Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summer's First Day

On this, the first day of summer, it feels as though spring has just really gotten to a start but here summer is! Oh how I love the beautiful month of June... it is full of wildflower blooms, the rich scent of wild rose blooms, lush green grass, sweet bird songs, vegetables growing in the garden, berries ripe and ready to be picked... oh yes, so much to enjoy in this delightful month of blooms!

The scent of wild rose blooms fills the air with fragrant promise. 

My newly planted clematis is blooming happily away.

Blooms in the garden







One day my daughter and I kayaked with a dear friend around a mountain lake.  It was a beautiful day!

Our friend's kayaks are blow-up ones.  I'd never been in an inflatable kayak, but it was amazing how well they did in the water! 
This lake has lots of water lilies that grow beneath the surface of the water, and then bloom.  Later in summer
almost the entire lake becomes covered with the growth of the blooms.  We enjoyed several hours paddling around the lake and saw several turtles and an osprey.  
 
I joined a group in the area who hike once a week to see some spectacular scenery and trails.  

We visited a local state park and hiked on some of the extensive trails around the park.  The park also has these darling log cabins available for rent. 

This picture is taken from a viewpoint in the park.  It was such a beautiful day to be out hiking!

I received my copy of Rural Magazine in the mail, and took it out to my garden to savor and enjoy.  If you haven't purchased your own copy yet, you can click this link to enjoy your very own copy! 

It is a beautiful issue full of gorgeous photography and inspirational thoughts from women around the country who share their hearts about the rural area they live in. 


 I have an article included in the issue :) 



Wild strawberries abound!  I have been finding little patches of them growing everywhere... tiny drops of sweetness that make you long for more of them! 

They are so tiny and hidden under leaves that they are often quite hard to find! 


I'm so glad I captured this picture of my Yellow Brick Road rose that my dad bought for me before they left.  I had a deer hop the fence into my garden and clean up the rest of the blooms on all my roses... so sad!  

I know the bush will bloom again, hopefully again this year, if it can.  But for now I will have to enjoy the pictures I took of the blooms before the trespassing deer ate them! 
 
My succulents are loving their new home under the eaves of my garden shed, while my always blooming flowers hang out in my daughter's repurposed cowboy boots! 

I had fun painting tin cans bright colors and filling them with succulents that will provide beauty for years to come.  Succulents have become my favorite garden staple! 


These dianthus reseed every year, I never have to replant them.  I love beautiful perennials that bring joy year after year!


On one of our hikes, this bald eagle kept a stoic watch over us as we began our hike. 

Beautiful mountains, valleys, rivers... oh the joys of getting out and hiking! So much to see! 





Intriguing little wooden bridges.... 

Dazzling tiger lilies! 


Wildflower blooms abounding on every hand.

Little streams rushing down the mountain...


This little stream was particularly bubbly and happy as it chortled its way down the mountain, and the wildflowers on its banks waved to the music of the gentle breeze. 


Someone had built a shelter with pine branches and needles!  

It looked quite cozy and perfect for a hideaway should one need one. 



Seeing views of the water as you hike are always highlights!


I love seeing my chives bloom and watching the bees hard at work enjoying their blooms.

Huckleberry cobbler in our Dutch oven cooked by my husband... a scrumptious treat! 

Strawberries fresh out of the garden... not as many as you see here made it into the house... lol!  They are just so hard to resist! 

A little collage of the wild roses blooming alongside the lupines next to the remnants of an old fence.  We pass
these on our evening walks... the scent of the wild roses fills the evening breeze with its fragrance. 

So we have been enjoying the last days of spring, and here we are, celebrating the first day of summer!  It is quite hard to believe half the year has already passed, but time does keep marching onward.  Our days are packed with moments spent outside enjoying the glorious beauties this season of the year offers up.  I find it hard to sit in front of a computer screen when I can be outside soaking up the sunshine... you understand I'm sure!  I haven't been able to blog as much as I'd like to, but it is the time of year to be outdoors and enjoying the beauty this season shares with us. 

And yet... one never just knows what a day may hold!


 Yesterday my dad was on his way to use a gift card that I had given to him for Father's Day. He was traveling on a 4 lane interstate when an 18 wheeler loaded with oil pipe struck the rear of dad's vehicle, causing his car to hit the concrete wall, then spinning the car around and pinning it to the front grill of the truck, going down the road at 70 miles an hour while the truck tried to stop. Then the car broke free and hit the concrete block on the other side of the interstate, after crossing 4 lanes of traffic before stopping. Dad's car was hit 4 times! Truly the Lord was with my dad today when this accident happened! 


Dad was taken to the hospital and released, without even a scratch!!! We are giving thanks to the Lord today for His protection in what could easily have been such a different situation!!! Thank you Lord!! I spoke to Dad this morning, and he doesn't have any pain, muscle soreness or any signs of trouble after the accident.  Truly a miraculous event that we have Dad still with us today! 

We remain incredibly thankful for the mighty hand of protection of the Lord on my father yesterday.  He told me he will never forget looking out at the grill of the truck as it pushed him down the road.  In that moment it feels like eternity stops... but how miraculous that Dad was able to crawl out of the passenger seat of the car later, without even a scratch!  We remain thankful and incredibly amazed at the powerful Hand of Protection that was on his life yesterday!

