So much busyness has transpired in the past month and all has been wonderful. My middle, Erica, and family arrived for a nice month long stay. I had been looking so forward to this visit for months and cleared out the house to put up numerous beds to accommodate everyone. 10 additional bodies in the house made for much busyness, but it made my heart so happy. I loved having a purpose and reason to cook and care for others! We took endless walks, exploring and enjoying the beauty of spring with all abloom. On the last week we headed off to the beach for a glorious week of seaside beauty. It was perfect the entire time with warm sunny days. I don’t believe anything is more lovely than the seaside!
When the time came for them to say goodby and return home, I was delighted to have this little sweetie stay on for an extended visit! My heart was indeed full!!
With the loves gone, except one, life settled back into routine. Daily walks, knitting, reading, and of course, the beginning of summer classes for my Phd studies.
I have been doing quite a bit of knitting of late and finished up numerous projects. I had enjoyed the sampler blanket I made for the upcoming new baby that I indulged in a wrap that was knit of a variety of sampler stitches. For the wrap I used all my own botanically dyed wools. I love the end results, it is so soft and cuddly, long enough to wrap numerous times around the neck or shoulders.
I also finished the little hooded sweater I had been working on for Mimi. It is just adorable and matches perfect with the little thrifted dress I found!
I finished up another pair of socks out of some leftover yarn. I always have a pair of socks on the needles as it is mindless knitting that is easy to pick up and go as needed.
Little Ava and I have been busy having our own adventures. One of the things the grands have always looked forward to with grandma is yard sales and thrifting. We have had the grandest time visiting various charity shops and the yard sales on the week-end. She has loaded up on toys, even finding an American Girl doll for a few dollars!! Oh what fun we are having! It is so lovely to have a little one around the house again!
We took a lovely trip south to Eugene and spent the most wonderful few days with my brother and sister. My brother continues to hold his own and has even improved as he continue to battle the end stages of amyloidosis. Time with his is precious and we enjoyed memories of our lives and delved into the deeper meaning of life. Anytime with my sister Sue is always fun and this time was no exception. We had a marvelous time! I treasure this time with my siblings.
The gardens are growing fabulously! My cottage garden improves each year. It is really quite remarkable as the majority of my plants are discounted from the big box stores. I watch the clearance section as it is an inexpensive way to get a large variety of plants for little investment. This peony was one such clearance plant last year and is absolutely gorgeous this year. Peonies are one of my favorite flowers!
I do splurge on the absolute must haves! I have added so many new plants already this year I can’t begin to count them. Slowly bit by bit the gardens are taking on a new life. The challenge of the back yard still remains, due to all the shade, but it is evolving into a lovely green paradise.
Currently we are busy redoing our deck as it had rotted beyond repair. I love playing in the dirt and soil and watching new shoots push up through the ground and the flowers put forth their blooms! There is really nothing quite like a garden as a balm for the soul against the chaos of the world.
Comes the day when the newest member of the family arrived. Precious Grayson made his debut loudly and safely. We couldn’t be happier to welcome this new sweet baby boy! I will be traveling down Sunday to welcome him and see the rest of the gang!
Oh my as I look back over this blog, I realize I started it back at the beginning of May! How time flies and gets away from me so easily. So very much has transpired in the month or so since I started typing, but all wonderful magical moments that will be tucked away to be retrieved and relived as life continues to march on.
Last week past was one of those most lovely weeks that will be stored away in my memories. My brother, Fred, who is fighting the good fight against the rotten amyloidosis, was to be in Pdx for a few nights along with my sister and niece. It was the perfect opportunity to go join them and spend a few days just being together. We had a marvelous time. Sis, Sue and niece, Rachelle and I did get in some fun shopping while Fred rested at the hotel. It was such a glorious time with no schedule other than just being together! The weather was beautiful and the time was so precious! Unfortunately I did not get any pictures, but my mind is full of memories and precious pictures of this time! My niece did so generously gift me some of her doll collection. Just look at these darlings! The Madame Alexander Little Women collection. I just love them! Three darling daughters, just like my own!
Back home and to routine. I just love my daily routine including the walks. My soul needs the daily dose of nature! The PNW puts on such show in the spring. The daffodils are thick; lovely lemon yellow with their little lacy heads pointed toward the sun. They are indeed one of my favorite flowers!
I just love all the oddities I see when out in my little patch of nature.
My sweet little girl is getting such a frosty face. How they both love the walks too! Sadly the walks have had to be shortened, Misha’s back leg is acting up again after the stem cell is long over and done. She is getting some rehab and we are cutting the walks back to a mile until she is better. I think this may be the new normal. It appears she did not tear her meniscus which would explain why the stem cell was not 100% successful, but I have read that often it takes two injections. Although I banked the cells, I prefer not to put her through that again and will stick with rehab for now.
Speaking of nature, I started reading Sharon Blackie’s The Enchanted Life and find it just so perfect for this point in my life. She discusses how our western culture leaves the gift of wonderment behind in our childhood and how destructive this is to ourselves, humanity, and the earth. Being a child of a huge imagination, this book resonates so deeply with me. In my 5th decade I began to shed the western views and re embrace my own sense of wonder and belief in the magical and mystical. It has coincided with a spiritual growth, as how can you truly believe in the spiritual without a sense of wonderment and mysticism?
I have been getting in quite a bit of knitting in the evenings. I discovered a new Brit mystery series, George Gently, and I am hooked. It is so nice to curl up in my oversized comfy chair, knitting in hand, and fall deep into the English countryside and a chilling mystery. I finished the sampler blanket and loved making it. All the different stitches kept it interesting and it simply flew off my needles! The picture is awful, it is so hard to get a good picture of some knitting projects…sigh…
Since I enjoyed playing with so many stitch patterns, I decided to dig out a sampler wrap pattern I had purchased some time back. I used my own botanically hand dyed yarns in DK weight and went to work. It is amazing how fast this is knitting up as well!
I have been waiting some time for the vaccine to open to my age group here in Oregon. When I heard it was coming I jumped onto the net and immediately booked an appointment at a local pharmacy. I got my Pfizer the first day of the opening! I did experience a bit of a reaction as I woke up in the night with chills and headache that continued through most of the next day with a general feeling of malaise. But I have the first shot down and honestly feel like I can breath again and can perhaps put all this behind me and get on with seeing all my girls and grands again. Next thing will be to book a flight to Ireland!! It really is such a huge relief!!
