Sunday, July 23, 2017

Ode To A Tree

The weeks of Summer are flying by.  It won't be long until we're bidding this month goodbye and welcoming in August..the dog days of Summer!  It's been a much warmer season than last year.  We've had many 90 degree days and much humidity.  That has also led to rain and a good growing season.  Our tomatoes, beans and green peppers are coming along nicely and today we enjoyed the fruits of the garden with fresh green beans and some salsa I made yesterday.   But sadly this month we had to say farewell to the only tree that shaded the house.   Anyone who's followed my blog knows our property is surrounded by pine trees.  When we moved in 16 years ago I was inspired to call our place "Whispering Pines", which also explains the name of my blog.
They are three deep in some places and keep the wind at bay on those very cold Winter days.  They shade the yard as the sun sets, but not the house.  We had a lovely ash tree that did that.  It was a nice big tree that hosted a few parties under it's branches.
Pinatas were known to hang there on occasion!
However, a nasty disease, ash bore, has claimed many of the ash trees in our area.  I'm not sure I spelled that correctly or even know what exactly it is,  but I do know many folks have had to have their trees removed.   We were one of those folks.
This photo was taken a few days before we had it taken down.  Not a leaf left behind.  The middle gable on our house is the computer room.  I've sat in there with the window open many times and watched the different birds that called this tree home come and go and enjoy it's hospitality.
Afraid it would come down in a storm and smack the house, we deemed it necessary to take it down on our terms.
What once shaded us in the heat will now warm us in the cold.  Ode to a tree...we will miss you and are looking for a replacement that will one day grow as tall and majestic as you were.  I doubt we'll still be here to see it to it's full height, but someone will thank us for it I'm sure!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Typical July

It's been a week since July 4th and the weather and happenings are pretty typical for us.  It's been warm and sultry the past few days with  a few severe storms just for good measure.  Monday the city of Ashland lost power in many places including the hospital.  You can imagine the panic of the families who had patients in the OR.   We have back up generators that kick in pretty quickly but it sure seems much longer than 5 seconds when you're in the dark!  Monitors, anesthetic machines and most of our equipment have battery power so no danger there.   Once the surgeries were done we  weren't  allowed to do any elective stuff until we had regular power.  We've had lots of rain and I'm not one to really complain about that.  It means I don't have to water the gardens!  I don't know why that makes me so happy but it does.
My hydrangea bush is flowering nicely! The blooms look pink here but they are really a pretty blue.
This angle makes them look bluer!   I hadn't been on a good walk in the cemetery for a long time so I stopped by the other day.  Thanks to the patriotic holidays we've celebrated all the graves of folks who served in the military were decorated with flags that the Boy Scouts put up before Memorial Day.  One section of the cemetery has many Civil War Veterans and someone donated money to spruce it up a bit.
The stars that mark the graves of veterans were cleaned up and fixed where needed.
Sure looks nice!  But there was another new addition that was super nice too.
This beautiful bench was placed there  by the VFW.   What a nice way to say thanks and honor those that have served and those who are buried here that lost their lives for our country.  Glad I took the time to walk and notice all the changes.  Makes me proud of our community.
This little dude was enjoying the day in the cemetery too.  Lots of deer make their home in the woods that surround the property and they are not very afraid of humans.  Probably feel pretty protected here with no hunting allowed in city limits!  More storms are predicted for late tonight/early tomorrow in our town.  Hope it's a beautiful day where you live and you're able to take a walk around your community.   You never know what or who you might meet.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Beautiful July 4th!

Again the 4th of July finds me at the Pines without even a sparkler to light!  Jack's at Boy Scout Camp and I'm on call today.  But it's all good because we have beautiful weather and so far I'm not working.  I have many projects in my brain and will do a few but will mostly enjoy the quiet and probably take Chubbs for a walk in town.  There's a steak in the fridge with my name on it...with a few tidbits for the 'ol Chubbers too.  We did have a fun celebration early over the weekend.  Sunday we all gathered to enjoy some ribs and to just hang out.
Nothing like a game of corn hole to put some action in the day!  I think Cameron is holding his breath that his Dad's throw won't go in the hole!  Do you see the new puppy in the pic?
Jack and Evelyn got a new pup named Kip.  They say it's really Evelyn's daughter's dog but they all sure seemed pretty attached to the little guy.  He's so soft and cute!  He's only 9 weeks old so you can see how big he's going to get. He's a Golden Doodle.  In my day those were just mutts but now they are a real breed...another name for expensive! But we already love him so welcome Kip!   On Saturday Jack and I headed down to Loudonville for the annual antique and car show.  There wasn't much in the way of antiques but tons of cars!  I didn't even bring a camera for one pic..I'm slipping in my blogging brain!  But I found a couple of treasures to bring home.  One was a big metal red "S"...yes we had tons of 7th grade humor about me and my big red "S"....
Not sure where it will finally reside but I say if you have a big red "S" you should show it off! (hey, that line never gets old! Ha!)  I hope everyone has great day.  Stay safe and enjoy somthing red:
Like fresh raspberry pancakes....or maybe something blue...
Like fresh blueberry pancakes....or maybe something white...or I should say black and white..
An old July 4th pic I showed a few years ago...my sister and I at our neighborhood July 4th parade.  I believe we were celebrating Hawaii becoming a state in 1959.  We looked thrilled!  Happy 4th America!  God bless you!


