Sunday, June 28, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ June 28, 2015

Joining Like Mother, Like Daughter for {phfr}!


Dave's brother and his wife are visiting from the west coast.  We don't get to see them very often, but we are enjoying our time together.  Last Wednesday, my mother-in-law joined us for dinner.  It was a rare occasion for us all to be together.

Dave, his mother, his sister-in-law, and his brother

Our quirky and adorable Hannah and her grandmother are so much alike.  They each view the world through her own binoculars and neither cares if it makes her unusual.  Lots of strength of mind is represented in this photo.


Our town is home to a couple big insurance companies, and one of them maintains a beautifully and immaculately kept garden for public use.  I think it's one of my favorite places.  A sample of the gorgeousness~

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ June 21, 2015

What's the weather like in your neck of the woods?  It's been almost nothing but rain and gray skies around here for the past six weeks, though yesterday was clear and sunny. . . and very hot!  The problem is that it's hard to keep up with outdoor chores.  Also, the poor vegetable garden is kind of scraggly and waterlogged.  But first, some {pretty} and {happy}


The zinnias are blooming!  Have you ever grown zinnias?  My goodness, they are so hardy and robust they are almost fail-safe.  The soil here is not great, it's been cloudy and too wet, yet these little beauties practically spring up overnight from seed and then bloom profusely until frost in the fall. They aren't even picky about spacing or depth of planting.  And then they oblige with lots of color and blooms that are great for cutting.  And this is just the start!

The dahlias are also about to bloom.  I've never grown dahlias before, but I'm excited to see how these do.  Honestly, when I put those dried up, dead-looking roots in the ground, it seems impossible that anything should come of them, but look what happens: lush foliage and the first bud. It really is a little miracle.  Gardening is an act of faith!


On to the vegetable garden!  We have the first two wee tomatoes~

~which is encouraging considering the awful weather we've had.  In fact, some of the tomato plants are thriving, like this:

Though you can't see them, there are several blossoms!


. . . and some are not, like this:

It's still alive anyway.  We bought all our tomato plants at the same place and planted them at the same time in the same garden.  They are literally a few feet apart, yet we have flourishing plants like the one in {happy} and spindly plants like the one above, and everything in between.  I'm blaming the weather.


A mouse surprised me and I surprised it when I went to do some weeding in the flower garden.  It scurried away and hid with its face toward the retaining wall but left his hind end sticking out.  I just left it.  I don't care if the mice live outside; it's only when they come into the house that they are a problem.    

And yes, the weeds are {real}-ly that bad.  Weeds, of course, love rain, but the rain, of course, keeps me from keeping up with the weeding.  It's almost under control now.  I will take dominion!

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Sunday, June 14, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ June 14, 2015

Hello, everyone!  As usual, I'm joining Like Mother, Like Daughter for {phfr}!


There are two, possibly three, herons living at our pond this summer, judging by the various shades of blue/gray we see.  I hope to see babies soon, but no luck so far. These birds are so different than the raucous geese who splash around in the pond, announcing their every arrival and departure.  The herons are silent and hardly ruffle the water when they catch a fish.  The only way to see them is to happen to glance pond-ward at just the right moment.  Then you might see one swooping noiselessly above the water or perching on a stump, like this one.


My husband the turtle lover spotted this gal in our driveway.  She made a dash for the woodpile when she realized he was intending to pick her up.  He did, but no harm came to her.  Turtles always look like they are smiling!

Dave says you can tell him and her box turtles apart by the bottoms of their shells and their eyes.  Boy turtles usually have a red ring around their eyes and the bottoms of the their shells are concave.  Girls' shells are flat and their eyes red ring-less.  I take his word for it.


It's broken.  In two places. 

He'll be wearing a cast for at least four weeks.  Thankfully, no surgery is required.  He had them wrap it in green to match the liturgical color for the season of Pentecost because he's cool that way.


We have had some big storms this weekend, some of them severe enough to drive us to an interior room when the tornado sirens went off.  We have had more than two inches of rain in two days, which is nothing compared to some of Texas and Oklahoma, I know, but things are pretty soggy out there and the pond is the fullest I have ever seen it.  

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~June 7, 2015

Hello, there!  I did not mean to disappear last week, but it's the way things fell out.  I'm glad to be joining Rosie at Like Mother, Like Daughter for {phfr} this week.


Masses of vivid, multi-colored geraniums at the local nursery.  I wished I could have rolled up the entire greenhouse and taken it home.  Gorgeous!


I recently used my pressure canner for the first time since we moved here last summer.  I made vegetable beef soup from a leftover pot roast plus a few odds and ends.  It's thrifty and tasty, a good combination!  I love having jars of homemade soup on hand for busy days.  Our garden is in full swing now, and if all goes as planned, I will have veggies to can this summer.  Since this is our first year of gardening at this location, the soil is not great, so I'm trying not to get my expectations too high.  We shall see . . .


