Kim Klassen's Studio includes a monthly prompt or as she calls it a "spark" to inspire your still life photos. This month's spark is "fallen".  As the Western Salsify wildflowers or weeds are beginning to go to seed, this prompt came to mind.

So I took a few seed heads on a photo shoot.  

The float so beautifully when the breeze takes them!  (Or when your son walks by and you ask him to toss some in the air while you take a picture!!)
I needed a fast shutter speed to capture the falling seeds a little better, but I was out of time to take pictures so decided I would just like the blur showing the movement, ha!

Then I switched it up a bit so the delicacy of these seeds could be appreciated even more.

We've been madly working on gardening and house projects here.  I hope your summer is off to a good start. :) 

Scene and Story

It was Tuesday, the day after Memorial Day and I went out to the cemetery to pick up a live plant my Mother in Law had left at Jim's grave.  This is a yearly tradition.  She leaves a plant for a few days with the instructions for me to go pick it up and hang it in our yard later.


The cemetery is mostly quiet, but filled with the evidence of many visitors over the holiday weekend.

As I approach the small path to turn my car onto, I see a tall thin bearded man watering a grave site with a watering can that has a large sprinkling head.  I presume that there is newly seeded grass on the site and that the loss has been fairly recent as there is no headstone, just a number of artificial posies pushed in the ground where a stone would set,  the new grass evidence, and it's in the new addition of the cemetery. Just a couple of years ago, corn grew where his loved one is now buried.  He stand just across the path and about 25 feet North of my destination.  His long beard and hair are graying, About 50 percent salt and 50 percent pepper I'd say.  It's had to remember exactly because I didn't want to look too long.  You know, can't stare and all.  Except my mind was staring.  Staring at the thought of loss.  Wishing there was something I could call out to him that would be profound.  Hopeful.  Encouraging.  Even though I have no idea who he is, it's like he represented all who have recently lost someone.

But, I have nothing to say.   Not one word would come to me.

We exchanged looks briefly when I went to the back of my car.  After I tidied up the flower situation at Jim's headstone, I thought I'd take a picture.  Maybe I'd text it to the kids.  It's been a long time since I've done that and my oldest hasn't been able to come out here in awhile.

I walked to get back in the car, and realized he was looking my way.  I gave him a nod. 

As I took a quick look at the pictures I took, I once again realized that the real words of hope come from our Savior.  Which is why I put them on the headstone.  I knew I wanted the headstone to not just be a monument to Jim, but to be a monument of hope.


I'm joining Sarah at Paisley Rain Boots for this month's Scene and Story

Garden Notes

Probably 15 years ago, maybe more, I discovered this plant, a trailing flowering vinca. It was only carried in one particular nursery and that nursery closed many years ago.  I found it a couple of times other places, but in the last years, I'd given up ever finding it again.  This year here it is!!!!  I plant 8 hanging pots every year on our front porch, all matching.  I needed very heat tolerant plants and enough to fill the eight pots.  Well, the trees have grown in all those years, so I now don't need to worry so much about the heat tolerance, but I'm excited to have these again.  I've only ever seen three different varieties of it.  Two kinds of pink and one white with a pink center.  This is the only variety that this nursery had enough of to fill my pots.

I paired them with a common non flowering trailing Vinca Vine.  I had to buy new pots this year too as a couple of my old ones cracked or the hangers broke.  Having rope suspending them is new to me too and now I have to go adjust the ropes as some are hanging crooked like this one. I do like the look of the rope though.  I found these at Menards.  I'm putting it off because it will be tedious to get them to hang just right. I hope they do as well as I remember them.  I'll keep you posted.

I am experimenting with potatoes in tires this year.  And, I guess potatoes in general.  First time I've ever planted them.  This spring I had time to get them in early and I look forward to creamed new potatoes and peas.  My husband, nor any of my children, have ever had the delicious fresh from the garden dish, and I was a child when I had it last.  Time to rectify that!  So we will add more tires on top of these two and add more soil and continue on up.  I'm not sure how many tires we will be able to go, three maybe?  I'd love to hear from anyone who has planted potatoes in a similar way. I also put a few spuds in a row because I wasn't sure how I'd access the new small potatoes in the tires without messing with the growth going on when the peas are ready.  (First time for putting in regular garden peas too!)

I planted lots of flower seeds this year.  But with the cold spring they are a little slow to get going.  I started quite a few indoors, but once transplanted, again with the cold, they are dying or just barely alive. :(  I got so excited about the Love Lies Bleeding from last year, that this year I ordered seven different varieties of Amaranth!  I'm hopeful to get at least a few of each variety to grow.  I'd also like to hear from anyone who plants Amaranth.  One variety can actually be grown as a crop for the seeds and one variety is a noxious weed in Nebraska.  I think all are edible.

I hope you all have a really nice weekend!

Garden Wreaths

Yesterday I watched a live "lunch and learn" with Kim Klassen and Aileen from Prairie Girl Studios to learn how to make wreaths from vines.

