Everything Has a Story…

Here we are in the 21st century and looking back to the past. The past being the family heirlooms and those items left to us. We look to the future by preparing to pass them on to the next generation.

In my family, we didn’t wait until the end to just leave everything in a will and the rest to the family in general. We gave the things we had to the family while we could tell them each item’s story. Later, they can tell their children and grandchildren these as they again pass them down.

Yes, everything has a story-from the smallest item to the largest, from the oldest item to the youngest. I still have much to go through and disseminate to the family from Mom’s estate. It’s not as hard as before right after she passed away but still not that easy either.

I can say that now at least, nearly five years later, I think more of the story behind each item. For example, I have Mom’s sewing scissors from the 1930’s. There’s a whole long story behind these. Mom’s started sewing her own clothes in high school. She came from a very poor family so I don’t know how she bought these. I know that she bought her own second-hand furniture after high school when she was working but not how she got these scissors. Yet the story starts there and continues until she passed away at age 87.

Mom embarked upon a lifetime of sewing and tailoring her clothes, things for her home, most all of my clothes, and some for my children as well. I inherited her passion and made my own wedding gown. My granddaughter, though, got the full-dose inheritance and went to college for fashion design.  She graduated last year and this year has a full-time position doing just that.

It all started with these scissors…I miss you, Mom.

I know who will get these scissors in the family now…

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Garden Pictures June-Sept. 2015


Glenn’s tomatoes and peppers were great!

Lost Lake upgrades…

Cassandra’s “tea party” bridal shower-best weather and lovely day!  Worth all the work Glenn and I have done over the years so see everyone having a great time.

Herb Table-a favorite of black swallowtail butterflies.

IMG_1347 IMG_1402 IMG_1335 IMG_1377

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Where did the time go?

Velvet is really a great girl! We have a lot of fun with her. Now that she’s here over a year, Velvet and Corky have become great pals. Ginny is still her snarky, old self but does come over and touch noses with Velvet.

Corky wants to play ball like he used to and with Velvet but just a minute or two and he limping. The arthritis and hip dysplasia at his age of 14 are slowing him down. Already we have eliminated the front steps to the patio but he can easily use the back ones with 4” high risers. We have to just let him play every couple of days instead of daily. He wants to but tires, too.

Ginny mostly sleeps now and walks several times a day. She walks very slowly but when Glenn walks her outside she skips and trots. Go figure.

This past year has been fun, especially this past summer. I hated to see summer go as it was the best one we’ve had here in 19 years. Though we did much work and repairs, we had a good time doing things. Our grandson helped us most weeks and that made the work go faster.

The waterfall is completed and the upgraded beds around the Lost Lake, The fire pit, oil tank brickwork, and soaker hose system was repaired and finished. Whew! We had the gardens looking very good for our granddaughter’s bridal shower in Sept. It was a great day and everyone commented on the gardens.

I’ve just summarized June-Sept. 2015 but will post pictures of many of the things done. We had to catch up on repairs, etc. from over 4 years and did it!

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Gardens in June-Restoration of The Lost Lake

This is a major project so we are having my grandson, Tom, help us a couple hours each week. He’s doing a lot and we are thrilled. We’ll redo some edges, finish the waterfall, and add the new pump this month. I can’t lift the rocks anymore so Glenn and Tom will help.

In July, I hope to get more pictures up here. Nothing is static in a garden. We revise things to what we can do now and make things clearer to view. We’ve made a lot of progress catching up this year so far.

Glenn cut down the bayberry and Oregon grape holly that were too large and obstructing views. I waited for a hot day to work in the lake.

Glenn cut down the bayberry and Oregon grape holly that were too large and obstructing views. I waited for a hot day to work in the lake.

Water lily in May was way too large. I usually take a cutting and repot. This year, we discarded it. There were red water lily beetles that I never had before. We've had this water lily at least 12 years or more.

Water lily in May was way too large. I usually take a cutting and repot. This year, we discarded it. There were red water lily beetles that I never had before. We’ve had this water lily at least 12 years or more.

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Gardens in May 2015-Photos

May-Cleaned porch and patio. Velvet enjoying it.

May-Cleaned porch and patio. Velvet enjoying it.



May 2015-New veggie table for herbs.


These two are cabin at The Lost Lake before June renovation. Plants cut back and some removed. It’s been since fall of 2010 that we last renovated this area.


