Archive of ‘My Pets’ category

Dog Days of Summer

My dog, Marty, enjoys a good sniff-fest and rolling in the grass on warm summer days. Mary, who is a more dignified gal, prefers to quietly soak in the the sun and catch warm breezes. They are my constant companions and will happily keep me company as I work or relax in the garden.

I am grateful for quiet days with my canine companions.

My Summer Garden

crepe myrtle blooms

Hi everyone, how is your weekend going? My summer garden is in full bloom this week, so I grabbed my camera–and two of my pups–and headed outside to enjoy the show. I snapped some pictures to share here while the pups enjoyed a sniff-a-thon and then settled down to catch a few rays. My crepe myrtle trees are in full bloom this week. Aren’t they beautiful?

hardy hibiscus blooms

These hardy hibiscus will continue to bloom daily until early fall. I planted them outside my kitchen window so I can enjoy the show from inside the house and watch the hummingbirds drinking their nectar. Hummingbirds can’t resists these huge, red blooms. I saw one this morning while I was drinking my coffee and two others this afternoon, including one little fellow with amazing blue feathers.

calla lily blooms

I planted these calla lilies three years ago, and they get bigger and fuller each year. And the best thing about crepe myrtle, hardy hibiscus, and calla lilies–besides the fact that they bloom in tandem–is that they require almost no care. Just add water during extreme dry spells. That’s it! Easy peasy. Here are a few more pictures of my garden.

summer garden featuring crepe myrtle, hardy hibiscus, and calla lilies

summer garden

summer garden

summer garden

How pretty are these purple blooms and aqua bench? It’s a good thing I have a large stock of aqua spray paint. I see more aqua garden furniture in my future. What’s growing in your garden this week?

Quick Spring Bedroom Makeover

Quick and easy spring bedroom makeover

I continued my spring home refresher project this weekend with a quick, easy, and inexpensive makeover of my of daughter’s bedroom. Her bedroom walls used to be chocolate brown–a color she chose. I’ve never been a fan of neutral colors; I think they lack energy. Plus the brown paint made her room feel small and dark. So for this makeover I chose a light green paint (Hampton Green by Benjamin Moore). It transformed the room from dark and dreary into a fresh and soothing sanctuary. And I accomplished all this in one day with very little money. Here’s another picture.

Quick and easy spring bedroom makeover

I bought the matelasse coverlet, dust ruffle, pillow shams, lamps, and shades at Target. I love shopping at Target. It’s a treasure trove of great design at fabulous prices. Add a gallon or two of paint and you’ve got yourself a quick and inexpensive one-day spring makeover. Here’s a close-up view of the pillow shams. I love the pops of orange and bits of yellow.

Quick and easy spring bedroom makoever

And here are before and after photos. (I always love it when magazines show before and after shots.)

Quick and easy spring bedroom makeover - before and after photos

And here’s a picture of my dog, Mary, helping me work. My dogs have to be at the center of every activity.

My dog, Mary, helping during the photo shoot

Canine Gardening Assistants

afternoonartist.wordpress.com

afternoonartist.wordpress.com

afternoonartist.wordpress.com

afternoonartist.wordpress.com

Yard work is always more pleasant when you have canine garden helpers. Marty (aka “Piggy” because of his curly pig tail) likes to dig holes, graze on the grass, sit in the phlox, and identify shady spots in the yard. He also likes to inspect my work. Mary, who is a more refined and dignified dog, prefers to oversee the yard work from the comfort of the deck.

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Piggy Close Up Small

A Castle for Frodo

Frodo's Toad Castle2

Now here’s a castle fit a king–King Frodo, that is. And speaking of Frodo, he should be emerging from his long winter nap in April and climbing my deck stairs to enjoy his evening meals. This cute Big Top Toad Castle from grandinroad.com will offer Frodo a shady spot to escape the harsh summer sun. I can’t wait for Frodo to make his first appearance and grab some photos of him. He’s been hanging out on my deck for 10 years now and I’ve grown quite fond of him. Here’s hoping that he’ll be back again this year.

Abbott in Action

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Here is a video of my daughter’s horse, Abbott, free lunging. Free lunging is when you put the horse through its paces around the arena without a lunge line. Abbott is trained to respond to clucking noises. So in this video when you see him stopping and then resuming his paces, my daughter is off camera clucking to encourage him to keep going. Free lunging is less stressful on the horse’s joints because you’re not constraining him to a small circle when he’s moving. Abbott is a 2005 quarter horse/paint gelding. His shire was a western pleasure champion, which is apparent in his movement. My daughter enjoys showing him in huntseat equitation. Abbott is the apple of her eye.

And here is a picture of me riding Abbott. I enjoyed horseback riding at a place called Patty’s Riding Stable in Fairfax, Virginia in the early 1970s. Back then it cost $3.00 per hour to ride the horses. I diligently saved my weekly allowance (.50 cents per week), and when I had accumulated enough money, I’d go for a ride. I had no idea what I was doing but I didn’t care, I had fun anyway. Apparently the horses knew I was clueless because one Chestnut mare named “Chessie” would slam me into the corner of a barn filled with grain every time I rode by it in an effort to knock me out of my saddle. I had to take my foot out of my stirrup and push off against the building with my foot to keep her from body slamming me against the side of the building. Somehow, I always managed to hang on. When this photo was taken, I hadn’t ridden a horse in over 30 years. It felt so much higher up there in the saddle than I remembered, and I was initially quite nervous. Abbott was very patient with me.

Me Riding Abbot2

Sometimes You Just Have to Stop and Smell the Flowers

Stevie and Flowers2

Stevie and Flowers1

Stevie and Flowers3

Stevie and Flowers

Little Stevie, our Yorkshire Terrier is such a curious boy. He just couldn’t wait to check out this bouquet of pink tulips–a Valentine’s gift from my sweet sister. Aren’t they lovely? Thank you, sissy. I snapped dozens of photos of Steve and my flowers in hopes of recreating them in a watercolor painting.

Turquoise and Coral Living Room Makeover

Spring Living Room Makeover1

I was sorting through photos tonight and came across these shots I took of my living room last spring. I’ve always been a fan of turquoise but when I added coral into the mix, this room really came to life.

Spring Living Room Makeover1c

I couldn’t resist these pretty pillow covers by Caitlin Wilson. You can purchase them at Caitlin Wilson Textiles.

Spring Living Room Makeover3

The bookcases and end tables came from American Drew Furniture. The pretty aqua recliners and couch came from La-Z-Boy Furniture Gallery. Who knew La-Z-Boy recliners could look this good? They’ve come a long way since the sloppy, unattractive (but comfortable) chairs of my youth. The coral Suraya Archive floor cloth came from RugsUSA. The black and white curtains came from Pottery Barn, my absolute favorite place to shop.

Spring Living Room Makeover7

Little Stevie likes to help me accessorize the room during photo shoots.

Steve on the Coffee Table

Stevie can do things that my big dogs can’t do, like hang out on the coffee table. I keep shooing him off, but you can see how well that’s going….

Steve2

Steve on high alert. Is that a squirrel? Must. Get. Him.

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