Sunday, May 15, 2016

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ May 15, 2016

It's time for {phfr}!


I love watching the wildflowers emerge in the woods that surround our house.  There's always something new.  Right now, daisies and the darling blue but-unknown-to me flowers you see below are blooming.  Though I left most of them where they were so they can re-seed themselves, I picked a few for the kitchen windowsill.

Right now, allium are stealing the show in my flower garden.  They are beautiful, aren't they?  The blooms last and last and last.  I had some for the first time in our Illinois house, and I had to plant some here too because I love them so much.  These are bigger than softballs!

The bees love them too!


Since Elizabeth and her family moved nearby, I've been going to their house once a week to do a craft and/or fun activity with Arane and Verity.  They both look forward to it and so do I!  I used to be a preschool teacher, and it's fun to plan for that age once again, but it's even better when it's for my own grandkids.  Here they are painting "binoculars"~

~and playing balloon tennis.  That was a big hit!


One day last week, I began to notice a most unpleasant smell wafting in the windows at the back of the house.  I recognized it as the odor of something dead and decaying, and when it didn't go away, Dave heroically went out to look for the source.  Look what he found!

Poor thing!

Right up against our back porch!  Dave determined it was a coyote, which is completely plausible because we can hear them howling at night sometimes and the woods are right outside our back door.  He fearlessly dragged it into the woods far, far away from the house where it is free to stink as much as it wants.  I do feel a little bit sorry for the coyote, though!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ May 8, 2016

Chiming in with Like Mother, Like Daughter again this week . . .

My two delightful and thoughtful daughters got me an awesome gift for Mother's Day.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: The Illustrated Edition. Have you seen it?  It's wonderful!  I've looked at the first five chapters thoroughly and thumbed through the rest.  Jim Kay, the illustrator, has done an incredible job realizing the characters and places.  I'm interested in illustrators and their work, and I've often told my husband that if I were an artist, I'd be an illustrator.  Something about it fascinates me.  Here's an sample:

The Hut-on-the-Rock

The Sorting Hat

Platform 9 and 3/4

Two of my very favorites are this Renaissance inspired portrait of Prof. McGonagall

and this charming illustration of Hagrid's hut.  This makes me want to live there!

Reminds you of Hobbiton, eh?

These are all full-page or double-page illustrations, but there are also dozens of smaller ones inserted into the text.  I hope this edition is followed by illustrated editions of the rest of the series.  They are not cheap but so worth the money!  Thank you, Elizabeth and Hannah, for this wonderful gift!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ May 1, 2016

I'm joining Like Mother, Like Daughter for {phfr}.  

We've been engaged in lots of hospitality the past week, which is always rewarding.  Among other things, Elizabeth and her family were here yesterday for a bar-b-que.  Arane found my camera and started snapping pictures.  All the pictures this week are hers.


Arane did very well on this one!  Nice composition and angle.  These pansies, which she helped me plant in April, should last another month or so.


Oh, these pictures make me smile!  Those sweet little, pudgy little feet.  Absolutely adorable!


Then Arane walked around pointing the camera and saying, "Cheese!"  She had a little trouble keeping her fingers off the lens. . .


. . .and keeping things in focus.

There were also the inevitable headless shots.

But for a three-year-old, I think she did a great job!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ April 17, 2016

Joyous Good Shepherd Sunday!  We've had lots of {pretty} and {happy} around here this week.  Read on . . .


My {pretties} this week all revolve around springtime.  There is so much going on and so much to do in yard and gardens!  Today we planted tomatoes, peppers, and carrots (which should have been done sooner, alas).  More planting is to come, but we got a good start today.  I've also begun working with flowers.  I got these bee-yoo-ti-ful geraniums into their three barrels at the front of the house.  See, see?

The nursery where I buy my flowers has greenhouses upon greenhouses stuffed with fabulous plants.  My phone pic does not do it justice~

The view from the nursery parking lot is equally fabulous~

Again, phone pic.  The colors were more vivid in person.


Mid-week, I went with Elizabeth, Justin, and girls to the zoo.  I'm so {happy} that we can spend time together regularly now!

Arane and her daddy rode the carousel.

Justin, Arane, and Verity in front of the famous statue of Phil the Gorilla

Elizabeth and Arane



Dave is never {happy}-er than when he's piddling down by the pond, poking at a fire.

Visit Like Mother, Like Daughter for more {phfr}!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ April 10, 2016

Here I am, back with a full-fledged {phfr} post after going AWOL.  May I just take this opportunity to say that I'm loving having Elizabeth and her family nearby?  So much fun!


One of the fun things involved doing this cute craft with Arane last week.  We used these directions, though, really, a picture is all that is necessary.  The apple is cute, sure, but isn't Arane cuter? I ask you~

Sorry for the weird lighting!
Apparently, Arane really enjoyed making this.  Her mom says she talked about it all day!


Last week, I took both girls to the farm store to see the baby chicks.  They loved the chicks, which were awfully cute, I admit!  We followed it up with a donut as Baskin-Robbins.  I love Grandma time!


My 86-year-old mother, though still very spry for her age, has given up hosting holiday celebrations at her house.  So she's been distributing many of her holiday decorations among the family, and I fell heir to these cute ducks.  

This one is cheeky, don't you think?

Visit Like Mother, Like Daughter for more {phfr}!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ April 3, 2016

I did not mean to disappear for almost a month, and, alas, this week's post is being made in the utmost haste.  Next week I'll try to give a more complete update.  For now, let this suffice.


I planted these mini daffodils two falls ago in a place that can only be seen from a window at the back of the house.  I loved seeing them through that window!  Flowers strategically placed to enhance a view from inside make my happy!


My older daughter and her family have moved nearby!  This makes me extremely happy!  Instead of being ten and a half hours away, they are a half hour away. The busyness associated with that move is why I haven't posted for awhile.  More on that next week, but here's a picture of the girls with their Pobba by the pond.

That's all for now!  More next week!


Join Like Mother, Like Daughter for more {phfr}!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ March 6, 2016

Hello, all!  I'm a little short on pictures this week because I left my camera in another state.  I've been reduced to using Dave's phone camera, not that it makes that much difference with the quality of pictures I usually take, but still.  Nevertheless, here's my contribution to this week's {phfr} link-up.


We finally got these watercolors hung up!  Every stage went in fits and spurts (shop for frames and dither; buy the frames, wait a month to put the paintings in them; decide to have that room painted; wait for the painters to come~ you get the picture), but they are finally hung.  Our choice of locations was limited, what with all the windows and doors in this house, so we settled on this short hallway (hence the odd angles of the pics) as the only place big enough for all eight (barely big enough!).  I think Dave and I did a good job spacing them all evenly and nary a cross word passed between us.

These paintings have an interesting origin.  When Dave's mother was very young, her family went on vacation in the Virgin Islands only to have World War II break out in the meantime, making it impossible for them to get home.  So they stayed for two years.  Just like that~ two years in the Virgin Islands!  Both parents were artists, and Dave's grandfather, Luman P. Kelsey, painted these watercolors of local life.  These remind me of storybook illustrations and I'm convinced there is a story to go with them somewhere, just waiting to be born.

Here are a couple in detail~

Harvesting Sugar Cane

Wash Day

I'm thrilled Dave had such talented relatives, and I'm thrilled to finally have these on display!

{Happy} and {Funny}

Last week, we took a few Nigerian friends to see some sights in St. Louis, including the Gateway Arch and the fabulous zoo!

Photo credit: Dave

Elephants always look like they're smiling and having a good time!