Monday, August 12, 2019

The Party's Over

Greetings. I am sure some are wondering if I have abandoned The Garden Spot. No, I certainly have not, dear friends. Settle down with a nice cuppa and enjoy the Party.

I actually don't know where to start. Perhaps at the beginning.

When the request--or rather at my own suggestion--came to use the barn for a wedding, we faced two huge projects to get the place ready for a wedding. Along with the new landscaping for the barn circle that I wrote about earlier, the barn clean out was a major project. The photos really don't do justice to the work that the Head Gardener had to go to to empty out front half of the barn. In a few days time he had managed to move everything to the back half, parking the mustang, four wheeler, camp trailer, and tractors outside temporarily, praying that we did not get hail.

I don't know how we have manage to collect so much and worse save so much over the years.

The first party was the Head Gardener's 50th class reunion.

We decided to hang a curtain to hide the the stuff and to create a backdrop for the parties. We used four canvas painter's drop clothes. They listed as 9x12, but the measurements were not exact. A friend  sewed a 5" rod pocket in each panel and they were slipped onto a two inch PVC pipe that spanned the width of the barn, about 22 feet. 

Classmates of the Class of '69 helped to hang the panels for their party.

We were pretty much in awe of the clean palette for a party.

Even Brody, who does not like the barn, seemed to approve. 

The classmates partied all evening. It was wonderful watching old friends gather again, telling stories, laughing, loving each other again.

The next morning they all gathered again for the Ault Fall Festival Parade, with about 30 on the float. 

Meanwhile, the sunflowers for the wedding that my neighbor planted for me at the nursery, were growing nicely.

I picked wild flowers and practiced making a boutineere. 

I played with super market sunflowers and baby's breath to build the alter arrangements. I added wild growing Queen Anne's Lace and dill to add interest.

These sunflowers added such joy the dining room window.

Eighteen 57X96 table clothes arrive, ordered from Sam's Club. They were packaged 3 to package. Nice quality. While I don't need 18, I will give them to my daughters to use for their picnics and parties.

Three weeks before the wedding my neighbor texts a photo of the sunflowers. I am amazed at their beauty and hope that some will bloom for the wedding.

I took some home to plant in the garden. While they are growing, the heads are too heavy for the weak stalks and are breaking off. 

A plan begins to take shape for the wedding decor. My mother's old piano will be a backdrop for photos.

The Monday after the reunion, the bride and groom arrive and begin hanging lights.

Some of you will remember Sheyanne. She came to live with us soon after we moved to the Garden Spot to go to college. The daughter and grand daughter of life long friends is as much a part of our family as our own daughters. Her groom is a delightful, kind, wonderful young man. It was our honor to have their wedding here.

 The Thursday before the pick up the nursery flowers. They are gorgeous.

Look at this beauty.

Everyone arrives Friday for the rehearsal.

The bride's maids are charged with steaming 19 table clothes. They discover that our power grid will not handle 5 steamers. Plan B--or was it C-- just use the table clothes as they were with fold creases, and actually they looked very nice once laid out on the tables.

I couldn't hold back the tears as I saw the piano with the bride's family photos, my dear, life long friends with whom I grew up. Shayanne calls us Aunt and Uncle because that's what I called my best childhood friend's family. Pictured are her mother who passed while Shey was in college, her grandfather who she she never knew, and her grandmother who passed some years ago. I couldn't help but get a little weepy knowing how proud of this young woman they would be. 

Two of the doors were in our barn. The one on the right I scavenged from my home place, an old 19th century farmhouse. I took the door when we sold the property, never dreaming that it would be a wedding alter. The door in the middle came on loan from a friend. We loved the cracked paint on it.

A dear friend of the Bride's officiates the ceremony.

And the romance is just beginning.

I didn't get a change to take very many pictures. I was just too busy. Once Shey's photographer gets photos to her, I'll share some more. We used two 20X30 tents. With the lanterns in the tree branches, Edison garden lights in the tent along with twinkle lights in mason jars, at dusk the party looked so pretty with nearly a full moon to light the night.

Inside, the barn became a dance floor, even a bit enchanting with the dim light. Shey set aside a chair with a spray of sunflowers for her mother.

Chinese lanterns dangling from the trees along with the blurred tail lights of a car with the camera set on night exposure create a elusive, ethereal image, as the wedding becomes a fond memory. Truly a wedding to remember.

As we were preparing for the Reunion and wedding, the girls were competing in the 
4-H fair. I spent one day with them as they competed in the English competition but missed the Western competition because I had company, but I went back the third day for Ellie's trail course.

The girls looked so smart in their English attire along with their horses groomed and braided. 

Ellie has brought Hank a long way; he is becoming a show horse.

I don't suppose the little mountain mustang, Mariah, ever dreamt that she would be a show horse either.

Because Lucy took Grand Champion in the English show, she was invited the next week to participate in the Round Robin where the kids from the horse show joined the kids from the livestock show and competed in showmanship of the species. Not all of my photos turned out because the arena is a very hard place to photograph, but you will get the idea.

After showing her own horse at halter, Lucy moved on the show two species of goats.

Part of the showmanship is to get the animal to "pose" to show off it's good qualities, which takes practice and training.

After two goats, she showed a young Jersey heifer, a dairy breed. Ironically, her great grandfather raised Jerseys and had a small dairy herd. 

Next she showed a hog-- about like herding cats--as we say here in the West.

And a lamb.

Then a rowdy steer

 that was not very cooperative. Lucy did very well handling the beef and for never handling any of these other animal.  She said afterward that she had a lot of fun doing it. She won Reserve Grand Champion.

Mariah was part of the show, allowing all the other participants to show her at halter. Here, the completion has ended. Sister Ellie and Millie helped as horse holders during the competition.

And that's the way the summer went.

The party's over. The house is a wreck and I'm a little weary, but it has been a great summer full of joy and love and good things. 

I'll be linking with Angie for Mosaic Monday. 

Have a wonderful week and thanks for stopping by.


  1. You have had a busy summer! But what fun. That's one wedding I'd like to have been invited to!

  2. It all looks so attractive, wonderful wedding venue.

  3. We can understand why you've been too busy to blog! WOW! The wedding is all the sparkly lights! And how nice of you to have the reunion there. You are something else! need a vacation! heehee!

  4. Ann - I knew you had these big events coming up, so I was not surprised or worried that you were on hiatus. Congratulations for what looks like two smashing successes! Your rest now is well deserved. And thanks so much for honoring Mosaic Monday with a first look into these important family events!

  5. Your hard work payed off. What a lovely wedding! I just love that country look. 😊 Kit

  6. A wonderful Wedding... thank you for sharing.

  7. So pleased you have had a great summer full of joy and love and good things...
    Lovely to read your post and see all of the photographs.

    All the best Jan


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