simple pleasures

Easy Summer Memory Wall Decor!

Once the 4th of July is over, we are in the thick of the Summer!

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Those days of soda and pretzels and beer
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
You’ll wish that summer could always be here!

Lyricist Charles Tobias 

 Well then…..

 Are you wondering why I am showing you a picture of a house taken in late fall?
Well….I want you to notice the red trimmed storm windows on this house…which is the house Mr. S grew up in!
When the house was sold….and it was time to clean out the garage…

We “rescued” one of the old stormwindows to hang in our house!

I decided to turn the window into a Summer Memory Gallery!
I dug through some photos and came up with some of my favorite family images of Summertime!
I used my trusty mat cutter to cut mats for them…..
but you could just stick the photos on the glass too!
Clockwise From the top left:
This photo is probably circa 1920….I don’t know about your family….but we really don’t wear suits for our campfires!
This is the Sweetwater Daughter helping her Grandma do the dishes in the hot kitchen!
That is little old me….at the sink at my Grandma’s House!
The next image shows a group of people on the farm…”playing”…I think it is wonderful to imagine farmers who were working so hard….having time to play!
The Sweetwater Son with a slice of watermelon….hamming it up for the camera!
Mr. S and 2 of his brothers all decked out in their swimsuits…too cute!
This is a photo of my family in 1952….swimming in the Atlantic ocean….it may be the only picture of my Grandmother in a swimsuit!
It is fun to have these memories on the wall to enjoy!
There are a few other Summer  touches on the walls here:
This little treasure is the wool swimming suit that belonged to Mr. S’s Grandfather…
It is dark navy blue….and oh so little!
Also…oh so heavy!
I had a navy and white beach bag that looks nice hanging along side!
This watermelon print is hanging on the refrgerator!
I used the trick of gluing magnets on the back of the frame!
 I was too lazy to take the chalkboard off the stairway wall….
That is why this picture is so terrible….sorry!
But…I saw this summertime message somewhere in blogland and thought it was really cute!
The lake map is actually a place mat from a lakeside restaurant we like!  
I think all of these little touches of Summer here at Sweetwater fit the philosophy of “Use What You Have”…
Have a Great SUMMER Day!

Sweetwater Garden Party!

“A garden should make you feel you’ve entered privileged space — a place not just set apart but reverberant — and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.”
― Michael Pollan, Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education 
 There really is something about a garden and gardening that makes you feel “really rich”!
June in the Sweetwater Garden is a time to celebrate….AND PARTY!
Take a peek at the fun get together I hosted on Monday!
A few friends from school with the admonition that we WOULD NOT talk about school!
And Kudos to my “Guest Photographer” who came with camera in hand!
It was pot luck…..

I love friends who bring tasty goodies to share!!!!

Fruit, vegetables, cheese and crackers…..

Plus a “little” decadence with the desert!

My contribution was my knock-off Chicken Cherry Pasta (click here for the recipe) 
It really is delicious….pasta, dried sweet cherries, rotisserie chicken and a sweet tangy dressing!
and
look how the Fitz and Floyd Rooster Plate makes the perfect serving dish for Caprise Salad!
Yum….Yum!
Then it was out to the garden to stroll around….
These good friends oohed and ahhed in all the appropriate places….ignoring the weeds!
And the “guest photographer” only took photos of the flowers…not the weeds!
Bless their hearts!
The wild and stormy weather has taken a toll on the peony bushes….so they don’t look quite as beautiful as other years….
 But the individual blooms are pretty anyway!
 When we were in the back woodsy area…..look who was watching us!
 Maybe this is why the chipmunk population is decreasing…..
oooh….I think Marvin will need supervision when he is on the deck…
although as you can see….he might be more than a mouthful!!!
All in all….a great time was had by all!!
The teacher in me just can’t stop the informational lecturing!
And thank you all for coming to my “virtual” Sweetwater Garden Party….
just sorry you couldn’t share the tasty food!
Have A Great Day!

Simple Pleasures/Random Thoughts


“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little. – John Zabat-Zinn

Another rainy day…in a long string of them!  I decided to come up with some “little things” that are giving me pleasure in spite of the gloomy vista out my window.
Check out this site….75 Simple Pleasures to Brighten Your Day

  • My lobelia is beautiful because the heat has not come….
  • The peony plants are still blooming….probably because the sun is not wilting them
  • The yellow lillies look even brighter against the dark greens  of the gray day
  • I haven’t had to turn the spinklers or the air conditioner on
  • I can appreciate how it must feel to live in Seattle
  • I have a good reason to curl up with the cats and read a book

Okay…so now for the random thoughts…..

In another part of my life, I am a library media specialist in an elementary school.  This means I spend a lot of time thinking about how the 21st century technologies should be impacting our schools.  Today I have been reading about the disconnect between the “real lives of kids” and the “school lives” of kids.  Since we are all out in the blogosphere….”you are reading this, right?”….we are caught up in the power of this kind of social media.  Maybe it is time we start using this to help teach our kids….I will keep you posted.
If you are connected to a young person….ask them if they are frustrated by the lack of relevance at school.  I would love to hear your comments.