Sunday, July 24, 2011

Happy Pioneer Day!

Dear Friends,

It's been quite a toasty week here at Birdsong Cottage! Keeping the garden alive has been our priority, and after that, keeping cool inside! Our chickens have been "enjoying" daily dunks in their personal pool, to help keep them from overheating. Now they're the cleanest birds around! :)
July 24th marks the day that the Mormon pioneers reached the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Both Mr. Graham and I have ancestors who crossed the plains in wagons or hand carts, so we like to spend some time honoring those who came before, and teach our children their stories so they know from whence they came.

Our church had a Pioneer Day Breakfast at a beautiful park near our home yesterday, and we had fun performing "Grandma's Feather Bed" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" for everyone.

But after we sang, we had even more fun exploring the creek that flows through the park!



(Some of us enjoyed the playground, too!)


There was a huge old oak tree guarding the entrance to the park, that was big enough for our whole family to go around (which we did).

~We nicknamed it "Tremendous"

 We'll leave you with the words of our favorite pioneer hymn, "Come, Come, Ye Saints," which gives us comfort and peace as well traverse our own trail of dreams.


Come, come, ye saints, no toil nor labor fear;
But with joy, wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.
’Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive;
Do this, and joy your hearts will swell
All is well! All is well!

Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
’Tis not so, all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward,
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take;
Our God will never us forsake,
And soon we’ll have this tale to tell,
All is well! All is well!

We’ll find the place which God for us prepared,
Far away in the west,
Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid;
There the saints will be blessed.
We’ll make the air with music ring,
Shout praises to our God and King;
Above the rest these words we’ll tell,
All is well! All is well!

And should we die before our journey’s through,
Happy day! All is well!
We then are free from toil and sorrow, too;
With the just we shall dwell!
But if our lives are spared again
To see the saints their rest obtain,
O how we’ll make this chorus swell,
All is well! All is well!



Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Blackberry-Picking We Go!

Dear Friends,

Yay, Google let us post photos today! :) Thank you so much for all the happy birthday wishes for Tasha; she says "thank you" to everyone.

And here she is with some of her turtle birthday presents!

This morning we took a drive to a local wildlife area, where we heard there were lots of blackberry bushes close by. Most of the berries were past their prime, but we did manage to harvest a couple of cups of sweet treasures. We harvested lots of the leaves to use for daily nourishing infusions.

~This was one of the best bushes~

We also harvested lots of Queen Anne's Lace to try our hand at making jelly (we also used some in peanut butter sandwiches)~

 We were greeted by two fields of cheerful sunflowers, looking as if they were playing hide and seek.

 The ponds and lakes were quite beautiful, although the water was a bit too murky to tempt us to go in wading!

Frankie found a "snake stick", just in case!

We were grateful that Mr. Graham had the day off, so he could enjoy it, too!

It was a lovely outing, and we took note of the many elderberry bushes that will be ripe in a few weeks. as well as a couple of row boats that are available to rent at one of the lakes.  We hope to be able to return and do some more exploring and harvesting!

Thanks for coming along with us, and may you have a beautiful day.



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Happy Late Birthday to Tasha!

Dear Friends,

Excuse us for not posting sooner~ It seems that someone is trying to tell us we didn't really want to show you pictures of Tasha's birthday last Friday! First, the camera batteries died, and the replacements went missing, and now Blogger will not show the pictures we've selected, although we repeat the process several times.

So, until we straighten out our technical difficulties, know that we are thinking of you, and that Tasha had a delightful tenth birthday, and that she received lots of turtle-themed gifts from the family. :)

Blessings to all,


Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Cicadas Had a Coming Out Party

 Dear Friends,

Thank you for your response to our eBook giveaway; We're doing it through today, so if you'd like a free copy, just drop us a line!

The other day we noticed a few alien lifeforms (aka cicada shells) all over the trees, and even on the tire swing's rope!
Evangeline and Frankie collected a few and played "Mama and Papa Cicada" for a while, but then they threw them down and said they were creepy! :) We've been enjoying the varied cicada songs ranging from droning to "buzzsaws" and "scissors grinders," who sound like they've been wound up only enough to sing for a few seconds, and then stop, and the "ZZZZZZZZIP" of the common meadow cicadas, who create such wonderful harmony! Our area missed out on the emergence of the periodical cicadas with their deafening droning, and we are grateful that we can still hear the crickets chirp each night. Here is a fun link to help identify the sounds of summer's insect orchestra:

And in garden news, Evangeline's sunflower has outdone all the others with its numerous heads~

 And Frankie is having a conversation with this sunflower; I wonder what it's saying?

We harvested a few elder blooms from the woods behind the house, and still haven't identified the plant in our picture that is in the mint family (but tastes horrible!)~ Elder flower is a folk remedy for fevers, used in a hot infusion to cause perspiration. It is best combined with mint, to avoid any nausea that may occur.

