Arkansas, an escape like no other

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A very special reunion occurred May 11-14.

A very special reunion occurred May 11-14.

There is a TV host and lifestyle guru named P Allen Smith. His vision led him to land on the Arkansas River, just outside Little Rock. There, five years ago, he began to invite garden bloggers from around the USA for a two-day intensive. I was lucky to go in 2013 and again last week for the five-year reunion.

P Allen Smith of TV fame sharing his vision with his favorite garden bloggers

P Allen Smith of TV and garden fame sharing his home and vision with his favorite garden bloggers outside Little Rock, Arkansas (pallensmith.com)

as a group we did a lot of hugging and chatting...

as a group we did a lot of hugging and chatting…

Allen greets us all

Allen greets us all

even the girls came strolling in to see what all the activity was about

even the girls (and Amos, jr.) came strolling in to see what all the activity was about

we toured Moss Mountain Farm's main residence and admired the flowers from sponsors American Grown (americangrownflowers.org)

we toured Moss Mountain Farm’s main residence and admired the flowers from sponsors American Grown (americangrownflowers.org)

what inspiration at Moss Mountain Farm!

what inspiration at Moss Mountain Farm!

everyone enjoys the vistas from the rear porches...

everyone enjoys the vistas from the rear porches…

Mr. Duncan, the resident Scottie, was front and center and a hoot in the garden

Mr. Duncan, the resident Scottie, was front and center and a hoot in the garden

The lower level was a treat to stroll showing Allen's innate ability to create a charming home

the lower level of Allen’s residence was a treat to stroll showing his innate ability to create a charming home

while strolling the gardens, Allen shared his latest successes

while strolling the gardens, Allen shared his latest successes ~ quite an education!

views like this are everywhere

views like this are everywhere

while around the farm, critters galore. Allen's conservation of heritage breeds is laudable.

while around the farm, critters galore. Allen’s heritage conservation program of endangered breeds is laudable

while one of the Anatolian shepherds cools off in a field trough while guarding the White Dorper sheep

one of the Anatolian shepherds cools off in a field trough while guarding the White Dorper sheep

Allen's one-acre veggie garden evolves with bounty and creativity

Allen’s one-acre veggie garden evolves with bounty and creativity

a pair of swans set the stage for a funny story Allen delivered later that evening during Tales from the South live broadcast

a pair of swans set the stage for a funny story Allen delivered later that evening during Tales from the South live broadcast

heritage roosters feeling their oats and making an empressive show

heritage roosters feeling their oats and making an impressive show

a flock of White Dorpers from Africa and their soft and cuddly babes enjoy the bounty at Moss Mountain Farm

a flock of White Dorpers from Africa and their soft and cuddly babes enjoy the bounty at Moss Mountain Farm

while back in Little Rock, John from the Department of Tourism gave us an impressive walking tour of Main Street

while back in Little Rock, John from Little Rock Convention & Visitors Center gave us an impressive walking tour of Main Street

facades of Little Rock's history on Main Street impress

facades of Little Rock’s history on Main Street

the Little Rock (little rock.com)architectural details are another story

the Little Rock (little rock.com) architectural details are another story

we even met the Mayor of Little Rock who explained the impressive downtown restoration projects

we even met the Mayor of Little Rock who explained the impressive downtown restoration projects

impressive permeable pavers and water collection along Main Street, Little Rock

impressive permeable pavers and water collection program along Main Street, Little Rock

the historic Little Rock trolley ride was fun for all

the historic Little Rock trolley ride was fun for all

more beautiful flowers from American Grown

more beautiful flowers from American Grown

I had to give one of the Big Sisters at Moss Mountain Farm a hug, as she is 350 years old

I had to give one of the Big Sisters at Moss Mountain Farm a hug, as she is 350 years old

this presentation by Corbin and Rachel  from Flexzilla (flexzilla.com) was informative and entertaining. Legacy Manufacturing Company invented this fantastic hose...every garden should have at least one.

this presentation by Corbin and Rachel from Flexzilla (flexzilla.com) was informative and entertaining. Legacy Manufacturing Company invented this fantastic hose…every garden should have at least one.

