Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Scribble Picnic. . . . . . . Curly

I'm guilty of being missing in action for the past couple of weeks on Wednesdays! 
Life threw things at me which stole creative time. It continues this week,
 but I decided to make more of an an effort today and share something, anything.
I've missed you - did grab a few minutes to see all the neat things
 you shared although there was no time to comment, sorry!

So, continuing the 'sunflowers and squirrels in my garden'  current blog theme,
 here's a photo I took a few years ago when the little curly-tailed cutie actually
 managed to sit on a fading, curled over sunflower head and feast on the seeds
 for quite a while!

Some editing via PicMonkey - I added color with my precious watercolor pencils.

This week's 'Curly' theme is fun.
Do head over to our SCRIBBLE PICNIC host Michael's blog to see 
some great curly art by members of our group. 

Remembering. . . . . . . . . .

Sometimes . . . . . . . . . just remembering is good enough.
Collect glowing moments.

Monday, August 28, 2017

A Sunflower Season. . . . . . . . .

School starts back here today, a big day for so many children.
A new school year full of promise.

As I stepped outside to head across the garden to my neighbor's home,
 (I've been house/Ms. Nala cat sitting for the past ten days), there was a 
definite welcome change in the air, cool with a crisp breeze. Lovely!

They have enjoyed the sunshine and heat. . . . . . and have given me so much pleasure.
My own little sunflower patch here in the garden.

Now their seeds are drying, readying for visits from the birds and squirrels. 
Feasting will begin soon.
With leftover figs and plenty of sunflower seeds our garden is a popular place to visit.
The bowing heads of sunflowers. . . . . . . even as they fade and display 
their tattered beauty, these amazing flowers still manage to brighten
 the sunny morning.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

August Nature Notes and a tough nut to crack!

 Yes, I know, it's a love/hate thing when it comes to squirrels in your garden.
Personally I love them because they are incredibly smart little guys who
 don't scare me. 
As long as they have food available, thanks to nut bearing trees, bird feeding people,
 and fruit, seed, and berry growing gardeners, they don't really cause a problem.
They don't hurt the garden birds, just chase them around a bit, and do a good
 clean up job under the feeders. If you really don't want squirrels near your 
house just discontinue feeding the birds - but to me that's sad because every 
garden needs beautiful songbirds.

Yesterday morning, on opening the blinds, who did I see but this messy guy. 
He/she was well into what looked like a lengthy feast on a hickory nut breakfast,
 and leaving a real mess. Stayed such a long time and didn't mind me snapping
 away through the kitchen window allowing me to get some nice closeup shots.

Not long after I took these photos I saw a young fox trot across the back garden. 
My little chipmunk has been showing up to nibble under the bird feeders so I'm a bit
 nervous for 'Chippy'. Fortunately he runs a mile a minute!  
Circling above is the screeching red-tailed hawk, and the accompanying crows
 cawing at him. Some birds who seemed to disappear during the heatwave,
 such as chickadees, are showing up again. Sadly, butterflies are few but there is
 a beautiful Black Swallowtail laying eggs on my dill plants. . . . . . . .and, always a thrill, 
two ruby-throated humming birds are showing up at their feeder on the front porch.

What's up in your garden?  
Are you, like me, awaiting cooler weather so the garden becomes more hospitable
 to work in and enjoy?  For me that really doesn't begin until after the first frost
 (a long way off, usually around first week of November here). Then, thankfully, we will
 see an end to mosquitoes as Autumn leaves start to fall. . . . . . and spending time
raking will be pleasant in cool temperatures.

My thoughts and prayers continue for all in Texas who are impacted
by the continuing effects of Hurricane Harvey, a truly devastating storm.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Saturday morning. . . . . . .

 . . . . and the morning glories crept silently up the porch almost
 overnight to wind around the sleeping angel with its tiny wren friend.

I've been pruning the vines back, they're getting a bit unruly this
 late in summer, but I didn't have the heart to cut this one
 back when I noticed it clambering over the porch rails. . . . . . 

. . . . . . such simple blooms in truly spectacular colors and, like their names,
 just lasting one brilliant morning in the early sunshine.

Wishing each of you a pleasant weekend - they certainly come around quickly!

Today, and for the coming several days, my thoughts and prayers are with
 my friends who live in the area of Texas impacted by Hurricane Harvey.  
May you all remain safe and ride out this vicious storm without serious
 damage to yourselves, your loved ones, and your homes and property.

Friday, August 25, 2017

More Women of the World. . . . . . .

More lovely women from England, North Carolina, Canada,
 California, Australia, Kenya, Hungary, Morocco, India, Thailand.

Family, friends. . . . . . . acquaintances made just briefly along
 the way when privileged to visit their corner of the world.

All very special.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Women of the World. . . . . . . . . .

Africa, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Russia. . . . . no matter where.
All the women I've met around the world were amazing.
More to come soon.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


During this time of trying to beat the August heat by staying home more, 
organizing some of the little things in life are filling my time.
One thing requiring attention was ordering new 'contact cards' from
the fabulous Social Print Studio.
I've used them before and have been more than pleased with their
 products and service. 

