Keep Smiling

Keep Smiling

Monday, July 3, 2017

Enjoying Summer!


I am so into summer . . .
enjoying it to the uttermost :) 


Welcome to our little country home.
Our sweet next door neighbors bought us this
door-mat last summer . . .
I love it!   





Our porch is shaded in the morning 
by a row of poplar trees
&
by the house in the afternoon.
I love that it is always in the shade.



The yard is nice and green
as long as I don't forget to water, LOL. 




The garden is starting to yield
our summer crops.



The apricot trees are getting close to
giving fruit.



Yesterday we were blessed by our 
sweet niece with the gift of
6 boxes of canning jars. 


This morning I picked raspberries.



Here's one of my rubber snakes keeping the birds away.


I made freezer jam.


 That was my morning . . .
now on to afternoon.
I am planning on having some time to sew :)

Can you believe it is almost July! 

Thanks for stopping by to visit.
Please leave a comment,
I love reading them. 

Keep Smiling!

Your blogging sister,
Connie :)

68 comments:

  1. Hi Connie,

    What a beautiful spot you're in and such a beautiful view. Your cottage is absolutely charming!! I love your porch furniture and all the pretty cushions and pillows. There's nothing more homey in the summertime than a nice porch. :) Your flowers all look so healthy and your grass is pretty and green. I wonder if you've had as much rain as we have this year? I love fresh raspberries (all berries actually) and your preserves look wonderful. My mother-in-law makes freezer strawberry preserves, and they are delicious.

    Thanks so much for your visits and your kind comments! I'm following on your blog, as well. :) Hope you have a good week and a wonderful weekend!

    Hugs,

    Denise

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    1. Hello Denise, thank you for all the lovely things you said about our home. We love living here and we enjoy this new country life. I'm learning to be a farm-girl . . . it's never to late in life to live the dream you always imagined. No animals although I'm thinking about getting chickens, but now that we have a place to garden, mine gets bigger every year. Those raspberries were three bare-root plants three summers ago. It feels so good to be making jam from them. We live in a desert area, so watering is a must for a green lawn and garden, we have been blessed with a great well. Thanks again for stopping by to visit.

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  2. What a fun visit this morning. It looks like so much fun. I love porches. We had a porch on the first house we owned, but haven't had one since. That door mat is so cute. I'd love to sit there with you and have a glass of iced tea. Have a lovely afternoon.
    Blessings, Betsy

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    1. Betsy, I can't think of anything nicer than spending an afternoon sipping tea and visiting on the front porch with you. I'm sure that we could find lots of things to talk and laugh about :) Have a great trip, you must be about ready to take off. Sweet travels :)

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  3. Your yard looks amazing and your porch so inviting.

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    1. Thank you . . . if you lived closer I would invite you over for ice tea and chit-chat :)

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  4. I love having a front porch too and we spend a lot of time out there. Your porch looks wonderful, so pretty and colorful.
    I'm enjoying summer too. Summer here where I live doesn't really get all that hot. It is more like a long spring!

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    1. Oh, a long spring sounds amazing, but does it get hot enough to grow a vegetable garden? The older I get the less I like the really hot weather. Although; it is what makes our garden grow so well :)

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    2. Oh yes, I have zucchini, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, and Brussels sprouts. Then there is the asparagus and rhubarb too.

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  5. I love your happy porch, Connie. The red rocker is beautiful and I can imagine you enjoying the shade after working in your pretty garden. I used to make strawberry freezer jam. My daughter mentioned it the other day. We're having a respite from the heat and humidity the last couple of days, but will be returning tomorrow. I'm sure the ac will be back on then. Have a lovely evening. ♥

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    1. We also had a nice day today, it was in the 80's but there was a nice breeze that was wonderful. Tomorrow it is suppose to start getting hotter here, too. I don't do that well in the heat anymore. I loved it when I was younger, now it saps my energy :) I try to get up early and work outside until around noon . . . then I find things to do inside. Thank you for your sweet words . . . I do enjoy that porch. It's a nice place for reading and for sitting out in the evening.

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  6. Hello! I have been trying to catch up on your posts. Everything is looking so beautiful at your place...as always! You seem to be enjoying summer to the fullest with kayaking, gardening, and adventures! That freezer jam looks so yummy!Do you ever rest? You make me tired just reading about everything you accomplish! LOL! Seriously though...you are amazing! Have a lovely Thursday my friend.

    Hugs, Vicky

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    1. I've heard that if you never slow down, you'll never grow old. In fact that's a line in a Tom Petty song, LOL. Well, I have experienced the truth in that statement, because when I rest for very long . . . my poor old bones and joints stiffen up, LOL. The truth again is that this country life is busy . . . my garden gets bigger each year and I want to learn to put all of this food up for the winter. I'm finding great satisfaction in canning and freezing and eating from the garden all through the year. I'm far from amazing, but thanks for saying so . . .I'm just an old gal hanging on to doing the things that I enjoy for as long as I have the good health to do so. Thanks for being such a sweet blogging friend, I appreciate your kind-heart and thoughtfulness.

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  7. We are porch people, too. I miss sitting on our porch in winter...I set out there some almost every single day in the summer. Usually some first thing in the morn and then late in the evening before it gets dark.

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    1. Oh, a porch can be the most favorite room in the house . . . a place of peace and rest :)

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  8. When I saw the mat I thought it must be your latest sign!!
    I love porches and sit out on mine every possible day. Mine is a back porch and I can look out over my back garden. Love it.And I love Summer!!

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    1. We had a screened back porch at our old house and on summer nights when I couldn't sleep well, I would take a blanket and go out there. The fresh evening air would do wonders to relax me and bring on a good sleep.

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  9. Hi Connie, What beautiful pictures. Your place is so pretty. I just can't believe that we are almost to July. Do you know where the button is to slow summer to make it last longer! You should get lots of canning done with all those jars. Lucky you! I made raspberry freezer jam last year and we still have a little left. So yummy! Love the red on the front porch. Do you get a chance to sit out there often? Nancy

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    1. Hi Nancy, well I don't sit out there as much as I would like, because I don't slow down. LOL. That is changing more every year though . . . I am trying to teach myself to take breaks and relax more. It just never has been who I am. If I knew about that button you talked about I would have used it on Spring and made all seasons except winter last longer :)

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  10. Ahh, a shady front porch. I miss my old porch. Your house/view are so pretty.
    And you have been busy! Beautiful jam. Those jars represent a lot of picking. Tasty on a cold winter morning.

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    1. Oh, I am excited to have a change to fill them up. Tomatoes, salsa, spaghetti sauce, jams and this year I want to learn to make pickles. That is if my cucumbers get to growing :)

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  11. Connie,
    What a lovely place you have. Thank you for visiting my blog.

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    1. Hello and welcome to my little blog. Thank you for your sweet words. We bought this place just three years ago . . . it was a major fixer-upper. We have put a lot of old fashioned elbow grease into it and now it's our little country home and we love it. I'm delighted that you dropped in to say Hi . . . my welcome mat is always out :)

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  12. Hi Connie, we love your porch, the pretty lights, and the cheerful red, white, and blue bunting that hangs from the railing ! How lovely to have shade in both the morning and the afternoon. That shade on the porch must help the rest of the house stay cool. As "women of a certain age" (LOL !), we agree with you that super-hot days can really deplete one's energy. Sending you best wishes for a summer with lots of sun, but mild temperatures ! Best wishes, from Marina and Daryl Lynn.
    😊😊😊

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    1. You are both so sweet, thank you. I just came in from picking another batch of raspberries. So far I have only made freezer jam, so tomorrow I'm going to try my hand at old fashioned canned jam. The freezer jam is so yummy and easy to make, but I have this farmhouse kitchen that I love displaying canned goods in. The shelves filled with jars just make the kitchen seem so homey and cozy during the winter :)

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  13. Your porch looks charming and so welcoming, a beautiful place to take tea with visitors. I wish I lived near enough to join you. You are blessed with some great crops, mother natures reward for all your hard work.

