Friday, July 3, 2020


Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you are enjoying 
 the sweet, simple pleasures of summer, 
as we quickly slide into the beautiful month of July.
Some of my favorite things this time of year are...
Lemonade and watermelon,
striped petunias and morning glories.
Nesting birds and baby bunnies. 
Summer dresses and sandals. 
Dipping toes and skipping rocks.

Garage sales, produce stands,
picnics and barbeques.  
Berry picking, wild roses, 
 hummingbirds and swallows.
Two scoop, ice-cream cones. 

Morning dew, beautiful sunsets and 
warm evenings full of stars. 

As the world spins rapidly in our quest to evolve,
 I hope that you are staying centered, 
 balanced, and focused on taking good care of yourself,
 those you love, and all of our shared humanity. 
We need each other. 

On rainy days I love to go upstairs to sew. 

I made this patriotic pillow from some 
vintage-looking tea-towels that I found 
during the Christmas season and had tucked away. 

My happy place.

I used vintage buttons from my stash in all different sizes. 

Thirteen - to represent the original colonies. 

My dear Father's side of the family has been 
here since the 1600's as part of the founding of our country.
They were simple farmers and merchants 
in New England. 
My Great-Grandfather rode for the pony express, 
and later ran a stage line that stopped at the original Toll House. 
He bought an 800 acre farm and sold his 
produce to local stores and at Faneuil Hall Marketplace
in Boston. My Father grew up on that farm
and remembers his Grandfather taking his little white dog
everywhere he went. It was a dog just like my two. 
My Great Grandmother was a tiny woman with flaming red hair. 
She bore 15 sons, all named after Presidents and who 
helped work the farm. 
My Father has memories of the huge farmhouse 
breakfasts she cooked with baked ham, sausage, 
fried potatoes, biscuits with gravy, and fruit pie. 
She made  meat and potato hand pies out of the previous day's 
leftovers and packed all the boys a hearty lunch.
Dinner was always soup or stew with bread or biscuits. 

I feel such admiration for their perseverance
as I imagine what sort of trials and tribulations 
they must have encountered along the way.
It gives me hope that we can all persevere, too. 

Every family has their own stories of 
struggle and hardship, success and happiness. 
It is so important to understand that we all 
share some common values, 
no matter where we are from, what we look like, 
what religion we are, or how much money we have. 

I think that we can all agree that
we want a better world for our 
children and grandchildren. 
My Grandmother and her sister, Laura, married brothers,
one of them my Grandfather.

How could the brothers resist two of the cutest 
little sisters in the county? 
My Grandmother was petite and sassy, with 
thick, black curls. 
My Grandfather was strawberry blonde, with a
kind heart and twinkly blue eyes. 
It was love at first sight. 

 My Grandfather asked his older brother, (who had a car)
 to drive him to court her, and well, 

The rest is history.....

I sewed the buttons onto the blue patch before 
sewing the pillow together. 

I used a small plate and a white crayon to mark the button placement. 

I was pleased with how it turned out. 
It's soft, but sturdy enough to withstand the grandchildren. 

Tea towels are the perfect size for a standard bed pillow. 

They make nice gift wrap, too! 

I still need to pot up these little evergreens. 
And paint the deck. 
I'm still waiting for the sun. 

Late afternoon during a small 'sun-break'. 

There's always something that needs to be done. 

Did I mention that my Ramblin' Man has officially retired? 
It's so nice to finally have him grounded, 
but at the same time, it is an adjustment for us both. 

We keep trying to walk through the same hallway
at the same time.
The hallway that's only wide enough for one.  
So other than always bumping into each other in dark hallways, 
we are doing o.k. and enjoying this time of our lives together. 

I planted succulents in my dear Mother's watering can
that she kept on her kitchen window-sill all during 
my childhood. 
This little Johnny-Jump-up was a sweet surprise. 

The fairy garden has grown wild this year. 
The fairies have gone into hiding 
from the little ones. 

Every once in a while I think I see one out of 
the corner of my eye....

 The foxglove tower over a stand of thimble-berry
along the edge of the lawn. 

A white one! I will harvest the seeds and see if I can grow more. 

Rumor has it that fairies hide in foxgloves. 

They are certainly magical and you can imagine 
all sorts of wonderful fairy tales with gardens full of foxglove.

They possess a very potent poison - digitalis - which 
is used for heart conditions and is toxic if ingested. 

Folklore also reveals that elderberry are 'fairy trees' and if you 
harm them, you risk the wrath of the fairies. 

These red elderberry are not edible for humans,
but the birds love them, including western tanagers and 
wild pigeons. 

Robins love these salmon berries and I've 
seen them try to hover like hummingbirds 
to pluck them off their spindly stems. 

Oregon grape are edible and were a staple of 
our native northwest peoples and are also a wildlife favorite. 

They have prickly, evergreen leaves 
and make lovely hedges. 
These line my driveway. 

The sun shining through the summer trees.
You can certainly imagine a few fairies living here :) 

A pretty, green moth on my window. 

A sweet Father's Day gift from the little ones. 

Pansies in the rain. 

The only evidence of the sun at the end of a stormy day. 
Snow still lingers in the higher foothills. 

A faint rainbow in a gray sky. 

A sign of hope despite the gloom. 

A rare sighting these days, of Mt. Rainier at sunrise. 
I captured this photo early one morning and when 
I came back with my coffee to enjoy the view, 
'The Mountain' was gone, hidden 
behind thick clouds for the rest of the day. 

