Thursday, December 11, 2008


I hate cold. I hate cold winds. And now, we have both.

I have lived in cold places. The Michigan UP is COLD!!!!! We used to ride motorcycles along Lake Superior in late June, and the lake was still frozen! But it was not the same kind of cold that we have here.

This cold is wet. The North Wind cuts to the bone, and chills you from the inside out. This cold is numbing, just the worst cold I have ever been exposed to. It is a good thing that it doesn't get very cold here very often. I would have to move South, and we can't get much farther South and stay in the US.

So, I am comfy inside, (except for those pesky drafty places, where we can't seem to find where the cold air is coming from), and I intend to stay here!

I do have to go out to take Lisa the dog to the vet, and I need to stop at the Extension office, and I need to do a little grocery shopping. When I get that done, I can stay in my house for days.

I have a stack of gardening magazines, unread gardening books, and a thick legal tablet, to start my plotting and planning for the new Spring gardens. I have several areas that I want to overhaul next year.

I have lots and lots of stained glass projects cut and ready to work on, so when it gets so cold that I can't cut glass, I can foil and solder it, and finish some of these projects. I am looking forward to those many hours.

AND...I will have time to work on my blog!

Friday, November 28, 2008

You know it's bad when.....

Thanksgiving at my house yesterday. Young son took advantage of the free groceries- we were glad to see him.

On his way out, with me following and DH behind me, (all carrying food plates for this child to eat later), he took the long way to his truck. He casually remarked "You need to get in your garden, Mom! It looks like it NEEDS you!"

And it does.

Can I still take a switch to him? Thirty-six isn't too old, is it?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody!

I can't believe Thanksgiving is here already!

We are almost ready. I am not sure if we will have guests or not, but I am cooking anyway. If we are dining alone, we will have lots of leftovers, even after fixing plates for several of my favorite people around town. I love delivering those plates.

It has just been two of us for a long time now, but I am not ready to give up cooking and go out to eat just yet. I know it makes more sense, and would be much more cost effective, but it would not seem like Thanksgiving without the cooking and all those leftovers!

We have much to be Thankful for. For the most part, everybody is prospering, and for the most part, everybody is happy. We give Thanks for That.

I am recovering nicely from some health issues, and I am Thankful for That. I slept 5 straight hours last night, and I am VERY Thankful for That!

I am Thankful that Bobby is healthy, and such a good friend. Life is not always easy around here, but it is not dull!

Well, not to us, it isn't.

I am Thankful to live in this country, and Thankful for those who volunteer to protect us and our freedom. I keep the members of our Armed Forces and their families in my prayers.

I am Thankful that I have friends, for what would I do without them! Friends at home, and friends afar, I am Thankful!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Peace in your life, and lots of friends!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Oh, woe, more skunk tales...

That Man is trying for a record, I think!

He set that trap again, he caught ANOTHER skunk! I was at home when he dispatched this one, and was tempted to take a picture of him putting the lifeless body into a sack, but I stopped myself at the last minute. One thing about skunks, they have a really long tail!

The closest I ever was to a skunk was when I was a new bride, and my furrier In-Laws told me to pick out a nice collar for my cloth coat. I liked the skunk, without any white furs. I suppose that tells you something. I could have had mink, chinchilla, fox, seal- whatever I wanted. I liked the skunk. LOL (This before PITA, mind you.)

Maybe I was just homesick.

I think we are going to just fence the garden to keep critters out. How long can the Man's luck last? He is bound to get sprayed sooner or later.

I have warned him to NOT expect good treatment if/when he does get sprayed. He will be peeling clothes and showering in the back yard, January or July.

I bet he is really worried about that.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

I tole him and tole him!

Did I not say that I said NO to traps in the yard for fear of catching a skunk?

I know I did!

Well, he didn't listen! He set that trap for the armadillo who is plundering our mustard patch. (He is very fond of fresh mustard- Bobby, that is, not the armadillo!) I didn't know he had set it, and was in the garden mixing a little Miracle Grow in the bucket of rain water I had caught. I was actually waiting for my friend to pick me up, so we could go to our stained glass class; just killing time.

I didn't even see the trap until I was almost standing right over it. AND THERE WAS A BIG FAT SKUNK IN IT!

I about broke my neck getting away from it, and I ran to call and let him know he had a chore to do when he got home from work.

Then I high-tailed it out of there; off to the safety of my stained glass class, and I didn't even feel guilty to leave him there to deal with it alone. He would have had to deal with it alone even if I had been here. I help him do all kinds of things, some of them even dangerous. But I draw the line at skunks.

Bobby was asleep when I got in, and there was no stinky skunk odor. When I asked him about it this morning, he said he shot him and hauled him away. No spraying, no nothing.

I would still be trying to get that smell off me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Good Grief! Skunks!

We are having a terrible problem with skunks! My neighbors were out this evening, shooting at 2 skunks with a shotgun- luckily they got them without them spraying. I wonder how they did that.

