"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Anniversary On Vashon Island ~ ( Where you don't need an Invisibility Cloak ! )

 My husband and I celebrated our 42 years of marriage this past week. He gave me a dozen gorgeous red roses before we took off for Vashon Island.
 We have been wanting to re-visit Vashon Island for awhile and decided to spend our anniversary on the island.  Of course to get to an island you need a bridge, a boat, or a BIG boat ~ a ferry. We got in line for the ferry at Point Defiance , WA  (about a 45 minute drive from our home ) very early in the morning and enjoyed a thermos of coffee and the view while waiting for our ride to the island.
 Here she comes !

 We were happy our car was parked at the front of the ferry so we had an unobstructed view of the short trip from our truck. The ride to the island from Pt. Defiance is only about 15 minutes give or take.
 We had a small list of places we wanted to visit on the island. It is a small island and there are few businesses, but after some research on-line this was one of the places recommended. The Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie. Here is the shop's coffee roaster on display. The shop smelled fantastic and is attached or next door to a few other shops. We'll never go back. ( warning : negative experience and review )
 We walked into this roasterie expecting good coffee and friendly service. We might as well have been invisible. The shop was not full , or too busy. But the shop had a lot of unfriendly gossiping locals. Tuesday morning, slow business, and we couldn't get anyone to sell us coffee in spite of that. No one said "hi", nodded at or acknowledged us. We waited at the counter for awhile for someone to sell us the pound of expensive coffee we were buying. We needed coffee at home or would have left without purchasing anything. At least the guy at the counter said "thank-you" when we paid for the coffee.

We then went through an adjoining door to another shop where the lady clerk was gossiping ( in the true sense of the word) with another apparent local and although we were the ONLY shoppers in the store selling local crafts and produce, we got nary a smile , glance our way, or "hello". Same thing in the next little shop there. Good grief, we really weren't wearing our invisibility cloaks , I promise. Not sure what was going on but this small , VERY small shopping area in Vashon is not a place we'd ever go back to. We had planned on buying some of the local produce and items but decided our presence, therefore our money, was not needed or welcome. There are other places on Vashon to purchase the local produce, coffee, and arts & crafts so this little spot can be left to itself if you are considering a visit to Vashon ( BTW , there was a new shop Treasure Island , selling antiques, vintage stuff, etc. we stopped to check out and were delighted the owner welcomed us and answered any questions we had. Give her a visit if you're passing through. Someone there appreciates customers ! )
 We had a lovely time on Vashon in spite of our first stop. We decided to have lunch at a restaurant called The Hardware Store. This is a real hardware store creatively transformed into a restaurant  YES!!! Do stop and eat there if you are on Vashon. The food was delicious, the service was friendly. They are apparently popular with locals and tourists , sitting room is scarce around lunch even on a Tuesday. We'd definitely go back here if we're in the area.
 Best fries ever ! Thin, crispy, just perfect. And the burger was mighty tasty too.
 The Hardware Store  ~ Vashon Island, WA.
 We had to stop at a nursery because the name Kathy's Corner was too good to pass up a photo op ( maybe a good name for a future blog ? ) and the plants and flowers were stunning. We bought some Elfin Thyme and sedums from Kathy herself , then continued on our way around the island.
 We had coffee from our thermos while we sat on a bench near the lighthouse. We saw a seal fishing in the water and watched birds.

Home again after the return ferry ride. We each bought a book at a book store selling new and used books near The Hardware Store and decided we'd had a very good day. We are blessed . We drove around a scenic island, enjoyed a very good lunch, each bought a book we are excited to read , and are still in love after 42 years of marriage. Don't you love the miniature orchid my husband bought me ? Roses, books, orchids, a day together in a beautiful place...he sure knows the way to my heart !

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sleep In Peace ~ God Is Awake !

"Have courage for the great sorrows in life and patience for the small ones ; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task , go to sleep in peace. God is awake. " Victor Hugo

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thursday Tea in the Garden With The Fairies

 This post is especially for my granddaughters who worked very hard helping me craft a small outdoor tea-room for the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. The fairies were excited about this party and invited Mr. & Mrs. Little who are currently residing in our china cabinet.
 I decided to make a very big pot of tea for myself and any who dropped in for the tea party . The party was held on the table overlooking the pond where it is cool and shady and a little bit mysterious.

 Mrs. Little dressed up as the White Rabbit. The fairies did invite some of the wild bunnies to the party hoping one of them would portray that character but the bunnies are making themselves scarce because my husband is after them for devastating our vegetable garden. ( No green beans or carrots for us this year. The bunnies got them all.) I'm calling my husband Farmer McGregor nowadays , but I digress. This isn't about Beatrix Potter's books.

Mr. Little was the Mad Hatter. He had a good time sipping his tea, smoking his pipe, and read his book while eating the tiny sandwich my granddaughter MN made for him.
 Can you see the pet bumblebee this fairy has on her wrist ? Granddaughter MN made it for us.
 The food was delicious. There were fairy cakes, boiled finch eggs, cranberries, and acorn bread to eat, and plenty of peppermint tea.
 One of the fairies was dressed as the Queen of Hearts . Granddaughter KN made her costume and the hats worn by a few in the party. These two were whispering about something . Apparently someone forgot to pick fresh blueberries and raspberries for the party but they were too kind to tattle. There was plenty of food though and all was well.

 I watered the hostas growing in big pots by the pond while the fairies partied. This year has been so dry and the water level in our pond is very low for this time of the year.

