Monthly Archives: July 2018

Gifts of Summer

Peaches are in season! We got half a peck at the Farm Market nearby this morning. So this evening I made pie. Pie prepared with fresh fruit is a whole different experience than having a store bought pie.

Honey Rocks are also in season! They are a large muskmelon. They are slightly different than a cantaloupe, they are, well …, muskier. And they have visible ribs. Delicious!

A few weeks ago I picked enough black raspberries from our bushes to bake a pie.

And a few weeks before that I harvested service berries from our bushes and made a pie.

See a theme here? Living in the country does have numerous benefits!

Best Friends

It is good to have friends. Best friends. I firmly believe that you can have more than one best friend when you are an adult. There are friends for different occasions. These two are my reliable best friends.

Yesterday we volunteered at the County Fair together. I have no doubt that I can trust these girls to be well behaved with hundreds of people around. I don’t have to worry about incidents with adults, children, other animals, or unexpected circumstances when they are with me. They can handle it.

Shelby, of the red scarf, is the most obedient, well behaved dog I have ever had. We are a finely honed working team. She watches me to determine whatever it is that I want from her. She responds to my requests, verbal and often hand signals too. I also listen to her. If she indicates that she is unsure or stressed, I either reassure her or provide her with a short break, depending on the situation.

Nikki, in the green scarf, does her best to comply with my wishes although she doesn’t have quite the ability to figure things out that Shelby does. Still, I know that she will be well behaved and not cause trouble because that is her nature.

Yesterday at the Fair we participated in three things. First was the Therapy Dog Demonstration. Both girls are veterans with close to 100 visits under their belts (leashes?). Most have been to nursing homes. After that we manned one of the entrance gates for a couple of hours since it is easier if everyone takes a turn. Above are the girls at our station by the gate wondering why there is so much traffic. For our last event of the day we participated in something called Meet the Breeds where each of the handlers told a few facts about their Breed. The audience was then free to meet all the dogs.

What fine little ambassadors these girls are, for their breed and dogs in general. Also, I adopted them both from Northeast Ohio Shetland Sheepdog Rescue so they represented how fine Rescue dogs can be. They make me proud.

And after such good and hard teamwork, good girls get ice cream. (I got ice cream too, but I will spare you that photo!)

The Top Five Best Plants Blooming in My Garden This Morning

1. Cleome

The cleome are an added bonus. We have not planted any in about five years. They are a prolific re-seeder. We just move or weed out what we don’t want and enjoy the rest.

2. Morning Glory

The morning glories are also re-seeding plants. I have never planted any. They were here when I moved into this house 14 years ago and have come back every year.

3. Gardenia

The gardenia provides blooms with a two-fold gift. Not only are they are delicate and beautiful, their scent is also divine.

4. Verbena

I have to say, this particular verbena is the best one I have ever grown. I believe it is called “Cherry Blossom”. It has become the focal point of this urn.

5. Hibiscus

The hibiscus put on such a show! They have large, tropical blooms and new ones open up every day.

Stay tuned for more photos of new blooms as they arrive!

Kitties In a Box

Why is it that kitties like boxes?

I have had this particular box for two weeks. Since I unpacked the Amazon order that came in it. Every time I go to put it in the recycling, there is a cat in residence. It remains the most popular cat hang out in our house.

Morty loves it.

Orange Kitty loves it. He was the first to try it as soon as the packing came out.

Have you heard the saying “as happy as a pig in mud”? I think that should be “as happy as a cat in a box”. That’s apparently where all the cool cats hang out.

I’m contemplating wallpapering it and adding a bed.

The Perfect Evening

I’ve never been much of a summer person. What, with all the heat and humidity, it’s too much. But on evenings like this, I will concede that there are some wonderful, beautiful experiences.

This evening is pleasantly cool, after days of unrelenting heat, with temperatures in the 70’s. I hear the splashing sounds of the fountain. I have all my dogs with me in the garden and I am sitting down to finish a good book. There are freshly baked biscuits to put strawberries on for shortcake later. Life doesn’t get much better.

A dear friend recently asked what type of books I like to read since I do so much of it. I enjoy many subjects and genres, mostly it depends on my mood. Here is what I am finishing up tonight.

It’s a murder mystery that takes place in Maine. The main characters run a chocolate themed bakery. Also there is a dog or two in the story. I have enjoyed other books by this author and then you add in so many of my favorite things, how could I go wrong?

I wish you, my friends, an evening that is as enjoyable as mine.


I was taking an evening stroll around the garden. The hibiscus are, of course, always impressive. It was only upon seeing the digital images though that it registered that they are impressive because of form as well as color.

It made me realize that there are different types of perception within each sense in addition to between the senses. I will try to be more mindful now.

Zekie the Wonder Dog

Zekie the Wonder Dog strikes again. Proving once more that a smart dog is not always a good thing.

We have doors on our kitchen. They meet in the middle and are for protecting food from those of our animals that are sometimes less than well behaved. A number of our various cats and dogs can open these doors with a paw or a nose. So for some time we have also put a dining room chair in front of the door as a barricade. This has worked quite well.

Until, as my husband sometimes calls him, the Zeke Monster came along. Dinner was awaiting behind these doors and I needed to go outside for a minute. I came back and the chair was moved, the doors were ajar and I came upon Zeke finishing the top half of the bun and the melted cheese off of my salmon burger.

Not wanting it to be said that my dog is smarter than me, I have come up with a new system. In addition to the doors and chair, I have added a bungee cord to my methods.

This picture is from my first trial. Zeke did move the chair but was foiled by the bungee cord. So I win. For now…


Plants are amazing things. From tiny seeds, or sometimes bulbs, an entire plant springs forth. For most of the plants we are past the stage where they invest all their energy in growing stems and leaves. Now the buds that developed are bursting open and into flower.

The plants put on a show and enter one of the most beautiful times of the year. Certainly the most colorful.

These are all plants from our gardens and around our yard. We are blessed to live with such beauty.

This bed has plants that are loved by butterflies. We are just recently started seeing butterflies for the year but I anticipate many more to come.

And we must not forget the plants that bless us with beautiful scents. My husband brought this gardenia bush inside and tended it all winter. This is the year’s first blossom. It is the first of many as the bush is loaded with buds. On a summer’s eve few scents are sweeter.

May you enjoy similar such gifts from the lowly seed.

Over Achiever

Zekie is becoming quite the poster child for intelligence gone wrong. He continues to prove himself to be highly intelligent. This is not a good thing.

His latest escapade took place a couple of days ago. We have swinging type doors on our kitchen so that we can close them and have food safe from the dogs and cats while it cools or we run outside, etc. Some of the animals are sneaky so we put a dining room chair in front of the doors if we expect to be gone for more than a minute.

Well Zeke managed to do something that none of the others had attempted, to date. While I was out of site for a minute, Zeke moved the chair, nosed open the doors, reached up on the counter top and ate the top bun and cheese off of my salmon burger.

Back to the drawing board! Apparently we need some kind of latch for the doors. Eye hook? Sliding latch? We better come up with something quickly.

I love this boy. He is my kind of dog.