July and A Little Getaway

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

July has been a series of days slipping by, with one hot breath after another, and so we have sought out the rivers and cool waters as a way to enjoy the heat, and not just suffer with it miserably.  The entire northwest has been under a tremendous heatwave, and wildfire dangers since the beginning of the summer months.  We have had several wildfires close to us, but thankfully all have been put out within hours of starting.  We are so very grateful for the host of hardworking firefighters who are here working on the wildfires.  

A dear friend took us out on their boat, and we enjoyed the gorgeous views and company. 

Lake views are the best!

We've watched the temperature rise to places unheard of,
with records being broken in the last week of June for 100+ temperatures. 

We like to ride down to the river on our quad and cool off after a long hot day! 

The lavender has been doing amazing with the heat, and the honey bees are so grateful for 
the lavender, they swarm it from morning til evening. 

My zinnias are full of blooms, such rich and vibrant colors!

The garden is doing well for the most part.  The heat has taken its toll.  The lettuce is still going strong, but the heat has caused it to bolt, so I am feeding it to my chickens. 

The peas have done really well this year! They love nitrogen and rich soil,
so I planted them around my compost pile, and they are so happy! 

Sunflower blooms just make my heart sing!

My Mom traveled to see her mother in New Brunswick. She had to quarantine for 2 weeks in a dear friend's home before she could see her mother.  Oh what a precious reunion it was! 

My Gram is blind, and many of you remember the horrible fire last September that destroyed the homestead she and my Grampie had married and lived in.  Thankfully a new home has been put on the site, and it is truly a remarkable blessing!

July 13 was her 91st birthday. I'm so thankful my Mom was able to celebrate with her! 

Far too soon, Mom had to leave and it was hard for them to say goodbye.
This picture just makes me cry!

Dan and I also celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary in July, and decided to invest in an RV
so that we could take little weekend trips and have our own house on wheels! 

We drove up into the mountains, and found a lush, green wooded campsite to spend the night at, with a little creek that tumbled happily along, its music our night's entertainment! 

We like to "primitive camp" without any amenities...
and just enjoy the quiet beauty of all that nature offers! 

Campfires were still allowed in this area, so we were so happy to enjoy a campfire! 

The little mountain stream that sang to us the sweetest melody! 

And of course... watermelon! 

The next day we traveled and stopped at different little towns, and enjoyed the beautiful views. We found our next campsite 13 miles back up an old logging road, with a beautiful creek alongside it. We decided to camp here for the second night. No fires here though, as there was a nearby wildfire in progress, although mostly contained. 

We enjoyed the beauty of the mountain stream as it sang happily downstream.  In the distance, behind us, you can see the smoke from the nearby wildfire. Smoke has become a constant companion for us it seems, with these terrible drought conditions. 

Early in the morning, the sun spread its warming rays over the distant hills,
what a beautiful sight it was! 

To celebrate our anniversary, Danielle and Zak came up after we got home, and we enjoyed a meal together, and then... yes watermelon for dessert.  It's always a treat in this hot weather we are having! 

Loving that watermelon!

Danielle painted this picture for us for our anniversary. Our sweet Mister Simba!  I was so touched by this! It will always be a treasured painting of our precious Mister. How we miss him so! 

You may have read in the news that the northwest is experiencing extreme heat and drought conditions, and that we are dealing with an extreme risk of fires in our area.  We are very blessed that the Idaho Forest Service has been very proactive in fighting fires, and that is a great comfort. We continue to stay diligent and prepared in case of fire danger.  So many are dealing with too much rain, and we are suffering under a lack of rain. We pray for the rain we need, and for others to receive the sunshine they need.  We did get a bit of rain this morning, and what a delight it was! We need more, much more, but even this small amount has been wonderful! 

How quickly July is passing, and the garden is growing by leaps and bounds. The next time I post, I will share some of the garden bounty with you. Praying you have a blessed and wonderful week ahead :) 



  1. You have certainly had your share of scares with fires around about you. I love all the stories here but am especially touched by the one of your Mom being able to see your Grandmother and spend her birthday with her. I am glad they were able to have a new home to live in after the fire.
    Have a wonderful night- so Diana

    1. It has been a crazy year here with the fire dangers, thankfully no fires close by. We are thankful. It was a wonderful reunion Mom had with her mother. We have so much to be thankful for! Blessings and hugs :)

  2. Thanks for the lovely up-date. Your garden seems to be doing great. All the sunshine helps.
    We're experiencing drought and wildfires here in BC as well. Air quality is bad.
    How great that your Mom could visit HER Mom for her 91st birthday.
    We traveled many miles in our camperized van and mostly stayed in remote areas with no amenities. That stage of our lives is over now but it was fun and we have our memories (and pics).

    1. Such wonderful memories are made camping, indeed. I understand though, how that season would come to a close, it is a lot of work, but so rewarding :) I hope you and your family stay safe with the fires there as well. It's a crazy year for fires, for sure.

