|2nd Mum is indoors for safe-keeping till cooler weather!|
It is Fall by the calendar, but somebody forgot to tell the Big Guy Upstairs who controls the weather. It was 106 a couple of days ago according to my car, and it was in the high nineties today when we went to Costco (Friday). I have looked at only one of the Fall home tours online, and I noticed that many of these bloggers are finally starting to pay attention now to what I have fussed about for over eight years of blogging: when the temps outside are still like the middle of July, pumpkins and scarecrows and hay bales look rather stupid. Most of them are keeping it more reasonable now, at least on this one tour I looked at.
Your mums will die in the heat, pumpkins will rot, and even though the leaves are dropping from the trees, the grass keeps growing and the summer flowers keep blooming. Last Winter was weird, and you may recall we ate our Christmas dinner on the back porch wearing shorts and flip flops. I just hope it will eventually cool off enough for that first pot of chili. Maybe at least down to 80 or so?
|I have been on a silver-polishing binge all week since I finally located the polish I like.|
This photo reminds me that I need to get with it on that slipcover!
I have made a few small stabs and pokes at swapping Summer decor for Fall-ish, but it is totally negligible at this point. I did put away the seashell decor in the LR and DR, and we put the new mum we got at Costco on the dining table for now. The first one that Sweet Husband put out on the porch looked pretty sad after only a week. He has already added it to the "mum patch" we have in one of our backyard areas which is not paved or graveled. Most of them do re-bloom from year to year. We have been enjoying morning coffee and reading time on the back porch for a week or so -- with the aid of two fans directed at us.
My two highly anticipated decorating books arrived about mid-week, and I have been very engrossed in both of them. I can say that I definitely would recommend both of these if you are looking to splurge on a new design book or two. I absolutely adore WANDERLUST, which showcases Michelle Nussbaumer's upscale Bohemian global style. Equally impressive is BEAUTIFUL which Mark D. Sikes' classic style really and truly is. You may recall he did the beautiful creamy living room in the Southern Living Idea House which is still open here in Birmingham till December.
I have made zero progress toward setting up that Etsy shop this week, but don't give up. Very soon! I have looked through a gazillion photos, because a lot of the items I want to sell are stored, and I would like to leave them there till they sell instead of dragging them all out and having to take new photos, then putting them back. I hope to spend some time on the project this week, and we'll see how far we get. In the beginning, anything large like furniture will have to be picked up locally, but I am looking into how I can ship these items.
|Beef Hot Pot|
We have found a great little Chinese restaurant called China Bistro in a shopping area called Patton Creek here in Birmingham. It is near Costco in the Galleria complex, in case you are interested. I have not yet been to China, so I can't say for sure, but it seems pretty authentic to me. On our second visit, I ordered Beef Hot Pot today, and it was quite delicious. It doesn't look quite the same as what my son calls Hot Pot, in that it is not cooked at the table. It is a Chinese family-owned and operated restaurant, and they go out of their way to please.
We tried Chinese beer with our food, which Brendan has told me is what the beverage of choice with food seems to be in Beijing, kind of like the way we drink sweet tea here in the South. The ones we had were very light and cold (they carry two kinds), and they were a nice compliment to the hot spicy dishes. My Hot Pot came in a small chafing dish, for lack of a better term, with a flame under it. I got a little freaked when it flared up a couple of times, shooting flames directly at me, so I turned the handle on the control and snuffed it out. It was blazing hot anyway, and I didn't want to immolate myself.
If you are in Birmingham for a day of shopping or whatever, you should definitely give China Bistro a try. The food is very fresh and tasty, the atmosphere family-friendly, and the food is very reasonably priced.
|Sweet Husband had already made a sizable dent in his Sweet & Sour Shrimp when I snapped this.|
It was battered tempura style and served with the Sweet & Sour Sauce on the side.
One thing I have done till I figure out what to do about a bookcase or something with the capability for book storage is this: I turned my coffee table into a book table! These on top are the ones I am not finished with or haven't read yet, and those underneath are the ones I have read recently. I have many bookcases upstairs (nine I think!), but I really do need one in the LR. I had already been stacking the newer decorating books on the console table in front of the fireplace. This may look a little weird, but remember the old axiom "form follows function." Rather than have my coffee table dolled up all pretty and stylish and looking all designer-y, it is right now functioning the way I need for it to.
Do you use your living room? (I am directing this question to those who do have a "formal" living room as well as a den or family room.) I use mine all the time, and there is no TV in there. I despise when I go to visit someone, and they don't turn off the TV! When people come to visit me, they get to talk to me, have something to eat and/or drink, and VISIT. I also use my living room daily as a place to read when no one else is here. I am not a big believer in having rooms in your house roped off like they are spaces in museums.
It is true that my dining room has not gotten a lot of use lately, but sometimes I actually go the DR table to draft my blog or work on something else on my laptop, simply because I enjoy the room. It gets the morning sun, and it is a pleasant place to collect my thoughts when I write.
