Friday, June 23, 2017

Romantic Cottage Flowers In The Garden

When we bought our cottage 15 years ago, it had no garden or trees around the house.  The only trees were across our creek - away from the house.

Tim patiently plowed up the rock hard soil in the front of the house - where their was one garden bed - empty - and he also made me another garden bed on the other side of the front walk.  This later was enclosed by the picket fence and arbor and my friend shared many of her beautiful perennials with me.

Over time, I have bought more flowers, and developed my own gardening style.  This garden space has become a true cottage garden over the years.  Its not orderly at all!

I really love that the wildness of this garden, has cut down on weeds.  I have been able to keep up with it myself this year!  So many of these flowers self seed and come back year after year!

The milder winter was kinder to my hydrangea.  I'm very happy about that.

Today I came out into the garden and cut some larkspur, hydrangea, gooseneck loosestrife, (this plant is outside of this garden space)  purple coneflower, feverfew, and a lovely lily.  

I think it looks lovely and makes doing dishes a delight being able to look at these wonderful flowers!

Have a Happy Weekend!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

What I've Been Doing This Week (Fun Report Ahead)

We had a very nice Father's Day.  Good food and fun, our friends arrived for the week, too, and we've been enjoying our time together.

 We had some rain, and it cut the humidity so I am a happy girl.  Beautiful sunny days, and blue skies with puffy clouds.  Perfect!

We attended a wonderful outdoor baby shower on Tuesday evening.  Lovely hydrangea from the garden, sweet gifts for the mama to be.

Yesterday, three friends and I, got together and had tea, at a lovely tea house.  It was an afternoon to share and encourage each other. 

The garden is growing beautifully!

Tonight we get to go see Jonah at Sight and Sound, thanks to the generosity of friends who get free tickets!  Thanks Warren and Becky!

I never intended to not blog this week, but its been busy, we had some computer issues and I am just enjoying my dear, dear friends.

Tomorrow our friends leave, so I'll be back on the blogging track.  I hope you are all well, and I'll get back around to your blogs soon.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

What Are You Doing This Weekend?

Today, I'll be mowing - I did it on Monday, and should have done it again on Thursday but we were busy and yesterday we had friends over for a play date.  Kamryn's friend Trinity came for birthday cupcakes and fun, and her older brothers came and played with Kyle.  We let them eat cupcakes, too!  They are great kids and we had a good afternoon!  Their mama and I had a great time visiting, too!  Fun times!

Sarah had gone with her bff Laura, who happens to be our son in law Joseph's sister, to an art gallery.  They were celebrating Laura's birthday.  They had lunch out, too.  Sarah had so much fun.  They got back and spent time with our guests and when Laura left, I took Sarah to a party with her co-op friends.

Tim's had a busy week of work, and has a few things planned for today.  He's going to weed wack along the creek and all the places I can't get with the mower, and he's getting a load of hay today.  Otherwise it will be a more relaxed weekend for him, and I'm glad.  
Tomorrow is Father's Day.  Sarah leaves in the morning for a youth retreat - she's SO excited, and besides celebrating the Dad's in our family - we will be anticipating the arrival of our longtime bff's.  They are both retired now and spend the summers visiting family and friends.  They bought a camping trailer, and spend a good bit of time with their grands in New Hampshire.  We usually get them for a solid week around Labor Day, but this year, we get them for a week now and around Labor Day!  We are very happy about this!

Thank you for your kind thoughts on yesterday's post.  Dotsie mentioned that this general grief (due to all the tragedy in the world) is "in the background" of our lives now.  I think this is true.

I hope you have a delight-filled weekend.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Low Level Grief - Is There Such A Thing?

Or is it all just grief?  

Last week a friend of ours died. Barb was the wife of a work friend of Tim's, named Caleb.  Fellow believers, they became good friends over the years, and Tim and the kids would help him with taking trees down, or mowing when they were on vacation.  We've known them for many years.  Caleb has been dealing with limitations after a stroke a year and a half ago, but hearing that Barb went to be with the Lord, was such a surprise.  She got a viral infection that went to her brain and was gone in a few months time.

This week we got word that another longtime, dear friend, from our early married days had a massive heart attack and died.  He has dear wife, two kids who are married and two teenagers still at home.  We were not expecting that.

Then their has been the terror attacks in Britain, the fire that took many lives in London, the terrible attack on our congressmen.

I have gone about my life these last two weeks, busy as usual, being present for my family, shopping for curtains with my daughter, celebrating my granddaughter's birthday - and while I have been living my normal life other people - some who I care about very much - their lives have been changed forever.

I have for a many years lived my life knowing that 'you never know what a day may bring' and that we should live the lives God gave us to live, knowing that HE knows the days that are prepared for us. (Psalm 139:16)  One day, my life will be changed by the loss of parents or a child or my husband, or they will be dealing with the loss of me. It's so important to know where you will spend eternity.

So, grief.  It is present in my life in way that it wasn't two weeks ago, though I feel like it has become a normal part of life now.  Not in a debilitating way, but just more aware that the world is groaning in pain, and that in these days of instant news, we are so aware of every tragedy.

I am praying more than ever these days, and that is a good thing that has come from such events in the world, that we are living through.

I know that God is in control.  I know that since I belong to Him nothing comes my way that He does not allow, and that He uses all things to bring us into closer relationship with Him.

Matthew 11:28-30 says - "Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry."

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Happy Birthday Kamryn!

Can you believe my granddaughter is seven today?

Me, either!

 She had a big year!  She gained a girl cousin and a baby sister in the space of 24 hours last fall!  

