Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Wedding

I have waited a week to post about this much-anticipated event--the wedding of our son, Howard, to the lovely lady, Dawn, whom he dated years ago when they were 18.
Although Dawn knew her heart then, as so often happens, the young man did not.
Both survived the rough patches of failed marriages and some years alone before re-connecting earlier this year.
It was love at second sight--and we are honored to welcome her into our family at last.

Wedding rehearsal;
Dawn and Howard with the friend who would lead them in their vows.

Susan, our niece, applies her talents to the decorations.

Friends of Dawn offered their tropical garden as the venue for ceremony and reception.

Howard stands with scissors and glue gun at the ready while decoration of the pavilion is discussed.

The groom and his best man [his Uncle Andrew] ready for the drive to the wedding.

The groom, well-dosed with allergy meds against the profusion of flowers involved.

Howard leads me to my chair.
Perhaps the wedding planners hadn't thought that the late afternoon hour would place the lower garden in blazing sun!

Jim, hair wafting in the breeze, escorts the bride along the flower-strewn aisle.

The bride, an accomplished vocalist, sings to her love.

Matron of honor, the bride's sister, Jennie, supplied the harmony.

The exchange of vows.

Posing at the pavilion.
You can see the slanting rays of sun which made photos a bit awkward.

Katie, Howard's dear dog, obligingly wore the flowered collar which Dawn bought for her. 

The table prepared for the bride and groom--before the flowers were moved in deference to allergies.

It didn't take the groom long to be out of his finery!
So many photos--so many memories to cherish as a family.
  For us, a quiet morning walk on the beach before being delivered to the airport for the day-long journey back to Kentucky. 
The newly weds planned a week of sorting themselves and quietly enjoying time together with the rush and bustle behind them.
Blessings on them!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Up and Down the Lane

The lower farmhouse, blanketed in early morning mist.

When the power company installed electric lines in March, we were told our house is about 900 feet up the private lane from the road.
I have struggled with the math and have a somewhat shaky concept of this as approximately 1/6 of a mile. Thus to walk a mile a day I would need to go up and down the many times?

At one point my feeble calculations suggested that the end of the mile would land me at the mailbox rather than at the house.
Jim roars up and down the lane with his 4 wheeler--often with tools or such in the carrier he has strapped on the back.
I could take the van or car--but nearly always trudge along afoot.  I walk to the mailbox to collect the mail. Sometimes I take a 'smoothie' or a cold drink for Jim; sometimes I head down to see and appreciate the progress he is making on the house.

Messages have to be carried down, as we have no cell phone reception here in the 'hills and hollers.'
I have strolled down the lane to pick strawberries, and sometimes to help with painting and such.
It is good exercise and gives me a chance to enjoy the sights, sounds and scents along the way.

One day last week I took my camera.
In the week of hot weather punctuated with rains, flowers and grasses along the way quickly alter.

Daisies flourish in clumps on the side hill near the house and in the hedgerows along the lane.

A fence post wears a mad cap of woodbine.

Jim used the bush hog to cut the hay in the pasture that so briefly held Pebbles.

I have thought the dried pods twined on the fence were milkweed. 
Seeing this vine, I'm now puzzled regarding identity.

Petals have fallen from the daisies along the fence that borders the brook.
It appears to be a seasonal brook--chortling over the stony bed during the heavy spring rains, now nearly dry.

Blackberries grow along the fence in thorny profusion.
I am wary of plunging into that thicket of brambles when the berries ripen.
This is the spot where I saw the rough green snake draped gracefully over the wire.

A tattered butterfly alights on a fragrant red clover.

Wild grapevine unfolds glossy leaves and clambers up the fence.

Queen Anne's lace bows in the wind.

The upper reach of the lane divides as the ground slopes upward. 
The longer stretch runs between the workshop and the basement level of the house;
The drive to the front door on the upper level climbs the steeper way past the sweet gum tree with its dead top spire, runs along the cement retaining wall where Amish visitors to the former owners hitched their horses and buggies. 
The drive fans out at the back of the house creating a parking area near the small stable and loops back down to the lower drive.

