Monday, August 10, 2020

 So, here is a picture of my new planter(s) that I mentioned last post.  In the background, you can see the 2nd one, just like it.  I like them because they hold the pot up so that the stuff that hangs over the side can cascade over the side really pretty.

I haven't sold much of anything, except a pair of jeans and a cool black Harley Davidson sweater.  But just selling jeans and a sweater this time of the year is good!  I also took a trunk load to Goodwill.  In getting my guest room makeover done, i got rid of one bed headboard and moved another one into place that i had in the attic.  Gave away the one with a large chest and mirror to a young man, a friend's son,  who is just getting his own place and got rid of something in my attic - win/win.  But, i had 3 large rubbermaid tubs under the bed storage boxes full of clothes and when I looked at it after being there for about 2 years I thought "I don't need ANY of this".  While, at the time I put it away, I was not ready to let go, evidently.  lol.  Basic clothes don't sell quickly or for hardly any money at all second-hand, so I mostly just give clothes away.  If you have a designer label or something really high quality (leather, jeans, coats, etc) I might try to sell, but just every day stuff (dresses, sweaters, etc) I mostly just donate most clothes instead of storing and messing with them.  But there is a time when I am ready to get rid of stuff, and when i am ready, i am ready, even a short time ago i might not be ready to get rid of.

Our tomatoes are still doing well.  Getting lots.  I froze 4 quart bags last week.  This week I will give some to family and I think make tomato soup, even though it certainly isn't soup weather!  But a nice light tomato basil will taste nice.  My sister and I drove for the day Saturday to the lake to spend time with some family.  My cousins are twins and their birthday this week.  So I took them home made bread and tomatoes and we ended up eating some of the tomatoes and people were going nuts over the "Arkansas tomatoes"!  I took big and small red ones, yellow and pink.  One of my cousins was really liking the yellow.  My mother in law likes them best too, less acid.

As for gardening, I have harvested some lettuce seed and will see if I can grow some more from seeds.  Pretty cool, huh?

I was sharing gardening stories with my aunt and cousin and so i shared this one.  This house we bought in 2014 had a pretty pink crepe myrtle directly in front of the house.  

As you can see, the plant there right near the front door, that's the crepe myrtle.  It is big, but not as big as it got before we just could'nt get around it.  Esp last summer, we had a really wet summer and it got so large that it blocked the sidewalk infront and was going up against the house, so we could not walk easily by on that side either.  So late last summer, we trimmed it way down and dug it up and moved it. Whew, it was a job!

The pretty crepe myrtle is doing fine!  We are so happy.  We really had to hack away to get it out, so we were a little concerned.  If you look in the background of this picture, you can see where it used to be.  We planted a small weeping cedar tree that we are training to curve back and forth.  I will post more pictures of it next time.

And finally, some cute dog photos

Hope you are staying cool and having a great August!  We are having a hot week, so i am just trying to enjoy summer while it lasts and not wanting to rush into fall!  

Monday, August 3, 2020

More Movement

So, i have been sort of watching my diet and cut out sugar and no wheat, except for a bad cheat day at Taco Bell and one piece of cake for our anniversary...I am sure my aches and pains are better.  I was trying to really use elimination diet to see if i could feel better, see if the soreness was related (I think it is) and get ready to go to the lake next weekend.  Sugar notoriously inflammatory. 

DH and i went across the countryside to get these cool iron planters stand thingy's (pictures next time) and got hungry and stopped at first thing open that wasn't crowded and it happened to be Taco Bell.  Oh well.  Otherwise eating good and enjoying the fresh tomatoes and salad lately!

DH and i went to eat for our anniversary.  It was nice.  We took a pic in our convertable to remember this weird year.  
I cannot deny that i did have a couple bites of this fabulous cake.  It was good, but mine is better.  Recipe next week, i think i am going to make it for DH to take to the city.  He is going up to play golf with his brother.

I sold my Harley Davidson boots i posted picture of here last week.  $95!  I am currently in the process of gathering plans and materials to build a fountain.  This will go toward the pots i will buy.  Pictures soon!

I also sold this gas firepit (we are getting a much smaller one) and gave away these tables...and a gas grill we don't use.  We are pretty fond of just a simple charcoal grill.  