I replaced the worn-out pansies with bright 
lantana and verbena. I found two 'black-eyed Susan'
vines, too. It took me 15 minutes to unwind them 
from their flat at the nursery. I was determined :)

I am craving a little brightness. 
Do you find that certain colors affect your mood? 

This year I am loving the colors coral and red to brighten up 
all the gray and green. 

The farm along my mountain road was just put up for sale. 
There were always horses in the pastures. 
I will miss them. 

Hopefully there will always be horses. 

Life is always changing, 
whether we want it to or not. 
We can't always know what lies ahead of us, 
but we can learn from the successes and mistakes of the past, 
and use the inspirational courage of our ancestors
 to guide us into the future. 

"Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, 
loves something and has lost something."
-H. Jackson Brown Jr., writer -

"You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you
never know how soon it will be too late."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson -


  1. Good Morning Karen. I liked hearing about all your favorite things this time of year, and a few of them I could relate to and love as well. The patriotic pillow and towels are charming. You did a great job making them. I love hearing stories about your ancestors and where they settled and what they did, farming, etc. You seem to have much knowledge about them, which is so nice. The copper watering can that belonged to your Mother is a treasure, love that. Oh, and the fairy garden is lovely as ever. Nel is creating one right now in her back yard for Mia, and she wants me to help her with it. I have collected items throughout the years in hopes that I can make one someday. I will be sure to tell her that the fairies hide in foxgloves. ; )

    Your coral flowers are such a pretty color. Such a sweet post today, and I hope you have many good July days ahead, Karen. Even though we are on opposite sides of the states, I feel very close to you. : )


  2. I loved your post today, full of inspirational things to brighten our days. It's a shame that the weather is so grey making Mt Rainier just when you could do with some sunshine but your garden is nevertheless full of beauty and your house is as pretty as ever. I wish you and your Ramblin' Man much happiness in your shared hallway, a lovely image, and a belated Happy 4th July. x

  3. Wow - so much to unpack in this post. I love all your favorite things too and I so agree with your "happy place"! So much eye candy and inspiration - I love it all ♥ Thanks for your sweet visit to my blog too.

  4. Karen, such a beautiful post as always. I always love seeing the beautiful sights around your mountain and your words that describe them. Today was a Great American story and I loved it. I will just say I loved it all as if I try to pick any one thing out, I know I would miss something. I will say that I remember thimbleberries on my grandparen't farm when I was little, walking the paths in the woods. Also, my grandmother and her sister married brothers too..Stay well and be safe. The first joys of retirement are the best..xxoJudy

  5. What a lovely post Karen, love reading about your family history and looking at all the fun pictures.

    Hugs Diane

  6. Reading this post was like a visit to a friend's house. It is wonderful that you have stories of family generations to share.
    I am so intrigued with foxgloves! I enjoy saving seeds for another season or potting up the tiny self-sown plants.
    My pansy planters were nearly done blooming when the raccoon upset them. I moved them to the greenhouse and now have dozens of baby pansies coming on for fall, way more than I will have room to set out.
    No sewing for me this summer as our son and his wife are living in our ground floor space while they renovate a cottage nearby.
    Retirement is indeed an adjustment!

  7. Karen, I love your post. Reading about your heritage was delightful though (with my bad eyes) I first thought I read your Great Grandmother had 45 sons instead of 15! Love your flowers and pillow and all your decor really. I agree that kindness really goes a long way. xoxo

  8. You have a rich family history and your patriotic pillow is very nice. Great post.

  9. Oh Karen, this must be one of your most wonderful posts. I leave my comment now and then I'll continue dreaming - admiring your flowers, landscapes, mountains and rainbows... and imagining the life of your ancestors, so fascinating.
    Stay safe and well! xx

  10. did you realize that all the things you love about summer, can be enjoyed even during this covid crisis?? i think that produce stands, fresh fruits and vegetables are one of my favorite things about summer....and one of the things i miss most in winter. i always enjoy seeing your holiday displays, this red, white and blue is especially pretty!! so the Ramblin' Man has retired, it is a little bit of an adjustment but i think you are going to love it. i have always enjoyed having the hubs around, he is great company and a really good travel partner, even if it is only a ride in the car!! and here's a little tip, google what to talk about when there is nothing to talk about!! you will find fun topics and great questions for those quiet car rides!! the deck and your flowers are looking so pretty, the mountain is gorgeous!!!

  11. Hi,dear Karen!Wonderful post as ever!Your blog is inspiring and adorable,it is a pleasure visiting you!

  12. Such a lovely post, fascinating to read about your family history.

    I did enjoy seeing all of your photographs, your deck looks lovely and wonderful views of Mount Rainier.

    Have a happy month of July.

    All the best Jan

  13. Hi Karen!
    I love your posts. Your beautiful home, your crafting, your lovely flowers and wonderful family. I love the charm of the poetic way you write. I adore hearing about your past ancestry with stories that read like a book. Maybe that should be your next project? 😉
    And I love the way you know fairy folk and nature. You're such a kindred spirit dear Friend. I'm so happy that your rambling man is home now and that you get more togetherness. Sending continued prayers for your health and safety and all of your family too. Blessings. 🙏

  14. Such a lovely post, Karen, so calm and welcoming, just like your home. The fairies in the foxgloves must be very happy at yours.

  15. Hello Karen, I've so enjoyed reading through your beautifully generous post. I love seeing your potted plants and those Johnny Jump Ups are so versatile whatever the weather... they're starting to peek through in our garden here in the middle of Winter! As always, your photos are lovely. Happy retirement with your man, even those bumps in the hallway can always be turned into a sweet exchange and I know you know that ;D) xx


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

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