Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy Independence Day!


Happy Independence Day, Dear Friends! 

This is the day we celebrate 
what freedom means to all of us
here in America! 


Except for our beloved Native Americans, 
most Americans can trace their 
ancestry to those seeking freedom
and sanctuary from all over the world. 

In honor of our country's freedoms, 
I have added five patriotic 
touches here and there. 

Come inside......



My Dear Father made the 'Watermelon Man' 
whirly-gig. 



The cherries are Washington State grown. 

When Ramblin' Man and I were newly married,
we rented a tiny cottage in the middle of a cherry orchard
in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. 

It was a magical place, not only in the springtime
when the cherry trees were in bloom, 
but also when the cherries were ripe. 

The farmer gave us one tree to harvest
in exchange for watching the orchard. 

This little tree had the most 
delicious cherries we have ever tasted,
before or since. 

We began our family in that little cottage
and every time I buy cherries, 
we are reminded of that special time
in our lives. 


Craft store flags in a galvanized bucket
of baby's breath make the 3rd patriotic scene.

The grain sack pillows 
have red stripes. 


Step out onto the deck and I will show 
you my 'Kitchen Garden'
decorated for the 4th. 

Here some 'kitchen' drawers
have been planted with sweet alyssum
and red verbena. 

These are heat lovers. 
It has been dangerously hot
and dry here in Washington State, 
and we are under constant fire watch. 

We have had no measurable rain
since early May and it has 
been in the 90's all week. 

We will be staying home on 
the holiday to keep watch 
on our pets and home,
so I wanted to make things festive. 

Our own private celebration :)


I painted all the pots with exterior 
porch paint one hot afternoon :)

My baker's rack has a blue enamel 
teakettle planter. 
I used it on my stove until 
a large, heavy herb jar fell onto it 
from a shelf above and left a big round chip! 

Oh, I was upset, 
as I loved that chubby teakettle - 
 it was a gift
from my daughter.

But I can continue to enjoy
this kettle's portly charms in 
my 'kitchen garden'. 

The octagonal window 
illuminates the stair landing inside. 


Both the plant stand and cast iron
medallion were found at 
a local vintage market a few years ago. 

Patriotic flowers in red, white, 


And blue. 

I planted 'Crystal Blue' lobelia 
in a blue ceramic pot. 

My basket of miniature roses 
provides a few fireworks! 


The cheery red verbena reminds 
 me of fireworks, too! 

These are newly planted, so 
 are not in full bloom yet, 
but when they are, I will 
give you a peek! 


As long as I keep these well-watered, 
they don't seem to mind the heat. 

When the sweet alyssum are in full
bloom, the air will be filled
with their honey scent. 

I have one more patriotic scene to show you. 

Let's step down off the deck
and around to the side of the house.....


Here it is shady and cool and 
I can grow impatiens on the 
ledge below the living room window. 


The pots become wonderfully mossy
here after a few years. 

I love red flowers against our chocolate
colored house. 


We can see these bright beauties from 
inside, too! 

I thought they would look so festive
with a few little flags. 



The Mr. has taken a few days 
off from his rambling ways, so 
we are going to enjoy a simple
'stay-cation'. 


I hope you all have a wonderful 4th, 
my friends! 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Midsummer Drive with Good Fences


The fields are turning gold here on the plateau
near Mt. Rainier. 

Come along with me and we will take
a midsummer's drive through
the farmlands along the foothills
 of the Cascade Mountains here in Washington State. 


These horses look very happy in their beautiful pasture. 
Tall Douglas Fir reach for the sky. 


A new section of fencing lines the drive to this 
vintage farmhouse. 


Day lilies frame this beautiful entrance 
with stone walls and iron gate. 

These remind me of the beautiful spotted 
Tiger Lilies that seemed to grow at 
every farmhouse when I was a child
in New England. 


Along the roadways the wildflowers brighten 
the way. Here we see Fire weed, otherwise known
as Rose-Bay Willow Herb. 
These are called Fire weed here because
they often spring up across areas burned by wildfire. 


Some fields are full of daisies. 
These are so prolific that wildflower seed companies
cannot sell them to Washington State. 


