Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Of Gardens and Grandsons

A pretty surprise greeted me this morning as I was busy tending to my garden.  One "Double Delight" rose in full bloom under my hummingbird feeder.  

We've had so much rain this year that in many ways it feels like we're still waiting for summer to begin.  On the bright side I have never had a happier garden.  The perennial flowers and zinnias planted from seed are tall and healthy and blooming to beat the band.

 So far this summer we've had the boat out once and that was Memorial Day weekend.  When it seemed like the weather might cooperate, we decided to have a day on the lake this past Sunday.  We invited the kids over, prepared the food, charged up the batteries in the boat and . . .  the engine wouldn't turn over.
So there was no boating, but there was lots of loving on the baby boy.

It's been a long time since we've had a baby to love.
Please forgive me for being a bit sporadic in my blog visiting and commenting of late.  It's just that I'm spending a lot of my spare time getting to know the little guy.

Oh my, I had forgotten how soft they are.
I had him all to myself for a while on Sunday and found myself just gazing at those sweet little fingers and toes.  
Smitten?  Yes, guilty as charged.
I promise I'll be back down to earth by my next post.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

From Trash to Garden Treasure

 This morning I was going to tell you about something I found while out walking one day last year.  I was going to use this picture to show you where the walk began and then it occurred to me that this was just "so last month".  For that was when the Stella D'Oro daylilies were in bloom and the crepe myrtle trees had not yet bloomed.  
 Hold on, I'll be right back. . .

taken from my back door at 8:00 this morning.
Crepe myrtles in their glory, Stella D'Oro's past their prime.

 Anyhow, the story begins with a walk I took one day in the late Spring of 2012.
I started by going through the arbor gate which takes me to one of our neighborhood walking trails.  This is a rather short walk, but it takes me by the backyards of neighboring houses and I enjoy the chance to see what's growing in other people's gardens.
On this particular day I noticed a pile of plant trimmings that someone had dumped in one of the vacant lots.  In this pile I spied what looked like some type of daylily.  I could tell by the leaves and the tuberous root.  It was just laying there gasping for breath and I felt the need to try and save it.  So I came home and potted it up .

 Since then I've been watering it and snipping off the occasional brown leaf. 
This year in the late Spring I sprinkled a bit of time released fertilizer onto the soil.
 I've watched it grow taller and taller and multiply into five little plants.
About a month ago I watched the first bud begin to form.
I was feeling pretty sure it was going to be the yellow Stella D'Oro which is very common around here.
Yesterday my baby lily was born and I was pleasantly surprised to see this:

I'm not sure what this one is called. Anybody else out there know?
I do know that she is a beautiful (and free) addition to my garden.
So glad I decided to rescue her from the trash heap.

 " Good Things Come to Those Who Wait"


Friday, July 19, 2013

Baby Love

 Through my blogging years I've shared my love for vintage children's books, Christmas decor, angels, garden items, etc.
There is just something about the soft colors and sweet faces on these pieces that really speaks to me.  I suppose it's a reminder of simpler times.

 When I came across this print in a thrift shop a few years ago, my boys were 6 feet tall and grandchildren weren't on the horizon, yet the innocence of that chubby baby boy being closely guarded by the sweet pup... well... what can I say other than it found it's way home with me and has been stashed away in my "Grandma Hope Chest" ever since.

 Also in that hope chest is this little print.
When my boys were babies this hung in their nursery.
As you can see my love for precious baby prints goes back a long way :).

On occasion Brett would be with me when I stumbled upon one of my vintage treasures.  As was the case with the above print.  It is beautifully framed and matted by an art shop and was reduced to $5.  
When he looked at it I think he wondered if I was a bit off my rocker to be buying a mother/baby picture at this stage of my life.
When I looked at it I saw a precious baby (in adorable
yellow shoes ;-) surrounded by the protective arms of his loving mama with the faithful pup nearby.  I will admit the warm and cozy home out the window helped to seal the deal.
In this case I disregarded Brett's hesitation and considered it a most valuable addition to the hope chest.

I hoped that someday I would be blessed with a grandchild to hold in my arms and shower with unconditional love.
Through my years of blogging I have been taking mental notes from so many of you who are currently grandparents and fill that role so well.  

 And now, it is with a full and happy heart, that I announce the birth of my very first grandson.

Baby Jaxson
born June 10, 2013
7 lbs. 15 oz.
21.5 inches

Off to unpack that hope chest.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

In The Garden Today

The cone flowers responded favorably to our recent deluge of rain.
They are blooming profusely, much to the delight of the bees and butterflies.

