Wednesday, June 27, 2012


100 degrees out on the back forty today, perfect for lounging.

not me.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

how you doin'?

whew. tuesday hello.

i cannot believe how quickly these weeks are going by. most mondays are a complete blur for me; yesterday i worked late into the evening because i worked ALL DAY LONG on something that was due today, but did not realize it was the wrong thing until the client pointed it out when he saw it. sheesh. my brain really is NOT what it used to be.

on a good note, the client is a Christian friend. he prays for my well-being. THAT is not something that makes a bad day worse :) ha!

so, let's talk about the part of my brain that is not taxed. going out to 'be' in my natural surroundings is my energy drink. every day. i thank God for it, even when sometimes it actually starts to feel like work.

notice the photo above, which ALMOST felt like work :) ha ha. seriously. I littered the town this weekend! but if you have not thought of newspaper as a ground cover before mulch, you should. it's fabulous to work with, and will disintegrate in a year or so. just enough time to kill off the weeds, i hope.

it's always better to take the 'after' shot with a funky filter. that way, you cannot see that the plants are tiny and not really all that dramatic. but, i'm starting to add in the pretty details, which have been in the storage shed up to now. they make me happy.

the new little plantlings make me happy, too. i am still in amazement over the diversity of the creation of God. He makes a lot of good stuff!

He also has inspired a couple of new thoughts in my head about creating. i just touched on one of the projects this weekend, it still needs some refinement, but oh how happy i am to be in 'pretty project' mode again!

how 'bout you? whatcha making that makes you happy these days?

Monday, June 25, 2012

one is enough

 ah. another blast from the past - 'eight is enough' was one of my favorite tv shows growing up. everybody i knew loved willie ames. ha. looking at him now in his andy gibb hairstyle and satin shirt, i laugh. oh 70s, you were awesome.

but that is not what inspired this post. this post is about 'ones.'

i counted the # of plants that i have planted so far in the back yard this summer, and came up with 85. i don't know about you, but i was thinking that was A LOT.

the thing is, for all of that activity, there has not been much blooming. i know. it takes time.

i keep remembering LAST year at this time. wasn't mabel looking beautiful?

this year, so far i have ONE bloom on my bee balm - courtesy of anne's garden, because she shared this guy with me a month or so ago. isn't he pretty? i actually will have more blossomes coming, because bee balm is a workhorse. not like last year, but for now, one is enough.

here's a daisy that the bunnies absolutely chewed off in a voracious frenzy. it did not shrivel up and die - it grew back. with one lovely blossom.

isn't it true that we live in a 'consumer' society? i don't know about you, but sometimes it's hard to be satisfied with 'just one.'

and yet, how can we be appreciative of ALL that we have, if one is never enough?

because it is.

as a gentle reminder, on saturday night a wonderful friend stopped by with a bouquet from HER garden for me, because she just KNEW that i would be a little bit disappointed in my fledgling garden.

it never ceases to amaze me about how God knows our hearts, and speaks to us with his still, small voice. one is enough. He is enough....

happy Monday, y'all!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


well, i finally tried to take a shot of the bunnies yesterday. probably not the best day for it, because it was kinda dark and cloudy. however, i would say the iphone is probably not made for taking shots of bunnies even on sunny days.

so, with that long apology for the bad shot, meet threebie.

yes. she has a name.

even though it has been brought to my attention that mutant bunnies DO exist and threaten, i'm pretty sure threebie is harmless. you cannot tell from the picture, but she SORT OF has three ears. of this statement, i have doubted myself several times. but no. she has three ears, the third one being much smaller and in-between the other two.

she likes me. she lives under my pine tree in the front yard (well, HER pine tree) and comes out only to decimate my plants whenever the urge strikes.

lately, she is mostly eating weeds, for which i am grateful

threebie has a baby, named, naturally - freebie. just when i thought i had never seen so many bunnies in my life, freebie came along. he hangs out in the BACK yard, sometimes with threebie, sometimes alone. he will eat anything once. and possibly more. freebie is shy, and would not let me take his pic.

someday, you know i'm gonna be sorry for giving the bunnies names. but not today. today it's all good. happy thursday!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

rinse, lather, repeat

yummy purple

yep. all of these.

canna-licious colors!

smoke bush

double-whammy - lime green with purple stems!


i admit i am a creature of habit. as much as i'd like to think i 'embrace' change, i really still freak out at the smallest venture from 'the plan' - or whatever i have happened to deem 'the plan' in my head. 

letting go of 'the plan' is the hardest thing.

i've decided that i need to start thinking outside the box. one of the things that i always ALWAYS go back to in my need for control are color palettes. these must be hard-wired in my head, because no matter what, i always seem to pick and re-pick the same ones over and over.

they are different, depending on what i'm doing. for the house, it's teal and green and orange.

for logos, it's teal and green and orange (okay, not a good illustration).

for plants, it's orange and lime green and dark burgundy and/or purple.

no matter what i do, the options seem to boil down to these. and you know what? i do try to change it up. i even bought a red geranium this spring (it had an orange glow to it, though).

sometimes, you just have to admit that your plan is obviously a good one, and it's better NOT to change :)

ha ha. happy solstice day!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


ahhh. the hot, dry days of summer are here, seemingly a bit earlier than usual (kind of like everything this spring).

i love more than anything to watch the robins frolic in the sprinkler.

okay, more than ANYTHING i would love to join them :)

happy tuesday!