Well with March comes the slow return of YARDSALES!! Hurray!! On Fridays, I do a bit of driving around to scout for sales. I have happened to find a few here and there and found a few small treasures. This year is much more about a budget, so it is an added challenge and fun to see how far I can stretch $5.
I love this glass globe and it is a lovely addition to my collection. The stand has a multicolored light so that the globe can be illuminated.
I have quit collecting milk glass but when I saw this little beauty for a dime, I just had to bring it home.
Who doesn’t love a cathedral? I have such fond memories of visiting numerous on my trips and when I saw this beautiful vintage sketch of Reims Cathedral, well I couldn’t resist for .50.
I also got a few nice tops that I can wear as we transition into spring. Oh the joy of the hunt as the season begins again. Thrifting is one of my favorite past times!
Also while out I had to grab a few mugs that I saw. I just love the huge soup type mugs. I just seem to have a thing for mugs in general. I like the ones that just feel right in your hand. To me cosy is a warm mug of coffee or tea in a mug that fits in your hand like a glove, spreading warmth. Silly but just one of those peculiarities….
I recently moved one of my bird feeders to a spot directly in front of the window. Oh how I enjoy the little birds that come and feed each day. Have you all be noticing the birdsongs early in the morning as spring has sprung? It is one of those sounds that I never tire of and as lovely as any symphony.
I just cannot get enough nature at this time of year. Do you find the same feeling is driving you? I want the windows open and prefer to be outdoors. It is the perfect time also to start the deep cleaning, although I generally prefer most of that in the fall and winter as I prepare to hibernate indoors.
And now I must off and complete yet another assignment for this terms course. It is winding to the end and I have a paper to get busy on. I have thoroughly enjoyed this course on the Mythic Journey. Like I keep repeating, this PhD is the best gift I have ever given myself. Each new class is like Christmas and the joy of opening a new gift and discovering just how much you love that particular gift.
Once again I have seemed to let so much time slip away before sitting down once again to add to my blog stories. February left us with a little calling card. We were hit with an ice storm that was quite severe and caused much damage to the entire area, downed lines and trees. Although we had a branch come down through the roof and into the bedroom ceiling, we were luckier than many who had whole trees on their homes. Also we only had a 24 hour power loss with many having an outage for well over a week. All in all I felt quite lucky indeed.
As I lay in bed the night of the storm, I could hear trees and branches falling all around. The sound of transformers blowing was unnerving, but the sound of the branch (although it may look small) hitting the roof was quite terrifying as it shook the entire house. It was too dark out to see the extent of the damage, and in looking out the entire back yard was a mess of branches.
On my first walk following the storm, the extent of the damage was quite visible. My favorite little nature park was closed as the bridges into it were covered in branches and the park itself had numerous trees down covering the paths.
It was quite the mess. But neighbors were out helping neighbors clear the trees and the power company and city crews worked diligently and in a few weeks most of the damage was cleared and roads were opened again.
With that bit of excitement behind us, the weather took a beautiful turn with sunny days interspersed with some rain. The temps increased as the days grew longer and then March tiptoes in like a lamb. The walks have been glorious as the world begins waking up again. Yards and gardens are awash with purple crocus and stark white snow drops. The buds are fat on the bushes and the trees are beginning to green up. It is a joy to be out in nature when spring begins to bloom. I have been working to increase my walking mileage daily. Just being out in the sunshine, surrounded by a myriad vivid greenery makes my heart and soul sing! The dark days of winter are behind us and my body breathes a deep sigh of relief. This has been such a difficult year and, I am sure that many of you agree, fighting off the beast of despair and depression was often a daily chore. A chore made all that much more difficult with dark short cold days gnawing at our very souls.
March is my birthday month. Yet another year, boy they sure seem to go faster the older I get. But I had a lovely day and received some wonderful birthday mail.
This came all the way from Ireland and is scrumptious!!
Beautiful hand dyed and hand spun wool from the Irish Isles with a book on Aran sweaters. I just love Aran sweaters but have yet to attempt one. My mom made me the most beautiful one and it was passed down to my daughter and then to my granddaughter and is now tucked away for the next generation.
And this lovely chakra tree from sunny Cali. I have a special altar in my room and it holds all my dear sacred items. This chakra tree is just the perfect addition! I love the meaning of various stones and the belief in their power to facilitate healing. Everything on this altar is thrift finds except the tree and the rosary (it was a birthday gift last year from Ireland, my dear grandson bought if for me) and some of the crystals my sweet granddaughter gathered up from the wild Atlantic Irish beach and sent them to me.
I have been enjoying my latest knitting project immensely. The girls and I decided to do a knit along in January. But I was held up waiting on my yarn. We decided to do sampler blankets and I wanted a super wash as I was going to make my blanket for the newest baby on the way. I chose Lions brand Wool ease, a worsted weight, in their ivory color way. The pattern is The Little Snow blanket by Kay Jean Designs, a free pattern on Ravelry.
Terrible picture, but you get the idea. The different pattern stitches have been so fun to explore and yet all have been simple and easy. I love how it is knitting up and it will block out beautifully. I am just finishing up the last design portion and will finish off the boarder. I have been monogamous on this project with only a bit of a dip here and there knitting on my current sock project.
With March comes the possible beginning of yard sales! Oh how that makes me smile! I do love my weekly thrifting adventures. I must confess I have made a few trips to the local thrift stores and picked up a few treasures. Mainly some cashmere sweaters to ship over to Ireland. But I have also found a few books and a bit of decor for the other girls as well. With the downsizing of my own things, I now concentrate on finding treasures for my girls and grands. Oh how fun is the hunt!
The other week end, with the sun shining so brightly and the world abloom, I thought it was the perfect time to bring out a bit of Easter decor and brighten up the house a bit.
Not a great deal, but just enough to add some cheer and bring a smile.
I have been doing a great deal of reading lately. Little fiction, but many books on spirituality. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have been focusing greatly on increasing my spiritual life. This has coincided perfectly with my mind body PhD studies, as well, as my courses over the past year have been Spirituality and Health, Guided Imagery and Health, and now The Path of the Mythic Journey.
I find that Celtic Spirituality resonates so deeply within me. Newell’s book shares so beautifully the basis of Celtic Spirituality. At the core is the belief that God is present in all creation and can be found in the beauty of nature, that the innate goodness of God indwells within all humans as we are made in God’s image, and that God is neither exclusively male or female but instead both. Celtic Spirituality desired that the church be built upon the Apostle John’s teachings and beliefs. It viewed women as an important part of creation and that they held places in the teaching and sharing of God. They viewed the veil between life and death, heaven and earth, and what is seen and unseen, as thin and at times transparent. To them all was sacred and God was found in the mundane of daily life.
