Around The House

our space

I belong to a really great photography group on facebook that is centered around storytelling through images. Unlike other groups I am a part of I have never seen a picture that makes me scratch my head or gringe…it is full of really talented people. One of the features on their blog is an hour by hour photo challenge. That’s right. Forget about your 365 daily or your 52 weeks thingie. One photograph every single hour.

I haven’t done it. Yet.

I want to, but I just haven’t. I haven’t ever done a 365 but I have done multiple weekly projects. I even did a first week of each month project one year. This is different though. Storytelling, whether in words or with images, needs to be cohesive and sometimes I feel like I am jumping from one thing to another thing all crazy like. I mean, I can point my camera at something every hour and click the shutter button. But thinking through the shots and stringing them together with a flow and a story…that requires thinking a little differently.

But I did realize that I take random pictures around my house on a fairly regular basis. Maybe because of color or the way the light is hitting something or just because it somehow holds meaning in my day.

This is pretty much where every day begins for me. I get up and first thing is push a button to get the coffee going. While it brews I typically feed the cats and give them fresh water, maybe start laundry and unload the dishwasher. But when I hear that final gurgle and swoosh my feet immediately bring me back to this spot.

I also try to get my bed made as early as possible. I just feel like I have accomplished something with it done. But I will confess that it doesn’t happen until later in the day. Even much later. Once I finished putting the throw pillows on it literally as Rob walked through the door at 5:30. But if it gets made it’s a win, right?

Sometimes, I might just grab the camera because I have noticed a spot in the house that I particularly like the look of or maybe something I don’t usually notice. In the past year or so I have managed to keep several different houseplants alive and that makes me happy and I like the look of live (non noise making live things) in our space.

Laundry. Man, I do a lot of laundry. There are six of us living here at home and the towels alone can really pile up up! I used to hate laundry but then I learned to see it as a sign of God’s providence and care for my people. We have what we need. Actually more than we need. I came to view it as a blessing (that can sometimes get out of hand) and one that has a beauty all its own.

Food. You have to know that food pictures are going to be a part of my random shooting. Yesterday, we enjoyed the company of some dear friends that visit our area once a year. It is always such a sweet time and one we really look forward to each summer. We made kabobs and while they were on the grill my friend picked some basil from our garden and proceeded to concoct a delicious chimichurri sauce to go with our meal. She didn’t even bat an eye when I told her to hold still so I could grab my camera. The light was just too good to pass up and the colors all looked so pretty.

She added some lemon zest too and it was so tasty drizzled across the skewers and on top of the rice.

I realize that a year from now, even a month from now or probably by next week if I am being honest, no one is going to be recalling these particular pictures much. But I will remember things whenever I do come across them again…the joy of friendship, the kindness of God in meeting our needs, the simple pleasures of a good cup of coffee and delight in keeping a houseplant alive.


Stopping for a moment to grab my camera to take those pictures helps me cultivate a way of looking at my world with eyes that find beauty and a heart that finds thankfulness.

And that’s gotta be a good thing.

Sprouting!

Our little green square

A little back story: my husband has worked really hard over the years to create a beautiful lawn. Yard work is his domain and a way for him to relax so when we bought our home almost six years ago we put in a sprinkler system and sod. Well, a little over a year ago this weed showed up that he just could not get rid of no matter what he tried. We ended up calling a landscaping guy we know who promptly pronounced the death of our yard. I cannot remember the name of the weed but basically once you get it the only way to get rid of it is to kill everything, grass included.

Knowing it would be a bit before we would be able to re-sod the only thing he continued to do was mow the lawn the rest of the summer. Let me tell you, that weed took over and our yard was U.G.L.Y. As winter turned into spring we started talking about what we were going to do to make it beautiful again. Two things were decided ~ first, we would sod the yard with zoysia grass. A little bit more expensive but very resistant to weeds but beautiful and thick. Second, we wanted to reconfigure the layout of our yard so that we needed less grass since even with a sprinkler system it can be difficult to keep it alive and healthy in Florida. We started talking about raised beds and small gardening. After three months of sweat and really hard work (mostly by him although I did help more than just telling him what I wanted) we have a new fence, a small garden area, some beautiful flower beds with African iris and hydrangea, and three new crepe myrtle trees. And my ferns! Y’all, one of my favorite things about this are the ferns we hung along the back fence.

We have a some finishing touches to put on it but overall the finished project has been a delight and we have enjoyed it so much!

We, and by we I mean Rob, tried some small gardening once but it has mostly been this romantic notion in our heads. But in our planning we decided we wanted to create a specific space to grow some veggies and even though it seemed sort of late in the season we put some stuff in the ground. We are the proud plant parents to cucumber, red & yellow bell peppers, sweet peppers and jalapenos, regular and white eggplant, sweet potatoes and a host of herbs. Thanks to the way Rob reconfigured and designed the sprinkler system each bed has its own drip line with little mini sprinklers so watering is a breeze! Yesterday morning I was outside and noticed one little watermelon sprout working its way through the dirt. Yesterday afternoon all three watermelons had sprouted and I was doing a dance as if I were the first person in the history of forever to put something in the ground and have it take root and grow. Started nosing around and found buds and flowers on almost everything we planted. Let me tell y’all, this is some kind of excitement and if you haven’t ever experienced it at least get a pot and some kind of plant and watch it grow! In the words of my friend Donna, “Life is good whether it is human, plant or animal.” I couldn’t agree more. It’s good for our souls.

We have some good friends with green thumbs who gifted a beautiful thornless blackberry bush. It was a little unhappy with the transplant to our yard at first but on the second morning it had noticeably perked up and we are pretty sure it’s going to like it’s new home. We planted it so that as it grows it can climb up the fence and be decorative as well as fruit producing.

All in all we are so pleased with the result of all the hard work. We do have some things we still want to do like finishing off that area in the middle of the veggie garden so we can have a lovely sitting area with a fire pit for in the fall and we also want to plant some wisteria along the other side fence.

Francis Bacon once said, “God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures.” So far we are finding that to be true.