Saturday, June 24, 2017

June Berries & Blooms with Delights & Difficulties

I still cannot believe that we have already tipped the scales, and that the sun is heading back down the hill!  It seems that we anticipate the longer days, and enjoy them so very much, and now that Summer Solstice has passed us, we are sliding back down the other side of the hill... does it seem to you that this clock speeds faster and faster?

I don't know about you, but summertime this year has been a busy one for me.  We plan and plan all winter long for what we are going to do come spring/summer, and then come spring/summer we are on the run to get it all done before winter comes again.

In the evenings though, I enjoy taking a break from the work of the day and take a walk with Riley or Annie-girl.

The lupins and wild roses are in bloom and this is a particularly amazing year for their blooms.

I've noticed they lupins come in many varied shades of blue and purple, depending on how much sun they are getting.  I love the deep purple hues of this one.

Glorious sunsets abound, which is the time of day I like to walk best.

There is something about the skies and sunsets that cause my heart to feel great joy in just knowing the Savior who delights in His creation so much, to create a new piece of artwork each evening for us to enjoy.

This little squirrel watched us from high up in a pine tree.  We watched him sit very still and peer down at us, while Annie-girl muttered away about his presence.  Probably just as well we didn't catch the interpretation of this conversation! lol...

There is something quite soothing and relaxing after a long day's work to walk in the quiet shadows of the evening, listening to the twitter of the birds, the soft breeze of the evening wind, and watch the show on center stage all around us.

My husband and I climbed up a little cliff to watch the sunset from a different perspective.  The mountains in the distance were shrouded in evening's garments of purple and blues, while the skies danced around in prisms of yellows, oranges, purples and gold, much to our delight.

Annie-girl is never impressed with sunsets... she doesn't have time to look up, she tells me!  Why, there is too much going on around her on the ground, to be worried about the skies!  She spotted a deer off in the shadows, and showed great impatience with us, for not letting her go and explore that deer trail.  Patience is not a virtue she claims...

My husband and I are thankful for the evening walks that we can take together, it gives us a chance to talk about our day, enjoy the evening together, and plan for the next day.


These wild roses are blooming profusely in our backyard, and their glorious smell is deliciously intoxicating.

How wonderful that such beautiful things grow without a care in the world! No one tends them, they just produce the most glorious blooms and brighten up the world wherever they can.  Oh how I love Idaho's wild roses!

And it is wild strawberry season too!  We found some wild strawberries growing, and oh my, they are delicious!

These strawberries are from my garden, and the harvest has been amazing so far this year!  I planted 100 strawberry plants last year, and this year we are finally reaping the benefit of them.

8 cups of fresh picked strawberries makes about 4 pints of jam.  It felt pretty wonderful to pick my own strawberries for the jam and have it made within an hour, along with homemade honey-oatmeal bread too... oh the delights of having my own strawberries are just beginning!  I should get a great June harvest, and then I have about 20 strawberry plants that will continue to produce strawberries throughout the summer.


About a week ago around 4:00 in the afternoon, I was at home, and heard a knock at the door.  I hadn't seen a car drive in, and couldn't imagine who it would be, and the dogs weren't barking either.  I went to the door, and the most awful sight met me there.  It was my neighbor, whose face was covered in blood, and she was holding onto the door as if she might collapse right there.  After getting over the initial shock of seeing so much blood, I asked her what happened.  She told me that she was working in her field using a tractor and a hay rake.  The hay rake got bent, and she was using a pipe wrench to straighten it, when the hay rake tine sprung loose, and hit her in the face. She lay there for a few minutes, and realized she didn't have her cell phone with her, and thought - I've got to get to Marilyn's for help.  So she managed to get up and walk across 3, yes THREE fields to get to my house.  Sheer adrenaline!  I got her an ice pack from the freezer, some water for her to drink, a wet rag to hold to her head, and off we went to the ER.  (This is the same neighbor who took me to the eye doctor back in March when Riley scratched my eye!  We are not sure what the significance of eye injuries for us is, but we do have a bond!)

