(14) July 2011

Last weekend and last days of JULY!!

Working on CRISIS COMPANY to be ready for August 1st when it goes LIVE on amazon.com!! Hope you are ready to enjoy my story!!

 

Friday July 29th

Another HAPPY SUMMER WEEKEND!!

Let’s have another day of  flowers without words!

Thursday July 28th

What can we learn from a garden?

First of all – everything wants to live!

Look at the sunflowers growing in the lawn from seeds the birds dropped off their feeding table.

The snails chewed this african daisy down to almost nothing. No leaves left. And here it is, with new leaves and even a blossom!

Secondly – even people from the same family can be totally different.

All these different colored flowers are from ONE plant!

All the hydrangea are just starting to bud except –

this one. Same plant. Some location.

And lastly, strive for quality not quantity.  

This bush is covered in beautiful roses.

They are perfect and lovely.

The other rose-bush has a single bloom. It captures everyone’s attention.

 

Wednesday July 27th

Just photos today. No words. Enjoy.

Tuesday July 26th

Saving the birds

The good news is Mrs. Munchkin and Button from next door are making friends. Bella and Button are good buddies and often play tag in the back yard. Last night Button came to the front door and “knocked” to see if anyone wanted to come out and play!

The bad news is Button hangs out near the bird bath and feeder when we are inside. Mrs. Munchkin just watches the birds, but Button tries to catch them.

Gramps built this feeding table for the birds. They can safely eat and easily fly up into the branches of the cherry tree. This friendly bird posed for me. Sometimes the whole table is covered in birds with more in the branches waiting their turn! I counted 10 on the table once!

It is not a perfect solution but hopefully Button will be forced to be a watcher and not a hunter.

 

Monday July 25th

Wonderful to celebrate birthdays over the weekend but lovely to be home with time to rest and relax!

 

My sweet peas are blooming along the back fence. I love giving away bouquets of them. Beautiful and can scent an entire home! The added bonus is – cutting the flowers promotes even more blooms!

 

One last bouquet for our neighbors moving away!

The sunflowers are now as tall as the fence!

One perfect rose!

 

Sunday July 24th

Some random photos and stories  from the last week or so. As you know, I take at least 40 to 50 photos a day and just share a few with you. Here are some of my favorites:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/thisisrobert/2766623494/

We went out to a favorite restaurant on a hot summer’s day, to celebrate a family birthday. We all decided to have one of their awesome old-fashioned milkshakes. When the waitress asked me what flavor I wanted, my whole family yelled “MOCHA”! Everyone at the restaurant laughed!!

Anniversary roses from my sweet husband

Gramps’ birthday cheesecake with cherry sauce!!

 

What a great present – we all laughed a lot!!

And this is THE best!! Gramps can see the temperature outside before he takes Bella for walks. Then he knows how to dress!! The forecast on this little machine has been more accurate than the weather department so far!! lol

 

HAPPY WEEKEND!!

Friday July 22nd

Celebrating my wonderful husband’s birthday and our last weekend before our favorite neighbors move far away to a new job!

Hope you are having a FUN weekend!

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/white-tailed-deer/

I LOVE deer! I truly do. When we lived in a remote area I decided not to garden as the deer ate everyone else’s! Some mornings I would open the door and Mrs. Munchkin and the local buck would be visiting, just a few feet apart, in the back yard. They would both glare at me, clearly telling me to go away!

However, when someone wants to have a garden, and there are deer around, it is important to have a safe way to protect plants and flowers from being eaten. We just got a warning from a neighbor that the deer were eating his sunflowers.

In my experience, fences seldom work unless you completely enclose the area, with a “roof” as well. I remember my friend thinking her garden was safe behind a tall fence, and coming home to find four deer in her garden, unable to get out again!

The only deer repellent I know of, that actually works, is a homemade mixture of:

1 quart water

1 egg yolk (I put the whole egg in)

1 tablespoon baking POWDER

Run through the blender until well mixed.

Let sit until the bubbles settle down. Pour into spray bottle and liberally spray all your plants and flowers. Use extra on plants deer love, like my roses! It is not a perfect solution (pun intended – lol) but does help and is non-toxic to any life form. I advise you to give up any idea of growing tulips with deer around. They adore tulips!

