"I started photographing my domestic world and writing not just about what I had made,
but why I made it, examining the thoughts that accompany creativity and the act of making."
Jane Brocket from The Gentle Art of Domesticity p. 189 UK edition

Friday, August 26, 2016

Summer's Height

 The first Saturday in August, our family friend, Grantie, invited us to picnic with her at her favorite nearby Oregon state park, Wildwood near the base of Mt. Hood outside Portland.
 Under a huge  green canopy of leaves we stayed cool at Wildwood and wandered out in the sunshine when we wanted to warm up playing catch or soccer or just strolling about.
 Our little wildflower patch at home is featuring sunny golden flowers now.
 Our Sweet Pea vines are producing more seed pods than flowers now, and the Sun Gold cherry tomato plant [on the right] is giving us some sweet tomatoes.
 The preemie baby blanket I have been single crocheting with Deborah Norville Serenity  medium weight acrylic Baby yarn this summer is complete. I made an edging on the ends with Knit Picks gray acrylic yarn, 3 single crochet stitches in one stitch, slip stitch in the next stitch, repeat.
In the two years the ladies at our church have been making blankets they have made over 250 blankets.  It is a fun challenge to find patterns that are tight enough not to catch on the equipment needed to care for the NICU babies.  This is a photo of some of the last fifty blankets the ladies made.  The different colors and stitches inspire me!
 After "discovering" a nearby Japanese garden this past Spring I decided to try to visit the garden in each season and note the difference in colors of the plants.  These photos show more highlights of golden yellow at the height of Summer.
 There are touches of orangey reds here and there, too.

 And I love the different shapes and shadows I saw, too.

 Going out the Main Street Park from the Japanese Garden there is a sunny bank of Black Eyed Susans that I admired.
 At the height of Summer Mt. Hood often looks hazy, but I am thankful the haze is due more to heat than wildfires this year.
 From where I stopped to photograph Mt. Hood on 302nd Street, I saw this little tree sporting pretty Fall colors...a little ahead of schedule.
 One day recently I came home to discover a wonderful package from my dear blogging friend, Pat.  She spends part of the year living at her home in Turkey; and, thinking of photos of my tea table I sometimes show you, she decided to send me a set of Turkish Tea glasses with golden spoons to stir one's tea. She sent me two kinds of fruit teas, Pomegranate and Apple both of which are delicious.  She also sent the cobalt blue round glass piece that is hanging from my tea jar.  On the other side of it there is a teardrop shaped white shape on the blue with a little black round circle in the center.  When I Google imaged the piece I confirmed it is called by some the Eye of God. It reminded me of the blessing in Psalm 32:8, "I will instruct you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye." Thanks again Pat for your lovely gifts to me.
 Then a few days ago I came home and discovered another package from my blogging friend who lives in Kuwait, Tammy.  She sent me a pretty moon with palms notecard, a crocheted white coaster and a bookmark from Bethlehem. Thanks again for your lovely gifts, Tammy.
Through the messages I have received I felt that love has traveled around the world to me even though I have not traveled far from home. Then this past Wednesday Teresa and I were thrilled to spot the transport of others who we hope are lovingly traveling around our part of the world on the Columbia River in the American Queen Steamboat.
 We also saw the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler we have enjoyed riding on and would love for you to be able to float in as well if you have not done so.
 When Teresa and I looked down at our feet where we were standing to take photos of the boats we had fun admiring the acorns that had fallen.
The mighty oak above us is releasing acorns at the height of Summer...seeds for growth in the seasons to come...

What is a highlight of the season of year you are in?

Gracie xx


  1. My highlights are coming thick and fast now as I harvest from the allotment - so much to gather and store. You have such great friends and community Gracie, I love reading about your adventures and travels. Jo x

  2. One of my highlights is your friendship. Thank you for being my friend and listening to my good stories as well as some of my tales of woe. You offer such good counsel to me and in doing so I learn to be a better person.. because you are such a good and kind and loving friend. Love you! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  3. Lovely post, Gracie - the state park, gardens, pretty gifts and beautiful steamboats are wonderful. How very sweet all the baby blankets are from some very special angels :) xx K

  4. The highlight of this season has been the many visits of my three daughters and their little families. It has been wonderful to be able to get together for the Christening of Hector and we will be getting together again next weekend to celebrate the Christening of Honey, our two newest Grand babies. A beautiful post, I love the idea of sailing along in paddle boat.

  5. Highlights are watching young people get married. We just got back awhile ago from our 2nd wedding of the summer. It's been fun to watch these dear ones grow up in the Lord and choose Godly mates. I'm glad you're my friend too. Phil and I are headed up your way in Oct so maybe we can eat out somewhere one evening. Hugs and thanks for sharing your days of summer in pictures! I'm looking forward to cooler fall weather!!!

