~ Soaking up Summer ~

 Hello friends,
It's been a wonderful summer.
My sweet husband took some time off, and we spent the time doing projects, and we threw in time for fun too.
We went to visit our oldest son and his wife. This adorable cottage is in a little town, near where they live.
Isn't it just precious~!
 Thanks to everyone for their well wishes, and for their tips on getting our sunflowers to grow again, after we had to dig them all up.
The above picture was taken shortly after we transplanted them back into the ground.
 And now, they are thriving.
I think that the shock of being up-rooted, stunted their growth a bit, but they are putting on quite a show, and surviving!~
 We planted about 10 different varieties.
So far, we think about 6 of the varieties have survived.
 These red ones are really stunning.
I am so happy that they survived, and I'll be saving seeds from these to plant en~mass next spring.
 A new flower to our gardens, is this Green Eyed Susan.
Isn't it wonderful~?!
I do hope that it takes hold, and next spring takes off!  I hope to have enough next spring to divide and put in several places in the borders.
 One of the things that we did while my sweet husband was off, is work on the fence. We now have one side completely done...~~ Yay!
We also bought new perennials and planted them in the borders.  This variety of cone flower, as well as a yellow variety, another variety of lavender, and we put in 4 trees! Two of the trees are maples, and one tree is an apple tree, and the other is an ornamental pear tree.
With the other variegated maple and the two plum trees we put in this spring, our yard will have beauty, shade, wind protection and fruit. It's a wonderful thing~!
 It's always nice to have fresh flowers in the summertime.
Cosmos are growing ~ seeds from a friend. Goldenrod ~ plant starts from a friend. Daisies, they were here when we moved into this house, and the Black Eyed Susans, I planted last spring, along with some tick seed.
 And, yes.. some of our beautiful survivor sunflowers are gracing our kitchen island.
The gladiolus are some that the stem snapped on, after a rain storm. I generally do not cut them, for I like them in the borders, more than I like them in a vase ~~ still, they are gorgeous! We planted them in the early, early spring this year.
 We bought a flat of raspberries.  Seven plus pounds.
We made the most delicious raspberry jam~!
My sweet husband helped me.... he is a wonderful pot stirrer.... in the best way~! He generally helps me with the canning, if he's home.
We made 3 batches of raspberry jam.
 We also bought some gorgeous, giant apricots at the farm stand. You can just see one peeking out of the yellow bowl.
I made 4 batches of apricot ~ pineapple jam.
I had to stir the pot all by myself though, as my sweet husband was at work.
He thinks I'm a great pot stirrer too ~~~ smile.
The jam turned out wonderful, sweet, and delicious~!
By the way........ have you ever had a pan fried potatoes and onions and topped it off with a dollop of apricot ~ pineapple jam??
It is a taste of heaven~ really!
Another project that we worked on, was to make a shed overhang roof for the ATV's.
We planned to add a shed overhang roof to the back side of the garden shed, when we first ordered it in the spring.
Once the shed was delivered, and we painted it, we knew the next order of business was to get the shed overhang roof built, before winter and snows descend on us.
My sweet husband, and our youngest son worked together to get the shed overhang roof done.
There is plenty of room for our ATV's, plus there is still enough room left over to stack wood next to the roof.
Just disregard the totes {they still need to be put in the garage} and the garden wagon {full of tools and supplies for the fence} and the birdhouse {still needs to find a home in one of the borders} and the charcoal grill { we only use it once in a while, and generally use our gas grill}.
I still need to get the stuff put away, and finish the posts, etc.  I'm debating if I want to stain them to look old, or paint them to match the garden shed.
The roof is old tin that was recycled from our son's old garage.
Hmmm..... guess I'd better decide soon, and get it finished.
When summer began, we had one hummingbird feeder, and one faithful little hummingbird.
We now have 2 hummingbird feeders, and we are filling them 2 x a day.
Last night as we sat watching them, as close as we could count... we now have over a dozen little hummingbirds.
I think they are trying to soak up summer too ~!
In one of our previous houses, we had 3 feeders and filled them multiple times a day.. we could count more than 20 hummers.
So, for now, we haven't set a hummingbird record.
Still, there is a bit of summer left, so one never knows.
Another fun thing we've been doing to soak up summer, is to go up to the lake.
This lake is just five miles from our house.
My sweet husband catches the biggest lake trout, and we've had some delicious dinners of lake trout with grilled veggies.
Tastes of summer.......
Can you spy that little town? That's our little town.
The winding road takes you up the canyon to the lake.
As you can see, we are blessed to live in a beautiful valley.
Mountains surround us, and fields make a beautiful patchwork like quilt in the valley.

