Tuesday, June 26, 2018


"Happiness is
 the settling of the soul
 into its most
 appropriate spot."


On a fine summer morning 
a porch is the quintessential spot 
for soul settling. 
 It is there
 that a comfortable chair,
 a friendly word with a neighbor, 
a cup of coffee...

...or just sitting quietly 
in the dappled sunlight, 
can set things right.

"The power of 
finding beauty 
in the humblest things 
makes a home happy 
and life lovely."

Louisa May Alcott

I would like to
 share with you 
some of the happiness 
I have collected 
this past week:

A burst of sunshine
 freshly picked 
from the market...

...a little Meyer Lemon 
boxed cake mix 
from Trader Joes. 

 Oh, so good...

...two old wood kitchen wares,
 a white pitcher,
 all crazed and perfect,
 two Johnson Bros. blue and white plates,
 a great flag, 
and a coverlet.  
All collected 
from a yard sale 
on our street...

I think the coverlet 
may be old, 
but I'm not really sure.
  It is worn and tattered 
but very heavy. 
 I'm hoping to get 
enough out of it for
 a couple of pillows.

It has this inscription 
woven into one corner
 and it reverses to white...

...and the tattered spots 
come off of the backing 
like shown on 
the eagle...

...and on this particular spot.

What do you think? 
 Could it be an old one?

I showed these pillows last week. 
 I was going for a grain sack effect
 with the lines painted 
on the back of my 
"cheap" pillows...

...after perusing Pinterest,
 I felt they were a bit lacking 
so I added some more stripes.
 I'm liking them better...

... and it takes nothing more 
than a good karate chop 
to make one 
sit up and take notice.

It seems I've said this
 so many times already but...
the little wrens,
 Romeo and Juliet, (the originals?)
 are back and,
 we believe, 
they are now sitting
 on eggs!

Tami had these
 two sweet little treasures 
waiting for me when we last went down 
for Jake's graduation. 
 She just thought 
I would like them 
and she was so right!
  She is always so thoughtful 
and I love them. 
 Thanks again, Tam.

Speaking of Jake's graduation...
one week 
after all the intense years 
of schooling is over, 
he has accepted a job
 with Kaiser-Permanente.
  He starts mid-July 
and we are so proud and excited for him. 
It is a great opportunity 
for his future.

"Tomorrow morning,
 when the sun shines 
through your window,
 choose to make it
 a happy day."

Lynda Resnick


There are things going on in places 
that are unsavory and devastating,
 to say the least, 
but I would like to tell you about 
a good friend to me 
(and to many of you also).

Is the sweetest, kindest and caring person.
She feels that 
 focus needs to be put
 on the good things in life,
 that we need to take 
special care of each other 
and help lift up those of us 
that need a boost from time to time.

 Sometimes those values get lost
 in everyday life and
 we need to shine a light on them 
whenever we can.

 For this reason, 
I am telling you, 
Kris is sharing an important message 
and giving away some wonderful gifts
 on her blog.
 If you don't know Kris, 
you should take the time to visit with her. She not only has 
a beautiful blog,
 a sweet little cottage
 and a gorgeous garden,
 but her way of looking at the world
is truly happiness for the soul.
 Thank you, Kris, 
for being my voice of reason
 on a day when
I most needed one. 
 It is my pleasure 
to count you
 as a good friend. 

Sharing today with:

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Google Search

The sketch, above, 
was provided by Althea Sherman who,
 back in the early 1900's, 
wrote in her journal
 that the little house wren 
was a far cry 
from what I have depicted in past posts. 
 She described them as 
criminal birds,
 and frightful devils,
 performing evil deeds.

 No one agreed with her at first but, 
over time, 
it became known that
 she was exactly right.
Of course, 
we know that whatever they do 
is all in the name of 
preserving the specie
 but one thing for sure, 
she didn't say, 
is that they seem to be 
a very fickle little creature.

  They have left the nest 
for a second time 
here at the Cottage.

 We had high hopes 
of watching the birth of their babies
 but they had other ideas 
and now,
 whenever we sit on the porch,
 we can hear their sweet song 
coming through the trees 
from a great distance, 
reminding us that 
they have moved on 
once again.

This last week 
has been a great occasion 
for celebration.

  Jake and Jacenda, both,
 graduated from Santa Clara University.

  There were receptions and 
a party at Jacenda's house 
where her room mate's parents 
supplied food and drinks. 
 We were happy to be able
 to share in the festivities 
and to meet some 
of their friends.


