Mid June Mosaics

Good Monday morning to you. We spent a little time outside tidying up the yard on Saturday and I snapped a few photos. I was reminded that this flower above is a Delphinium. I love it’s soft color.

These wild ferns are taking over our far side yard. It’s a more wild part of our grounds. I pulled a few out as they were choking out some other wild plants.

These Snapdragons are a surprise since we didn’t plant them. Their seeds must have been carried over to this part of our planter by the wind or a bird. I’m happy to see them.

These are three of our hydrangeas in different parts of our yard. The one behind our Pink Dogwood is a white more delicate variety. The large bush in the upper right blooms purplish blue. When we planted it from a pot it had been deep pink. The newest hydrangea that we planted last year in the lower right might be bluish purple, too. We’ll see what influence the soil we planted it in has on it.

We are fortunate in the Puget Sound area of Washington state to have a great variety of plants and trees that grow well. This time of year the grass and weeds grow so it’s time for me to go out and mow! I’m thanking God that I can still manage to mow while Dear does the weed whacking. My best exercise of the week.

I’m joining  Maggie’s Mosaic Monday.

Meanwhile…

…back at the ranch this old house. For Friday’s Fave Five and Five on Friday I’m sharing the following collages and photos of what’s been happening around home.

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Steve and Lana, Bob and Jan, Andrew and Katie, Matteo and Sandy. Friends and family gathered for our Fourth of July celebration. I took photos of the couples but missed getting Paul and Monica together but I do have one of Paul and Dear.

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Dear smoked a couple of Pork Butts and we enjoyed pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, beans, corn on the cob, and salad. We had hot artichoke dip and onion dip for appetizers.

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Our neighbor Sandy brought cupcakes and my sister Lana brought trifle for dessert.

Even though all of the couples did not know each other everyone enjoyed conversation and getting to know someone new. It was good to find out more about our neighbors.

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Lots of purple blooming about the yard. One of our hydrangeas is an intense purple and the other is a cross between purple and blue.

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Not everything is purple. Our Fuschia continues to charm us.

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Our apples and pears are going to be ready sooner this year than last.

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Our latest yard project is digging out the grass area in front that is encroaching on the drive and making the yard area more defined. We are adding a crushed base so the drive doesn’t get muddy from the rains. When we win the lotto we’ll have a cement driveway poured.

I’m thankful for family, friends, freedom, flowers, fruit trees and still being able to do some hard work. Don’t know if we’ll be able to move without moaning tomorrow but we are happy with our work progress.

Thank you Amy and Susanne for hosting these weekly Friday memes.

UPDATE: Our hearts and minds are with the families of the police officers killed in Dallas last night. Here are a few thoughts from a pastor in Dallas…

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A Few Thoughts Regarding The July 7th, 2016 Dallas Shootings

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Magdalen College ~ Cloisters

The 15th Century Cloisters construction commenced in 1474 which makes this medieval square of stone among the oldest parts of Magdalen.

Oxford Day 6 156Balancing on the buttresses that jut from the Cloister walls are the figures later known as ‘hieroglyphics’, the ‘GARGELS”, Magdalen’s very own gargoyles. Some are biblical, some heraldic, all symbolic. Since they entered the College in 1508-9 they have been keeping their emblematic eyes on the comings and goings in the Cloisters and the quad.

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Oxford Day 6 155Wanted to let you all see that we did “keep off the grass”.

From the Cloisters we headed out to Addison’s walk and the New Building following the footsteps of Tolkien and Lewis along one of the paths that leads to  the famous meetings of the “Inklings”.

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Oxford Day 6 170As you can tell from my posts from Oxford there is a lot to see in this city. I still haven’t shown you photos from Bodleian and Radcliffe Camera or the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin. These places have been seen in many Masterpiece Mystery series and scenes from Harry Potter movies, too. My last post of Oxford will be photo heavy.

Back at this old house the renovations continue. We were hoping for things to be wrapped up today but that’s not happening. Maybe by Tuesday…

We have Fleet week and SeaFair and Hydro races and the Blue Angels in Seattle this weekend. What does the first weekend in August hold for you?

