Sunday, May 31, 2009

Out on the Town

My husband and I spent some fun time together yesterday. Well, at least it was fun for me; he isn't much of a shopper but he indulged me. Our children had plans for the day so we left out early and visited two farmer's markets. We had to make a trip to the nursing home, which was the only downer for the day, but we needed to try and feed Nell and check on her. We then had lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant. The real treat though was going through some of the shops in our downtown area. Noblesville has some of the sweetest little shops.

One of my favorites is the Logan Village Mall. It is a store that rents space to vendors and you just never know what you'll find there. This particular vendor was called The Salvaged Garden.
I thought these bird baths were quite unique. As windy as it is here, I can't imagine that it would last very long in my back yard. Maybe if I had a deck where it would be a little more protected.

On Friday I was with a friend and we happened to pass this house. I couldn't believe the massive window boxes they had on every window! Seriously, every single window on the front of this large two story home had the same kind of arrangement.

I believe this person just might be a little compulsive with flower arranging.

This is one of my favorite homes in the downtown Noblesville area. The owners have done a beautiful job with not only the house but the landscaping as well.

Here is a picture of one of their poppies.

It has been a great weekend even though I was disappointed that I couldn't join the other garden bloggers in Chicago. Maybe next time.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I think It's Corrected!!!

I think I finally have the issue concerning blog updates fixed! At least the most current post is now showing up in the sidebar of those who graciously follow my blog!

Somehow in my settings I said "Yes" to "Show Link Field" this field assumes that you are using a customized template. I kept seeing error messages that I didn't understand and I'm assuming this is what it was trying to tell me. I changed that setting to "No" and it started showing the current posts again. At least I hope that is what did it.

While I was tinkering with my settings trying to correct my problem, I decided that I would change my blog look. My daughter likes the green better, and I think I do too. Which do you like better?

A Much Needed Break

Yesterday I wasn't feeling well and decided that I just needed a break from from all of the stress. It was a beautiful morning and the temperature was perfect. I did absolutely nothing all morning long except sit in my patio swing, watch the birds and read. I was surprised by all of the bird activity at the feeder and even more surprised when a flock of cedar waxwings landed in a tree.

In addition to the birds pictured I saw catbirds, house sparrows, starlings, mourning doves, and chickadees. I was really hoping to see the hummingbirds again. I've spotted them twice so far, but they take a sip and leave ever so quickly.

It was so peaceful and relaxing, just what the doctor ordered!

Today was back to business as usual. My mother-in-law is now down to 86 pounds. It was heart wrenching to see therapy try to walk her. She has always been a pacer and rarely sat down. Since her fall she has lost so much weight and has become stiff. I don't believe she will ever walk on her own again. The saddest thing is that the Alzheimer's has worsened and she is so fearful of any change from what she is currently doing. She is terrified to roll in the wheelchair and grabs at things to keep from moving. It is so incredibly sad. We got a call tonight that she fell from her wheelchair, thankfully this time there was only a minor injury to her knee. I just really don't think she is going to be with us much longer.

My dad will start his chemo and radiation next week. He'll have radiation five days a week for five weeks and chemo every Tuesday (not sure how long the chemo treatments will be).

I will be very grateful when life becomes more normal again and doesn't revolve around sickness. In the meantime I'll continue to soak in the beauty that surrounds me every chance I get.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Cost of Freedom

Mosaic Monday

Mary, from the Little Red House, has a meme called Mosaic Monday. Since I've become quite fond of collages this is a very easy one for me to participate in.

I'm glad I had my coffee on the patio early this morning, because just a short time later we had a much needed rain shower. As you can see, I'm still enjoying my peonies!

I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Fun with Peonies

Peonies are incredibly beautiful, but they last such a short time. This year, I decided that I would take full advantage of them and enjoy them the best way I know how and that is by photographing them. For the last several evenings I've been playing with peonies. I set up my camera "studio" on the patio, created arrangements and took hundreds of pictures. It is a great way to lose myself and soak in the beauty of these delightful flowers.

