Flowers, Random

Hydrangea Love

Hydrangea_macrophylla_-_Hortensia_hydrangeaLike many of you, I’m crazy about hydrangeas, and here in Maine one variety or another blooms from spring until late fall.

IMG_1573 (1)The first to appear is the climbing variety.  It does tend to take over if  not groomed which makes my hubby crazy.  If I don’t keep a watchful eye, he will attack with a vengeance tearing them away from whatever they’ve attached themselves to.

A favorite is the lace cap which starts blooming in late June and is still lovely as it fades away in September.  These were almost lost as they were in the path of construction, but I dug them up hoping to save them until they could be relocated.  Now there is a bumper crop!

Summer abounds with blooms, and it is fascinating to observe all their colors.  Though I’m not sure of the variety from which these come, it could be Endless Summer though the colors on each of my bushes is quite different.

IMG_1999This full bodied bloom changes from white to lime as it matures. It reminds me of my great grandmother’s house where outside the window of her living room was a hydrangea with blooms as big as my head.  We called them snowballs and that is how I continue to think of this lovely.

IMG_2007Late August the hydrangea trees begin to show off cone shaped blooms that are first white and then turn to beautiful pink tones.    

IMG_2006When they have turned, it is a great time for gathering stems to dry for use in lovely arrangements.

IMG_2002How lucky am I to be surrounded by all this beauty right in my own yard!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Food

Challenged!

“Growing up here, there was never more than a day or two of weather like this.”  

foggy daySo spoke my neighbor commenting on the run of less than perfect days experienced in the last month.  Like so many other places on the planet, midcoast Maine has had unusual heat that combined with fog and humidity have made for some pretty uncomfortable days.  Here we suffer through  because most homes have no air conditioning.  For me, that means spending more time than usual at the grocery or TJ Maxx where it is cooler.

The uncommon heat also means spending less time in the kitchen.  Not only does the heat take away appetite, using the cooktop or oven adds to the discomfort so whatever is easy to fix with minimal cooking is the answer.

Breakfast and lunch are easy. Cereal or a blueberry muffin heated quickly in the microwave suffices in the morning.  

A midday sandwich, especially one made with lobster, is more than satisfactory.  

healthy foodDinner is a bit more challenging, but I’ve gotten pretty creative with salads.  This time of year corn and tomatoes are at their best and layering them with cucumbers, red onion, olives, feta cheese and basil makes for a delightful and refreshing meal.

food photography

Sometimes it’s tomatoes stacked with mozzarella on top of lettuce flavored with diced pancetta and sprinkled with balsamic dressing that is dinner.

A favorite again takes advantage of the season’s bounty and adds grilled lobster.  There are never  complaints about anything made with lobster!

So, though we may not be enjoying the weather we can still celebrate food made with plenty from land and sea.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Inner Peace, musings

A Special Place

IMG_1557Roughly 11 miles from home down a curvy road leading to the woods where the only sounds are bird songs is a special place.

IMG_8977Arriving at this little cottage slows my heart and calms my spirit.

IMG_1555I love walking beneath the arbor where the sweet smell of roses perfumes the air.

IMG_1556All around is a profusion of colorful blooms that last until leaves fall and there is a hint of frost.

IMG_1558They are tended by the same loving hands that know all the secrets of my body.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Carrying outside images in my head, I enter the cottage, take the stairs to the second level and nestle on the massage table beneath a light cover. I close my eyes and a peacefulness washes over me as I await the touch of those hands.

As they begin their work relieving the tightness and tension of muscle and joints, my mind stills.

I breathe. I sometimes cry softly when I remember my brother or a friend or wonder how to resolve a troubling brokenness that from time to time occurs in the family.  The hands stroke my hair with understanding.

Two hours fly by and when they are over I am renewed and so appreciative of those tender loving hands that exist in this very special place.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

at home, happy place

First Things First

Changing houses takes a little time to settle in, but there is one thing that has priority, and I don’t mean unpacking suitcases or going to the grocery.  I mean getting the porch ready for the hours we spend there.

IMG_0592The porch is where we often start our day enjoying morning coffee

lobster boats/Rockport Harborand watching the lobster boats heading out for or returning from the day’s work.

It is where we relax with a book,

observe the birds that come to the feeder

enjoy time with friends and family

IMG_1523and have afternoon tini time.