 It felt so good to get reacquainted with my garden this morning.
Most everything has grown by leaps and bounds.
The tomato plants are at least 8 feet tall and . . .

loaded with promising tomatoes.
I have picked a few handfuls of cherry tomatoes already.  No pictures though as I've already eaten them.  There's just something about that first tomato of the season... still warm from the summer sun... yum!

The basil is coming along nicely.
Can't wait for that first batch of pesto.
Another summery taste that I love.

 There are all kinds of ways to begin the day.
My current favorite is a walk through the garden watching as the graceful butterflies glide in and amongst the flowers.  All the cares of the world just melt away... even if only for a short time.

 What's your favorite way to begin the day?


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Keeping Cool as a . . .

 you guessed it

 After all of my complaining about the rain, I'm pleased to report that the sun is shining and the cucumbers are growing.
My garden is very tiny (4 tomato plants, 4 cucumber vines and a variety of herbs).
I love the fresh scent and crisp texture of a fresh from the garden cuke. They are far superior to those squishy, wax covered things we find at the grocery stores most of the year.
 It will soon be too hot for my dill.  I think the only reason it's still going is due to all of the rain we've had.  I'll be sorry to see it go as it pairs so well with the cucumbers.

 Many years ago I was watching M*rtha St*wart and she was talking about adding cucumber slices to her water.  I made a mental note to try it some day.  It sounded very refreshing to me.  It's a bit embarassing to admit how long it's taken me to get around to actually doing it.  Egads, I can procrastinate on some of the simplest things.  Ha, I'll bet you can't relate to that.  I know my husband can't (as he reminds me often :).

Before I sign off, I want to extend a Great Big Thank You to all who came to visit by way of Vee's recent post.  Since you had to listen to me complain about the weather, I now offer you a consolation prize in the form of a pink hibiscus.  If you have a dog, I can also enlighten you with the fact that the flowers aren't toxic to your furry friend.  I got this info today straight from the vet who looked into it after I told him Peanut seems to have a taste for hibiscus flowers.  

Edited to add:

 ~ Moments after hitting Publish ~
Sigh ~~~
Off to get started on the ark now :/ 


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Change of Plans

   I don't mean to carry on about the rain, but...
that seems to be the topic of conversation around here lately.
In my last post I shared a picture I'd taken from the backdoor.
This morning I'm featuring scenes from the front door.
They have one thing in common
On the good side, the grass is green, the flowers are flourishing and the fountain is filled to the brim all thanks to Mother Nature.

I'm so glad I picked a few between raindrops.
They are adding a much needed bright spot to my kitchen table.
Our neighborhood had a full day of activities planned to celebrate Independence day, everything from a pet parade to fireworks.  They have officially been cancelled.  Our plans to have a family get together have been dashed as well, my sister-in-law is dealing with shingles, one son has to work a double shift tomorrow and the other son is going to be out of town.  
Last night Brett & I were discussing the fact that it would now be just the two of us and I suggested maybe we should tackle a long avoided project in the house.  He didn't seem overly thrilled with that idea.  Ha! Can't imagine why.  I did try to sweeten the deal by saying we could watch a movie and have a nice dinner afterwards.  
And, of course, there's always the fireworks on tv.  


Wishing you a Happy (& hopefully dry) Fourth of July.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Patriotic Touches on a Rainy Morning

It's raining . . . again!
  So far this summer has been unusually rainy.
It seems like every day there is a downpour.
I must say I haven't minded this break from lugging the hose around daily to water my plants and the garden is doing great with this steady watering.

 It's looking a bit iffy for outdoor plans on the 4th of July.
Our current plans include time on the lake, dinner from the grill, yard games and fireworks.  
Just in case it's a rain out and we're stuck inside, I think I'll spend some time today doing a little decorating.

 While cleaning up my photo folders this morning, I came across these from a few years ago and now I'm inspired to dig out a few patriotic pieces. 

If you're looking for a simple way to add a patriotic touch to your home, it doesn't get much easier than tossing some poker chips into a clear vase and popping in a few flags.

 Patriotic fruit is pretty simple too, not to mention tasty.
A win-win for sure!


Come rain or shine, we'll be ready to celebrate America's birthday.
Although, if it does rain, I hope it quits before the fireworks start.


Wishing my American readers a safe and happy
Fourth of July!!