~:: Another Sampler:Summer ::~

I am still not myself. I don’t care about capturing light. I don’t care about writing. I don’t care about making things. The fact that I don’t care about cleaning the house is the only reassuringly normal thing about these last several months. And that it’s July, and it will be August, traditionally two of my several least favorite months (we’ve been over 100 off-and-on now for many weeks) isn’t helping matters at all. I am even less creatively inspired by heat than I am by dead cold. You can have a romantic fire in the fireplace when it’s cold. All you can do in the heat is lie on the floor with the dogs and pant. Fiercely.

Okay, watching The Tour de France is fun. It’s the bright spot for me in the heat. But the hay hasn’t even been cut yet—too many threats of storminess—and the stress levels that rise until the barn is full negate the good watching bicycles does me.

So I am presenting here another little image sampler. Dick, I’d do a pithy, witty little bit of ironic writing here for you if I had it in me. I don’t. And here are things I love, in which I hope you find no irony at all:

I’m starting with Spring, actually.  These were my anniversary roses.  I just thought they were mighty pretty.



I love this end of my little house. You can tell it’s spring – how shy the green still is.  It’s not that way, now.


We got more cherries this year than we’ve ever had. I think it’s because the mulberry tree that sprang up all on its own and is now overshadowing everything, including the struggling thirty year old cherry, has diverted the birds. I saw a bright yellow and orange western Tanager picking his joyful way through those mulberries (there are millions of them – wait – where are my pictures of those berries?).  I went out to get a better look and ended up filling my mouth with the still surviving cherries.


I love this gate. Dad and G built it. So long ago now.


The yard is uncivilized. But in the spring, there are these hidden corners of loveliness.



I saw these birds-on-a-wire at a little shop down by Ginna several years ago. I was sorely tempted by them, but couldn’t figure out how to get them into my luggage.  When we drove down next, I’d spent my treasure money on Rainbow Gifts’ navajo silver work before I remembered these guys. I was very sad to realize there were only two of these sculptures left in the shop, and my pockets were empty. So imagine my delight last Christmas when I opened a provocative and heavy box that had made its way from Ginna to me—and found these summer birds, ready to sit in my window.



I love this little place.


Toby also likes it.


He always hopes to find snakes here. So he can bark.


And I love this window.


And this giant wild rose that grew up between our neighbors’ house and ours—its elegant arches of pink blossoms in early summer and bright red rose hips in winter are a treat for the soul.


Murphy’s birthday.  His Laura-love made him a gluten-free cake and the rest of us these evil, glutenous goodies.



Yes. He thinks his girl is the best thing ever.



We re-use birthday candles. Some of the ones Murphy is blowing out here, he probably blew out on his tenth birthday.  How amazing is life.  Happy Birthday to my baby. We lived through teething, toilet training, learning to read, dating and your mission. And here you are, a man.


G, posing with our nephew, the son of my sister. Obviously, G has corrupted him . . .


But my lovely sister doesn’t seem to mind.  (Sorry Steven – not the best shot of you.  But Kev is just beautiful!)

And that is the end of the sampler. Except for this last shot. I wanted to save it for last.  Actually, I intend to write about it. But not today.  I did not take this image.  My sister did, on my mother’s 85th birthday. I wasn’t there, but Kev was, and this picture, taken with Kev’s one free hand while my mother sat silently, eyes closed, speaks more than I can say.


Yes. How amazing life is.


This entry was posted in dogs, Family, Images, Just life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to ~:: Another Sampler:Summer ::~

  1. Ginna says:

    So gorgeous–all of it. Love the shots of the yard!!!

  2. Donna says:

    Those birds on a wire are amazing….and the hands. Sometimes the hands know what the heart has forgotten.

  3. Sharon Shinn says:

    Wonderful pictures. That last one breaks my heart. Here’s wishing you the strength and the serenity to make it through till fall.

    • K says:

      Breaks mine, too. I’m doing okay. It’s Kev who is carrying the lion’s load, both logistically and emotionally. She’s doing a beautiful job. But those hands. It really hit me. I know them so well, even as changed as they are.

  4. Holly Baker says:

    Darling K-
    Thanks so much for leaving a little something on my blog! It means the world to me. Or maybe the moon, because it means the world to me that YOU taught me how to write! Thank you so much! I never click “publish” without thinking of you and running back over it one more time as if I had to hand it in to you!
    Thank you for your wonderful thankful list of photos. It sounds like such a wonderful idea. Maybe I will take a shot at that, as soon as I get off the floor. Maybe in mid-September.

    • K says:

      Wow. I step away from this portal, and look what I miss. What an idiot I am. Did I teach you to write? Or did I just teach you how to see what you had written? And I think about you and mention you more often than you’d imagine. You – and Sally, oddly – are the proof I have that my life was actually strong and useful and full of love back then, that I didn’t just waste the gifts and opportunities the Lord offered me. I’ve gotta get back here -

  5. Dawn says:

    Well, I loved this image sampler. It’s always so nice to see a post from you pop up in my reader, like a visit with a cherished friend. The birds on the wire are very cute- what a thoughtful gift. I hope that all is well.