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    1. If you did live close I would be delighted to sit and sip tea with you on the porch. It's a great place to unplug and unwind.

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  14. I can't believe it's almost June! Oh thank you for sharing your summery porch. I just love your blue deck! Happy canning!

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    1. LOL, almost July! That's what happens when you're having fun and enjoying life . . . time slips away. Happy summer, sweet friend and thanks so much for visiting :)

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  15. This is such a pretty summer time post. Your morning was busy! I love your porch and your yard and your gardens...it all looks so pretty!

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    1. It takes someone with a pretty country place to know the work that goes into keeping it up . . . that you! Your place is enchanting and for you to like ours . . . is a treat, thank you so much :)

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  16. That sounds like a heavenly day to me! Your porch is lovely, I could spend so much time out there reading a good book.

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    1. It is a sweet place to relax and take in the joys of the season . . . any season except winter, LOL.

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  17. Your yard is just lovely and that jam looks delicious! Your porch looks so warm and inviting :-) Have a wonderful afternoon!

    Blessings,
    Jill

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    1. You are so sweet, thank you :) If you lived closer I would say, "come on over" . . . we could each take a glider, a glass of lemonade and a god book and relax. You don't always have to be visiting to communicate friendship :)

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  18. I am so pleased you are enjoying summer.
    Your porch just looks great, a welcoming place to sit a while.

    Your garden flowers and fruits are doing so well.

    Enjoy these last days of June, and my good wishes for the new month of July - it will soon be here!

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thank you Jan, you're so sweet. We live a simple life and enjoy it to the fullest. Oh and while I'm writing this, I want to thank you for the recipes that you have been sending. I love trying new things and not getting into a menu rut.

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  19. Looks like the start of a beautiful summer to me, Connie! I love your big front porch. I would be out there every morning with my coffee or tea.

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    1. It is a very nice porch . . . we love it. This time of year if I'm up and the weather is hot I head for the garden. Pulling weeds and mowing are much easier before the sun get too hot. Thankfully the porch is shaded all day :)

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  20. No I can't beleive it is almost July, time sure seems to just fly by doesn't it.... everything is looking so great, you are going to be busy soon with everything getting ripe at the same time :) I haven't made freezer jam in quite some time but that does sound good!
    How wonderful that your porch is always in the shade. In the morning our porch is in the shade and late afternoon our deck is in the shade so we usually have either to go to, until it just gets so hot that even the shade isn't very cool :(

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    1. Tomorrow rings in July . . . the 4th was always one of my very favorite holidays, but now I worry about field fires. They sell fireworks in our state and I'm one of those believers that think fireworks should be taken seriously and left in the hands of the experts. We live in such a dry area that fires are inevitable. Although I love the Red, White & Blue and love celebrating freedom, I am also relieved the day after when people are not allowed to use them anymore. Do you have that problem where you live? Sorry, I guess that I just dumped and damper on the 4th of July :(

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  21. It sounds like you need to have a "blogging friends porch sitting get-together"!!!! We all want to come and join you! I've only had one porch in my life, and that was up in Waitsburg, WA (by Walla Walla)... and it was a big wrap-around porch on a 100 yr old Victorian house. Loved it and loved sitting out there evenings and watching the people walk by and watching the sun set. I sure miss that porch! Yours is so homey and inviting. I'm amazed at your raspberries! Wow.. from 3 plants in 3 years? I put in 3 little 8" plants two Falls ago when we first moved here and they have become quite large now and really spread! I'm actually picking some too, but nowhere near what you have! I'm starting to move some of the new plants to the end of what I have so that next year, they will bear berries and my row will get longer........ and longer........etc. I like to make raspberry jelly with a steamer juicer I have.. so NO SEEDS! Love it.. but haven't made any for years. Maybe I can again next year.