Graduate Commencement
Santa Clara University
Leavey School of Business
Master of Science
Information Systems


Undergraduate Commencement
Santa Clara University
College of Arts and Sciences
University Honors Program

With his proud parents

And his proud grandparents

There was a time 
when he pondered 
if he would ever make 
something of himself

Now Jake 
has completed his education 
and will have news soon 
of the next phase of his life 
and Jacenda
 will continue on with her schooling 
and you can be sure
 that there will be more bragging 
(from guess who)
 to come. 

 We are very proud of these two
 and of all they have accomplished so far 
and like the little fledglings,
 they will go forth and conquer.
There is a big future 
beyond our small world 
and it is there 
where their songs will be heard
 louder and stronger 
than ever.


You all did so good!


Sharing today with:

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


How many of you 
have experienced your children
leaving the nest and then
 to only have them 
return once again?

I think this has happened
 to most of us at one time or another.

 We are usually sad 
to see them go,
 but then we adjust to
having them gone,
 getting used to and enjoying, 
I might add, 
the free time 
that it affords us.

 when they do happen to return,
 we still recognize them, 

maybe their hair will be a little different,
 or their attitudes may have changed, 
but we would always know 
our own kids, 

  Or, would we?

If our kids were,
 let's say, 

Would we recognize them 
as being the ones
 that were here before 
or could they be a foreigner 
that is trying to
 invade our midst?

you see, 
the other afternoon,
 as we were involved in our 
usual porch sitting,
 we heard what seemed like
 a familiar sound 
in the tree above
 the Secret Garden...

...even Kai 
couldn't believe his own ears! 

 It was the most beautiful tone 
which made me inquire of the Captain, 
"Doesn't that sound like 
the little house wren that was here before?" 
 He shrugged and answered,
 "Oh, I wish it was."  
lo and behold, 
this tiny vision 
appeared right before our eyes, 
as it made its way back 
to the little pink bird house
 just outside
 the Secret Garden.

It flew in and out of the house 
with bits of something in its beak,
 just like it had never left.

 After about three such trips,
 which we watched with open mouths, 
another tiny one joined in
 and they both continued this journey 
for the rest of the day.

 This has gone on now 
since last week 
and since there already was 
quite a nest built in there
 from the last time, 
I don't know how they,
 and all of their belongings, 
can fit comfortably.

You will remember 
that we thought 
they had left one egg, 
but the Captain poked in the nest 
when we were sure that they were gone
 and found that it was
 just part of a shell,
 which is still in there
 as far as we know.

 back to recognizing your own children.

  How do you tell 
one bird from another?  
Since not being a bird expert, 
it is hard for me to know 
the answer to that question. 
 All I do know is 
that it has been just about one month
 since the past occupants
 had flown the nest 
and these have come back
 just like they were
 never gone...

...just picked up 
building the nest 
where they left off and now,
 I notice, 
that she has had 
a feather in her beak 
when she returns.
 as I understand it,
 is her job 
in the process of 
building a family.

The only thing different, 
that I have seen,
 is that when they both return to the nest
at the same time, 
he (I am assuming)
 will stay home for a little while, 
then he will pop out 
to the nearby fence 
and sit and sing 
for awhile 
until she comes out.

 It is for this reason 
that we have named them
 Romeo and Juliet.

Like I say,
 all wrens look alike, 
and just because
 they are acting a little differently,
 that doesn't mean 
they are not the two 
that came before.

 Maybe he moved her out
 against her wishes, 
then after finding that
 the grass isn't always greener 
on the other side, 
he brought her back 
and she has made him promise
 that he will never
take her for granted again.
  Who knows 
what goes on in a
 little wren family...

"Find though she be but little
She is fierce."

William Shakespeare

We have had a pair of chairs 
that we picked up at a garage sale 
when we first moved to the Cottage.
 They are probably from the 40's 
and were painted yellow, green and black. 
 We have now transformed them 
to take a permanent place of honor 
in the Secret Garden. 
 One is in place 
while the Captain will continue
to work on
this one.

I will leave you now 
with a video view of 
the Secret Garden 
that has been set
 to the song of Little Romeo 
sharing his heart 
with his Juliet.

  Open to full screen and turn up the volume to get the full effects:

I apologize 
for the background noises in the video
 and the photo-bombing feet. 
it is Tuesday morning
 business as usual.

Because of the problems 
we are having with Blogger, 
I will now be leaving my notes to you 
after each of your comments. 
 I know there isn't always time
 to return to my blog 
but just know that I will always 
leave you a thank you 
for your time spent with me
 which I appreciate so much.
  They will be there 
for you to read when 
you have a chance.


Sharing today with: