A View Through the Window

Windows that provide

 a view from the dining room,

a view from the barn,

a view of a farm field,

a view of the sunset,

and a view of a squirrel friend sleeping in the tree.

Woman Who Loves Gardening

Woman Who Loves Gardening

I have dirty nails
and rarely paint them, living out
my long growing season in the flower garden, trellises
giving view to royal purple clematis, climbing honeysuckle
where aromatic flowers
grow in profusion.
I pull the weeds
in the early morning,
gritting my teeth,
wiping sweat from my brow
and listening
to footsteps of my husband
coming in range to help.
Sun makes my face red;

each sniff with my nose
leaves lily pollen behind.
When I rest it’s the beauty
that causes anxiety to shake loose
from a woman in need
of a quiet place to retreat.

by Christy Woolum

A Contrast of Country to City

Today I returned to the collection of photos I took during my trip to Minneapolis in June. I was struck by the tall buildings and how closed in I felt. I suppose people that have always lived in cities surrounded by skyscrapers don't understand wide open spaces.
I missed my wide open spaces. Darkness crept in sooner between the buildings. No sunrises and sunsets to observe and enjoy.
I missed the sound of crickets and was awakened by sirens all night long. I'll take my country home any time!
It was nice to recognize one spot! It was a nice place to visit, but my roots are in the country.

Touring Another Garden

 Saturday I toured a beautiful garden which belongs to my friend Elinor in Moscow. I am amazed how the blooming timelines are so different at our two houses when our climates don't vary that much.
 Every time I see her Judy Garland rose I say I need to get one.

The daisies were in full bloom.

I love this planter and she promised to get me one from the craftsman !
The Oregon grapes are a lovely color.

I love the shade of the coneflowers just as they begin to bloom. A lovely garden tour with a dear friend.

Sibling Assignment #132: The Clearwater River

I gave the assignment this week. You will find Raymond Pert's here and Silver Valley Girl's will be linked when she has written it. The Clearwater River represents stories I began hearing in the car along Highway 12 over fifty years ago. The Clearwater River represented a dangerous river, a river you needed to respect. I heard my mom tell the story once again about how my aunt almost drown. Then she  would remind us of the details of that man she saw dead by the river.  Mom was nervous when we went out too far in the river at Beaver Dam. She sat on the hot sand on a towel along the shoreline smoking a cigarette, her eyes scanning the river to make sure she could see us.

The river road was icy in the winter and stories echoed down the canyon of vehicles that plunged in that river. Before the building of the dam the river flooded, covering the fairgrounds and homes close to shore in Orofino.  A car traveling too fast on the river road at night was in a head-on collision and someone was killed.  People were reckless when they passed in a hurry to get home after a day in Lewiston. We always heard these stories.Highway 12 along The Clearwater was a disaster waiting to happen.

Recently I returned to the Clearwater River. It was calm, peaceful, and beautiful. I wasn't scared our car would go headfirst in the river. I didn't get close to the shore to swim, but a group of rambunctious teens were jumping off the rocks at Zann's beach without any fear of the current. There are big barriers now along the river side of the highway as a safety measure. I would suspect that keeps cars from ending up in the icy bottom of the river. Dworshack Dam looms large between two mountains as you gaze up the north fork by Riverside.

It was the first time JEJ had seen this river. I lamented about the river I remembered as a child. I missed Beaver Dam, Bruce's Eddy, and the old road up the north fork.  I longed for the dry, bare hills heading down the river that are now covered with sprawling mansions. I wanted to once again see the ranch across the river and see the concrete blocks representing a bridge that was lost during a flood.

I think what I missed most was the old bridge entering Orofino. Whether we were hot and sweaty on an August afternoon, sleepy and squished into the back seat in the evening, or coming for Christmas on snowy roads, there was always a safe feeling when we saw the bridge and the arrow pointing us across the Clearwater River with the words Orofino lit up. We entered the place between two mountains that held family, friends, good memories, and a feeling of being safe and loved.

The Kittens Continue to Bring Joy Into the Household

Grayson and Junebug are growing like weeds. Well... not quite as tall as some of our weeds, but they continue to explore, climb trees, get acquainted with the dogs, and pose for pictures. Enjoy another series of kitten photos featuring Grayson and Junebug.
 Shelby wants so much to be friends with Junebug.Junebug is considering her options.

Grayson loves playing hide and seek in the living room.

Junebug loves undivided attention from "The Cat Whisperer."
Grayson's goal in life is to be best friends with his idol and mentor Kit. You can hear him saying, "Hey Kit, here I am. Can I play with you outside?"

The World Begins at the Kitchen Table

As most of you know I have posted many, many poems on this blog. I am always on the hunt for new poems to use with my writing, writing with adults, or writing with my students. I am always surprised when I discover poems by my favorite poets that I had never read. Since I often use the theme of tables on this blog, I was drawn to the following poem. While working with adult writers today I had them visualize pieces of furniture that held memories for them. I then shared this poem:

Perhaps the World Ends Here   
by Joy Harjo
The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.
At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.
Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.
We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

Here We Have Idaho

Along the Palouse, the rolling hills by Moscow, a sunset over Coeur d' Alene Lake, and a house the represents a time long ago.

Back Roads Tour

Today I took a quiet drive south of Spokane through the farm country to Idaho. There are times when you feel you are back in time.
I believe this is the original building in Latah.

I love barns, old houses, and small towns.

The Beauty of the Flower Gardens

With July comes the vivid colors of lilies in the garden. Annuals like petunias and geraniums are working hard to produce their own showcase of blooms. Lavender is ready to harvest and some foxgloves are still hanging on in the heat.
Our Annabelle hydrangeas with their cool white and green combination provide a protective hedge near the front of the house away from the hot sun.
 This week-end we had our first trumpet vine blooms.
 There is one hearty red rose that always seems to have blooms and fills the air with a fragrance you don't often get to enjoy in roses these days.

The Beauty of the Vegetable Garden

I usually spend so much time looking for the perfect flowers to photograph that I sometimes ignore the vegetable garden.
JEJ is in charge of the vegetables, but today as he was out there weeding I decided to meander around and capture the colors and textures of the vegetable garden.
Dill creates a beauty that stands alone.
The grapes are showing there tiny green clusters.
A lone shirley poppy popped up among the onions.
This hollyhock comes up every year near the beans and the tomatoes are showing their lovely yellow blooms.