Tag Archives: summer

Seven Sweet Summer Things // Thought-Collage Thursday


Hot coffee and ice-cold watermelon. It’s what’s for breakfast. Although, this morning, it was actually a luscious peach from Colorado’s western slope. Oh. my. word! Mmmmm!



Memory: The best summer meals I ever ate were as a kid at my Aunt Rosie’s house: grilled burgers, garden fresh tomatoes and corn on the cob, straight from her backyard. Watermelon for dessert. The tomatoes and the corn were all I really needed, though. Still.



Garden Talks:: I approached the chorus of 6-foot sunflowers near the back line this morning, after a 2-week absence. I am quite sure they hadn’t heard I was home, as they had their gazes firmly fixed eastward, probably wondering where on earth I had gone.  “I’m back,” I announced, “you may now heliotrope to your heart’s content.” Hopefully they won’t be all stand-offish and soon I’ll see their gaze coming my way. West, my sweets, west.

The pumpkins required a stern talking to, spreading out and covering the sage and butterfly plants as they were. They do require a great lot of space, to be sure, but they mustn’t just override their garden companions with no thought for the ‘morrow. They are safely tucked about now, room to spread and grandly producing round spheres for autumn pies.

Some tiny varmint is eating the white petunia petals and I don’t wonder why, scrumptious as they are, all frilly and pretty in the late summer sun. But still, this may require a squirt of cayenne pepper sauce to dissuade their voracious appetites.

Left to her own accord, the basil is attempting a one-woman show in glorious floral bloom. “Not yet,” I must insist. For once the flowers burst forth, the plant’s usefulness is limited. There is more pesto to be enjoyed, more hand-crafted pizzas to be flavored. She’ll get her stage soon enough.

Naturally, while I was gone, the thistles and goat-heads thought they could safely become one of my garden family, just tucking themselves in here and there. Not a chance, little outlaws. I am coming for you!

All the potted flowers and veggies are moaning a bit under the distress of timed waterings instead of being coddled and cooed over daily. The tomatoes, my garden’s royalty, are fruit-full, yet sort of droopy and whining laments. A little extra attention twice daily should have them perked up soon enough.



Family reunion. 38 of us gathered in mid-America, or was it 39? The mamala and papasan, their children (we original 5 + spouses), most of our children’s children and some of theirs (the greats).

koob game

Come and gather around at the table
In the spirit of family and friends
And we’ll all join hands and remember this moment
‘Til the season comes ’round again


My great-niece-dog, Sadie

Family is so important to me. My family-of-origin is scattered across the nation. We’ve never all been living close together, not since the late 70s, before families of our own, careers and ministries…but the testament of our connection shows up semi-regularly.

Our very first Ross & Norma reunion was in 1995. My parents were celebrating their 38th anniversary that year (Dave and I, our 14th). In a few days, my parents will mark their 58th anniversary and my daughter Stephanie and her husband, Tristan, will be celebrating their 14th anniversary. Wha…?

Did that really just happen? Life, it speeds. No bumps can slow it down. You may quote me on that.

koob girl team

Let’s all try to smile for the picture
And we’ll hold it as long as we can
May it carry us through
Should we ever get lonely
‘Til the season comes ’round again

the mom



{purchase this print here}

Indiana was filled with lightning bugs. And the cicada’s song, rock stars all, I tell you. And swooping bats (perhaps driven crazy by the loud singing?).


The weather report:: The daily sun is hot in the bluest skies, but fading to gentle evenings, perfect temps and fire-y skies. Brilliant sunsets dazzle me. And remind me how quickly the days pass, making me a bit melancholy, too.

my mamala

My mamala

But sunrises fill me with hope, every morning. There is an undeniable mercy in the gift of a new day. The early mornings have become downright cool now, requiring sleeves. The relentless sizzle of mid-summer when I left in late July is transitioning to something new, a season shift. It’s good, but it came so quickly. I am always tentative about change and concerning summer? I “never can say goodbye.”


Summer songs. There is something about songs that remind you of summer, the ones you sang in younger days with the windows down after a DQ ice cream cone or a Dr. Pepper and McDonald’s fries.

pinterest image summer song


“Summer Breeze,” Margaritaville” (a Moslander-reunion fav even though the bunch of us are tee-totalers); “Summer Loving” from “Grease,” “Indian Reservation” and “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.” “Close to You” by the Carpenters! “Annie’s Song,” by the incredible Mr. John Denver and “Kung Foo Fighting,” because I had brothers. A weird mix, to be sure, but some of these just showed up during the summers of our youth and never leave our hearts. It is always about the song to me. Always.

