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If we were having coffee: Flower power edition

Iced tea in the morning.
Iced tea in the morning.

I take pleasure in tea, appreciating it with my spirit and therefore cannot explain why.

~ Sen Joo

First sunflower of the season.
First sunflower of the season.

If we were having coffee, I would be thrilled to see you again.  Come on in.  Did you bring your bathing suit?  If you did, great!  We’ll take a dip in the pool while you’re here.  If not, hop in anyway if you like.  You can wear a beach towel while I dry your clothes on the line or in the dryer.  Skinny dipping is fine, too, given that we’re out here in the middle of nowhere, but I should warn you that whenever I’m not dressed to receive folks, folks tend to stop by.  Usually a neighbor looking for their dog or cat, or UPS delivering a package.  One evening I was out on the platform in my PJ’s when that happened.  Parcels always seem to arrive when I just get out of the shower or just finished exercising or gardening and couldn’t look much worse.  It must be a rule around here.

Anyway, let’s grab something to drink and head out to the pool.  Even if you don’t want to swim, you can at least stick your feet in the water and enjoy the coolness of it.  The water temperature is perfect right now.  Warm enough not to shock, cool enough to be refreshing.

First zinnia of the season.
First zinnia of the season.

How are you?  What have you been up to this past week?  Did you go on any good walks or travel anywhere?  Read any good books or watch any good films?  Have you been swimming or cycling or gardening?  What’s blooming in your area now?

I am still working on the same books as last week so no news there other than to say I am enjoying Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure, and learning a thing or two about India while getting a few laughs in here and there.  I am taking my time with The Inward Garden: Creating a Place of Beauty and Meaning (which I see is not listed in my sidebar) and Loving Yourself to Great Health: Thoughts & Food–The Ultimate Diet.  I ordered The Inward Garden from my local library.  I might buy a copy for myself (not the one I linked to at Amazon, though, because I’m not paying $300+ for it; it is more reasonably priced here).

Fire dancer
Fire dancer.  Second bloom this season from the lily.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that M and I finally watched the last of The Hobbit films (The Battle of the Five Armies).  I enjoyed it.  It was entertaining.  Sometimes entertaining is enough.

We have been watching the Women’s World Cup when we can.  Not having cable, that means we watch when the network that is showing it deigns to put it on a channel we can pick up over the air.  Last night we watched the USA vs. Sweden.  Tough game for both sides with no score and not many shots made.  We have also been watching the NBA (basketball) finals and (naturally) cheering for the Cavs (Cleveland Cavaliers).  I am not usually sports inclined except for soccer (football to the rest of the world), but I am a fan of the city of Cleveland having lived near there for thirteen years and cheering on the Cavs is part of that.  Besides, there isn’t much else on television this time of year.

Second zinnia of the season almost in bloom.
Second zinnia of the season almost in bloom.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you it has been a slow week here at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch.  It has been hot, hot, hot (90°F by 8:00 AM), and it doesn’t pay to move quickly in the heat.  We’ve had to water the gardens because there has been no rain.  There is a chance of rain tonight so maybe you can help me out with a rain dance while you’re here.  The gardens will appreciate it.

Next week will be full and busy.  I have several appointments, including some of the medical variety that will hopefully confirm what I already know.  I have been feeling pretty good and getting back to a normal diet and exercise routine so I expect they’ll find nothing wrong.  I will also be getting my hair cut and colored.  My oldest granddaughter suggested I go purple this time around so purple it will be.  I liked the Peacock Green I had last time, but purple is my favorite color so I have no problem switching back to that.  (Just purple streaks, by the way, not my entire head of hair.)

Lavender
Lavender

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that M and I are headed to the beach sometime this weekend.  The Blue Angels are in town for the Ocean City air show, but we’re going to avoid that and head to Assateague.  Maybe we’ll see them from there.

Hens and chicks.
Hens and chicks.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we’re getting ready for a visit from family.  Our oldest son, his lovely wife, and our granddaughters will be coming east to visit with us and with other family members.  I am really looking forward to it.  The house is finally in pretty decent shape.  The guest bath is finished (someone remind me to take pictures to show you here on the blog).  We are hoping to have all of the renovations finished by the end of the year.  Most of the big work is done.  What’s left involves painting and some dreaded wallpaper removal.  Some of the painting will be done by hired professionals because we don’t have a ladder high enough to paint the ceiling and upper walls of the living room/great room.  We also need to install shelving in some of the rooms (the office and the living room/great room), and sell off some big pieces of furniture.

Hosta.
Hosta.

Won’t it be grand to finally be able to sit back, relax, and breathe a sigh of relief that it’s finished?  With a house, of course, one is never really finished because there is always something that needs to be done or fixed.

Sage.
Sage.

If we were having coffee, it would be time for me to get moving.  I have some chores to take care of today before I can go to the beach.  You’re welcome to hang out in the pool if you like, and join us at the beach later.

First Black-eyed Susan to bloom this season.
First Black-eyed Susan to bloom this season.

Thank you for visiting.  I enjoy our weekly chats.  I’ve gotten behind on answering comments again, but that’s because I’ve been spending a good portion of my blogging time visiting you (and you and you, etc.) at your place, but I do want you to know that I read and appreciate your comments, especially when you catch me up on what you’ve been doing since our last coffee chat.

Catching sunlight.
Catching sunlight.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Tiny blue butterfly.
Tiny blue butterfly.

This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.  Put on the kettle, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us.  I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.

On this day last year.  Looks like I was traveling (this was, I think, on the way back to the Eastern Shore after a visit to Ohio).
On this day last year. Looks like I was traveling (this was, I think, on the way back to the Eastern Shore after a visit to Ohio).
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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

51 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: Flower power edition

  1. Robin, what a delightful post, perhaps one of my favorites! The blue butterfly is lovely. So nice to hear that you are reading “The Inward Garden” – I look forward to hearing your impressions of it. You are far ahead of us here with zinnias blooming – we’re just moving into rose season. PLEASE post a photo of your purple hair 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Lynn. And thank you so much for recommending “The Inward Garden.” It’s a wonderful book! I meant to thank you in the post, but must have gotten sidetracked. Even though this is my third spring here, I am still amazed by how fast everything comes into bloom. As for a photo of my purple hair, I’ll see what I can do. 😀

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  2. Sounds like a happy Saturday! I’m missing our pool this time of year—I grew up in a house that had one, and I’ve generally had access to one. Hope you have fun at the beach, too!

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  3. Don’t forget to post a photo of the revamped bathroom – I like before and afters if you have the time to organise that 🙂 [I wasn’t a fan of those ducks so I’m sure it looks lovely now.]

    We’ve been dealing with cold – icy cold – wet weather. The sub Antarctic blasts are the worst I’ve experienced in my 13 years here. The flooding all cleared away – did I mention that last week? I was at sixes and sevens and can’t remember if I even had time to stop by for coffee – The conservatory has dried out and a new roof goes on next week. Hail stones made holes in the sheet plastic roof – can you believe it! Poor Siddy has had a few days without his beloved w-a-l-k which all goes to prove that Orlando was correctly predicting the weather when he put on his luxurious, thick, white undercoat a number of weeks back.

    I haven’t been posting as life has been so out of rhythm – but I do enjoy these weekly visits.

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    1. Icy cold wet weather is no fun at all, Pauline. I think you did mention the flooding. I hope it dries out for you soon. It’s so hot here lately that cold sounds appealing, but not the hail stones or the flooding. I’ll be sure to get those pictures of the bathroom. Thank you for the reminder. 🙂 [I wasn’t a fan of those ducks, either.]

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  4. Enjoyed hearing about your week. I picked up a new client this week and will be renovating her garden. Luckily, I have a young helper who can do the heavy work. Creating is the best part!
    Love the photo of the Blue Azure on clover and the new zinnia and its shadow. 🙂 Hope the weather is perfect for your beach trip!

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    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 I didn’t realize you help renovate gardens. I wouldn’t mind having both you and the young helper here to assist me with my garden. It’s been trial and error so far. I suppose that’s a good way to learn. 😀

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  5. That Fire Dancer lily is an absolute knockout. If I were visiting you, I’d ask if I could pluck a sprig of your lavender and crush it in my hands, as I love to do whenever I see it growing anywhere. I usually then put it in my pocket, forget about it, and I don’t mind forgetting because then the oil seeps into my clothes and I like that.

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    1. I agree, David, about the lily. I was surprised when it put out another flower. I am easily surprised since I’m a novice gardener and have no idea what’s going to happen, but for some reason I thought it would only flower once.. You are welcome to pluck some lavender. There is plenty of it, and I know how wonderful it is to come across the scent unexpectedly. 🙂

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  6. Kind of chilly and rainy here. But that was OK, made for a sleepy Saturday full of reading and napping. LOVE that first photo of the ice tea..looks like an oil painting. All your photos have wonderful light. I hope your doctor appointments are just as you think and there’s nothing wrong. And I want to see the purple hair! 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Dawn. 🙂 A chilly, rainy, sleepy day sounds wonderful. It’s been so hot here, and the brightness of the days is becoming hard on the eyes. I feel like I’m always squinting. There’s a secret to the lighting. One is to shoot during the golden hours (either sunrise or sunset), but the other is to underexpose the shots and/or shoot with the camera set to “shade” (or “cloudy” or some similar setting) which gives a warmer glow to everything.

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  7. I’d love to join you for a swim in your pool, as it’s so hot and miserable here in Nanning, I normally end up huddled inside in my air-conditioning. I don’t know if I can fit into my bathing suit right now, as I’ve put on some weight in China, so maybe I’ll opt for the skinny-dipping. I just hope no one shows up as I’d probably give them a heart attack!

    I just added Holy Cow to my reading list. It sounds like just my kind of book. I have been watching Season 5 of Grey’s Anatomy and I think I’m watching too much of it because I find myself worrying about health or accident problems. I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better and that you suspect you’ll have good news at your check-up. I hope so!

    As for me, I’ve been busy marking outlines for my 73 students’ final essays; it was much more time-consuming than I imagined it would be. I also went back to Yangshuo with a colleague and then to Beihai to stay with a Finnish lady I met on a tour of the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi’an. She has a much better job than I do, so she sent her driver 3 hours from Beihai to Nanning to pick me up and then to take me back home! A lot of driving for that poor driver, but he was very kind; of course, we couldn’t communicate at all.

    Not much else is happening with me, except that I’m preparing to leave here one month from Monday. I bought my ticket home; I’ll be stopping to visit my sister in L.A. on my way home. That’s a nice addition to my return trip.

    Take care and enjoy just “being.” 🙂

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    1. You sound busy as usual, Cathy! How wonderful to have a driver for your trip. I know you’ve been taking a lot of bus rides, and that they haven’t always worked out as planned (or hoped). Enjoy the pool. It’s hot and humid here, too, and likely to stay that way until September. Ugh.

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      1. You and I agree about the hot and humid, Robin. How I hate summer!! I like all the stuff that goes with it, fresh fruit and vegetables, summer barbecues, swimming, beaching, chasing fireflies (at least when I was a kid), and boating. But I just hate the heat and humidity. Here in Nanning it’s relentless. I’ve been staying inside nowadays, hunkered inside with my air conditioning. I’ve now lost all motivation to go anywhere.

        Having Mari’s driver pick me to go to Beihai and then to return home was a real treat. I wish I had that luxury all the time!

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  8. Love this flower power edition! Life hasn’t slowed down quite yet, and I have lots of answers to your questions in this post, lol! 3 more days of school – then I’ll probably have so many blog posts y’all will get sick of me! 😉

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    1. Thank you, Karma. 🙂 I won’t get sick of you. I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to and what you’ve been doing with your (not-quite-so) new lens.

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  9. It was wonderful visiting with you! I’m so jealous that you are going out to Assateague this weekend..I was there (and Ocean City) last winter. It was beautiful but pretty cold and no horses, just some poop lol. Really enjoyed strolling around your garden, it is simply breathtaking! Take care and see you again soon 😀

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    1. Thank you, Rhodia. 🙂 Horse poop is easy to find at Assateague. lol! Winter is actually the best time to find and see the horses, but it helps to know where to look for them. One of the things I love about the horses during the winter is how thick and luxurious their coats become. If you make your way to Assateague again, let me know and I’ll tell you where you can usually find the horses.

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  10. I’m sorry I’m late for coffee this week – it’s been one of those weeks with little bumps along the way and just enough in each day to keep me from getting too far. My new dishwasher was delivered and appeared to be fine, until my installer came and we discovered, late in the game, that the lower part of the frame was damaged. So a new one had to be ordered, and they picked up the damaged one yesterday morning. It was also the week for my haircut and I had a nail appointment. I seem to have done very little this week, other than mowing the grass and watering those areas the sprinklers don’t hit. l watched the movie “Still Alice” the other night – it was excellent, as was the book by Lisa Genova. I think Alzheimer’s Disease is one of the most frightening things that can happen to someone. My new modem arrived and got installed, but not without some issues – which has been the way of the world recently. I had to resort to calling tech support and it took us one and one-half more hours, but it finally connected and I am much pleased. My service is noticeably better now. Today there is much to do, I have to be able to say I’m made some progress these past days, you know, so I must go now. Thank you for the coffee, the lovely tour of your gardens, and the invitation to enjoy the pool. Perhaps next time.

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    1. It must be a law of the universe, Carol, that when things like that happen (old appliances breaking down and/or new appliances not working), they have to happen in multiples. I agree with you about Alzheimer’s Disease. I watched my mother-in-law go through it. Someone once told me that they thought dementia and Alzheimer’s was just the person’s body remaining on earth while their spirit had already moved on. I like to think that’s true because it seems horrifying to me to still be somehow aware of all you don’t remember. I have “Still Alice” on my Netflix queue, and think it might be next in line to be sent out (whenever I get around to returned a DVD).

      I’m glad you could stop by. You’re welcome, and thank you. 🙂

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  11. Robin, I always love your photos but today, they gave me so many oooooohs and ahhhhhhs. That first one at the table made me think “I want to be there” and then the sunflower photo made me want to cry at the beauty of it. The black eyed Susan…well that’s a special-to-me flower as you might remember reading on my blog ages ago…it made me want to be named Susie when I was a child because I wanted to be named like the flower. The fire dancer lily…stunning.

    I hope your appointments go well this week. And don’t forget to take those bathroom pictures to share with us!

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    1. Thank you, Corina. I do remember that about the black-eyed Susans. I think you might like our meadow. They pop up like weeds out there, and many of the fields around here have them growing wild. Thank you, too, for the good wishes regarding the doctor appointments and the reminder about the bathroom pictures. I will do that tomorrow. 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Lisa. 🙂 I have another variety of hens and chicks that doesn’t bloom so when this one put out flowers, it surprised me. It’s nice to be given surprises like that. 😀

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  12. I love your pictures, its just wonderful seeing your plants and flowers. Here my lavender is just starting to come into bloom but the bees are already exploring my small patch of garden. (I love seeing bees.) I’ve been cycling this week as I do every week, on my way to work. Now its summer again the ride is much nicer and I get to wear shorts again. (it was a bit chilly during the winter.) Thank you for the tea, I’m looking forward to drinking it after a couple of laps of your pool. 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Rosie! I love seeing bees, too, and have not seen as many as I’d like this season. A few bumblebees here and there, but not many honeybees. You’re welcome, and I’m glad you could stop by. 🙂

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  13. You have such pretty flowers! I especially like the sunflower and Fire Dancer lily.
    Btw. we will be heading to Assateague soon, too…. I think we will be there July 6?? I can’t remember the exact date because we’ll be spending some time in Charleston first.

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    1. Thank you, Michaela. 🙂 Would you like to meet up somewhere? We should be around that week. Or I can just tell you where to find the horses if you don’t have time for a meet-up. You probably won’t need tips. They are very easy to find during the summer. One walked right up to us on the beach yesterday, trying to break into our cooler.

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      1. Meeting up sounds like fun, but I really don’t know what all we’re doing besides the horses. I know Greg wants to go somewhere to eat crabs (if they’re not as expensive as they were a few weeks ago when he was in MD on business). How far are you from Assateague?

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        1. About a 40-50 minute drive depending on traffic (during the week traffic usually isn’t an issue). Crabs ARE expensive, even more so at chain restaurants and touristy areas. They are more reasonably priced off the beaten path. There are some places on the road to Assateague that we haven’t tried yet, and always seem to be packed with people. Also, there is the Harborside Bar & Grill in West Ocean City (http://weocharborside.com/). The food we’ve had there was very good, they usually have some sort of crab special this time of year, but it’s not the place to go if you just want steamed crabs (I don’t think they even have them on the menu). One of the roadside places might be your best bet for that. I’m not a fan of crab (which is why we haven’t bothered to catch our own even though we have the traps and the dock, and we even see them swimming in our lagoon).

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          1. That’s not far at all! I checked the dates and we’ll be there two full days before we head back home. I’ll send you an e-mail and give you the details.
            I don’t like crabs either and Greg and Sara are the only ones who eat them.

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  14. Beautiful pictures of flowers. Are they all in your garden? I’ve never seen a blue butterfly, and it’s a real show stopper. I enjoy your chatty style of writing. It’s so pleasant to read your blog.

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    1. Thank you, Skip. 🙂 The flowers are all in my garden. This is my first flower garden, and I’m learning as I go along. The little blue butterflies are everywhere around here. They are the first butterflies we see in the spring, and I sometimes feel as if I stepped into a magical realm when I go in the woods and they are flitting everywhere.

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  15. We are finally looking like late spring … Lilacs and choke cherries in bloom … Lily of the valley just past … My comfrey and columbines just beginning… Lovely days with few Mosquitos … Love your photo of sage. Jane

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    1. Sounds lovely, Jane. It is so terribly hot and steamy here now, and I doubt we’ll have any relief until September or October. The insects are thriving in the heat and humidity. If you can spare a cool, fresh, dry breeze, please send it this way. 🙂

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  16. Enjoyed the post, Robin. I chuckled at your description of people always arriving when you’re improperly dressed or looking your worst – ain’t it the truth? We also live in the middle of nowhere – at the end of a long, almost invisible driveway – and this sometimes happens to me too. The other day I was starting to wash greens for dinner when a stranger suddenly appeared at our open kitchen window, about 5 feet away – and there was me, dressed in shorts and my most indecent tank top, trying to cool off. Yikes! It’s been dry here too – we’ve been watering the garden since early May, and have had only one day of rain since then. Hoping the well holds up through the summer, as we don’t have a cistern…it’s been on the “to do” list for awhile now.

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    1. Thank you, Laurie. 🙂 We have a long driveway, too (about a 1/4 mile), and it’s sand so I never hear people coming. I’ve been thinking about inventing something that sounds like a squeaky toy that I can put across the driveway so I’ll know when someone is on the driveway and near the house.

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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