Saturday, January 14, 2017

Good Night, Moon!!!

Friday, the 13th.  Are you superstitious?  I'm not - but, it always makes me do a little double take to see a Friday, the 13th roll around on the calendar.

All in all, though, it was a pretty normal day....and a Friday, to boot.  There is no other feeling quite like finishing up a week at work and settling in at home on Friday evening - wallowing in the pleasure of knowing I don't have to get up for work in the morning.  It makes me want to snuggle on the sofa and stay up late.  Only problem is - I am generally too worn out from work to stay up late!  

There was the most fabulous full moon this week!  Did you see it?  Thank goodness it was a clear evening when it began its ascent in the eastern sky - a huge ball of molten silver.  The light it shed during the night was fiercely gentle, filtering through the woven blinds when we retired to bed and turned out the lamps.  When I awoke the next morning and took Pepper outside, it was still hanging out in the west.  Although it was beginning to settle down into the branches of the bare mesquite tree out front, and a haze had settled around it, it was magical.  Such beauty. 

It nearly took my breath away.


Just that few moments gazing at the setting moon helped to kickstart my day in a joyful way.  Such beauty is so often right under our noses - or maybe just above our heads.  We need only to stop and look, take it in, soak it up, revel in it. 

Breathe deeply....and keep it simple. 

Jane

Friday, January 13, 2017

WELCOME BACK - I've Got Something To Say...

Welcome, 2017!!!

And welcome back to all my Family & Friends at Janie's Porch!!!

I hope all of you had a peaceful and blessed Christmas.  Ours was lovely, even though I don't have a lot of photos to show for it.  You see, my main goal this year was to focus on just living it, get so caught up in the moments that I didn't even think of grabbing a camera and trying to document much of it.  And I was pretty successful at that, too....as is evidenced by my lack of Christmas posts and photos here on the blog.  I did, however, manage to get a few shots of d├ęcor and such shared on Instagram and Facebook.  (It is so much easier to share little everyday snippets on those "faster" platforms.  Hint, hint....)  For example, here is a shot of our Christmas tree this year - one of my all time favorites! 


With the start of a new year, I have been stealing away bits of time, here and there, to reflect on what is important.  As always, the question comes to mind, "Do I want to continue to blog?" 

Since I started this blog back in 2009, "blogging" has truly evolved and become something so different.  With the development of other social platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, it has become a lot easier to share thoughts in a brief, immediate fashion.  Let's face it - it is sometimes challenging to find the time to sit down and write a full length blog post.  From what I see, it is much the same for many others. 

Some bloggers have gone to monetized or commercialized platforms.  What was once a labor of love for amateurs is now a burgeoning business and successful blogs are often filled with pop-up ads and links that make it difficult to actually read or navigate through posts.  Honestly, everything has gotten so slick, glossy and perfect.  It is getting more and more rare to come across a good old grassroots, homegrown kind of blog.  And that frustrates me.

There is nothing wrong with an attractive, well laid out and visually pleasing blog.  But, when the same ideas and styles are shared over and over, it gets hard to distinguish one blog from the next.  (And I know you know exactly what I am talking about.....so, don't sit there and shake your head.)

Mostly, I am making the point that I have not the time or the inclination to duplicate so much of what I see out in "blogland".  I am just a working gal who likes to write and take a few photos.  I am not particularly gifted at either, but I feel like I do have my moments. 

I also like to share my thoughts on this or that from time to time.  I love our little cottage and like showing you our home, sharing a tried and true recipe, or even reminiscing about childhood memories or a meaningful family tradition. 

In recent months, I have come to embrace the idea of SIMPLICITY more and more.  Whether it is in our home and furnishings, wardrobe, or day to day lifestyle, "simplicity" is becoming the key word by which much is measured. 

With that in mind, I have begun the shift in both this blog and my other social media outlets towards finding simplicity.  I love sitting here at the keyboard and organizing my thoughts, seeking and finding the right words to get those thoughts down in a way that will mean something not only to me, but to the one who might stumble across and read them. 

I don't expect to get a lot of readers - mostly my husband, my dad, maybe the kids and a few friends who like to keep up.  That is fine.  It's mostly for me anyway - a creative outlet and something I can look back on and feel a sense of accomplishment. 

As I have said many times before, I would love to keep up with everyone on Facebook and Instagram.  I find it so much easier to snap a photo or pop a quick post over there on a regular basis.  It is also a lot easier to interact on those platforms, so I can get to know everyone better.  Here are the links to follow along -



In the meantime, I hope you will still visit the original blog here.  I will still be posting because, like most things in life, Janie's Porch is still evolving.  I can promise you this, though - you will never get a pop up ad over here!

