Monday, May 24, 2021



We are getting

 a little closer to Memorial Day 

and the celebrations that come during the year 

from this day forward.

At first there is thanks

 for the men and women that keep us safe 

in this great country and the beautiful colors that signify that. 

 It continues on with Independence Day celebrations. 

 These are all things 

that we as citizens of these United States 

are thankful for.

We are also thankful for our families. 

Starting off all the celebrations is Tami's birthday.

Happy Birthday sweet girl!

 Tami and Tim are empty nesters now

 and beginning to have the time and money 

to do the things that we all look forward to in life.  

Jake and Jacenda are now both done with college.

 Jake already has a great job

 and Jacenda will soon have one.  

Young lives full of hope and promise just getting started

 The Captain and I 

are both healthy and at our age that is saying something.

  We are putting our home and garden

 in shape for an enjoyable summer.

  Robin is dealing 

with the loss of her teeth like a champ 

and her biopsy came back clear. 

 She hasn't got a care in the world.

 Kai is older

 and has a few issues 

but he loves his Papa so all is right with his world.


 We are truly thankful

 for all those reasons.

I am so thankful for my girlfriends 

who have not forgotten me 

and whom I will join for lunch the next time out. 

 I am thankful for all the friends

 that I have made through blogging 

and for their return of kindness 

whether it be good words or in letting me copy their ideas.

  I am really thankful for the vaccine 

and the chance it gives us all

 to lead a great life

 (please wear a mask indoors until we all are vaccinated). 

 I just couldn't resist that,

 old habits die hard.

As it pertains to blogging,

 I am now going to probably embarrass

 one good lady that I'm sure we all know. 

 As you are aware

 they are once again changing how we blog. 

 For those of us (like me) that are truly challenged 

when it comes to the technical aspect of blogging, 

whenever this happens I just want to stay in bed with my covers over my head. 

 Once I have learned the technique, then blogging is a job that I love. 

 I want my blog to look good 

and I want it to he helpful, 

or at the very least, enjoyable for someone else to read. 

 I don't just type it and put it out.  

I agonize over it to be sure that each word is spelled correctly 

and the photos are right for the wording.  

Throw a wrench in the works and I am useless. 

 This is where this part of the story begins: 


Linda at  Life and Linda

 wrote a post explaining what the change was 

and said she would be willing to help anyone that needed it. 

 I'm sure you have noticed that this is what she says each time Blogger throws something at us.

  Well, I took her at her word 

and asked for help with changing how we transition from FeedBurner

 to a new way of receiving notifications of  posts in our inboxes 

and, let me tell you, she earned her money dealing with me! 

  She is so patient and understanding.

 I have already said that I am totally challenged in this area 

so I won't bore you with all the details. 

 Poor Linda 

spent time shooting off e-mails to me, 

sometimes way more than once 

before I could grasp their meaning

 and talking on the phone to further help me.  

She really knows what she is doing 

and does make a very pretty job of it. 

 She is not known as the Fairy BlogMother for nothing! 

 Finally, I got it together and she was able to perform a miracle. 

 If any of you are struggling with this change, 

I'm sure Linda would be happy to hear from you. 

 In the process we had to switch my subscribers to another place 

and  in so doing found a lot of addresses that were, 

shall we say, lacking in good judgement, 

which I do not want associated with my blog so they were deleted.  

Not purposefully, but by accident, 

there may have been some of you that were deleted also 

because we only have addresses to look at, not names.  

I publish at 10:00 AM every Tuesday morning, 

so if you do not get notice of that in your inbox, 

just sign up again

 on the pretty new form that Linda included on my right sidebar 

and you will be reinstated immediately 

and I apologize in advance if this happens.  

Thanks again, Linda, 

I so appreciate it and am thankful for you as a friend also.

Your expertise is beyond compare
 and you make what seems like hard work
 a joyful experience.

In closing,

 I will say that now I am thankful for 

the bit of decorating I have done so far 

in celebration of the up coming holidays 

so there will be only a few things to add next time.

Have a wonderful week.


This is the iris

 that I showed you last week. 

 Now that it has bloomed I am not sure if the color is bronze, yellow or peach

but I think it is very beautiful.

 Any of you experts let me know what you think. 

 The purple one is still just in bud.

 If it changes I will show you that next week. 

Sharing this week with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda

Tuesday, May 18, 2021


These are the happenings around here

 from last week

 and for the week to come.


A bit of sweet smelling springtime sunshine 

coming in through the kitchen window.  

