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!