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The Fourth of July is a colorful holiday. The red, white and blue of the flag and patriotic decor is everywhere. Fireworks fill the dark night sky with shades of pink, red, blue, yellow and green. This week, in the garden, another colorful explosion started to take place. Our lilies, which are a beautiful pale shade of pink. started opening one by one and now the flower bed is just full of beautiful flowers. The baby’s breath is spreading through the same bed. The perennials are making their appearance, one by one and color is coming, slow but sure, to the yard.

I have been so wrapped up in the things I have to get done that I have forgotten the pure pleasure I get from taking my camera outside and snapping some pictures, memorializing this brief, but beautiful, time of the summer. These pictures, like the flowers represented in them, have made me smile, capturing the color that the warm sun in July brings to the yard. I hope they make you smile as well. Happy Friday!



A year ago for my birthday, Tim gave me a beautiful orange Kalanchoe plant. The flowers died and the plant thrived, but I was uncertain if it would in fact flower again for me. I have that kind of luck, we are talking about the girl whose dad saved, rooted and nurtured the ivy from my wedding bouquet and planted it for me, only for it to slowly die on me.

Surprisingly, just recently, there were buds as it sat on the kitchen windowsill. The flowers came again, beautiful orange flowers. As I wash the dishes, it is right there, on the windowsill, making me smile, reminding me of my boys. Today, the sun was just perfect this afternoon.

I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. Tim, thanks again for the beautiful plant, it makes me smile and think of you when I see it everyday.

I have not had a whole lot of luck growing sunflowers which is pretty frustrating considering just about everyone else can grow these flowers like weeds. For whatever reason, they have been a gardening challenge – either birds or other critters have eaten the seeds before they could germinate or the plants didn’t seem to thrive and never flowered. This year, however, I have sunflowers! Not a lot, just three plants but they are beautiful.

Here are some pictures – seems I’m not the only one that appreciates these beautiful flowers.




The honey bees seem to approve of the new flower bed. They are out there since we have had some beautiful summer days busily doing what bees do. The coneflower and the liatris appear to be favorites. Here are some pictures of those little guys at work.









There have been way too many days since we had rain. Things were very dry as evidenced by the numerous fire hazard warnings.P1090214Yesterday and last night we received some much needed rain. Too bad it cancelled the All State parade that everyone was looking forward to seeing.

This morning however, the flowers all stood with their rain drops showing.







It rained this afternoon for most of it, some sorely needed rain. I went outside afterward and while it has cooled off some, it is still quite humid. Fog is hanging in the air.


Here are some pictures of the water clinging to the flowers which I thought I would share


Today is a gorgeous day. The sun is shining after a few dark dreary days of rain and it has warmed up a bit. I have some of the best neighbors —

A few weeks ago on a day that I was not feeling myself, I came home to these on my doorstep.

The littlest neighbor Kate dropped these off on my doorstep. The most beautiful yellow flowers in the tiniest of vases. She made me smile.

My other neighbor has been kind enough to bring spring indoors through the last couple months.


Then this afternoon, another young neighbor showed up to deliver some beautiful peonies that his mom picked and sent my way.


I am truly one lucky lady to have such good friends and neighbors.

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A vase full of flowers is always nice. It adds a pick-me-up to the indoors and makes me smile. Especially when the flowers it holds are lilacs and the vase holding them was made by your son.

Author: Bagande

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Ah… the pressure. Valentine’s Day is a day both anticipated and dreaded. Single folks lament their lack of love, couples rack their brains trying to outdo each other and those around them in demonstrations of affection and love. Restaurants are booked to the nines with couples looking to share a romantic meal for Valentine’s Day. Silly people. While I wouldn’t turn down a beautiful bouquet of some pastel colored flower (red is not my personal favorite for roses), I do have to admit that there is a great deal of time and money and anxiety surrounding this holiday. We have personally witnessed the angst of a poor guy who didn’t really think that he needed reservations on Valentine’s Day and we (the group of friends who decided that going out together on Valentine’s Day was fun) kindly offered he and his date the two empty seats we had at our table when our reservation got called. It turned out to be a fun evening, probably one of the more delightful Valentine’s Days we’ve spent.

Valentine’s Day should be but one day in a year, or if you’re lucky – a lifetime of love, flowers and chocolate (probably in that order although there are days that I might shuffle it around a bit).

I am lucky to have a husband that I love and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with him. I am lucky to have three adorably handsome healthy young men. Flowers will die and chocolate will be eaten, yet these gifts will remain.