She ended up being transferred by ambulance to a bigger trauma hospital an hour away because of her eye injuries, lacerations, and fracture.  It was quite an event, with two eye surgeons who came in to see her.  They stitched up her eyelid lacerations and sent her home very late that evening. Because two eye surgeons were involved, both wanted to see her, and so I took her to both doctors for a visit in the following days.  Surgery was scheduled for Wednesday of this week to repair her broken eye socket.  I took her in for the surgery and spent the day with her.  Her surgery went well, and despite still having some double vision (which the doctors say should clear up in a matter of days), she is on the mend!  Many, many people have been praying for her and she feels very blessed in the midst of all that she has been through.  We have laughed and laughed together, and shared about the blessings of the Lord in the midst of life's little bumps (or big ones that cause lots of blood and pain!) in the road, and truly I'm so thankful to have a neighbor who loves the Lord so much, and what fun times we have had together, despite the difficult circumstances.  I am a firm believer in not crying over spilled milk, but instead, sop it up and enjoy it a different way... and that is just what she is doing.  She is using this time off work to read through the book of Isaiah with her one good eye, and she has had time to rest too, which she doesn't often have... and so both of us have found that in spite of our "eye" experiences the Lord has managed to greatly bless and encourage us in and through them.

My dear neighbor's mother was so grateful that someone could be there for her daughter with all the trips to the hospital and doctors that she gifted me with the most gorgeous and amazing vintage patio bistro set that a gal's heart could ever hope for!  Never would I have been able to afford to spend the $$ to buy this darling little set for my little repurposed garden!

My "Garden Within A Garden" now has this vintage 3-piece addition to it!  This gorgeous, vintage yet mint condition table and 2 chairs was picked up by my neighbor and her mother at a little antique store.  I have no idea as to the cost of it, and I will never know.  But one thing I do know, this little set will be cherished by me forever... it speaks to me of friendship and joy in the midst of difficulty, and peace in the garden too.  I had gone to town to pick up a few things, and when I got home, this little set was waiting in the yard for me.  I just cried out when I saw it!  I couldn't even believe it, nor did I want to accept it from them, but then I remembered that to be a generous giver, you must, at times, be a gracious receiver, and I knew that their hearts were full of joy to bring this gift to me, and so I thanked them with all my heart.  What a treasure!  Something I will treasure always, and also it will always be a reminder to me of how our Lord uses the wildest situations in life to bring bits of joy into our lives.

So I brought my treasured set into my little "Garden Within A Garden" and played with it, trying to get it just right.  I tried different things on the table, moved things around, and just had so much fun with it!

I have seen many pictures of cowboy boots used in decor, and wasn't really sure if this would work or not.

I saw a picture like this:

I saw a picture like this in the dedicated cowboy boots section of King Ranch.
... and thought ... well maybe I could do something similar.  In fact, my daughter had just purchased a new pair of cowboy boots, and I asked her if I could have her old ones... she looked at me a bit funny, lol!  After all, who wants old cowboy boots? Hmmm ..

I did!  I had just the perfect spot for them too... 

I was pleased with the way the boots just felt right at home sitting on that table!

And then I remembered... I had fresh strawberries in the garden, so I went and picked some and put them on the table...

But the strawberries weren't for me!  I took this cute little basket of strawberries along with an invitation that I created...

... to my neighbor, her mother and another friend who was involved in getting the little bistro set for me, and invited them to my garden for a tea party... with the time to be announced, since my neighbor is still in a bit of a recovery from her eye surgery. Perhaps next week! We will have a tea party in my garden, and that is an event I can't wait to make happen! You will hear about it when it does  {smile}

In the meantime, these lovely cowboy boots adorn my little vintage table, and since I have an abundance of wildflowers growing in my yard, they will "bloom" all summer.  I simply took two small plastic cups, filled them with water, and placed them inside the boots, and I can refill with wildflowers as desired. I love it!

And I just had to show you a peek of my strawberry patch, complete with a new sign!  My daughter and I embarked on a project where we made signs for all the veggies and fruits growing in my garden.  I painted the signs white, then she oil painted the words on them, and then we sprayed them with an acrylic sealer spray.  My husband screwed the signs into the stakes, and voila!  It adds a lovely whimsical touch to my garden.  Since strawberries in English wouldn't fit on the sign, she thought it would be fun for me to learn a bit of Spanish instead... so she painted the word strawberry in Spanish... so fun!

