July Photo-A-Day Challenge!

I’ve got a lot of catching up to do on the July photo-a-day challenge that Kati is hosting at Kati’s Little Corner of the World. The link up page can be found here.
1. Outdoors…
2. Flower
3. Food
4. Sparkle
5. Grass
6. White
7. Words
8. Drink
9. Calm
10. Busy
Thank you Kati for the photo prompts.

R is for Rhododendrons!

Rhododendrons are the Washington State flower. We have five bushes in our yard. I’m linking up with ABC Wednesday started by Denise Nesbitt and maintained by the ABC Team! Thank you!

Four of the five rhododendron bushes we have came with our home and are well established.

This year because of our warm April weather everything is blooming early.

The bees are really enjoying the blooms!

My rhodies are mostly in the pink hues but rhodies come in many more colors, too. These last two photos are from the Meerkerk Rhododendron Garden on Whidbey Island.

Purple and white and yellow and red, oh my. I do have a new little yellow rhody bush but it chose not to bloom this year. These last photos are from the Meerkerk Rhododendron garden on Whidbey Island.

Thanks so much for all the sympathy and advice on my tooth extraction and implant. My extraction did not happen on Monday but will be happening for sure on Wednesday morning. My sweet daughter is going with me to hold my hand. I’m suppose to take it easy after my extraction so I’ll have time to visit your blogs and who knows how weird my comments might be if I’m on pain medication!

How goes it in your corner of the world?

Lunch in La Conner and Tulips!

This post is mostly about tulips and daffodils but we ladies (Mennonite Girls Can Cook) did enjoy lunch in La Conner after we tiptoed through the tulips and daffodils. So I’m linking to ABC Wednesday for L is for Lunch with the ladies in La Conner! Thank you to Mrs. Nesbitt and the ABC team!

Seven out of ten of the girls were able to meet up for a few hours in the Skagit Valley of Washington State. Six of the girls had to cross the border from Canada into Washington State. I live in Washington State so I just drove North for a little over an hour to meet up.

You can call these rows of tulips but since we are on the letter L we can call them lines of tulips.

When us girls are together there are lots of photos taken.

Such lovely landscapes!

You can look at lots of varieties of tulips at the gardens open to the public like Roozengaarde and Tulip World.

Other flowers besides tulips are planted in the gardens. These lavender colored hyacinth blooms are so pretty paired with yellow blooms.

We love each other and laugh a lot when we get together.

I’ll add my Bible verse for the letter L…

You will encounter lots of mud if you want to walk out to the fields of tulips or daffodils so mud boots are a good idea to lug with you and make sure you bring a plastic bag to put them in when you are done and put your clean shoes on.

It really is amazing to have this area in Washington State to enjoy and to rival the tulip production of Holland.

Cheers From England ~ #4

On this Monday after our second English Breakfast that we made for ourselves at the cottage we would venture out to two gardens right next to each other. Before I move on to the gardens here’s a collage of our breakfast time with some visitors that came to our door begging when they caught wind of the sausages cooking.

2014-07-07 VisitorsWe were warned by the owners of the property that their dogs would try to get us to feed them and they told us not to give in. The dogs  looked so hopeful.

The first garden to visited was Hidcote Garden. It is a National Trust Property. We aren’t here in prime garden time having missed the roses being in their glory but we still enjoyed a lot of color at the gardens.

Day 4 Gardens 012I will need to devote a few posts in the future to these lovely gardens we visited but for now I’ll only leave you with a couple snapshots.

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The second Garden we visited was the Kiftsgate Court and Garden which was across the way from Hidcote.

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Day 4 Gardens 112We got a fair amount of walking and climbing up and down trails today.

Day one in England 7-005

This evening we have dinner reservations at the Ebrington Arms and while we have been relaxing in the cottage this afternoon a thunderstorm has passed over us with quite a downpour. We are hoping it moves on because we do not relish the idea of driving country lanes in a downpour!

 

Great Giver of All Good ~ Hymn

2014-06-06 Peonies

Great Giver of All Good

Great Giver of all good,
To Thee our thanks we yield
For all the beauties of the wood,
Of hill, and dale, and field.

Ten thousand various flowers
To Thee sweet offerings bear,
And joyous birds in woodlands bowers
Sing forth Thy tender care.

The fields on every side
The trees on every hill,
The glorious sun, the rolling tide,
Proclaim Thy wonders still.

But trees, and fields, and skies
Still praise a God unknown;
For gratitude and love can rise
From living hearts alone.

These living hearts of ours
Thy holy name would bless;
The blossoms of the thousand flowers
Would please the Savior less.

While earth itself decays,
Our souls can never die;
O tune them all to sing Thy praise
In better songs on high.

Words: Ann T. Gilbert, 1827.

Colorful ~ A Photo Challenge

Biltmore 053The images I’ve chosen for the challenge are all from the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. My daughter Katie and I visited the grounds on our recent SeaJack road trip from Seattle to Jacksonville the week of April 28th through May4th. We visited the Biltmore Estate on Saturday May 3rd. Soon I’ll share an entire post of our time on the grounds.

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Biltmore 066Donna’s challenge this month is Colorful. To see some colorful posts or join in the fun click on the image below.

4ff58-personalphotochallengebuttonThank you Donna for your challenges!