My husband wants to set a trap, but I have said no to this; What if he caught a skunk instead of an armadillo, and the darned thing sprayed in the garden and everything smelled horrible for days? What if it sprayed him? I am not going to wash him with tomato juice. He is on his own.....

I have to go out on the back deck to turn the light on when the dogs want to go out, because they are so spoiled that they won't go out in the dark. I am always worried that a skunk is going to be out there, eating the dogs food or something. Probably just waiting to spray me....

Do skunks go dormant in Winter, or are they here all year?

I don't like the possums, but I hate the skunks!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My garden is growing.....

Planting, planting still. Pots of purple mums and purple petunias; pots of spicy mesclun mix, rows of lettuce of many varieties. Lettuce is one thing I always buy when I find a good sale on seeds. We are going to have more than our share of Romaine/Cos, Red Sails, Buttercrunch, Butterhead, Black seeded Simpson, and a few others that I haven't figured out where to put them yet. We are trying a new variety this year, called Crisp Mint lettuce, and I can't wait to try that. Sounds wonderful to me.

Also, the looseleaf blends are always a favorite. My little grand daughter used to love to plunder the lettuce in the garden. She would not pull the plant, rather, she set a thumb and a forefinger at the base of a nice tender leaf, and ran it all the way up the center vein of the leaf. She would come away with all the tender lettuce leaf, and have nothing tough or bitter to deal with. I didn't know it was her doing it at first, I thought some terrible insect had come and gone. LOL

We planted 6 mystery plants yesterday. The tag was lost at the store, but the plants were beautiful, so I bought them. They will either be cabbage or cauliflower- I think. They might be broccoli. It doesn't matter.

Some MG friends brought me some bok choy plants. I got them transplanted in a hurry. I love bok choy!

My peas are up, and we are going to have a bumper crop of pea vines. I hope they make peas as easy as they germinated.

Also, the sweet peas are up, and about 4" tall! I saved seeds from all pastel flowers year before last, in the hopes that I would only have pastel flowers. Also, I saved seeds (separately) of the RED flowers, because I love any red flower. All the flowers turned out exactly as they pleased last year, with no consideration as to what I wanted. So I just saved all the seeds last year, and I did have a lot of them. LOL, anyway, they are sure pretty when they do bloom, and the fragrance is just intoxicating!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thank YOU, Lord!

Tonight we will have our last seminar of the year. "Lasagna Gardening", presented by a MG from a neighboring county.

We are all looking forward to it, and to the end of the responsibilities that go with putting on this kind of program for the public. Once this is done, we can get on to the fun of the holidays, and we are looking forward to certifying our new MGs, and installing new officers in December.

Calendulas are up, and sweet peas are showing their first new leaves. Mustard is EVERYWHERE!, as are the peas. Spinach is looking good, along with many varieties of lettuce and salad mixes.

No sign of the snapdragons yet. I have seen 2 little violas. Hopefully, we will have lots and lots of them to come.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I have not died, I am not dead.....

I have just been otherwise occupied.
I am sorry.

I have missed coming here. Hopefully, I will be able to post regularly again.

Please don't give up on me. I have many new things to share.


Did you know there is a PINK Jatropha? I has one!Did you know there is a variegated variety of Spiral Ginger, also called Crepe Ginger?I has one of these too. They bloom bold and brassy RED! Just gorgeous!
And do you know this exotic hibiscus? My cuttings that Bobby got for me have rooted, AND bloomed!

I am feeling pretty good now. Preparing for Winter, like the squirrels. I have many cuttings to tend in the greenhouse. I have a stock of glass and patterns in the stained glass room. I bought a book at Waldens yesterday that should keep me busy for many hours- "Reclaiming History" by Vincent Bugliosi (author of "Helter Skelter"). It is about the assassination of President Kennedy. I love history, so this is very interesting to me. Also, this is my kind of book; 1612 pages! It will take a while to read it all.

We have actually been out in the vegetable garden quite a bit. Bobby has helped me plant cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mustard, radishes, 'Snow Peas', (and other peas too). Bobby has a huge assortment of peppers still. I have planted calendula, sweet peas, toadflax, snapdragon, and viola seeds. I can't wait for them to come up!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Obsessive/compulsive- yep, that's me!

I am taking a stained glass class. We are learning the foil method in this class. This is the first stained glass I have ever done, and I love it!

In case you don't know, like I didn't know- Tiffany invented the foil method of stained glass. All the Tiffany lamps are put together with foil, then soldered together. The old church windows are done with lead came, and it is a totally different method. I am going to learn that next.

We learned to make a 'cartoon' first- a pattern. Learned to cut it apart with special scissors, so that it will fit together nicely when you cut the glass according to the pattern. We have learned to cut glass- straight cuts, convex curves, concave curves, and learned to use the various tools. We have learned to use a grinder to smooth our edges, and assure that our pieces are duplicates of our patterns. We have learned to wash our glass pieces and apply the foil to the edges of the nice clean glass.

That is as far as I can go. I don't know how to solder yet. I learn that on Tuesday evening.

I do know how to cut however, and grind, and smooth and prepare to solder, so that is what I have been doing. I now have 11 projects that I have so prepared, and when I learn to solder, I will have something ready to solder.

