Summer Songs

Hi Friends!

Ahhhh, the lovely soundtracks of Summer days…

Summer songs are all around us.

Can you hear them, too?

Each morning, as I step outside and stroll through the arbor into the backyard, I feel so grateful for all of the rainy days we have had this summer. The pitter patter of raindrops has been one of our most popular Summer songs! Over the past few weeks, we have had another 7 inches (17 cm) of rain.

In fact, our garden hose is still tucked away in the garage. Mother Nature has been watering for me all Summer long! πŸ™‚ She even refills our bee baths and birdbath. I’ve been helping a tiny bit, using aΒ vintage watering can to water the containers on the front porch.

Our perennial, cottage garden is quite lush and the weeds are most definitely thriving, too! The clematis blossoms that adorned the top of the arbor have been artfully rearranged by a frisky squirrel. I’ve been watching him climb up and down the arbor as if he were climbing a ladder. Although concerned at first, now I’m just tickled by the way the squirrel has arranged the pale purple clematis vines!

The garden has also been filled with a symphony of delightful birdsong this Summer!Β  Our feathered friends made themselves right ‘at home’ in the birdhouses throughout the garden and built a nest under the eaves. Their sweet songs always entertain me while I am busy gardenkeeping. My favorite garden task this month has been cutting bouquets of blossoms to fill stoneware crocks and Mason jars on the front porch. πŸ™‚ What a peaceful way to begin each day!

Pops of color from the Asiatic lilies and wide drifts of orange and yellow daylilies in full bloom have been just lovely. This week, as I cut down millions hundreds of spent daylily stems, my heart smiled with gratitude for their glorious show during the past few weeks! An abundance of Annabelle hydrangeas allows me to cut armfuls of the huge, white blossoms to add cozy, old-fashioned charm to our front porch and dining room. It’s fun to send visitors home with a bouquet, too!

Now in the mid-afternoon, we can hear the cicadas tuning up. Their loud, boisterous chorus continues untilΒ  evening, when the daylight fades and the fireflies entertain us while we relax on the front porch.

The buzzing of the bees as they work to pollinate the garden is one of my very favorite Summer songs. When the bees are happy, the gardener is happy!

This month, the bees are also creating quite a buzz in my Self-Care bullet journal…

I played with a hexagon stencil and Distress Ink as I set up my July pages.

Each morning, I graph the number of hours I slept.

Every evening, I jot down things that I was grateful for that day.

My Gratitude page fills up very quickly each month.

It is always the most important page in my Self-Care journal. β™₯

Each day, I track my workouts,

the glasses of water I drink,

and my number of steps.


There is no mention of food

in my Self-Care journal.

(It’s so easy to track my healthy meals each day in the Weight Watchers app.)Β  πŸ™‚

This special journal highlights all of the other things

that make my life a healthy, happy one! β™₯


My sweet husband and I each wrote

‘Six-Word Love Stories’ about our marriage

and I added those heartfelt words recently.

The final July page in my journal holds a few heartwarming quotations.

Although it takes many hours to create my journal pages,

it only takes 10 minutes each evening to fill them in.

This reflective time always feels like

a special, little gift to me! β™₯

Β I’m already thinking about an August theme

for my bullet journal.

Hmmm, perhaps… sunflowers!


There is still one more favorite Summer song…

Every year, one song becomes a celebration of my Summer days.

It’s been that way ever since my high school days. πŸ™‚

My ‘Summer song’ seems to choose me,

very much like my ‘word’ for the year does.

This song has been following me

everywhere I go ~

whether I’m driving

or creating in my little

Paper Garden studio downstairs.

I’m always singing along!

β™₯ β™₯ β™₯

β™« ♬ This is my wish for all of you!

(With huge thanks to Jason Mraz for his wonderful lyrics!) πŸ™‚

I’m so grateful that you stopped to visit today!

What kinds of Summer songs are making you smile this year?

Hope you’ll share with all of us…


Just keep singing!

