Pretty much

“We cannot live only for ourselves…” —Herman Melville

These silly millennials think they are parents to plants. I think you’re either a slave to your plant or you enjoy them and for me it’s all about the joy.

I remember my husband bringing me home a plant from the flower shop in our early years of marriage and busy little feet running through the house. Well, plant after “easy care” plant died either from over water, under water, or simple neglect. I did sort of okay on the garden thing. But honesty my attention just was focused on my children and meals and mountains of laundry.

Having this little pepperonia watermelon on my desk has made me keep it a lot cleaner I enjoy looking at it and seeing exactly what it’s doing everyday. And I’m so glad I found a plant small enough to put in this little pot that my father-in-law made for me. Yeah, keeping it watered properly is more challenging. It only goes about three days between drinks. But two little tablespoons in a dish for a drink while I clean up correspondence and making to do lists for this busy time of year has been great. Keeping the pile to a minimum of three days was the best “plant” that I have ever had!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. I kind of think that my husband is a “twleve days of Christmas” kind of giver. We have been getting little corner fixes and such for a week or so before the holiday. From a window shelf, to a light fixture, and a wall plant hanger, and this clock, the little bits of new throughout the house have made me very appreciative of his ability to fox things. Even had my plumber hubby put in a new faucet in the bathroom. Each little thing that gets done makes we sing “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”

“I am the last faded flower of summer pressed between the pages of a book.” Surely someone famous said that during the last stages of life. But alas, I may be remiss. There are days I have felt that tired, but lately not so. My poor daughters in their pursuit of life stage, being young and so very busy made me think of that saying one day. An elderly friend of ours celebrating in the ninety something years stated how she was not sure why she was still here on this earth. Feeling so very faded and so very pressed toward those last pages of life’s very own biography our hearts try to comprehend the ache and loneliness that calls them to heavenward home. But we covet their prayers. For surely the prayers of the righteous availeth much. Perhaps God hears the prayers of the lonely heart more?

The book that I am reading right now is one of Herman Melville’s longest novel. The language of the early American author is rich and deep even though I do not agree with much of the thought process deductions. The quote above about not living to our own purpose is so true. This weekend my husband is letting me participate in a grief therapy plant giveaway for the holidays. I am looking forward to it much. Perhaps the next blog will be a hint of the happenings.

For now, it is nearly Christmas. My house has pretty much become a plant haven. The greenhouse is allowed to dip to forty degrees at night so this quite a spill over of plant things in the house right now. But five large boxes of plant things will leave the house on Sunday. Oh, and then there is the fun of the pressed flower ornaments keeping me busy also. Christmas pretty much filled up every surface in my house right now!

So, if I don’t get back to the happenings before Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone! And to all A Happye New Year too!

Talking about love, love, love

My temperature blanket is finally taking shape! The idea sown last January is coming to fruition. Each month is represented by one square. The chosen colors are based on the temperature high and low for the month. Then the set of seasons are put together with the rising and falling temperature. Each season is put together by the weather that becomes them.

The whole blanket may or may not have a border. That has not been decided yet by the amount of left over yarn from the original skeins of color. I am excited to have cold enough weather to actually continue this project.

Talking about the weather is pretty much what begins every conversation in my life here in the Dakotas. The wind, the cold, the sunshine or the lack of moisture proceeds all other topics. While some people are oblivious to the weather, some of us have pets that require attention outdoors rain or shine.

Those people that show up at the day job in shorts and end up having to go home at break to change…. I don’t understand them. Every day of my life is decided by what the weather is today or tonight. The temperature tells me just what to wear. How to dress in this blustery unforgiving windy cold is very important if I want to feel my fingers the rest of the morning!

Well that’s enough about the weather, Now, How are you? The next topic of conversations might just involve who suffers from the most pain , you or the person you are talking to…. But even that is not a conversation that will last real long.

What is new? Yep, that the next headline. In my life it usually means some flower that is blooming. Here are some examples below. The Holiday cactus has decided the holidays should begin a week earlier this year. I forgot that by painting the living room and hallway, the cycle would be sped up nearly one week. The poor plant sat in the library for nearly five days before it returned to its prominent location in the south front window. The canna in the greenhouse finally recovered from it’s move to the indoor location. And these beautiful winter bloom begonias were a recent find at wally’s world.

