Here is where I will attempt to keep up with the changes I'm making in my decor, craft ideas, general living and family activities. I also plan to offer some of my graphics, along with finished Primitive craft items for sale. I'll try to give you great decorating ideas, cool crafting ideas, and some tried and true recipes that have served me over the years. Be sure to grab a cup of coffee, check in often, and enjoy your time here!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Yard work continues....and it is SO WORTH IT!!!!

Wow, I know time flies, but this is ridiculous!  LOL  I've let myself get so busy with "purtying up" the yard and house, that I haven't taken time to post much here.  I'll post some progress pictures for now, and try to give you a grand tour sometime next week.  It seems that everytime we think we are finished, we find just a little more to do!  After finishing the last flower bed, Papa decided we had come this far, so we might as well do the back of the house and be finished all the way around.  I jumped at the chance.  I've learned over the years that I better take advantage of things when he is in the mood to get them done!  LOL  We bought the landscape timbers a couple of days ago, so we should be able to finish it up on my 4 day off stretch next week.  I'll be painting our wagon wheels, and strawberry plow then, too, weather permitting.  Hopefully I'll build the birdhouses that I plan to put on posts then, too....and the yard will officially be FINISHED!  Here are some pictures of how things are beginning to look around our place right now.

We added an Arbor that sits behind and between the two water gardens.  I've planted Carolina Jessamine on each side.  It is supposed to be a fast grower and covered in small, fragrant, bright yellow flowers in the spring.  Hopefully in a year or two this will be covered with the vines.  We set the posts deep enough that we hope it will withstand the winds we sometimes get up on our hill.  I designed it, Papa built it and help me set it.  It is plenty tall enough to walk under, and still hand a birdhouse or hummingbird feeder from.  I'll have to see what I can find to give it some additional adornment!

I found this great milk can at a local flea market.  I needed to add a filter to the big water garden so I thought would serve that purpose and look nice too.  I'm still trying to get the algae under control and the water clear enough to enjoy seeing my Koi and Goldfish even when they are not feeding.  I placed my filter material inside, Papa drilled a hole in the bottom to allow the water to enter from the pump, and I added some rock in the front edge to help conceal the filter material.  The water is starting to clear, and the fish are doing great!  The come up to eat every evening now.  I love sitting outside on my little bench and watching them feed in the evening after it has cooled down.  I need to get to the lake and find a large piece of driftwood, or go to the woods and find a log to place behind it to finish it off and help conceal the tube that runs into the back.
Here is another view of the waterfall.  Here you can see the arbor in the background and the posts by the birdbath that will hopefully, very soon, each be topped with a prim birdhouse!
It has been a great year for my water plants!  Almost too good!  LOL  I plan to separate them and give away lots of starts next week.  I just can't bear to throw away plants, but some of these have got to go!  We used to be able to sit on the deck and enjoy the site of the waterfall, not just the sound.  Right now, however, you can't see a thing from the deck except the massive growth of plants.  Anyone in my area that wants starts, let me know, and we'll get together and get you some.  I have pickerel rush, yellow water iris, a floating plant that I can't recall the name of, and a variegated leafed plant that the name also escapes me right now.  Just let me know....I'll be happy to share!
Here's another shot of the posts that will soon be home to birdhouses.  I found and planted American Bittersweet at the base of each post.  When Papa was cleaning out one of our buildings last week, he found 4 wagon wheels that are the perfect size to fit between the posts!  I was so excited.  I can just picture the bittersweet as it eventually vines around the wheels and has a beautiful display of orange berries in the fall!  At Papa's suggestion, I'm going to paint the wheels black.  I used two here, and put the other two in front of the deck, where I planted three new clematis.  I can't wait to show you what I decided to do as trellis's for those...but I haven't take a picture yet.
I found this great "ladder" at the same local flea market where I found my milk can.  Papa and I made a trip to the woods and cut some grapevine.  I stripped the leaves from it, wound it in a long strip and wove it between the rungs.  I stuck a flag in it, but I think I'll take the flag out and coffee stain it.  I'm planning on putting a sign with it, but haven't decided what to put on it yet.  I've tossed around "Welcome to Nana & Papa's", "Welcome", "God Bless Our Home", "Old Glory" to mention a few ideas.  One of these days I'll come up something that's just right and get it done.  I wonder if it needs something a watering can...or if simpler is better.  Guess I'll keep thinking, looking at examples and see what strikes my fancy.  For now it does a pretty good job of hiding the cord that runs the pumps in my water gardens.  We've really enjoyed the evenings sitting outside lately.  The days are getting pretty hot and humid around here, with highs in the 90's already.  I'll be glad to get the last bed finished up before the really hot days hit!  LOL

We did take time away from work and work at home over Memorial Weekend.  I had planned on taking two weeks vacation, and decided to cut back to a week because we are so short handed at work, but we packed up and made a trip to Cloud 9.  This is a member only camping/fishing/riding ranch near Caulfield, Missouri.  We love to visit there, to get away and to enjoy the great outdoors.  We had friends that went that same weekend, and we had a great time.  We took our oldest grandchild with us when we went and her Mom, brother, and Mom's boyfriend joined us later in the week.  She had a great time, and we enjoyed having some special time with her.  I fondly call her "Silly Sally" and the pictures below might help you see why!  :-)
She is definately Nana's girl. 

And, she has really started hamming it up for the camera!

When her brother (and Mama and Bud) joined us, you would have thought the kids hadn't seen each other for years!  They were so cute the way their eyes lit up and they ran to hug each other.  They actually get a long pretty well, but they aren't always this sweet to each other!  I think her Mama missed her more than anyone, and in all honesty I think that's why Mama chose to come down and join us.  Whatever the reason, we were glad they did!

A daily ritual was ice cream.  I don't think any kid ever enjoyed ice cream any more than these two did, and yes, they actually got some in their bellies, too!

Papa's boy was always ready to go riding.  I'm thinking we will have our hands full when he is big enough to drive himself. 
He was never bashful about asking for a ride either!  "Papa, Go!" was heard many times while we were there.
I think this is my favorite picture of our little man!  He's wearing Papa's hat.  I can't find a thing not to love...dirty face and all! 
Our grandchildren weren't the only kids that went with us.  Our friends had their grandson as well.  He is another sweetie, and so photogenic!  You've seen pictures of him before, and here are a couple more.

Of course there were tons of people there for the holiday weekend.  Here is a sampling of the number of 4-wheelers that could be seen at any one time on the busier trails.
Papa usually spends a lot of time on the trails, however this weekend he was content to play chauffeur to the little ones.
We don't just enjoy riding the trails.  The tranquility and scenery are both wonderful.  Here are a couple of shots of the beautiful scenes that surround you while you are there.

Of course, when you play as hard as we did, there were the quiet, down times.  When you get tired at Cloud 9, it is a special kind of tired.  This is an example of what we laughingly call "Cloud 9 Tired".   
I've rambled enough for one post.  I'll try post some more Cloud 9 pictures soon.  And, as promised, I hope my next post will be next week when I can give you a grand tour of our FINISHED yard!  I hope this time finds you all comfortably busy, happy in life, and surrounded by family friends.