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Saturday, May 24, 2008

[NOTE: I am waiting a bit before posting here again...I really like this post so much! And believe me, I have a quiet life so leaving the blog in Paula's garden for a while is a good thing! I may post some art work under my Arty Collage and Dolls blog...thanks, Lila (added May 28th)]

Late morning in Paula's garden...May 21st...

The sunshine hits the "forest of foxgloves" in full bloom at my friend Paula's!

Paula's garden is a labor of love for the last 2 decades....time has helped her to create a delightful quiet retreat in the Ozarks.

This year when my friend Cheryl and I visited, Paula had over 200 foxgloves plants in bloom! Just exquisite! This is one plant that local deer don't devour!

Foxgloves and Japanese Iris......

After posing in the lovely stalks of bell-shaped blossoms, I took my camera to capture some of the details in Paula's world....

Paula and Cheryl walking through another part of her gardens...the "secret garden" which is entirely fenced off from the deer. Note the bougainvillea blooming in front of Paula.

Japanese painted fern and a shiny ceramic ball. The wall of her garden with tools of her passion.....found objects like the painted wooden swan(rescued from beside a dumpster) and round stones from the river nearby.
Lichen, ferns, foxgloves, hostas, violets grow near rose campion (fenced so the deer won't eat it all!).

After the garden tour, we had tea and cookies under the trees with a soft breeze peaceful!
In addition to gardening, Paula is a wonderful quilter/seamstress/artist, she rescued this old machine to use as a garden sculpture. Visiting her world has given me many wonderful images to recall and use for inspiration. Thank-you Paula!


The trip home......Friday May 23rd
After visiting our mothers in Little Rock, we chose to take highway 7 (Arkansas) north from Russellville. [Sometimes voted one of the most scenic highways in America.] It was cloudy. We were driving on a high ridge but were up in the clouds much of the time! Finally, just before Jasper, AR we pulled over to see the view. Cheryl braved the mist and wind for the wonderful air and scenic layers of mountains stretching on for miles!

On down the highway and down into the valley of the Buffalo and Little Buffalo rivers is the county seat of Newton County, Jasper. There is a town square, with the courthouse in the center. (Made from native stone). Across the street is the Ozark Cafe where we had lunch. A "pattymelt" and homemade carrot cake....

Then out for a stroll around the square..... we visited the Chamber of Commerce which sells local arts and crafts, offers free gourmet coffee and lots of local lore.
Around the corner was "Emma's Museum of Junk " a sort of flea-market /second hand store in an old stone building. Her collectors' gardens were on either side of the shop.

So many cast-off things are put to clever use here!

Finally, right in front of Emma's shop was another cast iron black crow on a cauldron of indigo/purple petunias! Loved it!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A short road trip...

This collage of images relates to yesterday's experiences. Yesterday morning, my friend Cheryl and I started out from Fayetteville going east through the Ozarks. The roads themselves are very scenic..with old barns and farmhouses.

About an hour from home, another friend, Paula met us near the White River and took us in her 4-wheel drive up to her home and garden. This is where we saw a forest of foxgloves. [ I did have my camera and will upload the photos and post about visiting Paula's this way to do that here at Mom's!These foxgloves are from a webpage of Father Julian.]

After being at Paula's for a couple of hours, we took Hwy 23 south. It was lovely and peaceful....we saw almost no other cars. Eventually we came down into a valley where the Mulberry River flows. Camping and canoeing are popular there. The Turner Bend grocery store prepares and serves "world class sandwiches", so we sat on a bench out front and had a bologna sandwich reminiscent of our childhood days...

Finally we caught the interstate and left the back roads behind. When we got to my mother's, we unloaded the Werner ladder which Mr. Pear had loaded into the car for us....we got it set up giving access to my mother's roof. I started up and "chickened out", as Mom had started calling her church friends for help....we needed to clean debris (limbs, leaves and pollen) off her roof. Then Cheryl said, "I'm going up."

So she did....the roof is much better and we are SO GRATEFUL to Cheryl!!!!

[I had a camera but didn't take any shots of Cheryl on the roof....not wanting to give her family too much to stress about! Cheryl now joins Lizzzie in an exclusive club of friends who have been on my mother's roof!...that's another story]

Today is "run errands" day and then change into paint clothes to finish painting Mom's white wrought iron (I was painting it when we ended up taking her to the ER last I must finish!)

