Friday, July 31, 2009

Can Someone Explain This to Me?

This precious little girl just recently turned "2". One of the things I love about her is her beautiful smile, and the laughter that seems to be a part of her everyday. So...why is this saga happening? Every time the camera comes close to her...the sober face appears, and no matter how much craziness goes on by the photo taker or those on hand who pride themselves on the ability to make someone smile...the soberness remains. Here she is with her dear mother...

...and with my neice who always has a ready smile...

...and me, her mawmaw. Right before this picture was taken we had been laughing and playing together. The camera appears and so does the soberness. I discovered this lately as I was looking back over my pictures of the last few weeks, and I thought maybe someone out there in blogland could help me to decipher this behavior. Seriously, I know it is just a phase. With three daughters I lived through many different phases of behavior, and learned to not take each of them to heart, because they will grow out of them, and then some other behavior will leave one somewhat puzzled. So, this little one will continue to be photographed and I know soon her camera smile will return.

"Humor is to life what shock absorbers are to automobiles." Despite what you may be facing today, I wish for you a moment or two of humor to get you through.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Pleasant Afternoon Visit to the Country

Out in the country, about an hour from my home is a lovely farm/garden center/gift shop, owned and operated by a friend and her husband. Many years ago, Mary and I worked together at a local restaurant. I was told over the years that I should definitely plan a visit to this beautifully unique setting. A few weeks ago, while visiting with our daughter and family, I had this privilege.

It truly is out in the country...gorgeous country roads led us to this place. Everything one could need for decorating lawns, flower beds and inside decor was here. I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised as I walked through the wooden door and into the old rustic barn, discovering a most elegantly beautiful gift shop.

Mary created this gorgeous wreath, and I just wanted to just stand and stare at it.

Can you believe displays like this filled the rooms of this quaint barn gift shop? I wanted to buy one of everything. . .always fun to dream.

I did not realize that my friend was so artistically gifted. The flower arrangements were so exceptionally beautiful!

The crystal chandeliers for sale were masterpieces, and I could not help but wonder what the history was behind each one.

Outside, we walked on stone pathways through all of the pots of annuals, perenials and varied indoor and outdoor plants.

We could hear the sounds of rippling water from the different decorative stone fountains throughout.

This place was definitely worth our time spent driving to it. The country roads that we traveled on to get there, gave us their own show of nature's finest. But, the farm center was certainly the "icing on the cake." A perfect way to spend a warm, sunny, summer afternoon. Mary reminded us to be sure to come back in the Fall and during their Christmas Open House. Now, that was a fun thought to me.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Simple Summer Pleasures

If you are having friends over for a cookout or a casual meal, this might be a easy, refreshing and low cal desert to try. Take a plastic lined basket, fill with crushed ice and place whatever kind of popsicle in the ice. If you have the freezer space, you can do it ahead of time, and just place it on the center of the table, so that everyone can help themselves. Because it is plastic lined, it does not matter if the ice starts to melt.

These fruit bars are one of our favorites. My husband and I both think these are refreshing and taste good, but there are many other flavors and brands to choose from.

For the two of us(the empty nesters), this is our summer drink of choice. Ice water with a few slices of oranges, lemons and limes(carefully scrubbed clean). I try to keep a picture of this in our refrigerator for easy access. We think this is a healthy, thirst quenching drink.

Roses from my garden, brought into my kitchen add simple summer pleasure to my days. I use the term "garden," but after seeing many of the pictures of your gardens in blogland, I should say, my tiny flower bed. At this point of the summer, roses, daisies and ferns are all that are blooming. But that does not stop me from cutting and displaying them for our pleasure.

One of my good friends introduced me to "Becky" daisies last summer. Let me tell you how excited I am with this new discovery. The stems grow straight, and there seems to be so many flowers. I like them much better than the daisies that I used to grow. Now, I can't wait until they multiply like hers have over the years. These daisies are my favorite. She has them planted with black-eyed susans, and her flower beds are amazing.

These truly are simple summer pleasures that bring joy to this blogger. Thanks for the privilege of sharing them with you.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Blessing of Friendships

"Attention to detail is the secret of success in every sphere of life. Little kindnesses, little acts of consideration, little appreciation, and the little confidences are all that most of us are called on to perform, but they are all that are needed to keep a friendship sweet."
Hugh Black - "Friendship"

A memorable patio dinner, on a beautiful summer evening, with dear friends from our past.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Peaceful Resting Place

There is a river that begins at the heart of God;
It flows to quiet meadowlands and to where the road is hard.
The river moves through mountains to reach the heart of man
And nourishes it with kindness as only His mercy can.
The river is refreshing; it washes and renews;
It brings the Spirit's pressence as gently as the dew.
The river is annointing, it's compassion and it's grace;
The river is a healing stream and a peaceful resting place.
author ...Roy Lessin
Taking time today to rest and relax, knowing I need refreshment and grace, to face the week ahead.