Wild lilies grow alongside. 


Just give me wide open spaces.....
Remember the Dixie Chicks?
I loved that song. 


A neat fence borders a rustic barn. 
This barn with the rusty tin roof is used 
for country weddings. 

You can't see them very well, but the barn
is always planted with thick rows of 
seasonal flowers along the outside walls. 

There are two lovely cottages on the property
for the bride's and groom's families
and a long, winding road for horse drawn carriages.

I love to drive by and see the festivities. 
It's especially lovely at night with string lights
across the grounds.  


There is one major route that climbs the side
of the plateau from the valley below and
leads all the way to Mt. Rainier. 

When you get to the top of the hill, 
this is what you see. 


There is something about this little barnyard 
that makes me happy.

Maybe the big, full trees, or the golden fields. 


Assorted fences surround this farm. 
Pickets for the house and rails for the barn. 


A U-pick raspberry farm. 


Happy cows. 


Hello there! 


Time to head on home, 
past the yellow farmhouse
at the base of my little mountain. 

They raise specialty cattle here - 
small, black, with a large band of white
in the middle. 

Does anyone know what kind?

The road wraps around in a sharp turn
and a steep incline here. The hill 
prevents the sun from shining on the road
and in the winter it is terribly icy. 


Almost home - a dirt road at the end of civilization. 


The late afternoon sun lights up
 the field across from my gate. 

We have seen Elk, Deer, Cougar, and Bear here. 


Home sweet home as the setting sun
turns the hills to gold. 

Thank you for coming along with me, 
dear friends. 

I hope you enjoyed our midsummer drive! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sweet Little Faces


Hello, Dear Friends, I would like to introduce you
to the newest member of the family, 'Kai'. 

Many of you know that we lost our beloved Border Collie, 
Champ, in January. 


Since then I had been pet-sitting for my daughter's
two mini-dachshunds, Peanut and Weenie Baby
until Jennie could save for and buy a home
of her own. 
Weenie Baby has recovered nicely from her surgery, 
although it was a little rough for her and 
I had to take her back and forth to the veterinarian 4 times. 
(Some sleepless nights, too)
Now that they are all back together, I knew it 
was time to find a companion for Whitey Bear. 



I was fortunate to find this little fellow. 
His young master had to make the brave and difficult 
decision to give him up due to changing
life's circumstances, and wanted a home
in the country so that Kai could have the freedom
he was unable to provide. 

Here he is in Whitey Bear's too big harness
 after our first morning walk, 
holding a treat. It took much coaxing and soothing
to help him through the separation process, and we had 
a sleepless night, but things are going well today
and Whitey Bear and Kai are bonding nicely. 

Even the cats are comfortable with him. 


After all the excitement he is all tuckered out
 and sound asleep on the deck.

Both dogs are American Eskimo. 

Sweet, sociable, curious, playful, and highly intelligent, 
this breed needs lots of room to run 
and lots of stimulation to keep them from getting bored. 
And a good grooming schedule! 

We look forward to many happy adventures together, 
and his young master is welcome to visit any time. 


Just look at that sweet face! 

We promise to take very good care of 
this little cutie-pie! 

xoxo

I know I have not been keeping up with all of 
you lately. Life has been catching up with me! 
Hopefully this week I can get back on track. 

I've missed you! 
xoxo





Wednesday, June 10, 2015

An Ordinary Day


Hello Friends, I hope your week is going well! 

We've had ordinary days here, 
except that our little Weenie Baby
needs dental surgery on Friday. 


Here she is, just last Friday,
digging a big hole under the maple tree:)

Right now she is not feeling herself 
 and is curled up in a ball, 
on antibiotics and pain meds, 
so I have been staying close
to home and catching up 
on some much needed chores
while comforting her. 

I've caught up on my laundry and ironing;
 something I enjoy doing when 
I am not rushed.


My laundry sign says it all.....


I can just daydream as I wash, fold and iron,
looking out at the front gardens
and watching the robins and squirrels scurry
across the lawn.

 I think of the women who came before me
as I do these chores - my Grandmother's,
Aunt's and Mother.