This week we get back to the blanket and perhaps some Christmas ideas. I am not much of a crafter. The hot glue usually burns my fingers more than it sticks objects together. So minimal painting or such is my plan. Though giving plants is easier, not everyone want to take care of plant babies. Oh, and this next month will be full of plant seeding and seed starts! Oh, how spring shoots forth hope in my being. (Hope springs eternal?)

November is nearly to a close. We were blessed with sharing flowers to a few loved ones around Thanksgiving. And I found a gorgeous poinsettia to give to an elderly friend who turns 93 this week. Perhaps my passion for plants and flowers will help me spread a little holiday cheer this year!

Silly Oma! Opa…!

“My new stage name is ‘To Be…!'”Truth from a two year old can be hard to take. The innocence of little children is the power of looking right through the motives or objectives of adults. Even a three year old can surprise someone with their observant reality. So the old saying “Oh be carefull little eyes are watching you” should apply during all phases of life.The other day my three and half year old granddaughter surprised us with a declaration. “My new stage name is ‘To Be…!'” So I asked like “the number two and the bug a bee?” No she replied. I queried again, like “to be determined, or to be announced?” YES! She agreed. Wow, I thought that is a smart little girl. A little girl waiting for a new sibling and letting her mind go to imagination in other area’s of life. Whether the baby will be a boy or a girl is yet to be determined.So when that little one arrived safe and sound as her little sister. We soon began to hear many little “grown up” phrases from the excited big sister.Opa is really fast! Until he is not. Or until little legs carry the body above it faster than it should. Children enjoy running. Grandparents do not, usually. So when Opa is fast it is in relation to how quickly he can pick up all the toys, or throw the stuffies into the box. Relativity is important here. Oma is slow. When we take the stuffy puppies for a walk little legs tend to run circles around the aging grandparent. For me, however, it is the empty peripheral that brings with it the surprises of little children that make me go so slow. Toppling over those little less that two foot statues usually brings with it much apologetics as said statue suddenly finds it’s voice.”Hush! -the baby is sleeping!” From a two year old is rather cute. But from the three year old argumentatively with her eighteen month old brother can cause quite the stir. And suddenly you would think the whole neighborhood of puppies were wakened by the raucous! What fights can take place between siblibngs during the learning-about-compromise years. And though little sister fresh home from the hospital, might hear the above quite frequently, two busy little toddlers forget quickly and are right back at it.”Let’s go to the ocean!” Use to work for the two year old’s nap-time siesta. Now, it is the play time plane ride of the sofa. How can a little mind remember so much? Sleep sounds were never an option for my children. Sometimes I feel deprived. Then again I feel like this poor little ones will never know even how to really quiet their minds on their own without the aid of technology. I am glad that when I go out into my garden or greenhouse, I can easily get lost in the sounds of the world. The air-breaks from the local semi-drivers do not sent me into a barking frenzy. But then again the fans in the greenhouse really do sound just like the white noise on that little electronic whale.”Silly Oma!” That’s the response I receive much of the time. Especially when I started asking my grand daughter (after potty training) if she swallowed a wiggle worm, or if she had ants in her pants, or if she was doing the potty dance. Little bodies are so wiggly when they are awake. Her brother on the other hand can sure sit still for a snuggle much longer.”Lecka play the dog gone song!” What she really wanted was the Alexa device to play the Mickey Mouse version of “Oh Where oh where has my little dog gone.” But learning the commands and the politeness of the echo dot machine has taken nearly a year. Then suddenly just as fast, this little Isabelle has grown up enough to get alexa to play the right song listing and just as simply the little three year old mind forgets how to get the music to stop. That was rather funny and frustrating at the same time.