Hope your summer is sweet.

As the blog header says, “Summer should get a speeding ticket.” It’s like getting bangs. You can work for-ever trying to grow long hair, but the minute you get bangs, they just grow right on out in like, a week!

Summer is like the bangs of a hairdo. We wait for a looooong time for it to arrive and then, BAM! Over.

So enjoy it all you can!

What’s been your bets part? Tell!

God Created June

Spring, being a tough act to follow, God created June.” ~Al Bernstein

yard flowers peonies, scented geranium, and russian sage

Happiness in the house::Just some yard trimmings: Peonies, Scented Geraniums, and Russian Sage. Even the fading blossoms are magical in June…   

Rascal Flatts even sang about June: Words I Couldn’t Say

In a book in a box in the closet / In a line in a song I once heard / In a moment on a front porch late one June / In a breath inside a whisper beneath the moon…”

June makes me romantic and hopeful. June is for falling in love. The Blue Hour holds tight to the June sky for all it’s worth, the sun regretting the end of such a perfect day. Dogs bark in the distance, neighbors scuffle by, safe under soft-blue June skies. Flowers tease then bloom in wild profusion, scented and heady, and oh-so-glorious. Every June I feel a little intoxicated by the power of the garden renewed, the soil, the sun, the heat, the long days that twinkle into sweet nights where you drive with the windows down and sing the love songs of youth. I do love me some June.

And how about my newest garden-girl?

eva garden girl

She loves grass and I love her!



That Summer

by Sam Hogin, Phil Barnhart, Sunny Russ (performed by Lisa Brokop)

Love was alive on the telephone line
Honeysuckle hangin’ in the hot sunshine
Dust piled up on my daddy’s combine
That boy, that girl, that summer
Thirsty for somethin’, they didn’t know what
Tried to control it but they couldn’t stop
She was his rose, and he was her rock
That moon, that kiss, that summer
June and July and an August to remember
Ninety miles an hour straight into September
Memory still warms me in the dead of winter
Of love so true that summer
Two kids from Kansas on a yellow brick road
Watchin’ the world through a magic window
There wasn’t anyplace they couldn’t go
That hope, that dream, that summer
June and July and an August to remember
Ninety miles an hour straight into September
Memory still warms me in the dead of winter
Of love so true that summer
June and July and an August to remember
Ninety miles an hour straight into September
Memory still warms me in the dead of winter
Of love so true that summer, that summer
Love was alive on the telephone line, that summer

I hope everyone had one of these.  ;)

June. That is all.

This quiet moment

pool grandbebes

Sunday afternoon.  My garden is still smiling from a torrential downpour yesterday evening.  It battered the petunias a bit, yet they are bright and beautiful, fragrant and deeply brilliant, anyway. It is so wonderful to step outside, know there are lots of things that need “done” and still be greeted by beauty all my works cannot create, anyway.  I thank God for this amazing grace! 201 208 213I have about a dozen weekend projects going and I don’t think they’ll get finished, but I am so grateful to get to work on them and see the mirror wall really taking shape (since Dave’s ribs are fully healed) and I have been re-doing all the grandbebe craft supplies trying to answer the age-old question: how do you keep creativity-inspiring supplies for art and crafts on hand for kids (and accesible) AND not go crazy when they are actually {quite liberally} used for inspired creativity?  This doesn’t answer that question, but I have decided to make a list (because I LOVE lists) of simple art projects they can do at anytime with the things I have on hand.  That will at least answer the question, “Nonna – what can we do now?” when the little ones are here.

What a loud and glorious week I have had.


There was an old woman {who is actually not that old}  who lived in Colorado; she had so many grandbebes she could barely keep up…  I have enjoyed large chunks of time {days, even} with the first 6 (of 8.4 current grandebes): the K-kids, the little Rock & Jovan girlies, and Hunter-Magoo.  I got to see Kai briefly, but baby Bailey was away (D2S).


There was splashing (the pool), and tiny little swim suits and trunks in a veritable trail from the doors to the bathroom.  There was squeaking (the trampoline) as little ones jumped high and long.  Everybody stayed up way too late and we probably snacked way too much.  There was art and “school work” and playing pretend house and dress-up, dancing and army guys, fort-building, sand-digging and looking through the telescope at the moon {“I see the real craters, Nonna!!!” said one.  “You can actually see the dark side of the moon!” another told me} and general silliness all around.


