Autumn Patio Daydreaming

Fall is my favorite season. I love sitting on the patio with a nice cup of coffee or tea and enjoying the early Autumn colors and sun. It’s a time of year when I like to reflect on what has passed and what will be. I am already well underway in my holiday planning and crafting, and I’m busy with all of the fall activities such as harvesting the last of the summer crops, attending back to school events, and getting into my literature and education studies. However, this year we are in the process of moving back to the States and to our beautiful home in Colorado. I’ve enjoyed my time living in Germany, but I am ready to return home. As I was sitting on my patio this morning, enjoying a hot cup of coffee and wishing that fall would hurry and arrive—It’s been unseasonably warm here in Germany—I started to daydream about my little patio back home and how I want it to look.

It must have the following items:

  • A large table with seating for up to six people
  • A sunshade/rain shelter
  • One lounge chair with a side table—for my morning contemplation

This is our current backyard.

View from the corner of the yard

We have plans to increase the size of the patio, but those are plans for a more distant future. As a homeowner, I’ve learned to prioritize and a patio renovation keeps getting pushed down on the list. In the meantime, I’ve found some awesome furniture that will last a long time, won’t blow away in the crazy Colorado wind, and works with several décor styles. I found this amazing table at that is made with real wood and concrete. I don’t think it will be blowing away in the wind, unlike our last lightweight wood one.

This is the Bourdeaux Rectangle Stone Dining Table from It is simple, but can be set with a lovely centerpiece, pretty plates set on either chargers or placemats, and would look awesome in the evening with candles set along the center.

My dream table from

Of course, this 84″ dining table is a bit large for our current tiny patio, but this is a daydream, so imagine this table on a large, gorgeous flagstone patio.

The patio would look something like this…only a bit smaller to allow for my veggie and fruit garden.

It would look like this if you compare it to the view of the backyard from the corner. Photo from

I sense a theme of natural woods and stone, so why not add in a little decor?

Garden Decor from

So now we have a table, a larger patio, and some decor. I think we need some chairs. I love the look of these Mississippi Dining Arm Chairs by Oakland Living from I think the curved lines soften the overall look of the bold dining table. And they are wrought iron, so they won’t blow away!

Mississippi Dining Arm Chair by Oakland Living


Now we need the sunshade/rain shelter. My goal is to build a pergola when we redo the patio. However, I do realize that a simple pergola does not offer much shelter from the harsh Colorado sun or the rain. Since I am still contemplating it, we could just settle for a large Cantilever umbrella. I found this one on I like that it has a heavy base and support system without compromising style in favor of functionality. When the winds are strong, the umbrellas can simply be closed and secured.

View from the corner of the yard

All I need now is my little corner with a cozy chair or loveseat and a side table for my morning contemplation. I love the idea of a fully upholstered chair, but even in a daydream, I think about stains, weather, and bugs. I think I will go a bit more conventional for this particular item. I found this darling Carlisle Loveseat with removable cushions at

Carlisle Loveseat in Onyx

I love the idea of adding more natural textures to the patio, so why not add an old tree stump? I mean, we are outside right? I love this one because it has legs that will prevent the tree trunk turned accent table from rotting at the bottom as it sits in water or snow melt.


I think we’ve covered all of the criteria on my list.


Since it’s autumn, and I love decorating, I think a nice fall decor is needed. Here some ideas I came across during a recent Pinterest binge. All links can be found on my Autumn Patio Pinterest Board.

Autumn Tablescapes
Autumn Lanterns

Now that you are inspired (hopefully), go outside and enjoy the beautiful beginning of autumn! I’m headed back outside right now to read a book and enjoy a nice hot cup of Earl Grey tea. I will just pretend that I am curled up on that cozy loveseat with a knit blanket draped over my legs.


Maple Pecan Granola

I am not a morning person, but I like a good, healthy breakfast to start my day. I am also a fan of saving money and avoiding processed foods. A typical breakfast consists of a soft boiled egg (I use an egg boiler, otherwise it is an overcooked hard-boiled egg), my special Yogurt (Plain or Greek sweetened with honey or maple syrup and flavored with LorAnn Oils Almond Emulsion) with some fruit (Mango in this example) and granola, and a cup of coffee. I usually flavor a 16 oz tub of yogurt on Sunday and it lasts about a week. I make two batches of Granola on Sundays as well because everyone in the house loves it. My husband likes to have about a cup and a half with almond milk when he doesn’t feel like making his usual oatmeal breakfast. My daughter puts about half a cup into a small container and adds dried fruits, more nuts and some wheat chex to make a quick trail mix.

