Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Hungry New Family To Feed...

We have a new family in the neighborhood.. A family of black capped chickadees.
Sunny Jim (pictured above) seemed to like to sit on our deck railing and wait/wail for his mama to come and feed him.  Yesterday he sat and waited and waited in the drizzle, looking like a little wet pompom....

Sometimes he looked so dejected..

And at other times he looked downright peeved!!!

He looked the happiest when he was with all of his brothers and sisters, and he was the one getting fed! They are so much fun to watch, the babies are so comical the way they quiver all over when the parents are nearby and peep hysterically "feed me, feed me, feed me." The mother frantically flits around finding seeds, cracking them open as fast as she can then cramming them into ever needy baby beaks... They act so helpless when the parents are there, yet as soon as they (Mom and Dad) fly off, the babies start cramming their own beaks with food... CG took a short video for me of the little darlings so that I could share the joy with you all. I hope you enjoy..., just click on the YouTube link below... P.S if you listen carefully you can hear the very lovely song of our visiting Black Headed Grosbeak and the pecking of a nearby woodpecker in the trees...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Pink Saturday...

Celebrating With Pink Cupcakes..

First of all... Happy Birthday To Beverleys Pink Saturday 
Congratulations on your second birthday...  I baked these cupcakes for everyone who celebrates each Pink Saturday and helps to keep the love going... So Cheers everyone!!! Happy Birthday!!!

And To Beverley ~ A Big Thank You for creating such a fun place for all of us to gather and admire each others work and connect... Over the period of just 2 Pink Saturdays, I've made connections with people from Australia, Holland, England and Peru...  I'm seeing how small the world truly is, and though miles may separate us, how truly alike we ALL really are...  Thank you everyone who visits, follows, subscribes to my blog ~A Year Of Finding Love ~ I truly love it when old friends drop by and new ones    say hi....


A New Place To Lay My Hat...

Garden Bench & Hat

I am delighted to announce that we have a new home to move to!

Words cannot describe how happy and relieved I feel.

Our new home is on Bainbridge Island and I just know that it will be the source of lots of new photographs AND, I'm as excited about the garden as I am about the house..., I feel like a puppy with two tails!!!  Which tail do I wag first???

I love the way my garden smells after its rained, so last night (in between rain showers,) I took a stroll outside to take in the ever changing beauty and talk with my beloved plants - I'm a FIRM believer in the power of good and kind words spoken to plants, people and any living thing for that matter.  I told them how much I loved them, and how proud I am of them and how much joy they have brought me and many passerby's, and I informed them that even though I will be moving, the new owner is an avid gardener, (which according to the real estate agent was one of the big reasons why they bought our house.)  And I know that in my heart they will be fine, and I am leaving them in very capable hands.  It may sound silly, but I have nurtured these plants and fretted over some as if they were my own children.

Now, its time to say goodbye and let them go...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cinnamon, Apples & Cream & Observing Taz...


For the past couple of days the weather has seemed more wintry than spring like.  I find myself not wanting to leave the warmth of the house and would prefer instead to stay home and dream up warming, hearty recipes to feed the family... (I think my internal weather monitor is slightly confused by the 50 mile per hours winds and 30 degree weather in the high desert of Oregon that we experienced last weekend and now the grey skies and blustery rain of Western Washington...)

Actually its not just the weather,  I know this feeling, its impatience about springtime, its impatience about moving.. Its being in that place I call the squirmy place, where I just have to wait some things out, and acknowledge that I've done what I can, and admit some things are just out of my control... (like the weather!)

 With the big change of selling our house (and wanting it to be complete and over and done with,) and trying to find a rental house to move to but no house has been settled on yet, though we're hopeful that we might have found one - (however, the owners had so many applicants vying for the property, they've had to hire a company to act as middle man to help them sift through the candidates!)  ....More squirming (waiting.)