GOOD GRIEF! Eleven projects, and they are all different, and one gets bigger than the last. I have not done any windows yet, nor large panels, but those things are in my plans. Heheehe. (I am working on a lovely panel of poppies.)

I must be obsessive/compulsive about everything!

I will post pics when I have something to show.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yellow spiders in my yard.....

You should just see how pretty these are!

These are yellow spider lilies, just beginning to bloom.

I have the red and the white, too, but these are the only ones blooming right now, so they are the most beautiful!

I think Fall has arrived.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Word, we did have a plant sale!

And it was a good one too! These were taken before we opened the doors, and it was wall to wall plants! All these peoples are our Master Gardeners.....

This was a raffle item. We did very well on our raffle!
Look at that Jackie, thinking she can hide from me!

We sold everything in the house except for 3 banana trees, which will probably get sold yet.

This is Kenneth, one of our hardest
working MGs.
His wife, Debbie, is also a hard working MG.

We always have fun doing these sales, but we are always so glad to have it done too! I am thankful for so many who are so willing to work so hard to better our Master Gardener organization.

Friday, September 19, 2008

We're having a plant sale...

We are having a plant sale tomorrow. The Master Gardeners, I mean, and it is going to be a BIG plant sale! We have worked for 2 days, setting it all up. The doors open at 8:00, I need to be there around 7:00 am, to put the coffee on to percolate and all that.

We hope we will sell out by 10:30am, or around there, anyway. You just cannot imagine all the plants that are in that auditorium.

We have 2 plant sales a year. This is when we make our money to operate the whole year.

Wish us luck!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Checking in...

I am here, safe and sound. We are high and dry, just some wind, but no water. Not even any rain. We are giving Thanks for being spared again.

Prayers for all in the path of this storm. Prayers for Texas, and our Country.

Sincere thanks for all the comforting emails I got before the storm. I know I am in your prayers too, and that helps me so much.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Still here...

Just watching and waiting.

We will go by noon tomorrow, if we are going to go. The storm is predicted (at this time)to go in between Freeport and Galveston. That is quite a lot of difference from what was predicted yesterday, and if it holds, we will not leave at all.

I know it seems like tempting fate to wait, but honestly, it is much safer to do it this way. Traffic on the roads is un-believable, bumper to bumper. If we wait, we will miss all that fun. If we do have to leave, we will make a bee-line for somewhere south of San Antonio, and sit it out there.

Trust me when I say that we will leave if we have to. You couldn't make me stay, if it was going to come in anywhere close.

It is a beautiful fall day here too. I want to weed the vegetable garden this afternoon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm not thinkin' this is good....

I am getting pretty scared here, now. This may be the big one for us. DERN!

check this out.

I am packed, just got to put it in our vehicles and go. The forecast is for this thing to come in as a Catagory 3 or possibly 4, at Matagorda Bay or San Antonio Bay. Either way, that is us.

The County has called to advise us to evacuate. Evacuation is mandatory below Highway 35, but that is not us. We are about 4 miles north of Highway 35, as the storm blows. People think that because we are 15 miles from Hwy 35 by road, that we are a long way off- not so, not so!

I am not concerned about water, although they expect 18' tide surge. We are nice and high here. The wind is the big thing for us, and the big trees in my yard. I am going to be undone if I come home to find a 40' pecan tree laying across my house.

We might go to my little sister's house in College Station. She has a brand new Grandbaby Boy that we need to see anyway.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Ancient One, I thought of you immediately when I saw this...

I have been chuckling for half an hour. My husband thinks the sun might have got to me this afternoon. LOL

What are those goats really doing? Why would they do that? I don't know anyone else who knows about goats.....

Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's THAT time of year again...

Storm Season.

It rolls around every year, like Halloween and the Fourth of July. We dread it, we fear it. We hate it.

I have managed to get some things done, in anticipation of the storms lined up and waiting to bash our shores. I have a list of things we will need to survive, and a list of things to do, in the event that we need to leave.

I live on the Gulf Coast, the Texas Gulf Coast. South of Galveston by about 80 miles as the storm blows, and about 90 miles north of Corpus Christi. Our last 'big' hurricane was Hurricane Carla, which wiped us out in September, 1961. Our house had 3 exterior walls left standing, and not a thing within those walls. A large rug that Mama had acquired somewhere overseas was spread out on the front lawn, and the remnants of my piano lay on top of it, broken into a cazillion pieces. I will never forget the terrible smell. Our big chest type freezer had been overturned, and all the contents were mixed with the mud on what had been the floor of our house. After several days in the hot September sun, it was a terrible smell.

The first thing on my list is always the same: Empty the refrigerator. I don't turn it off, but in case the power goes off, I don't have a ruined refrigerator -if the house don't blow away, that is.

I have a list of things I will need, other than clothes. Clothes are the least of my wants and wishes, except for Bobby's coveralls for work. They are fire-resistant, and he must have them for work. We don't want to have to replace them.

