Let your soul stand ajar, always ready to welcome the ecstatic experience. ~ Emily Dickinson

Friday, December 31, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR AND SIMPLY PRIMITIVES UPDATE!!


I want to wish each and everyone of you a most Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year!!! Thank you so much for all your kindness, friendship, and support during this past year!! It has meant so much to me and I have been truly blessed!! My new creations for the January 2011 SIMPLY PRIMITIVES will be posted tonight, but here is a preview for all of you.....my blog friends!! I hope you will get the chance to stop by for a visit and see my offerings as well as those of my other fellow artists!!

May you always have your thimble close by,
The right color of thread you need,
Plenty of beautiful fabrics to work with, and most importantly,
The TIME to CREATE something from your HEART!!!

Happy Creating in 2011 my friends!!

Blessings from my heart to yours~~

Julie

Saturday, December 25, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!


MAY THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS BRING YOU PEACE,

THE GLADNESS OF CHRISTMAS GIVE YOU HOPE,

THE WARMTH OF CHRISTMAS GRANT YOU LOVE.

~ AUTHOR UNKNOWN ~

WITH HEARTFELT JOY TO ALL OF YOU!!

CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS FROM OUR HEARTS TO YOURS!!

~ JULIE and JEFF ~

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Decorating!!


There is nothing I enjoy quite so much as pulling out all the Christmas bins from the garage (actually, my sweet husband has that special job) and transforming my little home from "everyday" to "HOLIDAY"!!! It amazes me how just bringing out all the old, well loved items can evoke such warmth and joy!!! After being packed away for the year, they are lovingly unwrapped and then the fun begins!!!





I live in a small townhouse, so I don't have a lot of room and have to keep the tree in the same spot each year, but I do make the mantle look differently and like to create little unique vignettes for some of my santa and snowmen collections!! Then also due to the fact that I usually get special handmade items from friends, or make some new ones for myself during the previous year, I may have to make changes to accomodate them!! What fun it is to be creative and inventive!!!





Here are just a few pictures of what it looks like here at the Zakrzewski TownHomestead for Christmas!! And in case you have always wondered how to say my last name, here is the easiest way to do that!! Just break it down into 3 syllables......Zock-Chef-Ski!! Now say it 3 times, while turning around and touching your nose!!!! Just kidding!!! It really is easy once you get the hang of it!!!



I hope you enjoy this little peek into my home and are inspired and blessed!!


Wishing you Peace and Joy~


Julie



Monday, November 29, 2010

SIMPLY PRIMITIVES SNEAK PEEK!


It's time for another SIMPLY PRIMITIVES UPDATE and I am posting a little "sneak peek" for you to view before the 1st! I can't believe it will already be December and hope you are getting as excited as I am for Christmas, my FAVORITE holiday!!! My offerings this month (pears) were inspired by that catchy tune we all seem to find ourselves singing sometime during this month, "The 12 Days of Christmas", and I really enjoyed making them!! I don't know what all my other fellow artists will have to offer, but I know whatever it is, it will be wonderful, so I hope you stop by to visit them as well!

I had a very restful and relaxing Thanksgiving and hope all of you did as well! We enjoyed all of our favorites.....turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, crescent rolls, and of course, pumpkin pie with whipped cream!! All of it was so delicious and we had plenty for yummy leftovers too!! Just the meal itself was enough to be thankful for!!

Speaking of being thankful, I truly want to say that I am thankful for all of you, both old and new followers, who take the time to come by for a visit, read my ramblings and musings, leave comments that are so encouraging and welcome and take an interest in my life! It is a humbling and gratifying experience to blog and I am so happy you have come along with me!!
Again, thank you so much for stopping by, for following, for commenting....for just being YOU!!

Wishing you Joy!!

Blessings~~

Julie

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thoughts on Thankfulness!!


Thou has given so much to me,
Give me one thing more, a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.
~George Herbert~

This is the time of year when we are supposed to celebrate all that we are thankful for but as of late I have been finding myself rushing around in a rather frantic state!! It seems like I am running on a wheel....faster and faster, around and around, but actually going nowhere!!! Oh how the tyranny of the urgent can steal your energy, joy, focus, creativity, and thankfulness!! Everything is measured by the phrase, " I need to" and so life becomes a list of "need to's", and soon your energy becomes exhaustion, joy becomes sorrow, focus becomes blurred, creativity is stagnant and thankfulness turns to ingratitude!! Oh what is a frantic woman to do???
The answer is simple, yet profound!!! JUST STOP RUNNING!!! This truth jumped out at me yesterday and has made such a difference and I would like to share it with you....it comes from Psalm 116 and says,

"Relax and rest. God has showered you with blessings." (The Message).

