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Friday, July 31, 2009

Run Quick

Get the camera!

Click the photo to enlarge.
While I was out watering the garden Lily started making noises like when she sees someone that she knows. Within seconds I saw deer meandering up the rocks and onto the neighbors driveway. I put down the watering hose and ran into the house and grabbed my camera and was adjusting it for distance as I was running. This is the only photo I could get. The next photo was only the tail of the second deer darting into the garden for some lunch. It was just that time of day and the bright sun was high in the sky. I am a little surprised that I was able to get a photo that would be presentable. What you see is what I got. Not to bad considering the circumstances.
Lily is a real fan of the deer. In the past, I have seen her and a deer nose-to-nose through the wire fencing. That would make a great photo! But, I wasn't fast enough in getting the camera. She seems to be as fascinated with them as they are with her. Sometimes, in the evening when I think the deer might be traveling through the yard behind the house, I go to the window where the sofa sits and say to Lily "Where is Bambi?" and she runs and gets on the back of the sofa and watches and watches. She has seen them many times through that window and she loves it. They are so beautiful and graceful as they glide over fences. My fencing seems to be high enough that they just say, "Forget it, we'll go next door". However, before I had fencing, they never seemed to miss a day without visiting my rose garden, carrying on like they thought it was ice cream. I think it is a little surprising that we see the deer so often given the fact that we live very close to town.
A smile is the lighting system of the face,
the cooling system of the head
and the heating system of the heart.
- - -Anonymous

Hope you ENJOY the last day of July - can you believe it?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Artist At Work

Viewing the video in full screen, makes it more enjoyable.

What a huge undertaking and masterful result!
If you find yourself to be the curious person like myself, you may be interested in her website (http://racheljohn.co.uk/.). Be sure to read the section on History of Extreme Knitting which is on the pull-down menu. I think it is amazing that she is physically able to do the knitting. According to her YouTube profile, she is age 52. She must have amazing arm strength and muscles!
I am looking forward to getting back to my knitting when the weather gets cooler.

I hope you are amused with the video as I was.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Here Chickie, Here Piggie

Even though it was very hot again today, I had to prepare some chicken thighs that I purchased yesterday at a very good price. I have some nice portions to put in the freezer that I can microwave on another day. As I frequently do, I went to the Internet to look for something that I have not made previously. I found a very simple recipe that has very simple ingredients. It is called Thighs on Rice. The name couldn't get much simpler either! The recipe is from Allrecipes.com. I have been quite successful with that web site when I am looking for recipes. I am very pleased with the finished dish. Add some steamed carrots and a romaine lettuce and tomato salad on the side and it is a nice dinner. The recipe link is http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Thighs-on-Rice/Detail.aspx.

If you knew how many cookbooks I have in my collection, you might question my sanity for looking for more recipes on the Internet. At a later date, I'll show you the bookshelf.

Since the house was already seriously hot, I decided that I should go ahead and prepare the pork chops that I also have from the grocery shopping the day before.

This time, I went to the recipe box to get a recipe that I have made many times since I was a new young wife - - - - - - long, long ago. The name is Hawaiian Pork Chops and it is also a very easy recipe. You use 6 or more pork chops that you salt and pepper, then dip in a mixture of one beaten egg and 2 Tbsp. cream or milk. Coat them with bread crumbs (I used plain Panko crispy bread crumbs) and brown in oil until golden brown. Place the chops in a baking dish and cover with crushed pineapple. Do not cover. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes. And, that's it and they are good!

Isn't that pretty?

I have always enjoyed cooking and baking. I still do quite a bit of it. My biggest deterrent these days is the price of groceries. I like using lots of ingredients that are not in the casual pantry but those items have become so pricey that I no longer can cook the same way. Many of those items aren't used that often and I am always concerned about the shelf life. If I only use the item once and have to throw the remainder out, I can't justify purchasing it. I'm just thankful I had the opportunity for years to enjoy cooking lots of different cuisines.

Wishing you a FABULOUS summer day.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Gaze Into My Eyes

No, not really.

I just wanted to show you my Gazing Ball. A few years ago Gazing Balls were once again introduced into gardens and became quite popular.The gazing ball has a lot of folklore history. The reflective balls originated in Venice, Italy during the 13th century. Reportedly, they were known to ward off evil spirits.

