Monday, August 19, 2013

Cape Cod ♥

Hello there.
So, we're back in Cape Cod. It's been a while since we were last here, but nothing has changed... it is still as beautiful as ever. Seriously, I have yet to pass a house that I wouldn't live in and the gardens are certainly something to write home about. This is the place to come to if you want inspiration for a beach cottage. Cape Cod has managed to hold onto that quaint beach look... Apparently, the planning is very strict here, but it looks like the locals don't mind as I saw lots of signs protesting at the proposal to open a Lowes (DIY superstore) here. It did make me wish that the Jersey Shore had adopted the same approach... but I'm not going to get on my soapbox... not today, anyway, as I am on vacation!

We've only been here for a couple of days, so I don't have an abundance of shots to share with you yet, but I'm definitely on a house-stalking mission this week to get some house candy photos.

Love this mermaid, relaxing under the tree!
Unfortunately, the place we're staying in this year no way matches up to the cottage we vacationed in a few years back (you can read about that here)... it's more 'rustic cabin' than 'cape beach house' (that's what happens when you leave the hubby to pick and book the place... note to self: spending weeks to find just the right place, does pay off)... However, it's not all bad... it does have the bonus of being across the road from a beautiful freshwater lake. So, the girls and hubby immediately took advantage of that little perk and took a refreshing dip.

I'm still a little weirded out by swimming in lakes... I think I've watched too many B-movies or the lingering effects of being told that 'a pike will bite your toe off if you swim in a lake'... Either way, I sat by the edge with Lucy the dog and took in the sights.
With an overcast day on Sunday, we took in the sights and visited the Cape Cod Lavender Farm.
It was past the season for seeing the lavender in full bloom, but there was still plenty of pretty sights to take in...

... and my little ladies loved the little fairy garden...
... and even more, they loved adding to it with their own version of a fairy house.
We then trekked through the woods... my eldest complaining about bugs and my youngest reveling in the fact that we could get lost... which we did... but, lucky for us, my ever-sensible six year-old showed us the way... striding purposely in front...
... while I dawdled behind snapping pictures of moss!
Anyhoo, after a perfect day at the beach today, catching hermit crabs, hunting for sand dollars and marveling at sand creations, I had best dash and shower some of this sand off the old legs...

I'll be checking in soon.
Take care all.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dark wood furniture... Love it or hate it?

Last night I sat watching a UK housey show... you know the format, some poor saps (home owners) want to sell up and move on, but just cannot sell their dilapidated (unloved) home... enter presenter to point out the blindingly obvious: get them to spend some cash to improve their property and, low and behold, it now sells... Homeowners thank presenter profusely for pointing out that a dog pee stained carpet and filthy kitchen is not loved by one and all. Even though I find the presenters condescending and shake my head in disbelief at the home owners, I still watch goggle-eyed, as though I were my daughters watching an all new episode of Sofia the First...
Anyhoo, where am I going with this? Oh, yes, last night I watched the telly, as they churned out the same formulae for selling a home. Neutralise, neutralise, neutralise (or is that what the Daleks say... oh no, that was exterminate...)... remove all traces of personality, lose the dark wooden furniture, yada, yada, yada etc. Screech... Rewind... What was that about dark wooden furniture? Lose the dark wooden furniture? Is this a fashion faux pas? Apparently, in some circles (no, make that a lot of circles) it is a big no-no. The equivalent of having mink throws adorning your couch and stuffed white rhino heads on your walls.
Now, I've flirted with blond furniture and beech wood, but I always feel drawn towards the richness of dark wood. You could say I'm drawn to the dark side. In fact, I'd go as far to say I love dark wooden furniture. There, I've said it. I'll join the unhip crowd! Mind you, I can't be on my own, as here in the States dark wood appears in many a home magazine (and I'm not talking the kind of mags that you find at the doctor's office, circa 1980).
Yes - that is a picture frame without a picture in it... I have yet to get one printed out... I said there'd be no foofing...
Across the pond, back in Blighty, it might be a different story though, as I've found that the love affair with lighter wood is still going strong and the much less popular dark wood has been relegated to the homes of OAP's (old aged pensioners) and charity shops. In fact, even my mum (an aforementioned OAP) is in favour of junking all her lovely antique pieces in favour of it's lighter wooden counterpart...

Perhaps I'm just an old fashioned girl, or perhaps I have been Stateside long enough that my tastes have shifted too. Needless to say that friends back home, with their modern, contemporary homes would be running a mile if viewing my home at an open house... either that or calling up some design show for a makeover!
Anyway, before I dash off, I'd like to hear from you. Are you a lover or hater of dark wood? Am I completely missing the mark???
Ta-ta for now!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A happy Sunday...

How to get back to blogging, when away for so long?... Well, there's a conundrum. Do I write a big long post telling you what I've been doing for the past year (no doubt boring the pants of any readers that happen to pass by this little old place) or do I just post some pictures of my day spent in the garden, acting as though I'd never even left? Yes, I like the sound of the latter much more... More my style. So, here I am, shuffling back into the room, head down, hoping no one will notice.

Today, I've been pottering in the garden. Now, our little garden took quite a hammering in the old Super Storm Sandy... So much so, that when we returned back to our little old house, I wondered whether it would ever look green again. With everything caked in a thick brown sludge and looking battered and broken, I could only hope that it would recover and amble on. So, here it is looking lush and green once more, baring but a few battle scars (namely the pear tree which now leans at a forty-five degree angle, but I haven't the heart to remove it)... . Granted, a fair few plants were lost (plants and salt water are not a match made in heaven, apparently), but the old trusty roses came back, and this is their second round of blooms. The arbor was laden with flowers in June... The scent was heavenly, but short lived, as the weather turned sweltering for a week and the poor blooms simply wilted and left a petal carpet on the path...

Surprisingly, many of my annuals self-seeded and frothy alyssum bubbles over rock walls and petunias spill over the path... All manner of colors engulf the old stone owl.

At the front of the house, I lost a lot of plants... I had creeping verbena and lady's mantel softening the hard lines of the path, but they didn't come back, so I made the best of what was left and hope that in time the lavender will creep over the rocks.
The dog sign is an attempt to stop the local cat population from spraying my lavender... This is the second batch planted! Bloomin' cats!! (Just for the record I love my cat... just not the big tom cat that sprays my garden daily... I don't want to offend any moggy lovers on this site... I need all the support I can get!)

Anyways, down the path we go... The side of the house is always a cool spot, so you can usually find a dog or two hanging around... here's Lucy in 'attack' mode... No doubt her pray will be licked to death very soon...
The planting down the side took a hammering during Hurricane Sandy, and I lost all of my ferns, which had once  loved this shady spot... nevertheless, I still like to meander down this path, knowing that the gate opens up to my tranquil garden.
We have a temporary fence in front of the lawn, at the moment... you can just see it in the background (an attempt to keep the dogs off the lawn)... it's definitely not in keeping with the rest of the garden, but needs must and all that... meanwhile, I'll still be on the hunt for a permanent solution.

So, there you go... this is me dipping the proverbial toe back into blogland.. I've decided to post real time pictures... no foofing and faffing around... a warts and all look into my little world...
Oh, and if you were wondering where I am? Here's me, sat on our local beach on Saturday night... even though Super Storm Sandy dealt us a heavy blow last October, I still feel truly blessed to live next to the ocean. When people ask me, 'Is it worth all the drama to live so close to the beach?', my firm answer is 'Absolutely'!
Toodle pip!

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