Allen worked with Legacy to offer a colorful line of the Flexzilla hoses

Allen worked with Legacy to offer a Watercolors Collection of colorful Flexzilla hoses

Crescent Garden (crescentgarden.com) wowed us with their products of functional containers loaded with style

Crescent Garden (crescentgarden.com) wowed us with their products of functional containers loaded with style

Crescent Garden's jazzy planter...one of many

Crescent Garden’s jazzy planter…one of many

Lois Chaplin and her wonderful, knowledgeable team always make for an interesting presentation (bonnieplants.com) Make sure and download Bonnie Plants new garden ap...

Lois Chaplin and her wonderful, knowledgeable team always make for an educational presentation (bonnieplants.com) Make sure and download Bonnie Plants new garden ap…

Bonnie Plants (bonnieplants.com) since 1918 provides plant material to over 15,000 plant retailers around the USA

Bonnie Plants since 1918 provides plant material to over 15,000 plant retailers around the USA

Meals were festive and American Grown and Stargazer Barn (stargazerbarn.com) were generous sponsors

Meals were festive while American Grown and Stargazer Barn (stargazerbarn.com) were generous sponsors

two bloggers show off the fanciful garland headdresses at the final dinner

two bloggers show off the fanciful garland headdresses at the final dinner

Jobes Organics blow me away every time they present their latest line of products...(easygardener.com)

Jobes Organics blow me away every time they present their latest line of products…(easygardener.com)

Sakata Home Grown (sakatavegetables.com) breed and produce seed found in many garden centers and online

Sakata Home Grown (sakatavegetables.com) breed and produce seed found in many garden centers and online ~ I am growing their Lilliput Melon and cayenne pepper this season

Allen and I in the one-are garden; a special friend in a special place (pallensmith.com)

Allen and I in the one-acre veggie garden; a special friend in a special place

Special thanks to the city of Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau, The Capital Hotel (capitalhotel.com), Kathleen Williford of American Grown; Steve, Carolyn, Will, and Netta of Aromatique (aromatique.com); Paula, Cesar and Mark of Crescent Garden; Joe from First Nature (firstnature.net); Corbin, Rachel and Andy of Flexzilla; Clemente, Jen, Martin, and Rebecca of Jobes Organics; Tracy and Alecia of Sakata Home Grown; and Bill from Stargazer Barn; and a huge shout out to P. Allen Smith Hortus Ltd, and Associates Staff for making this reunion one for the record books. You all inspire, educate and help provide for Allen’s magnificent Heritage Conservation Programs.  Anyone wishing to visit Moss Mountain Farm, simply go to the website for scheduling and special events at P. Allen Smith.com. Shop P.Allen Smith.com for Allen’s personal collection of online garden home gifts.

Copyright © 2015 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

good health begins here…

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In March of 2014, I read a book and began having a kale smoothie every day.

Now don’t squish your face in disgust and hit the delete button…this is good food folks…and by popular request, I am posting a wee recipe for you to try.

No, I am not ill, just became inspired by a book, then cherry picked through it to fit my needs.

Although a foodie with a food business, I admit not eating according to my standards. I get busy, and often the raw veggies go off the plate. This smoothie idea appealed to me because it is fast, loaded with nutrition, mostly raw, vegan, organic, and did I mention FAST??

It all begins with kale. I am growing Lacinato kale variety, as it is tender even when bought in the organic section of the green grocer

It all begins with kale. I am growing Lacinato kale heirloom variety this spring, as it is tender ~ even when bought in the organic section of the green grocer

fold the rinsed leaves of kale lengthwise and with a sharp knife, slice off the long stem

fold the rinsed leaves of kale lengthwise and with a sharp knife, slice off the long spine

a nice neat pile of greens ready for the blender cup

a nice neat pile of greens ready for the blender cup

this handy cup makes the entire process a snap

this handy cup makes the entire process a snap

these ingredients are the basis of a health smoothie

these ingredients are the basis of a healthy smoothie

save a step by grinding golden flax seed in a coffee grinder

save a step by grinding some golden flaxseed ahead of time in a coffee grinder and store in the fridge

voila, freshly ground flax seed

voila, freshly ground flaxseed

place the ground flax into a glass jar for storage in the fridge, as flax goes rancid quickly

place the ground flax into a glass jar for storage in the fridge, as flax goes rancid quickly

nutritional yeast, ground flax seed, and spirulina all have a place in the fridge for easy access when creating a smoothie.