IMG_1359Once the furniture is in place, the next step is to go to the nursery to replenish the potted plants that did not make it through the winter.

IMG_1364Now all is done and that means I can sit and rock. 

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

musings

Thinking Back & Ahead

As 2017 draws to an end, like many of you I’m reliving some of the past months and thinking ahead to what the next year will bring.

IMG_8569January and February are blurs as most of that time was spent laid up thanks to surgery to rebuild a heel bone and reattach an Achilles tendon.  To say the least, I’m glad that’s behind me and grateful for that being the worst health issue I’ve had.

IMG_8633Getting out was a treat even though it often meant scooting around rather than walking.

By March I was back in the kitchen experimenting with new food ideas and challenging myself to spend some of the down time working on food photography.

Having a bit more mobility in April allowed me to take advantage of exhibits at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where Ron Mueck’s life like sculptures were both intriguing and a tad scary.

By the end of May, we were on the road to Maine making stops in Savannah and South Carolina to explore the low country and binge on yummy food.

Arriving in Maine, the first order of business was to replace the water facing porch, the maintenance for which had eaten the hubby’s lunch over the years.  What an improvement and hubby will be ever so happy next year when all he has to do is put the furniture out!

Pipe DreamsAfter a month of projects, it was time in July to do what we like best: explore Maine’s coast and islands on Pipe Dreams.

August was family time, and it makes my heart sing to see how much the grandkids enjoy the magic of Maine.

foggy dayMuch of September was shrouded in fog which limited boating but provided good excuse to discover what else Maine has to offer.

In October, we journeyed to the Moosehead Lake region where we enjoyed natural beauty and stumbled upon a memorial that introduced us to a tragic event about which we knew nothing.

img_0004A dream came true in November when girlfriends traveled together in India.  Bus rides got to be a bit much, but the adventure was one that more than met expectations and provided us with memories to share.

IMG_0090Though we had expected to end 2017 in Maine, winter got the best of us and we returned to Houston to celebrate the coming of a new year with long time friends.

As with every other year, there will be bumps in the road in 2018, but for all of us I hope for good health and well being and light on those days when things don’t look too bright.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

at home, Food, Tablescapes

Now For the Rest

Now that you’ve seen my friend’s lovely gardens, lets take a quick look inside where we gathered for a delightful lunch after meeting the chickens.

Walking in, one immediately gets a sense of energy and good cheer.  Both are characteristics of the people who live there.

The table is ready for us to sit, but first I want to share a few favorite vignettes.

There are collections so representative of Maine treasures.

IMG_9273I’m crazy for the framed piece by Lynn Karlin who I am taking a workshop from in a couple of weeks.

Among the wonderful spaces is a screened porch with views to a garden area and Maison Poulet.

Relaxed seating makes me think of whiling away a summer afternoon with a good book.

Getting back to the table, you can bet I like these dishes since I have the same and use them frequently.  They are perfect  here as they pick up the design and colors of the table.

There’s no need for an elaborate setting, and the little sprinkler cans filled with flowers from the lush gardens are just right

as is the natural placemat.

Hmmm, I think it’s time to see what’s going on in the kitchen where a garden fresh salad is being tossed to accompany poached salmon.  You know, it just doesn’t get any better than enjoying good food and conversation with a group of interesting women.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Tablescape Thursday

Home & Garden Thursday

Share Your Cup Thursday

 

gardens, nature

Meeting the Chickens

IMG_9284A friend very excited about her newly acquired chickens couldn’t wait to show them off.

I must say her feathered friends are being treated royally and claim as home a specially built coop.

IMG_9278I didn’t catch it at first, but check out the name.  That is so my friend!

As entertaining as her new beauties were, it was impossible not to let the eye be distracted by the drama of nature that was all around.

Every growing thing looked like it was on steroids which was attributed to fish emulsion.  I’m thinking that is a must for next year’s garden.

 Complementing nature’s bounty was the magic of the fog wafting in from the water.

Its quiet presence is a thing of wonder,

to say nothing about how its veiled mystery enhances color.

At every turn there were breathtaking vignettes with an astounding variety of color and texture.  Remembering that a short time ago there was nothing more than grass between the house and the shore makes all this bounty even more remarkable.

I think you will agree that it would be very easy to spend hours right here listening to the sound of the sea, watching the fog come and go, experiencing the quiet beauty of nature and keeping company with the chickens that are sure to come calling.

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Gardens Galore