Just the Two of Us

For the first time in several weeks, it’s just the hubby and me at home.  That means some relaxed moments on the porch enjoying the sunset over Rockport Harbor.  The days are getting shorter now, and the colors are deepening as summer begins to wane.

When it’s just the two of us, life is pretty simple.  Breakfast is a bowl of cereal or a smoothie or this time of year a blueberry muffin to go with coffee.  Lunch is whatever, maybe a sandwich, maybe hummus with crackers and cheese.  Nothing fancy for sure.

When it comes to dinner, it’s still simple, but a bit more effort goes into making it more than a stand up meal.  Always, there are flowers gathered from the garden or from the side of the road.

Whatever dishes are used are meant to complement the runner or placemats that are on the table.  This night they were from Dollar Tree which is a great place for picking up new pieces inexpensively.  No tears are shed when a plate gets broken!

It was a piece of cake to finish this table by adding accessories that repeated the colors in both the plates and the cloth.

As silly as my kids think it is, I always use cloth napkins.  Maybe it’s my contribution to saving trees and reducing what goes to the landfill!  Besides, it’s so easy to tuck them into a napkin ring which makes their presentation a bit more special.

So, that’s the table.  Now, what about dinner?  More often than not, we have seafood which is local and fresh. 

One of our favorites is scallops, likely to have been brought in from the sea that day.  They are at their best when seared quickly on each side to preserve their sweet goodness.  This night they were served over corn risotto with a simple green salad on the side.  It doesn’t get better than that!

So, there you have it, just the two of us enjoying a relaxed night at home with a few touches that make it seem a little special.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Little Piece of Heaven

Going to Maine is like my favorite fleece: the people and the memories just wrap me up in warmth and it feels like home.

I’m not sure from where I copied those words, but they sum up my feelings about returning to Maine.  Perhaps I wouldn’t love it so much if I were here all the time, but for  five plus months it is my little piece of heaven where all the stresses and concerns of life are diminished. 

So, what is it that makes Maine so special?  Well, there are a lot of things, but here are a few of my favorites. 

lobster rollLobster rolls

Walking on the dirt road

Tini time on the porch

Pipe DreamsExcursions on Pipe Dreams

MusselsFinding mussel heaven

lobster boatLobster boats

Rockport HarborRockport Harbor

fall/sunsetSunsets

There’s all this and so much more, and during the next few months I invite you to share Maine with me.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Things Change

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShortly after we married, the hubby and I bought a house in a small town that is smack dab in the middle of Houston.  At the time, the neighborhood had grown old.  Houses were mostly bungalows with a smattering of two story homes, most of which needed updating.  The majority of lots were 50×100.  

Along the way something happened.  Houston grew and grew making close in property more and more valuable.  That meant that in our little town old houses gave way to bulldozers

West Uand were replaced with big new ones.

Surprisingly, the house we lived in for 20 years stayed standing, but last week that changed.  Like all the others around it, it came down.

P3021528In a matter of minutes it was rubble, and the hubby and I had moments of nostalgia as we looked at the home that held so many memories.  The two of us had totally remodeled the house over a five year period.  We did all the work except for the sheetrock and floor tile in the space we added.  Looking back, we marvel at the energy we had and remember how proud we were of each step forward.

P3021524The house may be gone, but what didn’t come down is the sweetgum tree we planted the first year we had the house, and we laughed as we remembered its story.  It was to be a birthday surprise, but it was spoiled by the assistant who answered the phone when I called the hubby.  “Oh,” she said, “he’s not here.  He went to get your tree.”  When he came home with it, I tried to act surprised, but laughter overcame me and I had to tell him he had been foiled.

By the time we had kids, the tree had grown enough for it to become the climbing tree for every kid on the block. I can see them now and hear their young voices as they nestled in the limbs.  You know, things change, but the memories we hold dear stay with us.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Touches Here and There

The hubby has never been very interested in helping with holiday decor, and with no kids in the house some of my enthusiasm has waned.  These days less is more and the touches here and there are ever so simple.  For sure, not everything comes out of storage which makes whatever is used seem new again.

Christmas decorSo, come on in, take a look at this year’s simple touches.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou’ll not find a Christmas tree loaded with ornaments, but inside

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand out there will be one or two or maybe three trees on a tabletop.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASanta may play a holiday tune

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while his buddies dance to the rhythm.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANot all Santas are alike

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwhich is what makes each one special.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor the season there are touches of red, some new  and some borrowed from another room.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEvery room has simple touches,

some adding gaiety and sparkle,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsome reminding of the meaning of Christmas.

As each piece is put in place I pause to remember its history.  Each one has a story, and it’s fun to remember the where and when.  While what you see here are this year’s favorite things, I’m sure that something different will catch my eye next time.  Or maybe some of the same things will be used differently.  You’ll have to come back next year to see!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind.