Tuesday July 19th

Rosie loves her roses!!

http://www.freealberta.com/symbols.html

My favorite rose is still the wild rose. My garden, when my children were little, had massive wild rose bushes. I would sit on the steps and enjoy the beautiful fragrance.

Here is my amazing rose bush with shasta daisies blooming on the side.

These rose canes are probably about 80 years old and planted when our house was built. They look very much like wild roses. Not much genetic manipultion done to them.

Here is a ladybug looking for aphids on my roses. She is a natural pest eater and very welcome in my garden.

 

I love watching the buds on flowers slowly open in the sunshine.

 

You can see the little pests on the buds. This is where the ladybug should be for dinner. I just squashed and pulled the insects off the buds by hand.

Even this Iceberg rose clearly shows its origins from the wild rose.

I seldom bring my flowers inside, but I had to trim some roses so the lilies had enough room to bloom. I had enough to share with some friends!

Brightens up my kitchen and smells wonderful too!

 

Monday July 18th

MINIMONOS Weekly Wonder

After my fun post about gardens for Minimonos last week, I decided to post about this week’s topic: plastic water bottles.

Although it was fun to win the weekly wonder post, I told EcoMom I would like to keep posting but not to win again. Just for fun! There are some amazing young bloggers out there who know how to write AWESOME posts!!

I have been using glass water bottles for about 15 years now.

Sometimes when I am out, I pick up a glass bottle of fruit juice which can be easily recycled or reused. That’s where I got my water bottles in the first place. They will outlast me!! Most of the time I pack water in a glass water bottle with the lid on.

I used to use kitchen glasses but Rascal(our cat) started drinking from my water glass! The small opening on the juice bottles stopped him!

We have clean water delivered from a reliable company (some companies just bottle tap water!) and rent a water cooler from them. I know they reuse their bottles and their water is certified by an independent tester.

I wash my glass bottles out with hot water and soap and never need to buy another one!

 

Saturday and Sunday July 16th and 17th

While we celebrate our anniversary – here are some fun pics of Bella, Munchkin and Gus-Gus who usually hangs from the ceiling in the dining room. We were trying to get a photo to use on the book cover for my latest book – Crisis Company!

Here’s another try at the book cover –

 

Friday July 15th

HAPPY WEEKEND

We are celebrating our anniversary this weekend!

My husband says I am THE best birthday present ever!

I think he’s wonderful too!

As you may remember, I am struggling with distorted vision from macular degeneration. I wanted to draw my book cover but nothing seemed right. This is my photo (and there is a bubble machine in the story) so thought this would make a good book cover for now.

Comments and suggestions always appreciated! Thanks!

 

Thursday July 14th

Volunteers and Fillers

Every garden has volunteers – plants that grow from seeds blown in by the wind, or deposited from friendly birds passing by. They usually grow in unexpected places like these Canterbury Bells blooming under the holly tree.

This poppy grew in a flower bed adding more color to my orange theme!

They grow wild in the empty lots around us but I enjoy having one I can see every time I go out in the garden.

This is a filler plant. I do not even know the name of it. It happily seeds itself every year and lots of them come up. I move or pull out the ones I do not want.

They fill up this flower bed with lovely blooms matching the English Lavender.

This is nicotiana. I really do not like it but it grows easily and has a shallow root so I can easily remove it when I want. It grows anywhere. Even in the shade.

DO NOT GROW NICOTIANA ANYWHERE NEAR WILDLIFE AREAS!!

It naturalizes easily and pushes out nourishing plants for deer and other herbivores. Deer cannot eat it!!

When we lived in a remote area, my granddaughters helped me pull out lots of it from our yard and the surrounding meadows . The plants were already there when we moved in. We pulled them all but they always grew back.

A lot of motley looking stems and leaves for a puny flower!!

 

Wednesday July 13th

RAIN

Thunderstorm overnight and more rain today!

Does not look like summer to me!!

Overflowed the gutters and streamed over the walkways.

These pics were taken in the middle of the afternoon.

