Friday, April 12, 2019

Clean Up On Aisle Nine

It's spring!
This is the time of year our yard needs the most clean-up after the heavy snowfalls of winter have taken down the weakest branches and trees.  We rid ourselves of winter rubble in the yard and ready for the rainy, windy days of spring and summer that always prove to bring their damaging winter patterns.

Here is what our yard looked like yesterday before the tree cutters and mulching machines arrive to chomp up winter's damage.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

A Debate In My Own Head

These are all photos, and also a video of our mountain views from our home.  Some are taken at ground level from the side of the house, and some from the porch and deck which are at the second level of the back of our home where we spend most of our outdoor hours during the warmer months of the year.  We enjoy coffee, lunches, and grilling from the second level which is where our family room and kitchen are, so much time is spent looking at the mountain views.
When we purchased our home in 2013 there was a better view, but our trees which are on the forested area of our property,  have since grown quite a bit taller and robbed us of the view we loved.

I dislike cutting down healthy trees, but some of the trees are not so healthy, and when storm winds blow we always end up losing a tree or two or three it seems. 
So I am in the midst of making the decision as to which trees need to come down, and hiring a company for a day to visit our woods and take a few out.  Six or ten trees to be exact.  Some are blight and bug ridden and not so healthy anyway. 

Taking out a few trees will mean healthier conditions for those that remain, better views for us to enjoy, and a 'mountain view' always adds value to a home.  Win win for everyone.

I want my view back year round.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Early Bird

Red Nose Day was started in the UK and in 2015 it came to the US.
It's all about the mission to end child poverty, and having been raised in a middle income family in the heart of America in the 60's and 70's, I suppose you could deduce that I don't have any idea how that must feel to a child who perhaps has no roof over their head, no real bed, blanket or pillow, and experiences hunger pangs all day every day. 

Last year I was a bit late in promoting it, and also late in purchasing MY red nose at Walgreens, who supports the project to end child poverty, along with other companies of note.
Because governments around the world have not acted on this 'child starvation' issue in a strong enough way, (and isn't that par for the course?) Red Nose Day and those involved in it (READ THIS) are doing so.

Thursday, May 23rd, is designated as Red Nose Day this year.  You can read more about it

Go ahead.... Put A Nose On It! (from 2017)

Put A Nose On It! - Official Red Nose Day Schools' Song 2017 | Comic Relief

Thanks for reading this regarding helping to end Child hunger and Poverty.

P.S.  The red noses will be sold at Walgreens, with 50 cents going towards child poverty and hunger and the remaining 50 cents goes towards paying for the production of the noses.  Walgreens does not make a profit.

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Passage Of Time And Some Patience Too

 I know ladies that have gorgeous hydrangea in there yards that bloom EVERY summer come heck or high water.
 I've always loved their soft coloring and how they just fill a bush with huge blooming displays of nature at her best.

 And so it was that in the summer of 2014 I purchased two small bushes that had blooms on them and figured,
"hey.... this should be a breeze to grow in our yard".
 Not so fast, Diane..... perhaps you should have read about them first as to where to plant in the yard so they get the perfect amount of light and shade.  But nope.... I dove in head first.

 Each summer I waited for them to give me what I had hoped for... bushes splashed full of pastel colors, and OH SO EYECATCHING at t he corner of our front yard.  
But nope.
 We had a couple of harshly cold winters, and not so snow, but simply COLD COLD temperatures, so every summer the bushes would simply not bloom.
 Each summer came and went, and I would kick myself for having not done my homework on hydrangeas.
 2015 came and went
then 2016 came and went
and then 2017, more disappointment
as they bushes stayed green at the corner of the yard with no fanciful blooms.
*cue the tiny violins*
 But this year was different.
We had nine inches of rain in the month of May
also above average temperatures,
so this combination of factors seems to have kicked the bushes into high bloom gear.
 I can't tell you how happy we are that these large green leafed bushes with their delicate colored blossoms have made me.

 They have given me hope that perhaps if I plant a few more hydrangea
that they too will bring a bit of happiness into our summer months.

Moral of this story
Sometimes it just takes the passing of time,
just the right weather,
a whole lot of patience.
P.S.  I have since read that hydrangea may take as long as 5-7 years before they give you blooms, so I guess my hydrangea bush is right within that range, although the second bush is still not giving blooms.... perhaps next year??
P.S.S.  We are in growing zone 7.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Something Pretty

I've mentioned Creative Market on my blog before, and today they have a really pretty Freebie download.
Here's a photo of the offer, and it costs you nothing to download and use it.

