Thursday, April 16, 2020

Casual Deck Day

Hello, my friends! Today's one of my not-at-work days, but I still had a full day. 

First, I thought I would show you what I wore around the house today. I often "down-grade" my "good" clothes to house clothes once I get tired of them, or if they are getting worn. I have a few pairs of jeans (purple velvet, and leopard), a pair of camo pants, and an assortment of slightly moth-eaten sweaters that I have been wearing all fall/winter, and it's time for me to switch to spring/summer in my casual clothes too, so I'm doing a down-grade of this dress.
No make-up, wet hair, comfy old glasses

I like a cotton dress in warm weather for wearing around the house - my previous version was purple hemp (this dress here), originally purchased for our trip to Italy in 2014 (here are all the posts - enjoy!). I wore it constantly in the warm seasons and I finally wore it out last fall and retired it. I easily wore it a hundred times in 5 years, probably much more.

This dress is by Geek Boutique, and was last worn here, 2nd outfit, in August 2019 for shopping. I thrifted it for $19.99 (here), and wore it three times last season, which is good, but when I pulled out my spring/summer stuff a couple of weeks ago, it just wasn't ringing my bell, so I put it in the giveaway pile...and have been thinking about it ever since!

I guess that's a sign, so I dug it out today and layered my Frank Turner tour shirt under it. I sleep in my concert tees, and wear a different one every day as "around the house" wear anyway. So this is a nice way to keep looking presentable at home, for me as well for L.

As my temperatures fluctuate wildly, I have this wonderful wool cardigan that I can fling off or wrap myself in (it has pockets!). It's by Saint James, a venerable company that's been making wool sweaters forever. I bought it here for $18.95, and have been wearing it steadily since, all through this past winter.
My slippers are by Garneau (link here, 'cause I love). They are handmade in Quebec, Canada, with sheepskins from New Zealand and Australia (story here), and they are excellent for both warmth and temperature control. My first pair lasted two years before I fully destroyed them. These ones are just over a year old - L buys them for me for my birthdays. I wear them every day!

In the morning, I was up early for my Mental Health Walk, then walked to town to get our weekly groceries. I prefer shopping mid-week before noon, as the store is nowhere near as busy as it is after work or on the weekend. I lugged the usual 40-50lbs of groceries home in my backpack and in tote bags. Whew! After that, my legs are wobbly and tired.
"I'm exhausted just from hearing that."

As I hung out with Vizzini on the deck, waiting for my lunch to cook, I noticed that the maple tree to the north of our condo has unfurled its leaves.
The giant Gary Oak at the end of our street still looks fuzzy, as its leaves come out in about a week or so.

I looked up - the maple towers above our 4-storey building, and hangs over our glassed-in deck.
The top edge is our roof and the metal horizontal line is the join of the vertical windows.

As I looked out into the Gary Oaks in our front yard, I spotted someone who saw me first!
"Oh, I see you all right."

I zoomed in. Yup, definitely looking at me!
"You're the Woman from the stairs - my friends told me about you."

Well, that was disconcerting.

I have been wanting to do something more with our deck than what we've been doing...which is nothing! We've never even painted it, and we've lived here for over 20 years. But let's not be hasty! Maybe we'll paint some other time. For today, I just did a cosmetic update, although I did brush away some spider webs. There was nothing in this corner aside from an old plant pot and a thermometer, prior to today.
Our deck is L-shaped and just over a meter wide all the way around.

I took my Grandma J's chair - which I remember loving from when I was a child and asked to have when she died in 1996 - and covered it with an old faux fur blanket that Vizzini has decided he won't sleep on. I moved it out on the deck, along with an old marble-topped brass table, a padded footstool, and voila! I made myself a reading nook!

Here's the OG thermometer - it went up to 30 degrees this afternoon! Heaven!
The gargoyle is one of a set - I think we got them for a wedding present in 1997. We have a big collection of gargoyles all over the house - even in the bathroom!

