Versatile Blog Awards

I am proud to say, I was nominated for the Versatile Blog Award. It’s a non-award from a good online friend and I am beyond flattered. Only two years ago, I longingly looked through the window of the online community and thought I would never make such lovely friendships as I saw people creating. And then my lone cowgirl self rode into town, hung around like a pooch waiting for food and a scratch. Eventually, I became a part of the scenery.
stairs to a house no longer there from
I connected with several fellow new bloggers after the first Decor8 online Blogging Your Way workshop. Women who were new and feisty like me and funny and figuring it out. Among them, Jane Barry of The Curious Love of Green . She lives in Ireland and I share with her a love of food, writing, of creativity,  mothering, and maintaining the home fires. She is wry and driven and I was so flattered when she offered out to me a crowning and bestow-ment of the of Versatile Blog Award. Thanks so much for thinking of me Jane, even if it is maybe one of those non-award awards. The reverence from you means more than words.
After linking back to my bestower, Jane’s next instructions were to then share 7 random facts about myself.
1)  My pinkie toenail is more like a glob that I file down to a flat surface to paint.
2)  I never owned a car when I lived in the city. My first car was ‘Bessie’ the the 1980 Chevy brown truck we bought at a Delaware car auction to haul debris from our new house renovation 12 years ago when I was 35 maybe.
3)  I blew renewing my driver’s license in a timely fashion and had to retake both the written and driving tests in 2012 to get it back. A most  humbling experience detailed in a three part series.
4)  The first middle and last letters of my name Shalagh are my initials, SLH.
5)  I don’t know how to type. Surely there’s a computer tutorial I should be using to learn how to considering I do a lot of writing.
6)  At my wedding, I sang a song I wrote when I was a teen about a river to my husband a cappella for his present. In front of all our guests.
7)  I refuse to shop at Wal-mart. I do not appreciate or respect the way they treat their employees and so I practice conscious consumerism.

One way sign from
And Lastly, I must complete the process by then passing on the award to 13 other versatile bloggers. So here are 13 blogging gals whom I have the highest regards for.
Amanda Warton at The Eastern Bay 
Kathy Bosin at The Chesapeake Journal
Marg Hogan at Destination Here and Now  
Sandra Harris at Raincoast Creative Salon  
Suzonne Stirling of Urban Comfort 
Lauren Keim of Still + Life 
Sheri Silver of Donuts, Dresses, and Dirt
Sabrina Wolfe of Wolves In London 
Jennifer Mullin at the Fiery Redhead
Heather Serody at Big Girl Life 
Marissa Harrington of Bourbon and Goose
tulip tree in the morning on
And even if the award stops here, being that it is one of those kind of non-award admirational awards, I hope these women know that I am a devoted reader and lifetime supporter and friend to each of them. I love to write and I love to be read. Did I mention Jane is just finishing her draft of her book? Think I’m busy?

Fiona’s Coming Out Party

Originally published in May, I thought this post pretty enough and relevant to how my pictorial story is unfolding to republish. Enjoy

We celebrated Fiona’s arrival last weekend with a few close friends.
An opportunity to share her and entertain. I’d forgotten how much we enjoy throwing a party. And I wanted to prove that I still have it. Even with the wee Fi hanging off me, I managed to make most of the food ahead of time. And decorate enough to make myself happy.

  Terry, Fiona, and meTerry, Fiona, and Me

Mark and Aunt BarbaraMark and his Aunt Barbara Aunt Annette and Uncle Paul with Fiona

Aunt Annette and Uncle PaulDSC00627

Eamon got some presents too while Fiona was a hot potatoThe party girl

Fiona was the Belle of this PartyEamon reading to Carolina

Eamon read to little Carolina from Super Diaper BabyPegeen and Caitlin

Pegeen and CaitlinGinny, Shelly, and Gayle

Shelly with her daughter Ginny and Gayle. Red headed babies!!Lambchop

Lamb chop puppet from Lisa. Eamon grabbed her up and eventually made her annoying.Daisies, stock, and soldago

Daisies, Stock, Solidago, and Waxflowers were the base for my arrangements.Daisy and stock close upI made the ceiling treatment from the darling paper lantern I got at Bella Luna in Rehoboth and the vintage lanterns which hung in a tree for our wedding.

