For three and a half weeks we’ve been battling this illness.  Thankfully, it is just a cold (we think) and so far it’s only been Gage, Kaden and I that have had it but it is a linger-er.  We’re definitely giving thanks for bodies that heal!

And I’m thinking about how amazing it is that something that is so challenging can be such a blessing.  It is so tough for me to watch my children suffer, but what a blessing it is to be the one who gets to care for them.

Here’s to a getting-well-weekend.  <3

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  • Mom - Ahhhh….sweet Tado and Budsie :) Did the littlest guy get worse after I left?
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

I hadn’t shared this yet, but Matt has been gone for the past week and a half.  He’s been out of town for work and is coming home today.  When I think of him being gone I always think of my best friend who’s husband leaves for an entire month to sell Christmas Trees.  And my friends who are military wives who have had to be away from their husbands for months …. over a year … at a time.  It goes without saying, but I don’t know how they do it!

Matt’s left for this job a few times before, plus many hunting trips and it is always been interesting.  When the boys were really little it was much more challenging and draining and I felt like I couldn’t do it without him.  Now, it is more like I don’t want to do it without him.   Now, we function, we go about our routine (kind of), we don’t sit around helpless.  Kaden gets to sleep in my bed, which he loves … I don’t do my make-up everyday … we eat hotdogs and sandwiches for dinner … our schedule is loose because we don’t have the point in the day when Dad gets home to plan around.  We spent this entire time sick so believe it or not I actually said a time or two, “I’m so glad Dad’s out of town.” just because I didn’t want him to get what we had or to have to listen to the coughing and nose-blowing that has yet to end.

But we miss him and we’re so thankful that we do.  I’m thankful that I can’t imagine what it would be like to feel relief that he’s away from us.  I’m also thankful that it reminds me of how our relationship started nearly 14 years ago.  I was in Washington, he was here in Oregon.  We were long-distance for our entire relationship before we got married a year-and-a-half later.  We had countless phone calls, countless ‘I miss you’s’ and countless hours looking forward to finally seeing each other again.  Absence can either make the mind forget, or the heart grow fonder.  Fortunately, it’s always the latter when my guy goes away.

And to be totally honest … I’m ready for these boys to have the presence of their dad back in their day-to-day, too.  I’m on edge … they seem to be pushing the limits a bit more … they need their man-time.  Plus, I really miss talking to an adult every day.   I miss everything about him.

But he’s coming home today! ♥

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  • Mom - Hooray! Cute photos of Tado talking to Matt :)
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

  • Alice C. - Aww, I’m so glad that Matt is coming back! I totally know what you mean about functioning, but just missing him! Sam just made it back this past weekend and I am so much happier now. I also often had the thought of… I have no idea how those amazing army wives do it <3 Three weeks was tough.ReplyCancel

Yesterday was a beautiful day… until it wasn’t!  We first saw the lightning, then heard the thunder cracking.  Then the sky opened and the downpour came.  I wish I would have watched the time to see how long it lasted but we were all too in distracted by running from window to window watching the impact the rain was having.

Had the lightning not been so close (literally, the sight and sound was happening almost simultaneously!) I would have send them out into those puddles!  Actually, I would have let them… they were begging to go out and play!

When it was all said and done, we had a few new little ponds and creeks, lots of barkdust displaced and splaying plants…  some really overwhelmed chicks and some very relieved kiddos.

And a brilliantly bright sky as the storm moved on.  Right in time for bedtime!

Thanks for visiting!  ♥

Photography Friends… I utilized a very slow shutter speed in many of these to show the blur of the rain’s movement.  This required my boys to stand really, really still but I love the effect it gives!

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  • Mom - WOW! Incredible!! I hope your new plantings survived!
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

As I wandered around my gardens the other day I thought how nice it would be to have documentation of what is currently blooming, so I can keep track of what is happening when.  Why my first thought was to just write it down is beyond me!  I’d kept detailed notes on all of my plants and gardens years ago, but that’s not nearly as fun as taking photos of them.  So I grabbed my camera and went to it.

And that sparked the idea that it might be fun to document a bit about my gardens, gardening experiences, projects, etc and share them here on my blog.  This space is random and just all about my life and this time of year, gardening definitely stakes its claim on a good portion of my time.  So it feels natural to include a ‘garden journal’ of sorts, every now and again.

First off, though… we are at a pretty high elevation here in Oregon (zone 8) and my plants seem to bloom a bit later than typical.  But this year, we had SUCH a mild winter that plants started emerging earlier and blooming sooner than I’d anticipated.  I’m not complaining, though!  It’ll just be interesting to see what happens during the summer and how these bloom times vary next year.  I’m excited to share these with you, but in case the notes seem silly, I’m writing them as a reminder to myself. ;)

Here we go.


(I have quite a few of these guys, and have only documented the names of a few.  I have yet to screw up growing hostas so I’m always happy to plant more when there is room.  However, there is not much more room in my shade beds!  Abba Dabba Do … really really needs dividing! Time to think of where my next shade garden will be!)

(This is one of my favorite hosta as it stays dense and low and brightens up this bed … but I can’t find the name!  Ahh!)

Catmint – Walker’s Low


(It cannot be a Pacific Northwest shade garden without ferns.)


(I have so many varieties of these guys now but most have been planted recently when I haven’t been keeping good garden notes … I wish I would have done better at keeping track of which is which! Rose Glow … Red Carpet … Bogatella … I love the deep color they add, especially in contrast to all the yellow I have.)

Spirea (Gold Mound) and Mountain Bluet


(This ground cover is drought tolerant, dense, and re-seeds.  I love the contrast that the light foliage and white flowers give to the flow of the garden.)


