‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ A Gift Tied With ‘Heartstrings’

“Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.” ~ Boris Pasternak

 

Good Sunday morning, sweet friends.  I hope this finds you well and that the past week was good to you.  Life handed me a sweet blessing from above, and I am so happy, I want to share the news.

It was a lovely gift that pulled at my ‘heartstrings.’  You see, it was a beautiful and personal gift from a  friend ~ one I have never met.  Yes, you read that correctly and are probably wondering, “How can that be?”  I have learned many things over the course of this summer (one is never too old to learn).  One of the things I have learned is that the friends made in the blogging world are special and sincere.  No longer will I refer to them as virtual friends, as that seems cold and certainly not ‘kind of heart,’ as my friends are.  Perhaps, I was simply blessed and my blog spoke to these dear friends, but I believe differently.  I see God’s love and warmth in each of them.  Truly, He has had a hand in our connection.

On Friday, I was sitting in the sunroom (still going through books) and Mike brought me a package from the postman.  Immediately, I said, “I didn’t order anything.”  He replied, “Well, it is addressed to you.”  Therefore, I went about opening my unexpected package.  To my great surprise, it was a leather-bound book containing beautiful daily devotions.  Not long, but each one is so inspiring and uplifting.  Written by Sarah Young,  it is titled, “Jesus Always.” 

Written in the introduction, is a little information about the author.  She sounds like a remarkable woman, as she has been dealing with chronic health issues since 2001.  In 2013, she and her husband moved from Western Australia back to the United States and settled in Tennessee.  I hope she was young when they made that move.  Moving from Virginia to West Virginia was enough moving for me. To add to this story, since 2008, she has been dealing with vertigo.  Having dealt with vertigo myself, I can tell you, “It is a mean and ugly visitor, one you do not ever want to welcome.”

We all know God is everywhere, in everything, and everyone.  He clearly has held Ms. Young in the palm of His hand.   And, He also knows my friend that sent me this special book, along with a joyful letter.  Both, I will always treasure, as well as how they made me feel will be forever stored in my heart.  Most of all, my friend will join other bloggers who have done special things for me.  Special people I adore.  

“What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth.  They share it.” ~ C. S. Lewis

I have been richly blessed through the years with many dear friends and their sweet surprises.  My grandmother used to say to me, “Baby, I hope your life is full of sweet surprises.”  She would be most happy if I could share my stories with her. It truly is a joy to be the recipient as well as the giver.  

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Dear friends, I hope you have enjoyed your visit.  Know I wish you and yours a glorious day.

And. . .

May sweet surprises be yours ~ always.

And. . .

A sincere and special thanks to my dear friend, for your kindness and thoughtfulness.  Blessings to you and yours.

                                                                                                      

“Joy is the serious business of heaven.” ~  C. S. Lewis

 

 

Amour,

Sandra

Images:  Tumblr

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ Busy Times Are Approaching !

“Successful gardening is doing what has to be done, when it has to be done, the way it ought to be done, whether you want to do it or not.”  ~  Jerry Baker

 

juliamstarr: “Instagram ”Good morning, dear friends.  I hope this finds you well and enjoying the last days of summer.   Autumn will officially arrive Thursday, September 22, 2022.  I don’t know about you, but for me, life seems to get really busy in the fall.  My mind becomes a little cluttered thinking of what is ahead.  Therefore, out comes my trusty tablet and I begin to make my ‘to do’  list.  As the season moves along my list will change as I mark things from the list.

 

“If you tickle the earth with a hoe, she laughs with a harvest.” ~ Douglas William Jerrold

The first, rather large and time-consuming activity, is telling the garden, ” Enjoy your sleep, dear friend.”  “And, thank you for your amazing beauty.” Depending on where you live, this will require your attention anywhere from September to the first part of November.  Your dear friend will let you know when she is ready for her long sleep.  She will look tired and a little weary.  That time is now in North Central West Virginia.   The peonies need to be cut back (62 of them), pots need to be emptied and placed in the garage, grass seed needs spreading, and plants need to be checked to see if they are healthy.  And perhaps add a little food to carry them through the winter.  Also, should you be unhappy or your plant is unhappy with its current home, now is the time to give them a new home.

