Friday, July 31, 2015

Garden Chatter

I planted marigold seeds near the clothesline, along the stone stairs and LOOK at them!  Wow!  They are the fire-colored type.  
 Some people say that it isn't a good idea to plant Shasta daisies because they take over, and they DO!  It's okay.  I'm happy to pull out all the other invasive weedage so they can shine.  Daisies are so friendly (remember that from the movie You've Got Mail?)
 Cone flowers just one year old and looking fine this summer along with the sage.  I don't really know what to do with herbs. I read you can place some sage on your meat while it's grilling or throw a few leaves in the soup pot.  Something in me doesn't want to pick herbs and do useful things with them.  I just like having them grow in the garden.  It seems foresty to me.
 I will cut basil and give it to our Christie so she can make pesto.  She makes a great pasta with pesto. 
 Aw, pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns in the making.  When I was a little girl I enjoyed a few glorious artsy times, drawing Halloween scenes as I sat in our playhouse.  The floor was gritty (I guess my sister and I were not efficient sweepers) and the door was small and creaky with a very unique little brass twisty knob.  I remember thinking, "I LOVE drawing Halloween pictures VERY much!" I drew ghosts and witches, a full moon and bats.  I tried drawing haunted houses.  Halloween was so simple and fun back then.  Often my mother dressed us up as gypsies for trick or treating.  I remember a calico skirt.  Maybe I will be a gypsy this year.  I used to sew costumes for our kids.  One year Brad was a cheetah (flannel) and Kelli was a princess (flouncy cotton, white printed with pink hearts) and they looked so sweet.  I made capes and hoods (dragons and bats) for Jeff and Jenny.  One year Jeff stormed into a friend's house and instead of taking the candy offerings, he stole a gourd from an arrangement on their coffee table!  So funny! I must remember to take a nap on Halloween so that I don't run out of steam like I seem to every year.  Ha! 
 The pansies are waning and the random pumpkin plant that is apart from the others is barging in on the petunias and marigolds.  I like the toadstool there.  It was taking up too much room in the Wendy house. James and Lizzy like to fiddle with the dishes, the stove and the sink and needed more space.
 I hate it when the soil gets so hard.  I like lush loamy soil. Who doesn't?  Lavender petunias are pretty, don't you think?
 The tangled sweet peas look like weeds from a distance.  They'll bloom in few weeks because I planted them late. 
 My friend the garden angel, GK, told me that nasturtiums are like weeds in New Zealand, but I was in New Zealand in the winter, so I couldn't witness this myself.
 Tomorrow is August and all of the seasonal things are on sale at the grocery store.  I bought swim rafts/boats and garden tools.  One dollar for the green green gloves and a bit more for a weed scoop.  Yay!
 Two dollars for the table cloth!  House plant #1 and house plant #2 needed sun.  I am going to take my ironing sprayer downstairs soon and give them a misting. 
 Lunchbox fruits.  Kelli's girls came over last night while their parents went on a dinner date.  They colored, they ate apples, they chewed on popcorn while watching The Rescuers Down Under.  Funny!  Tired little summer bumpkins.  Birdie has been at day camp in Colorado Springs all this week.  She's weary.  Miss Bug and Millie Rose went swimming at a friend's house and had the sun on their cheeks to prove it.  
James and his parents were here for dinner.  James played in the pool and smiled and laughed. He is such a sprite.
 These roses reminded me of Christie in her elegant wedding dress.  White roses are so holy, aren't they?
 Sam and Lizzy are spending the weekend with us. Their parents are going camping.  Sam said, "I can't wait to come for a sleepover and do all the things you have planned."  Hmmmm.  I had better make a list.
 One last New Zealand photo.  Here is a little restaurant nook. I really loved the chair seats, so sturdy and woodsy.  Does it remind you that fall will come soon?  In the midst of summer it feels like she will warm our bones forever, but in a month or so, we'll very likely be layering up and feeling autumn's promise.
My stomach is growling.  I think I'll make some porridge.  Our friend Matt in New Zealand stirred up porridge for us one morning.  He served it with some of his very rich bread.  It was a fine hobbit breakfast (first!) and I think it bears repeating here in Denver. 
Have a good day, fellow hobbit.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Mountains and Wool

 Ha!  Hello again!  Here's another selfie of me (so selfie-ish!) sitting in the little cabin we slept in while at the Presbyterian Youth Workers conference Bill spoke for.  It was VERY cold outside (and inside for that matter) so I wore my new knitted hat AND a scarf and a stretchy yummy tummy undergarment.  I stayed warm sitting near the heater.  I am VERY enthused about knitting now that my hat turned out well and I didn't experience any major flub ups.  I did flub up on my cowl that isn't finished yet, but I think I can overlook the flubs because they aren't too disastrous. 