As I reflected on this, a deep sense of calm washed over me, and I began to smile as I thought about all the things I have to be thankful for!! Just as our early forefathers set aside a time to cease from their labor and rejoice in God's bounty and grace, so have I chosen to do the same, thankful for my many blessings.......a loving husband, children and family, a home where I am warm and safe, good food to enjoy, having a job that I love, being able to create things for others to enjoy and decorate their homes with, and special friends like you, who take the time to stop by and be part of my world. For all of this and so much more, I am truly and deeply thankful!!!

Wishing all of you a most Wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with joy, hope and above all, Thankfulness!!!
With Thankful Blessings~~

Julie

Remember God's Bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in the light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude! ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Saturday, October 30, 2010

SIMPLY PRIMITIVES UPDATE!


Simply Primitives will be updating on November 1st, so I wanted to share a little "sneak peek" of my offerings!! I have been extremely busy creating lots of new goodies for the upcoming holidays and I hope to be posting pictures of them on my blog and picture trail as well, so please keep checking back!! Thank you for your kind visit and know I so appreciate all your lovely encouraging comments!!

Blessings and Thanks~~

Julie

Monday, October 25, 2010

We Have A Winner!!!


Good Morning to you!! Today is the day we pick the winner of my Primitive Heart Makedo!!

I feel like there are so many things to do to get ready for the special moment......choosing the proper setting is SO IMPORTANT!! I found a quilt that I thought would be pretty for setting off the heart to it's best advantage, a lovely old crock I got recently (it has a crack but I don't care as it is still beautiful) a little battery operated light that added just the right amount of ambiance, and finally, all my little folded pieces of paper with the names of all who left comments!!













After stirring them around and around, my faithful helper (Mr. My Primitive Heart) reached in a pulled out the winning slip of paper!! I couldn't resist showing you his arm to add authenticity to the moment!!! And the winner is..............

Rhonda of Kattywhompus Primitives!!!

Congratulations to you Rhonda, and please send me an email with your address so I can mail this to you!!

I want to thank all of you that participated and let you know how much I enjoyed reading what blogging has meant to you personally!! Believe me when I say I wish I could have chosen each one of your names as I know how wonderful it is to receive a gift in the mail, but sadly, there can only be one winner this time!! There are SO MANY WONDERFUL GIVEAWAYS out there and I encourage you to keep blogging, and following and signing up for them!! Even when you don't win the actual prize, you gain so much in just participating and commenting and the one who is hosting it gains encouragement and joy in the giving!! It is a WIN WIN for everyone!!!

Blessings for a WINNING day~~

Julie

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

One Year Anniversary Giveaway!!


Can it really be one year ago that I started this blogging journey?? My, how the time has just flown by!! I can still remember my husband Jeff asking me if I wanted to start my own blog, and my response to that question!!! I had several, as a matter of fact! "Why would I want to have a blog? What would I write about? Who would read it???" And then the biggest obstacle in my mind was that I just didn't know HOW!!! I was afraid to step out and try something that seemed scary and unfamiliar.....after all, what if I FAILED???? Jeff patiently listened to my fears and hesitations, and reminded me that I had LOVED writing in school, was a creative and interesting person and that even if only my family read it, it would be a great way to challenge myself to grow!! Finally, he told me to JUST HAVE FUN, BE YOURSELF, and WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU LOVE !! Great Advice!!! And guess what??? I HAVE!!!

Originally, I figured that my family members and some close friends would begin to follow, because they wanted to encourage me, and initially, that is what happened. Then I began to follow other blogs and met so many amazing women who shared personal stories, wonderful pictures and tremendous talents and I have been so encouraged and blessed by them. I have learned many things this past year about myself, but also about all the special women out there, women who are passionate and creative, who are generous and loving, who are strong and gentle, who are funny and kind!!! Women like you, who are reading this post!!!

On this one year Anniversary, I want to say Thank You for impacting my life with yours....for offering friendship, kindness, encouragement, and prayers, and most of all for BEING YOU!!!