β™‘ Dawn










28 thoughts on “Summer Songs

  1. Oh Dawn, your posts are so lovely and uplifting. Just what I need today, dear one. Thank you!
    Your garden is beautiful. I love how you embrace the beauty that is surrounding you, even the squirrel rearranging the blossoms on your lovely trellis of clematis. The hydrangea blossoms are just gorgeous. How wonderful to have them on your porch and dining table. Flowers give a lot of smiles back to us gardeners, don’t they? We received 3.5 inches of rain yesterday. We are so thankful as July has brought us no rain after a very wet June. My garden is smiling today. We’ve had off and on showers that will probably continue through the week.
    The lovely journals you keep are inspiring! I like the fact that your husband joins in with his thoughts. How romantic!
    Thank you for posting Jason Mraz wonderful song and video. He’s from the Richmond area. The video features my hometown of Richmond–so much fun to see the different spots and especially Binford school as my Mama went there as a child. Best of all are his beautiful lyrics!
    Sending you love and happiness as I listen to the song of the cicada winding up for his afternoon in the sun. β™₯

    • Thank you for your heartwarming words, Martha Ellen! It’s a drizzly morning here, too. As I watched that busy squirrel perched on top of the arbor, I wondered if he was planning to eat the clematis buds. Luckily, he didn’t. He just scampered up and down and somehow draped the clematis vines creating a floral scallop that I’m enjoying each day! I’m hoping that I can recreate the look on my own next Summer! πŸ™‚

      I’m so happy to hear that you finally were rewarded with rain for your garden! The rewards of gardening are many ~ sunshine, fresh air, a great workout, and best of all… flowers! We are blessed. It always fun to discover that we grow so many of the same flowers in our gardens, Martha Ellen. Your Virginia garden always blooms a few weeks ahead of ours. So, I enjoy your blossoms while I wait!

      I truly treasure my little Self Care journal. At first, I thought I would keep it very private. But it has proven to be such a helpful, insightful tool, that I have begun sharing it with my Weight Watchers group, special friends, even with my doctor. πŸ™‚ I’m hoping that it might inspire others to intentionally work toward living our healthiest, best lives! My sweet husband and I often share inspiring quotes with one another. I was so happy when he took the time to work on his ‘Six-Word Love Story.’ It was so beautiful!

      I’ve been singing along with ‘Have It All’ all Summer long, but just found the video this weekend to include in my post. It’s fabulous! The school scenes spoke to my heart! I can’t believe that it was filmed in your hometown, Martha Ellen, and that your mama went to Binford School. πŸ™‚ You must share the video with your grandsons! Beautiful lyrics and a bit of family history, too!

      While you are resting your foot, enjoy Jason Mraz’ ‘Lucky’ video on You Tube, too. That lovely duet was my Summer Song a few years ago. I gave it to my husband as a ‘gift.’ (We often exchange songs as gifts of the heart.) I think you and Grayden will just love the lyrics, too! β™₯β™₯
      In a few hours, the cicadas will be serenading both of us. Enjoy the Summer Songs all around you, dear friend! Sending healing hugs across the miles! β™‘

  2. What a happy post and I obviously am not getting notifications of this. I will look into it as I’ve very much missed you! We have had no rain for well over a month and will get none until maybe late October. It wasn’t always this way here but summers have become quite dry so most of our planting must be drought tolerant. I love your journal. I keep track of much the same things though not with quite the fun involved that you have there. Gratitude is key, always. My Fitbit tracks my fitful sleep patterns and my steps as well as if I’ve had my heart rate up long enough to count as exercise. Pushes me along quite nicely. Your garden is just so lovely and welcoming. I am pleased your husband writes love notes to you as well. So rare. Bees are happily feeding on my gigantic butterfly bush today. We will be in the mid 90’s for the next 10 days. 😦 I know many that love those temps. I’m not one of them. ;( Oh well, we need the heat to grow things. I’m going now to see what else I’ve missed. Love the happy summer song too. Giant squishy hugs, Dawn.

    • Oh, thank you for your very kind words, Marlene! I had no idea that your weather patterns in Oregon have changed so much. I wish we could send you some of our rain showers. My Self Care Journal really helps to keep me accountable. Just knowing that I will have to copy the numbers from my Fitbit, in ink, at the end of the day reminds me to work toward my healthy goals! *wink*
      Wishing you happy days in your garden, Marlene! I know that you are just as busy as those bees! Sending hugs right back to you! Have a happy week ahead!β™‘

      • Thank you, Dawn and there was no notification today either. I will go look and see where the hitch is. It’s happened before. I hate that it happened with your blog. Accountability is a very important thing.