I put my coworker Emily's lovely birthday gift (the framed doodle she made) out here, stacked up my next two books, and poured myself a glass of iced tea and sliced up an apple. Both my plate and the glass are vintage 70s, by the Indiana Glass Company - this pattern is called "King's Crown" or "King's Thumbprint" amongst collectors. I have quite a few pieces of this, mostly in amber, but with some green as well. I use my collectibles (they even go in the dishwasher) - I won't save them for "good."
The lump with a towel covering it on the lower right is an old plant pot from the Days When I Had Plants, Before I Killed Them All. It's there to keep Vizzini from going behind the chair and hiding and/or destroying the chair. He gets into everything, that cat.

I fetched this extra throw pillow and plopped it on the chair. Gotta make my space nice and comfy.
L's mom made it out of vintage ties.

Here's what I'm reading.
The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu is Lovecraftian short stories, and was excellent (I finished it this afternoon); next up is a re-read of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic, inspired by L and I having just completed watching the TV show "Black Sails", which is a "prequel" to Treasure Island. Yar, I do like me some pirates! I also vowed to read all of the Hemingway that we have (most of it, I think - L's read them all). I have only read The Sun Also Rises, so I'm excited to delve into To Have and Have Not.

My copy of Treasure Island is from 1978!
There is my Garfield bookplate (I was very into Garfield), and this was a 9th birthday gift from my "cousins" (kids of my mom's best friend Kathy), Karlee, Scott and Stacey, who I note all signed this themselves.

And here I am, enjoying a bit of sun, my tea and my apple slices, and resting my tired legs. I made a pot of chicken jalapeno corn chowder and a pot of turkey chili today, too - my freezer is full of deliciousness, and the whole house smells wonderful.
This is a south-west corner, so the sun doesn't beam right down on me. Not too hot or glare-y for reading. I have a feeling I'll be out here a lot!

This is my view if I look up:
I see the seagulls have splattered the window with their poop! Fiends!

The Gary Oak branches arch above me. When these oaks and the maples are in full leaf, we have lots of privacy from our neighbouring apartment buildings. 

And here's my view of this side of the deck:
"Oh, hey."

We've had the table and chairs for ages, a gift from Mom. I have ideas for that corner, as it's a hangout during parties, and ideas for the other "leg" of the deck, which goes for about 12 feet to the right from the corner. We shall see if it takes another 20 years to do change more stuff, ha ha!

For now, I'm going to hang out with this warm guy in the sun.
"Solid plan. I'm in."

Back to work tomorrow!


  1. What a wonderful place to hang out, nap, read or entertain. I'm not sure who has the most contented look - you or Vizzini. I love to read also and I cannot imagine a world without books.

    Keep well.

    1. Thanks, Nana! I am so proud of myself for actually DOING this! I read a lot, and always want to read in the sun, but can't sit in it directly (I burn easily). This space is going to be used a lot this summer.

      Thank you, my dear!

  2. All hail Frank Turner! Love him.
    Your house outfit is more stylish than most people's best. I love your slippers, I remember eyeing them up when you showed us your birthday pressies. I used to wear flipflops around the house until I treated myself to some sheepskin pompom trimmed slippers in Greece last year and they've changed my life.
    I love seeing the trees spring into life, so cheery after months of bare branches. that seagull is freaking me out a bit, what does he want?
    Loving the decking area and between you and Ann I'm beginning to feel like I'm needing a gargoyle in my life. We're definitely going to try and hunt down Black Sails, love a bit of pirate action. Jon's a big fan of Ernest Hemmingway. What a great idea to re-read those classics. Love the Garfield sticker and that photo of you curled up with a book in the sunshine.
    You deserve it after lugging all that shopping home.
    How happy does Vizzini look? Ours are lying outside basking in the sunshine after having a mad half-hour chasing a fat wood pigeon up and down the lawn!
    Stay safe! xxx

    1. Totally! Frank is my favourite act to see live. I've seen him 5 times. I like to stay looking nice at home. These are the BEST slippers - I highly recommend them. They're the best I've ever had.

