Summer Fun Update

I am definitely shifting from unpacking mode to living mode.  Hubby still has a lot of unpacking to do – tools to organize and downsize, “office” to set up, and clothes/ shoes to sort, organize and reduce. But progress has been made. The living space is now “box-free”!  We have artwork hung on the walls! Yes, we hung over 60 pieces of artwork, over about 3 days of contemplation of where things would “fit”.

Besides artwork hanging, here are some of the things happening now in my new retirement lifestyle “living mode”:

  • We are about to experience our first hurricane/tropical storm (actually being here, on the water). Yes, I am the newbie trying to balance panic mode and the stupidity of doing nothing.
  • I’m having fun with “Coastal Florida Gardening 101”.  A friend joined me on a day of garden exploration where we went to 5 garden centers around town.  I learned a lot, bought a bunch of things to plant, and now will see if I can keep the plants alive.  (I am known for my black thumb.) I also joined the Garden Club of St Petersburg, which is actually more than just getting together to drink and gossip – they have speakers on various gardening topics. I’m excited to learn more.
  • Someone mentioned Maximalist Design to me (Leanne from Cresting the Hill) and I’ve spent some time exploring it.  Most current design focus is more minimalist, with a huge push towards de-cluttering. De-clutter is the current big trend! Minimalist design is muted, neutral color palettes with fewer furnishings and accessories.  It is a less-is-more construct and can come across as stark.  Maximalist design is the opposite.  It’s bold and vibrant color, layered textures, art gallery walls, and curated collections.  Yes, there is a fine line between maximalist design and clutter, but learning about this design style has made me feel more comfortable with my collections of shells on display, our art gallery walls, full bookshelves, and my love of throws, pillows, & baskets.  Maximalists appreciate their collections and know that each item has a story, often reflecting a lifetime of experiences.  The barely controlled chaos that is our interior design I’m now calling Coastal Maximalism.

This week had beach walks, beach yoga, peaches from The Peach Truck, lots of reading, lunch out with a good friend, distant friend connections, and lots of gardening. It was a good balance of connecting with people and being active – a good start to summer.

How has your summer started?  (If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere of course.)

Picture Credit: Me… on one of my beach walks

21 thoughts on “Summer Fun Update

  1. This post made me happy. So glad you are unboxed and box-free!! What a big step forward. Your new house must feel more like home now with some of your art hanging. Good job on developing a coastal green thumb, too. Have never heard of Maximalist Design but it sounds much more like my aesthetic than this Minimalist business!! Off to learn more.


  2. I heard the sounds of breathing out all the way here. Gosh that was a great update. You’ve hung all those art works. How good is that when you make it HOME. Love reading your updates, I always learn something!!

    Thank you for linking up for #LifeThisWeek last Monday. I am always pleased to see my old(er) and new(er) blogging friends link up. Your comments make my Mondays rock. Next week, the optional prompt is Self Care Stories. I hope to see you there too. Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Denyse, I do love having the artwork up on the walls. And we’ve settled in a lot. There’s still stuff to do, but it will happen over time. This week, we are dealing with our first hurricane. Not sure how much self-care is going to happen this week!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah yes, there’s nothing like a “welcome to Florida” than a storm. This one looks strong enough to do some damage, but mild enough to be grateful. I hope everything it misses you, though. Not to repeat myself from an earlier post (scarily, I can’t recall for sure!), but my wife is a huge de-clutterer so much that she ‘tosses first, asks questions after the fact.’ I suppose that’s marginally better than clutter. 😉 – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marty, I think the “mild enough to be grateful” is the best term! And yeah- that’s how I’m feeling… as I sit here watching the water rise and realizing it will probably crest high tide right at the seawall cap and winds are already subsiding so no waves. The prediction was 3-5 ft surge. Three we are fine; five not so much. So I had my first go-for-sandbags experience. And we learned how to put up our HydraBarriers on the doors. Welcome to Florida indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad you’re getting through the worst of it, Pat. We’re getting periodic squalls up here with lots of tornado watches and warnings, but so far nothing dramatic. This one fortunately lacked a punch. Let’s hope the rest of them do also!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m looking forward to learning. In my specific area, I need to deal with salt, too – salt spray, flood water. And not just heat, but often drought. Although, that’s ironic to type as I’m living through Hurricane Elsa and Florida’s rainy season. I’ve already learning that things grow fast in the rainy season!


