Monday, June 27, 2011

Patriotic Swap

Well, I finally did it! I entered into a swap, and I'm so glad I did. It was a patriotic ornament swap hosted by the wonderfully talented Vivian of

Look at all the cute goodies I received in the mail last week!

 (I forgot to get a picture of the tags I made.)

 Thank you to all who participated. I haven't had time to display them around the house, but I will be decorating for the 4th soon. (Better be soon, it's fast approaching!) We are going to have a family cookout, and Tad will be coming! Yeah!

 I wanted to say thank you to all who sent congrats for the baby. It really means a lot to me to read those comments and know there are people out there that are becoming my friends, even though we might never meet in person.

Since we took it easy yesterday, going to a movie (Super 8) and hanging out in the pool, I better get back to some chores. Laundry, bill paying, menu planning and shopping. Then after dinner I can feel good about sitting down to do some hand quilting on a little quilt I just put together.
Bye for now!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

He's Here!

Our sweet little grandson, Theodore Robert, aka Tad, was born yesterday at 2:30PM. He is so perfect, I can hardly stand it! (You grandmas out there know what I'm talking about, don't you? )

Alison, Andrew, and Tad make such a cute little family, don't they?

Justin, our son who is going to school in Chicago, came home for a few days visit, and was here for the big day. It was wonderful to have us all together.

We are going back to the hospital in a little while. I can't wait to hold him again. Then I get to scrapbook all the pictures. Lots of pictures!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summery Screened Porch

I have finally gotten the back porch cleaned up and thought I would pot a few pictures. This is part of the addition we made to our house about 15 years ago. I love to decorate it, but rarely spend time here unless we have company. I'm always working in the yard, swimming, or crashed in front of the TV!
I just repainted the wicker this spring. I like the white, but I'm not fond of the cushions. I just bought them last year so I can't replace them. But I am pretty happy with how it all looks, for the time being!

It's fun to arrange my garden stuff on this potting bench. And I'm always on the lookout for new goodies to put here.

I keep my garden gloves in the little wheelbarrow my husband made. You can't see it very well, but the wooden board that the hooks are on was once the seat of the swing for the boys.

If you shop at Joann's, you may notice that I do too! They have a lot of neat garden things in the spring and by summer, it's all on sale. I never pay full price there.

I hope everyone has a great Father's Day. Our son and daughter-in-law are having us over for dinner. The baby is due any time now. Maybe today!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Strawberry Season

It's almost over, but we have had a great strawberry harvest. We've been picking about 2 quarts every other day for 3 weeks. I've been freezing some for desserts and making lots of freezer jam. I used to make cooked jam, but freezer jam has such a fresh flavor and color. Put some on a slice of homemade bread toast or biscuits, and it's heaven!

Here are a few things blooming right now:

I have always wanted a rose covered arbor, but that wasn't going to happen until I got over my fear of growing roses. So a few years ago I threw my trowel into the rose growing ring, and bought several climbing and shrub roses.

And voila'! As it turned out, roses aren't that hard. We just give them lots of compost and water and they bloom like crazy.
And lastly, I found a great place to take pictures of the garden border- from our deck. Why didn't I think of this before?

Thank you to all who sent well wishes about my foot. It is healing nicely from the surgery, and best of all, I can work in the garden again!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Rosemary Topiaries

I got a really good deal on some rosemary plants at Walmart. There were 4 plants in each pot, and I bought 2. Eight plants for 8.00! They were the perfect size to train into globe topiaries. I had done this before and had kept two alive for ten years or so. But last winter they both died and I wanted to try it again.

After potting them up, I trimmed off the lower growth. I use wooden skewers to stake them and tie up with raffia. I'll keep trimming the side growth until they are as tall as I want. Then I'll start trimming to make a round shape. It takes quite awhile to get the perfect topiary, but I love the look.

Here they all are, lined up like little soldiers.

I'm taking a bit of a rest today. Had to have some out patient surgery on my foot. So no gardening for a little while. I'll use the time to browse blogland, and work on an embroidery project I want to finish up.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Herb Gardens

I've been working in the gardens every morning trying to get the weeds under control. The heat usually does me in by 11:00 or so. By that time I'm red in the face, my clothes dipping with sweat. I probably look like I'm ready to collapse. (I am!) And no pool to jump into yet.

Here is my deck herb garden. No weeding required! Though does need a little trim.

Today I worked in the big herb garden. The rose below is Joseph's Coat, surrounded by larkspur, lamb's ear, and clematis. (Can't remember the names of all my clematis.)

The lovage, valarian, and rue are all blooming.

I let larkspur and bachelor button reseed all over. I like the cottage look they give.

Look at this big batch of fennel, both green and bronze. They have reseeded all over too.

In just a few short weeks, the bed below will be full of basil, dill, and cilantro. I think dill is my favorite herb. The smell of it just means summer to me. What are your favorite scents of summer?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Invasion of the Tadpoles!

Since we left for our vacation at the end of May, we didn't open up our pool when we usually do.  So when we went to take the cover off on Sunday, we found the water on the cover full of tadpoles. And not just little ones, but HUGE bullfrog tadpoles! My husband couldn't stand the thought of them dying, so he spent hours netting them out and putting them in our fish pond.

We probably got at least 100 of these guys. Then when we were tried to take the cover off, it ripped and all that leafy garbage fell into the pool. Talk about gross! Well, the only thing we could do was drain the whole darn thing, and start over. Hopefully, it will be all drained tonight and we can start filling it. With an expected high today of 97, I wish it were ready. I sure am!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Back Home

My husband and I had a lovely time on our anniversary get-away. First we spent several days on South Padre Island. 

We are real nature fanatics, and there was so much to see here. Across from our hotel was a Birding Center. There were boardwalks through the tide marsh, and we saw so many different birds.

And then we saw this:

He was about 15 feet away when I took this picture. Then as I was watching him through the binoculars, he turned around, got into the water and started swimming towards us. Even though we were on the boardwalk, I was a little anxious having him only 3 feet away!

We went on a dolphin watch boat trip. They knew just where the dolphins were feeding and we saw about a dozen of them, along with several babies.

Couldn't get a picture of them though!

Then we went to San Antonio and saw the River Walk. Really liked this!

Then on to Fredericksburg, where we stayed at a B&B with beautiful gardens.

We saw more birds at a State Park nearby:

 If you know us, then you know we can't be near a creek without getting in it!

 More gardens at Wildseed Farm:

and at Fredericksburg Herb Farm:

It was wonderful seeing all the gardens, but as usually happens, we started missing our own. It's amazing how much can change in a week! OMG, the weeds! Our son did a great job keeping the strawberries picked and he didn't eat too many.

I'll be very busy the next few days getting the yard in order, making jam, and cleaning house. Got the laundry and grocery shopping done today. It's good to be back home!