Monday, May 25, 2020

Late Spring

Happy Memorial Day, Dear Friends.

As we honor those we have lost fighting
for our freedoms, we must also honor
our great veterans who have lost their lives
during this invisible war that we are all facing right now.

Normally we would travel to the National cemetery
this weekend to honor the soldiers and to
visit my parents who are buried there.

My Father and Mother had a tradition of placing
flowers or a wreath on the grave of
a forgotten soldier, and we have carried on that
tradition, but this year the cemetery is closed.

So we are staying home.
Although, we would stay home even if it were open.
We have no desire to tempt fate.

Life has certainly taken quite a U-turn, hasn't it? 

 The Mr. likes to literally 
treat me to those fun little turns occasionally; 
usually when we are already lost on a mountain road
 or a busy city street! :) 

*   *

But I'm talking metaphorically....
Who would have guessed that the new decade would start out this way?

So here we are. 

I felt a little bit of the magic return to my soul
when I saw this rainbow the other evening. 

We've had cold and gloomy weather for days. 

It did nothing to lift the general mood.

Flannel-lined, zippered pouch and laundry bag in homespun

Gray/green ticking, beach and sandal bags

Spending time in my sewing room always seems to 
lift my spirits, though. Just having that time alone to think, to be creative
and sew up some love, makes me feel better.

Here, I've made some travel gifts for dear loved ones.
Something to tuck away in hopes of better days. 


I also helped my little grandson make some 'egg-carton'
flowers that I had left over from crafting my Wreath.

He did all of the painting and picked out the buttons
for the centers, which I wired onto wooden bbq skewers
wrapped in floral tape to give to his Mom
 (my daughter) for Mother's Day.


The Mr. replaced the chandelier over my table with 
this schoolhouse light that I found on Wayfair.
I never knew there were so many different shapes and sizes!

This one is similar to the antique one I found a while ago,
which he installed over my sink.

I think it looks much more appropriate in my cottage kitchen
than the chandelier, and it has a nice, soft glow,
although The Mr. has nicknamed it 'The UFO'.
He keeps me laughing....

He also created a new seat for my vintage crib bench.

He replaced old plywood that fared miserably over the winter,
with thick planks, spaced for rain to pass through.

We are trying to stay busy with things we have on hand.

The beautiful planter was a gift from my daughter.

'Grammie's Garden'
Sweet artwork and flowers from the little ones.

And a new picnic basket stocked with supplies,
including two charming, picnic cookbooks,
 with hand-painted illustrations.

Can you see my grandson holding the card?
That was his idea for the photo.


The weather has been so cool and wet, that
any picnic has to be put on hold for the time being.

Whenever there is a tiny bit of sunshine, we
run out and have mini-picnics on the deck, though.

Usually consisting of a cup of coffee/cocoa and a home-made treat.

(Sweet Mother's Day treats.)

I made these super easy cinnamon rolls
from a package of pizza crust mix the other day.
I was looking for something quick.

I patted the 5 minute dough into a rectangle on a floured board,
spread it with softened butter, then sprinkled it
generously with about 1 cup brown sugar/ 1 tsp. cinnamon mix,
rolled it from the long side and cut it into 2 inch slices.

I popped them into a buttered muffin tin, swirl side up,
and baked them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes
or until golden.

Immediately, when taken from the oven,
I tipped the (loosened) rolls onto a parchment covered tray,
 so that the melted butter/sugar
mixture on bottom, drizzled over the top.

Can you say, 'Yum'?

So good!

So many have lost their Mothers and Fathers
(and other dear ones) recently and
these holidays can be painful.

It's been a few years since mine have been gone
and the sharp pain of their loss has faded.
I've come to terms with the imperfections and lessons
of our lives together and now I mostly recall just the laughter and the love.

It fades the pain and difficulties of life
and creates a new perspective.

I hope that this time in all of our lives creates a new perspective
of what is truly important in this world.

My grandson found my scrabble letters
and when I explained that I used them to make signs for holidays,
he came up with this...

He was totally serious.
He's three.

And very active. I'm not as young as I used to be.
Let's just say that I go to bed early these days.
Sometimes right after dinner :)

I know that I haven't been around lately to visit
all of you, dear friends.
I have missed you and hope that you please accept my sincere
apologies. I am a little overwhelmed right now
and trying to find some balance.

