i celebrated turning thirty-one over the weekend with some quality garden time, farmers markets, good food, friends, and crafting.  and as a special gift, the pools closing coincided with my birthday weekend, meaning that saturday was dog days of summer!  (we go every year, here are last year and the year before)

the markets are vibrant and lively - you can feel summer coming to an end.
 bella helps with the harvests and then the sowing of cool weather veggies.  it looks like we're going to be eating a lot of pesto this winter.
red wheelbarrow
^^a cross stitch i made for our new nephew, emil.^^  we got out to colorado for a couple of days to meet the adorable new addition to the family, and this project was so perfect for relieving flight anxiety.  i think i'll do one on every trip from now on.

 dog days was a blast, as usual, though belle didn't do a lot of leaping into the water like she normally does.  it's hard to believe she's almost ten.
 ^^my pick for best in show this year^^  must. eat. all of the water!
 we even managed to get some swim time in, ourselves!
 a few nights ago we were lucky enough to spot this cicada molting in our back yard.  its wings came out in ridiculously vibrant colors.  i've always loves collecting their shed exoskeletons, but have never been able to see it happening.  really cool.  a few days later a praying mantis kept following me and trying to land on me.  i'm taking both of these encounters as signs of positive transformation, rebirth, and inner calmness/inner strength.  all things that will be very helpful in the coming months ;)
while 30 was a fantastic year, 31 is shaping up to be miraculous!

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