Summer updates.

“ Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast-you miss the sense of where you are going and why.”

Eddy Cantor

Can you believe summer is over, I can’t. Everything is flying by too fast for my comfort. Like everything has been put on fast forward to get somewhere…but what is that somewhere? I’m one of those slow down and smell the flowers type .This high speed adventure makes all those flowers seem like one big giant blur of colors. No time to smell, to see, to touch. No time to get to know those moments.

Makes it harder to accept that those moments have actually happened. And maybe that’s it’s whole purpose…speed that is. To blind us to what is really happening. Can’t see the details when driving fast down a beautiful country road, but slow down and you will see the animals, the grass, the sky above, even birds flying. And maybe if you try hard enough, you will think you can even see the wind. The same can be said of life. The slower we go, the less mistakes, the more we see and learn from.

My daughter’s cat waiting patiently for me to leave the area so she can get to the plants and tiny aquarium behind her. I had to move the ironing board when I discovered a couple of my tiny guppies missing. She has all the time in the world to wait for me to leave.

So my summer flew by, not by my choice. Thankfully I was still able to take some time to slow down and enjoy this summer. Here are some of our summer time adventures we did in these past months.

Had a couple birthdays in the family. When you get past the age of childhood, birthdays are just another day on the calendar. We get a small gift here and there, pick out a yummy cake, and go out for dinner to our favorite restaurant.

It’s always hard picking out a cake, there are so many to choose from and they are all so pretty too. I’m a summer baby so I tend to like lite fruity cakes like the mango cake above. My favorite is raspberry.
I picked a raspberry almond cake.
One of the little gifts my kids bought me…this pig. I also got earrings, a quilted bed set, pretty pots for the garden and a monthly subscription to Amazon for movies.
My husband wanted my daughter to make one of her cakes from home, he requested strawberries. We also picked out a cake from the bakery too, German chocolate the next week. That’s my husband’s favorite cake.It’s a once a year tradition for us all to pick a pretty cake on our Birthdays.
My son picked out a peanut butter/chocolate cake. I can’t find a photo of my daughter’s cake, it was a black and white cake like the cookies.

Did a lot of shopping over the summer months. Here in Phoenix and most of Arizona that’s mostly what we do during our hot summer months. That’s our staycation part of the summer. We visit museums too, or we head up north where it’s cooler. Some of us even take a 6 hour drive to the beach in California. My family hasn’t been to the beach in years, we are due for a seaside visit. We had our place up north we were working on, that we were rebuilding over the years. We never got around to our yearly beach visits after that.

Here in Arizona about 90% of our stores are all mask free…maybe more like 99%. This store had three signs that let customers know they had to wear a mask. We unfortunately did not have ours with us since we were walking out in triple degree temps, very hot and hard to breath with a mask when it is extreme temps. Everyone around us who were also walking outside were not wearing masks. No one that I noticed went into this store sadly. There were other signs too…like, YOU ARE ON CAMERA. Doesn’t seem like such a positive environment to shop in if the first thing you see are signs everywhere telling you what you can not do and also that you are being watched all the time. At least they like puppies. Puppies of all ages welcomed…now that’s cute. Maybe the owner is just scared, nothing wrong with that either.

Over the summer we had our zoo pass we visited when the temps weren’t crazy hot.

The bridge over the alligator exhibit.

My son’s favorite place to visit is the aquarium. We have three in our city. There are over 6 million people who live in this city, imagine that. We have several zoos and aquariums in this state. Kind of cool to see sea creatures in huge indoor aquariums in a desert city. It’s very quiet, dark and peaceful watching all those fish swimming around. I love watching the sea turtle, jelly fish, clown fish and giant sharks the most.

This is a public restroom with sharks swimming by the sink area.
The photos aren’t the best because I couldn’t use the flash, it would bother the fish. This is the coolest public bathroom because while you wash your hands sharks swim by you.

We did some early Christmas shopping at the antique shops.

Stopped off at a tiny cafe while Christmas shopping. They had praline pecan cookies here. I never had a cookie like that before, ice cream yes, but not a cookie. It was delicious. They also sell sandwiches and deli foods.
A giant metal donkey. I think some people put these in their gardens but they also look nice inside the homes if you can find the space that is. Like a Santa Fe look.
Old gas tanks would look cute in a kids room with cars everywhere. As long as they are clean that is. Or a man’s cave…you know, those little rooms with pool tables and giant tv’s for sporting events.

And we hung out by our pool taking early morning and late night swims. The middle part of the day is just too bright and too hot outside to swim, even with shade coverings. Our pool was starting to turn green one week, We struggled with keeping it super clean this summer as the Chlorine shortages make things a bit challenging. But our pool never got to the stage of green where we couldn’t see to the bottom. Just a fuzzy light green when the chlorine was out for awhile.

A dollar store noodle can create a lot of fun and later when it gets faded or worn from months of summer time play, they are great for craft projects or wrapping around pipes for Winter.

Had some crazy Monsoon storms this summer. Gave us a green summer garden. The giant dust storms are never fun though, makes everything so dirty and the whole house has to be dusted several times through out the week. Everything seems to always be covered with a fine layer of dust, even with our houses and windows closed shut. The dust comes in through the air conditioning vents.

In our garden we worked on keeping everything shaded, watered, and fed. We lost a chick during one Monsoon storm that came in, had to feed the bees as there were no flowers for them out there in our summer season of heat. Summer this year was not as hard as past summers. All the rain we got was really nice. The flooding in our back yard is what got that baby chick of ours. We were able to save the other four in time. The storm came in fast. There were many storms this summer.

Some tiny finches had a nest above one of our garden gazebos and the storm blew it down. We tried to save one of the eggs in the incubator but it never hatched.

