General

Vacationing

We went on vacation, and we all fell in love.  The plan was to keep close to home, while exploring somewhere we’d never been.  So we headed to Arkansas.  I was hopeful, but I kept my expectations in check.  I hoped we’d have a good time.  I hoped the kids weren’t bored. I hoped it would be nice enough that we’d be comfortable.  I hope to find it “ok”.  Well folks, it was more than “ok”.  It was fantastic!

Petit Jean State Park is a jewel in the Arkansas Park system.  The first state park in Arkansas, many of the buildings at the park are stone structures built by the depression era Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration. This includes Mather Lodge where we stayed.  Entering the breezeway of Mather Lodge is like stepping through a frame into a picture.

The hiking was amazing.  Some hikes were easy.  Some hikes were challenging.  All of them were beautiful. It’s so wonderful to see your kids outdoors!  Scrambling across rocks and running toward their next adventure.

We hiked down to the base of Cedar Falls. Unfortunately, the state is in the middle of a brutal drought, and the water was only a trickle as it reached the edge. If you look very closely, you can see it.

The kids were undaunted and declared the water cold and wonderful.  We’ve vowed to return when we can see the falls in full glory.

We explored and went swimming and feasted on hamburgers with an appalling frequency.

It was exactly what a vacation should be.

We bickered and laughed and argued and teased and told each other “I love you” at least one hundred times each.

Memories are made of this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gardening · General

Summer-ing…

It’s been an incredibly busy week.  We are a household in chaos.  Drama camp, Sewing camp, Vacation Bible School, two full time jobs….it’s depleted all of us.  The children are fussy, the parents are fussy, the uncut grass is tall, the laundry is piled in a chair, and takeout reigns supreme.

But this morning, I had a few minutes…

 

To look around…to enjoy things that are beautiful today…in this moment…

The morning glories have overtaken my favorite birdhouse. I love the messy opulence of it…

The illusion of the trailing vines spilling onto the ground…as opposed to their herculean effort of reaching toward the sun.

Zinnias so bright and beautiful that I had to capture them, just for a moment.

And bring them inside with a little Lantana

and Lemon Balm….heady stuff!

Just a few minutes of peace and purpose, tucked in at the end of a flurry of summering.

 

 

Gardening

Miscellany… of the Horticultural Variety

Today, I’m missing my mom because I want to know what this is. So I’m in the market for a surrogate mom.  Can anybody tell me what this is?  They’re in my front garden beds and they’re beautiful and I love them and I want to know what to call them!

Most of the year, they just provide beautiful variegated foliage.  Then in late spring, they put out these beautiful clusters in all shades from lavender to almost white.  Again, I love them.

While on the subject of plants that I love-I LOVE HYDRANGEAS!  My Hydrangeas are so beautiful right now.

They’re fascinating to me.  The litmus paper of the horticultural world.  I’m always amazed at the different shades from yard to yard and plant to plant.  In fact, this year I’m amazed at the variation of shade I’m seeing in one plant.

The pristine clear blue.

The softest lavender.

The blush of dusky pink.

And finally, a cacophony of all the shades available to this beauty’s soft palette.  What’s blooming in your garden today?