Friday, May 27, 2016

Random 5 Friday

After skipping last Friday, I'm glad to be back with Random 5 Friday.

 Today is my youngest sister's 67th birthday---yes, my youngest sister!  And it's my husband's and my 38th wedding anniversary.   I have NO idea where those years have gone, but I do know that we have sons who are 36 and 34.   My husband's birthday was on the 24th, so I took him out to dinner last night; our oldest son in New York called the restaurant where we were and paid for our evening.  He's especially thoughtful that way.

My peonies have begun to bloom--a full month early!  I have NEVER had peonies in bloom by Memorial Day, other than an old-fashioned red.  One of the earliest peonies and most prolific is Coral Charm.  This year, there's one pale pink one among the coral ones; it's the only bloom on the plant next to Coral Charm.  

For the past three years, I have photographed the girls who make up the court for the annual local rodeo.  The July rodeo is celebrating 70 years this year and the three girls competing for the title of queen are really fun to work with.  Their "leathers" -- chaps, belts, headstalls and breast collars for horses, saddle blankets--were all made by a young local woman who has a leather business.  

Our local Chamber of Commerce, of which I'm an active member, recently held our 5th annual city-wide free clean up day.  This darling dog was with her owner, who was volunteering with the local Lions Club.  She looked as if she had recently been clipped--not by a professional--but I thought I could detect an Australian Shepherd in her color and features.  

One of the peonies to bloom first was this beautiful pale pink variety.  The flowers smell absolutely wonderful (not all peonies are fragrant).  I spent some time doing some still life photography with three of the flowers before delivering them to the local post office for their enjoyment.  

Thanks for another fun Random Friday, Nancy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Spring Landscape

I live in a valley, and to the northeast is a huge flat...called Cricket Flat.  This time of year, it's an amazing place.  It's definitely not heavenly year-round; in winter, the snow often blows horizontally. Several residents don't have enough water for their houses unless they haul it from town; it's easy to spot those pickup trucks with the huge plastic water containers on the back. But right now, the Flat is in the prettiest part of spring. The mountains in every direction are always in view.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Cannas, Cannas, and more Cannas (Edited to Callas, Callas, and more Callas)

(Edit:  I thought I had differentiated between calla lilies and canna lilies, but I hadn't!  A kind visitor to my blog pointed it out.)
I was surprised to receive not one, but two, vases of flowers from our oldest son and his girlfriend---my two favorite Brooklynites.  These were Mother's Day gifts, but the first one wasn't what he had ordered, so FTD shipped again, this time calla lilies.  I spent an hour on the back porch  with the following results.  All were edited in LightRoom but the one with a Kim Klassen texture.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Random 5 Friday

I'm a bit late today for Nancy's Random Friday; I had a busy morning.

 My regular Friday-with-Kennedy began at 8 a.m. when we helped plant petunias in the 100+ barrels placed in front of businesses in our little town of 1700.  The Chamber of Commerce, of which I'm an active member, started this flower project 3 or 4 years ago.  By summer, the flowers brighten up our otherwise-rather-drab two main streets.  Kennedy was a helper.

After the flower planting, we went to a diner for breakfast and then trekked  half a mile to the local library to return the books we checked out two weeks ago.  I actually read a book last week!  And it's wonderful.  Any book that makes me cry is a good book. Reading is one of those much-loved activities that I've relegated to the back burner in recent years; photography and crafting take up my time. At the library,  Kennedy and I choose 10 children's books which she reads when she's at my house.  
These are two examples of my cardmaking obsession.  I participate in two or three card challenges each week. In addition, each Tuesday I mail handmade cards to two friends.  One friend has been fighting cancer for nearly 5 years and I've been mailing cards to her for almost that long.  The other friend is a newer friend, a young woman who lives on an isolated ranch here in Oregon. 

When I saw this t-shirt on a Facebook post, I knew I had to have it.  It cost only $6 for shipping.  

My own springtime planting is in full swing.  I have hanging baskets that I've purchased: two fuchsias, three petunia and one bacopa.  I'll fill as many containers as I can with purchased flowers, too, as shown above.  I also bought a rose that's already blooming to replace a bare root rose that just didn't "take" for some reason.  (I'll be very tired of all the watering required by September!)  Dahlia bulbs have sprouted through the soil and my 30+ peonies are budded out.   I LOVE this time of year!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Random 5 Friday

1. Rain in May!   We had three very warm days and then the storm hit last night.  Rain, hail, thunder and lightning.  After the initial "blast," which dropped 1/2 inch of rain, the weather settled and the steady rain began.  This morning, the rain gauge had double last night's first rainfall.  Well, I don't have to run the sprinklers for a couple of days!  Joining with Nancy's Random Five Friday

2. I just planted my first African daisy plants and the rain almost drowned them!  

3. The bowl of succulents sits on the porch, but close enough to the edge that the rain saturated the soil and brightened up the hen-and-chicks. Succulents are a new plant for me this year; hopefully, these are ones that will "winter over." 

4. This white hawthorn tree is loaded!  It doesn't smell very good, but the honeybees love it, and I love honeybees.  Any tree that blooms is covered in blossoms this spring.  A warmer, wetter spring must be the reason.  (It's also almost a month early!)

5. It's flip-flop season and 7-year-old Kennedy is sporting some jeweled ones.  I'm wearing flip-flops now, but I don't photograph by own ugly feet. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Apple Blossom Time

Apple blossoms of all kinds seem to have such a short time on the tree.  A friend told me about her crabapple tree that was blooming, so I drove out in the country with my camera.  The flowers were white, and there was a scraggly little apple tree alongside the lane, as well.