June 22st 2018

June 22st 2018
Sunflowers have Arrived

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Odds and Ends

Greetings from hot and muggy California. It is summer after all and really its not all that bad. I am glad I am not a chicken though and have to spend my whole day outside. Do you know I think we should have a national holiday celebrating the genius of Willis Carrier the creator of the air conditioning.
"The Inventor of Modern Air Conditioning. Genius can strike anywhere. For Willis Carrier, it was a foggy Pittsburgh train platform in 1902. Carrier stared through the mist and realized that he could dry air by passing it through water to create fog." Isn't that just a wonderful thought. Anyway of all of the wonderful inventors there have been, that man changed the world. I think of that every time I come in the house from outside into this nice cool house. 

Don't you love Morning Glories? They are just such happy flowers. Are you having a nice summer?
What have you been doing? You know the only thing I wish I was doing was sitting in a tree reading a book like I did when I was a kid. I am sure though, that if the kids came over and saw me in a tree, they might think I flipped, because I am afraid of heights. But still I think of it every now and then. 

I have these really cool flowers I planted a few years ago out in the pasture. They are these double kind of flowers they look really neat. I tried transplanting them into my flowerbeds in the yard but they didn't make it. So now I let these pretty volunteers just grow out there by themselves. 

 I made my first batch of zucchini bread today. Its a gluten free version I found online. I tasted it and thought it was terrible. I made real pretty Cinnamon rolls today for the Bible Study in the morning and I had leftover cream cheese frosting that I always put on my Cinnamon rolls and Ron said it was good. (I can't stand zucchini bread at all, ever, even if I was on a desert island starving.) In fact, that one taste made me sick at my stomach. So I had to spend the day reading a book. That part was nice. 

Nothing deep going on here today. I wanted to check in this week. By this time in July, summer is full on summer. I always feel like its just put my head down and hanging on for the ride. Thankfully, the weather man has been wrong this summer more than half the time. We haven't had the hot weather he predicts every morning. I decided to stop watching him and move on and ignore the weather. Its hot. We don't get rain until December. It doesn't cool off until Halloween. So there is the weather report for us. No reason to sit and watch the weather and hope that it will cool off. It won't. I have been scrubbing the tile in the pool. That is a good thing about hot weather. 

I hope he makes you laugh. I still love Minions. Have a lovely rest of the week. 

Thank you so much for stopping by,

"Many dogs can understand almost every word
humans say, while humans seldom learn to
recognize more than half a dozen barks, if that.
---The 101 Dalmatians, Dodie Smith,1957

Friday, July 6, 2018

A Summer Day

I thought this morning you might like to see my little garden. This time of year it looks so green and pretty. As summers go this one hasn't been as hot as last year. We had over 60 days in a row of 100+ temps in 2017. This one has been more normal to my memories. I hadn't put my silkies in their little pen yet so they are playing hide and seek with me. They just make me laugh, so when I have a slow morning like today, I like to sit on the patio with my coffee and watch the little gnomes run around the yard.

I was trying to get a good picture of that eggplant, but Mr. Rooster thought I wanted to take his picture. He is getting up in years now. He is still my favorite rooster. He does love his little hens and is a good rooster to them.

On the fourth of July, I was madly going though my cookbooks, and drawers and everywhere I could think of to find my ice cream recipe. I ran across a journal that I had written in 2007. My life has changed so much. I only had three grandsons. I was babysitting the oldest. I was still homeschooling four kids. I was still entertaining the idea of being a writer. I hadn't even run across the idea of blogging. (I found the recipe by the way.)
 So here it goes.

Reflections From My Porch.

"The air is perfect for November. The sky is filled with jumbles of clouds, telling the sun to go away and come again another day---like March. 
The Sugar Maple who began the week wearing a splendid dress of red and gold. She looks today that she has lost most of the dress during the night. As I walked this morning to visit each tree before they go to sleep for the winter, I noticed under my friend the Sugar Maple her leaves were all around her feet. Once on the ground the leaves only stay bright and red and orange one day then they fade and melt down to become brown and crunchy giving themselves for the good of the earth. 

I will forget the beauty of this fall, I will not remember the blowing of the wind though the cottonwoods or the sound of the ocean though the branches. I won't remember the orange and yellow or reds and bronze that lit up my pasture as a candle brings light to a darkened room. 
The wind and the rain will come and the leaves will scurry away until their places are no more or I will rake them up to make everything look neat and clean.

