Friday, June 20

Good morning! We have been having cool, rainy weather. Yesterday we had to wear sweaters because of the chill and it rained off and on all day.

Brandon spent the day with me and we did some gardening and planted some flowers in the some of the planters that I hadn't filled. We noticed some different flowers blooming in the front garden and Brandon commented that they were just like the ones in their front flower bed. It then dawned on me that Michelle gave me these last year. I do like them but need to move them. They are too near the center of the bed. So that is another project that needs doing.

The tomato plants that the boys and I planted a couple of weeks ago are about a foot high. They are doing well. My strawberries are ripening and I picked a handful for Brandon to enjoy. The rest aren't ripe yet, but there will be more. The contractor who came last winter to clear the pipes had to dig up that garden and many strawberry plants were lost. However, they will continue to spread and next year we will have more. In the meantime we will be able to go to the U-pick farm and get all that we want. Picking them is much more economical than buying them ready-picked.

My porch is a mess and needs cleaning badly, but I find myself needing to be at least two places at once. Since cloning hasn't been perfected yet, I have all of these things to do and not enough time to get at them all. So the porch will have to remain a mess for at least another day. I've learned to go with the flow and be thankful for what I can do.

Not much news from here other than that. Hubby worked upstairs a little. We are almost ready to put the sub floor down and so our next shopping trip will be for plywood.

Take care and have a great weekend. ~Blessings, Mary~

Thursday, June 19

A Peaceful Walk with Meeko

A week or so ago, Meeko and I went on a leisurely walk that turned out to be balm for the soul. It was so quiet and peaceful as we walked the trail along the canal. This is the area where I told you there is sometimes snakes, but there were no snakes on this day. There were some other critters such as birds and squirrels.

Above is a park bench where we sometimes sit and watch the Canada geese and the Mallard ducks. There were no geese or ducks on this day.
A photo of the canal. In the center there is water, but it's hard to spot because of the reflections.
A beautiful grove of trees. There are many on this part of the trail. Each of them are so different and unique. We did lose a few in the mini tornado that spun through here a week and a half ago.
Meeko, sitting and looking down the trail. He knows there are squirrels and doves in the distance.
Here is another view and another bench that we sometimes take a breather on. It is usually shady here and a nice place to sit on a hot summer day.
Meeko looking toward the water. He spied a bird in the bushes and was watching it. We taught him not to chase birds or squirrels, but sometimes he sits and quivers because he would like to chase them.
Above is an old road. We usually walk down the trail and then come back along this road. It is shady here all the time and the trees make a canopy overhead.
As we headed back along the road, we saw Mr. Robin. He swooped down not far from us, then up in a tree, sang us a song and then down on the ground where I took this photo.
As we walked along the road, a dove flew across our path and came to rest by perching on a wire overhead. There are lots of doves, squirrels and robins here. This is the area where the kingfisher and the blue heron can be seen early in the morning. We do see the kingfisher at other times of the day, but not this day.
I hope you enjoyed taking this walk with Meeko and I. It is a beautiful area and a very peaceful walk.
Remember to take a walk in your neighborhood in order to see the native species that live there. It is indeed balm for the soul. ~Blessings, Mary~

Wednesday, June 18

The Weather, a Giveaway and an Unbelieveable Photo

Good morning! It was another rainy day here yesterday and it's to be the same today. It was downright chilly on Tuesday. When I went out to the post office and to do a couple of chores, I wore my fleece lined jacket. It seemed more like April than June.

Tuesday night on the news the weatherman explained that we have had 77 mm of rain so far this month. Last year in the entire month of June we only had 74 mm. In 2006, we only had 43, but that was below average. I do know we've had a lot of rain this year and severe thunderstorms. However, I don't complain because our water levels are low and we do need it.

So that is the weather news from here. What kind of weather are you having in your part of the country?
I love so many vintage items. A few months ago, I won a vintage apron from The Apron Queen. It is red gingham. I have been so short of time that I've never posted a photo, but I do visit often to see the beautiful vintage aprons that she posts daily. Now the Apron Queen is having a giveaway. Click on the button below to win a free apron. Sorry, they are available to those in the US only.


Some of you were curious about the hole that the bath tub came out of in the upstairs apartment. Well, here is a photo. Not pleasant and a real mess. I can't wait to see what this is going to look like once it's all done. This is an old house, but whoever did the last renovations certainly didn't do a great job. I hope ours is better than theirs. We are amateurs but take pride in our work. If we don't know how to do something, we ask someone who does know. My father taught me to take pride in all that I do and this project will be no different.

Not much got done in the way of renovations on Tuesday. We will be back at it on Thursday. I will be so glad when this is all done. Have a great day. ~Blessings, Mary~

Tuesday, June 17

Monday at My House

Good morning to all my friends and readers. I hope you are enjoying the start of the new week. It doesn't seem like June should be half over. That means the year is half over and it seems like we just entered the New Year. Time flies.