These are rhododendrons and deciduous azaleas in mid-May

These are rhododendrons and deciduous azaleas in mid-May

Velvet in Doggieride coach

Velvet in Doggieride coach


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The Garden, of Course!

What are we doing? In spring, we are always extremely busy but this year we are even more so. Emily was very ill last year and only minimal garden work was done. This year we are replacing, repairing, and moving stuff around. It’s time to ‘redecorate’ the cabin and gardens.

Whew! We are tired already. Glenn just took 80 lbs. of light iron to the metal recycling place. Not a lot of money at .0555/lb. but that’s $4.00 we didn’t have before 😉 I told Glenn that it all has to go and pots, etc. because I can’t take care of much now. I also gave him my Potting Shed as I never liked it.

I liked the glasshouse much better but after 10 years, I needed a new one. Thought that a combo potting shed/workshop would be more useful but it didn’t work for me at all. Glenn said recently that he always wanted his own workshop. I didn’t know that before so I gave him this to fulfill his dream, too. I have the cabin for much of my stuff and love it.

That meant that all of my garden/plant stuff had to be moved out. We spent before and during Memorial Day weekend doing that. I have it in garage in front of the large dual window that I can access better with my garage ramp. I’m giving tools to my grandson who now has his own home. Many were from my late mother and I just didn’t have time to go through it all.

It feels good to reorganize, too. I can no longer dig many plant out for sales so will eliminate most of the pots. Since May is our traditionally dry month here in South Jersey, we’ve begun the watering with soaker hoses. Some always need replacing after 10 years or so.

Glenn is happily planning and fixing up his workshop. It says, “4” for Cabin #4 and mine says,”9” for Cabin #9. It’s a joke on our township ordinance which says that all buildings must be numbered. They don’t always word the ordinances properly. If we keep this up, I said before, we’ll have more cabins and numbers-LOL

Here we have to get a permit for everything. The Historical Commission drives me nuts but that’s another, long story… I’m waiting for my new, screens for the cabin doorway and then I’m set to be out there most all the summer in the Cabin by the Lost Lake at Camp Rest-a-While. That’s where we cook in the fire pit, eat, and vacation.

The “Toy Choi”, a mini-version of Bok Choi, is growing well in the new veggie table. I’ll harvest some for salads and stir fry the rest. Going to do that in the fire pit, too.

Pix later.

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Back in the Saddle Again…

…of the lawn mower. Gardening high season is here and we’ve been caught up with the spring chores. The corgis had their first outdoor baths last week and supplied the momma birds with fur for their nests. The herbs and vegetables are partially planted in the 2 tables.

Another table! This one for small, kitchen herbs.

Another table! This one for small, kitchen herbs.

We got a second table for kitchen herbs and they are quite handy. Especially with the corgis who pilfer the veggie if we don’t protect them. Some pruning and tidying up done already. Since I designed the gardens to be informal, we do some and leave some. Nothing really HAS to be done right now. We don’t even prune the shrubs every year except for the euonymus hedge, which is once a year.

Tulips from our center island.

Tulips from our center island.

Every 3-5 years we do shrubs in an area to improve the growth, etc. Emily’s Arch is in and Mom’s climbing rose is planted on it. A nice rosemary, which gets 4-feet high was planted, too. In between we weed some, spray some weeds, and do odds and ends. Then we took a break on Sat. and went to the Creek for our first canoe trip of the year. Velvet thoroughly enjoys it, sniffs all the air, and listens for the animals in the woods on the banks.

Canoe break in gardening... we had fun, relaxed, and had nice weather.

Canoe break in gardening… we had fun, relaxed, and had nice weather.


She has her own little life jacket and sits very still in the canoe. Glenn does most of the paddling and I chip in occasionally. Saw native plants in bloom- especially a local, deciduous azalea. It has small, white-pink flowers. A few dogwoods and viburnums we interspersed throughout. Nice day. Never thought that it would actually get to 80+ degrees as the winter extremely cold and spring, too.

Native azaleas in bloom.

Native azaleas in bloom.

Of course, there’s the usually goings on with plumbing and car repairs and big expenses. That all seems to melt away with a nice, slow canoe trip on the Rancocas Creek in Smithville nearby. It’s 10 minutes away so we can go whenever we like. Velvet sure appreciates it as does Glenn.

Can’t work all the time, right? And, now we prepare to go to the Cabin in Camp-Rest-A-While by the Lost Lake…all in the far back corner of our property. Planning to clean the fire pit for picnics there. It really feels like we left home when we go back there. That’s the reason we have it and love it.

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