Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Garden Inventory

It's raining today, otherwise I'd be avoiding housework again by working on my garden and flower beds. Instead, I'll avoid housework by blogging.
Every spring when I plant new things I try to keep a detailed record of exactly what I acquired and what exactly it is. I have a green 3-ring binder that inventories all of my gardening successes and failures. I decided to add to my inventory a photo set of everything in the spring and summer in order to keep better track of growth. I put together a sheet with photos and plant names for my book today. Tom said it was "overkill". (I admit it - a lot of things I do really are overkill) I do things like this for the enjoyment of the process. The trip is the fun, not so much the destination.
Above is a pic of a little tree (Red Splendor Crabapple) that started out as part of a bulk purchase of twenty five little slips about six inches high. I had no place to put them so plopped them in at the edge of a field. I didn't even dig holes, just turned a bit of dirt and stuck them in. I checked back a few years later when I had a yard to put a tree in and found a few gnarled, ugly little trees about 3 feet high. I picked the best of the bunch and moved it to a prominent place in the front yard. It was ugly! It is now a few more years later, and my little tree has blossomed into a beautiful one. The branches are still gnarly, but in a good way.
Here (above) is the President Lincoln Lilac I bought from a parking-lot vendor as fall was moving in a few years ago. It was a sad little thing, suffering from mildew, and I was not sure if it would survive the fall planting. Well, it did, and it is a gorgeous bush. It has a beautiful shape (not my doing, I have never pruned it). The flowers are a lovely shade of blue. Last year there were NO blossoms so I was a bit concerned. This year I am excited to see the thing is absolutely LOADED with buds! I can hardly wait!!

And then, here's the raspberry and vegetable garden, newly expanded to triple the size from last year. Getting all the sod raked out is a bear. We'll see how it goes...
I'll end with a sad sight. When spring came and the snow melted, I found one of my two little "Duchess of Oldenburg" apple trees was broken off. Kids, pets, or what, I'm not sure. It was barely sticking up past the snow, so guess it would have been a bit safer if I'd had a little fence around it. I haven't pulled it out yet. Who knows? It may sprout again above the graft....

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Isaac's Tapestry

I have a strong sense of satisfaction that Isaac's tapestry is now complete. I'm also very happy that it fits into the living room so well. It was a bit hard to straighten, so I decided to let it carry me along with it in its imprecision. I have a nice straight frame around a charmingly wobbly piece of textural art.

I am so happy with it.
The Guatemalan artist who made this started with some blue fabric with brown vertical stripes. She sewed two pieces of this fabric together and added her own horizontal stripes to create the illusion of a bird cage. She then filled the work with 41 different birds, all unique and beautiful. It is a wonderful piece of work that I am privileged to own. I wish she could see where it ended up and how much we enjoy it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Free labor

Had a great Saturday work day today. I have the most marvelous husband who cheerfully handles small projects for me so I can move ahead on goals for the house and yard. Today he worked on fixing a broken rake, installed a rack inside a cupboard, repaired a closet knob, and put a handle on a "new" antique garden cultivator. Along with all the other things he wanted to get done.

We enlarged the garden this year to about triple the previous size. (Tom did all the sodbusting earlier this week while I re-tilled the parts that were already prepared and raked out sod in the new section) I have some seeds starting under lights in the basement. (Tom set that up for me too) I have sweet peppers, bunching onions, and tomatoes so far. I also have leeks that don't seem to be coming up. I think perhaps I haven't been keeping them quite warm enough? I need more heating elements for next year...

I spent time on cleaning up the flower beds today. That's always a great feeling. Spring is so energizing. I had several new transplants last year so hopefully I did not "weed" any out. (I have done that before!) I did not want to take the time to pull out my diagrams of what is where. Hope I don't regret that.

After a hard day's work, we have the movie "High Noon" with Gary Cooper to watch tonight when the kids are in bed. I'll be knitting on Sissy's wedding shawl and enjoying a glass of wine with my husband during the movie. Ahhh, the good life.

But first I need to clean up the kitchen and get the kids in the tub.

Monday, April 13, 2009


I know it gets a bit cluttery sometimes, but I love ceramics and glass. I have been collecting all kinds of pots, mostly in shades of green, ivory, and aqua for many years now. I have a lot of green, clear, and white glass as well.

Makes me happy. Feels like home.

I'm working on getting "Isaac's Tapestry" ready for framing. I bought it in a Guatemalan gift shop as a keepsake for Isaac. It's a beautiful embroidered work of art. There was a lot of embroidery for the tourist market in Guatemala, and this was the only one I saw that was carefully made like this. The woman at the shop said it was considered "antique" since it pre-dated the tourist market, which would have begun in the seventies or early eighties. Not really an antique, unless I'm also one. :)

A lovely work. I am excited to complete the framing and hang it. (It's only been 3 1/2 years!!)

As I mentioned previously, I am also doing some painting. The room kind, not the art kind.
Here's the living room, a blue with a hint of green, along with my green curtains, brown furniture, and the flowers for Sissy's wedding reception.

Painting the kitchen and dining room also. "Village Tan" on most walls. Will be a recycled glass green under the cupboards. The ceramic chickens on top of the cupboard were my mom's when she was young. The green depression glass cookie jar came from the estate of my great-grandparents.

Yesterday was Easter. We ordered a lily for the services in honor of Alf Nelson, Tom's dad. He's been gone now just about 12 years. Looking forward to seeing him again someday.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Shopping day - Good Friday

Did some painting in the kitchen today and then headed out with the little ones for grocery shopping. Skipped the usual bargain hunting portion of the trip since the kids were along. Missed it. We were all getting a bit crabby by the time we made it home. Ellie was a trooper though, and helped carry in groceries. Both kids are always so good in the stores. They do ask for things but accept a "no" answer very well.

Anticipating Jessica's first wedding shower tomorrow. Looking forward to meeting her future in-laws and extended family. Wish they were closer, but am grateful they are still within the same state!

Spending the evening doing some weekly housecleaning. There won't be any other time for Easter preparation.

The kids and I talked on the way home about Christ's death on the cross. I told them it happened at 3:00 in the afternoon, the sky turned dark, and the earth shook. I told them about how graves of people who loved God opened and they came back to life! I never realized that until I was reading the account about 10 years ago.

We talked (as we often do) about how heaven will be. - And the new earth - And our new bodies that will not get sick or die. We talked about who will be there, and how much we will enjoy each other's company forever and ever. We have so much to look forward to!

Off now to sweep the kitchen floor and get the kids in the tub. Little sweethearts.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Thought it would be fun to try a blog. Have never been one to keep a journal but thought this might be a start. I'm not really intending this for public consumption, but more for myself and perhaps for some close relatives, depending on how it goes.

I am busy lately preparing for the wedding of my oldest, and thinking about preparing for pre-schooling my youngest. I've been listening to RC Sproul's lecture series on my iPod when I get the chance. I have some audio books and other podcasts I'm trying to get to as well. Gutenberg ( ) has some wonderful books for download but I need a better reading method than my laptop. I find that after a lifetime of voracious reading that I am allergic to books and newsprint. I can still read them, but very carefully. Electronic media suits my purposes, and just in time!!

Life has been a wonderful journey.

I find it difficult to discipline myself, but get carried away easily with projects. A family trait, I guess. I'm typing this instead of working. :) I always prefer to stay home and get lost in my thoughts. Maybe I'll write some of them down. Maybe this is self-indulgent. After all, who cares to read what I think? Well, guess I do, so this record may be just for me. That's good enough.

Signing off to go attend a "Kid's Party" in the family room - sweetly invited by little Ellie.