The Secret of the Garden

 

Wooden bridge with cherry blossoms

I have been meaning to visit the local botanical garden for the last several weeks. We usually go there once a year in the middle of the summer. For some reason,  I kept putting it off.

I was too busy. It would take too much time.

It cost too much. I didn’t have time.

Pink blossoms on white ground

There would be nothing worthwhile seeing this early in the season. I had seen it all before.

I wouldn’t get anything out of it. It would be a waste of time.

I needed to stay home and get things done. The blog world needed me.

The other day those little voices in my head finally got the better of me. Mom and I dropped everything and made our way to the garden. She had never been there before even though she lived in our area for more than 40 years.

We took off and left dishes in the sink. We left wet laundry in the washer. We left no cooked food or directions for making lunch (I know! GASP!).

Pond with wood duck

What we saw, shocked me. I was completely amazed at how beautiful the garden was in the spring. Picture perfect. This wooden bridge melted me. Monet’s famous garden in Giverney, France can’t be more beautiful than this.

Silly me, why did I think it would not be beautiful??

Secret pathway

The pathways were lush and green. The garden was full of birds and wildlife.

Pathway with blossoms

The trees were still in bloom. Even though they were beginning to loose their petals, they were amazing and beautiful.

Bench with petals on the ground

The fallen petals reminded me of snow on the ground. Such a fairyland this is! I could have sat on this bench for hours in contentment.

Calendula

Hard to believe we almost didn’t come to visit. We could have missed it all.

Mom in the garden

Mom loved it. She is 85 years young, and her memory is failing her. She asked me what every plant was as we walked along. I pointed out the plants that I knew, but she couldn’t remember them, and I would have to tell her again what they were the next time we came across them. It was a long, long walk.

It’s a walk I will always remember, although I am sure she will not.

Pot with curly willow branches

The garden was all but deserted. Very few visitors were there.

They were too busy.

They thought it would cost too much, even though it’s actually free to visit.

They didn’t think there would be much to see, even thought there is plenty to see.

They didn’t have time, although they could have made the time.

They needed to stay home and get things done, but they probably weren’t really accomplishing very much anyway.

The Secret of the Garden is in the big reveal. Every time I go there, it reveals something new to me and I learn something new about myself. Each time I come home refreshed and inspired.

I wonder how many other beautiful things I have missed because of those negative thoughts in my mind? I have decided I don’t want to miss them anymore. I will be listening for them and working to make them go away.

You never know where or when inspiration will find you. You may even find it where you are sure it won’t exist. That’s the Secret for today.

I hope you have been inspired!

 

Sew Fire Learn to Sew Printables

 

FB Live Camera Set Up

Good hello my friends! I am excited for my Live FB segment today!

That’s 10:00am CST on Mondays and Wednesdays. Be sure to check it out!  Fridays I am posting a video tutorial for a simple project you can make with your newly learned sewing skills. If you aren’t sure why you should learn to sew, read this post.

Actually, this week Friday, I will have a no sew project to give you a few more days to practice if you are new to sewing! You are going to love it, so be sure to stop by!

I thought you might appreciate an insight into what goes on behind the camera. I know I love to see how other people do things. I am new to video, I have done a few of them in the past (see my YouTube channel) but I have so much to learn. I recently attended a class on video production, so I feel I have new skills to help me along!

For now, this is my Facebook Live recording process. It’s rather funny actually, and if you see me smiling smugly at the camera it’s because I am cracking up inside over this pathetic set up! Hopefully, it won’t come crashing down when I am on camera! The lighting isn’t great but with a few lamps I can improve things a bit.

In this photo you will see my cell phone attached to a selfie stick. Yup, that’s what it is. The selfie stick is connected to an old tennis ball holder with bull dog clips to hold it in place. It is sitting on one of our old kitchen chairs. Someday I will update to an actual tripod attachment gismo, but for now this ridiculous contraption seems to work rather well. It also makes me laugh on camera and helps to relieve my camera shyness.

Crazy right?

I am posting to give you the links to the promised So Fire FREE PRINTABLE WORKSHEETS.

I will be adding more to this page as time goes on, here are a few to get you started!

Lesson 1 Sewing a Straight Stitch

Lesson 2 Learning to Pivot

Lesson 3 Sewing Curves

Lesson 4 Thread Do’s and Don’ts (also coming next week!)

See you soon!

