A Rainy Summer Day

As I look at the sky, I notice the gathering of dark water-laden storm clouds and wonder will we actually get some rain. ¬†A bit later, I hear the patter of gentle raindrops as they slowly begin to fall. ¬†The thunder rolls and the lightning strikes….. and, it has begun! A much awaited summer storm!

I know we equate summer days with lounging by the pool, relaxing at the beach, or perhaps a backyard barbeque. But one of my favorite summer events is when the rain begins to fall!

With summer temperatures rising into the nineties, and the blazing summer sun beating down with brutal strength,  the summer rain brings as much excitement to me as the first cool autumn breezes blowing in.

I embrace the summer rain much as I would a winter storm.  A chance to power down, choose a good book, grab a cuppa tea and hide from the world.  Believe it or not, I even have a favorite blanket (more for comfort than for warmth) that I pull out as I escape to a quiet corner with my awaiting summer read.  There I immerse myself in whatever novel has recently piqued my interest as I know the rain is continuing to fall just outside my window.

I don’t always read during a summer rain. ¬†Sometimes I take cover on the back porch and luxuriate at the musical sound of the raindrops pounding the roof. ¬†I have to position my chair just so under the breezeway as not to be splattered by the rain falling on either side of me. ¬†From this vantage point I can watch the thirsty plants gobble up the falling drops. ¬†It’s as if I can hear them chanting to the sky, “Thank you so much for this magnificent rainfall!”

Eventually, the rain will pass and the sun will come out again.  The temperatures will again rise and I will do my best to hide from the midday sun.

But until then, I will enjoy this refreshing break from summer’s heat with this delightful summer rain.

 

What do you like to do in a summer rain?

Have a lovely summer day! – Gerri

 

 

Early Morning Quiet

Summer has definitely arrived with temperatures soaring into the mid 90’s! ¬†I am a lover of warm weather, but it is truly difficult to enjoy the outdoors when the afternoon sun just beats down on your head and bakes you.

Fortunately for me, one of of my favorite times of day has always been early morning. ¬†(Well, to be completely honest, this probably wasn’t true when I was in my teens and only saw early morning on an as needed basis!)

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However, now that I am older, I feel my best in the morning, refreshed and ready to conquer the new day. Recently, I’ve taken to grabbing my coffee and sitting outside first thing to enjoy my garden and commune a bit with nature. ¬†The sun is not high in the sky and the temperature is pleasant. ¬†I listen to the birds chirping and enjoy the slight breeze rustling the the tall pines. ¬†It is quiet and peaceful. ¬†It gives me a chance to put my mind in order and reflect on my goals for the day.

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I draw my peace and serenity from these early morning quiet times. I gather my thoughts and my energy. ¬†This time alone in the peaceful, quiet early morning inspires me. ¬†It’s in this quiet time that I gather my creativity and think about the possibility of future projects. ¬†Without this time, I feel lost, without focus, unable to attain my creative goals, or to even be sure of what they are.

I have found that if I go too long without this quiet time, ¬†I become depressed, anxious and unsure about my future. ¬†It’s in these quiet moments that I gather my serenity and hold on to my faith.

How about you?

Where do you find your serenity?

What to helps inspire your creativity?

xxoo Gerri

Nature’s Neutral “Greenery”

Between freezing temperatures, buckets full of rain, and howling winds, l think we all could use a little “greenery.” ¬†Pantone’s color of the year has me panting for spring to arrive. ¬†However, while I wait I am going to brighten up my home with pops of green.

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Adding a little green decor will brighten and enliven any space. ¬†It’s simple to add subtle touches of color with accessories such as lamps, pillows, small rugs, or vases. ¬†It doesn’t take much color to bring a little life to a room. ¬†You can add these items in small amounts to try out the color and see if it works for you.

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If your timid about adding green into your home, try adding some natural greenery with flowers and house plants.  A little touch of greenery creates an inviting atmosphere to any space.  In addition,  adding greens from nature brings the outdoors in creating the feeling of warm, spring days even as the winds are howling outside.

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 Green adds personality and peacefulness, while keeping the atmosphere natural, soothing, playful and fresh.  Green has a way of brightening a room that has too much brown making it a delightful complement to a dark leather sofa.

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Green is often known as “Nature’s Neutral” bringing the serenity of nature into our homes and creating a sense of balance and harmony. ¬†Green brings to mind¬†relaxing days spent in lush tropical gardens. ¬†Can you think of a better way to chase the winter blues than by adding a little inspiring green?