“Be right back!” At just two years old is so adorable. Though it took me an entire day to figure out what she was saying. And we say the same thing so frequently. Of course if you are the one in charge of said two year old, it might be best to count to fifty or less to make sure she comes back, or you go to figure out what said child is getting into now!Isabelle-isms in our family are things she says sweetly. Learning to say a three sylabble name can take a lot of practice. At first she called herself “Belle.” Then it came out as “Ah-belle. And finally she could put it all together and say “I’m Isabelle!” Especially when trying to give her character trait nicknames, she would pipe right back with her declaration of name. Are you silly? ‘No, I’m Isabelle.’Behaving like a little person is very common of the first child in a room full of adults. The first child picks up on prayers at meal time and will learn to say, “we need to pray!” The second child just keeps right on eating, because waitng for the meal was so long. It only took a few months of word grasping before little Isaac began to holler, “AMEN!” After the prayer.”I saw a mouse!” Must be followed by, “where did you see the maouse?” The answere was a clear “there” with a pointed arm at the window. For my tunnel vision, I often fave to ask several times to get things all figured up. “In the window?” Was my next question followed by a fearful face yes. After a little explanation, we understood that the mouse was the bright reglection of cat eyes peering though the kitchen window as the picni table outside gave easy access to the most “pet” pet cat that we have. Watching the movie ” lady and the tramp” with it’s dog chase rat scene under the cradle had given way to the imagination of the two and a half year old.”The dinosaurs are upstairs!” and other imaginations… When a mother hears then nearly two year old let out a blood curdling scream from the basement, we think perhaps someone is hurt. My daughter recapped the story later and hearing that her momentary nine months pregnant body had not fallen down said stairs in such quick response is now funny. Little minds have strong imaginations, and momma’s lumberjack treading upstairs can sound like dinosaurs if you are all alone playing downstairs. She does not like to be downstairs by herself much anymore. Having a good imagination does take some training , I suppose.Reality skewed by the two year old mind seems funny. Until the little ones stay over night and little brother wakes up crying in the middle of the night too many times. Thank goodness my imaginations has been well trained and I can try to be in their place. Little brother forgot where he was and woke up crying because it was not his bedroom and sister wasn’t nearby. A few minutes of soft talking about being afraid and going home soon and how his sleep buddy puppy “Scout” was scared now that Isaac was not in bed, and soon little eighteen mont old was snuggling his stuffy and headed back to sleep.”Look it’s a rainbow shadow!” That one took me awhile, but soon I found the prism’s effect laying across a chair in the kitchen. Indeed, it was a rainbow shadow and quite pretty. The sun hit part of the glass from a wind-chime and the reflection had landed right where little eyes caught it. Moments like these are so precious. Even though the busy-ness of the moment did not allow for any more lesson time. I’ll be looking for the rainbow shadow every time the sun shines through the morning glass.”My cry is gone!” That one took a bit to comprehend also. Knowing that. Little girl is homesick for mom and dad and putting it into relatable terms is hard. Ten o’clock in the evening cries are different that ten in the morning. But it’s best just to give the feeling a name. We talked about that really strong “family” feeling and how it was good not bad. This is family love, I explained. I am so glad that you love your mom and dad so much and that you miss them. That will make having a new sister easier. It’s okay to be homesick, but we still have to eat and drink and take care of our bodies. It’s okay to cry because you want your mom and you dad. God wants families to be together. Should we pray so that Jesus will help you take your sad feeling to be glad that you now have a sister to love? And within fifteen minutes said home sick child was sleeping. So at ten in the morning when little girl declared “My cry is gone!” On her way home, the tears ready to burst the damn of emotions, we were happy to help her express that her “sad was gone because she was going home!” And little borther who missed mom and dad in his own way, became a little parrot and proclaimed “Sad Gone!”

Shading the Night Black

It’s been a mont or two…

Yep, it was a whole month of silence on the blogging end. But ever so busy. Harvest is a topsy turvy kind of life on the acreage. From the garden produce to the preparations for fall’s colder nights, I sometimes cannot quite decide what takes priority.

This moth, it was my sanity and my health.

The moth started off with beefing up the back side of the greenhouse. My lovely capable husband took the week off and we buttoned up the latches. The previous finishing cement board was weakened by the snow loads and soon began to leak. The rubber surfacing on the new materials should seal it up much better.