Three sets of sheets, a dozen towels, a service for 4 dishes and silverware, Mama's cast iron dutch oven, 2 sizes cast iron skillets, my wonderful old spatula that Daddy used for turning pancakes on Saturday mornings, a few utensils, and a couple of nice old bowls. A coffee pot that percolates coffee on the stove, or on the campfire, and a few coffee mugs.

A few items for basic grooming. Pictures are gathered and packed, and I have all my important papers sorted and in one box, ready to load, if we have to go.

The boxes of dolls are still packed from Katrina, as are the cookie jars. I would take my iron bed that I inherited from my mother, that she inherited from her mother. I am not so afraid that it would get ruined in a storm, more that it could get lost in a storm.

I would pull a low boy trailer, and Bobby will pull the travel trailer. I am sure we are lucky, but sometimes it would be nice to just leave all this stuff. I bet Bobby will insist on packing his WHOLE shop, which is considerable. I haven't asked him, I am avoiding the subject.

I would pack my desktop computer, and a laptop. Cameras, one printer. Selected books. Bobby may or may not want to take his computer. More likely, he would want his TV.

Most important would be the 3 dogs, and the old kitty, AND their crates and huge sacks of food.

Everyday I say a prayer for those in the path of these storms, and I say a prayer to keep us safe too. I just shudder to think of it.

Prayers for all of y'all on the coast, and on the east coast. Some of you, I feel like I know you. I would hate for the storms to get you too. So, be safe! Take care! Make a list!

It helps a lot, making lists. LOL

Oh, yes, don't let me forget to take a few clothes.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

...and Rosenberg is up by Houston....

We went on a field trip Saturday. I was worried that it would be so hot that we would not be able to enjoy the day, but it turned off cool, a little rainy, with a North breeze blowing, just perfect weather!

We went to the Demonstration gardens of the Fort Bend County Master Gardeners. They were very interesting, and really informative. They had a LOT of different plants. Have you ever seen a red plumbago? Well, they have one, and now, so do I. Cuttings, I have, but they will soon be rooted. I am so excited!No, I did not take unauthorized cuttings, but got them instead from Caydee of Caldwell Nursery. She said they root so easy, and she was very generous to give me the cuttings. This is plumbago indica red.
We went to the Enchanted Forest too. Between Caldwell Nursery and Enchated Forest, I have a full week of planting work to do now. I needed all of these.

Lysmachia, althernanthera 'Party Time', jatropha (pink), almond verbena, cleradendron 'Musical Notes', ginger 'Siam Tulip', double shell pea vine, 'Diamond Frost', cat's whiskers (purple), red orchid tree, and several sedums and succulents and little ferny thingies for the fairy garden. Also, purple cestrum, blackberry lilies, burgandy cotton, and 'Silver Dollar' eucalyptus. I think I am forgetting something, but I don't know what it is. I will post it, if I find out. This is 'Musical Notes'.
Enchanted Garden has this fairy garden. This is the cutest thing you ever saw. the house is about 15"-18" tall and about 20" long. I usually like fairy houses that are more natural than this, but this was really cute. Plus, it used a Norfolk Pine, and a Ming aurelia for trees, and I happen to have some of them. The River was pebbles and blue rocks, like used in an aquarium. It was so cute.We saw other interesting things. One was this fence, at the FBC gardens. I call it the "Zen" Fence, because it is a boundary of their Japanese garden.It is done the same on both sides, a dog ear fence board, then bamboo to match the width of the dog ear board. They had several sections of this, some longer than this one, and it was very effective.Also, Bobby took this picture for future reference. These rose trellis' were in the area where they have roses, a vinyard, and berries growing. I don't know if they purchased them or produced them, but they had several of them, and I liked them. They were kind of elegant-looking.Bobby wants to make some of them. I think he should hurry about it.
We had a great time on this field trip. We stopped to eat at "On The Border", and celebrated the birthday of two of our Master Gardeners. They share August 16th for their birthday. We had Kahlua Ice Cream Cake. Great Birthday Cake!

Friday, August 8, 2008

I have been ....

Well, I have not been here! I have no excuse good enough.

Our Master Gardener Group has a website. Guess who is webmaster!

You win (?) if you said it was me. That would be correct. Check it out here.

AND...because I am a real dummy when it comes to websites, and I have to learn EVERYTHING there is to learn, I haven't had much time. That, and a few other things has kept me tied up.

Our Native Plant Garden is growing just fine. I am real proud of it. If we could just get a handle on the nut grass and the bermuda grass, we would be fine. I need to go weed again tomorrow, but I may not get there until next week.

AND....I went to TMGA meeting in College Station last weekend. This MG stuff is taking over my life. Did I mention that I am president this year? Thankfully, the year is going to be over one of these days, and I cannot serve a second year, according to our by-laws, so I will be out of there! It is time to let the newer ones take over.

I looked at the pictures over at Seed Scatterer's site, and I am envious. I know that I shouldn't be like that, but she has MOWED GRASS and lots of PURTY FLOWERS! I do not have mine mowed, and the beds are weedy and needy! I want about a week to do nothing but weed and mulch, weed and mulch.