Wishing each of you an enjoyable Sunday.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Joy on Saturday Morning

Saturday morning pancakes for some very special overnight guests...simply whipped up, and fried in the frying pan. A few slices of bacon in the microwave. Added a little butter and some maple syrup.

MawMaw, "what is that on top of the pancake?" MawMaw, "that is a heart cut out of watermellow." Why? Because it says, "I love you!" The little guy's plate with one pancake and one bacon.

The PawPaw's plate with two pancakes and bacon...oh, yes, and a watermellon heart too.

Together they enjoy a rare Saturday morning breakfast, talking nonstop. The two youngest sisters are still asleep.

Cooperating with MawMaw's wishes to use a fork instead of his fingers...quite reluctantly, I might add.

It is going to be a beautiful, sunny day after days of rain. What a joy to watch this day unfold.

A while later, and it is their turn for pancakes(and yes, the tiny watermellon hearts).

Gorgeous summer flowers from the farmer's garden that she brought for me, as a thank you for providing a night out for her husband. I am thrilled with the flowers, but I feel I should have given them to her, for giving us the privilege.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Cozy Corner of the World

Her porch is small, but it is by far her favorite place to read, to relax and to watch her birds. Throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall...I know where to find her, if she is home and if the weather is right. It is decorated with plants, flowers and little lights. The arrangement above was given to her as a gift, and sits on her glass and wicker table.

One evening I took this picture to share the coziness of her porch with you.

Her carefully selected flowers bloom in beds surrounding the porch...and yes most of them are in hues of pink, purple and white.

Her treasured, filled with blooms Gloxinia plant is sitting on the brick wall outside her porch. Apparently this type of flowering plant has been around for a very long time.

I thought you might enjoy seeing her pretty oasis...her place to enjoy the beauty and quiet of life.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How Did This Happen To Me?

I can remember so clearly... on my visits to my grandma, on my dad's side. She lived up the street from my home and I always enjoyed visitng her and spending time at their home. Often during those visits, she would pull out her photo albums and she would want to show me all of her latest creations. For some reason that I totally could NOT understand, she would take pictures of flowers...individual flowers, flower beds and huge gardens that she and my grandpa had visited. We would sit together and flip through all of the black photo book pages, each photo secured with black photo corners. I can remember exactly what I was thinking as we sat there going through the books...why would anyone take pictures of flowers? Wouldn't it be so much more interesting to take of people and events?

Fast forward the pages of time some 40 years later, and here I am in her same situation. It seems to me that the flowers this summer are more vibrant and plentiful than I ever remember, and I can hardly go through a garden or visit my friend's homes without carrying my camera with me to capture their beauty. The picture above is of my sister-in-law's flower boxes on the front porch of their home. The white wooden boxes are overflowing with colorful blooms.

Not only do I want to capture the exquisite beauty of the flowers myself, but I have my uncle doing the same for me, in his travels. He has come to realize what joy this brings to me.

How did this transformation happen...going from the young girl sitting by her grandma's side, looking at picture after picture of flowers, while inwardly rolling the eyes, and wondering the "whys" of this type of behavior... the middle age lady who carries her camera with her just in case she comes upon another gorgeous flower garden? Most every single time I capture flowers with my camera, I find myself thinking of this dear grandma. Actually, both of my grandmas did much to instill a love of flowers and their unique beauty. The above photo was taken at my other sister-in-law's home, when I discovered her amazing hydrangea bushes...some of every color and hue, and each one of them filled with blooms.

Here are some outstanding flower photos captured by my uncle on his recent beach trip.

Driving to the grocery store a week ago, I found myself stopping to take a picture of this overflowing bush of gorgeous white hydrangeas along the road...sorry to admit this, but it is true.

Yes, I know there are things that I will do over the years that will cause my own grandchildren to inwardly or perhaps even outwardly roll their eyes, but now I know that it is okay that they do it. I know that "what goes around, comes around", and someday they may just be doing the exact same thing themselves. I know my grandma would be thrilled to sit at my computer and look at all of my fascinating flower pictures. She would probably just smile to I will someday do.

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God's handwriting- a wayside sacrement. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower and thank God for it as a cup of blessing." ~Ralph Waldo Imerson

"The cups of blessing" this summer are abundant and I am so thankful!


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