Wednesday, May 1, 2019

May Flowers, Dandelions and The Best Things in Life

Happy May Day, Dear Family and Friends! 

 I hope that you are finding time to enjoy
the sweet, simple pleasures of life. 

The spring wildflowers have graced us with their 
 gentle beauty. Whitey Bear and Kai are enjoying 
the mild weather. 

Whitey Bear is really slowing down these days.
I can relate. 

He's my sweet old boy.


Wild Bleeding Heart. 

Such tragically romantic names.....

Wild Pink Currant - a favorite of the hummingbirds.


Bracken, waiting to unfurl. 

The springtime forest beyond. 

Soft shades of spring-green: 
chartreuse, moss, fern, lichen. 

The birds are singing beautiful songs. 

I notice these things while I am working outside. 
So much to do, so little time. 

But I hear the wind, rustling the new leaves. 
A woodpecker searching for a meal. 

The hawks flying over with their high-pitched keening,

I love the sound of small airplanes; the droning
coming closer and closer and then turning into a low, rumbling growl,
which always gives me a momentary scare.

Helicopters and larger aircraft let their presence 
be known far in advance, sounding like distant 
thunder, then roaring overhead. 

Sound echoes through mountains and canyons
in strange and mysterious ways.

Fresh snowfall in the hills, just the other day. 

Sometimes, just as the sun sets and the forest becomes very still,
we can hear the glacial creek at the base of our little mountain.

The faint sound of rushing water can be haunting, rising and falling like
murmuring voices, revealing ancient secrets to any who will hear.

There was once a busy coal-mining town down by the creek,
with a hotel, cottages, and a bridge
to the next mining town.
It's all gone now, even the bridge, but the ghosts remain
in the name of the county road that now ends at the creek,
and continues on in old maps and historical legend.

We found an old home site years ago, my children and I, along
the well-worn elk path leading down to the creek, where we
would cool off on unbearably hot August days.

We discovered old bleach bottles and cold cream jars.
Medicine and perfume bottles.
Broken crockery and dishes.

There were plum trees, and roses still blooming,
near the remnants of a crumbling stone chimney.

Someone had bought the land and opened a clearing,
crashing over this forgotten pioneer stand in the middle of the forest,
breaking all in it's path.

We tried to save what we could, and I still
have the bleach bottles and cold-cream jars in my laundry-room and bath.

My son found a coal cart wheel lodged in
the stones by the creek.
It took both he and his brother, along with Dad
to rescue it and carry it home.
The coal-cart wheel rests in the garden
by the front of the old tool-shed.

I used it for years as an anchor to tie out
the children's ponies on the lawn.

I wonder about the people who might have lived there, 100 years ago.
Who used the bleach bottles, the cold cream jars,
and planted the plums and roses?
A little family, perhaps?
An Immigrant from a far-off land, coming to make a new start?
Historical records reveal people's from all corners .......
miners and stonemasons, lumberjacks and land surveyor's,
builders and pioneers,
all looking for work in the mines and the forests.
Maybe the husband worked the mines, built the house,
 while the wife created a home, possibly
taking in laundry and sewing to make extra money, maybe with children
who walked the 2 miles to the old brick schoolhouse, still standing downtown.

Dreams come and gone. Fortunes won and lost.
Did they stay? Did their children have children
who played with my own?

The graveled county road leading to the creek
 is bordered by foxglove, comfrey, bergamot, wild oregano and garlic.
The progeny and legacy of escaped herbs from pioneer gardens.

Will someone, someday find my lemon balm and spearmint gone wild,
growing alongside some long-forgotten lane?
Already a plum tree that we planted over 30 years ago, a gift from a
long-gone neighbor, has seeded itself many times over along the edges
of the forest, courtesy of grateful, hungry birds.

I day-dream about these things while I pick Dandelion blossoms
to make infused oil for lotions and balms.

Something, maybe a woman might have done 100 years ago.

Dandelions are completely edible and are a good
source of vitamins A, C and K.
A gift to man-kind right under our feet!

To make Dandelion Infused Oil:

Pick enough Dandelion flowers to fill a jar.
(I use a pint canning jar.)
Let blossoms dry on paper towels in a dark, dry place,
 a few days to 2 weeks.

Fill jar halfway with dried Dandelions,
then fill the jar with sunflower, sweet almond, avocado, or other light oil. 
Cover jar and let set in a warm, sunny window about 4 weeks.
Strain into a clean, dry jar and store in a cool,
dark place.


I'll share the lotion bar and lip balm recipes and techniques
when the oil is ready.


The Little's had fun on an Easter Egg Hunt at my son's home.
The twins are walking now, but only without shoes :)
They are not too steady on their feet.......
Cousins compare gatherings.

Me with the 'Little Rascals'. 

There are four of them. 
Three of them are brothers, including the twins. 

Sometimes we make the 90 minute drive on
the weekend to babysit our oldest grandson here.
We have so much fun together. xx

I take long naps after a few hours
 of keeping up with these busy guys.

Usually with a heating pad.
I wouldn't trade a moment of it.

Sometimes this little guy comes home with me
  after I babysit for him and his twin brothers
twice a week.

Sometimes Grandpa comes home from work early to play :)

We try to help out as much as we can.
They are little for such a short time.

The Easter Lily my daughter gave me has filled the house
with its beautiful scent.

This was a gift made for Ramblin' Man on his birthday
from our daughter and son-in-law.