(I always forget to sheer back the spent blooms on this one so it has gone to seed and is popping up all over the front garden.  It’s welcomed right now, but I can see it getting to be a bit much.) 

Hardy-Geranium – New Hampshire Purple

(I LOVE hardy-geraniums. If I have an empty spot that needs a low grower, this is my go-to plant.)

Spanish Lavender

(Another plant that is out of control!  Fortunately, it is growing in a direction where it has all the space in the world to spread and it is right by our fire pit so we smell the scent each time we gather ’round.)

Lilac – Miss Kim

Catmint - Six Hills Giant

(Catmint is one of those that I repeat throughout my sun gardens.  It is reliable throughout the spring, summer, and fall.  Plus drought tolerant and deer resistant.  It’s a staple!)

Clematis – Josephine

(I haven’t given this lovely much attention but she continues to give me a few beautiful blooms each year!)

Salvia – ‘May Night’

(I almost dug all of my Salvia out earlier in the season because it was so overrun with grass that must have come with the plants but with some diligent weeding, they are still here and beautiful!)


(This stuff is out of control (in a good way!).  It is spreading, dense and blooming profusely… and letting me know that it really appreciated the sheering job it received last year after it bloomed!)

my one Rose – Bronze Star Hybrid Tea

(I love this rose.  It blooms all three seasons, straight up until November)

Snow Mound Spirea

(This guy has taken over my front garden.  It came labeled Snow Mound, but I’m wondering if it isn’t actually Bridal Wreath.  It either needs pruning or I need to deepen this garden.:)  It is beautiful when blooming … a big mound of white blooms …  so I vote for deepening the garden!)


(These beauties came unlabeled at a discounted price years ago and they continue to be one of my favorite foundation plants in my front gardens.)

Charlie.  A staple in my gardens. ;)


(These are just ending … I have a soft spot for these babies, but they do spread quite efficiently by seed and I’m pulling them out of several of my gardens. I’ve had to convince myself that they are not actually a weed. ;))

Yarrow – ‘Moonshine’

(These are just starting which makes me feel like it should be summertime!!  These are another one I love because of their color, textures, deer resistance and drought tolerance.  I must divide these soon though … they are starting to sprawl … )

Speedwell – ‘Eveline

(I just planted a few of these this season, but it is just too sweet looking not to include here.  Next year, it should bloom July to September.)

Spirea – ‘Goldflame

(I’m including all of these spireas because I consider their leaves more magnificent than their blooms … they are all about to burst out in bloom, though.)


Spirea – ‘Goldmound

Spirea – ‘Magic Carpet’

Edging Candytuft


(purple is blooming, pink, not quite)

Creeping Phlox - ‘Paparazzi Britney’

(These are just finishing … this is such a nice burst of color in early spring when most of the garden is just green and starting.)

Fleabane – Profusion

(This dainty little guy is another that goes to seed and has popped up all along one of my borders.  It is so sweet!)

Honeysuckle – Goldflame

(It is blooming beautifully right now, though, I just planted it and it was already blooming.:)  Instant beauty!  We’ll see when it blooms next year once it has adapted to its new home.)

Cushion Spurge

(Another one that goes to seed pretty readily.  So far I’ve liked all the places it’s randomly popped up, though!)

Exbury Azalea Hybrid “Orange” Cross

(This is one I look forward to all year long.  It is my most vibrant plant by far and it smells AMAZING.  Plus I remember Matt buying it for me at the huge plant sale in Canby and carrying it through the crowd on his shoulder.:)).

Variegated Weigela

(This and my other are just finishing their bloom.  It is one of my favorites because I can see it well out our back window when I’m in the kitchen, breakfast table or my computer desk. :))

Others that have already finished blooming:

– Lungwort

– Forsythia

– purple Azalea

– White Lilac

Just in writing this, I have so many ideas of what I want to add to this ‘garden journal’ … let’s see if I can keep up with myself! :)

Photography Friends … all of these were either taken with the 70-200 2.8 or the 105 2.8 Macro.  Some were on a sun-setting evening and the others on a drizzly, overcast morning. :)

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  • Carol - Beautiful gardens! Jealous that you have so much color already! Here in MN my hostas are just peeking out. We are zone 4 so I was interested to see we both have some of the same plants. There is nothing like the peace and loveliness of a garden. A place where miracles are seen and a soul can be refreshed!ReplyCancel

  • Mom - Just beautiful, sweet girl. When seeing the photos of your gardens, the only things missing are the beautiful “sound” of the many birds that enjoy your bird feeders, the “smell” of fresh, fragrant air, and the relaxing “feeling” of just being there enjoying the beauty.

    P.S. the Forget-Me-Nots remind me of my dear Grammie Hamre.

    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

Alone time with this guy goes a long way for the well-being of every single part of me.  Heart, mind, soul … all that.  Even if that alone time is just sitting on the front porch together at the end of a long day of being apart.  And even if that time is spent with me doing critiques for Mastering Manual Exposure and him “studying” for his class.   “Studying”, or trying to download music onto his phone. ;)

Coffee, a sunset, some quiet, and each other.  And right outside our front door.  A perfect Date Night.

Seeing as how this is what date-night looks like for us in this current life-stage, I asked Gage to come out and take a photo …

Can you see why I enjoy him so much?  ♥

Thank you for visiting, as always.  ♥ 

Photography Friends, these were taken with the 35mm 1.4.  When I ask one of my boys to take a photo for me I set the exposure and place the focal point where I want it based on the composition I’m going for.  Then I tell him to stand (squat) where I am, hand the camera over and just tell him to hover that focus point where I want it (here is was on my face), lock focus and snap. :) 

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  • Mom - :) It is such a joy for me to watch you two together. :)
    XOXOXO to GCK from Grammie…see you soon!ReplyCancel