Tuesday, April 17, 2018

White Flowers

Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you are enjoying 
the sweet, simple pleasures of life, 
as we are changing seasons, ever so slowly. 

Here in the foothills of the Cascade mountains 
of Washington State, the weather has been very wet
and cool, with snow still falling in the 
lower altitudes. We are just below this snow-line, 
and the mountain breezes are brisk, but the longer days 
more than make up for it. 

When the sun does come out, it is gloriously warm, 
but the sunshine has been elusive these last few weeks. 

I've been slipping outside in between showers to 
visit the flowers, whenever I get the chance. 

This year, I am in love with all-white flowers. 

There is something so calming and serene 
about white flowers. 

Here I have white Primrose

They are very cold hardy and bloom for weeks at a time. 

When they are done blooming, I can plant them in the garden. 
(I simply keep them in their nursery pots
and tuck them in with moss)

I collect green watering cans 
and vintage plant stands that I paint green :)

I've slipped one gallon nursery pots of white candytuft
into decorative containers for my tables. 

They have a lovely, sweet scent. 

Candytuft is a spreading, evergreen, shrub-like perennial
that blooms in early spring. 

You can read how to grow Candytuft here.

These will also bloom for weeks. 

The larger pots hold silver Dusty Miller

More primrose and candy-tuft reside in the 
vintage plant stand and hanging basket 
between the doors. 

Just beyond the deck I have more white flowers blooming. 

 I planted these Sweet Box shrubs years ago. 
I was at a large nursery and caught the scent of 
something very sweet. 

I followed the scent and found these evergreen beauties :)

I've never pruned them, so they are rather wild,
but fit right into this wilderness setting. 

Growing among them is another sweet-scented 

You can click on the name links to find  
more information on each plant. 

I like to open the doors to let the scent inside
on warm, sunny days. 

Or should I say, warm, sunny moments! 
Right now it is hailing....

My plant rack holds White Pansy and Sweet Alyssum, ready for potting up.

The purple flowers are Rock Cress.
I have had these in pots for years;
they are very long-lived.

I found the metal trough planters at my local craft store.

As I putter with my flowers,
a cool breeze sends all the wind chimes tinkling.

I love listening to the wind through the trees.
There are so many trees that
it sounds like ocean waves - rising and falling.

By the time I come inside, my hair is wild, like a child's,
and my cheeks are rosy.

And I need a tissue :)
The pollen makes me sneeze.

The white flowers of Star Magnolia brighten up the parking area.

Ivy drapes across a sagging wire fence.

These little trees have large star-shaped, waxy blooms
in early spring.

They are especially pretty in the rain.

The delicate white blossoms of Wild Plum
light up the woodlands at this time of year, too.

Here we are greeted at the gate by one in full bloom.

Later in the season, the small purple plums are a favorite
of the local birds and wildlife.

This year I am seeking serenity in a world
that sometimes seems less than serene.

White is the color of peace.

We can't control the world at large,
but we can create a peaceful refuge of our own.

A place where we can envision a better world.


"Peace comes from within.
Do not seek it without."
- Buddha -

"Do your little bit of good where you are;
it's those little bits of good put together
that overwhelm the world."
- Desmond Tutu -


Today I am linking with:

Cooking and Crafting with J&J

Floral Passions - Floral Bliss

Lets Add Sprinkle's - Keep in Touch

Won't you join the fun?

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Early Spring

Hello, Dear Friends, we are seeing more signs of spring, 
here in the foothills of the Cascade mountains in 
Washington State, but it has been cool and wet, 
which is typical this time of year.  

Every once in a while the sun will peek through the 
low clouds for a few hours, or if we are very lucky, a whole day!   
I throw on my garden boots and denim overcoat,
grab the clippers and the rake and get to work 
cleaning up the gardens.

Sometimes I find 'artifacts' left behind by my children.
It always tugs at my heartstrings.....

Time passes so quickly.

But plastic lasts forever......

*  *

I have mostly native plant and wildflower gardens, 
with a few hardy plantings here and there, 
but the winter cleanup is quite a job this time of year. 
I fill my wheelbarrow and whole tarps
with dead or fallen branches, 
storm debris, plant trimmings and blackberry vines that 
grow year round and can reach 30 ft!

The thorns leave me with scratches, even through my clothes, 
and painful splinters in my fingers, despite my heavy
work gloves, but I love every minute of my time 
outdoors - listening to the whispers of the wind
 and the forest gossip among the birds,  
while the dogs and I soak in the early spring sunhine. 

It never lasts for long - at most a day or so - 
before the wind picks up, bringing angry dark 
clouds and sometimes driving rain or hail,
like a tempestuous child having a tantrum, 
only to melt your heart with the sunniest smile 
just a few moments later. 

Speaking of children.......

The loves of my life are keeping me busy two mornings a week,
 in between days in the gardens. 

Like this little one, 17 mos. 

Big brother to these little charmers;
the twins - almost 3 mos., now. 

Mom hasn't handed them completely over to me
yet, but I am working up to it <3

She goes back to work in two weeks, 
but works at home, along with their Daddy, 
so I won't be completely on my own. 

These little ones are very lucky, 
with two Grandmothers to help out 
and many loving aunts and uncles nearby, too. 