When looking at the gazing ball you can see a reflection of the garden including the sky. Can you see the reflection of me taking the photo in the ball?
Just a little more purple! The coneflowers have started blooming. They are planted quite close to the gazing ball along with other purple and/or blue flowers that bloom at various times of the year.

The ball is on a slope that is covered with ivy. If you are wondering what is supporting the ball, look closely in the top photo. I used a large tomato cage. The ball rests on the large wire ring. The ball is secure and has become more so as the ivy has grown. The ball can be seen from quite a distance partly because of the nice contrast between the green ivy and brillant purple.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Easy Lazy Days

Living in the country can be filled with easy lazy summer days.

The creeks are nearby.

The wild sweetpeas run wild.

The kids can go swiming.
The cattle gather under the shade of the trees.

Mothers can play in the creek with their kids.

The kids can go fishing.

You can safely walk to the mail boxes.

Wishing you some EASY LAZY days.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My Garden Shed

Click to enlarge this photo.
I like it so much and it is very useful.
As long as I can remember, I have wanted a garden shed. Four years ago I decided that it was something that I could do for myself. Now, listen to my rational about spending the money. I probably would have lost the money with the current economy if I hadn't spent it four years ago. That makes perfect sense, don't you think?
Every garden shed needs a mail box! Actually, it is a very handy place to store my garden gloves. I did not go out and buy a mailbox special for the garden shed. Actually, it was a gift at the time I was moving here. But since I do not have home delivered mail it needed some kind of a home! Light bulb moment, I'll put it by the garden shed. I think it looks cute.
If you have been following my posts, you know how much a like spray paint in a can. Notice the purple chair. It was in the yard when I moved here. It is quite old. It is one of those chairs that has the wire stretchers under the seat. I had to reinforce the seat with some brackets for it to be safe. Well, it was not purple when I found it. But, it is now!
One day when I stopped at a yard sale, I found the water pump for about five dollars. It had been painted white. The paint was chipped and it was rusty and it needed some LTC. So, now it has a new home as a red water pump.
I am sure by now, you realize that a lot of my possessions have had a prior life. In the future, I will give you tours through the house and you can see all of the reincarnations! Wishing you a PLAYFUL summer day.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Good Laugh

Viewing the video in full screen makes it more enjoyable. Have a LAUGHING good day!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Can't Live Without It

This Little Red Wagon is such a good helper. There are days when I would not be able to take care of things in my garden if I didn't have this special helper to assist me in moving things from one area to another especially bags of planting mix and yard waste.
Several years ago, I was thinking that it would be fun to have my own personalized little red wagon. So I took my shiny new wagon to the local sign maker and he painted it for me. I think he did an excellent job. The second photo shows how much it has been used. I can't live without it! Many people have wanted my little red wagon. But, I say "no way" and if your name isn't Mary, you shouldn't have it anyway. I guess I am a little protective. It's mine!
I am curious about so many things that I encounter day by day. So, it was no surprise that I wanted to know a little more about the "little red wagon". My research took me to a wonderful website (http://monkeyshinenews.blogspot.com/2006/12/history-of-radio-flyer.html) that gives a very comprehensive history of this wonderful little wagon. I hope you enjoy reading it. I think it is fun to see how things evolve through the ages.
Also, Robert Pasin has written a sweet little book called "My Little Red Wagon; Radio Flyer Memories". I noticed that it is available on amazon.com at (http://www.amazon.com/My-Little-Red-Wagon-Memories/dp/0740700448). I mention these sites for no other reason than sources of interest and information.
Now, lets, go pull our doggie in our little red wagon! Lily has a puzzled look on her face when I take pictures of her. The breed tends to have "sad eyes" but they really are happy little dogs.
Have a FABULOUS day.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Look, Look - - - A Gift

And, it is for me! It is from one of my fabulous neighbors. I love it. You can tell they really know me and my passion for my garden.

I have the perfect place for it next to the door in the dining room that leads to the garden. How perfect!

The friendship of my neighbors is priceless.

Of all the things
which wisdom provides
to make life entirely happy
much the greatest
is the possession
of friendship.
- - - - - - Epicurus

Call a friend today. Tell them they are SPECIAL.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Look Out - I Have A Can Of Spray Paint

I love Spray Paint. It is so much fun and it is easy. I never know what my next vision will be of an object to paint. I think I could be dangerous! Let me show you my last project. This little table/chair set has been in my garden for quite some time and was beginning to look a little shabby, little rusty and a little dingy. So, look out table - here I come.