nutritional yeast, ground flaxseed, and Spirulina all have a place in the fridge for easy access when creating a smoothie

the cup is full of greens and topped with blueberries and other fruits of choice

the cup is full of greens and topped with blueberries and other fruits of choice

on to the blending part

on to the blending part

whirling goodness

whirling goodness

is this a pretty healthy way to begin a day? Often followed by two farm fresh eggs, over easy.

a pretty healthy way to begin a day often followed by two farm fresh eggs, over easy.

this is the source of my inspiration regarding smoothies and food in general. Dr. Wahl explains health and nutrition like no other publication. (I receive no compensation for the mention of this book.)

this is the source of my inspiration regarding smoothies and food in general. Dr. Wahl explains health and nutrition like no other publication.

it all really begins here; this 5X12 raised bed produces much fresh food and kale is an early/cool crop

healthful nutrition really begins here; this 5X12 raised bed produces much fresh food and kale is an early/cool crop

since parsley winters over, this healthy stand not only goes into pesto, but a handful will go into today's smoothie

since parsley winters over, this healthy stand not only goes into spring pesto, but a handful will go into today’s smoothie

Now for my recipe for Diane’s Kale Smoothie:

  • gather, rinse and de-stem the kale
  • gather, rinse a handful of parsley
  • in the blender cup add 3/4 c. organic, unsweetened coconut milk
  • a hefty T. of full fat (yes full fat!)coconut milk solid (once the can is opened, it turns to a solid in the fridge. Cover can with clean pet food lid)
  • add heaping T of ground flaxseed
  • add heaping T nutritional yeast (found in bulk department of health stores)
  • add heaping 1/4 t. Spirulina (a very healthy green algae)
  • stuff the kale and parsley into the cup and add frozen organic fruits of choice. I always include blueberries, and also like pineapple and mango
  • Whirl all this goodness and enjoy
  • if too thick just add more coconut milk or RO water to suit

I do not receive compensation for mentioning this publication nor ingredients in this post. I tried many ingredients before deciding on the ones featured. Dr. Wahl’s book is a very educational read, as she teaches the importance of greens, and, yes, organ meats. OMG! ORGAN meats!! I will admit, I cannot get past liver of any kind, yet discovered that beef heart is a most delectable and affordable edible. Sourced locally from grass-fed beef, and found at my farmer’s market, I always thank the beast and feel it’s strength in my body. Local bison and free-range local farm eggs are other favorite proteins that provide affordable, sustainable food.

Followers, I do hope you will make this book a summer read, and apply the information however it speaks to you. Details and specifics of nutrition are fully discussed in this publication, far better than I could mention here. I look forward to hearing your feedback. And remember, the smoothie recipe here is my personal creation, and can be changed to your liking. Just don’t omit the kale…

living in the country where vistas like this keep me centered

living in the country where vistas like this keep me centered

Copyright © 2015 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

stroll with me in a friend’s April garden

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My garden stroll began off the patio

Earlier today, I visited a very special garden. The sun shone brightly and my garden stroll began off the patio

a tree peony in full glory

a tree peony in full glory just outside the four-season room

looking back toward the house

looking back toward the house

colorful vistas drew  me into the garden

colorful vistas drew me into the garden

endless profusion of textures delight the eye

endless profusion of textures delight the eye

an explosion of color lead me deeper into this     garden

an explosion of color leads me deeper into this garden

POW!

POW!

Again!