This is a job that “needs to be done, whether you want to do it or not.”  However, when this job is complete, a gardener’s heart always sings.

“I can see the woods in their autumn dress, the oaks purple, the hickories washed with gold, the maples and the sumacs luminous with crimson fires.” ~ Mark Twain

 

 

In October, the leaves begin to dance.  They are such a happy sight as they float down from the trees and dance along the streets and yards.  However, happy as they appear, they have to be raked.  A job many do not enjoy, but depending on the weather and one’s mindset, raking leaves can turn into special memories.

“November comes and November goes, with the last red berries and the first white snows.  With night coming early, and dawn coming late, and ice in the bucket, and frost at the gate.  The fires burn and the kettles sing, and earth sinks to rest until next spring.” ~ Clyde Watson

November has always been a favorite month of mine.  Perhaps, it is because of Thanksgiving, which I love.  But to me, it seems so special to have a day set aside to count our blessings.  No matter how large or small, we all have blessings we can count.  Often they are right in front of us and we may not see them, but they are there.  And to me, I count our home as a special blessing.  I always like to give her a thorough cleaning,  especially before the Christmas Decorations emerge from their hiding places.

In November, the smell of food is different.  It is an orange smell. A squash and pumpkin smell.  It tastes like cinnamon and can fill up a house in the morning.” ~ Cynthia Ryland

 

“The days are getting colder, have a warm heart.” ~ Unknown

 

In closing, dear friends, as you can see I am speaking about busy times from late September through November.  I haven’t included everything whirling about in my head, such as wee gifts to make for neighbors and friends, special gifts for those we love, or cards to be written.  However, it is time for these things to be in our thoughts, not to mention the little touches we all do ~ unique only to us. 

Please know,  I am not mentioning thoughts about December and Christmas.  That, my friends, is for another day.  Because we must savor the glorious moments of autumn.  We mustn’t find ourselves in a crazy whirl and miss the beauty of the season.

 

Know, I wish you and yours a beautiful day and an autumn full of golden moments.

 

“Autumn is the hush before winter.” ~ French Proverb

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

Images: Tumblr

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ A Few Lovely Things

“Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.” ~ David Hume

A talented gardener’s vision and skilled hands.

Good morning, dear friends.  I hope this finds you well and enjoying nice weather.   I read that much of the south was to have heavy rain and possible flooding.  Should you be in the South or West, you are in my thoughts.    We are to have rain this evening and a little tomorrow.  We are fortunate ~ nothing serious. 

When I was going through photos for this post, I came upon so many lovely images that I couldn’t choose.  Therefore, I decided to include several and thought you may enjoy them also.  As you know, I am drawn to images of nature in all her glory.  However, I also found a few pretty exteriors and some other things.  So, find your coffee/tea and come along with me for a wee tour of  ‘A Few Lovely Things.’

“Love of beauty is taste.  The creation of beauty is art.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The above arrangement is, in my opinion, truly a work of art.

oldfarmhouse: “ 🌼🔆🍂By #Floretflower @instagram ”

I feel certain something special is planned for these white cosmos.

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This dazzling pot of lavender in its vintage container just speaks, “Don’t you think I am pretty?”  I think it is marvelous ~ how about you?

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A special vase of flowers placed just so can add much to a room and to one’s day.

“A short story is what you see when you look out of the window.” ~ Mavis Gallant

Old windows have always held my interest.  To me, they are often so pretty and unique.  I always think of something I read in one of Alexandra Stoddard’s books.  She said, “When you look out of every window of your home you should see something of beauty.”

Maybe the sweet kitty sees something he/she thinks is beautiful.