I am pooped out.  Good thing I had my kids young because these little ones wore.me.down!  But – with goodness.  I am depleted wholly by the best things of life.  I am blessed!



A little crazy

Have I gone a little crazy with the sweet-potato vine?

Oh I have.  You know, I really think they are just so sublime.

They are green and they are bright and they are full and they cascade~

What a shame to eat the root when I think of all the leaves they’ve made.

I have them here, I have them there, I have planted every possible pot

With springy-green potatoes’ sweet

I love these vines.  I think they’re neat!


From purple petunias in pots on the patio to the wildflower borders edging the yard, I tucked sweet-potato vines into every possible space!


The pot on the left was once full of pansies and begonias, shaded by the tree.  They are still in there, now just shaded by the vines.

Yes, that’s right.  Not only have I planted cascading sweet potato vines, I have planted them everywhere.  I have the burgundy version, too, but I really love the bright spring-green version.  They sort of outshine the flowers.  And I love them so much they make me write silly things.  But they are taking over the whole potted world in my universe.


On the right you are getting a bonus peek of the sweet banana peppers, but above, cascading from a higher pot: you guessed it!  Sweet potato vines.


In the photo above on the right, behind the vines, is a 5-gallon Terra Cotta planter filled with snapdragons and spikes, stock and petunias, celosia and carnation.  But they are certainly being crowded by the vines.  This is a major wasp-mafia hide-out.  Boo.


The burgundy version is on the left.  It is doing very well, too.  On the right, you can see that despite the overabundance I already have, I still tucked in a young plant just recently.  This is how they start!

A bonus photo:

Miss Zinnia asked if she might say hello to my readers.

“Gladly, my pleasure,” I assured her.

Teasingly she chided, “Do you work for Chick-Fil-A now?”

“They do not own ‘my pleasure,'” I smiled back.

So hello from Hot-Pink Zinnia, making my summer sweeter.


Just a little bit longer…

6:09 am

The sun emerges on the eastern horizon.  Sun up.  Official.

I should be up with the sun.  But there is that delicious moment if you wait for it, when it glows golden and bright, filtered through fluttering leaves on a perfect summer morning and the curtains moving slightly against the open window.

What is this I hear in my head?

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons?   Why don’t you staaaaaaaaaaay ~ just a little bit longer…


Wait for it.  Wait for it – perfection: bright, light, golden, yellow-sun, top-of-the-morning-to-you fresh, brand new, warm summer morning.  Light begins dancing across the room to the rhythm of the morning song.  A stretch.  Oh my.  That was so worth the wait.

Summer Centerpiece

That’s right.  This is the centerpiece as of late.  A crystal bowl full of sidewalk chalk.  A container of every-SPF known to mankind.  Bug spray and after-burn potions.  And a basket full of left-behind swimsuits and trunks. 

It’s what’s on the table and even flowers would not be more appropriate. 

Another interesting part of the season is the bathroom just off the kitchen when everyone leaves.  For there I usually find tiny pairs of underwear and little socks and flip-flops and shoes, hair ties and other misc. clothing…in very small sizes.  If their mamas are looking for something, I may have it. 

Nonna and Amelie.  A Sunday afternoon nap.  On the swing.  In the shade.  After a swim.

Good sign.

This is what I found when we arrived home from Chicago.  The sweetest message ever

We were SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sad our Kelley family didn’t go to Moslander Family Reunion with us this year (they are very busy and important people!), but they so kindly gave the dog room and board and took care of the house and garden for me.  In fact – they took such good care of the garden it grew like a jungle and is so much more the blessed for me having been gone!  THANK-YOU Steph and Tris and the 3 adorables!  Love you so much and we want to tag along when  you go to Chicago, soon!  Pretty please??  We were thinking about you and missing you the whole time!

Gemma on a Saturday

cen·ter·piece, n.

1. Something in a central position, especially a decorative object or arrangement placed at the center of a table.

2. The central or most important feature

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

A Summer’s evening at the Neighborhood School Ball Park.

Baseball is summer’s game.  We didn’t have a TV most of my growing up years, but the radio was tuned in to St. Louis Cardinal’s games as the sun went down on summer nights.  The cracking sound of the bat hitting the ball and the crowds going wild, along with the rev-the-crowd organ music drifted through the open windows mingling with the sounds of playmates and I chasing fireflies and whirling hoola-hoops around our waists.  The screen door slammed, as in and out we’d go and beer commercials would ring out between innings.


