It is said that if you want wildlife to visit a garden, just add water, as it attracts more critters than food. I’m not sure about our numbers, but I will say that we get a lot of activity, with this adorable female Lesser Goldfinch enjoying our hospitality on the regular. We are happy to oblige.

Early last Saturday morning, driving for a waterside hike.

I cannot be certain, but I do believe this butterfly flitted in our wake for the whole of the hike.

Mr. Silly helps me find just the right angle. This cast too much shade on his handsome face.

Happiness!

white evening primrose

These currants were beautiful and delicious!

Post hike cinnamon roll at The Pantry. It did not disappoint!

What a treat to rise early, hike for a couple hours, eat a hearty breakfast AND a cinnamon roll, and be home by NOON. The height, peeps, the height!

porch life…

mountain shadows

Saving the best for last. Do you like shrimp and grits but despair at having an even distribution of flavor? I am known to cut shrimp into itty bits so every bite is just so. A hassle, to be sure, but, like most things, worth it in the end. That is until I encountered Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock’s Shrimp Grits. The shrimp is cooked in heaps of butter then whirled into oblivion in a food processor before being mixed into already cooked grits. They “get to know each other” for five minutes or so before everyone at the table does their best to contain ecstatic outbursts at each and every bite. Yes ma’am, exactly. Just try it!

At Peace

Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.

Milan Kundera

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Arriving

Life, I find, has much of climbing and painting, in it. The contemplation, the challenge, the quick decisions, and the sheer joy of arriving occasionally at the place one longed to be.

William Heaton Cooper

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With all their favorite flowers in full blossom, our hummingbird friends are in a frenzy, with Rufous, Calliope, and Broad Tails zooming for garden domination!

New mushroom sculptures – aren’t they sweet?

Breakfast delights: biscuits, jam, sausage gravy, and, of course, coffee!

To riff on the famous Jaws line, I think we’re going to need a bigger table…

a hungry fritillary (I think) on the orange echinacea

We’ve also been hosting swallowtails, monarchs, admirals, mourning cloaks, sulphurs, cabbages, and just as many moths that I don’t know what to call. If only they weren’t so camera shy.

My favorite companions in one of my favorite places!

Gooseberries! These are from the neighbors, as our bush is just getting its legs. I made jam, of course. So good!

 

 

 

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Wednesday evening, as we were getting ready for bed, a massive thunderstorm rumbled above. Fat rain drops smacked the metal roof, while lightning made a chaotic embroidery of the sky. It was a marvel, and the hubster and I darted from window to window and stood on the porch to admire it all.¬†Flash back twenty-two years, to our first apartment on 11th and Lafayette in Denver, and that same storm would have had me hyperventilating and sobbing, wondering when it would all end. Isn’t it wonderful how time and experience show us a different way of seeing?

For the whole of my life, my sister has abused me*. As a child it was sometimes with words, mostly with fists, and once with a hot curling iron. When I complained to my parents about it, they would ask what I’d done to provoke her. Though I hated this response, for a long time it seemed legitimate, while also infusing me with a ridiculous sense of power. If I did something someone didn’t like, that person would have absolutely no control over their hands or words, and I should actually expect an onslaught of deserved abuse.

So when my mother-in-law started her bullying before Greg and I were even married, I went right along because I’d had such formidable training. Surely, I’d done something to provoke her, too. It was always my fault. Our society told me similar stories. I remember hearing about a woman whose husband murdered her because she was a nag and drove him to do it. Or the countless men, women, and children who are beaten, raped, and worse because of small slights, wearing the wrong clothes or appearing in the wrong¬†place.

I thank the Me Too Movement and my own enlightened thinking nearly three years ago for changing this narrative. People do not ask for violence upon their bodies and souls. To say I forced anyone to harm me is an out and out lie, because that violence lies in the abuser and not the victim. It is the abuser’s choice to utter hurtful words. It is the abuser’s choice to do do physical harm. It is not, nor has it ever been, my choice to be on the receiving end. The abuse I suffered for having my own opinion, for saying no, for watching the wrong television show, for taking a long bath. Seriously! None of that is on me. None of it.

How sad I am that it took forty-five years to come to the realization, but what brilliant new light through old windows. How free it makes me!

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*In case you are wondering, I cut off all contact with her nearly three years ago after receiving hateful messages via Facebook. Otherwise, I suspect she would still be at it. Old habits…

 

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