Summer Living

“Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse; summer was everything good to eat: it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape; but most of all, summer was Dill.”  Scout in To Kill A Monkingbird  (Did you know that Dill was based on Harper Lee’s real summer neighbor Truman Capote?)

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Ahhh, summer living! Is there anything more relaxing than a good book and a lazy day?  When you work from your home, and all things home are your work, you have to make the time to relax.  Jeff is actually better at this than I am, believe it or not.  He gets up early and tends to his business. Sometimes quotes and paperwork are complete before he leaves the house at 7:00 a.m. When he returns, and transisitions into relaxation, in the pool he goes ~ splash! Then, just about for the rest of the night, between splashes, he reads until he falls asleep. He just completed a 29 book mystery series that takes place on Martha’s Vineyard.  Sadly, the author has died and there are no more left in the series!

Harper Lee

A good book has no ending. ~ R.D. Cumming

With the anticipated release of Harper Lee’s, Go Set A Watchman, I pre- ordered two copies from The Bookstore, in Lenox. One for us, and one for our daughter.  I had always loved To Kill A Mockingbird – who didn’t. Scout was every girls herione! Need I say, Atticus Finch, in the book and in the movie, was every girls dream!  As I eagerly awaited the release, I emersed myself in all the interviews and stories about Harper Lee. I  re-watched the movie, To Kill A Mockingbird, and then re-read the book. Then I learned all about actors ~ total emersion! Now the time was mine to read, Go Set A Watchman.  Jeff finished it quickly and quietly.  Now that I have finished the book, I am searching for another theme to pursue. I feel a little lost. My thoughts are filled with emotion, and letting go of Scout and Atticus isn’t easy. Processing this new book may take awhile. Understanding the current state of our country, and the complexities around this everlasting topic seem disheartening, and totally disappointing. Yet, even though I feel I have gained some understanding, and I am a  bit more enlightend, I am no more comfortable. So, it is time to pursue my new theme!

I think it is time to dig in the dirt!

crabtree cottage garden

Jeff solved a flooding issue last summer, but left it incomplete.  This project is next on our list.  Our back yard is always a work in progress. My biggest challage, dry shade. I want this little area to be used more. I want it to have that feeling of serinity and peaceful beauty.  Nothing flamboyant needed here ~ just a little more interesting.  The one place in our yard that is shady and cool on a hot day, needs something to draw us up there.  Hummm……. what shall we do here?

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Of course, I want it lush and full like this! This area is also dry shade, and after a few years, it has filled in nicely.  I have a dry shade plan!  I hope my assistant is up for this!

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Play in the dirt because life is to short to always have clean fingernails.

Living in the Berkshires with such a myriad of cultural activities, and with abundandance of beauty everywhere, we have places to go and people to see!

Tanglewood picnics have been plentiful. We had four concerts in a row begining with Cheryl Crow and ending with James Taylor.  We love packing a picnic. Although, when we zip over to Tanglewood on Sunday afternoons, we just bring our chairs and a bottle of wine. We go to the consession area to get a sandwich, and we just totally relax and people watch. This new book has beautiful photo’s of many different types of picnics from very simple to very fancy!

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You bring your own weather to a picnic.

Then we go on Garden Tours and Open Days. Last weekend we went to the Berkshire Botanical Garden. I came home totally inspired and realized I need a few more plants! Since the garden tour and the Botanical Garden visit I have been hitting the garden center’s again!  Jeff does not understand. “Where are you going to put those?”

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Berkshire Botanical Garden.

This weekend we are going to Jacob’s Pillow. We love to start with the Inside Out performance on Saturday nights.

 

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Another tradition in our Berkshire summer is going to The Red Lion Inn.  You haven’t experienced summer here unless you go sit on that big porch, order a refreshing drink, and people watch.  After an afternoon at the Playhouse, a visit to The Rockwell Museum, Naumkeag, or Chesterwood, this is highly recommended. Last weekend after we went to the Botanical Garden thats where we ended up.  The Red Lion Inn feels like home to us. The Courtyard, or The Lion’s Den, end this visit perfectly. Of course, a quick visit into The Red Lion Inn Gift Shop and County Curtains make the visit complete!  Since the calendar has flipped to August the summer bucket list is quite full. So many more activities are on the list!

Red Lion Inn Porch

Red Lion Inn Porch

Food is my best friend!

The main subject of my day always involves food. What to serve for breakfast. I am always looking for a new twist for my repeat guests especially.  Anything new, easy, fresh and healthy for dinner? Here are some of our new favorites:

IMG_1161Peach, raspberry & blueberry clafoutis

IMG_1154Olive oil pancakes with dark chocolate ~ pop over to my facebook page for the recipe!

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IMG_1193With an abundance of Eggplants from the garden we have been getting creative!  Homemade Baba Ghanoush

IMG_1220These two adorable grandparents came to their grand dogs birthday party ~ bearing gifts!

IMG_1202Max and his birthday football! He was so happy!! We had a summer party to celebate with everything from the garden and farmer’s market!  Max is 13 years old!

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Celebrate the good times every chance you get!

A few snapshots of The Crabtree Cottage Garden:

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IMG_0965Color schemes in the garden….. well not always!

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IMG_1243The red flower in the background is Crocosmia ‘lucifer’   ~ it makes spectacular cut flowers too.

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IMG_1230Every morning I go out to see how many morning glories there are for the day!

IMG_1236IMG_1251Not one morning glory yet ~ maybe late August this will be full of them!

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IMG_1247A beautiful butterfly captured in the Crabtree Cottage Garden!

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I hope you are having a wonderful summer. We are savoring every moment of this glorious season and we hope you are too! Thank you for coming by my blog today ~ come back soon.

 

 

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This article was written by Janis

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