Sunday, April 26, 2020


Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that 
you have a little bit of sun shining through the window
 as you drink your morning coffee during these
troubled times that we all face each day. 

Our lives have, of necessity, become quite different 
than they were yesterday. 
I now hear the lyrics of that lovely, simple 
song, 'Yesterday', by The Beatles, in a much
more poignant and sentimental way.

The Forget-me-not is blooming and reminds me of 
what is most endearing in life.

Sweet moments and sweet memories.

I never know when these will come 
in this crazy, scary, beautiful life,
but when the Forget-me-not bloom,
I am reminded to cherish these
moments whenever I can.

They are everywhere this year.
A little gift.

I have an abundance of over-wintered pansies and alyssum 
 on the back deck that I am so grateful for, too.

Late last summer and fall, I gathered pansy seed pods 
from my plants and dropped them into some of 
my planters and pots. 

I was so surprised to see them grow. 
This is my Rosemary plant surrounded by 'Pansy Surprise',
my own special seed mix!

I was preparing myself for life in retirement
 by trying to grow my own from seed.
A flower habit can get expensive.

I had no idea how the world would change
and how much these simple, happy flowers
would cheer us up. 

Can you tell that I love pansies?
It can get out of hand....

And that brings me back to Forget-me-not. 
I started with one little plant so many years ago...

So wonderfully named. 

Don't you love the names of old-fashioned flowers?

'Bachelor's Buttons'
'Bleeding Heart'
'Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate'
and Pansy - 'Heart's Ease'

I'm sure you can add to the list! 

The tulips are blooming, too.
These are many years old, brought home in pots 
from a trip to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival,
here in Washington state.

It was my last trip with my Mom.  
She's been gone 9 years already. 

So many people are experiencing loss right now. 
Planting something beautiful in a loved one's memory
helps heal the heart. 

This is part of our parent's commemorative 
garden that we started all those years ago.
Both my and The Mr.'s parents are gone,
and now we are the senior generation.

We are losing this older generation quickly now,
and we need to honor them
and carry on their values, wisdom and traditions.

My Mom and Dad loved to garden.

I remember the hollyhocks my Mom
always planted along the back fence 
when I was a child. And the blooming crab apple, 
lilac, and hawthorn trees I helped my Dad dig up
from the old nursery that was going out of business,
when I was 12. 
We worked all weekend, going back and forth,
from nursery to home,
digging up and replanting mature shrubs left 
untended for years while the nursery sat neglected. 

The nursery was the same one that my Grandfather 
worked at during the Great Depression,
when my Dad was a young boy. 

My Grandfather was 12 years gone by then;
 gone since I was a baby. 
He died too soon from a worn-out heart,
damaged from a childhood bout with Scarlet Fever,
and a life of hard work - only 50 years old. 
My Father and my Grandfather were very close.

The loss must have been so painful. 

The trees in that neglected nursery were a 
direct connection to my Grandfather, and it is not until 
now that I realize how bittersweet the sentimental task 
my Dad and I were performing.

The last time I visited my childhood home, 
 3000 miles away, 
some of the same trees were still thriving!

Commemorative gardens or special plants can connect us with our loved 
ones in mysterious ways.
I planted a white rose when my dear Mother died,
and it bloomed for the very first time
more than a year later, on the very day my dear Father died.

Angels in the garden are a lovely way to commemorate loved ones, too.

A gentle reminder of our connection to the divine
and hope of the eternal.

This tiny, historical church, illuminated from within, is
always a delightful sight to see in our little town.
It reminds us that faith is built from the inside out,
even while gatherings must wait.

I've been very busy these last few weeks.

I've been taking my 3 yr old grandson 
3 days a week to help my daughter and son-in-law, 
who are working from home with a 3 yr old
and 2 yr. old twin boys. I've been caring 
for them, along with their other Grandma, since birth. 

When I have spare time, and not working in the gardens, 
 I am upstairs in my sewing room. 

I've been making masks for all of my loved ones.

Here we are in early December at the Christmas tree farm.
(with one teenager missing
because of a new job).

It is getting to be quite a crowd,
and here's some sweet news: one more grandson on the way!
That will make five little boys under age five!
I need to keep taking my vitamins!

I made some lavender sachets to go along with the masks. 
Lavender has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. 
This will help keep the freshly laundered masks sterile 
in storage. 

I made each family member two - one for laundering 
and one for wearing.

All packed up and ready to mail.  

Here's the link for directions if you would like to make your own:
The Button Counter Blog

 Presents to mail for my daughter's birthday.
Normally we would all get together in a big, noisy crowd,
with lots of yummy food, wine and birthday cake with candles.

Here's our birthday girl, Jennie in happier times.
She's our soon-to-be new Mom, with hubby, Steve.
We are so happy.

Although, it's not an easy time to become a new Mom.

We moved the kitchen day-bed into the living room
under the window.
This came about because my old dog, Whitey Bear,
wasn't able to maneuver through the pet door anymore
with the day-bed there.

I made a few new pillows.
I've had some grain-sack fabric waiting for a rainy day :)

The red and tan color-scheme matches my living room rugs.

The needlepoint was found at a vintage shop and was once framed.

It creates a cozy alcove.
I blog from the vintage treadle sewing machine cabinet
(the sewing machine inside still works).
I can see the television from there.
I multi-task.
I'm watching the British comedy, 'As Time Goes By'.
Has anyone been watching, 'World on Fire' on Masterpiece Theater?
It's a brilliant reminder that generations before
us fought hard for our freedoms and we must
honor their sacrifice and try to be just as brave.
I'm a big fan of 'Masterpiece'.
I loved 'Victoria' and now I'm excited
to watch 'Sanditon' again when it starts the new season.