I am very pleased how it turned out. The table/chair set is prominently placed in front of the White Garden. It makes quite a brilliant presence in its "regal blue". Actually, the paint color is periwinkle. From what I have read on the blogs there quite a few of us out there that get a high with spray paint. And, I don't mean from the fumes! There is a reason why spray paint comes in so many colors. We love it.


And, did you notice the white lilies blooming behind the table in the White Garden? Very magnificent, don't you think. They are Oriental Lilies called Simplon. It looks like a nice bumble bee came to visit. With the temperatures above 100 degrees today, the garden flowers and leaves are getting scorched! That always makes me feel sad.

Maybe, you have noticed that I do not have a lawn. That is because I am not able to use a lawn mower because of my back injuries. So, I have managed to seed the entire side yard with a ground cover called Prunella. I had a small patch of it in the garden and I collected the seeds and distributed them over the ground and nurtured it until it spread throughout the area. The next photo shows it in bloom with a purple flower.

I think it looks very pretty.

Hope you are feeling COMFORTABLE and COOL, I wish I did!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Garden Vignettes

Just a click will enlarge the first and third photos. I am still learning about publishing photos on this blog. It is like two steps forward and one step backwards. Maybe, that is baby steps! Anyway, I have a way to go before it becomes a smooth process.
I enjoy all the "little spots" in my garden that give it my personality. I certainly don't want to overdo it and make it look cluttered or the individual "spots" will loose their significance.
Perhaps I will let the photos speak for themselves.

ENJOY and take a moment and relax in my garden.

Hope you are having a WONDERFUL summer day.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fix That Leaky Faucet, Please

I guess no one is listening to me. You know what that means. Fix it myself!
When I moved to this place, there were only two faucets, one on each side of the house. That was not very adequate for a one-fifth acre parcel. Through the years I have added a few more faucets on each side of the house. As you can see I had to get a little innovative to get enough water hoses to various parts of the garden so I would not have to be "dragging hoses" all over the place. For the most part, it has worked for me. However, it takes a lot of my time.
But let me tell you I would jump with joy if there was an underground automatic watering system. Can you imagine what it would take with all the rock on this property? Actually, I have seen the large machinery and many many workers that it took when two of my neighbors started from scratch with new professional landscaping. Their properties are fabulous! And, the neighbors are equally - fabulous!
Let's get back to my faucets. All of them were leaking and I did not realize how much until I placed a bucket below the faucets. It was quite surprising!
So, I went to the Internet and googled "leaky faucet repair". I am such a fan of googling. I always find what I am looking for especially if it is home repair. I did not have to replace any washers just tighten everything snugly. No more leaky faucets! It's grand.
This is on one side of the house with a little basket to hold all of my different watering paraphernalia.
And this is the other side of the house. Notice the short hose that I made to fill the watering can. I works great! Yes, that is a Rain Bird timer on the wall. Unfortunately, the installer did I terrrible job. And it is near useless. It is too long a story to discuss. Also, I don't want to get upset.
In my "next life" I plan to delegate everything - and I mean everything! I will have someone fanning me to keep me cool and someone making sure I have a nice iced beverage at my side. I think that sounds like a good plan, don't you?

FYI - It is over 100 degrees today!!! Now let's go in for some lemonade.

One more thing - - - Let me leave you with a picture of the morning sky as I looked straight up from my patio early this morning. Just a click will enlarge the photo.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Machete To The Rescue

I really do surprise myself at times. On a whim I decided I needed to remove a dying plant from this wine barrel planter. It had been planted in there for quite some time and was not happy, looking worse each year in spite of my tender loving care providing it every remedy that I could come up with. Sometimes, it is just time to give things back to the earth! Well, perhaps the dying plant wasn't sure if it was in sync with my idea. The roots were big and many. I tried and tried to get it out and progress was slow.
Then a light bulb went off in my head. It's time for the machete! I knew when I bought it from an estate sale for ten bucks that it would come in handy some day. It was quite old but in beautiful condition. It is mighty sharp and the blade is seventeen inches long. Boy, did it ever do the job quickly for me. I think the tool can sometimes make the difference between doing a job safely or not so safe even when working with a machete.
I have great respect for objects that are potentially dangerous and I am very very careful using them. When I am finished using them I take them right back to where I store them.

Mission accomplished. Now I can study the soil and see if it needs any nourishment and then plant something to see if it will grow in this planter. I'll let you know how it works out. All in the day of a gardeners life!

