Sunday, June 26, 2011

Shabby Chic Has Really Gone to the Birds...

Recently I bought a beautiful new sage green ceramic birdbath for my gardens... we have so many feathered friends (and furry friends!) who visit us, our backyard is certified a Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation... I rinse all of our birdbaths out daily and fill them with fresh, cool water...


Which one do you think they all prefer?... no, not the brand new sage green one... but the shabby, chippy, crusty, rusty old one... perhaps they love the shabby look too and love to sip their water as they gaze at some of my gorgeous pink roses that surround it?... hmmm.... birdies after my own heart... Shabby Cheep?... xoxo...


Saturday, June 25, 2011

I Love My "Stuff"...

I collect "stuff"... all different kinds of "stuff"... and I love my "stuff"... but I am confused a bit lately... I have come across a number of blogs that tell me I should not value "material things", that they really do not matter in life... excusez~moi??? ... granted, I know faith, and family and friends mean more than material things... and the beauty Nature is something money cannot buy... but I would be a liar if I said my mama's favorite old sweater or my daddy's old foot locker from WWII were not important to me... they are... they are part of my "stuff" I will never part with... I also love my newer "stuff", like the chocolate diamond earrings Jack gave me when I had a kidney stone last week... they were supposed to be for Christmas, but when he saw how much pain I went through, and how sick I got, he wanted to do something nice for me... he is used to taking charge of a situation... making it all right... with this, he could not do anything to take away my pain... the earrings are beautiful... but a big part of the reason they are, is because of the love and care that came with them from him...


I feel that way about all of my "stuff"... there are stories that go with everything I own... precious memories, or stories of new friendships made... whenever I can afford to, I will continue to buy and collect "stuff"... I wonder, if everyone quit buying or collecting "stuff", what would happen to all of my blogger friends and some of my family who make a living selling their vintage or handmade "stuff"???... or have online shops, or Etsy... or even brick and mortar shops or boutiques?... I would worry about them... how about you?... do you love your "stuff" too?... One of the blogs was especially a little "holier than thou"... as the blogger wrote that material things just were not important in life, then I saw on her sidebar she just started selling her crafts online... hmmm... is it just me or is there a little hypocrisy there???... I refuse to feel guilty because I enjoy material things as well as precious things money cannot buy... and I love my family and my blogger friends who sell "stuff"!... xoxo...


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gertrude...

Today I wanted to share a photo I took yesterday of my gorgeous Gertrude Jekyll rose just beginning to bloom... as I stated previously, we are about a month behind our normal gardening schedule this year due to the severe winter weather we had and lack of much of a Spring... the bush is full of buds now though and I cannot wait for them all to open!...


I was hoping to post more flowers that are also beginning to bloom, but I had another kidney stone several days ago and am a little under the weather myself... but, I also wanted to join Tracie at Fishtail Cottage today for Cottage Flora Thursdays, so this is a short post... hope you enjoy my beautiful rose!... wishing you all a blissful Summers day... xoxo... Julie Marie


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Welcome Summer!...

Today I am celebrating the First Day of Summer...


And all of the carefree, simple country pleasures it brings... wishing you a beautiful Summer Solstice... xoxo...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Feeling Grateful to God this Morning...

This morning I am feeling grateful... grateful to God for listening to my prayers in the night and always being with me calming my fears... for the past week, I have had an excruciating pain in my lower back... I kept writing it off to doing too many things... pulling a muscle, working too hard in my gardens... lifting heavy flowerpots... etc... then, yesterday afternoon, I got that now oh too familiar pain that told me I was having another kidney stone... if you follow my blog, (thank you!), then you know that last Autumn I had lithotripsy for a huge kidney stone... I am not one to rest and lay around, but that really knocked me for a loop... I had some complications from the anesthesia, and it took me longer than it should have to recuperate... so when I got the pain again yesterday, to be honest, I began to cry... then I prayed... I knew if I had Jack take me to ER all they would do is tell my I had a kidney stone, which of course I already knew, and shoot me full of painkillers, then send me home and tell me to call my doctor this morning...


I had some of my pain pills left over from my surgery, as I am not one to take pills much either... but I took some this time, and cried as the pain intensified... and prayed... the thought of another surgery and possible complications terrified me... but, thankfully in the middle of the night I was able to pass the stone... today, I will call my doctor for further instructions... but first, I will spend some quiet time, alone, thanking God for once again listening to my prayers through my tears... I know several of my blogger friends are going through much more difficult health issues right now than mine, so I shall pray for them as well... I am a firm believer in the power of prayer... and today, I am grateful... I am also grateful for my loving family who is always there for me as well... I am blessed with a very close family... although our family is small, it is full of love... and I don't know what I would do without them... today, my niece who lives in London went back home after a two week visit here... while she was here, she wanted to see my "special spot", the little old abandoned building where the beautiful roses bloom... I am happy we were able to go there... the photo above is from this past Saturday... and lastly, I am thankful for all of my blogger friends, I appreciate you all so very much too... xoxo...



