Friday, May 6, 2016

Cleaning up my early spring garden

Come join me today as I work in my veggie garden.

I'd welcome the company,

because I have a lot of work to do to turn this into a workable garden.

I hope I can make it not only functional, but also pleasing to the eye.   Unfortunately, I got distracted by a noise.

By the time I had grabbed my camera, two street sweepers had passed by my house.

Even with two passes, it looks like they didn't do a very good job.

One street sweeper turned around while the other one continued to sweep the street.

Golly, the city had called in reinforcements.

I watched mesmerized

as what appeared to me to be a slow dance between machines.

I kept snapping photos until I realized how high the grass had gotten nearly overnight.

That was when I got bored and decided it was time to get back on task.

Where was I?  Have I not mentioned I get easily distracted?

Oh yes, I was cleaning out my pots so I could plant seeds.

I was near the end when I started on this pot.  Do you see the ants?  They were everywhere, but they may not show in the photo.  I see several on the big leaf to the left, but it's hard to tell because they are all carrying my precious soil away.

I don't like ants.  I especially don't like them when they are crawling all over my hands, arms, and clothes.   So, one quick photo and I'll be back tomorrow.  For now, I must get these ants off me!

Fast forward about 24 hours and note my tools of the trade.

I've just planted radishes

in the ground, not a pot.

I also threw some cantaloupe seeds in the ground that my friend Sally saved from a cantaloupe she purchased earlier in the year.  I covered the seeds with a bit of soil and some wet leaves so the seeds will have a chance to develop.

I managed to clean the rest of the pots and plant my sweet basil seeds.

I didn't have the heart to remove the dill I found growing in this one.

I'm not sure I have enough room in this pot for planting the mesclun mix, so I divided the seeds into two pots.

I finally have the pots in the approximate place I want them.

The garden doesn't look too bad from this angle,

but photos are often deceiving.

Unfortunately the garden looks a bit wimpy from the street side.  Note how high the grass is in the back yard.  That's definitely not a good sign.

However, it's incredibly wet right now, and you can't mow mud!

If you made it this far, I promise to not show my garden again until either the end of the month OR the first of June.  And thanks for visiting, since this is less a hobby and more a chore at the moment.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Cinco de Mayo Halle Day

It's Cinco de Mayo and that means it's my dear friend Halle's (pronounced Holly) birthday.  So lets raise our glasses of margaritas, agua frescas, or sangrias and celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Halle at Halle's Hobbies today.  Hope you'll drop by her place and wish her a happy birthday, too!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Craft Barn's latest alpha challenge

I thought the "S" challenge was bad, but Jane came up with the most ridiculous twist for the latest Craft Barn challenge.  It may have been a bank holiday for those who live across the pond, but for me, it was simply horrible.

I kept thinking "how can I possibly justify adding a DRAGONFLY to a word with the letter J?"  Then it hit me that JUSTIFY is a J word.

How ironic that I could ask the question and hit on the answer in the same instant.

I only have ONE dragonfly, at least I hope this is a dragonfly.  It is a foam stamp I bought on clearance years ago, but never used until today.  Did you notice how I embossed the letters using copper embossing powder (EP)?  My secret, since I'm NOT a stamper, is to print the words using the "best" print format.  The ink takes time to dry, and I'm able to add the EP to the still wet ink.  I can then take my time going from my office to the craft room, where I can heat the EP.  I tried this technique years ago, and having found it worked, use it when I need a bit of bling on a printed page.

I had my copper leafing pen primed, then it ran horribly.  It was the last thing I did on the page, so I couldn't redo the entire page.  Hopefully you can read why I chose this word.  BTW, Jane I forgive you now that this challenge is in the bag.

Originally, I had planned to circle the J, but since my copper leafing pen wasn't acting right, I decided to not make the page any worse than it already was.

Materials I used were a sheet of blue printer/copier paper, software and printer, copper embossing powder, a foam dragonfly stamp, copper pigment ink, stickers, definition from my Merriam-Webster dictionary, and a copper leafing pen.

Thank you for looking and visiting.  I was once again able to visit everyone for our last challenge, and I plan to do the same this time.  I'm really curious as to how others treat this unkind Craft Barn twist!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Celebrating T at Legends

If you are looking for the Second on the 2nd, post, it is the one directly below this one.

I took these photos several weeks ago, but saved them until Patty returned.  It was at that time I walked to the Little Free Library in my neighborhood.

There are actually THREE in my neighborhood, so this is the first one I've visited.  I brought a book, but didn't take one.  However, if the government finds out about these libraries, there may be fines and punishments involved.  Want to know more?  Here's a great article.  BTW, if you read it, I am a libertarian, but not a "squishy" or radical libertarian.

