Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lots of Love

I knew what I wanted from this picture but could not get the flag and the wind to cooperate. I enjoy sitting out here when the weather is nice. This week is going to be hot, but we have been lucky and not had too much really hot weather. I did turn on the air in the bedroom yesterday afternoon as it was kinda sticky.

Sitting here checking my email and Charlie walks up and puts his head in my lap. I start petting him, he is so soft and sleek petting him is almost therapy. He looks up and give a big sigh, he would probably stand here for hours if I had the time. Just a little while ago my mind was in a completely different place. There are times I feel like a gerbil on a wheel, running and running and not getting anywhere. Thinking like that spirals me down and I have to give myself a kick to go in the other direction. Why is it so easy to only think of the negative and forget all the good we have. While we are not where I would like us to be, we still have so much. A roof over our heads, food, love and the chance to improve our situation. Our health is good, not perfect but so much better then so many others. My brain still functions, or at least I think it does. I guess what is getting to me at the moment is that there is so much that needs doing, some times I just kind of shut down. The logical part of my brain tells me that it will all come together, just keep plugging. The "pity me" part of my brain looks for all the things that are wrong. Then Charlie walks up and gives me love and all he wants from me is to be petted and he is content. So, shut up Barbara and keep plugging!!

Molly is such a cutie pie, of course that is my take. If Elvira could talk she would have a whole different view, Molly bugs the heck out of her. Molly runs and runs and then flops down and is asleep. Sorry about the background, she could have picked a more attractive spot,lol. She is so soft, even her paws are soft and she still has that baby dog smell. I will try and remember that when she is 75 pounds and huge. I took almost 100 pictures the other day, interesting things everywhere. The digital cameras are great, instant gratification.
The pink and yellow flowers are the ones that my friend Ellen cleared out of her garden. We filled the Pathfinder twice with all she gave me. It was like Christmas, getting new plants for the yard and pots and even some trees. She gave me some small Black Walnut trees, they are supposed to grown quickly which is great. There still are lots of areas that need trees to help block the wind and a bonus for these will be the nuts. Ellen told me people spread them in their driveways and run their cars over them to break open the tough outer husk. Then you take them inside to dry and on days with not much to do you pick out the meat.
Well, off to do some of the multitude of jobs that await, best to you all and thank you for coming to visit.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday once again

Well before she left on vacation Violet Lady gave me an award, now if I could only figure out how to get it over here. Hope she is having fun, beautiful part of the world she is going to.

Thank you for the kind comments about the new header. One of the things I like about old homes are the porches. You see so many that have closed them in and to me it is a shame. I enjoy walking out and just standing there and listening and watching. When I can I like to sit out there and just be. I keep trying to imagine how we can put up screen and have it look nice, how to winterize it without spoiling it. Keeps those brain cells working and moving. I do want at some point and time to add to the porch, I like the ones that wrap around. I think I have mentioned I am a curve and arch person, squares bug me.

The hollyhocks are another joy, last year I was pleased to discover them. Once we figured they were an actual plant and not a weed, they were no longer mowed and allowed to grow. They gave a lot of flowers last summer, but were spindly and I spent a lot of time propping them up. This year they are standing tall all on their own and popping up all over. Hopefully next year they will continue to increase and put on another show of beauty. Most of the plants I am putting in are perennials so should come up again. At this point I am having some problems with them coming back, not sure what I am doing wrong. I was having pretty good luck with the ones I put in, until something maybe rabbits discovered them. They seem to find mums and daises tasty. So now need to do some fencing.

Jim will leave in the morning and it will be 2 weeks until he is home again. Hopefully the new guy they are hiring will work out and things can get a little more normal. Which of course leads to "what is normal", hummm. Too late at night to go there.

Best to you all, thank you for visiting, Barbara

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Check out my Slide Show of Molly, Charlie and Jim

I saw this on bits and pieces and thought it was a good way to introduce our new girl Molly to you all. Molly is a Redbone Hound, Heeler mix. Her buddy is Charlie a German Shorthair, Choclate Lab mix. Jim is my husband and Molly's protector. She is being such a super girl, already tells us when she wants to go out, not sleeping through the night yet but soon I am sure.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Finally corraled the little critters!!

The girls were out again this morning so figured I must have done something wrong. My neighbor stopped by to tell me he might have found some stoves, and I shanghaied him to check the fence. His verdict, no juice. He was on his way to a painting job, but came over this evening to double check, still no juice. Charlie and I trekked down to the slightly larger city and bought a new energizer for the fence. Neighbor Dave came over and hooked it up and double checked fence and said we are good to go. The girls were very good, they never roamed far and did quite a bit of eating while they were out. Tomorrow they are going to be surprised to find they can no longer just wander through the fence. The worry of course is that something will scare them, or they will get into farmer's field and tear stuff up. So this will ease my mind. The only thing I can figure is that the lightning that hit our tree also damaged the fence. It just took a while for them to realize there was no shock in the fence.