The book by Mirabai Starr, oh where do I begin! Everything about this book is amazing! I discovered Mirabai through a symposium on mysticism and fell in love with her energy, teaching, and just her very essence. I savored this book and took my time reading and rereading sections. I found myself referring to her and quoting her again and again in my current PhD course. Here is one quote that I now keep on my desk,
“Ever since you first tasted the elixir of nobodyness, in the midst of meditating or grieving, you have lost your hunger for sombodyness. Mainstream culture conditioned you to construct a persona and defend it with all your might. The endless self-improvement project, fueled by self-loathing and foiled by the realities of the human condition, has only reinforced the illusion that you are separate from your Source. But a combination of spiritual practice and tragic losses ended that game. You, for one, are relieved to surrender” (p. 61).
How I love this. So much is said in that one small paragraph that leads to deep inner healing and a breaking through as we surrender and shed the expectations of the material world we live in.
I also purchased some new books. This is an author that is new to me but her name kept coming up as I was deepening my spiritual journey. I have not yet started either book, but The Enchanted Life is next on my list.
Christine is another author that has been transformative in my spiritual growth. I chanced upon one of her books in one of the little libraries that dot our community. Oh My Goodness! If you want to engage in a personal retreat Christine offers a deeply rich and meaningful series of steps to deepening your spirituality and walk with God. An example of one such practice is her walking in prayfulness. She has taught me to fully utilize my daily walks as a means to deepen my own communication with God and seek the beauty that not only surrounds me, but dwells within. She breaks her books into weeks and offers exercises and practices for each week to fully engage in a closer walk with God. She also practices in the Celtic tradition. This is her newest book only just released. I am saving it to begin my next journey with her guidance in April.
The days they just slip by don’t they? I keep busy with my knitting, playing in the sewing room, reading, doing puzzles, and getting out for my daily walk. Add a bit of watching my favorite YouTube channels and British mysteries, and this retirement life is just the thing indeed. Soon the pandemic will be behind us and I will be on my way to visit all my children and grands. Oh how I await that day! I still have not had my vaccine as the list does not include me yet, but fingers crossed before mid April I will have that shot in the arm and a new life awaiting! Oh how the sunshine and beginning of spring brings such a renewed feeling of hope and wonderment!
Well it has been some time since I last blogged. Time just seemed to get away from me and I did have a bit of pandemic fatigue as I am sure you have or are experiencing as well. The fatigue that just makes you want to take to bed and hibernate it away. But must needs we have to carry on with the business and busyness of living. For me that is a great deal of the mundane and simple. Being alone with family all at such distance and now retired, my days are simple and slow. I do like slow sweet simple days however. But I do miss my children and grands dearly!
I have also been struggling with family health matters. My big brother was just put into hospice care. I shared some time back about the gene that 3 of my siblings have that causes amyloidosis, his was the worst case and is coming to its end. I did take a trip over to see him in spite of the Covid dragon blowing fire all about. I am so glad I did. There is so much that could be said about this, but the words just escape me as my heart feels the feelings.
My days are rather routine. I have my sweet rituals that add meaning; morning prayers, daily meditation, and lovely long walks. The doggies and I are now up to 3.5 to 3.7 miles daily. I remember back to the days when we were lucky to get in 2. I set a goal of 60 miles a month and blew past it in January. It is a bit more of a challenge to walk in the suburbs as the same ole same ole streets can get a bit tiring. Luckily we have so many open green spaces here. Those are my daily soul medicine as I need nature to thrive! However the rain can often turn them into bogs and I ended up slogging home one day after wandering into a boggy area and treading up to my ankles to get back out. That was a mess, but I had to laugh at myself for being so silly as to enter a boggy area after days of heavy rain.
I did chance upon a new organizer for 2021. An ad popped up on my IG for this lovely Dragontree planner. It was discounted 50% as the new year had passed. I debated about it for a week, but I just love a new journal and planner and finally took the bait. I am glad I did as I love it. It is nice and large and spiral bound. It is not a journal, but a planner. I enjoy filling it out daily as I plot and plan what I shall do at the end of this pandemic or when (if ever) I get a vaccine so I can resume travel. Isn’t the color of this planner just dreamy? I do love periwinkle!
I have since enjoyed exploring the Dragontree Apothecary site https://dragontreeapothecary.com It is a Portland based company and has a treasure trove of wonderful offerings. I have enjoyed a guided imagery offering and now use their Ayurveda Kapha oil blend. They offer an excellent video on full body self massage that is a perfect addition to my self care routine.
Do your communities have the facebook buy nothing groups? They are such a wonderful idea. I have been able to clear out so much stuff and find homes where it is needed or used through that group. I have also found things I need as well. When someone posted this set of books, I threw my name in and was the lucky recipient. What a fun old set of novels. They are the story of a young married couple and just easy pleasant reads, just what is needed right now. I love discovering a new author and book series, although these were written in the late 20s to 40s. Books of that era are always my favorites. I had to then pull my favorite Christopher Morley’s off the shelf and fall into the lovely stories of Parnassus on Wheels and The Haunted Bookstore. They were as delightful as the first time I read them! This was followed by one of my favorites, however more modern, The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher.
Other favorite activities have been jigsaw puzzles and knitting. I cast on another sweater for sweet little Mimi, a simple hooded cardigan. I am making it plenty big so it will fit her next fall. I finished up one of a pair of socks, I always have a pair of socks on the needles as I love the mindlessness of sock knitting, and I cast on a sampler baby blanket for the newest grand due in the summer. I am using an acrylic wool blend for the blanket as it needs to be easy care and washable. The cardigan is a pure wool and with proper care will last for generations.
As I like to watch a bit of TV while knitting, I look around for a new British series and fell upon Hattie Winthrop Detective. It is delightful. What is not to love about a woman of a certain age (my current age) determining to open up a detective agency and solving the most intriguing crimes across Britain. Delightful indeed! That and my favorite you tube channels give me a lot of enjoyable knitting time. I just marvel at the you tube variety. I have learned so much about so many things through watching these video blogs. I have my favorites who I never miss and chance upon new ones quite often.