My Giveaway gift is very special to me as it really symbolizes all that I am trying to express from my heart!! What better way to do that than to give a PRIMITIVE HEART!!!

This heart is made from a well-loved pattern called "TATTERED HEARTS" by my friend Chris, better known as WALNUT RIDGE PRIMITIVES, and is a very special design that I have loved making!! The heart is quite large, measuring in at 15" H x 6" W and is mounted on an old textile bobbin, embellished with lot of rusty pins, an old skeleton key, MOP buttons, and 2 vintage doily pieces. One is hand stitched to the back, and then all wrapped with old store string. I love the simplicity of it and feel it will grace any home with a beautiful reminder of how important love is!!
To enter, please leave a comment on THIS POST, sharing something special about blogging! You do not have to be a follower (but are kindly invited to) and you do not have to post this on your sidebar (but if you would like to, that would be fine as well). The deadline for entering will be 10:00 PM (Pacific Time) Sunday Oct. 24th, and the winner will be chosen Monday, Oct. 25th.

Good luck to each one who enters and thank you again for taking part in this special time!!

Blessings Dear Friends~~

Julie

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Another Amazing Giveaway Win!!


I honestly NEVER win anything, but in the past several weeks I have won 2 Giveaways!!! Someone I know mentioned that this might be a good time for me to consider buying some lottery tickets!!!

The Giveaway I just won was hosted by Catherine Mahone of THE PRIMITIVE HEART!! She is a very talented folk artist who has wonderful patterns (I have most of them and LOVE them all) and a lovely blog and if you have not visited her, I would encourage you to do so!! I know she would love for you to stop by and say "Hi"!!

The package arrived yesterday while I was at work, so I did not know it was there till I got home!!! She had everything wrapped so nicely and the anticipation was building as I opened each piece!! What treasures awaited me!!! The first was a flicker light, that looks like a flame when you turn on your lamp. It gives off a warm orange glow...perfect for this time of year! Love it!! The next one was a small hanging pumpkin by Bethany Lowe, with the tiniest little blinking light to go inside! I have not seen one of these before.....so cute!!!!

Then all these wonderful coffees.....pumpkin spice, maple, caramel apple, autumn spice, and apple cobbler ! They are made by a family owned company called DOOR COUNTY Gourmet Coffee! I'm sure Catherine would be happy to tell you about them if you are interested!!

The next package was a darling coffee pot shaped lamp with a pierced tin shade....THAT was what the flicker bulb was for!!! It is really adorable and ended up on some stacked boxes on my mantel. I have a very small kitchen and the 2 places where I wanted to put it had NO outlets, but I love where it found a home!! The final item was one of her handmade pincushions, made from yummy smelling wax, orange and black cheesecloth, and filled with rusty pins and a wax pumpkin pin on the top!! I LOVE pincushions of all kinds and am so happy to add one of her HANDMADE ones to my collection!! Thank you so much Catherine for this special handmade creation, as well as for all the other gifts....all so lovely and know I will treasure each one!!

I wish each of you sunny Autumn days, filled with Special Blessings!

With a Grateful Heart~

Julie

Sunday, October 3, 2010

AN APPLE PANCAKE and A RESTFUL DAY!

In my last post I talked about our annual Autumn Evening and I am happy to report the following:

It was a HUGE Success!
We had LOTS of happy customers and LOTS of sales!
We had AMAZING CHOCOLATE BROWNIES and HOT APPLE CIDER!!! Yum!!
There were dancing scarecrows everywhere!
It was a LONG, fun-filled day from 10am-9pm! and most importantly.....
IT IS OVER!!!

In all seriousness, it is one of my favorite events of the year and it is so much fun to see old friends who have not been in for a while, but it is a very tiring night and I was really happy to get home and rest my poor, tired feet...and legs...and back.....and...well, you get the idea!!! My bed never felt SO GOOD!!!

This morning, after a somewhat restful night of slumber, my WH, (which stands for Wonderful Husband!) asked me how I was feeling and then said the 7 most magical words I could hope for......."How would you like an apple pancake?? Suddenly, my pains were gone and I was making a beeline for the ladies room to get ready!! I couldn't get ready fast enough!!!