Sunday, June 19, 2011

Spent Blooms...

I find beauty everywhere in my gardens... from the first teeniest buds to the last fading blossoms... as little girls, my sister Jill and I would gather the fallen petals from mama's roses ...I could not bear to see them laying on the ground when there was still so much beauty within them... they still carried their sweet~scented perfume which delighted our senses... mama always encouraged us to let our imaginations run wild and free... she would give us delicate lace and beautiful net from her ever~present sewing basket, along with soft pastel silk ribbons and we would fashion our own beautiful sachets... oh so gingerly placing the petals inside the net and tying them up with ribbons and lace... once again, my thoughts carry me back to those carefree, innocent days of my childhood summers spent in mama's gardens... a former acquaintance of mine once asked me why I care so much about what happened in the past... what a foolish question!... every part of my past, the people, places, objects and memories are what make me who I am today... who I always want to be... I cannot even imagine not treasuring these special moments from days gone by... one must realize there is a big difference between living in the past, or cherishing the past, which is exactly what I do...


As I spent the day caring for my own gardens yesterday, pleasant thoughts also drifted into my mind of Jill and I making sweet clover garlands to wear in our hair... yes, some days we were fairytale princesses who lived in a magic kingdom... sometimes we wore the garlands in our hair... other times, we made tender clover blossom necklaces to wear... life was simple and oh so sweet... our days were filled with wonder and delight... right in our own backyard and the surrounding orchards and woods... as I gathered up the spent blooms from my garden yesterday and put them in a little pile... I noticed how very beautiful they all still looked... a little faded, a few petals gone... but still so very pretty... their sweet fragrance still wafting through the warm summer air... I simply cannot throw them out... I have some net in my own sewing box... and satin ribbons... and vintage lace... perhaps I shall call my little sister... my best friend... my confidante... we shared so many happy times as little girls... we still do... perhaps she will be excited too at the thought of creating a beautiful sachet once more... and then, perhaps we shall even gather some sweet clover ... and... and... yes, one is never too old to enjoy the innocence of youth... I must go now... and call my little sister... my best friend... my confidante... we share a beautiful special bond filled with love that makes our ties to the past even sweeter... like clover garlands... xoxo...


Friday, June 17, 2011

Garden Love...

When we had our little farm that I posted about here, I not only had a potting bench, but I had a potting shed, a tractor shed, a garden shed... acreage for everything I needed and wanted for my gardens right at my fingertips... I grew all of our own vegetables and herbs, fruits of every kind in our orchards, grapes in our vineyard, plus all of my flowers and even a wildflower meadow... my gardens at our home now are alot smaller, but I fill every inch of them!... I have wanted a decorative potting bench of some kind for awhile now... infact, I have looked at the same one for the past two years in my favorite garden center... I just could not bring myself to pay the price... then today... Voila!... it was on sale for less than half price!... do you think I bought it??? You bet your sweet petunias I did!... Look at the darling little old~fashioned water tap!...

I couldn't wait to get it home and start putting things on it... when I showed it to Jack he said "I hate it!... it looks old and worn out"... ya think?... I said "I know!... isn't it beautiful!... I LOVE it!"... then HE said "well, I love you, and if it makes you happy, then that makes me happy"... hmmm.... there were alot of other tresors that I loved as well... maybe I should go back and get them too... I mean, if it makes Jack happy to see me happy... gee, I am such a nice person, always thinking of others... tee hee hee!...

You can actually hook it up to water on the back if you choose, but I won't be doing so...

I already had two darling little cherubs that wanted to sit on it...


Oh yes, at the garden center, they were closing out these FRENCH terra cotta saucers for pots... 40 cents each!... I bought every one they had!...

A pretty pot of Lobelia with an asparagus fern in the basin, which lifts out if I want to empty it...

Some miniature French flowerpots, vintage garden claws, watering can, plant markers and twine... a few of my new French trays... and a petite little bird nest on the bottom shelf...

I am totally in love with how it looks on my porch, across from my new garden chair I showed you here... my pail of potting soil is just around the corner in our garage on my shelf in there, along with other assorted gardening tools and supplies at the ready...

I'm happy I could make Jack happy with my new find... hee, hee... after I had it all decorated, Jack came out and looked at it again, and said it actually did look kind of cute...so, I promised him pancakes and bacon for breakfast on Father's Day... and Tessy bought him a very special gift... Happy Father's Day this weekend to all of the daddys out there... I miss YOU my own daddy, and I love you so much... xoxo...



Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Every Blooming Thing...

Hello ladies... we had such a long, cold winter and wet, wet Spring of sorts, that my gardens are really just now beginning to take off... we are about a month behind our normal gardening weather, so here is what is blooming today... the last of my beautiful pink Bleeding Hearts... oooh, how I will miss them until they return next Spring... they have got to be one of my very favorite old~fashioned flowers of all... (yes, I guess I do say that about all of them!)... click on photos to enlarge for really beautiful blooms!...

My "Cupcake" miniature rose's first bloom...

"Miss Kim" Lilac...

"Oriental Poppie"...

"Red Prince" Weigela...

First of my Delphiniums... (this one is for you Grandma Delphine!)...

"Fireworks" Clematis still exploding in blooms...

"Jackmanii" Clematis will be bursting with gorgeous blooms any day now!...

Sunny red Yarrow...

A basket full of yellow Biden, purple Petunias and pink Million Bells...


Today I am joining Tracie at Fishtail Cottage for Cottage Flora Thursdays... wishing you all a beautiful Summer's Day in your garden... xoxo...


Monday, June 13, 2011

"Leave a Path in the Garden...

... so angels can walk through"...


I have a pretty sign in my garden with that saying on it... this weekend, I found this perfect sweet little angel to bless my garden as she walks through... wishing you a Heavenly Summers day... xoxo...


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Simply Sweet...


Jack and I met these darling little "friends" on our Nature walk yesterday...

Loving the simple country pleasures that surround me... xoxo...



Friday, June 10, 2011

Believe in the Magic of Fairytales...

As I walked along another little country lane today, my thoughts dancing around in my head like little flower~fairies in the garden on a Summers Eve, I happened upon this most delightful spot... a quietness fell over me as I stopped to capture the beauty and serenity before me... perhaps the little flower~fairies really were dancing around... enticing me to take a different bend in the road today... through the early morning mist... to what I perhaps shall call my own "Brigadoon"...

If you are too young to know about Brigadoon... or if you simply have not heard of it... or seen the magical movie or play, Brigadoon is a mythical village, not on any map, that appears only one day every hundred years... the countryside is covered in beautiful flowers and life is sweet there... it is such an enchanting tale about a magical place... if I am not in Brigadoon... I shall make~believe I am... for I am totally captured by the spell of this countryside... so very close to my home... yet seems like a fairytale setting from so very far away...

A little stream flows through the middle of my secret haven... the waters bubbling, calling out my name... as they tumble across the rocks... flowers in the softest, muted shades of lavender and pink welcome me here...

Peonies warmed by the early morning sun... waiting to unfold their fragrant petals to delight my senses even more so...

As always, I want a closer look... I want to see what lies beyond the graceful trees... if this really is my own Brigadoon... perhaps today is the only day I shall know... perhaps the path I follow tomorrow may not bring me here again... or everything will be asleep... for another hundred years... I must follow my whimsy and see where it leads...

The path I take goes deep in the woods... farther... and farther... part of me wants to continue on... but something tells me it is time to follow the path back out of the woods and find my way back home...

One last time I shall inhale the fragrant perfume of the gorgeous Dame's Rocket...

Then wistfully bid my own little "Brigadoon" farewell... will it be here tomorrow... or will this just be an empty field with a little stream running through it... and a sleeping little haven which will appear in another hundred years?... I wonder... xoxo...


The Weekend is Here...

Wishing you a beautiful one... filled with sunshine and flowers... love and laughter...


Daydreams and quiet times... everything your heart desires... It's Summer... lets savor every magical moment of it! ... xoxo...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Jo~Anne Coletti's "The Feminine Home... Where the Heart Is"...


Once upon a time...
(I love stories that start out this way!)... there was a beautiful fairytale Princess named Jo~Anne Coletti... everything she touched turned into something dreamy and romantic... soft and feminine... now, this beautiful Princess has graciously allowed me to use some of her stunning photos to tell you about her latest magazine, "The Feminine Home, Where the Heart Is"... take a little peek with me at her enchanted outdoor patio... A soft glow of candles and the sweet scent of roses... fairy lights and vintage lace... sigh...
Her lovely magazine is available now for pre~order at Vintage Rose Collection... you may also order her first edition of "The Feminine Home" there as well if you have not already done so... I hope you will leisurely browse through her beautiful blog and luscious photos... perhaps also taking a peek at her rose paintings and vintage finds in her website, which you can access through her blog...
I have some exciting news to share also, but not just yet... other than to tell you Jo~Anne has included some of my own memories in "Where the Heart Is" as well... just a little hint... it's about Lilacs... and tender moments from the past... wishing you all a beautiful day as Summer begins to unfold... xoxo...