I just need to get my life organized again. I had it organized once, but that was years ago.

We are going on a field trip on August 16th. Going to look at the Fort Bend County MG demonstration gardens.
AND...we are going to the Enchanted Forest nursery. Check it out here.

This place is fantastic. I have no idea what I will find there, but it will be different, I know.

We also go to Caldwell nursery when we go there, and they have a really huge variety. I mean a huge variety of EVERYTHING! Check them out here.

I am going to turn my AC on this weekend, I think.
It is pretty hot now. I think it was 102 degrees today. It is weird that it is not hot in the house, but on the porches, it is HOT!

When I turn the AC on, I will be here everyday. LOL

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Did y'all hear me? It's been raining at my house since some time last night. Not hard, just that wonderful, soft, slow drizzle that seeps into the ground and refreshes and refurbishes every plant around.


That Hurricane Dolly is the reason. She is quite a way off from us, but the bands will hit us good with rain. Most likely, we will not have the damaging winds, or the storm surge to contend with, and I don't expect any damage, unless from a tornado that might be spawned by the hurricane. I don't really expect that either, but it could happen.

I am thankful for the rain, and I pray that those in the path of the storm are safe.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Do this puzzle!

Anybody like puzzles?

I found this one educational.

I had no idea, for instance, just where Rose at Quilted Hills is in Nebraska. I had the idea in my poor overtaxed brain that she was much farther North, like in the Tundra maybe.

She is almost a Southern girl, compared to what I envisioned.

My best score is 98%, one mile difference.

I want 100%, no miles!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Gardening according to the Old Farmer's Almanac

Does anybody pay any attention to the Farmer's almanac anymore?

I remember my Granny and PawPaw did. They bought a 'fresh' copy each year, and would consult about all kinds of things in that little book. When to pull a tooth, when to cut hair, stop bad habits, but mostly, when to put seed into the ground.

This is the chart for July.

July 2008
1-2 Poor days for planting, seeds tend to rot in ground.
3-5 Most favorable for corn, okra, beans, peppers, eggplant and other aboveground crops. Plant seed beds and flower gardens.
6-10 A most barren period. Kill plant pests and do general farm work.
11-12 Favorable for planting peas, beans, and tomatoes and other fall crops bearing aboveground. Sow grains and forage crops. Plant flowers.
13-14 Extra good for fall cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower, mustard greens and other leafy vegetables. Good for any above ground crop that can be planted now. Start seedbeds.
15-17 Seeds planted now will do poorly and yield little.
18-19 Good days for planting beets carrots, Irish potatoes and other root crops.
20-21 Good days for killing weeds, briar's and other plant pests, poor for planting.
22-23 Good days for planting beets, carrots, radishes, salsify, turnips, peanuts and other root crops. Also good for planting melons, cucumbers, pumpkins and other vine crops. Set strawberry plants.
24-25 A barren period.26-27 Root crops that can be planted now will yield well.
28-29 Poor days for planting, seeds tend to rot in ground.
30-31 Most fruitful days for planting root crops. Excellent for sowing seed beds and flower gardens.

I was about to plant a whole bunch of seeds this week, but this stopped me in my tracks. It just seems wrong to tempt failure.

I know, I know....but still.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hit's Hott!...

I am not melting yet, but it is hot here.

Watering, watering. Everything dries out so fast, both from the heat, and from the incessant winds we have.

Weeding, always weeding. We weed a space big enough to make it worthwhile, then plant, plant, plant.

This evening we planted an Angel's Trumpet (pale yellow), a 'Flare' rose mallow, 2 pots of lilies, 1 Turk's cap, 5 pineapple sage, and moved many melampodium.

In the weeds, I found 3 verbena (red), LOTs of Society garlic, a nice pavonia rock rose, and 3 firebushes that look great with a little grooming,

There is still about a cazillion plants to put in the ground.

Tomorrow, we will set plumbago, esperanza, salvia, rosa 'Peggy Martin', RED porterweed, hardy begonia, Pride of Barbados, ginger, bulbine, ginger and ginger. And.....I have some additional melampodium, pepper 'Medusa', and pots of coreopsis to put in the orange and yellow garden.......... If I get that far!

While I am thinking about it.....

Bobby has been busy.
We found the 'legs' for this little bench at the dump. Our dump is fabulous for wonderful 'finds'. (I have a fantastic bird bath that came from there, but that is another story.)

Anyway, we found the supports, but the top was broken. The supports are very pretty, and solid, so we thought there might be something we could do with them. I actually had thought of some kind of monument, statuary thingie. Bobby was thinking to make it a bench again, all along.

So, a couple of weeks ago, he formed up the top and poured it, (along with another big alligator, but that is another story, too!) A few days of watering it to let it set up slow and cure good, and we have a bench for the front garden! He will have to smooth the edges with a rasp or a file to break the hard edges, but it is done! Another good project!

I love the oak leaves he impressed in the top. They came from the Bur Oak that he grew from an acorn.
That man is so clever.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Well, I got this award.....