My chickens have come up to the porch, they are in my pots on the porch scratching and eating the rest of my aloe they found earlier in the summer. They are all clustered around waiting for me to feed and collect their eggs. They are such an interesting group of ladies, they are still girls rather than respectable hens. They still like to be petted and talked too not like my old graceful biddies who only see me as the one who brings food. My rooster walks on his feathery feet next to the swimming pool, I can't believe that I have allowed chickens to take over the yard!"

Back to today, its warming up outside. The garden loves it. I haven't yet began to panic because of the zucchini. I have lots of plans for the ones that I do have. I have been working on the last pages of His Eye is on the Sparrow. I will show you when I have some discernible progress. I am starting to panic about that last final edge, will it meet up or not. Will I have to do some ripping out? That last corner will be a test. 

Ben and Megan and the boys got to spend the Fourth of July in Yellowstone. I think that is so very cool to experience that. They also love Glacier National Park. It makes me almost wish we did summer vacations. Kind of. 

I just wanted to write a post, because I would hate to change the name to" Once in a Great While Field of Dreams."

Have a wonderful weekend this first week of July,


The world is full of happiness, and plenty to go round, if you only will to take the kind that comes your  way. The whole secret is in being pliable.
---Daddy-Long-Legs, Jean Webster, 1912

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Happy July!

Really, I will try harder to post more than once a month.  June is kind of a blur. I thought I would show you a picture of the inside of our tiny airport. Isn't that funny? We were sitting, (Ron and I) waiting for Peter's flight to get into Bako. He was in Florida for a job interview and was returning. We were sitting there and I was just laughing at how peaceful everything is in our airport most of the time. (He didn't take the job!) I was glad. With Kessie and her family in Arizona, Ben and Megan on the road, I think Montana. I wasn't ready for one in Florida. Not yet, anyway.

Did I mention in my last blog post that I have a group of ladies come on Thursday morning for Bible Study? We have about nine ladies and I fix breakfast and Emilie teaches. Its very nice, but I think I spend a lot of time keeping my house presentable. One of the reasons for my lack of blog posts.
Plus I have been painting and rearranging and fixing. I painted my wheelbarrow, to match the step stool Ron made on the porch. I took the picture of it but I can't find it on my new computer.

Elliot went to Las Vegas. He went with his girlfriend's family. He was not quite prepared for all for all of the sights he saw. He now knows why its called Sin City.

This last week we found out that Ron was receiving a job promotion. As always bittersweet. He really likes working where he is working now, well except for the two hour drive. Now he will be back in Bako. No more 4:00 A.M. mornings. That is nice and he won't be on 24 hour call anymore. Which of course hasn't been all of that bad. Still, this has been a month of changes. Kessie being pregnant with number six, which is a boy. She will have bookends. Her oldest is a boy, and the youngest is a boy. She developed a blood clot. Me being here and her there, put me in a bit of a tizzy.

I think if I could say anything about June, its been how I have leaned really hard on God, and tried to pray more than worry. I have tried to keep my thoughts at peace. Knowing that there really isn't a single thing I can do to change a single circumstance. The other day when we were having our Bible Study, Emilie said, " Do you notice how all super hero villains are the ones who try to control everything?" As I sat and thought about it, every single bad guy is someone who tries to tell other people how to live. Well, it showed me how if I am not careful I could just as easily turn into a bad guy. I am working on keeping my fingers out of every ones pies. So for July, my goal will be to pray even more than I do now and not worry or tell God what it is I think He should be doing.

 Summer is here. I do love summer. My list of summer projects continues to grow. I have all of those white railings around the porch to paint. I like painting when I am outside. August is going to be our painting the rest of the inside of the house. Hopefully, I can finally have a very nice bedroom. Its always the last thing on my list. Makenzie wanted to make curtains for her bedroom this week. We had a very nice time together, while she and I figured out how to make curtains for her. She is did wonderful job. They look so pretty in her room too.

All of those white railings in the picture. At least most of the time its in shade. It will be easier than the swimming pool fence. My hands have been full.  I have sat down so many times to try and write a blog, but the tyranny of the urgent was louder than my ability to write a cohesive sentience. 

I have sewed a little on His Eye and worked a little on my Jonah rug. Just not as much as I wish I could.
I hope you have a lovely Fourth of July. We will have a nice day I think.
Thank you to Lauren, for checking up on me. I appreciate it very much.

Blessings from me to you,

"In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?"
-  Robert Louis Stevenson, Bed in Summer

(I won't have to do this much longer. Yay for summer!)

