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A Walk in the Garden

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A Walk in the Garden

Today was a long day. I was frustrated after supper as I washed the dishes. I kept thinking that the sun was setting, I still needed to water my garden, and there’s that quilt I’m trying to finish, and I hadn’t even started the laundry. I had to bake this week’s bread, and make a batch of dog food on top of cooking supper. I was really starting to feel sorry for myself and get angry at everyone around me.

I took a deep breath and left the dirty dishes in the sink. I went out to the garden and had a look around. There are tiny watermelons on the vine and blackberries! The tomatoes are coming along nicely. My English lavender looks like it’s dying, but on closer inspection I saw new growth coming up in the middle. Just ten minutes outside to walk through the garden and see what’s growing and smell the scents of rosemary, gardenias, petunias, and lavender, proved to be enough to slow me down and bolster the good attitude I had all day long until after supper. I am thankful for all the good I’m surrounded with, and for the fact that tomorrow is another day!


A Relaxing Sunday View

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A Relaxing Sunday View

This is my view from my seat today. I’m in my craft room. I scrapbook, sew, and teach my daughter here. Today, I’m learning more about gardening through You Tube. Just thought I’d share a picture of a few things I learned to do from the Internet. I am learning to quilt. I have eight quilts under my belt and I was still having trouble matching seams. I found a tutorial from Moda Bakeshop which resulted in the quilt top you see.

I painted chevrons on my wall with paints leftover from the other rooms in my house. I saw a tutorial on painting chevrons on Pinterest. There was too much measuring and math in it, so I just eyeballed it and used painter’s tape. It only took a few hours and it was so much fun to do.

The artwork is made up of hundreds of butterflies I punched from paper. I saw it pinned on Pinterest, but I think the original came from Etsy. I hope you’re enjoying your day and learning something new!IMG_1819.JPG

In The Garden

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In The Garden

I recently spent some time (okay, maybe a few days) watching videos about English Gardens. The English are amazing. Every one of them interviewed talked about how, when they inherited or bought their properties, the properties were either overgrown or just meadow grass. Every one of them have been working their gardens for 30 plus years. Their grass is a luxurious carpet that one gardener dismissively claims “it’s just meadow that’s been mowed.”

What?! Do you know how much money we spent “installing” our lawn?

They all talk about how they go on garden vacations around the world and bring back plants that they need to find homes for in their gardens. While writing about it makes me a bit angry and more than a little envious, I didn’t feel this way while watching the videos because the English are like that–they embody all things civil for me. Their accents and their slightly self-deprecating manner is OH, so charming!

I have been enamored with the English since I read The Little Princess in the fourth grade. The Secret Garden deepened my admiration. Other books–and even movies, have since sealed my fate. I have to admit that the character I most relate to would be the humble Hobbit. I love to spend my days caring for my home, cooking food, and, of course, eating. My love for gardening, however, surpasses all of these things. I started reading anything I could get my hands on about gardening when my mother first subscribed to Martha Stewart’s Living magazine back in 1990. We lived in a three bedroom condominium, and my mother’s only garden was a six-foot by 10 foot lanai upon which she kept dozens of potted orchids, ferns, chili peppers, and lemon grass.

After getting married, I lived in an apartment, a couple of town homes, and a house–all rentals with tiny yards and existing landscaping. I continued to read gardening books, and dream of a day when I would own my own little piece of land and be able to create my own garden. We now pay the bank for our home that sits on 2.4 acres of a partially wooded lot.

I’ve started VERY slowly. I had a professional install landscaping in the front of the house four years ago (we’ve lived here for 5 years). I had them shape planting beds around three sides of the house and cover them with landscape fabric and pine straw. A few crepe myrtles and yews, some gardenia bushes, and one lonely dwarf magnolia were planted.

My kids and I installed a vegetable garden that same year. I built four raised beds out of pine and hauled garden soil and gravel that I had a local company deliver. That year and the next, we had LOTS of organic produce to eat. The third year the stink bugs, the deer, and the rabbits ate or destroyed pretty much everything in the vegetable garden. Last year, I was too depressed with medical issues to do much gardening.

SO…after watching those videos on Netflix, I was all inspired to start gardening again. I mean REALLY gardening. I went to the local hardware store with a $100 budget for plants to add to the front planting beds. My goal is to pack those beds so tightly that the weeds won’t grow, and I wouldn’t have to spend so much money on mulch. I got home, and immediately put my plants in the ground and realized $100 is NOTHING. I must re-think my strategy and re-read some of those old gardening books. I will be sharing my experiences here in the hopes of garnering advice and tips. 😉

The Best Mother’s Day in a Long Time

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The Best Mother’s Day in a Long Time

Happy Mother’s Day to all! While yanking weeds out of the veggie garden by the handful, I made some plans in my head for a new perennial border and a shade garden.  My yard and garden has sat for the last 18 months unattended.  My hubby mowed the lawn and that is it.