Our family has a planned family reunion that will be taking place in New Brunswick, Canada next week, and things could have been so different.  But thanks be to the Lord, Dad is okay and planning to travel Saturday to New Brunswick.  My family will be leaving next week as well to join the rest of our family celebrating my grandmother's birthday in New Brunswick.  We are quite excited about the trip, and so it will be a bit quiet here around my blog for the next week or two, but I promise when I return I will have lots of wonderful things to share with you :)  Blessings and hugs to all!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Graduation, Family Visits and Spring Flowers

Where oh where did the month of May go?  It seems that you wait with such longing and anticipation for spring to arrive, and then when it finally does, the days seem to pass in fleeting moments.  Spring's blooms finally arrived, my parents arrived for a visit, we had a graduation to celebrate, the garden has been calling, and so the month of May passed rather swiftly, but not without its beautiful and precious moments. 

My parents arrived to celebrate our children graduating, and spring was celebrating too.  These gorgeous cherry blooms greeted my parents on their arrival. 

We went down to see the roaring spring run-off river in downtown Spokane.

It is incredible to see the force and power of the water!


Spring had arrived with all of its bright and beautiful blooms in my garden!  

I loved the deep rich purple color of the hyacinths

One of the first stops my parents made after their arrival was a local restaurant that makes the best
huckleberry sundaes.  We enjoyed a lovely sweet treat! 

One day we took a trip across the border and our first stop there was at Tim Horton's, of course! 

Since our children were both working and couldn't come, we used that as an excuse to stock up on some donuts for the day
trip and to take some home with us. 

It was a beautiful day with stunning views like this one as we drove. 

We stopped at a little harbor and watched this man fly fish.  He said he wasn't having any luck...

But the views were magnificent!
We took the ferry across the Kootenai Lake and enjoyed the beautiful views of the mountains as we crossed. 

The ripples of the ferry on the otherwise still lake...

The gentle breeze blowing the flags.

The serene town of Nelson with its iconic red bridge. 

On our way back home we took the Salmo pass where the rushing waterfalls along the highway were a crescendo of cold rushing water.  This particular waterfall was so powerful that the falling water created its own wind storm.  The trees around it were blowing like there was a storm, but as you moved away from it, there was no wind.  We tried to get closer to it, but I had to turn my back to the falls because I didn't want to drench myself or my camera.  It was incredible to see... and COLD!  Ooh, it was cold, and there was still snow close to the falls.  It was amazing to see the temperature change with just a few feet.  I was ready for a cup of hot tea after that visit, lol 

The little town of Salmo was delightfully quaint, set back in the mountains. 

We knew that at the summit of Salmo pass there was a darling cabin sitting at the edge of a lake, and we had packed a lunch hoping to enjoy a picnic here.  However, there was no such picnic to be had, as there was still 12 feet of snow around most of the summit! 

We climbed over the deep snowbanks to reach the cabin, and this was the view from one of the windows! 

The wood stove looked like it had been in use over the winter, and we considered building a fire too, but
my father wasn't able to climb over the snowbanks so we had our picnic in the car instead :) 

It was rather surprising to see this amount of snow on the mountain in May! 
As evening fell, the skies were filled with glorious colors of promise for another beautiful day. 

The day after we returned from our trip to Canada, we celebrated the graduation from college of both our children. Good food was in abundance, as my mother and I cooked up quite a spread for the guests who had come to celebrate with us. 

Texas-style brisket was the star of the show. I used Pioneer Woman's recipe  for Braised Beef Brisket.  Normally we like to smoke the brisket but due to time constraints, we put it in the oven overnight instead, and it turned out amazing! There were little leftovers to speak of.... 

My tulips continued to bloom profusely... 

Loving the bright splashes of color along my garden border!



I added to my garden's fabric banner after my Mom and I were at a thrift store, and we found strips of fabric already cut in the perfect size for $2.00!  Talk about excited :) Mom tied them on for me, and we enjoyed the charm they add to my little garden area. 

Much too soon my parents' visit came to an end.  My Dad had planned to stay longer, but he was having some health issues and needed to get back home to see his doctors.  It has been a rough time for him as the doctors have struggled to pinpoint what is causing his shortness of breath and dizziness. We continue to pray that the cause of all of these issues gets resolved. So thankful for the wonderfully sweet and blessed time that we had with my parents!  It passed far too quickly, as it always seems to do! 

The weather has been lovely here the last few weeks with lots of sunshine mixed with rain, a perfect mix for the garden.  Late spring is here, with wildflowers blooming, and summer is just around the corner... amazing how fast the seasons pass!  I am still wondering how we are already into June, but here we are! 

Knowing how quickly the seasons pass, my dear friend Jen who is the editor of Rural Magazine, has put together another stunning issue showcasing the delights of spring.  She asked me to be a contributor to this issue.

This issue is available to purchase a print copy at www.ruralmag.com. The online digital copy will be available soon, and I will update the link when it becomes available. 

So as the beautiful days pass by, oh so quickly, my time inside is quite limited... we wait all winter for this warm weather and when it arrives, we must take advantage of it... :)