Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hawaiian Luau for a Daughter's Birthday

Hello, Dear Friends, I hope you are 
enjoying this unofficial last week of summer 'vacation'.
Some of you are preparing children or grandchildren
for going back to school or college right now,
or perhaps you are an educator yourself!
If you are - here is a big Thank You
for all that you do! 

Three of my children were born around 
the start of school, so birthdays are also 
a special part of this time of year for us. 

Last weekend we celebrated my eldest daughter,
Heather's birthday at her sister Jennie's 
charming 1910 cottage. 

Heather and Jennie had planned a trip to Hawaii
together this past spring, 
but the happy news of Heather's impending
motherhood kept Heather grounded. 

Since she couldn't go, Jennie brought
Hawaii to her! 

Let's sneak out back through the French doors
before the guests arrive and see the party preparations.......

You can see Ramblin' Man helping to set out
tables and chairs in his silk Hawaiian shirt
straight from Hawaii. Part of his territory
at work included Hawaii for a few years,
and he would bring back souvenirs!

He brought me with him a couple of times, too! 

It was a very hot day in the 90's - perfect 
weather for a Luau! 

Tiki torches are ready :)
Hawaiian wraps are draped for chills
later in the evening. 

She has a cozy back yard, 
surrounded by tall fencing
and bordered by a roomy garage.

The back yard has to be secure for her two
mini-dachshunds, Weenie Baby and Peanut,
who are accomplished escape artists:)

Here she gives Weenie Baby a kiss.

You can never be too loved !

She just had this whole corner of fencing replaced
by the best carpenters in the whole wide world -
Ramblin' Man (Dad) and Brother in Law, Eric (Heather's).

Didn't they do a great job?
They even installed a gate :)

She had come home recently on a stormy day to find
the old fence blown completely over!
Eric set up the borrowed canopy and the planters
- complete with a water mister to cool off with!

It was such a hot day........

It was great for the guys who didn't care about hairstyles!

We decorated this great 'beachy' trellis-
gifted from a friend who was moving :) 

Paper fish and seahorses, 
and sea-shell lei's. 

 A Sea-shell garland and a vintage postcard.

Grass skirts and tropical pillows sewn from
colorful hankies. 

Lei's hanging from the back of chairs for guests to wear. 

Under the lovely shade of two big trees. 

A pink flamingo pinata,
just because!

Food tents keep away unwanted guests. 

On the menu:

Pulled pork sliders
Garden Macaroni salad
Baked beans
Hawaiian Cole Slaw

Cupcakes for desert. 
 Aren't they fun?

It was so hot that we had to keep them refrigerated
until they were served so the frosting wouldn't melt!

We found this cute idea on Pinterest!

Teddy Grahams in Peach Ring 'inner tubes'
on blue tinted frosting with blue sugar sprinkles.
The party was a collaborative effort with a donated tent
tables, and shared decorations, collected over time. 

We have had several family parties 
with most of  these decorations over the years, 
including two bridal showers.

Now they are passed along to Jennie,
as she has the perfect backyard
for a summer party. 

Lemonade, lemon water, and a delicious Hawaiian
Rum punch quench the thirst, along with bottles
of Old Fashioned Root Beer.

The sweet birthday girl arrives.....

She has a certain 'glow' these days :)

I can still remember the wonderful day she arrived,
39 years ago.

Now my Dear Daughter is going to be a Mom!

Of course, I am now already being called
'Gramma' by my sweet little grandson, Ethan.

Here, his Dad (my son, Gabe) coaxes him to walk
to his Uncle Dustin (my youngest son).
Yes, he is walking!
Where does the time go?

Holding his sea-shell lei.


Of course, every self-respecting Hawaiian Luau
needs a pool!

The baby has fun with the hose......
Mom, Erica stays close by.

Oh, I just love those chubby baby legs!


And later..........:)
The girls cool their piggies, too.

The guys played games and cooled off under the mister.

Here Ramblin' Man shows his 'form'.

Hoola Hoops were fun to play with!

Pretty tropical hairstyles.

Making a wish!

The happy start to a new year!

Watch out, Peanut loves cake........

 Weenie Baby enjoys the mister.

It was a lovely evening with a welcome, cooling breeze.

Tiki torches were filled with citronella oil
to keep away bugs.

Sit here and get 'misted', too.

The trellis, all-aglow <3

Kitschy cuteness xx

I found these in a local shop
and gifted them to her for her birthday this year.

Envisioning just such a night....

A summer evening gone too fast.

But with sweet birthday wishes
and a treasure chest of memories
 to store in my heart.


Wishing all of you a lovely end to August
and a Happy Labor Day weekend!


Friday, August 26, 2016

Ode to Flowers in my August Garden

Oh, August,.......such a bittersweet month! 

Cool, misty mornings, glaring hot afternoons, 
 and long, languid evenings of soft, diffused light, 

We are enjoying the ripe abundance 
of the gifts of nature in these 
lovely, golden days of late summer. 

I try to capture each and every day; 
gathering the harvest of warm, summer memories
to nourish my spirit during the 
cold months ahead -
 embracing the gentle, warm breeze
that brings the scent of roses........
so that in my mind it will forever be. 

I want to remember the gentle meadow 
flowers who ask so little
but give so much joy. 

When snowflakes fall, 
I'll recall the fairy flight of 
floating seeds on a late summer day. 

The memory of the fuchsia ballet
 will ensure a ticket to next summer's grand opening. 

Something to look forward to.......

I'll remember familiar faces 
- old and new - 
as I sit by the fire, dreaming
of summer days. 

Black-Eyed Susan Vine - a new friend 
this year.

Along with Canary Bird vine.

Ready to take flight among the nasturtiums.

I grew all of these sweet vines from seed this year.

I'll dream of delicately scented sweet pea and nasturtium -
in vivid color, of course. 

Flowers that bring the August sunshine 
down to earth leave a bright memory behind. 

Tansy will grace my home with Moth Repellent Sachets
 to remind me of fragrant afternoons
tending the garden.

When cold north winds are
making me shiver,
and everything is covered in white,
I'll remember white flowers
on a balmy August day. 

The beauty of late summer 
is bittersweet, indeed. 

We know the time is short.....

So we must enjoy each and every moment.

Storing up the memories
for a cold winter day. 


I hope you are gathering up sweet memories of your own, 
Dear Friends, on these last, lovely, languid days of August!


"It would be worthwhile having a cultivated garden
if only to see what Autumn does to it."
-Alfred Austin-
The Garden That I Love (1894) 

"A garden is never so good as it will be next year."
-Thomas Cooper-
Horticulture Magazine 

"With a garden, there is hope."
-Grace Firth-
American naturalist

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