The Run-Away

After this -
And a lot of this -
We needed some of this -
A get-away, really, it was a run-away, in Lexington, KY. We had a WONDERFUL suite at Hilton Lexington Green. Free! OK, maybe not free, since it was earned by many workdays separated from MWH. But it seemed FREE when we got the $0 balance invoice under the door! This above picture was taken in Georgetown, actually, since we couldn't find a quaint little part of Lexington to meander along the next day.
And though there is a cupcake with lots of icing fairly running off the edges, there were no cupcakes to be found in Georgetown's entire little downtown.

But there WERE these - smoothies, one of which was FREE (!), since they had a deal for a free one, on a weekday, if it was your first time in the shop.
Why get a smoothie without whipped cream? If one is having the smoothie anyway, isn't it somewhat stingy to decline the cream? Go big or go home, I say! YES to whipped cream!

Plenty of architecture ready to be admired.
This bricked-in window really appealed to me. I can't imagine why anyone would brick over a wonderful, enormous window, but I like how it turned out. It seems restful.
And lots of antique/junk shops in which to wander, laugh, and smooch.
More on that soon...


The Last Year

My youngest turned twelve this past week. Doesn't seem like a big deal, does it, unless you stop and count it up, finding the impossible to be true: I only have one more year of having one last child in the house.
(at Kentucky Kingdom - riding with mom)

And it's stretching words to call this now hulking person, who has now finally passed me in height, a 'child'.
(His brothers trying to make him stop crying by reading and bouncing - it's not working.)

When birthday season comes around next year, our sons will all be living in Teenage Land - 19, 17, and 13.
(Happy boy with birthday cake - just like his mother, this one. Icing makes him break into song.)

I can hardly believe where this parenting journey is taking us.
(Juice popsicles bring utter summer joy.)

How it pulls and sometimes jerks us around corners, up and down inclines of alternating delight and disappointment.
(Naptime Grief - who wants to leave a ball, a car and a gal? Not this guy!)

Though ALL is in the process of being shaken, what we know to be true keeps shining, just like the north star!
(Profile pic after the first haircut - Baby Boy minus curls.)

God is faithful.


Walk the Garden

Hey, how about some flower photos? I'm going to link this post to a group of bloggers posting mini-tours of their gardens as they look right now - how fun is that? I LOVE to get to 'walk the garden' with another gardener (or two or three)! So come on...

One of my favorite parts of the gardens, this last long bed - part sun / part shade.
If you double click you can get a better view.
I've got cosmos seedlings coming up in the foreground there, near the swan.
Are you offended by my (new) plastic swan?
Yes, others were, too, but that's a story for another day.
Tall sunflower youngsters over there near the (old) tomato stakes - how have the rabbits missed them? Iris, black-eyed susan, oregano, daylilies, sundrops, pinks - who can get rid of those?!, carnations, ajuga, and a trooper of a hydrangea just past the teepee legs. I must point out that hosta there, just past the hydrangea - my favorite hosta - 'Fried Bananas'. One of the only hosta that I allow to bloom, since the bloom is wonderful white and smells Divine!

First bloom from that hydrangea right back there. Pretty amazing, since I thought they all died in the drought last year! It's one of the few bushes I have that has formed a bloom this year. The most beautiful color!

Couldn't leave out a couple of 'bug' photos (NO SPIDER PHOTOS).
Bugs and gardening - it's a For Better or For Worse situation.
Check out this bumble bee passed out cold in on the stem of a lamb's ear bloom! This stem has been cut and Second Son is holding it still for the photo... Before throwing the stem in the cuttings bin, we all took turns petting the bee! He didn't move a muscle.
Do bees have muscles?

And check out this cute lightning bug, waiting on a stella bloom for his time to come - dusk!

Had to show you these perfect partners! The daylily is called Children's Festival, and doesn't it have the loveliest color with ruffled edges. She's put on her best dress! The lily blooming a little lower is brand new to the garden. I got it FOR A DOLLAR on Saturday from the Lowes clearance rack.
It's called Tiny Toes. Don't they look wonderful together?

My oldest lavender bush. I had to cut out a lot of dead branches this year, more drought results, so the bush doesn't look very good. This photo of the blooms is all I could post.
Send advice on what to do with an old and tired lavender bush, if you can.

That's it for my mini-tour! If you'd like to tour other gardens, go to

Cottage Flora Thursday



Gardening Faith

The twine is tied well up on each knee of the tepee legs with hopes of those heavenly blues getting that high.

( No sign of the VRM this season - every morning glory, sunflower and cleome still has its tender tips... )


Spider Stardom

At the risk of never having anyone ever visit me again, I have to post this LAST photo.
This is it.
Maybe word has gotten around in the spider world that putting in an appearance at my house will result in spider-stardom.
What else could be going on?
This one was AT THE BACK DOOR this afternoon.
Literally with one foot on the entry door, having already passed under the screen door. Youngest Son opened the door to go feed the dog and found this on the doorstep ---
don't think I've ever heard the door slam that loud before. He did better than I would've, though, and Second Son bravely caught it for photos and much amazement, smugly calling us "babies".

*Do not attempt to interview with the owners of this home!*


A Giant

I know I'm at risk of becoming the writer of a Spider Horror Blog.
But this is just too significant to leave out.
Too remarkable to NOT remark!
At least this one was not in our house! It lived out by the fire pit in a really nice, cozy hole in the ground. Lots of ideas went around about how to see just how big it really was, since we could only see its eyes glowing eerily from the bottom of its hole and the occasional stretching of a leg in our direction. The group settled on digging the whole hole up and forcing it out into this jar. What a tidy plan! ha. ha. ha. I'd post the video, but it's a little TOO real life. So for those of you not living the Real Life yet, I'll refrain.
You're welcome.
Can't pass up an opportunity for a good dare.
And this is about as brave as we get around here - with spiders, that is.
Husband suggested I trot the hairy bad boy (with 8 legs) up to the extension office for ID.
But I think I'll pass on a car ride with this mini-monster.
May this be the last spider entry of the year.


That's Our Boy!
Graduating with honors --- one among a crowd of many, many.
And yet so special to us!
We were so proud of his graduation accomplishment; so happy for him to finally grasp the wonderful feeling of finishing, and even finishing well - a continuing theme around here: "Finish Well!"