Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Spring Is Springing!

I can't believe it has almost been a week since I have posted!  We have been having some beautiful Spring like weather for the past several days.  I spent most of last week working in the yards.  Things are beginning to come to life.  The birds are chirping and flitting around from tree to tree, looking for the best spot to build their nests and raise their brood.
Right outside our bedroom door is a wren that comes back every Spring to have her babies in this Apple Gourd that a friend of mine grew and sent to me.
My friend that sent this to me, has passed away, and this is a treasured gift.  I love to hear the wren's song from my bedroom in the early morning hours.  No eggs yet, but soon.
The orange trees are loaded with new blooms on them that are only days from bursting open to reveal their intoxicating scent.
We are still enjoying fresh squeezed orange juice daily.  And keep buckets of picked oranges handy for our visitors who like to leave with a bag full.
I have spent the past couple of days doing a good house cleaning, and getting my Spring things down from the rafters and putting some Spring into my decor.
Come on in and see what is Springing  here.
My Mom and Dad gave me this half table that sits on our front porch.  I love it, and revarnish it every other year or so to keep it from weathering too much, even though it is covered by the porch.   I love my little heart rock, and a pair of gardening gloves that were given to me by a friend with a special verse written on the tag.
I put my Spring baskets on the front doors.  I do need to find some new flowers to freshen them up a bit though.
 When we got home from the mountains, I discovered that, for the second year in a row, I have a persistent sparrow trying to build her mud nest directly over my front doors.  Last year, I stood guard and hosed each and every attempt off the bricks.  Then in desperation, made this tacky scarecrow of sorts, to put up there to thwart her efforts. After only a few days, she relented and went somewhere else to build.  I was so relieved.  Now, I love birds!  I feed all of them, and provide habitats here in our yards to enjoy them, and welcome their nesting season here in the grove.  But these birds, are so messy, and right above my front door, no less!  No how, no way, to quote a favorite Auntie of mine.    I hear it is nearly impossible to get rid of them once they begin to build.  But I did it last year.  And I'll be gol darned if they aren't back again!!! Same thing, same place, same mess!!!  Ugh!!!
So this is what it really looks like out there until they go away!
Beautiful isn't it!!!  Hopefully I can take in down in a few days.  But so far, no mud building is going on!!
I have put some of my Easter things in the yards. Do you see the bunny sitting at the bistro table under the window?
The front porch glider that we have had for well over 25  years, still gets plenty of use!
I love to sit out here on a Spring day and knit or crochet.  And watch the birds build their nests.
On the back of the house, we have a covered porch that we really use almost year around.  I changed the pillows on the wicker settee to some Spring yellow that I made last year, and added my Sprocket pillow in the center.
The wicker table holds some of my ceramic bunnies.
I like to take abandoned nests out of the trees and use them in displays in and around the house.  This one was abandoned last year, I think due to the pair of hawks that took up residence in the giant sycamore tree next door.  They scared most all of my song birds away, and I think this was the case with this nest too.  The aloe plant you can see on the iron stand was given to me by a friend in Arizona.  She brought me one single pup from a plant she has in her yard.  it is huge now, and has provided soothing gel for many an owie since I have had it. 
Well, I guess you can't really see it here, but it is the one in the yellow plant dish, and is complete with eggs still intact.    The nest on the white birdhouse is also a rescue from the yard.
We love to sit out here on this patio. But in the hottest months of the summer, the evening sun can be brutal.  We put up large shade screens a couple of  years ago, and I think we could use a third one.  The white wicker set is the one I rescued off the curb last year when my neighbors were going to throw it away.  I ran up to their door and asked if I could have it.  Then I washed and scraped and repainted it, and it is a favorite place to sit here on the patio.  That door on the left goes into my sewing room.  This used to be Gennifer's bedroom.
The hutch was my Nana's.  It was in my home for many years.  But when I got a new one a few years ago, I decided to put this on the patio to hold some of the dishes and things we often use in the summer time to eat outside.  I love to change it for the seasons too.
The little round table in the foreground, we bought when we moved here 20 years ago.  It is old, and has rusted legs, and needs to be tossed out.  But it is so comfy!  I change out the cushions every few years, but I think this will be the last summer for it.
 I love this patio of ours.  It is so cozy and quiet.  I often eat my breakfast out there at that table in the warmer months.
This is right outside the little door that goes into the bathroom off the patio.  We both keep a pair of garden shoes there to slide into, and of course, my wellies for mucking out the coop.
The nasturtiums are just beginning to bloom again.  I love these!!  This is a patch over by the sprinkler controls that stays nice and wet.
My jasmine is bursting open with a beautiful sweet fragrance!
It won't be long before the iris' are exploding with their purple flowers and grape candy scent that hangs in the air as you walk up to the house.
I have divided these from one single plant that was sent to me by a gardening friend in Chicago.  Now I have them all over in both the front and back yards.
Shall we go inside?  Do you remember the basket I picked up at the thrift shop last week?
Here it is now.  I like to keep something sitting on this ottoman, otherwise my Wheatie will lay here, and leave her golden locks on the pretty persimmon colored fabric.  This is what I put inside the basket.
First I set three books in the bottom to set the fern on, and to vary the heights of the things I have put inside the basket.  Next I covered the books and all of the open space with brown craft paper.  Then I set my fern in, and nestled an orchid the exact same shade as the ottoman fabric, in next to the fern.  And placed a favorite little statue inside that my son gave me a long time ago.  It is of a little girl lying in a bird bath, and a bluebird at her side.  He said it reminded him of me when I spread a blanket on the grass and watch the birds.  I tucked a Caruth piece in the fern and there are three feathers sticking down inside the plant.  One from each of the hens that I lost to coyotes, and a large hawk feather I picked up while jogging up at Bass Lake one summer. Then I topped the whole thing with moss.