Again!

delicate perfection

delicate perfection

a rhododendron blushes at peak

a rhododendron blushes at peak

then calm pervades

then calm pervades

this hue is so special in the garden while exquisite blooms seduce

this hue is so special in the garden while exquisite blooms seduce

sunlight creates a painterly quality ~ stunningly unique this day in time

sunlight creates a painterly quality ~ stunningly unique this day in time

a quiet path leads to the adjoining property

a quiet path leads to the adjoining property

a hidden gem that will house delicate specimen plants during the warm summer months

a hidden gem that will house delicate specimen plants during the warm summer months

another azalea whose name I must learn

another azalea whose name I must learn

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this structure is a textural statement

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yellow this early in the season is sublime

the journey continues

the journey continues

the pool at rest while the greenhouse is full of overwintering plants

the pool at rest while the greenhouse is ripe with overwintering plants

this is a delightful specimen that I would like in my garden

this is a delightful specimen that I would like in my garden

blue is a rare find in any garden, and this plant is especially desirable

blue is a rare find in any garden, and this plant is especially desirable. It is Ajuga. 

careful placement of this colorful maple demands attention this day

careful placement of this colorful maple demands attention this day

trumpet shaped flowers ablaze

trumpet shaped flowers ablaze

and again

and again

this maple is breathtaking along another path

this maple is breathtaking along another path

more texture

more texture

serene view from the patio

serene view from the patio

full circle

full circle

 a dazzling container just outside the garden fence

a dazzling container just outside the garden fence

endless profusion of blooms

endless profusion of blooms

plenty of boxwoods set the stage for triumphant bursts of color

plenty of boxwoods set the stage for triumphant bursts of color

rich textures, patterns and colors abound

rich textures, patterns, and colors abound

on my way out of the property I had the pleasure of meeting Sally, a twenty-year veteran gardener of this garden ~ I am humbled by her talent and cheerful persona

on my way out of the property I had the pleasure of meeting Sally, a twenty-year veteran of this garden ~ I am humbled by her talent and cheerful persona

And to think I nearly missed time in this garden. At the last moment schedules aligned which allowed access and time to explore. As the nearby town bustles, this serene property rests and provides sanctuary for its owners/stewards. Merely forty years old, this garden is a testament to the vision, dedication, passion, and grace of those who created it and to those who currently reside and cherish this garden paradise. It was sheer pleasure to stroll, admire, and photograph.

Copyright © 2015 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

it is early ~ it is time…

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The date is March 29. Following one day of temperatures in the 70’s, the forsythia is beginning to bloom, the Tete a Tetes are up, and this lady gardener is more than ready to begin the 2015 growing season.

These petite daffs are my favorite early spring bloomers

These petite daffs are my favorite early spring bloomers.

My raised beds groomed for spring/summer crops.  New cattle panels will support snow peas and other climbing edibles

My raised beds are groomed for spring/summer crops. Newly installed cattle panels will support snow peas and other climbing edibles.

Clean straw creates tidy path between rows

Clean straw creates a tidy path between rows.

Heirloom catnip is snuggled under row cover to ward off the blasted and persistent flea beetles.

Heirloom catnip is snuggled under row cover to ward off the blasted and persistent flea beetles. This catnip variety is a cash crop for lucky kitties.

Another of my favoite early spring bloomers...hellebore

Another of my favorite late winter/early spring bloomers…hellebore.

"Tiny" the 40 YO floribunda is in her new location for the second season, now protected from browsing rabbits.

“Tiny” the 40 YO floribunda is in her new location for the second season, now protected from browsing rabbits.

This is a serious cleat within the high tension wire aloft the split rail fence. This devised for the anticipation of the new Arctic Kiwi fruit later this season.

This is a serious cleat within the high tension wire aloft the split rail fence. This solution was devised in anticipation of the newly planted Arctic Kiwi fruit harvest later this season.

Following yesterday's gaerden accident (my helper fell off his ladder and landed on me, severely spraining my left ankle). Hardly the condition to be in one week before market season begins! At least I can polish my exposed nails while I wait!

Following yesterday’s garden accident (my helper fell off his ladder and landed on me, severely spraining my left ankle.) Hardly the condition to be in one week before market season begins! At least I can polish my exposed nails while I wait!

