To observe, enjoy and create in everyday life

The Beginning of Summer & Book Club

It may not look like most summers, but summer is here. The boys are out of school, the weather is warming up and the days are filled with caring for the garden and going on close-to-home adventures. Had summer gone as planned, our family would have been traveling through Utah this past week exploring some of our nation's beautiful parks. We decided to postpone this bucket list trip and wait until next year. Instead these last few weeks have found us out in the back garden picking bowlfuls of strawberries, cherries and blueberries. We turned them into pancakes and pies and still had plenty to freeze for later use. We've hopped in the car to explore favorite trails that are less than an hour away. We've read books and played games and watched movies. We've celebrated an amazing dad and barbecued in the backyard and watched a pair of chickadees fly to and from their little nest on our back deck. For not going "as planned", summer is treating us all perfectly fine!

I found some time this last month to make and finish one of two quilted throw pillows for the side chairs in our family room. I'm really happy with the scrappiness of the grays and whites. The squares are cut for the second pillow, so I just need to find a couple of free afternoons to make up the second pillow.
And I have been plugging away on my Emoryi Shawl. Today (June 30th) is the last official day of the Crochet Along. I am about four rows from finishing, so I won't quite make the deadline. I did receive the new color to add to the shawl instead of the blue I had shown at the beginning of the month. I'm happy with how this color works. I think it gives the project the pop of color I was looking for. I'll make sure to post when the shawl is finished!

Last week we ventured a little further from home to visit my mom in Central Oregon. It was her birthday, so I think that warranted a trip to see her! She and I took the boys to the Painted Hills for a day trip while my husband had some work appointments. This is the second time we had been to the Painted Hills. You feel a bit like you've driven onto the set of a Western movie. It's beautiful...and in the middle of nowhere! The first time we went, it was so hot that we didn't explore far. This time around, the weather was perfect for exploring some of the trails. We finished off our day trip with lunch in Mitchell, OR. It was a great day!

One last note before I send you off, Kristin from Chicken Librarian will be having an online book discussion in July. We would love to have you join us! This go around we are reading The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. I had read this book a couple months ago and asked Kristin if she had read it yet. She had not, but it was on her to-be-read-list. So naturally it became the next book selection for Chicken Librarian Reads. I hope you will snag a copy of the book, read it (seriously it should only take you a few days) and join us online for a discussion. The online book chat will happen on Thursday, July 16th at 4pm (PST). You can find a link to the Zoho meeting room here in Kristin's post about the book chat: Chicken Librarian Reads. If you can't find a copy at your local library, the link for the book above takes you to Amazon where you can find a free Kindle version of the book. Chat with you soon!

Until next time,

~ Linking with Ginny's Yarn Along


  1. Oh it sounds as if your summer has been off to a great start Bekah! I'm loving seeing the progress on your shawl. I think those colors are just perfect for it. And I love having the live craft alongs so we can see each other. It puts a new meaning on reading your blog and having seen the cherry tree, the chickadees (well, not seen them per se but heard them and seen their house). It's a lot of fun to connect in such a way.

    The trip to see your Mom sounds delightful! And the pictures of the Painted Hills! Fantastic. It totally looks like a scene out of an old school western movie. Now I want to go watch a western (and that's totally not my genre of movies! LOL).

    Thanks for the shout out about the book group. That reminds me that I need to start pushing it on social media!


    1. It has been a good summer so far...and it's just starting! We'll be painting the house soon. Well, we're hiring our boys to the paint the house. Hopefully my main role will be supervising. We'll see :)
      I've enjoyed the Tuesday Craft Alongs too! Hope to see you next week. Maybe I'll have my shawl finished and will have moved onto one of my other projects??
      Best of luck at Market this week!

  2. I have seen photos of the Painted Hills which look amazing. And as most things look better in real life, I can just imagine they are very imposing. How wonderful that you were able to visit your mum. Your shawl looks wonderful - looking forward to seeing the finished shawl.
    I have had the Book Woman on my TBR since it came out. Maybe this could be an incentive to get to it sooner!