The coffee table got a new look too.  On the tray I have set a basket that I also lined with moss. I layed a couple of nests in there.  One of them is a hummingbird nest clipped from my lemon tree.  One of the eggs did not hatch, and is still in it, although broken now.  A pretty bird plate that my Mom got for me.  And nestled into the right corner is a ceramic bird from my friend and neighbor, Sue.
On another table sits a few favorite photos and a cloche with a sweet vintage picture with two baby bluebirds.   I got this at an antique store s long time ago. 
There are real feathers on the body of the birds.
I like to use books and boxes and things to make different heights for what I display.  And whoever said that living rooms should not contain family photos is full of hooey!!  I say put out what you love.
This is an end table that I bought from Salavation Army for 2.50 and redid it.  It is the same maker as my coffee table.  What a steal!!
Only a few things in my family room.  Which is a much more relaxed and casual room.
I like to keep it low profile on the coffee table in here where we watch the telly most.  The big carrot is made of fabric and stuffed with fiberfill and I tucked a bit of greenery in the top.  Greg would just as soon the table had nothing on it.  HA!!!  Oh, and he could do without any throw pillows too.  Except his one ugly green corduroy one that he balls up to watch tv with every night.  I have been informed that I can never get rid of that!!!  Oh if men did the decorating!!
In the kitchen I have put my chocolate bunny with barrow of eggs and two pretty celadon green candles in silver bunny candlesticks.  All is sitting atop of a "quilt as you go" carrot table runner that I made.
On the buffet I put some pastel eggs nestled in some grass in one of my glass covered dessert clothes.
Oh look at my handsome boy laying there by the parsons chair.  Both of the doggins' follow me from room to room.  Wherever I go.
In the kitchen sink, I have one side filled with washed oranges to juice for tomorrow.  I usually give my son a big jug of it to take home to his house too.
The avocados have been very plentiful this year. We always have some that are ripe, and some that are just picked.  And no one goes  home empty handed!!
The beautiful chicken pitcher sitting behind the basket was a gift from my friend Thea.  We met up with Thea and her husband Phil in Big Bear over the weekend and had the best time!  Boy does she know me, or what?
In my little bathroom off the pool I put a little bunny too.  Don't be afraid to use cake plates and candlesticks and such to add height to your decorating.
It is a very old ceramic bunny, looking much cuter sitting atop of a moss covered cake plate.
And on the other side, I have an off white ceramic bird bath dish, that I have filled with various blue rocks.  I tuck soaps and lotions and the like in there for guests to use.
Oops, that is blurry...sorry about that.
I have a cute little molded Mama chicken soap and eggs set, sitting atop that little grass nest perched on a candle holder.  I painted the bathroom cabinets a creamy white and put a decorative wood applique on the cupboard face.  Although the cultured marble sink is not my favorite look,  painting the cabinet made a big difference in there!!!
In my entry way, I couldn't take down the pretty wreath just yet.  I did remove the Valentine crochet heart that was hanging from the center.
So that is how is Spring is springing here in our house.  I am anxious to make a trip to the nursery and buy some flowers to put in the planters and on the pool deck.
I know that for many of you, it is still very much winter where you live.  But it won't be long now.
Oh, and before I go today, I wanted to tell you about a wonderful salad we bought at Sprouts the other day.  It is an Edamame and Quinoa salad with lots of mixed veggies and feta cheese, tossed in a light olive oil dressing.  SO good!!!  I am going to try to recreate it here at home, and when I do, I will share that recipe with you.  Until then, if you have a Sprouts, go try it out.  It is over at the meal/deli counter.
 Happy Spring!!!!
XO  Kris


Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

Wow Kris your house looks so clean and shiny. You have been so busy. My jasmine is blooming too and it is so wonderful. Went to Country Gen today. Oh it was so awesome. Huge amounts of chickens and farmhouse. You would love it.

