Thursday, July 4, 2019

Rainy Day Red, White and Blues

Hello, Dear Friends, so here we are, already in July! 

Celebrating our nation's Independence Day. 

As you can see, we are having cool and misty weather,
here in the Great Northwest. 
I have been wearing sweaters and warm flannels
as I try to get some garden chores done. 

I am always behind.....
but I try not to stress - too much. 

I actually witnessed a bind-weed (wild morning glory)
 plant grow 6 inches in one day.
It has invaded my whole side-yard and I need to 
catch up to it, but the rain has slowed me down. 

When I need to take cover from the elements, I hide out here.
No dogs allowed.
Invitation only. 

^    ^
*    *

Sorry guys. 

Although, I do make exceptions. 

This is Lovey. 
She's my # 2 daughter and son-in-law's little one. 
When they are out of town, 
she comes to stay and play. 
She is here for the holiday weekend. 

Kai and Lovey are happy friends and love to play. 

Whitey loves her, too.

They follow me wherever I go......

Except in 'the hide-out.' 
I get to relax a few moments.....
to have a cup of coffee
and a little treat. 

With three faces peering at me
through the gate. 

It's always nice to know that I am never alone.

It's so Zen.....

Until someone in the hills lights off another round of fireworks.
That's when I have to let them in with me
while they all try to climb into my lap.   

I am always so happy when the 4th of July celebrations
are over. I am also very grateful that it rained
so that the fire danger is reduced. 

The garden angel keeps watch over all. 

I planted impatiens in her pots. 

Her birdcage was painted a few years ago,
 (it was shiny gold) and it now has a nice patina - 
a little rusty and mossy. 

I painted the clay pots with gray porch paint.

More impatiens, along with 'creeping charlie',
 in an oval, metal tub for the bottom shelf.
The Mr. drilled holes in the tub for me. 

The tubs are galvanized steel, made in America. 
My Dad would approve. He was President of the local 
Steelworker's Union at one time.
He was a tool and die maker all of his life.

I like that I can see the angel from my kitchen door.

Lovey contemplates the day-bed.

The 'Joseph's coat' rose rises over the arbor
to show off its colors.

One stem could fill a whole vase.
If I could reach it.....

Lovey checks out the petunias and alyssum.
They are so fragrant, especially in the evening.

I also planted two hanging baskets with cherry tomatoes.

And a larger tub with a 'patio tomato' that is
growing like a weed.

Raindrops on young succulents that I
propagated last fall in clay pot saucers,
ready to be planted into larger pots.

The copper watering can was my Mom's.
She always kept it on the kitchen windowsill,
since I was a small child.
She brought that little watering can all the way
across the country from New England where she
(and I) was born.

It is rusty and dented, but it brings back bittersweet memories
of a time and place from long ago.

It must have been a special reminder of those early
days, and the kitchen window views she left behind.

It took me two afternoons to trim the walkway.
It had become quite overgrown.

The ivy took years to get so lush,
but now I am always trying to keep it in bounds.

Our Ford Ranger awaits its next adventure alongside.

The dog kennel on the other side is
 used only when we have large gatherings
to keep the dogs safe with all of
 the comings and goings of vehicles.......

My youngest son built the rock wall and helped
his Dad build the walkway when he was in high-school.

I planted the ivy :)

I keep saucers of water in the side yard for little creatures,
along with a toad house. I've never seen a toad in it,
but I have seen a salamander and a green tree frog.

What is the saying? A rolling stone gathers no moss.

My 2-1/2 year old grandson comes home with me
sometimes, after I help out with him
 and his 17 mos. old twin brothers
2 mornings a week.

We go for walks with Papa and the dogs.

We play with cars and blocks and watch the Mickey Mouse Club
over and over. I know all the songs.....

When I was a little girl, the Mickey Mouse Club
was my favorite show, too.
I loved it so much that my Mom would let me
eat my lunch in the living room so I could watch it.

 I remember being heart-broken when my
Mom went back to work and my baby-sitter refused to
let me watch it at her home during lunch.

She was an older woman who lived in the neighborhood,
and I still remember her name. Mrs. Farenholt.
She was very strict and I didn't like her.
I actually ran away and tried to get back home
so I could watch it.
Several times.
I was only 3.

Now, all these years later, my little grandson
loves the same show, delightfully updated.

We have snacks....

and sometimes I find toys in strange places.....
such as, inside the refrigerator.

We bake cookies and wash up.

Peanut butter cookies are the favorite.
He likes squashing the dough with a fork.

He loves making cupcakes, too (he calls them pupcakes).
He fills the pans with paper liners,
mixes the batter,
helps with the frosting.....

And loves to decorate them with sprinkles.

Um, oh-oh! The bowl of sprinkles
proves too irresistible.....

Sampling his hard work while watching Mickey Mouse.

We have a lot of fun.

I do sleep well after these busy days.

His Mom and Dad hosted a belated Father's Day celebration
last weekend for the whole family,
 with steak, shrimp and chicken kabobs on the grill.

Everyone brought a side dish.

With homemade strawberry shortcake for dessert.
You can see my daughter tucking a little one into a high chair
outside the window.

The pretty drink bar.
Don't you just love the 'muddler' handle?

All the Dads, doing their thing.....

Fun in the sun.

The family keeps growing.
Hard to believe this all started with two
childhood sweethearts.

I think of what kind of world they will inherit
and I have so much hope, despite all of the overwhelming difficulties.
Hope that the younger generations will see what can be
achieved if done with the highest intentions.

Nothing lasting is ever achieved any other way.

To build on all that is good and just,
and disregard all that is not.

I hope that they will honor and respect all who 
came before them that fought for the freedoms 
and liberty we so easily take for granted. 

I hope that they always choose to do the right thing,
no matter how difficult or unpopular,
and that they cultivate the insight and humility 
to recognize what that is.....
 and most importantly, to always take the 
high road through life. 

The view is always so much better. 


"The best rules to form a young man are:
to talk little,
to hear much, 
to reflect alone upon what has passed in company,
to distrust one's own opinions,
and value others that deserve it. 
- Sir William Temple -

"Beyond all other freedoms our greatest liberty
is our ability to choose our attitude. 
-Patricia Ryan Madson-
 Improv Wisdom

"It is something to be able to paint a particular
picture, or to carve a statue, or so to make a few
objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve
and paint the very atmosphere through which we 
look - to affect the quality of the day, that is the
highest of the arts.
- Henry David Thoreau -
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