Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Happy Things

Wow, that rain came down fast and furious last night! It was pounding my skylights and filling up the creek and watering the parched gardens and it was wonderful! I love falling asleep to the sound of the rain, I find it incredibly soothing. 

Thankfully the hole in my dining room was filled in before the storms started. And my new windows are all in with the exception of the guest room window, which has been delayed due to the weather. 

I'm so pleased with the way they look and can't wait to see them all trimmed out. 

There's a little work to do before the molding can go up - some Sheetrock to be repaired and spackled and some tiles to replace around the kitchen window. 

On a side note, I'd love to remove that tile counter top some day and replace it with a solid surface counter but that's not happening this year after all the other renovations I've done. I love the counter I put in my new master bath, it's a Silestone Lagoon and it's fabulous.  Someday.....

The view out the new windows has been wonderful, also - the birds and critters have been having a great time at my feeders. It's about time I got some real action out there!

These little goldfinches were the first birds to find my feeder and they have been regular visitors, along with my little chipmunk friend.   Their beautiful gold and black colors have already started to fade as they do with the shortened days.  The finches generally stick around all winter and in the spring when days start getting longer again they once again don their vibrant colors. 

I've just recently spotted this guy up on the deck. He drives the dogs mad when they see him through the window - they'd love to get out there and give him a run for his money!

I know some folks don't care for Blue Jays but I love them. They add such a splash of color in the winter months and they are always welcome at my feeders. I put out peanuts in the shell and now that they've found them they watch for me to refill the feeder in the morning and they land on it within minutes. They are so smart and will weigh the nuts to see which is the heaviest and then stuff it into their mouths, sometimes even stuffing in a second one!

He's picking through and weighing the nuts....


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Change is Good!

Happy day, friends! It's weirdly hot and sticky around here today, but there is a storm blowing in that will bring much needed rain our way over the next few days. 

The clouds were gathering and the wind was kicking up this morning and the storm seemed imminent....and then the sun came out....for now. 

The foliage is creeping up the mountain and will peak within the next two weeks. Look at how beautiful this is!

Change is good. 

There are changes happening around my house this week, also. 

Last week my house looked like this. 

And sometimes this. 

Yes, I know....the baseboard cover is driving me nuts in this photo. Don't judge me too harshly.  :)

I love all the light. Bring on the sunshine, baby!

Yesterday when I left for work my house looked like this:

It's a bit of a mess, huh? Drapes are down, drop-cloths everywhere, dog bed in the middle of the room. 

When I came home from work it looked like this:

Look at my newwwwwww windowwwwww!!!! It's so beautifulllll!!

Even though I lost a little glass on either side (4 inches on each side with this living room window) the new windows let in even more light since they don't have all those big dividers. There's such a nice big expanse of glass and also the small divided panes on the top portion to add character. 

Here's a shot from the outside. Love Love Love!!

So exciting - new windows!! The other windows were original to the house, from way back in 1979, and had seen an awful lot of northeast winters. Most of them didn't open anymore, the screens were all shot, and the windows had very little in the way of insulating properties. 

These new windows will pay for themselves in no time with the savings in heating oil. Along with the replacement wood stove insert that you can see here, these were two big investments that I knew I had to make when I bought the house. I used that to my advantage in my initial negotiations. 

And I love these new windows! I feel like they suit the style of the house far better than the casement windows did. They are a cottage style window which really ties in with the cedar shakes on the outside of the house and the cottage style interior of the home as well. 

Did I mention I'm in love?

This morning when I was leaving for work my dining room looked like this:

Yup, that's a big gaping hole in the side of my house. Hopefully it will be all filled in before these storms hit. 

Stay tuned for more pictures of the finished product. Kitchen window and guest room are next. 

What's changing in your neck of the woods?

Monday, September 28, 2015

George Lassos the Moon

'Morning, All - I hope you had a fabulous weekend! 

My all time favorite movie since I was a child has been It's a Wonderful Life. I remember I had a teacher in grade school who assigned us "homework" to watch the movie one night and I was hooked. I have watched it every single year since, and I cry every single time. Yup, every time. Bawl like a baby. 

The scene in the movie where George promises Mary the moon was on my mind last night when my daughter and I bundled up and sat out by the fire to wait for the lunar eclipse. It was an incredibly beautiful experience and I feel very blessed to have witnessed it. 

These photos are untouched (and I really need to look into a better zoom lens) but it was so gorgeous and moving I had to share what we captured. 

The night was so bright at the start, with the clouds blowing in quickly and changing the night sky every second. 

It wasn't long before you could start to see the shadow of the eclipse. 

There was an interesting red ring we captured in many of the photos, a reflection in the cloud cover I suppose. The next photos show the moon disappearing slowly....

We stayed out by the fire until the moon was completely covered and then the process began reversing. At that point it was time for bed....Monday morning dawns way too early for both of us!

But it was an amazing sight to behold and I was so happy to share it with my daughter. I reminded her that the next time they anticipate this happening she will be 57 years old - that was a little eye opening for both of us! I only wished my older daughter was still home to be there with us.

How did you celebrate the lunar eclipse? 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Happy Weekend Thoughts and Congratulations!

First of all I have to send huge congratulations out to my new friends, Brenda, over at Cozy Little House and Kim over at Exquisitely Unremarkable who have both made the elusive short list for the Amara Interior Blog Awards - what an incredible honor and I'm so very proud of both of them!!

I think what sets these two ladies apart is the authenticity of their writing - they both speak from the heart. In addition, they march to the beat of their own drummer - their styles are truly unique, and extremely warm and welcoming. I follow both of their blogs regularly and I couldn't be happier for them both!

