Thursday, May 31, 2018

Bridal Wreath Spirea

Bridal Wreath Spirea

Isn't she a stunner? 

Planted back before I knew what I was doing. Long before I appreciated white flowers in the garden.. Bought this beauty simply because deer, elk, moose.. won't eat this shrub. These days, she towers over me, laden with cluster blooms.

The Bridal Wreath Spirea is one of my best gardening mistakes. Ever.  πŸ˜‰

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Lilac Love

Did you know that Lilacs can live to be 100 years old? I will be forever indebted to the gracious gardener who planted this beauty, on my property, long before I was born.

Plant a legacy. Plant a Lilac. Future generation will love you for it!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Sunday, May 27, 2018

The View From My Window

Lilacs blooming outside my kitchen window.
The gardener who planted this Lilac Bush (at least 40 years ago) knew right where to put her. A joyful view and delightful fragrance, through my open window.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Flowering Almonds

Flowering Almonds - doing their best to dazzle - on broken stems after last night's storm.

* The coolest aspect of this flowering shrub is how she graces us with double blooms, before the leaves appear. Zone 4.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Cheery Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blossoms in the morning sun. 

When we bought this house (in 2002) I spent the first couple years planting flowering trees. Cherries, crabs, plums, apples.. they make springtime in the garden so delightful.

Saturday, May 19, 2018


Tiny little Brunnera -- flowers the size of your fingernail. Flourishing in one of the few shady spots in my garden. Those cute, daisy-like flowers never look real to me but I absolutely love 'em.

*  Also known as Siberian bugloss. Hardy to zone 3. Prefers dappled shade.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Golden Currants

Golden Currant Blossoms

Golden Currants! My sunny yellow substitute for the "Harbinger of Spring" - Forsythia.

Forsythia.. you know.. that super popular flowering shrub that every single website claims: It's So Easy To Grow!

Yeah. Well. I've killed quite a few Forsythia in my time. Finally admitted defeat and planted the Golden Currant. It's a soil thing. Golden Currants love western alkaline soils. Forsythia? Not so much. Equally stunning and drought-tolerant, too.

Plant 'em for the birds and the bees.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Flowering Plum Trees

Flowering Plum Trees ~ on a bluebird mountain morning. For me, it's the happy blossoms of spring time that renew the spirits and refresh the soul...

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Haralson Apple Trees

Haralson Apple Tree Blossoms

There are over 7,500 different types of apple trees. Some are wimps, living in Hawaii, others are super cold hardy varieties, like this Haralson - who loves living in the mountains. First tree I ever planted (2003.)

TIP:  Your apple tree generally needs another type of apple tree for great pollination and fruit production. Plant a Pink Lady or a Granny Smith near the Haralson, to insure buckets and buckets of yummy apples every autumn.

PS: Don't peel that apple! Most of the fiber and antioxidants are in the peel, not the fruit.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The View From Up Here

Helloooooo Park City! It is good to be home!

I love to travel but it is equally wonderful to be done with traveling. To come home. Find some clean clothes! And, sleep in my own comfy bed...  #theviewfromuphere #theviewfrommywindow

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

The Story of il Timone

il Timone Restaurant, Porto Venere, Liguria, Italy
That shoe? It's a LOWA. That's the company I work for. Handcrafted in Italy. Hence the reason I'm over here. 

I sought out this restaurant while traveling with several co-workers though I didn't tell any of them why.*

You see, a long time ago. {2001} I was in 'stuck' in Porto Venere -- rest assured it's a pretty stunning place to be 'stuck.'

But, I was sick. I can't eat fish and Liguria feeds you nothing else. Right down to fried sardines. For breakfast. I was also sick of my fish-loving traveling companion so we chose to go our separate ways for the afternoon.

19 years ago. 

Sitting in a coffee shop in this beach town when a sweetheart of a server asked if I was feeling okay. In English! Oh! I was so delighted to find someone who spoke my native tongue! I explained the situation -- that I thought I would die if I had to eat another piece of fish. He made a phone call. Then, he jotted down on a piece of paper the directions to il Timone. (I still have them.)

Timone! He my friend! He make you big steak! Big American Steak!

So, off we went. Through the narrow winding streets of Porto Venere. In search of il Timone.

The entire restaurant was waiting for the 'Americani Girl.' He unwrapped the white paper and showed me the gigantic 'American steak' he was planning to cook for me.

It was such a precious evening. And, he saved me! Stomach ache gone! Energy renewed!

At the castle on the edge of Porto Venere


Never thought I'd ever get back to see Porto Venere again but the world works in mysterious ways.

Timone's new and much larger restaurant is now front and center on the coastline. And, yes, of course, I checked the menu to see if he was still caring for wayward American tourists as he did so many years ago. :)

* Why didn't I tell my co-workers the history of il Timone? Well... sometimes I grow weary of negative people. They didn't deserve to hear this great story. Or, be given the opportunity to find fault with it. But, it's a keeper! So, I wanted to share.

Monday, May 07, 2018


Vernazza - the prettiest, and steepest, of the 5 fishing villages that make up the Cinque Terre. Since I have a sore knee, I was forced to sit here and drink Prosecco all afternoon. πŸ˜‰

* Every year, for work, I'm invited to an international sales meeting. This year, the meetings were held in pretty little Italy.

Saturday, May 05, 2018


Riomaggiore, Liguria

Ciao di nuovo, Riomaggiore..  it is wonderful to see you again.

Riomaggiore is the first of the five centuries old fishing villages that make up the Cinque Terre. Vineyards cling to the steep terraces. No cars. No streets. Most hike the ancient stone path between these villages. Some take the train. And, others - like me - hop on a boat to get the grandest view of the Italian Riviera.

* I visited the Cinque Terre back in 2001. I'm back this year - for work! Can you believe it?!?  #prettylittleitaly #iamatraveler

Friday, May 04, 2018

Fatti Una Pizza

The Focacceria in Porto Venere, Liguria, Italy
PASTA CURTAINS! Isn't that the coolest thing you've ever seen? Almost pales in comparison to their homemade pesto.

AND, the fact that your 'free appetizer' is, quite literally, a bag of Fava Beans pulled from the garden.

I was the hero at this lunch because I was the only gal who knew you needed to shell the beans. The outer casing isn't very tasty. The beans? Deliciously worth the effort.

* Fatti Una Pizza = Have yourself a pizza. Or, make yourself a pizza. (My Italian, not so bene..)

** I'm in Italy on a business trip. (Really!) But, that hasn't stopped me from having all kinds of non-work adventures while I'm here.

Wisteria Season

Somewhere in Albizatte, Italy.

We were working today. Well, they were. All the people I'm traveling with. Who are doing a factory tour of Vibram. A supplier of rubber sole units for the shoe company I work for. Blah...blah.. blah.. Didn't hear a word they said. Kept peering out the window and thinking...


It's Wisteria season in pretty little Italy.

The blossoms are all I care about. :)


Enjoy the view.

* Wisteria is a real, true season in Italy when these charming vines, draped upon centuries old homes all burst into bloom at about the same time. (April-May)

Thursday, May 03, 2018


Near the Ca' d'Oro - built in 1420.

The next stop on my Yes I'm Really & Truly Working Over in Italy Euro trip was Venice.

Ah. Venice. That magical, floating city that is slowly sinking back into the sea.

It has become so clogged with tourists that the City of Venice is restricting access to certain neighborhoods. Locked gates. About 4 feet high. Pretty easy to climb over if you're a criminally curious photog, like me.

Ever wondered how groceries are delivered in a city without any streets? By, boat of course. :)

I am working. Just not very hard...