One new thing I chanced upon in my you tube browsing is Miranda Esmonde-White and Essentrics workouts. Although this has been on PBS for years, I was never aware that it existed. Now it is my daily workout routine. I find that I do feel more fluid, less achy, and more flexible. It seems to be a mix of yoga, pilates, and dance. I was doing a simply daily kettlebell exercise, but I find this much more to my liking!
Today everything is thick with ice. Snow was the forecast, but we got freezing rain instead and the temperature at midday has still not risen above freezing. It is days like this that I am grateful to be retired and able to just cozy up at home with nowhere to go. So I am curled up in front of the fire, cuppa at hand, and knitting on my lap. This is indeed, as my grandma used to say, the life of Riley!
After my wonderful and so love filled visit with Becca and family, it was quite a let down that Erica had been exposed to Covid so that visit was cancelled. Imagine my delight when after a negative test and quarantine they arrived on my doorstep for a nice long visit! Oh how full was my heart! I have been so lonely for all girls and grands. I cannot even think of my loves tucked away in Ireland without crying. My heart hurts with missing them!
Oh to open my door to the whole bunch minus my Doodle who is busy at the Uni until break. We got busy and just moved furniture and made up 3 beds and had plenty of room to fit everyone! There was lots of game playing and puzzling! I was so wonderful to have the house overflowing with laughter and the busyness that a houseful of young ones can bring.
You never know what you will find in your pictures when you leave your phone with your silly grands!
Silly Lou! I just adore her sweet freckle face..lol.
All too soon Erica and grands were off back to their busy lives and my life returned to routine. But with both wonderful visits, I had many memories and the warm glow of love to keep my heart full.
With the house once again so quiet, I decided it was time to begin the sewing room purge. I have so much fabric and much I will never use. So I sorted through it and managed to empty one of the shelving units. I will destash all this fabric on IG after Christmas. I also decided I needed to move the cutting table. My reason for all this was to make more room for the next visit. If the cutting table could be folded during visits, it would open up a great amount of space. All that sorting and purging and I accomplished exactly what I set out to do. In the process of purging, I came across some yarn and decided to cast on a sweater rather than purge it. I also found this pattern for the cutest little hooded sweater. It has been knitting up so quickly and is a fun project.
I also cast on a pair of socks. I like to keep a pair of socks on the needles when I just need some mindless knitting. I like how these are turning out. I used some of my own hand dyed for the heel and will also use it on the toe.
Misha is healing quite well and we are able to return to daily walks (as rain allows), yet still not back to our usual 3 miles. I just love these walks as I find that I need daily doses of nature for my own wellbeing! On my last walk I took the time to focus on the little things.
The PNW is just filled with so many wonders and beauty. I love walking through the wild green tree filled areas. It makes my heart sing and fills my soul with wonder and joy.
Is everyone else enjoying the so sweet and sappy Christmas movies and all the wonderful Vlogmas videos on youtube? I just love when my favorites engage in vlogmas. I have been soaking up Voolenvine, Stitched with Mrs D., Hawthorne Cottage, Knitting Expat, and others here and there that catch my fancy. I get so much inspiration from the crafty/knitting vlogs! I admit tho that I just love all things Christmas. I have been engaging in a bit of baking and candy making….and eating too much of the results! I have been listening to Christmas music since October (Ok actually I listened to a bit in September) and the house is all aglow with twinkling lights. My advent wreath is up and my candles burning bright as I engage in the centuries old tradition of prayer and mindfulness of the reason for the season. The only change I would make to the holiday is to place it deeper in the dark long winter…perhaps mid January to break up the bleak dark days.
The advent gifts I did for the girls this year have been a huge hit! Every day they each open a small gift and it has been so fun to witness their joy and delight as they look forward to each days little token of love from home. It was quite a job to come up with 75 items and then wrap each one, but it was most certainly worth it. I am thinking next year I may do handmade items only such as ornament, socks, etc. Time will tell and I shall see…
The other day I got the sweetest happy mail! Louella always sends me the cutest handmade beauties! I have nearly an entire tree decorated with the little lovelies she has sent. I just love these. The stockings had treats for each of the doggies too! Just love happy mail!!
And now I must off and walk my sweet doggies. A small break in the rain means it is time to make the outdoor dash!
Hubby managed to garner some vacation time and we took off to Nevada. Becca and family had already had Covid so the MD agreed it was safe to visit. Oh how glorious! I had not seen baby Mimi since she was born and she is now turning a year. Becca also bought a new home and I had an entire car full of decor I had collected for her new home. It was so wonderful to see them! While there we decorated her house for Christmas, put together numerous Christmas puzzles, and just reveled in the blessing of being together!
How full my heart was. Seeing them and just being. Their new home is beautiful and all the pieces I took fit in just perfect. How fun to help decorate her new beautiful space!
We had planned on heading to Cali next, but my daughter’s workplace had a Covid exposure so that was a heartbreak…. So home it was for us.
Since being stuck at home, I am joining the growing group of others who have decided to decorate for Christmas early and excessively. In this year where we are separated from family and dealing with the fallout of an insane self appointed king and stress of Covid’s rising numbers, I am all about finding happiness where I can. Christmas makes me happy; the music, the decor, the smells, all the twinkling lights… So I did a bit more decorating than I have in the past decade. I used to go all out when the girls were home, putting up 5 trees and hanging bulbs from the ceiling. But when they left home I sent many of the decorations with them and scaled back. But this year it is time once again to surround myself with all the Christmas cheer that the decor brings.
It began with this gorgeous 9 foot tree that Becca sent home with me. I generally get a live tree, but with putting up decor so early that was not an option. I love how this turned out and I was able to use all my decorations!
Although Thanksgiving is still one week away, it is heartening to be surrounded by the joy of Christmas cheer. I now plan on getting a bit of Christmas sewing completed. All my gifts have been bought, boxed, and shipped or delivered. When you have family on distant shores, timeliness is of the essence. This year I did do something a bit different. Last year when I was seeing all the various knitting podcasters opening the advent yarn clubs they had joined, I thought well why not create advent gifts for my girls. We are all far apart and cannot spend Christmas together, so what better way to send a daily holiday love note than with a small personalized gift to open daily? So all through the year I was picking up little items here and there and tucking them away. It was quite a trick to gather, make, find 75 items…but I managed. I am so very excited for them to begin to open them. Another tradition that I revived from my mom this year is the Christmas pillowcase. I managed to sew 19 pillowcases, one for each child. These I wrapped up to be opened December 1st and used throughout every Christmas holiday season. My mom did this when I was young. I had the most wonderful pillowcase made in a Christmas novelty print. I looked so forward to it coming out every December 1st to be put on my pillow until the season was over. I believe it was the reason I had such wonderful and fanciful dreams as a child.