Happy 4th of July!

Before I take you on a walk about the yard I wanted to wish everyone in the good ole U.S.A. a very Happy Independence Day.

July yard 021We landed in the country we gained independence from on the 4th of July!

Because of my early Thursday morning walk about I found myself another job to do and another request to make of our house guests before we left the country.

July yard 016Many of the blueberries are ready for picking. This will be a nice fresh treat for the guests!

July yard 017I love the hydrangeas at this stage of coloring.

2014-07-03 July yardWe also have white ones and a small potted pink one this year.

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July yard 013The lavender has made it’s debut, too.

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July yard 005I’ll leave a note for our guests to feel free to snip the fresh thyme for their meals.

July yard 014The apples won’t be ready until we return home.

So how’s your garden/yard growing?

Summer is Waning…

…but we are still enjoying what’s left of it.

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Because of all our renovations at this old house we had the patio furniture cleared off the deck for the workers to set up their saws to cut the wood for the new flooring. Last weekend after using the clear path to re-furnish the house with all our furniture stored in the garage we put the patio furniture back in it’s place and were even able to have a meal on the deck with our traveling guests!

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Fun end of summer times with Josh, Laura, Lana, Steve, Dear and me! What do you serve come as you are guests of hosts with no time to fuss over a meal? Dear and I had been working all day getting the house back in order so I didn’t have time to plan a meal but had time to throw together a meal!  We had flank steak, cucumber and tomato salad and are you ready for the starch?? All I had were frozen hash browns and that’s what I cooked up and served. Yummy! I also steamed some frozen broccoli in their own steam bag.  Love the carefree company that just enjoys sitting down to food on a plate! We had ice cream for dessert and Steve ran home to bring some of Lana’s homemade cookies and banana bread to add to the ice cream.

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The hydrangeas are losing their summer brilliance.

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I like them at all stages.

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Don’t judge me but this is what’s happening with my apples this year. I do not have the energy to pick them all and make applesauce again. I’ve offered them to friends and neighbors and haven’t had a good response. I’ve been able to give away some of the pears and have offered more to neighbors.

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This handy dandy pick up and reach tool that I bought at Goodwill a few years ago is really saving my back when I pick up the fruit that has fallen and been partially eaten by crows and some nocturnal animals. I’m content this year with letting the animals glean my fruit.

We are looking forward to the arrival of Katie and Andrew on Saturday. They have a 12 hour drive from Salt Lake City to us. Dear is making his Tomato Rice soup that you can find in our latest Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations cookbook for their arrival and he’s adding some Lobster and crab leg meat to the pot which will transport it to a wonderful bouillabaisse!

What are you looking forward to this weekend?

August…

named after Augustus.

Here’s what’s happening or can be seen around this old house in the beginning of August…

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This rug used to be in our living room hiding as much of the old worn carpeting we had in that room. Now that we are replacing the carpeting in the living room this area rug will not work in there. We were happy to see that it would work nicely in the eating area of our kitchen. The dining table will sit on top of it with room for the chairs, too. Until the carpeting is installed we will have to stack all our mattresses here, not the table that is living out in the garage right now. Fun times. Just to show you the reality of it all this last photo is the living room with the mattresses. This weekend we’ll move those mattresses to the kitchen…

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I actually am cooking this afternoon trying a new recipe for chicken thighs. I hope to share it in the near future. My apple tree is shedding it’s apples so maybe I should cook up some apple recipes in my kitchen. That won’t be happening until after the mattresses can move back to their own rooms…

Refresh

What do you find that refreshes you each day?
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I know from experience that it’s good for me to start each day thanking God and expressing my gratitude to Him for the new day.
I also know a little exercise each day is refreshing, too. I’m wondering what is going to kick start me into my habit of walking which has fallen by the wayside the last few years. I don’t want to be that American that Yeats speaks about who doesn’t walk in the winter because it’s too cold or walk in the summer because it’s too hot. Maybe each morning after I talk to God and express my gratitude I’ll start asking for Him to help me put one foot in front of the other and walk a mile or two.
Do you walk regularly and what helps you get out the door?