Thursday, June 28, 2018

Summer Days

The Grosbeak's are back and have been serenading 
us every evening. 

They have the most beautiful song.......
It is long and complicated with a lovely warble at the end. 
They answer each other with distant echoes,
all through the forest as the sun sets. 

On cloudy days, the sun sets golden on the hills;
sometimes the only sunshine we might see all day. 

A full moon prolongs the light show, 
that lasts well into the 10:00 hour 
here in the Pacific Northwest. 

It's only in summer that the sunset reaches 
beyond the hill that blocks the light 
for most of the year. 

Wildflowers are blooming and berries are ripening. 

Life is good for the wild things. 
A time of abundance and ease to store up 
for the winter. 

The roses and sweet William are having their day, 
causing us to linger to catch a scent, or admire a new bloom
 on our quiet evening strolls with the dogs.  

Even the succulents are blooming, 
creating their own fireworks 
for the upcoming Independence Day celebrations. 

I love these long summer days when I can linger 
over chores - taking my time in the bright early mornings
and late afternoons. 

I find time to notice little things, 
like the intricate lace and wonderful label 
as I hand-wash a new blouse. 

Or the amazing luminescence of a moth on the deck
as I work to prep the surface for painting. 

From this.......

To this. 

One board at a time. 

The weather has not been cooperative for painting, 
so I have focused on scraping and scrubbing
while I wait for the sun. 

An umbrella keeps me cool and dry. 

I've been trying to cook healthier 
and I've discovered a delicious and easy
way to make Spanish rice for summer meals. 

Oven Spanish Rice

Preheat oven 375 degrees

1 cup long-grain brown rice
2 cups boiling water
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, Mexican style
1/2 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup chopped green pepper

Mix all ingredients in an ungreased casserole. 
Cover and cook 45 minutes, 
stirring occasionally. 

So good with tacos! 

It reheats nicely, too. 

So while I wait for sunnier skies to complete my work, 

I'll just enjoy these long summer days, 
storing them up for winter. 



  1. You live in such a lovely setting reminding you each day of God's blessings. I always enjoy seeing it.

  2. Oh Karen, we're dealing with weather not cooperating with things we want to do. In our case, it's too hot to strip the cupboard doors! But everything here looks just wonderful, a true summer haven in your Northwest. Life is good.

  3. Lovely pictures as always. Love your new's so you! I have the inside of my front door to paint and I too have to wait for the right weather. I am in no hurry!

  4. beauty everywhere you look here!

  5. Wonderful pictures Karen, we also have the Grosbeak's, they hang out under the sunflower feeder eating seeds the other birds drop. Your pictures always capture the beauty of the Northwest.

    Hugs Diane

  6. It sounds like a little slice of heaven, listening to the beautiful bird song and smelling the flowers, it really is a lovely time of year xx

  7. I love hearing the bird song, especially at this time of year.
    Always so lovely to see your photographs, it just doesn't seem possible that we are now only a few days away from July …

    All the best Jan

  8. Your succulents look great all squashed in the case. I can't remember when we last had rain, it's been soo hot here! x

  9. Lovely summery photos. I do love your part of the world. Hope you get your deck painted. One of those jobs that seems to take forever. B x

  10. Hi Bea, Hope all is well with you I have been in and out of Hosp the last few months, This Spring so much on my plate. I don't even know if my blog is still out there. My side bar has a post I deleted St Pats Day. I cant get new post title up?? I probably have screwed up my blog.Hugs to you, yvonne

  11. Oh how lovely your blog looks; as pretty as your summer skies. All those long summer days must be a joy to the soul. The Spanish rice looks delicious. Thank you for the recipe....I think I will have to try it. Hope the next time I visit your deck has it's new 'coat' on.

  12. Gorgeous photos, Karen! I have the deck and front porch cleaning and re-staining ahead of me! I'm waiting for the V.A. to install a handicapped ramp on the front porch before my grandson and I tackle that one first. Then to the deck, which is a much larger job. We aren't getting the rain you are, of course. I have SOOOO many photos to share, and am going to be taking a blog break soon (still have a post I just did, and then the "blog break" one will come up in a couple of days), so they will have to wait. I am working on the garage these days, and my book. Plus, I am having hernia surgery on the 5th. Just a lot going on right now. Hope you are doing well. LOVE all your beautiful shots! Take care!

  13. Oh and lovely pictures to showcase summer in your area. Your deck is looking so nice, I didn't manage to get part of mine done last year and it still isn't done, I have a feeling it will have to wait until Fall unless we get some unexpected cooler days, it is way too hot to paint here. I love the rolling hills and your lovely flowers, the succulents are flowering so nicely too. I do so enjoy having the sun around for later in the day :)

  14. Amazing vignettes of your wonderful world.Love the succulents in the case!Hugs!

  15. Karen, I could take a little (only a little) of your cool weather. We are having a really hot spell this weekend. So nervous to think that it could be the beginning of fire season. Your little bird is really beautiful and you managed to get such a clear shot of him. Our little wrens are nesting now and they are not singing close to the house, but I hear them in the distance, whether mine or another, still so pretty to listen to. I will jot down your recipe and give it a try. Sounds really good. I just cook up a 5 minute instant rice and add a jar of salsa to it, Pretty good but I think your's will be tastier..Happy 4th to you..xxoJudy

  16. hi karen, i was looking forward to seeing the deck - all dressed with its beautiful flowers. it will be gorgeous once it is painted!!

    your view is spectacular...and all your pretty blooms as well!! its been so hot here, i have not let the house all weekend, it's just too hot!!!

    the rice looks and sounds awesome!!!

  17. Oh, summer does look wonderful there!
    The new look of your blog is gorgeous.
    Wishing you all a happy July with lots of flowers. xx

  18. I would love to have some of your cool is so very hot and humid. It has also been raining so much that its hard to get things done outside. You are so lucky to have such beautiful views outside your windows! The spanish rice recipe sounds good and will give it a try. Wishing you happy July 4th!

  19. Oh it looks so pretty there in the mountains. I never get tired of looking at your photos of it. That rice looks so easy to make. I would never think to make it in the oven.
    I will have to make it sometime.
    Wishing you a Happy 4th of July.

  20. Thanks so much for for stopping by!!
    Beautiful photos as always!! I also love your new blog wallpaper!!


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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