I’ve been thinking about doing an “at home” post for some days, so this seems to be the perfect time, although choosing photos was a challenge. I decided to go with all iPhone photos, using only photos from our house or yard. We’re blessed in that we can go out and walk or bike and I walk regularly, but I’m not using any of those shots today.

This torch cactus bloomed the day after we moved in. One day there were no flowers, the next, splendor. The flowers only lasted a day or two, then wilted, dried up, and fell off. But earlier this week, I woke in the morning to round two, pictured here. Perhaps because of the heat (almost 100F), the following day they were already wilted But, oh, what a glorious day of flowers that was!

I love sitting outside, reading, hoping to see a hummingbird while I have my Nikon out, writing, or just enjoying the flowers. So far the hummingbird has eluded my camera, but one of these days… Anyway, the waiting isn’t definitely not a trial! And you know that “discussion” about real books vs. e-readers? Thank goodness for e-readers these days and virtual checkout from the library!!

We were fortunate that scarcely anything was damaged or broken during this move, but a cup from a set of English china given to me by my great-aunt was in two pieces. Although my husband glued it together beautifully, the seal isn’t tight enough to hold liquid, so I repurposed it as a soap dish for a bar of Arizona orange blossom soap made and given to me by my niece as a welcome gift.

In the evening when the sun is on the other side of the house, my husband and I have started sitting on the back patio enjoying a glass of something cold with a snack, some crispy chickpeas in this instance or some olives from nearby Queen Creek Olive Mill. Our table is a red Coleman cooler older than our marriage, the chairs folding camp chairs, but the company and the ambiance are priceless.

Finally, because some of you asked about house photos, here’s our new dining room with the front door to the right. The coat stand (hat rack right now as it’s much too hot for coats) is made from one piece of wood and uses horseshoes as the base, a gift from my parents many years ago when we visited Cody, Wyoming. It’s one of my favorite things. The cherry china hutch houses my husband’s Waterford crystal and antique glass from my side of the family, the table and chairs are Amish, bought after we were married as was the Karastan carpet. It’s already feels like home here.

for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #94…at home

  1. Sara Hoffman says:

    Your photos are beautiful.

  2. dmmacilroy says:

    Hi Janet,

    Thanks for letting us visit. If you knew when to look, would it be possible to watch the cactus flowers bloom all in one night? Perhaps even in a few hours? Must be amazing to see.

    Valerie and I send love.

    Stay safe.



    • Thanks for visiting, Doug. I just wish you both could really visit. I would imagine that if a video were set up to run all night (or even I stayed up all night), it/I would see the flowers bloom. Wouldn’t that be amazing?!!

      Love from both of us winging its way across the distance.

  3. Leya says:

    Looks a new and beautiful home, Janet! And the sitting outside reading sounds perfect – what gorgeous cactii!

  4. Amy says:

    These cactus blooms are very special, I have never seen cactus flowers this beautiful. I love image of the glass drink captured at your patio. Thank you, Janet for showing us your beautiful dinning room and furniture.

  5. Loved seeing your photos, Janet. The cactus flowers are gorgeous. Your shot of the sun making the crystal glass glow is wonderful. Home sweet home looks very comfortable. 😍

    • Sylvia, this house is wonderful, more than we could even have hoped for. The yard is an enormous bonus. Many of the rental houses we saw had only dirt a/o rock in the back yard, not one thing growing. This is beautifully landscaped, balm to my soul.

      That glass is part of a set of six we bought not long after we were married from an antique dealer who lived near us.

  6. What a lovely Torch Flower Cactus! I wish I could have one, but Colorado is much too cold. Thanks for identifying the cactus in my photos. We wanted to know what it was.

    • Yes, that cactus is quite something. There are so many kinds of cacti and many lovely flowers but this has to be one of the best. I noticed that there are also different colors of flowers, too. I may try to propagate this one, as I’d love to have another one or two in the yard. 🙂

  7. I loved the walk through. You have a beautiful house and your flora is full of surprises!

    • Hi, Madison. We were really blessed in finding this rental house. It’s beautifully done in all ways and the yard is a bonus, as many of the houses I saw had literally nothing growing in the yard. I guess tenants don’t always care for things very well. But I can sit outside here and feel happy as well as when I look around inside. That’s a tremendous blessing!

  8. thankful-by.lily says:

    Looks very nice, warm and relaxing.

    • 🙂 It’s certainly warm, although dry heat is truly very different from the humidity in the Midwest where I’ve lived almost my entire life. It will be hot and relaxing next week, reaching 105F some days. I’m awake early, so that’s when I walk and then I open all the windows and doors to cool down the house and then close everything up once it starts warming up. It’s worked well so far. 🙂


  9. Ingrid says:

    Welcome to AZ. Just wait until the saguaros start blooming … such a treat and some are budding already.

