Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Country Mouse ....City Mouse....

Good Morning girls...It's Wednesday morning I have the day off it's a BEAUTIFUL FALL DAY here  I thought I'd make a new post about something I've been "pondering" lately...do you remember the book  "COUNTRY MOUSE ...CITY MOUSE" I've been thinking recently that during our time in North Carolina I was living a "country mouse" chapter of my life...certain things I experienced there were unlike anything I've ever lived before.... on the west coast of course life is completely different so I won't include the years I grew up and lived in California...I'm talking about  lifestyle experiences that have shaped me and fed my soul like a storybook...living in the country was slower...the days woke up in a quiet lazy embracing sort of way that set my heart in a "peaceful place" before my feet ever hit the floor...everything seemed OLDER...like time was standing still around me...we had no shopping malls...no chain restaurants...no big box stores...can you imagine...the stores I played in looked like this....

This is one of our favorite stores in Manteo North Carolina...a place that from the outside looks like an old farm house with a slender parking lot beside it instead of a drive way...when you walk inside it takes your breath away with the COUNTRY STORE feeling of it...complete with wood floors and old counter display cases...

Feeling tired from all the walking and shopping...well take a seat on this fabulous antique sofa for a spell...after your rested you can wander into the garden room near the candy counter....

Yes this picture is actually a room in the store filled with huge windows full of sunlight and soft shadows...the sales people don't hover or follow you around...the faint southern drawl of conversation fill the air while the smell of fudge and "Old Time" candy fills your heart with childhood memories...I can't get over the "story book" existence these people live ...where family is everything...sitting and watching the grass grow is a valid way to pass time...our neighbors actually said that to us one day while we were walking by...we asked "what you doin"....their reply "oh ..just sittin here watching the grass grow"...
 It has been weighing on my heart lately what a gift our years there were...my life in the country was like coming across a rock that caught my eye...without thinking about it I bent over to pick it up...putting it in my pocket I went about life...forgetting it was there till the day I went to look at that old rock ....and found to my surprise it had turned into a diamond....this little country mouse is so thankful ...memories really are the gems of life...well girls that's my thought for today...thank you for stopping by...
 I wish you blessings and big hugs....Karena
P.S. Aren't you glad fall is almost here ....

Sunday, September 2, 2012

It's Time.....

It's official....TIME TO SAY GOODBYE TO SUMMER....still can't believe it's over...we didn't do anything really fun this summer except our trip to Nags Head...we enjoyed being in the garden... looking for surprises here and there...we did discover a great big surprise a few weeks ago hiding under our fern stand on the front porch...a cat...we thought was from the neighborhood turned out to be an abandon kitten someone left ...we started to make friends so we could get close enough to check him out and see if he was okay...aside from being thin and a bit dirty he was in great shape...poor little guy he was scared and lonely but seemed to happy we were around...after a bath...some good food...and some long stretches of kisses and cuddles we decided to keep him...we named him TYLER....Frankie our tuxedo kitty was so sweet to him...he was welcoming...Tyler is a bit too playful with Frankie so he lives part time outside...he seems to love it...

Here he is trying to look like he ISN'T POSING for me...he's really good at seeming uninvolved...


His time outside is spent playing  ...chasing butterflies....looking up at the bird feeders ...and jumping into our dogwood tree...something Frankie has never experienced...he has been an indoor kitty ALWAYS...you might be wondering how they get along ....Frankie and Tyler....they're still pensive of one another...it would have been better if Tyler could have been a girl...but my sweetie says as the kitty ages and we get him fixed they'll be better friends...he calls them the kids...

The birds have been my favorite this summer swooping and chirping ...entertaining me every morning as I wake up with their antics...the Safflower they are eating makes them come in droves...they line up all over the yard ...in the trees on the roof tops...over the porch...everywhere eying the perfect spot to get their first meal of the day...well girls I hope your all enjoying this holiday weekend I work tomorrow ....thinking it's going to be a busy day...till next time blessings and big hugs....Karena

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Welcome Escape....

Good Morning girls...happy Monday to you...I wanted to share a wonderful surprise we received last week my sweetie has a friend at work that was vacationing in Nags Head last week before she left with her family she asked if we would like to have the second half of the week at their time share as she was expecting her daughters from other states to visit and they were all going to be at home not at the beach...SO SWEET ...we were able to get the details ironed out for our ESCAPE which began early Wed morning....