Then I decided to start harvest the lovely flower seeds that I wanted to have “more” of in the garden next year and perhaps even “share” with others. That’s when my whole month took a turn for the sudden self care needs. Apparently, I am VERY allergic to the black night shade weed. I was on Benadryl every four hours for nearly three or four days to help control the itch. Thank goodness after several salt bathes, they finally disappeared. But now suddenly, the garden was off limits to me. Controlling the gigantic weed infestation was not going to be an option for me.

Nevertheless, the harvest canning took a nose-dive also. My desire to avoid hives from head to toe just sort of turned of any desire to do amy more canning. And my energy level began to plummet as I would even think about doing another batch of tomatoes for something. Besides the thoughts of not having a cellar to store the beautiful goodies in, my mind just could not wrap around another processing day.

My focus went back to the greenhouse. We just completed a re-make to the pond. Previously the depth of the pond was at about five feet and the combine tire containment plain never let the water actually “warm” up. So we built a whale ribbing and put the pond liner back in. Our gallon amount might be a bit less (accoring top all the excess tarp material) but the four foot depth should do nicely with the sun’s power.

Meanwhile, I began putting away all of the canning supplies and getting my house back. OHHH! I almost forgot! The moth started off with a new kitchen sink.

My little trailer house variety will find a new home in the barn or somewhere as awash tub outside. The new farmhouse apron sink was quite the “back-ache” for my plumber/carpenter hubby. But I LOVE it. And for the most part I don’t let the dishes pile up like I use to. It is such a pleasure to fill the sink and actually wash dishes in soapy bubbles with water that covers the objects in need of scrubbing.

So while there were much improvements about, I feel my work ethic has not improved much. Many days I find myself just scratching the surface on all that appears to need to be done. My eyesight makes reading recipes such a chore that cooking has lost it’s pleasure for me. And much of the time I miss items becuase I missed the whole line in the recipe.

I wonder if sanity is slipping away. Especially when I make something that does not require a recipe, and like the apple crisp where I forget to sprinkle sugar on the apples…. Well, it will still be edible at least.

The two days that I suffered asthma aftershock from eating my allergy enemy stick in my mind pretty strongly. This past year I found out that white potato and barley are two of my worst foes. Learning to avoid them has made life much better. But the two days I suffered aftershock relapse were not much fun at all. The asthma drove me to the nebulizer machine and the albuterol infusion. The one thing that has become quite the blessing is the attentivemess of my girl Honey.

A service dog that loves to work and finds a purpose in helping is a special thing. If I am having a bad asthma day, she gets really sticky. Her namesake finally arrives on the bad asthma days. She will even nudge me a little if she thinks it’s time for me to stop and take care of my breathing need.

Some of us need a full time companion. Knowing that Honey is sticky and messy has not deterred me from my hope that she will be what I need her to be when the time comes. There are days though, we should have named her ‘Tigger’ or ‘Roo’ instead of Winnie the Pooh’s favorite snack.

Writing has really been the last thing on my list the past two months. So today, I though maybe I would try to catch up a bit. There have been some things on my mind that need to be sorted out. I spent the last two months working in the garden, painint a few rooms (at my daughters house and mine) and generally fall maintenance.

Today it is damp and chilly outside and my boots were in desperate need of waterproofing. So I am inside finishing the fall house cleaning chores. Garden and greenhouse can be such a strong pull that the house literally becomes a pig’s sty. So after some much needed cleaning there are only a few surfaces left to uncover. Because my desk in the library was turned to accommodate my grandson’s sleep-box, I am not too happy with the “writing zone.” But this is my attempt.

I Hope that you are all keeping life well balanced better that I am. Being scheduled use to be one of my strong suits. But now that it’s just me here most days, schedule is lost in the diving into projects. Swimming is not something that I do well, Will the aid of a life preserver I think I have found the other side of the lake!

Reason to Live (the final installment)

Finishing the CD review or renew or remembering

The last four years has been one of much change in our lives. The last three more so. Empty nesters is not a term that I like to use in my description of ourselves in the most recent past. After the girls off and left me, okay, really, they just got married and added numbers tot he family, right? Well, still redefining motherhood is nothing like descovering sainthood, that’s for sure.