All this fuss for an apple pancake,you ask?? Oh, but this is not just any ordinary pancake, this is THE BEST APPLE PANCAKE I have EVER eaten!!! EVER!! It is served at of all places, The Pancake House, naturally, and is a marvelous conglomeration of puffed dough, oozing with juicy, tart apples, dripping in buttery cinnamon glaze!!! You have to wait 20 minutes for one, but when it comes.......Oh My Goodness!!! It is a DELIGHT!! So the tiredness of yesterday was completely forgotten as I had my first LARGE forkful!!! DELICIOUS, DELIGHTFUL, DE LOVELY!!!
Now that I have shown you this culinary wonder I hope you all can find a place to help you meet this new craving you now have!! Maybe some of you even have a recipe for this and if you do, PLEASE SHARE IT with us!!!

After eating this fantastic breakfast, which also included scrambled eggs, home fries and bacon (I guess I worked up an appetite after my long work day) we stopped at a local store to pick up a favorite magazine I wanted, and I got to spend the day, just reading and enjoying the silence!! It doesn't get any better than that, does it??

Blessings and Apple Pancakes~

Julie

Friday, October 1, 2010

Autumn Evening!!


Things have been pretty hectic of late as I have been frantically getting ready for our annual event at New England Saltbox, called AUTUMN EVENING! It always happens the first weekend in October, and the shop gets decked out in all her finery for the start of the holiday shopping! Even though this has happened every year I have worked there, and is even marked on the calendar AND in my datebook, for some strange reason, it totally surprised me this year!! One minute it seemed like we were weeks away, and all of a sudden I realized it was happening THIS WEEKEND, or more correctly, TOMORROW!!! Oh my goodness!!!


Because of that, I found myself going in 3 different directions, and when that happens, SOMETHING just doesn't get done!!! Sadly, I was late on my Simply Primitives Update (and still don't know what I am sending to Sharon!!!!) Hopefully, I can get that off to her today! It is my first time being late and I feel like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland!!!


The other things I needed to do were to help get the shop decorated for the event, AND to get some of my handmades MADE!!! Both equally important and both demanding time, which we did not have a lot of!! So, the first part of the week was spent stitching, stuffing, stitching, painting, sanding, staining, and tag making and the last 2 days were spent Decorating and Display making, and thankfully, MOST of it got done!! I am also happy to say that I was able to complete some things too and was happy with what I got done!! Phew!!


So without further adieu, thanks to my wonderful photographer/husband Jeff, here are some pictures of what our customers will see when they come for their visit tomorrow!! I wish all of you reading this could come, but hopefully you will catch the Autumn Spirit and may it inspire you to create and decorate to your heart's content!!


Autumn Blessings~

Julie















Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In A Word........Beautiful!!!


Several posts back, I mentioned a Giveaway I won and yesterday Fed Ex delivered it to my door!! My hands were shaking as I unwrapped ( okay, I actually ripped) the tissue paper and unrolled the most BEAUTIFUL RUG imaginable!!!! Words Fail Me!!!! I am even having a hard time typing this right now!!!! For some reason I was thinking this was small, but NO, it is HUGE!! As in 24" x 37" huge!! And the COLORS........they are so much richer and deeper than the picture showed! It just sat there on my table, and I just kept shaking my head and honestly felt like crying, it was so wonderful!!

All of a sudden, I realized I needed to find a place of honor for this gorgeous piece of artistry, especially since my DH Jeff asked me where I was going to put it?? Put it?? Oh, yes, I do need to have a plan for it, don't I?? In all the excitement of waiting for it and finally getting it, I never even gave it a thought as to WHERE I would put it!!!! Suddenly, I remembered I had done some redecorating the day before and had a big, empty place on a wall (very unusual for me) and decided that was the PERFECT PLACE for it!! I have a supply of plastic rings that I use for hanging textiles and decided to sew 6 of them to the back (very carefully, I might add) even before I threw away the box and paper!! I was in such a hurry, I almost missed the note inside and am so glad I found it!! Phew! I was in such a state, as you can imagine!!


Armed with my trusty hammer and 6 nails, I hung this Beauty in the perfect place.............right over my bed, where I can look at it each night before I head to dreamland, and see it again when I wake up to start each day!!! What is even more amazing is just how perfectly it matches my bedding.....just like it was made for it!!!!

