Treasure the Moment
By Deborah Bachman
My husband and I relaxed in our lawn chairs, bare feet nestled in the white sand. I love the ocean, and we took a few days to visit Pensacola Beach in Florida. I’d never laid eyes on such vast turquoise beauty. One afternoon we walked across a fishing pier high above the sea. We leaned over the railing, and marveled at massive schools of fish moving through the water. The contrast of pearly sand and aqua ocean was breathtaking.
Today’s agenda provided hours of beach sitting, taking in the sights and sounds. As the waves advanced, small sand pipers ran up the sand to escape the water. The birds scattered back toward the receding tide and hurriedly scooped up tiny mollusks for their lunch. Back and forth the creatures scurried, scavenging for insects and miniature crabs. One little feathered friend became extremely territorial, pecking and squawking at the others. The sandpiper bully chased the two others away from the area as it searched for food. They rejected its charges, continuing to hop and dig close to the obstinate one.
To read more, pick up a copy of the September/October issue of LiveIt magazine. To subscribe, call 940-872-2076.
The Home & Garden Issue: Create an Outdoor Oasis
As temperatures rise, home owners are ready to welcome the warmer weather by soaking up time in their outdoor living spaces, which have become more popular than ever since the pandemic forced staycations and more time at home. While budget, preference and style will determine each homeowner’s space, there are a variety of ways to transition a backyard from simple to a vacation-worthy oasis. Whether going big or small, here are some ideas for homeowners to create a reprieve right outside their own backdoor.
Extend the outdoor living space. Backyards have the ability to go beyond green grass and a few trees. They can be an extension of the living space in the home. Adding a patio or deck to the home gives more square footage and the opportunity for another space to relax or entertain. There are several options, including a sundeck, or an open deck either on the ground level or elevated. In Texas, patios are popular, and can be made with simple materials such as concrete or deluxe ones for an upscale look, including pavers, stone, or even stamped concrete.
Screened porches are a common choice. If a two story home is available, a posh outdoor living space is an elevated deck above a hardscape. Of course, adding a pergola, patio cover, or partial porch roof extends the living space of the home out into the great outdoors. To really make the outdoors feel like part of the home, owners can select outdoor furniture in the same color scheme and pattern as the interior for a cohesive space. A well-designed backyard provides a great return on investment of more than 80 percent while adding eight to 10 percent of the home’s value.
Realize the role of the garden. LiveIt contributor and garden expert, The Garden Guy, Norman Winter, encourages home owners to put effort into their gardens to create that oasis feel.
“Homeowners should take a look in their neighborhood as they drive to work or school or peer into a real estate buyer guide to see the homes for sale. It becomes woefully apparent that landscaping was put on the proverbial back burner at many homes. When you look at nice houses that have the mandatory five shrubs, two trees and little else, you get the feeling the owner never really considered it a home, but only a stopping-off place on the road of life,” Winter said.
To read more, pick up a copy of the March/April issue of LiveIt Magazine. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.
Every once in a while, a bald eagle sweeps down to give us just a glimpse of their beauty against the Texas sky. (Photo by Jon Nunneley)
Don’t Miss the Blessings
By Deborah Bachman
My little one jumped out of the truck and trotted into the yard with her new toy. Gracie, our mixed heeler puppy, frolicked through the muddy garden carrying her green squeaky alligator in her mouth. She chomped on the body, activating the squeaker, giving it a few hearty shakes. I enjoyed buying my dog a new toy at the dollar store, something I used to do for my little boys. I thought about the smiles I got from my pint-sized companions way back, running their trucks and cars across the yard just as happily as this animal. I don’t think they ever shook their toys in their teeth, however. Thank goodness!
My little sons adored me, and I, them. It was a sweet time of nurturing them with love and attention. Our new furry friend has brought much joy yet at the same time new challenges. This seems to be the course of life. We’re in a season, a stage of life, then blink. The next chapter is before you and you wonder how you got there so quick.
To read more, pick up a copy of the January/February issue of LiveIt Magazine. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.
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