So Stay Calm and Go Green!

xxoo  Gerri

Disclaimer:  Images on this post were found via Pinterest.

New Beginnings with Pantone ‘s “Greenery”

It is two weeks into the new year and I am excited about new beginnings and the challenges this year will bring! ¬†Pantone’s 2017 color of the year, “Greenery” expresses this feeling perfectly for me.

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“Greenery symbolizes the reconstruction we see with nature, one another and a larger purpose.” ¬†– Leatrice Eiseman

The year 2016 was a challenging and turbulent year for many of us. ¬†In America, we experienced political upheaval and witnessed horrific violence in our cities and around the world. Personally, I suffered a great loss in my life this year and am eager to move on and restore. ¬†I don’t believe that I am alone in yearning for peace and serenity in this new year. If you desire love and good will towards men, the place to begin is your own home.

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After doing a little research on Pantone’s color “Greenery”, I discovered that green, the color of nature, symbolizes growth, harmony and freshness. ¬†Green offers a great healing power and also produces a calming effect. ¬†Green is associated with tranquility¬†and calmness. ¬†Green not only restores¬†depleted energy, but also cultivates a sense of well-being. ¬†Green promotes a love of nature, as well as a love of family, friends, pets, and the home. ¬†Hmmm, I think I could use these things in my life. ¬†In my opinion Pantone couldn’t have chosen a more perfect color for the new year!

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Now I admit, I am not one to want to include a green velvet sofa in my home. ¬†I probably won’t be painting any rooms green either. ¬†However, adding a little “Greenery” in the form of candles, pillows, ceramics, or plants just might what’s needed to freshen a space and give it new life.

“Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.” ¬†– Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Wishing you all much joy, peace, and serenity in 2017!   xxoo Gerri

Choose Joy This Christmas!

Busy, busy, busy! ¬†That is my life this time of year and I’m sure your life is super busy too! It is so easy to get stressed out this time of year when there are so many things to do. Shopping, decorating, wrapping presents ….. the list seems endless at times. ¬†This is supposed to be the most joyous time of year. ¬†Unfortunately, many of us get bogged down by our “to do” list and forget about the joy.

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If you¬†are feeling this way, take a moment or two to breathe. ¬†Go and grab a hot mug of tea or your favorite drink, and take a load off for a bit. ¬†I promise, the most important things will¬†all get done. ¬†As for all the other things….let them go.

Here are a few things I do to keep the stress down and fill my life with joy!

Don’t Forget Gratitude ¬† ¬† ¬† Instead of fretting over that endless to do list, be thankful for the things you do ¬†have. ¬†Remember those less fortunate who would love to be shopping, wrapping ¬†gifts, ¬†and decorating a home. ¬†Above all, be thankful that you have a home.

Make a list, check it twice!¬† ¬† ¬†List ten things you need to accomplish. ¬†The first item should be the most important thing on your¬†long to do list. ¬†That specific need that must be accomplished today. The least important item will be last. ¬†As your making you list, think about what really needs to be done, and what could be put off¬†for a day or two. ¬†Then get busy and tackle those first items on the list. ¬†If you can’t finish everything, it’s okay. ¬†Get a good nights sleep and start again tomorrow. ¬†This way your most important priorities will get taken care of. ¬†If something doesn’t get finished, well … maybe it wasn’t that important after all.

Take care of yourself.¬† ¬† ¬† Speaking of a good nights sleep, ¬†don’t forget to get plenty of rest and to make healthy dining choices! ¬†You need to get enough rest and plenty of healthy nutritious food to feel your best. ¬†Try packing carrots and hummus for a quick nutritious snack. If you are dining on the run, try a salad with your meal rather that french fries. ¬†Your body will be ever so grateful!

Drink plenty of water.       If you enjoy an occasional adult beverage, this is not the time to overdo!  You cannot afford a headache in the morning!  Pace yourself and remember to drink water in between each drink.   Coffee can also be an evil culprit.  I love my morning coffee, but I can no longer can drink caffeine after noon or I will have trouble sleeping at night. Try water with a little lemon.  It will be so refreshing!

Choose Joy!   Your friends and family would prefer to have the gift of your presence rather than one more present!  Be there for them with your mind and your spirit.  Reach out to others and share your heart.  You will find that when you truly put others first, your joy will return.

