Monday, August 5, 2013

52 Weeks of Happy - 31/52

Joining in with Jen at little birdie, here are four happy photos from the past week.

Last week was rough for me. I was just not enjoying myself very much, as you may have noticed. The long summer vacation is almost over but I was feeling overwhelmed and aggravated and bored. I guess my mother-in-law noticed too, because when they came by for coffee on Saturday morning, she brought me this vase of flowers clipped from their little patio garden. The vase and stem-holder (the beaded thing) are loaners, I need to give them back. But what a pretty, cheerful little bouquet, and what a thoughtful gesture. It's on my dining room buffet, lovely and mood-brightening.

It wasn't the worst week ever, anyway. We managed to have plenty of good times. Here, small Bears rock out to my "British Invasion" Pandora station. This photo was taken while we listened to The Kinks' "You Really Got Me" - a song that they both love. They each had their own way of enjoying the music; the GB was inspired to get on her "hop-ball" and zoom around the kitchen and family room. The LB launched his own Charleston-style frolic. They like the new carpeting in the family room; its softness (owing to the new padding) invites a lot of floor play.

Last week, I mentioned that our backyard apple tree is not prolific this year, due to a late frost. We recently noticed bore-holes in the trunk and limbs, and other sickly-looking patches. You can see bare branches near the top left side of the tree. We love this tree so much; the apples are wonderful but it also provides lots of shade and gorgeous blooms during normal springs. We decided we should have a professional take a look at it. A tree expert came on Friday and we braced ourselves for bad news, but the prognosis wasn't terrible. The tree is at least 25-30 years old. This is old for an apple tree and he doesn't expect more than another 3-5 years, but he thinks annual winter pruning will help a lot. The bore-holes are from a bird known as a sapsucker. The tree expert described how they look and I realized I've been seeing them all summer in this tree and I was thinking they were pretty with their crested, bright orange heads. They bore to find sap, along with ants to eat. I've been reading about ways to control them now that I know what devilish deeds they've been up to. We want to keep this tree alive as long as possible.

Finally, a special moment just for me. I had a date with my DYMO on Saturday. I used it to label the LB's new notebooks and folders for school. This weekend featured tax-free shopping in the state of New Mexico, so I went to Target at 8:00 AM to buy everything on the school-supply list emailed to us by his teacher. It was not a fun event. The place was packed with people jockeying for the best deals on clothing, shoes and school supplies. There was actual arguing in the aisles. I'll bet they were brawling at Walmart. I got everything I needed (all $40 worth! SMH, as the kids say) and took it home, where I got my labeling fix. Man, I love to label things. I did each of four folders and four notebooks with his name and the subject area they are destined for. Eight beautiful labels, clearly printed and securely adhered to his school supplies. WHOOOO! WHAT A RUSH.


Hello and welcome, new readers and followers! I'm so glad you're here. And thank you for all the comments you've left for me lately. I am truly overwhelmed with gratitude for the kind and complimentary things you write. I never imagined I would find so many kindred spirits in Blogland and I am thankful every day for the wonderful people I am connecting with here. I appreciate all the kind things you said about my interminable summer vacation; I am trying to soak up and savor every last minute with these little people before the silly season begins again, in just over a week. And your comments on my receiving blankets - wow. Thank you so very much.


  1. Lovely post Jennifer! I hate having lists of things todo, and back to school always filled me with dread, so was always glad, like you, to get it over and done with ... This year I shall have no back-to-school anguish, as they have all left. Millie, my youngest, is going to 6th form college, and Harry, second youngest, is hopefully off to University this year. Big changes! Something else I'm not keen on ...

