Friday, April 12, 2019

Catching Up With Spring

Hello, Dear Friends, I know it has been a while 
since I've come to visit you, but I hope 
that you will forgive me for neglecting you so. 

I've been so busy. 
The seasons have changed 
and I suddenly realized that I had 
so much to do before it all got away from me.......

I've spent every sunny, free day tidying up outdoors. 
Winter leaves behind its purges, and although 
my little patch of ground is an ode to the beauty 
of nature, Ramblin' Man and I must work tirelessly 
to keep it all from reverting completely 
back to the wild. 
It only takes a season. 

In the process, we find sweet reason.......

We must have hauled at least a dozen 8x10 tarps
full of fallen branches and debris, plant clippings and 
garden tidying down to the gully 'down back'. 
We swept cobwebs, walkways and screens, 
untangled old vines, raked gardens and lawns and pathways, 
 and repaired gates, re-painted doorways and floors,
and spring-cleaned the whole house.

We have 5 acres of forested land, with approximately 1 acre
'cleared', and a long, winding drive that constantly needs 
trimming to keep the forest from closing in, 
with an entry garden outside the main gate that needed some love. 

There was a time when we actually thought we could 
tame this wild place, but nature would always reassert herself, 
sometimes quite aggressively, (bind-weed, blackberry, creeping buttercup)
 and the tender plantings that I would bring home from the nursery would 
soon give up. A few very hardy, old-fashioned cultivars would survive, 
and even thrive, so I have limited myself to staying 
with the tried and true....... 

Although, even they have become almost as wild
and unruly as the natives themselves, 
but the scent of sweet box and viburnum, and the bright blooms 
of forsythia and camellia, daffodil and wild plum, 
make up for any shortfall and deprivation I might feel. 

So I focus all of my flowery ambitions into planters 
and window-boxes where I can enjoy them 
from inside and out. 

I managed to fit in a trip to a flea-market
and found this funky funnel, which Ramblin' Man 
turned into a planter for me :)

My pansy obsession continues. 

I love this little moss planter that I found at the garden shop. 
It really is crying out for ivy, but I popped in some pansies for now. 
The big pot on the stand holds mint. I have two 
big pots of mint (spearmint and orange mint)
 for summer salads and tea. 
The stands keep them safe from slugs and dogs. 
Nobody wants to slurp tea made with slug slime and dog drool :)
^         ^
-      -
On the ground, below the deck, I grow culinary herbs 
in half-barrels. My oregano, that I have had for 
nearly 20 years, died this winter because of all the snow. 
I feel sad about that, but I will find another 
to carry on the legacy :)

Do you grow herbs? Do you have some favorites?

We've also been busy restoring this sweet little 
table and chair set for my four little grandchildren.  My dear parent's made 
this charming set for my own four little ones, many years ago. 

We had pulled it out of storage and set it inside 
an open metal shed, temporarily, until 
I found time to bring it inside and clean it up. 
In the short time it was in there, (2 weeks) a squirrel 
had decided that it was the perfect thing 
to gnaw on, and Ramblin' man had to replace 
the seats and seat-backs with their darling 
heart cut-outs. 

Then I had to patch the screw holes and try to match 
the paint to the 30 year old original. I hand-tinted 
chalk paint - using white to lighten similar hues. 

It took quite a while, as I wanted to save as much of the original 
design as possible, taking care to keep the sweet details. 

I had so many sentimental and bittersweet thoughts.....
of my own children when they were young,
and how quickly time goes by, 
and of my dear parents, whom I knew 
were looking down and shining their 
light and love on us as we worked. 

I had to re-paint the table-top, but 
the kissing rabbit base was 
still in good condition, so I left it as it was. 

Ramblin' Man then sprayed it all with two coats of 
clear urethane to protect it from little spills 
and smudges. 

I am so pleased with how it turned out, 
and it is the perfect decoration for Easter. 

It has already been put to service, as I had 
the whole family over for Ramblin' Man's 
birthday, recently. 

The tulips were a hostess gift from my dear eldest daughter. 

