Sunday, July 16, 2023

Well, I live on a Ridgetop

Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you are staying cool,
 as we arrive at what we commonly refer to as, 'the dog days of the summer'.
So many are suffering right now with extreme temperatures. 

Here in the foothills, the temperatures have been fairly moderate,
although we could use some rain.

I love the mornings, when the air 
is still cool and damp from the night before. 
This is when I like to water my flowers on the deck 
while sipping my morning coffee. 

I have an assortment of little creatures out there. 
Tree frogs, butterflies, and a little Junco nest
in one of my hanging baskets. 
I have to carefully water it along the edge
to keep the foliage from dying and revealing the nest. 
Luckily, the nest is built up with moss as a base, 
well above the soil. 
I try not to disturb her, as she is sitting on eggs. 

Oh, and our first 'June Bug' visit. 
This big guy was about 2 inches long and stayed put 
for 2 days on my sliding door screen, before flying off. 

If you bother them, they will rise up and hiss at you! 
I found that out when I accidentally bumped the screen. 

This is where he was hanging out. 

A fat brown tree frog lives in this planter 
during the day. 
At night he comes out and waits under the porch light
for insects. The June bug was a little too much, though. 

This is where I like to sit and drink my coffee.

 Or fruit smoothies. 

Banana, yogurt, spinach, and frozen fruit, 
usually blueberries. 
I also add some fresh fruit. 
Lately it's been peaches, or melon. 

In the mornings and evenings, the purple petunias 
and alyssum release their sweet scents. 

Cilantro blooms. 
Aren't they pretty? 
I'm hoping for seeds. 

Looking down I can see the St. John's Wort blooming.

I started this patch from one plant that was given to me 
by my sister.  
It is evergreen and looks pretty all year. 

Did you get to enjoy the full moon? 
Wasn't it spectacular? 
We watched it rise over the mountains 
for several nights. It was an awesome sight. 
It reminded me of how precious our planet is, 
and how grateful we all should be that Mother Earth 
puts up with us.

Although, like any good mother, she sometimes doesn't. 
When Mama ain't happy, nobody is. 

When we were young, and roughing it here on raw land, trying to 
build our home on a wish and a prayer, and almost giving up 
so many times...
This is why we stayed.

We are finally getting around to painting Ramblin' Man's workshop.
A well-deserved retirement gift to himself. 
Here it is all primed, taped and ready to go.

We chose chocolate brown to match the house. 

The trim will be a darker brown
and the doors a deep red. 

We've made a good start. 

I enjoy painting. 
It gives me a chance to do something productive, 
while letting my mind wander. 
It's actually a cheap form of therapy! 
I have solved many of my, and all the world's problems
 with a simple can of paint. Lol! 


Kai and Ricky keep vigil on the driveway. 
We are just out of sight to the right.
(You can see Kai's white 'lambie' toy on the ground.
He carries his toys everywhere.) 

They are a little too vigilant, though. 
Every now and then, they race up the driveway, 
all the way to the gate, just so they 
can furiously bark at some hapless 
delivery truck working the neighborhood. 

You wouldn't think that Ricky would be able to keep up with Kai, 
but those short, little legs manage to move quite quickly. 

Short legs also come in handy to hold onto treats
when you want to lie on your back. 


My first 'fall leaf'. I put it at the base of the cedar tree
near my 'heart' stone. 
It's a reminder that summer is brief and we need to make the most of it. 

You can see the color of the house here. 
And the deep red of the old playhouse. 
We try to keep all the outbuildings compatible. 

The old playhouse was built at the same time as the house, 
back in 1984, but it's falling apart and sadly needs to come down.

But not today...
Maybe not until next spring. 
We will put a picnic table in its place. 
It sits in a lovely grove of trees. 

Just beyond, my hydrangeas are blooming. 

They need a good trim this year.
I will write that down in my garden 'to do' list. 

I find that if I don't keep a list, I will end up doing everything
except what I originally planned to do. 


I enjoy the hydrangeas when looking out the library and loft windows. 

I planted bright tuberous begonias in the window box. 
It's very shady here - the north side of the house -
but surprisingly, these beauties love it. 

Beautiful blue. 

It took many years to get anything to grow 
in the front of the house. 
It sits in full shade. 
Very nice and cool in the summer, though. 

After trying all sorts of things that didn't survive, 
I finally settled for ivies, ferns and a few groundcovers,
 such as lamium (golden arch-angel), and periwinkle.

We have a high bank directly in front of the house 
secured with rocks we excavated from the building site. 

I have nurtured various ivies here and it is only recently 
that they have spread enough to cover the ground. 

I particularly like this variegated golden ivy. 
I also have another variegated ivy with white margins,
a small-leaf ivy, English ivy and one with heart-shaped leaves. 
I've planted some native ferns, too.

Some sweet wildflowers have started to grow, 
and I have had success with hellebore, so I will grow more of those.  

We call this stone on the corner...

The 'alien' stone. 

A view of the area looking towards the lawn. 

The walking stones need to be re-set. 
They've shifted from use. 
And the ivy needs to be cut from the small tree to the left. 

We didn't cut it because a robin made its nest in it! 
So we'll wait until fall. 

The door leads to my laundry room.

Don't you love freshly laundered summer linens? 
I love the color blue. It's so restful. 

I made the duvet cover out of sheets. 
It's reversible, with a different pattern on the other side. 

The vintage nightstand was the first piece of furniture 
I bought for the newly built house. 

My tapestry covered journal was a gift from my daughter.  

Ramblin' Man and I, when we were newlyweds. 
Full of dreams and so much in love. 

Inscription on the back of his senior class photo, 
spelling typo and all.

I recently found this photo
in a box of keepsakes that the Mr. found in the attic of the old shed.

