Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Saturday Drive - Good Fences

Come along with me and we will go for a drive! 

We are meeting my future daughter in law, Jen, to do some fabric shopping 
for her and my son's upcoming August wedding. 

Off we go in my little gray Ford Ranger. 

Soon to be a classic as they don't make them anymore!

4 on the floor, 4 wheel drive - oh yea, I am a country gal! 

I love country roads and know every route the back way! 

We are traveling to the nearest small city, about 20 miles away. 

Can you see the top of Mt. Rainier behind the trees? 

We are leaving the mountain plateau behind. 

This beautiful cherry tree caught my eye in front of a pretty stone wall. 

Along with beautiful old farms, there are now residential housing developments going in everywhere. 

I am happy that they take great care to plant beautiful entrance gardens. 

There are also home association rules which keep these new developments lovely, 

No garish colors or junk cars..

Although I do love seeing old trucks rusting in the fields! 

I think this takes the prize for the most types of fencing in one place! 

The white rail fence is a long drive between two large fields. 

These tall privacy fences are very popular here. 

They rather look like prisons to me, 
but maybe we don't want to see the cluttered wood shed peeking out from the top. 
These fences can benefit both ways! 

An assortment of flowering trees bloom alongside a pretty farm 
with a lovely split rail pasture fence. 

We leave the quiet streets behind to enter the city where my favorite fabric store is. 

We meet sweet Jen for lunch and discuss our sewing projects. 

A beautiful tiered table covering for her wedding 
and fabric for a tea dress I hope to make from a 1910 pattern. 

But when we arrive at the fabric store, we find it is no longer there! 

In its place - a chain office store! 

I am so disappointed. 
This fabric store was so wonderful - stuffed full with every type of fabric you could imagine. 

So we travel down the road to the competition that sent it out of business, 

a major chain store - a glorified craft store. Again we are disappointed  and walk away empty handed. 

That's the way life is - constant change and we must ride along with it. 

So we part ways with plans to shop on-line. 

But there is something lost in doing so. 

The wonderful experience of seeing and touching. 

Of getting knowledgeable help. 

Of sharing the shopping experience with someone we care about. 

So many small privately owned businesses are forced out by large corporate stores. 

I've watched the family owned lumber stores close, one by one. 

And what ever happened to the neighborhood grocery store? 

Even the small Mom and Pop's are a rare thing indeed. 

Factory farms, corporate department stores, big box stores...

It makes me more determined to try and purchase as much as I can 
from those small, family owned businesses. 

But I suppose some on-line stores are just that! 

Etsy comes to mind! 

Well, that cheers me up! 

As I take the quiet country roads back to my mountain home, 

I think of how life is always moving forward, always changing. 

And how we must move forward along with it. 

As I drive along the sweet road to home, 

I make a vow. 

I will try my best to patronize small, family owned businesses. 

Farm stands, specialty shops, owner operated grocery and clothing stores. 

I might not be able to do all my shopping there, but I can try to make a small difference. 

Moving forward, but not too fast. 

Out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties...
The royalists of the economic order have conceded that political freedom was the business of the Government, but they have maintained that economic slavery was nobody's business. 

- Franklin D. Roosevelt-
Speech accepting renomination
[June 27, 1936]

 Today I am linking to:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

All Creatures Great and Small

We've had a lovely stretch of warm weather the last few days,
 and I have been taking advantage
 of the mild temperatures and clear skies
to work outside. 

Of course I am never alone - all creatures great and small keep me company! 

There are doves cooing, and wild pigeons...
There is a pair of pileated woodpeckers that love to tap, tap, tap on the hollow trees. 

A single pair of crows always nests nearby, keeping watch for eagles and hawks. 

And the swallows are back, gliding gracefully through the skies! 

Of course my domestic companions always keep me company, too! 

A comfort while I am working alone outside. 

Sunshine illuminates even the lowliest plants, bringing forth their beauty. 

This little fellow was making his way across the walkway. 

When I garden, I try to grow plants that are not tasty to the wild things. 

Native plants are greatly encouraged. 

I learned long ago that it was too expensive
 and too time consuming to try and grow anything that needed pampering. 

I reserve those for pots on the deck. But even these are not entirely safe! 

But I never use harmful chemicals. 

I have too many wild things to take a chance. 

I have learned to work with nature. 

I have my own natural insecticides! 

This little tree frog lives on my deck. 

