Giving them away created just the space and motivation I needed to muster up the enthusiasm for canvassing the shops.

As soon as I got good and ready.

On Friday the 13th, we launched ourselves into the market place of furniture showrooms ~ Highland Park, Hudsons, the Pink Pineapple.

No luck.  We continued shopping ~ Badcock, La-Z-Boy.

We found a super comfy power recliner at La-Z-Boy but didn’t like its bulging bulky pillowy approach to living room decor.

We continued shopping ~ Rooms 2 Go, Casual Interiors.

At the latter, we experienced sticker shock from price tags that exceeded the cost of my first car by a significant margin.  The only saving grace?  Fuel economy would not be an issue.

We continued shopping ~ American Freight, Furniture Warehouse.

We test-drove sofas that looked great but felt like rocks.  Who wants to watch TV perched atop a rock-hard rock?  Not me.

We continued shopping . . . feeling more and more like Goldilocks in search of an elusive plate of perfect porridge.

I consulted our list.  We still had piles of pillows to peruse ~ Pamaro Shops, American Signature Furniture, Baer’s, Kanes, etc..

Have I ever told you how much I hate shopping?

At last, on March 20th, after 14 showroom visits and 137 test drives, we found what we wanted at Manatee Furniture.  Huzzah!

2015-03-20 17-38-15_0010

The salesman sealed the deal when he offered to deliver them that afternoon! Yes, please!

2015-03-20 17-44-01_0012

We raced home, dodging Friday afternoon beach traffic, to return the deck chairs to the deck and ready the space for our new “just right” sofa and loveseat . . . where we now recline happily-ever-after.

2015-03-20 17-44-11_0013

Aah . . . that’s better!

Stuff By Us December 30, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Home & Garden, People.
Tags: , , , ,
46 comments

Don’t get the wrong idea . . . we don’t spend all our time sitting on our hands waiting for others to gift stuff to us.  Sometimes we make it!

In high school, I hooked this rug (which gives you an inkling of where I wanted to live).

2014-11-30 17-57-06_0006

BFF made this bookcase which we use as a table in the front hall.

2014-11-30 12-14-26_0054

I cross-stitched this small sampler which hangs in the kitchen.

2014-12-01 14-08-16_0011

BFF made a second bookcase for my office.

2014-11-30 18-12-04_0031

I cross-stitched this large sampler which may be adopted out soon.

2014-12-01 15-13-42_0035

Or not.  We’ll see.

2014-12-01 15-14-33_0038

Here’s a built better by BFF bench that sits by the front door.

2014-11-30 18-19-49_0036

Two more benches we used as coffee tables are patiently waiting in the closet to be repurposed.

2014-12-01 15-07-42_0028

I sewed the button Christmas tree next to this copper teapot.

2014-11-30 12-10-41_0043

We didn’t make this bench . . . but it’s the first antique we purchased after we got married.

2014-11-30 17-58-12_0008

This Scottish seaman’s trunk is 400 years old.  It stores all my Santas and Christmas decorations “out of season.

2014-12-01 15-11-17_0033

I painted this Whimsical WELCOME.

IMGP2255

IMGP2256

And this little patchwork Christmas tree (next to the Santa).

2014-11-30 12-06-24_0032

One year, I painted 12 Santas as gifts and kept one in a blue coat holding a wreath (far right).

2014-11-30 12-06-43_0033

I decorated 13 of these trees one year to give as gifts.  I kept one.

2014-11-30 12-12-03_0048

And last (and least) I painted the Christmas tree in a thimble stand that keeps my Christmas Critters company in front of a few more favorite heirlooms and keepsakes . . . BOOKS!

2014-11-30 12-10-15_0042

Aah . . . that’s better!

Do you have heirlooms that you enjoy all year and others that emerge only at the holidays?

Related posts:  Making Your Dreams Come True * What Have You Created Lately? * Why Do We Keep Stuff? * When Pigs Fly * Adults Have All The Fun . . . NOT! * Sense and Nonsense * My Rogues Gallery * My Blue Period

Keepsakes From Nieces, Nephews, Friends December 29, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Home & Garden, People.
Tags: , , , ,
25 comments

Over the years, we’ve received arts and crafts projects from nieces, nephews, and friends which we pull out and enjoy every Christmas.

Here’s “My First Santa,” carved by Earl E. Dix in 1994, next to a Christmas Tree with working lights crafted by Jane Nast, circa 1986.

2014-11-30 12-06-24_0032

Jane Nast’s angels and wreaths adorn our “big” tree which sits on the Tilt Top Table made by dad.  My sister-in-law Laura cross-stitched the tree skirt.  The blue scarf belonged to Great Aunt Edie.

2014-11-30 12-16-30_0059

Long before we moved to Florida, our niece Sarah presented us with a trio of alligators and a beady eyed snake.

2014-11-30 12-12-03_0048

Her older sister Emily gave us a stocking to hang by the chimney with care.  Since we don’t have a chimney, we hang it on the hutch.

2014-11-30 13-49-47_0011

Jessica, who just hosted us for Thanksgiving, did this adorable needlepoint of a cat eyeing a canary.

2014-11-30 18-04-54_0020

Andrew presented us with a hand-print reindeer (in the basket on the bottom shelf of this refinished table from Vermont).

2014-11-30 12-15-59_0058

Knowing my love of zebras, Sarah painted me one with a purple sun.

IMGP1329

A talented illustrator, Jan Philpott, painted Ziggy the Zebra for me.

zig1001b

She also painted this “Think Pink” beach scene for us.

Think Pink

Mike Jenkins sketched this caricature of me in college.

2014-12-02 08-56-40_0040

And Nicki Gioseffi gave us this gift from the heart.

2014-11-30 13-50-44_0013

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  A Family Heirloom (Grannymar)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,427 other followers