So once the nest is empty, we soon find ways to fill the void. And for us it was a little 22 foot growing dome. Learning how to make things grow is a little different than watching kids grow and and become adults. But really much is the same. There are plant babies. Then little plants that leave the “next” and find new homes. And some get so stay and become tomorrows foddor.

Five years ago? It really does not seem real. Five years ago, I saw a video of this little geodesic dome greenhouse and wanted one so much that I cried. Now, plant babies leave very frequently and the empty nest never stays empty very long.

Having a “reason to live” means purpose and planning for one’s tomorrows. whether as in the song, the morrow is eternal or as in the greenhouse these seems to be forever a spring, purpose keeps life moving forward. I am so grateful for something TO DO!

Relatives of relatives and friends of friends are our connections throughout the circle of life. People help the world go-around. Looking at these connections through the “triangle” is easy for me. I know you. You know another person, and soon that other person then knows me. And just like that we are connected in a triangle of friendship.

This triangle of connecting one to another is key through our lives. It helps us to get where we are going, or perhaps we help another person get to the path in life that they lead. I am always fascinated by the connections that we have with a random person. My daughter once sat by someone on an airplane that was a shirt-tail relation. But they were only four people removed from knowing each other!

We used my daughter’s family connection to get the logo set up for Greenfield Greenhouse. It was so good to put a bit of “finality” or maybe a seed of beginning to this five year incubation phase. It’s time to let the nest be a home to more plant babies. I hope the business side of this building does not get so overwhelming. But I am so excited to do some plant seed harvesting. More geranium baby production and to see how the overwintering building will do this next year.

And I am also glad to do the final installment of this CD remembering. 1998 seems like such a very long time ago when the music was all created. I hope that the family that inspired this song has done well since then. I think of them often.

53 inches

Romans 3:23 “For we have all sinned and fallen far short of the glory of God.”

Doing a crochet project and running out of thread is so disappointing. Expecting something beautiful when finished and then falling short of the ability to complete the project always gives me a bit of “let-down” emotions. Life is like that though.

Whether you are an Olympic athlete, a wife of 42 years, a college dropout, or a child trying to ride a bicycle, failure is inevitable. Without falling, the toddler never learns to walk. Cheering on the attempts as well as the successes is what makes parents good.

vacations are suppose to be peaceful, relaxing and full of good memories. When we book a “stay” our expectations often don’t match up with reality. Being in the now and struggling through the reality with enjoyment is the key.

We took a motorcycle tour of the “Great River Road” along the Mississippi. Crossing the river only as many times as there are letter “I’s” in the word, I learned a few things about myself that I don’t even want to repeat. Do I really have to discuss reality, or can we just let the dragonflies fall where they last flew?

Having a disability kind of sucks. And I’m not very good at laughing in the moment. Especially when we find a very dark restaurant, with an even darker restroom and I have no idea which way I turned while entering. Panic attacks on vacation are now the norm. Staying in a cabin with the least possible lighting options also made the vacation rather not so fun.

How do I let my husband have an enjoyable time, when my disability gets in the way of caring for myself? Even my attempts to take evening meds with a sip of water required five “hollers” for help. I simply could not find anything. It was so dark, I had no clue where he had placed any of my things.AHHH! Who turned out the lights. Oh, there aren’t any.

The smaller the space, the happier I was. Having an entire cabin was a bit too large of a footprint for me to learn in just two evenings and two mornings. And hotels tend to use a lot more “white.”

Needless to say, the views were gorgeous. I loved riding on the back of the GoldWing and taking in as much of the scenery as I could. My pictures are getting worse or rather my picture taking. We did not do as much hiking as we could have. But we found out that we are a bit on the dawdlers bridge when it comes to doing anything! If it is suppose to take three hours-we can do it in six really easy!

And because I’m not very good at taking pictures anymore they’re usually blurry crooked sideways off track or the subject that I want in them isn’t even in there, I think I have a total of five pictures from the trip that turned out. I also want to try taking a trip with honey and see how she does. Maybe we really ought to get that sidecar for the motorcycle and a puppy tail hitch container.