    Have a fabulous week,

    Claire xxx

  2. I love a post of happy things and may have to do one myself! I also love my label maker. :)

  3. LOL "I'll bet they were brawling at Walmart!" Omgoodness - too funny! Yeah, I avoid that place unless absolutely - ABSOLUTELY! - necessary! Glad you got your tax-free bargains safely. If we had a tax-free day here I'd be out there too!
    But the best part of this post was the cute, hair-flying photo of your kids just full of joy, rockin' away! The happiness just pops out of that picture!
    Not surprised you have so many friendly comments. Your blog is so sweet, straight forward, and simple in its expression of daily life where good values prevail! I love it!

  4. Lovely photos. We've just started Week 3 of our just-over-6-week summer school holidays. Trying to keep DD2 occupied is a task and a half!

  5. Glad you found some little happy things, the flowers from your mother in law especially are lovely. It is hard keeping the kids entertained during the summer holidays at times. I feel your pain at back to school shopping too. We went to get new school shoes for Miss M yesterday and it was over an hour's wait to get her feet measured and shoes chosen!!
    Marianne x

  6. I just love that stem holder... So pretty x x x

  7. Sorry that you have been feeling down, but glad to hear that you are feeling better, your MIL is obviously a lovely lady, bringing the flowers. That joyful dancing must have cheered you up! Great action shot by the way, it really captures the bears fun. Sometimes it is good to do some of that organising stuff as it makes things seem more together, wish I had a label maker as it seems like one of those strangely fun things for sure.

    Thank you for your blog and for coming and visiting all of our blogs! We appreciate you too.

  8. What a nice mother-in-law! I love that stem holder, it looks like your flowers have earrings on! I'm glad you're feeling more upbeat. I love label machines, too. When I was an executive director of a non-profit corp, I loved to organize my office with those. We're off soon for our camping trip - no computer - will visit your blog when I return. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  9. I love the photos of your bears enjoying the music, you have really captured a happy moment there! I am glad to hear you are feeling better too and the carpet is lovely, I bet you are thrilled with it. :) We are so alike! I would love an afternoon where I put names on all of the school books, I bet it was so therapeutic! And, I too, would find joy looking at that cute little vase of flowers! I always love to see your week of happies. :)) x

  10. I know exactly what the problem is Jennifer, You have cabin fever! I believe this comes from long summer holidays and trying to put so much into entertaining and taking care of our children that we completely lose sight of ourselves! When the kids are back in school you will have to make a point of doing just what you want, you need to pamper you... You so deserve it! Do you get pedicures? I love me some pampering! I plan on getting a pedi and mani before I return to work on the 20th, just for some "No kids down time", or maybe you could get a massage? I have a friend that is always getting them and swears by them...
    Just make sure you have just you time, YOU...
    The flowers are lovely, I could almost smell them... and woohooo for a British invasion :)
    Hang in there girlfriend!

  11. It's amazing how even the tiniest gesture of flowers from ones garden can lift spirits.
    I love the idea of your kids rocking out to music from the British Invasion.
    Sorry about the apple tree.. at least it's still got a few more years in him.

  12. Hi Jennifer,

    Lovely flowers to brighten up your day and I enjoyed seeing your week and the happy things you did. Your children look happy dancing on the new rug and who wouldn't like dancing to the Kinks - You really got me.
    I too love the label makers, so useful and will be a good feeling having the children's school things sorted.
    Hope you get your apple tree sorted so it might bear forth some fruit.
    Happy new week

  13. Hi Jennifer... I'm a little behind with my blog visiting and was sorry to read that you'd been feeling a little low. So nice to small things to be happy about. The Kinks were such a great band I love there music and a jump around the sitting room is just what's needed to raise your mood. Thanks for sharing ~ Sarah x

  14. 'Lola' or 'Waterloo Sunset' are also great tunes from The Kinks. Sorry you've been feeling a little blue. Life can get a little overwhelming at times - but there's always YARN to take your mind off things!
    My lovable and loving Grandaughter will be starting school for the first time in a couple of weeks so I took her for her new school shoes on Saturday. I can't believe I paid £40 for a tiny pair of black leather Mary-Janes! I wouldn't even pay that for my own shoes!!!It's a racket alright, this school stuff. Glad you got everything a little cheaper.
    Chin Up, Girlie. Onwards and Upwards!