Well, you can see our days around here are busy, and one just never knows what is going to show up at ones' door!  But we live each day so very thankful for the Lord's protection and help even in the midst of the difficulties that come our way, and we choose to be thankful for it all, for the good and the bad all seem to work together for good, and for that I am just so thankful!  The ways of the Lord never seem to be what we would choose... and yet, in the end... His ways really are best and we give HIM our thanks for this world He created for us to live in, for the blessings He bestows upon us, that come to us in seemingly endlessly unique ways, and we praise Him for blessing us even in the most unexpected turns and twists that life brings to us.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, 
neither are your ways my ways, 
saith the LORD. 
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, 
so are my ways higher than your ways, 
and my thoughts than your thoughts. 
Isaiah 55: 8-9


  1. I enjoy reading about your walks, Marilyn.

    You are a true friend indeed.

  2. Oh my goodness, Marilyn, concerning your friend.

    I just love your post and your new header, smiles. Have a beautiful Sunday friend.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Reposting deleted comment - found typo :-/
    What a nice and lovely "home maker" you are Marilyn! Your special touches are evident ~ you must get that from you Heavenly Father!
    Glad your neighbor's coming along. Good you were there to help (even as she helped you)!
    Our 'mind of Christ' when allowed to work in us keeps us from many snares and pitfalls. Staying in His Peace is like walking a tight rope (it seems) at times. But, when the Holy Spirit is our lead and when we're not distracted (not looking down at the churning waters - remember Peter!) we do well!
    "Thanks again" for share so much with us - it takes time and effort and devotion.
    Ms Riley is sure filling out - not a puppy anymore!

  5. Fresas are just delicious Marilyn :0) I grow them here also ... Praising our Lord that your neighbor is on the mend and you were there for her. You think how anything can happen to you, either on the field or crossing the street... Beautiful patio bistro set dear lady ;D enjoy it... mari

  6. Your little garden seating looks super inviting! I love what you said about being a gracious receiver. I imagine many feeling have been hurt by one not graciously receiving a gift.

    I enjoyed taking a walk with you. Have a wonderful week!

  7. Love this post! Your walks must be wonderful, lovely photos. Love the lupines.
    Wow, your neighbor was so blessed you were there for her in her need. Good neighbors are priceless. Have a great week!

  8. Your poor neighbour, how wonderful that you were in and able to look after her. And how pretty your new patio set is!

  9. So glad you were there for your neighbor, Marilyn, at her time of need. Yes, God is so gracious, showing us His love even in the midst of our troubles!
    And your photos? All magnificent, especially the sunsets. Your corner of the world is amazingly beautiful; thanks for sharing it with all of us here.
    Enjoy those scrumptious strawberries, too!

  10. I enjoyed this post so much, Marilyn. I felt like I was right there with you through each event, from the enchanting evening walks to the joy of receiving a special gift of the vintage patio set. Your days are full, my friend, in a very good way. I rejoice with you in seeing God's hand in everything. I'm glad your friend is recovering. Prayers for a complete recovery are being lifted up as I write. Hugs, Nancy P.S. Love your daughter's decision to write the plant names in Spanish so you could learn the language. Brilliant!

  11. I found this post a warm hearted read Marilyn. From knowing you are like me in being grateful daily for all the beauty that has been created for us to your compassion and caring for a neighbour who I'm sure was thankful to find you home. Prayers for this lady as she recuperates and yes, you had the right attitude in accepting the awesome bistro set. The planted boots are cute.
    Happy Gardening!

  12. Dear Marilyn, praise the Lord that your friend was able to get to you. He had His hand of protection upon her. WOW! I love all the pictures as always and your walks seem so sweetened with the Lord too. Those strawberries are beautiful! WOW! I want to grow some too. We love them. Hoping you have a great week dear lady. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  13. What a wonderful post, Marilyn! I enjoyed reading about your walk with your hubby very much, and really was blessed by your second part of the post about your neighbor! God orchestrates situations in our lives that bring such joy in what seems to be misery, doesn't He? It's amazing how everything works out for good in the end. Your bistro set is adorable, especially the way you styled everything. LOVE the cowboy boot idea!! I have been away from blogging for so long. Your post brings me back, and blesses my heart, Marilyn.
    Have a wonderful week, sweet girl.