“And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be are full of trees and changing leaves.” ~ Virginia Woolf

amazinglybeautifulphotography: “Muir Woods [OC] [1818x1228] - Author: _jpizzle_bear on Reddit ”

“And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.” ~ Oscar Wilde

” I only deepen the wounds of the world when I neglect to give thanks for early light dappled through the leaves. . .” ~ Ann Voskamp

 

aestheticnatureofbeauty: “ cristinailao ”

 

 

halljavalge: “https://vintage-house.blogspot.com/ ”

Dappled light often takes my breath away.  It cast such enchanting shadows.  To me, a masterpiece of the heavens.

Things are beautiful if you love them.” ~ Jean Anouilh

In closing, I hope you have enjoyed your wee tour of  ‘A few lovely things.’  There is one last thing  I came upon I would like to share.  One of our favorite artists is Roger Mühl (1929~2008).   He lived and painted in Mougins, France.  Periodically, I have tried to do a little research on the village, but have always had limited success, until today.  And look what I found.  Mike and I have always wanted to visit the village (Mougins is in the south of France) where he lived and created such beauty ~ perhaps, one day.

Directly below the village street scene is a piece Mühl painted that we own and enjoy.  As art is such a personal thing, you may or may not appreciate his style.  What I can tell you is, that you have to stand in front of one of his paintings to see the light which radiates from the painting.  Truly, it is amazing.  

La sublime ruelle des artistes de Mougins, France.    Translates, The sublime alley of the artists of Mougins, France.

 

Art – Beauty and Light ! | Art by, Roger Mühl, ” Beauty and Light.”

 

 

Dear friends, know I wish you and yours a most beautiful day and week ahead.  

And. . .

May joy and love follow you all along your path.

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“It is not the language of painters but the language of Nature that one should listen to. ” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

Images: Tumblr and Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ The Joy of Books and Reading

“Bookstores always remind me that there are good things in this world” ~ Vincent van Gogh

 

Good morning, sweet friends.  I hope this finds you well and looking forward to things you enjoy this Labor Day Weekend.  This past week was rather busy for us.  Every day, other than one, I had an appointment or someplace I had to be.  Not my idea of a lovely week.  However, we survived.

During the first few weeks when I was home from the hospital and didn’t have the strength to do too much, I worked a bit on my books.  By that I mean, sorting through them ~ keepers and those to donate.  Such a difficult task.  Our Senior Center has a book club and is always delighted to receive books and magazines.  I feel they are in good hands there and readers will enjoy them.  Mike delivered one overflowing box this week and many more to come.  Our bookcases are stacked to the brim, therefore, this job ‘had to be tackled.

I have read from many of my dear blogging friends how many of you also struggle with this conundrum and I have listened to the tips you shared in dealing with this challenge.  And a challenge it truly is!   I will tell you, “If I had not had books to read when I was sick, I would be having tea with the folks in the ‘white coats.’ And, Mike would have moved to the attic in the garage living with the squirrels and butterflies.

” Books should go where they will be most appreciated, and not sit unread, gathering dust on a forgotten shelf . . .”  ~ Christopher Paolini

“I am simply a ‘book drunkard.’ Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee.  I cannot withstand them.” ~ L.M. Montgomery.

thequeensenglish: “ “I am simply a ‘book drunkard.’ Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” ~L.M. Montgomery.OBE ”
I pretty much agree with Montgomery.  They are irresistible, however, that is truer in a bookshop more so than on Amazon.  In a bookshop, I have the feeling that I may not find the book again.  This is especially true if it is an old book.  It is always interesting to me to think about who originally owned the books and how they ended up in a certain bookshop.  I always write my name somewhere on the books I donate.  Personally, I feel it gives them a little provenance, in case others wonder about such things as I do.
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“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.” ~ Anne Lamott

The words of Anne Lamott are, in my opinion, so very true.  Through reading, I have gained enormous empathy for others and I do wonder about the fearless courage of humans, young and old,  and how they managed to endure the many horrors of war and their lives after.  I honestly don’t know if I would be so brave, however, I guess we never know what we are made of until the specific time shows itself.  When that happens, we truly learn what “community and friendship” mean.

“Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

I'd like to hang out here for quite a while. I believe I could be quite busy.
There are books in most of the rooms of our home.  I do try to keep them somewhat contained, however, they seem to have a mind of their own and creep around here and there.  I do think they add personality and warmth to a room.

“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty. It should be offered as a gift.” ~ Kate DiCamillo

In closing, a cause that is near and dear to my heart and one I would possibly be involved in if I was perhaps forty, is Children’s Literacy.  Not just in our country, but around the world.  So many little ones miss out on the joy of reading and not to mention the importance of understanding what they read, and how it may affect their lives.  

Did you know that in Iceland there is a Christmas Eve tradition called “Jolabokaflod?”  Jaolabokaflod translates into ‘Christmas Book Flood.’  It is one of the most unique Icelandic Christmas traditions.  The tradition is to give or receive new books on Christmas Eve.  One theory is the tradition began as a way to promote literacy in Iceland, as a study revealed in the late 1800s only 50% of the population could read.   It is not just about the giving, it is also about the reading.

The best moments in reading are when you come across something ~ a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things ~ which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.” ~ Alan Bennett

Dear friends, I do hope you have enjoyed your visit and perhaps you join me in my love of books and the idea of making sure they are placed in good hands for their next life.

Know, I wish you and yours a beautiful day, a safe Labor Day Weekend, and a lovely week ahead.  Stay well!

 

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

 

 

Images:: Tumblr and Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ About August

“It takes years for shallow August to melt into September.” ~Alice Jones

earthanthem: “(via 1344 by boxx2genetica on DeviantArt) ”

Good morning, dear friends.  I hope this finds you doing well and looking forward to nice autumn days.  

It is difficult to believe that this is the last Sunday of August.  How did we get here so fast?  Personally, August has always seemed like a hectic month to me and not my favorite.  In Virginia, there was always much to do in the garden(vegetable),  the flower garden was wearing her tired hat, and there was an enormous amount of work to do in order to prepare for the opening of school (students and teachers returning).  To further complicate matters, the hurricanes most often arrived around Labor Day weekend, adding extreme chaos to the mix.  Especially, when your school was an emergency shelter.  Not to mention it was hot ~ really hot.  However, I no longer worry about a large vegetable garden, the opening of school, or hurricanes,  and I am happy those were days of my other life. 

In thinking about this post and going through my things, I found many talented people who wrote lovely things about August.  So, without any further chatter, I thought I would share a few of my favorites.

In August, the large masses of berries, which, when in flower, had attracted many wild bees, gradually assumed their bright velvety crimson hue, and by their weight again bent down and broke their tender limbs.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

 

August” by Mary Oliver

When the blackberries hang
swollen in the woods, in the brambles
nobody owns, I spend

all day among the high
branches, reaching
my ripped arms, thinking

of nothing, cramming
the black honey of summer
into my mouth; all day my body

accepts what it is. In the dark
creeks that run by there is
the thick paw of my life darting among

the black bells, the leaves; there is
the happy tongue.

 

“The quiet August noon has come; A slumberous silence fills the sky; The winds are still, the trees are dumb, In glassy sleep the waters lie.”  ~ William Cullen Bryant

“Whilst August yet wears her golden crown, Ripening fields lush ~ bright with promise; Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn.” ~ Michelle L. Thieme

 

 

 

“It is difficult to think of anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” ~ Lewis Grizzard

In closing, one of my favorite things about late summer is tomatoes.  I know I am not the only one who adores them.  A gentleman who lives on the golf course where Mike plays golf used to place a bucket of tomatoes and a salt shaker on his fence for the golfers to take as they drove by in their carts.  In thinking of Mike’s friend and this scrumptious fruit, I thought I would share a great and easy recipe ~ you will thank me for this one.    The recipe is from Ina Garten.

