Thursday, July 30, 2020

Books, Beach, Flowers, and Cool Drinks

"There are few pleasures like really burrowing one's nose into sweet peas."
Angela Thirkell

Every few days I snip another modest bouquet of these fragrant flowers. They move from the mantle to the table to the windowsill so that I can catch a sweet whiff as I move around the house. Just now they are outside on the patio and that's where I'm headed. 

Last weekend we went on a little jaunt to Sidney Island, no more than 30 minutes from the boat launch. Our local families joined us for a wonderful day of sand, sun, and sea. These littles spent all of their time in imaginative play - creating a civilization because they were stranded without adults! I loved listening in on some of their conversations. 

When we returned, the boat launch was very busy and we had to bob about for awhile. The children were thrilled when a curious seal came within a metre of the boat, looking up at the children dangling their feet over the deck. (No need to worry, one would have to have extremely long legs to be in any danger.) Then, a fat fried egg jellyfish showed up and drifted by so that the children could see tentacles pulsating. One grandchild was heard to say that the wait on the water was the best part of the trip!

Some of my recent reading material. I have just begun The Salt Path, and just finished The Beekeeper of Aleppo. I keep mulling over the story of the Beekeeper - a Syrian refugee. Such horror and tragedy, yet the human spirit finds beauty where it can. I recommend it. 

The other books are light fare, easy reading for summer. 

Shrub: - a fruit syrup preserved with vinegar and mixed with water or alcohol to make a refreshing beverage.

There was a container of blackberries leftover from last summer in the freezer, and after reading about shrubs in a magazine, I filled a jar with berries, apple cider vinegar, a cinnamon stick, and let it develop in the fridge for a week or more before straining it, and mixing it with a simple sugar syrup. I add 1-2 Tablespoons to a glass of cold water for a very delicious and different drink. 

One hydrangea bush branches through the patio railing in a friendly manner. Sitting so close to it, I noticed the golden tipped stamens and delicate blue veins. Such intricacy of creation. 

I had another close encounter the other day. While working in my garden I heard a loud buzzing sound. Not ten inches away from my hands, a pretty Anna's Hummingbird fed on a pink zinnia flower. I stayed very still and watched her circle the bloom with her long pointed beak. She then moved to the next flower. I could see her heart beating furiously and hear the buzz of her wings. Amazing!

These are beautiful summer days. I hope that you are enjoying them, as well (or autumn days if you live in the southern hemisphere). Let's enjoy the seasons as they come, for they change all too quickly. 


  1. How fun for your grands to enjoy the wait with some fun encounters. Enjoyed your encounter with the hummingbird. Beautiful photos! Adieu to July!

  2. Aren't those Anna's hummingbirds amazing. We have a couple that I call Annie and Anatole. They are so brave. I can be just a few inches away and they don't leave. Enjoy the week-end!

  3. I love to overhear children (and cousins) play. Such delightful things happen with a little time . . . and when they assume that grownups are not listening! What a thrill that must have been to be so close to the Anna's hummingbird!

  4. It's wonderful you were able to have an outing with family. Hard to believe it is the last day of July. Despite everything going on, time just keeps flying by. We still have many restrictions here and whenever I go out I am just thoroughly disgusted with the garbage I see everywhere. Nothing beautiful about this place though you will see by my IG I always try to find it. Super hot so can't be outside too much anyways. Those books all look interesting. Enjoy.

  5. The perfume from sweet peas is a joy, it always remind me of my father - happy memories. Children just love being on a beach, simple joys, simple pleasures.
    I am sure that you will enjoy The Salt Path, I am now looking forward to Raynor Winn's follow up book in September - The Wild Silence.

  6. You are certainly making the most of your summer. That boat trip sounds idyllic. Hope you enjoy Tha Salt Path. Love sweet peas too. We’ve done well with them this year although their flower stalks are now getting shorter. B x

  7. We are at last having a few days of sunshine amongst the rainy windy days recently. I have sweet peas on my patio just by the door so the scent drifts in. there never seem to be enough of them.
    What a joy to have a seal swim by!

  8. The day at the beach and on the boat sounds lovely. Hummingbirds are amazing.

  9. Lovely for the children, to be in a boat, and on a beach. Childhood memories made...

    Oh your flowers!!! So beautiful!!!

    My husband has never been able to grow continuously flowering hydrangeas. And he has tried everything. ~sigh~

    Interesting sounding drink. ~smile~

    Light reading sounds just right, for my summer reading. I'm enjoying a bit of fantasy, right now.

    Fellow Story Teller!

    ✨ 📙 👏 ✨

  10. What a gift to have that upclose encounter with the hummingbird and to watch your grandchildren enjoy a day on the beach and water!

    When the Apple store updated my Mac I lost ability to enlarge my screen to see pictures up close so I couldn't read the title of the Patrick Taylor book. I enjoyed his fat novel of Irish Christmas so much and keep meaning to try some of his others. I should try The Lost Art of Mixing too as I enjoyed her first one so much. Your shrub drink is gorgeous!

  11. Sweetpeas, they really such a lovely gift of summer. Ours are getting going now; it's been only tiny posies so far. Tiny though they be, they still have so much fragrance. Love the look of your book pile; I've read Erica's book and the Irish Country Doctors
    (enjoyed both), the others are tempting possibilities. I always love to read how beauty helps so many individuals through hardship and traumatic experieinces -- gonna see if the library has the Beekeeper story.

    Wishing you a beautiful weekend, Lorrie!
    Brenda xo

  12. Books, Beach, Flowers, and Cool Drinks are just what you need to enjoy summer days.
    Even better if you can share time with the grand-children.

    Lovely post and photographs.

    Enjoy your weekend, and have a happy August.

    All the best Jan

  13. Beautiful flowers. Hummingbirds are like seeing magic in flight.

  14. Children have such wonderful imaginations. What a treat to listen in. Just looking at your photos cooled me down as they looked like a coolish summer day, resting in shade. Here it is 96 and humid. Thanks for the introduction to shrubs. It sounds and looks so (pretty and) refreshing. I enjoy blueberry tea in the summer and may try this!

  15. I love those sweet peas and of course the Hydrangeas . Such sweet , lovely flowers.

  16. That's the best photo of a hydrangea I've ever seen - and also my favorite vicarious experience with a hummingbird. I'm really thankful I got such moments from your world today. <3

  17. Oh I love your new banner! I always think banners with a few really pretty photos looks best but I've never been able to put one together! I miss Picassa! Love the sound of your refreshing drink and I see a couple of books I might stop by your house to borrow! heehee! Enjoy your weekend my friend!

  18. Nothing beats the chatter of children as they interact with each other, I love to listen in occasionally.

  19. Dear Lorrie,
    You are amazing. You always know how to make the most of each day.

  20. Dear Lorrie, I wanted to pull your lovely vase of sweet peas through the screen. I could just smell their sweet and special fragrance. Your experience with the hummingbird is priceless. They are such a gift to those of us who enjoy them. Your stack of books look most interesting. I have written down the titles.

    Have a lovely weekend, Lorrie.

  21. What special memories your grands will have of their growing up years! Your sweet peas are lovely and what a neat encounter with the hummingbird.

  22. Anonymous2:42 PM

    Your flowers are beautiful. i love Rhys Bowen's books. They are quite enjoyable. Enjoy your reading.

  23. Love the pretty purple colour of your hydrangeas!

    I'm trying to savour the summer days--they seem long and endless and yet here we are in August!


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