  6. Loved the photos of the steam boat. Beautiful.. We have been so lucky recently to have warm evenings. Love sitting outside until the sun starts to set :) B

  7. Gracie, if you constantly snip of the developing seed pods on your Sweet Peas they will continue to produce more and more flowers. The seed pods actually weaken the plant as all the nutrients go to form the seeds. Sweet Peas are one flower that I constantly pick as they scent the whole house.

    I have an Oak tree in a large planter...it is now 27 years old , grown from an acorn picked up in Harrogate, Yorkshire. For many years now it has produced acorns of it's own and one of them that I planted three years ago is now a small tree some three feet tall.

    Can I ask, do you always use loose leaf tea? If so, do you make your own fruit /herb varieties as I have never seen anything other than 'normal' loose leaf tea for sale here in UK. Mine are always in tea bags. Am drinking lots of 'Twining's' Liquorice Root tea at the moment.

    1. Joy! Thanks so much for the gardening advice! I am going right out to snip off the seed pods! A while ago you asked me about the scent of roses around us: the roses in the store look pretty but have no scent, and my Joseph's Coat roses have a light scent. I want to plant some old-fashioned fragrant roses, some Honeysuckle, and some Jasmine, and I would be thrilled if I could grow Gardenias! My Carnations and Sweet Williams smelled lovely but did not bloom profusely. I think it is so neat that you are growing an Oak tree from an acorn you rescued! A tea shop near us sells loose teas that they mix in all sorts of lovely combinations. The one in the jar is decaf chai, but my favorite of theirs is strawberry rhubarb. Mostly, I daily use Lipton's [black tea] decaf tea bags. xx

  8. Happy Saturday sweet Gracie! I so enjoyed your post today, seeing all of the flowers and especially the Japanese garden. I watched a show last night on PBS that featured Japan and a lot of the areas I've traveled with Alex. These things make me miss him even more, but also make me feel close to him. My, you've received some nice gifts. Tammy has been very generous to her blogging friends over the past few weeks hasn't she? I REALLY enjoyed seeing the pile of blankets for the NICU. What a blessing for those babies and the love in every stitch makes them extra special. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  9. So many people love you Gracie, me included. You are so special and such a delight. Hugs,

  10. Hi Gracie, I loved see the beautiful photos from Wildwood; those trees are amazing! Such a lovely blanket you have made for the little one. Your photos of the Japanese gardens are so lovely. It's one place that I'd love to visit one day. Enjoy your Sunday dear friend and until next time, my best wishes to you. Pat xx

  11. I love your post, dear Gracie! Full of love, friendship, gratitude and appreciation. I always love to see what's on your tea table - what lovely gifts.
    And the Japanese garden. You can feel the peace and serenity.
    What love goes into those little blankets - just beautiful. xo

  12. I would have to say the highlight of summer for me is being warm! Ooh, I hate the thought of freezing again this winter...if only summer could stretch for about 6 months longer! The state park looks like a fun place--with a nice trail, woods, and wildflowers. We spend plenty of time at our local favorite state park. Awesome that you are enjoying fresh cherry tomatoes. The 50 blankets look beautiful. You guys did a lovely job. The Japanese garden looks like a very nice place. I'm sure it will be even more stunning this fall. It must have been a very special treat to receive such thoughtful packages from around the world. Thanks for sharing the photos of the steamboat and stern-wheeler! Have a great week!

  13. There are so many highlights from your summer! It was lovely to look up at the tall tree canopy, see Mount Hood again, revisit the Japanese garden again. That's amazing number of blankets you have made in such pretty colors. The highlight of my summer has been having time to wander and enjoy where I live in all weathers! Sarah x

  14. Hi Gracie. Looks like you have been out enjoying summer to the full extent! Such pretty pictures of the places you have been!
    How lovely of your friend from Turkey, to send such a thoughtful gift. And of your friend from Kuwait as well.
    I love that you and Teresa get to enjoy so many nice adventures together.
    I am ready for Fall. It is just too hot here.

  15. Such a lovely post...your pictures of the beautiful outdoors are so uplifting. How wonderful those gifts are, and specially chosen for you I can see. Love the little baby blankets too...so pretty all folded lovingly together like that. Wishing you many more happy highlights as summer moves into autumn, dear Gracie.
    Helen xox

  16. What a gorgeous japanese garden, stunning x Well done with your crochet blanket, I like the colours used and fantastic how you are knitting for prem babies.

  17. I love your photos of the majestic trees and all the foliage everywhere! (I live vicariously through your blog posts to enjoy the PNW)
    You have had a lovely month of arts and crafts and tea!

  18. Thank you so much for your sweet comments on a recent blogpost of mine! I'm glad you bought Mom's book & read it and enjoyed it. Loved seeing the awesome tea glasses and spoons, the gift from your friend in Turkey. Enjoyed seeing the lovely park...especially those blackeyed susans! And that little acorn...that's one of my favorite art motifs. Can't wait to enjoy a real autumn in the NW!

  19. Hello Gracie. I am behind reading and commenting on your blog- one of my favourites. Your photos and words lift my spirits. Good to see/read all the wonderful things that have made your summer special. Hugs Anne x


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