"Hey, if I had somewhere to go, I certainly wouldn't be in Cleve-Land." -Howard the Duck

Monday, June 16, 2014

Late Spring...and into Summer!

OK...I know they're kitschy...but that's why I like them.  When we saw this flamingo pair at a local dollar store, we had to have them.  They're in our backyard...just to entertain us & the neighbors next door.  I may have to go get another pair & paint them like skeletons for Halloween...although here by Halloween it could be snowing! 

Some critter ran off with the first sunflower that bloomed before I could get a pic of it...and it seems they're quite tasty as you can see the bite out of the second one.
I just can't get mad at the critters, though...one year a groundhog ate our tomatoes, so we don't grow them anymore....but he also took a bite of a jalapeno & left it laying there uneaten...I'll bet that was a big surprise...and he left us & our plants alone after that.
The Brussels sprout is growing quite nicely...this pic was taken a week ago & it's even bigger now.  I can't get more recent pix off the camera right now...we had to get a new printer & the camera card won't fit into the new printer...and the software for the camera cord isn't working...so we had to order some external drive thing that will allow us to still use my trusty old digital camera.  Hopefully it will arrive before the weekend since I have yo-yos & quilt flowers to share...and more pix to take for my Etsy shop.  I've got some new vintage stuff in there if you care to take a look.
This pretty tree is in our back yard.  It's been there since I was quite young.  We always called it the Tulip Tree...it's actually a Tulip Poplar.  It blooms late in May through early June...and the flowers are so pretty.  I love that rare clear blue sky in NE Ohio, too. 
This is what the flowers look like...and after the seed pods develop & open, there are very cool thorn looking things that eventually fall to the ground...free collage supplies! 
And finally...here's what Gracie loves to do on a warm almost summer afternoon...she's so sound asleep she can't even keep her tongue in her mouth!  I sure wish I could sleep like that. 
I'll be back once I can get more pix off the camera...until then, enjoy your almost Summer & do something creative.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day, Dad...

That's me & my Dad...back in 1954...when I was the only child.  My Dad was an amazing man...and would take me to all sorts of places...and play with me...just like a Dad should.  He would also give me advice...but not really interfere in my decisions.  I loved that about him.  Once when I called him to complain about how tough it was to supervise a bunch of people, Dad said..."No one ever said it was gonna be easy".  Short & sweet but appropriate. 
We weren't rich...and Dad didn't buy us extravagant gifts...but he & Mom did provide for my brother & me...and I ended my college years free of debt as they paid for my education.  That was a wonderful gift.  But the best gift of all from my Dad was the gift of his time...the greatest gift of all.
Dad died way too young...he was only 66 and died in 1988.  I still miss him as if it were just yesterday...but I know he's here guiding me when I need him. 
I love you, Dad...Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Our Little Garden in the Burbs...

Back in the summer of 2005, we put in a very expensive vegetable garden.  Found a patch of the backyard & borrowed a rototiller and dug up & enriched that little plot of land...planted lots of stuff & other than one stem of Brussels sprouts & a bunch of radishes & a few measly carrots...we got nothing out of that garden.  As soon as it got hot & humid here, everything in the ground got mold on it...and we spent enough to have bought fresh veggies for the entire summer!
We're older & wiser now...and there are 2 lovely lilac bushes growing where the veggie garden used to be.  The pots & baskets above are our newest attempt at a veggie garden.  For the past few years we've successfully grown jalapenos in pots here...and decided to branch out this year.
There are 2 pots like this of jalapenos...we LOVE jalapenos!  There is no such thing as too many jalapenos in our world.  After all...we can have salsa & these lovely little things from The Pioneer Woman...Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Thingies!
But I digress...and it's a good thing we're heading over to the Parma Rib & Rock or Rock & Rib...whatever they call it...it's a rib cook-off & we go to enjoy the Beef Brisket from Texas Pit Barbecue!  They're from Magnolia, TX & after living in Dallas for 2 years, we know that Texas BBQ is THE best anywhere!  Luckily we can now get TX BBQ all year long since Dickey's opened right here in Parma...some civilization here at last!  Still...the cook-off is a fun time...even though the only beer available there is Budweiser...yuck!  Back to the garden...I must be hungry!
This pot has another jalapeno...that's 7 jalapeno plants...a bell pepper & a pimento pepper.  We'd never seen a pimento pepper before & we like pimento cheese...so we're giving it a try.
A plant I never imagined could grow here...a tomatillo!  When we saw it at the nursery, we were amazed & it went right into our cart.  I can taste the homemade Salsa Verde already.  There were already flowers on it & it's still going strong after 2 weeks.  Underneath it are some radishes...I need to thin them & use those radish greens in a salad.  We'll have radishes in just a couple more weeks.
Of course we need a Brussels sprout plant.  LOVE them & hopefully the critters won't decide they love them, too.  This was the first day I planted it...it's even bigger now.
Leeks...our favorite onion, but so expensive in the stores.  I have no idea how these will do, but it was another plant we couldn't pass up.  We're game to try...and we may just be successful.  There's one more basket planted with green onion seeds...but they haven't sprouted yet, so nothing to show there.  I love the baskets with plants in them...another treasure that had been in the garage for years.
A garden also needs flowers...so when I saw this dwarf sunflower ready to open...it had to come home with us.  That top flower opened the other day...but when I went out the following day to take a pic...some critter had chomped it right off & carried it away!  There's now a bite out of the second sunflower...but there are other buds & hopefully we'll be able to see some of them mature.
Of course I have to plant marigolds...and don't you love those old chairs?  They've been in the garage since we moved here in 2004...and the past few years we've pulled them out to hold a planter of flowers.  This year it's marigolds.  LOTS of them.
They're in a pot on the umbrella table, too.  These are filling in nicely...I'm just too hungry to go take new pix...so progress reports will be coming throughout the summer.
And finally the iris that Mom loved so much.  They usually bloom around Mother's Day, but with the cold spring we had after that nasty winter...I'm just happy they survived.  These iris grow in a big clump...and only last about a week.  Each stem gets 2 flowers...when one fades, the second one opens.  Very cool...and such pretty color for the backyard.  This pic is from last weekend...they're almost gone now.  In the fall I'll get some interesting seed pod stems...if the deer don't get to the plant before the seeds can develop.  Those deer are too cute to get mad at, though...I'm hoping I'll get to see some daylilies this year before they eat them all!
One last close-up of the marigolds...just because they make me happy.  We've got a glorious Saturday here...rain moves in tomorrow...so we'll enjoy today.  Happy Weekend to y'all!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A few more flowers...and fabric!

So it's time to work on the second round of the flowers...here the Three Little Pigs & the Big Bad Wolf are surrounded by bunnies on an orange background.  He's outnumbered for sure.
White kittens frolic around a center of hearts...LOVE the kitties!  Pink is a predominant color in 1930s fabrics...and while it's not a go-to color for me...I'm loving it for my quilt.
I love this very graphic print with the black dots and circles...some of those circles remind me of eggs...so I chose some yellow duckies for this flower. 
Don't you adore those little duckies?  I just won an auction for a yard of those same duckies in AQUA!  I cut the hexies last night and will show them all sewn together soon.
Meanwhile...other auctions brought me these fat eighths...which is my preferred size as then I can afford lots of different prints to make this a scrap quilt. 
More from these auctions...all from joyofquilting1 again.  She's got more auctions active right now...so check her out!
And the last of the new fabric to show for today...also from Joy.
I did a count the other day & I have 57 centers done...with just the first round sewn.  Since I need 120-130...I'm almost halfway on centers.  I'll count completed flowers once I get more done...I don't have nearly as many of those done...but I'm still enjoying this journey.  We've got a rainy week ahead...and the container garden is planted now...so I'll have time to piece some more flowers and post new stuff to my Etsy shop this week.  With Ohio weather being crappy most of the time...I take advantage of each & every nice day by spending them outside.  I hope you had a wonderful weather weekend, too.  Pix of my garden will be posted later in the week...when I need to cheer up from rainy days.