Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Friday, May 29, 2020

Friday Five

My Five today is just from daily life this week!

1. Fresh local strawberries and cherries!  The only thing better than our local, fresh, full of flavor strawberries is our locally grown peaches coming in July! Yum!

2. Fresh Eggs!  Our girls are laying well.  It's such a gift.

3. Sweet petite Iris in the cottage garden.

4. Peonies.  They are blooming fast now and with two rainy days, I've been cutting them and bringing them into the house!

5. My boy.  Rare photo of the elusive teen!  He's a terrific young man. My fellow nightowl, this photo was taken late last night while getting ready for bed!

That's a wrap on the week!  I hope you have a joy-filled weekend!

ps - The newlyweds came over last night.  It was fun to hear about their trip, and talk of the wedding.  I am always delighted to see my children happy!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Cottage Garden In Late May

The cottage garden in late May is starting to burst into flower, finally.  The flowers are late this year.  We had a mild winter and the garden looked like it would bloom early, but we had a cold late spring, and everything slowed down.

My nigra hollyhock is big again this year and it going to flower beautifully.  There are many flower heads on it. This hollyhock grows to well over 6 feet, and the deep color is beautiful.

My poppies self seed every year, and this year there are not as many flowers coming up.  (the chickens have a lot to do with that.)  This big one is right next to my Munstead Woods rose by David Austen. 

We had to pull out my big, old, hydrangea.  It was pretty much dead and took up too much room in the garden.  I replaced it with an ever blooming variety, that will be a blue-purple color.  I'm glad to have this new hydrangea that will continue to bloom all summer, and I also have room for my new peony.

A sign to me of late blooming - my bleeding heart are still in full bloom. Normally they'd be done by now.  I'm not complaining!

The feverfew is about to bloom.  I love this medicinal plant in my garden!

The peony!  Glorious!

My petit white iris are in bloom right now, too!  So pretty!

The roses are full of buds, and my annabelle hydrangea is growing.  We should see blooms from them in the coming weeks!

What's blooming in your gardens?

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Peonies In Bloom


The peonies are beginning to bloom.

These are the ones I forced last week.  I had to help them open up but then they bloomed out nicely.  These are from a bush in the back of the house.

The rest of these photos are from my peony bush in the cottage garden in the front of the house.

I don't know the name of these peonies, but the smell like old fashioned roses! Love them!

I hope you had lovely weekend.  We had a quiet weekend, but it was nice.  Tim planted my new hydrangea yesterday, and I'll show that to you soon.  The roses are going to bloom soon, too! I'm very happy about that!

Friday, May 22, 2020

Friday View

My daughter lives out of state and so we Marco Polo regularly.  The other day during one of our MP's, Emma was trying to distract Clark from the last apple, and got him to sing with her!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Around The Cottage In Mid May

After not much activity for two months, other than people going to work and me cooking dinners, May has turned out to be quite busy.  That happens when you plan a wedding in two weeks, the weather warms up, and a married daughter moves into her new home.

Sarah had been counting the months, then the weeks, to move into the biggest of the kids rooms.  She said, "I'm going to miss Rachel, but at least I'll have a bigger bedroom!"  It's some consolation, anyway. (grin) Once the wedding was back on, she wasted no time.  Sunday afternoon, she took the rest of Rachel's things to their apartment and moved her things into Rachel's old bedroom.  I got to be an advisor for furniture placement.  I also suggested the chair.  She's delighted.

My peonies are close to opening, so I thought I'd try to force some.

I took this photo this morning after walking a letter out to the mailbox.  So many grey days! But at least there is no rain today.

My goldmound spirea is such a great color and the purple Iris are opening right in front of it!  Such a great color combination.  Our colder spring has many flowers behind their normal flowering times.

I clipped some Bridal Veil Spirea yesterday.  I love the way it looks in a vase.  Since it only blooms in the spring, I like to enjoy some indoors as well as outdoors.

I hope your gardens have something in bloom, and that you are all well.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Tea On Tuesday

Yesterday I received a lovely Mother's Day gift in the mail from my oldest daughter, Lindsay.

We share a love of good tea, and she had thoughtfully purchased this for me.  I thanked her and she said shipping was a problem, the arrival date kept being pushed back.  No worries.

I'm going to try to make an iced chai latte today, and I'm interested in what the chocolate, rooibos, and vanilla will be like! So many delightful choices.

It's only in the mid 60's this week so a nice cuppa will be just right.  If you drink tea, what teas are you enjoying these days?

Monday, May 18, 2020

A Small Wedding In The Midst Of Covid-19

Rachel and Wes' original wedding plans were for April 25th and a guest list of two hundred.  When the covid lock down began we thought it would be two weeks and then we'd be finishing up the details for their big day.  The date kept getting extended and finally it extended to April 30th and we realized we would have to postpone their wedding.  We were to get out of lock down on the 30th, then it was May 8th, so a date was set for May 16th.

We knew we couldn't do a large gathering, so we kept it immediate family.  Rachel and Wes had to give up so much in regards to their plans for their wedding day that I wanted to make sure that it still had all the special things of a big celebration - loved ones, beautiful flowers, good food, a first dance.  

During the times of uncertainty of whether we could have this wedding, we prayed, and we had to wait.  It was hard to have so much be unknown.  We talked and planned, and cried some tears, and we prayed.  God moved in amazing ways.

