Tuesday, June 25, 2019


Friday was an exceptionally beautiful
 first day of summer.  

It was sunny 
but not hot and 
breezes, while light, 
set the wind chimes 
to moving just enough,
 leaving a hint of what 
we would like 
summer to be.

Nature is
 coming over to
 the bright side...

...the lavender 
is ready to be 
what it is the very best at..
being lavender and feeding the bees...

...and we have
 a small crop of morning glories 
already reaching 
for the top of the arbor.

 As I showed you last summer, 
the Captain likes to plant a morning glory
 next to the gate arbor, 
but sometimes the nurseries 
don't have them 
or by the time we find one, 
it doesn't have too long left
 of its growth period. 
 I decided to plant
 my own seeds this time and
 am anxious to see them thrive.

 the Cottage stew is simmering 
on the back burner.

 In the dining room 
I have set a tea table for two, 
using bits and pieces of china
 that have been handed down
from my mother over past years. 
 It looks bright and simple 
along with some
 cuttings from the garden.

"A vase can be a little garden, its contents gathered
 to please the eye."

Debra Prinzing

As a new summer begins,
 and when some things don't work 
the way they
 were intended...

...transform them 
into something else and
 they will shine 
once again.

A shining bit of summer to me 
is when I see the first dragon fly.

  This pretty creature 
was hanging around the garden 
on the first day of summer and 
gladly posed for me. 
 His wings are
 really a work of art.

On behalf of 
this fancy fella,
 I want to wish you all
 Happy Summer Days.


Sharing today with:

Dishing It & Digging It


Keep In Touch at Let's Add Sprinkles

Tuesday, June 18, 2019


The Cottage 
always seems a little blue.

  Not in a sad way, 
but in the sense that blue is
 its comfort color. 
 No matter what time of the year it is, 
you will always find some blue 
just around a corner.

This summer
 is preparing to be a 
blue and white summer.

  What that means is
 that blue and white will be 
the meat and potatoes 
of this Cottage stew.

 The two colors will be
 the back drop for all the 
seasonal colors to come, 
up to and 
including Christmas.

The parlor is, of course, 
the main room to display the color blue.

 I have toyed with the idea
 of taking down the wallpaper a few times,
 however, it never gets very far
 because I just seem to be comforted by it.

  The Cottage, 
a small, one story, Queen Ann Victorian,
 built in 1879, 
deserves to have
 at least one room
 that is true
 to its roots.

There are bits and pieces 
of the Victorian era
 sprinkled throughout 
in the form of furniture, pictures, etc.,
but the blue wallpaper
 in the parlor, 
while existing perfectly with the
 Victorian parlor set and the lace curtains,
 still gives me that touch of 
soft comfort 
that I have always been drawn to.

This blue plate special, 
along with a swag of 
 pansies and morning glories,
 just seems to be the right ingredient
 for the parlor mantle.

In the sitting room
 we can begin stirring the pot and 
adding a little more blue and white. 

 As the flowers of the garden 
are starting to simmer
 some lavender, a different shade of blue,
 is added to tiny vases here and there
 and the scent in the room
 makes the mouth water.

Some pillows 
are the same, some are new,
 or at least new on one side,
 and add blue and white flavor
 to the setting...

...while more bits 
of the colors 
are sprinkled around.

Soon some spice 
will be added by way of the color red. 
 Then the patriotic colors
 will come
 to life...

...and when the leaves begin to fall,
 rusts and earth tones will emerge.
  A tribute to the
 harvest in the fields...

...and as Christmas appears,
 that will just be dessert..
the icing on the cake.

There is something
 missing right now 
but, hopefully,
 will be able to be 
revealed soon...

...and before 
the Cottage stew is done
 there will be other stories in between.

 the longer the flavors come together,
 the better the taste.


Sharing today with:


Tuesday, June 11, 2019


It is what seems like 
just a few short years ago that
 we were blessed with
 our darling daughter, Tami.

 In celebration 
of her birthday 
we took a day trip 
to the beach.

"Yay!!  Road Trip!"

An early morning journey 
through the
 California redwoods and
 the coastal fog.

We had hoped that
 Jake and Jacenda 
would be able to join us,
 but they are embarking on
 a journey of their own.
They have moved to San Francisco 
where Jacenda is starting 
an intense two year program 
at the 
University of San Francisco 
School of Nursing and Health Professions.

  Jake is loving his job
 at Kaiser and 
this move puts him closer 
to the airport 
as he travels quite often for his job and 
the rest of his work 
is done from home.
It is hard to believe 
that a year has passed 
since the both of them graduated 
from Santa Clara University.

