Improving a flower patch

Flower garden before weeding.

Saturday we finally took some time to attack the weeds in the newest flower garden. I had hoped to make this my bulb garden, but none of the tulips that I planted survived the first winter in this spot. Fortunately I did not actually move all of them, and they are growing and blooming in the original spot. The irises on the other hand did manage to make it through the winter and even bloomed fairly nicely this spring. The problem, though, was finding them after the grass began to appear. I have included a few shots of what this place looked like and what it looks like now. I have a small picture of the pile of grass and weeds that we pulled out, but it is not all of it. James had another pile of what he took out of the iris end. I ended up grabbing the pitchfork to lift the pile into the wheelbarrow. It nearly filled it up. Good grief!!

View from the iris angle after it was cleaned up.

It was a great help that James did the weeding in the iris part. I started on the north half, which is closest to the concrete walkway. The iris bed is at the bottom of the driveway and touches the grass. We had planned to extend it all the way to the end of the driveway, but never took the time or effort to dig up the last of the sod at the end. This area used to be some of our best grass, but when I was looking for a place to plant the bulbs so they would get more sunlight, I figured it would make sense to do it here where it would seem like we were squaring out the sidewalk beside the driveway. Perhaps it is the soil more than anything that killed off the bulbs. I suppose the seeds germinated after we watered it. My new plan is to put some roses in this area. I would like to fill it with a couple of climbers, but I think I missed the window of opportunity for purchasing any this year. Maybe I could transplant a few of the wild yellow roses that grow at my mother’s house. The mower person is always trying to contain that patch anyway. Hmmmmm maybe if I sneak over there in the afternoon when no one is around, they (my sisters) might not catch on.

Right after we finished the weeding, it was a bed of dried out dirt. The picture above makes it look like the bed is all nice and clean. Today when I stepped out to get the final picture, I noticed it is filling in with morning glories. We added a makeshift bird bath, which I contrived from an unused tomato cage and a tossed out fry pan. Technically it is a stove top wok, and it was great until someone burned something to the bottom and it was all scratched in the cleaning effort. I did see some little sparrows taking advantage of it the first night we set it up. I even found this little wire fence in the shop when I was digging around for the stand. It was a bugger to get installed, but patient persistence paid off. We also purchased some solar lights to wrap around the pole, but have not gotten those in place yet. I hope to enjoy this garden more as the summer goes as this is right below my bedroom bow-window and I can sit in the window and watch. Roger enjoyed the view with me on Saturday night.

Post on April 11

Junk outside

Hi, just stopped by to say I am still here. Things have been hectic around our place as of late, and I just have not felt the ability either by time or emotion to visit with the blog world. I have lots to say, but just can’t do it now. I will share a couple of pictures from well over a week ago. On Saturday, April 1, James and Paulina and I did some digging in the garden after we cleaned all the wet and damaged items out of my mother’s basement. We have plenty of signs of spring in the yard, and I am so very glad that we took the time that day to do it.

Later that evening after my message was finished and we were sitting in bed watching previously recorded television shows, my youngest sister called to tell me that my uncle in Phoenix passed away. He was laying on the couch watching the big basketball tourney and had a heart attach. My mind instantly went to wondering which member of the family was there to greet him as he passed from us to them. His passing leaves a horrible hole in the family dynamics both in his immediate family and in our larger extended group. He was so much the one we loved to call to share any of our great accomplishments. He was always so supportive, and even if he couldn’t be here with us so very often, we always felt that we mattered to him.

Peonies coming

Tulips

Irises

Days like this so make me wonder how God allows us to have such pain in our lives, and then I realize it is not the pain and the heart ache that matter but what we do with it and about it. How we deal with the hand we are dealt is what matters in life. That was the point of my message last Sunday, and I will share that later. I am in school with James this morning as we are waiting for the time for the bus to leave for the track meet in Hazen. Should be a great day. Enjoy the pictures!!

