Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thirty one years!

"You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams".
-- Dr Seuss

I want us to be this couple in 31 more (or less) years.
So many exciting places yet to go and experiences to share together.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Once upon a time......

there were four little rabbits, Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter.

Peter Rabbit family.jpg

Happy Birthday Beatrix Potter
July 28,  1866 - December 22, 1943
Beatrix Potter is most famous for the creation
of  the lovable and mischievous Peter Rabbit. 
 She was also a natural scientist and an avid conservationist,
who loved sharing the country life and landscapes of
rural England through her many stories and illustrations. 

As a successful farmer Beatrix had an interest in land preservation
and is credited for the preservation of much of what is now 
the Lake District National Park, 
the largest national park in England .

How lucky are we!

(images and information from The World of Beatrix Potter)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Do you remember?

Sigh, do you remember

It now looks like this

Here are a few more then and nows.

It's too early for these to start
changing to this color.

How quickly it went from this
to this

This is the second summer of scorching temperatures.   Last year I watched so many of my favorites burn up and disappear during our too many days of 100+ temperatures.  Those temps didn't arrive until August.  This year the temps started rising in early June; it has been unrelenting with little relief from rain.  Last spring I eagerly and joyfully replanted.   As I sit and look out at my backyard,  feeling a bit defeated, I am beginning to think I need to re-evaluate.   You have to decide what is worth repairing

and what you sadly give up or change.

Who knows!  Next year when I am yearning to get out and play in the dirt I will probably change my mind, but like my beautiful hydrangeas, I am pretty much done (and yes I mean done not finished...well done) today.

On a positive note,

like a good friend the Althea is hanging in without complaining

Whatever this is, seems to
be thriving in spite it is a slug's
favorite snack.

The summer phlox is on its second bloom.

And, Autumn Joy is looking good even
though it had a bit of a disruption
during the front makeover.

I think I'll go hang out with him for awhile.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Just Outside My Window

It was a busy day in the backyard.

I was busy picking up around the house and had stopped to glance at today's paper when I noticed this little guy outside my my kitchen window.

I stood and watched him for awhile wondering what he was up to.
He seemed to be perfectly happy crouching by the tree.

Then I noticed his little eyes.  
He reminded me of a toddler so tired, yet fighting sleep.

While watching the little guy,  I noticed there was a lot of traffic passing through.

There were drinkers

He's giving in.

and bathers.

Some just wanted to hang out  and listen to the music

Sh-h-h he is finally out.

Some came for the cuisine.

Others came to just to make a new friend.

While keeping an eye on my little napper

an unexpected guest arrived, waking him up.

and, like a star struck fan, I kept clicking.

The garden gate is always open.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ignoring the Heat

"The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." 
                                                                -- Bertrand Russell

I did make it outside to work in the garden a bit this morning.  I trimmed the roses while the dew was still on, or were they sweating?  Do roses sweat?  No, really it was dew.  I was the one sweating.

I picked up after the squirrels.  I seriously think they have all night parties in my backyard.

I emptied and cleaned the birdbaths.

So the big bad crows could take over.

With thorn scratched hands, mosquito bites covering by arms and legs, and not a dry thread on I finally retreated inside.

Now I'm trying to ignore the heat.  I've made a nice cool drink

and I think I can waste some time pinning 
Pinterst has become one of my guilty pleasures.  I can waste a bunch of time searching and pinning things that catch my fancy.

I think I am probably one of the last people in the world to find it; I don't really have it totally figured out yet.  Like I have a message on my wall, but I don't know how to get to my wall.   If you haven't found it, let me know.  I will be happy to send you an invitation.

I hope you find something to wile away the time while ignoring the heat!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Just Smile!

Did you know that just the act of smiling triggers a chemical reaction
making you happy.

Smile though your heart is aching 
Smile even though it's breaking 
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by 
If you smile through your fear and sorrow 
Smile and maybe tomorrow 
You'll see the sun come shining through for you 

Light up your face with gladness 
Hide every trace of sadness 
Although a tear may be ever so near 
That's the time you must keep on trying 
Smile, what's the use of crying? 
You'll find that life is still worthwhile 
If you just smile

The tune of this song has been in my head all morning.  I opened up the newspaper this morning and started reading about the sweltering temperatures, the budget crisis, bombings, and all the trials and tribulations of so many and started humming.  

I ran out to Volvo to have a light bulb changed in my car.  Pretty simple, except cars were backed up preventing me from entering  the garage area.  I decided I could wait to have the light changed, but all the exits were blocked as well.   I backed up and headed out the "in".  A fellow stepped out with his hand up.  I started humming, smiled, and waved.  Later gator!

Being unsuccessful having my light fixed I headed over to pick up a prescription.  As walked out I almost ran into a woman looking down and scowling.  She stopped abruptly and scowled at me,  I started humming and smiled....

In an instant I watched every muscle in her face relax as she smiled back and said "excuse me".

Smile at everyone today, even if you don't feel like it, and start humming with me!

Don't you feel better already!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

For Her It Had To Be...

"A faithful friend is a strong defense;
And he that hath found him hath found a treasure." 
                                                                                     ...Louisa May Alcott    

The gift has been wrapped, the card signed and all placed in a postal box, carefully sealed, addressed and shipped to Houston.

Yes, I've mailed my latest gift of love.  Before I show you the the finished product.  I want to share with you a little about my friend.

I have mentioned before I have a handful of friends who are very special to me.  I wrote about one several months ago.  Today I want to share with you a little bit about another very dear friend.

Cam and I have been friends for over thirty years.  We met when we both worked in the same office in Austin, Texas.  She was (and still is) a spunky redhead who pretty much shot from the hip.   She has a wonderful sense of humor and a laugh, well, if you are around when she starts laughing you just can't be in a bad mood, it is infectious.  She is one of the bravest, most loyal and honest people I know.   She attended my wedding, she was with me shortly after the birth of my daughter and she attended my daughter's wedding.