 My cheerful polka dotted teapot favored by all of my grandchildren.
Tea in the garden this week was pleasant with a little work, mostly watering and dead-heading flowers . I've really made a point of taking time to sit down with a cup of tea or coffee every day to simply take in the beauty of our gardens. It is hard but I am getting better at turning a blind eye to the weeds when I sit and sip my tea.When I sit quietly I see so many things I miss when I am busy , busy, busy. Just look at what I would have missed if I had been too busy today ~ sharing tea with the fairies !

You might want to check out Judith's *Lavender Cottage and Kathleen at *Eggs In My Pocket. They both have beautiful gardens tended with love, but live in very different gardening zones. I think you'll appreciate what each of these ladies has done with their gardens.

Thank-you for taking time to read this long post and have tea with me and the fairies with special thanks to 2 of my lovely granddaughters KN & MN.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Mad Hatter's Tea Party

 The Little family and the fairies heard me talking about the Mad Hatter's Tea Party *.
 They decided to have a Mad Hatter's Tea Party of their own with the help of 2 of my granddaughters. The Littles live in my china hutch and the fairies flit and land wherever they will. They all thought a tea-party sounded like great fun, especially since they could dress up and pretend.
 My granddaughters made a small tea room using cardboard , moss, and anything that struck their fancy from my crafting supplies. Granddaughters also made some costumes for the fairies and the Littles.
Alice and Little Mouse took a break during the work of creating the tea room.

My granddaughters worked long into the afternoon , having fun setting up the tea party.
We're not finished with this fun tea-party but thought we'd publish the party preparations. My granddaughters took all of the pictures except the one of the two of them working on the tea room.

Please be sure and click onto this link and enjoy many other creative Mad Hatter's Tea Parties.*

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thursday Tea In The Garden ~ Blue Bottle Herb Garden

Summer is here and it appears the extreme heat we're experiencing is here to stay until fall. I have been out working in my gardens early in the morning . I did not have tea in the garden, instead I had my morning coffee loaded with real cream. I remembered my garden hat too. I have suffered heat sickness far too many times in my life to risk being miserable simply because I forgot my hat.
 The morning is a good time in the herb garden. I have a bright blue umbrella to shade me and so much to watch as I sip coffee, tea, or cold beverages. My husband & I often read there together in the early evenings.
 I hung a little pocket of sedums on one of the blue bottle trees.
 The sage , lovage, and oregano are growing and ready to pick for yummy summer meals.
 My chives , transplants from my husband's father's garden many years ago, needed pruning. I've cleaned and chopped the prunings up for the freezer to plop into stews and soups later. The chives will grow up again soon for more fresh cuttings.
 This old chair sits at one of the gates to the garden and opens up into wet land where wildlife seems to thrive. Coyotes and raccoons also love to use this area as access to our poultry and livestock.
 Red squirrel helping herself to the sunflower seeds from the feeder we keep full. She appears to be a nursing mama and was not at all afraid of me. She ate seeds as I watered my herbs within a few feet of her.
 A little brown bunny ate herbs and fallen birdseed while I sipped my coffee. She was not afraid of me either.

" I myself have a coffee memory . It works best when fed large quantities of freshly roasted and ground caffeine. Early in the morning it's the only way it works at all. " A.J. Orde
 You might enjoy sipping your tea or coffee while visiting Judith *'s  Lavender Cottage Garden and for an enchanting armchair trip to England check out Nib's End *. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Good Father

"A good father is one of the most unsung , unpraised, unnoticed , and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society." Billy Graham
Happy Father's Day to you Jim, father of our children, grandfather to their children. You're an amazing father, grandfather, and husband to me ! I love you.
* Picture is of my husband many years ago with our first-born child, our daughter.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thursday Tea in The Garden ~ My weekly garden journal.

 It has been an unseasonably hot and rain free spring , we're not used to so little rain and so much heat this early in the year in the Pacific Northwest. Our gardens are not either. The grapes are already out of control and there are many clusters of growing and ripening grapes on the vines.
 Our kiwi vines are finally producing shade over their arbor and we now have a place to sit in the sun in our large front yard without need of a sun umbrella. Maybe next year the kiwi will produce fruit .
 A red rose we planted almost 20 years ago blooms prolifically in spite of neglect. She sits in a hot dry space against the southern exposure of our house. She has to be watered by hose because the rain rarely falls on her . She is a survivor. I think these are the best kinds of roses ! I am sure if I dig around her base I'll find the metal tag proclaiming her pedigree. She is sweetly fragrant and reminds me of the high hopes we had for a big rose garden when we built our home and dug the first flower beds.
 A pink rugosa has taken over a fence line and we work hard to prevent this bush from strangling a nearby hydrangea. Who knew when we planted both tiny bushes they would grow so large ? ( not us .)
 White rugosa bushes fill a whole corner and gateway in our herb garden, our Blue Bottle Garden. The rugosas fill our property with their sweet scent and attract many hummingbirds and honeybees. Mallow (left ) and Lady's Mantle grow under the rugosa on either side.
 My husband's veggie garden also abounds with strawberries and raspberries. Look at how high most of his veggie beds are ! The strawberry beds are front left....
 ...and guess what's for dessert ! Whipping cream is chilling in the fridge.
 There are a lot of snap peas but they rarely make it to the stir fry pot because I eat most of them as I pick them , and snack on them raw at night. I also add them raw to salads. They're sweet and crisp.
Tea in the garden is ICED peach tea , refreshing after a day of gardening.
Although this is not a linky party I think you'll thoroughly enjoy visiting these two gardening bloggers ( who've inspired me ! ) and seeing what's going on in their gardens . Judith * at Lavender Cottage and Flower Lady Lorraine * at Flower Lady's Musings. I hope you're taking time to sip some tea and enjoy the flowers this summer even if your summer does get too busy,is too hot, and seems too much work . There's always time for tea !