simple pleasures

Illusion vs. Reality in the Sweetwater Garden!

The lyrics from the classic Joni Mitchell song “Both Sides Now” began running through my mind as I started to tell you about the garden.

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all
Now swap out the word garden for clouds and you have the tale of the Sweetwater garden.
Ahh….the illusion of perfection!
From afar the peony garden is perfection!
It is so lovely and colorful.

Alas….the reality is the many many weeds at the base of these lovelies!
We have such a crop of weeds (Snow on the Mountain) that we actually put landscape cloth down to kill it!  The problem is that we can’t spray too close to the peony plants and there was no way to get to all of the weeds….I am simply not that patient.


Perfect Hosta

Regular visits from these creatures;

results in chewed off blossoms….

No matter how much repellent we spray….they still come!

Sometimes a deer will actually chomp off a blossom, realize it has repellent on it, and SPIT IT OUT!

A gardener needs to balance illusion/perfection with reality/imperfection.
I realize that when I pass by other people’s gardens……the illusion I see is the beauty of the flowers.
I guess until I can afford to hire a gardener…. I need to look at my own garden the same way!

Have A Wonderful Day!

Monday Musings

Happy Monday!
It has been too long since I posted anything here….
It seemed like all the stuff that has been keeping me busy didn’t really fit with the mission of Sweetwater Style.
It seemed that my projects really aren’t anything to blog about.

All the “writers block” advice articles say just go for it and start writing.  So that is what I will do!

Mr. S and I took a trip to Voyageur’s National Park with some friends.  We stayed at the charming Kettle Falls Hotel in a “Villa”…..
 Our adventures started when our room came with an overpowering ODOR of vomit!  Yikes….but luckily we were given the room directly above.  It had  no kitchen, but we were allowed to use the kitchen in the “vomit” room.  The smell gradually went away….and all was well. 

I clearly am the poster girl for high fashion on the water…..and I even caught a fish or two…..

 We used the Air Fryer to cook the fish without a bunch of oil.  Oh…YUMMY!

The scenery was amazing and so was the weather!

Nothing beats time spent with good friends making memories!

And then there are the Grands…..
Getting to know this sweet little Grand Girl is beyond wonderful
I forgot how all consuming babies can be….how fortunate we are to spend that time!
The Grandboy is a constant source of wonder!
All boy and using whole sentences to have conversations with us!

Helping GG (GreatGrandma) with her knitting!

This photo was taken BEFORE he completely unwound the whole skein of yarn!

Ahhh…..what is better than a costume box so that you can instantly become a SUPER HERO!

Loving the excitement of a summer time parade!
How interesting… a bit A..musing!  All this Monday morning musing has given me about 10 ideas to blog about.  I guess the writer’s block advice is correct….just start writing and the thoughts will come!
Stay Tuned…
Have a wonderful day….and thanks for listening!

I Am SO Manipulating and Proud of It!

I have been playing around with using leaves in interesting ways in floral arrangements.
Who Knew?
That is called leaf manipulation!


Oh sure….manipulation almost always gets a bad rap….and for good reason most of the time.
But if you read definition 1. below, you discover that manipulation is about skill.


noun: manipulation; plural noun: manipulation
  1. the action of manipulating something in a skillful manner.

    “the format allows fast picture manipulation”

  2.       the action of manipulating someone in a clever or unscrupulous way.

    “there was no deliberate manipulation of visitors’ emotions”

Here at Sweetwater…..I have been very manipulating Hosta leaves in floral arrangements.

Don’t these rolled leaves make for an interesting base for the flowers?
You really should “try this at home”!

Start with a nice sturdy Hosta leaf with a pretty long stem.

Try to find one with some interesting pattern or color.

Curl the point of the leaf under and wrap floral tape around the tip and the stem.

Ooh…looks like someone  needs a manicure after all the gardening I have been doing!!!

Anyway…now you have manipulated your leaf and can go to it…

If you want to learn more about how to be “manipulating” yourself…..
Check out these resources.

And don’t forget that Hosta leaves are a great way to line a glass vase to hide the floral foam.

The leaves in the water take on a lovely shine!

You should try this floral arranging technique….if only so that when someone calls you MANIPULATING… can smile and say that you are….and are proud of it!

Have A Great Day!

Link Parties
I DIYed that

Tea Towel Wall Art-

We took a quick trip to Florida last week.  Visiting with Mom and two of my brothers was nice.  We also took a little side trip to Clearwater Beach and Dunedin.  The weather was perfect for a heat lover. 80 degrees and sunny.  A taste of summer in April.

I am not much for buying obvious souvenirs when we travel. I like to buy something that reminds me of our trip but doesn’t scream….”I bought this on my trip!”

Dunedin is this sweet little town with a whole bunch of little boutiques.  Mr. S gets an “attaboy” for going along….BUT…he has a strategy!  He mostly ambles along and when I go in to a shop….he finds the nearest shady bench to wait!  His excuse for not coming along in is that all the “foo foo juice” smells make him ill!!!

Thistle is a cute shop redolent with “foo foo juice” and lots of very fun stuff.

I fell in love with this tea towel.

I knew it would be the perfect thing to mat and frame for the kitchen.

I have a frame that I use to switch out seasonally.

This is so fresh and summery.

 I had a piece of orange mat that was a nice border for the bright vegetables.  I used spray mount to give the towel a smooth application to the cardboard backing.  The only thing that took time was the fact that this frame is one of those pains to take apart and put back together.  But it went pretty quick to change it out. Now I have a reminder of our trip every time I walk by.

It has a lot of impact for less than $20!  And hey….when I get tired of this….I can always take it out of the frame and dry some dishes!

This project would be so easy to replicate….

Here are some more tea towel inspirations for you.

 The next time you are in a fun little boutique….take time to check out the tea towels.
 Then head to the thrift store for a frame….and you too can have some pretty and inexpensive wall art.

Have A Wonderful Day!

Link Parties
Happiness Is Homemade
Coastal Charm

April Enchantment

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. ― Benjamin Franklin

You may (or may not) have noticed the absence of new posts on this blog.
Here is my list of good excuses!
We have been traveling….20 days in Mexico…poor us!
I have been busy catching up for all the missed time with the Sweetwater Grandboy!
I just didn’t feel like writing!!!!

In keeping with “MY ONE WORD” challenge it is time to share the things I have found enchanting in the past few weeks.

This may be the trickiest way ever to make you look at our vacation photos!

I am enchanted by sea glass….when I was strolling the beach, I kept my head down and found all of these treasures.  I am trying to think of a craft to use them on.  Any ideas out there?

Sunrise views of the Mexican mountainside are definitely an enchanting way to start a day.

A good wireless connection let us watch the NCAA Basketball tournament with the sound of the surf in the background.  That delicious looking beverage is a virgin Paloma…..Grapefruit juice and San Pellegrino Pomelo….AHHH…truly enchanting.

 We are so lucky to have a fully equipped kitchen in the Condo.  We travel to town by bus…7 peso fare (45 cents)….to buy the freshest food to cook and eat on the patio.  Enchanting to say the least!

A tropical vacation is especially enchanting for someone who loves flowers as much as I do.  Everywhere we looked were the most beautiful flowers and greenery.

Last but not least……Sammy the Condo Cat….kept us enchanted.  He looks so much like Marvin and had a lot of the same quirks.

Enough with the vacation photos….
Enough with the procrastination with my blogging…

Hope you can find enchantment in some little or big things in your life!

Have A Great Day!