This is by far my favorite granola and it saves me lots of money on my grocery bill. You can adjust the recipe any way you like. It is a simple ratio of 6 parts dry ingredients (not counting the spices) and one part wet ingredients. I use the One cup Prep bowls from Pampered Chef to measure my “parts,” but any container will work.


4 Cups Rolled Oats

1 Cup Chopped Pecans (The Pampered Chef Food Chopper makes quick work of this)

¾ Cup slightly crushed Bran Flakes (I just crumbled them by hand)

¼ Cup Wheat Germ


½ Tsp. Cinnamon

½ Tsp Dried orange zest

¼ Tsp Salt

¼ Tsp Fresh grated Nutmeg


½ Cup Maple Syrup

¼ Cup agave Nectar

3 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Walnut Oil



Preheat oven to 300°F.  Mix dry ingredients and spices in large mixing bowl. Whisk Syrup, oils, and agave nectar, then pour over dry ingredients. Mix well using a rubber spatula.


Spread evenly onto a lightly greased baking sheet. I prefer to use my Pampered Chef large Bar Pan.


Place in center of oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until oats are golden brown. Mix granola with a high heat resistant rubber spatula every 15 minutes.


Remove from oven and place on cooling rack for about an hour or until granola is close to room temperature.


Store in airtight container for up to one week. This one is the Ikea 365 two quart Dry Food Storage container



Parenting American Teens in Germany

Or the Worst Mother’s Day Ever

Sunday was Mother’s Day. Happy belated Mother’s Day by the way. On Friday, my daughter called me from the grocery store to ask if we had certain items in stock. I wasn’t sure what she was up to, but I suspected that it had something to do with Mother’s Day. My daughter loves to cook and bake, so I assumed that a treat was forthcoming for Mother’s Day.

On Saturday evening my daughter decided at the last-minute that she wanted to see a movie with her friend and her friend’s mother. I said Okay. My daughter then calls me while she is at the movies to ask if she could stay the night at her friends house. I said sure, but don’t forget that tomorrow is Mother’s Day and have her mom call me after the movie is over. I fell asleep before I received the phone call from her friend’s mother.

I had been working hard all week on my final essays and projects for my British Lit and Shakespeare courses, so when Sunday finally arrived, I decided to sleep in until 10. I had already discovered that my daughter planned to make brunch after I heard her tell her father not to make reservations at our favorite gasthaus. I woke up, excited at the idea of omelettes, pastries, yogurt, and fresh fruit.

I checked my phone. The mother had never called. I tried calling her, but received no answer. I figured that she was probably bringing my daughter home.

At 1130 we got THE call. The one that every parent fears. The MPs called to tell us that our daughter was in the Nurnberg hospital. WHAT?!?!

She had been picked up by the Polizei at the bahnhof. She was unresponsive for two minutes as the Polizei tried to wake her up.

We rushed to the hospital (just over an hour away). When we arrived, she was sleeping in the waiting room.

The Doctor gave us her blood test. Her blood alcohol level was 1.4 when she arrived at 930 am and 1.2 two hours later. Her last drink was at 4am.

In case you are wondering how a 16-year-old can go clubbing, I should probably tell you that the legal drinking age in Germany is 16. Crazy right?

She had no idea where her coat, purse, and cell phone went. She assumed that her “friends”–who left her at the bahnhof–were in possession of her stuff, but she could not remember. She remembers getting separated from them at the Nurnberg station and then finding a Polizei for help. The Polizei gave her a train ticket to get home. She got on the wrong train. So then she gets off a few stations later and sits on a bench to wait for the next train going back to Nurnberg. This is where she passed out. A Polizei found her and called the paramedics.

Nurnberg is a known party spot for Americans and Germans. There are numerous clubs, fights, and deaths. THis is where most young soldiers (and apparently dependent teens) find trouble.

We have warned her numerous times to stay away. We have told her how dangerous it is and that the consequences for my husband are severe. Like most teens, she ignored us.

We spent the next 2 hours trying to locate her belongings. After a hopeless search, we headed off to find food and take our errant teenager home.

Long lectures, yelling, crying, and more lectures and yelling ensued. It was a long ride home.

At 530pm, her friends finally decided to bring her belongings–which contained her Passport Visa, military ID, and SS card–to the MP station so that someone would know that she was missing. Her “friends” waited almost 12 hours before notifying ANYONE that my daughter had gone missing!