Meanwhile we’ll be busy contemplating our next trip. Who knows maybe we’ll stay at the same place for five nights in a row and I’ll do much better. So there’s my trip update yep took me two weeks to get this done

Artiste #5 thread “Natural”

(Or Planting Only Flowers)

No more doilies for me. This soft thread is being crocheted into a “virus stitch” shawl. And am I ever so happy that is turning out so well! The soft fabric that the #5 thread makes just was not working out for doilies. It never stiffened up even with the fancy store bought starches. So my love for the shawl found another home.

And no, I am not making new curtains!

Sometimes thread or yarn tells us what to do. Just like wood working, or pottery, art is often about listening to the medium before the project is defined. Old world crafting has become a passion of mine over the last year or two.

I love watching a woodworker turn a new bowl, or build a log house. True craftsmanship is such an art. watching a potter make a vase, or bowl is another amazing art. The process of carding, dyeing and making wool thread is amazing to me. All of these crafts are “old world.” Some of the artist actually revive old ways and do things they way they use to be done. Dyeing wool from plant berrys or woody nuts is not a new concept.

Recipes that are passed down from generation to the next fascinate me. How can I get back some of the peace and quiet, the calm and gentleness of the old world in my life?

Maybe that’s actually not the right question.

Lately it seems motivation is the driver. What motivates me to do things? This little Bright Stripes Backpack was made with the apache tear stitch. It is my first mosaic stitch that I learned. I am so pleased with how the little bag turned out. It is big enough to fit a standard size tablet of paper.

Below is the Butterfly Shape garden. I tried to make it the most simple flower arrangement ever. But as always getting something to grow in hot, dry, wind was a challenge. The “cat sprinkler” system was good it two ways. It was keeping out the cats and the motion detector gave the garden a shot of moisture more frequently. So now there are flowers! The birds like the bird bath and I will add some more plants as the un-seasonal moisture dictates. Getting the bottom wings to produce a viable plant has been hard. I might have to do some soil testing or just put in some more well established plants.

Monday morning is usually spent in recovery mode. I must push myself a bit too much with my hubby around on the weekend. We had a full day of rain on Saturday. And enjoyed visiting my niece and nephews at their house. The sun came out for a little while and we enjoyed an “Arts in the Park” parade of wares. It was hard not to people watch. It seems that has been a bit of a starvation appetite this last year or so. We found a few things to purchase.

Sunday we spent the afternoon in the muddy garden pulling weeds and trying not to pull plants up in the process. At this point I am suppose to let my husband hijack my blog and tell things like it really was…

Me: “The flies are biting me. I can’t tell what is weed and what is plant. I think I lost the row. where am I? did I get turned in a circle? Now the sweat is rolling down my back. How many more rows did I plant of this? Are there any buds on these peppers yet? I think it’s time for a drink break? Can you even hear me? Where are you now?”

“Oh look it’s the zinnias! There is a yellow one! Oh, there you go, now this plant can breath. Flower! Little zinnia! Oh, my goodness this purple one is huge! These flowers are so pretty! There you go we got rid of that big bad weed didn’t we”

Hubby: You should only plant flowers in this garden! Weeding would be more fun, and I wouldn’t have to weed any of the rows.”

Blooming where they are planted

A number of years ago, I saw a saying that I adopted as my motto: “Bloom where you are planted”. Sometimes I may feel like an uprooted marigold struggling to rediscover my water source. For the past four years, I stretched my green thumb to the limit. There were times I felt like giving up on the whole garden thing. When we finally discovered the power of blue dawn dish soap to keep many pests at bay, I am no longer afraid to use it liberally. So while this blog could be titled “Flowers Galore”. I chose to remind myself that “Blooming where God has planted me” is in the best interest of my soul, spirit, mind, and body.

The past week was full with special need prayer requests. I think I filled a prayer slip out every day to put in my little jar of prayers. I do this so that at the end of the year we can look back and see how God answered our every need. This week the supplications were all outside of our immediate family. From wee babies to adults with numerous grand children, we laid our requests upon the Lord, thanking Him in advance for each response.