So go the everyday challenges of life. Observation of wild birds, the greening turf, the appearance of blooming bulbs, and the promise of harvest all nudge me toward an optimistic presence.

Happy spring to all my followers and thanks again for your interest in my little life here in Central Virginia, USA. Would love to hear from you. Cheers!

Copyright © 2015 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

jump start to spring 2015

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still buried here at Swallowtail Cottage

still buried in the white stuff here at Swallowtail Cottage

I admit, this winter tests my patience.
E-v-e-r-y single indoor project is complete.
Numerous recipes are tested.
Too much buttered popcorn and Irish whiskey consumed.

popovers made with organic coconut milk...and experiment that worked

popovers made with organic coconut milk…an experiment that worked

The new No-Kenad Brioche recipe from Cook's Illustrated blew the competition out of the water...

the new No-Knead Brioche recipe from Cook’s Illustrated blew the competition out of the water…

Too many cold days and LONG nights decorated with additional frozen rain and bonus snow ~ February was the sixth coldest on record for Central Virginia.

The baby Crimson Japanese maple delights this day

the baby Crimson Japanese maple delights this day

I fed a dozen nearly frozen Bluebirds (and various others) my custom bird food, made from WF bulk department (organic hulled sunflower seeds, currants, cranberries, and TJ’s sunflower seed oil, all spun in a food processor.) I spend more on their food than on mine…
Piles of books and Fine Gardening magazines were perused. I learned a lot.

I fell in love with a new kale ~ a must in my daily morning smoothies

I fell in love with a new organic kale ~ a must in my daily morning smoothies, its name is as pretty as its habit…Lacinato and it is an heirloom variety.

Enough already.
Although my garden is still buried under the white stuff, I want to take you back to a previous blog post…one that promises garden delights from Swallowtail Cottage.
THINK SPRING!!!
If you reside in Boston or more northerly USA parts, my condolences and special wishes go out to you. Every one of you deserves a medal. I wager in nine months an uptick in Boston area births will go on record too…congratulations!
On to the eye candy:

https://dianelasauce.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/flowers-that-bloom-in-the-springfa-la/

That’s all this winter weary gardener can muster today. Right now it is a sunny 45 degrees fahrenheit, so I am headed out to a bright corner on the lower patio, where I can sunbathe and daydream…would love to hear from you. See you on the other side…

Copyright © 2015 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

 

 

in with the new ~

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The landscape is forever evolving here at Swallowtail Cottage.
I moved here fourteen years ago, (brother how time flies) and have lived to see the initial plantscape mature to the point of necessary major editing. Last summer numerous spent shrubs were removed, leaving considerable voids to fill. This winter, the back row of cypress had declined to the point of intervention. At least with board fencing, this problem will have an instant solution. Not so in the front garden, where I must wait five years for the new shrubs to mature.

the rear row of Leylands begain to die from too much shade, exposing my property to light pollution, road noise and nosey neighbors

the rear row of Leyland Cypress branches began to die from too much shade, exposing my property to light pollution, road noise, wild critter invasion, and nosey neighbors

With a little elevation, the rear row of cypress became the backdrop for the new fence

with a little elevation pruning by me, the rear row of cypress became the backdrop for the new fence

fabulous team at work

fabulous Joe Phillips crew at work — day one

nothing like the right team with the right tools...

nothing like the right team with the right tools…

I love a perfectly dug hole

L.O.V.E a perfectly dug hole. These professionals made digging look effortless!

promising piles of things to come

promising piles of things to come

progress

progress

ahhh

ahhh, the good stuff

Joe Phillips is the MAN for fencing projects in central Virginia

Joe Phillips is the MAN for fencing projects in central Virginia

everything in its place...

everything in its place. Two 16′ boards at a time, each crew member carried material (on their shoulder) to the rear of the property, carefully avoiding dormant perennials. All supplies were hand-carried to the project area. What a considerate crew!

ready, set, go...

ready, set, go…notice the amateurish built fence by my neighbor a few years back. Rotting boards (not pressure treated) will soon fall down. Perhaps they will hire a professional fence builder next time…my fence will outlive me.

thirteen posts placed, leveled and tamped

thirteen 4X6 posts placed, leveled, and tamped. Varying heights were necessary to comply with the terrain

placement of the boards begins...

placement of the boards begins…

finished fence...11' tall at high end and 7' tall at low end...

finished fence…11′ tall at low-end and 7′ tall at high-end…pine needles make a nice mulch in this area, raked from the school grounds around the corner

view from the lawn side of the deep shrub border

view from the lawn side of the deep shrub border

back side of fence with room to return to stain later in the year

back side of 90′ long fence with room to return with solid stain later in the year. Weeds should remain at bay too.

time to take the gloves off and enjoy another completed project

time to take the gloves off and enjoy another completed project. Winter is a great time for such outdoor schemes, sans ticks and other biting insects that plague central Virginia nine months of the year. Bracing morning air was invigorating too, keeping me from hibernation mode.

this morning's view from the rear terrace, across the turf. The shrubs really pop and have improved light and air

this morning’s view from the rear terrace, across the turf. The shrubs really pop even when dormant and have improved light and air for their growing seasons ahead

Another successful home improvement project is under my belt.
Since 2001, projects here, both indoors and out, require my full attention — the reality of owning an older home with a needy landscape.
Applying my design and communication skills, employing a sense of humor, and being somewhat tolerant of budget overruns, keep me honed and motivated for the next solution/design project. Furthermore, as the designated primer/painter here at Swallowtail Cottage, this homeowner stays in shape too.

Next up, the much awaited pergola at the rear terrace. Now that will be a much welcomed addition. Will I ever say UNCLE??

Stay tuned…

Copyright © 2015 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

 

Lyle ~ may your soul be free

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This is Lyle at the shelter

This is Lyle at the shelter. Weighing in at fourteen pounds, he was a bushel of love.

This blog post is an homage to a fine, sweet, older kitty, Lyle.

Lyle was surrendered to the local CASPCA six months ago. He had been in the same home for eleven years. The owners had various reasons for letting him go, yet Lyle never really recovered from the separation. Despite daily attention from a devoted feline volunteer, Lyle remained shy, fearful, and distant, making adoption difficult in a facility filled with bouncing, adorable kittens.

It’s been nearly four years since my beloved Miss Kitty departed this life and I finally felt ready to welcome a special kitty into my heart. After filling out his paperwork on Friday, I asked Lyle if he approved. He looked me in the eyes and reached out one paw and began kneading his pillow. I took that as a YES!
Lyle was vetted on Monday, where a new heart condition was discovered. This did not dissuade me in any way. The shelter thought we were a perfect match, and with high hopes, I brought him home on Tuesday.

The ride to Swallowtail Cottage was peaceful. The sunny winter afternoon was brilliant. Lyle made eye contact with me many times from his carrier, sunlight reflecting from his soulful, golden eyes. He even seemed to enjoy the view of the passing landscape. I assured him we would have a good life together. He would have a second chance at love.

Within minutes of arrival, Lyle began choking and gasping. Numerous calls to his vet assured me this was stress related, and I should leave him to quiet. Within thirty minutes he was dead — DEAD!!

Post mortem revealed Lyle died of heart failure. A heart broken from rejection? A heart longing to be loved too long? A heart not strong enough to accept new love?

I shall never know.

The house is again quiet — in its winter mode. I wrestle with many emotions, yet have the highest respect for those dedicated shelter volunteers and skilled professionals, who have the emotional stamina to deal with rejected animals every day. To all of them, thank you. And to all who adopt from shelters and rescue facilities, hugs to you.

For those guardians who dump/discard family pets when they age, shame on you! 

Today if you have the chance, please send up a little word for Lyle to finally find peace and unconditional love.

Winnie the Poo on death...

Photo of Lyle courtesy of the Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA.

Copyright © 2015 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

out with the old ~

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another year has passed. Tonight we bid 2014 adieu and welcome the new year.

