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Monday, June 30, 2008

A Birthday

My baby is 21 years old today. 5 weeks

21 years

When she was little, we had this conversation almost daily:

Me: "I love you!"

J: "I love you, too!"

Me: "I love you more!"

J: "Huh uh, I love you more!"

Me: "Well, I loved you first!"

Happy Birthday Jessica. You'll always be my baby, and I will always love you.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Today in the Garden

It's the time of year when the garden changes almost daily. I thought I'd post a few photos of what's happened since the last tour.

The lilies have begun to bloom! These tall orange flowers are often called "ditch lilies" around here because they grow profusely anywhere. These are old - when we moved into the house that was originally on this property, these lilies were planted next to the garage. When we tore everything down and put the new house here, I found a few roots that had survived the construction. These are planted at the bottom of the deck steps, between the deck and garage. And yes, they are in the way when going in and out of that door, but we live with it. (See the potting bench in the background? Yeah, those are more plants to put in the ground. I picked them up in Lincoln the other day. Plants on sale = coming home with me. :o) )

These are two different variaties of asiatic lily. (I was a bad gardener and didn't keep track of plant names when these went into the ground so many years ago.)

A little collage of a few other things - the tipsy pots again, an enamel bowl planted with zinnias, and the hanging baskets a little more filled out. I love how those baskets came out and will keep notes of what I put in there for next year. :o)
The orange/yellow zinnia thing isn't my usual choice, but what a "pop" of color they bring to the garden party! My friend Susan has an enamel pan on her front porch, filled with coleus, and I loved how that looked. I knew I had a big pan in the garage - imagine my delight when I found three pans! If these work out, they'll be an annual addition - I didn't punch holes in the bottom for drainage, just filled them with about an inch of pea gravel. We'll see how it goes. The other two are smaller, and I'll show you those next time.
The tipsy pots are still my favorite thing so far this year. Every day when I pull in the driveway, they make me smile! My friend Cindy told me the other day that they make her smile, too, every time she drives past the house. Several people have asked me how to put the tipsy pots together, so I hope to see a few more displays around town in the near future. For a good tutorial, click here.
There is more, but this is long enough. Tomorrow morning, if it's not raining, I'll douse myself in bug spray and spend some time out there (yes, I think the mosquito will soon be named our state bird! If we don't spray ourselves, we get eaten alive.) The veggie garden is doing great and I am SO LOVING having fresh herbs available just a few feet outside my kitchen door! I'll share some photos as soon as I get it all weeded...

Come back soon and check out what's new in my little back yard!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer Project To-Do's

I just read about the "Before and After" challenge on BooMama's blog, and decided this was perhaps the impetus I need to get moving. There are always many projects brewing in my mind, but I'm a procrastinator. Sigh.

Here's my list:
Paint and set up the guest room (remove unused exercise equipment, move in furniture, hem drapes)
Re-paint master bedroom (thought I'd live with the color I chose last summer, but not liking it at all), change curtains.
Change drapes in living room.
Paint kitchen after Greg gets done with his list (same color, just new coat)...

Here's Greg's list:
new kitchen counters
new kitchen sink and faucet
new range hood
new flooring

Can it all be done by July 25? It could.

Will it be? Not if I stay in this chair playing on the computer.

Guess I better get busy -


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Garden Tour

Welcome to my back yard! Today I'm joining in the Summer Garden Tour 2008, hosted by Tracey from Notes from a Cottage Industry. I've looked forward to sharing some of my favorite spots with you. (Click on the link to visit other gardens as well.)

I live in a rural village in Southeast Nebraska. My back yard is something of a haven, hidden from the street, where the birds feed and bathe and sing, squirrels bury black walnuts and climb the shepherds hooks to steal sunflower seeds meant for the birds, bunnies hop around and feast on the clover, and bumblebees hum as they drink from the flower blooms. There is no better time of the day than when I can just sit out there and watch and listen.

What I'm showing you today is but a glimpse. Never am I caught up with the weeding or deadheading or even planting for that matter, but I don't stress about it. I just do what I can each day and appreciate that I've been allowed to nurture this little corner of Creation. Let's get started:

This engraved rock was a gift from my brother Randy and his wife Leslie. The stone is from Kansas and is extremely heavy. It currently sits in front of the lily bed - I think it's staying there. :o)

A wider view of where the rock sits. The old metal lawn chairs were garage sale finds that Jessi painted yellow. Behind them is the cherry tree and the weigela bush. Both bloomed profusely this year. Between the chairs you can see the asiatic lilies. They'll be blooming in the next few weeks.
The weigela bush a couple of weeks ago. This photo was taken on the North side and shows the blooms. The bees love this!

