June 30, 2020

It's Getting Colorful Now...

Brynwood Needleworks - Farmhouse Hollyhocks
I figured it would only take a few more warm days for the hollyhock buds to start opening. I guess yesterday was the day!
Brynwood Needleworks - Four Shades of Hollyhocks

There are at least four different colors in the garden...creamy yellow, light pink, dark pink, and magenta.

Brynwood Needleworks - Hummingird at Feeders

They're opening right next to the hummingbird feeders, and the hummers have noticed, too!
Brynwood Needleworks - Beautiful and Colorful
I've been asked for my secrets to growing these beauties. My answer is...I have no secrets. They thrive in spite of me. I planted five original plants right along the foundation. They're well-drained, and sheltered in a southern exposure. I did plant lavender, chives, and peppermint at the feet of my hollyhocks, so they may contribute to the bugs leaving them alone, but I'm not sure about that. I'm going to say that I think 75% of my success with the hollyhocks is just dumb luck...but I'm really grateful.

This corner of my life - right outside our door - hollyhocks that are nearly six feet tall, lavender, English daisies, Shasta daisies (for Mom), a lone delphinium (I must rectify that by getting more), and bee balm. I'm going to add more plants in the open spaces to appeal to the hummingbirds, honey bees, and butterflies. It only gets better from here.

Tuesdays With Tag - She's A Nine Week Old Terrorist...

Brynwood Needleworks - Travelin' Tag

 Hi, Everybody!

This has been my look since we got to Florida. I mean. I've been an only dog for four months - and truthfully, I was kinda diggin' it. Then, we take a road trip and I find out that we aren't just bringin' home Boo. She's draggin' one of her kids along! Wait! Wait! Wait! Nobody ran that past me!

Brynwood Needleworks - Carly In The Wildflowers

So we get back to the farm, and I can't turn around without havin' this terrorist jumpin' in my face! When I try to walk away, she bites me in the butt! I growl at her so she'll get the message that I have a "personal space" and she's in it, but so far, it's not sinkin' in. If I didn't know better, I'd think she was laughin' when she runs the other way. (It's like a puppy drive-by!)

Brynwood Needleworks - Don't Let This Face Fool You

Don't let this cute face fool you. There's a black heart under all that black fur! I think she spends her kennel time thinkin' of the most basic ways to tick me off whenever she's free. How's this old guy supposed to get some rest? She's exhaustin'!

Brynwood Needleworks - That Profile

Sometimes she'll lie down like a good puppy...but it only lasts a few seconds, and then she's back after me or her mama. Our only real escape is to run fast and far.

Brynwood Needleworks - Watchin' Mama Run

Then, Her Mini Highness can only stand and watch. I get a breather when it's her mama runnin', and I only wish it would last long enough for me to take a nap.

Actually, she's not so bad. I think I'll like her a little more when she learns some manners and rules for dealin' with her elders. But, I do love her bravery (she went up - and down - the whole big stairs to the second floor - without coaxin' or help!), and her chutzpah. She's frustratin', but I think she's a girl after my own heart.

I admit it. It's perfectly fine with me if she stays here with us. I'm startin' to warm up to her...even if she is a terrorist right now.

 I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...
"Just Do It...but not on the rug."

June 29, 2020

Weeding My Garden...

Brynwood Needleworks - June 28, 2020 Kitchen Garden
By the time we returned from our trip, the weeds were threatening to overtake my kitchen garden. I couldn't delay. I needed to get outside and pull the offenders. Weeding my garden also helps me clear my head. I think that's a good thing, right?
I went out while it was still cool on the southern exposure of the farmhouse, but by the time I was finished, I'd managed to burn the back of my neck. I had a lot of work to do! The good news is that I pulled all the weeds out, and really tidied up the kitchen garden bed.
I'd like to direct your attention to the hollyhocks. Remember when I planted the first five plants along the wall? Well, everything you see (ready to burst with color any day now), was all self-planted by the hollyhocks themselves. I'll take better pictures later in the week, but the deep pink/red, pastel pink and ivory ones have already started to open up.
Mom's daisies are opening, the lavender is in full bloom, and even the lone delphinium is joining in the concert of color. (I need to get more of those!)
I also cleaned up across the walkway, so the geraniums are visible again. Later this week, I'll get into the beds around the new porch and groom those, too. I'm going to add more plants in there - perhaps a few small bushes, so I'll be working in the early morning to beat the mid-day heat. I'm not complaining about it one bit, but I inherited my father's propensity to...ahem...perspire, so cooler and earlier works better for me.
My brother-in-law is coming to visit for a couple of days, so I'm sure Tag can handle his own post tomorrow. Lord knows what he's got planned, but I suspect he'll complain about not being an "only dog". You never know with that guy!
See you again Wednesday! Stay safe and enjoy the week. Remember, we're all in this together. xo


June 28, 2020

Sunday Scripture...