Monday, June 18, 2012


i can tell when summer solstice is about to hit, mostly based on my mood. it's hard to beat that summertime vibe in full swing, things like:

97 degree days, which are perfect now that the a/c has kicked in :)

avoidance of as much work as possible

time spent in 'the chair'

summer blooms all around

 'beer season' and 'grilling season'

listening around for the sounds of the rocks crying out with P R A I S E


happy solstice week! enjoy the longer days until wednesday :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012


hello fellow campers!

no wait. i'm not camping anymore today, am i?

photo stolen from wonderfully talented anne :)

but this week WAS a good week for a church camp. i have no idea the 'final count' but i think there were 50 or 60 little campers at our Camp Mercy outreach at a local elementary school this year. it's our first year to go 'off campus' for a home brewed version of VBS, and it was really cool.

we saw more kids from the community than when we had VBS in our building...which rocked. i hugged a couple of them :)

i guess the 'big' idea for me that came out of the week was the simplicity of kindness and willingness to 'enter in' with your neighbor. we had people from a lot of different cultures, income brackets and life experiences all in one place. and guess what? we got along! perhaps it had something to do with the fun events that we engaged in, but more likely it had to do with Jesus in da house. and as our fearless leader Jenni pointed out, it's simply our job to see where He is at work and to join in. you really don't need a camp to do that, do ya?

so, i come away with the fruits of serving the Lord. it's always twofold. you HOPE you blessed a child or a weary parent, but you KNOW you were blessed yourself.

be a blessing to those around you, be a blessing to those around you, be a blessing to those around you. ha! there's my recap :)

happy weekend guys!

my long lost friend Nancy, whom i have more in common with now than ever.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

red rosies

i have a lot of swimming going on in my head this week. first off, since we are in the middle of our first outreach kids' camp at church, my thoughts are all over the board about sharing the love of Jesus. i'll save my recap for when it's over (2 more nights to go)....

obviously i need a plant for that pot yet.

water lettuce. it came with some teeny tiny duckweed attached.

birdie watching over the pond.

i also spent a bit of time yesterday working some more on my little water pond. i am mostly 'winging it' from watching kirsten's gardens over the years. i don't have a pump or anything, but i knew from the beginning that i did want some fish.

3 of the 4 little rosies roaming in their new space.

carey has warned me not get too 'attached' - pshaw. not a problem for a cold-hearted creature like me! he he. my head said something to me like this when i awoke this morning....

oh my gosh! it's raining! i hope the fish did not flow over the edge.

i wonder if the fish have enough to eat in there?

do they seem cold? i wonder if birds eat fish at night?

so far they seem kind of happy.

and so it goes :)

anyway - the guy at walmart who sold me the fish said 'they probably won't last outside' so my expectations should be low. but upon doing some googling last night, i found that rosy minnows are one of the most hardy pond fish that you can get. take THAT, walmart fish man!

the little nook in the corner makes me happy.

finally, i have gotten to the point of enjoyment of my landscaping projects. getting over all of the 'big picture' madness and starting to concentrate on smaller areas is much more my style. i'm sure that the little spot show above is one that you'll be seeing more of in the coming years as it evolves into what it's meant to be.

for today, i am going to enjoy the journey :)

happy wednesday!

Monday, June 11, 2012


GROW. that's the theme of the week for me. i'm sure this surprises none of you, for it's not a whole lot different than every week for me, lately.

the difference is that this week is rooted in the following Truth:

But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Matthew 13:23

that's my booth at Camp Mercy kids camp this week. sigh. hoping that WE are the ones who sow some good seeds...we walked the neighborhoods on saturday around the campsite, and it got my heart into the mission. people need God, people. that's all i'll say about THAT.

anyway, on tap for tonite is the reading of the Parable of the sower, and talking about seeds. i have a little mini parable in a jar that kirsten taught me to make....and lots of plants and seeds to look at and touch. i also have a *ahem* flyer because i am a graphic artist :))) ha.

i've got some other stuff up my sleeve as well. very, very excited and not really too nervous, even though it's our first effort to take church out to the 'hood' at Mercy, or as pastor shel titled it yesterday, to get out of the 'evangelical ghetto.' love that guy.

so to get in shape for today, i helped cass shop for some new plants for her yard on sunday. well, i kind of bossed her around :))) ha. however, we got some excellent purchases. nothing better than plant shopping with somebody else's budget!


then, i came home and started a new little garden of my own. because you know, i don't have enough growing on :)

oh. and a small water garden, too. which has no plants. yet.

