Happy August! Well things around here are about to change. Our summers are so quiet as many people leave to head to cooler climates. But school is starting up soon, so back to more traffic on the roads, crowded restaurants and life in the big city. I truly love the slower pace of our town during these months, but like most things in life, it only lasts for a short period of time. We are again at the end of the week and it’s time for Saturday Meanderings, where we chat about all good things.
Quarterly, our city offers bulk trash pickup, which is especially helpful this time of year. With the monsoon season comes high winds and lots of broken tree branches. It’s a free service and most people put their yard debris and trash at the curb in front of their house. When pulling out of our driveway, I spot this deteriorated Adirondack chair in the trash pile across the street.
Okay, so I have, on occasion, taken someone else’s trash to make it my treasure. Recycling at its best, right? So my question to you~do I keep it chippy and tired or fix it and give it a new coat of paint? I hope to use it somewhere near the garden and I’m leaning toward a complete make-over. Let me know what you think.
Speaking of the Garden
This year I did not plant butternut squash so I’m assuming it originates from failed composting. Butternut squash is a winter vegetable but magically appears in my garden this summer. Gardening is one of those unpredictable activities which can yield fun results.
I had another watermelon fail. Following the instructions on when to pick a ripe watermelon, this 8.5 lb. globe has all the characteristics~dull surface, dried tendrils/stem, yellow underbelly and yet when I cut into it, it looks like this. There is browning around the seeds and it is missing the classic red interior.
Maybe I’m using the wrong variety for our climate? Or did I just pick it too soon? If anyone is successful growing watermelon, please shed some light on this. I am bummed as it will now become chicken food.
Master Bath Needs Work
I am in the process of gathering inspiration to re-do our master bathroom. Completely remodeled 22 years ago, it is in need of an update. A broken shower valve is forcing us to break into the tile walls and therefore, we will need new shower tiles anyway.
Currently the master bath is in shades of the beach~sands, creamy whites and touches of pale blue. It is a restful place and the goal is to retain that feel. It’s hard to believe it was in 2018 that I shared a post about our master bathroom. You can see that post here.
I am spending my time at Floor and Decor getting samples for the master shower. It is a bit challenging to know where to start and stop the renovation. It reminds me of plastic surgery. You revamp the face and then the neck doesn’t look so good. And a remodel can take on a life of its own.
So far, I am focusing on the master shower, replacing the shower valves and controls, new wall and floor tile. Above is a sample of where I am leaning. The “flower” tile sheets for the floor, and 12″ x 24″ creamy marble for the walls. What do you think?
More to come on this as I am also debating whether to remove the existing floor or stencil the tile like I did in the pool house bathroom. I love how that project turned out and maybe it is something to consider for the master bath. If you missed the post on the hand painted stenciled tile bathroom pool house floor, you can see it here.
Recall all those apples I picked from our tree in June? Well they’ve been sitting in the refrigerator all this time. Using approximately half of them, I made applesauce. Homemade is so much better than the store bought variety. Using just apples and cinnamon and a small amount of water, this is a healthy and easy way to use apples. So easy and a great recipe to make with children. No sugar required.
Lots of Painting this Week
This week I am focusing on finishing several paintings and sorting through which ones are worth saving. If you follow me on Instagram @lifeatbellaterra you can see this sunflower painting from start to finish in a video reel. Fun to watch the progression from blank canvas to this.
I hope to complete enough paintings and put some for sale on my website~aiming for sometime in September.
Escape to Paris
As you know, we’ve been a bit housebound this summer due to our dog, Cooper and his cancer diagnosis. However, I just read Danielle from Finding Silver Pennies post about her recent trip to Paris. Her pictures are fabulous and you really tag along all her adventures. This post is filled with resources on where to stay, where to eat, and places to see in 4 days. If you are looking for a virtual escape from life, read her post here.
Seeking an Upholsterer
It has been quite the challenge to find an upholsterer to rebuild our original Mitchell Gold 96″ sofa (which is 22 years old). After 6 weeks of playing telephone tag and awaiting quotes from one upholsterer, we finally agree to move forward and guess what? He literally goes dark and we never hear from him again. Who can sustain that type of customer service and still be in business?
The good news is I found the right upholsterer and we dropped the sofa off this week. Not only will he be completely rebuilding and recovering the original sofa, but making a new natural denim slipcover for it. Hopefully we will have a new/old sofa in the next few weeks. Yippee!
Time for Canning Tomatoes
I am getting ready to order 60 lbs. of fresh Roma tomatoes so I can make sauce for the coming year. This is an annual summer tradition, I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to open a jar of fresh tomato sauce in the middle of the winter. To see my post on canning tomatoes, click here.
Last of the Cherries
Cherry season in Arizona is nearing an end so get your fresh cherries while you can. An easy recipe using store bought pie crust (Trader Joe’s is my favorite) is a cherry galette (I use this peach recipe from Serious Eats and just substitute cherries). Or try your hand at a homemade cherry pie.
Beginning Blogger Class
I started blogging as a way to keep a living diary of life around our historic home. Little did I know about the technical side of blogging. Nor did I even imagine that I would meet so many wonderful friends along the way. Many bloggers monetize their blog and some don’t. I’m in the latter category because for me it is a passion, not a job.
Have you ever thought about starting a blog? If you are afraid of the technical side of blogging you should consider coming to our blogging retreat. A few of my blogging friends will be hosting a beginner blogging class in Florida in October (at my friend, Chloe’s house which is fabulous). It’s a great way to meet other people who are interested in learning new things and sharing their creative pursuits.
We are hosting this specifically for beginners with a maximum of 12 in the class. It’s for the person who wants a bit more one-on-one help with getting a blog up and running. You can read more about it here or email me if you have any further questions at [email protected]. I wish a class like this was available to me when I started blogging. Plus this one will be such fun!!
Monsoon Weather Pet Behavior
Two really terrific storms this week with thunder, lightning, driving rains and winds. Our cat, Donovan is exhibiting the strangest behavior when these storms strike. Since this type of weather pattern is so infrequent, I tend to forget that storms can be upsetting to the animals as well.
Donovan tucks in during a storm and this seems to be his latest hiding spot. At first I didn’t know what was on the floor and then realized it is his tail.
Well, that’s a wrap! Are you doing anything fun this weekend? Wishing you relaxation and happy times whatever you have scheduled.