A sincere thank you to all of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each one.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Summer Memories

       I can't believe it is October already. I never did post anything in September. I guess I was too busy preserving the bounty of our garden and fruit trees. Also working on fixing up a used popup camper we bought, that's a topic for another time. Today I thought I'd go over a few fun happenings during the summer. 
   In June my sister and her husband stopped for a visit on there RV adventure to North Dakota and Canada. We enjoyed seeing them and exploring some of our local scenery.

The brothers-in-law

This is what they were perusing. 

     In July our daughter and family came for a visit. Also her 30th high school reunion. Wow, were did the time go. The cousins were happy to get together again and had a wonderful time hanging out.

Just a simple walk was an enjoyable way for us to spend time with them.

     One of the big events here in the summer is the rodeo and carnival.  So of course we had to take advantage of the activities. Here's a photo of our rodeo princess. 

The kids had fun on the carnival rides.

Also tried their hand at winning a prize. And of course carnival food.

I enjoyed watching the grandkids enjoy themselves and catching the fun with my camera.

     August is the month we like to take the grandson on a little trip. A last hurrah before school starts. This year we took a camping trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota. 

The campground had lots of activities for kids.

    Something fun we did while in the area was take a ride on the 1880's steam train which runs between Hill City and Keystone. 

The trip takes an hour one way. They have a recorded commentary that plays during the ride that tells about the history of the train and the area. If you're ever in this neck of the woods be sure to visit and have a fun and informative ride through the Black Hills.

We also paid a visit to Wall Drug in Wall, SD.  The drug store was started in the early 30's and became a must stop for people traveling through the Badlands. They promised free ice water to all travelers passing through. See full story at Wall Drug history. It's a little kitschy but a fun place where you can sill get a free glass of ice water. Here the grandson is riding a "jackalope" and waiting for the T-Rex feeding time. 

     And just to make sure we got a little education in, we visited a small but very nice natural history museum in Hill City. Black Hills Institute of Geological Research

     The summer went by way to fast, but we made many wonderful memories. The best part was having both our children and their families together.  Because of this and also the fact that this August marked our 50th wedding anniversary we had some family pictures taken. Credit for the following three photos goes to Melanie Araas of 3 Willow Design

A thought to ponder: "Memories are special moments that tell our story."

Participating in: Grand SocialSeasonsShare Your Cup

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Project that got away from me

     Have you ever decided to do something you thought would only take a little bit of time and it turned into something bigger? Well that happened to me this summer. I decided I needed to redo our fairy garden. I did a post in October 2014 about it, see: A Dance With Fairies. The problem with the location was the fact it was under a tree. The squirrels kept running through and knocking things over. I thought it would be better if we got it up off the ground. And so the project began. It started with my husband building a frame for a platform to place the fairy houses, etc on. In the notched out areas he placed wood slats.

    So now how do we get it up off the ground? We still had some concrete blocks from when we did the mound (see previous post). But who wants dull ole grey. I know let's paint them.


During (enlisting the help of the grandson)


     Here's the finished platform. Over the wood slats we placed wire and then some indoor/outdoor grass carpet. Now I had a larger area then before so of course you need to make more houses to fill up the space.

I bought this little gazebo at Ben Franklin store. I painted it green and glued on the pine cone seed scales, then sprayed with clear coat. The little hanging baskets are made from tooth picks. The table and chairs I made from popsicle sticks and colored floral wire I found at the dollar store. I also made the weather vane on top from the same wire. Below you'll also see some bicycles I made from wire and buttons.

What better use for an old leather boot then to make a house for the Old Lady with so many children she didn't know what to do.

My grandson wanted a castle. I found this one at Michael's. I sprayed it with off white textured paint, then hand painted the rest. I made the draw bridge from popscile sticks and some chain from my jewelry making stash.

After we got everything set up I realized the area was getting too hot from the sun. So of course we made a sun shade. We also have a tarp nearby in case of rain. A fairy land wouldn't be complete without fairy lights. I found some solar string lights on line. We stapled them around the outside edge. Now it looks just as lovely at night as it does during the day.

Our local nursery sells fun things for fairy gardens. When our granddaughter was here for a visit we had to go and pick out a few more things. She and the grandson had fun arranging things. Everything got moved numerous times. Since Rex got his name on the castle she got to pick a house. This was her choice.

     This project started around the first part of April. I think we might finally be done. Or at least until I think of something else.

A thought to ponder: "Your mind is the garden, your thoughts are the seeds, the harvest can either be flowers or weeds."                          William Wordsworth

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Garden Therapy: Evolution

     A garden is a living thing, therefore it will change and evolve over time. In this post I thought I would share another area of our garden that has changed over the twenty plus years we have lived in our home. Because our yard is so large and has many different areas we have given these spaces names. This helps us when we are talking about doing something to a certain spot. The area I'm sharing today we call "the mound".


     This started out as a pile of dirt that was left over from the building of our house when they dug the foundation. We decided to leave it and plant flowers and shrubs on it, also a couple trees behind.



     This was fine for several years, but over time we were having problems with grass growing in among the plants. It was becoming difficult to maintain. So we thought about what we could do to make maintenance easier. The following photos show the changes we made in 2008.

     As you can see we decided to build a block wall. We were able to buy the concrete blocks cheaply, they came from a building that had been torn down.

The wall is starting to take shape. My husband used rebar and concrete inside the blocks to help hold them in place.

Here is the wall the following year in 2009. We faced the block with lattice and topped it with rustic tiles. The back part of the mound just slopes down to meet the ground behind.

     The following photos show what the area looks like today. As you can see the plants have filled in nicely. We put down weed barrier cloth and then covered that with rocks. It is now pretty low maintenance. 

And a few little embellishments for fun.
I have three different ones that glow at night

     It is fun to look back at the old photos and see the transformation that has taken place over the years. Gardening is certainly not for the impatient.

A thought to ponder: " To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow."
                                                                                     Audrey Hepburn