I am tired. Monday morning I went up to the apartment and gave the wall unit that the tenant left a coat of paint. When I had that done, I came downstairs, put in a load of washing, swept the floor, paid some bills, cleaned the bathroom, switched the laundry to the dryer, put in another load and then went back upstairs to give hubby a hand trying to disconnect the old bath tub. It has been there for years and it was quite a task to get it disconnected, but we wanted it ready for when Jack got here.

Once the bath tub was ready to be taken out, I folded laundry, switched the second load to the dryer and put in a third load. Seems like I was going the entire day, but I got a lot done, which is very satisfying. A good day's work.

Jack didn't get here until 3 pm, as he worked Sunday night and had to get some sleep. He and hubby took the old tub out and then he pulled some nails that had to be taken out of the joists and swept the bathroom floor. Hubby stripped wallpaper while Jack did that.

You aren't going to believe this, but the tub didn't have a regular floor under it - just a piece of wood - not even plywood. It was very thin. I couldn't believe it myself. The tub was mainly sitting on the joists. However, the joists are in good condition, so that is a plus. I will try to get some photos of the hole in the floor. It's amazing that the tub has sat there all these years without anything more under it.

This afternoon hubby is busy and I am going to check out prices on plywood to lay a sub floor. Hubby also has to drop in and talk to a man who did previous work for us. He has retired from the contracting business and now has his own fish and chip business. Since we are inexperienced in renovating bathrooms, we need to find out what comes next. So, we are progressing, though very slowly. Of course everything costs more than you expect it to.

Jack can't come back this week but I have lined another man up to help on Thursday. I don't know him very well, but he seems to be a good worker. He's done work for our neighbor and his rates are very reasonable, so we will see what happens there.

Have a wonderful day and rememeber to do an random act of kindness. Even a smile can make someone's day brighter. ~Blessings, Mary~

Monday, June 16

Well, it's the start of another week. So much to do, so little time. We did take Sunday off because that is a day of rest. Now that Monday has arrived, we will be once again working on the apartment. Jack said he would come today to give a hand. We have to get the old bath tub out and it is a heavy one - old as the hills - and then we can get the new sub floor laid and the wallboard up. It's coming, slowly but surely.

If you haven't had time to visit Deena at Can I Be Pretty in Pink, be sure to do so. She hosted a garden tour and it's continuing throughout the week. There are a lot of beautiful gardens on the tour and I've only seen about half of them. This was such a great idea and we have all put the click for a free mammogram on our blogs. Please click to help women get free mammograms.

Brandon phoned yesterday and asked me if we could do something today. I was exhausted and thought of trying to get out of it. Then it dawned on me that life is too short not to spend time with our loved ones. I told him we would talk in the morning and just before 9am, Jordan phoned. He wanted to know if we were going to spend the day together. Nothing was confirmed but I talked to Michelle an hour or so later about taking them to see Kung Fu Panda. They have been wanting to see it. However, while we were talking they asked if we could go swimming. I do know that water helps with relaxation, so I talked hubby into going with us.

I cannot swim, so am fussy about where I go. I enjoy floating down a lazy river on a tube. So we headed out to do just that. Here is a photo of a lazy river. It is not the one we go to, but very similar. They have the same yellow tubes that are free for the taking. If all the yellow tubes are gone, you can rent colored ones for $5.00 and then you get $2.00 back when you turn them in. We used the yellow ones. Free is best. LOL

We got there about 2pm and there were only a few people there. It wasn't crowded like it is sometimes. The boys went right in. I started in after them but as soon as my feet got wet, I stopped. The water was cold. I finally edged my way in and it was nice once you got used to it. Hubby took a while to get in to. The boys took about two seconds.

After a while they decided they wanted to go into the regular pool. Hubby and I sat on the sidelines beneath a shade tree. There was a nice breeze and we enjoyed watching.

When it was almost time to go, I gave the boys a heads-up that we would be leaving in fifteen minutes. Brandon said he'd like to leave then. He was tired. He hasn't been sleeping very well and so we left. On the way home, hubby stopped and bought them ice cream sundaes.

All in all it was a nice family outing. Everyone enjoyed themselves and everyone was tired. I was talking to Michelle about 7pm and the boys were already in bed. Of course they are getting excited because this is their last full week of school.

I hope all of you enjoyed a nice Father's Day with your families. The boys will celebrate with their Dad next weekend, as he had to work this weekend. They did give him a gift and enjoyed a nice supper with him before he had to go to work for a 12 hour shift.

Have a great week. I'd best get off of here as thunderstorms are moving in. ~Blessings, Mary~

Sunday, June 15

Tour for a Cure Hosted by Sweet Annee

Deena, from Can I Be Pretty in Pink, also known as Sweet Annee, is hosting Tour for a Cure today. She asked that each of us show photos from our gardens this year and also post the click for a free mammogram button. Please be sure to visit Deena and check out Mr. Linky for more garden photos. Be sure to click on the free mammogram button just beneath my banner to help a woman get a free mammogram.

