Painting a Table

The lacquered table

Lately I’ve seen a lot of posts on how to paint a table.  I’ll go ahead and admit that I looked at none of them.  I just bought some craft paint (and lots of it), some brushes, and a spray-on lacquer. I have to say that I’ve gotten pretty tired of the plain old unfinished ikea look.  So we painted it to match the set of poppy paintings done for me by a friend. I’d say it turned out pretty well.  The chairs are next!

The Drive Is Worth It

Even though I’ve been living in Siler City for over six months now, I still have people at work exclaim, “YOU LIVE IN SILER CITY?  WHY?!”  Well, I can’t say I really blame them.  After all, if you used google maps and search for directions from Chapel Hill to Siler City, you would probably discover that it’s a forty five minute drive.  But, I live on the side close to Pittsboro really, so I’m a lot closer to Chapel Hill than you would think.

Still, I’m far away.  And I have to commute.  Many of my classmates maybe — MAYBE — buy gas once a month.  Several of them don’t even have cars which cuts gas costs (not to mention oil changes) out of the equation completely. So, my situation is just a bit odd.  Not only do I live far away, but I chose to move far away in the middle of the school year. 

Sometimes, even I question it.  That usually happens when I’m making my weekly gas pump visit. I think, really the rent isn’t that much better… And really, the drive is far.  But then I drive home.  And when I walk through the garden gate and see my flowers and then the cats waiting for me on the deck, I feel so so glad that I decided to move here.  Because here I feel at peace. 

Kitty Crafts

Why is 1-800-PetMeds awesome?  Well, they really are the less expensive place to get stuff for your pets.  However, if you are blessed with cats, they’ll send you complimentary bags of catnip with your order.  This would explain why the cats immediately rubbed all over the box of their flea and tick medication when it arrived!  They are little plastic packets.  I keep one in my desk drawer to sprinkle on random objects, but the most recent packets became play things.  I used some of my spare quilting fabric to make some pouches for the catnip.  I left the catnip in its plastic bag so that when the cats mess with the pouches, there is a satisfying crinkling sound. Pippa is definitely in favor of these new toys!

Is this real life?!

Is this real life?!

Mmm....yes it is!

Mmm….yes it is!

Wait, this is CATNIP!?

Wait, this is CATNIP!?

Blueberry Peach Muffins with Pecan Streusel

I got an original recipe from Joy of Baking.  It’s an excellent recipe, and the lemon zest is the perfect tang.  However, I wanted to see if I could add my extra peaches to the mix. I also added pecans to the streusel topping, because I like streusel to have a bit more crunch.  See the original recipe here.

Muffin batter!  I had picked fresh blueberries. Yum!

Muffin batter! I had picked fresh blueberries. Yum!

Pecan Streusel topping.  I recommend making extra if you want it to cover the muffin tops completely.

Pecan Streusel topping. I recommend making extra if you want it to cover the muffin tops completely.

The finished product!  I found this version to be a bit juicer and sweeter...but not too sweet.  It's really a perfect muffin recipe!

The finished product! I found this version to be a bit juicer and sweeter…but not too sweet. It’s really a perfect muffin recipe!

Engaged No More

This is a highly personal post, but I feel compelled to write it since my previous one spoke of a wedding dress. Ben and I are no longer engaged and have broken up.  It was a mutual and much prayed about decision.

I have great respect for him in this and many things.

Sweet Summer

What’s happening in my life right now?

GARDEN 

  1. I’m fighting a losing battle against the weeds in my garden.
  2. My irises are doing fabulously!
  3. My ranunculus are NOT doing fabulously.  I think it’s too moist for them.  Ranunculus need a warm but dryer climate than what NC has to offer!  If I try to grow them again, I’ll be sure to give them more drainage in the bottom with some rocks.

CATS

  1. Louis has been getting into some scuffles with one of my landlady’s barn cats.  Evidently all of that bulk comes in handy when he decides to be assertive about HIS territory.
  2. Napoleon now ventures outside of the garden fence.  He knows both how to get through the gap in between the fence and the gate and how to jump over the fence.  The stinker.
  3. Pippa is the regular hunter.  She brought a bluebird (dead) into the house a month ago.  After screaming a bit, I took it outside for her.  I haven’t seen any more dead animals….in the house at least.

LIBRARY 

  1. My boss, Jay Gaidmore, who was the University Archivist for UNC has left for a position at William and Mary as Head of Special Collections.  Congratulations, Jay!  I’ll miss you.  You were a fantastic boss.
  2. My job in the Digital Production Center will end after June 30 (the end of the financial/fiscal year) due to budget cuts.
  3. I have jumped back into reference work with a 5 hour a week position with Research and Instructional Services.

WEDDING

  1. Mom, Anya (MOH), and I went wedding dress shopping in NYC this past weekend.
  2. I found my dress at Saja’s Boutique!  Read my yelp review here.  It was a fantastic experience. Note I say found. I haven’t bought it yet.
  3. Ben and I are suspending wedding planning for six months.  We plan to regroup with parents in December to discuss budget. [This is when I will order my dress.]

AND WHAT ABOUT LIFE IN GENERAL?

  1. I’m going back to therapy on the regular.
  2. I had a FANTASTIC time getting to see my best friend and MOH this past weekend.
  3. I loved getting to see Ben at the end of May!  Can’t wait to do it again soon!

Flowers galore!

We’ve had a turn of nice weather here recently, so I’ve taken the opportunity to finally get all of my flowers potted.  I also bought two thornless blackberry plants.  I am super excited about those because, as you’ll be able to see, they’re already blooming and starting to put on fruit!

The raised beds.

The raised beds.

Raspberries.

Raspberries.

In the sunshine.

In the sunshine.

Napoleon escaping into the horse pasture.

Napoleon escaping into the horse pasture.

Louis making friends with the horse.

Louis making friends with the horse.

The corner of fruits and herbs.

The corner of fruits and herbs.

Lovely chair for watching the sunset.   T: ranunculus, white tea rose, pink knockout rose, ranunculus. M: Pink Gaura, (bush that I don't remember the name of...I got it two years ago), White Gaura.  B: White dutch iris, Pink Japanese Iris.

Lovely chair for watching the sunset.
T: ranunculus, white tea rose, pink knockout rose, ranunculus. M: Pink Gaura, (bush that I don’t remember the name of…I got it two years ago), White Gaura. B: White dutch iris, Pink Japanese Iris.

Oh, did I mention my cottage has a purple door?  Perfection!

Oh, did I mention my cottage has a purple door? Perfection!

The perfect deck.

The perfect deck.

One pair of chairs next to a climbing carolina jessamine.

One pair of chairs next to a climbing carolina jessamine.

Deck chairs perfect for reading.

Deck chairs perfect for reading.

Thornless blackberry!  A steal at $8 a plant.

Thornless blackberry! A steal at $8 a plant.

Birdhouse number two next to hummingbird paradise flower seedlings.

Birdhouse number two next to hummingbird paradise flower seedlings.

Birdhouse

Birdhouse