Photo Hunting With Tracy: Part 1

We are enjoying a visit from our friend Tracy this week. She really wanted to try out her new camera so it was a perfect excuse to take a drive around the area to show her our favorite haunts. Some of these scenes may be familiar to those of you that have visited here before. Here is Lake Roosevelt looking toward Kettle Falls. As we headed north the trees surrounded the lake. I love it when the lands turns to grassy farmland. We crossed the bridge by Northport where Lake Roosevelt is back to the Columbia River. I look forward to more photo hunting this week with Tracy.

Home to Sunflowers and Lilies

I always love to explore the gardens when I return home. I was surprised to see sunflowers already in bloom. These lilies are part of a new mix we purchased last fall. I am loving them!

Another Home, Another Time

When I attended college I lived in the Tri-Delta house at the University of Idaho. This week-end we celebrated our 80th anniversary on the campus in Moscow. This was not just a structure that sat on the corner of the street, but a home that held friendships, memories, learning, and growing up. We got to take a tour back to the seventies thanks to memories shared by members after dinner.I also got to enjoy a sister week-end with my own sister Silver Valley Girl which made the whole trip extra special. Thanks NJR and everyone else that made this week-end so memorable.

Gathering Around the Table With Friends

"If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give. " ~George MacDonald

Last night I gathered around the table with friends from college at Moscow, Idaho. We celebrated a birthday, caught up on our lives, shared sorrows, triumphs, and lots of smiles.

My First Top Ten List of Favorite Summer Treats!

Being away from my computer and without internet much of this week kept me from greeting summer properly. As we say good-bye to spring and hello to summer here are some things that will make this season shine brightly for me!

My First Top Ten List of Favorite Summer Treats
1.My new Crocs Athens sandals. Until I got a pair I had no idea how comfortable they were. I love their bright colors and it sure sets off the new pedicure !!

2.Colorful bouquets. I will never in my lifetime get tired of summer bouquets from the garden.

3.The America rose. It climbs, it is fragrant, and it has a beautiful color. JEJ caught a perfect photo of this bloom.
4.Annie when she talks to us about her day!6.Shelby when she feels contentment just being near us. 7. Lake Roosevelt. Here is a view through the trees by Barnaby Island last Sunday as we drove south down the lake.
8. The last, lingering sweet smell of the Mock Orange bush.9. Going shopping for new plants for the garden.10. Summer storms.

In Class, Sunshine, and Back Yard Dinner

This week I have been away from home attending a class with other staff members from school. We are enjoying the hospitality of my friends Joan and Dave as they opened their house to us for four days.

Enjoying dinner in her beautiful back yard was such a treat. It is so nice to spend some time over dinner with friends in the nice sunshine. Back to class for eight hours tomorrow... but we will be such better teachers by the end of the week!

Sibling Assignment # 102: Father Daughter Banquet, Bowling, and Lemon Fluff

I gave the sibling assignment this week. In honor of Father's Day I asked my siblings to remember a time that our father made them proud. You will soon find the much healthier RP's here and if Silver Valley Girl is off the links yet, hers will be here.

Being a member of Bluebirds and Camp Fire Girls was a big part of my growing up experience. Each year around Valentine's Day we had the annual Father Daughter Banquet. At our Camp Fire meeting we learned a song to sing to our dads and worked feverishly at decorating a box with a Valentine theme. The box held our banquet, which was similar to a box social meal.

One thing I loved about the Father Daughter banquet was the banquet we brought with us. Mom made the same food for us each year and the menu was our favorite. We had her cold fried chicken, homemade potato salad, and the famous Lemon Fluff dessert. If I remember right everything we needed was packed into our dinner box that I had proudly decorated. Now we often got to enjoy her cold fried chicken and potato salad, but Lemon Fluff was a treat. The dessert was discovered by a teacher partner of mom's at Silver King school as an inexpensive and fairly easy dessert to make, so it had been dished up at many an event at the school for PTA ,but we didn't get it often at home. This light lemon flavored dessert with a graham cracker crust was placed in little plastic square boxes for Dad and I to enjoy.

Another part of the Father Daughter Banquet that sticks in my memory is that for some unknown reason Dad always had a bowling tournament the same day. The coincidence was that the banquet was held upstairs in the same building as the bowling alley. Just as we sat down to eat our banquet here would come my Dad. Depending on the sponsor of his bowling team, he would be wearing a flashy,bright bowling shirt in red or gold advertising the beer company that was his sponsor. His forehead would be shiny with sweat, there would be a hint of beer on his breath, but he would sit down by me and enjoy the homemade banquet of food.

If my memory serves me right I think sometimes he would have to go back down when it was his turn, then run back up the stairs. While catching his breath he always savored every bite of Mom's chicken, potato salad, and Lemon Fluff.

This was a moment that made me proud of Dad. Sitting awkwardly in a seat a bit too small for him , perhaps with his mind on the next frame of the bowling tournament and the cold Heidelberg he left downstairs , he focused on me as I sang "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" to him joined by my other Camp Fire friends.

Through the years Dad embellished his version of these banquets over and over again as he was so famous for doing. There was talk of missed frames, %#2$% George Linney, someone drinking his beer, and having to squeeze in small quarters to join me for the banquet. What will always stay with me was seeing Dad's misty eyes when I blew him a kiss when I finished " Let Me Call You Sweetheart". He hustled off to bowl his next frame not realizing I had seen those tears. I felt proud of my dad that night upstairs at the bowling alley.

Winning the Battle With the Weeds!

"But make no mistake: the weeds will win; nature bats last. "~Robert M. Pyle

Today was a good day to tackle more weeds. Where do they come from? One day you have a few sprigs of clover and the next day you can't see the flowers. One day you have weed barrier, the next the bark on top of the barrier is sprouting weeks.
One good thing about spending time in the garden weeding is you have a sense of accomplishment when the day is over. You may also have sore knees, a slight sunburn, and fingernails that need a soak, but there is a sense of accomplishment.Grass is my worst enemy. It seems like grass takes up residence and doesn't want to ever leave. When you have to get a shovel out to deal with weeds, that is when you call your better half!
I will say I do like clover, especially the red clover. I kept some in the flower beds today just to add some color. Also, by the time I got to that red clover I was ready to quit. Red clover is good ( I keep telling myself.)
Finally at the end of my weed pulling session the flower beds along the walk looked much more tidy! Now that the rain is falling again Mother Nature will probably provide just what the weeds need to grow up taller overnight! Arrrggghhh!

Directions by Billy Collins

a view of the sky caught by JEJ

by Billy Collins
You know the brick path in the back of the house,
the one you see from the kitchen window,
the one that bends around the far end of the garden
where all the yellow primroses are?
And you know how if you leave the path
and walk into the woods you come
to a heap of rocks, probably pushed
down during the horrors of the Ice Age,
and a grove of tall hemlocks, dark green now
against the light-brown fallen leaves?
And farther on, you know
the small footbridge with the broken railing
and if you go beyond there you arrive
at the bottom of sheep's head hill?
Well, if you start climbing, and you
might have to grab on to a sapling
when the going gets steep,
you will eventually come to a long stone
ridge with a border of pine trees
which is a high as you can go
and a good enough place to stop.

The best time for this is late afternoon
when the sun strobes through
the columns of trees as you are hiking up,
and when you find an agreeable rock
to sit on, you will be able to see
the light pouring down into the woods
and breaking into the shapes and tones
of things and you will hear nothing
but a sprig of a birdsong or leafy
falling of a cone or through the trees,
and if this is your day you might even
spot a hare or feel the wing-beats of geese
driving overhead toward some destination.

But it is hard to speak of these things
how the voices of light enter the body
and begin to recite their stories
how the earth holds us painfully against
ts breast made of humus and brambles
how we will soon be gone regard
the entities that continue to return
greener than ever, spring water flowing
through a meadow and the shadows of clouds
passing over the hills and the ground
where we stand in the tremble of thought
taking the vast outside into ourselves.

Still, let me know before you set out.
Come knock on my door
and I will walk with you as far as the garden
with one hand on your shoulder.
I will even watch after you and not turn back
to the house until you disappear
into the crowd of maple and ash,
heading up toward the hill,
percing the ground with your stick.

Spring Bouquet #4: Almost Summer!

"Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character, though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning. "
~Lydia M. Child

After the Rain

We had downpours throughout the day today. This evening it was apparent the rain cleaned the plants off and gave the flowers a new fresh look. I think the cooler weather allowed the blooms to recuperate a bit also. The cranesbill above stood out in the evening light.These snapdragons actually wintered over and are already way ahead! For you Marmite Toasty! This ivy geranium always stands out hanging by the garage and...the Fourth of July rose is just a bit ahead of itself!

Saturday Road Trip: A Tour of Manito Park, Part 2

There is so much to see at the Manito Park Gardens, but Saturday was a day to spend time wandering through the Perennial Garden. When I first began created gardens here at my home I used this garden for inspiration. This I think as you view this photo tour you will see why.
I had these lovely allium plants once. I am inspired to plant them again after Saturday.

I definitely need to add Siberian Iris to my wish list for my spring garden.
It was a perfect day to enjoy peonies.
We were a bit early in the season to fully enjoy the Rose Hill Garden. In a few weeks it should be full of blooming roses and ready for a visit. The Manito Gardens also include a Lilac Garden, the Duncan Garden, and a Japanese Garden.