Sunday, April 26, 2009

Our Sunday project .........

This birdbath has been on the side yard for years. Originally there were three rose bushes and a climbing rose planted here. They never did do well, and eventually everything died except for this pathetic looking rose. My Hubbie has complained about it all spring. I think I had just gotten used to it and I never really noticed it, but it bothered him. This morning we decided to get rid of the rose and fix a bed for some azaleas.

It was hot again today, so we started on it early and were finished by 11 AM. I had to admit that it was an improvement. I just hope the azaleas don't die - usually they do well here.

Tomorrow we rent the Bobcat and move the rest of the pile of dirt. Hubbie also plans to use it to move some old piles of leaves and pine needles from the edge of the hay field. The sun and heat have really dried things out. I'm hoping that once we spread out the top soil and sow some grass seed, we'll get some rain.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Summer arrived today ........

We've forgotten spring and moved directly into summer. It was 97 degrees this afternoon! I just checked the outside thermometer and it's 76 degrees at 9:15 PM. We haven't turned on the air conditioner yet, but I was tempted this afternoon. If it had been more humid, I would have. I'm not a big fan of air conditioning. I like to open the windows and have the ceiling fans running.

I spent yesterday cutting grass. It takes me about 3 1/2 hours on the riding mover to get it all cut, so it takes up a good chunk of the day. My sister came to visit at my Dad's this afternoon. We had a good time catching up on each other's news. Tomorrow we will tackle another project in the yard.

Hope everyone is having a beautiful weekend.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Meme of the Moment ........

I have been tagged by Dave Pie-n-Mash at The Diary of Dagenham Dave for a Meme of the Moment.

What are your current obsessions?

1. My yard and raised garden beds. Seems like all my time the last few weeks have been spent on them.
2. Learning to raise and cook with herbs.
3. Reading (always an obsession of mine).

Which item from your wardrobe do you wear most often?

My Levi's 512 jeans. I have four pair that I rotate. When summer arrives, this will change to my favorite pair of jean shorts.

What's for dinner?

I don't know about tomorrow, but tonight we had steak on the grill, baked potatoes, and a salad.

Last thing you bought?

2 quarts of strawberries, a package of plant stakes, and a magazine (All You)

What are you listening to?

Hymn For My Soul - Joe Cocker
80 - B. B. King
Carolina - Eric Church

If you were a god/goddess who would you be?

I would be the earth goddess of West Fergusonville.

Favorite holiday spots?

I'm embarrassed to admit that I have been on very few vacations. Gatlinburg, Tennessee is the place I have been to the most, so it must be a favorite.

Reading right now?

Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch

4 words to describe yourself -


Guilty pleasure?

Napping in the sun.

Who or what makes you laugh until you're weak?

My cat - Maggie May - when she is clumsy and falls off a table or chair. She hits the floor, takes a moment to realize what happened, then quickly looks around to see if anyone noticed. She then proceeds to act as if she did it on purpose.

Who's your hero/heroine?

I really can't name one person. I admire different people for different things. There are many individuals who have had a positive influence on my life.

First spring thing?

Cleaning up the sticks, leaves, and the detritus of winter.

Best thing you ate or drank lately?

Fresh strawberries with lots of whipped cream on top

What is your least favorite chore?

Cleaning the bathroom

Favorite ever film?

Long, Hot Summer

Care to share some wisdon?

Why not?
Life is not fair. Once you accept this fact, you will be a lot happier.
The best things in life are free.
Learn to say "No".
Slow down and take time to "smell the flowers".
Money will not make you happy.
Dance and sing and laugh and play...

The rules are:
Respond and rework.
Answer questions on your own blog.
Replace one question.
Add one question.
Tag 8 people.

I won't tag anyone specifically, but please consider yourself tagged if you would like to do this.

Monday, April 20, 2009

"Nineteen Minutes" - Jodi Picoult ........

Today is the tenth anniversary of the shootings at Columbine. There have been other incidents since then, such as the shootings at Virginia Tech. And, unfortunately there will probably be more tragic shootings in the future. This book tells the story of a similar incident. It is the story of Peter Houghton, a seventeen year old outcast at his school, who has been verbally and physically abused by his classmates since kindergarten. He is finally pushed over the edge by a final act of bullying and enters the school with loaded weapons and the makings of a bomb. In nineteen minutes he kills ten people and injures nineteen others.

This is also the story of Josie Cormier, the daughter of the superior court judge. Josie was Peter's best and only friend when they were small children. She succumbed to peer pressure and started hanging out with the popular crowd. Josie began to shun Peter and join in the bullying with her popular friends. She was a witness to the shootings, but claims she can't remember what happened in the final minutes of the rampage.

The book explores peer pressure and the quest for popularity by students. It shows the pain caused by bullying and being considered an outcast. It also explores the relationship between parents and children.
Like all of Jodi Picoult's books, this one is thought provoking and entertaining. I recommend it.

Moving top soil ..........

I apologize for neglecting this blog lately. I have been working on moving top soil from our giant pile to needed places in the yard. I shovel dirt into my wheelbarrow, push it across the yard, dump it, then smooth it out with a rake. Then repeat, repeat, repeat .... My arms, shoulders, and back, which already hurt from arthritis, hurt even more now. If I keep this up I should develop some good muscles. As you can see, I've reduced the size of the pile dramatically.

I was hoping Hubbie would move the rest of it over the weekend. However, he informed me that it was too much work moving the dirt by hand. He plans on renting a "Bobcat" (a machine with a scoop on front) next weekend. He decides this after I had moved all that dirt by myself. Oh well, I guess it was good exercise - hopefully my back will recover some day.