One of the first problems was that all of our state and local licensing offices closed in early March.  They had not gotten their marriage license yet, with the wedding at the end of April, and their was no warning that offices were going to close.

Two weeks before the wedding they found out that they could now set up an online interview to get their license.  They still had to mail in some paperwork, but the license came three days before the wedding!

The other issue was ordering flowers.  The floral supply in NJ was not shipping until after April 30th, and then when the lockdown was extended we were unsure if they would ship until after that.  But they were able to ship, so I was able to order all the flowers needed for the floral work - bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and table arrangements.

Our pastor was willing to do the wedding and we were able to use our church building, as there is a religious exemption for gatherings.  

A big desire on Rachel's part was that she would be able to get her braces off before the wedding.  This was supposed to happen back in April, but now we thought it wouldn't happen.  The weekend before the wedding dentists and orthodontists were able to open again if they had ppe.  Our orthodontist office had donated theirs, since they'd been closed, so they had to wait for a new shipment to come in before they could open.  The ppe came in and they got Rachel in on Friday morning!  She also got her clear liners!  A huge miracle!

We saw all of these things as God providing what we needed just when we needed it, even to braces removal.  We are giving Him all the credit!

So now we have a new son, and a radiant daughter.  They are so happy, and so are we!

Here is a link to watch a recording of the wedding in full if you are interested.

I know some of you have been praying for us since this all started and we thank you!  Some of you have seen some of these photos on Instagram, so I hope you don't mind seeing them again.  These are all just people's candid shots.  We can't wait to see the professional photos!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

A Day In Between

Today is a day in between.  Yesterday, Rachel and I made a lot of cupcakes for the wedding on Saturday.  We made both regular and gluten free.  Cupcakes are small, so we want those celebrating with us to be able to have more than one.  Plus we did three flavors - chocolate, lemon, and yellow (vanilla).  They all got wrapped well in Press and Seal wrap and then into gallon size freezer bags.  On Friday we'll move them to the church refrigerator to thaw, and put the buttercream frosting and some fruit on top.

Similar to this but our frosting will be white, and we will have navy blue cupcake wraps around the cupcakes.

Vanilla Cupcakes with a delicious homemade berry buttercream frosting made with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.

Tomorrow we pick up her dress, and the flowers.  We also have to go to the restaurant store for coffee cups.

We also will likely go pick up the chafing pans and table cloths that we are renting from our friend who caters events. (She is the one who is handling our big reception in August)

Thursday will be the day to gather all the things, and begin to work on bouquets, boutonnieres, wrist corsages, and table arrangements.  Even though this wedding is small, we want it to be special, so I'm planning beautiful arrangements for the tables.  My bridal veil spirea is blooming so that will be an important base for the table arrangements!

Friday is when we will set things up at the church. Rachel and I went yesterday to discuss layout of tables and we have a plan that works!

Saturday is the big day!

I know that many of you have been praying during this time of uncertainty about their wedding.  So many changes had to be made (including the date) but we have seen God's hand at work.  Opening up our county, even, and providing a way to have a small but meaningful ceremony, the opportunity to order flowers from my suppliers, getting her braces removed at the end of this week!  Just so many things that only God could have made happen!  Thank you all for your prayers!

I'll pop in the week as I am able, and I will post a few photos from the wedding next week.  Just a peek though, as Rachel wants the majority of the photos to come from the photographer! (grin) 

Monday, May 11, 2020

Mother's Day

“Children are NOT a distraction from more important work. They Are THE MOST important work.” -C.S. Lewis

This is how I have always felt about motherhood.  It's the most important work I'll ever be given.

It's a lovely thing to receive messages of love from your kids on Mother's Day.  It's also lovely when your kids gift you with things that make your heart sing for the beauty of it.

Nate and Kayleigh bought me a beautiful Azalea.  It got a little freeze damage so some of the flowers are pretty wilted but the plant is healthy and fine and I can't wait to see it thrive! Pink and Red flowers!

Sarah gave me a book I've been wanting from Victoria magazine.

Weston and Rachel bought me a hydrangea and a peony for my cottage garden.

Tim bought steak and we marinated them for two days.  He grilled them, and we had them with some chicken, (cooked by Rachel), salad, rolls, sweet potato and regular fries.  Nate and Kay brought apple pies and ice cream for dessert.  

The table was set beautifully, too.

My Bridal Veil spirea is blooming and I plan to use it in centerpieces for the tables at the wedding on Saturday!

I took my Momma and card and a Knock Out Rose on Saturday.

Isn't it lovely?

Friday, May 8, 2020

Sea Turtle Quilt

Last month I cut out the fabric for two quilts for my grandsons. One of them has a birthday in June and one is due in June.  These brothers will be two years apart! 

The sea turtle fabric is my favorite.  This week I started to sew it.  I stitched the binding, then began to sew around various sea turtles.

This is how the back of the fabric looks.

It's really turning out cute. 

I started to pin the binding on the baby's quilt yesterday, and will work on that quilt this weekend. I'm happy to have something productive to do and to be making gifts for my precious grands.

My heart is sad about many things happening in our nation, devastating things, overreaching things.  So I'm reminding myself that I can control my intake of news and opinions, and taking the weekend off.

I'm so glad that I know who I can trust with my future.


  This lovely Calathea that I bought in Nashville last month is doing well in my living room. It does need to be repotted, and I think I'...