It Is All About Family

When I take time to step back and try to figure out where I got where I am today, the common thread is family. Spending time with my mom's side of the family this last week-end made that observation even clearer. Between blooming dogwood trees,
 visiting with cousins, a surprise anniversary celebration,
 a birthday celebration,
 a photo walk with my brother,
 quality time with my husband,
 gathering around the table to solve the problems of the world with family over coffee and leftover birthday cake,
 and a stop at a moving Memorial Day celebration at the cemetery reminded me... it is all about family.

Celebration Night!

I can't even begin to count all the students I have had in my career. Each group I have taught has had something unique they brought into my classroom. Tonight we honored our 8th grade class and I have so enjoyed teaching them for the last three years. Above are some images of the evening.

The Color Purple

As flowers bloom each week different colors emerge under the direction of Mother Nature. This week the prominent color is purple in many different shades and hues. Take a walk with me.

The Best Things in Life Are Nearest


"The best things in life are nearest:  Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you.  Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life."  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Hello Hostas!

Hostas are funny plants to watch. One day in spring I look at the ground and there are tiny shoots popping up. Next time I go check about an inch of leaves have come out of each plant. This morning it was like they magically grew into full plants overnight! Perhaps I should call them my Exploding Hosta Plants.

Spring Migration from the Greenhouse

I am still watching the nighttime temperatures, but began the ritual of bringing the plants out of the greenhouse. They wintered over beautifully this last year. I love it when I turn a plant around from the back corner and find a bloom like this.
This is a Martha Washington geranium I propagated earlier in the spring.
The newly painted boxes are holding geraniums along the path. We grow these plants in five gallon buckets, then pull them out in the fall to put in the greenhouse, then bring them back out again in the spring.
The ivy geraniums are ready to brighten up the front walk. Tomorrow is another day and more plants will find their way outside!

The Hens and Rooster Working Overtime

 We let our hens and rooster out to wander around free this evening. With the dogs safely in the house our feathered friends ate some bugs, scratched up some old straw, and enjoyed their freedom.
Kit didn't know quite what to think.

William also came out by the garden to check out the strange birds.
The chickens didn't seem to notice.

An Idaho Treasure: The Cataldo Mission

A few weeks ago when I was visiting family in Kellogg I made a stop at the Cataldo Mission. I love to stop and just be still on that hill above the river remembering all that has come to pass at this spot.
I remember the Cataldo Mission before it was restored. (I took this on Nostalgia setting)
I also remember it as a beacon on the hill that meant we were almost home after a long car trip.

 I was reminded that it was and still is a gathering place for the Indians and many are buried here.
I remember when the river that runs behind the mission wasn't so clean.

 This is probably how photos looked that I took on my 4th grade field trip.

 It truly is an Idaho treasure.

Lake to a River

 The drawdown has caused Lake Roosevelt to be the lowest it has been in many years. Driving home each day and watching the changes is truly amazing. You can actually realize what it was like when the beginning of the Columbia River ran by my house and along the road to Inchlelium.

Another Neruda Favorite


And it was at that age ... Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don't know how or when,
no they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.

I did not know what to say, my mouth

had no way
with names,
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
that fire,
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
and open,
palpitating plantations,
shadow perforated,
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.

And I, infinitesimal being,

drunk with the great starry
likeness, image of
felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke loose on the wind.

Pablo Neruda

Strawbale Gardening: A New Project!

We have an area close to our potato patch that needs a border. We really didn't want another fence. JEJ had already worked overtime on rock borders so I didn't suggest that. What I did come up with was a row of straw bales. The dogs liked the idea.
I saw an article on doing straw bale gardens and thought it would be fun to fill the bales with flowers that would cascade down the newly formed border. The bales were cheap, they will add structure to the garden, and there will be more beautiful color as the summer progresses.
Recently the bales have been a source of hunting for all our four-legged friends. I think some mice may have come with the bales from the feedstore.

 If you want to see how to make straw bale gardens that look like this, go to :