    How often do you water in your dry climate (the grass).???? I've been watering every day but my grass still isn't nice and green. Of course, all we had here when we moved in was dirt and dead weeds! I guess it'll take awhile to get it going again. Yours is so lush and lovely.. and love that photos with the tire swing and sprinkler going. Nothing better to me than the sounds of those sprinklers going swish swish swish in the evenings. Hope your weekend isn't too hot. We'll be having 90"+ here! Hugs.. Marilyn

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    1. 90 plus here too . . . Hot, Hot, Hot! I water everyday, for hours. We are very blessed to have a great well. Truly there are so many weeds mixed in our grass that it looks nice, but when your walking over it you notice all the many varieties of weed. It's a country place so I don't worry about it. When we lived in a tight neighborhood with a small yard I used weed killer and kept them down, but it would cost a small fortune with this big yard and I don't like the idea of weed killer when we have a well. Chemicals in our drinking water or weeds, to me there is only one good answer. So, I embrace my weeds with as must joy as I can possible muster up, LOL. Steve helped me today and we put up 9 pints of old fashioned canned jam :) He does the water-bath process, we do it outside with a propane burner, because we have a glass top stove in the kitchen.
      Happy 4th of July!

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  22. Hi Connie, I am not quite sure why we call Summer the lazy days. Actually, they are quite busy. But I love how even in the busyness, the days somehow seem more laid back than the rest of the year. Seeing all your lovely jars of jam reminded me of helping my mother and grandmother to make strawberry preserves on warm summer afternoons. My grandmother was always reminding me that they were PRESERVES not jam. LOL! Your porch and garden all look lovely and inviting.

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    1. I think it is sweet that your grandmother and your mother taught you to make jam. My Mama was not into canning so I didn't grow up learning it, but I'm learning now :) She always worked outside the home, so gardening wasn't something we ever did. Maybe that's why I love it so much . . . it's just an exciting adventure to me. My husband feels the same way, so we are learning together and he helps. Then in the winter we do love eating the food that we grew ourselves and put up . . . it's very satisfying. Nice to know that there are no chemicals in our food, too :)

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  23. What Lovely Photos that you posted - wow....I love your Art Barn Photos - it is so nice that you can go to your Art Barn and just spend hours in there doing your favorite hobbies...I have a Sewing Room all by itself and it is nice and big too. I love it. Have a lovely day.

    Linda K

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    1. It's wonderful to have a space where you can spread your projects out and leave them out until you are finished. For many years my work space was the kitchen table, so you could only work for a couple of hours at a time before you had to clear it all away. I think most of us have none that, some of us are still there . . . I wish every woman and man have a space to call their own. There has been the 'man cave" for many years and now the "she shed" . . . I think it's wonderful :)

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  24. Connie, your porch is charming. I love the furniture, the colors, the flowers, the bunting, and that floor mat is delightful. Very nice gift from your neighbors. Your yard is so pretty. I don't remember seeing that concrete block outbuilding before. Has that always been there? Your apricots look great. I assume you don't spray them, so how do you keep the pests off? Or do you just work around the damaged part of the fruit when you preserve the fruit? It's nice that you have your own well. I agree with Marilyn, you need a "blogging friends porch sitting get-together". Your place is lovely. Hugs, Nancy

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    1. Hi Nancy! Well, the block building is our well house and it has been here for probably 40 to 50 years. It has a lot of storage space out there so I keep season stuff stored there and because we have a thermostat set at 45 nothing freezes so I can store squash, potatoes and some can goods out there, too. As for the apricot trees "rubber snakes" . . . they are my new answer to all things pest control. So far birds have been our only problem and they do not like the snakes. We do have to remember to tell our friends about all of our snakes, or we sometimes have someone scream or run across the yard, LOL.