Congratulations, Ladies! Truly a reason to celebrate this weekend!!

Check out the rest of the shortlist here and don't forget to visit Brenda and Kim while you're at it!

I caught the tail end of what must have been a beautiful sunrise this morning when my pups woke me at...well, literally the crack of dawn!

I kind of didn't mind (kind of!), it was so amazingly gorgeous. I immediately ran back inside to grab the camera, even with eyes only half open. 

In a few more weeks the trees will be bare and the mountains will be much more visible from my deck. 

Some of the trees have already dropped a ton of leaves. 

In the evenings there's a band of light that creeps across the mountain and illuminates a strip of trees that are changing color rapidly. 

There's a tree on my neighbor's property at the end of my lane that is full of apples....if only I could reach them!

The Goldenrod at the top of the lane is coming to the end of it's autumn display - the colors are not nearly as vibrant as even a week ago. 

I have no idea what this shrub is that grows next to the ravine between my house and the creek at the end of the lane but how cool are these seed pods?

The pine at the base of my garden stairs is full of baby pinecones. I see a craft project in my future!

The roses are still putting out buds, and will continue to bloom right up until the ground freezes solid. This is a Knockout Rose, which I love for the profuse blooms and ease of care. There is little or no fragrance but the simplicity of this rose makes up for it. There will most likely be blooms even during the first snow!

The whiskey barrel plantings are still going strong, despite (or perhaps because of?) being basically ignored and getting little to no water in the past couple of weeks. Go figure!

Fall has surely arrived to the mountaintop and we spent the early part of the evening lat night sitting by the fire enjoying the beauty around us. Our evenings outdoors will be dwindling now and I will hang on to them for as long as I can. 

Our patio table will be unused for alfresco dining until Spring unless we get lucky enough to have an Indian Summer. 

This weekend I'll be bringing in the houseplants that have been basking in the sunshine outdoors and starting to bring in some firewood for the wood stove. I'm still in a quandry about firewood storage as I wrote in a  previous post  - I guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet and make a decision. 

Meanwhile, it's the WEEKEND!!! And my daughter's on her way home!!

Enjoy it, friends!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

New Look for Mountain Mama

For those of you who have been following my blog (A HUGE GINORMOUS THANK YOU!!!) you will have noticed I have a new look! I have to give a special shout out to my new friend Brenda over at Cozy Little House - she has incredible talent and I was fortunate enough to have her work on my blog over the last 24 hours. 

Brenda's blog is wonderful - I enjoy each and every post and look forward to them hitting my inbox. Her home is so cozy and welcoming. All the colors and fabrics just wrap you up like a big hug! Just look at all the beautiful colors - even with white walls this space just invites you to come in and settle down. It really shows that even with a rental where you are limited with what you can do to alter the space you can completely make it a cozy and welcoming home filled with color and warmth. 

Cozy Little House 
Cozy Little House
Cozy Little House
Cozy Little House
Don't you just want to visit Brenda in her amazing place? She has a terrific sense of style and really knows how to put things together in such a remarkable way. 

I was so fortunate to have Brenda work on my blog, and I'm absolutely delighted with the outcome. She did a fantastic job and was such a pleasure to work with!

For those of you who need some help getting your blog off the ground, Brenda's efforts will certainly pay off - you can retain her services by clicking through the link here

We all need a little help getting started and why not have a true professional show you how it's done?

Good luck, new blogger friends!!

And thank you, Brenda!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cozy Autumn Nights

Happy Fall, Folks!! I just adore the fall with the brightly colored leaves, the changing light, and the brisk fall weather. I'm happy to bring out the sweaters and boots again, even though I know up here in the  mountains I will be wearing boots for the next 6 months or more. Good thing I have a collection!

And as much as I adore all the sunshine that streams into my house (take a peek here ) I'm also a huge fan of cozy evenings at home with lots of scented candles and soft lighting. And a great Pandora station with relaxing music. The music varies depending on my mood, how my day was, and what's happening that evening - if it's just me, it will be something relaxing and meditative to help me wind down after a long day at work. If we are having company, the music changes to suit the guests we are hosting that evening.

There's just something about dimming the lights and lighting a candle that sets the tone for a peaceful night.

I always have a few candles glowing when we're having dinner and I lower the lights for a more intimate and relaxing setting. It doesn't matter if we have just two of us around the table or 8.

These lit twigs on top of my china closet add some nice ambiance all year long. I've had them for about 10 years or more and they are always in a prominent place where I can view them from many spots in my home. In this house I can see them when I'm cooking in the kitchen, when we're dining at the table, and when I finally sit down in the living room after a busy day. There's just something about them that makes me happy. It's like having Christmas lights glowing every day!

Even the guest bath got a little lamp with an amber bulb for soft lighting along with some scented rose hips for a special touch. I love having a little lamp in the bathroom so my guests don't have to search for a light switch when they enter the room.

The fireplace mantle glows with the ivory pillars in the glass and metal lanterns. I originally got those lanterns to go outside but they are simply too gorgeous - they had to stay indoors.

There's just something about seeing soft light through a window on a brisk evening that invites you inside to the warm, cozy house.

And the glow of a light by the doorway also says "Come on in!"

And when all the guests have gone and the house is all tidied up again that's a different kind of peace. The feeling of an evening well spent surrounded by people we care about, sharing a good meal and making memories around the table.

The dishwasher is running, the kitchen is shining, and it's time to sit and relax for a bit before bed.

It's a great feeling. It's called home. After 3 moves in 4 years I'm delighted to have my very own home where I can relax and know I can settle in for the long haul.

My happy place.

I'm staying.

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