Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Miscellaneous Musings No. 16

Hey there, readers! Remember how I've I told you more than once that my mind tends to race, hardly rests, and that I'm a numbers girl? Well, the way I deal with that on my blog is through intermittent brain dumps. I have a name for them, Miscellaneous Musings, and this one's No. 16 (because I like keeping track). You can see all the rest of these musings at this link if you're so inclined. Are you ready?

Remember that PBS documentary on Andre van Damme and the Charleston (WV) Ballet I told you about, which I participated in (2017) and later celebrated its premiere (2018)? Well, among many awards, it was just bestowed a regional (OH, KY, IN, WV) 2019 Emmy award for Arts Programming! I know someone like Jeanie may know exactly what this now means, but I believe its benefits may include greater audience reach potential within PBS programming. Either way, it's a huge honor, especially for these folks pictured below (and really good documentary).
Ohio Valley Chapter 2019 Emmy Award for Arts Programming:  "Andre Van Damme and the Story of the Charleston Ballet" - Mary Anna Ball (Producer), Debra Novak (Director), Carol DelGrasso (Editor), Michael DelGrasso (Lighting). Photo courtesy Charleston Ballet's Facebook page
I have a new granddog, and his name's Brutus. He's another Muttaineer, like his sister Audra. His lineage has some blood hound in the mix, and something short of a horse. He weighs 80 lbs at six months, while Audra weighs in at 70 lbs (full grown). At 110 myself, I don't think I'm capable of walking either one.
This sweet man pictured below was honored in our hometown back in June on the 75th anniversary of D-Day. There was a great article of his recounting being on a Naval ship in the waters on that day in history at Normandy Beach during WWII. He was my mother's friend and companion for many years in the latter part of her life. He's outlived three women at last count.
Since downsizing, I've said before it feels like we're on vacation....except the maid service hasn't shown up. I've traded gardening for house cleaning and I don't like the latter nearly as much as yardwork. My new dishwasher mocks my skills by flashing a neon "washing HO" message every time I run a cycle!
I've also stated before that the purge I did for downsizing couldn't have been accomplished without the help of my sister. I kept getting distracted with things I found as I was working.
My sister is not an early bird, and having her come to help before noon resulted in her sometimes being a little discombobulated, as in putting on two different shoes.....
....or, leaving after a session of purging, and forgetting to pack and take her prized stash home. She left a load of baskets one day, only for the storm that night to drench it all.
I think about the oldest thing I found to purge was this cake mix below. Note the "best if used by Feb 22 2013". The worst part of this one is I purged (or thought I did) when we updated our kitchen in 2017.
Mishaps happen when you move. My moving company broke or lost one, 17" beveled glass shelf on the rolling cart pictured below. I always thought Frontgate was pricey, but I had gotten this on sale. Now I understand better about pricing. That one shelf cost well over $150 for the movers. I can't say exactly how much because the local glass company quoted incorrectly at that price, but honored their quote. They said their cost was considerably more due to the beveled edge.
We had trouble with moving our Sleep Number bed with a third party, too, and I won't get into that ugly story, but suffice it to say the invoice for that move was waived. Our bed tracks our sleep, scores, and provides feedback. Being the numbers gal I am, you'd think that'd be something that interests me. Not really. Back in January, while trying to wrap my head around the move, I didn't sleep well. Mr. P.'s and my sleep tracking in one week looked like this (below):
While Mr. P.'s sleep scores resembled the constellation Cassiopeia...
...mine resembled something more like an out of body experience, as apparently I wasn't tracked at all one night. I had a lot of restless nights through the moving process.

We're mostly sound tight in our new loft, and we've gotten use to most of what we do hear differently than where we lived previously, but the summer has been full of festivals and weekend events that draw people to the riverfront park and bars. The bars close at 2 am, and we could most always hear patrons going to their nearby parked cars on weekends. So, we ordered a great little sound machine (no sponsorship, just my opinion and endorsement):
It's incredibly small (great for travel), works like a charm, charges on a phone cable, plus it's also a speaker with bluetooth capability. I bought it on Amazon Prime deal day, along with a travel case. Since then, look what score I achieved on my Sleep Number bed!
Forget all the crazy scorekeeping, I do love my Sleep Number bed with its flex base adjustments. It was just a pain to move.

