Our summer in photos

Now that it is autumn (though not meteorologically so), I suppose it is time to look back on our summer through photographs. I have to say that choosing the photos for this post reminded me of what a good summer we actually had this year. After the rough end of 2021 we had, I was especially grateful for summer this year and was glad to live it as full as possible.

Little Miss’ friends came from Texas to visit at the beginning of the summer.

We took a few day trips during the summer, then there were many trips down the slip n’ slide and trips to my parents’ pool, enjoying our summer flowers, playing with the pets, and helping my dad pick his garden.

How was your summer? Can you even believe it’s already (or almost officially) autumn (here in the Northern Hemisphere at least)?

Looking back at July in photos

Even before I looked back at the photos from July, I knew the month had been busy, but looking at all the photos from the month, solidified that for me.

There were a lot of pool visits, a lot of running through sprinklers, a musical, grocery shopping trips, visits with friends, parades, carnivals, visiting my parents, cookouts, anniversary dinners, and blowing bubbles.

Finding comfort in photography, or here is a bunch of photos I took to hide away from my problems.

Our family has had a rough week so I retreated to what helps me cope and that’s art in some form. This week I was so grateful that the flowers are still blooming around my house so I went out yesterday (despite warmer temps) to photograph those flowers before they are gone. I had to find a way to hold on to them because, sadly, I can’t scoop them up and put them in a bottle to take out and smell and feel and see whenever I am down throughout the year. Boy, do I wish I could!

Sunday Bookends: Bear in the neighborhood, little girls everywhere, and a summer reading list


Welcome to Sunday Bookends where I ramble about what I’ve been reading, doing, watching, writing and listening to.

What I/we’ve been Reading

I have two or three more chapters to read of Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery and will probably finish it today.

I also hope to finish Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain later this week.

I am starting The Heat of the Mountains by Pepper Basham this week for a book tour, which isn’t until the end of July.

I hope to start the next book in the Anne series (Anne of the Island) as well.

I have a few books I would like to read during this summer including:

The sixth book in the Walt Longmire series, Junkyard Dogs;

The Hot Rock by Donald Westlake;

The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz;

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie;

 A Ted Dekker book (haven’t decided which one yet);

At least one Jane Austen book

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox

The Do Over by Bethany Turner.

The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray

Do I think I will get through all these books? I have no idea but we will see.

The Husband is reading Hooker by Lou Thesz (a book about a wrestler, not a prostitute.).

The Boy is taking a break from reading after reading so much for school this year.

I finally got Little Miss to let me read a book other than Laura Ingalls Wilder — Anne of Green Gables. She’s letting me read one chapter of Anne one night and a chapter of The Long Winter the other night.

What’s Been Occurring

Little Miss had a very busy, exciting week. She was able to see all of her friends, including the ones still visiting the area from Texas. They had moved there last year (I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m too lazy to go back to my previous Sunday Bookend and look. *wink*). Her friends who live locally were visiting Thursday and then her friends from Texas were down the street at their great-grandmothers so they came up to visit too. For about three hours I had six crazy girls between the ages of 6 and 8 here and it was actually a lot of fun, more for Little Miss than anyone else.

I’d love to show the photos of them all together but I don’t have permission to share their photographs on the blog so I’ll just tell you that they were all crazy and had fun posing for a photograph that they could all remember when they go their separate ways.

Little Miss was able to see her friends from Texas the next day as well and then last night the neighbor’s daughter took her to our local dairy parade where she milked a cow and was able to ride on a fire truck.

On Friday we traveled 45 minutes one way and 45 minutes back to have the kid’s evaluations done with our homeschool evaluator. We didn’t visit the town where we used to live like we usually do when we go there, partially because we simply didn’t feel like and partially because they last time we went there some young men yelled nasty things at my son while he was riding his bike. The incident was a stark reminder of how much the town we lived in for about 18 years had changed, and not for the better.

With the evaluations done, we can now submit our paperwork to the district both for this past school year and for next. And that also means we are officially on summer break. No, we don’t have any concrete exciting plans for this summer. One of my plans is to start looking for curriculum for The Boy who is now a sophomore in high school (hold me!). Yes, I am a very exciting person.

In less interesting news for most people, my peonies and wild roses bloomed this week, which is just about one of the biggest highlights of the year for me. Yes, my life is that boring.