    • Oh, thank you, Karen! We have to take good care of ourselves! I want to stay strong and healthy so that I can help loved ones, have more incredible travel adventures, learn new things every day, and continue to make a difference. My Self Care Journal helps me stay mindful of my ‘whys’ every single day! Adding a bit of lettering, using a few art supplies, and sprinkling in a few inspirational quotes keeps me motivated and just makes my heart smile. You are such a dear, Karen! Hope you are enjoying nice days in your beautiful California garden! Thanks so much for stopping to visit today! β™‘

  3. What an amazing post!!! I love it all from the flowers to the journal to the cutest song ever!!! 🎢May you🎢 …..have a beautiful day!!!!


    • Such sweet things to say, Gert! Heartfelt thanks!! πŸ™‚ It’s such fun to have a favorite Summer Song to keep me singing (and dancing, too!). Hearing just a few notes of past Summer Songs brings back so many memories. Two years ago, my Summer Song was “Can’t Stop the Feeling (I’ve Got Sunshine in my Pocket)” by Justin Timberlake. I spent many weeks that Summer scraping, sanding, and repainting the ceiling of our front porch. As I worked, I kept hearing that song on the radio… and it kept me going, even though the work was so hard. I was singing along as I worked, from the top of my ladder. There *might* have been a bit of dancing, too! πŸ™‚ The neighbors all waved and smiled as they passed by day after day. That song will always hold great memories of my Front Porch Summer!

      Think back to all of your favorite songs, Gert! I’m positive they will bring back such warm memories as you sing along (and maybe even dance a bit!). Summer Songs are like that!! ♬ “May the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows!” ♬
      Sending warmest hugs your way, Gert! It’s always a special treat when you stop to visit us here! β™‘
      #SBBookstoScreen πŸ™‚

  4. I love your journals, Dawn. I think your self-care journal is a good practice in mindfulness which is something I need to practice. I sprained my ankle last Sunday because I was thinking of something else rather than on what I was doing–so I’m trying to slow down mentally and pay attention to what I’m doing. Keeping a journal as yours must help you focus on those tasks you want to do every day and be mindful to see that it gets done. I loved the video and song, too. Very upbeat–just like you!

    • Oh, thank you, Cathy! I’m so sorry to hear about your sprained ankle. Ouch! I hope that with lots of rest, your healing will go well. That’s really hard during the Summer when I know that you want to be in your garden. Hope that days spent reading, painting, and writing will be good ‘medicine’ for your ankle and your soul as you heal.

      It’s really difficult to be mindful when life is so busy, but that’s when we need it the most. Being intentional about staying present is hard for me, too. I try to look for small moments each day to record on my Gratitude page each evening. That slows me down. I am aware of the number of times I fill my water bottle each day because I know that I will have to track it in my journal. Best of all, I reflect back on how I spent my days. Did I have enough family time, creative time, time to workout, time to read, time with friends, time in the garden, etc? When I notice that some favorite things are continuously missing in my days, I can take steps to make a change. So, my Self Care Journal has become a very healthy tool! It makes me more mindful every day. I found my inspiration on You Tube, watching ‘bullet journal’ videos. Some people use paper and ink, while others have turned to digital bullet journals. Both are so valuable, but I think I will always be the ‘paper and ink’ type. πŸ™‚ I enjoy videos by: Boho Berry, Amanda Rach Lee, Helen Colebrook, and so many others. Take a peek if you think you might be interested in bullet journaling, too!

      Cathy, I thought of you this morning because I began participating a book club for The Artist’s Way today. πŸ™‚ It’s my first time to read this book by Julia Cameron. We are pacing out the chapters so that it will run through the end of the year. Life has gotten very busy, so I hope I can keep up. I’m really looking forward to more Artist Dates and writing Morning Pages again. Both of these tools always spark my creativity in exciting new ways! Thank you for getting me connected with the book club two years ago. I will always be grateful for your kindness, Cathy! Sending healing hugs across the miles! β™‘

    • Many thanks, Jodi! Kindred Spirits for sure! I can tell that you are enjoying World Watercolor Month immensely. Your artwork is beautiful, Jodi! On a much smaller scale, I challenged myself to use watercolors on each card that I create during July. I’m having a delightful time learning and growing as I share handmade kindness with loved ones near and far. Thanks for stopping to visit today, Jodi! Wishing you a very colorful, creative week ahead! β™‘

  5. your flowers are enjoying life! such beauty! your journal shows lots of creativity. for me it would be too much regimentation to keep it filled out. I’m glad it works for you.

    • When the garden is happy, the gardener is happy, too! Thanks for visiting today, Marcia, and typing a comment with your hand all bandaged up. Hope it is feeling better and better each day! Before long you should be back to your regular activities again!