Also, a few weeks ago, I treated my friend Sally to a late birthday bash.  Her birthday came and went while she was very sick.  In fact, she was so sick, I took her to several and various doctor appointments.  She has a doctor for EVERYTHING, and I think they were all called on, and none still know what's wrong with her.

But back to the birthday bash.

It took three photos, but I actually got her to smile.

It was Mediterranean Day, and I was enjoying a wonderful veggie fare, including cheese broccoli soup.  I also had coffee with cream and pie.  Pie is something I would eat any and every day of the week.  I'd take it in a heartbeat over cake.

I was on my second bowl of that yummy soup when Sally decided to open her gift.  Many saw it when I was the guest designer at Try it on Tuesday.

After lunch, I took a few shots of the restaurant.  We outlasted the lunch crowd and it showed.

These are the windows you see

as you enter the restaurant.

The hostess saw me taking photos and suggested I get a picture of this new guy.  He goes well with the other chefs that sit on various buffet stations.

Now it's your turn to share your drink related post.  In case you don't know the rules, please link any post below that involves some form of drink.   That drink could be made from art, sketched, digital, hybrid, or traditional.  It can be a time when you were out and about, or a drink you had at home.  It could be in the form of a book you read, a postcard you received, scrapbook page you created, or a movie you watched.   It doesn't matter as long as you can, in some way, tie it back to a drink.  After linking your post below, Bleubeard, the T gang, and I will be by to visit and enjoy whatever you choose to share.  And remember, as Bleubeard would say, your photos may be taken any time, not just on Tuesday.

A partial post for a second look

 Today, instead of showing a complete post, I'm going to show a few relevant photos that were taken in early August, 2015.

The first time that my friend Sally and I went to the zoo, we took the tram, as we did recently on my birthday.

In case you missed the photos I shared on the new elephant complex, here is what the area looked like eight months ago.

The plastic fence was the focal point in every photo.
At least one of the structures was in place, or at least taking shape back then.  You can see a small portion of the new barn where the elephants are now stored, if you look closely in the upper left of the background.

This is possibly the start of the concession area.  Note how open the area is in the background.

It was obvious the new facility needed to be built.

This is where Stephanie, our only African elephant until March of this year, was held.  I've never seen her, though.

Not my usual Second look because today I showed a few photos I took last year at the zoo, but only those that were relevant to the African elephants and the upcoming “Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley” exhibit.  All words were written specifically for this post, not copied and pasted in their entirety along with the photos from a previous post as is normally the case for my second look posts.

BTW, the zoo did extensive research to determine social, dietary, and living habits for at least two years before applying for these beautiful creatures.  Tentatively, my friend Sally, who is a member of the zoo, and I as her guest, will be visiting the exhibit on either May 11 or 12, depending on the weather.   Of course I'll have my camera handy.

Now it's time for you to link your second look on the 2nd.  The rules are quite simple.  All you have to do is bring back a post that you are especially proud of, or one you shared before anyone knew your blog existed.  Then link below and Bleubeard and I, along with other Second on the 2nd friends, will be by to visit.  If you are new to Second on the 2nd, and your blog post permits only GOOGLE+ responses, I (and several others) can´t comment on your entry.  It's all in the way you set up your blog responses.

Please be aware this link is only open for five days, so it's best to post sometime on the 2nd.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A lull in the storms and my never ending calendar pages

Some of you may have read about the storms and straight line winds that were in my area.  I haven't had a chance to clean up around the place

because it rains off and on all day and night.  In fact, it was raining when I took these photos.

During a few lulls, I finally started my veggie garden.  It looks sad and took me all day (in between rain storms to get this far.  The pots need to be cleaned out and mulch and potting soil added before I plant anything, but the pots are, for the most part, in their final places.  I'll do some adjusting when I bring out the rest of the pots, and put some away that I probably won't need. 

I first laid down four bags of shredded papers I saved over the winter.

My friend Sally had a bunch of cardboard, but she sent it to the recycle center.  Then she bought a new mattress and gave me the box it came in.   You can see it is nearly as large as my garden.  After I put the pots in place, I added two large bags of leaves I had been given.

In hopes of having a true lasagna garden next year, rather than pots, I planted two tomatoes and hoped for the best.

Although I have lots of clean-up and weed pulling, you can see the various layers to my lasagna garden.  The rain has already started to act on the cardboard.

These heavy pots are still on my front porch and so are two more plants.  I hope to have time to work on my veggie garden sometime this week, because rain is forecast again for the next two days and my grass is also in desperate need of mowing.

And finally, here is my April calendar that was marked by repurposed art and birthdays this month.

May is ready to be filled in and decorated, too.  I never decorate until I have a better idea what the month will bring.

Thanks for joining me in my veggie garden and viewing my mundane calendar, too.  Your visit means the world to me.