Wednesday, May 22, 2024

May Days

Hello, Dear Friends - the forget-me-not are blooming! 
I wait all year for this beautiful sea of blue. 
They pop up in unexpected places and it's always 
a sweet surprise to see where they will bloom. 

I have been encouraging the wildflowers to take over what was once 'the lawn'. 
Slowly but surely I am achieving this goal. 
Of course, they have to be deer-proof and rabbit-proof, too. 

I had some daffodils blooming here, too, and you can see the tall foliage left over. 

 The buttercup are starting to bloom now, too. 

It took some persuasion to keep The Mr. from mowing 
this area. 
He's the grim reaper as far as my plantings go, and I have to keep 
a good eye on him. He cut my 40-year-old wisteria recently and it died. 
We had some words...
After that, he has been a little more careful. 


The daffodils were pretty this year, and miraculously survived the frequent 
hail and wind. 
It has been unseasonably cool and gray, with the occasional warm, sunny day to keep 
the spirits up. 

Cleared garden area beside the playhouse with the mis-spelled 'Boys' sign. 
Done by 'the boys'. 

To make up for his transgression with the wisteria, he cleared and fenced 
a little garden in the back corner by the playhouse. 

I have seeded it with packets of 'deer-proof' wildflowers. 
At least that's what the seed company promises. 
We'll see...
I've already seen deer tracks inside. 

Ever since the neighbor complained
about the dogs barking, I haven't been able to keep my 'watchdogs' on duty
like before, and the deer have been very busy ravaging my gardens.
Deer and neighbors are very much alike. 
You love them and yet...

So, I have streamers of shiny bird-tape hanging all around, hoping 
it will spook some of them. The deer, anyway. 

Viburnum - highly scented blossoms on an attractive, small tree
with evergreen leaves. 

Beautiful, native pink current. Unfortunately, tasty for the deer, 
although the bird-tape has helped. 

Pink camellia. It's taken years for it to bloom. 

Spanish bluebells. These like shade and have spread
in my woodland garden on the far side of the house.
Must not be tasty, either.  

Another view of the woodland garden. Ferns and laurel under a large cedar. 

More forget-me-not with pink 'Herb Robert'.

Herb Robert, also known as 'stinky Bob' due to its
pungent scent when crushed, is an attractive 
biennial wildflower that spreads freely and 
particularly loves to inhabit my pots in any bare 
spot they can steal. I love them, and don't mind 
if they come to stay. The pretty leaves turn bright red
in autumn and they press beautifully. 

Bugle-weed holding its own amongst yellow archangel. 

Columbine. These re-seed and every year they display 
a different variety of blooms. 
Unfortunately, the deer do like these and ate some, 
even though they are right next to the house. 

More photos of the bugleweed with yellow wildflowers,
'large-leaved Avens'. 

Lilac. Fewer blooms this year. Will need to add some lime to the soil
for next year's blooms. We have very acidic soil here in Washington state. 
Camellia, hydrangea, rhododendron and azalea love it, but the
alkaline lovers need a little help. 

Another beautiful camellia. 
This one is very old - about 30 years. 

Growing near The Mr.'s workshop. 

I found this birdhouse at a local flea-market recently. 
The 'perch' is an old hammerhead. 

So far, no birdie families have moved in, but hopefully soon. 

Can you see the robin on top of the old playhouse? 
This is the view out my kitchen window. 

I've watched him sit watchfully with tasty tidbits 
in his mouth, making sure that no predators 
see him fly into his nest. 

I haven't discovered where the nest is yet, 
so I'm sure it is well camouflaged. 

On warm, sunny evenings, he sits high in the trees, 
singing a beautiful song. 

Yum! Lol! 

He's a handsome fellow. 

Another view out the window. 

Late in the afternoon the sunbeams find their way inside. 
This only happens starting in May, as the window is 
facing Northwest. 

Sunbeams also illuminate my laundry room window. 
It lasts for only a few precious moments, so I always stop 
to enjoy the pretty scene. 

View outside the laundry room. 
We live in a wild place. 

Now that we are inside, let me show you a few little 
projects I have completed. 

I sewed a slipcover for my settee'! 

This was a big project. 

It took weeks, doing it a bit at a time. 

I used a large, 9'x 12' canvas painter's tarp for the fabric, 
which I pre-washed a couple of times for 
any shrinkage.
I used quilting thread, as it is a bit stronger 
than regular thread. 

I've never made a slipcover before, so this was an adventure, 
and I was pleased with the result. 

All pieces are double sided with thin cotton quilt batting in between
for stability. 

I even made padded armrests with gathered ends, 
using Velcro and ties to hold it in place. 

It's nice that I can remove all of the pieces for laundering, too. 

I was considering replacing this piece due to the upholstery being so worn, 
but when I started pricing alternatives, I changed my mind! 
It is the perfect size for this small area, and I couldn't 
find anything appropriate. 
Then I saw a similar piece in a magazine that was slipcovered, 
and that gave me inspiration. 
You can see part of my DVD and CD collection stored underneath. 