It takes a village........:)

We enjoyed seeing this little guy, too,
 for an Easter egg hunt a couple of weeks ago
at his three little cousin's house. 

He's almost 3 now. 

I was beginning to think that I would never have Grandchildren......
and now look how blessed I am! 

The 'big boys' are both wearing the sweaters I crocheted 
them for Christmas. 
I am almost done crocheting two more for the twins.
The darling, felt Easter baskets were gifts
from their Auntie and Uncle, Jen and Dustin.
Jimmy, the Labra-Doodle and Fender,
the brown Labrador Retriever, 
didn't stay in their pen for long.......
They staged a break-out. 

And poor Lilly, my soon-to-be Grand-Daughter
(Her Dad is marrying my daughter, Jennie
this summer), gets the full-on, Labrador welcome hug.
Fender loves everyone, but especially loves Lilly.....

But you have to watch this guy.....he's a thief! 

He ran off with this Easter egg and refused to give it up.  
He's pretending to be sleeping, but as soon as your hand 
gets close, he grabs the egg in his mouth
and runs off. This entertained him for quite some time :)

The Rufous Hummingbirds are back from their winter vacation 
down south, but are squabbling 
with the resident Anna's Hummingbirds over territorial rights 
to the feeders, so I put out a few more. 

This has kept the peace, more or less. 
Hummingbirds seem so small and fragile, but 
they are fearless and will buzz and dive-bomb any interlopers, 
no matter how big or small. 

I've seen them going after bumblebee's that want a drink, 
or dogs and cats and even humans - hovering and darting
 menacingly, just inches away from your face. 

I once held one in my hands when it got trapped inside 
my solarium window when we were building the house. 
I could feel its wildly beating heart as I gently cupped it 
in my palms to let it go while my small children watched 
in wonder. 

April 11th was the 37th anniversary of the day we 'left 
it all behind' to live in this wild and beautiful place, 
full of hopes and dreams and not much else. 

You can read all about our journey in four parts,
 Here, Here, Here, and Here.

Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith.
I've been taking those leaps all of my life. 

I love reading about others who have also taken leaps of faith.

I just finished these two wonderful memoirs written by
a fellow leaper, Mary J. MacLeod - a nurse who moved with her
family to a remote Scottish Isle in the early 1970's.

(These have a copyright of 2013 - 14.
Dear Mary is in her 80's now,
living in England)

I can guarantee that you will love these
 heart-warming (and sometimes heart-breaking)
 stories of her and her fellow islander's life there.

When have you taken a leap of faith?

Signs of spring are everywhere now......

I'll have to take you on another country drive soon.

Thank you, dear friends for your condolences for the loss of our
little Maggie. She was our sweet and sassy little
companion for so many years and we will miss her,
but are greatly comforted by your kind and caring thoughts.


Until next time..........Keep the faith!


You can find the pattern to the baby sweater Here.

Today I am linking with:

Thankful Thursday

Won't you join the fun?


Monday, April 2, 2018

Another Sad Goodbye - Taking a Blog Break

Hello, Dear Friends, I am taking a little blog break. 

Our little cat, Maggie of 18 years has passed away
and I'm in need of some quiet time for a short while. 

Thank you for your sweet friendship
and kind visits. 

I hope to be back soon. 


Friday, March 30, 2018

Early Spring Drive

Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you are finding small 
pleasures in simple things as we journey 
into spring together. 

Or autumn, if you are on the opposite end of this
beautiful Earth that we all call home.

My internet has been down the last little while.
Ramblin' Man was away ramblin' and I was here 
alone, so I waited for him to get home to figure things out. 

It's all a mystery to me.......

With an interactive phone call, he and the tech figured it out. 

So grateful for his 'expertise'.

I have missed catching up with all of you! 
I hope you can come along on an early spring drive!

The plum trees are blooming and I wanted to
share them with you before they fade away.  

Such a cheerful sight after a long and dreary winter.

A lovely touch of color against dark evergreen trees.

A sweet blue bungalow and pink tree = love. 

The very first home I lived in as a child was similar to this,
set in a pretty hemlock grove
by a small, New England lake.

I remember best, the 'sun-porch' with its high,
 pane'd windows just like this one.
I have a lovely memory of a cushioned, wicker love seat
under the windows where my Mother
taught me to sew.
I held a large, plastic needle, threaded with colorful
yarn that I used to sew bright felt bunnies,
chicks and flowers together through pre-punched holes.
The morning sunbeams shone through the windows
and a little bird sang outside.
The call had two notes - one high and one low.

I've always wanted to know what kind of bird that was.

Whenever I have gone back to visit loved ones in New England,
I occasionally hear that bird and
it reminds me of those precious mornings when
my Mother was young and I was small.

When I drive down these country roads,
my heart just smiles. <3

I simply can't get enough of the spring beauty.

 14,411 ft. Mt. Rainier dominates the skyline.

The wild plum on the road to home at the edge of the 'elk field'.

Right before we turn to reach the top of our little mountain.

We stop to open the gate.

We admire the pretty blossoms once inside.

Kai and Whitey Bear.......

The welcoming committee.

Come inside - I'll bake some cookies!

Have a Happy and Blessed Easter and Passover, Dear Friends!

So glad that you came along!


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