Joy List Monday -- Taking Time to Enjoy The Beauty of Late Summer

This morning I woke up to the song of an oriole. Every morning before getting up I lie in bed and listen to the birds. The orioles haven't been singing very much lately. Occasionally I'll see a flash of orange and black, spotting them flying past, but they've been quiet. These last couple weeks I've noticed that another of our birds has been quiet. I no longer wake to robin song or hear the robins singing in the evenings as the light fades. I know they'll be disappearing before too long.

Suddenly it's late summer.

I'm finding myself tuned in to the wonders of summer, focused on being fully present, trying to hold onto these days and not let them slip away.

This weekend I felt as if I were living inside one of my Summer Bliss fabric designs.

fabric design, surface pattern design, Watercolor Kitchen Garden, watercolor fabric design, vegetable garden, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

The bounties. The colors. The joys.

Last Monday I wrote about my struggle to be present and let myself have lazy days. In a way that post was a reminder to myself of the importance to savor these days. And I think it worked.

sunflowers, teddy bear sunflowers, summer flowers, garden flowers, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I've been filling the house with flowers. Watching clouds. Enjoying the garden and time spent in it not pulling weeds or trimming or tying up, but just being.

It can be so hard to stop. Stop doing. Stop thinking.

I've noticed that my nasturtiums are finally taking off. Not just a single flower here or there,

nasturtiums, variegated nasturtiums, summer flowers, garden flowers, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

but enough for me to cut a handful for the house.

nasturtiums, garden flowers, summer flowers, nasturtium flowers, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I seem to notice my little hummingbird friend constantly now. Every time I go outside. Every time I look out the window, even, she's buzzing from flower to flower. It's a gift, her presence. And it brings me joy each time.

Taking time for quiet has allowed ideas to blossom. I have so many projects I want to tackle. Not projects for my blog or my shops or an e-course, but just for me.

I hadn't realized I needed time for regenerating. For peaceful contemplation. For fun.

sunflowers, summer, summer flowers, blue sky, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

It's amazing what a difference taking time for those things makes.

I've been doing it on the weekends and trying to add some ease into each of my days. This morning I took a little extra time and baked some muffins*.

muffins, lemon poppy seed muffins, baking, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Are you making room for ease in your days?

Are you keeping Joy Lists?

It really does make a difference.

Joy List Monday: 

a weekly ritual
a reminder to stop and pay attention to the little beauties and graces that make life magical and to set aside time for gratitude each day

Here's mine:

  • sunflowers, sunflowers, sunflowers
  • spending a quiet afternoon in the garden, just me and the dogs
  • tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes
  • Matthias finally feeling better in spite of a recent complication
  • going to the farm for lunch with my parents and ending up staying all day for chatting, tractor rides, bocce, picking produce and a dinner of Chicago style hotdogs smothered with garden fresh produce
  • cicada song during the day and a chorus of crickets at night
  • blue, blue skies
  • projects -- in my head and in the works
  • Matthias' recent sushi-making obsession
  • finding beauty and joy in the simplest of things
marigolds, summer flowers, garden flowers, simple flower arrangements, handbuilt ceramics, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Wishing you a joy-filled week.

*I used that recipe for my lemon poppy seed muffins, but put in over twice as much lemon juice as it called for. They turned out deliciously.


  1. Hello,
    I was not able to blog my Joy List ... but I have one for this week!

    garden goodness
    summer bugs and more summer bugs singing me to sleep
    watching a lighting storm with my husband
    enjoying lemon ginger tea
    kitty cat snuggles

    1. :)

      Lovely Joy List, Carla! Glad you've been enjoying these lovely summer days!

  2. Beautiful photos with lots of golden summer hues!

    My Joy List
    A good night's sleep
    Making a chocolate fudge cake
    Cutting back overgrown plants in garden to make way for new ones

    1. Those are all great things for a Joy List, Simone!

      Now I want some chocolate cake! :)


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