*Image From Creative Market*


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Arbor Project

 Some weeks ago, before the rains of May hit us, we ordered a super nice cedar arbor from Wayfair.
We had considered a large pergola to be placed in the backyard, but we simply could not locate a spot that would have tons of sunshine for the Wisteria vines we wanted to cover it one day.
So, I chose a spot in the front yard, and instead of a large pergola which would have looked too large and out of place there, we instead ordered the arbor.
It arrived in two boxes and needed to be constructed from all of the pre-cut pieces of cedar.
Luckily I have a husband who loves projects and was more than willing to put the arbor together in his basement workroom.

 Then the arbor sat on the front porch while my husband dug the holes to pour in concrete for footers since the arbor had to be kept from blowing over in a windstorm.

And once that was done it was time to erect the arbor
A wonderful neighbor friend came over after my husband had attached the two sides and the top to make it into one structure,
 and together they lifted it into place and attached it to the four footers which would keep it in it's place on high wind days.... we hope.

The four wisteria were planted, one at each corner, and they already seem to be growing quite well with all of the spring rains we have had. 
 Next we placed furniture beneath the arbor to get an idea of the look we want at the end of the project.  A neighbor gave us this three piece set, but the metal chair legs sink into the soil and would easily tip over, as would the love seat.... it's a very sweet set, but in the end we decided that this look would be a bit 'over the top' in the front yard, and would most likely never be used as a social seating area anyway.  
We do like the love seat without the cushions, and without the two side chairs....
so we decided to keep it simple.
The chairs would not be used

 We both liked the simpler look of just the four foot love seat, so in order to keep it from tipping over we decided to order the cobble stones and mulch.  There is a small concrete square beneath each leg hidden beneath the mulch so this sitting space can be used without fear of tipping.
This look also means that my husband will not have to use a small mower or weed eater under the arbor.  He can just stay on the riding mower and go around the arbor area which means less hassle for him.
 Here are some shots of the final look of the arbor.

 The look as you come up our driveway in the evening.

 We are very happy with how this project turned out, although the cost was more than just the arbor itself.

Four Wisteria plants
Concrete footers
Cost of upgraded nuts and bolts 
Weed netting

And someday I think I want a cedar bench rather than the wrought iron one.

I Knew You Were Coming.... So I Baked A Cake

We are religious in our own way.  Our religion is ACCEPTANCE.
We certainly don't and will not ever not bake a cake simply because someone is gay or has a gay spouse.
Love is Love
and it comes in many forms.

Our current Supreme Court is not a fair one. It has been over-powered by a President who does not believe in the same rights for everyone, and because of that he is working diligently, just waiting for any level headed judges to retire or die so that he can make the Court one that those who voted him into our White House, mostly people who have twisted the words in the Bible and cherry picked it to pieces, in order to live in a backwards 1950's kind of moral world.

I have vivid memories of that world when in 1963 my eldest brother passed away suddenly at the age of eleven.
Our family was devastated and it is a loss that my mother never recovered from. 
 Her burden could have been eased, even if only a minute, but her wishes to have a Methodist hymn that she had grown up with played in St. Paul's Lutheran Church in a small Iowa town, were dashed to the ground by a Pastor who never saw fit to give my mother the gift of 'love and empathy' at a time when she so needed it. 

I was only nine years old when my brother died, and I watched year after year for my mother to show signs of recovering from this loss.  She never truly did, something she and I discussed when I was in my early forties.
Trying to talk about the loss of my brother even 30 some years later still brought her to tears.

So my question is, why are Christians and many who purport to being Christians, so mean to their fellow humans who perhaps are different from them?
Why can't they put the issue of a song or hymn aside and just let a grieving mother have it played and sung at her son's funeral?
Why is it that so many of them lack the empathy gene?
And why can't they just bake a fucking cake for a wedding?
Just mix the ingredients, put it in the oven, and then frost it nicely.
Since when has it become so difficult for Christians to simply be nice to others?
They are heartless and would stab someone in the back with their cake frosting knife rather than do the humane thing and just bake the cake.
My mother never recovered, and by the time I was in my early teens she and I had both turned away from the church and all of the insane rules it holds so dear that do nothing more than hurt people.
She, nor I, ever forgave the pastor, and I hope that he was questioned about his action towards my family when he arrived at those pearly gates that he and all of his sheep believe in.

The simple act of baking a decorating a cake has now become an issue for them, 
and they see Donald Trump's Supreme Court's decision as a sign from their un-forgiving God, who Himself created gays,
as a win for them.
How twisted is that?

Oh, and here a a few photos of cakes we have baked in our home that we have shared with anyone who enters our atheist home. 
 We love. We share.  We bake.

{this image from Pier One, but I do own the bunny cake stand)