Tuesday, May 25, 2010

And a good time was had by all!

For Daddy's 70th birthday, Mia Sorella (my sisters, as I so fondly refer to them) and I planned "Barry's 70th Birthday Bash Luau"!

We reserved the shelter in a beautiful little neighborhood park just blocks away from home. The kids helped to decorate, with streamers, balloons, and even a sandy beach scene-complete with sand pails, shovels and pretty shells.

We all brought foods galore and Toby manned the grill. We feasted on BBQ Pork Ribs with my Special Recipe BBQ Sauce, Satay-style Salmon, gourmet apple and cheese hot dogs, homemade potato salad, baked beans, chips, veggies and dip, fresh tropical fruit salad, watermelon, Lemon Poppy Seed Cake and so much more!

You'll notice that we all got into the spirit of the day and came decked out in our finest island wear! Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate, it was rather cold for late May! A couple of fronts moved through, aided by pretty gusty breezes and we had several bouts if rain. At one point, we could see our breath! in May! but we kept moving with games and sometimes huddled around the barbeque grill for warmth!

The kids didn't seem to notice the cool weather and occasional rain-they were too busy laughing and playing games.

We had a whiffle ball game...

Have you ever seen a pitcher having more fun? I love my NephewZanderman's smile!

NieceB makes contact!

and she's off!

NephewGW concentrates while at bat, Blayde watches on from the sidelines

NephewGB gets a hit!

Aizia takes a turn at bat....

and sprints to first base!

Georgia put together "A Minute To Win It" type games.
This one is Who Can Empty the Box of Kleenex Fastest?

Ready? On your mark, get set...

Notice here that Maureen's hand is a blur of motion, Amanda's whole arm is setting a frenetic pace, and my hand is in perfect focus due to slow-motion!

Oh ya, sure! Amanda's box is empty because she must have been putting her kleenex into my box faster than I could take them out!

This was like running the 50 yard dash in grade school again, Karen dead last and outta breath!
At least this time it was due to hysterical laughter!

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A work in progress...

Everyone has been asking for pictures of our backyard progress. Today, I planted the new raised bed planter that wraps around the deck.  I still have room to add 3 Spanish Lavendars and something else that's evergreen, one at each end next to the stairs. The bed is interspersed with flowers (bright yellow marigolds, purple petunias, vintage red stock, mixed cosmos, mixed snapdragons, purple giant empress salvia, lupine, Mama's double burgandy peony, a Kleims Hardy Gardenia, assorted oriental lilies, acidanthera) and vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, radishes, garlic, walla walla sweet onions).  The area in the background in this shot hasn't  been worked yet. I still need to repaint and relocate the fireplace. Relocate the compost bins-which are now empty. You can also see the end of the shed that my potting bench is attached to.

This is the backside of the raised bed surrounding the propane tank. You can see the access path between the hostas. The hostas were brought over this evening (by our neighbor across the street), just as we had finished planting a couple of items in the front side of this bed. I have plenty of room to transplant some tiny ferns from under the deck stairs into the corners behind the hostas. Lots of planting room left. Hmmm, time to go shopping!

From this angle you can see the front of the bed wrapping around the propane tank. In the center is a pink dogwood tree. It is in it's own seperate box within the bed to protect it from overwatering. On each end is a Snowmound Spirea that will have tiny white flowers soon and the labels promise vibrant red foliage in the fall. Between the tree and the Spireas is where my rhubarb divisions will be replanted amid the compost from my bins. I will plant a line of cosmos along the back behind the rhubarb to help hide the tank. Lots of room along the front the bed for colorful annuals. Eventually the ground will be covered with landscaping material and then beauty bark between the beds which will line the perimeter of our property line and along the front of the deck bed.
And, just this evenng, DearHusband has decided we can build a 2 foot high framed lattice screen that we can put between the plants and the propane tank to further hide the tank. The giant pot you can see behind the tank has my Multi Blue Clematis that I plan on putting to the right of the Spirea in the foreground and train up over the top of the tank. I am hoping to get two divisions from the clematis so I'll have one on each end of the tank.

Phew, it was a busy day in the garden. I was blessed with bright sun to warm me and just enough of a breeze to keep me cool. The weather promises to be great again tomorrow!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Real Women drive trucks!

This is the picture text I sent my daughters on Monday afternoon:

Real women can drive their own trucks to get garden soil, mulch, and haul the trailer to the dump! I bought myself a truck today! I hear 1988 is a good year. (The year DaugherA was born!)

 It's kinda silly how exited I am to have the means to pull my trailer again! Its been a few years since we got rid of the 'man van' and our only trailer-hitch vehicle.

Wednesday, I took my truck to Walmart to make it's first haul: A pink dogwood tree (Cornus Florida-Cherokee Chief), 2 5-gallon Spirea (Snowmound), 2 1-gallon Spirea (Snowmound), and 6 12x12x2 cement pads for the backyard fireplace.

I went to Walmart because I had seen that they had Dwarf Alberta Spruce in a one gallon pot for $7. However, on closer examination the spruce were not in good shape, they had been badly pruned and had many a bald spots.  But I did see some plants that were very heatlthy looking. The Spirea was healthly looking, not pot bound, and full of buds. I got the large ones to go into the new raised beds in front of the propane tank in the back yard. They will have small white flowers and striking red foliage in the fall. I was thinking I'd put the smaller ones in the raised beds along the deck but realizing they will grow into 4'x4' mounds, they will be too big for the space. Maybe I'll add them to the planting beds in front of the picket fence in the front yard.

I couldn't resist the Pink Dogwood. My favorite tree! I have on that is front and center in the picket fence bed, but it's a variety that leafs out, the blossoms start out as green and don't turn their rosey red color until mid June. This new tree is in flower with very few leaves yet. It will be front and center in the new bed!

Pictures of the new raised beds will follow soon, as soon as I have them planted with all my plants and flowers.