  3. Glad you got to go away for a while. The wild fires are so scary. Will keep you in my prayers for an ending to the wild fires. Here in New York the weather has been hot. We did have an Eastern storm that became a cyclone. HAPPY 91st BIRTHDAY to your mother. May she have many blessings and happiness throughout her birthday year. God Bless.

    1. Thank you for the prayers for our fires, and for the birthday wishes for my grandmother! I'm sure my aunt will read your comment to her! Many blessings to you my dear Marilyn!

  4. What a lovely post Marilyn! I so so so enjoyed seeing your new home on wheels and the sweet places you went to.. and the creeks and rivers and GREEN! How wonderful! How awesome to go out in the wilderness and enjoy that peace and quiet.. and the woodland sounds.. and water! I'm so glad to hear your mom got to visit HER mom and celebrate her birthday. I've often wondered if your grandmother relocated or another house was built for her and her sister? aunt? Your flowers are wonderful and so bright.. and glad your garden is doing well. Idaho must have a great Forest Service. Oregon seems to be spreading the crews thin everywhere, as there are so many fires to try to contain.. just not enough crews and manpower and I pray that the big one in southern Oregon of over 300,000 acres soon is stamped out and contained. I love the painting of Simba.. I knew right away it was him! Take care... hugs.. Marilyn

    1. Appreciate your wonderful comment Marilyn! I always enjoy your comments! Yes, my mom and grandmother had such a special time together, went by way too fast though! And yes, they put a new mobile home on top of the old home site, and it is really beautiful inside, and they've done a lot of landscaping outside too. Indeed, here in Idaho we are so thankful for their quick responses to fire. It is a constant concern that we live with now. I hope that the fire close to you gets contained quickly too! Many blessings to you :)

  5. Hello,
    I always enjoy your posts. Congratulations on your camper, that will be a lot of fun.
    We also are in a drought here. Minnesota's Boundary Waters are burning. Today we have a thick smoke in our sky. We have not had much rain in months. In my 24 years of living here, I have not seen it this dry.
    Praying with you for rain, protection for the fire fighters, animals and others.
    Love, Carla

    P.S. I did cry ... that photo says it all about LOVE!!! Happy Birthday, what an amazing lady.

    1. That was such a touching photo, every time I see it, it makes me tear up! I miss my Gram so much, and hope to be able to see her soon. I'm so sorry to hear that you are in a drought there as well, that's awful! Thank you for your prayers of protection for us, and I pray the same for you!

  6. Oh that goodbye photo...definitely on to make the eyes mist.

    My sister told me that the weird "fog" we've had is the result of fires out west.
    I will be glad to see the sun again.

    How nice to find your own camping sites. Keep enjoying your adventures.

  7. Oh that sweet sweet reunion ... this is the beautiful stuff life is made of, where memories pour out like life-giving water and we are re-awakened and renewed. What a blessing!

  8. It looks as if you're really making the most of the summer, Marilyn! It seems like it's full of celebrations and very sweet memories. I hope the rest of your summer is as lovely!!

  9. I love your “primitive” camp! Great picture! It’s hard to imagine how hot and dry it is there when you are surrounded by oh-so-much beauty!

  10. Hello Marilyn, Thank you so much for sharing the photos of your Mom's visit to your Grandmother for her birthday. She looks content and happy in her new home, until your Mom had to leave. So sad that they had to part. They both look like happily beautiful ladies.
    Your garden is lovely and I'm so happy for you getting a camper. I want one pretty badly. I miss camping, although we definitely don't have the beautiful spots to boondock like Idaho & Washington have. Oh how I miss Washington and camping. Dennis has been in Spokane for several days for work and will fly home on Thursday evening. He says the smoke is pretty bad at times. I don't miss that and will pray for the fires everywhere in the west to cease and for a gentle rain to fall to put out those fire.
    Happy Anniversary to you two! I'm glad that you had such a good one and please tell your daughter that she's an excellent painter. That's a beautiful photo of your Simba.
    Blessings and hugs,

  11. Oh, I enjoyed this post like a letter from a long lost friend! It was so full of beautiful photos and memories and happy times together. I am so happy your mother was able to spend time with your Gram. I know that "good-bye" had to be very emotional for them both. I was happy to see that your Gram is now settled in a new home after that horrible fire. What a miracle that story was! I love that you and your hubby got a camper and celebrated your anniversary with such a nice trip! We keep talking about doing that, but we are a bit older and my hubby isn't quite as gung-ho about traveling, so I doubt we ever will do it, but seeing your pictures and the lovely campsites makes me want to go!! Of course, we'd have a LONG way to go from Florida to see sights like that! I enjoyed this post so much. God bless you!

  12. I loved that photo of your Mom with her Mom; my mother just passed a week ago at age 92, and it is a difficult adjustment, to be sure. You can't have enough time with parents!
    I do hope the heat wave subsides, Marilyn, and the wild fires, too. What a summer you've had! May rain come soon to shower your world with relief.
    Blessings, and thanks for all the lovely photos!