Today in Jacksonville, North Carolina Katie and I are chillin in the apartment and not venturing out at all. It’s good to have a do nothing day!

H is for Hellebore

We are at the letter H with Denise Nesbitt’s  ABC Wednesday Meme.

How timely since my Helleborus, Lenten Rose is blooming. I’m not sure exactly what variety mine is. It looks similar to a Spring or Angel variety that I’ve seen on line.

hellebore 012I had to get down on my knees to take the photos because this is a humble plant whose blooms bow their heads to the ground for the most part.

hellebore 008This is the first plant to bloom in the middle or late winter at my house. I love that it is blooming during the Lenten season.

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hellebore 010Hellebores are perennial and largely evergreen. They are deer resistant for some of you who have asked in previous posts.

hellebore 011Noteworthy characteristics: Year round foliage persists through shade and snow and is fairly deer and rabbit resistant. Flowers in early spring with daffodils and tulips.

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hellebore 005Hope you enjoyed seeing my Hellebore as much as I enjoyed showing it. I’ll be coming around to see your ABC offering for H.

I’m also linking up to Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer.

Our outdoors have been cold and rainy since Saturday. I know a lot of you might still be covered in snow so who am I to complain. Looking forward to this weekend and the opening of MLS Soccer season in the U.S.A. I’ll be at the Seattle Sounders opener against Sporting Kansas on Saturday. What’s new in your neck of the woods?

Random Updates

I pulled up this collage from 2008 because I just wanted to have something cheerful on my blog.

Things are pretty much the same for my mom in California. I’m able to talk to her everyday. She reminisces and lets us all know that she loves us and appreciates our uniqueness. I have 7 brothers and sisters and we are all pretty different in many ways and similar in other ways, too. My father is restless and needs to have things to do so my sisters try to keep him occupied. My sister Lana gave the apartment a thorough cleaning from top to bottom and got rid of some things that were taking up too much room.

To make room for my mom’s hospital bed the family moved out my parents queen bed and brought in a twin bed for my dad. One of my sisters or brothers spends each night at the apartment with my mom and dad and they sleep in the living room. The apartment is small with just a kitchen, living area, bathroom and bedroom.

Back here at this old house our remodeling continues with Dear putting in the baseboard and trim around doors and furniture is slowly getting put back into place. We are also busy emptying out the bedrooms and living room where our new carpeting will be installed on August 7th.

Thanks again for all your kind comments and prayers for my family that are highly appreciated. May God return the blessing to you!

I’m Melting…

…but my plants are thriving.

IMGP0567 IMGP0568 IMGP0569 IMGP0570 IMGP0571We are all about the weather…aren’t we? Today was way over my comfort zone for sure. 90 degrees in the Puget Sound area of Washington is scorching. In the meantime when I get the energy I’ll show photos that we finally put our patio covers up. I think this is a record late start for us but here’s what’s been taking up our weekend warrior hours instead…

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Dear has all the vinyl and most all the particle board removed from our kitchen area in preparation for our new hardwood floors. We had to move the island around on that dolly so he could remove the boards from underneath it. Lots of hard work in these hot temperatures. We’ll be happy to have our normal temperatures back around here.

Did you have any weekend warrior projects or did you enjoy a relaxing weekend? For our neighbors to the North you still have a holiday for your Monday. Happy Canada Day to you!

Catching Up…

Saturday was a great day of catching up and getting things done. We started the day hoisting our U.S. and Marine Flags in honor of Armed Forces Day here in the states.

Right after raising the flags we jumped in the car to head to Cabella’s for Dear to find some good walking shoes. We were there when it opened and back on the road for home by 10 a.m. We switched vehicles and headed to the Home Depot for some shrubs. We wanted to add some privacy to our patio area that the shrubs should provide. After some clean up work in the shop we got ready to meet Josh and Laura downtown for a bite to eat before the Seattle Sounders game against Dallas.

This was our postponed celebration of Mother’s Day. We cancelled Mother’s day celebrations last weekend because of a soccer injury Josh got that grounded him with pain and because Laura had an overtime week of work, events and care for Josh. We had a great time catching up over some small bites. Even though we didn’t get together last Sunday I was treated royally with flowers from all three of my kids.

There were 3 sweet little birds tucked into this floral arrangement because of the 3 babies that gave me the title of Mom.

After eating Dear headed home and I joined Josh and Laura to head to the stadium. Josh is still suffering from deep tissue and bone bruising in his lower leg from his injury so we walked slowly to our seats. There were some special pre-game festivities to honor all branches of the Military for Armed Forces Day. The Sounders club is great in honoring our military and our country.

Of course it’s pretty evident that I’m a wee bit partial to one particular branch of the military.

The Marines!

I’m happy to report the evening ended beautifully with a huge win for the Sounders over Dallas. It’s fun when your team wins.

Sunday is quiet compared to our Saturday. We had a challenging church service. We are in a series called The Big Picture. Today we talked about God’s Mission. We were challenged to open our mouth, to have the courage to use words in sharing what Christ has done for us and the saving grace he offers all. Lord, open my heart, open a door and open my mouth.

For our friends to the North a very happy Victoria Day to you! For all of you I hope you have a very good week ending with our long Memorial Weekend here in the States.  As you flit away here’s one more little birdie to see you off…

Bye Bye Birdie!