Monday, July 27, 2020

Last Week of July

July is just a busy month! In some ways it's nice to reach the end of a busy season, but July also spells high summer to me and August points toward fall and a new season and new seasons always bring a little bittersweet with them.

As usual, my week began at the flower shop.

Tuesday found me in my front yard enjoying a visit from my friend Christy who came all the way from NYC! Incidentally, I was to have been there this weekend but of course covid changed all that. Instead Christy was at my house.

Wednesday we got together with extended family to celebrate my mom's birthday. Chocolate cake was in order!

Yay for cousin time!

The chocolate cake was quite a treat!

We said hello to Job the donkey.

And we checked out the gardens at Grandma's house.

And we even got a safe selfie.

Thursday I was back at flowers.

And Friday David turned 14!

Two of my monarchs went into chrysalis (and as of today I have 5 in chrysalis!).

Friday evening Drew finally had the chance to graduate high school! Way to go Drew! We are so proud of you!

Drew begins at IUPUI for Business and Education next month!

By Saturday I needed a little alone time and took myself off to Eagle Creek for a hike and some painting.

David had a friend over to celebrate his birthday.

And I took some pictures of my garden, which is finally getting back to capacity after many years of fighting voles.

The side garden looks so pretty right now with all the hydrangeas and the purple phlox and hostas.

And now we are waiting to find out if the kids will go to school this week as planned or if the start of school will be pushed back. Such is life.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Celebrations Begin

It was a busy week as our family celebrations began! Working at the flower shop provides a quiet beginning to my week with beauty to focus on.

We had friends over to play in the creek that runs near our house. I find it so relaxing to escape to the woods and the running water.

I've started two days at the shop now -- Monday and Thursday. Beauty refresher midweek! Sounds like a good plan!

When I'm not working at the shop I'm working on developing nature journaling courses and part of that involves figuring out an indoor filming place. I'm making progress!

We had a church fellowship event this past week! Maybe our first since the pandemic? It was a chalk drawing night in the parking lot complete with popsicles!

David's toad (frog?) won a prize!

Drew painted the shutters for us! I've been wanting them to be painted for several years now and it makes me so happy to have them match the front door again!

I stopped by a friend's to see her amazing Hummingbird nest! What a treat for her family to have hummingbirds nesting right outside her patio!

James is playing a lot of tennis this summer in prep for the school season. I drove him to his first tennis matches and mentally prepared for a few more months of this!

We had a beautiful foggy morning this week and on one of my early walks with neighbors I captured this beautiful scene:

Laura is reading the Cherry Ames series and it takes me right back to being her age. I loved the Cherry Ames books (about a girl who studies nursing in college and goes on to have quite a glamorous career at a number of nursing jobs).

Drew went to prom. Yes, they had prom! I'm not sure it was quite what it usually is, but this year I made sure I was in on the pictures.

And got one with him too!

In the midst of life we took time to celebrate our 21st anniversary with a picnic.

Drew's graduation open house was Saturday at a nearby park. It was a great day and we so enjoyed visiting with all his guests.

I made some flowers for the food table.

We made all our food individually packaged: veggies and dip, fruit salad, and salami, olive, tomato, and mozzarella bites. Shaved ice for dessert!

Sunday we celebrated the birthdays of both of our moms! We had peach or blueberry pie for dessert. Yum!

And we ended the week with a beautiful rainbow out back and a peaceful light over the garden.

 And now we are headed into another week of graduation and birthday celebrations.

Monday, July 13, 2020

It's a Hot July!

I had the week off from my flower work this past week. So I gave myself the special treat of going to Goodwill Outlet with a friend. I didn't realize until I got home how many wonderful things ended up in my cart! I had to record it in my gratefulness journal:

Here's my cart part way through the morning. For some reason it's very relaxing for me to cull through all the bins at goodwill looking for random things. 

I've started walking three mornings a week with some neighborhood friends. We start early to avoid the heat and walk about 5 miles. 

I spent quite a few hours going through 17 years of family photos this week in preparation for Drew's upcoming graduation celebration. There were plenty of fun memories to re-discover and lots of records of creative projects to re-inspire me.

I loved this pic of James having tea with me at one of the most fabulous tea experiences ever on the Isle of Skye.

The milkweed is still blooming and I love watching all the bug life enjoying it too!

And the Queen Anne's Lace is just stunning every where I look!

I had a second day off of the flower shop and devoted a few hours to painting. I had fun with this gouache milkweed.

And I loved recording the Queen Anne's Lace and teasel this way:

And I couldn't leave me two hollyhocks out! (The art is for sale: Milkweed 8x10 $100; all the others are 5x7 and $50)

One morning I walked by myself down to the reservoir and back. It looked like I'd flown away to a vacation. 

Saturday the girls and I attended a lovely shower for a friend's daughter and I brought the flowers.

I failed to take any other pics of the shower but it was one of the first for Laura to be able to attend. She enjoyed it!

Sunday, after church, we went to a friend's open house.The sky was just gorgeous and for once I wasn't driving so I could take pictures for future painting! Look at that cloud!

And now a new week is here.....

Monday, July 6, 2020

July 4th!

My week began as usual with flowers! These were some of the "red, white, and blue" bouquets. 

I took the rest of the week "off" of my art business work and focused on house projects and more time for resting. I was so excited to finally finish of my back closet which has been a several-month long project. It's all rearranged, sorted, and reorganized! (In case you are wondering, that is fabric, not my clothing!)

I took one morning to paint my hollyhocks with oils -- oils are new to me and there's a big learning curve! Laura decided she wanted to join me with acrylics.

Michael's dad has been gone for more than two years now but we wanted to celebrate his life on his birthday. We had Michaels' mom over for a special dinner: the kind of meal one would get at a steak house, complete with iceberg wedges with bacon and blue cheese. Yum!

Michael's siblings all called in on zoom and we sang. One of Michael's brothers had even driven up to Dad's gravesite which was extra special for everyone to be able to see what it is looking like right now.

All this 90+ degree weather isn't putting us off the outside socializing! Where there's a will there's a way! Laura and her friend followed a painting tutorial all by themselves!

I made it back to the art museum gardens with a friend (in the heat! iced drinks in tow). I guess the cheery rudbeckia and the creeping jenny below them were my favorite finds of the day.

On July 4th we had cousin Olivia and my sister, Emily, over to enjoy some time in our local creek and then lunch under the front tree. It proceeded to rain and the kids loved it.

 In the evening our two moms came over for a back patio barbecue. I made some delicious salads and grilled hamburgers and hotdogs.

We all sat around and enjoyed chatting.

And we even made s'mores for dessert!

One special part of my week was sorting photos from my January England trip. It brought a lot joy and good memories for which I was thankful.

And now we are into another HOT week!