....And I love it! I just can't figure out how to put it in the side column of my blog, so I am gonna post it here, for everyone to look at and envy.

This award is from OhioMom (Cooking in Cleveland), and I thank her very much for it.

A fallen Angel.....

.....but beautiful still.

Somebody threw her away. Her wings were broken off, and her head was broken from her body and broken into several pieces. They took her to the dump.

We found most of her, but not the wings, which she doesn't need anyway. We never did find her left hand, but figure if Venus Di Milo can be beautiful with no arms, our angel is still beautiful with one hand.

Bobby put her back together, and she is destined to live in the ruins garden. She is sunning herself in the front garden right now, but will be moved in due time.

She is well over 4 feet tall, and I consider her a treasure.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A New Challenge.....

This is the next, new, upcoming project for the Jackson County Master Gardeners.

This is the old Jackson County Jail. It was used with regularity until the 1970's, with the Jailer and his wife living downstairs, and the jail being upstairs. There are still clothes lines in the back of this building.

It was the custom in many small jails in those days, that the Jailer would lock up the building and go home for the evening, just as Andy did in Mayberry. One night there was a terrible fire in a jail in a Texas town, and the prisoners were killed. After that, the Federal government set down new guidelines that said what could and could not be done to/for prisoners held in custody. Now, prisoners have to have a jailer present.

I think it is interesting that we still used this jail so recently.

Anyway, it is a nice building, I love the style. We were given the chance to use this building as Master Gardener Headquarters, and in return, we will build an Educational Garden to make Jackson County proud. I know we can do it.

Let the work begin.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Remembering Mama and Daddy.....

This is Mama and Daddy, holding me and my sister, Debbie. This picture was taken in/about spring, 1947. I am the cute chubby one in Daddy's arms.

My Dad was a military man, which is what made me think to post this today. He spent 12 years in the U.S. Army, then switched over and stayed 14 more years in the Air Force. Daddy retired from the military at the ripe old age of 42, and spent the next 33 years as a fishing guide on the Texas coast. He fished the bays, as opposed to the Gulf. He loved to fish.

We lived all over the world. My brother was born in the Philippine Islands. The 'Baby' of the family talked with a British accent for a full year after we returned from England. Today, we are thankful for the experience.

My Mama was as military as Daddy was. She was the perfect wife for him; dutifully packing up the household and dragging her brood across country or national borders. It was all the same to her. We loved it, thrived on it, and missed it when the moving was done. Life wasn't always easy- I believe this picture was taken during the 'chicken house' period. Mama said that for awhile, housing was so scarce, they lived in a chicken coop.

That must have been tough.

Of course, we were never completely sure of the truthfulness of some of these stories. Daddy told us once that he was flat-footed because a tank had run over his feet during the war. We believed him, and told that story all over school, then found out in our adult years that he was just funnin' us. LOL

I remember when we went to England, we rode to New York City on the Greyhound bus. It took us 3 days on that bus. There was a lady riding most of the way with us who was going to Washington DC, and she had big briefcases full of papers with her. The Supreme Court had agreed to hear a case that she had brought before it, and she was going for the hearing. Today, I would love to know what case it was, and what the resolution was.

I remember Daddy today, and am humbled by his service to our country. He did not lose his life in battle, but laid his life on the line for us anyway. He got to Europe on D-Day, and walked to Germany. He said the most scared he ever was during the war was when the radio operator made an error and directed their own air support back on them. Daddy didn't talk about the wars much, until his last days.

Only if he would be ill and run a fever did he ever talk about the war. Then, he would rave. I never understood why that was so, just that it was. During the last few months before he died, he would tell stories about the war and about his family to my sister- the one Mama is holding in the picture. She was the 'Keeper of the Stories'. I was relegated to doing his manicures and cutting his hair. He seldom trusted me to give him a shave tho. LOL

Daddy served in Korea as well. I remember the morning he came home like it was yesterday. Shortly after his return, he went TDY to Matagorda Island, home of a Radar Bombing Squadron. He was in Heaven there, for Matagorda Island, 12 miles off the Texas coast, was a fishing/hunting paradise for VIPs, both in the military and in politics. The RBS squadron was not as important as the fishing/hunting. They called it "Special Services", and that was Daddy's job; Special Services was code for fishing.

We learned at an early age that 'loose lips sink ships', and we did not talk about what Daddy 'did'. I remember one time, he was gone for several days. Only after it was all said and done did we learn that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had been meeting on the Island. That was a very big deal.

We tried to get his records once, because we wanted to find out more about his life when he was stationed at Fort Sam Houston. He was in the Cavalry there, and worked with the mules. He always told us that he had caught dandruff from those mules, and that was why he lost his hair. We were scared to go close to a mule for years, lest we get the same dandruff!

If we had his records, we could have found out where he worked, what barracks he lived in, and things like that. But because of his security clearance, his records were sealed. We will be long gone before they are available.

