Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dahlia Star Elite

This is what I planted in May.

It bloomed a couple of days ago.

Let's take a closer look. It's a wimpy pale yellow and pink.

Hmmmm.........looks quite different in color than the vibrant two-toned orange one I planted!

Look! The tropicanna has a bud.

Another bud on this one

This Tropicanna Gold has no bud, but I wanted to show you my edging plant.

It's parsley! It works great as a spreader and you can snap off a little hunk whenever you need it for a dinner flavoring or garnish.

My deck seen through the callas at 6:45 a.m. this morning.

Today was nail day. I got some fun artwork done on one nail. For some reason I love these straight colored lines.

See the little diamond? It's just a blob of glitter nail polish.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Hallowed Halls of Justice

It was eerily quiet when we arrived to the newly-renovated district court.

Our 100-mile trip went by fast and we arrived almost an hour prior to our court time. I joked to the Big Kahuna that I should have brought my camera so I would have a few pictures to illustrate my blog posting. He told me he had his camera and went back to his vehicle to get it. What a guy!

I knew we would be early so I brought the book I am currently reading.

I don't think you can read the title. It cracked me up when I realized that the title is 'Dark Tort' - How appropriate for reading in a district court. I made the Big Kahuna take a picture of it.

The parolee waiting to my right was flirting with the young clerk ("Where have I seen you? Are you a parole officer?"). Now there's a line I haven't heard! It seemed to be working as she smiled coyly while handing him a form to fill out. It was hard to concentrate on my book, so we decided to go into the court and wait our turn. We walked quietly in (the court was in session). We sat in church-like pews among the dozen or so people also waiting.

At the front of the court stood a young man in a jail-house orange jumpsuit, wrists handcuffed and legs shackled. His head hung low as his attorney spoke on his behalf. The kid said nothing and looked quite dejected while the judge read his sentence. Two other young men similarly dressed, cuffed and shackled sat on the bench next to him. All three hobbled out together after the sentencing. I looked at the Big Kahuna, my eyes bugged by shock and swallowed hard. This didn't look like it was going to be much fun.

The judge called two more cases and each person approached the lectern with their backs to us as they made their plea and answered his questions. Drugs and alcohol seemed to be the popular law breaking activity.

I wasn't really looking forward to my turn behind the lectern!

At 10:10 a.m. a man walked to our pew and whispered the name of our business. We nodded and he motioned for us to leave the courtroom and led us to a tiny little room with one round table. I hope I didn't let out an audible sigh of relief when I realized that I would not have to approach the Honorable judge (I wasted that extra trip to the nail technician on Friday).

Instead I just had to answer questions from the man, who was the lawyer attempting to collect the money the former employee owed. The whole reason we were there is that this lawyer said I didn't answer a court order to garnish an employee's wages. If an employer does not put the garnishment into effect, the employer can be held liable for the debt that was owed (over $1700 in this case). Anyway the person was not even our employee at the time and I did send the court a copy. He wasn't all that nice when he asked his questions. He asked if I had the order with me. I pulled it from my file and he said, "Let's see if you sent it." He leafed through all the copies. "The court copy is missing," he admitted. It was my one moment of glory.

I answered him as sweetly as I could even though I felt like spewing venom at the snake. This entire charade disgusts me--that he could waste my time and taxpayer's money for such triviality! His time would have been better spent searching for the deadbeat ex employee.

Anyway he finally agreed that the judge would not see me as the criminal he thought I was and he dismissed his case and we were free to go.

So justice was served.

We were off to find a suitable restaurant for our celebratory lunch. This place fit the bill.

The view from our table

I had the Summer Breeze Salad - chicken salad with dried cherries & toasted almonds served atop a cantaloupe boat surrounded with seasonal fresh fruit. It was pretty good.

Now I am off to an early bed because last night I was awake at some point during every single hour.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Is Zoey Reverting to the Hippie Days in her Attire?

No, it's not the sleeve of a new blouse.

I am turning my new paper-pieced table runner right side out.

First I had to tear off all the paper on the back side. Some people find this task so displeasing that they refuse to do paper piecing. I find it relaxing (to a point). Tearing all the paper off a king-size quilt is a bit daunting if you try to do it all in one day. But little items like this are no problem at all.

Remember the turkey block?

Well, I made another block with the turkey facing the opposite direction and combined those two blocks with some I had previously made. Now I have a new table runner which I have aptly named, 'Turkey Trots'.

It can be used anytime since it does not scream, "Thanksgiving", having turkeys in only two blocks.

I have it on my table right now with this chicken in the center. I do have a turkey soup tureen which I can use closer to Thanksgiving.