A view of the back with my houseplant jungle against the windows. 
The scrolled metal screen tucked against the back of the settee'
gets used in front of the woodstove for safety
when the grand-kids visit in the winter. 

 We need easy access to the glass doors here. 

It's a small room and every square inch is carefully thought out. 
The large cabinet holds the television and electronics.
The doors slide back when opened and the television
slides out on a moveable, swiveling shelf. 

Most people mount their televisions on the wall or use a low cabinet 
these days, but I love being able to hide it, and the room 
benefits from the height of the cabinet, with its high ceiling.  

I am behind the loveseat sofa where my small desk 
for blogging is. So, while I am 'talking' to you, this is what I see. 
Usually, the television cabinet is open, and The Mr. is sitting on the sofa. 
With two dogs at our feet. 

I went to visit my daughter recently and brought her
the pretty potted rose and baked some lemon-blueberry squares. 
They were delicious and even the grand-boys loved them.
So easy, too!  

Lemon Blueberry Squares

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Grease an 8x8 square pan. 


1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup sugar 

2 eggs

1 tsp lemon extract

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1 Tbsp. flour (for blueberries)

confectioners' sugar for decoration.  

Mix sugar into melted butter. Add eggs and mix well. 
Add extract. 
Add flour, baking powder and salt. 
Mix together gently.
Toss blueberries in 1 Tbsp flour. 
Add to batter. 
Pour into prepared pan, spreading evenly. 
Bake about 25 minutes if using fresh berries, 
and 35 minutes for frozen. 
Cool completely and sift confectioner's sugar over top. 
Cut into squares. 



I was going through some old frames I had stored 

and came across this vintage screen. 

I thought it would look nice with some dried statice 

I had saved from a bouquet of flowers the Mr. gave me. 

Simple and sweet. 


It's perfect over my little crate of tiny, vintage bottles. 

I like how it looks next to my old hutch. 

This is how I had it before, so I think it is an improvement. 

I need to pack up my green pottery and clear the clutter. 
I'm trying to simplify and move towards neutral and rustic. 
At least that's my goal, although I keep finding pretty new things. 
What's a dish-loving gal supposed to do?

I found these pretty dishes at the flea-market, along with some etched 
glasses, the basket and a cookbook to add to my collections. 

I found the pizza board, too. 
Nice for a charcuterie board. 

More pretty dishes. 

The small plates were taped together and I bought them as a bundle. 
When I got home I was pleased to see they were Noritake. 

Sorry so blurry - my good camera that I use for low light 
stopped working. I ordered a new battery, but that didn't help. 
It makes me sad. 
I loved that camera, but it was getting old. 
I have another one, but it is mostly for outdoor photos. 
So, until I find a new one, indoor shots will not be as good. 

I've been having fun with my watercolor paints and did some tiny paintings 
as gifts on Mother's Day. 

For my daughter, Jennie, who loves Hawaii. 

For my daughter, Heather, who loves to garden. 

For my daughter-in-law, Erica, who loves Maui. 

For my daughter-in-law, Jen, who is a Cat Mom. 
This one reminds me of the trip we took together to Italy. 

And this one is a birthday gift to my Sis-in-law who lives in 
West Virginia and loves the 'country roads that take her home'. 

Clearly, I am an amateur, and the paintings are not my original 
design. They were copied from Pinterest, and you can view 
them on my page under the title, 'Watercolor', which 
will give credit to the original artists. 
You can find the link on my sidebar. 

I did have fun, though. One of my goals for my 'golden years'
was to take up watercolor painting. 

A photo of me, age 5, with my Mom and little sister.
The sun was in our eyes.  

Geez, my Mom has a cigarette in her hand, too! 
In those days people didn't realize how detrimental they were 
to your health! 

I don't have very many photos of me as a child, especially with my parents. 
My dad had an 8 mm movie camera and took many reels 
of us back then, rather than photos. 
I have no idea what happened to them all. 
I wish my parents were still here to tell me! 
I do have the camera, though. 
I have a collection of old cameras. 
I am adding to it with some of my own 'old cameras' now! 
I'll have to show you my collection in a future post. 


And here is the newest generation. 

My eldest grandson (in the middle) turned 9 recently. 

You can see he had lots of help celebrating! 

And the youngest, age 3. 
I asked to take his photo.
Too funny!  
The other 3 are all brothers, 2 of which are twins. 
I just love this crew. 
Watching them grow is so amazing. 
I am savoring every moment. 
In this modern age, there's plenty of photos, too. 

I will leave you with a view of the golden hills at sunset, 
behind my hedge of snowball trees. 


I hope you enjoy this Memorial Day weekend
Dear Friends. 

This poem, written in 1915 by Canadian artillery unit brigade
surgeon, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrea who noticed 
the bright-red poppies blooming on the war-torn fields 
where so many soldiers had lost their lives during WW1, 
commemorates the reason why we honor this day. 

When I was in 5th grade, I was chosen by my teacher to memorize and recite this poem
in my New England town square before the annual parade of Veterans. 
It touched my heart then and it still does now. 

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row, 
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below. 

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields. 

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from falling hands we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...