How that box ended up there, I couldn't tell you! 
When I found the photo, I turned it over, looking for a date, 
and that's when I saw the inscription. 
It brought tears to my eyes. 

We just celebrated our 50th anniversary last fall. 
As time goes by...

It all went by much too fast. 

I love Angels. 

This tiny porcelain box holds a special keepsake. 

A sweet remembrance that belonged to someone precious. 

It's the little things that matter...

My cluttered vanity of sentimental things.  
No minimalist here. 

The sparkly belt buckle belonged to my Mother. 
I remember seeing her as a child, all dressed up to go out with my Father,
 wearing a black velvet, sleeveless top
with a matching belt that closed with the rhinestone buckle. 
She wore it over a deep blue, taffeta skirt,
and black velvet heels. 
I was about 11 years old and I thought that
she looked so beautiful with her long legs, 
jet black curls and flawless complexion.
Sadly, she never realized how beautiful she was. 

My painting table in front of the big window. 

I wish I could finish this painting. 
It is a paint by number, but it is so intricate 
and detailed that I need a magnifying 
lamp to even see it. So, it is very slow-going! 
You might be able to tell that it is a painting of 
blue canning jars with flowers. 

My daughters gave me this leather-bound paint journal 
for Mother's Day last year. 
I love the inscription. 

A painting I did. 
My first water-color. 

The journal has step-by-step instructions. 
The colors are not exact, but not bad for my first try,
don't you think? 

There is good light here for painting. 
The table is just to the right. 

I keep all of my art books in the little cupboard by Kai. 
I recently had to find new homes for all of my art books
and supplies, which I kept in my sons' former 
bedroom/turned arts and crafts room. 
We are redecorating the room for my grandsons, 
so all the arts and crafts had to go. 
Except for crayons. 

My eldest son, Gabe built the cabinet for me in a woodshop
class when he was in junior high school, so it is special to me. 

I wonder if schools offer classes like that anymore?

When I was in high school, there were full credit classes 
for cooking and sewing. That was in the early 70's. 
I took advantage of those classes for two full years. 

We were all little hippie girls learning to go 'back to the land'. 
Much like today, there was a real movement 
to homestead, farm and live off the land.
We were part of that. 

We had been through a lot, as a generation. 
The draft. The war. The protests. Kent state. 58,000 lost. 
The civil rights movement. 
The assassinations of President Kennedy, Robert Kennedy
and Martin Luther King. All live on television. 
Riots and bombings. The women's movement
and the changes to society within a span of 20 years. 
An oil embargo, a President impeached. 
The environmental and animal rights movement. 

Now it's two steps forward, one step back. 
Don't go back, you can never go back... 
We wanted to live Far from the Madding Crowd
Have you ever read this classic by Thomas Hardy? 
The link will take you to information about the 2015 movie adaptation.
There was an earlier movie made in 1967 with the beautiful actress, Julie Christie. 
That was the movie I remember. 

Even though I thought for sure that I would go to college
and become a veterinarian, something told me that I needed 
practical life skills, too. 
Life does have a way of not going exactly the way you planned, doesn't it?
I never made it to veterinary school, 
but the cooking and sewing skills came in so
handy while raising a family on a slim budget. 

Boxes and drawers hold supplies. 
The beautiful little chest of drawers has a complete art set inside. 
I found it in an antique shop for next to nothing, 
barely used. 

My collection of art books - mostly instruction and technique books,
with reference books that have beautiful illustrations. 
I have collected these books over many years, 
just for this time of my life.


My dressing corner. 
A comfy place to sit for a bit. 
It's also a handy place to throw clothes that need hanging. 
Do you hang your clothes right away 
or do you throw them over a chair for a while, like I do?

I have a little collection of Angel books. 
They are sweet and comforting. 

Favorite decorating and craft magazines
 in a thrift store rack that I painted a couple of years ago. 
Notice all the marked pages. Lol! 

Some of my collection of paintings against the rail. 

Summer shoes, bag and scarf ready to go. 
All the pretty boxes under the armoire, and the hat boxes,
  hold keepsakes. 
Mostly letters and cards. 
I need to organize everything by date, 
or possibly 'era'.  Haha! 
These are rare in this day and age, and I'm glad that I saved them. 

Before we ever had any idea that we would end up here, 
I was in love with this song. 
It really is a great jam. 
(Go ahead and click on the redirect)

These are the lyrics:

Well, I live on a ridgetop
And, Lord knows, I like it just fine
Where it's windy and foggy
And quiet most all the time

Yea, my lawn is pine needles
And my driveway is old funky dirt
And my front pathway markers
Are pieces of granite and chert

Now, my taxes are high
But I don't believe it's a sin
I've got one-hundred-foot pine trees
That just love to dance in the wind

And a yard full of bushes
That turn into pies in July
Between blue jays and hoot owls
I've got a twenty four hour singing sky

Now, when I built my house
I cut six trees to clear out the land
But there's thirty or more left
And you know that they're gonna stand

It's a squirrel sanctuary
They think this woods is their home
And as long as I'm here
I'll make sure people leave us alone

Yes, the hill that I live on is steep
And the road's full of ruts
And the people who live in the flatlands
Think we folks are nuts

But the ruts in my road and the curves
Keep the tourists at bay
And it's lonesome and peaceful
And you know I like it that way

Now I work in the city
I think my job is a gas
And I know it's good for me
to travel and get off my ass

But the nervous part of each trip
Is the Golden Gate Bridge
And the road like a snake
That will lead me back home to my ridge

Ah, I live on a ridgetop
And I like it that way. 

Thinking of you, Dear Friends and hoping that you find a cool, shady spot 
to relax with a delicious, fruity drink, preferably with a good book in hand.


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