Daddy died in 1991, followed by Mama in 1992. They are buried in the little cemetery at his beloved Port O'Connor, Texas. Mama used to fuss that she didn't want to be buried there. She said that when a storm came, that cemetery would be under 20 feet of water, and so it would. But when Daddy died, she could not bring herself to bury him anywhere else, even knowing that she would be right there with him, if/when a 'big one' comes in.

I salute all those veterans who have served to protect our freedoms; Those of the past, those of the present, and those of the future. I am thankful for Them.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

We almost came to blows.....

.......not really, but I was really mad at that man!

I was nice, cooked chicken fried steak for dinner, with a baked potato, white gravy, squash from the garden, sliced tomatoes from the garden and a pan of biscuits. It was good, except that I baked a sweet potato for myself, and that man wanted the sweet potato! After he had doctored the baked potato all up, smeared all kinds of stuff on it, and I couldn't eat that.

So.....I shared my sweet potato with him, and he ate the whole baked potato. I would have baked him his own sweet potato, had I thought he would rather have one. I had no idea he felt so strongly about sweet potatoes.

After cleaning up the kitchen, I joined him outside for a couple of hours working outside. It is cool enough in the evening, I love to work then.

We were working out by the hoop house. We are going to take it down and set it up at my friend Pat's house, and that man is going to take my space to enlarge his shop. I have another, bigger greenhouse, so it isn't like he is being greedy about it. LOL

Well, He was in charge of weed eating, and they were kind of tall in some areas. I was picking up pots.

You have to understand that I was in the landscaping business, and I still have every pot I ever brought home. These are the regular, plain-jane pots like from the nurseries. I have fantastic big pots that trees came in, down to 2" pots. I bought 4 packs and 6 packs by the thousand, along with the trays to set them in. My absolute favorites are the 4" pots and the quart pots; very versatile, very useful little containers.

I also have a good collection of clay pots, and I have several hundred, in all sizes. I like them.

So I am picking up pots and stacking them in all the different sized stacks. I was really tickled that we were getting all this work done.

I didn't recognize the noise at first, then it dawned on me what that weird noise was! Pots! He was weed eating my little pots! He didn't want to wait for me to get them, and couldn't be bothered to pick them up himself, so he was just cutting them up as he chopped down the weeds!

You could hear me above the whine of that weed eater; I think they could hear me at the Post Office, 3 blocks away! I know I am a little off kilter about all those pots, but I like having them. I gave up buying fabrics (for the most part), and I quit smoking, cold turkey. I am not going to give up my pots too!

I like knowing that if I have 5 dozen cuttings, I have the pots to put them in. We also found 6 bags of potting soil, and lots of other amendments, but all that is so I can put it in the pots when I need to. Some things, like the flats of ice plant that I did last week, could be put in 4 packs. I have lots of 4 packs, and when I run out, I will order some more.

But when I cut back my angel's trumpets, I stick every cutting, and that takes a 1 gallon pot. I have 46 angel's trumpets in 1 gallon pots out there now, but if I cut another, I would stick them too. I just feel very strongly about not wasting the angel's trumpets. LOL They are very easy to root, and very easy to sell.

GRRRRR! It was probably kind of loud. I was fussing about ruining pots, and he was fussing about having all this &$%@@*! junk! LOLOLOL

I wonder if my neighbors think it is interesting being my neighbor.

Fryin' eggs...

It was 82 degrees at 6:20 am today.

HOT! is here!

I have not turned on the AC yet. I am waiting until I melt.

Hope it is comfy where you are....

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Native Plant Garden is FINISHED!!!

I am proud to announce that the
Native Plant Garden is finished!
It has years to grow now, but I can
look at it and be very happy with
what we have accomplished. This
little garden has an elegant air
about it, exactly what we wanted.
I love it.

We had a workday where the kids came to lay the buffalo grass sod. Everybody was in a tither a few days after we laid it, as it was shocked, and turned almost all brown. Most thought it was dead.

With water, both from the hose and from the sky, it rebounded, and it is just beautiful! I had never seen buffalo grass before, and I would consider putting it in my yard, if I didn't already have too much grass.

The girl in the overalls here is not one of the kids. Rather, she is one of the Master Gardeners. (Actually, she is the little boy's mama. ) Bobby had high praise for these kids. He said they listened when you told them something, and did it the way you asked them to. He said they were used to working.

Bobby looks happy doesn't he? He was putting in the trellis uprights on this day. He was great, and he is so glad this thing is finished.
We had decided to get it all finished by May 5th, as one of our members was bringing her sororiety through it that evening for a tour. So, on Monday, Peggy, Sonja, Margaret and I met to work. We were joined by Debbie and Kenneth, and we were so happy to see them. It was Kenneth's birthday, so we were very pleased that he agreed to spend part of his birthday helping on this project.This was taken after we had a nice rain. You can see the grass in this picture and in the next. It is sooo pretty! Also, our bridge is in by this time. Sonja and her sweetie, Robin, and Bobby and I went on Sunday to put in the bridge, and finish the trellis'.

We are in the middle of planting this little bald cypress tree here. It has gone into shock since being planted, and turned brown, but it is not dead. We have decided to give it a good chance, to see if it will recover. If it doesn't', I have a couple of others that can be moved to that spot.

