Sunday, June 26, 2016

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ June 26, 2016

Hi, all!  Last week Leila at Like Mother, Like Daughter suggested we share about our gardening efforts, but I was on the road and missed it, alas.  So I'm going to talk gardening this week and tell about our road trip (big happenings there!) next week.  Here goes . . .

{Pretty} and {Happy}

I'm going to share close-ups of some of my favorites from the flower garden because evidently I don't know the first thing about taking pictures of gardens.  All the photos are washed out and boring.  But lookee at these daisies!  It's a perennial I planted last year and got two blooms from.  This year the plant came back gangbusters and has produced dozens of blooms!

Another perennial from last year that has done wonderfully well this year are these dahlias.  So beautiful!

I planted three barrels of these gorgeous, delicately colored geraniums and they are stunning and they bloom profusely!

In addition, the zinnias have just started to bloom, the lavender from last year is doing very well, and the annuals I planted to fill in holes are also in good shape.  The gladiolus foliage looks good so far and hopefully will produce lots of flowers like last year.  I hope within three or four years to have this bed consist entirely of perennials with maybe an occasional annual where needed.

Aaaaaand even though I shared these in May and the allium is over for the year, I just have to show you again because they are make me so ridiculously happy.

Now for just a few quickies of the vegetable garden~

Tomatoes and, in the background, beans just getting started.  The tomato stakes
aren't at such a drunken angle in real life, despite how they look here . . .

We also have cucumbers, carrots, and a field pumpkin, though I didn't get any pictures, for some reason.  We are heavy on tomatoes and green beans this year.


My sweet little granddaughter Verity so proudly handed these "flowers" to me when she was visiting with her family.  That eager approach, happy grin, and chubby fist just melt my heart!  This gift is more precious to me than anything blooming in my garden.


The pepper plants and about a third of the bean plants were ravaged by deer the very night before Dave and I planned to finish the fence around the garden.  Grrrrr!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ June 12, 2016

{Pretty} and {Happy}

It was a certain granddaughter's birthday this weekend.  She is four!

Present-opening takes a lot of concentration~

Lots of friends and family were there.

And of course, the little sister.

There were cake and ice cream, games, party hats, and balloons.  All necessary for a birthday celebration!

{Just Happy}

Arane and Verity spent the day with us on Friday.  The morning was dedicated to playing in the hose and painting the house with water.  Though very simple, giving each child a real paintbrush and water for "painting" with is endlessly entertaining!


Dave and I took a mini staycation on Thursday and drove to historic Arrow Rock and Blackwater, MO, for a day of much needed R&R.  We poked around the interesting shops and ate lunch at the famous J. Huston Tavern in Arrow Rock, the oldest continually operating restaurant west of the Mississippi and said to be home of the best fried chicken west of the Mississippi.  It was pretty darned good!  

We looked in on the old jail in Blackwater, not a place I'd ever want to spend any time in.  Blackwater is a sleepy little town.  I stood in the middle of the road to take this picture, with nary a car nor truck in sight.

This tiny cage of a jail cell holds two inmates!


Some of the shops in Arrow Rock and Blackwater were closed with no indication when they'd be open again.  One shop's sign, of which I neglected to get a picture, read, "Open by chance or appointment."  Another said~

"Closed.  Will return eventually :) "

That's it for this week!  Thanks for stopping by!  Please join Like Mother, Like Daughter for more {phfr}.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ June 5, 2016

Whew! What a week!  Dave's brother and his wife were here from Washington state all week.  Lots of fun but also lots of activity, which left us all worn out (a good kind of worn out, though!).  I'll share some highlights.


One morning, breakfast was soft-boiled eggs and leftover pound cake with apricot preserves.  (It's no worse than a doughnut, right??)  I was struck by how cheerful it all looked~

A couple close-ups of the flowers on the table, all of which came from the yard and the woods that border it.  Such a wide variety!  

The funny, umbrella, double- or triple-decker lavender blooms are the same as Rosie shared in her {phfr} post at Like Mother, Like Daughter.  I don't know what they are called.  Anyone have ideas?


Elizabeth and Justin hosted a big family party over Memorial Day weekend.  We had everything from an 80-year-old great-grandma

to the newest member of the family, a six-week-old darling baby boy

in addition to everything in between~


Later in the week, we hosted a cook-out at our house~

Arane and Verity provided light entertainment~


Photo Credit: Arane


Photo Credit: Arane

Sunday, May 29, 2016

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ May 29, 2016

I have almost wrapped up grading for the school year.  I have two--count 'em, two!--assignments still to grade, a last look at the gradebook to be sure all is up-to-date to accomplish, and a (very brief) farewell message to write to a class, and then I'm finished!  Let the R&R begin! (Ha!)


Last weekend I took my granddaughters to nearby Rockbridge State Park to play in the creek and go under the rock bridge (hence the name of the park, obviously).  Kids are fascinated by water of any sort!  We had over an hour of throwing rocks, poking around in the water, and generally exploring.


Verity spent at least half her time bent over like this~

Sweet girl~

This picture makes me happy.  It also makes me think of Poohsticks. . .

Another sweet girl~


When she wasn't bent over playing in the water, Verity spent the rest of her time trying to keep up with her big sister Arane. :)


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

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!