I am taking the day off tomorrow to kayak.  Hope you are enjoying August!  We have been blessed with some moderate much needed rain and cooler temps here.  Today mid 80's, about 10 degrees cooler than normal.  Love it!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Movement Restricted Monday

So, I am a little troubled lately by the aches and pains that seem to be increasing in my life.  I am having a lot of pain in my back, knees and hips lately.  I do have an autoimmune condition that I have dealt with for many years, i am wondering if this is something related.  If so, perhaps my new-found commitment to cut out some sloppy eating will see results in my aches and pains.  I know before when i am in an autoimmune flare, i have a lot of general soreness and fatigue that is helped by multi facted approach (rest, meditation, movement, nutrition, supplements and yes, sometimes medicine).  I also know that since i am up about 15 pounds, that could be a big factor, so that might also benefit from my diet.  That being said, i am approaching mid 50's, so i am told - get used to it by several people!

We are having some overcast skies and a little bit of relief in this hot weather.  We have chances for rain every day this week - we have our fingers crossed - so dry here!  Saturday we took 2 large chests from my guest room i am redoing - my neice decided she just couldn't find time/room to get the furniture, so we took it to my sister in law's consignment/2nd hand store.  I have also recently sold 3 golf clubs, a motorcycle seat back rest and some Harley Davidson luggage.  Here is a picture of the backpack i sold for $100!

This back rest we sold for $175!  

I ordered the 2 cubes from Ikea that will be replacing all the large, heavy and dark wood furniture that came out of the guest room.  Pictures to come - it will take a month to get the pieces delivered and another few days to put it all together!  LOL

DH and my anniversary is tomorrow.  DH let's me buy whatever i want for the house.  One year we got a windchime.  One year a tree, etc.  This year i got 2 new crepe myrtles - the fragrant white Nachez crepe myrtle.  I planted them Saturday in the late afternoon heat and it was hot digging holes for them!  The ground is so dry and hard here, i was worried i would not be able to dig deep enough!
This is what they will look like.

I also took my potted geraniums and planted them out in my raised beds.  I got these geraniums from friend so i hate to lose them, but they are sort of boring little blooms and not a great pink, just a pastel - sort of boring.  I also moved some portulaca (i had to look up how to spell that!) that was growing in a pot.  I am trying to move as many of my perennials from pots to beds so i don't have to winter so many pots in the house this winter!  The advantage is, i had a lot of pretty greens that i wintered inside to provide color and interest in my deck pots and only bought a 6 pack of petunias and a 6 pack of impatiens to spread out with the greenery (vinca, asparagus fern, airplane plant, mother-of-millions and purple heart).  Next year i am going to do the same thing - focusing on these plants that do well and buy a few pretty flowers to add pretty color.  I am looking for a couple of the cool iron planters to add some height at the corners of my deck.  I saw some beautiful ones at the nursery Saturday but they were $100+ each!  I also planted a hyacinth vine that i started from a seed - it is already way bigger than 2 clematis i bought - but clematis are sort of slow to get started - and the hyacinth vine is an annual.  But they grow really fast - so i am going to try to plant several from seeds next year really early, like late winter.  I also see that some of my lettuce has gone to seed and i am going to see if i can get a little lettuce from seed next year.

I am such a garden nerd, that i have big plans that inspire me that involve design and seeds.  LOL.  My DH thinks i am making the yard way more complicated, but i really do have a 2 year, 5 year and 10 year plan.  My plan is to get many areas of my garden/yard so that i can do as much or as little as i want from year to year (i.e. raised beds, bushes and mostly potted flowers).  But i really do enjoy creating it a lot.  I intend to get to a point where i am just maintaining...wonder if i am kidding myself?!  LOL

I know much of my plans will be evolving and from trial basis - what i learn and adjust.  For example, in out front yard it is very sunny so i have English ivy (don't worry, it is contained to a small area) and cactus and i am increasing the cactus and succulents to reduce how much i have to water out front.  Right now we are watering even the bushes and shrubs, do to this dry summer we are having.  The important thing is 1)  i enjoy it and 2)  i hope it makes the house look nice and someday 3)  increase selling time/value.

This little cactus my friends from Florida mailed me a piece and i am going to keep it going/repot it.

What is your summer plans looking like where you are?  

