Note:  My vacation-starved brain gave information that I believe was confusing about son#1.  No surprise, I can start typing full-speed and things get away from me. (Read: I don’t proof read as thoroughly as I should) so…to clear things up.  Son $1 is married to a wonderful woman, they live in Austin and best of all, they have a daughter.  Since she is our first grandchild, we’re a little over the moon when around her.  Son #2 is engaged to be married December 1, 2012.  We are thrilled with his choice for our second DIL to be joining our family.  I raised 2 sons, if you have male children you will undoubtedly understand how great it is to be welcoming some girls into the family…a little balance. 

And for those who asked for pictures…here’s one on the carrousel during Olivia’s visit.  We didn’t get to the big carrousel we intended to (time flew) but we managed the little one and Olivia loved it. 

She looks unsure, but we got off and she immediately wanted to ride again.

So on to the topic at hand…summer’s end in sight

It’s nice to be back.  There is nothing like a little vacation to give you a healthy perspective on what’s important to you.  When you’re bogged down with work and life, feeling less than imaginative/creative, blog posts can become a bit of a chore…if you have a blog, you undoubtedly understand where I’m coming from.  How do some of you post daily?  I’m always wowed.

Time away made me realize that I choose to blog, no one holds a gun to my head, I don’t have sponsors or advertisers, so this is strictly something I want to do or I’d retire.  That kind of revelation is helpful.

So, it’s still summer here in California and I thought I’d share some summer fun, including the table setting a friend of mine created for a dinner we attended.  Per usual, my photography of said table isn’t ideal.  The light was beginning to fade and my point and shoot, when held by a person who has had a glass of Chardonnay, tends to blur.  But in any event, Wendy really did a great job with the table.  It defines summer here in Southern California.

My friend Wendy hosted one of our “birthday” dinners and created this fun table setting using Lori Mitchell figures, a vast Waterford bowl and floating faux shell candles, and all manner of summer themed accessories.  The Waterford bowl had beach sand and sea glass in the bottom, then floating on top were floating shell candles.  It was soothing to imagine the calming influence of the ocean.

Since I’ve dedicated myself to improving my attitude about summer, I started thinking about what things I’ll miss once summer is in the rear view mirror and fall is starting to show promise. [Sincere apologies to my blog friends that live where it gets bitter cold and miserable in the winter months, I understand your desire to put the breaks on the whole fall/winter build up]

1.  Leaving doors and windows open.  Alright, my friends that live in Southern California are now saying, “we leave our doors and windows open nearly year round”.  I do too, but it’s all relative.  There is something wonderful about a cool breeze that slips into your home on a summer’s day.  Oh, and for anyone new to my site, no, these are not my front doors but boy do I wish they were!

2.  I’ll miss the outdoors, not because I don’t venture out once the season changes, but there is something energizing about spring and summer flora and fauna.  It changes weekly with a regular show of new blossoms and seasonal growth.

The explosion of roses that comes with spring/summer…and no, not my house (below).


Eden climbing rose


Did you know you can eat nasturtium?  They have a slightly peppery flavor and are so pretty on salads.

I purchased this willow plant support (above) to give a clematis (below) a home, unfortunately the clematis didn’t return this spring as hoped.  So I planted ivy geranium, giving the clematis more time and low and behold, the ivy geranium decided it was very happy and would take over the willow support.  I’ll miss this display this fall/winter.

Romantica rose, ‘Guy de Maupassant’

I will definitely miss this rose.  This isn’t it’s best day but it normally is the closest thing I have to peonies.

Morning Glory

I’ll miss my over-grown morning glory, on the other side of my fence that  threatens to take over the entire garden.

3.  I’ll miss outdoor dining.  Although the image of the beach table and chairs reminds me of the line in the movie When Harry Met Sally, where she says she (Sally) and her boyfriend had said they were happy they weren’t married with children because it meant they could have sex on the kitchen floor or fly off to Rome at a moments notice, when Harry asks, and did you?  She says, no, not once and the floor was cold Mexican tile.  I love the fact that we live near enough to the ocean that I can drive down MacArthur Blvd. and see it when I want but we never go to the beach.  Crazy, huh?




4.  I’ll miss summer food.  There is something fun about eating light, fresh food off the grill.  Once it’s chilly outside and the night comes at about 5:00 p.m. it’s all about comfort food for me.  I have to exercise my will power where portions are concerned so I don’t balloon up during the cooler months!

{A Toile Tale}… This is a really great site (new to me).  If you want to be inspired with great table settings and beautiful garden ideas, visit Linda at A Toile Tale.  The above recipe is a big hit with my friends and family and really works well during the summer months.

…and I had to close with a very pretty table setting that for me says summer.


So tell me, are you ready for the change in season yet?  I understand for some it’s never time.  I admire those that worship the warm days, and understand {sort of} but as a crazy red head I just can’t get “into” the heat of the longer days…keep it below 75 degrees and I’m in heaven.

I’ve missed you, hope you are all doing well.