Monday, December 31, 2007

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy New Year!
This picture is of my Son at 1 year old, celebrating the New Year. We had so much fun with him. He is now 21, and won't let me decorate him like this anymore...I wonder why?
Over Christmas we got out some of the old video tapes that we took when he was a child. It had been a long time since I had watched them. One of my New Year's resolutions is to get them transfered to DVD's. I have already ordered the software to do it.
It has been interesting to read everyone's thoughts on resolutions, or some people use the term, goals (somehow that doesn't sound quit as permanent as resolutions). I always come up with the standards, loss weight, exercise more, buy less books, etc, but most of these don't make it past the first few weeks of January. I have always called these resolutions, so this year I am going to call them goals, and see if that makes a difference.
The one resolution that I never have trouble keeping is: No outdoor gardening until Spring. These are the resolutions that I don't have a problem with. You know, like, no skydiving, no mountain climbing, no eating sushi, etc.. Things that I would never do in the first place. I don't have a problem with those. Maybe if these were the only kinds of resolutions that I ever make, my success rate would be 100%!
Everyone have a safe and happy New Year.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

GOOGLE MAPS

Wow, this is more than a little scary! Our local newspaper recently ran an article on 'street view' on google maps. They reported that people were concerned over the fact that strangers can look up an address, and basically check out your property. Lafayette is one of the cities that this service is available to, Indianapolis is another. Not all cities have been photographed yet, but I am sure that is not far off.
So, I decided to check and see if my property had been done. I couldn't believe the detail! I understand that this is not in real time, (the nearest I can figure the photo's were taken in August of 2007), it is still very 'Big Brother' like. I enjoy traveling around the world with google earth, but this is a whole different ball game!
I am not sure what is next.
(Sorry, I am not real good at links yet, but if you click on the title of this post, it will take you to street view of my property)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

WEATHER REPRIVE

Wow! What great weather we had today! It was near 50 degrees and sunny. I was able to get out and put away a few things that I missed earlier this fall. A few clay pots, my sun dial, and some miscellaneous statuary. I also took a walk around the yard to see what damage the rabbits had already done. I found a few plants chewed on, but they couldn't get to the new burning bush that I planted this Fall. After I planted them, and before I got the wire cages put around them, they did trim them back a little. But it doesn't look like they are able to get to them now. I will have to watch for heavy snow, because I am sure that they will use that opportunity to walk on top of the snow to get to the plants. I am hoping for a nice hedge from these burning bush in a few years, and that won't happen if the rabbits can get to them.
I also checked on the plants that I am over wintering in the greenhouse. I ran out of time this Fall, so they will have to spend the winter inside. It isn't the ideal environment. It warms up during the day, but gets very cold at night.
I usually don't have a problem until late February, and then they think that it is Spring, and start growing.
I only am able to use my greenhouse in the early Spring, because it would cost way to much to heat it over the winter.
I have had this greenhouse for a very long time, and it has quit a history. Back in the 1980's I worked for company from Michigan, that was affiliated with Purdue University, and was experimenting with growing tissue culture roses. We would grow rose bushes, in baby food jars, with about 25 bushes to a jar, in a medium that looked a lot like Jello. Hard to believe, but that is what we did. My job was to take the plants, after they had grown roots, into the greenhouse, pot them up, and care for them until they could be sold. It was a very interesting job, and I really enjoyed it.
When they built the greenhouse on the site, they decided to try and build one out of regular conduit pipe. They were successful, and we used it for several years. When the time came to shut down the experiment, everything had to go. I was given the greenhouse, and everything that went with it, if I could just remove it from the premises. My husband and I took it apart, and numbered every piece, so that we would know how to get it back together. Several years passed before I had a property to put the greenhouse on, but finally, we put it up, and I have been using it ever since. For a few years I grew herbs, and sold them locally, but it was hard to do that and work in our landscaping business, so eventually I had to give it up. I still grow the flowers that we use in our landscapes, and enough herbs and vegetable plants for myself, and a few friends. We have to change the poly covering every 5 years, and are in the process of replacing the benches, but other than that, it is pretty maintenance free.
My favorite thing is towards the end of February when I head out to the greenhouse to start my seeds. It is so wonderful in there, and smells all earthy and Spring-like. I hope some day I will be able to get back to growing and selling herbs and flowers from my home, I really enjoyed that.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