I have wanted to do a fairy garden for the past four summers but, for one reason or another, just never managed to actually get it done.  Well, I finally did yesterday, and I love it!

I bought the miniatures at Jo-Ann (40% or 50% off~ I can't remember which), the asparagus fern at the nursery for $2, and the rest I scrounged.  I dug up some of the copious moss in our lawn and used a couple small impatiens I planted from seed.  I had saved the rocks that we weeded out of the garden all spring and used those for the walkway.  The big rock came from the garden too.  The soil and wagon we already had on hand. The wagon is really Hannah's from when she was a little girl and would take her dolls for rides in it. She hasn't used it for many years, though, so I "borrowed" it.  Dave drilled holes for drainage. So, all told I spent less than $20.  I think my fairy garden is sweet and whimsical!


As I was passing through my bedroom, I glanced out the window and was greeted with this sight:

A flying lesson!  The fledglings did not seem eager to begin.  Two adult birds flew from branch to branch, twittering.  "See?  You just do it like this.  It's easy!  C'mon and give it a try!"  I never did see the little birds attempting to fly, but I suspect they eventually screwed up their courage and tried.  


This is the result of a scuffle with an uncooperative horse.  The horse won.

Dave says the falling didn't hurt, but the landing did.  He's got an immobilizing splint and an upcoming x-ray to determine if it's broken or just sprained.  Either way, it looks nasty and feels worse!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ May 24, 2015

It's been more like an issue of Birds & Blooms around here than a blog, but that's because I don't have regular access to babies or small children of any variety and my remaining child at home is camera-averse at the moment. Gardening and yard work are what's happening around here, so please bear with me. :)


Some sweet pansies poking their little faces through the deck rails~

I haven't taken the time to determine what kind of butterfly this is, but it sure is purdy!

Coreopsis, also known as tickseed in these parts, is just coming into bloom.

It's especially charming mixed with daisies.


After much rain and many delays due to said rain, the beans are finally coming up in the vegetable garden.

{Not Really Funny . . .}

but I wanted to put this picture somewhere.  It's been rainy and cool this spring, which is perfect for growing mushrooms in the pansy pot.


The spinach and carrots in this little patch ONLY  are looking good, but the rest of the sixty-plus feet of carrots we planted and the five feet or so of spinach is spindly and stunted.  I'm blaming the soil.  This is our first year to have a garden in our new home, and the soil is uneven and unenriched.  Oh, well, you have to start somewhere.  Next year will be better.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ May 17, 2015

Joining Like Mother, Like Daughter for {phfr} . . .

{Pretty} and {Happy}

This is the first May we have spent in this house, and it is exciting to see what blooms. There are wild roses and daisies on the boundary between the lawn and the woods, which makes me happy all out of proportion to their consequence.


This little guy (or gal) is living in our woodpile and seems to enjoy the daily buffet of clover and grasses.


Forgive me for thinking a crying baby is funny, but you have to understand that Verity cries about everything.  Not real, honest to goodness, distressed crying, but a complaining, what-are-you-trying-to-do-to-me crying with a twist of whine.  So here she is experiencing the sandbox for the first time and telling all and sundry that she doesn't like it one little bit, thankyouverymuch!

And just for comparison, here she is last winter at about four months of age making the same face because she was upset about . . . who knows what?  That's Verity for you, though to be fair, she does smile a great deal and is in every way sweet and adorable.


So I'm outside doing some gardening and I see this spider out of the corner of my eye.  When I look at him, I also notice a fuzzy, yellow caterpillar with funny antennae obliviously within range of said spider.  In a split second the spider seizes the caterpillar by the head and drags it off to his lair to be devoured in peace, like Shelob with an orc. Such is the way of the fallen world.  On the one hand is the exquisite beauty of babies, bunnies, and blossoms, and on the other is the horror of sin and death. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ May 10, 2015

Hello, everyone!  Most of the week was dark, gloomy, and rainy, so I do not have a lot of pictures,but I will share what I do have.


The blue heron is likely here for the summer.  We played host to one~ maybe the same one?~ last year too and also her two babies.  I'm hoping this one is also a she and has a nest somewhere.  It's likely she does.

Gold finches are common occurrences around here, but that doesn't stop them from being pretty.

There hasn't been any noticeable activity on the bluebird front this week, but what with the rain and all, I'm not surprised.  We'll keep watching!


Dave found this huge mushroom in the yard.  After some digging on the internet, he decided it was a dryad's saddle, which is edible.  So . . . he ate it.  (All the look-alikes are non-toxic, so he felt safe.) He was happy to find a free mushroom of such enormity, and I was happy he didn't poison himself. :)


This is what the skies looked like most all the time this week~

Dark, gloomy, and cloudy with the occasional peak of blue sky.  And we have a few more days of it!


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