Bethany said...

Someone's been busy! It's been warmer here, but now they're calling for snow (now that I'm ready for spring it's going to snow, right?

Gloria said...

all look beautiful!! I love your ceramic bunnies are sooo cute!!!

Kris said...

Kris - Your home is lovely inside and out!! I think we are supposed to get snow tomorrow too!!

by Teresa said...

Hey Kris.. you've been a busy little bunny, you! I am tempted to get out my Easter stuff, but am waiting until after St. Paddys day. I love Easter stuff! I will undoubtedly crochet a few more eggs.. wish you could join Taci, Betsy, Gracie and I for lunch on Friday!
((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Holly said...

Oh man! I need to get on the band wagon. My house looks autumny. I need to bring in the spring. Everything looks so pretty. You sure know how to make a house a home. I love your patio, I need to be there again. It's my happy place.

Dawn said...

Wow girl you have been on a roll. Your place is beautiful and all springy looking. Still snow here, so it's hard to get in the mood. I would love to sit on your back porch and take a few oranges when I leave.

priscilla said...

All your spring decorations look great Kris ! Your home looks wonderful! Your weather looks beautiful too , more snow here yesterday ..don't know when spring will come here !

mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

Happy Spring at your house Kris, Your home looks SO Bright, Beautiful, Fresh and Inspiring!!!
I love all your garden decorations scattered throughout the house. Love all your bunnies and nests.
Everything looks so pretty, now you can sit back and enjoy. I would love to sit in your porch!!

Patty said...

You have alot of energy! Wish we could enjoy a porch like you. Ours gets too much sun. Your house is certainly ready for spring! I like how you leave the oranges outside for others to help themselves. I imagine your neighbors just love you.

Carol said...

Happy Spring! Your house looks lovely, all ready for Spring. I love all your bunny decorations, tucked away hear and there. Everything looks so very peaceful.

Mereknits said...

Kris, it was so nice to get caught up with you. I feel like I was right there walking around with you and the doggies while you decorated. You home is warm and lovely. I decorated this weekend too, Spring is here, even though it is 53 degrees out right now.
hugs to you,

Pam said...

You are the queen of decorating for holidays! Love your little patio - it's so cozy & inviting.

The salad sounds healthy and super tasty!

The Garden Bell - Kate said...

Hey....not fair... we are still digging out here. But, then I guess you could say the same to me as I get ready to leave for a month in Florida. Oooooppps...care one.

Petunia Pill said...

Kris, what a great post! All sorts of things to appeal to my senses! Makes me miss the California temps this time of year. We are still in the throes of winter...quite a bit of snow falling today! No color, no blooms...and I look at yours and yearn for what was! Orange blossoms...now there is something I definitely MISS! I can smell the in my mind! We had many orange trees around our home and the scent was everywhere! Your home is adorable! Hugs, Annette

Pammy Sue said...

I was afraid you were sick with the flu after your car sickness on Sunday. Glad you are alive and well and busy as ever. I love Ritz! That plate with them on there makes my mouth water. Cruel! GAH.

Eileen said...

Sure looks like Spring has sprung at your home!! How pretty and festive every thing looks. We are still under the drugery of winter.
And can't wait to decorate and get motivated to bring in the Spring. Thank you for sharing your home with us. How wonderful to be able to pick your own oranges for fresh orange juice every morning.
Have a wonderful week. No chance of sitting on our decks for a long time yet. They are still sporting snow.

Kelli said...

Everything look so nice and inviting. I went to sprouts the other day for the first time and LOVED it! I wish I had one closer to my house. The prices were great and the food all looked wonderful.

Grayseasailor said...

Kris! Thanks for making me feel welcome and at home in your home. I enjoyed seeing your seasonal decorations spring forth :-) I remember your scarecrow from last year and hope you are able to convince your bird family to settle somewhere other than over your front door. We had the same problem several years ago, but so far they haven't returned. I'm thankful!