We Can See Clearly Now…

…the smoke is gone.

We have blue skies again and white clouds that are visible after we enjoyed a light rain last night and today.

Our pear tree is full to the brim and I always wonder when the time is right to pick the pears. I will have lots to share this year. Our apple crop was very small this year compared.

Since we had some cooler days Dear decided to freshen up the shingles and scrape and paint the overhang.

Things are looking a lot better.

The hydrangeas are still looking nice even though they are waning. The raindrops on their leaves and petals looked refreshing.

We’re enjoying the look of the ground cover varieties we planted. Looks like I need to weed out a couple of grass blades.

It’s a full time of year in our yard.

We are so thankful for our cooler nights and our clear skies. It is so refreshing and we were tired of moaning about the smoke and haze!

“Shower, O heavens, from above,
    and let the clouds rain down righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit;
    let the earth cause them both to sprout;
    I the Lord have created it.”

Isaiah 45:8 (ESV)

 

Before & After- Deck Side

This is what the deck side of our house looked like when we moved here in 1998.

First change out was the stairwell window. The porch you see to the right in this photo has been enclosed and is now our family room with french doors onto the deck.

Dear built a temporary platform to be able to hoist the window up and get it set into the opening.

Next he built the deck in anticipation of Josh and Laura’s rehearsal dinner in August of 2001.

The deck got an extension sometime after 2001 so we could reach the garage from the house on decking. The house got a facelift with new horizontal siding.

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Our deck covers changed over the years, too. These two are serving us very well currently. This photo shows the extended deck and the difference between the horizontal siding and vertical siding to the left of the deck.

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Here’s a shot that shows the house with the completed horizontal siding.

One more addition this summer is this privacy fence we put in.

Here’s a view from our house without the privacy fence.

And this is the view with the privacy fence.

We really are enjoying this new privacy fence. It gives this whole area a more finished feel and we aren’t totally open to the surrounding neighbors anymore.

Some reflections…

Our two sons born almost exactly 2 years apart were married 14 years apart, one in 2001 and the other in 2015. So our 3 kids were married in 2001, 2011, and 2015.

July 2015 was a tough month for me. It was as if someone had let the air out of my tires. I’m happy to say that I’m getting back to my old self now in August!

I also have to admit that summer is probably one of my least favorite seasons. Even though I was born and raised in Southern California enjoying the beaches and spreading coco butter on my body to sunburn tan, sitting in the sun does not give me pleasure anymore. I enjoy the sunshine while sitting in the shade or under an umbrella. These days my favorite time at the beach is in the winter.

How’s your summer going?

We Survived!

Dear has been off of work for one week and we have survived nicely.

On Wednesday of last week we went downtown for Dear to drop off some donuts to his former workmates and I took care of some business. We decided since we were downtown and paying for parking we’d enjoy a meal at one of the Seattle iconic steak houses, Metropolitan Grill. Our lunch was delicious!

We have been working hard outdoors with some real nice weather. Dear re-stained the shingles on the patio side of our house and when he was done we were able to finally put the patio covers up!

We hauled out all the patio furniture. We are going to enjoy the shade those covers offer for the hot weekend we are promised. Soon I’ll share some of the details I’ve been adding to our patio deck!

How are things shaping up at your place?

 

Later than Usual…

This year our patio covers and our patio furniture got a later than usual start. Our covers usually go up sometime around Mother’s Day and the furniture is in place in time for Memorial Day. Well this year the covers went up Memorial Day weekend and the furniture finally made it’s debut on June 12th! And as per usual the rains came shortly after we had the furniture in place. I say that with a smile on my face not as a complaint. I enjoy the natural watering system around here just so long as the sun comes out again tomorrow!

tri tip patio 033We didn’t deck the halls we decked the deck.

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tri tip patio 032Mother’s Day…Father’s Day, what’s a month or so when it comes to readiness?

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tri tip patio 034We are now ready for you summer. Bring it!

What are you looking forward to this weekend?

My niece and her husband of one year arrive in Seattle on Saturday and we will be enjoying along with my sister and her husband and our son Josh and dil Laura showing them some Seattle/Washington hot spots and eating meals and watching some sports together. Maybe we can even have one of those meals on this deck. My niece is a high school math teacher and she is also a track coach and a marathoner. She has participated in the Boston Marathon. Her husband works behind the scenes at the Staples Center in L.A. and he’s a huge L.A. Kings fan so we are hoping for him that the King’s win the Stanley cup tonight! Of course I’ll be fitting in all the World Cup Soccer I can.