Being retired I no longer have, or need, an actual business card, but I do
 like to hand out one of these cute square contact cards to new friends and
 acquaintances (first comment is always "oh what a cute shape"),
 especially if they're interested in visiting my blog.
Just pick one or more of your favorite photos, load them, choose a 
  template for the reverse. . . . . . and you're on your way in no time.
Prices are fair, printing and shipping is fast - I ordered last Friday and they
 arrived in my mailbox yesterday!

I chose my above four photos for the contact cards this time.

Social Print Studio has been in business since 2011. Located in California, 
it looks like they are a company where it would be so much fun to work!
I hope to be ordering again from them soon.
Go HERE to see a previous order for larger prints to display at home
in one of their wood block stands - another great idea!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Sunflowers for the total eclipse . . . . . . . . . . .

This weekend, as I entered Trader Joe's to pick up a ball of fresh
 pizza dough and a couple of bottles of rosé wine (still the best refreshing
 drink for our continuing heatwave - high 90's and so humid), I was again
 blown away by the selection of colorful, affordable floral offerings. 
Five beautiful sunflowers for just $3.99.
My daisies from last week are still fresh, and a few more sprigs of dill
 from the garden are tucked in. Adding sunflowers seemed perfect for
 some happy color on the table.

I'm not planning to actually look at the total solar eclipse today, saving my eyes!
 No photos planned, but we'll definitely be aware of it here in North Carolina
 where it will become dark early to mid-afternoon. 

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot 
see the shadow. It's what sunflowers do.
~ Helen Keller ~

Saturday, August 19, 2017

A Look At Life III. . . . . . . . . .

Peaceful moments in England, Ireland, France and North Carolina - 2016

Hope you are enjoying your weekend wherever you are.

Friday, August 18, 2017

A Look At Life II. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Photos from Ireland, England and North Carolina - 2016

Still working at getting back on track here on the blog.
I'm needing some time to plan, organize, think through, relax, discover, detox the
 body and perhaps more importantly the mind. I've stopped watching television news. 
Am I sticking my head in the sand to save my sanity?
 Maybe I am, but at my age I can do that. 
Currently I'm having a difficult time with the world situation. 

I want to enjoy the beauty of life.
For a start, I need to spend more time on my huge library of photographs
 from the seven continents, doing something worthwhile with them.

This past week I watched the most amazing two hour program on my
 PBS station - Ireland's Wild Coast (watch the trailer) with
 award-winning Irish cinematographer, Colin Stafford-Johnson. 
Be certain to see the program if you can.
Since visiting there last year I've not stopped thinking about the glorious
 beauty, magnificence, peacefulness of that lovely country's Western Coast.
If it was at all possible I believe I would move there tomorrow, or even today!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A look at life. . . . . . . . .

The days are flying by much too fast and I feel somewhat overwhelmed. 
The humid days of August have sapped my energy ~ I'm just tired.
 A little break is needed so I'll be missing for a few days.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The color purple. . . . . . . . . .

At the weekend I carried home bunches of purple stock, white daisies, and some
smokey greenery, all from Trader Joe's and less than $10.00 total. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . bringing loveliness to the dining room table.

I added stems of dill flowers from the garden - the perfumes mingle gently
 and the colors are cool and refreshing on these sticky, humid August days.

Summertime in the south, especially the month of August, you just have to
 grin and bear it knowing that Autumn can't be too far away.

Did you see that purple is becoming the 'it' color in decor - yes purple is definitely
 in the air. I do love the cooler purple hues, such as a deep periwinkle blue-purple,
 rather than the warmer shades such as fig with more red - and of course 
true blue-black aubergine purple is always my favorite.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A cloud of southern humidity. . . . . . . . .

Southern hospitality is great - but they can keep
 southern humidity!

The past several August days have seen us enveloped in a cloak of humidity
 almost unworthy of discussion!
Just let me say, walking out the door in a pair of 'sunnies' at 5 o'clock Saturday to
 attend a lovely 60th birthday party for a friend, I was immediately sightless as the
 sunglasses clouded over. Trying to take outdoor photos in this humidity is hopeless!

I'm always rooting basil cuttings on the kitchen windowsill - then replanting them
 in my pots outside. Basil has been amazing this year. Pesto-making has become
 almost a daily habit. I've spent small fortune in pine nuts, good olive oil and
 Parmigiano Reggiano - thank goodness garlic is cheap! 
 I'll miss being able to clip big bunches of fresh basil come Winter - I do have
 lots of little pesto packets tucked into the freezer though.
This is pretty, airy dill - another herb I'm growing in pots outside and which also 
makes a lovely fragrant addition to cut flowers in the house. 

~ Some of my many garden herbs ~
Note: I'm allowing the morning glories to clamber over the hydrangeas as
they have few blooms this year due to the Spring freeze. I really miss 
those lovely flowers.

~ Dill and parsley ~

 Think yourself fortunate not to be living in the south right now . . . . . . . unless of
 course you do enjoy heat, and weren't raised in a cool (usually) Summer climate
 as I was. I will never enjoy the heat and humidity even though I've lived here longer
 than any other place. . . . . . . forty very hot and humid Summers.

Today I'm not doing much, just being lazy in the heat with threatening rain
 and thunderstorms which usually arrive late afternoon.
The sun has decided to hide in the cloud cover - it's the kind of day to stay 
home. . . . . . . . I think I'll bake scones, or a cake with some fresh peaches 
eyeing me from a bowl on the kitchen island.

Just realized, this is definitely a very 'green post'.