I also started working on some Fall décor. I picked up a whole bag of Styrofoam pumpkins at the second hand shop to re-purpose. Might do a post on that later to share with you all. I found the cutest nesting set of basket pumpkins at the store that will look really cute on our Fall table or a shelf.

Carving Styrofoam pumpkins to wrap with wool yarns and assorted natural stems too.
Bought these little ceramic pumpkins last year. I painted them a couple months ago.

Still learning more about prepping, cooking, DIYing, and figuring out where we are headed to have our adult children have the kind of life my husband and I had when we were their age. I remember telling my husband years ago before the Red Monster showed up…

“ There will be pockets of peace, but not one place will be better then the other.”

We all saw the signs early, the increasing violence, the bullying tactics by the ones who are suppose to protect the weakest, the questions and mistrust that was slowly growing in some of us. The extreme Narcissism and materialism. That day I said that statement above to my husband was just an after effect of what I was seeing on all the screens.

That speeding blur that was blinding some, was allowing a whole lot of ugliness to sneak it’s way it without anyone knowing. But the ones who enjoyed a slower life, smelling those flowers…they were the ones that had stopped enough to see what was actually happening in that blur of beautiful colors. Most of us saw it, didn’t we?At least I like to think most of us did.

Through out this whole fast track life of this world…there are still many pockets of peace to stop off in and find our places. Peace is a beautiful gift we must always remember to hold on tight to. Peace can spread faster then wild fires, when there are enough of us to do this. It starts with kindness…that’s the fuel we all need. Hate will put up an ugly battle of course, and it won’t be an easy battle either. Hate is one huge beast walking this planet right now. Remember…FEAR…is hate’s fuel.

Anyway, all in all, it was a nice summer as long as we took the time to enjoy all the little things. Now Fall will bring new adventures for us. We are going someplace we have never been before. It’s time to step off the speeding train and look at one of those pockets of peace, at least I am hopeful it will be. I will keep you all updated when I can on this newest adventure of ours. How was your summer? I hope you all had wonderful summer adventures. Stay safe and healthy out there, and God bless you all.

“ He said, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

Remember to stop, take time to smell the flowers. All those little gifts are beautiful blessings. In those quiet moments of peace, know that God has got this. He already knows our stories, he created them, he knows how they will end. Some battles are not ours, they’re too big for man alone. In those big battles, it is your faith that you will have to guard and protect the most.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh wow!
    How many beautiful pictures!
    I liked a lot all the cakes and I think I would taste the one choosen by your son as first 🙂
    I only can imagine how good your late night swim and I am very curious about the nest, but the TOP is your cat!! A myth ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The little nest blew down from a storm, we are in our Monsoon season. My daughter’s cat loves the indoor house plants and fish tanks we have around our home. The water is cool now in the pool but there have been times when it is hot when the temps were very high and there was no shade above the pool but now we have shade coverings.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So interesting article ✍️to read and amazing photos to view 🌷🙏👍🏻😊 Thank you for sharing 👏💐♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, you are always so kind, I’m glad you liked it.

      Like

      1. 🌹🙏💓🥰🌹

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy Belated Birthday! 🙂
    I love lemon cake or coffee. That cake with the pink roses is pretty. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I hope you are having a great summer, or had a great summer too. Everything over here is turning into Fall supplies, apples, and pumpkin decor in the shops. It’s a desert city so we don’t get the pretty trees, we have to drive for a couple hours to get up north for that. I also like the cakes with pretty flower decorations too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s turned cooler here since last week. Unusually, we had 80+ degrees in England!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I bet it is so nice and I always love seeing how green it is over there so, so pretty.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. England used to be so much prettier when she had a lot more of her ancient woods. We have the least woodland in the whole of Europe – and Germany, where I lived for 11 years has enormous beautiful woods. There’s a culture there for more outdoor clubs and get togethers with even wooded sports equipment for adults out in the middle of woods! Some aspects of Germany I really love including their respect for nature. It’s a pity about the Hitler legacy that tars those people and the land even today. Scotland has beautiful woods too and mini lakes. My ancestors on my mother’s side hail from the Isle of Skye (Scotland), I’d love to go there one day. There are many little islands off the West and North coast of Scotland. We have nice formal gardens (like what you were saying about the Queen’s gardens, that kind of thing) and beautiful stately homes which is a joy for ordinary people to visit. I like your different animals and those cacti are magnificent! Those mountains of yours are awe inspiring, I’d feel so small like an insect looking at those in real life.
        Isn’t it sad the Queen died? Poor Charles is not much like her I’m afraid.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. The mountains and cliffs here in Arizona can be so overwhelming and all our open spaces of miles and miles of desert with nothing else, it made my husband’s cousin from Italy dizzy and fearful the first time she came here to Arizona for a visit, she didn’t like it. It takes us three hours to drive from the desert city to our place up in the high country with woods everywhere. There are creeks, lakes and waterfalls. Arizona always surprises everyone with all the different landscapes we have.
        It is sad about the Queen. I remember her Christmas greetings and always thought that was such a nice thing for the country to watch, a nice tradition every Christmas, like a letter from home. I was never a big fan of her son though. I mean, I don’t know how he is in person of course and in America we are told all kinds of gossip through media and magazines , but I can’t really say a person is the way they are based off of what someone else has told me. Watching certain interviews from the past when the two little princes were children I could see their father was always arrogant and Diane always seemed so sad…well now as history as shown, we all know why that was. When you lack empathy and have power, that is a dangerous combination …only time will tell.
        Here in Phoenix they have also destroyed trees, fields of flowers, plants and desert life just so the city could build more and more buildings and HOA homes and neighborhoods, plus huge apartments everywhere. Oh, and warehouses and huge businesses for business…it’s a big, big city with millions of people.

        Liked by 1 person

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