You will have to click on it to see any detail.

I love making runners because they are quick and easy and I have about all the bed quilts I need. The runners take up much less space and I don't have to hand quilt them. In fact, I barely even machine quilt them--just around the edges and in the center of each block to hold the backing securely.

Look What I Found at Joanne's for 70% Off

Some hot pink, purple-soled rubber shoes to walk around the garden when there's a thick coat of dew. I can't believe how comfy they are--right up there with my Crocs.

They came in handy bright and early Saturday morning when DH did his annual washing of the house.

He climbs up a ladder and washes the entire house with a sponge, water and bleach. To me this seems a dreadful job. I bought him a power washer for Christmas with this specific task in mind. He chose not to use it. I guess he enjoys doing this job manually. Live it up, Baby!

I followed behind on the deck to clean the windows before they dried with water spots.

I put my new shoes on, grabbed my rubber gloves, my toothbrush and my bucket of bleach water and went out. As soon as I got outside I made an interesting discovery.

Everything matched! The rubber gloves and toothbrush were almost the exact hot pink color.

Now some of you may be wondering what the toothbrush is for. Well, I have found it the easiest way to clean inside these windows around the metal apparatus. The bleach kills any bits of mold that may be there. It's really a pretty easy task. I did two sets of windows and the sliding door on the deck in less than half an hour.

DH in his big clunky rubber boots and me in my daintly little fashionable rubberettes.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I Swear to Tell the Whole Truth

and not mention the fact that the lady at the lawyer's office was a BIG SNOT on the phone. This is the lawyer who is summoning us to court because he says we did not answer his court-ordered garnishment. I wish I could have reached through that phone and smacked her across her smug little face.

The big Kahuna said I must behave and sweetly answer all questions. I told him to bring the checkbook just in case they fine (or jail) me for contempt of court.

Monday is the court day. We leave at 7:00 a.m. for the 100-mile drive. Please send me good thought vibes around 10:00 a.m. when my neck is scheduled to be on the chopping block.

I am watching Jeopardy as I write this. They just asked the question, "The Maid of the Mist is at what attraction?" I knew the answer immediately. Not because I've ever been there, but because I read Pea's blog! She just got back from her ride on the Maid of the Mist at Niagra Falls. We do learn some valuable stuff reading these blogs!

By the way, Pea, I didn't get to leave a comment because midway through reading the post I got kicked out completely...sent me right out of Internet Explorer and back to my own desktop. It's done that a few times before. I am not worried as it usually lets me back in after a day or so.

I am not sure what I will do this weekend. I don't want to dig in the dirt because i might wreck my nails. I just went today to get one fixed. They need to look decent when I have to raise my right hand and take the oath. I will probably just sit around the house all weekend and worry about what will happen on Monday.

I hope everyone else has a nice weekend.

Does Anyone Have White Vinyl-Covered Appliances?

That get tiny little nicks like this?

It seems the freezer-on-the-bottom models are prone to these tiny nicks because (in 15 years) I never had one nick on my old freezer-on-top model.

Here's how I get rid of them...
I use just a little dab of white-out.
It works perfectly.

I was reading one of Dianne's posts where she used whiteout to antique a picture frame (very, very clever, I thought). Does anyone else use whiteout for anything other than to cover mistakes on paper?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Is this Butt-Ugly?

That's what the big Kahuna (I affectionately call my boss this) said today. "I'm sorry," he said. "But I still think those planters are butt ugly."

I said I thought they were quite nice and, in fact, I thought they really worked well with the other landscaping (the colors are perfect). I told him I do know that some people just find cannas ugly (it's the cannas he objects to). In fact I used to be one of those people. But I have come to love them.

When I left work this afternoon a lady had just come into the office to visit the big Kahuna. My office is right next to his. When she came in I was just leaving and she introduced herself and asked me what I did there, etc. Then she said to the big Kahuna, "Did Jenny (the big K's wife) do those beautiful planters outside? I know what a talented gardener she is."

The big K looked at me, I looked at him and we both started laughing. I told the lady about the butt ugly comment earlier in the day.

Did I feel good? You Betcha! I am still smiling! It never hurts for the big K to eat a little crow.

The reason I took my camera to work today was to get a pic of the sweet potato vine in these planters. Just look how they have grown! I planted a lot of the very same vines at home (I bought them from the same place) and mine are nowhere near this size. Just a few days ago I posted a pic of one of my hanging baskets with the same vines in it. I wonder why they are growing so much better at work?

Remember those Sunflower Seeds I Planted in late May?