      I know, that seagull is scaring me! Stop staring!

      Thanks so much! I laughed when I saw a gargoyle in Ann's post - what timing. I think you and Jon would love Black Sails - I really enjoyed it. That Garfield sticker was such a flashback for me!

      Vizzini just soaks up the heat - what a lump he is. Oh, your boys sound like they had quite a lot of excitement!

  3. Such a relaxing, lovely post. The sunshine you're getting on the Island is gorgeous! Sol is finally inching into town on this end, too. A good 90% of the snow (which was above my waist at one point in the heart of winter) in our backyard is gone at this point and the optimist in me is holding out hope for the first bud or bloom to appear before April is over.

    Autumn Zenith 🎃 Witchcrafted Life

    1. Thanks so much, Autumn! We have been really lucky this week - it's been gorgeous and hot. I even got a wee sunburn from sitting outside at Mom's!

      Here's a farewell and good riddance to that snow! I hope you see some blooms soon!

  4. It's nice to see someone else do what I've learned: to use old clothes as house clothes. I wring every bit of life out of my garments so when they aren't suitable for public viewing (at least online), they can still serve as home attire.

    When you write "my freezer is full of deliciousness and the whole house smells wonderful," you make me want to visit you again. I hope you'll allow that after the pandemic passes. :)

    1. Oh, absolutely! I thrift a few things specifically for wearing around the house (like this cardi), but I like to try to get as much life as possible out of my clothes if I don't give them away first!

      YES! I would love for you to come visit again, Ally. :) That would be awesome.

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you, Charlotte! I'm excited to avail myself of it again soon!

  6. I too have a couple of jammy style dresses I'm wearing at home in Summer, and which I change into after getting in from work. I have more of these for Summer than for Winter, as I often change straight into my PJ's after dinner in Winter. Love those slippers! And I absolutely love your comfy reading corner in your deck. What a perfect spot for a ... spot of reading. What a lovely view and wonderful company too! Oh, and how funny that we both have gargoyles in our latest posts! xxx

    1. It's so nice to be lounging around in "real" clothes - you'll probably be seeing my vintage housecoat at some point! I also have more summer ones than winter, as they get washed more. In winter, I rotate my cashmere and jeans.

      I highly recommend the slippers - they are the BEST. I'm so excited to use my book nook more this summer.

      I laughed when I saw your gargoyle picture! I have them all over the house.

  7. awesome! she's dressed down! i am soooo craving dressing up....but you definitely get a day off from all the marvelous things you have! MY QUESTION--where do you store it all?
    xo eva

    1. Thanks, Eva! I'll be back to dressy very soon!

      Question answered here: - enjoy!

  8. your cuddly reading corner is delish my dear. thank you for sharing with us. inspiring! xoxocaro

  9. My around the house clothes are not as fancy looking, haha! I wear pyjamas most of the time now or I upgrade to loungewear but it's usually an old tee and either a maxi skirt, trackie dacks or an old pair of shorts. Wearing an older dress looks just as comfortable but a little more stylish! I like your reading nook too :) I might set something like that up for the boys tomorrow - they say it's due to rain this weekend and we have a lot of comfy cushions I could put in an old play tent they don't use! Thanks for the idea!

    1. I've done old tees and maxis too, but I try to upgrade when I can. We need to be as stylish for our partners are we are for strangers - a good lesson I learned many years ago.

      I LOVE my nook - I've been out there so much! I hope you build one too!

