Saturday, July 30, 2011

Gathering Places...

For as long as I can remember, my favorite place to gather has always been in the garden... as I have posted about many times before, this love began when I was just a little girl in my great~grandmother's garden, my grandmother's garden and my mama's garden... much of my day is spent in my own cottage garden... peacefully strolling through it each morning in quiet solitude... then trimming, planting, watering in the daytime, and gazing at it in the soft glow of dusk before calling it a day... Jack always knows where to find me... but I wanted a pretty little garden sign telling visitors who perhaps happen upon my porch to know just exactly where I am...

I knew just who to call to create a pretty little garden sign for me... most of you probably know my beautiful friend Rebecca from her dreamy blog "A Gathering of Thoughts"... and her luscious online boutique "A Gathering Place"... everything Rebecca creates is so soft and romantic... Heavenly is the word I use for her creations... and I am thrilled that I own a number of her stunning one of a kind treasures... my little garden sign arrived in the mail today, and I love it... Rebecca has a natural instinct for knowing how to take what I have dreamt about in my mind and making it come to life...

I am always so inspired when I visit this most precious friend, and I know you will be too... I hope you will stop in at "A Gathering of Thoughts" for a visit... please do tell her Julie Marie sent you... and now, I will be "In the Garden"... xoxo...



Monday, July 25, 2011

Inspired by Nature...

As I write in my Nature journal, I can hardly believe it is the last week of July... ever so subtly, almost unnoticeably, the Seasons begin their transition from Summer to Fall... yes, it is still terribly hot here... so much so that my garden is crying out for more water... a gentle rain would be perfect... but none in sight... maybe I am just a bit anxious for Fall... my favorite time of year... "sweatshirt weather" as Jack and I call it... our Nature walks become even more pleasurable as the air turns a little cooler... August is a very hot month here for sure... but by the end of next month, Nature's paintbrush will have put a light coat of sparkling color upon some of the trees higher up in the canyon just above our home... the sun is setting into the Great Salt Lake just to the west of us a littler earlier each evening... and it is rising above the crest of the canyon to the east a little later each morning... I was born a Nature lover... flowers, trees, leaves, all of God's precious little creatures... I cannot imagine my life without them... I am truly blessed to have a man who appreciates the beauty of Nature as much as I do, and we share this passion together... our home is a reflection of this love...

Do you take time to notice Nature each day?... I mean "really" notice Nature?... there is so much beauty all around us... my wish is that you do notice... and take time to breathe deeply and soak in all that God has created...

Have you also noticed that the colors of Nature all blend beautifully together?... there is no right or wrong in Nature... our daily walks are a beautiful palette of colors, all creating one gorgeous landscape... our home is a myriad of Natures most glorious colors as well... from my softest, palest pink rose treasures to my collection of lavender pressed glass that dates back to pre~1920, the colors of Nature call out to me... creating a symphony that makes me smile...

I love soft, earthy colors... and rich, warm browns and forest greens... come Autumn, our home is filled with leaves gathered from the nearby hillside, awash with golds and crimsons... ochres and rusts... little critters find their way here and there, scattered about our home year round... like these little squirrels on our coffee table... (the real squirrels have a feeder on our back porch)...

Even my teacups and china share the stunning colors of Nature... perfectly blended harmony...

Nature is soothing... quieting... comforting... serene... that is how I want our home to be...

I love decorating my home with the beauty of Nature... I gather little "finds" all along our Nature walk each day... pinecones, acorns, leaves, feathers, twigs, seeds, pods... all mine for the taking... to create pretty treasures from the trail... I keep my Nature journal up to date by writing in it each day... that too brings me pleasure, and I love to look back through it and see gentle reminders of Seasons past... wishing you a beautiful, blissful day and hoping you will take the time to truly see the beauty of Nature... as I have said before, as you walk, don't just keep your eyes open for natural treasures, keep an open heart and mind as well... xoxo...


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Le Jardin...

It's a beautiful Summers morning here at Idyllhours today... won't you join me for a stroll through my garden to see what's blooming... then we can come inside and I'll pour you a tall cool glass of my yummy sparkling green apple drink from France... we'll use my treasured green Depression Glass goblets...


My Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea) are just gorgeous right now... the butterflies and hummingbirds visit all day long... and I love that these beautiful flowers just keep going all Summer long clear through into Fall...

My Hydrangeas took a beating from the harsh winter we had, but are still quite lovely... let's pick two or three to take inside to dry...

Oooh, the Mexican Heather is just stunning!... it is a tender perennial in our zone, so I dig it up and take it inside for the winter... today, it smells soo sweet and is sprawling all over my cottage garden...

My Yellow Coneflowers are so sunny and bright!... every day a beautiful Swallowtail visits this bush... perhaps later, I can capture her photo as well...


Daylilies are just about through for the season... but this beauty is putting on a show for us today...

The seedheads from my Oriental Poppies are the busy landing pad for all of the pretty Dragonflies who visit my gardens each day... as the seeds drop from the little shaker, I dream about all the new poppies I will have next Spring...

A perfect petite bud on my Cinderella miniature rose bush...