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Goodbye June

I've heard many say that this Summer is flying by...and I agree.  Last day of June tomorrow and we welcome July on Saturday and start, for some, a long weekend of celebrating our freedom in many forms.  Cookouts, parades, fireworks, family gatherings.  For our small town it's the weekend of our annual balloonfest.   Ashland used to be the balloon capital of the world...yes really.   Those days are over but it still makes for a fun festival.  Hot air balloons need perfect weather for launching and I'm afraid we're not starting out too good.  I sit here at the computer and listen to the thunder and rain falling.  The concert in the park probably was moved to the high school.  I would have loved to have gone to hear the John Denver tribute person again.  I saw him a few years ago and he was great.  I've been a bit under the weather these past few weeks and just didn't feel like going tonight.  I  hope things do clear up for some balloon races. I love seeing them fly over!  It will be a wait and see.  I'm sure many of the organizers of this festival are praying hard tonight!  The other morning I took time out to wander in the yard and take a few pics.
The curly posts are keeping the tomatoes in good order.
We even have a few on the vines! I'm looking forward to that first delish tomato straight out of the garden!
Jack's tent was up and airing out for his annual week at Boy Scout Camp.  He leaves on Monday and he's praying for good weather too!  I'm on call for July 4th so it will be very quiet at the Pines...except for my neighbor who always has a huge party and tons of fireworks that will drive poor Chubbs nuts! I'll have to hunker down with him in the family room in the basement where he won't hear them.
Hope lots of sunshine finds it's way to  your home for the 4th and however you celebrate I hope it's fun and also a time to be thankful for living in this wonderful land of the free that is ours because of the brave.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Brightest Day

Hello first day of Summer! I'm always tempted to say it's the longest day but it's still only 24 hours. However, it is a day when it seems as if the sun will go on forever.  It was a perfect Summer day here. The temps were in the upper 70's and low humidity. Blue skies and sunshine.  I got the last of my flowers planted and a few weeds pulled.   I was glad to have the day off and get some simple things accomplished...like sitting on the deck and reading a new magazine..oh, and taking a nap in the afternoon!  Yep, perfect.  Hope your first day of Summer was good!   I have only a couple of pics to share tonight.
I made a keylime pie last week.  I squeezed the keylimes myself!  Light and refreshing and a good Summer dessert.
I found this cute canvas painting depicting all the things that spell out Summer.   As the sign says: Simple Pleasures.   Hopefully all things listed will be on your  "to do list" !  Happy Summer!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day 2017

This special day to honor fathers has been nice for our family today.  We had 3 out of the 4 boys here for lunch and some good phone conversation with Craig in Oregon.  We sure wish we could have them all together but those days are probably few and far between.  However, we enjoy every minute with them when we gather together. I've been blessed to know many wonderful fathers, starting with my own:
Happy Father's Day Dad...sure miss you and think of you daily.  You raised 6 kids and my 4 brothers turned out to be wonderful Fathers and now Grandfathers. You passed away way to  young but gave the special gift of being a responsible, loving, caring, and hardworking Dad on to my brothers.  You did good! Thanks for everything and when we see those butterflies..we know you're there!  Next is Jack's dad that welcomed me in the family.
I know Jack learned so much from him as well as following in his footsteps in his career. Many fond memories of him always being willing to come and help with any project that needed done.  I would smile when he would show up after the office to help Jack with something at our house and he'd have on his sport coat, white shirt and tie and don coveralls over it.  We called him the executive plumber/carpenter/handyman!
My hubby Jack who helped me raise 4 crazy kiddos over the past 43yrs.   Hardworking, loving and fun and an active participant in their lives then and now.   Seeing how these young men have turned out and how they act with their kids is a good testament of the example he set.
Our oldest, Jack III, is a loving Dad to his 2 daughters and 2 step-daughters.
As well as a great Dad to these 2 monkeys!
Our son Craig is a fabulous Dad to his 3 kiddos.  He never seems to lose his cool! Fun Dad!
Phil was born to be a Dad and shows such love and tender care to these 2 little ladies!
Jordan isn't a Dad and swears he won't have any kids...and that's OK because he's a good Uncle and a good, hardworking man.  We all love him!  I hope everyone had a great weekend.  If you're a Dad I wish you a Happy Father's Day.  I hope you took time to visit your Dad if you're lucky enough to still have him in your life or gave a wonderful thought of him if he's passed away.   We need good, strong men to be good, strong Fathers in today's world.  Sometimes it seems as if society wants to minimize the importance of those men in our lives.  I just don't know where I'd be without the guidance of my Dad and maybe the world would be better if we all had a Dad who was a real hero in our lives.  Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Not Again!