I can't thank Joanne (Snippets & Scraps of My Mind) enough for the AMAZING and MARVELOUS GIFT, and for the timing of it as well, as this has been a pretty rough past few months with lots of personal issues concerning my son, daughter and mother!! It has so helped and encouraged me and for that I am more grateful than I can say!!! I pray many, many blessings come your way Joanne, and hope that all of you reading this realize how a simple act of kindness can do more than you will ever imagine!! I certainly want to be that kind of person and will be looking for opportunities to be an encouragement to someone who may need it!!! Thank you Joanne, for being that to me!!!

Thank you all for sharing my joy~~

Blessings~

Julie

Monday, September 13, 2010

September Days Are Here!!


I am a story-teller by nature and LOVE descriptive language!! I don't want to just tell you the rosehips are red.....I want to tell you the EXACT shade and intensity.....after all, there are so many different shades of red!!! I want you to actually FEEL, and SEE, and UNDERSTAND, as I do, and I think that is something that artistic people really need to do, don't you? That is why we love color, working with our hands, savoring fragrances, feeling textures, creating, and then SHARING it with others!! And that is why we LOVE BLOGGING!! It allows us to be able to share our thoughts, our handiwork, our ideas and dreams, our pictures, our lives and our stories, in our own descriptive language!!!

So isn't it marvelous then, when we come across something that describes perfectly just what we are feeling, seeing, and experiencing?? This simple poem seemed to pull at my "heartstrings" and I hope it speaks to you as well!!!!

SEPTEMBER

"When the goldenrod is yellow,

And the leaves are turning brown-

Reluctantly the summer goes

In a cloud of thistledown.


When squirrels are harvesting

And the birds in flight appear-

By these autumn signs we know

September days are here." ~Beverly Ashour, September



Wishing you Beautiful September Days, filled with autumn delights~



Julie

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I WON, I WON!!!

It it a foggy, wet, chilly Fall day here in WA, but I am all warm and tingly inside, bursting with joy and excitement as I share the most wonderful news with you!!! I WON the most AMAZING GIVEAWAY!!! I still can't believe it!!! Even as I am typing this I STILL can't believe it!!! Now all of you are wondering what I am so excited about, right??? Well......Here is what I won!!!!!!



This beautiful hooked rug was made by the very talented lady, Joanne, from Snippets and Scraps of My Mind , and when she contacted me, I was literally speechless!!! You see, I had just stumbled onto her blog as I was meandering through blog land, as all of us do, and loved it! She was having a Giveaway as well and my first thought was not to comment, since I got on so late, but I just KNEW I had no chance to win and just left my comment and went on my merry way, never giving it a second thought!!

Imagine my surprise when I received a notice that I had a comment on my recent blog post from Joanne, telling me I might want to check her blog for some good news!!!!
My heart was doing flip flops as I went to her blog and saw how her two kitties had picked my name!!!!!! Oh, how I love those two amazing felines!!!!

Anyway, I have received so many sweet emails from this very generous lady and can not believe the blessing I am receiving!! If you have not stopped by for a visit yet, please do so as she has a wonderful blog and you will truly enjoy your time there!! I have hosted a Giveaway myself, and seen many others out there, and have always wondered what it would feel like to actually win one........and NOW I KNOW!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH JOANNE!!! I can't wait to receive your GORGEOUS RUG and want you to know that I will TREASURE it always!!

Wishing all of you a JOY-Filled Day!!

Julie

Sunday, August 22, 2010

An Old Quilt And Sawdust!

A quilt will warm your body and comfort your soul. ~Author Unknown



I have a long standing love affair with fabric!! Some of my favorites are civil war reproductions, wools, homespuns, ticking, linen, prairie cloth, muslin..... do you see a pattern here??? I guess I have to say that I honestly just love textiles!!! Take me to a good quilt shop with wonderful primitive fabrics, and you would think I was a kid in a candy store!! It IS pure eye candy for the stitcher, and I get energized and inspired by the many shades of red, mustard, brown, black, blue, rust, and tan, and imagine all the many things I can create with those luscious colors!!



So imagine my delight when I came across an old quilt with all those colors in it, done in a log cabin style, AND in my price range!!! It is a wonderful old quilt, and is pretty large, but had some damage around the edges and is basically a cutter, but that didn't matter to me as I had PLANS!! There is a good part of it intact, and I decided to keep that for myself as I love having quilts folded up in a large wooden box under a table in my living room, but the edges could be removed and the perfect squares would make PERFECT PINCUSHIONS!! So that has been my latest project!!



