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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Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda


  1. I love that first shot exterior of your home. SO welcoming. And the garden is just beautiful. Very smart and clever you are, with the lath to help block the sun. That had to be a bit of a rude awakening! But it works like a charm. All so lovely, Judy.

    1. Thanks so much, Jeanie. It works but it still is so hot out there that we can't eat unless it is late at night..Happy Summer..xxoJudy

  2. Judy!!!
    O my! I love how the Secret Garden is looking and i just absolutely adore your porch!! The front of the Cottage is just magical, my friend!! So glad that you got to do a bit of celebrating on the 4th!!! And even enjoyed some fireworks!! Good for you!!! Such a sweet pup Robin is...Everything looks beautiful! I was so excited to see that you posted and this post definitely did not disappointment....I will be pouring back over it a few times...Thanks so much for stopping by!! we are all doing well and Thank God, recovering from Co Vid nicely...So grateful that we all had mild cases...But I am not letting my guard down..In fact, I will be even more careful after this.... Stay safe, healthy and happy , my friend!!

    1. Thanks so much, Deb. I am so glad that you all are feeling better. The new variant is running rampant up here and I am hearing that even though someone has already had the virus, with other variants you have immunity for awhile longer, but evidently not this newest one, so I am sticking close to home and enjoying it a whole lot..Happy Summer days..xxoJudy

  3. Hi Judy!
    Your secret garden looks beautiful and I just love your porch. Our 4th of July was low key this year. We normally have a large cook-out for family and friends but we decided to skip it this year and I am ok with that. Enjoy the garden!

    1. Thanks so much, Lynda. We are spending a lot of time on our porches after the sun goes down as it has been really hot. But that is summer for you and I wouldn't have it any other way..Enjoy the summer days..xxoJudy

  4. Oh Judy! I LOVE your Secret Garden.. it is shaping up beautifully! What a lovely place to go sit and enjoy some quiet and shade. Smart idea to use that lath to hide what you didn't want to see.... that is such a good idea and I have a couple of areas I need ot put it to block not so pretty neighbor views! Your porch is so inviting! I bet evenings there are so nice and love those beautiful flowers you found of orange and red. I have a little fountain in my little garden area, or sitting area as I call it.. and love to hear the trickle of the water. I haven't sat out there much yet as the days are too hot. .and I'm finding that this year we have mesquitoes in the evening! Never have had them before. I love that quote "rituals of quiet and calm"... oh yes.. that's what I do all the time. Take care... xoxo Marilyn

    1. Thanks so much, Marilyn. Just taking life one day at a time and not accomplishing much. I'm hoping something interesting will happen to write about but in the meantime, just taking it slow and enjoying summer..xxoJudy

  5. Your cottage is always so beautiful. The front of the cottage especially. Glad you had such a good time at the fire works. Also how great that Robin does not mind the fireworks going off. Happy New Week. xoxo Kris

    1. Thanks so much, Kris. I will be back again soon but for now just enjoying the summer..xxoJudy

  6. Your home is gorgeous and so charming, Judy. The front yard is a showstopper and that porch is amazing. I'm glad you found a way to enjoy the space without the glare. I hope it continues to work and as the fall rolls around the glare gets better. xxoo

    1. Thanks so much, Kim. I am hoping to get back into the swing of things before too long but am rather enjoying the time off too..Happy Summer..xxoJudy

  7. I love your home and garden.
    You have created an extremely cozy place :)

  8. Oh , such lovely photos and your garden is recovering nicely. We take our views and shade for granted and when it is gone...sigh! Loved seeing your post! Sandi

  9. WOW that sucks that you have to pay more for electricity between those hours. So glad you ere able to enjoy the fireworks this year. We missed ours this year. Hope your secret garden becomes your favorite spot once a gain. Janice

  10. Judy, your home is charming. Happy to see your secret garden is making a comeback. i love seeing the hummers. The flowers are lovely. The squirrels keep eating mine. I am happy to feature your summer moments at Love Your Creativity. xoxo

  11. Your cottage is so charming. I love your inviting and pretty porch. I'm so glad you found a way to block the garage roof reflection. That's crazy that you have to pay more for electricity between 4 & 9. That's when people are getting home and trying to get dinner cooked and laundry. Take care


Your comments are so special to me...Judy