We left by 10 am on Wednesday to drive to Kitty Hawk it only took us a couple of hours and we were there...this time share is set in the forest off the ocean of North Carolina...so beautiful...lush with birds ...butterflies...and lots of green trees...

After spending some time in antique stores...driving the main strip and grabbing some lunch at a quaint restaurant on the water we checked in...we were SO SURPRISED to find this "CABIN" like setting complete with a screened in porch with table and chairs for relaxing...as we found our room # we smiled at one another feeling so thankful for this GIFT...

Imagine our surprise when we entered our rooms to find we had the WHOLE bottom section of this building...our entry was to the right as the first photo shows this is the left section which had a kitchen...bedroom...bath...and eating area...our side had the same but the kitchen was full size...a master sweet...jacuzzi tub and the screened porch...it was built in the 90's and felt a bit dated but overall the rooms were lovely

From our rooms we could look across the parking lot to this gazebo which had the most wonderful vine growing over it sort of like a grape ivy...as you entered it had a bench on the left...then a swing on the right that looked out over a lake...

Like this...it was such a relaxing experience we were there Wed - Saturday morning check out was at 10:00 am...We had a private road to the beach with private parking I couldn't get a picture of the beach (darn) cuz I took too many pictures and used up my battery on the camera...suffice it to say it was BEAUTIFUL..we had our youngest daughter and her boyfriend with us for some of the time ...it was fun...I have some pictures of other things we did that I'll share later for now I hope you all have a wonderful day...till next time thank you for stopping by BLESSINGS AND BIG HUGS....Karena

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hello Again....HELLO

WOW....I had no idea SO much time had gone by since my last post....over a month... almost the whole summer... I am happy to be here and happier to say I missed you all....I have been experiencing some technical difficulties with my modem these last weeks it is randomly turning itself off or dropping my wifi connection....urgggg ....I have been so frustrated....that on top of getting used to working again along with LIFE has kept me oblivious to the passing of time....

I haven't been doing much since I spoke to you last...staying at home mostly when I'm not at work ...being a good girl not to go out and about wasting gas in my little "RAVIOILI" my rav4...it is SO unfair to have the gas prices dictate my FUN....oh well I know I'm not the only one...I have been spending time in the garden picking cucumbers...I have harvested 4 so far and they are delicious but I do notice the difference between the home grown flavor and texture as compared to the store bought...much crunchier I think and lighter in color inside ...also less seeds...I have had fun growing the cucumber and the tomatoes....not have much luck with my tomatoes yet....have only picked 1.....SAD...still I will persevere ...looking forward to at least ONE MORE FINE RIPE TOMATO before summer is over

I have been bird watching in my garden as well....our bird friends have been SO entertaining this season....I will share some photos later of some changes I made in the back yard this year that have been stunning opportunities to invite our new feathered friends into our space....they are so much fun...It has taken me hours to get this far in my post as I have to get up....turn the modem off then on...start my computer all over again...on and on....still trying to get an answer from Verizon about a solution to this....so till next time girls ....which I promise will NOT BE A MONTH FROM NOW....blessings and big hugs to you....Theresa if your reading this a big hug to you friend...thanks for your sweet message...your an angel....have a wonderful Sunday...Karena



Monday, July 9, 2012

Frankie Coffee Cake...Kath Kidston...Finally a Summer Breeze....

It's Monday July 9th....this morning I found Frankie Coffee Cake our kitty in the prayer room window...he loves sitting here gazing at the birds feeding outside...he always has a look on his face of such.... HOPE...that if he sits long enough he will somehow pass through the glass window on the inside to catch one of the birds on the outside....it's never going to happen but he never gives up the ...DREAM...

Funny little guy....anyway the last time I posted I put a picture of a pitcher I found at TJ Max last week for a really good price...I had a comment from Diana at "Nana Diana takes a Break" that it reminded her of a 'Cath Kidston" piece...the next day I went to the movies with my sister and little 'M' to see Disney's new movie ...BRAVE...after we were done we went to Barnes and Noble....as I walked in what did I spy sitting on the very first table in the store....YES THIS CATH KIDSTON MUG....I was taken back at how things sometimes present themselves in this life we live...I LOVE Cath Kidston's designs...all the wonderful things she creates are brilliant...


I had to take these pic's and send a special thank you Diana's way....I felt like she helped me find this great mug....so thank you Diana....it's such a sweet find...I treasure all the more because you mentioned Cath to me....

This is a print I have hanging over our fireplace that draws me in to it's summer setting every time I walk by it....today and the rest of this week our 3 digit temp's should be dropping back to a normal 85 degrees....the sloping green knolls...pretty pink trees...and blue cloud filled sky in this picture make me feel like a stout breeze is blowing clearing away all the heat and dust of an overly warm summer day....every time I passed by this picture the last few days I sort of had a silent hope a REAL SUMMER BREEZE would blow our way and cool us down....

According to our weatherman it will cool down and I will have my hopes answered....


Frankie and I are really excited about it......hoping you all stay cool this week...I'm going to get off the computer now and do some laundry....(such fun )....till next time blessings and big hugs....Karena

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Creating Does'nt Have To Be EXPENSIVE....

Good Morning girls....when I got home yesterday from work I grabbed a glass of water went into the morning room to sit in my prayer chair and relax... as I was sitting there I started looking around the house at different things thinking how much fun I've had gleaning   "TREASURES" to create a look in our home ....I suddenly realized  a lot of the things I enjoy were VERY inexpensive but they gave me the look I wanted as well as a joyful smile every time I look at them....I thought I would share some of them with you..the rug above is a hooked 1930's gem I found at an estate sale for under $20.00 dollars....it's blue background and floral center is a perfect combination for the house and looks great in front of my kitchen sink...

This adorable pitcher is something my daughter and I found at TJ Max this week...I just love it...AND it was marked down on their sale shelf for $3.00 dollars....it sits on our table in the Morning room next to the lamp...

This book cover is so beautiful from the 20's....my sweetie is reading it to me and the story is fascinating...books are a staple in our house for creating a warm layered look ...I couldn't get along without them for creating  personal style in our home...this beauty was only 25 cents at an estate sale we went to a couple of weeks ago with our daughter...


This is a picture of our sofa which is a very old "antique camel back" with horse hair stuffing and upholstery my sweetie had done years ago that still works but is not my favorite to look at ...so I've been covering it with different fabrics that work better with our "cottage" look...easy and comfortable ...this is a quilt we found at Wal-Mart for $16.00 dollars I tucked ...pinned...and stretched it over the sofa hoping it would be comfortable and attractive too....it works perfectly

Lastly what home would be complete without special deals from "TARGET"...this of course is another favorite of mine "Simply Shabby Chic" from Rachel Ashwell's collection at Target on their clearance shelf for under $40.00 ...by far my most treasured savings...it came with shams...duvet cover in a case that I made a pillow out of....so sweet

So girls I hope you are inspired to look around your house today and admire the things you "found" at a good price....these days saving money is crucial to all of us...but feeding our creative selves when it comes to our homes doesn't have to take a back seat...we can still have fun without breaking the proverbial bank....thanking you for stopping by....I pray each of you have a stellar day...till next time blessings and big hugs...Karena

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Coming Up On The 4th Of July....

Wow....July is here already....this picture I took  isn't very clear but I was happy this Cardinal  sat still long enough on our bird bath for me to capture it even if it's blurry....It's been hot in our neighborhood for over a week now with more then a few late day thunderstorms and Tornado warnings....some damage to trees and power in some areas but nothing terrible thank God....I have been back to work now for 3 weeks....my hours are usually 10 am to 2 or 3....so my mornings have been an adjustment ....trying to get some breakfast in before I leave as well as some basic housework so I have a jump on it for later in the day...

Tomorrow I work till 2:00 ....then we will figure out what to do for the holiday....this time of year always starts me think in of fall....crisp leaves under my feet....golden sunlight...and dappled trees...the 4th is a benchmark for my seasonal time clock...I don't think I'm alone in this either...I've noticed at work as I talk to our customers Lot's of them are looking forward to the fall too...but till then we have baseball to look forward to here....catching a summer game is such fun more warm weather....and summer fruit....I love the fruits of summer...

I hope you all stay cool ...whatever your 4th of July looks like this year I hope it's full of fun and sun and family...till next time blessings and big hugs...thank you so much for stopping by...I think of you all the time....Karena

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Feeling Blessed...& Full Of Smiles

Good Morning ladies....it's been a busy exciting time for me last week on Monday I started back to work at Yankee Candle Co. I was so blessed to be asked back when my sweetie and I popped in on a mall walk during my recovery...my manager asked if I could come back after I was fully recovered...Monday was the big day ...to say it felt GREAT to be back is an understatement...

On Friday last I experienced something I could have never dreamed or even imagined would happen to me...I mentioned a couple of posts ago about my friend Christine...what I didn't say is ...she is a PHD ...is writing a book on "Couples" that have been married for years and are STILL CRAZY ABOUT ONE ANOTHER...she also has a radio show in our neck of the woods called "Breakfast with Bacon" ( sort of a play on words since her last name is Bacon)...the day I posted about was a visit we shared over coffee at Barnes and Noble...I was truly encouraged by her open spirit and caring heart...

What I didn't mention in that post was an invitation she offered me to come be on her radio show that following Thursday...she asked if I could meet her at the radio station to record the show on tape for Friday June 15th...I humbly accepted ...drove over  met with the station manager and his wife...then sat with Christine for an hour to record her show...it was an amazing experience...the call letters are WYRM locally we can type www.wyrm.com into the computer the station # is 1110 am. I received a phone call from Christine 30 minutes before the show aired she was flying home from Chicago and left me a message....her radio shows are very uplifting...Christ centered...and always meant to inform and encourage her listeners...I felt so peaceful sitting across from her as she directed our conversation...not nervous at all...when we were done I sat across from her in utter amazement at her ability to create this hour long show with no script or pressure....just her and I 'CHATTING' ...she's got a GIFT....

If I never have another opportunity like that one again in my life it will NOT diminish the surprise of that moment or the joy I felt being a part of it all....I just wanted to share this with you because it reminded me what an adventure life is....when we think were stuck in our lives or find ourselves wishing for some change or movement in our daily journey ...it is coming ...when we least expect it....something wonderful can FALL RIGHT INTO OUR LAPS....I pray you each have a wonderful day today sweet friends....blessings and big hugs till next time...Karena

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Tall Ships Are Comeing....

It's a beautiful morning in our neck of the woods...sunny...blue sky's with billowy clouds ...a perfect day to kick off the big going's on planned for this weekend....It's "OP SAIL WEEKEND" here...tall ships from all around the world are floating down the bay towards our piers for a weekend of wonder on the water...

This is a once in a lifetime experience with Naval ships ...tall ships...sail boats that we've only read about in books heading our direction from what the new's folks tell us it's been over a century since this many ships have graced our waters ...I've included the link for Op Sail 2012 in case you'd like to check it out... 


http://www.opsail2012virginia.com/events-schedule/virginia-beach

Hopefully we will have a chance to find a smidge of space somewhere near by to take in the sights...my sister lives off the Intercoastal Waterway she told my sweetie the ships came right by her house on their way to the big water...so exciting

The rest of the weekend I think we will spend some time out in the garden again....bird watching....enjoying the pretty weather

I hope you all have a scrumptious weekend too...till next time blessings and big hugs...Karena

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Adventuring with My Daughter....

We had a special treat last weekend...our daughter was able to spend the day with us ...we started our day early in the am with breakfast ...then on to an Estate Sale at the beach in one of our FAVORITE neighborhoods....I took some pictures of this Hydrangea and the Rose bush below...they were stunning...almost every one of these beautiful homes had hydrangeas growing....

This Rose I suspect is an antique variety...a vine with clusters of blooms that furl open in a simple display of beauty....so delicate....


When Amanda arrived we sat in the morning room where my prayer chair sits....last weekend I dug up and moved a bird pole that was in the back of our garden and placed it outside our windows in this room....so we sat together over a cup of coffee watching the birds swoop...chirp...and EAT....

This vine is something I moved on Sunday with my sweetie's help...they are everywhere in the front yard...they have needles on the vine no flower just this "Jack in the Beanstalk" type leaf...still I appreciate it ...the birds do too...they land on the curly tendrils that spiral out of the stem...a perfect spot for sitting...

After we were done at the Estate Sale we went to McDonald's Nursery we found some Tomatoes and a cucumber to plant in the side garden...I want to try my hand at growing something edible...here they are I am very excited to watch them grow and fill out with fixin's for our salads...

This old enamel bowl is a perfect container for my Sweet Basil and Oregano...

The lamp shade on this table is one I found at the Estate Sale Saturday...it was a perfect fit for this lonely lamp that was up in the attic unused....now I can sit at the table to read or write ...enjoying soft light....it was so much fun to have time together this weekend ...our daughter is the light of my life....spending time together is always at the top of my FAVORITE THINGS TO DO list...well I guess this post should come to an end...I have things to get to around here...till next time girls blessings and BIG hugs...Karena