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

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


 Earlier this month we were at our place over the mountains and far away . While visiting our youngest son and his family who live within walking distance to our place we saw a huge column of smoke indicating the heart stopping knowledge there was a serious wild-fire near by.
 This is a picture of the back of our place there. ( Soon to be our retirement home .) The front of our future home has a mountain directly across the gravel road from the house , and on the other side of  this small mountain is where the fire is raging.  (Picture is of my husband and oldest grandson walking back home from checking out our patch of forest.)
 This is the mountain in front of our place, and there is a serious wild-fire near our home.
 As we watched the smoke flare up, seem to dissipate, then flare up even more, our youngest son called his friends to arrange transportation and housing of his horses if the fire got much closer. My husband & I prepared for the realization our home, the home we're planning on moving to within the next 2 years, just might need to be built again from the ground up.
 During a small break of time when the smoke seemed to be showing the fire was being put out on the other side of the mountain my husband , holding our youngest grandson ,posed for this picture for me. This picture was taken at our youngest son's home, which is walking distance from our place.
 The smoke was so thick from not only the fire near-by, but 3 fires raging in the area. Local fire-fighters were very busy. We watched helicopters drop buckets of water over the horizon and seem to have little to no effect on the smoke we saw.
 This picture was taken mid-day. Look at how dark the sky was with smoke.

The next day we knew all was well. The fire was not out but it was contained. Over 800 acres was burned and if the fire had not been attacked by local fire-fighters and volunteer fire-fighters, it could easily have gone over the ridge and down to our home over the mountains, and burned it. This picture is from our son's home. There was a haze in the air the whole time we were there because there were, and still are, multiple fires burning in eastern Washington.

Our thanks, prayers, and hearts go out to the many brave fire-fighters all over our country who risk their lives to put out fires and save those in danger from the fires that kill. We are very grateful to you all. Thank-you.

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.*