I remember wondering after seeing the movie Amadeus, whether a true artist had to be crazy, or totally eccentric. (Think Van Gogh) there’s a long list of artists that fit the bill. (Intoxication is often a common theme).

I’ve decided it’s not true. You don’t have to be crazy. Total immersion has its place. Integration, however, is needed for lasting happiness. Take peonies for example. I regularly stick my face in their intoxicating aroma to drink in their beauty, that smell! Who knew the spicy scent practically kills my husband’s breathing inside the house. At the same time, I now surprise others with luxurious bouquets they can take home. I just inhale them outside as I tend them. Right now I’m working on a new shade garden, I’ve only begun to think about what kind of plants and things it needs. And rocks, evergreens, gravel etc. Try this app to ID plants you see but don’t know their names. http://www.likethatgarden.com/


Back deck- pre stain


Back deck, post stain- see the new awning up top.


Newly oiled deck -protecting the mahogany from the cold- Messmer’s stain- huge improvement over other products.

Once again this summer, I’ve lost myself in the outdoors. We finished staining two decks and continue the work in the gardens. The soil at the right side of the house has just been scratched with a backhoe to clear for the new patio extension. Much of the work this year has had to do with improving things that weren’t quite right. When we moved here, I built around certain minimal plantings.

Now, It’s been revealed overtime what plants just aren’t happy. And, mulch incoming Monday for weed control.

On another note, if you decide to replace windows with doors, keep inside and outside in mind. Sun is a big deal. Who knew that opening the back of the house with sliders over the back yard was going to create  a problem?


Awning, valance and drop down for sun protection.

Until we realized that summer sun rendered not only the porch a hot hazard but the entire living area a problem in the afternoon when the sun was out. So, this year, we sprang for a sun awning designed to beat back the heat, and in so doing, recaptured an entire living space inside, and a sitting/eating area outside on the deck. Not a luxury, a must-have for space utilization. The white drop down isn’t pretty but it sure helps cool the house. When we’re home, the awning and screen are lowered by 11:30 every day. Makes a huge difference inside.

I don’t want to be your friend, I just want to be your lover.” Radiohead- A British group who garnered awards from Rolling Stone in 2009 and beyond. Electronic music, varied influences but most interesting. The music is complex, good voice – enjoy the visuals- very cool. Complex? Colorful? Sounds like Paola Pillows

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