She's a great girl.  Bright, sweet, strong-willed, loving, loyal, tenderhearted.

Kamryn, I love you so much.  Happy, Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


The cottage garden at midnight.

How are things blooming in your garden?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Demo Days and Dreaming Of Plans

Our very good friends, who moved to New York state about five years ago for work, have moved back home to Pennsylvania!  To say we are excited is an understatement!

They found a great property, but the house needed to be gutted.  Don is a visionary and knew it could be a great house, but it would require some sacrifice on all their parts.  So right now while the 'Demo' phase is happening, they are living in camping trailers on their property.

Saturday, we took the kids and went to help out.  When I say we helped out I mean that Tim, Kyle and Sarah helped them with the actual physical labor!

The task for the day we were there was to clean up after all the demo that had been taking place.  They got that place totally cleared out!  Amazing!

This house was originally built as a hunting/get away home, and over the years it was added on to.  It has very low ceilings, too. The next step is to build up the foundation, so all the rooms are even (some are a step down or up), and then to remove the roof, to raise the walls so the ceilings will be 9 feet instead of 6 feet 9 inches!  

The plans for the house are to keep the existing footprint and have a nice three bedroom home with an open concept for the living room, kitchen and dining space.

The home has some beautiful bones in the landscaping and a lovely flagstone patio, and some stone garden walls.  All of this will be kept, but some work is required as the plantings are all overgrown!

These girls have been friends for 12 years this summer!  I was expecting Kyle when our families became friends!  Now we are 'family.'

 This kid is learning to work hard, too!

While they were accomplishing all this physical labor, we ladies were walking the property discussing which trees will stay, which need to go, plans for future projects outdoors, and looked at the house plans and talked and dreamed of colors, and decor, and all that kind of fun stuff.  

We also made sure there was plenty of food and drink to keep everyone energized.

As a family we are so happy to be a part of helping our friends make a new home back in Pennsylvania!

Welcome home, friends!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Metal Chairs Makeover!

I bought two metal chairs the day I was out with Rachel for her birthday.  They were dark green, and a bit rusty.

They definitely needed a makeover!

I love how they look!  

This is what I used. This easily covered that dark green, and I have a bit of the paint leftover.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Breakfast On The Deck, Courtesy Of Our Hens

 Fresh eggs, a little cream, some butter in the pan.

 Salt, pepper, a bit of parsley

 A little sprinkling of cheddar cheese

We took advantage of a beautiful morning to sit together for breakfast - me with my unsweetened iced tea and he with his coffee, half and half, no sugar.

Happy Weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Chickens @ Creekside Cottage

Meet some of the chickens who live at Creekside Cottage!  We have 10 hens and 2 roosters.  The roosters are Julius and Nero.  I don't know all the hens names - we have FloJo, and Toothless.  We used to name them after Jane Austen characters.  Those were easier for me to remember!

We let them out of their chicken run in the mid-afternoon to free range for a while.  They head back to there coop between 6:00 and 7:00pm every night.  Then we lock them in and collect eggs.  We have two hens who are broody right now and we always have to lift them to get to a few eggs.  But those eggs are nice and warm!

I was enjoying the nice weather sitting on the deck when the flock came by heading back toward the coop and chicken run.  They take time to get some feed and water before going up into the coop.

This video shows a bit of one of the Sussex's personality!


We do have two roosters, and while I love our hens, I am not a fan of the roosters.  They think the property belongs to them, and so they are always trying to defend their territory.  Its annoying.

I'd be happy with only hens.

 The black hen is a mix of Partridge Cochin (that's what the roosters are) and Australorp.  The other hen is a Speckled Sussex.

The brown hen is a Partridge Cochin and the white and grey is a Silverlaced Wyandotte.

Do any of you have chickens?  What kinds do you have?

English Cottage Garden In Late Spring

My English Cottage Garden is a wild place.  No neatly ordered plants, they've all spread their seeds over the years and now I can find poppies in several spots, the same with the coneflower, feverfew, hollyhocks, and larkspur.

The boxwood by this rose bush is big and will be getting a cutting back this year.  But they play nicely together, don't they?

My Annabelle hydrangea are thriving in their corner, behind the spent peonies.

Along the walkway and by the front steps you'll find feverfew in bloom, poppies nearly ready and larkspur.

 This daylily is ready to flower, tucked in by the fence and coneflowers.

We've had such cool weather the bleeding heart is still blooming.

 Coneflower buds, and some larkspur tucked in.

 This is the hydrangea that started to leaf out early, then we had a few days of freezing temps.  It blooms on old wood so I thought the freeze had killed it but it's come back and I am very happy.

 My hollyhocks self seed now. I used to have pink and raspberry colored ones, but they died out.  I ordered these black ones from Baker Creek and they are thriving!

 Look how big it is!  Its growing in the narrow space between the walkway and my arbor!

Here's a view of the hollyhock and the larkspur, poppies, spent iris, my goldmound spirea just in view to the left. You can see some lychnis along the fence to the left - its the deep pink flowers.  The hydrangea is on the right under the window. Behind the left side of the arbor, behind the larkspur, I have a new red climbing rose.  It is growing well, but no climbing yet or flowers.  I hope to get red roses climbing up and over this arbor!

My spirea thrives in this spot by the lamppost along the drive way.  It flowers all spring and summer!  Pretty pink flowers with chartreuse leaves.  In front of the lamppost I have purple iris, but they are done flowering.  They look so pretty with this lovely spirea behind them.

How is your garden growing this year?  It will be interesting to see how the summer shapes up after this cool and wet spring!