Thursday, August 27, 2009

Summer Reading

I won the first prize for the adult summer reading program at the library. The prize was a bag of books as shown in the picture below

And this is the book bag they all came in.

Also the grands belonged to the childrens summer book club and got a trip to the fair, a trip to the museum, a trip to the train museum and a McDonald's Happy Meal as their prize. We went to the fair and took a few pictures. It was a rainy day but they had on their splashing boots and had a great time.

When we got back to the car on this hot rainy day we found a pile of snow next to the car and of
course we had to play in it for a while...

Owen learned to ride his bike with the training wheels off.

And Hali has decided on a new hair style which she wears everywhere. She says she doesn't want to have bangs.

Going to Farmer's Market and the Boutique in the morning. Children are away for three days so hoping to get some weeding and pruning done in the gardens.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Drouth weights the trees, and from the farmhouse eaves

The locust, pulse-beat of the summer day,

Throbs; and the lane, that shambles under leaves

Limp with the heat—a league of rutty way—

Is lost in dust; and sultry scents of hay

Breathe from the panting meadows heaped with sheaves.

Now, now, O bird, what hint is there of rain,

In thirsty heaven or on burning plain,

That thy keen eye perceives?

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Gentle eyes that see so much,

paws that have the quiet touch,

Purrs to signal all is well,

and show more love than words could tell.

Graceful movements touched with pride,

a calming presence by our side --

A friendship that takes time to grow --

Small wonder why we love them so.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Preserving Hydrangas

It's interesting how certain flowers evoke a sense nostalgia: roses, hollyhocks and hydrangeas to name a few.

There's no question these are beautiful in the garden but if cared for properly you can also use them inside.

There are 2 methods you can follow to preserve these blooms and both involve drying.

The first is rather simple. All you do is remove the leaves along the stem and bundle 5 or 6 of them together and hang them in a cool dry place.

The other method actually involves water. Just prepare a solution of 2 parts water and 1 part glycerin. You can find this at your local pharmacy. Now the way this works is that the water and the glycerin are drawn through the stem of the plant and the water evaporates through the petals leaving the glycerin. This makes the bloom more soft and supple to the touch and it also helps to preserve the color and the shape of the bloom longer. To help with the uptake of the solution I cut the stems at a SLIGHT ANGLE before sliding them into the vase. It's important to remember that the best time to cut hydrangeas is when the petals are showing a slight green color. These processes of preserving are a great way to enjoy hydrangeas through the fall and winter. From the garden, I'm Allen Smith. P. Allen Smith Gardens? Copyright 1999 - Hortus, Ltd

Trash Can Compost Bin

It’s a small compost bin made from a rubber trash can. It’s just the right size for small spaces; it has a lid to keep out the critters and it’s easy to maneuver around the garden.

Materials:Rubber Garbage Can with a Locking Lid (Choose a size that will provide you with enough compost, but still be manageable. Just make sure the lid locks.)
Drill with a 1/2-inch twist bit or a hole saw bit
Bricks or Concrete Blocks to Raise the Garbage Can Off the Ground
Yard Waste

Directions:Drill holes in the bottom and on the sides of the garbage can to provide plenty of air circulation. Place the garbage can on bricks to raise it off the ground. This allows air to circulate under the can and prevent the composting material from becoming stagnant. Some gardeners prefer that the garbage can sit on the ground so earthworms can help with the composting.
Add kitchen scraps, dried leaves, grass clippings, and disease-free plant material.
It is helpful to chop kitchen scraps into small pieces so that they will break down quickly.

Good to Know: What's that smell?If your compost bins starts to smell, it’s not getting enough air. Simply turn the pile and add more brown material such as dried leaves.
Keep the compost moist and turn it every two weeks.
To turn, just put the garbage can on its side and roll it around. Make sure the lid is locked in place.
A piece of rebar or a bulb auger attached to a drill are also useful tools for stirring up the compost.
Be mindful of how much you put into your compost bin.
You don’t want it to become too heavy to manage.
If space allows, build 2 trash can composters so that you can allow one to compost while you fill the other.

What can you put in your composter?
Uncooked vegetables and fruits.
Be sure to cut them up into small pieces so they will break down faster. This is helpful with a small compost bin.
Grass clippings.
Dried leaves.
Disease free plant material.
Shredded paper.
Avoid sticks and woody plant materials because they will not break down.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Color Orange

She loved the color orange. Even when 'the boss' told her that orange finger nail polish wasn't appropriate to wear working in the hospital...she still did and just laughed about it. She also wore orange scrubs and was quite happy, always a smile. When she got cancer she asked me to make her a 'cancer cap' out of fuzzy orange yarn, and I did. She wore it everywhere. I made her another so she could change off. She died last week. Her husband delayed the funeral a little so he could send her 'box' to an auto body shop to be painted orange. It was bright and shiny and beautiful with white angels at all the corners. At the wake she had on an orange flowered dress, her fingernails were orange and she had beautiful orange flowers to match her casket. Last Thursday when she died there was the most beautiful huge orange sunset. I wonder if she requested that. She leaves behind a daughter in middle school, a son who is married and on his own, a husband who adored her, two dogs and a cat.