In unrelated news, I have been waiting to see a bear since we moved here and I might have seen one Monday if I had been outside my house because one visited my neighbor down the street — the great grandmother of Little Miss’ little friends. The bear was young and walked up her driveway and into her side yard (which is very small and leads to her patio doors) and visited her granddaughter’s dog and then kept going, I guess. We only found out about it when the local newspaper wrote about it. I told my neighbor to call me if a bear shows up in her yard again, but really, what am I going to do if it does? I’m certainly not going to walk down the street, but maybe I’d drive down there to check it out.

Now that I know there has been a bear on the street, I am trying to be very careful when I let the pets out and check on them while they are out there.  Bears aren’t known to kill dogs or cats in this area, but it still makes me nervous.

What We watched/are Watching

Last Sunday I started to rewatch Season 2 of The Chosen. Wow. I caught so many things I had missed when I watched it last year, especially during the episode with Jesus and John the Baptist. It is a seriously powerful show. If you have not watched it, I really encourage you to do so. Even if you aren’t a Christian. It’s very well put together and tells a wonderful story about people, in addition to God.

You can either watch it on The Chosen app, which is very easy to download on your smartphone or another device. You can cast the episodes to your TV and download the channel if you have a Roku.

I watched a couple more episodes of The Durrells, which is on Amazon, and based on a trilogy of books about a real life family called The Durrells. It’s an interesting show, with some odd moments, but nothing outlandishly inappropriate or violent.

I also watched a bunch of videos by homesteader YouTubers like Roots and Refuge Farm all week long. This gave me ideas for things I can do around my own home to create a garden or grow food without planting a full garden. I am behind on starting a garden this year (clearly) and I’ve been dragging my feet on it because it can be very time consuming and I sort of blew it last year. But these videos have inspired me to try it on a smaller scale, so I am producing at least something this year. As my neighbor said last week, this is definitely the year to be planting a garden considering how bad our economy is and how much worse it is going to get.

It is also inspiring to watch Roots and Refuge because they have built their farm and their YouTube channel up over the last several years to the point they are now making a full, supporting income from both.

The Husband and I also watched an episode (they are 90 minutes each) of Brokenwood Mysteries and on Saturday I watched the new Obi Wan Kenobi show with The Boy and then an episode of the third season of Star Trek Discovery with The Boy and The Husband.


What I’m Writing

 I worked more this week on The Shores of Mercy, which is what I’ll be calling the new book. It is called Mercy’s Shore for the blog.

I’ve decided to write one more book after this one and complete The Spencer Valley Chronicles with five books. The fifth book will be about Alex and his relationship with his father, as well as a little more about his relationship with Molly. I felt like that will bring the series full circle. Since it started with Molly, it will end with Molly.

In addition to working on the book, I also wrote several blog posts including:



Now it’s your turn

What have you been doing, watching, reading, listening to or writing? Let me know in the comments or leave a blog post link if you also write a weekly update like this.

Looking back at May in photos

I don’t have a ton of photos from May but I thought I would share what I do have. I can’t even believe May is gone and we are already in June! We did get outside a little bit more in May than in other months, since it finally warmed up, but I didn’t always remember to take my camera with me or to take photos. That’s unusual for me, but, well, sometimes it does happen that I don’t have a camera with me.

A look back at 2021 in photos

Today I decided to look back at 2021 in photos. Our year started out with a great deal of snow. Right before Christmas we had over two feet and in January, about two weeks later, we were dumped on again. Throughout January snow just kept falling and then it fell again in February. It was a crazy winter.

January/February

March and April

I don’t remember what happened in March but I could hardly find any photos from that month on my computer. Maybe I moved them somewhere else, I don’t know. I do know I had a photography slump this year.

May and June

July and August

September and October

November and December

I barely took any photos in early November and then COVID hit. While trying to recover from COVID, I had no interest in the camera so there are not a ton of photos from either month. Honestly I feel like I lost two months of my life. I don’t remember much of either month.

A new season of flowers

I had nothing to do with the flowers blooming around my house. I have no idea how to maintain them and they’d probably last longer if I had a clue what I’m doing. But I don’t have a clue so I weed them a little, pull some old ones off, and then I take a lot of photos of them. I thought I’d share of the photos I’ve been taking today on the blog. Hopefully flower lovers and non-flower lovers alike will enjoy the photos.