MERRY CHRISTMAS

This is the sign that we put up in front of our home every Christmas. It says it all. I pray that all of you had a blessed, happy, and safe Christmas.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

ORNAMENTS ON THE TREE

Carol at May Dreams Gardens, and some of the other blogger's that I visit have added photo's to their blog's, of garden themed ornaments that hang on their Christmas trees. I am amazed at how many different gardening ornaments are out there. I have seen very few that are the same. I am not sure that I have seen any of the ones that I have, on anybody else's tree.
I actually put up two trees every year. This started when my Son was small. He wanted a tree with multi-colored lights, but I had always used white lights. So, the large traditional tree holds all of the family oriented ornaments, and the smaller tree is covered with any religious, or more delicate ornaments. I enjoy both tree's, and have collected enough ornaments over the years, to cover each.
I actually have garden related ornaments on both trees. I will add my favorites here.















This ornament is one my teenage niece made when she was a little girl. It is a worm. I love it!



















An asparagus, believe it or not!

St. Fiacre wisdom.


I bought this one for my husband years ago from a specialty catalog.


Watermelon, Yum!!


















A glass carrot.


The garden of weeden, I'm sure we have all been there!



















A delicate ear of corn.


A beautiful glass rose.



















A brass oak leaf.

The so'mores marshmallow watering can man.

An herbal ornament.


A glass santa with a watering can.


The red hot pepper.


More St. Fiacre wisdom.


Gardening Angel, we all need one of those.


Another herbal ornament.


The apple core, not even turning brown yet.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Logan, the Sky Angel Cowboy!

A remarkable phone call from a 12-yr old boy to Houston radio station KSBJ FM 89.3. So profound, the station has it posted on their website.

I have never added a youtube video to my site, but this one is awesome! I had just commented last week that I was not sure what our world would be like in a few years, with the kids of the next generation running it. (Sorry to be so negative, but I had just had a really disappointing talk with my 10th grade CCD (Catholic education),class about the importance of their faith in their lives.)
Then, as he often does, God shows me that we will be fine, with kids like Logan out there.

SNOW AND ICE

This is a picture of my crab tree earlier in the week. The second picture is of my tree rose. I did not notice it until I went out to get the mail, so I wasn't able to do anything to help, except wait for the ice to melt. It did spring back, but has a slight bow in the trunk. I am very lucky that it did not break. I ran across this rose last year at the wholesale nursery that we buy from. They are Knockout roses, and they had a special on them. So I bought one for myself and one for my Mother. Before I could get my Mother's planted, a big wind snapped it in half. So now I wonder if they were on special because they are just not able to withstand out weather.
I had mine staked, but the ice was just to much for it. It was especially pretty this Summer but I couldn't find any information on how hardy they were. I have never had a problem with the hardiness of regular Knockout roses, but tree roses can sometimes be a little more difficult to grow.
Our forecast for tonight is 7-10 inches of snow. It is supposed to be a heavy wet snow, so I am a little worried about my evergreens. I have filled the bird feeders, and put out suet to tide the birds over, and have plenty of food in the house. We only live 2 miles from the grocery store, on a State highway, so I usually don't have to worry about getting snowed in. My Son has his snowmobile gear all ready to go. Last year when we had the blizzard, and no one was allowed on the roads, he took his snowmobile out on the highway. He said he only saw a few vehicles in the entire time that he was out. He said it was one of the best experiences that he has ever had. The speed, the quite, and feeling like he was doing something not many people could do, was quit a thrill. I was happy to stay inside a watch him, and was glad when he got back home.
So maybe if I am snowed in I will finally get my "8 things that I am happy about" meme done, that Leslie over at Growing a Garden in Davis tagged me with last week.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

NOT READY FOR SNOW!!