  6. Hi Kristin, it’s been a while since I visited your space – I shall write soon:) These little ones keep me so busy….and our new farm….the ponies.

    Your place looks beautiful. We haven’t many plants here yet and can’t wait to begin my garden.

    A precious photo your sister took of your mom’s hand.

    Am loving the dryer Californian climate but not the dust!!! The boys spend a lot of time in the pool – we have a microclimate so the breeze is fresh and the house always cool. When are you coming to visit?

    • K says:

      Jeanene – I want to see photos of the new place. And I want to know if all the ponies are new, or if you brought old ones all the way here with you. I want to see the children, all of them. I have been so – I don’t know. I have written very little. Make quick comments on Facebook, but have not had the energy to face the photos and the long writing. I will have to chase you down so I can see everything.

  7. Rachel says:

    That photo of Kev laughing! It’s Chazi! They must be related! Are you sure Chazi isn’t your niece and your nephew is actually your son? A little switching at birth perhaps?

    That last photo. Gulp. Life is hard sometimes…….

  8. Laurie Sharp says:

    Hi Kristen, I can empathize with you in regards to the heat. However, I am spoiled from having spent the last 12 or so summers in the Pacific Northwest. When it gets above 85F, I don’t function very well at all. Sorry to hear you’re feeling a bit unmotivated, but at least you have the energy to blog. Thanks for all your kind words. Hazel is thrilled! I think that you might be her number one fan!
    Beautiful images, especially the last one of the hands.

    • K says:

      Holy cats, Laurie = I never even knew you’d dropped me a comment. They dropped Reader, and I haven’t been able to face writing – or even the responsibility of writing, I guess, for months and months. I’d never have left you hanging this way on purpose. ACH I’m an idiot. Hazel is my number one sheep. I had almost forgotten how happy it makes me to go to your place and see those joyful pictures – please forgive me.

  9. Misty Cox says:

    beautiful. life is beautiful – your gifts are my favorite.

  10. wsw says:

    A many layered sampler. So full of a range of emotions. I giggled at the, “So he can bark.” Then I thought that maybe *I* need some snakes to bark at, because I haven’t been myself for ever so long. Surely barking is the remedy. But maybe I’ll just imagine the snakes.

    And the hands. Such a powerful image. The gift of touch…through the generations.

  11. Patti says:

    Sorry I have not read or posted in a while, but my life has been moving like a fast freight train. To of my siblings with cancer and loosing my mom this past week. I am so lost without her. She was 89 and would have been 90 in Dec. The last picture you posted reminded me of her and those special moments we shared. Savor the moments because life is short dear cuz the very best we can do.

    Love and Hugs from MO.

    • K says:

      Are you kidding? I didn’t see this. You lost your mom and I didn’t even catch it and write to you? What’s wrong with me? I’ll write -

  12. Ginger says:

    I haven’t checked blogs for FOREVER and I won’t get beyond this post. My tears are flowing. That last photo just did me in. It’s so so so tough to lose your mom this way, with her heart beating and her mind lost. I don’t know why the grief of it is overtaking me. It just is.

    • K says:

      Me either, Ginger. I don’t know why not. It’s like I was tooling down the highway and suddenly ran into sand. Part of it is genealogy – part of it is waiting to see what’s going to happen. But you – you just grab life and live it. That picture – maybe I couldn’t go back and do anything after it. Not for a while. And nothing has changed. It just goes on and on – not one thing or the other, but the worst- to be caught and suspended in the middle with no way to get out -

  13. I thought that I was the only one missing in action…

    Are you filled with crazy energy that has you doing all of the creative things you were unable to do in July and that’s why you’re not back here yet? Or do I need to be lifting you in prayer my friend?


    • K says:

      Nope. I’ve been MIA for months and months. Crazy energy for genealogy, but also a certain confusion of thought. I need to sleep for a month. But that won’t make me any younger, huh? I’ll write you later. I always miss you when I don’t touch your place -

  14. Paulette says:

    Hi Kristen, I just had the most wonderful visit here, jumping from post to post. I LOVE the way your house looks at Christmastime, and Halloween too, and what a fun family you have! Your quilts and crafts are just beautiful, AND you’re an author! I’m so impressed by all your talents. … This last photo brought me back to reality. I think we may be going through similar things with our mothers (the reason I stopped blogging a year ago and just about deleted everything.) I hope you’re feeling a bit better now, I know how hard it all is. … Thank you for the lovely comment you left on my blog, which in turn led me to yours. You made my heart smile today. :) xo

    • K says:

      I am smiling like a cat. We don’t expect people we admire to come knocking at the front door. But you are in good company here, because all of the people who visit this place are gracious and great. And kind to spend the time to read me. I haven’t written anything for maybe eight months. And maybe you’re right – maybe my Mom is at the bottom of it. The weariness of some truths. I am so glad you came. So glad I could share something with you when you have already, all unknowing shared so much with me. I have to start writing again. Maybe I’ll wake up after the holidays and get back into the saddle. You see more from up there -

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>