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Joy is not in things,

it is … in us.‚ô•

I hope you all will slow down a bit and find some joy

this holiday season!  xxoo  Gerri

The Story of a Piano

Recently, I acquired this beautiful Mason & Hamlin piano.  It originally belonged to my grandmother and was given to my mother so that I could take lessons.  It has now come to live in my home.

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We believe it was purchased in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s. ¬†We had to have it completely restored – all new wooden keys. ¬†The needle point cover on the bench was actually done by my grandmother. ¬†I have thought about creating some kind of covering to protect it, but that is still just an idea that I am playing with in my head.

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When the piano arrived in my home, just before Christmas, I really didn’t have a good spot for it. ¬†My home is completely furnished. ¬†When something new comes in, something old has to leave. ¬†So, we moved a large China hutch to make room for it in the Dining Room/ Foyer. ¬†I tossed a few framed pictures on it and there it sat, totally neglected of style.

One of the great things about blogging and following other blogs is the inspiration that you find from others. ¬† A favorite blog that I follow is the lovely lizmarieblog.¬† She has a beautiful farmhouse that she is restoring. ¬†I love and admire her quintessential farmhouse style. ¬†She recently posted about painting her piano white. ¬†You can read all about that¬†here. ¬†It looks amazing in her home, but I know I could never paint this piano. I am not at all opposed to painting old furniture, it just wouldn’t be right in this case. However, ¬†she did inspire me to accept what I have and to get busy and make it work in our house. ¬†Thank you for your inspiration Liz Marie.

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So, first I shopped my house pulling items from the living room and bedroom. ¬†We have a Chris Hartsfield original watercolor¬†titled “Napa & Vine” hanging over the piano. I wanted to accent the apple greens in the painting with some apple green vases I purchased a few years ago. ¬†I also had a few other decorative items with that color to create the vignettes on top of the piano.

Although I am one of those who is constantly changing and moving things around in my home to keep the ambiance cozy and fresh, ¬†I believe I will be happy with this “quick redo” for quite awhile. ¬†I am pleased to have this piano in my home. ¬†It carries with it so many fond memories and I hope that it will eventually be passed on to my children and grandchildren.

xxoo Gerri

 

Have You Shared Your Love Today?

I know that I am not alone in feeling tremendous frustration at the unbelievable amount of violence that has erupted in our country and continues to grow unchecked. ¬†I hear so many people shaking their heads and saying “What is happening in our country?”

While going through my daily routine with a heavy heart from last weeks events, a song from 1967 recorded by The Youngbloods was playing on the radio.  The words from the chorus struck a chord.

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The words from 1967 seemed to echo the grievance I am feeling. ¬†I ¬†began thinking, “What can I do TODAY to make a difference?” ¬†Feeling disgruntled with hearing others say cruel and thoughtless words and not even thinking about the possible long term effects brought some questions to mind.

What if today each and everyone of us went out of our way to show love and kindness to a stranger?

What if today we all band together to reach out to the troubled souls behind the violence?

What if today we all show compassion to those who are struggling instead of using words of hate?

What if today we all think twice before uttering unkind words or criticize someone who is just trying to get through their day?

What if today we all work together to end this cycle of violence and replace it with peace and love?

What if today we all work together to build a bridge to create a country of peace and kindness, love and joy, the way it was meant to be?

What can you do today to make a difference?  Can you do it again tomorrow?

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Happy Wives Club

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Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated 36 years of wedded bliss. We celebrated quietly, as we usually do, without a lot of fanfare, yet savoring our precious time together. We enjoyed a quiet dinner at our favorite Vietnamese restaurant, followed by a quick visit with my mother, who lives in memory care. Then home to take our dog for his evening stroll and a quick visit with our neighbor. It was a quiet, simple evening, not too much different from any other evening. Yet, special to both of us to commemorate the day so long ago when we took vows to share our lives together.

We don’t typically go in for fancy gifts on our anniversary. This year I bought him a houseplant and a bottle of wine. He brought me some red roses and a new book, Happy Wives Club by Fawn Weaver. I laughed at the curious title wondering how he had discovered such a book. I wondered what the content of such a book would be about, thinking it might be referring to another Desperate Housewives scenario.¬†However, upon a closer look, I discovered the book is about one woman’s quest to share stories from women all over the globe about the joys of marriage.

How refreshing!  At a time when the world is filled with negative portrayals of marriage and the divorce rate is sky-high, there is one woman dedicated to finding and sharing the joys of a happy and enduring marriage. I have only read the first two chapters, but I already know this will be a book I will treasure and it will find a spot in my permanent library, never to be given away.

