Sunday, August 30, 2009


...from vacation and what a surprise! 2 comments from Hannah G. What a treat and what a wonderful way to begin my week of going back to work. Thanks, Hannah.

PS. I will have to talk to my guru man, Mr. Devoe, as to why one comment was from June and I was just getting it!

See you all back in just a few days.

Enjoy the rest of the summer.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My summer

....making rock walls?
(Hanging so many dyed sheets!)

...tanning at the beach?
(Throwing out the no-longer-needed and keeping the wanted.)

(Painting the shelves, the concrete and the wall.)

...planting flowers?
(Making a craft area)

(Putting all the crafts away in an organized manner.)

It was my summer
(Buying a tv and making an art blackboard.)

in the basement.
(With beanbag chairs that turn into king size futons in a rec room setting.)

Up the stairs: school begins in two weeks.
(My husband's area still to be done)

Was it worth it?
(I learned how to cut carpet, use an electric saw and throw, throw, throw out!)

People enjoyed and slept there last night.
(And, I can exercise down there.)

My summer in the basement. Worth it?
Hope so!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Llama camp: part 8

And so, we start back.


This is one of their dogs.

Old, becoming incapacitated, but loved still.

The goats again, standing together like family after a fight. (Remember he'd kicked her and made her limp?)

The sheep area with flowers

and, functional?

Not so sure the spicket works.


going behind the house

and to the horse barn,
so inviting!

The kids with their crafts:

face painting and sheep

Drawings in notebooks,

decorated the first day.

And now, here, at the back door: the whimsy,

the functional,

the flowers,


the view.


I end today back where I started. Cheryl had caught up with me at this point and we had walked back, talking of all that they had done.

I couldn't resist one more picture of my daughter's favorite sheep,

but then I remembered I could take videos of the sheep talking.

They wouldn't (which was okay, because I'd forgotten that my camera has no sound).

Silly me; silly videos.

But silly is so fun, and so true of Cheryl and Bruce's home: fun!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Been away

...for a week.

We go to North Carolina with friends every year. Want to see our trip from last year? Click here. (Actually, it's all of July of last year, but scroll down for the week.)

This year I didn't take many pictures. You see one of our beach vacations, you've seen them all. Well, we did go to a National Park and saw a beautiful lighthouse and beach with incredible shells, ...but I forgot to take my camera for that.

We were across the house from where we were last year, which was a little weird because I had taken a picture of that group taking their picture just like we do...and here we were, in their place this year!

The new place had a field next to us heading to the beach. We had our coffee out there in the morning and then read out there after the beach.

On one particular day, Benny, who went we us this year, was out there with me while I was reading.

I'm so attuned to him, that I had stopped reading because I knew something was up- even though Benny had made no sound or motion.

His whole body was twitching.

I looked where he looked and behold!

Can you see it?

Benny could.

A rabbit.

Benny stared and stared and stared, and then he stared some more. He whined. He twitched. He wanted that rabbit. He was meant to have that rabbit. He would have that rabbit, at least that's what he thought. I, of course, was not going to let him into that mess of a hedge.

He did it every day after that. Most mornings he found one too.

To end the story, one afternoon, after the beach, I was putting things down and let Benny go, thinking he'd stick around. He did, and then he didn't.

He took off for the hedge row, dragging his retractable leash (on short mode, thank goodness) on his harness (thank goodness again). I went yelling after him, but the hunter in him was in charge. He was gone.

Have you read the children's story about father rabbit teaching his son how to get away from the predator? The rabbit is supposed to dodge and dip and zig and zag. The dog, in this case, will follow the scent and get lost in the hedge.

That's exactly what I thought of when I looked in at those brambles. I had images of having to call the fire dept. to come cut him away from the hedge. I had images of my husband being furious at me. I had images of ...

a possum?

No, but that's what came out of the hedge when I was going in in another direction. Benny, with whining, dragging and tenaciousness, had flushed out a possum!

Well, I hesitated and so did the possum, who had been as surprised as I. Was he rabid? Would he bite? Jump on me? Was my dog worth fighting a possum?

The possum probably was thinking the same things because after we both hesitated, he ambled off in another direction.

Then came Benny. But, before I could get him, back in he went. By now the neighbors were watching and helping.

The next time Benny came out, I had him. You wouldn't have believed how happy he was. Benny had been able to do what he was meant to do: hunt.

His vacation was complete.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A break

...from llama camp with a trip to my sister's family's gardens.

