Pool, Popcorn, and Pop

I just have to photograph my sunflowers… every year!

Today was beautiful!!  I’m talking clear, blue skies with sun shining, warming up things to a mere 90 degrees.  A lovely breeze blowing, causing my wind chimes to break into their soprano and baritone tunes.  The water from the pool reflected by the sun into the tree, fairies flitting in and out of the leaves.  The pool water wasn’t too cold or too hot, Goldilocks-just-right.

The black soprano wind chime was given to me when my mom died, and the silver baritone is the one I bought when James died.

A day all to myself.  Working in the yard; jumping in the pool; picking up the camera to shoot some pics of my oasis; eating popcorn and drinking pop.  Thanking God for His blessings to me; asking Him to bless others; listening to His peace.

Droplets in my little waterfall

The flowers were popping with color as were some of my little visitors.  There are three hummingbird feeders in the yard, but the main attraction is the small pond and waterfall.

I love to listen to the trickle of the water.  The birds love to come and get a drink, so sometimes I try to snap their picture.

out on a date?

A pair of doves came by and visited a spell.  They stayed quite a while and were joined by the little goldfinch.  I’ve been noticing it because of its bright coloring.  Just a tiny little thing that loves to sit on the sunflowers for a tasty meal.  This year has been a great year for birds:  barn swallows, of course; blackbirds, of course; lots of lovely cardinals, beautiful robins; hummingbirds, doves, and all these little finches.  All colors of finches.  I have so enjoyed watching them flit around the yard.

One day when the grandgirls were here, Kate said, “Look at that huge dragonfly!”  It was a hummingbird.  So funny.

The one dove has spotted my little finch and giving it the eye!

Aren’t they lovely?

I just couldn’t decide which pics to put on here, so you get them all.

Stopping by the Sunflower Restaurant

Yum Yum

I can’t help myself. They’re like my children!! I’m going to put this in my wallet.

Nobody lives here. A bird ghost town.

My Castle

a section of the backyard -- just needs a little tweaking this fall

My home is my sanctuary, my castle.  It is also sometimes a great source of financial drain and worry.  The memories that fill it are good ones and sad ones.  The people who have lived here before me, who frequented this home, left good vibes; they were good people.  And now, I am the caretaker.

happy faces, sad faces, old faces, new faces

My sunflowers remind me of my family and my friends: those standing tall in the glory of their youth; those whose personalities shine so brightly they bring light to everyone around them; those with sturdy stalks from working hard and holding up their family; those who prefer to stay within the confines of their home, their own castle; those who are beginning to fade, get a little droopy (why you lookin’ at me?); those who hang their heads in defeat, depression, shame, fatigue; those who laugh and hold their heads high, delighting in their good fortune and joy; those with new little faces, budding out each week, month, and finally into the years; those who have grown old and withered, dying as their family and friends stand by their side.

from the barn to the backyard

They lean on each other, sometimes faces turned as though in conversation.  They have different centers, different hues: different personalities, different abilities.

I love my sunflowers and grow them every year.  They give me comfort and peace and enjoyment.  They are a part of me and a part of my home.

looking to the sun

Friends are the sunshine of life.  John Hay

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.  Helen Keller

Lifting as they climb, onward and upward they go, struggling and striving and hoping that the buds and blossoms of their desires may burst into glorious fruition ere long.  Mary Church Terrell

Eden is that old-fashioned house we dwell in every day without suspecting our abode until we drive away.  Emily Dickinson

Happiness is a Swedish sunset; it is there for all, but most of us look the other way and lose it.  Mark Twain

I reach for the Son that He may shine brightly within my heart and soul.  Brenda Byassee






The Sunflower Children

Maci in the Sunflower House

Today was a cousin day:  Owen and Maci are here from Kansas City to stay with Mawmaw and Pawpaw for the week and came down to swim and play with cousins Kate and Ava.   After swimming for awhile, Kate took them over to see the Sunflower House.

Owen, Maci, Ava visiting in the Sunflower House

Maci found in the house a little toy bird that chirped.  I’m surprised it still did because it had been left out in the rain.  Last time Maci played with Ava she wasn’t this nice.  It was Maci’s “I’m turning two” party, so the family from Illinois went out to help celebrate.  Maci wasn’t that happy to see all of us and particularly wasn’t thrilled with Ava, another wee one getting some of Mawmaw’s attention.  But this summer, in just a few short months, she has gotten more social and is sharing her bird that she was thrilled to find.

Maci and mosquitoes

Poor little Maci was devoured by mosquitoes!  This is a cropped and enlarged photo, but even when I was snapping pictures, I noticed something dark on her nose.  I thought it was dirt until I came in and looked at these on the computer!  She had at least six or seven bites on her face and several on her legs and arms.  As I went through these pictures, I noticed she was scratching in some of them, but in trying to get several shots of the kids quickly, I hadn’t noticed.  After they all came out of the Sunflower House and were getting ready to go, we saw the big red splotches!  Mawmaw doused her good with anti-itch cream and some Neosporin, so she should be good as new by morning.

Ava hiding in the Sunflower House

Kate isn’t in any of the pictures; she was too busy swimming… or that may have been when she was pouting.  But nevertheless, I couldn’t have used her shots because she was skinny dipping… again.  I am going to have to crop every single picture this summer!


Owen did just fine with the girls until Mawmaw mentioned Jack and Sam.  He was on a mission then.  No more swimming; get the stuff loaded in the truck; see ya later, gater; Jack and Sam are home.  It was time for Ava to take a nap since she was running around like a drunken sailor, staggering all over the yard, and looking a little loopy.  So it was decided to end our fun afternoon.

And off went my little Sunflower Children… until next time.

Capturing Sunflowers

beautiful sunflowers

Every summer I grow sunflowers; started them years ago from seed, and now every year they reseed and pop up all over the backyard. Sometimes the seed falls over the fence, and there are baby sunflowers growing along the alleyway.  Springtime brings the Big Transplant where I gather all the frail little plants and congregate them into one area.  I just can’t bring myself to throw any of them away or let them be trampled by alley traffic.  On the day of the Big Transplant the little sunflower seedlings always fall over, as if touching their toes, looking forlorn and heartbroken.

pathway to the Sunflower House

It doesn’t take too long for them to perk up and start growing stronger; some growing ten feet tall and others barely reaching the three-foot mark.  And every summer I take pictures of them: my sunflower children, my Sunflower House, my sunflower sanctuary.

My photography skills are by no means something to brag about, but every now and then, after furiously clicking away on my camera, I get a decent shot, a salvageable photo.  The photo of the butterfly on the sunflower at the top of the page is one of mine.

door into the Sunflower House

Making the Sunflower House is almost a tradition now, starting back ten years ago or more, when Maddy (my gorgeous teenage niece) was only four or five.  It stood empty many years until the greats and the grands started coming along.  Now I have children hiding again among the tall, leafy plants; dragging their tiny children chairs inside, checking the birds’ houses to see if anybird’s home, coming out all itchy and needing washed off with the water hose.

roof of the Sunflower House

Maddy liked to hide in it; Jack and Sam did, too, as did the kids from church.  Kate was into decorating the  House this past summer, hanging little chimes from the leaves (her doorbell) , setting tables around (that was a tight squeeze; it’s small), and hiding her treasures from the “farm” (a story for later).

They just make me smile: sunflowers and children.