Why Vacation Makes Me Loose My Mind

I have been avoiding the computer lately. This is unlike me, and I am not quite sure of the root of the problem. It seems that since we got back from our recent Florida east coast vacation, writing has been difficult. It seems like the longer we are away, the harder it is to get back to reality.

 

While we were at the beach, our daily routine was simple. Early morning walks on the beach were followed by leisurely breakfast and excursions to see the local sights. Shopping was a splendid past time, and I don’t normally do a lot of it, so it was a welcome way to spend the mornings.

Many of our lunches were eaten on the road, another welcome break from my everyday routine. We love exploring little Mom And Pop type family restraunts along the coast line. Our favorite place was closed the day we were there, I missed eating along the water with the lovely view of the yachts.

We stayed with our son who is in college. He and his roommates have rented a sweet little house by the beach. I am envious. I could get used to a place like this. I love the hot orange shade in his bathroom. Not really beachy, but it made me feel warm and sunny the entire time we were visiting.
The kitchen was just as nice. Even though we didn’t cook a lot, it was nice to use good quality appliances and beautiful granite counter tops for a little while.
I am envious.
After lunch we would head out to the beach for more walks or playing in the waves.
It was in the 80’s the entire time we were there. We spent Christmas Day surfing among the waves, strolling on the beach and picking up sea shells.
I have never spent a December in such a warm climate. It seemed odd at first, but I am quick to adjust.
I am envious of those who live in warm places. I can’t help myself.
Even getting stung by a Man Of War jelly fish didn’t detour us from the water. This little guy washed up on the beach after high tide one day.
He is beautiful in blue with just a touch of pink to accessorize.
Perfect in his creation.

I enjoy watching the creatures along the sea. I don’t know that I would ever get tired of it. This flock of Sand Pipers made me laugh. The run in between the waves to find food, then all turn around at the same time and run away when the waves get too close.

 

Most afternoons I would read on the beach until dusk. I found a thrift store nearby that had some of our favorite Stephanie Plum detective novels. They are so light hearted and entertaining. And only a little bit trashy. I read several of them while we were away.

By the time the sun went down each day, we were exhausted in a good way. We like to turn in early so we can get a good view of the sunrise the next day.

I am envious. Our subzero weather here in Wisconsin has me dreaming of the beach again. I miss being outside. I miss long walks on the beach, and warm sunshine. I miss how far away all the cares of everyday life seemed, for now that we are back home, they weigh heavily on my mind.

Vacation makes me loose my mind. I guess that’s the reason why we need it so badly. We have to learn to unplug, relax and focus on the things that really matter. We need to cast our cares onto the shoulders of the One who should be carrying them to begin with, our God and Savior.

 

The rainbow is a promise of Gods provision. We just need to step aside and let Him take over. Loose our mind, so to speak. I struggle in this way. It is something I work on every day, somehow it doesn’t come naturally. But, I will continue to try.

I can’t wait to completely loose my mind again, and go to the beach. And read some more trashy detective novels.

Do you have travel plans this season? Where are you going? I am envious!

 

Ye Old Car Show

54 Ford Truck

 

It’s a hot day in the summer, and there is nothing better than a visit to the local antique Car Show. My teenagers had no interest in going, I can’t understand it.

They would rather tinker with their own cars, than see the old ones. They don’t know what they are missing.

There is nothing like the look of chrome on an old car. There just isn’t. These cars tell a story, that’s what makes them so fascinating.

My Daddy had an old Ford truck like this. His was old, rusty and without an engine. He had me help him haul it to the storage facility one time, when I was 12 years old. I did not appreciate being dragged away from my sewing to help haul some junky old truck.

Ford Grill

Dad didn’t have a legal towing bar, so he towed it with an old chain and a very unwilling teen sitting behind the wheel. My job was to steer and hit the brakes to keep the old truck from slamming into the back of the car as he pulled us along. I practically pushed that pedal through the floor, I was hitting it so hard.

I cried in terror the entire time. I have never forgotten it.

Trucks still scare me for some reason. Don’t ask me why.

Mustang

 

My Granny had an old Plymouth Fury in the 1960’s. She had it for 20 years. It had red leather interior with white leather seats, and a gorgeous chrome dashboard. Her car had the coolest push buttons inside, I used to love to play with them. Then I would polish them to remove my finger prints. It was such fun.