Brynwood Needleworks via Facebook


June 27, 2020


Brynwood Needleworks - Great Smokey Mountains
You know we're home, safe and sound, but I'm not in the studio yet. When we pulled in the driveway on Thursday, the yard was begging for attention, so Handsome and I tackled that in time to beat the rains that fell the rest of the day.

Afterward, I took a shower, dressed, and got back in the car to go to see my Dad. If you're a person who prays, I'd appreciate some prayers for comfort for him. He's in end-stage cancer, and is comfortable right now. It's hard to watch your childhood hero being slowly taken away - and hard to see that man who loves life, fighting to hold on to it. While I do my best to stay strong for him, I'll admit this visit was difficult.

Today, I'm going to bake bread and pull weeds in the garden. I think it's just the therapy I need to clear my head and recharge my soul. I hope you'll enjoy the picture I snapped as Handsome and I drove away from the Smokey Mountains toward Florida. It reminds me that there is a greater being watching over us - and that brings me a sense of calm when I can use it the most.

Have a safe and happy weekend, my friends. I hope you choose to spend some of your time with loved ones, and some of your time doing something creative. I'll be back on Monday.


June 26, 2020

We're Back Home...

Brynwood Needleworks - Last Night's View
I had to share one more picture from last night. This is how we slept.

Brynwood Needleworks - Three Road Warriors

Coming home, there were two in the back, and the little one on my lap. I accepted the role as "puppy entertainer", so if she fussed, we could keep traveling. It worked out great!

Brynwood Needleworks - Carly's Favorite Traveling Spot

...with one exception. Carly loves Handsome. She was sleeping on my sweatshirt, but kept rolling up onto the console, so she could sleep with her head touching him.  I had to take a picture of her efforts. It made both of us smile.
Brynwood Needleworks - A Whole Lotta Happy

We arrived home right around 5 pm, so we still have plenty of daylight, and Carly needed to be tuckered out. Thanks to my crack physical ed teachers, Miss Bella and Uncle Tag, puppy really got to stretch out!
Brynwood Needleworks - Carly's Really Trying
Carly continues to get in Tag's face to try to make friends. Tag isn't sure yet. Bella is keeping a watchful eye in case Tag gets too rambushionist! She continues to act like the mama. No one messes with her kid. We'll  make sure of that.
See you tomorrow. Coffee waits for no man - or woman - and I'm going to see Dad again today.

June 25, 2020

Last Night Out...

Brynwood Needleworks - Kids These Days!

We settled into our hotel room late afternoon, so we could really settle in. Of course, a certain puppy wasn't quite ready to rest, so she attacked my boat slides while her mama watched.

Brynwood Needleworks - My Current View Of Tag

Tag's been more than happy to give me this view these days. He's pretty disgusted with me. Carly wanted to play, but he wasn't interested, so he barked at her. Immediately, Mama stepped between them and growled at him, letting him know he'd better back off. He believed her, and did as he was told. He slept near my feet in bed last night, but he's still put out. It's going to take a few more days for him to accept our new situation, but once he accepts Carly, they'll be fast friends.

Brynwood Needleworks - Getting Tuckered Out

She's such a pretty girl.

Brynwood Needleworks - Crashed Puppy

 ...and then, like a little baby (that she is), she just crashed.

Brynwood Needleworks - Like Mama, Like Daughter
After a little play time with her mama, they both fell asleep at the end of the bed. I love that we have one of Bella's puppies to bring home with her. She loves her little girl...and so do we. 

We'll be home late day today...and we're really happy about that. It's time to get settled in at the farmhouse. Our new, little family.

June 24, 2020

Homeward Bound...

Brynwood Needleworks - Ready To Go Home

First to come to the truck from Mike's kennels was Miss Bella Dog. Can you tell from the picture just how excited she was to see us, and know that she was leaving in our vehicle? She was practically walking on her tippy toes! She couldn't wait for the door of our truck to open and let her in.

It was difficult leaving yesterday morning. 1) Because we were leaving the rest of her litter behind, and 2) We were also leaving our friends for a long, exciting ride home. 

