Archive for April, 2011

Somewhere over the Rainbow

Our livingroom is oddly shaped. It’s long and narrow and feels empty to me, so I’m taking an interest in doing something about it today. At one end of the room is a huge bare bookcase, with the exception of a few blue ray DVD’s that my husband has been lining it with. Well, unfortunately, I removed those today filling it with some “stuff” that I found around the house. This is what I came up with. I guess it will do for now, although I’m still not completely happy with it. And yes, I need to fill a few of our picture frames!

While I was arranging this bookshelf, I spotted the Cardinal. Yes, the Cardinal that pecks on our windows all day if we don’t have birdseed for him! The previous owner had warned us about him before we moved in, but we didn’t realize how serious he was until we heard it for ourselves. I think he’s taken ownership of the house.

Here is a piece of furniture we found at an antique place off of Westheimer in Houston. We traded an old antique mantel that was mounted on our fireplace and got a pretty good deal. It hides our electronic equipment and wires. Our flatscreen is above the fireplace now and looks much better than the mantel did.

The piece you see at the top is one of the centerpieces at our daughter’s wedding reception. Here’s a closer look:

The only thing missing are the beautiful flowers she had in them.

And here is a picture of our daughter Charlotte in her wedding dress! Isn’t she beautiful?

Charlotte before walking down the isle with her dad.

And here’s the happy couple at the reception.

Adam and Charlotte cutting the cake!

The wedding was in Destin, Florida. The beach was a bit windy, but gorgeous and we are ready to go back. This song was playing when her dad walked her down the isle. She said it reminded her of him. I thought the song was perfect.

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My life in six words

“Your attitude makes all the difference!”

Zig Ziglar on gratitude…

Fate used me meanly; but I looked at her and laughed,
That none might know how bitter was the cup I quaffed.
Along came Joy, and paused beside me where I sat,
Saying, ‘I came to see what you were laughing at.’

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The glass is half full!

Want to play along? All that’s necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. The full list and linky can be found here. And, here’s where I found it.

A snail in my Chocolate Mint at Easter

So I found this snail when I was cleaning out a container on my patio and wow, this guy is a killer! He was about the size of a golf ball and was pretty gross.

Check out the hole he chewed in my Hosta!

I found him buried underneath the soil of some dying spring flowers I decided to dig up and throw out. Now I know why they were dying so quickly after my futile attempts to save them by keeping them in the shade and giving them plenty of water and fertilizer.

From what I’ve heard, snails can damage plants and gardens rather quickly. He must have been sucking the life right out of them!

He's fast for a snail!

Turns out, the best way to get rid of snails and slugs is by adding crushed eggshell or rocks to the soil. Apparently, the sharp objects cut them up, so they end up dehydrating and dying. Already used coffee grounds is another way to get rid of them. The caffeine increases their heart rates, they eventually have heart attacks and die. I know, sounds morbid, right?

After reading about the eggshells, I remembered this stuff my hubby had purchased called Diatomaceous Earth. It’s a natural killer of any any insect or pest! This stuff is made from a naturally soft rock that crumbles into a fine flour-like powder with teeny, tiny particles that are fossilized remains of hard-shelled algae. It’s perfectly safe for humans and pets, but rids your home and yard of ants, fleas, ticks, roaches, earwigs, SLUGS AND SNAILS!!!, beetles, flies, silverfish, bed bugs and many other pests by physically puncturing them and absorbing the moisture from their bodies. I sprinkled this stuff on all of my plants – so I’m curious to see what happens. It’s kind of hard to find locally, unless you know of a feed store. I think he bought our bag for $8 or $9. And you can always go online.

Recently, I was given some perennial plants by a lady on Free Cycle. Free Cycle is a network that promotes waste reduction by keeping the landfills down in order to save our landscape. It’s also a great way to rid yourself of unwanted items that you don’t feel like hauling off – stuff that someone else may want or need, for free. You know the old saying, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure?” Anyway, this lady was cleaning out her garden beds and gave me a ton of stuff – namely my Chocolate Mint plant.

Chocolate Mint Plant - even smells like mint chocolate!

I’ve read that this plant grows along the ground and spreads rapidly, so I’ve decided to contain it for now – at least until we pull those boring shrubs up on the side of the house.

I found this cute tin planter at a Marshall's in Florida!

Isn't it cute for the patio?

Chocolate Mint is an herb that can grow from 12 – 18 inches in height, likes the sun and has violet or lavendar blooms that come out in early – mid summer. They have bronze-green foliage and are very aromatic, but tend to be invasive although it attracts bees butterflies and birds. It has average water needs, so water, but don’t over do it.

Propagate by dividing rootball, rhizomes, tubers or bulbs – also from cuttings. I actually just stuck mine in the dirt and they grew roots and took! I was so happy to see this work!

Did you know you can eat this plant? It tastes just like chocolate mint! I’m planning on making some chocolate mint tea soon! You can add it to all sorts of desserts like cakes, cookies, teas and coffee! You can’t find that at Starbucks, lol…

Oh, I almost forgot – I bought something pink for Easter!!!!

Happy Easter! Pink Impatiens- I love them!

On the left side of my Impatiens are some Asters I adopted, but on the right side you can see the new coleus plant I bought – it’s a baby right now, but here’s a closer look.

Coleus basking in the sun for a while...

I also added some Impatiens to my Caladiums – they match the pink in their leaves!

Caladiums and Impatiens

Pink, pink, pink!

Have a blessed and pink Easter!