 This is why Queenstown, NZ is so famous.  Can you believe this scene?  It's all there.  SO amazing!  God's good.  He is SO good!
 Not a bad place to hang glide, right?  I am not a hang glider or even a gondola rider.  Shiver.
While strolling around Queenstown we come upon a wool shop.  YAY!
 The sweaters were VERY expensive but gorgeous.  There is so much WOOL in NZ.  There are SO MANY sheep!  Cows, too.  The dairy industry is big there.  I loved all the soft woolens.  I am very glad I can knit my own woolens.
 I did buy a pair of possum and merino gloves.  Green.  They spin merino with possum because the possum hairs are short.
 Don't you LOVE this gorgeous aran cardi?  It was soft as soft can be. 
 And look at this darling cushion!  WANT ONE.
 I am now satisfied as far as fish and chips go.  I ate too many "chips" and A LOT of battered fish. 

 So now I am moving on from my New Zealand/Australia trip (and all the photos).  
James and his pretty mommy are coming over today.  I pulled weeds (in my pajamas - very lazy) this morning and scrubbed the sink.  I ironed and listened to our Brad's sermon (podcast) and now I am going to shower and shine.  
Don't you love "stay-at-home" days?  Me, too.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

More Jazz From Down Under

Queenstown, NZ!  So lovely!
 I've decided that I am going to up the frequency of my blog posts.  It's a lot more fun when done more often and I find a better "share" flow comes about, as far as subject matter is concerned.  
I am suffering from severe lag of the jet today.  We woke up just after midnight which is about 5 pm Australia time (it's sort of like waking up from a nap).  Argh.  I was peppy yesterday but I amVERY draggy and distracted today.  Okay. Okay.  I guess I must acknowledge that it takes a while to recover from so many time zones.

 This is the view from the coffee shop we stopped at after our walk around the lake.  I used the blanket for our knees!  Cold.
 More water in Sydney (just outside - Pearl Beach).  This was such a feast for my water-hungry self.  The weekend weather was unseasonably warm.  I sat on a big bean bag and absorbed the incredible beauty.
 We drove up and down and around winding roads for a fish and chip lunch.  Look who was having lunch with the people!  The pelican brigade!  Our friend told us that he had heard on the radio that a pelican scooped up someone's chihuahua one day.  What a sad way to lose your pet, right?
 This the lakeside coffee shop.  Built for King George, I guess.  I like the crown and the red lolly on the serving spoon.  They have lovely lollies down under.  Their gummy candy is delicious, although hard on my digestive system.  Boo.
 We had breakfast with a young youth worker the morning we left.  This place was called Gather on the Green.  My poached egg on a mushroom was scrumptious.  I really like Sydney.  Our friends there are so hospitable.  This is the third opportunity I've had to visit with them.  Bill goes regularly.
The local Young Life area (raising money for camp scholarships) flamingo-ed our house.  Jeff had to pick them all up before mowing our lawn and he took one home for James the Beak Biter.
Here's my new Facebook profile picture.  I used Waterlogue (so fun!)  I like the way the app gave me ruby lips and blue, blue, blue eyes.  You can't really tell from this picture but I was having a seriously good hair day.
I read The Rosie Project today.  WHAT an entertaining book.  It takes place in Australia so it was a fitting way to overcome (or nurture) my jet lag.  I give it 5 stars.

We have little girl guests coming for the weekend.  I must plan some fun.  I am longing to see our Ft. Collins grands.  I am going to Washington next week for my August annual family visit, but after that I must sort out a Granny Camp adventure.

I hope I feel more like myself tomorrow.  I think I might be recovering from all the fish and chips meals and the lolly consumption.

I'm craving cabbage, so it's an Asian salad for dinner (and meat on the BBQ).

Summer is a lovely waltz.  It's warm and it slows me down (not that I'm an amazing bundle of energy normally).  I love the way the veggies I planted from seed are thriving.  We did find two or three zucchini yesterday and Jenny put them in her vegetable soup.

Take care, sweet reader.  Thank you for popping around!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hobbit Real Estate

 We're home!  Yay!  We are happy, happy, happy to be snuggled back into our home sweet home.  I'm overwhelmed by all my phone photos so I uploaded only a few hobbit houses from Hobbiton.  The pictures do not do it justice as it is SO REAL and so amazing, plopped down in the middle of an immense sheep farm.  Don't you want to live in a hobbit house?  Me, too!