Before I head to the family room to watch the Mexico/Cameroon game here’s where we are at in that bathroom demolition…

2014-06-12 tri tip patio3Today the toilet and the cabinet/sink get removed. Good thing my niece and nephew are staying at my sister’s house!

Catching Up…

After being gone so long from my home I’ve been spending lots of time catching up and getting things around this old house back to normal.

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We don’t have a gardening service so the first thing I addressed was our lawn and some beds and shrubs. I spent four and a half hours last Thursday and my body is still recovering from being taxed like that.

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I came home to blooms that were spent and blooms that were thriving. These are the sweet rosebud azaleas I bought with a gift card from the Mennonite Girls Can Cook to purchase something to plant in memory of my mom who passed away last September 13th.

This next collage is of my older azalea plants.

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overgrown yard 009Most of my rhoddys are on their way out but I’ve been able to enjoy a few blooms.

2014-05-22 May Yard GregWhile I was gone my pink dogwood bloomed and Dear took some photos for me. This is the fullest it’s bloomed since we planted it a couple years ago. The green leafed shot is the stage it is at now.

2014-05-22 overgrown yard2I’m so excited that my young peony bush has over 6 buds this year. Last year we only had one.

overgrown yard 035After I mowed and watered I took this before photo of our patio. Yesterday Dear put the covers on. I’ll take more photos of the after shots when a couple more projects get done like pressure washing.

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When we went to barbecue steaks yesterday our barbecue would not cooperate so Dear has some extensive cleaning and de-clogging of the poor old thing before it lights up. Plan B went into effect and we broiled the steaks inside and microwaved the corn. It all tasted good and sharing the meal with our kids was wonderful.

It’s so so good to be home again. It’s so nice that Dear gets a long weekend at home before he has to travel again next Friday to Chicago.  I can’t stop thanking God for the fact that our son-in-law is home from Afghanistan. We continue throughout this Memorial weekend and beyond to be thankful for those who have served and are serving our country.

What have you been up to this weekend?

The Calm Before…

…the Fireworks! Was it just me or did you feel like the fireworks were more plentiful and louder this year ? Here’s what our calm and quiet fourth looked like at this old house…

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It’s good to keep the celebrations going all year long.

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Fourth of July Decorations4

Fourth of July Decorations5Got Flags?

Fourth of July Decorations3After a few days of hot hot weather here in the Seattle area the fourth was overcast and cool. We were hoping that the sun would break through the clouds before our 4:00 P.M. party time and it did.

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Fourth of July Decorations1It makes decorating so much more fun if you enjoy it with friends and family.

Fourth FestivitiesFourth of July 2013 we had the traditional eight to celebrate.

Fourth Festivities1The signature drink for 2013 was shaken up by Dear and enjoyed. Steve and Lana brought a new red for the wine drinkers to enjoy.

Fourth Festivities2Dear smoked pork for pulled pork sandwiches and our guests all brought sides to share.

Fourth Festivities3My contribution was a trifle with strawberries and blueberries. We really do love our red, white, and blue!

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How did you celebrate the “Fourth” this year or do you have some summer celebrations you are looking forward to?

And for the record…I was in bed when the fireworks were in full force loudness.

Good Things Come…

…to those who wait.

Ever since we moved back to Washington from California I have been hoping that a HomeGoods store would open in our state. This past Sunday we had 2 stores open in the Puget Sound area, one in Lynnwood and Federal Way. Dear and I were a little wiped out on Sunday so we didn’t leave the house but on Monday I felt alive again and headed north to HomeGoods with a list in my hand.

I bought several things that we will decide about keeping or not. HomeGoods has a good return policy…

These three pieces will be mounted on the garage wall that I face from the kitchen sink. It adds a lot of interest to a big boring surface.

These wall planters will be easier to see once they are mounted.

While I was outside I took some photos of sections of our deck.

As you can see we don’t have real bright sunny skies even though it’s summer. We are hoping for a nice 4th of July this year. Time will tell. We are having our annual 4th of July barbecue so it would be nice to be comfortable on the deck. What are your plans for the 4th?