About me and my unreasonableness…

Just a little more about me. I love filling out surveys and answering questionnaires. Feel free to answer them in my comments or post them on your own blog. Questions are courtesy of http://www.friday5.org.

1. What’s something you have an unreasonable fear of?

Spiders, spiders, and spiders!!! I have almost passed out from coming face to face with one, I’ve screamed like someone was trying to kill me and I’ve rear-ending the car in front of me with no thought of anyone or anything all because of the little “p.o.s.” called a spider.

2. What’s something you have an unreasonable fondness for?

If you have ever been to or have a Quiznos Deli, go try their Caesar dressing. My fondness is so unreasonable for it I will eat it by the spoonfuls with no thought of my midsection whatsoever. I mean my mouth is watering right now just thinking of it. Hey, are they open at midnight?

3. Whats something you have an unreasonable disliking for?

Customer service jerks that you can barely understand anyway so give me an American to speak with please! (yes, I have actually
said this while speaking to one before). I am not this way out of prejudice. I have literally thrown the phone across the room. That’s
pretty unreasonable and crazy, but it is what it is and what I do when I have to talk to them!

4. Who’s the most likely to bring out the unreasonable in you? (see question 3)

5. Who’s the least unreasonable person you know?

The lady on 17 Kids and Counting, you know, The Duggars, with their sweet smiles and demeanors, but they have seventeen freaking kids. I mean seriously? How does she smile and act like she has a
peaceful, easy feeling? She must be the most reasonable of anyone on earth. Either that or a phony, but she seems pretty real with her demeanor and so does her husband. Simply amazes me.

Digging in the dirt.

You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt. ~Author unknown.

So the hubby and I woke up this morning and decided to take a trip to Dirt Cheap Mulch Co. to buy some sand and sod for our yard that is in major need of resuscitation. It’s pretty much in garden ICU for now. Anyway, we got a nice sized load of sand and sod for thirty bucks. It’s just what the doctor ordered (my husband, that is).

But not before our morning ritual of iced coffee.

Here’s the doctor laying the sod.

This is pretty much all the help we got from Dixie, our Boxer…isn’t she a ham for the camera though?

So while Mark was out laying sod, I decided to peruse the patio. I found my Imperial Dark Blue Plumbago had finally bloomed! It’s really pretty and the shrub is supposed to produce these phlox-like blue flowers for most of the year. I’m happy with the decision to purchase this shrub. It’s in a container on my patio.

I was surprised at outcome of this close up. Yep, I found my camera this morning! We moved into our new house back in January and I finally found it this morning! It’s a Nikon CoolPix L11o with a Nikkor 15X Wide Optical Zoom lens.

Ok, so last month I decided to sow some squash seeds. I kept them indoors for probably longer than I was supposed to, but I was really nervous about planting them outside (mostly because I have no experience whatsoever with planting vegetation). But I planted them – all five of them – and this is the one that survived. I’m happy with the outcome. It looks like it’s going to make it and hopefully we will have squash soon!

And to make up for the one’s I lost, I decided to plant the seeds directly into the ground the other day, just to see what happens. And voila!

So every Monday morning when I’m back at work – sitting at my desk – I dig – but not in the dirt. I am digging for my Advil, because after a weekend of working in the yard and garden, every muscle in my body is sore and my back has been burned from the sun!

And as the quote at the top of this blog says “You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt”. Yes, gardening has mental health perks, too. I’ve read that it reducing stress and it’s been recognized for hundreds of years as having healing and restorative benefits.

So, if you are looking for a good fitness program with amazing perks – forget the gym – try gardening!

Welcome to my roots!

“One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings.” W.E. Johns, The Passing Show (1937)

Where shall I start? Well, first and foremost I am not a writer by any means, so bear with me while I embark on this journey into a blogger’s world. My passion is simply put – God, my family and gardening. My name is Lynette. I was born and raised in a tiny, little town north of Houston. Population? Around fifteen hundred. I graduated with seventy-four classmates that I grew up with, but the thing I remember most about that little, country town was my parent’s yard and garden. It was beyond extraordinary the way my step-dad took a wooded piece of property and turned it into a gardner’s paradise. Those were my roots planted years ago, and I have never forgotten them.

I remember the vegetable garden that took up an entire lot, the peach and redbud trees, the gardenia bush that grew to be ten feet tall. There were dogwood trees, pine trees and oak trees. Incubators full of yard eggs waiting to be hatched into baby chicks. At one point I remember coming home from school to find the baby deer my step-dad had found on one of his hunting trips. Everything he touched turned green, sprouted or hatched. I remember the shed full of garden tools and supplies he would gather at the local feed store, not to mention the Almanac he read every day. Even though during this time I was busy playing in my own dirt with with the neighborhood kids, it is still one of my most cherished memories.

My grandparents lived next door with their own garden, chicken coop and tulips beds. My grandmother loved her tulips. These things are a part of who I am, or at least they must be. They have never left me. And here I am with my own garden, although no longer a life in the country. My family and I live in the suburbs of Houston and I am determined to make our own garden, a peaceful retreat, full of the fond memories of my past as well as the new memories. Our garden haven surrounded by the things and people I love most. Welcome to my garden. I hope you enjoy – although I am blogging as a means to document, learn and discover – I hope to share those discoveries – to help and be helped – along the way. I am excited to see what’s in store!

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Magenta Bicolor Pericallis – a spring annual with beautiful blooms.

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Sunfire Coreopsis, one of the perennials in my garden. I love their burgundy centers. They are heat tolerant, bloom summer to fall and best of all return ever year after you cut to the ground in winter. Pretty amazing and they love the sun.