An Ending … and a New Beginning


September signals summer’s end, but also a new season, as Fall begins to trend.

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature

Ligularia pods burst into bloom.


As the Hostas present a finale display .  .  .


the Marigolds remain to play .  .  .


with emerging Seedum in their glorious array.

Fall Finale

Yet as colors fade and the skies begin to gray .  .  .

We must consider other means to brighten up our days.

As we now come to summer’s end, apologies to my followers and friends.  I’ve been quite lax in posting.

Thankfully at this time, worries and troubles are in decline.  Perhaps we could all use some toasting.

So here’s to health and happiness, and all that Fall will bring.  Let every day send new music your way.  It’s always the season to sing.

Until next time – Cheryl

P.S.    As a new computer now lives with me, I can promise more fun and posts to see.




I Love Country Living … Most of the Time

Hi All.  I was working from an earlier draft for today’s article and somehow the first post registered as published on that date, so wouldn’t display on the home page under today’s date.  Sorry for the duplicate.  Have a great weekend.

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature


Everyone knows we love our little house and its’ rural setting.

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature

But you may not know that . . .

  1. Internet (REAL INTERNET . . . fast AND affordable) isn’t easy to come by out here.
  2. Septic systems can be costly.  Fixing them I mean.
  3. You GOTTA  HAVE a riding mower . . . and they’re expensive, to buy AND to repair.

About the internet; hhmm how to sum this up. Before: we had no land line, two cell phones and the internet was part of the cell contract. Net service was a set amount each month … unless your usage went over a certain figure and of course . . . it’s me here, little miss social butterfly, blogger, so I did . . . go over, way over! We consulted our fantastic computer tech, Jerome, for options. Gotta love that guy.

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature

Our (yet to be proven) solution was to go back to a landline with internet through that. We kept only one cell phone so the rate was to drop way back there, even with a load of talk minutes and unlimited text/pictures.The first bill for the LL and NET . . . was WAY OVER the quoted monthly amount.

  • installation (a guy was in the area anyway, and tweaked something in a box to hook us back up)
  • equipment shipping charges (a little box about 10″ square by 2″ deep) and finally a ton of miscellaneous fees and taxes.
  • extra charges for an online security package that was supposed to be included.

So, trying to be patient . . . you all know how patient I am NOT! I poured over all the misc crap, had the extra security removed (and credited back those charges)  … and we’re waiting for the first actual bill after all of that.

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature

As for the cell set-up, our first official bill after the switch . . . ready for this?  They never made any of the changes and still had us on the old plan.  He said all the new arrangements were written down BUT NEVER ACTIVATED.   So, supposedly all was corrected, and the next bill will reflect the changes AND we’ll be credited back all those extra charges.  PLEASE EVERYONE . . . let’s not hold our breath!

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature

On to the septic situation.Good news was (well sort of good) . . . the charges were under $200, this time. The tech we found was highly recommended. He patiently explained everything that was done. But he left us with an FYI, that the pumps on these systems usually have a 10 year life span. Evidently after that, it’s a “who knows how long” or “you might get lucky”  . . . yah, like that’ll ever happen.  Still, we seem to have been fortunate, because at the ripe (yes – pun intended) old age of 12 years, ours is still fixable.  BTW, cost estimate for a new pump (installation NOT included) $400 – $500 smackers.

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature

We have some very good neighbors.  Across the road, two brothers live in side-by-side farms.  Even when our mower works, we only mow about 25%  of our five acres.  At least two times a summer, the guys take turns mowing and baling the rest.  They get silage and we get a well kept acreage and less chances of fire, with the dry plantings gone.

Eleven years ago, when Hubs wanted to move out here, I made him a deal.  I would get trees and shrubs to plant AND a  new toy, a!  This summer, my toy bit the dust. Even lower priced new mowers are expensive … at least for us in retirement.  Next problem is, anyone we know who fixes motors lives too far away to make the trip worth our while.

Soooo . . . if some of my current exterior photos look a bit “shaggy” be forgiving.  Hubs and I are taking turns doing small sections – with our old push mower (and it’s not too healthy either).

And of course, living in the country means living with more bugs.  But look at this colorful fella.

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature 

I didn’t stay around long enough to see if he bites 🙂

Over and above all the downfalls . . . Hubs and I LOVE living in the country.  Each day offers new adventures and beautiful sunsets.

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature

We’ll be here as long as we can afford it.

Thanks for stopping by.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend.  Next week my “ladies” visit so I better get back to my house work.

Later – Cheryl

This Surprised Me!



A phone call,
then soon, a knock at the door
then a great big smile
wondering what this was for

I said to the lady
“What a wonderful way
to brighten up such a gloomy day.”

That seems to be what my daughter thought too!
So of course I wanted to share it with you.

Later – Cheryl
P.S. Luv you Breezer. You made me cry happy tears 🙂

Whatever … Wednesday

Did your mom ever tell you
“When you do something, do it well.”?
Well, mine did, and I usually try my best.
Problem is, sometimes even when I screw up …
I do that well too, very well … like last weekend.

A new post was due and a good topic was developing too,
but then … oops (better make that a big OOPS) … no more story.

Hey now, don’t be quick to judge. I was working hard.
Hubs and I were doing some exterior maintenance.
He was staining the new porch
and I was re-staining the work shed.



And of course, pictures were needed,
so I could show you progress on the projects.
I got some good shots, then went back to painting.

All’s good, right? Well it was,
until the next morning, when I remembered.
I remembered … I left the camera outside.
Overnight, all alone, out in the cold.
Well it wasn’t exactly cold, but you get the idea.

Whew! Upon rescue, a few successful shots.

Then, little lines of light crept across the screen.
And more lines, and more until it wouldn’t focus at all.

Crap! Do I need a new camera … yes.
Do I have $$ for a new camera … no.
Can I do a blog without a camera?
Well, I’ll just have to, won’t I?
For a while anyway!

Today, I’m starting my camera-less era with something new.

Dear readers, say hello to …

This feature will allow me to explore random ideas with you,
and also share all kinds of cool, crazy online stuff I’ve found and enjoyed.

I did get some nice photos before the camera was abandoned.


As an adult, I’ve tried to be realistic with my children. Some of my advice to them has been that in every bad situation, if we learn from it, at least we’ve gotten something positive out of it.

I also know how easily life can overwhelm us, and seem as though there is no solution or help left. I’ve tried to encourage my kids with my belief that you have to keep going. If you feel like you’re out of options, you have to create more options. Every battle can’t be conquered, but you have to keep trying. Persevering itself, is winning.


What better way to say goodnight than with a lovely moon.
And hey, it’s still Wednesday as I push the publish button. Yay.

Remember, try not to stress, just start something.

Later – Cheryl

*** This original article “Whatever Wednesday” appeared first on No included content or photography can be used elsewhere without specific permission and accreditation. Outside sources are marked when available.

Copyright © 2013-2014  Artzzle All Rights Reserved

Last Look at Summer

September is here
With Autumn so near
I wanted a
Last Look at Summer


 Very trendy this year … Orange and Pink


Coleus are pretty too, don’t you think?


 Is it red or orange … who can be sure


 This lily is striking … in no way demure!


 So much texture and interest in thistles like this


But a simple petunia’s beauty is hard to miss


 Though a common flower, geraniums have such power


 Obedient Plant … elegant simplicity


 Attractive, plump seedum blooms


 Are special favorites of the bee

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOrnamental grasses of shiny green and white


 Even a weed among blooms seems just right


 Don’t know what, but it just looked fun


 A final shot of a prairie plant … and I’m on the run.

If you enjoyed this post, sign up and stay,
to see what else is on the way.

Meantime, remember … Don’t stress about it, just start that project.

Later – Cheryl

*** This original article “Last Look at Summer” appeared first on No included content or photography can be used elsewhere without specific permission and accreditation. Outside sources are marked when available.

Copyright © 2013-2014  Artzzle All Rights Reserved

More Color . . . Less Words


It was a perfect Sunday for Easter.
Bright, budding and . . . beautiful.
Such a glorious day leaves one speechless.
So today, I’ll leave the words to you,
and simply share some color


Two simple bunches of flowers






1. For longer lasting flowers; when choosing Alstroemeria, find bunches with buds just starting to open. The flowers will appear narrow . . . not fat and fully open; when choosing Lilies, choose stems that have at least one or two blooms partially or nearly fully opened, and buds beginning to burst. Small, very tight, green buds often will never open.
2. Trim stems to your desired length, always cutting at a slight angle.
3. Remove unecessary leaves that will be below the water line and/or not showing.
4. Change water every other day or so when in a standing vase (clipping stems tips again, slightly). For more permanent arrangements, just be sure that water is added when needed to keep it at a consistent level.
5. Always use COLD water.

I hope this helps start your week right.
Until next time, try not to stress too much, just start something.
Glad you stopped by and remember, comments are ALWAYS appreciated

Later – Cheryl

This original article “More Color … Less Words” appeared first on No included content or photography can be used elsewhere without specific permission and accreditation.

Copyright © 2013-2014 Artzzle All Rights Reserved

Daydreaming of Spring Greens

Hi All.

Like a broken record, the winter weather goes on and on. And with two broken ribs, the discomfort continues on as well. So, I’m repeating a very early blog I posted from around this same time of that year. So many followers and readers have joined me since, so it will be new to most.

On the mend.
Later – Cheryl


The calendar says it is Spring but the weather keeps denying it. Recently, I’ve been daydreaming of all the beautiful greens of Spring. I thought how that color family is also a popular interior choice as well. Beginning decorators are especially drawn to warm greens, perhaps because we see those everyday in nature.

Greens are comfortable for guys and gals alike. They are great companions for woods, stone, ceramic and natural accessories. It’s also very easy to find coordinating fabrics that will also give you additional accent colors to use with your greens.

The featured group of three Benjamin Moore paint strips shows cool, mid-tone and warm greens. Cool green has more blue in color mixture. Mid-tones (brighter) are a more even mix of blue and yellow, and the warms have more yellow in the mixture. The lone strip is a Better Homes and Gardens sample and though not showing…

View original post 399 more words

Such a “girly” Girl

Gracie Mae is our “girly” girl.

Quite the fashionista . . . she’s always up with the latest looks.
She absolutely adores white shoes . . . and has several pairs.

Gray and pink are trademark colors for Grace . . . in attire AND accessories. ARTZZLE.COM
That scarf goes so nicely with your gorgeous fur coat, Grace.

Leopard print is a fabric of choice so, she had a special throw designed. ARTZZLE.COM
Ooh, Gracie . . . how chic!

As a true Minnesotan, Grace loves every little bit of sunlight, so she puts her favorite chair right by the window. Clever arrangement here, as she can sun and attend to her important guard dog duties, simultaneously.
Wonderful planning, GM.

Always ahead in the decor game too, our gal constantly surrounds herself with home style magazines, and loves all mom’s design books.
Traditional Home is one of her most loved suscriptions.

SPECIAL NOTE HERE: The photo above had a second shot as well, with Grace laying on top of a pile of magazines. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out . . . because I climbed up into the upholstered chair to take it from a different angle . . . but all I took was . . . a terrible fall to the floor. In mid air, just as I said "Whew, I could have hit my head on the piano!" . . . I smashed my back into a metal based ottoman(with very little padding left on top).

LONG STORY SHORT . . . I cracked two ribs, and laid there on the floor, while calling Hubs home from work, for yet another ER trip. Positives to be taken from this. 1. I have sworn off climbing up on anything (at least when I’m the only one home). 2. This pain, while very uncomfortable, is much easier to tolerate than lower back and disk pain. Oh yes, #3. Hubs got off of work!

But now . . . back to Gracie’s story.

Grace is also very economical and environmentally minded. Her favorite toys are the tubes from TP and Paper towels.
Good girl, GM . . . reuse, recyle!

But absolute proof of our “girly girl” claims . . .
Gracie Mae hates mornings!! AHhhh!
Every morning when she hears me coming down the hall . . .
she tries pretending she’s still asleep . . . thinking I’ll go away and leave her alone.

The ploy never works though.
Yah yah . . . OK . . . I'm awake."

But she doesn’t fret for too long . . .
. . . just finds another spot where the sun’s better anyway!

So there you have it . . . the tough and tragic life of Gracie Mae.

Being a good mom, not to be unfair and mean, one day soon, I’ll share Fozz’s routine.

Until then, stay safe, stay positive and . . . don’t stress, just start something.

Later – Cheryl

This original article “Such a “girly” Girl” appeared first on No included content or photography can be used elsewhere without specific permission and accreditation.

Copyright © 2013-2014 Artzzle All Rights Reserved

Before the Pumpkins Come

September opened here with cooler nights and comfortable days. Touring our yard this past holiday, we noted all the summer beauties slipping away. For a moment I was sad, but quickly remembered that changing seasons are some of the reasons I love Minnesota. Yes, the summers are too hot sometimes, and winters can be cruel, but each of the seasons promises us the return of their own little jewels.


Orange has always been at the top of my color charts, no matter what features it.
Autumn will offer its’ own beautiful tones soon enough, but before the pumpkins come and the leaves turn to gold, I wanted to share some of the oranges summer can hold.

Summer shows orange in brighter sheen and glows. Fall tames down the color to rusts and ochre tones.

The smoke of Autumn fires fills the evening air, but for one more day, these lilies didn’t care.


In every season, each day presents us its’ unique agenda. Living in Minnesota, you have to learn to surrender. By accepting the beastly bad, you appreciate the beautifully good all the more.

In the past long weekend I discovered some fun finds. Keep the color orange in mind for next time, when I’ll show them off to you and we’ll do some decorating too.

Meanwhile, don’t stress, just start that project.

Later – Cheryl

Thanks for visiting. You’ve just read “Before the Pumpkins Come” my original article, first seen on I love comments and questions so send “em” my way. And be sure to spread the word about Artzzle to your friends. The more the merrier!

Copyright © 2013 Artzzle All Rights Reserved

Remember, all content on Artzzle, text and photography, is copyrighted and cannot be used in any form, without my expressed permission, or approval from material’s originator(s). You can leave a comment below with any questions on this.