Snow is forecast for this evening!! I am not ready!! There is still to much to do outside!!
As soon as I heard the forecast for snow, I left the Christmas decorating, and headed outdoors. I still have plants that I did not get into the ground, so they had to be either put into the greenhouse to overwinter, or bedded into the garden for the winter. I also had a few planters that needed to be put into the shed, my 2 swings were still hanging, etc., etc., etc.
There was one project that absolutely had to be done. In the fall we pick up lots of leaves, and
I keep several of the better loads, (the ones that are mostly oak leaves), for my beds. They make a great mulch for the beds that I don't want to cover with bark mulch. These leaves are wonderful because they go through the mower, and then go through a vacuum that shoots them into a covered truck. This process chops them into pieces, so they are easy to spread and stay put over the winter. The pile in the picture above are to cover my herb garden next Spring, but I had another pile dumped in the back on the grass. I had to get these moved or the grass would die underneath them. So out I went in the 30 degree weather, to get it done before the snow. It actually didn't feel as cold as it was. The sun was out most of the day, and the wind was not blowing.
I got the leaves all used up, and even though the grass looked pretty bad under them, I think it will be fine next Spring. These leaves are one of the advantages of having a lawn service, and I always make sure that I get at least two truck loads every Fall to use on my property. I also have friends stop by to see if I have any left over. They bring there garbage bags and load them up. I also often have people stop for soil. We make our own out of all of the debris that we accumulate over the summer. This is primarily my husbands job. I think he is just so amazed that it works. The pile is so large that he uses the tractor to mix it. It is quit amazing how nice the soil is that we end up with. This is the other advantage to my business. I always have good composted soil available when I need it. Sometimes the pile gets so large that my husband
starts using it for jobs where he needs to fill in
an area with dirt. I always give him a hard time when he does that. Imagine using "black gold" to fill in a hole. I have told him that we could probably sell both the leaves and the soil, but we just never get around to it.
So, I use what I need, and the rest just keeps piling up.
Well, hopefully we won't have a lot of snow. They are saying 2-5 inches. But the temperature through the weekend is supposed to be in the 40s, so maybe I will get back out there on Saturday.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

BIG TROUBLE

What happens when you put a rainy day, a check book, and a book sale together?

That's right, big trouble for me. The sale actually started on Friday night. If you are a friend of the
library, (and I am a VERY good friend!), and you pay yearly dues, you are invited to the sale on Friday night before it opens to the general public on Saturday morning. I decided that I had run out of room for books, so I made plans for Friday night, and managed to keep my mind occupied on Saturday, so that I would not think about the treasures that I was missing downtown.
But, what finally got to me was the fact that the books are all marked half price on Sunday. How on earth could I ignore that! And besides, it was raining, so my plan of finishing some things in the garden, went out the window. So what was I to do? Head downtown of course. I gave my self a good talking to on the way, reminding myself that I really was out of room, and had no place else to stash any books. But once I got there....well, you book lovers know what happened. There were garden books, and Christmas books, a book I had purchased at Barnes and Noble this summer, and returned because I didn't think I needed it was there for $1.oo! Plus, it is winter, so I needed a few novels to read. And, it was raining outside, so I had to stay in there until it stopped. Finally, about 30 books later, I lugged my treasures to the car. I had left my home in the morning for church, so when I came driving into the driveway at 3 o'clock, my husband came to see were I had been. When he saw the bags, he just started shaking his head. He knows my weakness, and just smiled and carried the bags to the house.
So tonight I scan them into Librarything, and then try to find them a home. It won't be easy.