I have been working on edging along the driveway with the weed whacker for the last two days.  I can only go for 45 minutes or so before my elbows and my wrists start to lock up.  My shoulders start to creep up to my ears, and I just need to stop.  I know I should probably find a YouTube video on how to use a trimmer correctly…hmmm, maybe tomorrow.  I told my daughter I try to do yard and garden work when all the neighbors have left for work, and that way they won’t think I’m weirder than I really am.

My plan is to reverse the flow of my shop vac and use it to blow the leaves and pulled weeds out of the veggie beds (yes, I am that lazy, no, we don’t have a cool leaf blower). That was BEFORE I cut the extension cord with the hedge trimmer–again. DIY splicing–another YouTube research topic…maybe tomorrow.

After not feeling well for awhile, I am feeling like quite the hobbit. I took the photo from inside the vegetable garden because I am so ashamed I let it get away from me. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed your day! 🙂

Sometimes I Must

Sometimes I Must

I love doing everyday household chores. They ground me; like yoga does for some people. Today I had to do “sometimes” chores. I usually hate these kinds of chores.

I had to dust the blinds. I had to vacuum the base boards. And I had to perform emergency medical services on my house plants. I absolutely HATE doing this last one. Due to six weeks of neglect, they are all suffering. I routinely kill house plants during the winter months. If you ever come to my house and notice beautiful, healthy plants, it’s because I just bought them. 😉

Hoping they pull through! Happy weekend!

Lesson Learned

I cannot tell you how much money I’ve spent on boxes, baskets, and containers to corral the video game mess in the craft room.  I have organized and reorganized that area hundreds of times.  Each time by myself. Every year or so, I go out and buy a new container that I think everything will fit into–and then the container itself doesn’t fit on the shelf under the television. IF it happens to fit, the kids don’t put everything back into it the correct way–my way.

I know. Please no suggestions about how I should get them into the habit of cleaning up after themselves. They do. It lasts a day, and then we go through the whole process over again.

This morning I went to the local craft store and bought some nice baskets that I thought would do the trick. They were half-off the regular price. Score! I brought them home and called my daughter to me. I handed the baskets to her and assigned her the job of reorganizing the video game area. The only thing I told her was to let me know if the baskets wouldn’t fit on the shelf.

Twenty minutes later, I have a beautifully organized space. AND I didn’t have to spend hours trying to make sense of it all.  She even took a few minutes to label some games, so she could find them at a glance.

Now to get her to organize our school area.



Mornings in My World

Mornings in My World

4:00 *Bling!* My eyes open of their own accord

Check Facebook.

Check email.

Take my turn in Words with Friends.

Use 8 lives in Candy Crush. (Yes, I have awesome friends who send me extra lives. AND this is only on one device. Technically, I have 15 lives whenever I want to play! One for each device. I tried talking my hubs into letting me play CC on his Facebook account. He said no.)

Use 6 lives in Candy Crush Soda something or other. (Yes, I got suckered into playing this one, too!) All the while listening to my poor hubby sniffle/snore next to me. He and my daughter both have some sort of cold that won’t end. Oh, look! 5:50 already!

(Can you believe I just spent an hour and fifty minutes online? UGH.)

5:50 Get out of bed and take the puppy out.

Feed sweet, little puppy.

6:00 Impromptu dance session with puppy while singing the Stuff Mart song from Veggie Tales. (Why, no, I have no toddlers. Why do you ask?)

6:10 Realize I’m twerking because, apparently, that’s the way I dance when no one is watching. Shoot me now.

6:15 Change, grab my iPad and get on the treadmill. Goal today: 30 minutes.

6:28 Get off the treadmill and clean up the mess the puppy left on the floor right next to the treadmill. (If she feels at all neglected, she will cop a squat and leave a hot mess anywhere, anytime. Neat trick, huh?) Get back on the machine.

6:33 Set my level at 5 and feel like a champion.

6:40 Get off the treadmill because my shins are really hurting. Justify the ten less minutes by saying I ran at level 5 today. Hey, still 20 minutes more than yesterday AND at level 5!

6:42 Go upstairs to my computer, so I can blog about what an amazing morning I had.

****This will be what happens next.******

7:05 Breakfast

7:45 Shower

8:15 Print off quizzes and tests for my Japanese 1 and 2 classes today. Grab my bucket of rocks and my lava lava (for hula classes) and throw everything into the backseat of the truck.

8:20 Stand in bedroom and stare at my bed.

Sit on the bed and run my hand over the fuzzy bedspread. Yawn.

Lie down for just a minute.

8:45 Yell across the house to teenaged daughter, “Nat! Are you ready? Did you get us water? Did you pack a snack? Do you have everything?”

Run around the house frantically trying to grab all the things she hasn’t gotten yet.

9:03 Arrive at Club Tuesday. (The one day a week we meet with other homeschoolers to hold classes and do fun stuff.) Yes, I will be late; even though I woke up at 4 am.

Enjoy your day!