 

 

Summer Garden Pasta

4 pints cherry tomatoes, halved

Good olive oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)

18 large basil leaves, julienned, plus extra for serving

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound dried angel hair pasta or pasta of your choice

1½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Combine the cherry tomatoes, ½ cup olive oil, garlic, basil leaves, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper in a large bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature for about 4 hours.  It will not hurt to let it set longer.

Just before you’re ready to serve, bring a large pot of water with a splash of olive oil and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil and add the pasta.  Cook al dente according to the directions on the package.  Drain the pasta well and add to the bowl with the cherry tomatoes.  Add the cheese and some extra fresh basil leaves and toss well.  Serve in big bowls with extra cheese on each serving.

 

Dear friends, know I wish you and yours a beautiful day 

And. . .

A glorious September.  Be well !  

 

“The summer air is now laced with autumn breezes. Time is passing.” ~ Victoria Erickson

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

Images: Tumblr

 

 

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ “With Heart and Hands”

” . . .but I also think of hands as the instruments of our love and creativity.  With our hands, we put our heart, spirit, and thoughts into action.” ~ Alexandra Stoddard

 

Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  August is moving along, so I do hope this finds you enjoying these last days of summer.  Especially, I hope it finds you doing the little things you love.

” It’s as interesting and as difficult to say a thing as well as to paint it.  There is the art of lines and colors, but the art of words exists too, and will never be less important.” ~ Vincent van Gogh

As many of you may be aware, I am a great fan of Alexandra Stoddard.  Her words continue to inspire me and I have read her book Gracious Living In a New World too many times to count.  Published in 1997, and quite relevant today, it serves as a guide to living well when the world around you is not pretty and is changing by leaps and bounds.  I urge you to see if you can find a copy of this motivating book.  You will not be disappointed. 

In re-reading this treasure the other day,  there was one chapter that was particularly touching and thought-provoking ~ “With Heart and Hands.” It brought to my attention, once again, the importance and the power of little things, such as writing letters.  Alexandra tells us, “All well-meaning letters are love letters.”  How true and what a beautiful thought.  When we write a letter, we reach out and connect with another.  Often, it is someone we care about and have had in our thoughts.  And, think for a moment how special it is to receive something hand-written in the stack of mostly worthless mail.   Actually, one can almost become giddy at the sight.

Should you be interested, Alexandra writes a lovely monthly newsletter ~ visit here.   The newsletter is often a bit lengthy but always a worthy read.

 

“The tomatoes I planted and later picked from the garden are now ripening on the window ledge ~ my hands have played a role in every stage, even now at this final stage when I slice them to make a delicious tomato and basil salad to serve to a friend.” ~ Alexandra Stoddard

These little things we do in our chaotic world hold power, give fond memories and make our hearts happy.  Who among you has sat on the porch with a loved one and snapped beans?  Goodness, I can’t count the times I sat with my grandmother on her porch swing and did just that. Our ‘hearts and ‘hands were in this endeavor.  Those memories are ones I will always treasure.

farmgirlatheart: “pinterest ”

 

soolmaz2001: “Had to share this @WeHeartIt ”

Back a few years, when I was still working. it was just before Christmas and there were around fifty ladies in the office.  Having been in a school office for twenty-seven years prior to going to the central office, I was accustomed to giving a wee gift to the office staff (around ten).  There is a big difference between fifty and ten.  Therefore, after a great deal of thought, I came up with cranberry jelly.  So, one Saturday, with my ingredients and equipment all in order, I spent the better part of the day making the jelly.  It turned out perfect.  Then I dressed the jars with little white doilies, and tiny Canadian Hemlock pine cones (gathered from Mom’s trees in WV) and tied them with red and green ribbons.  The jars were so pretty.  And oh, the joy they brought.  You see, the ladies were not accustomed to receiving a little gift and that made it all the more special.  A bit of love and appreciation in a jar ~ made with my ‘heart and hands.’

