Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Sunday morning - Then I noticed how beautiful my blue columbine was. Posted by Hello

Monday, May 30, 2005

Sunday morning - Then Steve noticed this insect molting on the maple tree.  Posted by Hello

Sunday Morning - Having a cup of coffee before church. Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Disaster is new family favorite

Disaster or Triumph?
My experiment with hamburger didn't work, so when I called the menfolks to eat, I announced that dinner was a disaster. I'm confident enough in my cooking that failed experiments don't faze me. If there are no failures, you are not pushing the creative envelope. They loved the failure, giving it a 9.9 out of 10.

What did I do? I think hamburgers are boring but the boys like them, so I added honey teriyaki marinade, finely chopped bread crumbs, and an egg. I molded the patty around one side and the edges of a thick slice of Vidalia onion, leaving the other side of the onion open and then plopped them on the grill. It was too wet or I tried to turn them too soon but the patties fell apart and I served chunks of tasty meatloaf burgers.

So I've been asked to fix them again. Next time, I will use the enclosed grill so I don't have to disturb the burgers and I'm going to cook it over a campfire made with apple wood.

Alchemilla mollis or Lady's Mantle edges the walk to the front dooor. No wonder this is one of my favorite plants: the ruffled leaves, drops of dew, blue-green foliage, and then the chartreuse flowers just starting to bud.  Posted by Hello

"Memorial Cactus" Posted by Hello

Christmas Cactus

Memorial Cactus
Mom had two Christmas cacti. My sister took one, which was starting to bloom. The week before Mom's death, she had shown the buds to me and also to two brothers. It is a beautiful plant and Mom had it showcased by her bedroom window.

I took the other cactus. It was smaller and not in bud. Two months later, my cactus is in full bloom. It's probably blooming because of the cool spring weather, but I like to think of it as my memorial cactus. It's putting on quite a show in memory of my mother.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Remember the feeling on your child's first day of kindergarten? I had the same feeling as I drove Ricky to get his driver's permit. Of course, Ricky had to bite his lips to keep from grinning ear-to-ear. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Blog Roll

Check Out My Blogroll
I finally added a blogroll. Check it out if you are wondering which blogs I peruse regularly. I visit other blogs, but these are the first ones I open. This is a basic blogroll and I will add other features as I have time.

When I let Sam out this morning, he started barking like the crazy dog he is, so I walked up the lane to investigate. This was one of many trees decorated last night. They also TP'd the blackberry bushes so I suspect there are a few teenagers with some vicious scratches this morning. Posted by Hello

Friday, May 20, 2005

Ron at the Highlands Tree Farm after spotting the bird's nest in a pine tree. He was checking trees for sawfly larvae and found something much better. Oh yes, and the lumberjacket is way uncool and he knows it. But if you refuse to take a jacket because you know better than your father, then you are stuck wearing whatever you find in your father's truck. Posted by Hello

Here's the bird's nest. The eggs were about the size of a thimble or, for those who may never have seen a thimble, the end of your thumb. Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 19, 2005

And the last of the trillium. Note the purplish fading blossom in the back. These pictures were taken as I searched for more morels for dinner last night. I had to settle for freshly picked asparagus and rhubarb pie from my garden. Posted by Hello

The phlox by Usually Not Creek is in bloom, This is by our driveway and I started a fern bed where it had been growing wild. Posted by Hello

Mayapples, those shy little virginal flowers, are in bloom. Posted by Hello

As I was on a search-and-destroy mission for garlic mustard in the woods by the house, I found these fellows, big guy and little guy, in a preaching face-off. Jack is a little fuzzy because I was in a hurry to get off the ground with exposure to poison ivy and ticks.  Posted by Hello

Thursday Three



1) What is, or was, your favorite style of dress, or a particular item of clothing you remember fondly from childhood?
There are pictures of me in grade school riding my bicycle with pants under my dress. This was the 50s and girls had to wear skirts, but Mom knew I needed to keep my legs warm and it was hard being a tomboy in a skirt.

2) What style of dress do you remember being humiliated by as a kid, but your mother made you wear anyway?
Skirts that came down to my knees. As soon as I got on the bus, I would roll the waistband to shorten them to an acceptably cool length. Of course, I went through high school with a thick lump around my center.