As I reflect over the few posts that I have included in this blog, I realize most of my writing is about simple living and searching for peace and serenity.  I realize how very fortunate I am to have married my best friend who has always supported me through the good times and the more difficult times no matter what the situation.  As we enjoy our days together, we frequently choose to spend our time working in our garden, visiting my mother, and celebrating special occasions at home with our family and friends. Together we have chosen to keep things simple.  We try not to overcrowd our lives with busyness.  We try not to accumulate debt.  We focus on enjoying simple, everyday pleasures together.

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Happy Anniversary!

Dedicated to my husband and best friend!

In Search of Simplicity

I crave a simple life. A life that is uncluttered, peaceful and serene.  In my mind, I can picture exactly what this life should look like.  I picture my home clean and uncluttered with lots of white mixed with neutrals and textures. A peaceful place to reside.  I picture days clean and uncluttered combining a sweet mix of meditation, healthy activities and creative time.  Is this realistic?  Probably not.  However, for me it is a goal worth striving for.

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I have recently been reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, a book about getting rid of the clutter in your home.  Her advise is to get rid of everything in your home that does not "spark joy." She suggests that you hold each item in your hand and if it does not spark joy than it is history.  You then thank the item for its service as you say your good-byes.  That process may sound silly, but if you have attachment issues, it could be helpful in your quest to releasing your possessions.

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This isn't my first venture into getting rid of clutter, or tidying up as Kondo calls it.  I've been trying to declutter my home for several years now!! However, Kondo's recommendation is to get rid of all your clutter in one fell swoop, not more than six months. So now I have a deadline!  I'm using July 6 as my start-up date which means I should be completely finished by January 6, 2016!  I will keep you posted on my progress!

I am familiar with the blog Becoming Minimalist  and other like-minded souls. Their doctrine is that cutting back on your possessions will allow you more time and more freedom to live your life as you really choose.  Once your free of so many possessions, you have the time to devote to creative activities or travel or whatever you might choose.   In accordance with this, Kondo's promise is that if you tidy up your home one time thoroughly and completely, you will then have the freedom to spend your time in a more relaxing and creative way.

In my quest for serenity and simplicity, I am going to take Kondo up on her challenge.  Once again, I am going to attempt to release my possessions in search of a sweeter, simpler life.  Wish me luck!

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Life is a journey. Enjoy the ride!

 

Finding Serenity

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Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm.

I remember as a young girl coming to understand the feeling of serenity.¬† It happened while I was sitting by the dock of the bay (thank you Otis) watching the sunset, after a full day of¬†frolicking in the hot sun.¬† It was a magical feeling that came upon me unexpectedly¬†as I watched in awe¬†the magnificent colors of the sky¬†intermingle over the horizon line.¬† It was as if I was seeing the sun disappear¬†for the very first time.¬† A feeling of tranquility came over me¬†that is often difficult to acquire in the hurriedness of life’s demands.

As life went on, and troubles came and went, I believed that serenity was something that could only be¬†achieved when by the water, at sunset.¬† When troubled, I would try to imagine that day so long ago when I sat on the dock¬†in reverence¬†of the sun disappearing¬†over the western horizon.¬†¬†I would long for¬† the serenity found in times when¬†I had the opportunity to wander along beaches. ¬†I would¬†imagine¬†the peace I felt¬† when¬†riding in my father’s boat, the wind¬†against my face.

Recently, I have realized¬†that I¬†don’t have to be by water at sunset to find serenity.¬† It is right here in my own back yard.¬† However, I¬†have to take the time to look for it.¬† It cannot be found in busyness.¬† It requires turning things off like the television, computer, and cell phone.¬† It¬†demands finding a quiet place to either sit and relax, or maybe take a quiet stroll.¬† It¬†means listening to nothing but my¬†own thoughts, and maybe the birds chirping or the squirrels chattering.¬† It¬†calls for¬†peacefully watching as the sun filters down and sheds it’s light over trees, plants, and flowers.

I have found my serenity in slowing down and taking in nature’s beauty that is all around me.¬† I have found a passion in trying to capture how the sun falls on the flowers leaving darks and lights, shadows and highlights.¬† I look forward to the day when I can visit the bay and amaze at the way the light from the sun dances on the water.¬† But for now, I will content myself with enjoying my serenity in my own back yard.

Have you found your serenity?

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