Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Our Talented Friends

It has been an especially active summer for us, with lots of travel, not all strictly for pleasure. For the second time in recent weeks we will have visiting family in the house while we ourselves are not able to be here! When you already feel that you want to see the grandchildren as often as possible, that can be a bit painful.

It is also a challenge to keep a good connection with the blog. As so much has been said around Blogland recently, there are notable changes with blogging in general. Other social media can be so much easier and less time consuming. Fresher faces, with so much more exciting to share, can seem to take up all the air left in the room. And worst of all, my dearest blogging pal has just thrown in the towel for a while! I hope and pray that it is just temporary. But while I completely understand, I miss her presence terribly!

All that said, I just had to share with you one of the most lovely things that has ever happened to me in or outside of my blogging experience. 

Waiting for me at the return of one of our trips was a mysterious package whose return address I recognized. It was from Patricia Eaton (Pat), from Arkansas, who is immensely talented with a blog of her own, Bird Nest On the Ground. Pat has now and then over the years taken the time to write lovely emails of praise and support for my blog, assuring me that though she did not often comment, she was a regular reader. She has also sent lovely things by post that she knew I would love.

But this time she has outdone herself! Pat saw a beautiful vintage towel that I had posted on the blog a while back and decided to copy the design and make a special gift for me!

I can't tell you how humbling it is to received such an exquisitely worked object of beauty, custom made especially for me. It leaves me utterly speechless at the lovely gesture.

Pat meant it as a thank you in appreciation for my blog. And I know that she would not mind my sharing her impeccably elegant work and beautifully written note with you.

I was so thrilled to see that she had even signed her delicate work of art on the back. Isn't that just the loveliest handwriting? That alone is becoming a lost art!

The finishing details with the lustrous bead work is just breathtaking.

This magnificent little pin cushion will always be the loveliest memento of my blogging days. I love the personal monogram. And isn't that adorable pale pink heart pin just the perfect finishing touch?

Pat's beautiful letter says so much more about her wonderful talents than it could ever say about mine.

Thank you Pat for your beautiful heart and your wonderful talent! I am overwhelmed.

There are many of you who visit and leave a sweet comment now and then whom I can never reach either because you are not a blogger, and have not left a return address, or you have a Google plus profile page (or Blogger page) with inadequate email or blog address information. Please check if this is the case for you. But thank you so much for leaving a good word for me! I also have many non-blogger and shop friends and family who read regularly, but do not have a way of commenting (or just don't! haha!), since my settings do not allow "anonymous" comments. Thanks to all of you too for stopping by now and then! I love sharing my small world with you!

Happy days to you!
 We are still summering on. . . .


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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Tones of August

I love the crisp simple whites of early summer. 

But I am partial to the softened hues of August.

August is my birth month, and believe it or not my mother's grandparents from Germany were named Julius and Augusta after the respective dates of their birth. I somehow escaped the tradition and was given a French name instead! 

My own Pennsylvania Dutch grandparents gave me the first name Jacqueline, while my native New Mexico grandparents bestowed me with Genevieve. (My notorious French ancestors were early settlers here.) In turn, I have a namesake grand-daughter with my grand middle name as well. Her first name is Summer! (She was born in December, and I just love the promise and irony contained in that!)

Nature seems all lace and tracery at summer's ending. I plucked these faded blooms from a pot of failed white hydrangeas left out on the porch. (Our summer plants take a beating when we are gone so much.)

But my eye also turns to the ivory and amber tones when I am out on the prowl this time of year. and my recent finds reflect that. 

A weathered and crazed antique French plate caught my eye with it's subtle charms.

Isn't lilac such an essential Frenchy color?

Worn patterns never fail to steal my heart,

I have shown the luscious lace coverlet a few times on the blog already,

But all the rest here are recent finds as well.

Like the ruffled chemise. . . 

and an antique chippy chair.

 August is the older sister of summer with leaves and blooms all veined and curled with age. 