It makes doing dishes a happy chore.


We emptied just about everything 

out of the screened porch

 in preparation for summer gatherings. 

 It has been a couple of years 

since we painted 

so the walls and screens were in need of a generous cleaning. 

 Everything was hosed down and off and wiped until it shines and...


...the Secret Garden itself 

was given a proper face lift. 

 The ivy was sprayed 

and the rock was raked 

and a light clipping was done... that the fairies 

have a delightfully clear path 

to their front door


if you are lucky enough 

to get by the watch rabbit.

The table and chairs

 were put back in place

 and decorated with new cushions and...

...I do love the pretty new fushcia 

that we picked up 

for the old fountain out in the garden.

Little Robin 

had all of her teeth pulled last week except for the two canines on the bottom. 

 Hopefully that will keep her tongue from hanging out and so far it is working. 

 She also had a small lump removed from her chest 

and we will find out soon if it is cancerous or not.  

She is a trooper

 and is eating well and feeling good. 

 You can't tell her she doesn't have any teeth

 as she chews everything just like she did before!

A couple of years ago 

a neighbor gave the Captain a planter with a couple of iris in it. 

 For two seasons

 we have waited to see them bloom but they never did.

  We kind of stuck them back and forgot about them 

and here they are now, just about ready to open.

  One looks to be purple and the other is bronze.

  I am really happy to see them.

I received the first letter from 

Corporal Charlie Henderson Burke to Miss Audrey Rose Drollinger. 

 It was written on July 5, 1943, 

and tells of how they met at an Army Rangers 4th of July dance

 and Audrey Rose's dance card was included and shows it filled up with just one name. 

 They spent the night dancing to songs such as

 Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy 

and he hoped that he hadn't been a nuisance to her. 

 He thought she looked so pretty in her red dress 

that he couldn't resist. 

 He apologized for talking her ear off 

while never actually getting to know much about her. 

 He closed the letter by saying that maybe,

 if she had the time, 

she could spare some fond thoughts for him once in awhile. 

 He would be much obliged if she would

 as she would be on his mind often enough 

and signed off Love, Charlie..

It is all so much fun 

and it will be as hard for me to wait for each letter 

as I am sure it was for Audrey Rose and Charlie.

Jacenda Rangel, MSN RN CNL

The highlight of this week will be 

watching Jacenda graduate from the University of San Francisco

 with her Masters degree in nursing and a GPA of 4.0.  

It has been a long time coming

 with a  lot of her studies being interrupted by Covid this past year. 

 For that reason, it will all be "virtual".  

She and Jake are now living in San Francisco 

so that she could finish school but where they live in the future 

will depend on her job. 

 She has applied at a few hospitals 

and is waiting to hear. 

 Jake works from home and travels when he has to for his job with Kaiser. 

 We feel fortunate that we will be able to follow along 

with the ceremony over Zoom and You Tube.

  They both have worked very hard 

for what they have accomplished 

and we are so proud of them.  

Congratulations, Jacenda!

We will be continuing 

on getting the Cottage ready for summer. 

 That won't be long now.

Have a great week.


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Tuesday, May 11, 2021



Do you use certain colors
 for certain times of the year?  
Looking back through
 a collection of past photos, 
I can see that I do,
 although I wasn't totally aware of it.

In January,
 after the holidays are over 
and the snow people come to visit, 
there is candlelight and warm colors 
with bits of Christmas left behind.

When January is over
 and February rolls around, 
there is a lot of pink and pastels 
with some red in consideration
 of Valentine's Day...

...but then 
the promise of spring
 lends itself to
 greens and yellows.

Then there is Memorial Day
 and on into July when 
the patriotic colors
come on strong.

When summer hits with full force,
 blue and white
 along with pretty flowers
 will again return just by themselves
 and that seems to take care 
of that part...

... but late summer and autumn 
need some sunflowers
 mixed in with dried hydrangeas 
and velvet pumpkins.

Around here 
the holidays are always 
red and natural greens 
with the colors of each room 
thrown in.

In spring this year 
the grass is brightly vibrant
 and the valerian is 
beginning to show up...
just beyond the garden gate.

The spring, this year,
 has been wonderful.
Just the right amount of
 breezes and sunshine...
.. gave us a few lemons
 but we didn't have to
 make any lemonade...

...just the sort of weather 
that one would wish for 
all year long.

I hope that all you moms had
 a wonderful Mother's Day.
 I want to tell you about 
the Mother's Day present
 I got from Tami and Tim.
 Have you heard about 
The Flower Letters? 