The Mr. is finishing up the last few weeks of his
career working from home, retiring at the end of June.

With a 3 yr. old running around 3 days a week
and the Mr. working full time here,
it is a little crazy sometimes.
But I am adjusting, like so many others.

Not to mention putting up with these crazy guys .....
you can't 'knock' or bump into anything
without the two of them erupting into hysterical barking
because they think someone is knocking at the door.

I've had this on my fridge for years. At the time, I had
two dogs, 'Little Bear' and our current dog, 'Whitey Bear'. 

Plus, my brain has been like Jello.
I can't even read a book.
I've tried to concentrate, but I can't seem to at all.
So, I've been doing mindless tasks of housecleaning,
organizing, gardening and sewing in my 'off' time.
I've made so many masks.....
My thoughts are allowed to wander that way.
To try and put everything that is on my mind into
 some sort of order, in a world full of chaos.

How are you all dealing?

Everything is upside down for everyone in the world right now.

Bleeding heart.

The wild version.

A symbol of our universal thoughts.

A whole flock of Townsend's Warblers payed a sweet visit
to the maple tree beside the deck last week.

They were very tiny.

Don't you love their 'bandit' masks?

When I was trying to zoom in on the tiny birds, I accidently
caught this frog. Or is it? Nature is full of camouflage.

The old apple trees were blooming over the forget-me-nots.

Looks like a bountiful year.
We leave the apples to the wild things.
We really have no choice :)

Whitey Bear likes to chew on long blades of grass.

Camellia in the morning.

The old lilac arching over the side garden
has filled the air with its intoxicating scent.

I remember planting it as a tiny seedling all those
years ago, back when my children were small
and we were just starting our life as a family.

I managed to find a flat of coral impatiens at
my bi-weekly trip to the grocery store and pot them up
for my window boxes.
Once they fill in, I'll show you how they look.

Most people here in Washington State are adhering
to health guidelines and I feel safe at my local
grocery store (Fred Meyer).

I am lucky that it has just about everything I need, too.
It's just like Walmart, except smaller and with
better quality.

Some of my pansies that overwintered from a fall planting.

Two of my next projects; transplanting all these little trees
 from Christmas into larger pots, and painting the deck.
 We have to wait for extended warm, dry weather.

That usually doesn't happen until July.
Northwest living isn't for everyone.
The sun is rare during our wet winters and spring,
but we have lovely summers and mild autumns
filled with beautiful sunshine.

I am especially looking forward to summer this year
after the shockwave of world events.
We plan to stay home and get a few projects done.
We are fortunate that we are able to do that
now that retirement is where we are at.

Every day I pray for those who can't,
the heroes who put their lives on the line,
and those that have lost their loved ones,
their livelihood, and their security.
My heart goes out to those that are alone
 and now isolated even further.

We are now living in a brave new world.

"It isn't for the moment you are struck that you need courage,
but for the long uphill climb back to sanity and faith and security."
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh-

"Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace."
-Amelia Earhart-

Thinking of you, Dear Friends.
Stay safe, be brave.

If you are unable to get my blog updates on your feed,
try deleting yourself from my 'followers' list and then re-follow.


  1. Dear Karen ~ thanks for this lovely, newsy update. Everything looks so good there, inside and out. You are always an inspiration. ~ Being alone is rough, I'm taking each day as it comes, thanking God for life and His many blessings. I'm so glad I have my flowers growing along with 'weeds'. Have had lots of rain lately, yesterday morning I awoke to a peachy colored sky, saw a rainbow, went out to take a picture and it had already faded and the sky turned gray again.

    Thanks for sharing your life and the encouraging words you give us ~ FlowerLady

  2. I love your post. We are in such difficult times. Sue, my best friend of 53 years, i going thru it all alone. Very difficult. We talk, text and email. I send her cards to cheer her, and had a growing yellow rose, teddy bear and balloon delivered. She said it touched her so much. Your bleeding heart is SO BIG! Never seen one that big before. Love your pics. We plan to stay secluded as well. We are in Oregon, not far away.