We planted and planted, all the plants that had been collected to this point. When all the plants were in the ground, Peggy, Debbie, and Sonja sped around the garden with packets of seeds, planting with abandon.

We had to backfill our rain garden a bit, as it was a little deep, and didn't drain as fast as it should. We had help from our two trusty Trustees, Mike and Aaron, and got that job done quickly. Then we could plant in that area, things like equisetum and spider lily. We had a load of river rocks and pea gravel to distribute in the 'creek bed', and we cleaned up the rocks that were piled in front of our bridge.

Our last big workday was Saturday, May 3rd. We got the bench built. We are REAL PROUD of our bench!

It was one of those projects where one person suggested this, and someone else said that. It worked out very nicely.
We had kids of all ages. Some big, some little, and they weeded like pros! And I think they all had a good time.
(Look at our pretty yaupon there, with it's red berries!)

We have finished the Native Plant Garden! Of course, it has to grow up now, but it already has the 'feel' of a finished garden. We will be changing out plants in the future and adding to our collection too. I just can't wait for it to get to the 'leaping' stage.

You know.....

The first year it sleeps.

The second year it creeps.

The third year it LEAPS!

It is going to be BEE-UTE-E-FULL!

too long gone.....

I have not been here for a long time. It feels like forever, but you can believe that I am happy to be here now.

I have about a cazillion pictures to edit, and so many stories and things to share.

But for right now, I just am going to show you some things that my Darlin' made for the Master Gardener plant sale. They used them as a raffle.
This first one is a BIGGGGG welded basket that is planted with duranta 'Saphire Spires'. It is 3' across, and I love the space between the planted basket and the top ring. It is actually a hanging basket, but for the plant sale, they displayed it on this stand. The stand is now safely back in my yard.
The next two are of the same adorable creature. He is a shovel bird, hatched in Bobby's fertile imagination. He sure did not want to give his wonderful bird up, after he had breathed life into him, but he did it. Ain't he cute! He is almost 5' tall. This breed is extinct, I am sure.

This last one is my contribution. It is a 7' tall wooden tuteur. A free standing trellis.

I love doing woodwork. I always purchase enough wood for two of the same thing. One for the original purpose, and one for me.

They said the man who won the trellis didn't know what to do with it. He really wanted the bird. I know the man, a really nice guy, and I was glad he won it.

Also, look at that pink flamingo! We didn't build wooden birdhouses this year, but used birdhouse gourds instead. They were so cute! This flamingo is not a birdhouse, but a piece of sculpture on it's own.

I wanted the flamingo!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I just wanted you to see this.....

This is that bottlebrush tree, now in full, glorious bloom! It is intoxicating, just to look at it!
Also, this is a messy yard, as I am on a dead run right now, and have not been around to clean up this part of the yard yet, but I wanted you to see some of my roses. This is Belinda's Dream, and I have never seen them so gorgeous!

The 'stick' in front is actually a Hua hibiscus, and has just started to leaf out. It will be purty, just not right now.

I have a LOT of pictures, just no time to post. We are doing the Native Plant Garden, plus the Spring Plant Sale is in 2 weeks, plus doing propagation classes for a couple of garden clubs is keeping me busy.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Our Merry Master Gardeners.....

Our Marvelous Master Gardeners have been busy, busy again. Or still, maybe.....
We are still working on the Native Plant/Rain Garden. Rocks came into play on this workday, and we finally got most of our 'river' rocks moved.
This is one of our brand new Master Gardeners, Jackie. The brand new ones were certified last December, after a year of volunteering 50 community service hours. All our Master Gardeners are hard workers. Jackie is especially hard working. It is just her nature.
And Peggy. My friend, my advisor, Ex Officio, and all that. She usually hides when I have the camera clicking. The other lady is Louise. She is not shy at all.
This is one of our little arbors that mark the entrances to this little garden. Very simple, but fitting for a garden dedicated as a teaching tool, I think. Our space is too small to allow for a large arbor. We will have vines growing on them, as well as the fence.
How many Master Gardeners does it take to lay a flagstone pathway? Two to lay the stones level, one to carry additional stones, and as many as you can get to watch the procedure. LOL

It does seem like there are a lot of people standing around, but really, everybody has a job. Cheerleading is my job.
The lady in the hat is Linda, another of our Brand New Master Gardeners, as is Cathy, the lady in the pink shirt.
One of these people laying flagstone is my husband, Bobby. I don't know what we would do without Bobby. He is a treasure.

We teased Cathy, the lady in the pink top about wearing her flip-flops to work in the garden, but she had really showed up for an art workshop for our plant sale. THAT was not until the following Saturday. She was a bit early, but she stayed to help anyway.
We have the other end of the walkway to lay, the bridge to install, tweaking the 'river', and the planting to do yet. We are getting close to being finished. We are trying to find plants that can be donated before we buy plants. The more that we get free, the more money we have to purchase nice plants and nice big rocks. People are happy to donate plants too.
Saturday is our next work day.