I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.
Around Here

We had our first s'mores party last night and let me tell you, 15 children aged 10 and under with flaming sticks and marshmallows is not for the feint of heart.   All the parents had fun helping the kids with their sticks and s'mores and then when they'd finally reached their fill we moved to the porch and the kids ran off to play.  The parents had some fun drinks and it rained which made the children ridiculously happy.  The adults stayed under the covered porch and enjoyed watching the kids run around in the rain.  My yard is full of gooey, melted marshmallows so it is going to be no shoes past the garage door when coming inside until we mow again.   We'll probably have one more party before the end of the summer, it was very fun! 

Here are some pics of things that I am enjoying around my house.  

My drapes are finished and Bob hung them for me.  I'm calling this my birthday present (and I'm pretty sure he is too!).   

The Maid of Orleans jasmine is beginning to bloom.  Jasmine is my very favorite floral scent and I always, always grow some in pots on my porch so I can enjoy it every year.  I underplant it with white petunias as this variety is a climber that I attempt each year to grow in a pot, so it still shoots off weird, long stems and the similar but low growing petunia helps even it out visually.   It works out, I prune it back when it gets out of control and I still get lots of blooms.  

My favorite little pot of flowers right now.  Coral petunia and verbena - very cheerful. 

We've been lucky enough to find the nicest, cleanest, most affordable painter ever and while he was here repainting our porch he painted our adirondack chairs and they look so much better.  Love!

The Pinky Winky hydrangeas on either side of the porch stairs are blooming prolifically this year.  This is their second year in the ground and despite the horrible heat they are performing wonderfully.  They are on a drip watering system so I am sure that has helped them keep putting on a show.  

Corn!  Do you see that tassel?  That is a corn cob growing.  We grew corn as kids when my mom and dad both had large in ground gardens at their houses but I have never given it a go in garden boxes and it is growing really well.  It must be 8 feet tall at this point.  My Ella can hardly wait for it to be ready to pick and eat.  

I planted two of these little Coral Flower Carpet roses and while the blooms have been scarce so far (I planted in late May and it has been hot) they are the cleanest roses I've ever grown.  They've never been sprayed and have no sign of black spot at all.  I'm very pleased so far. 

This is an up close shot of Pinky Winky hydrangea.  I love that the panicles of flowers just keep getting longer and longer as the summer wears on and they slowly turn from white to pink.  

I found this photo of a mosaic of BVM on Etsy and it arrived and is just gorgeous.  The shot was taken inside a Russian church.  I put it in a simple frame and it is on my kitchen counter. It makes me happy to look at as I wash dishes.

This new Amstel King ficus tree was a gift from my good friend and neighbor.  She knew I've been wanting one and she got it for me for my birthday!  It needs a bit of pruning and a nice new, pretty pot.  I love it.  

*No pic of this but tonight for dinner we are eating a salad of black cherry tomatoes, Brandywine tomato and cucumber - all from our garden.  Soooo good! 




Rach said...

The drapes really finish off that room, Jess. They look fantastic! So do the chairs, btw. I noticed you said nothing about the lovely furniture builder who put them together for you...;o)

We need to have a s'mores party here. What a fun idea--minus the dead marshmallows in the yard. :oP

Jess said...

Yes, yes, YOU put together those adirondack chairs. Without your help, Juan couldn't have painted them. :-)

Larry said...

I love adirondacks and the white serves them very well... Larry

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