The first thing to bloom in my garden each spring are snowdrops. I love them and when they bloom I know that spring is definitely on its way. The are so dainty and pretty. The first signs of rebirth.

The second thing to bring forth beautiful thoughts of spring are the fragrant violets above. They are also dainty. They were given to me by my MIL and I love them.
Then come the perriwinkles. They grow in several places in my garden and also behind the house in the garden outside our bedroom. Last year I transplanted a few into the side bed. It was nice to see them there when I stepped out onto the side porch this spring.
Tulips and lavender. That lavender is trying to take over this flower bed. It spreads each year. Each spring I thin it back to almost nothing and the next spring it is right back to full size again. I usually dry a little of it to put in my dresser drawers to keep everything smelling nice.
Meet Desmerelda, Queen of the fairies. She sits in front of this rock in my side flower bed and watches over the sleeping flowers at night. She has a solar light that gives off a glow in the moonlight. She's so pretty and I can see her from the side door.
A new hanging basket this year. This hangs on the stairs that go up to deck on the back of the house. I have never had a hanging basket like that before.
The above hanging basket is scarveola. I have loved this since the boys first gave me a basket like this about 5 or 6 years ago. Each year I have a basket of scarveola hanging in this spot. In the background you can see my butterfly that hangs on my porch.
Red Oriental poppies. One of my favorites. Each year I wait for these to bloom. They don't last long, but I absolutely love them. A little bird left these in a deposit in my flower garden.
And above, one of the blooms. This one was about 4 inches across. They are so beautiful!
Then came the rosebuds. There were dozens of them and I knew I was going to have lots of red fragrant roses this year. We planted these when we moved here 15 years ago and they have never ceased to bloom. One year after a harsh winter, they were late budding and I thought I'd lost them. I really enjoy these roses.

The buds progressed quickly. Next they looked like this. I knew that the hot temperatures would bring them on.
Today they look like the photo above. They are plentiful and there are still lots of buds.
One of the red roses in a closeup. The color is actually darker than this. They are a darker red.
A closeup of one of my pink roses. They are highly fragrant and this one is about 4 inches across. I like to bring these in as they bloom and float them in a rose bowl. They fill the house with their wonderful fragrance.
The flowers above spread like wildfire. They are another that I thin out each spring and they just keep on going and going.
The iris above was given to me by my mother, who got a toe from her mother. This iris has been passed from generation to generation in my family. I enjoy it. It is the only one of my iris that bloomed this year. I think some of them need to be transplanted and given a bit of manure to help them bloom.
The above photo shows my red peony in bud. This is another plant that has been here for 15 years since we bought the house.
Above, it is in full bloom. These peonies and the pink ones below are all fragrant - the pink one more so.
Mini carnations. This was taken a week or so ago and they are finished now. They are pretty though. It's been so hot this year that none of the blooms are lasting long.
The above photo shows my clematis. It always has dozens of blooms on it, yet I do very little with it. I just water it when I remember. It has done very well.
The clematis was also planted the first year we had the house. It gets bigger every year. I love the dark purple shade of it. I tried growing a red one, but alas, it never bloomed and finally died the second year. I've been told that red clematis is very hard to grow, as is white. I'm not sure why.
Purple columbine. I didn't realize that I had so many purple flowers in my garden. There are quite a few.
Here is close-up of the blooms. They are so unique and below is a pink columbine. I don't like it nearly as well. It looks kind of washed out. I got a piece of root from Mom. The purple columbine root came from Aunt May. I'm hoping it continues to do well. It is also a favorite.

Some of my readers will remember my post about the stump I brought home when the City cut down a tree two doors up the street. You can find that post Here.
This is what I've done with it and I think it looks kind of pretty. I would have liked to have put a scarveola in here, but there were none to be found. I settled on this beauty.
Here is it from another angle. I do like the effect it has. We have lots of white clover in our lawn in the area. If you want a lovely natural lawn, white clover works really well and when it is cut, it is so soft on bare feet.
After I had planted the flowers in the stump, I got my garden elf out and asked him to stand guard over the lovely blossoms. He was glad to do the job and gives the stump a more enchanted look, I think. Of course the grandsons love this kind of garden decor and when I choose something, I keep them in mind. It was about eight years ago I bought the garden elf for the boys. Every time they walk past it, the Hi Ho song from Snow White plays. They about drove Grandpa nuts with it way back then.

So that is a tour of my garden. It is a little neglected this year because of all the renovations taking place, but I still enjoy all the lovely blooms. I hope you've enjoyed the tour. Have a great Sunday and remember to stop and smell the roses. ~Blessings, Mary~