The last two days have been spent with my friend and neighbor going to garage sales. I really needed some fun time and we not only had fun, but we found some really great deals. This sweet F B Rogers silver bowl was one of my finds. After a good polish it made a perfect vase for this flower arrangement.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Life is kind of difficult and busy right now, with frequent trips to the nursing home to attempt to get my mother-in-law, Nell, to eat. She isn't doing well after her fall and now weighs about 90 pounds. We are trying to prepare ourselves for the worse because it really doesn't look like she is going to pull through this time. After thirteen years with Alzheimer's we believe this is the end for her. It is heartbreaking and depressing to watch her waste away.

I'm trying to find and even create beauty in the midst of the sadness. It's difficult to feel sad when your looking at the incredible beauty of a peony. Yesterday I went outside and clipped off all of the ones in bloom and played with the camera. I brought them inside so I could enjoy looking at them. The only thing was there were a lot of ants hidden in all of those petals!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thrifty Finds

Rhoda, at Southern Hospitality, hosts Monday treasures, for people to share their weekend thrifting/garage sale finds. I've never participated in this before, but I always enjoy reading Rhoda's blog to see what she finds in her garage sale ventures. I just had to participate this time, to show my garage sale treasures from this weekend.

I haven't been to garage sales in a long time, but a couple of nearby neighborhoods were having sales and I had some time in between a nursing home care plan meeting and work. So I decided to venture through the neighborhood sales to see what I could find. I stopped at one sale that had nothing marked, I saw this Drexel dresser and asked how much they wanted for it. To my astonishment, they only wanted $100! SOLD! I didn't need another dresser, but I did need a buffet for my dining room.

Before I found the dresser, I found two arrangements for $2 each. I didn't know what I was going to do with them, but I liked the containers and thought they were worth the $2. I decided that they would go nicely on the buffet for now.

It is a perfect match for my dining room! It looks so much like the Duncan Phyfe furniture I have! I need to move it to the other wall and have the china cabinet on the shorter wall. It was larger that I had thought and there isn't quite enough space between the table and buffet. That is another project for another day.

I also found these pretty hummingbird prints!

The price was still on the back of the frames. They were $15.99 each.

I got the set for $3.00! I love hummingbirds and was so excited to find these prints!

If you enjoy home decorating on a budget, head over to Rhoda's blog, she is an amazing home decorator and her projects will inspire you!

Now, back to the procrastination has paid off for once. We have a frost warning tonight and I'm so glad I haven't planted my impatiens yet. I covered the lantana, I think everything else should be O.K.

Menacing Birds

The starlings have occupied the bird house and have several babies now. Mama starling has been so busy taking care of her young, feeding them and removing their waste from the nest, (I've never actually seen birds do that before). While it has been interesting to watch her, I feel guilty and hate that they are using my birdhouse to propagate. When these are gone, I'll find a way to make the holes smaller so this doesn't happen again.

The house sparrows have tried to nest in the bluebird house, but twice I removed their nest. After the second time I just gave up on bluebirds and covered the hole.

I sure wish I had nice birds using my birdhouses here at Robin's Nesting Place.

Friday, May 15, 2009

May Garden Blogger Bloom Day

I can't believe how long it's been since I've done a Garden Blogger Bloom Day post, hosted by Carol of May Dreams Gardens. I faithfully did them for seventeen months, then I missed October and November due to sickness, and then winter set in and I had nothing blooming indoors this year, early spring came and I was in Alabama due to my dad's cancer surgery. I'm hoping things will be relatively calm now through the rest of the spring and summer so I can once again regularly participate in the GBBD posts.

I'm so glad the weather is warmer now and I have flowers blooming again!

My young Kousa dogwood looks healthy, but it only has about three or four blooms this year. Hopefully as it ages it will bloom more. I have a late blooming hyacinth and the bees are already swarming the salvia. The purple wave petunias are some of the plants I grew over the winter that survived my time away. Most of the others didn't.

