So I've been recounting my travels in Italy (and have a few more posts about that coming up), but while I'm home we make the most of the beautiful summer days. Wanna see? :)
My brother, who lives in Ohio, is a nurse who is working a three month contract at a hospital here in Buffalo. In between commuting between Buffalo and Ohio, he's staying with my parents for a bit. It was great to be together on the 4th of July before he had to go to work!
For years and years I've been saying that I want a bike - to the point that my kids didn't really believe that I would get one since I've been talking about it so long but not doing it. I finally did it and got a Townie bike, and I love it! I ordered the basket from Amazon and got the basket liner years ago at Cath Kidston, planning to have a bike someday. I thought a photo with the cats in the basket would be cute but that didn't work out too well! I think little dogs are better suited to that! (We're not letting the cats roam freely outside since there is such a tick problem this year and because they roamed too far last year.)
On Sunday we took our first bike ride along the Niagara River. If you know the area, we parked our car just south of the Grand Island Bridge and then rode north along the river to Mississippi Mud's for ice cream, continuing along the bike path to North Tonawanda and then back to Niawanda Park where the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra was having a summer concert. It was a happy coincidence to find them there (and to not have to deal with the traffic and parking since we were on our bikes!) I LOVE my bike!
It's so beautiful and peaceful along the river. Next I want to park and ride around Niagara Falls.
We've done a lot of landscaping around the front of our house. We took out some overgrown bushes in the front and made that bed a little smaller with some temporary bricks so that we could plant grass and then have a nice edge when the bricks come out. My rose bushes look terrible - I think they need some extra attention - except they were supposed to be the carefree variety!
All cleaned up and mulched!
It's a miracle but, after years of procrastinating, I finally painted our front door and trim and got a new mailbox. It was long overdue! We just need to repaint the front stoop gray. I love our old-fashioned front door and didn't want to replace it with a shiny new one. (We need a new door bell!) We got the Schuh cement planter 20 or 30 years ago from Dave's sister. I've never known where she got it from - too late now!
The back shed is keeping its peely perfection! I love the variety of colors on the one hydrangea bush.
You might remember when I bought this heavy wrought iron table and chairs set last year. I still haven't decided what to do with it - I bought it thinking I could use it in our dining room but haven't tried that yet.
We've been in a cleaning out mode and one thing that I purged was my seashell collection. I had boxes and tubs of shells that I'd collected in Florida (funny that we find almost no shells - or no "good" shells - anymore!) I kept my favorites in some jars for the patio.
Our back porch is my favorite place in the summer. I wasn't too keen on the idea of putting a gazebo up on the deck but covering that part of the deck has been the best thing. It's been like adding a room to the house.
We love our table under the porch roof. We eat out there almost every night...
And it's my "office" most mornings. The neighborhood is so quiet (that means that our neighbor hasn't come outside yet and turned his radio on louder than I would, even if it were my own at my house. It's REALLY annoying! :) I love to have my morning quiet time here, reading and coloring in my Bible, adding to my gratitude list in my Grace Notes book (I'm writing down 1,000 things I'm thankful for), and working on plans for the day and classes and trips down the road. It's my little corner of paradise.
I've also been very busy designing three new classes, ordering product, and packing class kits. These new kits for my Memoranda class are ready to be shipped to Phoenix for my classes at CraftFusion weekend after next. It's not too late to sign up or to order a kit from them!
I hope you're having a wonderful summer, too! I'm off to San Diego for one of my best friend's son's wedding on Saturday and for my workshops there on Sunday. (you can still sign up HERE)
(I uploaded the photos to this post in a little different way this time. Could you let me know in the comments if they loaded on your computer the same as they always do or if it took longer than usual? Thank you for your help!)