Monday, May 30, 2011

Snakes? Why did it have to be Snakes?


We had a visitor at the Country Workshop on this beginning of summer weekend. At least the door to the shop wasn't open as this one was just a step outside the front door. The last time a black snake paid us a visit, the door was open and a relative of this fellow, slithered in and climbed the stairs to the studio, went over my chair and ended up on the counter, sunning himself by the window. That one was much larger than this 4 footer, probably 6-7 foot and about 3 inches around.

I realize, that there are probably snakes in our yard all the time, but I really don't want to see them, and I certainly don't want any in the house or in the shop. Guess I'm gonna have to be a bit more careful when I'm pulling weeds in the gardens.
Anyone know where I can borrow a mongoose?



Thursday, May 26, 2011

Memories In The Garden...


I don't know about in your garden, but as I stroll around the yard, I see plants that have significance in my life. We have been in this house for over 30 years and there are still plants that the previous owners loving put into the soil, that come back year after year. It makes me wonder about that gardener from all those years ago.

There are also flowers, like the daisies below, that I planted the first summer we called this house home. They show up every year, have been divided many times and handed out to friends and family.


These ferns came from friends, Ann and Bob in Shunk, PA. Ann's family owns Baumunks's General Store and Lumber Yard in Shunk. We visited them one summer and stayed at the family's lake house. The woods were full of ferns and we brought home a shovel full with us and tucked them in the corner of the garden. They have flourished over the years and each spring, when the fern fronds start poking through the earth, I think of Ann and Bob and that weekend we stayed at the lake.


The pink dianthus started out a tiny plant, in a cute little pot that was a favor from the baby shower given for my niece Leslie when she was expecting her daughter, Calista. Cali came into the world two weeks before darlin' Dylan. Every time I look at these "pinks", the face of Dylan's little girl cousin pops into my brain.

When the primrose in my garden blooms in the spring, I remember my 50th surprise birthday party (and it was really a surprise as Lou and I came home from seeing a movie and 40+ people were here at the house yelling, "Surprise"). The primrose was in a planter filled with spring flowers and was a gift from friends Ann and David.

I'm sure that most gardeners share plants and have fond memories of the plants the have shared and the plants they have received. Isn't that what gardening is all about?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Going to the Chapel and We're Going to get Married...

I seem to be running in circles with all I've had to do in the past week or two. I've had many orders to fill which is a wonderful thing. That means business is good but there's so much to do in the spring around the house and in the gardens. So I break up each day doin' a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I'm also so enjoying the kindle that Lou and the girls surprised me with for my birthday and am staying up late reading all the books that I'd been putting off. Makes it hard to get up when that darn alarm goes off.

But I did have the pleasure of designing several signs for the wedding of the daughter of my dear friend Margie. The sign below is the only one I photographed (Duh...what was I thinking...guess I'll have to wait for the professional photos). It's a small beach wedding and I'm sure it will be just beautiful.
Wishing Megan and Tim a wonderful, long life together.




The custom sign below was made for the wedding of the daughter of my oldest and very best friend, Bonnie. We've been friends since I was 4 and she was 3. Her beautiful daughter Erin and now husband Nick said their I Do's back in February. The sign was on an easel in the foyer of the 1840's Ballroom in Baltimore as guests walked into the banquet room.




Tomorrow is my Dylan day...I definitely will come home exhausted after a day with my darlin' boy. Hoping for a nice weather day so we can play outside and maybe take a nice long walk!

Goodnight...Sleep Tight



Sunday, May 15, 2011

Visions of Blueberries Danced in my Head...




About this time last year, on one of those nights when I couldn't sleep, I saw a commercial on the tv for blueberry plants. Plants to be grown in containers on patios or decks. Small bushy plants that would produce hundreds of blueberries on one plant. I did something I had never done before...I actually purchased something off a late night television sales pitch.
The order came rather quickly, but 2 of the 3 plants, which were little more than skinny 2 inch sticks, were dead. I emailed the company and never received an answer but much to my surprise, I did get replacement plants in the mail about a week later.

I planted those tiny little green sticks, sat the pots on the patio and within 3 days two of the plants had disappeared.

By the end of last summer, I had two little blueberry sticks with just a few leaves. The pot wintered over on the porch and when spring came those two tiny plants shot out new leaves.

I just figured it would be years, if ever before I'd ever see a blueberry. Even said to Lou that I'd probably wouldn't live long enough to pick blueberries from these bushes.




However, I just noticed 3 little flowers that will become the blue tasty berries. So do I let the 3 berries develop or do I pinch off the flowers to promote plant growth?
Decisions...decisions!