 They are both doing so well and
 we are so proud 
of them.

We took Tami and Tim 
to dinner on the Santa Cruz wharf.  
It seems that this is
 becoming a tradition. 
 We had a wonderful meal, 
good conversation and 
great views...

...after dinner
 a stroll on the wharf
 with more wonderful sights...

Just every day life 
in Santa Cruz!

We were blessed 
when we lived in Santa Cruz 
most of our young lives and 
doubly blessed that we can return 
to enjoy it again with 
our beautiful family...

...and that we can 
bring a bit of the beach
 back to the mountains.


Happy Birthday, Tami. 
 Love you to the moon.

Sharing today with:


Tuesday, June 4, 2019


This porch 
has been on the job for 
140  years. 
 Over time, 
I think it has done its job well. 
 There are certain duties 
that are demanded from
 a porch 
and they are:

To give a warm welcome 
to all who
 climb the steps...

...to offer a place
 of solitude and rest...

...and all the other 
numerous and varied 
 duties and pleasures 
stated above.

There certainly are 
many more pleasures 
that a front porch can provide and
 everyone has 
their own opinions...

...for some
 it is a vantage point 
to oversee that all
 is safe and secure...

...and, for me, 
it is a place for daydreaming and 
sorting out the plans for 
today and beyond.

Sitting on the porch
 conjures up all kinds of memories 
of the ones that have
 sat here before 
 what their dreams and their stories 
might have been...

One of the biggest jobs of our porch 
is to preside over the garden 
that surrounds it.
We have had so much rain 
this past winter, and 
it was hard to distinguish 
how the garden might survive it all. 
 For some reason,
 I didn't think that
 it had been successful, but 
after a few days of sunshine and 
a little elbow grease, 
I can now see 
the fruits of our labors.

 We have not had 
official summer yet, 
but greenery is showing up and 
buds are forming 
so, I think,
 there is great hope
 for a robust and healthy garden.

  I have snapped a few photos 
(well, maybe a little more than a few)
 to illustrate my point:

The old lavender 
is regaining its place of honor 
once again.

The old-school phlox 
are covering the beds 
with their thick, lush greenery,
not yet showing
 their lacy white blooms...

The busy butterflies are appearing...

...and the California poppies
 are sticking out of small pockets.

A simple David Austin rose,
 in the dappled sunlight, 
lingers under the covering of...

...a tangle of 
green trees and bushes 
that are hiding places for
 the birds that sing
 their whispery little songs that
 accompany our porch rocking.

I have heard 
that a frog in the garden
 will ward off any evil tricksters
 that might dare to intrude 
so the porch is prepared.

Tiny buds of hydrangeas are showing up,
 ferns are intermingling and 
the valerian is now making its move 
to invade more cracks and crevices 
around the garden.

Because the old-school phlox 
is so invasive in the garden beds, 
we added a trio of barrels 
filled to the brim with
 coreopsis, zinnias and snapdragons. 
 Even some nasturism seeds 
are tucked in and...

...Chinese Lanterns 
are coming up showing the white blossom
 that will be a nice addition
 to the fall garden, and
 the pretty pink blossoms 
of the spirea 
are showing off against 
the bright green of their foliage.

Under the Crepe Myrtle tree 
is a foundation of 
valerian, ivy, grasses and jasmine 
all tumbling over each other,
 showing the lack of skill 
of the resident gardeners, 
but looking almost
 perfect regardless.

Last summer, 
we took a bit of lawn away and 
added bark, under the lilac bush,
 to make a tiny spot for
 resting in the garden.
  The little bistro set and umbrella 
has since been gifted to 
Jake and Jacenda 
for their little spot of garden and 
we have replaced it with...

...two perfectly comfortable
 plastic chairs 
that match the feel 
of the patriotic garden. 
 A bit of color needed
 on this side of
 the garden.

it will be time for the addition 
of stars and stripes 
in celebration of 
America's birthday...

...come on by,
 sit a spell,
 our porch and others like it, 
will be here for
 another 140 years,
 tending to memories of the past and
 making new ones
 for the future.


As if this post wasn't long enough,
 we just got back 
from the kids (a story for next week) and
 I couldn't help sharing with you 
my Mother's Day gift from Tami and Tim.
 Perfect for the porch and 
so sweet. 
I just love them.

"My grandmother used to say
 that the front porch
 is a postcard of 
all who live
 beyond the door."

Alda Ellis

Sharing today with: