{ my retreat }

I'm coming to you this lovely FATHER'S DAY

 morning from this little chair, under the shade of my favorite tree.

The breezes are blowing the scent of gardenia over my shoulder, and the birds are serenading me.

What a fantastic morning this is, my table is loaded with decorating books and a mug of coffee,

my patio is semi clean, the yard is freshly mown, and the gardens are mostly weeded...

perfect morning indeed.

Well, this is it.... this is my retreat.

It's not exactly like the pictures I've shared

or even like the images I have in my head,

it is a work in progress, but I'm loving the process.

You won't find it in any magazine or book,

but today it feels just perfect to me.

It's the perfect place to relax and unwind.   A perfect place to take in the nature surrounding me.

To enjoy the sounds, smells, and sights { like the little fawn that ran across my lawn }.

No, it's not something from a magazine, and it's impossible to keep clean  { it is outside },

but today, I am loving the way it feels out here, and I think Patches { above } would agree. 


to all the wonderful father's out there especially my own.

Papa & Poppy {my daddy } don't read my blog { I don't think},

but today I have to thank GOD for giving me the most wonderful

{ HUSBAND } and { FATHER } any woman could ever have.

* peace & love *


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{ e s c a p e }

d r e a m y

i n v i t i n g

e n c h a n t i n g

e s c a p e s

I dream of outdoor spaces like these,

and of finding a bike like this to tool around on.

h a p p y   w e e k e n d

* peace & love *


{ images...country living }
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{ in the limelight }

In the limelight this evening we have this stunning {LIMELIGHT} hydrangea.

This amazing beauty is the most spectacular plant in my gardens by far.

They never let me down, and bloom in abundance each and every year.

The limelight has a beautiful conical shaped bloom.

 It blooms a lovely chartreuse to white in summer months,

and then turns a lovely dusty pink in the fall.

This wonderful specimen gives my garden interest through every season.

This hydrangea like most makes an excellent dried flower.

I simply leave them on the bush until they dry out,

then I bring them in for dried arrangements.

I love nothing more than to pile them high in a thrift store basket...

I display them in my home year round they are so lovely.

My shrubs are just now beginning to bloom, and by the time I return from vacation

they will be in full bloom,  a sight to behold... { I'll share when I get back }

I always get comments from neighbors on their beauty.

Unlike other varieties of hydrangeas these are very hardy, and their blooms never wilt.

I also have Nikko Blue which I also love, but they do not stand up as well 

to the intense sun and summer heat here in the south.

The blooms on this shrub range in size, but I've had blooms as large as my head.

{ that might not mean a whole lot... since I kinda have a pea head }

Oh my, I'm getting giddy with the anticipation of bringing 

lots of these lovelies inside for arrangements.

Now, before you run out and by a truck load of these beauties,

let me just say these ladies get really, really big.

I've had mine in the ground for about four years now,

and they've grown so much they were hiding the trees planted behind them.

These shrubs were as tall as the holly behind  

so I gave them a heavy duty pruning a few weeks ago

{ Papa seemed to think they were overwhelming the trees...hmm}.

They were nearly as tall as my magnolia tree on the other corner as well.

So, be sure if you plant these guys, you give them plenty of space to grow...

unless of course like me you plan to prune them back every few years.

Now, I need more to create a border around my backyard...

what a beautiful way to get some privacy.

*peace & love*


p.s.  today was the first day this week without evening showers... you should see my weeds { eep }
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{ ominous skies }

I'm starting to feel a little like a weather woman 

seeing as how this is my second post on the subject this week.  

I am however fascinated by storms and the beauty and fear that one can bring.

 Yesterday's storm was no exception and brought along with it a tinge of fear.

 Every afternoon or early evening this week we have had a huge storm, so 

I guess it's the most exciting thing that's been going on around here,

unless you think doing load after load of laundry is exciting.

{ looking out from the front porch 

{ a view from our second story deck }

We live on a ridge which sits at the highest point in our county,

The winds here are incredible,  I've lost more than one umbrella and

nearly a table over the edge of our deck...it can be quite scary during a storm.

I've had my kids in the bathtub in the basement on more than one occasion.

We have been very fortunate that the tornados always seem to miss us,

but we have friends close by that haven't been so lucky, 

as the tornados have hit several times within miles of our home.


looking to the left and my right off of my back deck,

these are the kind of skies that scare me.

So I guess you can understand now

why I always keep my

eyes to the skies.

{ images are straight from my camera }

Here's hoping you have sunny and pretty skies where you are

*peace & love*


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{ golden gallery }








If you would like more information about Golden Gallery click here.

Hope you are having a wonderful week.  

We are in the processes of doing laundry and packing for our upcoming trips... 

Papa & I are going to Mexico, and the kids are going to the beach with their Nana & Poppy.

Bring on the Vacations : ).

*peace & love*


p.s. sorry about the poor quality of my photos, I used my point and shoot for these.

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{ before the storm }

Saturday morning I woke up to find out that I was having company over for a World Cup party.

It was 10:30, I hadn't even had my first cup of coffee and Papa tells me we are having a group of friends 

over for a cookout at around 1:30.  Me "nuh uh.... are you serious?"   Papa " Yes "..."honest."   

Needless to say I didn't even have a first cup of coffee because I was immediately in clean mode.  

I madly cleaned the house...I vacuumed every floor, even the stairs which I despise doing.

I dusted, I picked up, I organized, I straightened,  I even went out to the gardens and cut flowers.

There they are, aren't they just gorgeous,  I do so love my hydrangeas.

About an hour before everyone is supposed to arrive we had a big change of plans.

Papa had to take our 16 year old daughter to the ER to begin her rabies vaccine series. 

She was exposed to a bat when it came into her friends house during a sleep over.

So... plans were immediately cancelled and Papa left with our oldest for the emergency room.

It felt so nice, the house was clean, and I had fresh flowers all over.  

So, since I was having no company to share them with I thought I would share them with you all.

I started taking pictures of my pretty flowers, then as I was taking photos I noticed my favorite 

crepe myrtle tree out the window and thought I would share it with you as well,  since it's in full bloom 

right now.   So I started snapping a few pictures, just then the sky darkened and the winds picked up,

and the blooms of my beautiful crepe myrtle tree were flying like freshly fallen snow.

Then I went outside onto the deck to snap some more pictures of the coming storm.

I love the moments before a storm comes when the sky darkens, the winds pick up, and the temperature 

drops.  There is nothing I love more than sitting on the front porch watching a storm roll in.

This is actually the view from my back deck out over my neighbors yards, see the trees bending.

I love how my pony tail grass blows in the wind.

I continued walking around the side of my house, 

and I spotted my poor little weeping willow.

As I rounded the corner to the front of my house I admired the rest of my lovely crepe myrtles

bending with the wind and showering the ground around with snow white petals.

I made it onto the front porch just in time.

I sat back on my whicker sofa to enjoy the cool breeze, 

a nice respite to the record breaking temperatures we are having.

I watched the plants and trees blow too and fro, while 

enjoying the slight electricity in the air,

and then it came.... the beautiful downpour.

The trees bent with the weight of the rain, 

and my mother and her children had a nice frolic in the rain as well.

I'm so thankful for summertime showers to cool down our extreme southern temps.

It has continued to be very hot this weekend, 

and today has also brought us beautiful afternoon showers.

Here's hoping you are all having a wonderfully cool weekend.

*peace & love*


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{ peaceful heart alpacas }

Thanks to everyone for the sweet birthday wishes.

I had a great time on my 37th birthday,

though 37 did a little number on me like no other birthday has.

I was feeling a little like my best years were behind me there for a little while.

Thanks to a wonderful husband, the sweetest sister in the world, and some great friends

I was able to get over it and realize that no matter if I gain a few pounds, wrinkles and gray hairs,

there are still many great years ahead of me, and lots of new adventures to enjoy.

You guys be sure to remind me of those things when 38 rolls around,

because I'm not sure getting older will get any easier.

So on to another subject.

Over the Memorial Day weekend on our trip to the mountains

we made a quick visit to a little alpaca farm just around the corner from my parents cabin.

This was just a cute little mountain home where the owners and their daughter who is a 

fiber spinner decided they would raise their own alpacas for their amazingly soft fiber.

What started out as just a few alpacas grew into a group of 18 males & 18 females.

Here below, are the mother's and babies in a separate pasture.

Here are the alpaca boys coming down the hill to greet us visitors.

We just missed them with their full coats, as they had recently been sheared.

They were so cute with their furry legs and heads and skinny necks and bare bodies.

After visiting the resident fiber providers we went inside to see some of the finished products.

Inside was a small room where they sold imported items all made of alpaca.

There was also a spinning room where they teach classes and show off some of the items made on site.

I've always wanted to learn how to spin my own yarn,

so I may just have to go up another weekend and take one of their classes.

They also teach classes on rug making, dyeing, felting, and weaving on a triangle loom.

The family was super sweet, and I ended up walking away with a skein of yarn

that I'm working into a hat right now, and it's truly the most luxurious fiber I've ever worked with.

I can't wait to finish it, I know it will be a winter favorite, especially in the mountains.

You can check them out here at { Peaceful Heart Alpacas }

Hope you all are having a lovely week.

Tomorrow is my children's last day of school,

so I've been trying to cram as much { shopping }

as possible into my last free days.

Hence my absence from blogdom.

*peace & love*

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