Behind the lilies is a metal trellis of sorts. My son Nick made this in High School when he had a short unit on welding in shop class. It wasn't quite what I'd ordered, but the shop teacher was a dweeb and wouldn't purchase supplies, so Nick had to use what was there. I love how it's all rusty and old-looking. It helps guide the hose around the lilies when Greg is not being very careful...

These hanging baskets just make me smile! They're filled with pink geraniums, pink zinnias, purple ageratum, and a little white flower that I don't remember the name of. Filling baskets and pots like these are a challenge for me to figure out what will look good together and if I'm putting too many or too few plants in them. I think this year it came out good!

This photo was taken on Tuesday afternoon in the full sun, but by late afternoon this bench will be shaded and cozy. I love to stretch out and watch the wildlife while enjoying the flowers. The pillow is a tropical print from Goodwill. Behind the bench is a trellis where I planted a clematis. It's still very tiny, but will be lovely in a couple of years. On the far right of the bench is an old metal bucket planted with a neglected geranium I got on clearance - it is just now greening up again and I hope for blooms in the near future. On the far left of the bench is my nail ball (yes Michael, it's still here!) :o) I glued 16-penny nails to a bowling ball for a unique piece of garden art.

This photo was taken last week of the birdfeeding/bathing area, when the peonies were still pretty. In front of the peonies I have purple salvia. Under the feeders I'm letting sunflowers grow. There will be a little "forest" of them later this summer. To the left of the birdbath there is beebalm - it'll bloom in a few weeks.

The white delphiniums bloomed this week. I love how delicate they are. Today I added two purple ones nearby.

A little garden angel - she was a Christmas gift. She's snuggled up into the silver bells.

This is my potting bench. My DH designed and built it for me about four or five years ago as a Christmas gift. We recently moved it out of the garage so I will be able to use it more easily. You can see there are still several things sitting on it that need to be planted. In front of the bench is an old galvanized metal watering can filled with red petunias.

On the bottom shelf is an old chicken waterer - there are plans for that...

This last photo is of my favorite project so far this summer, my tipsy pots. I first saw these online a couple of years ago and just filed the idea away as a "someday" project. This spring I found the perfect metal pole to stack the pots on, dug the large pots out of the garage, and got busy. It is planted with red petunias, pink wave petunias, and blue and white lobelia. The top plant is a pink version of the white flowers in the hanging baskets. I put them near the driveway where the sidewalk to the backyard begins and have had many positive comments from people who see them when they drive by. The neighbors love them - one more thing in my garden that makes me smile!

This concludes my Summer Garden Tour 2008 - so far. I have so much more I want to show you as the summer progresses and I get more projects completed. Please come back often and check out the changes in this backyard haven on the Great Plains!

Saturday, June 07, 2008


I love my cats. They are members of my family. But they are also animals with instincts they can't control. And when one is accidentally stepped on by a human who is a hundred times bigger than he is, he reacts with those instincts.
On Wednesday evening I was carrying my laptop across the living room with the screen open, and I didn't see Tucker lying on the floor. Yeah, I stepped on him, fell down, threw the laptop across the floor. He yowled, bit me, and ran away. All of this happened in the span of about 2 seconds. Fortunately Tucker was not hurt, just scared. I, on the other hand, was wounded.
The bite is nasty and despite my initial first aid efforts, by the next afternoon it was glaringly apparent that infection had set in. Greg took one look at my sore, red, hot (and I don't mean sexy hot, I mean temperature hot) leg, and made me go see his mom.
Nurse Nanny took one look and told me to get to the doctor, NOW. She's not usually that emphatic, so I followed her instructions and called the clinic quickly before the on-call doctor left for the day.
This photo is what the leg looks like this morning, 36 hours after my first dose of Augmentin. It really looks pretty good and is not nearly as sore as it has been, so I think I'll live to be a grandma (that's what my mom used to tell me when I was little and had some small injury - "Oh, you'll live to be a grandma".)
Tucker is being very cautious about lying on the floor. When I walk by, he jumps up and moves. I think we'll both be a bit more careful from now on.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

My Refrigerator Knows Me

What Your Fridge Says About You

You like to be surrounded by things you love. You aren't exactly greedy, but you can be materialistic at times.

You tend to be a fairly thrifty person. You splurge occasionally, but you're mostly a saver.

You are a very adventurous person. You love to try new things, and you get bored very easily.

You are responsible, together, and mature. You act like an adult, even when you don't feel like it.

You are likely to be married - and very busy.