I've made wreaths before, but she made them a little differently than I did, and I like her way better. :)

The first nine (sometimes I get carried away) were made with wood vine that grows rampantly around here! I love the little tendrils that are part of the wreath.

The last one I made was from small willow tree saplings.  Aileen used willow too, but a willow bush. I was pretty sure the trees wouldn't work as well, and they didn't.  But, now I know.

Another thing I took away from the Lunch and Learn was to make them in different shapes.

I really like this one.

I have had one large wreath in my tank garden for quite awhile. Here is a link to how I made it into a planter one year. It was left over from my daughter's wedding.  

I hadn't really thought to add little wreaths anywhere. As I left this lesson, I was inspired to make more and put them everywhere.  So, now my garden will be full of wreaths!

I have Wild Grape, Honeysuckle, and Bittersweet Vines to try next. 

However, first I need to get my garden in order.  

So's the plan anyway.

A big thank you to Kim and Aileen!

A Morning Walk

Yesterday I went on a morning walk with my camera. :)

~Come along~

I go from looking down and in to up.


My son discovered these wild flowers growing out on our place!

He identified them as Large Beard Tongue.

They are from the snapdragon family and one nick name is Wild Foxglove.

Both connections are clear.  My first thought was Foxglove?  And the little girls said they looked like Snap Dragons. 

I've seen their dried seed pods around, but didn't know what flowers they had come from.  From what we read, the flowers won't last long.  I gathered up some dried seed pods to scatter more seeds around!



The Cottonwood trees are just beginning to shed their cotton and this little piece was suspended on an almost invisible web.

A woodland floor is a magical place.



Another wild flower, a Common Mullein.

I just love the texture of the leaves.

They love the poor, sandy soil too.

There was still some dew on the soft, fuzzy leaves.

So much to do outside this time of year!  Some things are coming up in the garden. But the seeds I planted went right in before the cold spell and rainy days so I need heat for them sprout.  Sure hope they come up.

By Jill Ruth for Mary Ruth

My very dear friend sent me these pictures from her garden.  The boots are the ones she wore to work at a steel mill.  She retired in 2002 and planted them with these wonderful succulents, Sempervivum, hens and chicks.  The plants are thriving in them.  When I saw the pictures, I knew there was so much more to them.  They were metaphoric, more than just beautiful.  There was a story or a poem in them.  This morning it came to me.

On Envy

Become the person God created you to be.

Cat Hurdles

It was a quick decision for which photo I would chose for Scene and Story with Sarah this month.
As I previewed the photos we took, I laughed. "Cat Hurdles!"  and the girls giggled.

Our dance recital was last weekend and as the girls are getting older, getting them ready is easier, so
we had some time to take some pictures before the first recital. (The recital has two showings on Saturday)

It went something like this:

"Hey, let's see if I can get you two while jumping in the air. Run across the cement and jump as high as you can."
"Like this?"
*shutter click* *shutter click* *shutter click*
"Yeah, but do it again.  I need to change my settings."  
"Now, again and run the other way."
*shutter click**shutter click**shutter click*
"CAT get out of there!"
"Again and try to jump right there about by the crack."
*shutter click**shutter click**shutter click*
"CAT, move!"
"Just keep going back and forth so I can get a better one."
*shutter click**shutter click**shutter click*
...and on it went...

I did finally get one with both of them mostly in the air.  Sans the cat.

Have a great week!


Kim at Art in Red Wagons hosted an "Inchie Swap" in which I participated.  You can visit her post here to see all the Inchies she received to swap out. 

I'd never made Inchies before and well, it doesn't take too much to make more than you need, so I quickly had a pile of them!  Then I sorted out which I thought would be best to send to her and three other groupings came together.  The words just came from two books that I have used for projects before.  It seems best to limit yourself in choice sometimes or you could get really overwhelmed.  Then I pulled out the typewriter and typed one more.  Just because.  

So "as is" is now on a shingle that I grabbed from the refuse of an old barn being taken down.  It is indeed "as is".   So am I.

A little dangle of old buttons seemed fitting too.

Then there was this group of words that seems to describe a woman that I would like to be.

I made the background with layers of sari ribbon, threads, and book pages that I covered with some fine tulle and then used my sewing machine to free motion stitch it all down. 

And, then there was this grouping that just says it all.  No need to strive "to be" here. 

Just words to remind me who I am.  In Him.  ♥

We just picked up the mail and the package from Kim has arrived.  Now to go open it!

♥ Silhouettes

This past week has included the 4H presentation contest and dance recital, both of which are time intensive!  Each year in both events I can see how far they've developed from the previous year and you know the effort is worth it.  

This year I got to have some fun behind the camera too. :)

They were in the same ballet class this year so had matching dance costumes for one dance.

I hope you are having a nice week!


Growing Up!

My fourth child....Junior Prom.

People perceive me as tall, even though I'm just a little over 5'10" and Claire is basically my height.  She wore heels Saturday and said, "I am a giant."  Haha!  I know the feeling.

"Please don't grow up and go to college!!!"

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