Sunday, July 31, 2011


Last evening we arrived at the garden to find the first of the sunflowers in full bloom! 

Friday, July 29, 2011

the garden

The garden is erupting with squash, cucumbers & tomatoes! Onions, melons, pumpkins, peppers, carrots & potatoes are coming along nicely too.

I'm amazed at....

how much things changed in 3 weeks!
I last posted pics on July 4 & these were taken this past Tuesday.
(see the difference here


how many seeds one vegetable contains!


how many vegetables come from a single seed! 


the ability I now have to make an entire salad using only produce picked from the garden!
 - including the lettuce :)


 how very much we enjoy gardening! 
Who knew it would be this much fun?! 


 how quickly these buggers proliferate and devour potato plants!! ARGH! 

& ...

 I'm continually amazed at 

 the sheer beauty we find each and every time we visit the farm. 

I love this place. 



 I can hardly wait for the sunflowers (my favorite!) to burst into bloom. 
Should be any day now :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011


When we went out to the farm recently to visit the garden the sprinklers were on.
 Not the best time perhaps to be pickin' weeds
 - but the girls made the very best of the circumstances  :)

beauty in my own backyard

Just some things I've been finding & enjoying
 right in my own backyard....

Sunday, July 24, 2011


In continuing our year long (monthly) 25th Anniversary celebration,
 my husband and I did something we've talked about doing for quite a while 
but had never actually done.

We visited Tanglewood

Purchased $10 lawn tickets for the orchestra rehearsal on Saturday morning.

 Arrived early.

Strolled around the grounds.

 Sipped ice cold limeade

and settled ourselves beneath the beautiful branches
of  a  s--p--r--a--w--l--i--n--g shade tree.

  We couldn't really see the orchestra but we could hear just fine
and would ya just look at the lovely view we had from the ground up ...! :)

Enjoyed our picnic lunch before leaving


 in the search that followed for a nearby beach,
 we happened upon a funky little shop where
walking in was like walking back in time. 
 We carefully navigated our way through the place packed full of paraphenalia from the past.
Didn't stay long tho' - as it was HOT!! (no air conditioning) -
which I actually can't help but think was a carefully calculated business decision considering that it served as a highly effective "draw" for the owner's wife's homemade ice-cream shop 
in the yellow annex next door. 
 We were drawn to it like - well - like...
sweaty people are drawn to ice cream on a hot summer day! ;) 
We shared a home-made maple walnut ice cream cone
made with locally made (that's a lotta "mades" for one sentence - sorry) maple syrup.

 We asked for directions to the beach & it just so happened that it was right around the corner. The shop owner allowed us to leave our car at his place & walk so we wouldn't have to purchase a parking pass - tho' I later learned that was yet another calculated offer of sorts - as he likes having cars in his parking lot ... believes they attract more customers :)  Given that ours was the only car in his lot when we arrived and there were more when we left...well - maybe he's right! 
  Anyhow - I guess you could say our little arrangement was mutually beneficial. 

 We purchased a piece of the past before leaving...

I've been wanting one of these!
My mom had a similar one and I have no idea whatever happened to it :/
I gather this one was acquired from an old political stumping ground called Joe's Diner
And that it's quite possible one or more of the Kennedy Clan enjoyed a glass of fresh squeezed
juice made with this handy gadget.
Hopefully it will feel right at home on our kitchen counter now
since I tend to climb up on my soapbox every now & then  ;)

 I was pleased to see how nicely a canning jar
- which we use for drinking glasses 'round here - 
fit so nicely in it - almost as if they were made for each other ;)

After doing a little research I learned that indeed there was a Joe's Diner in the Berkshires. It served as Norman Rockwell's inspiration for The Runaway

 - and the man pictured behind the counter is the "real Joe" -  which means that he also quite likely owned and made juice with the juicer we bought yesterday! :) Kinda cool...huh?!

I don't intend to let it just sit around & collect dust. 
 I actually bought it with Strike in mind - in hopes of helping her check off 
"make fresh squeezed orange juice
from her summer "to do list" ;)  But, I digress....

From there

we walked a lovely dirt road laced with wildflowers to the beach


took a quick refreshing dip in the lake 

before heading


Friday, July 22, 2011

gift from the sea

Just read ...

and am pondering these excerpts: 

The world is rumbling and erupting in ever widening circles around us....
If we stop to think about it, are not the real casualties of modern life just these centers I have been discussing:  the here, the now, the individual and his relationships. The present is passed over in the race for the future, the here is neglected in favor of the there, and the individual is dwarfed by the enormity of the mass.