I'm off to soak up some more summer.
Before you know it, it will be Autumn.

~Attitude of gratitude
~ Feeling blessed to have fresh jam on the shelves in the store room
~Feeling grateful to have packages of shredded zucchini in the freezer... enough to last throughout the winter, and to make cookies, breads, soups and chili's with.
~Thankful that we've been able to travel safely to our destinations, and back home again. What a blessing!
~Feeling thankful for great books and magazines that I've found at bargain prices this summer. I'm all stocked up for Fall and Winter reading, and for just a few dollars!
~I am so grateful for my life! I have a wonderful life, and I am completely humbled by how blessed I am. I feel favored by the Lord...


  1. Oh, Kerin. I want to come live with you. You are living my dream, In my head I can plant all kinds of things and make them grow, and live off of the land and catch fish and ride ATV's and paint fences and make jam!. I guess I will have to just keep in touch with Mill Hill Meadow so that I can live my dreams and have those pretty little dreamy old fashioned bouquets in the kitchen...Happy Tuesday..Judy

  2. Aaaah - I've so enjoyed this post! Glad the sunflowers survived. They and all your other flowers look so pretty. You've been very busy. You'll enjoy that jam this winter. The shed and overhang look good too.
    I love your town, the mountains, the lake - so pretty!

  3. How very nice. I love looking at your pictures. That lake is incredible. I can't believe it is only five miles from your house!!! That is just incredible.
    I love all of the pines and it looks so mountainy. I love your place where you ATVs are now. It looks great. So do your flowers. I am so glad you are getting sunflowers. Your jam is wonderful. I have never heard of onions and potatoes with jam. It sounds wonderful.
    Lovely Post.

  4. Hi Kerin!

    Can I just tell you how much I have loved this post!! What a fun summer you have had! Apricot-pineapple jam is one of my favorite and I can't wait to put it on fried potatoes and onions, yum! Your sunflowers are just gorgeous and I'm so glad they survived. What a beautiful lake! I would love having a lake that close to my home - what fun! You are truly blessed beyond measure! I am also grateful for grated zucchini . . . :0)


  5. Fresh flowers and fresh fruit. What could be better than these?

  6. I love when you update your blog. So happy the sunflowers are doing well. So many varieties! Congrats on the fence work and the shed/overhang. I love your fresh flowers in the kitchen window. What a pretty lake to catch trout in....sounds delicious! Wishing you a nice evening.

  7. I'm glad the sunflowers survived! I am definitely planting those next spring- I just love them!. It sounds like you have been very busy, but have had a wonderful summer. Love the view to your home.

  8. Sweet friend, your flowers are so beautiful and charming. The Green Eyed Susan is quite the pretty and unique little flower :)

    Mmmm... raspberry jam! That is my favorite :) My dear Grandma Betty used to make it for my all the time and she would make yummy sandwich cookies with it :)

    It's always a joy to visit you, Kerin. Hugs and blessings!

  9. Sounds like you have really been enjoying your summer. : ) All the flowers are so pretty. My sunflowers are just now starting to bloom. Some of them are about 8 feet tall and one of them must be 10 feet.

  10. Such a grateful spirited heart you have Kerin . . .
    Reading you inspires me . . .
    Loved your photos!

  11. Sounds like you have had a productive summer for sure.
    I have gotten more done inside than out this summer.
    I do have a few potted plants but no garden this year.

    M : )

  12. So beautiful there at the lake! Gorgeous sunflowers! Glad you got them to grow! Hope that you are doing wonderfully!! xo Heather


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