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Make It Pretty Monday

Reentry

I am very lucky to live in two places: Houston, Texas and Rockport, Maine.  We have just returned to Houston and, oh, what a difference.  Many of those differences make reentry something of a challenge.

Office View HoustonHouston is big and with that comes lots of traffic.  

HoustonRight now I drive the freeways with my heart in my mouth, fearful of changing lanes and intimidated by 18 wheelers closing in urging me to speed up or waiting to pass me by.  

img_7502That is quite a contrast to Maine where most of the roads are two lanes with 50 MPH speed limit which makes driving a bit more leisurely to say nothing of being more scenic.

img_8259As different as it is, there are things I like about being in Houston.  High on the list is Costco where I always come out with much more than  I meant to purchase.  That was especially true on this first visit when having access to so much was overwhelming!

img_8314I like that Houston winter is green with lots of blooming things, the way Maine is in summer.  By the time we leave Maine, most of the color is gone and the landscape takes a break until spring when it reawakens.

img_8332Returning to Houston means going to St. Paul’s UMC, a church I’ve loved for many years.  I appreciate its timeless Gothic architecture, the peacefulness I feel there, the way it provides opportunity for discovering your own faith walk and that it is open to all people.

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The best part of reentry is returning to my house in the area that has been home to the hubby and me since we’ve been married.  (One of these days I will have to tell you the story of how this house got me elected to office or at least how I think it helped.)

Rockport Pano 6X18

As different as it is, I enjoy the time we spend in Houston, but I must confess that I do miss waking up in the morning, turning my head and looking out on Rockport Harbor.

Rockport Harbor

No matter the season, no matter whether it’s sunny or foggy, I love the view, the activity 

winter/lobster boatsand the sight and sound of lobster boats going out for the day’s work.  The most I see upon waking in Houston is the fence that separates our and the neighbor’s property.

Despite their differences, I am lucky to live in Houston and Rockport, and each helps me appreciate the other a little more.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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The Return

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Returning to Rockport, my initial urge is to get everything perfect, so armed with cleaning stuffs I begin the process of getting all things in order.

porchCrazy as it might seem, I begin outside where winter weather takes a toll.  Tarps have to be removed from furniture and porches scrubbed clean.  

IMG_6591That done all things have to be put in their place and pots that have stayed inside all winter are reintroduced to the sun.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen it’s to the inside where the first thing that catches my eye is a tabletop that I can’t bear to leave bare

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand a cabinet surface in need of a little dressing up.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA few favorite things that make their own statement took care of that in a minute.

Maine houseMoving on to the living room, it took only a glance to suggest that it was time to change rich toned slipcovers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAto  lighter ones more suitable for the season ahead.  That is not as easy as it sounds as it requires a lot of pulling and tugging.  On a roll now, I decided to move furniture 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand accessories around for a new look.  Talk about an easy way to redecorate!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s amazing how such simple changes can give an entirely different energy to a room.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith outside and inside in pretty good shape, bathing Miss Daisy was the next order of business.  She likes being clean, too!

Next up will be the yard, but that will have to wait for another day.  For now, I’m calling it a day and heading for bed!

i so appreciate your visit and especially the comments you leave behind

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Metamorphosis Monday

The Scoop

It’s My Thing

Frequently I am asked if my table is always set even when it’s just the hubby and me who are eating at home.  The answer is yes, it’s part of who I am.

tablescapeBy the time I was a young teenager it was my job to have dinner started so that it would be ready soon after my parents got home from work.  While food was simmering, I set the table, and while there was not much to work with I wanted it to look nice.  I had learned where silverware and glasses should go thanks to a lady who taught me much during those days.  Paper napkins were all we had, but even those were folded neatly.

napkinFast forward to when the hubby and I were newly wed.  We had little in the way of furniture and our dining table was a card table.  In addition to our single set of dishes, I had some cloth napkins and it was fun to fold them in different ways.  In addition to making the best of a pretty casual setting, it became important to me to prepare foods that would complement each other on the plate.  I am a fool for color and texture!

tablescapeI never thought of any of this as being creative, particularly since I didn’t view myself in that way.  The lightbulb went off when I was working temporarily for an industrial psychologist.  By leading me through a litany of questions that focused on my decisions having to do with how I lived, ate, dressed he helped me realize that much of who I am is creative.  He will never know how grateful I am for that revelation.

tablescapeSince then I have allowed myself to explore creativity, not to please anyone but to discover more about me.  It’s been a wonderful process, and I urge you to do the same by not denying your creative self.  We are all blessed with the ability to create, but sometimes it takes a long time to acknowledge the gift.  

tablescapeFor me, table settings are a way of introducing creativity to every day living.  What is yours?

i so appreciate the visit and the comments you leave behind

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