Dear friends, I hope you have enjoyed your visit.  And perhaps received a bit of inspiration toward the joy of things made with our ‘heart and hand.’  They mean so much in our current world.  In fact, they have almost become a rarity.  Even sharing a little basket of your hand-picked blueberries is an amazing sweet thought. 

Know I wish you and yours a beautiful day and week ahead.  

And. . .

May someone’s ‘heart and hand’ touch your life.

 

“If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open and so is your heart.” ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

Images: Tumblr

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ Beauty, Wonder and Awe!

“For beauty, truth, and goodness are not obsolete:  they spring eternal in the breast of man.”~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

gardenprincessana: “ unsplash ”

 

Good morning, dear friends.  I do hope this finds you well and under blue skies filled with bird song.  We have been blessed with a little rain in the evenings and cooler temperatures during the day.  Certainly not August weather.  However, often I have seen September arrive with August temperatures.  This time of year, I always begin to look forward to autumn. How about you?   

As you probably know, I can only endure so much of the daily news.  Then I turn to the beauty of the garden, words of marvelously talented writers, and the comfort of our loving sweet home.  In going through my quotes and in reading, it seems as though life through the years has often been filled with troubling times.  Perhaps,  that is why there is so much written about the beauty of the world and nature.  There is peace in the simple joys of life.  So, I thought today I would share with you some of these things, a little respite from the daily news.

“The individual human is still the creature who can wonder, who can be enchanted by a sonata, who can place symbols together to make poetry to gladden our heart, who can view a sunrise with a sense of majesty and awe.”~ Rollo May

earthporn: “The crystal clear water of Lake Michigan at Cave Point Park at sunrise. [1067x1600] [OC] by: nickargiresphoto ”Sunrise and the clear water of Lake Michigan’s Cave Point Park.  Photo, Nick Argires

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

“Sometimes happiness lies amongst the flowers. . .  Sometimes that’s all it takes to find happiness; is to open our eyes to the simplest of wonders.” ~ Nicole Addison

 

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” ~ Vincent van Gogh

cottaqecore: “source ”

 

“There is not a particle of life that does not bear poetry within it.” ~Gustave Flaubert

 

Dear friends, I hope you have received a brief respite from the chaos of our world.

Know I wish you and yours a beautiful day and week ahead.

And . . .

“May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.”  ~ John O’Donohue 

 

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Amour,

Sandra

 

 

Images: Tumblr

 

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ Kindness

“ The brilliant poppy flaunts her head Amidst the ripening grain, And adds her voice to sell the song That August’s here again. ” ~ Helen Winslow (American editor and journalist)

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Good morning,  dear friends.  I do hope this finds you well and enjoying these beginning days of August.  It is hard to believe summer is on the downside, but it is. 

Before I go any further I want to thank each and every one of you who took the time to write your lovely and thoughtful comments on my post last week. I read each one and have managed to comment on a few.  Eventually, I will respond to all, as I appreciate your words more than you can imagine.   Truly, I am blessed with the friendship and kindness you have shown.  Therefore, I thought you may enjoy the following. . .

“Kindness” ~ by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Kingsblood Tulip:Single Late Tulip Bulbs:Tulips.com

“Consider the tulip,
how it rises every spring
out of the same soil,
which is, of course,
not at all the same soil,
but new. How long ago
someone’s hands planted a bulb
and gave to this place
a living scrap of beauty.

Consider the six red petals,
the yellow at the center,
the soft green rubber of the stem,
how it bows to the world. How,
the longer we sit beside it,
the more we bow to it.

It is something like kindness,
is it not? The way someone plants
in you a bit of beauty—a kind word,
perhaps, or a touch, the gift
of their time or their smile.
And years later, in the soil that is you,
it emerges again, pushing aside
the dead leaves, insisting on beauty,
a celebration of the one who planted it,
the one who perceives it, and
the fertile place where it has grown.”