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Little Mouse Who Roared or the Squeaky Wheel gets the Scholarship


When I saw on a Facebook a post by my cousin Tom, I was appalled. His daughter Lindsay, a beautiful, bright, amazing high school senior had been awarded Maryland's Distinguished Scholar Award, a $3,000 a year scholarship if she attended a Maryland University. 350 students, the best and brightest, were awarded these scholarships. This award helps to keep the state's top students here in Maryland. May 1st was the "Decision Day" for students to determine which college they would be attending. The state officials waited until May the 6th, when all other scholarship deadlines had passed, to inform the students that the scholarships were cancelled due to budget cuts. However, in the same week, the Governor of Maryland passed a law which grants in state tuition to the children of illegal immigrants, which also has many Maryland citizens up in arms.

The local paper interviewed Lindsay and you can read the article and see the video here

After the interview went out, the Governor's office must have heard from many angry citizens. Governor O'Malley personally called Lindsay to let her know that he was reinstating the scholarships for all 350 students.

Congratulations to all these amazing students who worked so hard and are receiving what they earned and was promised to them.

Lucy and Zucchini Updates



With some info from the ladies below...thanks girls
Dee (Icehouse Crafts)
Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch)
the zucchini plants are now in their containers and we will see what happens. I hope end up with a jungle of leaves and vines and so many zucchini that I'll have plenty to share
with family and friends.

Also a Lucy update. The lump on her neck has totally disappeared and and she has an appointment with Dr. Tim on 5/20 for a followup. He talked about doing another biopsy but there is nothing there to biopsy so that is good. Appears the infection is clearing up. She's had a bit of problem with her stomach due to the antibiotics so I'm adding rice to her diet and she has a chewable pill to help her digestion.
The picture below is Lucy sleeping on the landing in the shop. I know she is feeling better if this is where she decides to snooze. For several days she was sleeping on my feet as I painted.


I washed that window this morning and threw the curtains in the laundry. Lucy loves to push her head past the curtains and nose the window.


By the way...those are the stairs I fell down and the window my shoulder went through when I noticed a 6 foot long black snake coming up the steps as I was going down. Twisted my ankle, which swelled the size of a grapefruit but at least didn't get cut by the glass as the were curtains covered the glass. That was many years ago, before cell phones and I couldn't get in touch with Lou. His Dad came to save the day and get the snake out of the shop.


Grudgingly going back to work now. Thinking the sign boards I base coated earlier must be dry. Hope you are all having a beautiful day!


www.countryworkshop.net

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

You just need to show up...


36 years ago today, Lou and I were wed at Epiphany Lutheran Church in Overlea, Maryland.

Watching this weeks episode of Castle (one of my favorite shows) on Monday night, the Police Captain and his wife were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. When asked how they had stayed married for so long, he replied, "You just have to show up." Whoever the writer is for this show, he/she got it right.

Through good times and bad...You just need to show up.

Heading into year 37.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Zucchini in Pots?

Our yard hasn't for years had one spot (except for the middle of the driveway) where there is enough sunlight to grow vegetables. I've adapted my flower gardening to plants that thrive in shade or part sun. We've had to take down several trees this spring due to the tornado that grazed us in November. Several had the tops sheared off at the time and others started leaning months later.

There is now an area that gets sun almost all day but I don't have time to put in a new bed this year. So I'm going to grow some veggies in pots. My question is this...has anyone grown zucchini in pots? I have in the past put tomato plants and herbs in pots but not zucchini so if anyone has had success or failure with this please let me know.

Enjoying another beautiful, perfect spring day here in Carney.



www.countryworkshop.net

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

My Mother and Father, me, my brother John and sister Jan.
1959

Celebrated Mother's Day last night with the daughters and their hubbies, the Darlin' D Boy and my Mom. Lou and I are just so blessed that our girls married men who have truly become our sons. Meagan and Erik hosted dinner last night and we all had a wonderful evening.

Wishing all a beautiful day with the special women that you love...


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Long Couple of Days...

Last week I made an appointment for Lucy with the vet for a check up. She needed a heartworm and lyme disease test as well as just general look over. The appointment was on Friday and on Wednesday night, while Lou was in the process of his and Lucy's nightly ritual of playing fetch the whatever toy Lucy chooses and the belly rubs and ear scratches, Lou discovered a lump on Lucy's neck. My brain went way back to when I was a child and our black cocker spaniel, Penny, had lumps on her neck which turned out to be lymphoma. When the vet felt it, I could see by the look on his face that he thought it was something serious. Dr. Cujdik did a needle biopsy and when he took a look at the slide he discovered cells that looked an infection, but it didn't rule out lymphoma. Lucy has been on antibiotics 3 times a day and I have been thinking the lump was getting smaller, but was that wishful thinking on my part?. So we have been waiting since Friday to get the results from the lab.


We received a call this morning to let us know it was definitely an infection. Thank goodness. My first reaction, of course, was to think the worst, so I am extremely relieved to find out that our sweet, rotten spoiled Lucy girl is going to be fine.