after the storm

after the storm
Welcome autumn!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


We were so lucky to have my sister and brother-in-law visit this weekend.  It called for a celebration.  The weather called for having it outside.  It was the perfect evening.  Dinner around this table always makes me happy.
We had our annual soup party.  Because we were a small group this year, we only had three kinds of soup, tortilla, albondigas, and chili (which I know is not officially a soup but it fit).
Unmatched vintage silverplate, a weathered crate, lanterns, plaid and pumpkins - these are a few of my favorite things.  Don't you love that one in the center?  All those bumps!

Leaves are from our oak trees that won't change color until January.  Other things just gathered from the grocery and ground.                                                                                                                                                                                 

Dessert (apple pie, brownies and roasted marshmallows) around the firepit with the stars in the sky.  Oh, how I love this time of year!  I hope you are enjoying your autumn too.

There are some beautiful fall tablescapes at Between Naps on the Porch. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

'something wicked this way comes"...

Our host would like to welcome you to a Halloween celebration.  You can see by that grin that he is happy to see you.

The table is set outside for this spooky night. The almost full moon illuminates our dinner.  Only the best china and silver will do.

Will there be eight brave enough to accept his kind invitation?

At twilight, the wind began to blow as the first guest arrived.  The light began to fade which meant the photographer needed to leave and let the party begin.

A good time was had by all.  Happy Halloween!

Joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch, Christine at Rustic and Refined

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


The Raven

                                      b Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
            Only this and nothing more.” 
(yes, I know he isn't a raven, perhaps a thrasher?)
When I was in middle school, we were required to memorize and recite a stanza from a favorite poem.  I really don't remember this as a favorite poem.  Maybe it was October?  Of course, if you read this whole poem, you will know that it took place in December.  We do love Edgar Allan Poe in October. 
I haven't decorated for Halloween yet.  I have been enjoying fall too much but there is always a nod to Edgar in my decorating and I will share it soon.  Meanwhile, the reason for all of this, is a visitor who doesn't want to leave.  He is continually "rapping, rapping, tapping" on my window.  He isn't a raven but I am guessing they would be very good friends.  I also think he is some sort of thrasher who loves himself very much.  I do love all the nature that surrounds our home but this guy seems to know just when to start to make sure that he startles me.

Then he started to seem to get really mad when there was no response to his pecking.  It got louder, stronger and I worried about my windows surviving.  I would shoo him away. I had to get right to the window and tap on it myself before he would move.  He had no problem with me taking these pictures through the windows. 
I closed the blinds, I opened the blinds, I raised the blinds, nothing seemed to work.  I guess I channeled my inner Sheldon (Big Bang Theory) and decided that maybe putting a framed photograph of my son (no offense, M, it was handy because I am moving things around) facing out through the window might startle him.  Just like Sheldon and his blue jay, it didn't work.  When I heard him tapping, he couldn't see me so I just rocked the picture back and forth, hoping it would be more intimidating.  

So far, no tapping. 

    Hope you are enjoying October!  It has been beautiful here today.

Added 2 hours later:  He's back.  Maybe I should frame a picture of Poe instead?  Any ideas how to discourage him?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

getting cozy ...

Fall comes slowly to the desert. So slowly. We look for signs everywhere. Instead of people talking about the heat (today is going to be a record), we start talking about the early mornings (“Wasn’t it just the perfect morning to get out in the garden?”) and evenings (“We sat outside and watched the eclipse under the perfect sky and a hint of fall in the air.”) This time of year, we try not to talk about the hours in between.

If you look hard, enough there are other signs that it is coming. The hackberry, that usually is a nondescript desert scrub of a bush, gets little orange berries that the birds, butterflies and even humans enjoy, if put in a green vase.

The roses start to bloom again. My tortoises are eating as much as they can to get ready for hibernation. Our lemons are starting to get closer to yellow than green.

With so little of fall outside, we bring it in, where the air conditioning is still running. It's is time for making the house cozy.

We buy pumpkins. I had already gotten some but WB found some with wonderful stems last night and brought them home to me. Better than a bouquet of flowers. Orange ones, baby boos, white ones, green ones, blue ones - I love them all.