Monday, July 20, 2020

Monday Mysteries

Couple of mysteries...First one.  I was excited that my banana tree my friend mailed me last year from Florida made it through the winter and was looking really nice (it does not get really tall like some i see around here).  But it was really full and lush looking.  Then we realized not only does it have a couple new plants coming off it...but 3!  So i offer to send one to my OK cousin whom i know loves growing things and a couple to my brother in law who loves growing things.  Well i sent my sister a picture of the plant and she says, i don't want anything to do with that weird scaly reptile looking thing! 

I looked at the picture again, and was like what is she talking about?  And then i realize it is my little barn i have underneath!  LOL

My cousin got her banana plant in the mail and was very excited!

I got around to making my sister and myself a 'windchime' with my holey rocks!  I gave her hers this weekend.  We both agree they are cute, but need metal to hit the rocks to make more sound.  So we set out at couple places to find the perfect objects that were 1)  metal, 2)  would 'wear' well out in the elements and 3) were inexpensive.  We found these cute little crosses at Hobby Lobby and bought 3 each.  They will help the sound.

I used fishing line and a piece of my Crepe Myrtle old wood.  

Speaking of planting...i gave my Florida friend some seeds from my jasmine.  I can't wait to see how this stuff does down there.  We have to bring ours in the garage every winter.  We got the non hardy version and my husband refuses to let it die back.  It smells so good!

OK for the other mystery...We had the handy man put a motion sensor light in the peak of our house to the north early June.  And we have another one in the back yard, which is fenced in.  Well, the back yard light never goes on unless it is us or the dogs that activate it.  But the north side we see on all hours of the night.  Last night it was on when i got up at 2am and i peered out the window and could see nothing!  Also, there have been 2 times something has pooped in my raised garden beds.  Weird.  DH thinks it is a stray cat or racoon.  I am now thinking i need a game camera on that side of the house!  It is interesting.  These are shots of that area during the day and at night.  The lights you see here are the solar spot lights i have trained on my arch i am growing wisteria on.  

Last photos are my porch swings
And my dog Penny enjoying the window seat.  Have a great week!

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Typical Tuesday

Well here it is Tuesday.  I was so glad i was not going anywhere this last weekend after going to the lake 2 weekends in a row.  But i did get out on the river nearby and had a nice kayak float.  Went with a woman i know and one of her friends and a group out of Oklahoma we did not know.  Nice women and nice river.  However it did seem these Oklahoma women were in more of a hurry than us!  LOL.  We basically paddled the entire 10 miles!  But we did stop twice to visit and eat snacks/lunch.

On the gravel bars i was told by 3 of them they look for heart shaped rocks.  I found one shaped like Oklahoma.  Then couple of them said they find lots of rocks with holes too.  I found a few.  Then my friend Lisa said they make cool wind-chimes so i found as many as i could.  I am going to make a wind chime for me and one for my sister.  Her birthday is tomorrow.  We are going to have lunch Saturday.

Last week right after work i jumped in DH truck and ran and got a bed-full of mulch.  I put newspaper and cardboard down around all my hostas and then mulch.  They are said to do really well with rich organic matter based soil and the paper/cardboard breaks down while thwarting weeds...helps the plants stay watered in this dry hot summer weather.  It was a 2 day job.  I am SO glad it is finished.
this was before much.

And after!

I hope you all are staying cool out there and staying healthy.  I have had a head cold for 8 days.  No fever.  I am doing ok, but yoga sure was difficult last night with my sinuses so clogged!  We have been blessed with some rain couple times in last week.  Makes it super humid, but stuff was really getting dry and brown!  I am worried about losing some of my new bushes and trees.  We are watching them close and watering them a lot.  The clouds have kept it from being too hot, was high 80's low 90's last few days but going to upper 90's rest of this week!  Good time to do my outside gardening and watering early in morning or late in evening...otherwise we are catching lots of movies on Netflix!  I am trying to convince myself that now is a good time to paint my master bath ceiling...we shall see.  It had an old leak that someone covered - badly.  Needs a dose of Kilz and a coat of paint and will be so nice and fresh.  To be continued...

Signing off with my beautiful burgundy glad!  This is the first time i have grown gladiolas but i LOVE them.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Working Hard, Playing Hard

Well, i have been really working hard at my temp job.  We have been training and switching roles fairly regularly.  About the time i start to get comfortable with what i am supposed to understand and do...i get switched to another role.  It is a little stressful, but not nearly as stressful as this economy is to all the small business owners out there who i am trying to help.