Paper lantern love for Fiona's party


stock and waxflower in vase on mantel

Baby card displaySo Many beautiful pink cards to add to the decorating. They are everywhere.

Guitar and baby cards

Pegeen's best baby outfitAnd Miss Pegeen got THE outfit. So now I have to stage the photo shoot.

THE Christmas ornamentAnd the perfect Christmas ornament from Miss Amanda.

ribbonsStolen idea from Decor8, ribbons on the light fixture.

The livingroom party ceilingAnd a last swag of this thrifted fabric that screams girl

pink floral fabric swagWe are so grateful to the powers that be to have given us both a beautiful daughter and a charming handsome son. And that we have so many to count us as dear friends and we them. And happy to have our house looking so dapper. Because there’s no surer way to get to all those tasks done than have a party. And to get some leftovers. And your kid clothed. And a fence built. And… Mark’s 50th is in October! Party Girl is back and she’s got a protegé.

Plants are like Friends

Plants are like friends, they’re here today and gone tomorrow.


You enjoy them so much when you have them.
They are part of the landscape.

The in-laws irises bloomed once

The in-laws irises bloomed once

And as seasons change and life choices are made, you suddenly realize that the plant/friend you used to see here or there just isn’t anymore.

And all you have left is a picture of when and where it used to be.

They went back there and are all dead now

They went back there and most are dead now

I lost my Gaillardia this year. Otherwise known as a blanket flower.

Common as it is, I still miss it’s happy colorful little  face spilling over the short stone wall at the end of the walk. I might be able to get another and replant it there but it will never be the same.

the blanket flower bed

the blanket flower bed

Thank you to all my friends past, present, and future for making my gardens and my life happy and fun places to be.

Your presence will not be forgotten.


The Last Week of June

The last week ( and a half) of June, found us doing stuff.


We visited with friends and their dogs.




Took a closer look at critters with shells.


Mugged for the camera in front of an El Camino at Target.


Lounged around.


And picnicked at the park, lunched with my blog group gals, DSC00997

And attended my sister in-laws baby shower where Cousin Ava got to poke Fiona.

When Emma is born (pregnant sister-in-law not shown), they’ll have their own girl gang.

I had to puzzle out and download a new Google calendar to view on my phone.

And Mark and I lost at least four pounds of fat collectively on the “If it’s white, it’s not right” diet. I’ll share more on these soon.

Eamon had his second and third piano lessons. Wolfy Eamondeus Peachzart,

Mark called him this morning.  And Eamon officially swam under water while blowing bubbles out of his nose.


We also said goodbye to a very sweet kitty who left this mortal coil under mysterious circumstances. Rest happily Indigo.

Here’s to the next month being more fun with less bummers.

Read A Book For Goodness Sake

I love books. I love to escape into books. They’re like a free vacation and I even think of them as friends. Who can argue the pleasure of a  free vacation with a friend. When you find a good one, you can’t wait to return to that good feeling you have being there.

Last week, I actually had a conversation with a librarian about allowing oneself to read a book. I haven’t read a book in a very long time. Somehow I have wandered far far away from that pleasure. Yes I had a baby and have been busy. But here’s the real reason why.

The library lady and I agreed that sometimes we think that we haven’t earned the pleasure of the relaxation which reading provides. There’s some sort of labor to fun budget going on. We needed to have accomplished more for the reward to read.

So the 2 plus 2 of it is, I punish myself for being unproductive and don’t allow myself to have a friend? How mean is that.

The trick here is also to have the book that grabs you and drags you in so fast you didn’t see it coming.

Happy Summer reading and I hope you are not not reading. I feel lame when I receive the notifications from Goodreads but I’m also glad to see my friends enjoying their book “friends”. I have a book next to my chair now. Wish me luck.

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