Here's my old boy, Whitey Bear, deliberately
refusing to give me a smile.
He hates his picture taken :)

He just had a bath and is extra fluffy.

He has really slowed down.
His favorite thing to do is lounge, although
he can muster up some sass when need be.
He's my sweet protector.

We put the old English buffet where the daybed was.

After all the furniture moving to accommodate
his needs, he still refuses to use the pet door.
It's those old, creaky joints...
I'm starting to relate.

Kai lies in the way all the time, anyway.

So we are opening doors at all hours to let the old guy out
for bathroom breaks.
That's o.k.
He'd give his life for ours, it's the least we can do.

The buffet holds all my barware.
I want to stain or paint the crates underneath.
The large one holds extra wine-glasses
and the small one holds party supplies.
You never know when you might need a paper umbrella
or two.

I rather like the old buffet here.
Maybe for a while.....

The wild cherry trees are blooming.

They grow everywhere and are especially pretty along the edges
of the fields and woodlands.

So pretty in the landscape against the drama of the evergreens.
This is my country road to home.

A row of pear trees along the driveway of a sweet little cottage
on my way out of town.

A weeping cherry and mountain laurel make a charming welcome 
to a lovely Northwest home. 

Home has become everyone's haven. 
We are so very fortunate to have a home. 
Home is what you make of it. 
There's no place like home. 

You can take a tour of some sweet, 
vintage cottages in my little town, here and here.

Spring reminds us that we must be strong,
resilient, and tempered by the difficulties life
brings our way, just like the flowers that bloom
despite the harshness of winter.


"The best way out is always through."
-Robert Frost-

"He who has a why to live can bear
almost any how."
-Friedrich Nietzsche-

"The art of living lies less in eliminating
our troubles than in growing with them."
-Bernard M. Baruch-

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Spring Decorating - Egg Carton Wreath

Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you are weathering 
the storms of life and finding a tiny bit of sunshine 
during these perilous times that we all face. 

Sheltering in place has its challenges, but also 
encourages self-expression through art, crafts, cooking 
and gardening.
We all learned how to entertain ourselves 
as small children when we were told to 
'turn the television off and find something 
constructive to do'! 

I took this advice and turned some cardboard egg cartons
into a sweet spring wreath!

I found the directions in this 2015 edition of 
GreenCraft magazine. They call it a 'fall wreath', 
but I think it is just as pretty in springtime.

I'll let my photos be the guide
if you would like to create one of your own.


2 or 3 paper egg cartons.

A small, very sharp and sturdy pair of scissors works best. 

A dinner and salad plate were used as templates. 
Painted brown - edges, too.

Children's craft paints. 

A hot glue gun put it all together.
A paper clip glued to the back makes a handy hanger.  

The wreath matches my flea-market painting x.

Willow catkins in 'big blue'.

My kitchen cart is now devoted to
'dinnerware' for the grandchildren.

I had matching bins for the bottom shelf, too,
 but all of the bright plastic
dishes and utensils started mysteriously disappearing........

Someone looks very guilty.....

He likes to bury things.....

I added a bit of spring to my painted cupboard
in the hallway past the kitchen.

I can't get a full shot of the cupboard in the narrow hallway,
but it has two cabinet doors below, with shelves for my cookbooks.

I have a small collection of clear, pressed and etched glass
on the shelves.

Sweet serving pieces to use now and again
for a special occasion.

Like the last cupcake that I want to save for myself.
No man dares lift the lid of a tiny dome holding just one cupcake.

I have just enough mismatched etched glasses
 for every adult in my family to raise a toast.
I collected them one or two at a time.

I saw this idea in a Pottery Barn catalog
and I thought it looked so pretty.

The pressed glass compote and egg dish were wedding gifts
for my Mother and Father
the year Queen Elizabeth was crowned.

They were married 58 years.

This cupboard has a twin and both belonged to my parents.

I will be using them together when my library room is finished,
but I will paint them French gray.

The salt and pepper shakers were also part of my parent's
wedding set.

It always amazes me what survives a lifetime.

The sweet, sentimental things that someone once loved
so dearly that they carefully packed them for every move.

A tiny piece of their heart.
Their hopes and dreams passed on
to anyone who believes in love.

I have turn of the century vintage photos
of my little town on the opposite wall.

People and moments captured in time.
There's even a couple of dogs.

It reminds me of how brave and hard-working
our ancestor's were and how important
it is to honor their hard work, sacrifice and values.

I need to re-stock the jelly-beans the next
time we venture out for groceries.
We only go out every 2-3 weeks now.
I hope there are a few bags left.

I made these when my children were young.

My orchid has re-bloomed.
It was a sweet gift for Mother's Day last year.

I've never had one re-bloom, so I am thrilled!

My daughter handed these out as party favors
for my twin grandsons' 2nd birthday
a few weeks back.


It seems so long ago....
It was the last time we were together as a family.

We are having a virtual Easter this year.

Life has changed so quickly and may never be the same
for so many, as we all try to stay one step ahead.

In the meantime, we just try to remember what is truly precious
and never again take these things for granted.


The ones we love.....

The first dandelions....

Budding trees under clear blue skies....

Singing birds.....


Wishing you an Easter full of faith, hope and
maybe a little bit of chocolate, too.

Stay safe, dear ones.


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