My sister and I go shopping every three weeks or so. Yesterday we went and realized we were heading to Watkins Glen with the whole racing car industry. I was caught behind a RV. I handled it for only so long. Then, I did what we shouldn't. I whined.
I should have imagined myself somewhere else, like out in the country looking at flowers.

When we returned, I took a stroll around my sister's gardens and her daughter-in-law's and even her granddaughter's. These guys are serious gardeners.

You just saw the bench that Peggy and Miss use to wait for the bus in the morning.
From there there's the long view of the front garden. All these next pictures come from there.

You'll see I love black eyed susans and their cousins.

The lilies are almost finished, but I did manage to still find lots.

My marigolds are petering out here at my house, but Shel has some of the best I've seen: big, bold and beautiful.

The mum is probably three feet across.


This plant took me by surprise. I couldn't figure out if I liked it or not.

The pink was vibrant and even more so on the bright, varigated, yellow leaves. Today in the picture I've decided I do, but it was funky to see at first.

More lilies,


and then the trumpet vine. Shel has them growing up the trees.

It is incredible how far they have gone in just a couple years. This will be one fun tree to watch over the years, and, I think there are two more, too!

We're now moving to the rose garden, which Peggy was quick to say was passing its prime. August must be a tough month in gardening.

Gardeners want summer to go on forever, but it doesn't and so the it and the flowers wane. "Time waits for no man" certainly could have been said by a gardener!

I was still impressed with all I saw, but I could tell there was already a bit of regret in my sister's voice for the summer that is still here.

They have three dogs. The oldest is Boggy, who is about nine.

He is also the smallest, but he's not small. Loki, who didn't come out with us, is a mastiff, and he is a gentle giant.

Next to the rose garden is their new gazebo.

John and Shel built it, put the walkway up to it and have now planted it.

It is just as wonderful as all that they do.

This is Stella, their third dog. She's only two or three. She went round with us, taking off on her own to see the world.

Whenever she'd been gone for a couple of minutes, Peggy would call, and there would be this lumbering barrel of happiness coming out of the hedge or field. She is one happy (but droolly) girl!

The flowers from the gazebo:

(couldn't resist taking two of these)

(and of these)

just beautiful, and I think I'd been told that all will come up in the fall to go back down next spring.

Now, one of my favorite flowers, the poppy, that bed truly was finished.

Luckily, I found one to take. I just love them. Once you get them going, they come back every year. I haven't managed to do that yet.

A few years ago my sister moved up with John, Shel and Miss. It has been a treat watching two families become one. They've worked hard to come together.

One way was tilling the outer reaches. This is the bigger gardens' spot. Shel and Peggy have their glads and the tomatoes are with them.

This sunflower was a freebie given by nature.

You can just see it at the end of one of the rows.

Then, next to it is Peggy's baby, with wonderful help from Shel and John in the mulching department.

Peggy put in a shade garden at the edge. Below are astilbes, a plant I'm supposed to cultivating for my shade.

But, trust me, my shade and their shade are two completely different entities (not to mention our green thumbs. My thumb barely comes into the green range!)

Now, the main garden: susans or their cousins,


and one of the benches.

More flowers in all their glory. My youngest daughter, when she was young, once told Peggy that her garden was glorious. It was a wonderful way to convey what Peggy had created, and neither of us have forgotten.

Now, this bee balm?

I've gotten some of it,and it's flowering. I am sooooo happy!

More lilies,

and wide views.
We must almost be out to the back.

They had this shed put in last year to accommodate all the gardening paraphernalia that they have. It looks perfect as a backdrop, doesn't it?

More flowers,

sunflowers, both Missy's,

who had her own garden, and Peggy's.

We are now heading back.

See Missy's sunflowers in the background?

More views of the garden,

before going to the old shade bed.

I have learned to love all the variants of green, white and yellow in gardening.

Where flowers can't go, vegetation can, and it, too, can be 'glorious'.

I should know the name of these big things, because for years Peggy showed them to me every single time we saw them.

She coveted them. There were times when I worried she really did want me to steal some from some poor cemetery we were passing. I do know, though, that she was only joking, I think.

Luckily she moved up here and now has some. This bush is the epitome of the wonders of gardening.

It came from a cutting from her friend's mother's bush, and it has taken off.


The rest of the shade garden

before ending on their vegetable patch, a forgotten, yet still beautiful, broccoli plant!

I have been lucky this year to have access to their place and the llama camp. Maybe I should just tour great spots and forget about making my own.

Hmmm, now that's an idea! All beauty and no work. I like it!