Pretty warm today, but cooled off tonight which is a good thing. I put some red landscape cloth down around the tomatoes, supposed to reflect red light back at them??? I don't know, it was on sale and should help with the weeds. Something ate the pretty pink daises I planted, phooey on them hope it upset their stomach. Am loving all the hollyhocks and roses that are in bloom as well as other assorted flowers. I have this vision of wandering along paths lined with a huge variety of flowers. Hidden nooks and crannies with benches and fountains, Jim can make sculptures to keep himself busy. Well, it might be a slightly skewed vision, but it's mine.

My summer squash plants have gotten huge, and finally some blossoms. I have been picking lettuce , eating salads 3 times a day and giving it away and still it grows. To the right are all tomato plants, and in the lower left a corner of my strawberry patch. Also somewhere in there are sweet potato plants, they have kinda gotten buried. Also some spinach and garlic, cucumbers and a lonely watermelon plant. Just behind where I am standing is a zucchini plant that has taken over the whole corner. I might just have to try my hand at zucchini bread. I am leaning all kinds of things about vegetable gardens. I need to leave more room between rows, all those seed do really come up. Also I want to do this again next year with more and better. The gourds that I planted have also taken off, hopefully I will get some in the fall. I planted a variety of shapes for fun. Oh, I also actually got started on my birdbath, there is hope.
The big project for tomorrow is to finish the roses I am making for Ellen's cake. Only about 300 of them, yikes! I did get started and have about 50 done, but back said no more, so will hit it again in the morning when I am fresh. Will also take a few Aleve to ward off spasms. I will post some pictures so you can see what you think. A few mentioned they have not tried the decorating, you should give it a try. Like anything it takes practice, but making it pretty is so much fun. Wish we were closer I would be glad to teach you.
My best to you all, Barbara

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday Evening

Apricot Princess finally bloomed, ain't she purty!!! I bought it for the name on line at Spring Hill and have been waiting to see what it looked like. Everything is growing so nicely, love walking out early when it is so quiet, give the plants a drink and enjoy their beauty. Gets your head off to a good start.

This week kind of flew right by. Jim did not make it home this weekend, I sure will be glad when they have enough help. He called around 9:30 to say good night, worked all day and then had to go back to put a machine together. They had to send for parts from Chicago, those couriers must make big bucks. He should be able to have a 4 day weekend next week, that will be super.

Went to a decorating class on Thursday night with new friend Ellen. I think the fates intervened to bring us together. I needed some floral tape, knew I had purchased some but could not find it. Went online looking for a florist shop close, first one I called the line was busy, next one was Ellen's shop. She said come on over, sold tape to me for a buck. We got talking and have tons in common. I was able to help her with some frosting flowers for a cake she was working on, and am making more for another upcoming cake. We both want to improve our skills so are car pooling to classes. We are thinking we can give each other a helping hand with all we want to do, refer business to each other. She already recommended me for another wedding cake in September, cool!! We are having fun with the classes, sometimes when you are doing the cakes you get in a rut. There are usually time limits and lots to do, so you go with the tried and true. When I do shop this time I want to go slower and be able to be more creative. I am looking forward to to gum paste classes, the flowers you can make with those are amazing.

Tomorrow will be spent making flowers so they will be dry for the cake by Friday, also am determined to get at least one birdbath made. It was on the list for today, but ran out of time. I did get a batch of peanut butter treats made for the dogs, Charlie loves them. He keeps sitting and looking at me, like "Look Mom, I'm sitting, so do I get a treat?"

I ended up spending the afternoon working on fences. Went out and something looked odd, could not find the goats. I called them and hear them and there they are, in the woods. They come and casually go through the fence, hummm, this is not right. So figure there must be weeds or something interfering with the current. Spend ages pulling weeds, with help from the girls, both inside and outside fence. Use the tester and still no current, double check and find a couple of insulators that have pulled loose, fix those. Still no go, well durn. Ok, think, double check and lo and behold my connector wires are loose, so think it is fixed. By then I was pooped so gave the girls their goodies and locked them in. Tomorrow will see if I got it all done right.

No time for bird bath or energy. Tomorrow is supposed to be hot so good to do inside things. I have everything set up in garden shed, so should not take me too long to try this out. Will try to remember to take camera out. Talked to friend Carol on line and she knows someone who is also doing this, so maybe get some tips. This person is in MN so I am not competition.
Always nice to talk to someone who has actually done it first, avoid some pitfalls I hope.

Best to you all, Barbara

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Warm July Morning I wanted to make sure I put this up. She is having her first give away, go check it out.
We have the prettiest sunrises and sunsets here, this is the start of one this morning about 5 am. The tree on the right is a huge old maple, I want to make a small patio under it so we can sit and watch the sun come up.