Lord, help us to have good weather, and lots of hungry little hearts, and a strength in you and who you are, and excitement and joy and unity and lots of your SPIRIT for the week! woot!

Friday, June 08, 2012

lounging in style

happy friday, folks!

whatcha got planned?

i'll be walking some neighborhoods inviting kids to a Jesus camp next week, then probably back to the yard, tending and such.

don't look at my grass. the moles (remember them? :)) have killed just a tiny little bit of it. no biggy.

but take a look at my new lounger-ific lounger! i totally remember these from the 70s - as i very well must show, because i got asked if i wanted the 'senior' discount at shopko this week! ouch!

anyway! it's all snazzy redwood strips and aluminum. i think maybe we had a chair like this, but the loungers were spendy. that's why our loungers had green plastic woven strips, NOT redwood.

but you know me, i live the high life. so when i saw it, i thought 'heck yeah!'

i even threw some stain on it when i got it home, just to perk up the redwood, which is seriously like brand new.

i cannot get it to switch positions, though. the position switcher is broken, i think. luckily for me, the position shown is PERFECTO. set me in the sun, give me some iced tea and my kindle, and whoa. good to go.

best part? $5 for the whole caboodle. from where i'm sitting, that is going to be a bonus for my summer :)

happy day!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

pretty thursday

okay. semi-favorite day on board! might be a good day to look at some close-ups of the garden.

my focus the last couple of weeks has been on planting pots and annuals, because frankly, the main landscaping has been kind of disappointing.

lots of reasons why - mostly the sheer size of the areas I'm working with. I have not been able to do all of the things I want to all of the spaces I have. finally, i've thrown in the towel.

so, like a little grandma who is jonesing for color, i'm settling for cramming as much interest into my 12' x 12' patio area as I can. it's kind of crazy looking, not at all what i would do in my pie-in-the-sky vision. but every morning, i smile when i see these little lovelies. they serve their purpose.

by the way, if anyone wants to come help with weeding, just call, text or email me ;)

ha. it is seriously overwhelming. i actually have done a lot of work on it since that horrific photo was taken on monday or tuesday. now, it's more like dirt with little polka dots of stuff scattered around. at least the bunnies have not eaten THESE particular polka dots :)

sigh. all in all, a good day/week/year/life. i'm grateful for the whole nine yards :)

hope you are grateful, too. see ya friday!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

get me outta here.

funny how this time of year i naturally start thinking about getting OUT of my normal life. some of it is my own tendency for escapism, but some of it is healthy, i believe. we all do better when our perspective shifts outward a bit.

so, i made some plans. luckily, my friends lou and cass were in the same kind of mood as me.

hello, dreaming about cabins in the woods. 2 whole months to do that, then a trip to minnesota and a cabin with a lake view, a kayak, and a firepit. oh, and a/c. what more could a girl ask for?

:)) happy escape-to-the-woods day.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012


sigh. of course, the only thing i have to blog about the day after my 'martha' rant is a homemade treat. let's just call me a work-in-progress, okay?

the thing is, this is valuable. the back story is that every time i go somewhere out of my comfort zone, i come away with a 'new' thing to incorporate into my obviously very seriously implanted routine.

this time, kirsten shared with me her latest obsession with sherbet when i visited st. paul. especially rainbow sherbet. so, we stopped into the local market to pick some up on one of our jaunts. they were out. she was sad. i mentioned raspberry being a good alternative, which got us going on the benefits of combining raspberries and chocolate.

which leads to the sauce. we ate our raspberry sherbet with chocolate sauce from a squeeze bottle, and it was delish.

but it jolted a memory somewhere in the recesses of my brain.

my mom used to make homemade, and it was yummy.

so. here i go again. a need to make homemade, especially if it's easy.

and easy it is. 5 minutes tops. probably from stuff you already have in your pantry. this sauce is NOT hot fudge sauce, in fact, it is probably better cold. it's really a substitute for hershey syrup. but better.

and did i mention quick to make?

the original recipe from alton brown (who is probably my age) made a QUART. um. not sure anyone needs a quart of chocolate sauce.

so i chopped it in half. perfect. it will keep quite awhile in the fridge, or you could chop it even further. this is not really the type of thing you need too much of. a tablespoon on your ice cream or mixed into your milk is just right.

happy homemaking!

Homemade Chocolate Syrup


  1. In a small pot, bring water and sugar to a boil.
  2. Whisk in cocoa, vanilla, salt, and corn syrup until all the solids have dissolved.
  3. Reduce sauce until slightly thickened.
  4. Strain and cool to room temperature.
  5. Pour into squeeze bottles.
  6. Keep in the fridge.