Life Lessons from the Old Porch Swing

Front Porch Swing – January, 2019

Life Lessons from the Old Porch Swing.

It’s not about what you look like on the outside…
even if you are rusty, weathered, and worn.

It is about what you are made of…
and what you do with it.

It is about how you connect.
It is about the purpose you serve.

It is about the joy you create.
It is the comfort you provide.

It is about the support you give.
It is the sacred secrets you protect.

It is about feeling the breeze.
It is embracing the squeaks.

It is about the experiences you create.
It is in the memories you cherish.

Cheers & Hugs,

I Have Officially Become a Bird Nerd

purple finch

Curious the Purple Finch, Mars, PA

I have to admit I have officially become a “bird nerd!”

After sharing Happy, My Blue Bird of Happiness yesterday (well officially an Indigo Bunting, but I like to give most everyone a name), and sharing what a stand out he is among the crowd, I thought I’d share some more of my feathered friends with you today from our little backyard sanctuary.

From hummingbirds that are only about an inch and a half long…


Hummer the Hummingbird, Mars, PA

to Woody, the Pileated Woodpecker who is about a foot and a half long…

pileated woodpecker

Woody the Pileated Woodpecker, Mars, PA

our backyard is just chirping with charming chatterboxes.

Here is where we all hang out.  I took a few pictures very early yesterday morning, while the dew was still dancing and the sun was just summoning its presence for the day.

backyard deck

Our back deck is southern facing, so it is warmed up quickly when the sun rises and is shaded by late afternoon when the sun is hottest.

backyard deck 2

I am still patiently waiting for the birds to discover they can bathe in the bird bath.

backyard deck 3 birdbath

And when the sun gets too hot, we can round the bend to the side of the house for shade…

rocking chair and fern

side porch

where it is undercover, and we can sit in cushioned comfort.

backyard deck 3 side

porch rules

Even Charlie likes a break from the sunshine sometimes.

backyard charlie

The birds come out rain…

male cardinal

Male Cardinal, Rainy Day, Mars, PA

or shine.

female cardinal

Female Cardinal, Sunny Morning, Mars, PA

Mr Rose-Breasted Grosbeak always dresses for breakfast and dinner in his finest formal wear…

male grosbeak

Male Grosbeak, Mars, PA

and carefully watches over the little Mrs.

female grosbeak

Female Grosbreak, Mars, PA

There are many more – the sparrows and cowbirds, the bluejays and the goldfinches, the warblers and the nuthatches. There is a wide variety of woodpeckers and a huge extended family of mourning doves.  An occasional blackbird stops by, the robins romp about, and we are always excited to see a Baltimore Oriole hang out for a while.

baltimore oriole

We sure love our winged wanderers and welcome them with wonderment.

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse before you fly away to go about your day.

female grosbeak in flight

Cherish the moments!

Cheers & Hugs,

PS – If you too flock to the flight of fledglings, check out my blogging friend, Kathy’s site: Backyard Bird Nerd.  Kathy regularly posts photos of the birds that are lucky enough to call her backyard home.

Who Needs an Office with a Window?

…when you are fortunate enough to work from a home office.

I often start out early in the morning on the back deck where the morning sun is bright and warm.

home office back deck

But when it gets too hot there, I move to the side porch for some shade,

home office side porch

or the front porch to swing a bit while typing.

home office front porch

Sometimes it’s necessary to work in THE actual home office…

home office

but I also might sit at the kitchen table,

home office kitchen table

or more often stand at the kitchen counter,

home office kitchen counter

or even curl up on the couch.

home office couch

And though I so terribly miss my little four-legged co-worker, buddy, and pal, Mikey who was constantly by my side,

Mikey and the ice

many of you have asked about our new neighbor, the baby cardinal.

baby cardinal day 2

Well – she visits often.  She has learned to eat from the feeders and is growing fast.

baby girl cardinal growing up
Isn’t she cute?!

She hangs out with the menagerie of other cardinals, goldfinches, grosbeaks, woodpeckers, orioles, and all the others that flutter about in our backyard.

So who needs an office with a window – eh?

I am so fortunate to have my office at home tweet home.

Cheers & Hugs,


(Some of you commented about enjoying my “behind the scenes” photo the other day, so I thought you might enjoy a few more behind the scene photos.)

Porch Sittin’ @ the McKinney B&B

porch rulesOh Sweet Summertime! What I love BEST about my home in the summertime is how it practically doubles in size because it expands onto the porches and into sweet outdoor living space. I love lazy weekends when the biggest decision is whether to sit on the back deck in the sun or the side porch on the comfy cushioned rattan furniture or swing on the front porch – especially with lots of friends and family over drinking coffee and Marty’s specialty breakfasts in the morning or bottles of wine or icy G&T’s in the evening. Ahhhhhh Sweet Summatime!

Here’s a little McKinney B&B Porch Tour:

The front porch is filled with antique furniture.  On one end hangs a comfy swing that Marty’s dad got from an old friend’s family homestead that has got to be over 100 years old.  Marty made it extra comfy by hanging it with springs, so you can “bounce” when you swing.

front porch

On old barrel serves as a table with an old wooden chair from Grandma’s house next to it and a big fern in some old “Pop” Crates (Vernor’s Ginger Ale!) the kids got me for Mother’s Day.  Then on the other side of the door is a 12 foot long antique church pew we got from Jill’s in-laws (thank you so much George and Alice – it finally found a wonderful spot in our home!).

front door fernsAround back was a space made for entertaining.  Several tables, an outdoor fireplace, chaise lounges are all scattered for family and friends to gather round on breezy, warm evenings.

back deck 1

Or I often enjoy my morning coffee and start my work-from-home days on a chaise lounge with the warm morning sunny southern exposure before it gets too hot (and too bright to see my computer screen!)

back deck 2

The sounds of the porch are like visiting a bird sanctuary.  Marty has several feeders and loves watching the red-headed woodpeckers, cardinals, blue jays, yellow finches, and all the other beautiful creatures that share our outdoor home.


On the side is our newest addition of Aunt Francie’s 30-year old rattan furniture that was in great shape less the dry-rot, out-of-date patterned material.  My dear friend Janet’s sister, Sue (seamstress extraordinaire) worked her magic and turned this:


Into this:

side porch

side porch 3I’m actually sitting here now writing this post – see my laptop and coffee mug :).

IMG_8132And guess who is hanging out with me?

MIkey deckIs he the handsomest Mikey you’ve ever seen?!

Hope you enjoy some porch sittin’ like we are…

side porch eveningat Life In Between.

Cheers and Hugs,