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” ~ Saint Teresa of Calcutta

My hospital adventure and illness has been quite an experience.  Indeed, it was certainly not what was in my plan.  However, with all the dreadful occurrences in our world, perhaps I was supposed to see firsthand how many wonderful and caring people still remain in our world.  From the doctors to the young nurse assistant who helped me with my shower, I was shown nothing but kindness and concern.

“That’s what you do when you love someone. You support them. Win, lose, or draw.”  ~  Ron Swanson

Around the middle of June, I ordered the rose pictured above.  It replaced a boxwood that was on its way out.  The boxwood was in a gorgeous pot and of course, I couldn’t let a beautiful pot sit empty.  So, along came Black Forest.  In my opinion, someone was not thinking clearly when they gave this lovely rose such a name  ~ Black Forest.  Nonetheless, yesterday Mike came in from the garden with one stem of this beauty.  Forgive me for gushing over him, but honestly, you can’t imagine the love and care he has given me.  God certainly did smile on me the day I married him.

Dear friends, again, I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart for your kindness and concern. 

And. . .

Know that “you are the reason that someone believes in the goodness of people.”

And. . .

That someone is me. 

 

Wishing you and yours a beautiful day and month of August.

Amour,

Sandra

 

Images;  tumblr and M.S. Lambiotte

Ending quote ~ author unknown

I Lost July!

“Living is the art of getting used to what we didn’t expect.” ~ Eleanor C. Wood

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Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  I hope this finds you well and enjoying summer.  Time moved along and I lost July.

I know you must be wondering, “Where has she been?”  Honestly, I wish I could tell you that Mike and I  have been living life on top of the world in Southern France. However, that is not the case.  You see, I was admitted to the hospital on July 11, 2022, and released on July 20, 2022.  I can assure you I was not on top of the world.  In fact, this is the first day I have turned on the computer.  

You may or may not remember that around the end of June, I thought I had a bug of sorts, but it left as they do.  Our 50th anniversary was July 1 and stubborn as I am, I was determined not to miss that day.  Things went downhill after that day.  On July,11  Mike took me to the ER and of course, they admitted me.  After the blood work was reviewed it was determined that I was almost in kidney failure.  So, on Tuesday, July 12 I had surgery and had 2 stints placed in my kidney.  Everything was uphill after that.  All I can say is it has been a wild month and I had no idea I was so sick.

I don’t even want to imagine what I would do or would have done without my dear husband.  He has taken meticulous care of our garden and home, he came to the hospital every day, talked to doctors, and turned our dining room into a hospital room and at least a gazillion other things.  No human could have done more.

“I am so thankful for friendship.  It beautifies life so much.” ~ Lucy Maud Montgomery

In closing,  the word “grateful” has taken on new meaning to me.  It appears  God wants me to remain on this earth for a reason.  And before I close, I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for your good wishes.  I have briefly skimmed Facebook and I know many of you commented on my page.  Another big lesson I have learned is, that friends can be virtual but still hold you in the palm of their hand. 

 

Dear friends, wishing you and yours a beautiful day. Be well, enjoy these summer days, and know. . .

Tu m’as manqué! (Ihave missed you.)


Amour,
Sandra

 

Images:   Tumblr and Pixabay

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ Life at “Maison de Jardin” ~ The Garden House

 

sumbluespruce: “A pair of baby Bluebirds ”

 “What Gorgeous Thing” ~ Mary Oliver

“I do not know what gorgeous thing
the bluebird keeps saying,
his voice easing out of his throat,
beak, body into the pink air
of the early morning. I like it
whatever it is. Sometimes
it seems the only thing in the world
that is without dark thoughts.
Sometimes it seems the only thing
in the world that is without
questions that can’t and probably
never will be answered, the
only thing that is entirely content
with the pink, then clear white
morning and, gratefully, says so.”

