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
and
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
NEVER EVER GIVE UP ON A PLANT.
Sometimes it just takes the passing of time,
just the right weather,
and
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.

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

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)











Saturday, June 2, 2018

ORANGE

 It's National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and if it's important to you then you are asked to wear Orange this week-end.
I have The Brightest pair of Orange pants (purchased a year ago) you can wear, and my apologies if they blind you a bit.
Having grandchildren that attend school means that we put the importance of this day's ranking as one of the top days each year.

With these blinding orange jeans I am wearing a white Oh My Gauze shirt purchased at the local Penelopes store in Daleville, VA.  Gauze fabric breathes nicely on these humid days.  I also have a a straw fedora atop my head probably from Wal-Mart, and a pair of small gold hoop earrings which I most likely purchased in a discount store as well.
(lipstick Fusion Pink by Mac)
 Slung over my shoulder is a great looking tote style handbag which I purchased in a Plow and Hearth store.  I hadn't been in search of a tote bag, but the vibrant sunshine yellow color screams SUMMMERTIME.
 Love the pom poms too!
The bag was originally $99.98 marked down to $59.98 with 1/2 off, for a sale price of $30.  
It's sturdy so will be great for next summer too.
Between the orange jeans and the yellow tote, I think all cars will see me should I step off a curb and fall into the street... like some of we wobbly older people are known to do accidentally at times. LOL

And then there's this bright table too!
My porch is loving all of this color this year.
Happy National Gun Violence Awareness Day!
Don something orange and spread the awareness.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Sparklers For Summer

Can't wait for this fun shirt to arrive in my mailbox!
Ordered from Taylor Wolfe online shop, but it's now sold out.
When it comes to cute clothes you have to be quick on punching that ORDER BUTTON.
So what's going on other than the ordering of a shirt?

 The lettuce in the garden has gone all out NUTS, but we and the neighbors are all appreciating it.
It makes for wonderful dinners each evening.
 Rain Rain Rain Rain.
It's been a crazy month, and we have had so far had about 10 inches this month with one more day left on the calendar.
 It rained so hard that rock in our drainage areas was washed further down the gullies and even into the roadside ditches, leaving the drainage areas with nothing but dirt.
 My husband ordered a much larger size stone this time and has been busy rebuilding the wash/drainage areas to once again guide the deluges of rain that fall on the mountain property above us.  Our home is always high and dry due to good drainage, thanks to my husband's handiwork.

 You can see just how green and lush everything here is.
We do love the green, but enough is enough with the rainfall, Mother Nature.

 You can see the garden at the bottom of the hill in our backyard. 
 There he is hard at work placing the rock in the drainage area.
 Red Nose Day was last week, a project to help end world hunger for children.
Just with the purchase of a red nose at Walgreens you could help them out.
I think you can still purchase the nose and give money through June 2nd? 
Check Walgreen's website for the exact ending date or walk into a Walgreen's store and purchase a nose at their checkout counter.
 Of course with all of the rain has also come thunder which Izzy is not comfortable with.
It usually arrives before we can even get her into her Thunder Shirt, so she seeks out her daddy and is able to relax completely on his lap.
So cute!

Memorial Day came and went.  There, of course, was rain, but we all ate high and dry in the screened porch with even a little cool breeze to keep us comfortable.
The Kind of Grilling was happy to grill us up some red meat and asparagus, and we also had baked potatoes, baked beans, and for dessert lemon pop-ups.


He actually did more steaks than what you see here.  I took this photo the next day.  Since we had two more steaks that needed to be grilled, he got busy and we ended up having steaks two days in a row!!
I think I have had more than enough red meat for a couple of weeks.
Back to chicken and fish for this gal.




 
 Hope your month of May was perfect, and that you have great plans for the summer
Back soon!!