  10. What an awesome reading nook! I'd like to make one somewhere, but I can't find anywhere good to make one in or house. I have gargoyles around the house too. Some of them are getting ready to go out in the garden for summer. I've got to check out Black Sails. A Pirate's life for me!...Haha! Love your vintage glass and plate. My mom has some vintage glass things that she's been saving for decades. Maybe I should put them into use if she'll let me. I gotta get a pair of those slippers! I looked at them on the website and they're washable too. Have a great time hanging out with Vizzini in your awesome new nook!

    1. Thanks, Cheryene! It's so awesome - I just love it. Yay for gargoyles! A couple of mine can be outdoors, but we don't have any garden areas. I think you would like Black Sails - I am loving Treasure Island.

      Check with your mom! I got my first piece of vintage glass from my grandmother and I think of her every time I use it. The slippers are fabulous - highly recommended.

      I am! I hope you have a great weekend!

  11. It s so lovely how nature changes every day now! And all the birds, butterflies and bees are so busy! Love to hear all those noices while I am sitting in my garden. Those slippers would be perfect for me too as I am always wearing slippers in my house. And I can t believe you never done something with that deck area! It s perfect to relax!

    1. It's so awesome, Nancy - I can hear all the starlings and crows in our trees. These slippers are the best! I know - I'm kicking myself for all the years wasted when I could have been reading out there. Tsk, shame on me.

  12. You are nice and very comfortable in that corner. You did a good job. Enjoy the sunshine. It makes life so much lighter.

    1. I am - I thought of you sitting out in the sun and napped there today, Greetje. It did help.

  13. You look fabulous relaxing with no makeup and wet hair.
    I love the look of the black Geek Boutique dress.
    That seagull staring at you looked well settled in.
    Seeing the gargoyle reminded me of the purpose gargoyles were alleged to have (fending off evil) in Season 4 Episode 1 of the original TV show "Charmed" (with Alyssa Milano).
    It's been over half a century since I've read Treasure Island.
    The cat photos starring Vizzini are great!

    1. Thank you so much, you are too kind, ha ha! It's such a 90s dress. Yes, we have a large flock of them in the neighbourhood. Yes, that's right! I have loved gargoyles for ages. It's been at least 35 years for me - it's awesome! You should read it again.

      Thanks, Vizzini says.

  14. I
    Saint James is my fav brand and I am always on the hunt for it.
    If you ever want to sell that cardigan I would buy it!

    1. Thanks so much - this is the first time I've seen it, but I've seen one or two pieces since. I don't sell my clothes, plus the cardi does have a small hole in it, but thanks!

  15. That's a great space to spend time! I love it- looks super cosy and comfy! I love the way you retire clothes and wear them at home- that dress looks comfy! I ADORE your slippers! I am a sheepskin girl all the way in terms of slippes- can't bear the thought of going back to anything synthetic ever again! I've had my current pair (handcrocheted lined with sheepskin) at least 3 years, if not more!

    1. Thanks, Kezzie! I've been using it a lot in the last few days. I am going to enjoy wearing this dress in the hot weather.

      Oh, I totally agree - I'll never go back to synthetic for my slippers again.

  16. lovely to see you basking in the sun with a good book and good views of those blooming trees!, such a delightful corner!.
    I'd like to create a reading nook for me at our balcony too!

    1. I find it very soothing to have this space, Monica! The sky and trees are indeed very soothing to me.

  17. It's lovely to see your little reading corner. We all need a spot to escape to and this looks like a cosy suntrap. I've been downgrading some everyday clothes into leisure wear too. This dress affords no tight waistbands and therefore gets a big thumbs up from me x

    1. I seriously love this corner - it's been my retreat every day! Yes, those pesky waistbands certainly feel tighter, and yet, my bum gets flatter - what's that all about??


Comments are so incredibly special, and I love them and hug them and treasure them forever. Please feel free to tell me what you think!

I'm not currently able to respond to comments, but I will make every effort to answer questions. I do read every single one, and appreciate your comments.

Please note that comments containing affiliate links spam-y sites, spam comments and anything I deem inappropriate will be deleted.