Monday morning. Blue sky and puffy white clouds. The roses are beginning to bloom. This, however, is the peony's time to star. I'm always amazed at how those tightly packed fat globes open into elegant ruffles. Most of my peonies are the dark pink ones, but I planted a pale pink and a white one last year. The white bush is not producing flowers this year, but the pale pink one has a few. It seems to be later than the dark pink ones.
I had a vase of peonies on a table. While I sat quietly reading one day I heard the softest plop and looked up to see the petals falling in great clumps. There's nothing gradual about a peony. They burst into full bloom in a day and fall in a minute.
I've not indulged in quiet time for reading for an entire week. No, I've been much too busy playing with Miss Iris. Here she is in the dress I made for her, on her first birthday party celebration. Her actual birthday is later, but she was in town, so we celebrated.
We are gathering together as family these days. We had a most lovely time on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The older grands ran around the garden, played with water, and blew bubbles. We grilled meat and everyone contributed to the meal. It was simply grand!
It wasn't just ONE special girl's birthday celebration. No, indeed. The almost 8 year old and the almost one year old shared the party. Aunt Katie made the cake and it was a beauty - can you see the ombre effect in the layers? The almost 8 ate her cake with much more elegance and grace than the almost 1, who has not had sugar in her diet, and found it quite pleasant.
I had lots of Nana time over the week plus that they stayed with us. Miss Iris's parents had business to attend to and we worked around my teaching schedule for childcare. What fun we had. I introduced her to my roses, pulled marigold petals from her mouth, and she clapped with glee when the Japanese bell sang by the fig tree. The first few strawberries ripened and oh, my - she gobbled them down in a flash.
She was very engrossed in listening to Grandpa sing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm", but looked up when I walked in with the camera.
They left yesterday. The house is quiet. The domestic machines are humming with laundry and dishes. The high chair is back in the storage room, and I've deemed it safe to put a vase of peonies on the coffee table. There are no little hands to play with it just now.
I prepared a lot of meals, but took no photos. Before the guests arrived I made some Orange-Thyme Shortbread, sprinkled with sea salt. It's very hard to eat just one of these sweet, savoury, and salty morsels.
And now it is June. I'll be at school for three half days this month, supervising a classroom of 10 students or less. I'm looking forward to seeing the students face to face. Graduation is the 24th of June and we're still not certain how that is going to look. I'm learning to hold all plans very loosely.