Once home, routine was again established. The daily walks were much shorter as Misha is still on walking restrictions due to her stem cell procedure. But she is doing better than we could have ever hoped for. For those of you who had not been following me, Misha had a partial ACL tear and after much research we determined to try the stem cell procedure. Initially it was grueling as the procedure requires two back to back general anesthesia sessions followed by keeping her immobile for a week. She ended up with a nasty rash or infection and needed antibiotics and she quite a bit of pain initially. Once she started to feel better the challenge became a bit harder, but we have managed to keep her from jumping and running. I put my bed on the floor so she can still sleep with me of course…… She was finally able to begin short walks just before we left for vacation. We are finally up to a mile walk this week. She does get 2x weekly hydrotherapy and laser therapy treatments as well. She was so darn excited when she was allowed to go outside for a walk, even if is was a short one! I just love that sweet frosty face!!
How I love the PNW and my daily dips into nature are critical to my overall wellbeing so I was delighted to get back out again with the doggies!! A practice I have added to my self care and spiritual growth tool box is walking the rounds. This is a Celtic practice that states “to walk sunwise (clockwise) means to walk in harmony with cosmic forces. The number of rounds varies, but generally you would walk either a single round, the sacred number of three rounds, or a full seven or twelve rounds, also holy numbers.” This is from Christine Valters Paintner’s book The Soul’s Slow Ripening: 12 Celtic Practices for Seeking the Sacred. Christine has a number of books available and I cannot recommend them highly enough!! I live near a beautiful green space surrounded by a flowing brook and a path that circles around this incredible beauty. Here is where I walk my rounds and focus on gratitude, offer prayers, soak up the beauty, or whatever my soul needs that particular day. In adding these daily practices, I feel a serenity that has long escaped me. I feel the blessing more readily flow as I am open, listening, and ready to accept my destiny, my lessons, my journey. In this troubling time this is priceless!
Although I am living in a suburban area, I still find snippets of nature here and there. Places of peace where one can restore the soul.
I am thoroughly enjoying my PhD studies this term. The current course I am engaged in is on guided imagery. This program has been transformative to my own personal growth; spiritually, emotionally, and physically. But then it is a mind body program so if it did not create some major upheavals and improved overall wellbeing it would be for naught wouldn’t it?! I believe that we get out whatever we put in so often to be true. I have been engaged in a deep spiritual journey over the past several months and soaking up so much learning as I grow deeper into understanding my own spiritual gifts and purpose. I have enjoyed and benefitted greatly from adding daily mediation and imagery practices, along with essential daily dips into nature.
And now dear friends, I must off and work on research for my current course. Some of my greatest moments of learning come from the research writing, but it is never fun nor is it easy!
Gosh it has been forever since I have sat down and written a blog. Oh so much has gone on since I last wrote. Let’s start with the fires. My beautiful Oregon joined the ranks of California and was burning vast acreage. We had fires all up and down the valley area and quite close to my community. So many lost their homes, but by the grace of God, very few lives were lost. We were smoked in for two weeks with hazardous air quality which meant we had to stay indoors with the house all closed up. It was a long two weeks. I have never experienced the impact of smoke and fires that close. The first day it was actually dark all day long, like night time dark, but with a red glow casts over all. It was so eery and unsettling… These photos were at 1pm. It was hard to capture the true darkness as my camera wanted to add light to all the pics, but it was like looking outside after dark…just so unsettling.
Thankfully the cooler weather and heavy rains moved in after a long long 2 weeks, and the fires were able to be contained. The main road over the mountain is still closed and will possibly remain so for some times as they still battle the fire and clear up the messes. I am ever so grateful for those who battle these fires! It was heartwarming to see our entire community come together. Since we were considered safe from fires, as we are surrounded by open areas, our fairgrounds became the Red Cross center and shelter for those who had to evacuate. So many people offered to go get livestock and keep them, so many offered food, necessities, clothing, shelter. It was so heartwarming especially in these times of so much hatred and division!
During the fires, the residential conference for my PhD program took place. It was virtual this year, so I was not quite sure what to expect. There were so many wonderful sessions being offered and I was able to have 5 glorious days of intense yet so uplifting, educational, and transformative engaged learning. I was so saddened to see it end. I wasn’t sure how the zoom sessions would work, but they were amazing and we even broke out into small groups with the technology. I always come away from that time of engaging with peers feeling so empowered and uplifted and this time was no different. I know I say it all the time, but I love this Mind Body Medicine program at Saybrook. It has been one of the best gifts I have ever given myself! It has honestly been transformative and brought such positive into my own life in so many ways!
With the cooler weather, the walks have been glorious! Nothing can compare to a PNW fall! I just love being out early in the morning before most of the neighborhood has awakened. There is a softness to the silence and the air is still heavy with the evening chill. I knew I needed to cherish these walks as soon my sweet Misha would be going in for stem cell procedure for her torn ACL which would mean weeks of inactivity.
Just look at that sweet frosty face. She is such a sweet girl and has my heart.
The day came and we scheduled our sweet little girl for her stem cell procedure. I had read very positive things about the procedure so felt it was the best choice. Poor little thing sure didn’t do well with the anesthetic and I spent two night sleeping on the floor next to her. But she finally came right round and started being herself once again. She is 1.5 weeks out and can only go out to potty. Her movement will be severely restricted for the first 4 weeks and restricted for 12. So far it is working out ok but she is sure wanting to play! My sweet little frosty faced girl I cannot wait til we can take walks again and she can run and play!
I have to admit that by mid September I got out the Halloween decorations and went to town with decorating. I figured what the heck why not. With the pandemic and the inability to see my darling grands and my girls, I need to do what brings me joy and so out came the decor. While going through the boxes I also sent off two boxes of decor to Ireland so that Christina and kids would have a bit of Halloween joy. When they moved they left most all their decor with me, so I am slowly getting it sent over to them bit by bit. Yes it is expensive to ship overseas, but it is priceless as the joy it brings!
I put out a few more things here and there and it is all quite festive! I adore the colors of Autumn and Halloween Decor!