May you enjoy your Valentine’s Day however you wish to spend it, and remember it is but one of 365 days. How those that care for you treat you the rest of year really is more important than what happens on just one day -even if you do spend most of it in a car – driving kids around like I did.

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For the second day in a row, we’re under a tornado watch. It is pouring here a very, very rainy Sunday. It was supposed to rain the entire day yesterday but fortunately we had a decent amount of sunshine. We were able to get some gardening done, although my vegetable garden is still sitting there, tilled and unloved.

We did discover this little guy (who’s actually not so little) among the lettuce that is already in the ground. He liked playing hide and seek for the camera.

The flowers were out which is quite nice and puts splashes of color on the green canvas of grass and trees.

DSCN4430 I remember the anticipation when we first planted this clematis plant in our flower bed here in Vermont. We (or at least, I) anxiously waited for the first bloom that first year. I remember that there was one, perfect, beautiful flower. Now, several years later, the plant is filled with more than a dozen blooms, each more beautiful than the first.

Gardening is patience. It is the ultimate test of one’s ability to watch, watch and see what happens. Sometimes, the results are spectacular and sometimes, they are not so good, and still sometimes, nothing ever comes to fruition.

I inherited my love of gardening from my grandfather, who was to the best of my recollection, an extremely patient man. He coaxed things to grow and he definitely had a green thumb. There are peach trees in my mother’s yard today that he planted from a pit from a fruit he had just finished eating. I remember it. I saw it and the tree that came from it. After more than 30 years, I still remember that and it still amazes me. He did compost before composting was the rage and he grew a backyard full of vegetable plants. He always took the time to carefully tend the plants and the results were, well, always well worth the effort.

I think of the garden as my “space” both physically and mentally. Today, the sun broke through the dark clouds and I felt compelled to spend an hour or so in the garden, planting, tending, remembering.


I bought these awesome, huge dahlia plants from our local Rutland Farmer’s Market, from a stand whose name presently escapes me. They were quite the bargain at 3 for $8.50 and beat out what was available at one third the size and almost $7 each from the local garden centers.

This afternoon, while in the garden, I went to water my seed trays which are in the coldframe/greenhouse we have in the garden. It was quite warm in there today and the seedling trays were in need of water. As I stepped inside to water them (I cannot stand straight inside of it) I was startled. It evidently was so warm and cozy in there that a snake had taken up residence and scared the wits out of me. My only thought was thankfully this happened when it did and not several minutes earlier, when I was on my hands and knees in there and would have been, more or less, face to face with it. That scenario played out in my head which would have provided Tom and the boys with plenty of good “make fun of Tammy” material. I figured that I would have jumped up, knocked my head on the wood bracing and knocked myself clean away, to be found sometime later by the boys or Tom, unconscious in the cold frame with a snake necklace.

I hate not knowing what I am doing. I absolutely vehemently hate it. It can drive me, an otherwise relatively sane woman, to the brink of my sanity. For example, the cleaning company that I use and comes every two weeks, is not good about telling me when exactly during the day that they are coming. Consequently, sometimes its like 11 a.m. or 11:30, sometimes its afternoon and often its morning like 8 a.m. Sometimes, I will get an email to say that they are coming early or later, but usually not. This makes me crazy. There are two women who come to clean and therefore it is difficult to avoid them and carry on my usual routine (which is most likely work-writing) so I try to plan other things for the time that they are coming so I can feel a sense of accomplishment and not feel like the day is wasted. Today, for example, I just had a day where I couldn’t really get myself awake. I totally forgot at 6:30 this morning that I had to type a paper for my middle son which he needed done for when he left at 7 a.m. Then it was to get the little one ready for his pickup at 7:50. By 8 a.m., still in my pajamas mind you, I finally got a chance to contemplate a cup of tea and a shower. The dogs started barking and lo and behold….the cleaning team is here! Well, there goes the tea and the shower as I have to zip upstairs to put on dress and get myself together. ARGHHHH! This makes me crazy, if I knew that they were coming I would have been ready but the ONE DAY that I am lazy and not already dressed, here they are at the door. I know, I know, don’t complain, at least you have a cleaning service, but honestly, while the house is clean when they leave, it can be discouraging especially when they announce that in the process of cleaning something, it broke. 

Similarly if we, as a family, are deciding to go out or stay in for dinner for example and no one is deciding, again it makes me insane. Just tell me dammit! What am I doing? Either is usually fine, but someone please tell me!

Now, you may say, okay so what’s the paradox? 

The paradox is that I love being surprised. Presents, flowers, a night out, love all those surprises — hate not knowing what I am doing? Odd, maybe, but that’s me. Take me or leave me.

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