Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Stroll

I just finished a week off the job - and worked way harder than usual! We had major clutter stacked up so a yard sale had been planned. It took 5 days preparation, 1.5 days of selling, and a 1/2 day to clean up. We got rid of a ton of junk and gathered a few dollars to go toward the new fridge I've been wanting. Then the last 2 days I've spent trying to catch up with mowing, trimming, weeding and planting! But I stole a few minutes today to stroll around the yard and snapped these shots of some of our current blooms...First, the peas that climbed my bedspring trellis are blooming (and producing delicious, sweet pods!).
Some uninvited blooming going on here....but I've always loved the beauty of Queen Anne's Lace. It always manages to spring up behind the barns, sheds and the perimeter of the yards.
Here we have one of my front porch planters - filled with violas in creamy yellow, midnight blue and tangerine as well as some pansies and petunias - and my new favorite grass "Ponytail". The way the wisps of it nod, flip and bow in the breeze is so relaxing to watch.
My first Hollyhock buds - it looks like they will have tons of flowers. I have no clue what color(s) they might be so I'm extra anxious for them to bloom.
And the rose bushes are laden with buds and blooms. These both were grown from those mini-bushes found in discount stores around mother's day. And both always bloom profusely - all summer long.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Rustic Never Looked So Good

If you like jewelry - original jewelry - you need to see some of the pieces my darling daughter has created. She is inspired by rustic, natural, earthy materials - twigs, stones, antiqued metals to name a few. And, her proud mom is continually in awe of the pieces she creates.... Like these dangle earrings - both were custom made for a repeat customer. (Not me! - though I love them!)
How about this warm golden stone, wire-wrapped and dangled below twig, copper and red accent beads?This Geode is just gorgeous with its streaks of crystals intermingled throughout A great piece for guys or gals.
And sometimes she shares her whimsical side, like with this version of a bird in flight.

There's much more to see of this young artist's work - you can visit her etsy shop with a click right here and peruse some of her other pieces. (Tell her 'Mama' sent you!) :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Blooms all around

Blooms are everywhere right now. In the flower beds and in the veggie garden, not to mention scattered around the yard. My 3 different mini-roses are all covered in buds, one yellow, one coral and this one, a brilliant red.
And while garden blooms aren't usually as showy, these Dwarf Grey Peas certainly have notable blossoms - a pale creamy pink on the outer petals, and a dark velvety burgundy inside. Beautiful in the veggie-patch, and gives us hope for the pods to start forming soon.
The Pak Choi has shot up flower heads - too hot already I guess. I'm letting it go so I can collect seed. And the bright yellow blooms give a nice color-pop to the garden area.
No blooms here - but the Magenta Lettuce is showing signs of forming nice loose heads, and with the red tint and ruffled edges, it does resemble flowers somewhat. There are a few other plants sharing this pot - the 2 blue-green "weeds" in the middle - lower edge - are Nasturtiums. A few others are sown around the edges and when they are big enough, will be transplanted elsewhere.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sweet William

I had no idea what I was creating. When I sowed the seeds in 2008 I knew these wouldn't bloom the same year. And I've always found it difficult to invest that much time into something knowing there would be no instant gratification - I like a return on my investments pretty quickly. And, I had no previous experience growing Sweet William or Hollyhocks, so I was not really prepared for my first go at it to turn out like this.
It's been worth the wait, just for the Sweet William! I am enamored with all the varied shades of the blooms. Some are a pure, snow white (looks like the perfect bridal bouqet) and others range to the deepest fuschia; some of solid color and others with 2 tones, of the eleven or so plants I have, no more than 2 are just alike. I'm hopeful that their round, squat, mounding habit will be the perfect border for the towering Hollyhocks. The Red Wonder Wild Strawberries add some visual interest, not to mention sweet treats as I pick the occasional weed and admire this bed.I think I got this bed right! And glad of it - it's the first thing to see from the driveway - very welcoming I think.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Overnight Visitor

We had an overnight visitor last night. And in spite of good manners and a pleasant stay, we were glad to see him go.