Puffing up the hill with the mail tucked under one arm, or carrying a bowl of berries, I raise my eyes to the house. 
The window farthest to the right in the upper story is in our bedroom.  The center window is in the master bathroom--still a work in progress. The left hand window and the nearest one on the long side of the house denotes a small room adjoining the bathroom.  We are calling it a 'dressing room'--which sounds a bit too grand.
The walk-in shower will be there, a towering cupboard for linens, various storage pieces. 
There is much to be done--and the work goes more slowly than I anticipated--mainly because Jim needed to carry out renovations in the lower house before finishing our own.
Unfinished, with much to sort, still it is feeling like home.

Sunday, June 14, 2015


I see that I had loaded these photos days ago, then not added words.
I'm a bit surprised to see that it has been nearly a month since I created a post.
I've slapped a photo or two on my Face Book page, made a few brief comments, all the while missing the centering that comes from sorting my thoughts into whole sentences and paragraphs.
For over a year now, I've had a sense of striving to keep up--a sense of being unsettled.
We are working on our third house renovation and adjusting to the second move within that year.
I daresay that could account for the scattered and sometimes witless impression of spinning in 
slow circles. 
The heavy crop of strawberries has now finished--it must have been perfect strawberry weather--enough gentle rain, warm days, resulting in berries to be picked and prepared for freezing nearly every day for a month.
We have eaten our share--on shortcake biscuits, on lemon cake, sponge cake--eaten them on waffles for breakfast.  At last count, 50 + plus quarts have been stashed in the freezer to be enjoyed in the cold months of winter.

I have kept the smaller of my two sewing machines [the Elna] set up on the table in the dining alcove.
I unearthed a stack of curtain fabric, losing a frustrating amount of time rummaging about in bins, finding elusive chunks of yardage in the basement room where oddments have been heaped.  These were pieces of fabric which I was sure were in the bins stacked in my yet to be wired sewing room.

The first window to be curtained was the east one in the pantry. The window is not due east--in fact the house sits between the two wooded ridges catty-corner to the points of the compass.
This window does catch the brunt of the morning sun bouncing off the shiny roof of the shop which is a few yards across the graveled drive at the lower level entry.
I dragged out a pair of lined curtains which were made to hang in the entry of our last Wyoming house. I ripped off a border along the center edges of the panels, refinished the lining and hems, and achieved a rather gaudy but effective hanging for the pantry.

The pantry shelves appear to have been cobbled together by someone who was less than a skilled carpenter.
The walls were painted in the ubiquitous blue semi-gloss favored by the Amish, odd bits of 'trim' were haphazardly nailed to support the sturdy wooden shelves.
At some point Jim will rework the shelving for me.

I have always appreciated the convenience of a pantry.
The New England farmhouses of my youth had them--some small and simple, others rather grandly arranged with shelves and high cupboards to hold the stores a rural family needed for the long winters when trips to the market would be few and far between.
Jim incorporated pantries into the design of the Wyoming houses.

My collection of large crocks cannot be arranged above the kitchen cabinets which reach tight to the 8 ft ceiling.
For now, they are ranged on the floor in a corner of the pantry.

The repurposing of the curtains and tidying of the pantry shelves took up most of a morning.
I wish I could account for the hours of other days.
I've  made lined valances for the master bedroom, shortened two pairs of charity shop curtains to fit under the printed toppers--soft creamy cotton in a loose weave.
I made curtains for the adjoining bathroom--while I couldn't match the fabric of the altered curtains, the off white cotton which I had in my stash goes well.
I have sanded and applied polyurethane to two vanities and a set of drawers for the bathrooms of the lower farmhouse.

I have pottered in the garden, setting out perennials.

Fussing over seedlings on the side porch.

My three small rosemarys have been given fresh soil, the tiny lavenders pricked out and established in a motley collection of pots and old plastic trays.

It is a season that rushes from springtime to full blown summer heat.
I cannot keep up!