Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Front Flower Garden Re-visited

In case there is anyone out there interested and for my own historical reference, this is a breakdown of everything in the front flower garden. Starting at the far left, we have some decorative stepping stones to catch the drips and steps that fall into that area. The cement one with the tulip was here when we moved in, but it was covered with lots of debris and leaves. The other one was a gift and it carries my personal mascot- ladybugs!

Around the barrel isn't all the way cleaned out. I left a token tuft of sage in the front to remind myself of the hard work I accomplished and also of Thanksgiving Dinner! :D lol Inside the barrel is a Dianthus wearing a moss rose necklace. :) Moving along, there are some tulips that came with the house with another ladybug adorned rock from my aunt in front of it. Around the window well are planted some "gladi-lolas" as Gracie calls them, which of course you can't see just yet. There are one of my fun favorites- snapdragons- in front of the window well.

In the middle of the windows are of course a row of hollyhocks that are not up yet and then pansies and marigolds that are! I'm not sure what the next plant is. It was hiding under the edge of one of the gray bushes and had dead sticks of some other plant or possibly spent blooms from itself sticking up out of it. I clipped off the dead part and we'll see what it is and if it has blooms. There are also some green patches that I think might be daisies around in this area.

The far window well also has gladi-lolas all the way around it and cosmos in front of it. Cosmos are our "Shell Station" flowers from Arizona. ;) I got the one that had the most different colors of flowers in it all together! :) The far end of the garden, I didn't change very much. It has tulips and daffodils and of course some lovely grape hyacinths that were all there already. I'm in the school that decides to call grape hyacinth 'flowers' since they're so hard to get rid of! :D lol I also sprinkled in some more glads in between the other bulbs... the more stuff that comes back on it's own, the better!! :D

Green Thumb

I'm determined to have a green thumb if I have to break out the spray paint! I have been looking forward to a great yard to work in so much that I have convinced myself that I am a good gardener. Now, given my own pedigree mixed with my horticulturally gifted hubby's pedigree, I should be good to go! I have been out in the yard working on it every day, except Sunday starting last Saturday. So, if you mix a bunch of really great gardeners as relatives and a whole bunch of really hard work, this is what could happen!

Saturday, the doom of the Spiky Bush!

BEFORE we took out the dreaded Spiky Bush, this is what lurked around the corner of the house. The driveway behind Emily is the second driveway on the side of the house that has a basketball hoop on it. This bush is the kind of bush you'd plant in front of your house if you didn't want people to visit you. It's spiky and dry and undesirable... at least to me. The tools we had to work with were basically: a shovel, a pick ax, a garden rake and a leaf rake... oh, and all the muscle we could muster! We didn't even have a hose to moisten the soil! After much toil and strife, we prevailed!

We found 3 basketballs, a golf ball, an unidentifiable dirt encrusted bouncy ball, 2 sprinkler keys (the huge metal T-shaped tools you use to reach down into holes to turn sprinklers on and off with) and some other random pieces of metal. We also accidentally chopped through the wiring for the sprinkler "brain" that is on the wall inside the garage. Ooops! There were also an innumerable amount of pine cones as that huge stump you can see was obviously a pine tree in its earlier life. It's awfully close to the house for as big as it must have been! There are 2 other bushes just like this that will soon come out of different places in the yard.

The wood of this bush was especially unique. When we chopped into the roots, we discovered that it had a bright yellow... and I mean neon yellow... core. It was like nothing I've ever seen in nature besides maybe the color of tropical flowers or something. I mean it was really, really yellow! I'm glad to have it gone and I'm glad to find something pretty and/or edible to put in its place! Slowly, but surely, I'm turning from being all thumbs to having green ones!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lock your car doors!

A slight spring breeze blew the smell of freshly overturned soil ahead of her as she dustily stepped in out of the sun. Earth clung to her clothes, her hair, her skin. She brushed her hands together and placed them on her hips. There she stood, triumphant. The task had not proved too big for her muscles, thin but strong. She wiped a dirty hand across her brow and collapsed onto the couch... a champion!

Today I ripped out a bunch of spent plants in my new front flower bed. There were some big gray, dead bushes right in the middle and lots of scruff everywhere, if you know what I mean. First, I went through with a little rake and attempted to get some of the leaves and dead stuff out from in between things. There was a bunch of sage growing in there and it had of course spread all over as sage does. As I'm raking, it started to smell really good! They say that smell is the strongest sense tied to memories and as I'm raking, I have this memory and I had to pick up the phone and call my Dad at work! I was smelling him making Thanksgiving Dinner Stuffing! It's no secret that his stuffing is my absolute favorite dish at Thanksgiving and I can still remember HIS Dad making it the same way... sprinkle in the sage, stir, taste... sprinkle some more sage, stir, taste... sprinkle in some more sage... :D I pulled most of it out of the front garden because there is a bunch more in a little herb garden in the back. I wonder how you would use it to make Thanksgiving Stuffing? I'll have to study up on it before November. Wouldn't that be fun? Homegrown sage. Thanks for the memories, Dad! ;D

My Mom came out to visit me today and bought me a bunch of really awesome plants for my birthday! I am jump up and down and up and down excited!!!! :D The one I'm most looking forward to are the Raspberries!! Oh, cross your fingers that they live and grow and grow and grow!! And there are SO many pretty flowers!! So far, I only planted a long row of Hollyhock seeds right up against the house right in the center between the windows! I LOVE Hollyhocks! They're tall and they've been around since the pioneers and I'm sure before! I had to stop because Landon woke up, but after dinner, I'm going right back out there and get everything else in the ground!! I've already got daffodils and tulips coming up and starting to bloom and I'm pretty sure I discovered some daisies, too that all came with the house! :D