Today, we arrive on the cusp of a new year. As I reflect on 2014, these unpublished images remind me of the past, the classics, and the sometimes forgotten or abandoned.

rolled down a hillside, left to dissolve among the trees; safe harbor for creatures

rolled down a hillside, left to dissolve among the trees; a safe harbor for transient creatures

instrument panel forever fixed in time

instrument panel forever fixed in time

if only a tune up could bring this ruin to life

if only a quick tune-up could bring this ruin to life

farewell old friend...

farewell old friend…

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Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy, and celebration

The hummingbird's delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, and every personal connection has meaning; and that laughter is life's sweetest creation.

The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning, and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.

Hudson on Valentine's Day 2014

Sweet Baby H on Valentine’s Day 2014

May 2015 bring clear paths

May 2015 bring clear paths

exhilarating moments

exhilarating moments

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and snippets of sheer bliss

May we never forget the past, the decrepit, the lost and may these memories give us strength and hope for a better time, place, and eternity. Stand up for good and believe the best can come for us all.

Copyright © 2014 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

 

 

walking meditation

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As I stepped out my door this morning, there overhead were three perfect Canada geese, flying in pattern — close enough to hear the friction of their feathers, their breath, their rhythm — the shine of their last water, shimmering on their underbellies.

I realized no separate self when the geese appeared.

This is Zen!

Copyright © 2014 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

a day away…

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Once I get started, trips away from home begin at a rapid pace.

Two days following my DC/NOVA trip, I was fired up for a day in Richmond, VA. Merely 60ish miles from home, I attended college in this town — before the magnificent, old brownstones in the fan district were razed for the new, contemporary buildings of today. Fond memories of then — not to be recognized today.

at the Richmond Museum of Fine Arts, I paused to photograph this fine staircase. My weakness is stone of any kind and the steel railings are a nice touch

at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, I paused to photograph this fine staircase. My weakness is stone of any kind and the steel railings are a nice touch

ooooh I like...

ooh I like…I’m a cheap date…

as I strolled room by room, centuries and cultures overwhelmed me

as I strolled room by room, centuries, styles, and cultures overwhelmed me

Tiffany lamps by the dozen...the real deal!

Tiffany lamps by the dozen…the real deal!

posters too

posters too

how about this spot for a snooze?

how about this spot for a snooze?

or this for a garden ornament?

or this for a garden ornament?

a Japanese interpretation of the Blue Ridge Mountains...

a Japanese interpretation of the Blue Ridge Mountains…

and TJ's beloved home Monticello

and TJ’s beloved home Monticello

wild swings now...a Faberge egg...most of the vast collection is on tour in China now...boo!

wild swings now…a Faberge egg…most of the vast collection is on tour in China now…boo!

The House of Fabergé is a jewellery firm founded in 1842 in St. Petersburg, Imperial Russia, by Gustav Faberge. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts houses one of the largest collections, er, when it’s not on tour…

Whee! Now a Remington grabs my attention! I have always lusted after a bronze...

Whee! Now a Remington grabs my attention! I have always lusted after a bronze…and a cowboy!

This has to be my all time favorite piece on exhibit...a centuries old teapot...perfect!

This has to be my all time favorite piece on exhibit this day…a centuries old lacquered teapot…perfect! I can only dream of the life it has had…

My college pal and I enjoyed a 70 degree, sunny noon-day lunch on the upper terrace at the museum…out of doors — on the first of December, in central Virginia.  What a pleasant way to manufacture vitamin D. And my lump crab cake over fried green tomatoes and hoppin’ John was tasty too.

Back on the road to home by 3 PM, route 64 was a piece of cake, yet Baby 5 gets lousy gas mileage at 70 MPH. She gets 27 MPG while driving around town between 40 and 50. Go figure.

With today’s temperatures in the 40’s and rain all day, needless to say, it was fun putting these two cheerful blogs together for you. Hope you enjoyed the little tours.

Let me hear from you (via comments and likes) and Happy and Safe Holidays to you and yours!! Cheers!

Copyright © 2014 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved