Monday, November 7, 2016

What's Been Happening Around These Parts...

Hello friends. Sorry I've been a little busy and I just haven't been able to sit and write. The past few weeks have been a flurry of Halloween, get-togethers, and lots of goings on. Though we did have some unusual October rain, it's just gorgeous right now in the Bay Area and this week we are supposed to have 70s temps!

I've been especially enjoying the warm afternoons and have been trying to get out to soak up some winter sun and marvel at all the pretty leaves.

This is just a smattering and some snaps of what's been happening around these parts. 

We had some fun at our annual street pumpkin carving gathering. 

Even my college son came back for this and he and his girlfriend even dressed up as Harry Potter and Jinny. So glad they are still enjoying this stuff.

My youngest transporting pumpkins.

Another day we got to Marin County Mart. It's a beautiful new spot with unique shops and restaurants with outdoor dining. We need more of those with our California weather!

With my guys at the mart which was decorated so cute for fall. I hope to get back up there soon to shop and maybe have lunch. It's a great spot for a day trip with a girlfriend.

In other news, we added these guys to our home menagerie. My youngest decided we needed to bring back two Wooly Bear caterpillars home from a recent trip up north and so far they are surviving. :D

Halloween is just near and dear to my heart as I have so many fond memories of my boys and all their costumes. Gosh those years went by so fast.

Loved this picture of them with plastic fangs. I had a bowl of photos with the kids in costumes through the years. Love!

I keep getting Facebook reminders like this. I try not to reshare them all, but it sure is fun to see some of these pop up from time to time.

Halloween and Thanksgiving decor seems to go well with my home. I have an (ugly) brown granite kitchen counter and a lot of black accents so just adding pumpkins and orange was easy.

I love these mums in a rust color and any tortoiseshell glass like this bowl.

Flowers were from my favorite holiday inspiration spot, Bunches Flowers in Los Gatos, where Pete the duck holds court. I caught her posing (yes she is a lady), so I couldn't resist snapping a picture of her.

Besides all the cool jars and vases and pretty plants, I like to take a gander in here as it reminds me of visiting with my youngest in his preschool days to look for Petey. I'm nostalgic like that sometimes.

The sign and also the pumpkin man were gifts from friends. Love them!

Saturday mornings I go for a long walk with a friend and we occasionally stumble on estate sales. Last weekend I scored a pair of cane backed pecan chairs from the 1960s from a lovely old home.  I think I'll reupholster them in a cool fabric. I also got a great dhurrie rug (above) in fabulous condition from the owners travels.

I threw some pillows on the chairs until I can figure out what to do with them. I love small scale chairs like this which are good for a game table between them, in front of a fireplace or just to fill a bedroom corner.
Estate sales are the best! Do not furnish your home in all new things. Estate sales and family heirlooms give it soul and make it uniquely yours!

Our entry hooks filled with hats and costumes from Halloween with an original Halloween painting from my artist pal, Meilei and some of my other favorites.

I got to wear one of those hats to the annual Wonderful Witchy Woman Lunch.

With fun friends and here I actually thought I was tan a bit from tennis. Not!

Hobbes the cat decided the new counter stools are his personal perch and only moves from them under force now. Does he not look determined? I added this short lamp on the counter for the winter months. I love the cozy feel lamps on kitchen counters give don't you? They are great on dark mornings and so much warmer than the overhead lighting.

This little slate sign in my kitchen makes me happy and it's hiding a nasty old metal phone jack that can't be removed. You can't tell can you? Hated that thing and I don't know why I didn't cover it like this before.

I've been using apples, pomegranates and persimmons in all my salads and as toppings on everything. Butter lettuce and red onions are good companions to any of that and a home made dressing of apple cider vinegar plus walnut oil and just a touch of maple syrup makes for a yummy fall dressing.
I've got my winter garden in and have peas, radishes, cauliflower, and kale growing.
 My dad is my garden guy. he puts it all in for me and starts many of the plants himself and transplants for me here. I could never grow anything without his help!

My dad Ray, has his birthday on November 8, election day. The first election he voted in was 1960, and he turned 21 that day and voted for John F. Kennedy.  Isn't that pretty neat? The voting age wasn't lowered until 1971 to 18. Love my dad!  

This whole election has been so stressful hasn't it? I have many friends who feel serious anxiety from it. Thank goodness it's coming to an end finally. 

My 99 year old grandma Jody (dad's mom) has seen it all and she cast her first vote and every vote since for a man and she's ready for a woman to be president she says. She may be one of the only people still around who has voted in every presidential election from Theodore Roosevelt to our first woman candidate, Hillary Clinton! 

I recently took her out for one of her favorite things and In and Out Burger. Isn't she cute? She's smart, and sharp and fun. I feel so lucky to have her in my life still!

My mother was also a big supporter of women's rights and I have said this before, but I just wish she could be here to see the day we finally can vote for a woman president. She  would be thrilled so I am voting in honor of my mom Sue, for Hillary. I know she would be happy about it.

Okay that's it. I've spilled my guts and got you all caught up. Later this week I'm going to be running some home remodel ideas by you all if your still out there.

Have a good week and hugs to you all for being here and reading. I'm feeling really hopeful that this country will rise above all the discord and be together once this election is done.


The view from our front yard this week!!



  1. Good to have you back. Amazing to see your boys growing up. Lovely to see your father and grandma and so lucky to still have them around.
    Look forward to hearing more from you.

    1. Thanks Susan! I know I am so fortunate to have them both in my life! Have a good week. :)

  2. Wow your Dad and your Grandma are so amazing. I love that you have them close by, that's excellent.
    Terrific update, you've been busy and your home is looking lovely. I agree that this election has caused so much anxiety, even up here in Canada, I had to step away from the coverage weeks ago. Such a long election and so much discord and division, it's been really difficult and I hope things can start to get better after this week.
    I love to talk home remodel so I'll look forward to your ideas! XO

    1. Dani, I do feel lucky to have my family so close. You know Canadians have been so nice during this election and it's amazing how much they care. I wish Americans would do the same for Canadians. You just seem to have it figured out up there! Ugh the remodel. I am just figuring out what the heck I want to do. Your beautiful home and ideas are always an inspiration! xo

  3. Great ideas for fall and I wish we also had more outdoor marts with unique boutiques and resturants in southern Cal. We do have all year pretty great weather and that is one reason I love California. Your dad and grandma are amazing and how special to share a hobby such as gardening with your dad! My dad could get anything to grow too, wish he was still here. I too am excited to vote for the first female president.

    1. Hi Jackie! I agree there can never be enough outdoor venues. The last thing I want to do when it's nice is be in a enclosed mall or dark restaurant. It always seems crazy to me when I go to travel and places like France and England that have no so great weather, have almost more outdoor eating spots!

      I know I feel lucky to have my dad and grandma. Everything I know about gardening is from both of them. Nice your dad was good like that too? It's the best.

      As dividing as this election is, I can't help be excited to see a woman in the White House and in charge!

  4. Loved those little black flats !!!
    What a life !!!

    1. Thanks Marsha! They were my Halloween go to. From J Crew of course. xo

  5. You have the cutest family in both the older and younger generations from yourself! I am also glad the election is nearly over. It really has been too long. they should have laws to shorten the election campaigning times like they do over here. Very lucky with those chairs! They look the type to fit in anywhere - xx

  6. Mixing old and new is always a good idea, it keeps it unique and there are such great bargains to be had at estate sales. Your grandmother is gorgeous, she doesn't look her age at all, big hugs to her from France x

  7. Those chairs are made by HENERSON or something like that MY MOTHER's dining room table was made by the same people which now sits in my sons house waiting for him to return from back EAST!he has broken down in BOULDER!!!!!
    I do believe you went to LARKSPUR?That isNOT far from me!!!!!!!They did a good job with that area compared to what it was 30 years ago!
    My MOTHER like MC DONALDS and your GRANNY IN and OUT!!!!!!
    I wonder what we will REQUEST if we make it to that ripe AGE.
    I am afraid to turn the TV on as I will be glued to it all DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!