Grandma would drive swiftly down the road with the windows rolled down, her white hair flowing in the breeze, wearing her cats eyes style leopard sunglasses. She was quite a looker, even in her older years.

Watching that red car sail down the road, was a sight to see, let me tell you!

Chevy Truck

My cousins like to name their vehicles, I remember they had a big old blue truck, aptly named BIG BLUE.

This truck looks like a BIG BLUE, doesn’t it?

Chevy Grill

grill

Then there’s the  “Gansta style” cars, reminiscent of old movies, Durby hats and women with silk stocking wearing red lipstick and mink shawls.

headlight

I adore the headlights with their own hood. Did they really think this would help keep them dry when driving down the road?

Mustang BlueBy far, my favorite had to be this blue Mustang convertible. Love everything about it.

Mustang Blue trunk

What stories it could tell!

side of blue car

Have a beautiful day!

Copper Falls State Park

 

Bad River landscape

I have been off the grid this week. We have returned from our travels to the great Northern Territory of Wisconsin. We enjoy camping and this year we decided to explore one of the parks in our home state. We have lived here most of our life, but have yet to see all there is to see in our home state.

Copper Falls State Park is one of several parks in the northern area. It has 5 star ratings across the board on Trip Advisor, Yelp and just about every other site I looked at. The park has many amenities like hiking, swimming and boating, and the ones they don’t have are available near by.

North Woods Canapy

We chose to hike into our tent site which was a mere 250 yards from the parking area. The park provides a small wagon for hauling your equipment to your site which made it very easy. We have never used a hike -in site, and would do it again. It was a lovely spot, with very tall maple and ash trees.

Sleeping under the canopy was great, we were protected from the majority of wind and rain. There were a few Mosquitos, so bring your repellent just in case. Temperatures can be very cool at night here, it was in the mid-forties the few nights we were there, so bring lots of blankets.

Red Granit Falls2

During the day we explored the parks hiking trails. They were well marked and we appreciated how well groomed they were. As we neared the end of the 2.5 mile trail we heard the rushing water of the Red Granite Falls, one of two beautiful water falls in the park. It was absolutely  breath taking.

Red Granit Falls

The massive red rocks help give the water some of its unusual coloring. High concentrations of copper and iron give the water its blackish color and mysterious character. The Ojibowa Indians named this river,  Bad River. You can see why, it is a massive river, and the rapids are huge.

Bridge to Copper Falls

The second water fall is Copper Falls, hence the parks namesake. You can walk around the falls from different viewing angles over these lovely rustic bridges.

Copper Falls

Copper falls is a bit smaller, but no less impressive. I couldn’t help but think that the water looked like dark ale, complete with its rich golden foam.

Copper Falls Rapids

The sound of the rushing water is so musical, I could have listened to it forever.

Basalt steps to Copper Falls

 

Be prepared to do some serious climbing while you are here. These stone steps are made from naturally occurring basalt, a lava rock left here ages ago. We had no idea that there was any thing like this in our state. I was sore for a day or two after scaling many upward paths such as this.

Bayfield Harbor

If you would like a day trip, there are a number of small towns in the area with sights to see. We headed further north to Bayfield, right on the shores of Lake Superior. The historical town is built along this beautiful bay.

Bayfield Harbor Yachts

The Lake superior region is very unique looking, the deep lake is a rich blue color and there is always a cool breeze.

Bayfield WI

Established in the mid-1800’s, there are lots of period homes and buildings to see. They all had beautiful gardens and landscaping.

Petunias

 

This restaurant pictured above, got its name from the local fish packing plant. Fresh white fish from Lake Superior is still packed into wooden barrels, salted and pickled for pickled herring as it has been done here for the last 150 years.

Pickled Herring

 

I love the character of this vintage sign.

Red Yacht

There is plenty of sailing on Lake Superior, Bayfield is famous for its yacht race over the 4th of July holiday. There were a number of vessels already in port for the race.

Sailboat on Lake Superior

We wanted to try sea kayaking, but it was so cool the day we were there we decided to postpone it. There are guided tours available and lots of equipment you can rent at a reasonable price.

The car ferry can take you over to the famous Madeline Island, one of the Apostle Islands along the coastline of Lake Superior. Madeline Island is supposed to be a lovely place, we were disappointed that it was so cold and wet, so we decided to save this for the next trip as well.

My husband and I agreed that this trip was one of our best camping trips yet. We look forward to exploring more of this area, see you at the campground!