  14. P.S. I love your header!

  15. You have so many beautiful things to enjoy on your walk. Hope you enjoy the tea party!!

  16. Oh my, your dear neighbor! So glad you were there to help her and get her to the hospital. That was a very nice gift of appreciation. The sunsets have been lovely. We are in Colville right now trying to stay cool. Hope you have a nice week.

  17. Dear Marilyn ... You and your neighbor are so blessed to have one another. I love your little vintage set and how you have made it so cosy and pleasant. Your homestead is delightful. You have such pretty views around your neck of the woods. I feel as you do, that the time goes by much to quickly. I hope that you have a quiet and peaceful evening. Hugs ♥ Teri

  18. I'm so glad your neighbor will be OK! An eye injury is so scary. You were indeed her angel on call. It is so nice that she and her Mom gifted you with that pretty vintage outdoor set as a thank you--enjoy it! Your garden looks lovely and so did those gorgeous sunsets!

  19. Lovely post Marilyn and so thankful your neighbor had you to come to for help! It is wonderful and God's gift to have neighbors we love and relate to and enjoy in our lives. I'm glad she is recovering well and hope it's a complete recovery! Love your new header and that bistro table and chairs are just darling.. the red is so perfect for your little garden and the red plaid ribbon adds to much to it. Love it all! You truly ARE very very busy and so glad you are fortunate to live in a place where you can go on such peaceful and stunning evening walks. I do love big skies and all the colors the Lord provides for us to take in! I'm never without my camera on an evening walk! How fun to have the tea party to look forward to! Take care and have a good week! xoxoxo Marilyn

  20. Good grief! I was going to comment on your pretty pictures and wild strawberries until i read the account of your neighbor's accident. Yikes what a scary incident. So glad she made it to your place and that things weren't far far worse. What a horrid accident! Reading through Isaiah is a good thing. I recently listened to David Suchet read through Isaiah on ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ‘

  21. Marilyn, that can not be Riley!! She has grown so much. Your garden is gorgeous. Love the boots idea. Oh my, your poor neighbor. I'm so glad you were home to help her. xo

  22. What a wonderful post! I just loved it from beginning to end. The boots look fabulous!

  23. You are such a blessing!
    A TRUE neighbor!
    God is smiling.

  24. Hello,
    Prayers to your friend/neighbor. Things can happen so fast with machinery. My mom had a close call with a conveyor belt for the silage from the silo. I was just little when it happened. I had to help my mom. Blood!! Oh my! I will never forget it.

    I am so happy you were home, God is Good!
    Enjoy the last days of June, like you, I can not believe how fast this year is going.

  25. So glad you were home and able to help you poor neighbor! What a gift of friendship you have given them and how sweetly they returned it to you!

    Can't wait to see your tea party!

  26. Oh much packed into this post, I hardly know where to begin...but it started out with chills as I read about finding your precious neighbor standing at your door, injured so badly. Thank the Lord that you were able to be there for her in time of desperate need! I am so glad to hear that she is on the mend...and how wonderful that the Lord placed you both in each other's paths, even in these very situations! And that vintage table and chairs...BE STILL MY HEART! What a kind and generous way to show appreciation to you! I love how you have it all set up. Enjoy the rest of your week, my friend!

  27. What a wonderful blessing you were to your neighbor and then it flowed back on it! God's hand orchestrating the outcome of such an awful accident, clearly indicates He holds us in the palm of His hand. I love the flowers, of course think the bistro set is adorable and looks perfect with those boots.
    Thank you for sharing!

  28. From the description of your daily, early evening walks and the beautiful photos of those fiery skies that accompany it, to your dear neighbour's accident and the fact that you were there for her, just as she was for you, my heart was lifted in learning that she will be okay, thanks in part to your generous and helpful assistance.