I have several clematis that are blooming.

The dianthus, 'Wine and Roses' weigelia, 'Karen' azaleas, allium, and pink double 'Knock out' roses, (only because I just planted it), are blooming. The peonies will probably bloom in a few days, I just hope they will bloom during a dry spell so we can enjoy the blooms a little longer. I look forward to seeing what everyone else has blooming in their gardens during this fine month of May!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Well, Let's Give This A Try

I've been working all day trying to figure out the RSS feed problem and still don't know what is wrong. I did find some Feedburner error messages that I had not seen before, but I don't understand what they are saying! It is all Greek to me!

I'm trying to back up and see what changed right about the time it stopped updating. One thing that changed was I started using the new Picasa and collages and my error messages say: "This feed is valid, but interoperability with the widest range of feed readers could be improved by implementing the following recommendations." "style attribute contains potentially dangerous content: border:" I have no idea what that means.

It also says: "description should not contain onblur attribute (7 occurrences)". I do know in my photo html it sometimes says onblur. So I'm thinking it may have something to do with the new way I've been loading my pictures. Other bloggers are using Picasa 3 too and don't seem to be having issues, so I don't know for sure that this is the answer.

I've deleted my collage header thinking that maybe that was the problem. It didn't correct the problem. So, now I'm doing this test post using the other way that I used to load my pictures to see if it contains any potentially dangerous content in the html codes.

Oh, how I wish I understood this stuff! I'm so afraid I'll mess something else up. As it is now at least some people are getting the updates and so is Blotanical. I sure don't want to eliminate them too.

Well, I hope this works! Thank you all for bearing with me as I try to correct these Blogger/Feedburner issues.

Edit: I think I can safely say that this wasn't the issue either. At least I can still use the Picasa 3! Now I'm back to square one.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bunnies, Beauties and RSS Feed Issues

Several people have mentioned to me that my RSS feeds are still not working for them. It seems, from what I can gather that my new post are not showing up for those who have Robin's Nesting Place on their sidebar. I've played around with Feedburner trying to correct this and I've deleted a program that my husband downloaded recently that isolated all Cookies and spyware thinking that maybe that was the culprit. I still have not figured out how to correct this issue.

I think the problems began when Blotanical had us do a special feed just for their site. I'm showing that I have two feeds on Feedburner, one is for Blotanical and the other is for Google reader and two other readers. I have no idea how to consolidate this or correct whatever is wrong. I'm not certain that this is even the problem.

I would be so grateful if anyone can help me correct this. I don't know if it would help if those who are having trouble with my RSS feed would delete the existig Robin's Nesting Place and then replace it with the new RSS feed. Also, I wonder if my post are showing up regularly for those who are Following Robin's Nesting Place on Blogger. All of this Feed stuff is way over my head and I'd love to correct whatever is wrong. I apologize for the inconvenience and I appreciate so much those who have continued to follow me in spite of these problems. I appreciate all of those who take the time to read my blog and I hate to lose any readers over this. Please HELP!!!

We are being overrun with rabbits here at Robin's Nesting Place, seems that they have been nesting nearby and are unfortunately enjoying the plant munchies here. There are the cutest baby bunnies that are starting to explore. Two of the larger rabbits were right beside our patio, under the swing. Our golden, Lilly, certainly checks things out closely when she is let outside.

I recently purchased my first Fuschia plant. I just couldn't resist, it was so beautiful! These were huge and looked healthier than any others that I had seen and they were only $9.99. Hopefully in a few weeks I'll see the hummingbirds enjoying this beauty!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Finally, I Got My Lantana!

