Living Graciously, Artfully, Frugally.

Consciously taking notice of the gifts each day places in our path.

“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.” R. W. Emerson

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween is Almost Here

Where have the years gone?
I should have payed more attention.
It is almost Halloween and we have no plans. Living in an area where the houses are far apart and there are no sidewalks, we have never had trick or treaters. When we built our home Joe and Sadie were 5 and 3 and we had several friends on the street with young children. We would take them farther down the road where houses were closer together for tricks and treats. When they started elementary school and we met some of the other parents we began taking them to a friend's home near their school. The parents hosted a big party and we would walk the neighborhood for miles with a large group of kids, then return for food and drinks afterward. As they grew of course they wanted to go begging with friends, not parents. So we would sit with other parents giving out candy and enjoying their company.
Last year my daughter had some friends over to watch scary movies and my son of course went to a college party. (Dressed in a sequin dress of his grandmother's from the sixties, remind me to find a picture) This year my daughter's band is playing at a friend's party and I'm sure Joe has plans.
I am really starting to feel the empty nest. I am lucky that my kids like to hang with us at the old homestead often, but of course they have their own lives to lead, with friends, as they should.
So, if I had known which year would be the last trick or treat with mom and dad, the last cute kiddie costume I would put together, would I have paid more attention? As parents, if we realized the story we are reading is the last bedtime story they would ask for, would we print the image indelibly on the photo album in our head? What about the last boo boo, trip to the toy store, push on a swing, field trip to chaperone... I guess it would be too hard to face if we knew. Life flies by so fast and children are grown in an instant. I love the relationships I have with my children and their friends now that they are almost adults, but oh what I wouldn't give to have that childhood back for just one day.
This time of year is so bittersweet, the approach of the holidays to come and those past mingle together in everyone's mind. We are filled with both happy anticipation and sweet memories of years gone by. I know this is all part of the river of life, children grow up and their lives are wide open before them. We all have to leave the past behind.
Okay, enough boo hooing, I gotta make some phone calls...I need a recipe for a pitcher of dirty martinis to share with some empty nester friends of my own... Debbie I hear you have a good one.

Have a memorable Tuesday,P
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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Fun

Okay. I have a question. Maybe I'm just tired so I am a little more frustrated than usual, but am I the only one that has to post pictures in the opposite order from the way I want my post to run? I am learning slowly however there must be an easier way. How do you post pics and blog about them at the same time?
'Splain it to me, please! I need a blogging for dummies tutorial.

Enough about that. We had a low key get together last night with a group of friends that we have known since our kids were in kindergarten or first grade. We all met through our children's elementary school, Our Lady of Lourdes, and have been friends since. Our kids are now in high school or college so we decided to get together once a month as a group so we don't lose contact.(we all know that can happen once friends aren't together for this or that school function)

So, the girl's got their hair done for the party...Baby is hiding because she feels naked. Poor girl.
These are the absolute last Halloween dec pictures I am posting. Promise.
Come on in.
We haven't carved the pumpkins yet. (only tattooed them)
Sadie does good work.
A little fall welcome.
And not so welcome. I tried to get a decent shot of cracked head baby but the light wasn't cooperating.
I hate using the flash. Her sign says "Careful I bite."
Remember Sister Mary Very Scary?
Even cute little children can look eerie by candlelight.
Candles in milk glass. Ghostly.
The entry by candlelight.
Orange lights on top of the book cases.
Do you need to use the powder room?

(The beautiful lady and sweet baby are my hubby and his mother Justine. We miss you.)
Grungy jack-o-lanterns. Thanks Home Goods.
I really cut back this year. I probably only displayed about a fifth of all the decorations I have. Liking the spare look. Much less stress.
First fire of the season. (No we weren't watching TV. We found a sounds of the season Halloween music channel for background atmosphere.)
You know my attraction to shiny things. Amber and red glass waiting to be filled.
We had potato soup and chili and amazing appetizers as well as Laura's home made cream puffs. (To die for)
We gave the option of dressing up or not. Since we are all lame except this lovely couple, no one else dressed up.
Say hello to Sarah Palin and Joe six pack. How cute are they?
Some girls just can't handle a party. Thanks for coming, see you soon!
Sunday morning late bloomers. I have been having trouble taking clear pics with my camera lately . I really need to read more of the manual, so I thought I would practice on these last flowers of the year.
This little plant is covered with blue blooms.
See what I mean, not too clear. Maybe a tripod?
A few visitors from across the street.

