Monday, June 29, 2009

Sweet Chipping Sparrow

It has been a beautiful day today and thankfully much cooler than the last few. I spent a little while this evening just walking around and checking on things in the garden. I must have a chipping sparrow nest in my arborvitae because these chipping sparrows were quite busy going in and out of it. They are such sweet little birds and stayed close by while I walked by the arborvitae. They were so close and I was trying not to move too much, so the pictures aren't very clear. I'll have to try again another day. I've not been able to get a good picture of the hummingbirds either. I have volunteer sunflowers growing and they are blocking the view from the patio. You can barely see him between the leaves.

The Japanese beetles are back...enough said.

I don't know what kind of critter this is, but it has been on the lambs ear for several days. It chases away the bumble bees and flies in a frenzied and angry pattern. Anyone know what it is.

The first sunflower has opened and now the liatris is beginning to bloom. I had such an annoying cough today and stayed home all day, I rested and read and watched for wildlife in the backyard. I was disappointed that I didn't see a single butterfly. Hopefully soon.

I love Verbena bonariensis and welcome it in my garden, but this is ridiculous! I've had it in my garden for about six years and it has always been very well behaved and actually is a perennial in one area of my yard. For some reason it is out of control this year and it's coming up all over the place. They are like weeds! As much as I love it, I can't have it smothering other perennials and plants. Maybe if the butterflies were all over the place and bringing me pleasure I might tolerate it, but since they aren't, some of it has got to go!

Friday, June 26, 2009

I spotted my first dragonfly in the garden today. I quietly stepped outside and snapped a few pictures. I wanted to get on the other side and get a better picture of it, but the movement startled it and it flew away. I've seen some really amazing pictures of dragonflies and damselflies on other blogs. They are such interesting creatures. Hopefully next time I'll be on the right side of the garden for picture taking.

The black-eyed Susans are in bloom. They are like little rays of sunshine in the garden. They instantly cheer me up.

The bee population has exploded and bees are all over the place right now. I don't mind the big ol' bumble bees or the honey bees, but there are also wasps and some kind of angry looking bee that keeps chasing away the bumble bees. I've wondered if killer bees are this far north!

I'm still on the lookout for butterflies. I've seen only a few of them so far. A monarch and black swallowtail quickly fluttered by but didn't land on anything. The butterfly weed and bee balm are passing their prime, I hope they show up soon.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bees on Echinacea

I've not been seeing many bees or butterflies in my garden. It's been a rainy and unseasonably cool spring, that may be a factor. I was pleased to finally see a few bumblebees this morning. Maybe the butterflies won't be too far behind.

Every once in a while I see a hummingbird sip from the feeder and off they go. They aren't staking claim to them yet. Hoping this will change soon too.

Me and Nell, November 2004

Yesterday I was back at the Emergency Room with Nell all day. It seems that the fracture in her shoulder from the fall two months ago is worse and has splintered. No one at the nursing home seems to know what what caused this new injury. I am taking her to see an orthopedic surgeon next week. She is so fragile and frail right now, I just don't know how she will be able to handle surgery. At this stage in her Alzheimer's it is so difficult to transport her, everything frightens her, especially removing her from her familiar surroundings. Ambulance rides and strangers, (really anyone) touching her are quite upsetting. It is so sad and depressing to see her like this. Alzheimer's is such a terrible disease.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

This is Exciting!

I was contacted Wednesday by an organization requesting permission to use my picture of the Indiana State Fair ferris wheel, that I had posted on my blog. They want to use it on the front of a brochure! How cool is that!

What is also exciting for me is that I had just signed up and paid for a photography class Wednesday morning. I did it with fear and trepidation. I enjoy photography, it is a fun hobby for me, but the thought of taking it to the next level is kind of scary. Getting this request on the very same day was a wonderful confidence booster just when I needed it. I feel like this is confirmation that maybe, just maybe I can do something more with my photography.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Bouquet from the Garden

Refreshing strawberry lemonade and a bouquet from my garden. I'm still trying to create beauty in the midst chaos.

My dad is in his third week of chemo and radiation treatments and started bleeding. He had a surgical procedure today to try and find the source of this trouble. The nursing home called this morning and my mother-in-law was not doing well. Her blood pressure, oxygen levels and heart rate were low. By the time I got there she had improved and surprisingly she ate every bite of her pureed lunch for me. Sometimes it is a roller coaster of emotions. I try to enjoy the moments of calm.

Not much energy or time to garden right now, but I'm enjoying the fruits of my past labor. Hopefully things will settle down and I can spend my days again in the garden...I miss it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Seventeen Today


Today is my youngest child's seventeenth birthday. Where has the time gone? Happy Birthday, Josh! I love you!

Thrifty Finds

I've had a wonderful time going to garage sales with a friend for the last few weeks. I've found some really nice things for my home and garden for just a little bit of money. To see more thrifty finds visit Rhoda, at Southern Hospitality, one of my favorite home decorating blogs!

Can you believe these prices? We found one garage sale where just about everything was .25 to .50 cents. I can't believe that I found a Longaberger picnic basket for only .25 cents! The quartz watch was even working and it was only .50 cents!

I collect Old Country Roses tea cups and tea pots, so I was thrilled to find this full place setting for $10.00. I loved the moss covered planter and bought two of them for $3.00. I couldn't believe I got four plush towels and five matching rugs all in perfect shape for $2.00, YES, I said two dollars! It filled a large green trash bag! I found another Longaberger bag and basket for only $3.00!

Here are a few more finds. The cabinet was only $20.00 and I'll more than likely paint it. I just quickly placed a few things on it, but it fits perfect in this recessed spot in the kitchen. I liked the square frames and will more than likely use some of my own photography in them, but for now I like the way this looks.

Another great deal was a brand new Aeropostale jacket, tags still on, ($79.50), for $3.00, and it fits me! My 17 yo son was so jealous!

What fun I've had! I can't wait to go again!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

They Finally Found Us

After living in our home for over eight years, I finally saw my first squirrel today! Our home was built on farm land and there were no mature trees around. We planted several large maple trees on our lot along with other trees and shrubs. With all of the rain we've had they are all growing so fast right now.

Whenever I pass by a window I always glance out toward the bird feeder to see what's there. Today I saw something that I didn't recognize and went to get a closer look. I was so surprised to see a little squirrel! I figured one day they would discover the bird feeders. I was excited to see it, but had dread at the same time. Hopefully he'll keep it a secret and not share the news with his family.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Making Graduation Cards

I have several graduates that I need to have cards for and decided that I wanted to create my own cards this year. I bought a dozen roses today and borrowed my daughters graduation cap from 2005. I picked a few flowers from the garden and created an arrangement using the cap. Since I had the roses anyway, I decided to take pictures and play.