There were 6 packages of assorted beauties. I cleared almost the entire south side of the deck so they had plenty of room to grow big and strong.I hauled a couple wheelbarrows of new top soil and spread it all out nice and even. I put a ton of time and effort into this new garden area.

This is what became of the six packages.

Sad, sad, sad.

I cannot tell you how very honored I am that Marie at Thyme for Herbs, recognized me as a friendly, kind and courteous blogger.
The Power of Schmooze Award is for bloggers who “effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship.”

The Thoughtful Blogger Award is for “those who answer blog comments, emails, and make their visitors feel at home on their blogs. For the people who take others’ feelings into consideration before speaking out and who are kind and courteous. Also for those bloggers who spend so much of their time helping other bloggers design, improve, and fix their sites. This award is for those generous bloggers who think of others.”

When I come across a new blog that I like, I really do try to leave a comment to encourage the new blogger. I remember how it felt to think that nobody would want to read my drivel and then how exciting it was to get my first comment and every comment since. It’s still such a thrill to find comments in my mailbox!

I really hope people feel at home here. I realize it’s (if not impossible), at least awkward to answer every single comment (even though I do not get bombarded as some people do), but I try my best to make sure a new commenter is acknowledged. I know it takes courage to leave a comment and I want everyone to know I appreciate the courage, time and effort it took.

So, thank you, Marie. I am so happy that you find my blog a friendly place to hang out for a little while each day or so.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Just before dinner last night, my neighbor knocked on the door bearing gifts from his garden.

My first local cukes. Delicious!
I have a lot of phlox blooming right now. So far I've spotted two colors of purple.

This one is a bright pink/purple.

My long windowbox is awash in yellow with the callas. I've planted some dahlias in there this year, but it will be a week or so before they bloom. They will work nicely to give a little color as the callas fade out.

My butterfly bush never did leaf out on the old wood. I finally cut the old stuff down a week ago.

It has started to grow rapidly. It needs to get another 3 feet high so I can see it from the deck. I was searching my blog to see when it bloomed last year, but I didn't find anything. In 2005 the first bloom was August 20 and it was small like it is this year. It looks like it may be awhile before I am watching hummers and butterflies from my comfy deck chair.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I Don't Know How..........

Yesterday after a trip to Staples to see what cameras were locally available and spending over two hours online investigating the pros/cons of different cameras, I decided (just for kicks) to recharge my old battery again. I had just charged it and put it back in the camera when it stopped working. I thought it was strange that the charger was red (meaning it needed a charge again). I went about scrubbing floors, etc. for a couple of hours. When the light was green, I put the battery in the camera, turned it on and VOILA! It took a picture! I nearly fell off my chair.

I couldn't believe it. I grabbed the camera and ran outside before it decided to stop working again. I took 58 pictures. It is still working just fine.

Go figure.......

Remember the hail storm? Here is how it sliced up the canna leaves.
I have been busy digging out almost everything at this end of the rockwall garden. It was getting too overgrown. I still have more plants to remove. I have sprayed the silver snow-in-summer with roundup--twice so far--it is tough stuff to kill. It's growing mixed with creeping phlox so I decided to get rid of both and start over. Every now and then it's nice to have a clean slate.

I am so amazed at this container. EVERYTHING in it was overwintered. When I pulled the container out from under the house, it looked empty. I started watering it and all of this stuff came up like magic. LOL. I had no idea all those calendula seeds were in there. There is also Elephant's Ear and a canna - I think Picasso, which has neat speckled yellow/orange blooms.
This container was the same - the only thing I planted was the purple trailing fanflower in the front.
I felt like sewing a little yesterday morning and I made this block. I had made the 3-inch turkey center block a while back and I decided to feature him in the middle of a star block.
I have no idea what he will end in--maybe a table runner for Thanksgiving. I wonder if I have any rust-colored dishes...I know I have dusty blue that would match the background.

So it's great to able to take pictures again. I haven't spent much time on the net this weekend. I will get caught up reading blogs this week.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Biggest Hail Storm I Have Ever Seen

just passed through and here I sit home alone cameraless!!

The entire deck was FULL of hail balls. I mean FULL. It looked like it was covered with snow. Oh, what a picture that would have been. I grabbed the dead camera and gave it another try.....just in case.......but it was still dead.

My poor cannas--their big beautiful leaves are now ripped apart from the hail.

I went to the deck and scooped up some hail and put it in the freezer. I want to show DH when he gets home.

I have spent a little time this week finishing the hand quilting on my Stary Log Cabin. All I have to do now is the binding. I will be happy to get it finished as I've been working on it for a year and half.

It's amazing the extra time I have now that I am not taking pictures of every event in my life. :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Did I Tell You How Much I HATE This?