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  25. Hi Connie...love your porch , the yard and your gardens. Your jam looks delightful, because its freezer jam do you still have to go through the whole wax thing, boiling etc.? Is the recipe on the back of something? We have so many mangos I would love to try jam with them. I guess you will make apricot jam as well....super yummy! So nice to see you enjoy your summer, have fun! Lisa@ Sweet Tea N' Salty Air

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    1. Hi Lisa, the recipe is in the Sure-Jell package and freezer jam is so easy. You do not have to cook the fruit, only bring the Sure-Jell and water to a boil and then add to the fruit and sugar. If there is not a mango recipe, I am sure you could find one on the internet. Mango jam sounds amazing :)
      Freezer jam also taste much fresher than regular jam. No wax :) Let me know if you make some and want you think about it.

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    2. ok thanks ...easy recipe I will give it a try. Thank you

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  26. Hey Connie.....where do you get those rubber snakes? I need some! Marilyn

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    1. We had a $1 and up store that went out of business. My sweet neighbor bought mine there, but you can find all kinds on the internet, just Google it. Some are so life like that you might not even want them around, LOL.

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  27. Connie, I love your yard and garden....and I really love your porch. It's so welcoming. That's where I would be most all day. LOL. You did a fabulous job on the jams. Blessings to you and yours for a great 4th. xoxo, Susie

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    1. Hi Susie, thanks for the sweet visit . . . wishing you a great 4th too :)

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  28. You have the perfect porch for summer time relaxing. Enjoy the 4th of July my friend. Sweet hugs, Diane PS Save some jam for me! heehee!

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    1. You bring the biscuits :) Happy 4th!

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  29. your porch looks so inviting, and so does that jam!!!

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    1. Thank you . . . Happy 4th of July :)

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  30. Hi Connie! This is just an excellent post! I love all the pictures. Your home looks so inviting and comfortable. I admire the way you fix everything up with style! I loved it when you said, in your comment on my blog, that I do good PR for Seattle, and I must say the same for you with the wonderful country in Eastern Washington. Your gardening is great and that freezer jam ... Yum!!! Your porch ... oh my goodness ... I could sure spend some time sitting out there and reflecting on life and the world. You asked me a question about my ship photos: "Do you live where you can see them, or do you have a favorite spot to watch and photograph from?" Almost all of my photos of ships are taken from my deck here at my place in Seattle. I feel lucky to have this view but it won't last forever as we will be moving somewhere when my spouse retires. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can find a place that will have interesting views. Thanks for asking the question! Thanks, as always, for sharing your blog and for your kind comments on mine. Happy 4th of July to you and yours. Take good care Connie! :-)

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    1. John you are always so generous with your kind words, thank you. You will miss that view, but you never know what new adventures are out there for you and your wife after she retires. Here's wishing to both the very best.

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  31. Hello! What beautiful photos.This post makes me feel right at home. I love your porch and the cheery colored furniture you have there. Thank you for visiting my blog. Wishing you a happy summer!

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    1. Thank you Connie, I am so delighted that you feel at home here . . . I wish that I could invite you to sit and visit on the porch . . . I would make a pitcher of lemonade :)

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  32. Hello Connie~Your porch always looks so cozy and inviting. It makes me want to plop down and visit! And you're gardens are a delight and inspiration! I want you to know that your days are always a joy to read about! In fact, I always read your blog last because it's my favorite!
    Thanks for sharing YOU with me (and everyone else).
    D~~~~

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    1. Donna, you made me a little bit teary eyed . . . What a very sweet thing to say, I'm overwhelmed.
      Thank you.

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  33. Raspberry Jam is a favourite of mine, along with peach jam. They just remind you of summer every time you eat them. Your porch is lovely, shade is good in the height of summer xxxx

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    1. Shade is very good . . . we had too much at our old house. It was nice for everyday living, but not good if you wished to grow a garden. Now, we are blessed with shady spots and lots of sunny spots too. I'm getting so much pleasure out of growing my own food. The raspberries are almost done, but soon I will have blackberries. More jam! :)

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