Friday, April 29, 2016

Random 5 Friday

It's dark and rather gloomy here today, which is NOT what I planned for this Friday.  I missed Random 5 last week because we traveled across the state for a mini-vacation and visit with our youngest son and his wife--and dog!  (My husband is ready to retire after 44 years at the same lumber mill; he's starting to complain about things, which he never did before.  We want to finish the last of our mortgage first, so that's another year, and I thought I would just plan little breaks through the year.  He has 5 paid weeks of vacation and never uses it all.)

For Random 5 Friday:

Generally, Kennedy spends every Friday with me.  Today, she stayed in her PJ's for a couple of hours and played a game on my tablet, had breakfast, and then watched an episode of "Cupcake Wars" before showering and dressing for the day.  This afternoon, we will go to the library to return books from two weeks ago and bring home a new stack to read.

On our way home from the west side on Sunday, I bought this lavender "tree" at a garden center.  Isn't it pretty?  Yesterday, I bought a pretty green pot for it. 

I do love my white bleeding hearts.  When one plant didn't seem to thrive one year, I ordered two more.  Now all three are producing pretty white hearts!

These lilacs are on a shrub that was old when we moved to this house 38 years ago.  The "tree" it had formed broke off during a heavy wet snowstorm years ago, but the lilac lives on!  It is now 8 feet tall, half white and half pale lilac from others that I planted.

These are the three colors of lilacs blooming in our backyard.  The deep colored one has never looked this good.  (I planted a Sensation lilac this spring.  It has a purple flower with a white edge.  I have discovered that I'm going to need to cover it with wire because the deer like to nibble on the low, tender shoots.)

Thank you for another Random Friday, Nancy!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden in SE Portland is always on my "to-visit" list if we are in Portland during the spring.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Dogwood Heaven

I have a thing for flowering dogwoods...I only discovered it when I first saw the dogwoods blooming along the streets of Walla Walla, Washington, just about 60 miles from my home. After that discovery, I made certain to  trek across the mountains each spring to photograph the dogwood blossoms. I stopped on side streets and in the parking lot of the Elks' Club to get my photos.Then a friend told me about Pioneer Park. That's my go-to place now: at least 30 dogwood trees are planted in two rows; most are shades of pink, but there are two "white" ones (one is more green than white). I can walk under those trees with my camera, capturing the blossoms from every possible angle. Even though I critique and delete on my computer, I still end up with so many images.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Random 5 Friday

Friday again already?  I'm trying to decide if it's retirement, busyness, or old age that makes time seem to fly.  Maybe it's all three.  It's already 7 p.m. Pacific time, and I'm just now preparing my post for Random 5 Friday. 

1. Babysitting wasn't part of my plan for retirement, but I'm doing a lot of it.  Now it has become half a day on a school day and all day on Friday, when there is no school.  She's a special one, though. One special characteristic is her ability to entertain herself. 

2. I have spent more time in the local library these past two years than in many previous years. I check out 8-10 children's books every two weeks, and I've discovered there is a large number of great kids' books, skillfully written and beautifully illustrated.  My niece is a very good reader for a first-grader. 

3. My youngest sister and I took a second day trip in as many weeks; I've been able to do it for the 13 years of my retirement, but she has been retired not quite two years and is still working most mornings in her husband's business.  When we go, I always take my camera, which she understands. We wander through shops and have a great lunch somewhere.

4. The perennial in my flower beds--peonies, hydrangeas, poppies--are through the ground and promising a great summer of flowers. Warm spring weather has turned to rain and cold, but I know it won't last. 

5. My husband has worked at the local lumber mill for 44 years and is actually talking retirement (he's considerably younger than I).  I see it happening in a year, but until then, I'm going to help "manage" his vacation time.  This week, we're leaving mid-week to visit our youngest son and daughter-in-law on the west side of Oregon. Rhododendron gardens, a pioneer cemetery, and other sites are part of the plan.  Of course I'm taking my camera. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Random 5 Friday

It's Friday evening, but I'm joining with Nancy's Random 5 Friday meme again.

1. My husband developed a severe head cold and terrible cough two days ago.  He actually missed work today--it almost takes an act of Congress for that to happen!--and he went to the doctor.  It's evidently viral but he has all kinds of cough meds now.  He's very cranky.

2. We had two days of high 70's temperatures this week. Yay!

3. My sister and I drove 60 miles so I could photograph flowering dogwood trees.  They weren't blooming yet.

4. This week, I bought two large red planting pots for tender dahlia and ranunculus bulbs that will be planted when I'm sure night doesn't mean freezing temperatures.

5. Today was the first trip to playgrounds with Kennedy, my cowboy boot-wearing 7-year-old great-niece.  She wore flip-flops but took her boots along "in case I want to run.  I can't run in flip-flops."

Friday, April 1, 2016

Random 5 Friday

It's great to have Nancy of Rural Journal back in blogland!  I'm joining her Random 5 Friday meme:

1. My 7-year-old great-niece stays with me each Friday because we have a 4-day school system. Her mama is vice-president of the regional university and her daddy works at a car dealership. She's also with me after school on Tuesdays.

2. I have two books started on Kindle and two "real" books started, with no plan to finish any of them.

3. Each day, I visit my flower garden spaces to see what's coming stalks of peonies which won't bloom until late May or early June, new spring bulbs I planted last fall, bright daffodils, and buds of early tulips with leaves nipped by deer that visit during the night. ("Deer Out" spray becomes a weekly regimen now.)

4. Facebook and Instagram are my social media favorites; I follow several fabulous photographers on IG, marveling at their images. 

5. I planted one (expensive) lilac this week.  It's called "Sensation," and has purple flowers edged in white, so different from my old-fashioned varieties.  I hope I live long enough to see it bloom!  :-)

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Good Fences #106

It's beginning to look a little like spring on my two-mile morning walk.  This is an impressive tangle of barbed wire, and I'm not sure of the reason.  The snow has melted, uncovering piles of fall leaves. Joining with Good Fences.