  13. Your pictures are lovely and I am so glad your mama got to visit her mama. What a precious picture. Memories....Happy birthday to your grandmother and happy anniversary to you and Dan. I hope you are having a most blessed day today. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  14. Beautiful photos Marilyn. So touching to see your Gram and your mama visit. How sad to see them cry. happy birthday to your Gram and also happy anniversary. Rain is always welcome. those awful fires are so scary. Many blessings to you and your precious family.

  15. Oh, dear friend, I just cried, too, when I saw the picture of your Mama and Grandma! Oh, how sad that they have to live so far apart! And, so ridiculous how they have been kept apart during the plandemic. Those two weeks the two of them could have spent together! It is just heartrending. I cannot even begin to imagine how much it hurt the two of them to have to part ways. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to you and Dan!! Your camping trip sounded just wonderful - to get away and forget about all the evil and nonsense going on in our world. I am so glad you got to do that. And, that painting of Mr. Simba! Wow! Danielle did a great job, and I know that must have meant the world to you. I am so sorry you miss him so much. He was such a part of this blog, too, and I miss hearing about his little antics. So much heartache. It all just gets so overwhelming sometimes. Hope we can chat on the phone soon. Love you.

  16. Oh Marilyn, we get those fires here in California too, and it's been pretty hot here, and I'm surprised it's this hot in the mountains this Summer, but I hear it doesn't usually get this hot. I think there is a heat wave in many states right now. So sorry you are getting fires in your area. You know what though, I'm so grateful to live right next to the fire station, and they are here quicker than you can say "thank you." Aren't they incredible? Your photos are wonderful, Marilyn, and I like your new blog design. Happy Birthday to your Grandma. What a special birthday this was for her. What a fun day with friends out on the boat. So many special photos and memories you made to look back on.

    Happy Summer days, Marilyn, and stay safe from the fires. California needs rain pretty bad, and it makes me sad when these fires happen. Things are so dry here right now. Take care, dear friend.


    ps.....that photo of the red Zinnia is beautiful. : )

  17. So sweet to see the photos of your mother's reunion with her mother. A special blessing to be able to celebrate her birthday while she was visiting. Sounds like you enjoyed your camping adventures.

  18. What a rich and lovely post. I am delighted that your mother and grandmother were able to see each other again and to celebrate her birthday. I do remember the fire and what a blessing that she was saved from it. My heart goes out to anyone and everyone that suffers blindness, it is so sad.
    Love that you and your hubby got a camper and that you are getting out and enjoying the beauty of your state, and let me just say, Happy Anniversary :)
    Danielle did a wonderful job on your painting and it is such a thoughtful gift.
    Looking forward to seeing your garden . . . canning season is beginning! I've already put up jams made with rhubarb but I noticed this morning that it's time to start picking black berries. Summer is filled with blessing right and left . . . enjoy :)

  19. earlier this week we had the haze from your forest fires!! it was awful....way out here in eastern NY!! icannot IMAGINE what it must be like to be surrounded by them..so close...praise God you are all ok.

    I loved your walk through your June and July......then again I love summer and all of your photos just scream "SUMMER". How fun to have a camper and go exploring. We did that from 1990 (when we married) until 2008 and then our girls just didn't like camping anymore and my back was getting to the point where i cannot tolerate camping so we sold the pop up and rent cottages now. Anytime in the mountains near lakes and rivers are always good times!! :)

    Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog and I look forward to seeing more from you.

  20. heartfelt congrats for the RV dear Marilyn :) oh i felt so happy for you ,it must be like dream come true i believe :)
    Happy anniversary to both of you my lovely friend ,you guys look lovely together ! wishing you more showers of blessings in life ahead amen!

    i loved all the places you visited ,little stream and the lake are mesmerizing !
    i always wondered how terrifying must be to have wildfires around .oh i hope and pray may Lord keep everyone safe and secure like your grandma.

    it was really touching to see the meeting of your mother to her mom !
    special thanks for sharing their images ,i can only imagine the relief and joy they must have experienced .you participated in this beautiful sweet cause and i am sure Lord will reward you for this!
    your daughter is such a nice painter ,painting is amazingly sweet and and delightful :)

    how nice your garden is enjoying the heat unlike you ,yes we see here how plants love heat except some that can't survive through it specially the few flowering one .
    health ,peace and joy to you and loved ones!

  21. Marilyn,

    I don’t know how I missed you post until now.

    I can almost here the mountain stream. It must be music to lull you both to sleep.

    I wish we could share some of the rain we’ve had with the west. The east coast is having a wet summer.

  22. The fires here in BC are really terrible this year, although we have thus far been spared on the Island. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary. What a fun camping trip. We recently bought a camping trailer and are looking forward to boondocking on occasion, but this weekend we are going to a campground with our children.
    I'm so glad your mom was able to travel to New Brunswick to see her mom. Such a tender reunion.

  23. A very nice post.
    Happy Anniversary wishes to you.
    I think it so wonderful that your Mom could visit her Mom for her birthday.

    Take care

    All the best Jan

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