And speaking of which, I have not had one rude person.  Well, maybe a little bit rude, but not bad at all...especially considering my former life occupation when i was an insurance adjuster!  I feel for all these people trying to keep business going during such a weird time...and they mostly all have been very polite.  Inspiring to me.

Well, having said that...about working hard, i did limit my hours the last 2 weeks to just 41 and took a part of the last 2 fridays to enjoy some time with family and friends.  Had a nice Forth.  Here are a couple of photos from the lake view.

The first was a nice firework i tried to capture.  2nd photo is 3 of those lanterns that people light on fire and set afloat - how are these legal?!  But frankly, i thought the fireworks unable to compete with that fabulous moon!  Am I right?

So, when i have not been working and running around i have been watering all my plants!  We are going on like 6 week drought here and i am trying not to lose some of my bushes, flowers and trees we have lovingly planted!  About 2 hours a day i am watering, weeking and picking veggies!

Here are some of my produce photos.  My tomatoes are getting ready to just go nuts!  I cannot wait.  Hope you had a nice Fourth of July and are staying cool.

Monday, June 22, 2020

The Days are Moving So Fast!

Hope everyone out there had a nice Father's Day!

My husband and I went on a short 3 hour kayak float on a nearby river.  It was only the 2nd time I have ever been in a kayak on a river.  Last Saturday I went with a group of about 20 on a larger river about 2 hours away.  It is a pretty well known river - The Buffalo River - in Arkansas.  It is actually the first National River designated in the US.  Here is the wiki link.  It is a beautiful area.

Some parts of this river are pretty dangerous due to the narrowing curves and the rocks.  Not so much the rapids, as such.  There are areas where the river descends enough so that is a big of a challenge too.  A year or two ago there is a large sinkhole where a man drowned.  He was pretty experienced kayaker from what I recall.

I did an easy section last Saturday with some very experienced people.  We all are older and non drinkers/partiers.  I would not want to take a chance with people who were not experienced or who were drinking.  In 1995 when I was going to school in Arkansas, I did the challenging section...with an experienced outdoorsman, in a duel canoe.  We did flip over once, but were fine.  We were also in our 20's!

My friend and I felt my DH would enjoy a shorter kayak and made plans to go Sunday with him.  I am so glad we did.  We enjoyed so much the pretty scenery and the animals we saw (birds, turtles, frogs, a snake, etc).  DH had a blast.  The river we did yesterday was getting low.  They say parts of the Buffalo (the lower) are getting low too.  We had a lot of rain in March - April but it has slowed considerably.  It usually does, but more towards late July.  This is a little early for our lawn to be turning brown.  We really don't have very good grass, so I am not going to worry much about it.  As I finish diff landscaping projects, I will worry about yard next.  I read that a good time to seed is around Labor Day.  It is good and warm, the dry hot weather may be easing by then...can plant seed and it will be mature enough for me to weed and feed next spring.  I am just going to work on very small portion of lawn in the backyard to perfect it before I expand to the front.

I did have my bonfire Friday evening.  I scanned ALL my photos, scrapebooks, memorabilia, even yearbooks to my computer and burned all the originals, except what i am keeping for family (neice and nephews).  I love the feeling of getting rid of stuff so my house is not stuffed.  My in laws think i am crazy for getting rid of originals.  We had dinner with the in laws Saturday evening for Father's Day.  But my DH and his family are very much into antiques and keepsakes, just stuff.  Not me.  I used to be in my younger years, but the older i get the less around me I want to deal with.

Now that I have been retired (semi retired) for close to 2 years, I know more about what stuff I will keep and use and what is just extra volume that I won't need (clothes, shoes, jewelry).  In a recent purge, I cleaned out a bunch of my costume jewelry and got rid of my large jewelry case.  At a local consignment store I found a small chest that fits under the counter in my bathroom where the vanity is.

I love the smaller one.  It is in my bath now instead of my bedroom and the lighting is much better.
Today it is pretty warm but this is late June.  I usu get up and work for an hour, then feed the dogs and when i let them out into the bigger yard, i water my vegetables.  My lettuce still going strong but growing to seed in next few weeks.  My spinach and kale is winding down.  My chard is about the same.  My tomatoes have tiny fruit and i am watching them close!

Have a great Monday!