Tuesday, July 17, 2018


of telling you
 what I did last week, 
I'm going to tell you
 what we are going to do
 in the next 
couple of weeks.

Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk
Giant Dipper

We are going down 
to Santa Cruz 
to stay at the kids
 and baby sit their animals 
while Tami and Tim go
 on a cruise 
to Alaska.

I am so excited 
that they are getting to go
 and that I will be browsing
 in some antique and thrift shops 
that I don't normally get to visit
 very often.

There is a lot to see and do 
at the beach. 
 We will feel like 
we are on vacation 
and the change in the climate 
will be most 

I will be taking some time off 
from blogging 
while we are there...

...but will take my camera 
so, hopefully,
 will get some
 pretty and memorable

I picked up these 
poppy stems
 at Michael's awhile back. 
 I think 
they are so

I know I have shared 
this Victorian beach print before,
 and probably mentioned 
that even though it is not in great shape,
I love the wrinkles in the paper.
 It reminds me 
of the sun shining down 
on the children. 
I don't think I have
 the frame...

...we picked the print up
 in Grants Pass, OR,
 a few years ago 
and it is all handmade
 with strips of cardboard 
cut out and stacked 
one on top of another 
and painted. 
 went to a lot of work 
and it is quite unusual. 
 I have heard it called 
a form of Tramp Art.

Will be back 
in a couple of weeks
 and until then,
 I will share some photos
 I took of the glaciers 
when the Captain and I 
were on our own cruise 
to Alaska 
in 2008...

of the most beautiful
 and amazing wonders 
of the 

At approximately
 8:05 PM yesterday, 
four little fledglings
 flew and fluttered their way 
out of the only home they have ever known,
 as their parents sat 
on the fence and
 tweeted encouragement.

  Some landed on ivy, 
some on ferns,
 but they all managed to fight 
their way up 
into the air 
and move themselves towards
 the new life that awaits them.

  We thoroughly enjoyed 
their time
 in the Little Pink House. 

 Romeo and Juliet 
did good!

Bon Voyage!


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Tuesday, July 10, 2018


Let me tell you about more 
of my unusually beautiful hydrangeas.

 This bush sits in 
an ivy clad corner of the Secret Garden 
and it has never gotten more
 than two or three blooms
 per season before.
  It starts its day 
in the cool shade,
 looking full, pretty and bright.
  By noontime, however,
 the hot sun hits it
 and it droops and looks like 
it is coming apart at the seams. 
 The first time we noticed it 
looking like that,
 we ran for the hose
 and thought we had lost it for sure.
 when evening comes around, 
it makes an unusually 

I never started out 
collecting pitchers 
but, over time, I've noticed 
that I do have quite a few. 
 I really like using them 
for flower arrangements.

  On a recent trip to
 Home Goods, 
I saw this beauty...

...a little unusual 
in its decorations,
 with the look of spongeware and stenciling 
that I adore,
 with some real 
farmhouse charm thrown in.

 As I reached
 to place it in my cart,
 I noticed an old familiar pinch
 in my lower back.
It registered in my head,
 but I didn't feel the results 
until the next morning.

I have been hobbling around 
for the week
 not being able to straighten up. 
 When it gets like this,
 I just can't walk straight 
and the more I bend
 the worse it feels.

I just have to 
take it easy and 
let it run its course. 
It is almost a year to the day that it happened the last time.
 Just before we were getting ready 
for the Country Sampler
 magazine shoot.

The pitcher 
feels an unusual responsibility,
 even though I say 
it is my own fault.

 It was me, after all,
 that wanted to go to 
Home Goods 
in the first place.

I gave it 
a bouquet of these
 unusually beautiful hydrangeas 
to try to uplift 
its spirits,...

"We may think 
we are tending our garden, 
but of course,
 in many different ways,
 it is the garden
 and the plants 
that are nurturing us."

Jenny Uglow

I think it
 might be 


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Tuesday, July 3, 2018


I have seen this welcome mat 
in a few catalogs 
and since we finally decorated 
the front porch for the holiday,
 I thought it would be fun
 to re-create it...

welcome to the porch,
 the official hostess for 
the Cottage 
on this 
Independence Day.


We are offering
 baskets of fire works
 in an array
 of colors...

...some resembling 
the intense sun 
that is shining
 down on us

We took a ride 
in the country to
 Bald Mountain Nursery 
where we picked up our
 pretty baskets of 

The nursery is settled 
in the mountains 
a short way from us.
  It is pretty 
and green 
and cool,

...the hills 
surrounding it
 are brown
 and dry...

...and we are sure hoping 
that we won't be hearing of 
any wildfires 
popping up.

We see evidence of 
past fires 
as we listen to
 spotter planes flying overhead.

 The conditions are all favorable,
 in a bad way,
 as it is hot 
with strong breezes.

Back in the Cottage garden 
the hydrangeas 
are adding their own
 spots of color...

...as are the mystery flowers,
 only they are not
 as prolific as years passed. 
 They may be on the verge 
of blooming themselves out.

 the Chinese Lanterns, 
that we planted a couple of years ago, 
are making a
 nice little corner for themselves,
 getting ready for fall color, 
and maybe 
planning on taking 
the mystery flowers place 
in the landscape. 
I wouldn't mind it too much
 as they are pretty and green
 for much of the summer 
and I love their
 fall colors.

A few years ago,
 the Captain came home 
with this beauty.

 No, not me, 
the morning glory! 

 It is not like a regular morning glory 
that comes back year after year.
 (That is only me, just to haunt him). 
 It only blooms for one summer
 and then it dies. 
(At least in our climate). 
 We haven't been able to
 find another
 until now.

It only comes up a little way
on the trellis so far 
but, it is a fast grower,
 and will pretty much cover it
 until it dies in the fall
 when the weather turns colder.


I hope everyone has figured out 
how to get the comments back 
into your e-mails now.
  I had so many
 thoughtful (and smart) friends 
(and thank you all so much) 
giving me directions 
on how to do it. 
 It took me awhile 
but I did figure it out 
and in case there is someone
 "slower" like myself, 
I want to pay it forward:

Open Blogger dashboard
On left side will be list of posts published, etc.
Scroll down and click on  "Settings" 
and then click on "e-mail"

Your address will be there 
in the box next to 
"Comment Notification Email"

Delete your address within the box
 and then click 
"Save Settings" in top right side

Go back to "Settings" and "e-mail" 
(I clicked them again 
even though they were already opened
Add your address back into
the same box and then, again, click 
"Save Settings".

You will receive 
an e-mail 
giving you two options to click:

Choose and click on "Subscribe".

That should do it. It is so nice to be up and running again in the usual way.


Since we finished the screened porch
 and Romeo and Juliet
 are hatching their babies 
(we are pretty sure 
that has happened 
as they are in and out of the nest a lot 
carrying food back in), 
we have rather neglected
 the front porch,
 so now 
we present her 
in her holiday finery 
and welcome the 
2018 Grand Illumination.

It has been so hot here. 
 We have been watching 
the Hallmark Movie and Mystery channel.

 There is nothing like 
watching a damsel in distress 
during a Christmas snow storm 
to cool a person off in July!



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