Sunday, August 19, 2012

Yard Stuff

We’ve been working in the yard a little bit lately.  The garden here at home is now gone…everything that had been out there had pretty much burned up, so I did a little clean-up.  The garden area is now a sea of black plastic; from the look of some of our tomato plants we began to suspect a disease, so we are sterilizing the soil by letting it bake under the plastic for a few weeks.  We will spend this fall and winter adding compost and amendments in an effort to rebuild the soil, and hopefully it will be better than before.
Despite our piddly results here at home, Robert is still active in the community garden he helped establish over in the city in which he works.  He will be having a fall garden there and has started some plants here at home for that little plot of earth.  Here are his plants:

Yes, you are seeing things correctly.  Those corn plants on the far left were planted in toilet paper rolls.  I had read about this awhile back and we’ve always wanted to try it.  The neat thing is that when it is time to transplant there is no need to disturb the tender young plant.  You simply place the whole roll into the ground where it will gradually break down (plus the plants can send roots shooting out of the open bottom of the roll).  So far we are kind of liking this idea…Updates to come…
I still have all kinds of critters here in the yard.  I removed a pot that was sitting on top of two flagstones to find this little guy:

Needless to say, I promptly replaced the pot so as to not disrupt the integrity of his hiding spot and to protect him from our hound dogs.
Then there is this guy:

I have seen him all over the garden all summer long.  With his fantastic camouflage he has managed to elude the dogs and Opal Chicken, quite a feat .
As part of our clean-up efforts we relocated the big compost bin, which meant dumping all of the compost out on the ground for awhile.  Opal was one happy chicken, let me tell you.  I’ve never seen a girl have as much fun playing in a compost pile!

Our latest round of compost has reached the stage that we finally have consolidated all three bins into one, large, full bin:

We are so happy that it is finally under 100° (for the most part), and we got some much needed rain this weekend.  Opal Chicken is finally able to sleep in her own little coop, leaving me free to reclaim the craft room.  Even though this year’s garden is over, there is always something to do outside, and Opal and Nestlé both love when we spend a lot of time outside because it means more time for them to “free range” in the yard.
Everyone wins!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Here’s the Buzz…Paisley is Two!

The Most Bee-utiful Child in the World turned two, and everyone was buzzing with excitement.  Paisley’s parents put together an absolutely wonderful party at their own little hive:
 There was bee-themed hoopla everywhere:

And, of course, lots of presents:

And some cake:

Robert’s mother, Lynda, came up for the event, and we were so glad that she was able to join us.  Jeromy’s family was there, as well as some of Paisley’s “playmates”.  I didn’t count, but I’m guessing there were about 30 guests or so.  Jeromy, a master griller, cooked out for everyone, and Mandy had already done her part on all of those wonderful decorations, etc. (Mandy is learning to really utilize the Cricut machine, and she even used her sewing machine to make ruffled crepe paper streamers!)
Paisley certainly is one lucky little honey!

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Awhile back, my daughter introduced me to “Pinterest”.  She is also the one who encouraged me to try Facebook, and then to read blogs, and finally to write blogs.  She also probably knows how to do things with my cell phone that I don’t even know that I can do – I’m convinced that she just knows everything!  Okay, back to Pinterest.  I originally saw Pinterest as a neat way to keep track of things that I discovered on the web without having to resort to having 500 things on my “Favorites” list.  Then I discovered that you could not only keep track of the things that you find, but that you could also see all the wonderful things that your friends (and even people whom you have never met) were finding.
This has been both a blessing and a curse for me.  I must confess, I love all of the wonderful ideas that I see for home décor, gardening, crafts, etc.  However, even though I don’t spend a lot of time on the computer, I was finding that the more time I spent on Pinterest, the more unhappy I was becoming.  It took awhile, but I finally figured out why.  You see, every room, every garden, every finished craft that is showcased on Pinterest is absolutely perfect (even down to the perfect photography!).  My house….well, can we just say that it is not perfect?  Unlike those staged scenes, my house has real people and real animals living in it, and they all have stuff…stuff that is cluttering up the space here.  In addition, no matter how much I work at it there is always another floor that needs mopping; there’s another plant that, for reasons unknown, is dying; and there’s yet another craft project that just will never reach the level of perfection that you see in those pictures that are showcased on the world-wide web.   All of this served to make me dislike my house even more than I already did.  Comparing my house to all of those picture-perfect rooms was making me feel like I was the only person in the world who just could not get it together at all.
Things got at least somewhat better this weekend.  Paisley’s birthday party was yesterday (more to come on that), and my mother-in-law came to stay with us so that she could participate in celebrating the most wonderful child in the world.  Ever since Alan left, I have been working on his old room ever-so-little-at-a-time.  With Lynda’s visit becoming the new deadline, it was time for me to finally get in gear and get that room done!  I had already completed a lot of clearing and de-cluttering, so now it was time to wash the mattress cover and trot out the new sheets, bedspread, and curtains that I had bought when Alan left for Yellowstone the first time.  So here it is, finally finished…this is probably the one room in my house that will ever even come close to one of those Pinterest rooms:

I was pleased with how it turned out (even though the photography still stinks), and it is going to be so nice to have at least one room that is clean, clutter-free, and “company ready”.  By moving some of the other furniture out of the room, there is now even a spot for a cot for a certain beautiful child to spend the night if she can ever get well and stay that way – two cases of pneumonia in just six months is just not good!
I also have found one minor success in the garden of which I can be proud.  Before Alan left this spring, he helped me to transplant a little rose bush.  It had been in a flower bed in the front yard and the poor thing had just struggled for years.  Well, “bloom where you are planted” may apply to people, but I have learned that it doesn’t apply to roses.  At the time we moved it, the sad bush was down to just one lone little branch that was still alive.  After moving it to my decorative bed in the back yard, that bush took off!  Here is a picture that I took not too long ago:

In a yard filled with scorched, sorry looking plants, this is my one little gem.  It, too, is almost Pinterest worthy!
I took a break from Pinterest and other venues like it for awhile, but have decided to give it another try.  I am working on learning to be inspired without becoming mired in self-doubt, dissatisfaction, and feelings of ineptitude.  My house (like my soul) as a whole will never be perfect, but I can find little nuggets of perfection here and there as each little corner or some little project finally reaches the stage of “finished”.