I was going to title this post "Oops I did it again" but I think I've already used it!  This time I'm referring to something that happened to me about 3 summers ago.  I was bit by a spider and had a bad reaction.  Well, over the weekend I got bit by something again...and again got a bad reaction.. much worse than the first time.
Lovely, I know.  I thought it was just a mosquito bite gone bad but the swelling, pain, fever, dizzy spells and general flu like feeling told me I was wrongo!  I went to work on Monday feeling pretty lousy but hey, I work in a hospital and where better to get advice than there?  I worked all day and then went to see a man about a bite.  He said this was the second case that looked like this in the past 2 weeks.  3 prescriptions later I went home and crashed.  Thankfully Tuesday had me up and feeling much better and off to work again.  The concern for the leg was also the fact I have a total joint replacement in that knee so stopping an infection is crucial.  I had today off and everything is looking better, not worse so I'm happy about that!  I got up early and mowed the yard because it would be baling hay if I waited any longer!
The sun was peaking through the trees in the back...pretty start to the day.
I like the stakes that Jack picked out for the tomato plants...so curly and cute! He says he didn't pick them for the cute factor but the practical one of helping them grow...silly boy, he knows I'm a sucker for cute!
The blueberries are getting bigger and soon will be bluer...I hope, if the birds don't beat us to them!
I thought this little tea rose plant didn't make it through the winter, but low and behold it appeared today all sunny and bright...welcome back!
Since my first pic was so gross I'll end with this find from over the weekend.  My Mom and Sis and I went to my favorite stomping grounds..the Parsley Pot...for some cute stuff that smells good.  I found this canvas picture with fireflies that light up.  Yep, I'm a sucker for cute.  Saturday night Midge and I were on the deck and we spied the first real fireflies of the season. I guess we could have reenacted our childhood by running out there to catch them...but I'll settle for a close facsimile instead.  Hope Summer is coming to your neck of the woods but remember to wear bug spray and long pants if you're actually in a woods!  Trust me on that!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Party On!

June is flying by and it doesn't give a hoot that I'm running at full speed to keep up! Work has been up and down and getting the yard and garden ready is also a full time job! But somehow Jack and I manage to "get'r done!"  To add to the hustle and bustle we took time to celebrate with my oldest son, Jack, and his lovely bride Evelyn,  at an outdoor reception.  You can tell it wasn't hosted by us because the weather was perfect! Even though the temps were in the 80's the place was on a small lake and the breeze and shade made it so comfortable.  The folks that own the property are friends of Jack and Evelyn and the wife works with them at the hospital.  They tap trees for maple syrup and it's just a beautiful place!
This was the area with a tent and outdoor games.  Very relaxed and fun time for everyone, even little kiddos.
The lake was gorgeous!
I think Cameron would have loved to jump in!

I was so happy my Mom and my sister made it from Chicago. Mom did really great!
She was so pleased to see Phil and Jordan.
Hugs for the happy couple.
Now this is a motley crew!
The wedding cake was beautiful and delicious but there was another cake...
Evelyn's birthday was yesterday too and this was her cake!
The table decorations were so cute and these little jars of jam had a little note on the top that said "Spread the love"...inspired by a 94 yr old gentleman who retired from Smucker's.  He gave Jackie the idea. Jackie takes out his garbage every week and Evelyn cleans his home for him. He couldn't make it yesterday but I sure loved his idea! Just as a side note, Smuckers is made in Orrville, Ohio, not too far from  here!
This was the entrance to the fun...so pretty!
We wish you a very "Happily Ever After"


Congrats you two! Love you!