We tackled a couple small projects, but mostly spend the evenings weeding the garden. I really do have to sprinkle some more weed-be-gone on the walkways. A few places that I used it, there was no difference. Gavin says the seed or root was already germinated. I’ll try to keep up. Maybe.

The Butterfly Shape garden displayed it’s first bloom yesterday! Yay! According to the package, it is a giant dinner plate dahlia. So far the only thing giant about it is the height. We raised the automatic “cat sensor” sprinkler in the air on a tomato cage wire because of this plant. The bold burgundy color is a bright spot for sure. The bottom wings did not produce any of the bulbs that I planted. So I seeded in some more variety. After the water system has been set up, now I can plant some personals again. First, I am going to lay out some chicken wire to keep out my furry diggers. Bugger.

My little grand son is learning to blow kisses. How sweet! But not so sweet when his hand is full of sand at the park’s volleyball court. Aww, mommy, that was mean…. I was impressed with his ability to walk just as he expected. He had to show me all his fancy moves this last week’s visit. His sister is learning how “not” to run past him and knock him off balance with her speed.

We mortared the fire pit blocks together in the original spacing this week. Don’t ask us to lay a brick house or chimney. We are pretty sloppy brick layers. I can’t imagine how those people do this for a living. Our “cookie dough” worked. And the result’s have not been tested again. Maybe tonight. This Independence Day Weekend might give us a chance to sit around the fire some evening. I also have plans to do some yummy snacks and foods on the coals. My husband made me a little snowman to add to my collection. I told him to make Olaf, but it’s just three little cement cookie dough’s stacked up!

The spill over flower bed is full of poppies and the other day there were a dozen early morning blooms to greet me. That day of course, I did not have my camera. This morning a put the left over bricks from the fire pit on the outer edge to remind hubby not to mow them off. I keep pulling the weeds out, and the poppies just multiply better than weeds. There are a couple other wild flowers in there also.

The flowers in the greenhouse are still gorgeous. These little black eye Susan’s are from the “viability” sowing way back in February. At least we knew what the ones in the Butterfly Shape should look like then! The potatoes in the compost bin will have to come out this weekend. I might even begin later today. The plants are starting to die back. They bloomed a few weeks ago. Oh, well. The Black eye Susan’s are blooming! Along with the geraniums galore, the pansies that did not get a home, and the wintered over petunia’s that hit me in the face as I enter. Soon the figs will be ready. We are checking daily.

The Butterfly tire finally recovered from the drought last year. I ended up watering twice daily for awhile to get some more plants to rise up. It does not need reseeding as all the wildflowers are perennials. I should have put some chicken wire in it before things sprouted as the cat dug a few bare spots. With the growth and blooms soon there will be no evidence of any holes though. It gets pretty crowded. Thus the “spill over flower bed” on the ground to the southwest of the tire. Big fat smiley face insert!

I achieved the patriotic look that I was aiming for. The flag is new as our old one sprung a moth hole. The red geranium was quite weak the first month with all the wind and lost a few longer stems. But it has toughened up and looks amazing. Happy Independence Day to all of our USA friends and relatives. To my other world readers, we think of you all often during the pandemic health scare. I took my vaccine as soon as I could. Go get one yourself!

Say Cheese!

I think this the most appropriate title for the last two weeks of activities. Two Friday’s have passed since we blew the cameral lady away with our cheeky grins. I don’t know quite what to say of the adorable grandkids that we have. And my lovely daughters paid for the session with the photographer for our thirtieth anniversary. Of course the pregnant bump will be history by the time the holiday cards come out to the relatives. But maybe will do it early and keep everyone guessing on whether grand baby number three will be a boy or a girl!

Our little grand son found his legs this week and is showing off his new skill for the video camera daily. Of course the slippery socks and the wood floors, and the “Man Down!” Make for the best of laughs and quite a lot of bravery on the little guy’s nerves. Mommy (daughter number one) has learned to be a great cheerleader clapping and saying, “Good job, Buddy!” As he crashes to the floor. He also learned the say cheese posture and gets a sheepish grin when he does it. So cute!