3) What dress style/clothing choice do you remember as being unbelievably cool at the time that now makes you cringe? Would you actually burn pictures of yourself in the outfit if you ran across them now?
hmm, probably everything I wore in college in the late 60s and early 70s.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Driving Lessons

Driving Lessons
Hubby gave the boys driving lessons at the Highlands last Sunday. We all survived but someone ran over a rabbit in the lane.

When I showed up, Ron asked my opinion of how the truck was parked. "I parked it just like Dad!" he proudly explained. No, it wasn't parallel parking, just sitting in the circle drive.

Why would someone cut down mature trees and then dump tons of rip-rap and trash concrete pieces to landscape their lakeview? Friends purchased a lovely cottage on a double lot but this, ah, somewhat detracts from it. I'm helping them develop a landscape design involving decks, flights of stairs, grasses, ornamental trees, ground covers and low shrubs to disguise the rocks and give them better access to the lake. They are also having the stones removed next to the shore and along the grassy side yard, Their cottage sits at the top of this mess.  Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 15, 2005

I posted several "straight" pictures from my camera yesterday and I just adjusted them now. Did I improve them? Scroll down, compare and cast your vote. Posted by Hello

Improved or not? scroll down and vote. Posted by Hello

Improved or not? Posted by Hello

Camo Dog

My very first picture on the camera. A Study in Beige? A Camouflaged Dog? A Dog's Life? Posted by Hello

Fire and Ice

I don't know what happened with this picture. Can digital pictures be overexposed? Anyway this is lady's mantle and barberry in the rain. Posted by Hello

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire;
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
Robert Frost

Copper Sprinkler in Garden

This ornamental copper gyrating sprinkler was one of my Mother's Day presents. Note columbines in front of it, tulips behind and forget-me-nots across the sidewalk. This is not a very good shot and, perhaps, I could have fixed it up in Photoshop. Oh well, it's early on the learning curve. Posted by Hello

Columbine Beauty

The double white columbines are just starting to bloom. These beauties are between 2 and 3 feet tall. If anyone wants seeds (which come true), just let me know. Posted by Hello

Digital Camera

After wading through a plethora of information about digital cameras for over six months, trying to duplicate the capabilities of my SLR and stay within my budget, yesterday I finally just went to Sunny Schicks, an old-fashioned camera store in business over 90 years. A knowledgeable young man walked me through the options and gently led me to a decision -- Konica Minolta DiMage X50.

After playing with the camera (and reading the manuals), I know I made the right decision. The only thing I didn't get was the 10x zoom lens, but that added to the bulk and weight of the camera. I decided that it would be better to have a pocket camera with me rather than a loaded camera not with me. My purse is full enough already.

Once I am comfortable with the digital world and if I still want more capabilities, then I can add a more expensive digital SLR to my collection. Like the Canon Rebel!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

How is my garden, you ask?

How is my garden, you ask?
Well, no one actually asked, but that never stopped me on this blog. These plants are in my garden or in the woods surrounding the house.

The early spring flowers and shrubs are a memory - forsythia, daffodils, crocus, scilla, bloodroot, iris reticulata, hyacinths, trout lilies.

The mid-spring plants are in bloom or just past their prime - tulips, redbuds, apple blossoms, fragrant viburnum, pulmonaria, trillium, violets, Greek Valerian, Virginia bluebells, sweet woodruff, cushion spurge, forget-me-nots, creeping or moss phlox, lilacs, May apples, bleeding heart, flowering almond and ajuga, plus some unidentified white flowers along the bank of Usually Not Creek. The columbines - double white, blue and red/yellow - are just starting to open. Until I searched for a link. I called the Greek Valerian by the name Jacob's Ladder. It was given to me at a plant exchange years ago, so I never had the botanical name. It has been a good year for tulips; in fact, several came up where I thought they had disappeared years ago. Several years ago I planted about a dozen redbuds along the drive, between the woods and meadow. They have matured enough to put on a good show.