  4. I knew it wouldn’t take you long to fit right in!!!!! You got it covered! With your planning skills, friendliness and ability to get things done, I was sure you would make Florida home very quickly! I’m jealous of the gardening classes! I might have to find that for around here! I have been only marginally successful at getting annuals to grow in pots and I’m sure it is because I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. Dang it, I miss you! I wouldn’t sign up for classes, but when you emailed me or texted me if I wanted to go with you, I would have gone!
    I totally understand about the nerves and the storm season – trying to balance what is safe and what is overboard and what is stupid (staying too long).
    And I think your house should be exactly what speaks to you! I like coastal Maximalism! Sounds perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Candyse, Check with the Garden Civic Center on Reading about classes (that’s were I’d start anyway). I had to figure out which annuals “worked” for me and ended up usually with begonias. I love the Angel Wind Begonias in a pot, maybe with some Baby’s Breath as well. Not here of course although they do have them in the Garden Centers. I’ve been told that there are lots of things here because of all the mid-westerners… but they really don’t do well! I have salt water to deal with as well (salt spray) – so sandy soil, drought or flood, and salt water. Yep, a learning curve!

      I’m sitting here watching the water rise. It was 3-5 ft storm surge predicted and I think it’s going to be closer to the 3 ft. We’ll be OK with that, but we put up barriers, I went and filled sand bags. Town gives you the empty bags and points you to the sand pile. Luckily folks volunteer to help fill and load them into the car. I’ll send you a couple of pictures. 🙂


  5. Hi Pat, it sounds like you have gotten beyond the boxes. Hanging art is a significant accomplishment. I think it is very smart of you to join a garden club. You will be up to speed regarding Florida landscapes in no time. I wouldn’t worry too much about Elsa. Seems like a rain event with a little wind. Take care and thanks for the update.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Suzanne, I was worried about wind because we still have (had) a bunch of stuff in our portico. We ended up moving it all into the garage – garage is packed to the rafters right now. And I’m watching the storm surge as I type this…. we peak in another hour (high tide) and it will probably just crest the sea wall. We put up our HydraBarriers and sand bags as the prediction was 3-5 ft surge. Three we are fine, five not so much. My first experience sand-bagging.


  6. Lovely to read of your progress- I am not retired yet but keep a notebook of all the things I want to do and the steps I have taken so far. It gives you a good focus. I like the idea of a curated collection where if you love it, display it properly with care and then it is not just “junk” stuffed in a drawer or hidden in the attic. Be prepared to accept that your treasures collected carefully over the years, could well have no value to anyone else you “bequeath” them too, so long as you enjoy then, then be prepared to let them go.
    I am also doing a lot more gardening and use google endlessly to ask questions and would love to join a gardening club when I retire. I am also interested in taking up botanical sketching but can’t draw so I will see how that goes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally understand the notebook of things. I created a “Possibilties List” when I retired (over 200 items) and recently reviewed it, noting that I had done more than 50% of the things on it! And yes, I am fully aware no-one will want my collections of things. I’ve decided that they bring me joy looking at them and so that’s enough for now.

      And, I encourage you to take some botanical sketching classes… I am sure there are some on line. A friend is taking flower water-color classes (one flower a month, on-line) and is really enjoying it. She’s never going to be VanGogh (one of my fav artists; and he did flowers!) but she has fun and yes, she is getting better with practice. She gave me a painting of the dogwood blossoms from our last home and I like having it displayed. Yeah, it’s added to my collection and no-one will want it down the road, but I love looking at it – reminds me of her, our friendship, and our previous home (which I loved).


  7. Hi Pat – I’m so glad you liked the Maximalist idea – we find mimimalism easy because neither of us are particularly attached to objects (a scattering here and there, but not a lot). I would find it hard and defeating to embrace a style of Scandi starkness, or Japanese shoji, or English Tudor etc, so why should you feel compelled to embrace a style that doesn’t suit you because it’s fashionable atm? I think the move and the sorting will have reigned in your clutter and you can now enjoy all those lovely items and artworks and their stories. Stay safe in the storm and you’ll have to do a blog post walk-thru of your house once you feel ready – I’d love to see some photos. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leanne, I like how you assume my picture taking will be blog worthy! I’m a horrible photo taker, but will see if I can get one picture worthy of posting at some point. I’m not full-on Maximalist as I’m not that onto lots of bold colors nor wall-papered walls. Our place is “beachy” colors, since we are on the beach! But I do like art gallery walls, throw pillows, and collections.


  8. I thought of you when I heard about the approach of Elsa. Fingers crossed that she will take her fury elsewhere.

    I vacillate between appreciating clean, contemporary lines (and not a lot of clutter) and loving the lushness of colors, textures, and surrounding myself with things that I love. I just “discovered” (I’m sure she has been around for a while and is well known… just not by me), Justina Blakeney and her company Jungalow (a combination of Jungle and bungalow). Her style appeals to me. You might want to check her out. Have fun getting to know your new community!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janis, I’ve never followed any interior designers, so didn’t know Justina Blakeney. But she’s wonderful. I’m not a fan of wallpapered walls, but her other design stuff is definitely “me”. Love her Jungalow term also… it’s all about naming! One of the pictures I found is definitely going to be inspiration for me as we refresh our kitchen this summer.

      Elsa was less fury than predicted…but we are still waiting for peak storm surge. It’s coming after the eye … and I decided to read blog comments instead of watching the water rise (literally).

      Liked by 1 person

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