  3. It is a difficult, confusing time, indeed. Your deck is so beautiful...I hope you get some dry weather soon, so you can get outdoors. It always seems to clear my head a little. We hope to be moved in the next month, so are fixing, painting, etc. My brain, not to mention my body, is tired and we are ready to be done. Definitely has added to the stress of the time, but has given us purpose, as well. We have a grandchild due in a couple of weeks, so will probably be taking a break from all of this for a few days to babysit the older children. I just keep telling myself...this too shall pass.
    I hope thinkgs will start to normalize for all of us soon, but think it may be awhile...xo

  4. From Oregon, lovely blog as always with nice photos and wisely closen words.

  5. Greetings Karen, wow love the pictures and post. Happy Memorial Day to you and family. Can't wait for sun later this week. Love the yard.

    Hugs Diane

  6. It was lovely to see your post and catch up with your news.
    These are indeed strange times, and I look forward to when things start to normalise again.

    All the best Jan

  7. Always a pleasure stopping by...Gorgeous pictures!Your blog is adorable,cozy and inviting...Sweet as you!Hugs and blessings.

  8. These are troubling times. Your thoughtful post expresses well the many moods that are accompanying this strange springtime--and it has surely been a slow spring here in Kentucky. We can only continue in the small things of keeping home and garden, praying for others, waiting to see what happens next.
    Your schoolhouse ceiling light is a great addition to your cottage. You have a gift for creating warm and homey spaces.

  9. It is strange times that is for sure, my hubby has been able to work from home too so we feel very fortunate at this time, but I really feel for all those people that have lost their business, I wonder what things will be like once this is all over. So thankful for those that work in the gas stations, grocery stores, post office, delivery and truckers, not the least our health care workers that are putting themselves on the front lines every day. I love your rainbow of hope there. Your great craft of flowers with your grandkids to give to your daughter and the sweet picture they made you also. Your yard and deck are flowering so lovely. We have had an unusual amount of rain too lately but thankfully the last few days we have seen the sun too, so that has been wonderful! Hope you all stay well and get good rest :)

  10. Indeed this is a hard time for every human in this planet! We just pray for better days! This is a lovely post Karen! I love the food! The flowers created by your grandson are super cute! Love to see the white coats of the dogs! Your flowers are looking awesome! We finally planet the small vegetable garden and the flowers! Have a peaceful week!!

  11. It has been a difficult time for everyone and as you say so unexpected. My sister-in-law, aunt and dear mother died just before all this started, it has been an awful time but we are all pressing on, enjoying the sunshine while we wait to come out the other end. It's such a good job you are still able to see your little grandson and enjoy his fun and games and have such a handy husband making all these lovely things. Take care x

  12. Hello Karen,
    It is so nice to "hear" from you. Your words are calming, thoughtful and wise. I love seeing your deck and flowers, the pretty warbler, your sweet grandson and the cute furbabies. Your views are beautiful, love the rainbow and the mountains. Congrats to your hubby on his upcoming retirement. Sounds like your grandson is very creative, like you. The beach bag and egg carton flowers are wonderful. Thank you for visiting my blog. Take care, stay safe! Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy week ahead.

  13. Hi Karen, it's so nice to hear from you and that everything is good with you and your husband. I enjoyed reading your post and looking at the beautiful photos of the mountain and your home. Good luck with your husbands retirement. I hope you both enjoy spending a lot of time together. Thanks for the blog visit and take care and be safe.

  14. Karen, I always enjoy so much your posts. Your words, pictures and thoughts are always so meaningful and beautiful. I just love your spot in the world and we need to all see one of those rainbows more often than not..Stay well and safe, my friend..xxoJudy

  15. This post was filled with so many glorious productive things, such beauty and so much love, I was surprised when I got to the part when you said your mind was like Jello and you couldn't concentrate.So much beauty here -- I envy your garden and flower stash!

    It has been a hard time for us here -- well, not just us. The world. My own little world seems much the same. Home and fortunately, so far, healthy. I'm very careful. I have little desire to go out into the world. We did go to the cemetery over the weekend, which was quite quiet so it felt quite safe. And I take my walks. But other than that I'm quite content to be home. I do have trouble motivating myself to do something truly productive (like clean the basement or garage) but no trouble motivating myself to blog, paint or read. Or fuss with the seeds so slow to grow. I really feel deeply for those who have lost people or who are ill or are taking care of the sick, either in the hospital or home. I'm trying to get to feel comfortable with this, because I suspect it is our world for a rather long time.