 

Good morning, dear friends.  I do hope this finds all of you well and enjoying your favorite summertime activities.  To me, summer seems to arrive and then in a blink,  it is gone. There is the garden and her variety of weeds.  To bad the State Fair does not have a classification to enter ones collection.  Mine would be a blue ribbon winner for certain.  However, I will share the pretty blooms ~ not the weeds. 

Annabelle Hydrangeas, planted around 2007.

One of my favorite plants, Oak and leather Leaf Hydrangea.   She is just beginning her change in color of the bloom.  She will turn a deep pink and by fall her leaves will be a dark burgandy.  Beautiful in a floral arrangement.

 

“When weeds go to heaven, I suppose they will be flowers.” ~ L.M. Montgomery

Speaking of weeds and the State Fair.  Does anyone see this lovely tree growing and thriving?  I know Mike didn’t when he took the photo.  Now, if I was quite careful to dig with caution.  I could pot this beauty and in a very few years, someone who had the room would have a nice shade tree.  Tulip poplars grow rapidly, have big leaves, and make a wonderful shade tree.  However, they do not like storms and will fall quickly.

Hydrangea, Bue Danube.  She is in an urn and has thrived for several years.  Mike moves her to the garage in the winter.

The daylilies have just begun their show.  This one is Purple Badger.  I did not care for the name of such a lovely plant.  Therefore, her new name is Purple Passion.  She is like a lady in a pretty purple rufflled dress.

 

 

“Not all love stories start with Roses. Some starts with petunias too.” ~ Satabdi Panda

 

Be sure to look closely at these petunias.  I love them so much I order them every year so as not to take the chance of not finding them at a garden center.  Their name is Almost Picasso.  They have a chartreuse green edge.

“Reading is an exercise in empathy; an exercise in walking in someone else’s shoes for a while.”  ~ Malorie Blackman

I’ve been doing a little reading on the days it has been ninety-plus degrees.  Reading is a pure joy to me and the book above was wonderful.  All I will tell you, “it is based on a true story and the young woman in the story becomes friends with Eleanor Roosevelt.”

“I will look for evidence of what I do still, deep down, believe nature is singing a song, the trees are clapping their hands, and we are called to join them.  With God’s help, we can pick up the pieces of an old and dying world, and we can make them new.  We can make a place where beauty and peace can take root, flourish, and grow.” ~ Christie Purifoy

Placemaker: Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace

 

This was my introduction to the writing of Christie Purifoy.  Brenda Leyland who writes the beautiful blog, “It’s a Beautiful Life” is the sweet soul who introduced us. https://beautiful.wordfromhome.com/    Purifoy is a lovely writer.  I found myself saying, “Yes” over and over.  And I thought surely this woman knows me.  If you love beauty and have visions of such in a different world.  This book is for you.

Good News ~  my copy of  “My French Country Home Magazine”  arrived today.  If you are a bit of a Francophile this magazine is for you.  It is a little pricey.  However, each and every issue is a treasure to behold.  It can be ordered online or purchased in the US at Barnes and Noble.

May be an image of furniture and text that says 'magazine N°22 JULY AUG MY 2022 FREI FRENCH COUNTRYHOME THENTIC FRENCHLIVING FRENCH A Taste of Provence Five Traditional Recipes Château Kitchen Garden Summer Bliss in/Corsica France's "Île de Beauté" 90D Setting aMag Magical Minner'

 

 

“The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.” ~ Helen Keller

 

May be an image of 2 people and people standing

 

Dear friends, In closing, I will leave with you a photo of a most special day, July 1, 1972.  On that day,  Mike and I said “I do.”  Yesterday we celebrated 50 years.  Hard to believe how quickly time has passed.  Truly, we have been blessed. 

Know, I wish you and yours a beautiful day and a Happy Fourth of July.  Love each other, stay safe and be well!

Amour,

Sandra

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” ~Robert A. Heinlein

 

 

Images:  M. S. Lambiotte, Christie Purifoy ~ A spacious place., Facebook, Tumblr