Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Last of June

Father's day seems a lot further away than just a week ago. The weather cooperated and we enjoyed our evening meal outside on the patio.

Sunday is our dessert day. Once in awhile we have a weeknight dessert, especially if we've had something lighter like beans and rice for dinner. This was cherry cobbler. We have a lot of our desserts with natural sugar substitutes (honey or maple syrup) so that everyone can eat them.

Monday flowers once again. We are starting to have local flowers, grown by my sister's in-laws, to put into bouquets. It makes a difference in the whimsy. 

These yellow bouquets were just so cheery!

I went INSIDE the library for the first time since March. It was different -- so quiet, much darker (I couldn't figure that one out), and I didn't self-check my books.

But, I did discover that we could get seeds from our library! Who knew! I grabbed some butterfly weed, zinnias, cosmos, and cone flower. What a wonderful service!

I am enjoying my hollyhocks so much! Next week I'll have to show the black one that turned up in the back garden.

We made it back to the Art Museum gardens! One of our happy places.

This is a Bottlebrush Buckeye bush. I love the beautiful candles that reach up about 12 inches each and then have the tiniest little coral specks attached. Lovely scent too.

My patch of milkweed is in full bloom and scenting the whole backyard. The bees love it. I am so sad that I haven't seen any butterflies yet. Where are they???

And now here we are on the last day of June!

Monday, June 22, 2020

The Best of June

Last week began, again, with flowers. There were 50 bouquets to make. I listened to podcasts and my audio book and enjoyed the peace and quiet all to myself.

The color of the protea pins, lavender, and sunflowers was so beautiful.

Tuesday I decided to drive 45 minutes north and take Laura and James strawberry picking. It seemed like a good outing during the pandemic. Most of my kids haven't ever picked strawberries so this was a new experience.

It was good to get out of our area and into the countryside.

The berries were small and hard to find due to the lack of rain, but we managed to get about 6 pounds.

Then we enjoyed strawberry shortcake, strawberries and angel food cake, and strawberry freezer jam.

I find Hollyhocks hard to grow -- they are biennial so take a few years to grow and then not all my seedlings/seeds seem to survive. This year I have two stunning plants by my garage and they bring me lots of happiness!

I went to Costco this week! First time since before March. I was researching prices for Drew's open house and stocking up on a few essentials. I was delighted to discover vanilla had come down in price by $10!

Thursday I met a friend at my mom's to do plein air oil painting -- it was my first oil outside. It was the most glorious evening and rejuvenated me.

The Northern Catalpa trees are in bloom right now. They amaze me with their lime green leaves and their huge blossoms that look like collections of some kind of orchid!

I'm trying to get my head around the idea that the summer solstice has happened and we are half way through the year. I love these long summer nights. I don't want them to shorten!

Saturday found me with my sisters sorting out the last of the belongings from my parents' old house. It was fun to see things from our childhood. We found the collection of doll cloths Christina and I had  made for Emily one Christmas -- all look-alike American Girl Samantha clothes from fabric we had. 

And I found a Beatrix Potter figurine of my own that was my mom's. I hadn't remembered she had one and I'm so excited to have it sitting on my own shelf now.

And now we head into a new week!

Monday, June 15, 2020


Our week began with our first in-person church service since mid-March! The weather allowed us to meet outside, which meant more people could attend and singing was safer! Yay! Hopefully we'll have many more good-weather Sundays this summer.

Monday I was back at the flower shop -- I used a new flower this week: Ti Tree Flower (also written Tea Tree). I love the wonderful texture it adds to the bouquets with its small balls of white flowers.

James, David, and Laura spent some more time working at Grandma's house doing yard work.

Getting together with people outside is happening all the time. If it's the morning, the front has the most shade, if the afternoon, the back patio is the best!

I had so much fun making this embroidered mask this week. I love linen, and the soft colors of the wildflowers pair so well with the linen.

Backyard celebration with blueberry pie and my new guest favorite: Elderflower syrup (purchase on Amazon). The syrup makes the nicest fizzy water drinks and is delightful added to whipped cream (especially if you add some yogurt to the whipped cream too).

Drew and I needed an activity to do together so we went "scootering" downtown. I'm just glad I didn't fall and break an arm! I can see the draw of whizzing down the street at a fast pace. We had fun!

And now we are into a new week! My garden is about to pop into glory and we are enjoying our last day of delightful temperatures before we get another heat wave. Have a good week!

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Summer 101

Life is not back to normal, but the scale of busy-ness has certainly tended back toward normal. And it's hot now. A highlight of our week was getting the AC replaced. We are so thankful!

We began our week joining others at a peaceful rally to listen to members of our community and to pray as we walked through downtown and participated in a lie-in for 8 min and 46 sec. Our week has continued to be filled with questions, feelings of huge inadequacy, sorrow, frustration, anger, bewilderment. It's also been filled with good conversations and listening to podcasts and ordering books and more praying.

Flower therapy was so welcome on Monday. More time to listen and pray and think.

Some of the kids went to my mom's and helped her with outside garden chores. Sorry for them -- it was hot!

I attended my very last portrait oil painting class. I enjoyed the classes so much. They were hard work, but worth it all and I learned so much!

Michael and I met friends at Eagle Creek for a walk and a visit. The wild roses were in bloom along with so many other fun nature finds, including a water snake. Michael and I also watched our baby hawks take some of their first little "flight hops" between branches by their nest.

I finally finished a five painting commission "Scenes from Manhattan" and the paintings were turned into a card set! Yay! Soon to be available in my online shop.

 I also painted some fun sheep cards for a friend! I want to do more with sheep breeds.

My other fun job of the week was turning this pile of flowers into wedding flowers.

The wedding colors were mauve or dusty rose. Apparently it's a hard combination to find in nature. But my wholesaler did a great job finding the right things!

Definitely a romantic bouquet!

And lovely corsages which got silver ribbon:

A friend and I did some social distancing crafting together on a HOT afternoon.

Good thing there was cake and rhubarb elderflower sparkling waters afterward!

Saturday morning found me hauling my goods to the wedding!

The cake looked absolutely perfect!

And so did the bride, a dear family friend. I think our family has done flowers for 3 out of 4 of their weddings over the past 16 years.

After delivering the flowers I drove home to watch the wedding via livestream. Such are the times.

And now I'm doing housework, resting, and rearranging my room to better suit my next business idea!