Tuesday, July 30, 2013

In a Nutshell

Here's a glimpse into the life of a harried-gardener-essentially-summer-goodtime-gal, non-blog-posting writer at Abundant Picnic....

Where have I been? Where HAVEN'T I been?....

Trawling fish shops in beach towns...

Hanging in hen houses...

Wine tasting... thus the blurriness (nah, not really)...

Photo shooting in hot & humid towns with girlfriends....  (isn't she cute?)

Picking fruit anywhere and everywhere - at home and the nearest Mexican market too...

Slurping 7-11 Slurpees on July 11th (7-11) because they were free for the corporation's Anniversary -
AND!! also because that was a special date in our family too - our Great Niece Madison was born!

Traipsing through the fields along oceanside bluffs....

Brushing coats of primer to our new outdoor shed - attempts at making it MORE THAN just a shed..

still in the works...

In a nutshell - this summer has been fast paced, filled with goodness, over punctuated with PARTY-TIME and is still on a roll. Family camping coming up. An unexpected and welcome visitor from Japan filling some days. An all-girls annual event just over. My Goat Hill work with fun & challenges too.

My, my stories to tell.....    wide open writing spaces, and beauty as far as the eye can see... camera in tow and beaches aplenty; sunshine sparkling and an abundant picnic spread before me - I will be back to share it all....

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I sometimes ponder the meaning of  "it all"....

What more can I do?

Have I accomplished much? ... {i.e: what in the world would someone say at my funeral?} hhhaaa

Simplicity might be key ~ a garden plot, a tiny old cottage, not a grand life but, a good one ~


This quote and the beauty of the artwork where it's placed are a vision!

I ponder again! hmmmmmm what will I do? The answer today, and the one I might give tomorrow could be much different. All I know is this one wild and precious life that I've been given has been a

uuuhh - yes, with speed bumps - nonetheless a fascinating, filled-to-the-brim, abundant picnic type life! The sweet Sunday drive sort of joyride.....

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mornings with the Mournings...

First thing each morning, I go to the kitchen to brew some tea. Always,  an open window is my ritual {Hubby is kind to help}... or I struggle with that 70 year old monster myself if he hasn't had the chance. This window looks out into our backyard garden. On each side of the pane are old twisted-wire plant hangers. We've had some visitors claim these planters as their home! A feathered couple of mourning doves, that I believe are hoping to start a family!

A couple of days after this portrait of Mr. Mourning, the pair left my window...

my pie-bird seems to be crowing at the dove

See the Missus - she's lying down - her black eyes following my lens, mid-picture...

Was so wishing to witness the birth of the babes....
Surely seemed that they might stay with this nest. They definitely weren't frightened by our close proximity, or the camera clicking away!

Maybe next time, Mr. & Mrs. Mourning.... our garden is your garden!

* go visit all of the fabulous blogs that are linked at My Romantic Home!! I'll be there.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Play Bocce and Mangia!!

Time was, that I'd put together a schedule and have friends meet once a week to play bocce ball in a public park. Everyone bring their own picnic and gather for fun! That stopped a couple of years ago - just too hard to get enough people out to the park to play. That's sad commentary, huh?... too difficult to put play-time in our lives...... geeesh ..

I surprised Hubby and gathered some family & friends on a Saturday morn, brought along the goods for an afternoon repast and toted the bocce set inside my wheelbarrow to the local neighborhood park.

food galore!

Very few games of bocce. The picnic table was the place to congregate. No one even won the mini-trophy I brought along for tourney champ!

No matter if bocce was priority, or eating... we had fun nonetheless!!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

How Does The Garden Grow?

With verdant twining leaves that spread at alarming rate - the pole bean seeds that barely hit soil a month ago - are producing long, narrow beans that the bird loves, as do we humans!