After a few hours checking out these camera suggestions:

Dianne's Cannon Rebel Xti
Chopsticks Cannon SD1000
Pea's Cannon PowerShot A530
Karen's Nikon Coolpix cameras

I am a quivering mass of confusion. I've grabbed a bag of butterscotch chips and have decided eating those is much more fun than trying to figure out which camera to buy! (and I don't even like butterscotch chips, but it's the only thing I can find in the house that's sweet)

The Cannon A530 has 7.1 MegaPixels with 4x Optical Zoom --isn't that the same as the 1000? God, I don't remember! This is too much to think about on a work night! If I could just find the Rebel Xti for the price of the SD1000, I'd be all set. LOL.

Thank you all so much for your suggestions. I will ponder them all for a few days and this weekend I will decide which one to buy.

I am having a stressful week. I got a court summons at work because they say I did not respond to a court-ordered garnishment on an ex-employee (I also do payroll). I did send a copy to the court stating that the person no longer worked for us, but I didn't send it registered mail so I have no proof. I have to go to court in a city 2 hours away--with no lawyer representation. Good Lord, they will probably eat me alive! All I can think of is Perry Mason getting me on the stand and tearing me to shreds........ The boss will go with me, but I am probably the one who will have to take the stand. I hope he plans on taking me out for a VERY NICE lunch after this ordeal!

Lily Trees

Does anybody grow these huge lilies?

Here is what Breck's says about them:
As you might expect, lily flowers of this massive size offer many exciting possibilities. They are ideal for planting at the back of borders or the corner of beds where their massive height can be fully appreciated. They are excellent visual anchors that will help define your landscape. Blooms appear in mid to late summer while the lush, bright green foliage lasts all season forming a magnificent backdrop for other lilies as well as other perennials.

Hardy in zones 3-10, Lily Trees will thrive in full sun to partial shade. They naturalize well and require no special care. In fact, the massive stems are so strong, the plant needs no added support! Hardy as well as vigourous, your Lily Trees will increase and bloom again every year.

I can't believe they don't need staking!

Remember the speciality big smelly bulbs I bought last year - Draculus Vulgaris? Well, they never even came up this year so I need to write to Breck's for a refund. I also bought some glad bulbs that can supposedly be left in all winter, but so far nothing from them either. Maybe I should buy some of these giant lilies with the refund?

is that Canon SD1000 the one you have been using for your videos? I like the price on that one so will have to check it out.

By the way I am playing around with my header trying to incorporate both gardening and quilting. (If you pop in here often, you have probably noticed that it keeps changing.)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Chit Chat

Right after work today I had to go to my nail appointment. I got home about 5:00 p.m. I watered a few new shrubs I planted on Sunday. (I went to Walmart and they had tiny little shrubs for $4.00. I bought six of them.) Then I checked my blog comments and started to google all of the camera suggestions.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to give me suggestions--I really appreciate it! I just wasn't in the mood to read about digital cameras tonight, so I will have to check them out another day. I am leaning toward a lower priced camera this time. They don't seem to last very long for me, so I can't see spending a bundle. I do want one that takes nice clear pics and I want to take video, too. My Kodak had 10X optical zoom. That was nice, but in reality most of the pics taken at 10X blurred. It was rare to get a good clear zoom at 10X so I guess that it's not really necessary to spend more to get such high zoom capability. The new Kodak comparable to my old one is 12X optical zoom and it's in the $400 range. I am tempted to buy that one, but I really hate to reward Kodak with more of my money since I think the last one should have lasted longer than two years! However, if I buy the Kodak, I will already know how it works. Oh, such a dilema!

Let's not talk about cameras for now. I am getting a headache!

Anonymous in Ontario asked a question in her comment: ....have you in the past moved or divided perennials while in bloom? If so, how did it work out? Thanks in advance.

I move them all the time when they are in bloom! The secret is water. I did a post about it here. What are you wanting to move? Any plant with a bulb is tricky. I've moved many a lily in bloom with only marginal success. About half of the time I decapitate the poor thing, ending up with the flower but no bulb. Sometimes those bulbs are way lower in the ground than I think. So dig down as deeply as you can if it's lilies.

Well, I think my french manicure has dried enough so that I can go out and water all my plants.

I don't know how many of you have the fakey nails that you have to get done every two weeks, but for those who do, don't you just hate having to wait forever before you can do anything? It really takes a good two hours before you can savely use your hands. Digging in the dirt is totally out for the night unless I want to ruin the color I just paid for. I swear if I didn't work I wouldn't bother. But when you have a job where you have to point to the dotted line for customers to sign, you don't want to do it with the natural little stubs I have!