And some beautiful open blooms...

Lovely purple Osteospermum...

A few of the last precious blooms on my Dame's Rocket...


I am so happy you joined me strolling through my gardens today... they always bring me so much peace and pleasure... I am wishing the same for you my friends!... xoxo...



The Year Was 1940...

The year was 1940 and a pretty lady named Phyllis Ann Worden was named one of the Queens for the 24th of July celebration in Utah... that pretty lady was my beautiful mama... some of you may have seen some of these photos before, as each year I do a special post dedicated to my sweet mama who is my guardian angel... left us much too young 30 years ago to go to Heaven... and I miss her so much every single day... but today, I shall celebrate this most extraordinary lady who I love so much!...
The celebration has been called many things... "Pioneer Days", "Handcart Days", "Days of '47" or simply the 24th of July... but, in July 1940 it was called "Covered Wagon Days"... in addition to riding on floats throughout the state, the ladies also rode horses in all of the rodeos as well... don't you love just those darling cowgirl outfits and boots!... my mama is on the right in the photo above and the photo below...

Mama on the left in this photo below...

The 40's is my favorite era of all... the ladies dressed so feminine and beautifully... love those cute ankle strap open~toed shoes!... (mama on the right in photo below)... and those teeny little waists!...

I Googled Pioneer Days and here is what I found: "Pioneer Days is an official Utah State holiday celebrated in the US State of Utah with some celebrations in regions of surrounding states originally settled by mormon pioneers. It commemorates the entry of the first group of mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake valley in July of 1847, where they settled after being forced from Nauvoo, Illinois and other locations in the eastern US". That saddened me that it only mentioned mormons, as it was originally intended to celebrate ALL Utah pioneers. Our family is not mormon, and nowadays to be considered for royalty in the celebration, one must be a direct descendant of a mormon pioneer. But in 1940, that rule did not apply. I did some more research on Google and was happy to find this additional description: "Many Utahns also celebrate the day by remembering other pioneers such as Bishop Daniel Tuttle, who was responsible for Utah's first non~mormon schools, Rowland Halls St. Marks, and first public hospital, St. Marks in the 1800's. The Intertribal Pow~Wow in Liberty Park in Salt Lake City honors the rich cultural heritage and contributions of the areas American Indians, helping Utahns gain a deeper understanding of the regions history."...


So, this week, I shall celebrate ALL of Utah's pioneers... just like my mama did in July 0f 1940. (on left in photo above)...and I shall think about a pretty lady, a Queen, who presided over that celebration... and who just happened to be (and always will be) my mama... this post is for you mama, I love you so much... xoxo...


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nature's Paintbrush...

A gorgeous Thistle seedhead on our Nature walk the other morning...

Showing off her stunning Summer's colors...

I never touch up any of my photos... I love the colors of Nature and would not change a thing... (click to enlarge photo)... "Thistle"... what a lovely name for such a striking color and plant... I never call them weeds... to me they are wildflowers... come Fall, the seedheads are just as pretty as they dry and provide delicious seeds for our many feathered friends... I hope you will slow down and take the time to enjoy the beauty of Nature... oft times it is as close as your own backyard... xoxo...

"One touch of Nature makes the whole world kin"
~ William Shakespeare



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Grandma's Song...

Today as I folded up my treasured quilt I inherited from my great~grandmother... stitched by her tender, loving hands oh so many years ago... my thoughts drifted off to this tiny little lady with the softest white hair that cascaded all the way down her back... my great~grandmother Sara lived to be not quite 100 years young... I am so blessed I was able to spend time with her as a little girl... a little girl who was old enough to value this precious time spent with one I loved so much... and still do... this tiniest of little ladies with her soft~spoken voice taught me so many things... about gardening and Nature, and so many of life's lessons I will never forget... I have a favorite song by Gail Davies called "Grandma's Song" ... written by Gail with tender memories of her own grandmother... which reminds me so much of my own grandma... I tried to find it on Playlist to add to my music, but it is not there... I have the cd, but do not know how to add my own music from there... so, I am posting the lyrics... along with some of my own photos that seemed to just fit perfectly with Gail's words... I hope you enjoy it... and perhaps your thoughts shall drift away to sweet memories of your own grandma too...

"All along the old back road,
The people stop to talk at her garden gate
While inside the family cried all through the night
Cause the old woman had passed away


I loved her so and though she was a special one
A lovely lady and a gentle old soul
And she taught me to sing an old folk song
It's got a melody of a hundred years ago

And she sang "A come a lou, come a lou, come a
hi~lo, come down the merry stream"
I'm remembering...

Those memories have given me so much
She wore her age so gracefully
And there was not a living thing that she did not love...



And I pray that there is a little of her in me...


Oklahoma in the Summertime
In her rocking chair she's a singing there on the porch
While the hounds a howling through the hot black night
And that ole fox well he's a running like he never
has done before...

When you hear the melody and when I play my song
Every note you hear from me she's singing right along...
And she sang "A come a lou, come a lou, come a hi~lo
Come down the merry stream"...
I'm remembering...