You see, the visitor was an adorable little ball of black fur, that had been found trotting down the middle of the highway, oblivious to the danger he was in. And with no ID tag, it wasn't easy finding his owners. Turns out a few well-placed signs in the neighborhood where he was found were the highlight of his owners' day. Their call to us about an hour after we put up the signs was hopeful - and then joyful - when we confirmed from their description that this was indeed their baby.

He was a wonderful overnight guest - and our girls - Lizzie the Poodle and Roxie the Poma-Poo - were delighted to have a new playmate. But the joy and appreciation of his owners was the best.
Seems Bear, the 1-year-old Yorkie Poo, escaped by breaking his leash and ID tag at 5 am Saturday morning. In spite of their efforts, the darkness and rain prevented his owners from being able to find him. (The photo is not Bear - but could pass for his long-lost twin!) So, that's how Bear began his weekend adventure.

Love knowing we had a hand in helping - it just feels good! A great end to a wonderful weekend.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

Happy Mother's Day to all the mama's, grandma's, step-moms and moms-to-be out there! My mother was treated to breakfast yesterday morning by my sister, my daughter, and myself. Yes, she is the sweet-faced lady pictured below. Mom, holding my grandson - one of her 19 great-grandchildren!

Mom and Dad married in 1950. We lost Daddy in 2003.
Mother - a fresh-faced beauty at 18 - her high school senior portrait.
And, as always, my kids have been very good to me this mother's day. Lovely flowers in a gorgeous pot, a wonderful vintage-look tin wall pocket, gift certificate for a pedicure, and an adorable cup my daughter custom created for me with a mama bird and baby bird and gorgeous glaze in blues/greens and chocolate. I am spoiled - thank you sweeties!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Aftermath of the Derecho

Ever heard of a Derecho? Definition of 'Derecho' according to Wikipedia: "A derecho (from Spanish: "derecho" meaning "straight") is a widespread and long-lived, violent convectively induced straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms ..."

And may my first encounter with this type of storm be the last!

Friday morning one of these crazy storms blew through a chunk of the midwest including my little area of the world. These big 50+ year old trees in our front yard were blown over.
Three were ripped from the ground, and several others lost huge limbs. This elm limb I photographed a short time ago is now gone. Huge limbs from another tree hit the top of my husband's school bus, smashing 3 windows and denting/dinging several spots.

This is part of our wrap-around front porch - where winds ripped the soffit down and the blown-in insulation along those walls mixed with rain and then adhered to our porch walls, windows, floor, and wicker furnishings like a thin layer of dirty paper mache.

Another view of the porch where you can see our roof is now missing some shingles.
I am thankful none of my family was hurt - thankful much of the damage can be managed by a few strong men (wonderful, amazing, beloved sons and sons-in-law!) with chainsaws and a tractor - thankful insurance should cover the worst damage. And really thankful the last 24 hours without electricity is behind us! (I'm a little ticked off that my freshly sown strawberry seeds are MIA - the whole thing - just disappeared! - but, of course, that can be replaced.)

So many others who were in the path of this monster have much worse damage, suffered physical injuries, or, in a few cases, lost loved ones. I pray for them all.

So yes, I feel very fortunate. Still, I would prefer to never encounter another Derecho!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Green Super Bag

My artsy daughter has been toting her jewelry-making tools and supplies with her everywhere she goes these days. She decided she wanted a BIG bag to carry them in, but didn't want to pay a big price for it. So....a set of 2 like-new placemats in fun colors (yard sale - $1), a jute and leather belt for the strap (2 yard-sales later - same day - 25 cents), and an hour at the sewing machine and....voila! The Super Bag! It's green - a very pretty green and cream on the outside and brown/cream on the inside, with a fun trim around the edges - and it's "green" as in repurposed from items that were no longer needed/wanted for their original purpose.
And best of all - she loves it!

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