See you soon!




Monday, October 3, 2016

Our Fall Porch at the Cottage

Hello, friends!  

I hope your Monday went well.  Mine was busy, busy, busy at the office.  However, I felt blessed with an extra measure of energy today.  It's almost as if this time of year carries its own special magic for me, spurring me to get things done and kicking off a fresh round of nesting! 

And now, I am eager to share our Fall front porch with you!  

My greatest desire is to keep things SIMPLE this year.  

It has been my recent goal to simplify in many areas of my life.  This has spilled over into seasonal decorating, as well.  With our new paint color, everything looks so different - more vibrant and intense.  The details stand out starkly now, so a little goes a long way.  The purple mums, though still tightly budded at the store, looked full and healthy; so, they made the trip home with me.  The pumpkins are arriving in different colors and sizes, one or two each time we visit the supermarket.  My asparagus ferns are stunning this year, having done so well in the super-sized pots I found at Big Lots this Spring.  We will enjoy them through the first freeze and they provide beautiful greenery and texture as a backdrop for the more autumnal colors!  





~ My Camera ~ 
When I was home for the lunch hour, I popped the battery for my Canon camera onto the charger so I could play with it a bit this evening.  It's not a terribly fancy camera and I am still learning to use it.  (My husband surprised me with it a couple of years ago - and I mean it was a wonderful surprise, totally unexpected!  He took all the pocket change he had saved for the last few years over to the bank and had it counted - coming up with enough to purchase this camera out at Sam's - so generous!)  The model is a PowerShot SX510 HS, and I can transfer images directly from the camera to my tablet via our wifi network!  Imagine that, no pulling the SD card or searching for the USB cable!!!  I am still learning the settings, but I took all these images using the auto setting. 

Something NEW - If you hover over any of the post photos in the blog now, you will notice that I have added the ability to "pin" directly from this page to Pinterest.  
So, by all means, please PIN AWAY!!!

Now, that I have gotten my camera back out, I can't wait for some great lighting so I can get photos of some of our interior Fall decor!  

Now, there are a couple of things you can do for me.  First, I would love to know that you've stopped by - so, leave a comment for me and say "Hello"!  Then follow along with me on social media, by clicking on the following links ~ 


It's much simpler for me to find moments throughout the day to post on those platforms and you will see me there much more often.  So, I hope you will pop over and take a peek. 

Back soon for another visit on the porch! 

Jane 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Winding Down the Weekend....

Sunday evening....again.  I find myself reflecting on the weekend, trying to figure out where those precious two days went.....

Yesterday was our "lazy day".  Well, not so lazy, actually.  We traveled the 20 miles over to Merkel to watch our granddaughter cheer for a junior pee wee football team.  It was deliciously cool earlier in the morning, but by the time we got settled on the metal bleachers under the midday sun, it had warmed considerably!  There were moments when it felt like we were roasting alive as we sat and watched the game and visited with Bonnie.  We sipped our Big Gulps and munched on Fritos from the snack bar - and survived the heat.  By the time we stopped at a small diner and split a hamburger and an order of fried pickles after the game, we were wiped out.  Naps in front of the television, listening to the Ryder Cup were definitely in order and well deserved!

This morning, we grabbed our list and headed out to do our weekly grocery shopping.  This is always a "date" for us - and we try to make it fun.  We browsed the pallets of assorted pumpkins out front of HEB before heading inside.  We picked up another couple to add to the collection growing on the front porch.  


After giving the house a cursory cleaning, I drug out some more seasonal decor to layer in.  The last couple of years, I have picked up some cute reproduction vintage Halloween items and it was fun to shift things around in search of the perfect arrangement while the husband continued watching the Ryder Cup.  

I had planned to take a slew of photos on my iPhone, only to get sidetracked by the issue that my phone's storage is just about full.  Deciding how to handle that seem to eat up an inordinate amount of my time this evening.  In short, I found that I couldn't power up my laptop and download my phone photos because the power supply seems to be fried.  (Considering that I haven't turned it on or used it in several months, I guess this was something that was just waiting to be discovered, at some point....) Thankfully, I have my trustworthy little Surface Pro tablet to keep me connected.  I just don't want to try to load it up with the tons of photos that need to come off the phone.  It is a dilemma, to be sure.  But, something I should be able to get resolved so I can get back to taking more photos.  Either that, or I will have to break out my Canon digital camera, that sits largely ignored these days!