All along the old back road
People stop to talk at her garden gate
While inside the family cried all through the night
Did you hear that old Mrs. Whitten
has passed away today...


Come a lou, come a lou, come a hi~lo
Come down the merry stream
Come a ram, tam, tam and a dippy dippy dow
Hear the row, the bow wow wow
The bugle's horn, the big Fi~diddle and the hidey ho
Through the woods we're gonna roam boys
Through the woods we're gonna roam"...


I love you grandma and I miss you so much... xoxo... (here is a link to the beautiful song by Gail Davies on You~tube... her voice is so soft and beautiful, it will become a favorite of yours too... it is so worth listening to...)



Friday, July 15, 2011

A love of roses, a dear friend named Jo~Anne Coletti, and a beautiful new magazine...

I have a deep and passionate love of roses... it started when I was just a little girl, in my great~grandmother's, my grandmother's and my mama's rose gardens... my love for this most precious flower continues still... my gardens are full of luscious blooms whose Heavenly scent perfumes the air...

It was through my love of roses that I first met my friend Jo~Anne Coletti at her gorgeous online boutique "Vintage Rose Collection" some years back... I was so excited to find her beautiful shop, featuring her own handpainted roses and vintage finds... through her shop, I found her blog and became a follower right then and there... Jo~Anne was creating beautiful rose tresors both in her shop, and in her photos on her blog... I was hooked... I hadn't really even known what a blog was back then, but I couldn't wait for her next post, her luscious photos and heartwarming words... she and I share many of the same loves and have corresponded back and forth about so many things from our shared love of roses, to our both being "daddy's girls", to our pets and so much more... Jo~Anne is as beautiful as her soft, romantic roses...

I asked Jo~Anne several years ago if she would paint my favorite roses for me from a picture I had taken... which is also my header photo... she did, and now my precious painting is one of my most prized possessions...(see photos on my sidebar)... she flattered me by asking if she might include my rose photo in her first magazine, "The Feminine Home" last year ... I cannot tell you how honored I was!...

I am just a simple country girl, with my little point and shoot camera, nothing fancy about my camera or me... but I do love to take photos of flowers and Nature... of all God's precious little creatures...

Once again, my sweet friend has bestowed yet another honor upon me... her second edition of her stunning magazine, "The Feminine Home, Where the Heart Is" is available on August 1st. I am so happy to tell you that I am featured once more by Jo~Anne, this time with something she asked me to write along with one of my photos... coming from such an accomplished painter, photographer and writer as Jo~Anne... well, you can imagine how excited I am... and the fact that she is my dear friend makes everything even more precious to me...

Jo~Anne is the epitome of loveliness and her new magazine promises to be even more beautiful than her last one, if that is possible... Jo~Anne's dreamy photos and softly written words will just take your breath away... I hope you will visit her at Vintage Rose Collection and place your order for one (or more!) of these keepsake magazines... please tell her Julie Marie sent you!... to Jo~Anne... I cannot thank you enough for the kindness you have shown me and the privilege of contributing a small part to your "baby"... xoxo... (PS Photo of magazine by Jo~Anne, all other photos by me)




Monday, July 11, 2011

Sweet Peas and Raspberries... It's Summer at Idyllhours...

Last night my neighbor down the lane called to let me know her black raspberries were ready and she and her husband had picked some just for me!... I couldn't wait to walk up and get them!... every year, I get berries from her and make my "world famous" raspberry jam... well, maybe it's not "world famous" but everyone in my family loves it!... my friends never use any pesticides and her berries are out of this world!... these are the first of the black raspberries so there will be more from her... then the red raspberries will come next...

By the time I got home, I think I had eaten half of them, and my lips and hands were purple from the sweet juice of these luscious beauties...

My friend had also picked me a gorgeous bouquet of her Sweet Peas from her garden... what a lovely surprise!... I placed them in one of my old blue canning jars... perfect!...

Sweet Peas are another of my "most favorite ever" old~fashioned flowers... I want to savor their Heavenly scent... I want it to linger forever... somehow, I must store these precious flowers and scents in my mind... and let them fill my thoughts and senses long after Summer has gone...

These glorious days are going by much too fast... I want time to stand still for a bit... I want more hours in the day... I want lazy days on my porch... my lemonade close by... a garden magazine in my lap as I doze off in the coolness of the porch, under our large umbrella... sweet Tessy at my side...

So many things to do... the gardens are all looking pretty now... I added bags and bags of soil pep to the beds... and trimmed... and deadheaded... these are not chores, these are a labor of love... our morning Nature walks are as beautiful as ever... weeds and wildflowers along the way make me treasure these Summer days even more... the stream around the bend and down the lane is at an even flow... luckily, we did not get the floods they had predicted... a daddy Quail hurries into the thicket where mama Quail waits with her babies... life is good...

Sweet Summer... a time to slow down... relax... feel the cool, moist grass on my bare feet... pretend I am ten years old again... ride my bike... eat a Popsicle... enjoy life!... now... I have jam to make... another simple country pleasure I love doing... wishing you all the beauty Summer has to offer... xoxo...