I'm reminded of my little Cairn Terrier Taz, she seems to squirm on a fairly regular basis when her life is just not right, and she gets a bit upset (perhaps she caught sight of a squirrel that she couldn't get access to, or she didn't get the chicken scraps she felt she should after dinner... you know.. something on those lines..)  Anyway, on these squirm inducing occasions, she goes to her bed and circles and circles sniffs and circles some more, then finally settles and then proceeds to nibble the beds edge whilst furtively looking sideways at anyone who might be taking in the show...  Its like this is what she does to help herself, and its what she has to do to makes her world right again... I understand,... I really do...

So to make my world right again, (when the weather is cold and wet, otherwise I'd be out in the garden.) I cook or make something beautiful...

This evening I cooked a hearty stew, roasted vegetables, roasted garlic potatoes, followed by a delicious bowl of honey sweetened cinnamon apples with walnuts and fresh whipped vanilla creammmmmm...

Here's the very simple recipe...

5 good sized granny smith apples (or other tart variety.)
1 Tablespoon of butter (or vegan alternative.)
cinnamon powder (approx 1 Tspn.)
1/3rd cup of honey or agave syrup.
1 Tspn of vanilla essence.

Peel, core and chop apples into walnut sized pieces.
Melt butter, honey, vanilla and cinnamon in a pan.
Add chopped apples and mix well.
Put the lid on the pan and turn down the heat to medium/low and cook for 10 minutes.
Stir frequently to prevent sticking (apple will cook in its own juice.)

Serve warm with  Chopped Walnuts, Whipped Cream sprinkled with a little Cinnamon Powder...


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

White Flowers..

As you can tell, flowers are playing a big part in blog right now..., what can I say?  I make no apologies, they're beautiful, inspiring, wonderful and challenging to photograph, and mostly they bring great joy.  

Here is Mary Olivers exquisite poem "White Flowers"... Enjoy...

White Flowers
By Mary Oliver

Last night
in the fields
I lay down in the darkness
to think about death,
but instead I fell asleep,
as if in a vast and sloping room
filled with those white flowers
that open all summer,
sticky and untidy,
in the warm fields.
When I woke
the morning light was just slipping 
in front of the stars,
and I was covered
with blossoms.
I don't know
how it happened - 
I don't know
if my body went diving down
under the sugary vines
in some sleep - sharpened affinity
with the depths, or whether
that green energy
rose like a wave
and curled over me, claiming me
in its husky arms.
I pushed them away, but I didn't rise.
Never in my life had i felt so plush,
or so slippery,
or so resplendently empty.
Never in my life had I felt myself so near
that porous line
where my own body was done with
and the roots and the stems and the flowers

Arriving Home...

Spring Bouquet

We arrived home from our weekend in Oregon yesterday morning.  It felt as if we'd been gone a lot longer than 4 days and I was keen to get home and check in with everything (my garden,) and everybody (my two daughters driving home from California.)

As soon as we pulled into the driveway I noticed how much the garden had grown, several of the roses were in bloom, along with the Japanese Iris, and one of my favorite plants Alchemilla Mollis with its frothy chartreuse green flowers starting to fill out the borders nicely... everything looked very healthy...

We are in the final stages of selling our house, inspection and follow up work completed, and a re-inspection due today. The buyers will be here to look once again  for a final time.  We are on the final home stretch to sell the house.  

I spent the morning picking up, and cleaning, doing the laundry from our trip, I was a veritable "Busy Bee," firing on all cylinders...  I LOVE it when my energy comes together with a focus.. I felt very happy buzzing around, planning a nice dinner for everyone... all three of our children would be home..

Ah, I'm such a home body..., children home safely, sparkling clean house, garden ticking along nicely, baked goodies in the oven... , and finally, my favorite part, when all the work is done.. the icing on the cake ~ a bouquet of flowers, freshly picked from the garden..(see photo.)  Gertrude Jekyll, Brother Cadfael roses, Alchemilla, and Allium Purpurea.

Life is good.