I did a bit of thrifting the other day and found this set of beautiful Franciscan china for $8! I loved the soft lavender and decided to use these for myself as every day dinnerware. There is place setting for 8. I could not believe the price! But then no one wants china anymore so it is generally quite inexpensive.
Here is another little thrifty find that I just completed painting and distressing. It was an awful dark brown. I needed a bit more space for books as my library is expanding once again. I like to keep the books I am currently reading or using in my studies close by, and this is just the perfect little cabinet to do just that!
Where a great amount of my energy has been going is into continually purging, rearranging, and opening up more space for a cleaner look. First I painted all the furniture ivory, then I took two pieces out of the sectional so that I could have the windows open. I added curtains, sheers as the PNW is by nature darker so I need all the light I can get. I did have to bring the dog kennel back out for at least 4 -6 weeks while my little girl heals her leg. I am please with the progress so far of this area of the house!
I also have done more in my front room and dining area. I move my large hutch to a different wall and made a wall gallery of all the beautiful handiwork pieces I have made or collected. But that room is currently holding all the items I am taking to NV and CA so it is rather a mess so no photos at this time. My little home is just the right size for the two of us and I am happy with it as humble as it may be. I enjoy finding ways to repurpose what I have or find wonderful thrifted items. I find that less is becoming more and I prefer to fill my house with items of meaning in place of new mass produced disposable junk that seems to be the trend. No hobby lobby or dollar store for me!
Which brings me to a bit of a ponder that has been on my mind. I do like to keep this blog positive, but sometimes I feel the need to just share a thought or opinion. I love IG and I follow so many posts and I am hooked on YouTube and the wonderful marvelous channels of Fairyland Cottage, Bayoona, Hopalong Hollow, White Cottage Company, Daughter of Old, Stitched by Mrs D, The Elliot Homestead, Bealtaine Cottage, The Cottage Fairy, and of course Voolenvine which was the first YouTube channel I discovered and sent me down this rabbit hole. I think I listed my favorites, but I may have forgotten some. I use YouTube for meditating and for music, as well. I am drawn to the whole simple living movement and living a life of contentment while using less and living more mindfully. I love the beautiful images that so many of these wonderful young women capture on camera to bring joy and peace into my own home. Not long ago I discovered all the home decor accounts and stories on IG. While I enjoy seeing all these beautiful homes, I got tired of the constant pushing of merchandise by these people while preaching about Christ on the other. I found it extremely artificial and commercial. I get that is the basis for capitalism, but I just have always struggled with a marriage of capitalism and Christ. The two do not mix, they just absolutely do not. So I appreciate the accounts that are tools for teaching and sharing the beauty of life and nature. I appreciate those who have written books to share their talents and knowledge. But I do not care to have every single story be Jesus and swipe up to buy this gadget. And that dears is my little rant for what it’s worth…lol…
I do believe we are all taking a closer look at our homes as the pandemic has caused so many of us to be home a great deal more. Being that I am an introvert and have been a huge homebody my entire life and one with so many hobbies and crafts that I could never complete them in one lifetime, the adjustment was not hard. Missing my girls and grands has been hard! But I realize how blessed I am in all that I have when so many have so little at this time. I believe that it really is about living a life of gratitude, but it took me decades to get to the point I am now at. We all have our own journeys to travel (why although it irritates me the accounts I ranted about above, I realize they are also on their journey and learning and growing). And with that I will close this as I must off to complete my current school assignment.
Be kind and gentle to yourself and others, stay safe, and savor each day!
Oh how I love Autumn, so when September rolls around I am always energized and excited! It means the beginning of cooler weather, the smell of wood smoke in the air, beautiful jewel toned forests, paths strewn with crunchy with leaves, cool soothing rains, and the beginning of the holiday season. Although the days are still hot around here, in the early morning you can feel the change in that air!
I have been ever so busy doing a bit of this and that. Still painting bits and pieces, plus candle and salve making, along with harvesting a very small garden bounty. I finally got around to painting my table top. It looks so much brighter!
I found two cute little cabinet/drawer pieces while thrifting and decided the one would make the cutest ever mug holder on my coffee bar. It does have a glass piece for the door which I have not yet put back on. It is just the cutest and has so many possible uses. For now it will stay right here.
The other little drawer piece is just perfect to hold my oils that I use most often in my diffuser.
I have been hooked on the Oui French style yogurt. The maple flavor is amazing and these little containers….oh my. I felt they were just the thing for soy candles. So down that rabbit hole I jumped with both feet. The first ones I used essential oils, but they take so much and the smell is just a hint. So I decided to order essential fragrances in fall scents and made up a batch of pumpkin spice. It smells lovely. The candles are just the right size to add bits of mood lighting here and there. I ordered the supplies off Amazon and opted for soy over wax. I prefer the way it burns and the clean-up is so much easier when pouring the wax. I just love placing these all over the house to create a cozy warm ambiance.
The salves were so fun to make up. I used beeswax, coconut oil, and shea butter then added frankincense and cinnamon. It made up a lovely rich and wonderful smelling cute little bar. I just love the bee mold and think it just adds the perfect touch. I also made up some chest rub with eucalyptus and peppermint. Such a fun and easy project it is to make up salves and the scent combinations are endless! BTW: isn’t this hand just the cats meow? I found it out thrifting one day and just had to bring it home.
As usual the zucchini crop was larger than could be easily used so I whipped up my sister Sue’s recipe for pineapple zucchini bread. The addition of pineapple just adds so much moisture and taste. It so yummy.
Before the month of August drew to an end we did manage to get out and do some berry picking. The blackberries grow wild and sweet all over and just there for the taking. They are a bit smaller this year but oh so sweet. I froze most of them and will make up a batch of jam when the mood strikes.
I did a tiny bit of rearranging, I moved my desk into the spare room. I really like it in there and like that it opens up the bay window area to create this cozy little sitting area and I love how I can display Grandma’s lovely lamp along with one of my mom’s baskets in that area. When I was growing up, this lamp was always on a round table and generally in the window as it is once again. Is there anything more enjoyable than moving things around and creating cozy corners? I have been slowing paring down to just the things that I truly love and bring me joy as I look upon them.
On one of my yard sale excursions, I happened upon some frames. I turned a few into bulletin and chalk boards, but just loved the effect I was able to create with these by framing these sweet little prints that I adore.
This little honey pot was another little bit I found. I just love toast with jam and there is just something special about serving it from such a cute little pot. Currently it holds my home made raspberry and strawberry/rhubarb. Just so yummy! Add this to my homemade bread, a strong cup of coffee, and it is just the perfect morning start!