Will not have to water the garden for a few days

Rain pouring onto the back porch!

 

Monday July 11th

Tis the season of birthdays and weddings!!

Here are some Canterbury Bells to ring in the celebrations!

Hope you are having a wonderful summer (or winter)

wherever you are

 

Sunday July 10th

MINIMONOS – Weekly Wonder Post (my entry)

Even before the snows melt, my garden is blooming with snowdrops and snow crocuses. Just in time for my birthday the giant crocuses bloom.

 

Beautiful patches of flowers bloom, one after the other: daffodils and tulips, hyacinths, so many scented spring flowers. The quince, lilac, and magnolia bushes blossom with the wisteria draping down from the eaves.

Summer brings brightly colored violas, sweetpeas and zinnia.

This year I planted 7 varieties of sunflowers, from the 12 foot giganteus to the 3 foot teddy bear.

My herb garden is spectacular with mint and chamomile for teas, chives, lavender and bee balm, and the grapes form an edible background.

Alaska mix nasturtiums are my favorite new addition for this year.

The highlight of the summer is my huge 80 year old pink rose bush beside the massive patch of Shasta daisies.

Fall comes; the Chinese lanterns and chrysanthemums brighten up my dying garden in time for Halloween.

And then the snow starts falling and I dream of spring.

Friday July 8th

HAPPY WEEKEND!!

Got my puzzle order today!! Looking forward to some relaxing, thoughtful times while I create order from chaos.

http://www.josephinewall.co.uk/diana.html

These beautiful images come in a lovely tin with 1000 pieces

http://www.josephinewall.co.uk/graces.html

I love the art of Josephine Wall. Truly inspirational!

I really enjoyed this 1000 piece puzzle with all the wonderful Disney Characters

But I really have to complain to Disney about this one!! Where or where is Mickey?? I mean – how can we have a collection of characters without Mickey in the center. It all started with a mouse – and it was NOT Minnie Mouse!!

 

Thursday July 7th

Mrs. Munchkin’s Pink Bush

Our magnolia bush hardly bloomed this year after the terrible winter we had but our pink bush gave us the best display ever. I have no idea what the proper name is for this amazing flowering beauty.

The entire bush is covered with pink blossoms.

It looks like someone carefully painted the yellow pattern on!

This is why it is Mrs. Munchie’s bush. She loves to sleep under it, even in the rain. We do not mow down her covering grass. From a distance, you cannot see her. Her white and black markings blend into the shadow patterns.

 

Wednesday July 6th

Valuable Neighborhood

Many thanks to everyone who dropped in since my last post!

I take about 100 photos a day and usually share 4 or 5 of them with you. So I have a lot of pics available to choose from.

Yesterday, my husband worked on a ramp for Bella, who is now well over 12 years old and is having trouble with the stairs. One of our neighbors came over with more lumber and tools and soon they had the basic ramp done. We need more indoor/outdoor carpet and a railing to make sure she does not fall. You can see Gramps is walking next to her (even though I cut the rest of him off (the photo that is – lol)

All the help and support from our friends and neighbors has been so welcome these past few months, with Gramps not feeling well. Made me feel very blessed, but also very sad.

I do not know how things are where you live, but we are getting hit pretty hard with the bad economy. 16% unemployment and that only counts the people actively looking for work and not the ones who have given up. Just on our block, one person has lost her business, another one looks like he will have to shut down his business after 20 years, one family is moving away soon because the dad found work somewhere else, and another has lost his job.

When I feel overwhelmed with everything negative going on, I try to remain positive and remember to pray. But I do not always succeed. Sometimes I just back away from the world for a while and try to refocus.

One of the things I love to do is jigsaw puzzles. Taking a big pile of pieces and putting them together to make a whole and perfect picture helps me organize my thoughts and feelings.

This is one of the hardest 1000 piece puzzles I have ever finished! Beautiful picture and I really enjoyed playing the lovely colored pieces.

Everyone’s garden is struggling with the long cold spring and my front yard looks pretty sad. Walking past the Dollar Store I saw these brightly colored whirligigs and staked them into my flower beds. They really brighten the yard up! Here are two of them. They really fly when the wind blows!

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