I just find it surprising

 that it was written in 1955

 (waaay before internet, Facebook, Google Circles, etc.)

because it seems much more timely


Thursday, July 21, 2011

beautiful short story - from end to beginning?

Yesterday my daughter and I were were looking for something to do together. Considered several options and eventually decided to go poke around the Salvation Army.  Probably not something most teenage daughters would want to do with their mom - but every now and then we do it  - and that's what we settled on yesterday. And - by the time we were done,  ( it ok to begin with the "end of the story"??) my pocketbook was much heavier than it would have been if we'd done a fraction of that much shopping at the mall - and my heart was lighter for reasons totally unrelated to shopping but that wouldn't have happened unless we had been there & done that together.  

I'll be the first to admit it's hit or miss at the Salvation Army -  but yesterday we hit the jackpot. Seriously. We got some really nice stuff.  Including two pairs of American Eagle jeans for about $7 for both (not each) pairs! If I ended the story here it would be a beautiful one, don't you think?!  :)  But there's more.   The deeper beauty in that score is that my daughter can hardly ever find jeans to fit right. We've trekked who knows how far up and down escalators, in elevators, around malls and thru' department stores trying to find jeans to fit her - and shelled out big bucks to pay for them when we did.  Anyhow - she didn't even try these ones on. I figure at their prices I'd rather risk purchasing and washing them first ;)  Anyhow both pairs fit perfectly! She loooooves them :)  Plus, to the tune of a grand total of about $55, she got several really cute tops as well - & I got some too....even one brand new gap shirt that I love love love (happy dance :)  And wait! There's still more .... Digging even deeper I find something pretty special as I reflect on yesterday's shopping excursion. That being that my teenage daughter  - who really does have a terrific sense of style that's all her own -  is more concerned with the look she's after than name brand labels and has no problem shopping at the Salvation Army.  In fact ... she enjoys it. 

And now for the rest of the story...

While we were there,  I saw a woman (a stranger) I had crossed paths with a few weeks earlier in the drugstore. I'll describe her with just a few adjectives: Unkempt/disheveled. Toothless. Wrinkled. Animated. Loud.  Hurt (in the past - I just could tell)  and hurting (inside).  And, quite possibly, mentally ill In a misunderstanding of sorts, I ended up laughing and she ended up yelling at me .... in front of other people! I didn't intend to hurt her feelings but I knew I did and I felt really bad about it after she went on her way. I had seen her once before & I wondered if I'd ever see her again. Well - low and behold - I did. Yesterday. At the Salvation Army of all places.  While I was shopping there because I wanted to, she was likely shopping there because she had to.  And - I dug deep (insert deep breath here) and mustered up the courage to apologize to her. Wasn't sure if she'd even remember me but soon enough I could tell that indeed she did. And she remembered the "event" (which is kinda what it turned into) that I was referring to as well. Anyhow -  long story short - after that I could still describe her with all the same adjectives I used for that purpose earlier - but even so .... she seemed different:  Kind. Sweet (very!). Tender (not nearly has hardened as I had assumed). Christian (without a doubt - and certainly among the most Christ-like people I've ever met).  Forgiving (without hesitation). In a few short minutes she told me quite a story - though I couldn't understand a lot of it - just enough to know that it was a sad one. But, by the time we parted ways again she was smiling! We both were :) The biggest difference of all tho' was that even tho' we never exchanged names (oh how I wish we had!) she was no longer a stranger. In fact, she reminded me of my mother at certain times  - tho' I could have said that about her earlier too. I'm thankful that this short story has a happy ending - but --well -- I don't really want it to endI'm hoping/praying our paths cross again sometime/somewhere  - wher'ere the two shall meet. That I'll be given another chance (wish I'd capitalized a bit more on the second chance I was given yesterday!) to use MyStory of HIStory --- to make her story more beautiful. Somehow. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

glimpses of haiti - hot off the blurb press

I just finished making/ordering a blurb (photobook) .... one for each of the girls. In it I included excerpts from their journals (with their permission :), Scripture & lots of pics. Just click on the little square like icon next to the word "blurb" in the lower right corner to enlarge to full screen (thanks for that tip, Bunny!) if you're interested. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011



Visited a local farm to pick raspberries yesterday. 

We weren't the only busy bees out there ;)

If only I took a pic of the raspberry sundaes with chocolate syrup that we enjoyed last night :/  Oh well... You'll just hafta to use your i-m-a-g-i-n-a-t-i-o-n for that one  - but be sure to make it good :)