It's such a sweet reminder of what matters most.

Always stay humble and kind.
'Kindness' is my word for the year.

A dear photo of my Mom in law, 'Nana', on a swing.

Look what's hidden behind the furniture now.

We've set out the umbrellas.....

And the hardworking Mr. has set up the canopy.
We didn't set it up last year and we really missed it.

Now it's up to me to make it all cozy.
It needs flowers and pillows and candles and throws.....
I need to get busy.

We truly enjoy this small, outdoor space, well into the fall,
even in the rain.

The sun is now setting just past the first hills beyond us.

The light has been blocked all winter long, just as the sun sinks low,
but now it is free to shine on the hills, reflecting the glorious
colors of sunset to mark the end of another blessed day.


"Think of all the beauty that's still left in and around
you and be happy!"
- Anne Frank -

"The art of life is to know how to enjoy a little
and to endure very much."
-William Hazlitt -

"We hear voices in solitude we never hear in the hurry
and turmoil of life; we receive counsels and comforts
we get under no other condition."
- Amelia Barr -

" Hope costs nothing."
- Colette -

Happy May, Dear Friends!


  1. A beautiful happy May Day to you, Karen. I love looking at your photographs and reading your tales of finding the old house with its treasures. I can imagine what others may think of us if they were to stumble upon our "precious" gifts one day. Love the pictures of the grandchildren. So cute! We are going to SC this weekend and will embrace every minute with baby Sam (almost 2 yrs old). xo

  2. A beautiful jam-packed post full of wonderful things! Mysterious bottles and plum trees, dandelion goodness and little toddling Easter egg hunters, such a delight. x

  3. I really like the furled bracken shot! So cool! Glad Easter was fun!

  4. Can you believe it is May already, you are right those kids will not be little for long, you need to enjoy that time with them that you can. Love seeing all your blooms in your yard. We have green onions growing everywhere in our yard and when we go for walks we have noticed a couple other yards have them too, it's funny how they just grow so randomly. Enjoy your canopy and your whole outdoor space you have!!

  5. Karen, you have so many beautiful treasures around you. You are truly blessed. Your photos bring me on a visit with you and they are wonderful..Happy May to you..xxoJudy

  6. Lovely post Karen! Your dogs are surely beautiful creatures! Love all those flowers you have growing around you. I have never seen Bracken growing here in the Dakotas. Whau! You got forests growing near your house?? Splendid! The views you have are surreal!! Love also the story about the pioneers or people of the past...the town now gone and you finding artifacts. I made dandelion jelly years ago but have never made the infused oil. Thanks for the recipe. How do you use it? Is it to soften the skin? What a marvelous blessing to have all those grandchildren!! They are so cute!! Wishing you a beautiful month of May!

    1. Hi Angela - Thank you for your sweet visit! The dandelion oil is a base for home-made lotions and balms and I will share those recipes when the oil is done steeping, with a link to this post. I'll be sure to let you know when I do! xo Karen

  7. There is so much pretty, so much fun and so much joy in this post, it makes my heart go all big and flip-floppy! That dandelion basket just melted me. The first flower a child gives its mother. So pretty in the basket! And Easter, sunsets (or were those sunrises?) Either way, your views are spectacular! We have some of those big ugly plastic moveable children's toys hiding behind some of our furniture too! And I wouldn't trade them for the world!

    Thanks for popping over, kind words about Rick and such. Your comments mean such a lot. Thank you.

  8. Adorable post,Karen!I am really grateful for it...Thanks for sharing your treasures!Hugs!

  9. Your pics is very beautiful. Adorable. Have a great week. Hugs.

  10. Ah what a heavenly place you live in dear Karen!

    i can feel the blessings you have in life my friend
    Family ,love of them ,peace of mind and above all the humbleness and gratefulness :)

    you are such and inspiration and precious friend to learn from HOW TO LIVE SIMPLY WITH SMALL PLEASURES OF LIFE!

    Happy May to you too ,i can see your overwhelming joy and excitement for spring which is bursting around you like a shower of the love of Lord :)

    thank you for sharing the glimpse of you beautiful routine ,sunset are always so fascinating

    what a blessing to spend time with precious grand kids :)))

    and Business , yes what is a better hobby than it :)


  11. Such a lovely post, Karen! I so enjoy your beautiful photos of life on your mountain, and your sweet pups and adorable grandchildren! Life looks good there!

  12. Ahhhhhh.... such beauty to behold in your surroundings, Karen! I loved reading about all the treasures that you and your family discovered and kept. The grands sure are growing. Yes, we must enjoy them, as they are little for such a short time. Just like that, they are grown! May you have a wonderful Mother's Day...xx

  13. Oh Karen, the Dandelion blossoms look so pretty, and you have gathered them and made a creative basket. I admire that you appreciate all that the forest has to offer. Oh my goodness, is that a LADYBUG on the yellow flowers? How very special that is. I bet you love to see the hummingbirds visit the Wild Pink Currant. The old home site that you stumbled unto is interesting. And you took all the treasures you found and displayed them in your home. I can see how you would wonder who they belonged to - the perfume bottles and the cream jars. The Easter egg hunt for the little ones sounds delightful. And I just love that cozy seating area in your home. It would be nice to just sit there and read or pray or think. It's always such a joy to see what's happening in your world, Karen.

    Happy Mother's Day to you, sweet friend.


  14. Love all the gorgeous pictures Karen.

    Hugs Diane


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

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