But relax is exactly what we have been doing for the past several days - and I've got to admit: it has been wonderful.
It all started when Jeff asked me to join him on a trip to the Home Depot - not my idea of a great date, and definitely not something on my "relaxing" agenda, which included reading, reading, and more reading. But once we got to the Home Depot, we had a lot of fun. The intention was to pick out some new hanging flower pots for our deck.... we ended up not with flowers at all, but instead, with new deck furniture - and that is when the relaxing really began. As far as dates go, our trip to the Home Depot rates right up there!
I wanted to keep my Adirondack gliding chairs because 1) they are comfortable and outdoorsy, and 2) they were an anniversary gift that I gave to Jeff eight years ago, thus, they have sentimental value in spite of their lack of flair and style. What we decided was to work around the Adirondack chairs by adding to the seating with a casual grouping that would be inviting but not too fancy (we are not really fancy folks). What we now have is, in my opinion, as close to perfection as I had ever hoped for: seating for six, with a mix of the old and the new.
From the moment we unloaded the furniture (an adventure in and of itself because we had to rent the Home Depot truck and unload everything ourselves), things just got better and better. All of the following pictures were taken from our deck over a period of three days:
It never ceases to amaze me that although we live in a subdivision in the suburbs there are always wild animals in our vicinity. We see fox, deer, hedgehogs, raccoon, rabbits, skunks (not my favorite animal - and there are a LOT of skunks around here), turtles, and all sorts of other creatures great and small. Since I will always be a farm girl at heart, it delights me when I am able to watch the animals. And clearly, I get a kick out of taking pictures of them at every opportunity. I only wish I was better at photography and that I would be more prepared because usually, by the time I run in the house and grab my camera, the animals have disappeared. Well... not the turtle... those things move slow as all get out and I could take naps during their road crossing tendencies.
When we lived in Washington state, opossum were a common sight. I can't say that I miss them, because I don't - I find opossum to be rather creepy and really ugly (although as a child, I actually tried to take a baby opossum in and make a pet out of it - the opossum was MEAN and when we took it with us in a shoe box on a car ride to my best friend Darci's house, it got out of the shoe box and chewed the holy heck out of the upholstery in their car. Nasty things, those opossums!). Another animal that was a current sighting in Washington state was the black bear - these bear were not large, they were just chubby creatures who lumbered along. Since we've moved to Virginia, I have yet to see a bear or any kind - and I do miss the bear (sorry, Mom, I know you have all kinds of bears by your house and that they wreck havoc with the trash and whatnot, but I still miss them and I'm hoping to see a whole lot of bears the next time I visit).
To end this meandering, wandering, relaxing, nothing entry, I include a final picture of my hibiscus plants in full bloom. I'm a bit insulted that the hummingbirds are not in the least bit interested in these plants - they won't even stick their nose inside a single flower - I've made it far to easy for them to get their food for free and without effort. But in spite of the fact that the hibiscus were purchased to lure the birds, I am enjoying the multiple new blooms that appear each and every day. And now that I have my comfy, cushy new deck furniture, I will be spending even more time outside enjoying the hibiscus, the hummingbirds, the deer, my dogs, and what really has become my simple life.