    How sweet and kind for her and her mother to have gifted you with this pretty pink bistro set, which you have decorated so whimsically for your garden and what a great idea to invite them over for a garden tea party! I'm sure they will be the lucky recipients of a scrumptious strawberry surprise!

    Thanks for sharing all your news, Marilyn and keep walking under the stars!


  29. I'm so pleased to read that your neighbour will be ok. Good neighbours are so special, and the fact that you help each other is just wonderful.

    I enjoyed reading and looking at your post, wonderful scenes, lovely flowers and your garden set is gorgeous.
    What a lovely new header too.

    Enjoy these last days of June

    All the best Jan

  30. I'm lovin' your country roads, those luscious strawberries ... and those boots, friend!

  31. Marilyn, you are quite the Proverbs 31 woman! Such a blessing you are to your neighbor and the way you decorate and enjoy your garden--the strawberries, flowers inspire me. May God continue to bless your days with joys of homemaking and creativity and good health!

  32. What a wonderful time of things you've been having! In the good and the unexpected times, the Lord cares for us all. I'm sure you and your neighbour have an even closer bond now. The boots are just wonderful and a perfect addition to your sweet outdoor set.

  33. Oh, Marilyn, what a good friend you are not only to help at the moment of crisis, but to continue helping. Many blessings be heaped upon you. I am praying for your neighbor to heal completely with no lingering damage.

    The bistro set is darling and I really liked what you shared about giving and receiving. We actually give a gift when we receive gracefully. Sweetness all around...

    1. Wow! That's quite the piece of spam you have here... ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿป‍♀️

    2. It was an awful piece of spam indeed, and it is now gone forever!

  34. Wow! What a story! That was just wonderful...although, not the injury to your neighbor...but how the Lord worked everything out and that she is going to be okay...and that beautiful little bistro set for the garden...I can't wait to see the pictures of your Garden Tea Party. And the cowgirl boots with flowers is just perfect! Your strawberries look good enough to reach right through this screen and eat! How I'd love to do that!!! And the fresh homemade jam and bread...ahhhh! You are living my dream! Such beauty all around you! Thank you for allowing us to share a few moments with you. I will be praying for your neighbor...and so thankful you were home and able to help her. God was with you both!!!

  35. So sorry to hear about your, that is just awful. I do hope she is feeling much better by now. I have been praying for her. It is amazing how God knows ahead of time what the people around us will face, and He often has us right where we need to be to help them...and vice versa. So thankful to know that nothing in our lives is ever a surprise to Him. He is always on the watch and is ever faithful. Sending love and hugs to you today, dear friend!

  36. Beautiful photo's. I have never been to Idaho or most of the other states of our beautiful country. I am so sorry to read about your neighbor's accident, she sure had God's angels watching over her. Love the bistro set, how nice for her Mother to have given it to you.
    Praying she recovers completely.

  37. Oh Marilyn, your pictures are always so beautiful. Your strawberries are mouth watering and making jam and homemade bread is my cup of tea. What a wonderful neighbor you were to care for your friend/neighbor. Actually, you both did what any of us should do, as loving children of God. The bistro set is just perfect for you and the cowboy boots are adorable. Having a tea party will be something to look forward to.

  38. Oh my gosh, Marilyn, what a fright for your neighbor! I'm so glad you were home to help her, and what a lovely way she said thank you!

  39. We were just saying today that we are sad the the 4th is almost here, because Sumer flies after that! Summer goes too quickly.
    Your pictures are so pretty!
    Your poor neighbor. Glad you were there to help. Your bistro set is just perfect and the boots and flowers are adorable!

  40. Such a wonderful post!
    Loved your pretty photos,
    And the bistro set!
    So very sorry your friend was injured!
    What a woman though.
    Hoping for a complete healing for her.
    I love the book of Isaiah!
    It is my favorite Old Testament book.
    Many blessings.
    I have had a difficult day today.
    What a joy to read this post.
    Those strawberries look yummy!