  10. lolaWi says:

    beautiful images at home, Janet! gorgeous cacti!

  11. Su Leslie says:

    Thanks for inviting us round Janet. Your dining room looks lovely and I’m sure it will get lots of use when things settle down.

  12. lifelessons says:

    Your new home is charming. Thanks for sharing it. I was one who asked you to send photos along so we could see your new digs. That torch cactus. Wow. Even your soap dish is special. Welcome home.

  13. Tatiana says:

    Very nice cactus flowers in your garden!

  14. JohnRH says:

    Beautiful. Love the cactus flowers. Awesome.

  15. Sue says:

    Fabulous cactus flowers, Janet, and you are certainly making a home in your new place!

  16. Ruth says:

    Home sweet home. Looks inviting to me. Especially the mended precious cup holding the fragrant gifted soap. Yes, sweet indeed.

  17. Looks like you are settling in and getting things to feel just like home. Hope it is all that you envisioned.

  18. marianallen says:

    Such a warm feeling, to see a new home filled with well-loved things, each holding memories. Thanks for the tour and for the magnificent flowers!

  19. Thank you for the tour! Our dining room sets are similar. Somehow I’m not surprised by that. 😀

    The cactus flowers are lovely and what a wonderful greeting and welcome to your new home!

    Cheers, from my patio to yours!

  20. Tina Schell says:

    That opening cactus image makes me want to move immediately Janet! So glad your move went well and you got it in before the COVID mess started!

    • We were a bit concerned about the COVID situation, which is why we moved out date up so much. It made life crazy before we moved, but it was worth it, although the day the mover came, I just sat in a chair a good part of the day, relieved that it was all done. 🙂

  21. Prior... says:

    Hi Janet – so nice to come back from a blog break and catch up to get this update on your new place! The blooms are arizonamazing (nice word) and the chairs remind me of Monk – beautiful carpet and to have items with memories like this is precious.
    Also / nice to make a soap dish out of the tea cup – was it a large Tea ☕️ set?

    • Hi, Yvette. Nice to have you back and I hope you came back refreshed. The tea cups, saucers, and teapot (I use the teapot every day) were part of a set of dishes. I have the set, although it wasn’t complete by the time I was given it, but I loved it because of the design and the square salad plates. I still have four intact cups and six or eight saucers plus one cup whose handle broke and my husband repaired.

      • Prior... says:

        Thanks for sharing – I was wondering because a) I know some of the old sets can be quite big – settings for 12 and all that – and b) I also love the design – and I feel as if I do not like most of the old china patterns – I can see why you kept it – not just as a family heirloom And memory-

        And side note – I have two square dinner plates from an old Mikasa set – was thinking about ordering the entire set from different sellers online. Decided not to, because I like the other stuff just fine –
        And then we have holiday stuff and everyday kitchen plates just fine – but I really do love that Mikasa line (will try to share it in a photo sometime)

        And would love to be able to smell that soap – mmmmm

        Break was very good. Was just praying about my next blog mode – trying to finish some projects – hmmm

      • I don’t know how big the original set was as this was when I was still back in college or shortly thereafter, I think. I have dinner plates, but they’ve been packed away from all these years: children, not-microwavable, etc. Might to time to get them out and use them when we can finally have company again. 🙂

        I had some Mikasa sheet sets years ago that of course are too small for queen-sized beds now and unfortunately they don’t have the same pattern now. If they did, I’d buy a set!

      • Prior... says:

        I never knew Mikasa made sheet sets.
        Thought of the mostly as ceramics/ porcelain eatery

        And if you get to use the dishes – hope you can capture a few photos to share with us

  22. TCast says:

    Love those cactus, and lucky that you were able to save the china of your great aunt, tho you can’t use it for the main purpose. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Thanks for the tour! You have a wonderfully welcoming home. I especially love your garden views! It is so different from mine here in south-eastern Ontario, Canada. 🙂

  24. Enjoyed the tour of your home. Love those cactus flowers! My gosh, that’s a nice addition to your yard. Too bad they don’t hang around long.

  25. Lignum Draco says:

    I’m glad the move went quite smoothly and you’re settling in well. I think afternoons on the patio will become a regular feature for you.

  26. Thank you for sharing your home. Beautiful and happy.

  27. Resa says:

    Plants and cats have taken over my home. It’s a happy schmeleke!

    • I brought 5 houseplants with me on the move, one which I’ve had since the mid-seventies. 🙂 A few days ago, I transplanted all of them and planted (in pots) 2 lavender plants I just bought and four different aloe pieces given to me by my s-i-l here. So our indoor plant situation is fairly good. No cats, though. I’m a bit allergic to them and we can’t have pets here anyway.

      “schmeleke” I’ve never heard that word before.

  28. These cactus flowers are just gorgeous. Wow

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