Saturday, June 2, 2018

A Summer Morning

This morning, I was out watering my chickens. As I stood next to the water. Listening to the water burble and chuckle while the chickens drank that lovely cool water. I noticed in the background, the quiet hum of bees. As I looked into the blossoms of this Chinese Lantern tree, it was full of bees. As I watched them, I saw the tiniest bee I have ever seen in my life. It was maybe the size of the end of a pin. It was blue green and sparkled like a mix between amethyst  and emerald. We will begin June with perfect weather. We will touch 100-105 on Sunday and Monday then it will return to 90s. Its time for all of those wonderful things I love about living in California.

 We need those warm days so we can use this again. I don't know why I complain about the weather when I have so many nice things around me to keep me nice and cool.

I thought since I was walking around with my camera, it was time to give you a look at all that I see when I am here walking around looking at things.

This Hydrangea blossom is as high as my head. I was taking pictures this reminded me of my grandmother. One of my earliest memories is her taking care of her huge hydrangea bushes. She was still living in her house in town so I couldn't have been more than two. She let me drive nails all around her plants with a hammer. I was so proud of myself getting to do an important job like that while she carefully explained to me how the nails would help the flowers turn blue. All of the things that come to my mind as I walk around with my camera.

The Mullein is going to town. I am always so glad when I see it growing and I am reminded of how important it is to have medicinal herbs growing around your house. To me this was one of the most important ones with small children. When they would get colds, we would brew mullein and make a tea and give it to the kids with honey. It always broke up the cough. Its too warm now but I still have nettles growing in shady places and that is the best plant for Nettle tea when you are low on iron.

 I wanted to share with you the new pomegranates. They are so pretty in among the new leaves. I don't know if they still do this today, but when I was in grade school they would line us all up in lines and the principal would go up and down the lines looking at our hands to see if they were clean and would use a tongue depressor to look at kids heads for lice. I hated that so much because then they would make a big deal of taking kids with dirty hands and lice out of line and every single kid knew who those kids were. My grandmother had this huge pomegranate tree, and every time I would take one and break it open with rock I would get my hands stained. The next day at school would be that check day. I still can't stand to get juice on my hands.  I also still shudder thinking about how the kids who were called out of line would be ostracized until the next time we had to stand in line for that check.

 This year, the shade in the front yard is so deep. The grass is so green that I find myself setting on the porch, watching it. I know I have taken this picture so many times but I find I am still drawn by it.
Maybe because its the first year, there will be no little legs in among its branches. I find that the echos of voices and laughter seem to come at me every time I walk around now. The ghosts who live among us. Children of the past.

I cheated today and left Mr. Nosy chicken scratch so I could get his picture. He was scolding me when he thought I was going to pick his berries. I put some scratch out and then sat in my chair and waited. It didn't take too long. Mrs. Blue Jay was much more cautious. She stayed in among the branches and watched and waited for me to leave.

The outside living room
My berries not the blue jays.
How it looks when I am sitting in my outside living room.
I was trying to get a picture of the little ants stealing sugar from this sunflower. They were really tiny and very busy. So many memories today. The first time I saw sunflowers growing by the side of the road, when our road out front was just a country road with very few cars as well as asphalt, mostly dirt road. Sunflowers would grow in the summer. I wanted to pick a bouquet for my Mom. I wasn't supposed to go past my Great Grandmother's house, but I really wanted those flowers. So when the coast was clear, I ran as fast as I could to the clump of sunflowers. What I learned that day was, first of all you don't just pick sunflowers, you need something to cut them with as they are so tough, and the second thing I learned is they are filled with those tiny ants gathering sugar. My hands were full of ants. I dropped those flowers like they were hot potatoes and ran back home brushing off the ants. I never did pick them again. Now when I bring them in the house, I always soak them in a little bit of Dawn dish washing soap and warm water, and it works like a charm. I use my Black Eyed Susan's more for flower arranging, because the sunflowers are for the finches, the parrots and the bees.

 I will stop for now. My fitbit reminded me I have been sitting for too long. Once I jump up and go take 250 steps for the hour, my mind starts moving on to someplace else. Like real life and taking Ron to get tires on his car.
Thank you for stopping by today. My kids keep asking for memories so I am trying to do what they ask. For a little while.
I hope your day is as pretty as ours is today. With the sounds of the wind-chimes and the wind gently stirring the leaves and the smell of toasty warm grass and the birds singing in the distance.

“A person never forgets the landscape of their childhood'.”
― Kate Morton, The Lake House