At this point in our lives, we value good sleep. Otherwise, someone might end up buying a t-shirt that looks like this one below, which I spotted on a guy in a park one day:
One of my kids' favorite features in Highlights Magazine was the Hidden Pictures. I still can't find the banana in the picture below. It's not Frosty's mouth, is it?
Well, it took Mr. P. four months to notice one of the areas I chose to place my hidden pitchers....ironstone pitchers, that is. It wasn't until he was showing someone in the family our loft did he happen upon them on the ledge in the master bath. I have several more in storage that I had in our laundry room at the house which I still want to pull and add to the mix.
Have you ever wondered why the makers of English muffins never bothered slicing those things before packaging?? That's the first thing I do when I buy a package - slice them all, and get most of the mess out of the way in one fell swoop.
I came across this little peach in the grocery store when they were just arriving in "peak" season. 😳
My local Panoply sister has been rehabbing with knee replacement surgery the past several weeks. I offered to take her to physical therapy one day before she was driving. While watching her do her exercises and wringing her hands in pain, I told her she reminded me of me, in the dentist's chair. Then, as she continued to wince, we were talking about how pain pills make you feel sick once you start feeling better, needing them less. All of a sudden, I felt nauseous, and asked if there was a restroom.
Next thing I knew, I was on the floor. My sister said she looked at me and said my eyes were rolling in the back of my head. I fainted.

After a couple therapists tended to me by putting cold water on me and raising my legs, a nurse sitting there, receiving shoulder therapy, said it was likely a vasovagal reaction. Weird, but I have fainted with blood being drawn once and after getting a steroid shot for poison ivy. Luckily, I haven't had any episodes like that one since. Like I said, I'm a numbers gal, definitely not medical.

Well, there won't be any more Saturdays between now and the end of the year without college football. West Virginia is in the Big 12, which only has 10 teams. Mind you, the Big 10 has 14 teams. Sounds like they need a numbers gal.

Thanks for stopping by. Have any weird, random things happening to you lately? Feel free to let your crazy fly and share them in the comments.
Rita C. at Panoply

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Tete-a-tete Summer Tablescape on the Balcony

Welcome to Panoply! While many of us are looking forward to the transition of seasons by August, we are still very much in the throes of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Today I'm inviting you out on our balcony, where we can share a little tete-a-tete meal. 
Tete-a-tete comes from the French tête-à-tête, which literally translates as head to head. In our new loft location, our tete-a-tete refers to a private meal set for two. 
I want to thank Chloe Crabtree from the blog Celebrate and Decorate for hosting and organizing several bloggers each day this week, bringing you late summer tablescaping ideas, all in one convenient place. You'll find the list of other stylists and their blog links at the end of this post.
We can enjoy dining alfresco on our balcony for casual meals during the warm weather seasons. Our dwelling is oriented with primarily southeastern views, where sunrises fill our space with abundant light once above the distant hillside and cityscape. The high position of the summer sun and its directional movement through afternoon and evening allow for sitting on our balcony without direct sunlight glare for most of Spring through Summer. I shot both morning and evening photographs for this tablescape to demonstrate the flexible use of the light and space. 
Sunrise over the cityscape
Early morning hours show a city waking up, and a common river sighting is barges going up and down river, transporting coal. In the photo below, the barge is going up river to receive a load.
Summer sunsets, though not in direct view from our balcony, generate some spectacularly reflective shadowplay on the buildings and light in the eastward sky as the sun sets in the west, dropping out of view over the river. It's a show in itself to watch the sun, clouds and weather patterns, both east and west.
Evening shadowplay

Evening light from the west, lighting the eastern clouds
Overhead outdoor fans and southerly breezes from the river keep the air circulating on the balcony. Food fare this time of year for Mr. P. and me is quite simple and easy. The balcony accommodates a small table with service for two quite nicely.
Of course, there is always a plan for dessert in our home after each meal! 
Evening views on the river will likely include recreational boaters enjoying the water.
Or, the skyline in the distance....
From a professional lens (below, by West Virginia photographer, Jesse Thornton), this is a closer view of the skyline from our balcony. We recently purchased this photograph and framed it for our loft. It is known around town as the 'church and state' view, popular among both amateur and professional photographers.
The photo  of my tablescape below was taken from inside our loft, looking through the plate glass windows. The reflection was minimal so I took advantage of seeing the view from a center angle.
We're still feeling the sense of vacationing in our loft, or maybe it's just that summer living seems easier, in general. One thing's for sure, we are enjoying downsized living. 
Summer Balcony Tete-a-tete Tablescape Source List
Dinner plates - Dollar Tree
Enamel salad / dessert plates - Pottery Barn
Solid Blue, Yellow Napkins - Waverly 
Lemon / bee towels - Williams Sonoma
Napkin Rings, Tablecloth (Ralph Lauren) - HomeGoods
Bee glassware (La Rochere) - Sur La Table
Flatware - Oneida
Daisies and Greenery - Grocery
Clear pyramid vase - Blenko 
Be sure and stop by each day for updated links below, taking you directly to each blogger's table setting with a late summer theme. Check out Jenna's post at the The Painted Apron next.

Please let me know you were here by leaving a comment. I appreciate each one of you, and getting to know new visitors is an added bonus to continual blogging. Hopefully, you'll return again. Thanks so much for your visit and readership today.

(A special thanks to Cecilia of My Thrift Store Addiction's Vintage Charm Party #196 for featuring this post!)
Rita C. at Panoply