      Although I realize it’s not everyone’s ‘cup of tea,’ this little journal fills me with such joy! It’s such fun to set healthy goals and track my progress. (It reminds me of all of the goal setting that I did with my second grade classes. This time it’s for me!!😊) Although as a teacher I loved planning, I certainly don’t want to structure my days during my Renaissance. It’s lovely, though, to reflect on each day being mindful of balancing the activities that fill my heart with joy. Such a healthy thing to do! It’s definitely working for me during this chapter of life. Thank you so much for being here, Marcia. Sending healing hugs across the miles!πŸ’—

  6. Such a beautiful post Dawn. Thanks for sharing it all with us. It’s so uplifting when I see what other gardeners are up to. I can never get enough material on gardening. It’s always a lesson learned isn’t it? Your journal definitely keeps us all in the loop. The blossoms are just breathtaking! Just lovely!

    • Many thanks, Loretta! I agree. It’s always so lovely to visit gardens from other parts of the country and the world. I just love to see what’s blooming both far and near. I always learn something new! Gardeners everywhere have so much in common.

      In the Midwest, we are enjoying pleasant, cooler days this week, so I hope to tidy up all of my flower beds before the Summer heat returns. β€œSo many weeds, so little thyme!” 😊
      So happy that you stopped to visit today, Loretta! Wishing you happy Summer days in the garden!πŸ’—

  7. Reading this later at night I know I will fall in slumber with this Jason Mraz song! Thank you, Dawn.
    As we live in the same region, we are hearing many of the same “songs” these days. This evening a chorus of tree frogs serenaded me to the back door and the locusts are singing now as well – a perfect way to end a perfect day with gorgeous weather and, of course, your beautiful post.

    • Isn’t it a happy, uplifting song, Penny? It’s filled with wishes inspiration and encouragement for everyone we love (much like the wishes that my handmade cards carry!). Throughout the day, the lyrics often pop into my head. I love that Jason Mraz sang you to sleep last night!😊

      It must be so wonderful to listen to tree frogs singing on Summer evenings, Penny! We are truly embracing this nice stretch of gorgeous weather. It has been perfect for long prairie walks, hand-in-hand. The colors of the prairie are at their peak at the moment! I’m looking forward to another beautiful day in the garden. Hope you can play in the dirt today, too!
      β€œMay the best of your today’s be the worst of your tomorrows.” 🎢 Thanks for always being here, sweet friend! Love you!πŸ’—

    • It’s such fun to visit one another’s gardens, Judy! It feels like a virtual Garden Walk and I always gather seeds of inspiration along the way. Many thanks for your sweet words. This little journal has become a wonderful tool. Reflecting on the day is the perfect prelude to ‘sweet dreams.’ Happy garden days, Judy!πŸ’—

  8. Love your summer blog and whose hydrangeas are so beautiful . Jason Marz is my younger sister’s favourite singer 😁. My favourite summer song is ” Girls in the Summer Clothes” by Bruce Springsteen and “Malibu” by Miley Cyrus. My mom recently planted some pink hydrangeas and they are blooming so well. Did you know you can actually the color of the hydrangea by changing the pH level of the soil. Hope to see the next summer blog soon. Much Love

    • Heartfelt thanks, Ricky! It’s such fun to know that your Mom grows the same flowers in India that I grow here in Illinois. Pink Hydrangeas are my favorite. I carried a bouquet of Hydrangeas on my wedding day!
      Your Summer songs are great. Jason Mraz sings such happy songs! I love that video! 😊
      Wishing you and your family beautiful days. I’m keeping you close to my heart, Ricky!πŸ’—

    • Oh, thank you, Ericka. Making time to write in my Self-Care journal is a little gift that I give myself each night before bed. I’m tracking my sleep, workouts, and healthy habits, along with documenting special memories each month. The most important page each month is my Gratitude page. It is overflowing with blessings! This is my second year of bullet journaling and I’m enjoying it immensely! Do you keep a journal of any kind, Ericka?
      Many thanks for visiting today! β™‘

      • My cousin’s wife gave me a five-year journal, with just enough room to write a couple of sentences each night, perfect for this busy time in my life. I love looking at what I’ve done each day over the past few years.

      • That sounds like a perfect journal to document this very busy chapter in your life, Ericka! You are telling your story a few sentences at a time. So powerful! πŸ’—

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