Digital Woes

Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike having to change cameras? It takes so much time and effort to investigate the current options to make an educated purchase. Then I have to spend a ton of time figuring how to use the new camera.

I have owned two digital cameras.

My first one was a Sony Mavica. It was a big huge thing that used floppy disks and I LOVED that camera. I paid over $600 for that one and I just assumed it would last a long time. Three years later it was dead. I replaced it with a Kodak DX6490. It was in the $350 range. It lasted two years and one month.

Don’t you think these expensive cameras should last a bit longer? I do take a lot of pictures—I use it almost every day and many days I take over 100 pics. The guy at Staples told me that the more you use it, the faster it wears out. That does seem to be the case with me.

I did call Kodak this afternoon because the Staples guy suggested it. They were no help. After twenty minutes, a man with an accent I could barely understand said I would have to send it off to a Kodak camera center.

The minimum charges?

$150 + $13.99 S/H and sales tax.

I told him not to waste time looking up the mailing address. I guess these cameras should be considered disposable. If anything goes wrong after the warranty expires, just toss them.

So now I have to go buy another camera.

Any suggestions?

Here is the entrance to my deck in May and on July 12.

All of my petunias were supposed to be that purple color you see here. Instead all the hanging baskets turned out to be this pink.

Which proves once again that one should never buy flowers that are not in bloom!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Creating Containers/Accents with Cast Offs

Yesterday on Friday the 13th my only two-year old digital camera died. How am I going to blog without a camera?!! I know if there are no pictures I don't waste my time reading a blog. Because a blog without pictures is just.....just...well, boring. So today I have pulled pictures from past years to illustrate my topic.

If Saturday mornings find you standing in a driveway awaiting the 8:00 a.m. opening of the big sale, then you probably already have a treasure trove of interesting items to use in your garden or on your deck. The majority of items require some work, mostly paint. But if you're willing to put in just a little effort you can get some unique items for your own garden.

Other people's cast offs have found a loving home on my deck.

Like this hose container that was reborn as an herb pot.

It sits on the deck all winter. Each year the sage, chives and French tarragon come back.

This tall indoor plant holder is another cast off from a friend.

I love the height it provides for a small container that would otherwise be lost among the big guys. Different height containers are so important to create a harmonious display.
One year I found a two-tiered homemade wooden shelf. You can't see the shelf in this pic, but you can see how it allowed differing heights of the plants. (You will probably have to click the pics to read the captions. Just hit the "back" button to come right back to this post.)

This full whiskey barrel was a favorite for about 10 years before it finally caved in.

The long wooden window box with the callas below was a great find! It has been home to the callas for at least 5 years. It provides a nice long line of blooms.

This little bunny was a buck and gave me quite a few years of whimsy before he finally broke in '06. I have quite a few watering cans just 'cause I think they are so cute.

The old grill has been a favorite for many years. This year is the first that I did not use it because I cut down on the number of containers I planted. Again, it provides that much needed height to give interest to a display.

This green metal tub is the one I now have the Tropicannas in on the deck. It was a steal for $2.00. Even my bistro sets were castoffs from the hotel I work at. I have 2 sets. I think employees could purchase them for $25/set. They are very heavy duty. They retail for around $200/set.

The wooden set was a garage sale steal for $15 for the ENTIRE set. The table I have on the deck is part of the set, too. They were a redwood color, but I repainted them all white. The glass-topped table here is not part of the set. It was a rare full-price retail purchase.
But the coffee can centerpiece was a secondhand find. I filled it with twigs for the centerpiece so that I would not have to walk out here to water it. This was about 4 years ago when I was "in to" pastels. (As you know I am currently into the hot colors.) I made all the pillows.

Whenever I see these milk cans priced cheaply I grab them! I have about 6 and I have never paid more than $5 for one. They are not easy to find for that price anymore. I usually see them for $20 and up.

Here's one of the milk cans with a wagon wheel I found about 18 years ago (I actually bought two of the wheels). I was thrilled to find these wheels! When I bought them, I spent a considerable amount time & energy removing the rust and painting them blue to match the house shutters. Now the shutters are green and I like the rusty look and so I just let them go back to being rusty. I saw a wheel at a garage sale I went to last month. They wanted $125. I paid $5 each.
Right in the front is a piece of driftwood (another piece that came free from the hotel when they redid the pool area a few years ago).

Over the years I have had a lot of fun finding and using all these bits of garden whimsy.

I don't do go to garage sales very often any more. Most people now think all of their junk is priceless (they get that idea from antique shows, I think). But every now and then I stop at one.

If I am lucky enough to find a treasure, it still give me a big kick.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...