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toni's Blog




'Nuther piece of painted junque - picture

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:25 pm

This piece was a platform for the birdbath for a couple of years. When I started expanding the garden area it went from place to place, each time moving as the garden grew and is now leaning up against the side of the house as decoration in the raspberry patch.

It originally started life as part of the floor of a walk in freezer unit at a small store. Randy's dad got all the pieces and used them to build his storage shed many years ago. He had this one piece left over and at some point Randy used it to put a large car engine part on to bring it home, then it sat in our shed for a few years. We were going to throw it away but my imagination kicked in and the cans of paint came out.
And the birdbath stand is the topless table now being used out front to hold my large pot of geraniums.



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A pile of blue feathers

Category: Random bulletins from my brain | Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 5:44 pm

That's what I found in one flower bed this morning. One of the few Bluejays that hang around here was the victim of a local cat....in my yard!! Pets are not supposed to be allowed to run free in our city but since when do most people pay attention to the rules.

I know it is the survival of the fittest and if it had not been sick or injured already then the cat would not have been able to catch it. But it really hurt my heart to know it happened. I buried what was left in the Moon Garden.

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Snowflake is blowin' in the wind

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 3:23 am

Do not pay any attention to the looks of the yard around the windmill. The picture was taken almost 5 years ago before I started gardening. I just wanted to show a better picture of the snowflake design I painted on the blades and rudder.

I was born and raised in Texas, one of a rare breed nowadays .... a native Texan. We have gotten snow in the past, I can remember a few days playing in snow when I was a kid. And we had several snow days 27 years ago, but with the climate change or something snow has become a rare event down here. But I love snow....my first most favorite day is a snowy one. Even when we have gotten snow it is all melted usually within 24 hours. I lived in Colorado for a couple of years, up in the mountains and absolute loved it.
Anyway, Randy says I am the biggest snow flake he has ever met. So snowflakes have sort of become my trademark symbol.



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They had this cabinet on sale

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 2:17 pm

Randy and I were making the rounds of garage sales one Sunday afternoon in June about 4 years ago. It was late afternoon, most sellers were ready to call it quits so they had cut prices in half. This cabinet was well used, had a couple of dents and scratches but nothing really bad and it was on sale for $2.50 I needed storage for garden tools, etc and had $3 burning a hole in my pocket. (the last of the splurge money we had allowed ourselves for the day otherwise we would have gone crazy buying other peoples junque)

The design I painted on it was from a quilted wall hanging I had entered in the Dallas Quilt Show competition the previous March. The theme of the contest was Texas Wildflowers. As you can imagine everyone else took it to mean Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush, Wine Cups, etc. But my warped mind sometimes doesn't work that way. So my entry was titled "Well you said TEXAS wildflowers"
It didn't win anything, but then the Dallas group does tend to be a tad traditional instead of off the wall in their thinking. :)

The cabinet stayed outside where it is pictured for only one summer and had to be moved inside because the sun and heat was causing the paint to peel. But it is still well used in the backroom, just on the other side of the wall it was on.



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All of this from two roses on sale

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 7:38 pm

Many years ago, before KMart left our area, they had rose bushes on sale near the end of the season. I found two white shrub roses for less than $2 each.
I left them in the plastic bag for quite a while before finally figuring out where I wanted to plant them.

When we moved into this house 19 years ago, this same location was planted with Chinese Holly. Sharp leafed dangerous plants, so the next year we started digging them up so there would be no chance of our new daughter getting one of those leaves that were like razor blades in her foot/hand/or anywhere else when she was old enough to play outside.

By the time I bought the rose bushes she was old enough to not be interested in playing with the roly-poly bugs out there anymore. So I stuck the roses there.

I have cut these babies down almost to the ground a couple of times, it takes them maybe a year to regain their bramble look. Plus, whereever a limb lays on the soil undisturbed for a few weeks, roots dive deep into the earth and the plants expand.
There are probably 20 small bushes in that patch along with the two originals. I even transplanted three to the other side of the driveway 2-3 years ago and when they became a problem I gave them away. My oldest daughter took a transplant to her backyard two years ago and the thing is almost 4' in diameter.



That's my wood file drawer in front with Zinnias coming up nicely. And in the center of the bramble is a Pecan tree planted by the squirrels, we figure we will leave it to provide shade for the front window eventually.

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Squirrels sometimes do good

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:27 pm

Over the years I have pulled up hundreds of pecan tree saplings that the squirrels planted in the wrong place, mostly right up next to the house. Pecans have really long tap roots, so by the time the little tree can be seen it is usually too late to transplant it successfully so they break off when I try to dig them up. I usually have to take out more pecan treelings than dandelions every spring and summer.