I change the quilts on the bed.
This old one is my favorite that sits atop my grandparents’ bed.

I bring out the throws.
I have a favorite made by a dear friend, some vintage Pendleton blankets and I can't stop looking at this one from Parachute, a luxury bedding company. It would be perfect with my newly painted gray walls.

I cut eucalyptus branches. I bring out the candles that smell of the woods or a fire in the fireplace. I listen to James Taylor’s October Road. I have gourds in bowls. I start drinking hot tea again. I dream of nights in front of the fire with a bowl of soup, the family gathered around our table and our traditional October picnic in the mountains.

It’s coming. It will be here soon. I just know it.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

what I've been shooting this week #2 ...

It is cool enough to get outside a bit more and I am enjoying it - butterflies, hummingbirds and everything blooming. Our September soakers have brought everything back to life again. My poor lemon tree that never seems to know what season it is, is blooming right now. No more words, just some images from this past week. So happy to welcome autumn!

As always, if you have any photography questions, I will be glad to help. I can't seem to figure out how to put a sidebar link for my flickr, Instagram and pinterest accounts. If anyone can help, I would appreciate it. My lack of computer skills frustrates me but then I remember, I would rather be taking pictures.

Hope you have a happy week!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

inspiration ...

I am so glad that there are glimpses of fall. It is a little cooler in the mornings, the light is changing. I wanted to bring a little fall to the house this week.
I know I have told you the story of my lavadera. We bought it at an antique store 11 years ago. It is a little different than a dough bowl so I still call it a lavadera which is how it was labeled. I have filled this with so many different things over the years. It spends most of the year on my dining room table filled with something seasonal. It wasn't until I saw this post from Anderson and Grant until I remembered I have oak leaves! I always think of them when they turn color but rarely this time of year. Autumn comes later to the desert.
I had the acorns, the gourds and today, while driving past Trader Joes, I saw the happy sight of pumpkins sitting out front. I had to buy 3 and a few squashes too. If I have pumpkins in the house it is officially autumn, no matter how hot it is outside. Now I am just waiting for the white and Cinderella pumpkins.
The blanket is dreaming on my part. We are at least a month away from needing it.
You know I like a simple table, not too much fuss so my lavadera and some candles is good enough for me.
White dinnerware always works for me.
I am so glad I saw Jamie's post or I would have gone with my standby, eucalyptus leaves. I am sure you will see them later in the year. I hope fall is finding you!

Thank you so much, Jamie, for the inspiration!

Joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch, the Table It Link Party, Home Sweet Home and Jamie at Your Turn to Shine.

Monday, September 7, 2015

what I've been shooting this week ...

First up, unidentified pods. I live in the desert and love fall. It isn't always easy to find around here. Sure, I can go to Trader Joe's and buy lots of pumpkins like I do every year. We make trips to the mountains to gather fallen leaves and pine cones. Actually finding bits of fall that occur naturally here really makes me happy. These were found in the Target parking lot. They had fallen from the trees that seem to be planted in every shopping parking lot around here. Somehow, I have never noticed them before. I am a plant lover but have no idea what they are. Thoughts of dryer sheets, shampoo, soap and hair spray disappeared from my head when I spotted these. An unusual cool, rainy day gave the blue, autumn feel to these. I photographed them in my vintage industrial dough bucket.

Next, Hatch chile peppers. If you aren't lucky enough to live somewhere where these are available, I am sorry. They are harvested in August and the smell of the roasters fills the air in the grocery store parking lots around here. Hmmmmm, I just realized I seem to have a parking lot theme going on here. I am a spice wimp. Luckily, our grocery store has a mild bin and a spicy bin. We buy both. WB blisters them on our grill and the smell is divine. We freeze them and then after removing the seeds, use as we want through the year for chile rellenos, soups and stews.

Next, just some shots around the house as I am pulling in bits of fall because despite what the thermometer says, I am ready. I spray painted some gourds copper to see if I like them.

Not sure if I like them or not. I generally prefer things natural but I do like copper.

Some old books with my favorite new candle, Volcano.

Finally, just a little addition to the dining room. I could not resist this owl. He makes me smile every time I see him.

Hope you have a happy week!

Joining the Table It Link Party and Amaze Me Monday.