Admiring

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We’ve got quite the bounty of flowers in the garden now, roses, lilies, hostas, St. John’s Wort, marigolds, Russian sage, and more. The top two are echinacea that I planted in the spring. I had never seen white before, so there was a bit of suspense about how they would actually look. I am pleased as punch with my choice. As for the blue, I can only guess that it is somehow related to spider wort (tradescantia) based on the look of the flowers and foliage. The blossoms are about the size of the tip of my thumb, so you can imagine how tiny that bee is! I also saw a large and fantastic yellow butterfly on the lilies yesterday, but, as is often the case with butterflies, it’s presence was fleeting, floating up and over the fence right after I caught a glimpse.

We got the TV room painted! It was a rather icky shade of beige before, and though it wasn’t terribly dark, it sure did make the room feel it. So we are happy and keep lingering at the threshold, pleased with our work and the color choice.

Look at that ceiling fan whirl! Never much for them, we are Pennsylvania converts, the humid air just heavy enough to make one feel the heat when the fan isn’t going. Thankfully, they are all over the house, so we haven’t had much use for a boxed air conditioner. YET.

Must dash – I’m off to hear Bach at an outdoor concert. Have a wonderful Sunday!

Up early on Friday for a hike in North Park with our friends Kristen and Patrick (Hello!). Oh my goodness, with hiking, bird watching, kayaking, places to eat, and many a lovely vista, it’s like all of my favorite parks rolled into one!

Good times on the roof of a parking garage to see Jaws! It’s bloodier and funnier than I remembered.

 

More fun at the Laurel Highlands Bluegrass Festival, benefiting the Ligonier Volunteer Fire Department. Friendly folks, sweet singing, and some mighty fine picking!

Throwing it back to May, with our first visit to Randyland and Max’s Allegheny Tavern. Wonderful and delicious…

And our borough’s car show. What a treat to be able to walk down the street and see so many beauties!

Hope you had a lovely holiday…

 

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Silly

Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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The Fort Pitt Blockhouse, circa 1764

A walk along the Allegheny down to The Point, where two rivers (the Allegheny and Monongahela) make one (the Ohio), but they call it three. The old version of new math, perhaps?  What a fantastic day that was, with what felt like the whole of Pittsburgh out enjoying the weather. On bicycles, running, walking, strolling, kayaking, human power ruled the day!

Funny story: when we first arrived and were really and truly lost much of the time and poking fun at ourselves with whomever would listen, a sweet woman at the Home Depot told us how she and her husband, on their first adventure downtown after moving to Pittsburgh, made note of the bridge they came over, so as not to get nearly as lost when returning home. It’s yellow! They then turned to note that nearly every other bridge shared this same hue and laughed at the folly of it all.

I love the yellow bridges! Such cheer and efficiency, “I would like one million gallons of yellow number five, please.” Surely a gigantic nod to the Steelers and the Pirates, but that’s not all. Three of them are named for famous Pittsburghers: Roberto Clemente, Andy Warhol, and Rachel Carson. A baseball player, an artist, and a conservationist. Way to represent, Pittsburgh. Everyone gets a bridge!

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Hullo gentle reader. Happy day after the final episode of Mad Men. Which we have not watched because we do not have cable (never have) and are impatiently awaiting its arrival to the Playstation Network, so we can get this business over with, and I can sob or jump up and down in anger, very likely both (UPDATE: Both sobbing and jumping, mostly sobbing. Thank you, Mad Men). I have been rewatching the entire series over the past few weeks, which has been heartening, depressing, and inspiring. That show!

To the photos. We painted! The foyer (with gorgeous landscape by my dear friend Jamee Linton), living room, and dining room are done, done, done. Warm and bright spaces make for happy occupants, truly. It is rather unfortunate that much more remains. You can’t have everything, at least not all at once. I should mention that the light fixtures are also new (Restoration Hardware if you’re on the hunt), installed by the uber-handy hubster! Lucky me, lucky us.

Dianthus, sweet and spicy and one of my very favorite scents!

Green! Our pint sized plot is really starting to come into its own. It’s been interesting to see what comes up and, of course, add my own touches, like peonies (of course!), lavender, culinary herbs, and wild flowers. Hoping the yard is teeming with bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies by summer’s end. I am also researching a few colorific (is this a word?) shrubs and the best evergreens for small spaces, as that wall-o-brown fence is much too much for the eyes to bear, especially in winter. Must have green!

On that note, how lovely is the giant sycamore just beyond our fence?! It is rather slow to leaf out, but it sure does it in style! The street scene is just down the block, though it could be any of our neigbhoring hills. All of Pittsburgh is cradled in green. What a marvelous treat after the browns of winter.

Also exciting, tremendously so, are the birds. It is a dream to see and hear such a wild chorus of song. At this very moment: Cardinals, Song Sparrows, Sparrows, Carolina Wrens, Tufted Titmice, Chickadees, and Finches! These same birds and more visit our feeder, too, much to my delight. We’ve also seen three varieties of woodpecker, more Starlings than we can shake a stick at (such savage beasts and sweet singers!), Mourning doves, Juncos, White Breasted Nuthatches, Robins, a Red-Tailed and a Red Shouldered Hawk (here for birds, not seeds), and, while they haven’t visited the feeder, we have delighted in the aerobatics of swallows and herons just above the trees. Squee!

Look! It’s like we’re actually talking.

Have a great day!

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