  16. i do miss you when you are not blogging. i enjoy your posts, seeing inside your home and your gardens and deck as well. everything looks beautiful!!

    can i please tell you how much i LOVE wayfair!! i recently needed to update a few things in the home, everything came from wayfair!! the big item was the 5 throw rugs in my entry way and i just love what i picked!!!

    your views are so pretty karen, the rainbow and the mountains are so special!! i am doing well, enjoying the peace and quiet of life, time to do all of the little things!! i think when you have a lot of hobbies, enjoy decorating and gardening, it is easier to be at home!!

  17. Karen,
    Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind comment!! I was thrilled to see a new post from you as I love seeing what you are doing in your home, deck and garden. I repainted my baker's rack/potting stand this Spring, freshening it up. I remember it was you that gave me the idea to turn a Baker's Rack that my neighbor had into something for my back patio....It was in one of her spare bedrooms under tons of boxes when I was cleaning out her house for her sons..Love your new light fixture...I have said numerous times during all of this that being retired has enabled me to go through the last few months with very little change and anxiety...I simply continued doing what I had been doing for almost a month..enjoying my time at home...Looking forward to your next post!!

  18. Hello dear Karen

    what a beautiful sharing :)
    i felt like wandering in heaven believe me ,despite of all your mindlessness which i feel truly sorry for your home shines with divine love and care you give ti it :)
    how many people are there who can make there dream come true ,you are so blessed and so fortunate to have your splendid peaceful corner in this world and how magnificently you have managed and decorated it :)
    each glimpse reflect sublimity and light of your soul my friend !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i hope you feel better ,i would recommend you few basics steps of Yoga which increases one's focus and strengthen thoughts ,it worked for me and i am doing it since more than year now
    best of luck with sewing and gardening along with delicious looking baking ,your grandson is just three but how smart by the grace of lord ,these egg carton flower are gorgeous
    each image of your surroundings is enchanting dear Karen ,you are amazing photographer :)
    keep taking good care more blessing to you and precious family!

  19. Karen, the rainbow is beautiful, and what a gift that was for you to see. Your sewing room is a place of creativity and of peace during these troubling times. The schoolhouse light has a simple design and looks charming above your kitchen table. The finger painting and flowers are so precious from the little ones. Those look like white carnations, which I love. The homemade treats for Mother's Day look Yummy as ever, and it would be nice to have one with my coffee this morning. And I think that was so special of your grandson to use the scrabble letters and come up with the words, Merry Playtime..

    What a wonderful post, Karen, filled with so much love and hope and goodness.


  20. Dear Karen, I have been remiss on visiting and posting. Things just were getting too much for me and I needed some quiet time in my garden. Your post blessed me and I can hardly wait to try your pizza crust sweet rolls! xo Gina

  21. Hello dearest Karen 🌸
    I love when I have a post from you to catch up on. Your beautiful home, sweet way of sharing, and flowers, crafts, recipes always lift my spirits. Not to mention your beautiful family, including the furry ones. 😊 I am with you about not being able to concentrate. I can't focus on reading a real book anymore either. I took last week off, but posted this week and try to about once a week. But I have been working on Spring cleaning and trying not to feel too overwhelmed by life as well. I don't sleep well most of the time lately, either. I focus on prayer and keep faith and that helps. I do believe better days will be ahead. And I focus on the beautiful blessings of my kiddos. I got my fairy pots all done. ✅ I actually think of you whenever I work on them because of the fairy inspirations you've shared in the past inspired me to enjoy them each year...even beyond my Annie giving them up. Lol I shared photos on my latest post.I pray for peace and healing in our world soon, and that you stay healthy and safe. Have a blessed weekend ahead. 🙏 💜

  22. Lovely blog, lovely post and lovely pictures...
    Have a great weekend, take care!

  23. What a lovely post! It looks like you are spending your time wisely and making things more beautiful! Have a nice Sunday! Hugs!

  24. I love your home, it was such a wonderful welcoming vibe. This lockdown makes us appreciate home and garden all the more.


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

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