It’s the last weekend of summer, which means it’s a sad time around here. Faces are glum, moods are down, and we’re already counting down the days until it comes around again.

So, what better way to hold onto summer than to have a little Summer Flashback full of the strange visitors to my garden, plenty of men in skirts, and a few adventures.

First off, those of you who follow this blog will have noticed my mention of the Big Health Scare over the past few weeks. I’m not going to go on about it in a blog post except for a brief mention at the end of this one, but if you’ve been curious about what’s been happening you can read the scary story HERE.

Alright, let’s take a look at Summer 2019…

Critter Invasion!

While I expect to see plenty of birds and squirrels hanging around my garden, this year I had an array of strange visitors.

The first visitor brought along the family. Yes, throughout most of the month of June we had a momma raccoon coming around with her four super cute babies. The babies weren’t exactly the most graceful things so it was great fun to watch them trying to follow their rather agile mom.

There also was this delicate looking dragonfly….

Then this guy showed up. I thought he was a stray, but it’s actually our neighbors’ cat, Hubert, who hates their dogs. He still hasn’t left and is now camping out on our patio.

Another neighbor’s pet also started hanging around earlier this month and now stops by every afternoon…

Men in Skirts

This year, as you’ll recall, Mr Husband and I made a trek out to enjoy a day full of Scottish sights and sounds at the Portland Highland Games. And by sights, I mean men in kilts (swoon). You can relive the day in this post or you can settle for this picture of Finn dressed up for the event…

But the Scots weren’t the only men in skirts of the summer. Mr Husband’s now-retired boss has a huge shin dig each year with food, beer, and, um, entertainment. This year the entertainment included their version of the classic tale “Cinder-Yeller.” I’m sure there were plenty of children there who are now traumatized.

I’m not even going to try to explain this, but let’s just say these two were the Evil Stepsisters.

Blooming Along

After last summer’s incessant heat waves, bone dry weather, and wildfires, it was a relief to have a mild summer with occasional rain showers to keep the garden happy. My tomatoes did terribly in the cooler temps, but the rest of the garden was blooming like gangbusters, including these gems….

A Few Adventures

We started the summer out with a quick trip up to Alaska to visit Mr Husband’s son (okay, technically it was before the start of summer). The views were gorgeous and, if you’re interested, you can see more photos from the trip HERE.

There were also a couple local adventures including some paddle boarding as well as a day out to Tryon Creek State Park to stretch our legs…although after this shot, Finn spent most of his time in the backpack.

finn McSpool, tyron creek state park, portland, oregon

And, thanks to an urgent request from the editor of Horticulture magazine, last weekend I had to endure a tough day of research at the Lan Su Chinese Garden.

The Bad Side

Unfortunately, this summer wasn’t the best. To start the season off, Mr Husband (after returning from Alaska) got nasty sick and took a long time to feel fully better, which stole a lot of our paddle boarding and adventure time.

Then, in August, just as we were planning a trip to the Oregon Coast, came the start of my Big Health Scare which ended up gutting most of the fun from the end of summer. Again, if you want to learn what happened, you can read about it HERE and see how I celebrated finally getting the news I wasn’t going to die.

How was your summer? Or winter, if you’re on the other half of the globe. Be sure to leave a comment to share your seasonal highs and lows!

I’ll be back next Wednesday with some writing updates. See you then!



8 thoughts on “Summer Flashback – Strange Visitors, Men in Skirts, and More!

  1. Tammie just didn’t want to visit her mom at the coast. That’s what started the health scare. 😂🤪Just kidding. I did try to get Tammie to invite the hen in for Sunday dinner! 😂🤪


    1. Yes, it was all an elaborate ruse to avoid my mom. Took weeks to plan it and coordinate it with the ER staff! Do you think the neighbors would wonder if they smelled chicken roasting soon after their hen stopped coming home?

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  2. My Winter has been taken up by medical issues of different sorts. None have been mine, but I have had to play the role of supporter/nurse/advocate and diary keeper. My Fella has a heart issue similar to yours. The difference was that all his drama took place in hospital. They did a procedure that burnt the rogue heart cells, the ones sending out the wonky electrical messages. Now he is on medication to get the rhythm under control. No one has mentioned a stress test.
    On a lighter note, I love your racoons! Is it a privilege to have them, or are they considered a pest as our possums are?


    1. Ugh, I’m sorry that you’ve had to be going through this same thing. Sometimes I wish they would have just left me in the hospital to get everything sorted out and so I’d feel a bit safer…incredibly scary to walk around wondering what might happen in there. The stress test was mainly to be sure there was no underlying heart disease causing the problem. Since there wasn’t, the cardiologist said he didn’t feel the need for any treatment. He did mention the “cook the heart” thing but only recommended it if the palpitations were too bad to live with. Best of luck with your Fella’s recovery!!

      As for the raccoons, they are considered pests and can carry rabies, but I find them too cute not to enjoy seeing them bumbling around the garden now and then…especially when they bring along their babies. Plus, they ate up some cheese we didn’t like :))


  3. That cat’s eyes say, “Why did they have to bring DOGS into this house?” A while back, I went to a party at a cat owner friend’s house. Somebody brought a big dog, who proceeded to gulp down the cat food (getting dog spit everywhere) and slosh down the water. I said, “Gee, I wonder why cats hate dogs?” 😉


    1. Well that’s a dog that needs some lessons from Miss Manners! I can’t even keep track of how many dogs the neighbors have (maybe four?), but they also used to have a St Bernard and kept the cat inside away from him. When they put the SB to sleep, they let the cat out to roam…he roamed right to my yard. He’s pathetic thing and I had to cut a bunch of matted hair off of him. He’s cute, but I wish he’d stop beating up my cats. Maybe he should take his anger out on his owner’s dogs :))

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  4. Wow I am really behind! Sorry about your health scare and sorry you did not have George Clooney as your ER physician 😦
    I loved your Beastie in flowers and all the other great photos in this post!
    Alaska – wow! Okay I better go check out that post too and try to catch up.
    Send you thoughts of no more health scares (but hopes that an ER doc that looks like George Clooney in his prime will smile at your while you are at Safeway or something!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wait, what aisle of Safeway do you find George Clooney on? Glad you enjoyed the photos and I hope you managed to wander over to the Alaska post (Finn enjoyed his time there). I was thinking about you and your husband a lot during The Big Health Scare.

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