Tools of the trade.

We don’t do it enough, but now and again, Rocky will get a group of us together to run up the street and play softball at the elementary school.  And each time we say, “We have to do this again soon,” because even my grown children, now, have become nostalgic as they remember the years they played ball all day every day with the neightborhood kids.


Uncle Rocky pitching to Gav-at-bat.  The cheering crowds.  DP up to bat.

When I feel the morning grass I let down my guard
Because love comes from the dirt in my own backyard
Everytime I think I’ve finished being young
I catch myself having fun

My husband, Dave, up to bat.

Recently, on one of those lovely evenings that make you wish summer could last forever, Rock got us all together, the fam and some good friends.  There is just nothing like some bats, a good, broken-in leather glove and bases to run around.  Good times!


Pepler.  Guini and Nonna (me).  Gavin hits it!

But the moment passes as the sun moves on
So I turn myself back to you…
And it’s depressing that I can’t forget the tune the organist played
La  – da da da da da da,  la  – da da da da da da…
Dave at bat.  The boys taking a breather.
Everytime I think I’ve finished being young
I catch myself having fun
But the moment passes as the sun moves on
So I turn myself back to you
Is our season over?  No four leaf clover?

The boys of summer:  just coming down “Front Street,” as DP likes to say.  Shirt by Stormie


Hunter and Gavin will climb anything.  Tristan swinging the pipe…as a lefty!

I feel it’s getting colder…
But can you still remember?
April to November
You and I were members
Of the best team in baseball
So we play our games…
Rocky…Serious about pitching.

Lyrics: Baseball

All of these pictures: by Stormie!

“Summer Night”


by: Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)

HOW sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;

Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;

Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:

The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.

Now droops the milk-white peacock like a ghost,

And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.

Now lies the Earth all Danaë to the stars,

And all thy heart lies open unto me.

Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves

A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.

Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,

And slips into the bosom of the lake:

So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip

Into my bosom and be lost in me.

Why Tennyson?  Because I was watching Anne of Green Gables (is she not adorable?) and Anne was quoting him.  I read his version of a summer night after recently trying to express my summer night thoughts and I wonder how on earth I shall ever be able to express, or communicate what I wish to say with such dripping clarity, such thought-provoking imagery?  Woe is me.

Quotes from Anne Shirley~

Mrs. Cadbury: Tell me what you know about yourself.

Anne Shirley: Well, it really isn’t worth telling, Mrs. Cadbury… but if you let me tell you what I IMAGINE about myself you’d find it a lot more interesting.

{ Anne Shirley: Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it. }

Diana Barry: I wish I were rich, and I could spend the whole summer at a hotel, eating ice cream and chicken salad.

Anne Shirley: You know something, Diana? We are rich. We have sixteen years to our credit, and we both have wonderful imaginations. We should be as happy as queens.

[gestures to the setting sun]

Anne Shirley: Look at that. You couldn’t enjoy its loveliness more if you had ropes of diamonds.

Diana Barry: I don’t know about that.

Quick – it’s Sizzling!

100 degrees is today’s forecast.

Here is what you will need to live through it.

  1. A big bag of ice because no matter how much your little freezer is popping out – you will need more!
  2. Lemonade.  And lots of it!
  3. Vanilla ice cream and root beer.  For floats of course.
  4. Water from a hose (even if the central air went out, we’d all make it with just a cool misting of water).
  5. Some pretty high SPF.
  6. The ability to just stop.  Seriously.  Stop and rest.

Summer Nights

And the backyard is still, quiet, save for the slight rustling of green  leaves and the sound of the pond, water spilling over rocks.  The heat of the day has evaporated and the solar lights lining the garden paths twinkle as best they can.  Christmas lights in full-leafed trees cast romantic, dancing shadows. 

The backyard is magic tonight, I think to myself.

I am wondering what this absolutely perfect tempertaure is, this moment of complete faultlessness?  The hour is blue*, for the sun is barely dropped.  A cricket crowns the evening with his song for love.  Neighbor’s homes glow softly and the stars appear to bid me well, one by one.

In that moment I miss everyone I love and wish each could share this perfectly ripe moment of utter sublimity with me.  Sigh.  I am a melancholy soul, yes?

A summer night in Brighton, Colorado

Last night was just one of those nights.  Aaaahh, mmm…I love summer.

*L’heure Bleue…I wrote about it here.