Back with photos in a couple of days!
BTW...This photo of my beaming baby grandson....wearing a Bob Dylan t-shirt and looking like he could get into trouble any minute, was waiting for me in e-mail at Mom's.

Monday, May 19, 2008

We have wonderful gardeners in our area....yesterday afternoon ( a perfect day weather-wise) my friends and I made a short trip out to a peony garden owned by Karen and Henry Chotkowski.
There were hundreds of peonies in bloom...even more than the week before when they had their annual Mother's Day open house. It was overwhelming to the eyes! Each variety was more interesting than the last....
Finally, this one caught my eye, there being fewer yellow blooms....lots of white and pink and even deep reds....but I have a "thing" going for yellow this spring!

This is a new variety, an Itoh peony, which is a cross between the tree peony and the herbaceous. It is called "Prairie Charm"..... The butter yellow goes into a soft cranberry red center!
We forgot to bring our cameras...a shame as I could have captured the visual charm of the place. The Chotkwskie's home is bright pink, in honor of the peonies and has a long porch with many rocking chairs lined up to sit and watch the blooming! Several large shade trees are furnished underneath with garden tables and chairs for more serene contemplation of these beauties!

In a few days, I hope to visit another garden nearby where a friend has over 200 foxgloves in bloom....and I WILL take the camera...!!!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A wonderful recipe from the past....

This was published in Southern Living in about 1981. It has mushrooms,marsala wine and fontina cheese. Mr. Pear decided to try to his hand at cooking. This was a big hit....It is a rich dish with the cheeses and butter, and makes a large quantity, therefore, we didn't make it too often! [if you can't read the recipe and would like a copy just e-mail me, and I'll e-mail one to you.]
The link below will take you to some wonderful chicken recipes....his Chicken Marsala is easier too, I think.

(photo of Chicken Marsala is from Images on the web..... )

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's all about names today.....

The first rose of summer....."a rose by any other name" ....this is a rose named "Gertrude Jekyll". Not a pretty name, but she was a great gardener. ..."would smell as sweet." This is a David Austen English rose and it does have a wonderful fragrance! (photo taken just minutes ago, truly the first rose of the season for us!)

Names are being discussed on "Writing from Life" . "Do you like YOUR name?" asks Carmen. I answered in her comment section. I do like my name, now. It has many meanings from many cultures.

"Lila"="dark-haired beauty" in Persian, "purple or indigo" in Spanish, "divine play" in Sanskrit.

Which brings us to how we named our blogs, being discussed by Peta and friends. [I found this from, "Greenish Lady"'s blog.] The explanation for the name of my blog is above in the blog that time, I had no idea that "lila" could be "indigo" (or maybe blue-violet) in Spanish. I love all colors, but find myself drawn over and over again to indigo. So it is a good name for my blog.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A morning in May....

Stepping out my front door about 7:15 this morning, with camera in hand, I set out to capture some images from the garden as the sun was just coming onto it. The first thing I photographed was my flag with soft pink iris.

Notice the ants already busy in the peony?

The rhododendron is still in the shade.

The sun hadn't yet reached this pink/peach iris ....leaving lots of blue toned shadows.
[A note of thanks to Mr. Pear for all the gardening which makes these beauties thrive!]
"Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door."~~~Emily Dickinson

Back inside the house, a "May Basket" quilt hangs on the newly painted soft yellow wall!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Still painting today....
(posting a "lovely" photo of the tools I just put down to do this blog post!)

This room, where our computer is, is being painted a color from Valspar called "Lighthouse Shadows". It IS a shady room now! LOL! I can't just be in here and paint...the computer keeps "sucking me in". I have visited a blog or two, answered and e-mail and now I am posting!

Some of us are trying to decide just how much "reality" is called for on our blogs. (Hence the paint equipment today...tee hee!)

None of us have lives that are "perfect", ( whatever that is...) we are here to live and learn. Personally, I am only comfortable sharing the positive side of things. Avoiding drama may make for a boring blog but being a visual artist, I'm more interested in eye candy and photos of lovely (or unusual) things.

Here is the quilt I am working on at the moment. You may remember that it was "rescued" from a flea market a couple of months ago. If all the world around me is emotional and visual chaos, I will center myself by quilting or knitting.

The rocker holding the quilt belonged to Mr. Pear's mother. You can see the TV room area of our world...going onto the cluttered and crowded (at the moment) back porch.