I think one of my resolutions for the coming year is to start having people over more often. It has gotten so easy just to meet in a restaurant, but you know what? My friend Diane (of Diane's Creative Table) puts it best where she says on her blog's mission statement (I am paraphrasing here) that cooking and serving and sharing great food that you cooked with family and friends is an act of love. By the way, if you are not following her fabulous kitchen renovation, you should be!
|Still no Fall on the mantel, but the copper tray is out on the table.|
See, I have made progress!
(It is sort of buried under the books...)
What in the world do you wear when the temps are boiling and sweater weather is nowhere in sight even though the calendar says late September? I remember a few years ago LeslieAnne Tarabella said that down in Fairhope where it stays warm most of the year they still wear the shorts and t-shirts, they just wear them in darker colors. This makes sense, and really, it kind of harkens back to my school days when we wore "dark cottons" in the early Fall. They were the clothes my mother made for me for the beginning of school each year. When the weather got a little cooler, we just put on a light cardigan sweater over the little dark cotton dress till it got cold enough for the coats and big sweaters, the corduroys and the woolies. Actually, I have still been wearing my summer clothes, just not the white or pastel sandals. Metallics and deeper colors, and of course the black ones, are what I am wearing now. I need to get some lightweight clothes in darker colors together, I suppose. Truly, most of the places I go, it doesn't really matter anyway. Black is usually my go-to, since it is hard to go wrong with that, and it transcends seasons.
|This Jenner chick needs to close her top!|
Remember that cool old wooden ice cream maker bucket my Cousin Tunie gave me? It housed an asparagus fern all summer. Sweet Husband and I agreed that the fern would get to die a natural death if the weather ever turns chilly because it sheds and makes a mess. It was starting to get brown around the edges so one morning we put it out under the pergola to live out its last days of Summer. Later that morning, I walked out onto the back porch just in time to see him bashing the bucket against the trunk of the sweet gum tree, trying to dislodge the plant debris which has stuck inside the bottom.
The squawk caught in my throat: "What the hell are you doing?" just as the bucket fell into a jillion pieces!!!
A few days passed. I might have brought it up more than once while I pouted. Then one noonday, I wondered where he was after we both got home from our respective workouts. I looked out into the garage, and lo and behold, he had the Liquid Nails and the Duct Tape in hand, and he was out there gluing the bucket back together. Back in the kitchen later, I told him, "That's the sweetest thing I ever saw! You were gluing that old green bucket back together!" All together now: "Awwww!"
Later I looked at it after he took off the many layers of Duct Tape he used to hold it together as he glued it. I asked, "Where are those metal straps which originally held this thing together?" He said, "Oh, I just threw those out."
"Whaaaaat???!! That was what was originally holding the thing together! That was what gave it character!!!"
He said, "Keep your shirt on, they are still in the trash can in the garage!"
He fished them out, all in broken rusty pieces. I am still trying to figure out how they fit and if he even found them all. At least the bucket is back together, and I guess a purist would say that he might have ruined the ambience of the piece by putting the handle back on with shiny nuts and bolts. At least it is not in pieces any more.
Harpy me, I must have screeched at least fifty times, "What kind of bonehead bangs a hundred year old bucket against a tree trunk???" Oh well. I guess I am over it now. He obviously felt bad enough about it to spend an hour or so in that hot garage glueing it back together. I guess I will keep him.
Update on the green nesting tables: I have done a little more painting on them, as well as sanded and sealed the top insets. We ordered something really cool for the tops -- wait till you see! Maybe it will have arrived by next week when we talk, and I can show you then. Hint: it sparkles and catches the light!
This week's big headlines:
Have you ever seen all those beautiful places they called home? I am particularly distressed that their Miraval Rosé seems to have gone away -- at least I can't find it anymore. Named for their palace, now for sale for $50 Million in the South of France, it supposedly was wildly successful. It was very good. Let's don't forget the plane they incessantly seemed to live on with their "snap-on" brood. (I didn't make up that term; I have heard it for years.) At any rate, as usual, I am sad for the children, all six of them.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oh well. We have the debates to look forward to beginning Monday night. That should be quite a show. Are you even voting this year?
Please let me know in the comments what you think about this newsletter format once a week. Are my posts too long and disjointed? Would you rather I just went away altogether? I am finding that I do not have the time to post more frequently, so I keep a running list of talking points till I make the time to get it done so I can publish it on Sunday. Everything that happens during the week doesn't make the cut, obviously, but what you get is a little slice of domestic life (and opinions) at Chez Scribbler.
|The front hall looking toward the front door.|
Channeling Louise Nevelson, sort of.
(That would be a seemingly disjointed large collage which is called art...)
Actually, this is stuff I want to see but have nowhere else to put.
|The same hall looking toward the LR.|
I guess the color on that little antique chair is my contribution to Fall so far.