Happy Memorial Day Weekend

I need to pull out my red-white-and blue bin but for now I put up this new star piece I purchased at Wal-Mart this week. Hope all of you in the U.S.A. have a meaningful Memorial Day Weekend.

Meanwhile we are still being surprised by flowers popping up on our property.

Angie from Letting Go of the Bay Leaf let me know that this plant is a Columbine. Here are some of the color varieties we’ve enjoyed this week.

Such a pretty delicate flower. This combination above might be my favorite.

White Bleeding Heart.

We are still waiting on the peonies to burst forth and we have a nice little patch of irises that should burst forth soon.

We had some storms pass through this afternoon and we are expecting more rain tomorrow. When the skies clear I’ll head out and take photos of more surprises on our property.

End of May Five!

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This is the last Friday in May and the beginning of the Memorial Day Weekend in the U.S.A. Monday is the day set aside as Memorial Day. We honor those men and women who have made the greatest sacrifice for our country. I will have more to say about that on Monday. Here are my Five on Friday for Amy’s meme and Friday’s Fave Five for Susanne’s meme.

1. Our old walkway out the front door of this old house was deteriorating so Dear broke it out with a sledgehammer and replaced it with pavers, making the path wider. We still have an edging to do and when all the phases of this project are done I’ll share the full before and after. I thank God for my hard working husband who has do it yourself talent.

2. A new pair of lamps in the living room of our house has helped to bring things up to date in that room. I bought the lamps at Homegoods for a very good price. We are enjoying the fresh look. I thank God for the little things in life.

3. A new wreath in a perfect spot that our son and daughter in love bought me for Mother’s Day. We share enjoyment of Chip and Joanna’s show Fixer Upper and this wreath came all the way from their store called Magnolia. Fun. I thank God for the thoughtfulness of our children.

4. My dear old pop turned 93 on May 25th. The photo is of him blowing out the candle on his Cherry Pie. Cherry Pie is his favorite. I thank God for my dear Pop who loves Jesus and who prays for us every night.

5. A new Traeger Grill for my Dear as an early Father’s Day gift. He’s been eyeing these for a while and when I was in Costco this week they had a display of them so we took the plunge and bought one. I thank God for my Dear who is a good father to his children and enjoys cooking.

Next Friday I will be traveling to Southern California to spend some time with my extended family. I’ll get to see my dear old pop in person. Hopefully I’ll be able to take him out for his favorite breakfast at Denny’s. He likes sunny side up eggs, hash browns, sausage, white toast and coffee. He’s a cheap date! Hope you all have a good weekend and for those of you who live in the U.S.A. hope you have a meaningful Memorial Day with some thoughts about all we’ve been given because of those who sacrificed for us.

Blessings!

Memorial Day Weekend

Here in the U.S.A. we are at the beginning of our Memorial Day Weekend with Monday May 25th being a national Memorial Day holiday.

When we were in Southern California for our nephews wedding in 2012 we made a special trip to Riverside National Cemetery where Dear’s father was buried in October of 1985, just a couple months before our Katie was born. Today I’m sharing some very dramatic memorials from the cemetery for this Memorial Day Weekend.

When the Warrior Returns

When the warrior returns, from the battle afar,
To the home and the country he nobly defended,
O! Warm be the welcome to gladden his ear,
And loud be the joy that his perils are ended:
In the full tide of song let his fame roll along,
To the feast-flowing board let us gratefully throng,
Where, mixed with the olive, the laurel shall wave,
And form a bright wreath for the brows of the brave.

~ Francis Scott Key

We thank God our son-in-law, our warrior returned from his perils.

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Riverside National Cemetery is the third-largest cemetery managed by the National Cemetery Administration, and since 2000 has been the most active in the system based on the number of interments. It was established in 1976 through the transfer of 740 acres from March Air Force Base, which during World War II was called the U.S. Army’s Camp William G. Haan. The cemetery was dedicated and opened for burials Nov. 11, 1978. An additional 181 acres was transferred by the Air Force in 2003.

The dramatic, meandering landscape features a central boulevard with memorial circles, lakes, indigenous-styled committal shelters, and a memorial amphitheater.

Riverside National cemetery is home of the Medal of Honor Memorial and one of four sites recognized as a National Medal of Honor Memorial Site. The Medal of Honor Memorial, whose walls feature the names of all medal recipients, is located at the third traffic circle in the cemetery. It was dedicated in 1999.

Walking up to the Medal of Honor Memorial you see each of the seals of the branches of service. Of course we have our favorite…

Several Medal Honor Recipients are buried at this cemetery.

The Fallen Soldier/Veterans’ Memorial, erected in 2000, is dedicated to all service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The dramatic bronze structure topped by a lifeless soldier is located near the lake at the entrance to the cemetery.

This and the POW/MIA Memorial were very moving…

The Prisoner of War/Missing in Action National Memorial was designated as a national memorial by the U.S. Congress in 2004 through Public Law 108-454. The memorial was dedicated on September 16, 2005. Vietnam veteran Lewis Lee Millett, Jr., sculpted the bronze statue which depicts an American serviceman on his knees with hands bound by his captors. The statue is surrounded by black marble pillars that evoke imprisonment.

While we were at the cemetery we had an unexpected treat. See everyone looking up? March Air Force Base was hosting an air show this weekend and we got a wonderful view of the Patriots Jet Team.

Hope you have a meaningful Memorial Day weekend.

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?

O Valiant Hearts ~ Hymn

 

O Valiant Hearts

O valiant hearts who to your glory came
Through dust of conflict and through battle flame;
Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved,
Your memory hallowed in the land you loved.

Proudly you gathered, rank on rank, to war
As who had heard God’s message from afar;
All you had hoped for, all you had, you gave,
To save mankind—yourselves you scorned to save.

Splendid you passed, the great surrender made;
Into the light that nevermore shall fade;
Deep your contentment in that blest abode,
Who wait the last clear trumpet call of God.

Long years ago, as earth lay dark and still,
Rose a loud cry upon a lonely hill,
While in the frailty of our human clay,
Christ, our Redeemer, passed the self same way.

Still stands His cross from that dread hour to this,
Like some bright star above the dark abyss;
Still, through the veil, the Victor’s pitying eyes
Look down to bless our lesser Calvaries.

These were His servants, in His steps they trod,
Following through death the martyred Son of God:
Victor, He rose; victorious too shall rise
They who have drunk His cup of sacrifice.

O risen Lord, O Shepherd of our dead,
Whose cross has bought them and whose staff has led,
In glorious hope their proud and sorrowing land
Commits her children to Thy gracious hand.

Words: John S. Arkwright, 1917.

Memorial Day Weekend

 We take time to stop and remember the sacrifices that have been made for our freedom.

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This weekend we remember those who served our country and died in combat. This is the Veteran’s Memorial at the Riverside National Cemetery in Southern California.

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IMGP7120Part of our family was able to spend some time at this cemetery in May of 2012. Dear’s father is buried here and we had never seen his grave marker.

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There were many sobering monuments at this National Cemetery. The Veterans Memorial was one of them. Another sobering monument was the POW/MIA monument.

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We remember that this isn’t just a long weekend and a barbecue but a significant time that has been set aside on our calendars to acknowledge that sacrifices have been made for our nation and our well being.

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We do also plan to celebrate the living this weekend with a barbecue timed strategically between the rain showers! What are your plans?

Nesting at 60 Something…

Is there such a thing as menopausal nesting? This Memorial weekend seemed like a non stop nesting event for both myself and Dear. We organized, trashed and reorganized a lot of our junk. We made trips to the metal recycling sight and now have more piles of stuff to get rid of. Good times. We had some sunshine, some mist, some rain, cold mornings, warm afternoons. We enjoyed good company and our time with each other. Some of our motivation to clean out is the fact that we are getting ready to finally replace our well worn floors in this old house.

All of these spaces will be hardwood by the end of July. Once the hardwood is added we will choose and plan the timing to have carpeting replaced in our bedrooms and living room. Makes me tired just thinking about it. I took some time to walk about the yard with my camera for some relaxing distraction.

The Camellias are at the end of their glory.

I’m excited to see my 5 Peonies that will soon burst forth into their full bloom. Last year I only had one.

My Rhoddies are dropping their blooms.

As some blooms are fading we have the promise of more blooms to come.

I ended my walk about the yard by looking up. It’s good to remember to keep looking up!

Psalm 121: 1-8 (ESV)

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
  Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

 The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
  The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
  The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

Hope you had time to look up, too. Blessings.