As I was knitting I started thinking, as I always do,  about all our years together.  She is one of those friends who appears when you are in most need of a friend.    Roger and I moved from Austin shortly after we were married. We were not happy where we were living and decided we would try to move back.  We found a house still under construction.    Now someone needed a job in Austin immediately.  With a newborn, Cam invited me to stay with her and her family while I looked for employment and until our home was finished.  The first day I remember being so discouraged.  The second day she sent me out and (she probably remembers this differently) told me to come back with a job.  And you know what, I did.    I remained with her until our house was finished.  Believe it or not we stayed good friends.

Cam loves babies.  She was meant to be a mother.   She has three wonderful children and two beautiful grandchildren; God really got that one right.  She was one of the three people I immediately told when I found out I was pregnant.   No one could have been more excited for us.  Each month on the day of my doctor's visit I would get a phone call from her checking on me.  I think she kept better track of my visits than I did.  When I hit twelve weeks I started hemorrhaging and had to be rushed to the doctor's office as an emergency.  I was told I would probably lose the baby and should be prepared to return to the hospital over the weekend.

Roger took me home and I settled in for bed rest.  Shortly after Roger left to go to a meeting, my telephone rang.  It was Cam.   She said she had called my office and when told I wasn't coming in she knew something was wrong.  She stayed on the phone with me and listened while I talked and cried.  She knew first hand what I was feeling.  She said I could call her if I needed her.  We hung up.  Before I could settle back down on the sofa there was a knock on my door.  I opened the door; I am sure you already know, it was my friend Cam.  She said she couldn't let me sit at home alone.  I can't remember how long she stayed, but I know it was several hours.  She walked with me through one of the longest days of my life, and I know Roger was relieved to know she was with me. (Just a note, that baby is now a beautiful twenty seven year old.)  That is my dear friend Cam.

I have so many wonderful stories I could share.  She is vibrant, talented and courageous.  One day she will email she is in front of her potbellied stove with a good book and two weeks later she is off to Israel or on some other adventure.   In my eyes she is fearless.  Her example is what gave me the courage to tackle Boston on my own.  Mostly... she is my friend.

I am not one to stick with blue for boys and pink for girls.  I like to mix it up some.  I try to knit something different for each baby.  When Cam told me her second grandbaby was going to be a girl  I knew immediately it had to be....


So, you might think this is the end of this story.  No, not so!  A couple of weeks ago, I get an email from my friend telling me her second son and his wife are expecting their first baby and they just found out it is a boy.  

So in honor of Cam, I've put on my 

celtic music  and, I think with a the name of Liam it has to be....

It's a surprise!

Cam is my friend, and I am blessed.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Walking the Streets of Boston 3 - Not Exactly

For years I have been getting the Boston Museum of Fine Arts catalogue in the mail.  I browse the pages looking at notecards, tote bags and books on various well-known artist.  I couldn't pass up the chance of going and browsing the galleries for myself.  May I say it was the "cherry on top" of my visit.

I started the morning at the concierge desk asking the best way to get to the MFA.  She looked up at me (I visited the desk frequently) with raised eyebrows, "You know you can't walk it, right?"  Well I had suspected as much, but.....  I could take a trolley, but it would take to long.   The best bets were the "T" (the train), with two changes, or a cab.   I walked outside and quickly hailed a cab.

I've had a difficult time choosing photos to share so I am hoping this slideshow works.  Keeping my fingers crossed.  Enjoy!

Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Monday, July 18, 2011

Walking the Streets of Boston 2 - On My Own

I am enamored with writers.    Many seek out movie or rock stars, I want to find writers.  They are the ones who rescue me, take me around the world and back in history; they introduce me to fascinating people and they give me something to think about and chew on for awhile.   They almost always make me look at things in a different light.

So it should come as no surprise that I wanted to seek out Boston's rich literary history.  I thought I had found the perfect means only to find out it was a 20 mile trail and the walking tour is only offered on Saturdays.   I did a lot of walking, but I don't think  know I could not walk 20 miles.   A little disappointed and feeling adventuresome, with my trolley map in hand, I took off on my own.  Each find pushed me further, until I realized I probably didn't have a good handle on where I was and I had been gone most of the day.

Here are some of my pictures:

Old Corner Bookstore is one of the oldest buildings in Boston.
It was an apothecary before becoming a bookstore,
 later occupied by publishers Tichner and Field.
  Thoreau, Holmes, Emerson, Longfellow,  Hawthorne, Stowe
and Dickens walked through those doors.

This is just outside the bookstore.   The two lines of bricks
surrounded by gray is the freedom trail.
It begins at The Boston Common and ends,
I believe, at Bunker Hill.I actually just happened
 on the trail and didn't stay on it, but it became my
compass during my day. 

King's Chapel

and burying ground.

Marker of Elizabeth Pain,  falsely rumored to be
the subject of Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter.
Her headstone is thought to be the inspiration for
the final passage in the book.

 Old Granary Cemetery

Franklin is not buried here, but 
Mary Goose, who is believed to be
the "real" Mother Goose is.
Most of the stones  are unreadable.

There were bookstores to browse


After roaming the streets and alleyways
I found myself back at the Boston Commons
where I sat on a bench and enjoyed a cold bottle of water.

I found the ducklings
crossing the Public Gardens.
(Make Way for Ducklings)

I wanted to make it to the Public Library, but I realized it was late and
I was a little lost.  Once I arrived back at the hotel and looked over my
map I realized I had come so close.

I traveled over a lot of bricks

And, ended up needing several bandaids.

Oh, did I sleep well!