 Twice a month, for one whole year, 
I will receive a letter
 delivered, the old-fashioned way,
 by the postman. 
 The correspondence is between 
Audrey Rose Drollinger 
and Corporal Charlie Henderson Burke. 
 The letters take place 
during World War ll 
and are centered on 
one of the most significant days in history,
 June 6, 1944... D-Day. 
 Their relationship develops 
through their correspondence 
and the significant role 
they each play 
in the day's events.  
They are thrilling stories of
 history, mystery, adventure and romance. 
 I can't wait to get the first letter 
and will happily share with you
 their journey
 along the way.


I would like to extend
 a huge thank you to Linda 
for including my lilacs
 as one of the features last week
 at Love Your Creativity.
Thanks so much, Linda.
The pleasure was all mine.

Sharing this week with:

Tuesday, May 4, 2021



Welcome to the month of May.

"May is white clouds behind pine trees/

Puffed out and marching upon a blue sky,

May is much sun through small leaves/

May is soft earth/

and apple blossoms,/

and windows open to a south wind.

May is a full light wind of lilacs."

Amy Lowell

The lilac is one 
of my most favorite flowers.  
I love everything about them. 
 If I could, I would wish
 to be surrounded by lilacs 
my whole life long. 
 My farthest away memory
 is of my great-grandmother, Susie,
 standing in the doorway
 of her Victorian farmhouse
 with a lilac bush
 in full bloom beside her...

"A faint smell of lilac filled the air,
There was always lilac in this part of town,
Where there were grandmothers, 
there was always lilacs."

Laura Miller

When we lived in Santa Cruz, 
our neighbors from across the street 
gave us a small off shoot
 of their lilac bush. 
 We planted it
 in a corner of the garden
 and it thrived.  
When we moved to the Cottage 
we took a piece of it with us, 
although everyone said 
that it couldn't be transplanted, 
and it thrived here also.

 of how it was trimmed (or wasn't)
 throughout the years,
 it was always beautiful and fragrant.  
This bush has been here at the Cottage 
for close to 30 years 
and a good 20 years in Santa Cruz before.

  This bush and I 
have always had an endearing relationship 
up to about two years ago.  
When the first tiny buds appeared 
on the slender stems, 
I couldn't wait to pick a big bouquet 
and bring all of its glory into the house. 
 It was a sad day
 when I realized that,
 in close quarters,
 the scent was overwhelming to me
 and I could not endure it.

The last Cottage lilacs in the guest room
 Today, I have taken a chance, 
and for just a little while,
 I brought an antique pitcher
 full of lavender blooms
 into the Cottage 
to share with you, 
along with some words that I found
 that convey their beauty
 to the poets in all of us.

"You are the smell of all summers,
 the love of wives and small children. 
 You are brighter than apples, 
sweeter than tulips."

Amy Lowell

"Now that the lilacs are in bloom, 
she has a bowl of lilacs in her room".

T.S. Eliot

"The lilacs stood close 
to Elizabeth's window,/ 
all purple with bloom.../
 but a wind is stirring the lilac blossoms,/
 and a wonderful sweetness
 came floating in."

Mary E. Wilkins
"The Message of Flowers", 1905

"A pewter bowl of lilacs in the room/
 seem to him to weigh 
and change the gloom."

William Faulkner

"If you have a garden and a library
You have everything you need."

Marcus Tullius Cicero

"Just now,
 the lilac is in bloom/
 all before my little room."

Rupert Brooke
"The Old Vicarage"

In the Language of Flowers:
The first emotion of love.

I love the colors 
of the flowers and the walls together 
along with the shape
 of the oval frame
 behind it...

...and its elegance
 against a rustic background...

...but lilacs and blue skies...
it doesn't get much better
 than that!

I am so sorry,
 for myself as much as
 for everyone else, 
that this beautiful flower,
 with its vibrant colors and sweet scent,
 has to be removed 
out to the front porch. 
 It still is my most favorite
 but I will have to be content
 with its beauty
 only in passing.

"The smell of moist earth and lilacs
Hung in the air
Like wisps of the past
Hints of the future."

Margaret Millar

"To be overcome 
by the fragrance of flowers
 is a delectable form 
of defeat."

Beverly Nichols

"In the dooryard
 Fronting an old farm house
Near the white wash'd palings
Stood the lilac bush tall growing
With heart shaped leaves
 of rich green."

Walt Whitman

Have a wonderful week 
and take in the beauty
 of the lilac 
in springtime.


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