  41. Hi Dear Marilyn, Such a beautiful post. From the beauty of your surroundings to the beauty in true friendship that helps one another in time of need. I'm so sorry to read what happened to your neighbor but so glad you were there to help her get to help. The bistro set is beautiful and what a wonderful thank you gift. Love the boots filled with flowers. Enjoy the beginning of a new month and Happy 4th of July. Blessings, xoxo

  42. I loved seeing all your pictures, as usual. Yes, it does seem to me that the days go faster and faster every year. In fact, I was just thinking that this morning. I thought maybe it was because the more kids I have, the more busy I am....or something like that, ha, ha. I really don't know.

    I am so grateful you were there to help your neighbor! What a scary thing! Thank the Lord she will be okay. And thank the Lord you were there!

  43. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this chatty post. Your evening walks sound lovely; my husband and I often walk in the evening as well. It's a good way to connect after the day. Lupines are beautiful - on our recent drive through the Rockies they lined the roadside with tall spires in purple, pink and a few pale yellow ones. Gorgeous examples of our God's creativity.
    The story of your neighbour's injury is astounding. I'm so glad you are able to help one another in so many ways. The bistro set is darling, and your upcoming tea party sounds like the perfect way to celebrate friendship!

  44. Prayers for your neighbor to heal completely. What a blessing you two have been to one another.
    I dearly love the pics from your evening walks. Hard to believe it's almost July.

  45. Oh my goodness Marilyn, I am so glad you were home when your neighbor needed you! How generous of her and her mother to gift you with that beautiful little patio set. It is adorable and I love the way you have decorated with the boots, strawberries and wildflowers.

    YOur walks are so beautiful and I enjoy hearing Annie's thoughts on the whole process. She is quite the character. ;)

    Be blessed my friend!

  46. An amazing glad you could be there for your neighbour.....I liked your reminder about being gracious for that which is gifted to us......I think the little set adds more colour amongst your pretty blooms.....blessings to you for your sweetness!

  47. Yes the year seems to be flying past...soon school will be back in session so we are enjoying our summer time as much as we can. Love wild strawberries, they are so cute. Love fresh berries too, we've eaten a ton of them here from a local grower. It's neat you have your own to enjoy. - Oh my stars the story of your neighbor and her accident sounds horrible. I'm so glad she was able to make it to your place and then got the proper care she needs. Who would have thought a rake could do such damage. Adorable bistro set. I hope they enjoy your tea, I know I would.

  48. Oh, I'm so glad you were there for your neighbor! God be with her!
    I love your photos - everything is looking so fine!
    The bistro set is adorable! So YOU!

  49. Its wonderful you were there for your neighbor! I hope she is back in good health quickly. What a terrible ordeal for her.
    Lovely photos.. love the boots!
    Love Annie.. we have something in common.;)

  50. Hello Marilyn,

    I'm thinking I need to move to Idaho...what gorgeous gorgeous sunsets you have there! We have beautiful sunsets here in WV too, but those of yours are exceptional.

    How scary a thing to happen to your neighbor...and how scary for you to go to your door and find her standing there with blood all over her face. I'm so happy to hear the good news of her doing better and that she is in recovery mode.

    Lovely gift of appreciation that she and her mother gave to you! It is just a beautiful set and the sentiments that go with it are even more beautiful.

    Happy day to you, my friend!

  51. You've had a busy week, Marylin, and it sounds like a lovely one. Except for your poor neighbor, of course, glad to hear that she is going to be OK.

  52. +i am so sorry about your dear neighbor my dear friend ,her story is terrifying .
    hope ,wish and heartiest that she be blessed with perfect heath soon ,amen.

    did you literally planted hundred plants of strawberries ?
    wow that is quite a "work"!!!
    by the grace of God you are receiving the reward of you handwork now in the form of tasty fresh juice .

    your phrases along with photos are so beautiful dear.
    i really enjoyed reading them ,they made me feel to be there with you bearing soft breeze and grace of beautiful evening .
    thank you for sharing all the love and blessings along with gratitude my friend !

  53. I am reading this late and happy to know your neighbor is on the mend. What a cute garden set they got for you! How generous! And the cowboy boots look really nice!

  54. Marilyn, Thanks for sharing this story. I so glad your friend is recovering. Sylvia D.


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