  15. Sorry that your apple tree is having problems. Fresh apples from the tree are so delicious!

  16. I love your flowers that your mother-in-law brought over for you. They are beautiful. Fresh flowers seem to always make a perfect gift for someone special. I love the picture of your kids rocking out! Looks like they had a fun time! Our daughter loves dancing, and bouncing on her ball too.

    I laughed at the brawling at Walmart part, so true! lol

  17. That's a really nice gesture from your MIL. The flowers are pretty and I like the beaded decoration on the vase. I'm glad to hear that your apple tree is doing well. It's funny to hear how your DYMO gives you such a rush but I know that feeling :) Have a great week.

  18. I'm sorry you've been feeling a bit out of sorts Jennifer but glad you are now picked up! Your MIL continues to be a very thoughtful kind person - and I love the beady things hanging off the vase! I also love that hair-raised pic, you did so well to capture that one! Happiness, fun and frivolity!
    I do hope you manage to keep your lovely apple tree a while longer - and oh, that's the other side of birds isn't it!!!They're not all about beauty are they!
    Do have a happy week!
    Joy x

  19. Glad you found some lovely moment in your long week.

  20. I especially enjoyed the hair-raising photo, too, Jennifer :) We planted a five foot tall apple tree three years ago and are excited to have 30+ apples weighing down the branches, but will need to remember and practice the tree care advice you passed along. My oldest sister and I are headed out on another road trip starting this Sunday and returning 8.29.2013, but I hope to share posts with you along the way. [We will see :)] Hope your Little Bears and Mama and Papa Bear have a happy start to the new school session!
    Gracie xx

  21. Hi Jennifer, That is such a happy photo of your kids!!! Love your label machine!!! I would love one of those!!!! Have a great week!!!

  22. I have the exact same vase...but...not with the cute beady thing!
    Your MIL sounds like a truly wonderful are very lucky!
    Those blankets are really cute...and made with so much TLC..:o)
    I hate pushy shoppers...what is that all about?
    As to the apple tree...i might suggest planting another one now...near the same location, and when the other goes,you will have your "back-up" ready!
    We have planted a lot of alternate trees at the cottage, as most of them are way over 100 years old, and are probably not long for this world!
    Just a thought!

    Enjoy your last week before the bears go back to school...
    Happy labelling!!...

    Linda :o)

  23. Jennifer,

    I LOVE that picture of your little bears!! And I have label machine envy. I love stationary and all that goes with it. And what thoughtful gift from your mother in law.

    Leanne xx

  24. Sorry to hear you've been feeling a bit down but what a lovely mother in law you have to pick up on this and cheer you up with those beautiful blooms. You seem to have such a long school holiday over there in comparison to our six weeks over here, yet most people are tearing their hair out with that so I think everyone would be feeling as you have been if our school holidays were any longer. Eleanor will be going in to her final year when she goes back in September and Daniel's now left, hopefully going on to university, so school holidays will soon be a thing of the past for me. Rather sad really.

  25. I am sorry to hear you were feeling down. I have felt a little "blah" lately, too. I think it's normal this time of year. Once Fall begins we will all get busy again with holidays. The vase and flowers from your mother-in-law is so pretty and thoughtful! I absolutely adore your painted brick fireplace... so cosy! Hope you are having a great week!

  26. hehe lots of lovely pictures lovely seeing the children having fun. Sorry to hear you've been down it happens to the best of us. Lovely flowers x

  27. What a lovely posy from your mother in law. She sounds like a wonderful woman. I really want one of those machines although, to be honest, I haven't got a clue what I'd label. I just really like them! x

  28. What a sweet little bouquet of cheery lovelies to brighten your day! When I was a little girl, I will never forget how all that jumping felt so freeing! If I could do it now, without breaking my bones, believe me, I would!



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