Catching Up – What I’ve Been Up To

Today I thought I would just do a little catch up with you about the last few weeks.  Life sometimes throws a curve ball and we don’t always follow the plan we make.   l am glad to share that I got my 2nd vaccine shot the first week in May.  My arm was red and sore for several days but that’s really nothing.  What surprised me was the RA (rheumatoid arthritis) pain I experienced for over 3 days following the shot. It is my observation that any stress or illness makes me hurt.  Anyway, it’s a small price to pay to protect myself from COVID.  I did not get several craft projects done but that isn’t the end of the world either.




When I retired several years ago, I started spending more time doing one of my favorite past times, thrifting.  You’ve probably noticed all the vintage I share on my posts.  I fell in love with Corelle dinnerware back around 2000.  One of my favorite vintage items is dinnerware: plates, saucers, etc.  When I moved into my small home 11 years ago, I downsized and gave away quite a bit of my housewares.  After thrifting for 11 years, I had added way too many items to my small closets.  Time to re-think my possessions again.  I placed many items of mostly Corelle and other plates, saucers, and mugs on my dining table.  I decided I would get rid of many of them. I kept the vintage plates shown above.   I have sold a few on Facebook Marketplace and I’m giving the rest to a friend who also loves Corelle.  Now what am I going to eat on everyday?  I rewarded myself with a new set of Corelle in the Lisbon Terrace pattern.  I haven’t bought a whole set of dishes in what seems forever.  Blue is my favorite color and I like the pattern. Now I have more room in the cabinet but still have a pretty plate for dinner.










I’ve also been working on my garage for the last several months. With arthritis and a bad back, I do a little at a time.  The garage is cleaner and more organized.  I’ve thrown away and given away lots of “stuff”.  I have several other projects that I’m working on a little at a time like redoing the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. I hope to finish it up in the next week or so and do a post then.  Most of my projects are really maintaining my home and trying to update a problem area.  I have at least 4 cartons or other containers of personal records, i.e. my house, insurance, etc.  I have a chair set up with several of the containers beside it. I am going through papers, shredding, and re-organizing. With all the bending in the process, I do it a little at a time.  I’m hoping to finish up with just 2 cartons instead of 4.







Like many of you I am thinking about my front porch and the flower bed in front of it.  The amaryllis are looking terrible.  You know how bulb flowers look after blooming?  Eventually many of the leaves will die back and just leave a few green leaves for the next year.  You shouldn’t get rid of the dying green leaves as they feed the bulbs.  Around the amaryllis are weeds, of course.  I am so good at growing weeds.  I am picking a few a day (until my back stops me) and I have bought new mulch for the flower bed.





I did an online order at Lowe’s for the mulch, potting soil, a filter for my a/c, and some silicone caulk for my sink.  Yup, I need to re-caulk that.  See nothing fantastic or beautiful but necessary.  When I went to pick up my order, I walked into the garden center to see what flowering plants were reasonable. I really can’t go there without looking.  There was an area of tropical hibiscus which you know I love.  Medium to large hibiscus are pricey, but they had a collection of a few smaller containers of tropical hibiscus for $7.98!  I bought one called President Hibiscus. It had at least 8 or 9 buds on it.






I potted it in a larger planter and placed it by the front porch.  See the interesting shadow from the frangipani tree (plumeria)?





The tag shows a pretty red hibiscus flower. That’s fine with me.  When I finish mulching the flower bed, I will place it in between the crotons.  I’m going to try to make it back to Lowe’s to get another one or two to pot and put in the flower bed.  Then I’ll have flowers by the porch. Unlike annuals my hibiscus will flower for years.  By next spring, I’ll have to re-pot, but I’ll get a lot of flowers for my money.  I’m not trying to plant them in the flower bed due to the amaryllis and the crotons.  I love the amaryllis and do not want to disturb the bulbs.







I can guarantee that I will be sharing photos of the new hibiscus flowers soon.  They’ll be right by my front door.



Well, that’s all the everyday news I have. Life isn’t always firecrackers.  I was watching old Designing Women episodes on a local channel, and one of the characters said, “Doesn’t life seem like one long Frank Cappa movie?”  Yup, I think so.  Family, friends, the Creator, and nature – a sweet movie indeed which for me always includes flowers.










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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

13 thoughts to “Catching Up – What I’ve Been Up To”

  1. Good to hear you got your second vaccine shot Carol, though so sorry to hear about all the discomfort afterwards. That sure area pretty plates, along with all the pieces, and it’s good to treat ourselves every once in a while. I have to downsize too. Made a start and have a long way to go. I think you’re wise doing things in stages. It’s the only way I seem to be able to get things done these days. Your flowers and plants are going to look real pretty in your garden. Enjoy the rest of your week.

    1. the truth is de-cluttering never really ends. You get the job done and a year later “stuff” has moved in again with the seasons and holidays. I almost have to say to myself that I have to get rid of something everytime I get something new.

  2. Carol, I really love this post. It’s so good to hear all you are up to. We are on somewhat similar paths in some ways, trying to evaluate what we have and want to keep and that garage project. Like you, I have arthritis and in my lower back so lifting and bending can be a challenge at times. You’re right about doing it one step at a time. The hibiscus is lovely!

    1. Your comment is re-assuring Jeanie. I sometimes hesitate to just post about the mundane everyday activities. I’m not really creating anything and there is nothing beautiful about cleaning out the garage or caulking the sink. It’s just life. When we were younger, we could go in the garage and sort it in day or 2 at the most. Now it is a different story. I don’t really mind but sometimes I want my old body back even if just for an afternoon of doing what I want to do.

  3. So lovely to have a catch-up with you Carol.
    Great news about your second vaccine. It shouldn’t be long until I’m called up for my second too.
    I was shocked that my arm wasn’t sore after the first one as I normally suffer from that reaction.
    I love the new set of Corelle, very classy! I would certainly look forward to dinner time.
    I hope your back behaves and doesn’t cause you too much pain with all of that sorting out you are doing.
    Have a wonderful week ahead. x

      1. I love your new dishes. I planned to sell several sets when we moved but ended up giving them charity. Instead of buying new ( I mean different) at least for now I am using pieces I have had Roeder that I just looked at and adored. I adore them even more now!

I love to make new friends and get to know you.

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