 Check out the amazing appetizer tray my youngest daughter 
brought to share. 

I made two huge pans of Chicken Pot Pie
(Ramblin' Man's favorites) 
and there was nary a crumb left behind. 
The family just keeps on growing. 
My home gets smaller and smaller, 
but it gets filled to the brim with love and laughter
and a few little squabbles over toys.
Brings back memories......

Both of my son's are wine connoisseur's, 
so we always have something special to 
wash it all down with. 
My collection of vintage etched glasses 
get put to good use. 

April showers bring May flowers and so I've 
been inside more than not, the last 2 weeks. 

I have a couple of sweet little projects 
that I've completed while stuck inside, which I will show 
you next time, and I promise I won't be so long 
in staying away. 

I also need to take you on one of my country drives 
soon, as the country-side is bursting with signs of spring. 

Thank you for stopping by for a little spring 'catch-up' 
dear friends. 
I always enjoy your company. 


"Why should we need extra time in which to enjoy
ourselves? If we expect to enjoy our life, we will
have to learn to be joyful in all of it, not just at
stated intervals when we can get time or when we
have nothing else to do."

- Laura Ingalls Wilder -

"How many times have you noticed that it's
the little quiet moments in the midst of life
that seem to give the rest extra-special meaning?"

- Fred Rogers -


  1. Happy Birthday to your Ramblin' Man. Spring indeed has cast her pretty hand over your place with pretty flowers. All those Pansies just make me smile. There is always a lot to do after Winter, isn't there. As you say, if you don't keep abreast of the garden it can overtake you. I love the sweet little table and chairs that have been passed down through the generations of your family. So many beautiful memories must come visiting you when you bring them out again and again. Spring flowers at your lovely place.....Autumn leaves down here. Happy Spring to you, lovely Karen♥

  2. oh Karen I got tired just reading all that you have been up to :) It is amazing how nature will revert back once you let it go. I love the little set your Dad made that you both have restored, I can only imagine the memories that came flooding back, that is great you hung on to it and now the grandkids can enjoy it too. How wonderful if it gets passed onto their kids.

  3. What a wonderful, newsy post from you! Belated birthday greetings to Ramblin' Man. I love what he did with that neat funnel.

    The little set you two restored is so sweet and will be enjoyed for many years to come.

    Happy Spring dear friend ~ FlowerLady

  4. Now THAT's a lot of pot pie! And boy, does it sound delicious! What a grand time.

    I am so delighted to see you can finally set up a deck and have all those beautiful blooms -- and I love the little restored bench. It looks like all's right in your world and that's a very fine thing indeed!

  5. Wonderful post Karen, you have been so busy. I just love the adorable table and chair set your parents made. My gosh it is adorable. It seems in the Northwest raking is a full time job. When you just think it is done here comes a wind storm and then you start all over again.

    Hugs Diane

  6. Karen,
    Love all the pretty pictures of your lovely blooms!! Love the sweet table and benches!! So adorable!! Thanks so much for stopping by!!

  7. the laura ingalls quote is striking. I love the whimsical table... I'd be finding a place for it in our house and we have no kids. Your flowers are pretty and the cupcakes sound just divine. I'm trying to figure out substitutions to my allergens. (no cornstarch means pudding and icing changes) but don't they look wonderful. LeeAnna

  8. Lovely post Karen ( I still call you Beatrice sometimes :) ) Yes I do have a few herbs that I hope will came back this Spring when the snow someday goes away. Your flowers are so beautiful!! Looking at your plants makes me feel like we live in the North Pole. Will Spring ever get here, I wonder. What a sweet table and sits your parents made!! All that food looks marvelous!!

  9. How busy you've been taming the garden but now it's done you can enjoy the blossom and unfurling leaves, a wonderous sight to see. I'm sure the children loved the little table and chairs, aren't they just so cute! x

  10. This is such a lovely post.
    I enjoyed seeing your photographs and catching up on your news.

    I have to say that I just love the sweet little table and chair set, it's perfect for your four lovely grandchildren.