    1. The Painted Hills are amazing to see in person. Pictures never seem to do do justice to what our eyes see.
      I finished up another couple rows of my shawl yesterday...two more to go!
      The book was an interesting read. The author takes some historical truths like the Blues of Kentucky, which I had never heard of, and programs like the Pack Horse Librarians and the rest is a created story line. When you read it, you'll have to let me know what you think!
      Have a great day!

  3. It was so great having you visit for my birthday! As much as I loved going to the Painted Hills, I can't wait until next visit to go see Cascade Lakes Highway!The shawl is beautiful in person too!

  4. Hi Bekah - those photos are incredible! WOW! As much as I love my "green and lush" here in NYS, those Painted Hills are just beautiful. I'm so glad you and your family got to enjoy the view.

    It's a weird year, weird summer, but I suppose there's not much else to do but make the most of it. Enjoy the time with your family (and your sons). I don't have children myself (my husband has a son in his 30s from a previous marriage), but I can imagine how fast time can seem to go by as kids get older. Gretchen Rubin said: The days are long, but the years are short.

    I hope you all enjoy the book club at Chicken Librarian! I just finished "Mud Season: How One Woman's Dream of Moving to Vermont, Raising Children, Chickens and Sheep, and Running the Old Country Store Pretty Much Led to One Calamity After Another" by Ellen Stimson. It was okay. After awhile it was like watching a train wreck, but you had to admire their tenacity.

    Hope your Mom had a good birthday!

    Stay cool if you are in a heatwave too. (It's 98 degrees here. I don't like it over 78.)

    ~ Tracy

    1. No heatwave here (thank goodness)! It's been in the mid 70s...a bit lower than normal. We've been painting our house this week, so I'll take the cooler weather.
      Oh, Mud Season. Yeah that was an interesting read. I read it a few years back, and I remember thinking that this can't be true. But, no, it was true. Although she pretty much tells you that in the title. I will add that when Brandon and I went to Maine on an anniversary trip a couple years ago, we came across a general store with an upstairs apartment for sale in a small town. Brandon jokingly said, "Hey, let's buy this and fly the boys out. We'll live in Maine." I was quick to say that I would move to Maine, but I would NOT run a general store. I would leave that to the locals. And my being so adamant was specifically because of that book!
      PS. I was thinking yesterday, if you're free next Thursday night, you should come to the Book Chat Kristin is hosting. You can come even if you haven't read the book. It's still fun to chat books in general.
      PPS. I heard of another memoir you and I may like (I have not read it yet, only heard about it on the What Should I Read Next podcast)..."The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball.

  5. Oh my goodness. Your summer sounds blissful. Love the idea of picking copious bowls of fruit from the garden. Childhood memories are made of summers like that. I really like the look of your shawl too. I've taken a note of the name. Colours are a perfect blend. As for the painted mountains, I'm showing your photos to my family. They are quite a sight. What a place to explore.

    1. Thank you! It has been a good summer so far, and we still have a month and a half to go! This week we've hired our boys to paint our house as a bit of a summer job for them. I've helped a bit with the more detailed things, but all in all they are doing a great job! I imagine they will remember this summer!
      The shawl turned out well, and was a great pattern. One that I could work on in the evenings even when I was tired. There was not a lot of counting, which is nice for a tired brain :) Now to wait for cooler weather to actually wear it!

  6. Hey girl, what a lovely post, your photos are amazing! I love the coziness of tour home. I have never been to the painted hills before. We don’t travel very far west , but always wanted to. I hope your summer continues to be wonderful for you. Take care🙂

    1. Thank you! I think you and your family would love a trip west, at least in my opinion :) There is so much to see from mountains to oceans, lakes and rivers, old forests and deserts. It's a pretty special place.
      Hope you are well and enjoying your summer with your family!

    2. Thank you, maybe one day we will get out there! It sounds beautiful!!