Monday, July 25, 2011

In the Garden - July Highlights

 July is a time for all the lilies and daylilies to bloom in my garden. I just love my daylilies. Unfortunately, so do the neighborhood deer. The Liquid Fence works to a certain extent but I found that I would have to be diligent with it, needing a weekly application to keep them away. Not only do I not have the time to be that diligent, I don't have the stomach. The pungent smell leaves a little something in the back of my throat and I can only handle a monthly application. Needless to say, I resorted to my fail proof netting. 

Finally, I figured out what type of lily made it in our move a couple years ago. Remember I had a lily bulb that made the move and transplant but last year the deer ate the buds before I could see which type it was? Well, it was the 'Black Beauty' lily like I had thought. I haven't uploaded my photos yet but will share it on my next garden post.

'Christmas Carol'

'Raspberry Pixie'
'Siloam Doodlebug'

The Japanese beetles found our hollyhocks so those have been decimated. Oh well, they were pretty while they lasted. It has given my husband a new hobby (killing Japanese beetles in soapy water every night). 

the phlox are only safe behind netting

A short variety of Monarda (bee balm)

Verbascum (that my little Bug picked out)
My little vegetable garden is starting to turn out tomatoes and strawberries. The strawberries were a little delayed due to the deers eating the first batch but I covered them in netting and they are producing fruit again. The popcorn is getting tall and I hope it will be pollinated so we get some ears. The peppers have been nibbled on by the deer but I think it may have been a mistake since they nibbled the Serrano peppers and I don't think they have a taste for hot peppers. I'm monitoring the situation but there are fruit forming so I am not too concerned. The carrots look good, at least from the top, I can't wait to try one in a few weeks. My tomatoes are going wild and I am so extremely excited. 
I LOVE homegrown tomatoes. 
Nothing compares to the taste of a homegrown, vine ripened, heirloom variety tomato. Sadly, my husband doesn't like tomatoes so I will be eating many, many tomatoes over the next few weeks. I know, poor me :o)

first grape tomatoes of the year. they were my breakfast and very yummy!

Cherokee Purple tomato (can't wait!)

more grape tomatoes. this plant is loaded with them. Yum!

Our very first ripe strawberry. according to the Bug it was very tasty.
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Where Did July Go?

The Bug helping me paint his room. He took the low road and I took the high road.

Now I know why I haven't done a Christmas in July celebration for my shop. This year was going to be the year and then reality set in.

Happy 4th: my patriotic boy

July is probably the busiest month of the year for us (well maybe next to December). It starts with the Fourth of July, then our wedding anniversary on the 9th, our peanut's birthday a few days after that and projects and gardens to be tended to all the while. Before I know it the month has passed.

My husband, the Bug, my niece and nephew at the beach on the Bug's birthday.
Full of P&V. He left with mommy shortly after.

There were so many things I wanted to do this month, like attend a reunion with fellow NRM Music alum. Some of the best folks I ever had the pleasure of working with but, unfortunately, after taking care of the obligations, I missed the weekend (it was this weekend and I had a hair appointment Saturday)
My niece Olivia's Hamster sculpture
My nephew, AJ's angry m&m (which his mother and I re-dubbed the 'killer tomato' since he decided not to paint the 'm' on it)

My niece Iris's painted pig.

I spent the last two weeks watching my nieces and nephew while my sister worked so Monday through Friday I was unplugged and madly trying to keep up with the house! The beginning of the first week we made paper clay sculptures and my nephew made a model car, we celebrated my Bug's birthday and later in the week, the younger two made wood puzzles while my older niece worked on a needlepoint project.  The girls spent much of both weeks learning to sew. Just the basic whip stitch and blanket stitch but they got very good at it over the time they were at my house. We watched many movies because of the heat wave, would have liked to take them to more places but my car doesn't have AC right now and I don't tolerate the heat well. Can I just say, I am so happy we only have one little boy in the house. Always wanted a houseful but after the past couple of weeks I decided that God always knows best :o)

I also managed to register for classes, register the Bug for preschool, get outgrown clothes ready for a yard sale and list a bunch of new ornaments in my etsy shop.  All in all a very productive, albeit exhausting, month.

Up next: a Garden update.

Aj's skelton puzzle
Olivia's butterfly puzzle
Iris and her pig. Really Aunt Kelly? you have to take my picture? Yep! That's what I do :o)
Yes, our home is a pretty fun place much of the time

Bug creating a masterpiece 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

In the Garden - Catching Up

our dog, Dharma
 I've been away from the computer for the most part these last few weeks. Our dog, a nearly 8 year old Shar Pei, was under the weather since shortly after our trip to Frankenmuth. She has had problems with her hindquarters(hip dysplasia) since we adopted her about 4 years ago. About three weeks ago, I noticed she wasn't eating much. Since she has always been underweight and was looking very thin, my mom started making her liver and rice, which she happily scarfed down. Then, just when I thought she was getting better, her back end started failing her and she was slowly losing the ability to stand, squat and sit without pain. Last Saturday, after laying down next to my husband for a petting session she managed to stand back up but something went seriously wrong and she yelped as she ran around the house trying to escape her pain. We had monitored Dharma and her hip dysplasia since we had adopted her and we knew when it reached a certain level of pain that she would have to be put to sleep. Sadly, that moment came last Saturday night. It's only been a week and yet it feels like a lifetime since Dharma graced our presence. Don't get me wrong, she drove me mad. She belched, tooted (audibly as well as silent but deadly), snorted, snored and drooled on my clean laundry as well as anything else she could get her snout near. And yet I can't get her sweet soulful face out of my mind. Many days she would wake me up for her morning constitutional simply by staring at me, if that didn't work, it often did, she would gently push her prickly muzzle against my hand or leg. She was a slightly neurotic pooch, constantly on patrol, checking on all her people to make sure we were safe but she was a sweetheart who truly loved us, her adoptive family, and she will be missed. May her sweet doggy soul rest in peace.