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-


  1. There are so many wonderful lessons to be learned from a garden. I love all flowers, but I do have my favorites :-)

  2. Wow, what a great post! Congrats on the upcoming 5th grandson. I always love seeing inside your sweet home. It is so lovely and peaceful! May you and all of yours be well and safe ~ FlowerLady

  3. Thank you for sharing! I love seeing and being out in nature so much! I have enjoyed my blossoming garden, both front and back yard, and have shared a couple posts of photos of them! We have done 2 drives to escape 4 walls and I also shared 2 posts of those 2 escapes. It is a reminder that the beautiful world God gave us is still there...waiting. I enjoyed my "time" with you!

  4. Such a lovely post to read and look at.
    Many congratulations on your upcoming new Grandson.
    I've recently become a Great Auntie and I'm so looking forward to a cuddle with the new baby once the present conditions allow.

    Take care, keep safe and well.

    All the best Jan

  5. It is so lovely there, Karen! I love your beautiful's wonderful to plant things to remember our loved ones. I love the way the daybed looks under the window...looks even more cozy! Old dogs are such loves...our Sophie turns 13 in May and is such a sweetheart.Seems like she was just a young pup. Congrats on the new coming grandson! You will be busy! We are having another granddaughter in less than 2 months hoping our son will be able to be with his wife when she delivers. It IS a different time. This is number 11 for us...they will be ages 18 to newborn. We are blessed for sure. Love to you sweet friend! xoxo

  6. You are so right that home has become everyone's haven. I could fall into your cozy nook and stay there forever, with a good book, some needle felting or even watching Masterpiece. Sundays are "our night" on public TV -- Call the Midwife, then World on Fire. Yes, it makes one feel a bit shabby to complain about not going out to dinner or getting gray hair, doesn't it?

    I adore the commemorative garden and since pansies are one of my favorites, I am just wild about all the color. And Yesterday. Indeed, you are so right. So many older songs seem to have new meanings these days. Well, you have shiny news, with an impending baby so this is good. Life does continue. So grateful for the mellow visit tonight!

  7. Forget-Me-Nots are one of my favorite flowers and have been since I was a tiny little girl. I clearly remember the first time I saw one, was so intrigued by how tiny and pretty they were and I asked my Grandma what they were. When she told me the name I just loved them even more. :)

    Thank you for sharing some of your beautiful memories and photos!


  8. Congratulations on your upcoming new Grandson!What an adorable Family you have!Love your gorgeous garden and your cozy home.Thank you for this precious post( AS EVER!).God bless you all.

  9. We have certain flowers and plants to remind us of our passed parents too. Yes when our Iris bloomed I was more excited this year than ever before. I think I am much more appreciative of things now.
    congrats on another grandbaby coming, it does sound like you are keeping very busy.
    I do love Masterpiece too and have been watching the World on Fire, I enjoy all that old stuff.
    Enjoy a Happy Spring!

  10. Hi Karen. Thank you for sharing your forget-me-nots. My grandmother introduced me to them many years ago and I always associate her with them. Your little plot is just beautiful and sad to say but mine for some reason didn't come back this year. Thank you for sharing all your beautiful flowers in your beautiful garden and your family is beautiful as well. Take care of poor, old Kai. Our Kai is dragging around too and I just hate to see them grow older..Stay safe and well..xxoJudy

  11. Hello Karen, such a poignant and uplifting post. Central to it all is your precious family, from those now departed to those on the way. You have a beautiful family and lovely spirit. That is quite an endeavour to make two masks for each family member in your ever growing family.
    Sending you a warm hug from Thailand - keep taking those vitamins!
    Wren x

  12. It is do sad how so many of our order generation are passing away over this little while, and their loved ones cannot be with them. Such dreadful times we are living through. Your pansies are a delight to the eyes. I love how they are blooming en masse on your deck. Forget-me-nots are the sweetest flowers; always blooming everywhere. Such happy springtime plants. How wonderful you will be welcoming a new grandson in a little while. Love the photo of your gorgeous family. Thank you for a beautiful post, Karen.