Jim is on his way back to work, it was so super having him home for 4 whole days. Looks like he will have nice weather for the drive. If I could only find something to do from home then he would be able to take something closer. I do have some leads, apparently it is pretty easy to set up a home business around here. I am hoping that on the next long weekend that Jim is home we can clear out the big garage and rearrange things. I can put up the insulation and washable wall board and the heavy duty wiring is in. This will allow me to hook up my big oven and be able to do more in the cake and pet treat lines.

From what I was told I should also be able to do catering from here, that would solve quite a few of my problems. Having no added overhead and not having to commute will make this much more feasible. I had not started this earlier thinking that I would have to jump through all kinds of hoops. The laws here are much more reasonable it seems. I have all the proper sinks and exhaust fans and I believe all I will need to get this up and running. Time will tell, I am crossing fingers that the information I was given is correct.

Charlie is snoozing under my feet, recharging his batteries I bet. He is getting much better in all areas, we are working hard on not chasing cars and coming the first time we are called. We also need to not chase cats, no matter how tempting it is. Star seems to be pretty much back to herself, so most probably was a bad bruise or sprain. Everyone else is doing well, Peaches has one again taken up residence in the upstairs bathroom. She is the Flame point Himalayan and about 15 or 16, she was a rescue so age was approximate.

I am so grateful that we have been having some nice weather, my gardens and the weeds are doing well. I get such a tickle being able to go out and pick my own salad, I even have some tomatoes which should be ripe in a few days. What is great is that even people in apartments or with small yards can do this. One of those long plastic planters could be used for the lettuce and since you are picking the mature leaves you will have lettuce for quite a while. I have even seen examples where they used a trash can, planting tomatoes, herbs even potatoes. If you are interested there are articles on container gardening, just Google it. The roses are outdoing them selves, covered with buds. Vases of roses everywhere, love it.

Best to you, Barbara

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Charlie's Saga Continues

Violet Lady says her pup carries shoes around, if that was all Charlie did how heavenly. He has now raided my closet and brought out a variety. The up side of this is he did not chew them, the down side is I am still rounding them up. He has also fallen in love with the contents of my purse, yesterday he emptied it all out. Today was a little more drastic, he got into my makeup which is now all over him and the bed. We will see how well all those fancy smancy stain removers work. I keep thinking I have things up high enough, he is more agile then I give him credit for.

Star seems to be doing well, she is only limping a little so I am hoping that it was only a bad bruise. She fell quite hard and I know I would still be limping too. This is all like having small children around again. Milky way broke one of the gates, she did not think we were letting her in quickly enough. Another project for Jim.

It is great to have Jim home for 4 whole days. Poor guy has been working steadily fixing all kinds of things. I did not have to call Maytag about the ice maker, he took it apart and now we have ice cubes galore. I also have 2 working mowers again, he replaced the head gasket on the John Deere and found a piece of gunk in the jet of the carburetor on the other one. He also fixed my little tiller so I can go back to making more flower beds.

I have been feeding him well so that makes him happy. Also making sure he has all kinds of nice clean clothes.

Well, if I do not go to bed soon I am going to dislocated my jaw from yawning.

Super day to you all, Barbara

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Charlie's Stash

Charlie likes to stash stuff, under the sofa cushions this morning I found my outdoor clogs, a tea cup and some foam he ripped out of one of the dog beds. He has also chewed a corner off the comforter and ripped the dust ruffle on my bed, they are yard sale finds so not a big disaster. I don't put the good stuff out because the older cats would snag it as they climb up on the bed. He looks so innocent laying here. I have the kiddie gate up to keep him out of back hall, where I have put the cats food. He sure keeps me on my toes. This will all pass and he will get the idea as to what is acceptable and not. Went out to take some pictures and came back in to more chaos, he found Jim's Moose slippers again, and stuffing from ?, I'm not sure yet.

My Hollyhocks are starting to bloom, they have gotten so tall this year. I guess not mowing them and clearing out all the weeds around them helps. I have some more seeds I forgot to plant, may go ahead and put them out and see what happens. These are all ones that have come up by themselves, the seeds are different colors and doubles. I think that would make a nice mix.
I had to also check on the goats, Star fell off one of the big wood spools yesterday. I was afraid at first that she had broken her leg, I am thinking now it may be a sprain or bad bruise. She really landed hard, and after first getting up she lay back down. Eventually she got up but was limping badly, as of a short time ago she is getting around much better. It is not quite the same as one of the cats or dogs, where you can throw them in the car and go. I guess I better keep my eyes open for a small horse trailer, just in case.
I wanted to give some perspective when I talk about my thistle overload. They smell heavenly and the bees and butterflies love them, but I have far too many. They are in the 4 foot range and really bite if you brush against them. Jim's main purpose this weekend will be getting mowers running so I can make more of a dent in this jungle. I am going to leave a patch of the thistles for the butterflies, but the majority will go.
I am going to make a real effort to get one of my birdbaths finished this weekend so I can take pictures of it. I will love to get feedback on this project, I have a ton of ideas.
Best to you all and have a safe 4Th!! Barbara