 We loved Auckland and Queenstown and I'll parcel out a few words about them in days to come.  We ended our trip at Pearl Beach just an hour and a half from Sydney.  I Waterlogued this picture of the lavender growing by the house.
 Now that we are back to our own hobbit garden we are pulling weeds and feeling super grateful for the flowers and fruits!  We found three zucchini this morning and 5-7 cucumbers!  Hooray!

We're still a bit jet lagged and will be for a few days.  
I missed our coffee, our bed, our "do as you please" approach to food and grooming.  I didn't have a hair dryer for a good many days and that isn't fun.  I'm picky about my dumb hair.
Today we're catching up with family, doing our laundry, snoozing a bit here and there, and enjoying the sunshine.  It was cold in New Zealand.
Thank you for checking in!  
Love, love, love.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Quick Hello

Hello! We're enjoying all the beauty in Queenstown. I can't get my photos to load just right but I wanted to check in!  I have wifi finally so I can read blogs. I have fantastic photos of Hobbiton and I'll share them when I return. (BIG HUG)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

We're Off!

  (I hope my two house plants don't wither while we are away!)
In a few minutes we'll be off to the airport.  I had to repack my backpack and my carry-on (aka purse).  Bill said it was way too big and New Zealand Air would not permit me to lug it along.  I am not good at choosing what to take, so I pray I don't freeze or become very grouchy because I don't like what I must wear.  Isn't that shallow?  Rats.  Overall, I am thrilled to go on a great adventure.  I'm very thankful!
The garden is starting to do its summer wonder and I fear the zucchini will have taken over the side yard when we return.
I'll try to blog with my phone or iPad so you can see some lovely NZ and Australia beauty.
Thank you for checking in!  God be with you.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Badger Update!

 Mr. Badger has arrived at Angela's house!  Click over! Betty wrote a fun Badger post before she mailed him off. Read that one, too! Having Mr. Badger fly around the world is exciting.  SO MANY people love the story The Wind in the Willows.  Do you? I love the cozy parts when Mole sleeps over at Ratty's house and hears the river flowing by outside the guest room window.  I love it when they stop at Mole's house after he's been away and Ratty tells him that his house is wonderful.  When they stop in at Mr. Badger's house, I want to climb into the book and smell the earthy walls and gaze at the food stores.  I read the book as an adult even though my sister had a gorgeous copy that she received for Christmas in 1964.
The photo below was taken at a friend's woodsy land in Washington.  His dad MAKES this furniture and he does, too!
 Wouldn't you LOVE to live in the woods and sit upon fine furnishings like this? 

 Badger is promoting hygge (look it up - you won't be sorry) and he is not racing across Europe.  He's settling in well at each house he visits.  We don't rush him.  He's not interested in keeping up a crazy pace.
 His friends were much busier on their world tour.  He missed them while they were away.
See how worn they were when they returned to Denver?
It's not too late to host Mr. Badger when he returns to the states.  He's going to France next.
Our guests leave tomorrow and then I'm going to a sleepover at Kelli's house on Thursday night.  We'll keep up our usual doings until we leave for New Zealand on Sunday afternoon.  I went to buy the Mickey Mouse shoes, but I saw these for 20 dollars less and I like their glittery glow.  Do you?
 It's been cloudy and rainy for two days, so it is the perfect setting for knitting.  I'm making myself a wool hat for our trip because the temps on the south island are chilly. I have to stuff all the clothes I need in my backpack, so it's challenging to decide what to bring.
It's time to go downstairs and shove our dinner  into the oven.  Thank you for popping by and playing along with our Mr. Badger fun!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sunday Doings

 A hawk swooped in yesterday afternoon.  Aren't you pleased when you see bigger birds?  We had a huge crow that hung around eating all the suet for a few days, but I wasn't as excited about him.  He was cute, though.
 We had a happy fourth of July, lots of good food and good company.  After the sweet ones left, I took a nap.  Now I am cleaning, getting ready for our fun Australian house guests.
This hustle and bustle inspired me to hang a few things on the kitchen wall.  Yay!
Cleaning is not for the faint of heart, is it?  I used to clean houses before I turned into a teacher (via going back to college with a lot of young people).  I would work so fast and so hard for four hours, pack up my supplies, and close the door and lock it (or not if they were home).  It was exhausting.  I think the hardest part of cleaning is tugging the vacuum cleaner around.  Actually, I have a bit more vacuum cleaner tugging to do now and then some mopping and straightening and then I will stop and enjoy the guests.
I hope you have a smooth week, full of little blurbs of encouragement and deep breaths.
Thank you for stopping by. xoxoxo