Tuesday, July 12, 2022


I hope you all enjoyed a Happy 4th of July.
 It was just another day here at the Cottage but, at twilight, that all changed. 

 I did a very small amount of decorating 

but it was enough to capture the spirit. 

 As we have been trying to pay attention to the bottom line of our electric bill,

 that means that between 4 and 9 PM we are charged considerably more

 for the amount of utilities we use, so we have been using no more than is necessary. 

 But on the holiday we put all of that aside. 

 We went all out with lamps a blazing

 and twinkle lights on the porches.

With the addition of antique flags and long ago treasures, 

we celebrated in style and it looked spectacular at night. 

 Just before 9:30 we drove to watch the fireworks and they were magnificent.  

They have always been held at the fairgrounds with all day events there

 and a parade, either in Grass Valley or Nevada City.  

Because of Covid, the last couple of years

 they have been shot off of an overpass over the freeway.  

Their thinking was that more homes are situated in the area 

so people could see them without congregating together. 

 We thought we would be able to see them from our driveway,

 but we got only a very little glare off in the distance.  

This year we took a chance and drove up and parked in the hospital parking lot 

and they were right over our heads.

  It was a very clear night 

and as we have our first dog ever, that isn't afraid of the noise, 

it was a wonderful evening.

We have been working diligently 

on bringing the Secret Garden back to some visions of old.  

Although, it will be many years before that might be a possibility,

 it is looking not half bad.

Of course, there is a glaring hole now 

and the neighbor's garage roof is visible. 

 It is a tin roof and the sun reflects off of it with great intensity.  

It was impossible to sit on the porch 

in most of the daylight hours.

We decided to use an old piece of lath that we had 

to try to block that out somewhat. 

 It works pretty well 

and from a sitting position, 

we can still see most of the garden...

...we cut a small peek hole 

so that the person sitting in the chair directly across from the lath,

 is able to get a full view

 of the thirsty little hummers.

We found this beautiful flower basket,

 filled with all the same colors...

...that connects together

 the outside with the inside.

It is looking better than we thought it could 

and with a few little tweaks, 

such as painting one more chair red and a new sprinkling of gravel over all,

 we can almost see the return of 

what once was.

The wisteria had grown so tall 

and was in full force in the tree tops.

  When the trees were cut,

 it immediately sprouted leaves at gazebo height 

and is now starting to twine around and over. 

 It is just like we had always planned!

A nosy neighbor is liking the view...

...along with our little speckled pup, Robin,

 who will go to any lengths to find a sun spot.

"Rituals of quiet and calm, 

encouraging us to enjoy 

our own good company."

Alexandra Stoddard

We are still practicing moments of taking deep breaths

 and it seems to be a good way to go.

Until next time, Happy Summer Days to you all.


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