I sat on my patio and watched a young mother play with her little girl. My heart ached for myself and for that mom who has no idea that in just 12 years that sweet little girl will break her heart.

Parenting is hard. Parenting teenagers is torture. Parenting teenagers in Germany is a nightmare.

So here I am, remembering the sweetest little girl that was once my daughter and every  time I think about it, my eyes begin to fill with tears.

I am so very grateful that my daughter was not raped or murdered.

She will rue the day she lied to us and went to clubbing. How do you punish a modern teen? Take away ALL social media, electronics, and friends. If I had it my way, I’d lock her in her room until she turns 18.

Do you have any teen parenting related horror stories to share? Please feel free to comment below!

Thank You Readers!

200 Follows!

Congratulations on getting 200 total follows on
Live Life. Create Dreams.!
Your current tally is 203.
Before I begin, I would like to take a moment to thank all of you who read my blog. I am honored to be included on your reader feed. I did not start this blog in order to gain “followers” or to earn money. I started this blog because I love to read blogs and I love writing. This blog gave me a platform for my creative spirit. After a time, I found that I had become a better writer and more creative. This blog and all of my readers have become my inspiration–my muse. Thank you.
And now I shall begin…
I had not been paying attention to my stats lately. I am always happy to welcome a new reader, or visit blogs of those who have taken the time to visit and “Like” a post, but the stats just never seemed to matter. A few months ago, I received a notification that I had received my 500th “like,” but even though I smiled when I saw it, it did not change how I feel about myself or my blog.
However, for some reason this particular notification struck me as odd in a way. First of all, I never consider the people who follow this blog to be “followers”–I consider all of you to be readers and fellow bloggers, poets, DIYers, photographers, dreamers and livers of life. We are all creative people who have something in common. Secondly, this notification was unexpected. As I said, I do not pay much attention to my stats, so when I saw this, I thought, “Really? 200 people actually enjoy my blog enough to see it in their daily reader feed?”
This prompted me to review my blog. What is it that draws people to it? It’s a mess in my opinion. I am extremely eclectic, so unlike most of your blogs and other bloggers on WP, my blog does not have a central theme or focus. That is unless you consider the theme and focus to be creativity. I would say that I am a creative person, even if my creativity happens to be eclectic. I suppose there is a little bit of everything except politics and religion on my blog. After all, life does not happen in tidy little themes and is anything but a focused topic! Last week I was considering starting a new blog titled “Chic by Angelique” in which I would post my DIY, Interior Decorating, and projects. It would have a theme. It would be focused. But then I thought, “what about my photography, poems, and musings? Where would I post them?”
I’ve been at this juncture before. I even wrote a post about it (oddly enough, it was exactly one year ago). Do I exit now or stay the course? I have finally made a decision. I will keep this blog as it is–chaos and all–but, because I eventually want to continue selling unique pieces when I return to the states, I will also post to Chic by Angelique. Eventually I would like to have a booth at a flea market or antique mall. Before we received orders to move to Germany, I had already made plans to open a booth. I even had cards and a large advertising car magnet made. I even had a website at one point. So, moving all of the DIY posts to the new blog is next on my agenda. Thanks to WordPress, the transfer of my current posts is seemless and easy. But don’t worry–I will also post them here!
Again, I thank you all for reading and hope that I can continue to entertain you. Whether it is my muttering musings, my poetry, my projects, my obsession with interior decorating, my scholarly writings, or something else that drew you to my blog, I appreciate you!

We A r e What we R e a d

This poem speaks my truth. I have tried many times to express this sentiment, but always end up failing. Wuji Seshat nails it eloquently.

Wuji Seshat


We A r e What we R e a d

To some of us, failed writers
Poetry is the human heart beat of language
Something that vaguely “saved us”
At some point in our destiny

When we maybe had nowhere to turn
No one to see us through our ordeals
Poetry began the telling of all tales
It lived and breathed our history

It immortalized our most grandiose love-affairs
And insulated us from our tragedy
To some of us, word lovers
Poetry is the human heart

On a tree of life where each voice
Is a sacred leaf, each a note
In the immortal prayer of poetry
Back to the nature of language

Odes to evolution, mirrors of our neural states
There is a discourse in the wane of beauty
And when art dies, we lose a bit of our human spirit
And the memory of renaissance

And the reincarnation…

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