Humble chores performed across time,
primarily by women,
each generation having it a little easier


I can remember my Mother and Grandmother's
pegging wash on the line nearly every sunny day.
I loved helping to carry the laundry in,
fresh and fragrant,
to be folded or
kept in large wicker baskets
 to be ironed later.

I couldn't wait to be old enough
to iron, as that meant I was
finally 'responsible'.


When I was 12 years old,
my Mother decided that I was old enough,
and I started with handkerchiefs
(my Dad always carried one),
pillow cases, and children's clothes.

With 5 daughters in the family,
( I was the eldest),
there were plenty of little dresses,
blouses and skirts to be ironed.


We had dress codes in school;
All girls had to wear dresses or skirts,
to the knee.

All boys had to wear button-up shirts,
no jeans, and hair cut shorter than
their shirt collar.


When you violated those rules,
your parent's were called
to bring appropriate clothing,
or you had to wear whatever was
in the 'nurse's office' supply closet.

These usually consisted of a few standard sized dresses,
shirts and slacks. No matter, they never fit right
and were years out of style.

Just facing the humiliation of
spending the school day in
the 'surplus' clothes was enough
to keep us in line.

Most of our parent's refused to
come to our rescue and felt it was
our responsibility to abide by the rules.

Those were the days before 'perma-press'
and everything needed a good 'pressing'.
As the eldest daughter, it was my 'responsibility'
to help out, and I loved to iron!
My poor Mother could never catch up.
My Grandmother's each had 8 children!
I can't imagine.......


This is what that free-loading Whitey Bear
did while I slaved away!

This is what happens to my beautiful day-bed
every night. It gets shrouded in doggy blankets.

I let him have his little siesta
because I had plans for him later.....


Bath time! It was a perfect afternoon for a bath
on the deck - 86 degrees in the shade!

Whitey is such a little gentleman, though.
He stood there stoically through it all,
including a hair trim.

Of course, I should tell you that I manually
hauled buckets full of hot water from
the kitchen sink, just for my little buddy's comfort.

And that when I was adding cool water
from my new 'expandable' cloth hose,
I heard a big hissing sound and turned
around to see the hose about to burst!

I didn't get too wet as I ran shrieking away.

Just an ordinary day......


Now that Whitey Bear was cooled off,
he was feeling pretty frisky.

I had to keep him tied
until he dried,


Or this is what would happen....


So he got a treat,
and I decided that I needed one, too.


Fresh strawberries.


And my new issue of Romantic Homes.....


Along with everything to give myself a much needed mani-pedi.


Pink and Proper for my nails,
and something bright and happy for my toes.

The Bavarian rose plate is a recent vintage find
from one of my favorite blogger's Etsy site.

You can find Linda here @ Itsy-Bits-And-Pieces.



Pretty in Pink!


Whitey Bear back on guard duty.


I've been doing a bit of painting and potting
whenever I get the chance, too.

All of my pansies are done blooming,
so I am potting up heat-loving replacements,
which I will show you when I am done.


I have also been putting the finishing touches
on my sewing room updates, including this slipcover,
 and am almost ready to share.


I always have plenty of help selecting fabric :)

Peanut settles in for a little nap while I work.


I've also been cooking up a storm,
mostly light and healthy
to stay on my 'diet'.

I have lots of recipes and tips to share.
(This 'cream' of broccoli soup and whole-wheat scone
turned out delicious :)



This time of year, the daylight lasts until after
10:00 in the evening, here in Washington State.

It sneaks in on slanted rays,
creating rainbows of light, late in the day.

Maggie seems oblivious as the light dances on the wall,
my vacuum cleaner handle in the foreground,
as I stand, looking out from my laundry room door.


The light is refracted from this window
in the eaves of my bedroom.

It is the only window on that side,
and the beveled glass
creates prisms of light
during late summer evenings,
that dance around the room,
and even sneak out the door.


My very own Northern Lights!


Outside, the slanted rays create illuminating scenes...


as the last rays of light turn the tree tops golden.


Thank you, Dear Friends for your kind
and thoughtful visits.

It makes an ordinary day much brighter
when you stop by!

xoxo

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