She wants her silver all unburnished too. . .

wearing a regal, tattered, and tarnished gown.

I found this elegant antique Limoges serving dish on a thrift store shelf.

The leafy handles and quiet pattern speak of the less robust days of the season,

where the rose gives way to mums and daisies. (I prefer them in a muted hue.)

I am enjoying the waning colors of the season, before the new one announces it's arrival with a riot of noisy fireworks.  

A quiet departure can be so beautiful. 

I hope it's been a fantastic week for you!

 So lovely to have a visit from you.


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Monday, August 17, 2015

Fields, Gardens, and Shooting Stars

These are my fields, and I am taking you along on my walk today. I've been missing you! It has been such a busy summer, as most summers are I suppose. It's bright, and not all that early. I always think I am going to walk at first light, and never make it. But by nine in the morning it is already too hot. And the morning glare has even made the Sandia Mountains invisible in this shot.

I gave it another go, because you really must see the eastern silhouette of the city of Albuquerque! 

I have never been one for an exercise gym, so this is my dusty treadmill, complete with bird song. Free of charge, and always open. I can actually leave my front door and take a path to these fields! It is a dedicated public space, which I take quite personally.

Dotted across the cultivated fields are a number of rustic benches for pause or contemplation.

There is a pack of three coyote that have made a home here over the past couple of years. And the Canadian Geese have already started to gather. In a few short weeks they will be joined by flocks of Sandhill Cranes to winter over along the Rio Grande. The river also supplies irrigation to the crops and the public gardens which one can cultivate for a fee.

Each gardener marks their rows with an identifier, whether it be a statue,

a whimsical bunny,

or twiggy rustic chair.

The garden is a brambly plot full of all manner of vegetation, and worked by gardeners of all skill levels. Even the elementary school next door has a space! Wouldn't that be wonderful for every school in the country?

It's all operated on an honor system. but I would love to pluck a few stems of the seedy dill that someone has planted! It gives off a wonderful fragrance as I pass by.

Tons of jewel toned fruit lies plump and juicy all hidden away on the lower branches.

Or on the upper ones!

A jaunt through the growth always offers a few surprises.

There are the typical variety of companion flowers mixed in in masses: marigolds, sunflowers, poppies, and cosmos, but none of my photos captured the spectacle properly in the harsh light. (The goldfinches are a delight to watch feasting in the early hours.)

Nothing here seems grown for show. Even the roses are hard working at feeding the active populace. 

Even a stalk or two of bloom does not go un-noticed. . . .

You can see what a hard scrabble affair it is to grow a decent garden in this clay, even with irrigation and regular summer showers!

The basic style of the bird feeders tucked in here and there speak of the practical approach to most features of life here in the desert southwest as well.

A scraggly olive tree tells a story of struggle amid this patch of green, but it is a lovely oasis nevertheless.

I have no idea what this growth is, but the birds love it in fall and winter!

As well as the masses of small plums grown in clusters almost out of sight.


I love wading through this half wild garden when there is time.

Snaking through the hidden pathways along with the lizards, bunnies, and roadrunners that live here.

Taking a bit of shade under a young tree,

And stopping for a moment of solitude to begin another day.

Climbing up the banks of the ancient acequia that has fed these fields for a few hundred years now enlarges the view.

It's time for another lap around the corn and alfalfa before the sun rises too high.

Such a good way to begin or end the day! Thanks so much for coming along with me! I wish you could have also seen the massive formations sailing up from the desert at Shiprock, NM, the spectacular red cliffs at Moab, Utah, and the peaceful chairlift ride at Sundance to the light of the blue moon. But I never snapped a single shot!
 Also impossible for photos of the wondrous meteor shower overhead as we lay searching the moonless skies on a mountain top deep into the summer night a few days ago. But how could I ever forget the ecstatic voice of a child witnessing her first shooting star anyway?

We have squeezed so much into the last few weeks, but it's not over 'til it's over!

Happy trails to you!