Wednesday, August 9, 2017

How Doth the Garden Grow!

August!  The days and nights are already shortening noticeably with the sun coming up an hour later, and setting an hour earlier than it was in June!  The seasons pass so quickly and the days we anticipate through the long winter come and go in such a hurry!


July is blueberry picking month!


The berries were huge this year, it didn't take my friend T and I much over an hour to pick 37 pounds of blueberries! I froze most of mine, and will have a good supply to get us through the winter. 

We also went cherry picking too!  This iconic truck sits at one of the local cherry farms we visited.


Freshly made cherry pie!



The rest of the cherries were canned, and will make wonderful pies and desserts throughout the winter.



This picture was taken about 3 weeks ago, and my, even since then, my garden has really grown!


My plants are loving the warm sunshine and are doing very well, even in the midst of the high 90s temps that we are having.


A peek at my little garden within-my-garden space... it is always a treat to sit out there after my garden duties for the morning are done, and just quietly relax and enjoy the beauty and peace there.


Just looking at this picture makes me realize that my garden has really, really grown in the last couple of weeks.  The marigolds are now in full bloom, and tomatoes are ripening... harvest is upon us!


Riley begged to be let into my garden, so my daughter and I relented one afternoon while we were in the Garden-within-the-Garden staying cool.  She behaved herself, and quietly lay by our feet.


Loving my pansies this year, they are enjoying the shade, and are quite happy and content.


Where could you find a cuter face than this?


My begonias are blooming profusely in the shade of the garden.


About to take a quick nap... or maybe she was watching those pesky wasps flying around...


I created a new little fabric strip banner for this little space, and as it sways in the breeze with its bright colors, I am thankful for the joy that I find in this little garden, and even in the heat of the summer, it is a cool inviting spot to rest and enjoy the summer dog days we are in.



The harvest is starting, and August will be a busy month of gathering the harvest and putting it up for winter.  The zucchini and squash are in their peak right now, as are the cucumbers, the potatoes, broccoli, and green beans.  The strawberries and raspberries are done for this year, and it was a bountiful year for them.  Corn will be ready in a couple of weeks, as will the tomatoes.  Busy, wonderful days are ahead!

Weather is a funny thing... it seems we always need something of which we don't have.  During our past winter, we had records of more snow, and more rain than before in recorded history, and then, this past July, our county hit a record of having less rainfall than the Sahara desert that month, having only 1/8" of an inch of rain the entire month of July.  Everything stayed green much longer than it normally would have though, because of all the rain/snow we had this winter, but now, the trees are in distress.  Fires are a concern, and our family has a plan of what to take, should we have to evacuate, but Lord willing, we won't have to.  There is a large fire north of us in the Colville, WA area as well as the fires in British Columbia, and we have been under heavy smoke and haze for the last week or so.  There is no sign of rain for at least another couple of weeks, so we are praying that the Lord will sustain us through this as well.

Such is weather everywhere though!  So, we give our Lord praise no matter what comes our way, because in the end, all is well in Him!  

Meanwhile the time of harvest is here, and it is a joy every day to pick out of the garden the food for our table.   Homegrown veggies are wonderful, and the harvest season is a lot of work, but exciting to see the pantry and freezer fill up with food for the coming winter.  These are busy days, but good days :)














Friday, July 28, 2017

Summer's Pleasures

The joys of summer pleasures are ongoing.... we are enjoying the sunshine and thankful for skies that are blue, river waters that are cool, but warm enough to swim in, and enough berries to feed a squadron of bears!


We drove back up into the mountains one afternoon and waded in these very cool waters... invigorating to say the least!


 Can't get enough of the views of mountains, sky, water, trees and sunshine!

These pink wildflower blooms have come and gone, but how delightful they were to see...


A dear friend invited us to come swim with her for an afternoon on her private sandy shores.  The water was warm enough to dive in and just enjoy, how wonderful it was in those 90+ degree temps to be in the cool clear river waters.


She also had a cherry tree ripe for the picking, and so we helped her pick as many cherries as we could reach on her overloaded tree and then helped her pick raspberries too.  Berry, berry fun!


What a bounty it was!

 

While my Dad was here, we were able to put up the clothesline that belonged to my mother when she was raising us. They no longer needed a clothesline, and have passed it down to us.  So my Dad helped my husband install it from our back patio, and what a joy it has been to hang the wash out on the line, and within the hour, be able to bring it back inside, with all its warm sunshine smell!


We took a trip to Canada, to the southern part of British Columbia a couple of weeks ago.  The weather was delightful, in the 70s, and the day we spent there was just a lovely one.  We stopped and ate at Tim Horton's before doing a little touring of the towns and then heading up a mountain pass, as we really wanted to spend the day in the mountains.



We drove alongside this mountain stream for many miles and found a place where we could get out and enjoy the creek.  Had we known, we could have brought our Tim Horton's here to enjoy, it would have been a perfect picnic spot!  Next time!  


There was a large grove of cedars next to the creek, and we found some very interesting rock designs that people had left behind there.


You can see here all the rocks that people collected to make special little designs, some of them with names and dates on them, encouraging messages, it was nice to see that there were no ugly words or thoughts shared, but from what we could see, all good things, mostly memories of family who had passed on, or good thoughts to share.  It was a very unique little place to see, walk the paths and read the messages left behind by other visitors.


We continued on up the pass.  The very distant mountains still had some snow on their peaks.. makes one wonder if the snow ever melts?


At the top of the pass there is this lovely little cabin sitting on a lake, it is the most picturesque little place to visit.  We had packed a picnic lunch and decided this was the perfect spot to have our picnic.


However it was quite chilly up on top of that ridge, and we were thankful for the cabin to shelter us. So we built a little fire inside (the temps were in the mid-60s with a cold wind) and ate our lunch.  There was a trail that led around the small lake, which we hiked - making lots of noise, because we were in grizzly country and did not have a weapon or bear spray with us!


The beargrass this year is putting on an astounding display, with beautiful huge white blooms.


 Purple daisies growing by the lake bed.


A view of the little lake from a different perspective.


A cozy little spot for a cabin, tucked away in the trees on the banks of this charming lake.


The water was surprisingly warm but still, none of us ventured in for a swim!


Such a serene and pristine setting, a perfect place for a picnic!

Our trip across the border was a perfect little day getaway, and maybe we had a bit too much sugar and caffeine along the way, with two pit stops at Tim Hortons - to get our fill of their coffee and donuts, lol! We also bought two cans of Tim's coffee to bring home with us, along with an extra dozen donuts... not like we needed them (ha!)...

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I've got more pictures and events to share, but I'll save them for another post... but I just wanted to share a bit of what our summer has been full of.  It seems that we anticipate the joys of summer for so long, and then when they are here, they pass far more quickly than you realize!   I am looking at the calendar wondering how did it already get to the end of July!

But one thing for sure, we have enjoyed every moment of this summer to the fullest, and that really is the most important thing, isn't it!  Other things are on pause at the moment - my blogging for sure - !!! but the days will come soon enough when the north winds will blow, and I will have time to visit my dear blogging friends again.  {smiles}

I hope that your summer has been full of good and wonderful things, and I hope to post again perhaps within a week or so of some more fun things that have been taking place around here.  :)




Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Heat Wave, Camping & Fireworks

July is in full swing here now, and the heat wave is in full force with temps hovering around 100 degrees, which is not entirely unusual for us here, but not really that welcomed either.  Thankfully the nights cool down into the 50s, so we are thankful for that.


We had an evening thunderstorm come through and it left behind this subdued rainbow in the orange skies.


July was an eventful month for Miss Riley.  We had her spayed and she was not exactly the best patient.  She was supposed to stay inside for ten days, with no running, jumping, playing, rough-housing, or any activity that would open the incision and she was to only go outside on the leash. She was quiet for the first few hours after we brought her home, but then she was back to her rambunctious self.. and it has been a struggle to keep her inside, quiet, and resting.

We had taken her outside on the leash and we were sitting around the fire pit, thinking all was well. Just now, we looked down, and there was no Riley... she had chewed through the leash in about 3 different spots.  So... then we had to put her on a metal leash...  Thankfully we have reached the 10-day mark with no untoward events, and the incision has completely closed, how thankful we are for that!


I found this very unique looking strawberry in my garden!  It was a beautiful heart shape surrounded by other small strawberries that had all grown into one.


It was too unique to eat ourselves, so I shared it with my neighbor who had the eye injury, to encourage her heart.  Speaking of which, she has gone back to her work as a nurse as of yesterday, and while the eye still has some healing to take place, she is able to drive and work again.  Praising the Lord for that!
 


Beautiful sunsets abound!


We have had my dad here visiting and a friend from Texas over the last week or so.  We took our truck camper out into the woods to go camping.



Nothing tastes as good as campfire-cooked food!


We camped by a little creek and in the afternoon when it was nice and hot, we went down and cooled off in the icy, snow-melt water! We found out that Riley just loves the water... but even more than that, she loves to come and spray us as she shakes off... the silly girl!


She didn't seem to mind the cold waters one bit, but in this picture, one wonders, lol!  She looks a little miffed about something! Maybe getting her picture taken... again, ha!



It was a beautiful little shaded spot we found with lots of large tree stumps laid down in the water, and we had fun climbing around the logs and rocks, and just staying cool.



Our son and Miss Riley in a quiet pensive moment..



Our little town put on their own fireworks show, and it was pretty spectacular!




My dad is still here with us, and we are enjoying having his company.  He has helped me with lots of little projects that often get pushed to the side because of all the big projects we have that are ongoing.

This is the time of year that we long for all winter long, and so you will see very sporadic posts from me for the next month or two, as we enjoy and soak up all the sun and warmth we can, while it is here for us to enjoy.  :)