I've started my container gardens, which has become a passion the last few years, but I'll leave that for another post as I have to fix a meal for a family from church.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Oriole Fight

Oriole Fight
As I was potting plants in my containers on the back deck, I saw two male orioles fighting. Steve put oranges in the feeder to encourage them. Perhaps we will have two oriole families this summer if they ever establish their territories.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Plant Booty

Plant Booty
The perennial party was delightful - good food, interesting women, an idyllic setting, beautiful weather and free plants! Most of my booty is in the ground: viburnum, boxwood and barberry starts, Gold Tiara Hosta, creeping phlox, variegated and Russian sedum (for my sedum bed), creeping jennie (in the shade garden), and sundrops (for the meadow). I still have the canna bulbs to plant, which I may put in large containers to make it easy to dig the tender rhizomes in the fall.

I don't actually have a sedum bed (yet) but have become enamored with the idea. There are so many varieties of sedum that I think it would be an interesting concept. A quick search resulted in this and this article, these images, and even a ten acre sedum roof.

Every Mother's Day, I am given free rein at Dewalds Garden Shop, a most delightful place with lots of unusual plants. I went on my buying spree last week, but they felt the need to give me something today, so I also have two new trellises, two copper ornamental gyrating water sprinklers plus sphagnum peat moss and composted manure. Now how many mothers received shit today and were pleased about it?

Getting My Toes Wet

Getting My Toes Wet
Last summer, before Mom moved back to Indiana, she created five gift bags, one for each child, filled with our old school papers, newspaper clippings and letters she had saved. Last week I glanced through my bag and found a letter I wrote her shortly after Dad died. In the letter, I quoted her as saying, "I feel like I'm just getting my toes wet in an ocean of grief." On this Mother's Day, despite the efforts of my husband and sons, more than my toes got wet. The waves were crashing over my head.

I became a mother when I was 45 years old so I spent many Mother's Days grieving because I was not a mother. For almost ten years, I celebrated the day as a mother and as a daughter. With time, I suspect I can celebrate it again because I had a mother worthy of celebrating, but the loss is too new this year.

Saturday, May 07, 2005


I love bringing my garden indoors. Right now I have a sweet little bouquet of grape hyacinths and two large bouquets of lilacs. The house smells lovely.

Another mother sent me this picture of Ricky (on right) after they placed at a show choir tournament. His joy is obvious. Posted by Hello

Show Choir

Show Choir
One of Ricky's strengths is his emotional resilency. He auditioned for Minstrel Magic, the varsity show choir, and didn't make it. He found out Friday afternoon and was very upset. He was going to quit show choir altogether. Then by Monday evening, he decided that being the "experienced" person on the junior varsity choir would be even better than being the newby on the varsity choir. I'm just not sure yet if he had time to adjust his school schedule which was suppose to be set May 1.

Know Everything Son

Know Everything Son
At least once a week, Ron informs us that he does, indeed, know everything. How blessed we are to have this fount of knowledge in our home. No need to google anything anymore.


Ron has become obsessed, as only an almost 16 year old boy can be, with cars. He picks up the free car advertising magazines and pours over them. He knows where every car or truck is parked by the road for sale. He knows what accessories he will add. Last night he told me a girl in his class came home from school this week to find a brand new Mustang convertible in her drive, a present from Daddy. Dream on, young man.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Perennial Party

Annual Perennial Party
"My" annual party is tomorrow morning, but a friend offered to host it this year. (I accepted her offer before I saw Jennifer's offer in my comments.) What a nice gift. I am still grieving and my house is filled with stuff I brought home from Mom's, so there was no way I could get ready in time. I have had fun today digging up plants for the exchange and making a fruit platter to contribute. I'm bringing starts of Siberian iris (dark purple), miniature Siberian iris, dropwort (filipendula vulgaris), very tall double white columbine, lady's mantle, several different daylilies, blue perennial salvia, fragrant yellow lilum and a large-leaved blue hosta. Want to come?


On the way to run errands tonight, hubby called to me from the woods, "Do you have time to ID this mushroom?" Do I have time? There is nothing, absolutely nothing, like the taste of a morel mushrooms. They were still small so I will wait until Mother's Day to indulge myself. Perhaps the family will decide that I should have them all!

Update: Before I could launch my selfish plot to consume the morels myself, hubby suggested that we take them to his mother as a gift. Drats! I told him I would share them with his mother. After the party this morning, I'll scour the woods again to find more - more - more - just for me.