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
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
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 -