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                         Photo credit: Oh Joy!

Good morning!  I have been having fun perusing Becca Kallem’s artwork.  Those little birdie tags down below are a gift from her.  Artists do that, sometimes.  She gave me permission to share some images from her website with you.  You can check out her blog here and website here.  Enjoy!  I certainly have!

I am completely not okay with the fact that flowers have to die.  But I do love a beautiful mess!

Don’t worry, peonies, if someone asks, I will still say you are my favorite flower.  But since you are resting comfortably until you bloom next year, I am enjoying these KILLER flowers from Mee Maw and Grandpa Paul’s house.  Sometimes the best arrangements are accidents, or at least products of our unconscious mind. The way the purples and pinks vibrate off each other reminds me of iridescent bubbles.  No surprise, since I always have bubbles on the brain.  More on that later!

Large pink roses, small multi headed pink and white roses, and purple-pink sweet peas.



I could go on about peonies all day, every day.  They are so incredibly sexy.  They’re unapologetically frilly, headily perfumed but not gaudy.  And yet…they are ROBUST.  They can stand neglect, sun, and freezing temperatures.  They are unassuming, regular little plants for most of the summer except particularly in June when they flame out with incomparable glory.  Then they go back to being little green plants as if nothing at all happened.  They live in quiet, confident faith that next June will be just as glorious.  Peonies, you are my hero.

Welcome to a little virtual vacay to Manzanita, Oregon.  It’s a quiet beach town with enough restaurants and shopping to allow you to get your ‘fix’ if you have your heart set on blowing through your spending loot.  It is also within close proximity to Cannon Beach, a more touristy (though charming) area with an amazing beach featuring the famous Haystack Rock.  We spent almost a week here and not only can we hardly wait to get back, we actually came back from vacation….wait for it….RESTED!

This is where we rented these keen recumbent bikes (and a kiddie trailer)!  We also wished we’d bought our cheapie kite here ($12) instead of Cannon Beach ($20).


Wanda’s is actually situated in nearby Wheeler, Oregon and in my opinion is a must-visit!  Breakfast  was GOOD.  Everything from the jam to the potatoes made me not just eat  in mindless comfort-food-mode, but made me sit up and go, “Hey, this is really tasty!”  While I’m on the subject of Wheeler, The Rising Star Café is another must-visit.  Pepi chuckled when I referred to a red wine as ‘peppy’ without realizing (yet) that was her  name.  Great family dining.

 

Also, go visit Unfurl.  Your husband might not even hate you for dragging him in.  I left my boys         behind so I pretty much wandered up and down Laneda Street at leisure.

In addition to being one of the two groceries in town, this one on the main drag (Laneda Street) carries some goodies from Wanda’s.

Snagged these rock candy lollies at Vintage Living, which is a candy store that carries nostalgic candies and some vintage-y  items.  I think I am in love with rock candy.  Isn’t it gorgeous??




Disclaimer:  This is not Florida.  Bring a different mindset, ready to accept whatever the ocean offers you.  Sometimes watching a storm from your porch and then basking on the beach in the later afternoon sun was on our daily activity list.

Manzanita Rentals– We had our eye on a place under renovation and although the place became available a little too late, I found these folks very pleasant to work with.

 Ocean Edge Vacation Rentals– Although we had a bit of a mix-up at the beginning, we landed with a free upgrade and champagne, so who’s complaining?  They only rent beachfront or ocean view.

VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner)–  This site has the most pictures of the places you’re thinking about renting.  A good idea if you’ve never been and don’t have a recommendation.  The rental agencies seem to have a friendly camraderie.  Manzita Rentals recommended I check out Ocean Edge if we wanted beachfront or and ocean view, since all of their properties have one or the other.

Spindrift Inn- Nothing fancy, but good rates and… MAN!  Go grab a coffee and head to the beach!   A nice little stroll down the water.   I believe according to my code above, this would fall under ‘oceanview.’

By the way, from the research I did these phrases seem to be used in increasing proximity to the beach, so decide how important that is to you:

Short walk to beach

Steps to beach

Ocean View

Oceanfront/Beachfront  (IE, you are ON THE BEACH).  Expect to pay most for this.  Our place had an ocean view.  It is important to me to at least have a view, since I came for the ocean!  I like to keep it in my sights at all times and feel a little panicky and that I am wasting my time if I can’t see it.  I realize everyone is not as emphatic (read: neurotic) as I am, so decide what’s important to you and stick with that.

A pic in our rental of a ship crashing on these cliffs we looked at every day (Neahkahnie Cliffs).

                At the Farmer’s Market, we sat and ate a plate of noodles, listened to the music, and…ran into some people we knew!
Also in our tummies:
El Mariachi Loco (I recommend a regular margarita, blended),
Great Northern Garlic Company- I hear this is a do-not-miss and we missed it.  Don’t do it.  Go eat.  Go buy food for a picnic.  And don’t gloat about how good it was.
Marzano’s Pizza– Hit the spot after just an hour of beach biking!
              Quick Trip to Cannon Beach…                    It was fun to watch the crepe-makers in Cannon Beach.  Much quicker if you are hungry and don’t                  want to do sit down.
            Sleepy Monk: Really good coffee.  I would like to pretend to be a foodie blogger and say I like to get a mocha everywhere I go in order to compare.  The truth is, everywhere I go, I want a mocha.  They made a good one.  And we got some coffee to brew at home (which we are still drinking), so that makes me happy.  If you’re one of the people who actually read the text in blogs rather than looking at the pictures (I’m guilty of that…except here; I kind of have read this since I’m typing it), then you saw that I recommended getting a kite in Manzanita if you’re looking for simple.  My exception is if you’re a real kite person and want something more in depth, or if you actually need a repair.  Go a bit off the beaten bath to see the Wizard at Pinky’s Kite Factory.
More Manzanita.  Beach Beach Beach!!……
Goodbye beach.
        We love you, beach!!

….lookie what I got at Costco today!  ‘Flame Peony.’  I love the traditional shades of fushia, pink, and white, but this coral hued beauty was a refreshing twist.  Peonies are nature’s perfect flower.  Hardy, heat and cold resistant, prolific, rose-scented, full blossomed, did I mention hardy?  As in, hard to kill. Bouns.  

 

From One Kings Lane…Charlotte Ross line.  Love the flowers, love the colors, love the whole thing.

Bekka posted this over at Oh Joy! and I am swooning. From Smallable.  By the way, ‘swoon’ is a really overused bloggy word so I’m giving myself one a month.  Help me stay accountable.

Dear friends, my birthday is over but now I get to play with all my presents!  Thanks, Momma, for the nail polish (note to self: topcoat.  hand lotion)
and perfume.  Thanks to Heather for the pretty orchid!!!   


Dear Hubby,

In case you read my blog tonight, I thought you might like to see some pretty flowers I saw today at Costco.  The really do have the best deal on roses.  Here are some color schemes I liked.  I almost bought myself some, but I thought, you know, my birthday is coming up and wouldn’t it be nice if I let you pick them out.  You know you can always count on me to be considerate like that!  

These trees are blooming in front of my house, and as far as I’m concerned, they can take their time.  This is the best show I can think of, and it’s happening right in front of my house!