I hope your day is FANTASTIC.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Garden Cleanup

It seems as though it is constant, the daily ritual of cleaning the patio and drive-way! You can imagine what it would look like if I just ignored it. Not pretty. At this time of year the sappy, sticky cedar seed pods (that's a mouthful) are the most annoying. They get stuck in my dogs fur and they track into the house.
I started early this morning with the clean up and watering. The weather temperature is suppose to reach triple digits today.
It is very pretty outside today. The day lilies are blooming and I'll take some pictures for tomorrows post.

I would just like to document what happens almost every year with garden cleanup. I use big yard waste bags to put the yard waste into. And, when I have accumulated "a lot" of bags, I rent one of these dumpsters. Then I proceed to put the bag on the white box. That way I don't have to lift as high. Remember, I have had back surgery with residual disabilities! Next, I get on the step stool and dump the "stuff" into the dumpster. Less strain on my back. I have a 24 inch square piece of plywood that I put on top of the "stuff" and then I jump on it to compact the "stuff" so I can get more into the dumpster.

You can imagine the visual for the people walking by. It can be quite a sight when I'm all dirty and sweaty AND on top of a dumpster. There are lots of "'walkers" in my neighborhood. And, lots of dogs walking people. I certainly get enough exercise without a daily walk.
With my nursing background in ergonomics I always work at finding the least physically demanding manner in which to do things so I can minimize the chances of hurting myself. I am patient and thoughtful when I am doing physically stressful work. It's all in a days work.

Have a HAPPY day.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Pink Passion

Just a click will enlarge the photo.

How did that "little dog with pink jammies" sneak in there. I know Lily likes my garden, but come on now. I must speak with her about this, don't you think?

I really like putting these collages together with all the pretty flowers. It helps me to realize how many different pink flowers bloom in my garden each year. It kind of surprises me that there are this many. And, there probably are more.

"Brighter pinks are youthful, fun, and exciting, while vibrant pinks have the same high energy as red; they are sensual and passionate without being too aggressive. Toning down the passion of red with the purity of white results in the softer pinks that are associated with romance and the blush of a young woman's cheeks. It's not surprising that when giving or receiving flowers, pink blossoms are a favorite. Pink is the color of happiness and is sometimes seen as lighthearted. For women who are often overworked and overburdened, an attraction to pink may speak of a desire for the more carefree days of childhood" according to color expert, Kate Smith.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Surprise Sewing

Just a click will enlarge the photos.

It was so much fun to get the sewing machine out and finish a project that had been started a long time ago. The bag was almost finished. It only needed the magnetic closure and the inside bottom stitched closed. I guess I got sidetracked when I didn't have the magnetic closure that I wanted to use. We don't have any stores close by for craft items. As the result of that I usually purchase through the internet which I have found to be quite satisfactory. But, we do have a wonderful fabric store, especially for quilters. It doesn't get much better than being able to caress beautiful fabric and plan a new sewing project!

So, last Sunday I finished the bag and then I made the pincushion and the zippered bag to match the bag. I think the fabric is simply fabulous! I purchased it at the local fabric store.

This is a gift for a very special person who is always available when someone needs help of any kind. She is the kind of person that makes me wonder "How does she do so much for so many?"

My dear Singer Sewing machine is very very old but it has been a real work horse through the years. It is the Golden Touch & Sew Deluxe Zig-Zag sewing machine Model 620. I bought it new for $409.45 in 1968. Wow, that sounds like many lifetimes ago! I have always kept it clean and oiled regularly. It has been in for repair only three times. The gears are the problem with these machines. In 1984, two gears were replaced and it still runs quite well. It is beginning to be quite difficult to get parts for this machine according to what I have been reading on the internet. What oh, what would I do without the internet???

It is more blessed to give than to receive;
yet a noble nature can accept and be thankful.
by Johann August Strindberg

Today, Give Thanks.


Some Additional Special Photos


Mother's Day 2012

Mother's Day 2012

Happy Family (2014)

Happy Family (2014)
Grandma Pride

Valentine's Day 2013

Valentine's Day 2013

High School (1957) Friends Of Mine On The Left Live In New York and We Met In Canada In 2011

High School (1957) Friends Of Mine On The Left Live In New York and We Met In Canada In 2011

Bud Mietz

Bud Mietz
1928 - 2014