Over the weekend, besides painting, we watched one episode of "Rosemary and Thyme", and 2 episodes of "Hamish Macbeth". These are wonderful series from the BBC, filmed in the colorful British Isles! We had one friend to share our evening meal and watch these with us on Saturday night and another on Sunday! Even with all the tables covered with painting equipment, we used TV trays and were perfectly happy!

[Now, it is against my blogging policy to reveal too much, so I won't tell you about how Mr. Pear has recently bought the old Robin Hood (with Richard Greene) TV series. He wants me to sit and watch it with him...and believes it to be true and accurate historical drama. I observed to Mr. Pear (who is very attached to anything right wing and Republican) that Robin Hood was a "liberal". We are still married...and of course this is not on my blog!]

This is an area of our recently painted living space which is slowly coming into its own. I painted the watercolor portrait of my granddaughter, Lili (nickname), from a photo taken by my friend Barbara. Lili is in a dark red velvet chair. I had so much fun painting that chair with quick strokes, using a wide flat brush and lots of alizarin crimson! Lili has seriously curly hair...I used a sponge for part of her black hair and a sharpened twig (yes, from the yard) to add some tendrils of her black locks. I love the mischievous gleam in her eyes!

Below her portrait is my lucky bamboo (several years old) from Lizzzie and 2 bowls. One is a handmade "Zen" raku bowl with pieces of sea glass in it. The other is a black bowl from Taos. It is from the Santa Clara pueblo artists.

Now back to lucky I am, Lizzzzie is coming over to help me!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Back to work now....this is the back porch, packed full of things from in the house! Some will be given away, some thrown out and some will be admitted back into our life.

While the back porch was crammed full, the living room became an island of serenity....(until yesterday when the carpet crew came. Yeah!)

Now, with new carpet, freshly painted walls and woodwork, the goal is to keep it more uncluttered and updated! I am loving the San Francisco travel poster of Lombard Street! Framed in black it stands out well against the taupe walls!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Pausing for a bit....

Because plans do and have changed....I have a few days of sacred or "pausing" time.

The carpet crew did not show up as we expected, they are not coming until Friday!!!! [The computer has been hooked up after all and I can post.]

Until the carpets are laid, I am in a bit of a "suspended" world...most of our "stuff" is packed up and in the garage. The house is open, bare, truly decluttered. Walls are just standing there with the wonderful new paint colors. They too, are un-cluttered as of yet. It is like a peaceful retreat center in my own home.

As we carried so much of our "stuff" out the door (temporarily), friends and family began dropping by. Some came to help, others for various reasons.... Perhaps there is a message here for me, it being better to fill one's life with people than with possessions?

One friend, Macrina Wiederkehr, came by and gave me a copy of her latest book, "SEVEN SACRED PAUSES".

With the house so peaceful, and enjoying some sacred solitude, I have begun to read the book slowly, hearing her voice in the beautiful words. At the end of her Introduction is a poem she has written. It ends

"Reverence each hour

as a small stepping stone

on your pilgrimage

through the day.

Receive the gift

of seven sacred pauses.

Practice waking up* seven times a day."

*I love the idea of waking up (really becoming aware of the wonder of life)! If you have been reading the current Oprah bookclub selection , "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle, you know that his book is all about waking up (awakening) too!

Macrina's wonderful book is available here (you will have to scroll down to find it.) There is an CD of chants available to accompany it also!.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Blogging Break

Back after new carpets are installed and computer is on-line once more!Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 03, 2008

By the way, here (on my other blog, "Arty collages and Dolls")is the collage from Donna Obrien's "Swashbuckling Soiree"!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Art journal pages for today....

Listen (to the) Stillness.....Find JOY!
A small manila tag with the word STILLNESS is tucked into the river stones.
An advertising slogan for a drapery company, "Serene on the inside. Stunning on the outside." , is just perfect for these two pages.
Another quote from an article says "Be always with people who inspire you; surround yourself with people who lift you up."
Near the girls foot it says "Small steps=BIG CHANGES" !
Sometimes you can find all the spiritual direction you need right in the commercial photography and advertisements!
[These pages won't fit together on the scanner, so I used the digital camera this time, most of the work on the pages is here in the photo.]

Thursday, May 01, 2008

It's May, it's May, the merry month of May!

This girl on a swing is a photo of Eva, the granddaughter of our friends. Please go to here and vote for our little "Queen of the May"!

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