I removed the straight stitching between the blocks and made a back for the block out of black prairie cloth, which I felt really added to the look of the piece. After stitching the two pieces together, I filled the square with clean sawdust. Now, if you have never done that, it sounds pretty simple, but I must tell you that it takes some TIME and PATIENCE and the CORRECT TOOLS to do it right (at least MY WAY, anyway). I use a funnel with a large hole in the end, as the sawdust can really get clogged and stop up the funnel!! I just thought you poured it in and it just filled up like magic.....SILLY ME!!! I also use a metal chopstick as wooden ones have a tendency to break, and I just keep pushing the sawdust to the corners first, and then squeeze it and keep this process up till it feels full!! This can take a while and be a bit messy too, so I put the sawdust in a pie plate and use a long handled teaspoon to add it to the funnel and also to spoon the final amount in to get it as full as possible!!



When it is just the way I like it, I stitch it closed, and then do small x's all around the edge to finish it off with brown thread! Not only does that reinforce the outside, but it also gives it a really nice finished look!! I do stain it afterwards and let it dry really well, and then embellish it with old rusty pins, an old shoe button, and a handmade tag!! I have already made 5 of these and have sold 2 of them and plan to make more soon!! They have been so much fun to create and to be able to use something from the past and remake it for another purpose is so gratifying!! I can't wait to make more!!



Wishing you inspiration my friends~

Julie

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Good For What Ails You"



I have not posted in a while due to some difficult situations that have weighed heavy on my heart! They are personal, and I have shed some tears, fretted and struggled with my emotions lately! Many of you reading this may no doubt be going through your own issues of the heart and my hope for you is that you will find peace, and good friends who will offer a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, and comfort, as I have!! The circumstances may not have changed, but I have been able to let go of much of the burden and am grateful for that! Life can be really hard to deal with at times and I am just taking things one day at a time! I hope you are too!

Because of all this stress, the other day my sweet husband Jeff suggested we just take a day and go to visit a wonderful place nearby called Point Defiance. He is an ordained minister turned wedding officiant, and had just performed a wedding earlier in the week in the Rose Garden there, and wanted me to see how beautiful it was!! Point Defiance is also a State Park, and has many trails, breathtaking views of Puget Sound, and a wonderful zoo, so you can spend the day there, which we did!



We started off with a lovely lunch at Anthony's, a wonderful seafood restaurant, and since this is peach season, we had the dessert.....oops, forgot the main course first!! It was a seafood tempura, which we shared, some clam chowder and THEN, the fabulous PEACH SLUMP!! All I can say is....YUM!!! We sat at a window seat and just relaxed, watching the water and taking in the view which was so peaceful!!







From there we took the 5 mile drive, took lots of pictures and of course, Jeff made me pose in most of them because he said it was helpful for people to get the proper perspective of the size of the tree, or the view or just because he thought it made the picture look better!! Now you know why I married him!!!

The temperature that day was in the 90's but as we drove into the forest, it felt more like 70's and it was SO QUIET!! The air just seemed so clear and fresh! Of course I had some silly shoes on that were NOT appropriate for hiking and so between stumbling and almost breaking my ankle and then jumping when I heard rustling in the woods, we had a good time laughing at me as the true "nature woman!" I am always afraid there will be a lion, a tiger, or a bear....oh my! It was really fun though and the drive was beautiful! The trees are huge and one tree in particular called "The Mountaineer Tree" was dated to W. Shakespeare's time of 1500's, was 218 feet tall which Jeff calculated to be about 21 stories, to give you perspective! Boy did Jeff feel small in front of that!!!







We ended our drive, parked and walked to the Rose Garden and it was just a RIOT of colors and the smell of the roses was unbelievable!! Jeff showed me where he performed the ceremony, how the chairs were arranged, and how he had to face the sun the whole time. During the wedding one of the flower girls actually passed out and I could understand why as there was NO SHADE!! ( She didn't hurt herself and the wedding went on as planned)! Not only are there roses, but there are also many more varieties, hydrangeas, primroses, and more that I can't name or spell!! It was a true feast for the eyes and a balm for the soul and I felt like I had been given a prescription for all the stress, sadness, and worry I had been feeling!! What a special place and a special day! I feel encouraged and refreshed and am so very thankful!! It is a beautiful place and did my heart and my spirits much good!!!





























I hope that you enjoy my pictures and that they lift your spirits and brighten your day!

Wishing you joy my friends~

Julie