Our St. Vinnies finally reopened and I made a quick visit and found this beautiful cross stitch Christmas piece. It was under $5 and I think it will be darling layered on my mantle with my Christmas villages. The colors are just so soft and sweet. I also picked up Martha Stewarts Christmas Cookbook for $1. It will make its way to Ireland I am sure.
I also found a few cute stools. I need to refinish but they are cute just stacked in a corner for now. The sweet vase on top was gifted to me and I think she is precious. I keep it filled with all my crystals and pretty rocks.
Oh my, I know fall is here when this appears on my grocer shelves! I am not a big imbiber of alcoholic beverages, but I love these pumpkin ales. I love dark stout and the coffee one is just the bomb. This brand is by far my favorite! YUMMM!!
And now I am off to do a bit of repotting and moving of my plants. Now that the veggies are nearly done, I am moving my herbs to the front beds. I also have a myriad of hollyhocks to get put into the front cottage bed. I am forever moving plants around to find just the right spot. I often will initially put them in large pots until I can decide for sure exactly where I want them. I love the versatility that pots allow me in rearranging and finding just the perfect spot. It helps that I have managed to find some of the jumbo sized pots ($30-$50 full priced) second hand for $5 and less!!
Take care all, keep safe, wear your mask, and generate love and goodwill wherever you may go!
With the hot weather driving me inside, I have been a whirlwind of busy busy. Painting the table and chairs ivory really set me off on a painting frenzy. The ivory just made such a difference and opened up the area making it appear brighter and larger. Sooo I just couldn’t take the duck egg blue for a minute longer and did this…
So much nicer! Of course then I was off to go through and organize about everything in the house. I have made a great amount of headway and several trips to the charity shop. Oh and I am still so in love with my Sunny spin bike. It am slowly increasing in intensity and distance and just enjoy it so much.
Remember the coffee bar that I only just completed? Well I just couldn’t live with that either. I didn’t really care for the style and, although I love that color, I am just liking everything ivory. So when I was clearing out the spare room to paint it, I came upon this shelf and with a bit of paint it became this…
I love how I can display some of my treasures and recent finds on this shelf. Eventually I will find just the right cabinet for this space, but for now I am happy with this set up.
I also did a few small projects and have more lined up. This frame was a dark brown and just ugly. A bit of paint brightened it right up!
I found this little cutie at the thrift shop and it was the most awful beige. I love how it turned out and just stuck a favorite quote in until I find just the right picture.
I will post pictures of the guest room next post. It was the most awful dark tan color and is now ivory. I put my desk in that room and added my collection of large antique frames on the wall for a simple yet elegant look. I had been wanting to get my desk out of the front room for a bit as it is always so very cluttered and I prefer to be able to close the door on the clutter and mess.
In all my sorting and clearing out, I also decided it was time to organize my huge button collection. My mom gave me a ton of buttons before she passed away and I have just left them sitting in a tote as I couldn’t bear to go through them. Well I finally got them out and spread all over the dining table as I sort through them. It is bittersweet, as so many we bought together years ago when my girls were little. Oh the fun we had with all our sewing and crafting. One memory so dear is when Erica my second was born and mother came to stay as she did with each of my babies. We decided to organize all our lace and wind it on cards we made from cardboard. I still have so much of that lace and still on those cardboard spools. Oh how I miss her and those days…..
My plan with so many many buttons is to make up button tins for my girls and sisters. I spent many hours as a child playing in mother’s button tin; sorting by like kind, color, or size.
In all my sorting, painting, and clearing out, I have gotten in a small bit of sewing. Christina, my eldest in Ireland, had asked if I would make them masks. So I watched youtubes and hunted down the best possible pattern. I did my first one for the hubby using an old cotton bandana at his request. I used the Jesse pattern, designed by an engineer and custom fit to your face size and shape. It will be a fun way to use of some of the wonderful novelty fabrics I have been collecting.
I have also been very slowly working on naughty bags for the Stitches Plus Purls etsy shop. I have been quite the snail in getting around to finishing the bags. But I did get quite burned out with making so many, so had determined to just work on them as the mood hit. I do adore this naughty fabric from Spoonflower. I am making us some bags with just the fabric and then used the leftovers to cut out saying and combine them with the ghastlies by Alexander Henry (the ghastlies with naughty sayings is the trademark of our bags).
I am a huge fan of numerous IG decorating accounts and YouTube channels. I just find so many amazing ideas and inspirations for my own home and crafty ideas. One of my favorite that I discovered quite some time ago is Shaye Elliot and The Elliot Homestead. I even have a few of her books. Well she just shared a way to preserve all those extra herbs (besides drying) and that is making herb salts. So I was off down that rabbit hole…
It is such a simple project and what a great way to add some additional favor to your meals. I made up a batch with sea salt and sage, rosemary, thyme, majoram, chives, garlic, and bay. Then I made a batch with just basil and garlic in pink himalyan salt. The house has smelled glorious while the salts have been drying. To make this you simply put salt into your food processor and then add your fresh herbs and garlic. Blend, let dry, and put into containers. I will be sharing these with all the girls.
I have a bit of a rant……I mail a lot of packages. I am a huge fan of sending care packages and don’t mind the postage, even to send off to Ireland. I feel the value of the care package is priceless. I have been collecting things for Becca’s first new home they recently purchased and with covid knew there would be not trips so packed it all up. Well it was 5 large boxes. I decided it would be easier to send UPS instead of dragging it all into my local PO. Now I only use the USPS as it is cheaper and trustworthy. But I decided to give UPS a try. NEVER AGAIN! The boxes arrived in short time but with 4 broken items. Now mind you I ship to Ireland as well as different areas of the USA and never ever has my USPS broken a thing. In fact I have often been a bit sloppy with my packing of fragile stuff and still no breakage. After this experience and sharing it, I heard that UPS is notorious for breakage and rough handling of boxes. Although the USPS is having a bit of a rough time right now with that new dasterdly head (please just kick him to the curb ASAP) and mail is slower, I still trust them. They are less expensive and a can trust my items (if I pack them correctly) will arrive in one piece not pieces! Just my little rant. I was so disappointed when she opened the boxes and not just one but 4 items were broken!! One was even a heavy candlestick. That box had to have been thrown or dropped from high. UPS you will not be getting my business again!!