The other day, my asthma got the best of me when I was out in the new windbreak area. I was checking the drip irrigation tube for the pine trees and pulling it back into position. Also, taking a whack at some of those weeds. It was fairly early and only seventy degrees out, so heat was not the problem. The humidity was a little high and I forgot to check it before my morning travels. Anyway, I blacked out and went down.

No worries, though, Honey had actually followed me out on my rounds and was not far away. When I felt the dirt underneath me, i opened my eyes. At first my thoughts were, what happened, and now what? Then the training kicked in. “Hone, Come!” I commanded. she perked right up and came immediately to my side and sat. “You have to help me up,” I said, “Brace!” And I told myself, take a deep breath. Honey stood and remained stiff as a statue for me to get to my feet. I was so dizzy, so I kept a hold on her collar. (It took several weeks of training for her to guide me with a collar hold. Most dogs resist the grip and want to get away. She learned that guiding me with the collar hold was not any different than the harness or the leash. My next command was rather airy as I stated “To the House!” But she began walking with purpose. I just kept up my steady count breathing with her steps. When we got to the house, I remained attached until we were inside to “Find My Purse!” Honey did a quick scan and took me directly to it with her nose on the bag. It was at that point that I let go of her collar, dropped down to the floor and began my rescue puffs.

After a few minutes elapsed, I began to realize just how amazing the rescue had been. She remained directly be my side and panted a steady even working dog breathing. I wanted to take some photos of my service dog, but she had her head on my stomach until I was back to normal breathing. So I just waited with her as my guide, resting and getting my airways back to normal. I patted her over and over saying, “Good girl!”

It’s moments like that which tell me I am a dog’s person. Her training came to my rescue. And She did exactly what she was suppose to do when asked. Honey has been a difficult dog for me, I felt like she did not “Get Me” like Seymour did. The training took longer than I expected. But her hyper alert personality, with a lot of patience has been put to good use.

I became pretty emotional after the episode wore off. The asthma came out of the blue for me. I had so few attacks the last few weeks of dry weather, that the humid air caught me off guard. Part the the problem could be the type of coffee that I was drinking. After the allergy testing in March, my asthma episodes became almost non-existent. The shallow breathing that comes with asthma has been less predictable. I did have one attack in May I think with all of the tree buddy and flowers on the fruit trees. That was the last time I remember using Honey to return to the house under breathing stress.

Later in the day, she earned her cheese snack. We did not do much for several hours. I was a little wore out for the surprise asthma attack. And my emotions were all over the place as I realized that my service dog had just earned her keep. Of course I had to brag her up and tell everyone about it. After a broken rib (she was five months old) and a broken nose (she was eight months old) and my daughter’s dislocated jaw (Honey was nearly a year old) Honey still is a very excitable dog. She is not really your nursing home kind of service dog.

However, her heel on a light leash hold for a bicycle ride is amazing. She has never run in front of the bike. The fact that she took to running beside the bicycle like a duck to water was amazing to me. I could sure use a better bicycle. The one I am using was my daughter’s bike from high school. And it needs a full work up to quit making all of those clicking noises. I try to get her out for hard run about once a week on a cool morning. And living in the country is hard to predict when there might too much traffic on the road.

Meanwhile, we put together the smokeless fire-pit on Father’s day. I enjoyed the fact that my dad was trying out his new smoker on some chicken and turkey legs, while I was trying to get rid of the smoke on my fire-pit. I mean who want’s to sit around the fire pit and have to use eye drops just to sleep at night. Out county just issued a burn ban, so I’m not sure we will use it when the company is here this weekend or not. It does keep a very contained fire and the smoke is burned off by the air flow science. Yes, It worked!

I fell in love with a new stitch this month. Learning the Solomon’s Knot was a good challenge for my new hook. I also found some nice fleece yarn to make a winter lace shawl. This one has a 20% wool acrylic and is pretty warm even though it is full of holes. Haha. It was good to learn something new in the air conditioned house during the unseasonably hod afternoons in June.

Now you know what’s been happening and the rest of the time will be pulling weeds out of the garden.