 Audrey made a poem and illustrated an Elderberry Fairy for me, which I thought was sweet!

 Our bee balm (Monarda didyma) is finally blooming, and is a favorite with hummingbirds! Since we have one solitary plant, we don't have enough to harvest lots, so we have been sneaking it here and there. We vastly prefer its "fireworks" to the much louder kinds our neighbors have been setting off!

 Our green beans are starting to come on, although we lost a few plants to the heat (next time we won't plant them on a hot wire fence!). We're hoping that the Kentucky Wonders will grow tall enough to shade our home in a month or so. Did you know that green bean hulls are said to control high blood sugar? It seems everything is jumping on the herbal bandwagon these days! ;)

Our chickens are growing up fast! We had to give our two roosters away, since they're not allowed in the city, but we still have our 6 Rhode Island Reds,  and one lone Hickity Pickity, my black hen (who makes a wonderful fashion accessory!).

 Look at those beautiful iridescent feathers!

 Thank you for coming by Birdsong Cottage today, dear friends; we hope you stay cool, if it's hot where you are. If it's cold where you are, we hope you stay warm!

Love and blessings,


Friday, July 8, 2011

A Three-Day Book Giveaway!

Dear Friends,

We are excited to offer our eBook "The Young Lady's Guide to Natural Health" as a gift to you for the next three days. If you are inspired to share it on your social networks, or do a review on your blog, we would be most grateful (If you do a review, please let us know so we can add a link to our website)!

We want to give the gift of health to as many people as possible, and hope that our book might inspire others to take a positive approach to their health, and to believe that all things are possible when we follow Nature's laws.

You do have to have Adobe Reader to download the book, since it is a pdf file. It will be sent to you via email, if you would like a copy. Just send me an email at: sweetefelicity (at)  (you'll need to type the @ sign, of course) if you would like a copy!

Love and blessings to you all,


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Tall Dolls' Independence Day Parade

 Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for visiting us today; we love your company! Would you like a glass of iced mint/bee balm tea?

We had a fun parade on the Fourth, to celebrate our country's freedom. We've been doing doll parades for the last four years, and this was the biggest one yet! Of course, we have more dolls than ever before, too. :)

There was a Nature Bature Club float, with Miss Nature and Friends~


Miss USA was in good company, with George Washington and other historical characters~

~The Father of our Country (kind of)~

This float was entitled "Captain Moroni and His Brave Army"~

(Someone's giving Frankie a hand with the pulling)~
And of course the flag led the way!

Little Button Nose had a wonderful entry~
(Although she needed a little help getting going!)

 Evangeline gave the stuffed animals a ride~

 . . .They were presided over by none other than Teddy Roosevelt!

Elsie Dinsmore enacted Betsy Ross, and did a very fine job.

And that was the end of our parade for this year! Now the small dolls will have to start preparing for their Labor Day Fair, which will be here before you know it!

We hope that everyone had a safe holiday, and thank you again for stopping by.



Saturday, July 2, 2011

Elegantly Economical Treasures

 Dear Friends,

We are having so much fun volunteering at our favorite thrift store; we're going to have to start filling up boxes and bags to make up for all the fun things we've been bringing home!

Would you like to see some of the pretties that we've found?

We found this beautiful coffee pot that matches a plate we already had~

This sweet figurine that plays "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling"~

 And her older sister, who plays "Cabaret", ooh la la! :)~

We also found four of these bas relief plaster pictures,

So now we feel like we're in "Roman Holiday" while we dream (of course, Mr. Graham had to move the bed from this spot to uncover the air conditioning vent, so now we have to dream that it's still over the bed!).

The swag holder is a doll's chair that we screwed into the wall; the swag is a holey tablecloth.

We have found little tinkling bells and lots of doilies to drape over our pink roses~

 . . .And a brass rabbit for family blessings.

This little lady is walking her twin poodles, and begs to have a story written about her (Any suggestions for names?)~

And this ingenious pin cushion is actually made from plastic rings, velvet, and canning jar lids!

There is something hard in the middle that we think is a canning lid.
And this beautiful painting is signed "R. Tolan". Have any of you heard of this artist before?

And lastly, this sweet little bird was found at a different thrift store by my dear mother-in-law, who knows my tastes pretty well!

We hope that you are enjoying all the little blessings that each day brings. We wish all of you a blessed Sabbath, and thank you for visiting Birdsong Cottage today.




"Take life too seriously, and what is it worth? If the morning wake us to no new joys, if the evening bring us not the hope of new pleasures, is it worth while to dress and undress? Does the sun shine on me today that I may reflect on yesterday? That I may endeavor to foresee and to control what can neither by foreseen or controlled~ the destiny of tomorrow?"