Brynwood Needleworks - And Then, There Were Six

Once Bella was loaded up (with Tag), it was time to extricate little Miss Carly from the rest of the litter. They were all cuddled up and sleeping after their breakfast. Carly is second from the left in this picture, and looking right at me. Bubba (now Rocket) was under the whole pile - as you can only see a little yellow sticking out from under all that black fur!

Brynwood Needleworks - Mike Sommers and Rene, His Assistant

Uncle Mike brought Carly up from the kennels to our waiting truck, and I got him to pose with his kennel/training assistant, Rene, before we loaded her up.

Brynwood Needleworks - Tag, Bella and Carly
When all the critters were loaded, Tag looked at me like I was playing a cruel joke on him. Poor devil was starting to enjoy being an only dog. He's not quite sure what to make of the tiny furball, and he wasn't sure how to share the backseat with her and her mama.

We got on the road, and it didn't take long for us to learn just how "melodic" this puppy could be. It was funny at first, but soon lost its luster (at least for me). Of course, she was letting us know she had to get out, but by the time we'd found a safe place to pull over, it was too late. Her timing (or ours) was off three times between our departure and our evening destination. Stop. Clean up. Air out (just in case), and then drive a bit more.

We'll tackle Leg Two today. We're hoping it goes better than our maiden voyage. Wish us luck, and we'll update tomorrow. I need coffee.


June 23, 2020

Tuesdays With Tag - Eight Weeks Old...

Brynwood Needleworks - Puppy Antics

Hi, Everybody!

Let's get right to the pictures of Bella's eight week old puppies!

Brynwood Needleworks - Puppy Play

There was certainly a lot of puppy nonsense goin' on in the play yard today. They were runnin', jumpin', wrestlin', and waitin' for attention, which they got in abundance!

Brynwood Needleworks - Eight Weeks Old

They all look like "real" dogs now, too. 

Brynwood Needleworks - Rocket (Yellow) and Carly

Carly and Rocket (formerly, Bubba) discussin' their new situations. She'll be leavin' with us, and he will be stayin' with Uncle Mike until he's a "finished" trained dog. Then, he'll go home to Michigan.

Brynwood Needleworks - Carly, Leading The Puppy Landscapers

Carly instigated a gardenin' project. She decided that this piece of sod was surplus to the yard, so she pulled it up, and the wrestlin' commenced.

Brynwood Needleworks - Carly

Mom called Carly, and she came runnin' as fast as she could. In fact, she was so fast that Mom almost missed catchin' a picture of her!

Brynwood Needleworks - First Puppy Transport - Mr. Goodwin and Miss Joann

Mr. Goodwin (who transported Bella to Florida), is takin' this little boy (named Teddy now) to his new home in Georgia. He's the first to travel, so Mom gave him a snuggle and said what she always said to the puppies who were born to our females. "Mumma loves you. Have a good life." and then handed him back to Mr. Goodwin for their trip. Teddy was waggin' his tail like crazy. He likes Mr. Goodwin as much as we do.

Brynwood Needleworks - Tag Getting A Refresher

I even got a refresher course with Uncle Mike, 'cuz Mom told him some nonsense about me bein' a bullhead. I was a perfect gentleman! (Mom said we're gonna do some more of that work when we get home.)

We're leavin' this mornin'. We're gonna hurry home, so we can stay healthy and safe. We'll be happy to be back to the farmhouse.

I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...
"Just Do It...but not on the rug."

June 22, 2020

Introducing Carly...

Brynwood Needleworks - Liljegren’s Suncoast Carly

Well, the day has arrived. We can formally introduce our newest family member...Liljegren’s Suncoast Carly. She has an adorable face, and big feet, just like her mama.

Brynwood Needleworks- Carly’s Mama As A Puppy

This is Bella at the same age. That’s the face that melted our hearts, and switched our lifelong love of yellow Labradors to black dogs. Now we have her daughter. 

Brynwood Needleworks - LOOK AT THAT TONGUE!

This is something I didn’t notice until I was editing photos. Look how else she’s like her mama. She, too, sticks out just the tip of her tongue when she’s thinking!

Brynwood Needleworks - Mama’s Tongue

This is a habit that endeared Bella to us from the very start. Now, her daughter does it, too. Too sweet.

These are all the photos for today. Tag will be back tomorrow...and you can count on a puppy picture overload all this week. It only gets better from here. 💕


June 21, 2020

Sunday Scripture...

Brynwood Needleworks - Isaiah 40:29 via Web