Since my last PhD class on spirituality and health, I have really been looking for ways to expand spirituality into my daily life and live a life in which all things are sacred, especially the mundane, as after all that is what life is made up of. When the girls were young we celebrated all the holy days and seasonal changes. I wanted to incorporate that back into my life and ordered several books to that purpose. The one that I absolutely love and use daily is this book…
The author breaks the year into months and highlights all the days to celebrate and ideas for celebrations. But what I absolutely love is the prayers she has written for each month. They are so very beautiful and I say them outloud daily as they are like music in their beauty!
Each day focuses on a different thing. This particular Friday is Cherishing, but it can be water, harvest, thanksgiving etc. I just love this book and can’t say enough praise about it! That along with daily meditation, walking, using my spin bike, and reading other edifying books has honestly been a game changer. And boy howdy have I needed that as my youngest, Becca, and her family are battling the covid…. So far away, so sick, and it is just so scary and worrisome. Two weeks in and most are recovered except my daughter. I would sure appreciate prayers!! It is some scary stuff for sure that dastardly covid!
On the topic of spirituality, I have been finding feathers on so many of my walks. Feathers are a symbol of angels being near and a sign to know you are not alone. Look at these beauties! All so different.
I just love birds and do all I can to attract them into my yard. The last few times I have been sewing the tree outside my window has held a baby Robin just learning to try its wings and a hummingbird just hanging out. The are deep in the tree but I have the perfect view out the window and yet it does not disturb them. Such a joy and treat to watch!
And now, being Friday I must ready to head out and stalk the yard sales. But first to share one of my little finds that I kept for myself. Isn’t old shoe shine kit this just the cutest to hold my gardening implements right by my front door? The antique doll bed was also a find that was being tossed and just given to me!
Summer has hit swiftly with the temps soaring into the 90s and above. Walks now must take place in the early dawn to avoid the heat. Being a morning person, I do not mind heading out before much of the world is awake. I like the quiet stillness that surrounds the neighborhood.
With the heat here driving me inside, I have just been busy as ever as I continue to clear out, rearrange, and refurb the house. The biggest project this week was making a sweet little coffee bar. I happened upon this old microwave cart for pennies and thought it would do just fine. Although I do eventually want to find a little chippy cabinet. The color I chose was curry. Ever since I saw a You Tube tutorial on chalk paint in which the color curry was used, I have been dreaming of painting a coffee bar in that tone. I was a bit unsure, and still think perhaps I will evenutally go ivory, but I am enjoying the pop of color. I still need to find knobs for the doors. But overall, I am happy with it. It is nice having a dedicated space just for my coffee fixins. Plus the cupboard area provides extra storage.
Oh those darn tiles with the white grout….yet again I was down on my hands and knees with a scrub brush cleaning them. With two dogs and the traffic in and out the back, the grout just gets nasty. So periodically I have to get down and go at it. But when it is done it just seems to brighten up the entire space. I am pretty much finished with the kitchen breakfast nook clearing out, cleaning up, refurb. The last chore is to touch up the paint on the cabinets and respray the pulls and knobs. Yet, I am sure when that is done I will find more bits to change around.
When shopping I happened to see fresh rhubarb so grabbed a few stalks and came home to whip up some strawberry rhubarb jam. It is so yummy! I had left over rhubarb so also made up a batch of my sisters wonderful rhubarb bars! Oh how I love those and have not made them in years. It made quite a large batch, but I am confident we can eat them all…
I have been out and doing quite a bit of thrifting and yard sales. I am always scouting for items for the girls houses, and of course for the grands. I made quite the haul of decor for Becca’s new home. I did find a few treasures for myself as well.
My mom had these salt and pepper and we used them forever. So when I saw them I just could not resist grabbing them. Although since I use kosher salt these actually won’t work, but I bet my sister would love them also!
My older sister has the sweetest traditional old farm house filled with antique and vintage treasures. When I see things she would like I can’t resist getting them to add to her collections. She especially loves old cookbooks, so when I saw this I knew she had to have it.
Now isn’t that just so clever and cute? It hangs on the wall and is that lovely depression era greeen. I think it is just the cutest thing ever!
I have been resisting adding anything to my own collections, but at .10 I had to add this darling red transferware piece. I use it as a yarn bowl.
I also found the perfect frame of a piece of needlepoint I picked up quite some time back. I just love needlepoint and pick up little bits whenever I find them.
I so enjoy finding little treasures for myself and others. I know my girls just love that I am such a dedicated thrifter. Many times through the years they have shopped my house to decorate their own as they set up their own homes or changed decor. Now my eldest granddaughter is doing the same as she sets up her first college apartment. It does give me such joy. I also send regular care packages and this is one way of adding thoughtful little gifts to brighten their days and shorten the miles between us.
I did receive several happy mail packages this week! The first is from my sweet granddaughter Emmy. She asked her mom for an envelope and stamp and this is what I received! Never mind that the money was her brother’s toothfairy money… That Emmy is something else. But it is all so very very sweet and I love it all!
When I lasted visited Erica I had purchased some soap by the Indigo Wild company. Their Zum bars are honestly the best soap I have ever used and the Frankincense and Myrrh bars are beyond yummy. Mine was used up a bit ago and I finally sat down and ordered up some new bars. Imagine my surprise when the box arrived filled with free goodies! OMG!! And the lovely lovely smell, it has my entire house smelling delightful! I am so excited to try the laundry soap! And look at the two sample bags/boxes of all their soaps! OH I am in soapy heaven!! What I love about this soap is that it lathers up amazingly and then leave you squeaky clean but not dried out. It is such a lovely product!! It has given my entire house a lovely smell.
I also rather gave up on trying to keep up with knitting enough dishcloths as they wear out so quickly (we are famous for cutting into them when cleaning knives). I had been reading so much about Swedish dish clothes and ordered some up. Oh they are lovely and look at these darling designs! I am a total convert. I love how absorbent they are.
The gardens are all doing very well and I have a nice little harvest. The tomatoes are slowly coming on and are so very delicious. The flowers are all abloom and filled with busy bees. I will make many changes in my veg beds next year however. I didn’t stake my beans right and they overshadowed my other plants. I also just didn’t put in enough lettuce, spinach, and chard. But gardens are always a work in progress. I love the way my little cottage garden is shaping up and I think nasturtiums may just be my newest favorite annual. They make great ground coverage while you are slowly building up your perennials.
And now I must off to get the gardens watered before our heat hits. I am not a hot weather gal and prefer to stay in the nice cool house until the heat of summer passes into fall.