As I work tidying up gardens, 
pulling weeds and spreading mulch, (last year's fallen leaves) 
I think about  plant societies and how closely they mimic our own. 

Some like to live in the bright lime-light, with showy blossoms, but with a high maintenance attitude. 

Some prefer the quiet edges away from others, with only a few friends to keep them company, 

Others like a crowd and form large colonies of like minded companions. 

There are the prickly hedges that nobody wants to mess with, and the proud, stately trees that oversee all. 

Some are generous with many fruits to offer, and others are sweet and shy, hiding in the shadows.

There are bullies that take over...

and some are rare specimens, intriguing and enchanting to know. 

And then there is the rose....angels incarnate. 

Some even have distinct personalities and a sense of humor! 

My favorite society! 

 Others have sweet little curious faces! 

And some stand out in a crowd.

All unique and special in their own way. 

Here's another sweet face!

As I work among the plants, 
I feel such gratitude for these small creatures that share my world. 

And the great ones, too! 

Always a smile....

or a quiet presence waiting nearby. 

Someone to watch over me...

And make me laugh! 

Sweet loving friends to comfort me when I'm sad. 

So as the day comes to a close, and the hummingbirds roost for the night,

And Mount Rainier reflects the evening glow,

I count the many blessings that led me here to live....

among all creatures great and small.


All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

-Cecil Frances Alexander-

Monday, April 14, 2014

More Spring Decorating - Vintage Cottage Style

The sun has been shining inside and out, 
which has inspired me to do a bit of re-decorating for Spring. 

A little lighter and brighter, adding some spring colors and small touches for Easter. 

Some fragrant sprigs from the garden (Sarcoccoca - Sweet Box),
 and small keepsakes for Easter. 

The sweet Easter card was one I gave to my Mom years ago. 

She saved it and I found it in her things. 

She loved pretty cards. 

My 'Blue Eyes' bought me the vintage vase - with roses - one birthday. 

These glass daffodils were a gift from a sweet sister. 

The embossed tile was a classroom art project of my son's when he was young. 

The mid-century modern art piece was a recent lucky find. 

I was drawn to the unusual shape and colors.

Mourice - Calif.

These pieces are still relatively inexpensive and come in bright glazed colors. 

Another glazed Mourice piece - this one an urn, holds a nest of chalk eggs. 

The footed glazed pot was also made by my son when he was young. 

I've added sprigs of pussy willow and dogwood to 'Big Blue', my 5 gallon water bottle. 

A copper pot filled with lavender buds, with a small scoop for stirring, keeps things fresh. 

The plant stand is updated with pots of pansies. 

Sweet Peter Rabbit and Flopsy guard a basket of painted wooden eggs on the settee'. 

A vintage style jelly bean tin ( a gift from my sis ) and nested basket. 

Another sister gift, this tin basket holds weeping cherry sprigs on the front door...

With a sweet vintage message. 

The entry table holds some flocked rabbits and basket of eggs. 

A tray I decoupaged with a pretty napkin of violets waits for keys and mail. 

Even the wine rack gets a nod to the season with a blue glass nested rabbit. 

I love colored glass, especially in front of a window. 

I've transferred my collection of green glass to this blue cupboard in the hallway. 

Blue and green are my favorite colors. 

The Seaside Tray was decoupaged using a copy of a watercolor painting of my Mother's.

A pretty custard cup holds a nest with a glass egg
 and glittered bird, a gift from daughter, Heather.

I do love to decorate for the holidays with sentimental keepsakes
which bring to mind loved ones, some now gone, and some far away.

In this busy world we don't get to see the ones we love as often as we like.

These small tokens of love keep me connected to those that I love as I go about my day.

Holidays and special occasions are time for bringing together families, past and present.

Thank you for coming along on my sentimental decorating journey.

I hope this inspires you to do some sentimental decorating of your own.

My grandmother, Beatrice Euphemie would approve.

'Vintage Cottage Style'.


I left you in the morning,
And in the morning glow
You walked a way beside me
To make me sad to go.
Do you know me in the gloaming,
Gaunt and dusty gray with roaming?
Are you dumb because you know me not,
Or dumb because you know?

All for me? And not a question
For the faded flowers gay
That could take me from beside you
For the ages of a day?
They are yours, and be the measure
Of their worth for you to treasure,
The measure of the little while
That I've been long away.

-Robert Frost-

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