So, the weekend has wound down and it's nearly time to turn in and try to get a good sleep before the new week begins.  Sunday evenings always seem to feel a little melancholy, like the end of a vacation when you know you have to go back to work.  Don't get me wrong - I like my job.  I truly do!  But, I love being off on the weekends and wish they lasted just a bit longer.  Can you relate?  

Hope to have the photo issue resolved soon because I would love to share some new photos with you! Our little cottage has seen some good changes this spring and summer.  And beyond that, there is so much to see and share.  Hey, maybe I will just get my "real" camera out and keep it handy!!!

Peace to you and yours....

Jane 


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Simply Listening to the Storm....

Tonight I am thankful for the steady drumming of the rain on the roof and against the windows.  The brilliant flashes of lightening and the occasional rumble of thunder.  The drops of moisture that will give our lawn and flowers a much needed drink. 


I am thankful for the quietness of the house, as my beloved and our pup sleep after a long and full day. The time to sit and reflect, without interruption, on the week that has passed.....
and the one about to begin. 

In our lives, filled with busyness, moments like this can be rare.  Moments of stillness and focus.  They must be sought out, with purpose, and nurtured.

Be still and listen. 
 



Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence Day & Vintage Campers

Happy Birthday, America!!!  


Hope you're all having a wonderful July 4th and enjoying a three day weekend, as we are.  We were able to join Bonnie, Matt and the kids last night for their annual Independence Day cookout and fireworks.  Since they live outside the city limits, their neighborhood is host to many of these parties along the block.  The heat was almost unbearable, even at 6:30 - 99 degrees, with a heat index of 108!  But, we were mostly in the shade and there was a decent breeze now and then to help cool the sweat on our bodies.  Matt and his buddies did an awesome job with the fireworks and we enjoyed the friendly competition between them and some neighbors down the street doing the same thing.  


Today has been more or less lazy for us.  Eddie Dale did mow the lawn this morning, early!  I did a couple more loads of laundry, early!  (Honestly, where do all those dirty clothes come from with only the two of us?!?!?)  And we got out and ran around to a couple of stores.  But, even though he knew how I wanted to browse at TJ Maxx and Ross, it was pretty apparent that the hubs was bored and growing impatient.  Our final stop at Lowes was to the outdoor center and we were just about melting in the midday heat - read "heat index of 109"!!!  So, we headed home to cool off and rest.  Now, we are about to get some steak fajitas on the grill and enjoy an early supper and some leftover cherry cheesecake from last night's festivities.  Tomorrow morning will be back to work as usual - with Monday on Tuesday....

I wanted to share the new Scentsy warmer Bonnie gave me as a "late" birthday present last night.  It seems it was ordered way back in May, but was so popular that it got back-ordered and only came in this weekend.  So, I feel lucky to have one!!!  


Isnt' it cute?!?!?  Bonnie thought it was perfect for us since we love to have adventures in our fifth wheel.  In fact, she intended it to be for us to use in the trailer.  But, it is just too adorable to enjoy only on our travels.  So, I had to find place for it to be displayed in the living room - where we will see it most often.  It meant shifting things a bit, but I was feeling the need to move some things around....even some subtle changes can make things feel new, right?  


I was pretty happy with the new vignette on our little sofa table (which, by the way, does not sit behind the sofa).  I just put away a couple of items and switched out some of the stuff with what was on the piano.....just a refreshing of decor as we languish in the summer and dream of putting out Fall decor!  


Now, something I hope you will do for me.....

First, leave a comment below - I love to know you've been by.  

Secondly, follow the links over in the right column to find me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest - then, follow me there, also.  I am on those social media platforms almost daily between blog postings and would love to keep in touch with you that way!   

Enjoy the rest of your July 4th and meet me back here soon!!!






Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Showers and Turtles

Today brought unexpected rain showers.

The rain started as I left the office for lunch and kept up for much of the afternoon.  It was mostly a nice, soaking type rain - much needed after a couple of weeks with no moisture from the heavens.  I was most thankful.  It means no dragging the hose and sprinkler around for a few days!  That's always a blessing in my book. 

Our office sits very near a creek and one of the little critters that lives down there found its way up from the banks and across our side yard this afternoon.  Let's just call him "Little Zippy".


He seemed pretty intent on getting across that gravel pathway.  But, the steel landscape edging was creating a bit of a problem.  


Unfortunately, I didn't get the opportunity to see how he fared or where his journey landed him as we were having a pretty busy afternoon.  I am still playing a serious game of "catch up" after having last week off for vacation.  

I certainly hope Little Zippy found his way back to the creek!  

Hope your Tuesday was great, friends!!!

Jane


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