{the ever producing plums get in on the shot too}

A metal piece found long ago has been repurposed into a HUGE tomato cage {unsure of it's original use - someone once thought a pot-rack for the kitchen}

Moving to the floral department ~

Shasta Daisy heads fill an entire patch of garden space... tilting their faces to the sun.

Roses are still vibrant and abundant, yet I presume they are feeling somewhat wilty after that full week of scorching sun. Time for them to be fed again, so I might keep them happy through the fall!

Seems the summer-loving Hollyhock maintains her dignity and stands tall and stately through all kinds of weather ~

Happy mop-head Hydrangeas are blissfully blooming, but they too looked weary last week during the heatwave ~

Now, back to vegetable subjects again....

Not for lack of trying, but I've been unable to master the establishment of beets in our vegetable beds. Still I purchase them with fervor and we savor our salads with some goat cheese sprinkled atop ~

Getting a run for my money with shoots, tendrils, climbers and runners of all kinds. The wisteria runners climb to amazing heights and have a mind all their own. They are crazy-smart plants that can reach their way to anything brave enough to be within a 3 foot radius.

green beans climb their tee-pee

Many laborious hours ahead of me... with PLEASURE. Especially since much of the month of May, and June were spent away from home {what with that anniversay and such... wink-wink!}

Friday, July 5, 2013

All of That Annual Patriotic Partying... and Summertime Sunshine

Yesterday, and well - the last couple of weeks - have been chock-full of good time seeking. We've been doing anything we can to beat the heat. Temperatures have hovered near to 100* in our area - making for hide and seek games with the afternoon sun! I've gotten out of my darkened, fan-blown cave a few times to try and get some exercise. Sometimes I've opted {in the past} for mall-walking to be in air conditioned confines, but this is not one of my favorite venues. So many people, and too many distractions with window shopping!

Swimming pools are good places to hang out!

The garden is overgrown. Plums sweltering, and fermenting by the bushel in the gravel pathways.

Our hand-wrought wooden baskets far too small to hold the bounty from two trees ~

Lavender bunches trimmed...

{I have to say - I love reading blogs that mention harvesting lavender, and then then performing the ultimate DIY with said harvest. Unfortunately, this is not me! I trim just to downsize the plant}

And, yes! - we did also participate in patriotic partying. The 4th of July is just days past one of my brothers' birthday - so there is an annual celebration of both....

This morning brought cool air to my fluttering curtains.... very grateful for this! Yet, I realize there are still months to these ..

                      DOG DAYS OF SUMMER ~

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Treasure Trove of Memories

Say it isn't so! I went and mentioned that you'd seen the last of Anniversary posts.... oops! - I had left out a special day Hubby & I set aside to roam our local haunts of years past (and present too). This was a surprise that I did for him.

A journey up & down our beautiful peninsula, taking in sights and places that had special meaning to us.

First stop (no, it didn't surprise Hubby) was at the church in the woods where we married.

 Recreated the bride roll here in this photo... haaaaa    ->

Moved our way north to San Francisco. That one-of-a-kind city, not too far from our home, holds many memories. I spent a lot of time in SF and was happy to share it with Hubby.                            
Golden Gate Park is where we landed.
We have paddled, walked and photographed most sections of Stow Lake. It is one of our fave places.
We attempted to lunch at Swan's Oyster Bar. The dang place was packed. A line outside it's door that people said they'd waited in for an hour and some change. Love the place - but, we had places to go!
China Beach. A Golden Gate Bridge view - so spectacular, so up-close and personal! Never tire of this sight! 
A champagne toast at The Cliff House
Most of the itinerary packed day was all an attempt to surprise Hubby and make the final destination a dinner spot that we've loved for decades, and is one that he never tires of speaking about.              
Here's the welcoming door knocker ~
A tented ceiling and fabric-lined walls... welcome to the casbah....
sorry for the blurry photo... so dark inside..
El Mansour - a fine Moroccan dining event....
A six course meal, taken leisurely, as entertainment swirls around you
Hubby was surely pleased ~
A San Francisco treat!!