We had a gorgeous weekend, but it's been raining today. We have a chance of severe thunderstorms with possible hail tonight and a tornado warning is in effect until 10 PM. Next weekend is suppose to be warm and sunny again. I just love this time of year. Everything is so green - the trees have leafed out and the fields are a rich deep green. My cherry tree is blooming, the azaleas are blooming, and the dogwood are in bloom in the woods.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Nothing To Lose" - Lee Child ............

I bought this paperback book at Walmart one afternoon. I picked it up later that day and didn't get a thing done until I finished it the next day. It was easy to read and held my interest.

Jack Reacher is a retired Army MP who is traveling across the country, using whatever transportation he can find and carrying nothing but the clothes on his back. He arrives in Hope, Colorado and decides to take the road to Despair which is twelve miles away. However. in Despair the waitress in the only restaurant ignores him when he enters. Soon four big men tell him to leave town. When he refuses and breaks the nose of one of the men, he is put in jail for a few hours. He is then taken to the town limits and told not to return.

Reacher decides to find out what the town is hiding. With the help of a female police officer from Hope, he uncovers the secrets of Despair and the town's metal recycling plant.

The story is full of action and Reacher always manages to come out on top. This is good escapist reading.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mazie Grace was in the garden ............

This is a picture of the bleeding heart in my flower bed. I have three plants and they seem to grow several inches every day.

Yesterday I planted lettuce, radishes, carrots, onions, and 9 green pepper plants in my raised garden beds. I carefully spaced out my rows and neatly planted the seeds. That was a total waste of time, since Mazie Grace decided that the garden was her giant sand box . She got in the garden some time this afternoon and proceeded to scratch up all the rows of seed and one of my pepper plants. Instead of neat rows of each vegetable, I will probably end up with a jumbled mess of lettuce, radishes, and carrots - salad already compiled in the garden.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Raised garden beds #3 .............

We spent the day working on our garden beds. This morning we had a truck load of top soil delivered. I don't know where the expression "dirt cheap" came from, but this dirt was far from cheap. That pile is $300.00 worth of plain dirt!

Hubbie went to Lowes and got some stakes to drive in the ground every three feet around the edges of the beds. He screwed these to the sides. Hopefully that will prevent the sides from bowing.

Then, it was time to start shoveling dirt into the wheelbarrow and dumping it in the beds. This was hard work! My hands, shoulders, and back are stiff and sore tonight. I would do several loads while Hubbie rested, then he would do several while I rested. The beds are almost full. Tomorrow we'll get some fertilizer and work it into the soil with the tiller, then smooth it all out.
As you can see, we still have dirt left. We need to pile some around the beds, especially where the bottoms are a bit above ground level. Then I want to use the rest on the bare areas around the beds and the shed. I'm hoping we'll be able to get grass to grow.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"The Whole Truth" - David Baldacci ...........

Nicolas Creel is the CEO of Ares Corporation, a major Defense Department contractor. In order to increase business he needs a new war, so he hires Dick Pender, a perception management garu, to create a cold war. Soon false news stories appear on the internet and produce a frenzy over Russian atrocities.

When a London based think tank, the Phoenix Group, is allegedly slaughtered by Russians, Creel hopes Pender can connect the murders to a Beijing government sponsored hit. His hope is that this will lead to immense profits made from a Russian-Chinese cold war.

An undercover operative A Shaw is outraged because his fiance died in The Phoenix Group mass murder. He joins forces with Katie James, a disgraced female journalist hoping to make her way back to the top. Together they work to uncover the whole truth and save the world from World War III.

This thriller has all the twists and turns, emotional drama, and unforgettable characters of Baldacci's other books. The plot never slows and works up to an exciting end. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend it.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Raised garden beds #2 .........

We finally had a warm sunny day, so we worked some more on our raised garden beds. First we had to take up the railroad ties that were already there. Some were totally eaten by termites and fell apart easily. The others we cut into smaller pieces with the chain saw, so we could load them on the wagon and take them away.

Next we put the beds together using metal corner brackets. The hard part was getting the beds level. Our yard slopes, so we would have to dig out some areas and fill in others. Our old beds were wider and not as long, so we had to move a lot of dirt around.

If it dries off enough this week, I'll order a truck load of topsoil. What we don't use in the beds, we can use in other places in the yard. I'm going to get a new wheelbarrow tomorrow, so I can move dirt. DH will also get some metal rods to drive in the ground on the sides to keep the sides from bowing out.

Once we get all that done, then I can start planting - lettuce, carrots, radishes, cabbage, tomatoes, zuchinni squash, yellow squash, cucumbers, green peppers. The bed on the left in the picture below is smaller and I'm thinking I will plant herbs in it. .

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My Dad and his cows ...............

Cow and calf - aren't they adorable ....

This is my Dad checking on the cows in his "buggy". Dad gave me the "buggy" when he couldn't ride in it anymore. I use it around the yard to carry stuff and to go over the fields. These pictures are from February 2002.

Cows again .......

My Dad worked a 9 to 5 job, but we lived on a farm where he raised Hereford beef cattle. He would get home from work, change from his suit and tie into work clothes, and go out to take care of the cows. So many memories of my childhood revolve around cows. I named my first cow - Cherry. She had calves that we sold and the money went in my savings account. My cows helped pay my way to college. When Dad could no longer care for the cows and sold them, I really missed them.

Our neighbors ran a dairy farm across the road from our house, Several years ago, they went out of business, as so many of the smaller dairies were doing. Once their cows were gone, I couldn't see any from my front windows. I missed seeing them, hearing them, and even smelling them.

Last week I looked out and there were cows in the field again. What a wonderful sight! My neighbors are boarding these for awhile, so they aren't here permanently. I'll enjoy them while I can.

These are dairy cows - Holstein. I will always love Herefords the most - they are a reddish brown and white. I'll have to look up a picture of our cows.