Have a laid back Sunday, P
P.S. Dare I say "Go Bengals?" Just joking.
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Friday, October 24, 2008

Autumn Sunsets

I have been missing in action. I have had a busy week. I took a painting and window treatment job for a client I previously did work for and I'm hosting a little Halloween get together Saturday evening. So I have been working on a bit more spookifying...I will post pics the day of, when all is in place and tidy. there any light prettier than an autumn sunset?
These clouds were stunning Tuesday evening.
My son called us out to the driveway to look at the sky.
Everywhere we looked the landscape glowed.
Such warmth.
Look at all the depth of color in these clouds.
The trees and power lines against the amber sky...
The only, white and blue.
Just lovely.
Have a warm Friday, P.
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Monday, October 20, 2008

View from my Windows

Can't say anything about yesterdays game except LOSERS. We enjoyed the company of my son and his friend Matthew, who was home visiting from Bowling Green State. They've been friends since preschool, he is like a second son. So from now on I suppose the Bengals games will be social events, no expectations,no disappointment. I snapped a few shots of the little fall color we have from the windows of our home. The drought has sure taken it's toll.It was overcast and a bit chilly. This is the time to start finishing up outdoor chores and cozying up the inside for winter.
I'm ready for some good soups and slow cooker meals soon.
It is a sweet transition from summer to winter. Bonfires, cutting wood for the cool weather, hot chocolate and a good book by the fireplace in the evening.
Still time to enjoy being outdoors in the crisp weather with leaves crunching underfoot.
I think I'll take a walk right now. Maybe gather a few bundles of branches for an autumn arrangement.
Have an invigorating Monday, P.
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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Carriage House Farm

Remember this beautiful red roofed farm house where the beekeeper lived? (I mentioned it in the pumpkin hunting post) It is just around the corner from our house. I just found out that it is called Carriage House Farm and they have a website. I love that there are still working family owned farms that are making it in this day and age. This farm has been worked by five generations of the same family.
Stop and visit their site and remember to buy local whenever possible.

Have a satisfying Saturday, P.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Historic Cincinnati and Lunch with my Son

By now you know how much I love my city. How about another little look at one of her beautiful and diverse neighborhoods. (Plus a bit on my other bohemian child) My son Joe often calls his dad and I during the week if he has a little time between work and classes, to join him for lunch. We of course love that he wants to spend free time with us. So we joined him and his girlfriend Jena for sushi and curry in historic Mt. Adams.

Joe is currently attending the University of Cincinnati with a double major in neuroscience and biology. He is in his third year and is considering medical school as his next step. He also works as a research assistant to a doctor studying Schizophrenia and will be published before he graduates He was always in gifted programs in elementary and high school as well as an avid basketball player and musician. His band, Breathing Room, won second place in the battle of the high school bands and received a $1000.00 prize, half of which they donated to Elder High School where he was a senior at the time. Okay, enough bragging, but I just love this kid and am very proud of his accomplishments.
On to Mt. Adams. We had lunch at Teak, a Thai restaurant, penang and massaman curry, seafood choochee and a humongous platter of shushi. (I would have brought my camera to the restaurant but hubs and son are not that understanding of my need to photograph everything) So... delicious food and gorgeous open air courtyard dining on a beautiful fall day with my son... perfection.
Mt. Adams is known for steep, narrow streets. ( my handsome dreadlocked son and his girlfriend, the beautiful Jena, see what I mean about my kids and self expression?)
Mt. Adams sits above downtown Cincinnati to the East. Named for John Quincy Adams who delivered the dedication address for what was then the most powerful observatory in the country, this area is home to 5 buildings currently listed on the historic register. Nicholas Longworth owned all of Mt. Adams and this is where the vineyards for his catawba grapes were located. Mt. Adams was the center for wine making in the U.S. in the early 1800's
The streets are steep and winding, giving the effect of a mini SanFrancisco. For you collectors out there Mt. Adams was home to the Rookwood Pottery. It is an eclectic area of fine dining, unique shopping, the arts and beautiful homes with stunning views of the river and the city.
Look at these adorable fall window boxes. (Gotta take this idea home with me.)
Lots to see here. I have been trying to talk my husband into considering moving to a more urban location when he retires. I haven't sold him on downtown Cincy but maybe Mt. Adams? After all, we grew up in the suburbs, moved to the country now it's time to embrace a new lifestyle.
I could get used to walking where I needed to go and we're five minutes from downtown Cincy. What's not to love?
This is why they call it MOUNT Adams, one of Cincinnati's seven hills. (although I've yet to see a definitive list, fodder for another post)
Sweet little row houses with loads of character, I'd like to tour them all.
Oh well, all good things must end. Back to North Bend.
Although I say we live in the country we are really less than 20 minutes from here.
Bye sweeties, thanks for sharing your day with us, Love you.
Back to the "country".

If you would like to see some really great tours of beautiful (and not so much) homes around Cincinnati visit Julia at
You will get outside and INSIDE looks at some really fabulous places around the city. We do have some doozies. Loads of decorating ideas too.
Thanks for coming along and putting up with my blabbing about my family and my city. You are all very gracious.

Have a hometown Wednesday, P.
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