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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Garden Therapy: A Reading Retreat

     Summer is fast slipping away and signs of fall are becoming more apparent everyday. So before we are in full blown fall mode I'd like to share a project we did in our yard this summer. When we first moved into our house my husband built a place for a hammock.

The top two pictures show the beginnings in '94, the bottom photo is the following summer.

     We had this for several years until one day my husband's brother went to lie down in the hammock and it broke. Fortunately brother was fine but the hammock was done.  So we decided to change things up a bit. And this is the result.


      It even served as a back drop for one of four weddings we've had in our backyard. 

This was taken spring of 2010

     This year I was feeling in the mood for a change. My husband cringes when I say "I've been thinking". He knows it means work for him. 

As you can see we went back to a hammock

     My husband basically lowered the platform from a bed to a floor. After I got the hammock and started putting things together I decided I needed a rug. But I didn't really want to deal with a real rug, so I painted one.

I measured the size I wanted then added stripes with the painters tape.

I protected the surrounding area with newspaper and spray painted the blue. I let that dry overnight then re-taped for the green.

I'm pleased with the results. Although it might have been easier to paint the whole rectangle blue and only tape once for the green. But it really wasn't that difficult or time consuming.

It makes for a relaxing area to read or just snooze.
(The paper lanterns have a light, lovely at night. A dollar store score.)

Here's the grandson enjoying some video game time.

Cheers! A toast and farewell to summer. 

A Thought to Ponder:" The real purpose of books is to trap the mind into doing its own thinking."                                                              Christopher Morley

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Ready Made Friend

     My father was the youngest of eight so I had quite a few cousins. Many were much older then me. But fortunately I had several around my age, also three on my mother's side. If you're lucky, cousins can be ready made friends. Growing up I always had someone to play with whether it was friends from school or my cousins. But today I want to share pictures of my grandchildren, one of my favorite subjects. They are cousins and a year apart in age. They don't get to see each other frequently, as they live about a 1000 miles apart.

Rex and Miranda first meet in 2008

This picture and the one below are the next meeting (2009)
Also see post Ice Cream, You Scream
Yay! Bubbles

The next was in April 2011 when Rex and family went out to California to visit and go to Disneyland.

They also had fun dying Easter eggs, some pool time and just plain being silly time.

And of course some Southern California beach time.

August of the same year, Miranda and family came to Wyoming for a visit. More fun cousin time ensued.
Hanging out in our backyard

A trip to the fish hatchery

A picnic in the Big Horn mountains

Just pretending

In July 2013 we had a family reunion with my brother and sister and families. We spent a week at Flathead Lake in Montana. Besides cousins Rex and Miranda, our son and daughter had their cousins to hang out with also. We even had a new addition of a second cousin for Rex and Miranda.
Lots of water fun

They were pretty much inseparable the whole week

Miranda and Rex had fun entertaining the newest 2nd cousin, Leo. They were on the go from the minute they got up in the morning. They fell asleep watching fourth of July fireworks over the lake. 

     As I said before Miranda and Rex don't get to see each other very frequently. They do also Skype now and then. What I find interesting is that when they do get together or talk on Skype it is like they've never been apart. There is a few minutes of shyness, then they are talking a mile a minute. I ran across this quote, "Cousins are connected heart to heart. Distance and time can never break them apart."  I've found this to be true for myself, my children and my grandchildren.

A thought to ponder: "In every conceivable manner the family is link to our past, bridge to our future."                                                Alex Haley

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Invasion of the Grape Snatchers

     My husband is an early riser. In the nice weather he likes to take his morning coffee out on the patio and watch the day unfold. Watching and listening to the birds start the morning is particularly enjoyable. The other day when I got up he told me there was quite a ruckus going on in the grape arbor. The purple grapes (Valiant) are ripening and the word evidently went out to all the robins in the area. 

The grape vines frame the entrance to our herb garden

This is looking from the other side

      The robins were flying in and out of the grape vines. We think there were about 15 or so. You couldn't always see them but the leaves were rustling like they were alive. There was also a lot of squawking going on. My husband said he even saw one robin take a grape away from another and fly off.

This one seems to be waiting her chance to get some grapes, or maybe she's trying to chat with the mama goose?

These guys are looking with a covetous eye

Here's what the grapes look like up close. They make a wonderful jelly. 

Here's what they look like after the invasion

           You can see a bunch of grapes above this ones head. I doubt they                 will be there long. 

Here's a young robin waiting his chance

     As I mentioned before the grapes make a wonderful jelly. Fortunately I still have some from when I made jelly a couple years ago. I won't be fighting the robins for grapes this year. I'm not too sure I would win anyway. 

This picture, taken several years ago, shows some of our harvest. 

                     This little guy just happened to be hanging out when I                           was taking pictures of the robins.

A thought to ponder: "The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best"