  13. Hello Karen, love the post and all the pictures.

    Hugs Diane

  14. Wonderful to here all your news and see your beautiful flowers. Best wishes to the Mum-to-be, hope all goes well. Take care x

  15. Hi Karen, your garden and pansies look so pretty. It's nice to hear that you and your family are all good and such wonderful news of your daughter. Thanks for the pretty photos to look at and an update from you. Take care and be well. Julie

  16. Liebe Karen,
    ich war wieder einmal hier auf Deinem liebenswerten Blog...und konnte mich kaum trennen!
    Bei Dir kommt so viel Herz rü ist wunderbar.
    Weniger wunderbar sind die Zeiten, die wir jetzt haben. Und ich fürchte, wenn die Lockerungen zu schnell kommen, dann wird es noch deutlich schlimmer werden!!! Ich hoffe so sehr, dass die Verantwortlichen wirkliche Verantwortung leben und dass nicht mehr so viele Menschen wegen dieses Virus sterben müssen.
    Wunderbar ist dass Ihr wieder ein Enkelkind erwarten dürft! Ich drücke ganz fest die Daumen! Es wird gut werden! Ganz bestimmt!
    Alles, alles Liebe Dir und Deiner wundervollen Familie

  17. What a lovely post!! I always enjoy my visits here and look forward to seeing your lovely home and your beautiful pictures of your stunning surrounding landscapes. Congrats on the new expected grandson!!
    Stay safe, healthy and happy!

  18. Happy birthday to your daughter. Congratulations on the new grandchild! Happy news! Love the photo of you pushing the cart with the grandson inside! It's great for both parents and the grandchildren to have grandparents nearby. Sadly I live too far from my granddaughter. Your garden looks lovely, I like the variety of plants! Have a wonderful week!

  19. Hello Dearest Karen!
    Just catching up on some of your posts. I'm sorry I've forgotten to check back sooner. I think I used to get emails telling me when you had a new post before, but don't now. I love to see what's going on in your beautiful world. I love seeing your amazing gardens and many gorgeous flowers everywhere! I love the wonderful historian you are too - sharing so many lovely words about family...but also when you share about flowers, or sometimes items, or even food and how you can so lovingly relate them directly back to a parent or other relative or special memory. Those moments you share always touch my heart. Your brood sure is growing! What a beautiful family. ❤️ And congrats on another grandson on the way! What a blessing even amongst crazy times. Happy bday to your beautiful daughter too! 🎈 🎂
    And of course I'm also always so impressed with your seamstress skills and creativity for decorating and crafting. And big hugs to all they furry babies too. Especially Whitey Bear - I relate with the aches and pains. I've recently added glucosamine to my daily regimen. Sigh Where does the time go??
    I hope you have a blessed rest of the week and stay healthy and safe. 🙏 xoox

  20. You are so very fortunate to have such a large, beautiful family Karen, and they are fortunate to have you!

    The gardens you shared are gorgeous, and that gorgeous weeping cheery is stunning! I don't believe I've ever seen one as lovely.

    Congratulations to your daughter. Such good news, even during these difficult times. And you are so right about Whitey Bear...he certainly would give his life for you. Not too many in this life that would do that, so he deserves every consideration.


  21. The world has changed. We should be patient and take care continuously. Good days to you.

  22. I love the cheerful colors of pansy 'faces' and their smaller relatives the 'Johnny jump-ups.' Our hot and humid summers cause the plants to die back but often they self sow and fresh ones appear in early winter. I haven't tried saving the seed for deliberate planting--sounds like an interesting experiment.

  23. Good Morning, dear Karen. The forget me nots are so pretty, but the pansies are simply beautiful. I love their color. I really appreciate your words about how we need to honor the older generation and carry on their values, wisdom, and traditions. It seems that many people forget to do that, and it's so important. The white rose is lovely, and it's always special whenever one comes across a white rose. The old church must be nice for you to see as you drive by. What a cute picture of you and grandson. Congratulations to Jennie with the new baby along the way! Another precious baby in the family is always so special. This is a wonderful photo of all the family, and I couldn't help but notice all the red plaid in the picture, as red plaid is a favorite of mine. It sounds like you are keeping busy during this time, and I just love to see bits of your charming home when you share it with us. It's filled with so much creativeness, and you have worked hard to make it a cozy home for your family.

    Happy May days to you, Karen.


  24. So nice to pop back to Blogland after an MIA for the past 6months and get to enjoy such a lovely post from you. Hugs Sharm


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

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