    Happy Spring and Happy Easter greetings.

    All the best Jan

  11. It is so wonderful to see the blooms emerging and casting color into gray days!

  12. HI Karen...was thinking about you, and where you disappeared to!
    I know what you mean about "taming the wild"...our cottage..though only an acre...keeps us busy! HAvent even started down there yet, as the weather has been lousy!
    Happy belated bday wishes to The Ramblin Guy...
    And I wish you and your lovely family a Happy easter...
    That table set is too cute and precious for words!!!
    Linda :o)

  13. Your home is so beautiful and cozy in all seasons!Beautiful flowers!Blessings,dear Karen!

  14. I'm always struck by the beauty there, Karen! Your sweet table and chair set is a treasure! Happy Birthday to Ramblin' Man! Wishing you a blessed Easter, too!

  15. OMG ..You are one busy bee... Boston cream cakes look delicious and of course homemade chicken pot pies is a family favorite. ...Your surroundings are so beautiful. I'm in awe of how far ahead of Spring you are ... We still have snow . Soon, we too will venturing out to clean up the wild countryside...It's quite a chore.... I love your sweet childrens table and chair set..How precious that your parents made it for your children... It's just the sweetest set. I do love memorabilia. This was a lovely post. Wishing you a Happy Easter.

  16. Karen, your property is so beautiful and I can see where there would be alot of work keeping it in its natural state. You do a beautiful job. All the little pansy faces are so welcome at spring time and the grands must just love that wonderful table and chairs..Happy Easter my friend..xxoJudy

  17. Karen, I love the chairs and table that you've had since your children were little. Such sweet memories of then and ones to come! Your property looks so serene and lovely. I am glad you have your beautiful outdoor area that you can plant flowers to your heart's content. How wonderful to have your family all together! xo

  18. I have a feeling that if anyone can tame nature it is you Guys, your property always looks like the best place for children and now their children to grow up enjoying.
    Your kissing bunny table and chair set is adorable, even more so with a bit of squirrel love!
    Wishing you the best Easter ever!
    Wren x

  19. it is a pure delight to hear from you dear Karen :)

    i can totally relate to your outdoor chores as we have tree and plants in our front yard and our most of the day spent into picking up the fallen leaves,everything that gives us joy consumes our time and energy as well

    i fell in love with this adorable table set gifted by your dear Parents and your grand children will sit on them ,how lovely !

    Happy birthday to your dear hubby ,may you guys celebrate many more together,amen

    this food reflects your love for family ,flowers from you daughter are so beautiful
    loved the glasses

    you live in such a glorious place and i bet spring is so poetic there
    i would love to join you country drive !

  20. Hello Karen, oh what a huge piece of property you have to keep up with and a lot of work. Your deck looks so pretty with all of the flowers. Spring time must be so beautiful there and I love the pansies. Happy Birthday to your man. Have a nice weekend and a Happy Easter.

  21. Karen, I didn't realize how much work was needed surrounding your house. I should have known, since my mother-in-law's house looks very much like yours, and she was always doing something outside. Everything is looking really nice around your area. That funnel is really cool, and I like the aqua planter box. They look so pretty with the Spring flowers. The table and chairs is sweet and such a treasure, as they were made with love and given to you when your children were small. Those Boston cream cupcakes look Yummy, along with all the food. The photo of the country road is lovely with the pink blossom trees, and I was just telling my son that I need to take a drive in the country soon. And Laura Ingalls Wilder quotes are always delightful.

    Happy Easter to you, Karen.

    love, ~Sheri

  22. Karen, you're amazing, tackling all that! A mere city lot is more than I can handle! After a few years of not planting any vegetables or herbs, I'm dipping my toe into gardening this year. I'll have just a couple of tomato plants, a few flowers, a basil and a flat-leaf parsley. In the past, other herbs I've planted are cilantro, dill, borage, can't think what all. Glad you're back!

  23. oh karen, you are getting killed with spam!! everything looks so pretty, your tulips and pansies are gorgeous. and the deck looks great, you are way ahead of me...i better get going!!!


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

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