April Fool’s Day, outside…

 

Lily Garden

Today we worked in the garden, well the flower garden, or at least a few of the beds.  We didn’t start out there, but that is where we middled. I can’t say we ended there because the end for me is here in the blog world. I showered and came to the computer area after we were finished up outside. Well, at least I was finished. After being down and out with a sinus/head cold for a week, I was not worth much at a time today. I am thinking it will be ok to stop taking those OTC decongestants because they are making me just a little jittery. I also did a load of laundry (good skirts and shirts) and hung them on the line, oh how nice to be able to do that again. I decided today that my request for this birthday is new lines (all four spots, pulled tight and no splices) and new clothes pins, just saying.

James and Paulina and I started the day by dragging everything out of the basement at my mother’s house. I guess our April’s Fool was that no one else was available to help. And since this was our only open weekend, and with the furnace coming in at 6:30 a.m. on Monday there really wasn’t much choice on the matter. We should have done it sooner, but I don’t think it would have been such a good idea to have it sitting in the snow. It was also too icky to drag to the main floor, so it was out the cellar door with it all. Paulina picked a spider web off James when it was all finished that went from his shoulder to his ankle. She told me the spider in the back room was the size of a small tarantula. I did not go in to look. I recognized a few items as things we had left behind when we moved into our house, but the rest is well, items that my mother had packed away and put in the basement. I didn’t realize that she had so much Christmas stuff there. I still have not located the ceramic scene that I gave her of the figure skaters. I am starting to wonder if it was broken and she just never had the nerve to say anything. Oh well. Mostly it was paper boxes that need to be folded up and stuck into garbage bags. I insisted we leave it out to dry, and if anyone thinks something is theirs, I am not delivering. Mostly we will get it tossed by tomorrow night and hopefully take a drive to the dump on Monday or Tuesday at the latest. James would have tossed it all today, but I was the one who wanted to take a second look at the stuff after a day in the sun.

Solar lights are up!

After we had some lunch I figured it would be a good time to move some of the solar lights back outside. They have been in the basement and in my bedroom over the winter. Before we could put them in place, we raked all the dead leaves and pulled some of the fall grasses out of the flower beds. James got a little over zealous in my poor lily bed and a few of the new sprouts were pulled out. He heard about it more than a few times. He finally moved on and cleaned out the little pond. I did my best to clear out the rest of the lily area by hand and a bit more gently. The day lilies are quite thick so I don’t think we will be hurt in terms of blooms. This is one flower garden that probably would like a bit of compost to feel some nourishment.

We also noticed that the tulips are growing well in the old bed where they were supposedly all removed, but not coming up at all in the new bed to which they were transplanted two years ago. Imagine that! It was quite an ordeal snipping and breaking and pulling off the old stalks of holly hocks. I even managed to dig out a few of the plants, which might explain why my arms are sore. When you get those flowers started in a spot, they just keep getting bigger and thicker and almost invasive. Oh well, they are pretty and make for a very nice natural fence.

So, how did you spend your April Fool’s Day???

Spring is here!!

Flowers on campus

I didn’t take any pictures of spring today, but a couple of weeks ago, I had to write the ministerial contribution to the local paper. It was the week after we returned from the trip to Nationals to watch Paulina. In Tennessee the flowers were blooming and I took some pictures of them, so I will share both the pictures and the story here.

Recently my youngest sister, my husband and I took a trip to Tennessee. We went to Eastern Tennessee State University in Johnson City to the National NAIA Indoor Track and Field Competition to watch our daughter participate in the weight throw. I was expecting sunshine and plenty of warm weather and so packed cropped pants and t-shirts and light jackets, we were going south, after all. Much to my surprise and chagrin, we woke the first day to snow and ice on the tarp over the outdoor pool. Of course I had not done a good job of checking out the geography of the area, and I ended up slightly chilly as a result.

We could see the Great Smoky Mountains through most of the trip. We saw them as we drove from the airport in Knoxville to Johnson City and again when we left in the airplane to return home. Sadly we never actually had the time to enter the park associated with them or do any serious touring. At least I was able to snap lots of pictures of the countryside as we drove along. Some highways were lined with trees others were walls of rock and some were ditches similar to ours with the difference being that they were filled with daffodils in bloom. Not many of the trees were sprouting leaves, but the flowers were blooming and the grass was green. It was a sure sign that spring was closer than the cool air was indicating.

This morning when I opened up my devotional booklet it instructed me to read from Isaiah 55: 10-11. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth, it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (NRSV) The words in this passage are another reminder of spring and all that God does for us in terms of providing the seasons and the conditions that allow for growth of plants and grains to give us food for the body and growth of God’s word to give us food for the soul.

As spring approaches our area, take some time to experience the wonder of God’ creation as the grass turns green, the trees show their leaves and the flowers break out in bloom, and as you do be sure to give thanks for all the blessings you have been given.

Jan. 6. Third item revealed and dividing an aloe vera

Scooby doo burp rags!!

Scooby doo burp rags!!

So yesterday I wrote about making three items, then stopped short of telling you the third one. Today I am able to tell you what the third item is because it has been delivered. Item three is a set of 4 burp cloths. They don’t really look like a set, and I did a horrible job of setting them up to take a picture of them, but they are off to the left. The picture shows two with print side up and two with the burp puke on me side up. I used some material left over from making a shirt I made for Victoria when she was a CNA. Little did I know that the neck line wasn’t right for her, and I ended up donating it to a thrift store. I sure had fun sewing up that top. My big thing was doing the pockets. They were matched up so well you couldn’t tell they were there. Anyway, I did some research on what material is the best at absorbing liquid and I came up with a flour sack dish towel. I had James pick up a couple of new ones at the drug store before he came home from school. I used less than half of one on this project.

Samples of notches

Samples of notches

As I mentioned yesterday, this is a simple matter of having two pieces of material that are the same size with the right sides facing and sew around three sides and part of the fourth. Trim the corners with a V notch, turn and press or press and turn then top stitch the edge that was open in order to turn it. This is basic common sense and beginning to end it took me less than an hour. The hardest part was squaring up the scraps of print material.

The plant I took apart was the one in the background.

The plant I took apart was the one in the background.

Gift for Marva

Gift for Marva. I tied it up to brace it for a bit.

One other item that I want to show off is the aloe vera plant that I repotted and took off the new little ones and repotted them. I was after a gift for my church secretary. She had picked up one of the little aloe plants that I took to church a couple of years ago, but it ended up dying. I always give away plants with the idea that they have a life-time guarantee. So here is her replacement plant. I took the main plant and put it in a rather large pot, but because these aloe vera plants are so large and top heavy, I realized that it needed to be braced up.

The large plant repotted and baby plants given a new home.

The large plant repotted and baby plants given a new home.

I had just been in the cupboard filled with old flower pots and ribbons and such, and had seem a bag of small dowels. I used them around the plant to hold it in place. I also took one of the long plastic sticks that holds the card in a bouquet, and used it to brace up the plant for Marva. I also found a cute decoration that is a silver wire that curves around the plant perfectly. I also tied them up loosely to give the plant some support until it gets settled in the pot and takes root. As much as I want to get rid of the clutter, I just can’t toss things when I can find a use for them as I did in this project. I think more than tossing, I need to do some sorting and reorganizing so that I am better able to find things when I am looking for them. Well, hope you have enjoyed these little projects. I love to give things I have made myself or something that I have. Making all three of the projects that I wrote of yesterday and today, were really fun to put together and to sew. I also am very happy when I have a plant that is good enough to share. If anyone knows me they understand that when I give you one of my plants it is like giving a part of me, so you know it is special.

Leaving Linton

Leaving Linton

Well that is all for today, catch us tomorrow and hopefully there will be something exciting, though I am not sure that I will really have anything. We are currently in Jamestown. We drove here today to help Paulina move onto campus at University of Jamestown. We are one day too early to get in on a couple of basketball games. Rats!!! We will try to get home in the light tomorrow. The roads coming on US 83 were not the best, though I 94 was just fine getting into Jamestown. OK. enough!

Moving Day: Something new

Lily

Lily

I don’t have any pictures of the event, but Paulina packed up yesterday and headed back to college. I was sad when she left even though we were starting to get on each other’s nerves a bit. In fact, I am sad any time any of the girls leave the yard. I don’t know why I am like that. I know they are not that far away and I can call them anytime, but that is how it is. After she left as I was standing on the upper deck, I noticed something new in the garden. This is the second year we have had an Easter lily re-bloom in the late summer. Pretty amazing that I found it the same day she left. I will take it as a sign of something new coming for all of us.

Peaceful Pond

Pond through the flowers

Pond through the flowers

A couple of days ago on my lucindagardens site, I posted a picture of the morning glories reaching the top of the strings that I had put in place for them this year. I had meant to include this picture of the pond and the view from those morning glories to the rest of the front yard, but it never happened. I was so busy telling the story of the invasive squirrel that I didn’t bother. I think there may have been something about a golf cart and some young children too, not sure. It was the same day, I noticed an older looking pickup drive past with two youngsters sitting on the back. Someone was stopped for that recently. I am guessing if the deputy would have seen this vehicle and the youngsters not just sitting in the box on the back, but standing on the back bumper holding on to the tail gate, there might have been a citation issues. I don’t understand some people, and fortunately, I have no idea who it was so I can’t open my mouth any wider than it is at this time.

I come from that generation who berates the young parents for being over protective. We have passed around the funny paper/email about how we climbed on monkey-bars and fell off without getting concussions. It includes lots more of those sort of things, but of course I can’t find the paper or remember any of them now.

What I do remember is that there were lots of goofy accidents while I was a child. Ones that people didn’t necessarily survive, or come out of without a few scars. Case in point the little girl who somehow got pulled into the power take off of the tractor on the hay-field and her mother walked the field and picked up her limbs, or the little girl who was run over by her father with a tractor. The last one lived long enough to get to the hospital, but not to be saved. Another child, a boy, was run over by a tractor in a plowed field and fortunately because the ground was soft he survived. And somehow I have a memory of people riding in the back of a pick up while out gopher hunting and someone sitting on the back was shot when they hit a bump. I don’t remember the outcome of that. Or the father whose pelvis was shattered when riding inside the pickup and the gun went off during hunting season. Then there was the hunter who was shot when exiting the car because the hunter exiting the other side was over zealous about getting the bird first and shot across the car roof. And there was the little girl who died from an appendicitis because her parents thought it was a bad case of the flu and in those days you didn’t run to the doctor for everything. It sure changed after that for mine.

I don’t know why I am bringing up all this gloom and doom tonight except that I just can’t stand the idea of adults being this foolish with their children, with the children of our community. I know they think nothing like that can happen to them. I know they think nothing like that has ever happened here. This is a classic case of “if you don’t know your history, you are destined to repeat it,” or something like that. Common sense tells you that you need to be more careful. I taught with a young man a few years back, who would shake his head when he heard about someone doing something that was beyond the edge of risk taking. He always told us that if he ever did something that crazy and ended up dying, we were not to attend his funeral. He said not to mourn him if he was that (using his words) stupid. He called his concept Natural Selection. Yikes, those are harsh words. What I tell myself and my family is that children are precious, and mostly that you cannot make them again.

I guess perhaps tonight I am missing my grandchildren, and maybe even the early years with my own children. And I just want to put a shout out to all of you who don’t always stop to think about the consequences of your actions, stay safe, some body might miss you if something would happen. There are enough crazy weird things that happen in life, don’t borrow trouble. I wish for everyone to be as safe and peaceful as those swans sitting on the edge of my pond. Happy End of July!!

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