For the past three weeks I've been on the lookout for my favorite lantana. I've been stopping at every garden center and nursery I pass trying to find it. Yesterday I stopped at five places and had no luck at all. Today I was in a different part of town and checked one of the garden centers and they had just received a shipment of it! I was so happy to finally have my lantana, actually I was quite giddy about it even making up a stupid little song in the car, (thankfully no one was with me so I could be silly without embarrassing myself)! It obviously doesn't take much to make me happy! Lantana is one of my must have plants for my butterfly garden. Here is one reason why:

The hummingbird, (Clearwing), moths love them, as do the butterflies and the hummingbirds.
I wish they were as common here as they are in the south or I wish I could grow them myself so I didn't have to search high and low for them each spring.

I also did something today that I hate to do and that is take advantage of plant warranties. I feel so silly taking dead plants back to the store. I had two Knock Out roses, (out of seven), that didn't make it and two Dwarf Alberta spruces- that is about $40.00 worth of plants, so I felt like I just had to. Last year I had two Alberta spruces that died and I didn't return them I just replaced them making sure to keep the receipts in case it happened again. It did. I've planted four others that have done well, I'm not sure why these keep dying. I'm not replacing them this time, I'll use the credit for something else. I did replace the Knock Out rose, but I just bought one large healthier one rather than two smaller ones that didn't look very good to me.

I got the five lantanas planted this evening, it was still too wet to plant the rose, hopefully I can do that tomorrow.

Edited to say: These are archive pictures from the lantana that was in my garden last year. The lantana that I selected yesterday only had buds and no blooms yet, so I didn't take a picture of it. Sorry for the confusion.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May Blooms

The last two days have been beautiful. Monday morning I was finally able to spend some time working in my yard. I did some much needed weeding, planted some of the flowers I grew over the winter, (the ones that didn't die while I was in Alabama taking care of my dad and mom). I also sowed the seeds for 'Bright Lights' cosmos, zinnias, and lots of sunflowers. It felt so good to be outside gardening!

With all of the rain and warm weather we've had the flowers, (and weeds), are growing like crazy! The clematis at the lightpost in the front yard is blooming as is my one and only azalea. It is the 'Karen' azalea and so far, it is not only surviving, but it is thriving and beautiful in full bloom! I'd love to get a few more of them now that I know they will survive in Indiana!

I've been spending quite a bit of time at the nursing home after my mother-in-law's fall. She fractured her shoulder and has not been doing well. She has been in agonizing pain and is not eating or drinking very much. They finally increased the medications enough to control the pain but that too affects her appetite. A couple of years ago she was put on hospice for failure to thrive because she had lost down to 86 pounds. We went to the nursing home almost everyday and fed her, they too provided extra snacks for her and slowly the weight increased enough that she surprised everyone by being one of the very few to be removed from hospice care. Now she is losing weight again and we are concerned that this just might be the end for her. She has surprised us before and we are hopeful that she will again. With the advanced stages of Alzheimer's, it is difficult to know what to pray for her. We just don't want to see her suffer.

The picture of the hands are of her and her friend. He sits with her and tries to comfort her. I think she thinks he is her daddy. I took the picture of the robin at the nursing home in the dining room while I was waiting to feed Nell today. It was finding worms aplenty in the courtyard.

I will be glad when things return to "normal", for the moment though my life seems to be centered around caring for sick family members. I love my family and I'm so thankful for the flexibility to be able to do just that.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Lollipop Gerbera

I wanted to share the pictures of the 'Lollipop' gerbera daisies with you! I love gerbera daisies and these are absolutely delightful! They cheered me up instantly when I saw them! I went to the garden center looking specifically for lantana . I haven't had time to garden but my favorite lantana can be difficult to find, so I've been on the lookout for it, (haven't found it yet). So I didn't buy any of the gerbera daisies this time. I'm kind of glad it's been too rainy to be outside, since I've been taking care of my mother-in-law. Hopefully by the time it gets pretty things will have settled down with injured and sick family members and I can spend some much needed time in the garden. My garden needs it and I do as well.

Thank you all so much for your caring comments during this difficult time, they have really meant a lot to me.