Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Feeling Crafty

I suddenly realized that my supply of birthday cards was getting low. I made enough before we left Georgia to get me through the May birthdays, but now it is June, and we have a bunch of grandkids with summer birthdays.  So today I set up shop on the dining room table and replenished my card supply.
Since I was a little girl, I have always collected and pressed flowers.  All my phone books have dried flowers between the pages.  When my sister, Mona, taught me how to do collage, I found an outlet for all those pressed flowers.
Of course, "real" collage uses paper, not pressed flowers, so I always try to make a card now and then with only paper.
But ever since I started doing collage, anything that can be flattened and dried gets incorporated into my style of collage.

By the end of the day, I had sixteen new cards, complete with envelopes.  When a grandchild has a birthday, I add a picture of them from the past year in the middle of the card.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Projects, Projects

We came home this year determined to clean up all the deferred maintenance around our Washington property.  This involved a bunch of very hard and unpleasant tasks.  We built the hot tub building around a huge cooler that we had salvaged from one of our past lives when we had a bakery.  After a couple of rations of "fixing" it at $700 a crack, we decided it was time for it to go.  That is when we found how sturdily it was built.  In the end, Ron used the chainsaw and a splitting maul to break it down into small enough pieces to remove from the building.
 The cooler joins an old range from our guest cottage, gutters from the log house in preparation for the new roof that is going on in August, and the old furnace from the basement of the log house in our front yard.  
 Fortunately, we know a guy who recycles things, and he came by with a big trailer and hauled it all away for us.
Except the three glass doors to the cooler that I saved to make more raised beds.
Now I have a place to start seedlings in the spring.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Deferred Maintenance

There is a problem with coming back to Washington at the first of May.  The ten acres that Ron mows always takes a couple of times through to look like a golf course again. 

This year something had destroyed the electrical line between our guest house and the well house.  We suspect the moles - so after digging a 950 foot ditch (mostly with the tractor) we decided this time we should encase the wire in conduit.
Fortunately, I had cut out the old raspberry canes before we left in the fall, but I did have three long rows of strawberries to weed while Ron was working on the well problem.
I planted the entire garden within a week of being home, so until the weeding cycle starts, I am going to concentrate on thinning the apple blossoms, pruning the grapes, and weeding flower beds.
The dahlia beds are nearly done - just in time as the new sprouts are popping up everywhere.  I decided to quit fighting the Comfrey and let one small patch grow - maybe I will even figure out how to use it this year!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dinner at Amy and Dan's

Our first weekend home Amy and Dan invited us down for one of their special dinners.  
They work together to produce an amazing meal!
One of Amy's specialties is homemade pasta.
We got reacquainted with our granddog, Tillie, too.
Today I repotted the beautiful Gerber Daisy Amy and Dan got me for Mother's Day.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Visiting in Eastern Washington May 2012

On our way home, we stopped in Eastern Washington and visited our son and his family.  They have been busy building a greenhouse, a fence around the garden, and new raised beds within the garden.  Tony and I are competing for the most expensive tomato we can raise, factoring in all the improvements it is taking to grow vegetables properly.
New raised beds and fence to keep out the deer.
New greenhouse - it was toasty warm inside on a sunny but cool day.  Lots of plants already started inside.
Tina's ladies - looking for a handout, but producing 8-10 beautiful brown eggs every day.
Jesse with his giant cat, Squeezy
We went for a walk looking for wild asparagus and to admire all the new flowers and emerging plants in the woods.
Interesting rock formation in T&T's woods looks like a smiling ghost.