We do have two really large ones on the north side of the house that we were able to leave in place. Course, now each fall the squirrels and I are in competition for pecan eating rights.

This spring we have been finding Oak tree saplings. I love Oak trees. I have been nursing one along that came up in the middle of the cotton patch I had a few years ago, this year it is a little over two feet tall and growing. I also found two among the hollyhocks - one is too large to try moving so in about 10 years that garden area will have to change from sun to shade, the other one I was able to dig up and pot.
I found one in the middle of my geranium pot out front that was easy to repot. And there were two under the crepe myrtle out back that we will try to move after we soak the ground really well. Mother Nature might do that part for us tonight by giving us some rain....fingers, toes, legs and eyes crossed in hopes of bringing on the rain.

We are going to keep the saplings in pots, if they make it thru summer and fall, then we will transplant them to the front yard late next winter.

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Locks of Love

Category: Random bulletins from my brain | Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 10:34 pm

I finally did it. After letting my hair grow for roughly six years I decided it was time to get it cut off. It was hot, took too long to take care of and I was tired of it trying to strangle me in my sleep.

The Locks of Love organization uses human hair to make wigs for kids who have lost theirs because of treatment for cancer. I found a local Fanstastic Sam's hair salon that is one of their sponsors and went this morning. My daughter had also let hers grow for about the same length of time so she went too.

The minimum length they will take is 12" even tho their website still says 10". Amanda gave them almost 20" and I gave them 16".

It really is a win-win deal, they got two more hanks of hair for the kids and we got free haircuts.

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It's playing mind games, I know it is.

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:36 pm

The weather that is.
For 4 days the temp was between 95-102...yesterday it was 102 at my house. Yesterday I went out to water a second time in the late afternoon and dark, sad, miserable thoughts started creeping thru my mind. If we have another spring, summer, fall and winter anything like the ones we just completed I don't know how many of the plants will come back next year. Worse is the fact that I don't know that I want to work myself silly doing gardening January thru March, just to have everything dry up and burn in the heat and drought April thru December. If it happens again this year, I may just plow it all under and let the weeds take over.

We will loose the fig tree for certain, it is already weakened from the drought and then the freeze that hit after it started leafing out. I can not work in the summer heat, the temps do not drop below 80 at night and hover around 100 by 3 p.m.

Today the heat abated a bit, only got into the low 80's and was wonderful gardening weather.
We might get rain, possibly storms tonight and tomorrow. The rain will be wonderful but the storm part will include hail, possibly large hail. I see several hours of running around the back yard holding an umbrella over plants, maybe even gingerly covering the smaller ones with my body to protect them. At the very least I will enjoy the soaking.

I haven't really been in a good mood lately just thinking about it. It all may not happen, but just remembering what last year was like and what it caused makes me really ticked off......just who do I have to sleep with to get rain around here :)

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I promised No More Plants.....But......

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 6:33 pm

I am weak, I know that, I have acknowledged the weakness. So I figure if I am going to learn to accept myself for what and who I am, then giving in to temptation is not really a problem, it is just part of the acceptance process. When the weakness hits then go with it and do not browbeat myself for not resisting.

So with that in mind I talked Randy into taking me to a really wonderful garden center about one and a half hour from us. They have plants that the franchise garden centers don't carry because they grow their own stock.

I have these two triangle shaped plants that were in front of the house my daughter and her hubby bought a few years ago and didn't want them. I needed something that will grow in full shade and get large enough to block the view between the neighbors yard and mine. They aren't planted yet, I need to get more potting soil to finish filling up the planters.

This is an Aromatic Sumac


This one is an American Beautyberry

Also had this spot in front of my gargoyle. Yes he has a name and it is Hector. The plant is a Coral Berry.









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One of my Iris ladies and a surprise

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 2:42 pm

There are 5 of these in full bloom this morning and I lost count of the buds in various stages of opening. I think there will probably be almost 50 by the time they all open up. Certainly wish they would open all at once but staggered openings will give me a longer time to enjoy them.
Gosh they smell good.




The surprise....I knew I had several white/yellow (either Japanese or Dutch) Iris out there, they just finished blooming and silly me I hadn't learned to use the camera then and never got a picture of them. But this morning while thoroughly enjoying the fragrance of the new Iris ladies I saw this one peeking up at me from almost underneath the bigger girls.



This blog entry has been viewed 370 times




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