Another thing I'm super excited about is my soon-to-be vegetable garden! My neighbor from across the street came over today and as I was talking to him and he was telling me what they've done in their yard, he reminded me about raised bed gardening! I had forgotten all about that! That's what I was going to do in our last house. It's better on the Becca-lifting-back and the grass doesn't creep in and less balls are kicked into them! I can hardlee wait! I have a list as long as my arm of things I want to plant AND I now have birthday seeds for! There's already a corner on the opposite side of the yard that I want to put vine veggies in... pumpkins, zucchini, cucumbers and summer squash! Aren't you excited to be my best friend! ;D LOL Have you ever heard the old LDS addage that warns you to lock your car doors at Church during zucchini season? Otherwise, you may end up with a bunch of stowaway bags of the prolific vegetable!

When I used to look forward to a yard to work in, I hoped it would be like this. Look at me go!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ponytail Challenge!

I found this great inspirational blog that you have to go and see if you feel like an invisible maid at your house like I do. Things just magically get cleaned, folded and placed in drawers, dishes magically clean themselves and meanwhile, we feel we don't have the time for ourselves and pretty soon our hair goes Swoosh! up into a ponytail! As well as all of the other moments and feelings that swoop themselves into oblivion. It used to take at least an hour to get ready for school in the mornings. What happened between now and then that made me quit caring about how I look during the day? This Blog's author is actually related to me... our Grandpas are brothers. :D Go check it out and join in on the fun!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

7 April 2008

7-ish am - Get up and feed, clothe and hug all of my family members.
8:45 am - Drive Emily to School. Go back home to finish getting Becca ready.
10:00 am - Take Becca to school to deliver the rest of the packet of papers to get her started and give her teacher some idea of how to deal with Becca. :)
11:00 - At home in the driveway with barely a half an hour before it's time to get Emily... not enough to grocery shop or get my Driver's License renewed... pack up some of Becca stuff I forgot to bring (diapers, pediasure, etc.) and we are the first ones in the Kindergarten queue.
11:30 - Pick up Emily and drive straight to the grocery store. We bough Lunchables to eat for lunch and got what we could remember from the list because it got lost somewhere. (I found it later in the pocket of a different pair of pants from a day I thought I had enough time to go) We ate our Lunchables, after some hand sanitizer, in the van.
12:30 - Drop off Becca's diapers and Pediasure and find out that she ate a great lunch! Blended chicken and veggies and mashed potatoes! She ate really, really well for them and was playing a game in a bean bag with the little boy next to her in another bean bag on the computer. She looked like she was really having fun!
1:00 - Filled out the application for a new license, got my number (#273) and sat in a semi-crowded waiting room with Landon in the stroller and Emily and Gracie on chairs next to me. They were actually really well behaved and bided their time, saving their big fight to come at the exact moment when they took my new picture.
2:15 - We got done at the DMV and high tailed it to Becca's school to pick her up. Mondays are early days and Becca gets out at 2:30.
2:40 - Chilled inside my house for the first time all day!! I took an on and off nap while the girls watched a movie.

Later, we went to the 50 cent movies and saw Alvin and the Chipmunks. It was very cute. :) Matt and Denise drove all the way out to our house to share some ice cream with us and we all tumbled into our beds very happy campers! Thank you for all of the phone calls, voice mails and emails! I really do feel very loved. :D

So, this is 31? I can live with this! ;)

Saturday, April 05, 2008


My Mom always said, "You know you're moved in when you can find everything you need to make cookies." Well, look what I just did!! :D

American Forkers

Tuesday 25 March 2008

The first night in our new house

We can't find the screws and bolts to any of the beds, so all of the kids are on mattresses on the floor. Geoff and I's bed frame doesn't require bolts, so we slept higher than the rest. We started out the day with 3 very full portable storage units from Pack Rats (1-800-PACKRAT) and ended the day with 3 very empty storage units! My sister and my Mom came and helped during the day and our men all came that night and we got all 3 emptied out! One of them was due back in a couple of days, so my hopes in the morning were to get that one emptied... the other 2 didn't need to be back for a couple of weeks. Near the end, more things got sat in the garage than the house, but they're all empty! Wahoo!!

Some of the negatives that were discovered today:
The fridge doesn't fit in the place it should go. It is literally a couple of millimeters too wide!
There is no cold water in the kitchen because it is hooked to the "water in the door" feature of the fridge.
My vacuum picked up way more dust than I thought it would for vacuuming carpets that had been cleaned the day before.
They didn't wipe out any drawers or cupboards.

Good things that far outweigh the bad:
Aunt Carolyn came, steamer in hand, and helped me power clean and sanitize nearly every surface in sight!
I found sheets, pillowcases and pajamas for everyone before bedtime!
The kids have been playing outside in the very nice weather and have stayed out from under our feet.
Nobody got hurt while unloading. (Though there was an unfortunate "almost injury" involving the water softener and the fridge.) I cannot account for the certain soreness we are all experiencing as a result of unloading, however!
Geoff opted to pay the $5 fee and snipped off the plastic zip tie on the gas line so we could heat the house tonight.
We are all together, we are safe and warm and oh so happy!