Wednesday, May 29, 2019

We Took a Little Trip. . .

Dear Friends,

We recently returned from an all-too short trip to see our family members who live in Idaho and Utah. It has been four years since we've been back there, and we figured that this would probably be the last time that all of us could make it together, since the little birdies are bound to fly away from the nest eventually!

We enjoyed the wide open spaces and mountains-

It was wonderful seeing everyone at my mother's house (my nephew and his wife had strep throat, so they wore masks to keep it from spreading to the rest of us), and we had a lovely sing-along.

My brother treated us to the first performance of a song he wrote about Roy Rogers.

We enjoyed the beautiful Latter-Day Saint temple in Idaho Falls,

... along with many beautiful crab apple trees blooming across the river.

Later that week, we visited family in Utah and went to Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

Mr. Graham and I re-enacted our wedding photo from 23 years before. . . kind of.

 And here are a few additional members of the family that weren't around 23 years ago!

 On the way back we stopped at the National Dinosaur Park in Vernal, Utah, since Hyrum loves dinosaurs. 

At last we returned to the green rolling hills of our home state, waiting for us with sticky humidity!

It was a long, long ride in a Suburban full of nine people, but we have wonderful memories to treasure the rest of our lives!


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Golden Days of Autumn

Dear Friends,

Brr, it's cold today! We had a few warm, sunny days this autumn to enjoy playing in the leaves.

First, you have to rake them into a big pile (next to a tree is best),

Then you get your older brother to give you a boost into the tree~

And then you jump!

"Come, Little Leaves" 
by George Cooper

Come, little leaves, " said the wind one day, 
" Come o'er the meadows with me and play; 
Put on your dresses of red and gold, 
For summer is gone and the days grow cold. " 

Soon as the leaves heard the wind's loud call, 
Down they came fluttering, one and all; 
Over the brown fields they danced and flew, 
Singing the glad little songs they knew. 

" Cricket, good-by, we've been friends so long, 
Little brook, sing us your farewell song; 
Say you are sorry to see us go; 
Ah, you will miss us, right well we know. 

" Dear little lambs in your fleecy fold, 
Mother will keep you from harm and cold; 
Fondly we watched you in vale and glade, 
Say, will you dream of our loving shade? " 

Dancing and whirling, the little leaves went, 
Winter had called them, and they were content; 
Soon, fast asleep in their earthy beds, 
The snow laid a coverlid over their heads.


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Somebody Had a Birthday

Dear Friends,

Someone special had a birthday this month! Someone who loves dinosaurs, and knows how to say all of their names (we made a T-Rex head for his cake at his request).

Someone who also LOVES our ducks, especially since they don't run away like the chickens do, which makes them easy to catch. And they kind of look like dinosaurs....

Someone who helped me build a duck house out of pallets to keep the ducks safe and sound (and who loves playing he's a duck in the house, as well).

Happy 5th birthday, Hyrum!



Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Hello, Late Summer!

Dear Friends,

Can you believe that we're already into the last full month of summer? Our summer here in Missouri has been so hot and dry that we were struggling just to keep our plants and trees alive. Lately it's been cooling off, little by little, and trees are already showing yellow leaves, so we think we may be headed for an early fall and winter. Mother Nature is never boring! She always has a few surprises up her sleeve.

Lately I've been busy running around taking care of vehicle business. First I had to take in our station wagon to have one of the sensors (starts with a 'p') replaced. Then my daughter AnnaMarie bought a pickup truck and I had to go have it safety-tested. Then the sensor on the station wagon malfunctioned because the EGR sensor was malfunctioning, so I had to take it back it to have that fixed. Then I went to register the truck, and was informed that I needed a copy of last year's tax receipts first (in addition to the title, proof of insurance, and proof of inspection), so it was back home to locate those! Although the folks at the service station were super friendly, and we did find a nice thrift store near the DMV, I am ready to stay home and catch up on everything for a few days.

Thankfully we had a nice, soaking rain this morning, so I didn't have to go out and water. Here are a few photos from our front garden~

A pink morning glory that grew itself~

Runner bean blossoms that the hummingbirds really love~ 

A verbena bonarienses that came as a bonus in a potted plant from the farmer's market this spring~

And tell me what I was thinking when I planted this squash next to these tomatoes?

The poke berries are ripening, tempting us to go out and have a "fight," wherein one tries to smear berries on one's neighbor without getting any on himself~

Being out and about bring a sense of unbalance to my life, so I like to spend as much time in my garden afterwards, just enjoying the flowers and listening to the birds.

I hope that you are finding something to bring balance into your life today!

Blessings to you,

"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul."
— Alfred Austin

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Happy Hot July!

 Dear Friends,

The above picture shows one of our ducklings enjoy a yummy tomato hornworm for a snack. It's been so hot here lately, that the bugs and weeds have gotten ahead of us! The hornworms took out five tomato plants without our even knowing they were there; squash bugs are after the squash and cucumbers; and Japanese beetles have chewed up our baby fruit trees, corn, roses, elder bushes, and about everything else around here. Such is gardening, and so we plant again and try to be more diligent in the future.

A few sunflowers are blooming in the yard. Some were planted by birds from the feeder, and others were seeds from Baker Creek (I can't remember which variety, but they smell yummy).

This rose has been chewed on by Japanese beetles, but it's still beautiful. I was not expecting our front yard roses to bloom this year, since we just put them in, but after settling their roots for a few months, they are really taking off.

Our marshmallow plant that we bought at a local farmer's market is beginning to bloom, and we hope it goes to seed and spreads all around in future years. Marshmallow is a great herb that is cooling and soothing to the mucous membranes.

 Wildflowers are blooming everywhere along the roads in the Ozarks, and we were excited to find these Black-Eyed Susans growing wild on our property.

We started Lemon Bee Balm (horsemint) from Baker Creek Seeds back in February, and they are doing well. They have a strong, oregano-like flavour, and are a powerful anti-bacterial herb.

I haven't had a chance to do any drawing since we moved here, so I thought I would take time to draw a horsemint blossom before it faded. Perhaps I should have chosen something easier!

May this find you all doing well and keeping cool this summer. Let's pray for those who are not receiving enough rain and are suffering from wildfires at this time!