June's end, spring's end

 The Spring of 2016 was one of the earliest, prettiest, and most pleasant I can remember with plenty of rain, mild temps (until just recently) and just generally wonderful. Now we hunker down to survive the hot summer, by far my least favorite season.

A favorite sitting place, but now that everything is getting pretty, it's mostly too hot to sit here. :(

Our first tomato of the year was early! But yummy!

Lessons from a family of robins

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We've had the uncommon privilege of watching a pair of robins build their home and start a family. I'm ashamed to say that I was annoyed to see the twigs and straw appear in the hanging pot I'd so carefully planted with caladiums and begonias on our front porch.IMG_6952
But remembering a nest of mourning doves we'd watched in the same planter the first summer we lived here, I relented and let the nest stay. What a delight it's been this past few weeks to witness each step of the amazing process.

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I'm reminded all over again of so many truths:

 • If God cares for even these little birds who toil so hard to make their home, how much more does he care for His people who are called by His name?
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 • The mommy and the daddy work together to build their home, protect the nest, and feed their flock. God sets the lonely in families. He never intended us to go it alone.

 • The best things in life require a lot of patience, and they can get pretty messy while you wait. But oh, how worth the wait!
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A walk through the garden in late April


We bought a new clematis thinking the one we planted last year had died. Wouldn't you know it, the old one popped up the day after we planted the new. Still, the red and white blooms should mix nicely.
We divided the hostas for the first time this spring. We'll do it again in the fall! Easy, and double the plants!
We learned our lesson using old dirt last year. The rail pots never did take off, but this year they are already looking lush and full, and it's not even May!
This was a gorgeous Thursday morning sunrise.
Our friendly neighborhood geese visit at last once a day to clean up under the bird feeders.

The Snowball Bush Returns!

This Viburnum Opulus "Roseum," commonly known as a Snowball Bush, is on the east side of the house, but has only had one bloom since we moved here four summers ago. It didn't help that a certain someone sprayed it and nearly killed it two years ago. But I'm happy to report that as of April 2016, it has returned and is thriving and currently has dozens of beautiful lime green blooms (which will gradually go from green to pure white over the next few weeks.)


I'm dreaming of a white...Easter!

Easter morning, March 27, 2016 brought an absolutely gorgeous snow! We didn't even know it was in the forecast. And it was gone by evening except in the shadows. But oh, so pretty. Reminded us of a Scripture verse that is at the heart of Easter.
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow..." Isaiah 1:18 

Glorious Spring of 2016!

This has been one of the earliest springs we can remember, with the flowering trees in bloom the first week of March! We're just praying we don't have a late freeze! But oh, how beautiful everything is! Here are just a few of the views around our house:

A beautiful sunrise March 18.

A stunning sunset March 11.

 The Profusion Crabapple we planted last June
burst into bloom almost overnight March 19.



Tracery of Ice

December 29 and everything is encased in ice. It's beautiful, but I'd rather have snow.

Caged Squirrel

We set up a little cage for the birds, but had some unexpected visitors just before Christmas. The squirrels provide us hours of entertainment, and so far no more trouble than a few stolen seeds.

Vacuuming leaves

As November comes to a close, we're bringing outdoor plants in, and "vacuuming" the lawn.


Fall's Last Gasp


November is nearly half over and while it has been a stunningly beautiful fall, a few windy days have taken most of the leaves, and we're saying goodbye to autumn and reluctantly ushering in winter. We've put a few of our flower pots to bed, planting perennials in the ground and composting the rest. The final pots will be emptied and put away next week. I'll miss them, but we're already having fun talking about what we want to plant come spring.

A new member of the family

After many years of always having a cat in the house, we've spent the last 10 without an indoor cat. Until a couple weeks ago. We adopted one of our daughter's cats, and are thoroughly enjoying having a cat in the house again. Melvin loves the views out the windows.

November Roses

The first of November and we still have roses.


Columbus Day Blooms

The garden is fading, but cooler days have brought a few things to life again as well.




We declared the tomatoes DONE mid-October since the vine kept knocking over the cage! But tomatoes have been a wonderful experiment and we'll have another vine next year. (Sure glad I didn't plant two though!!) Maybe it's time to finally try fried green tomatoes?

Leaf-strewn lawns

We are enjoying the advent of Autumn! (Even though it means leaves to rake!)