October 23, 2009

It's Been a While

Another summer has come and gone. Or has it? It has been such a cold and rainy summer here in Michigan again this year. In fact, July was one of our coldest July's on record. Definately not the kind of weather a pool owner wants. Autumn doesn't appear to be any different. The rain and cold have been endless. There were good times, there were bad times, new experiences, a new life coming into the world, a torn calf muscle, the flu followed by bronchitis, and a huge health scare. They believe I had a mini stroke (TIA). Actually, they think it was a "mini" mini stroke because I was able to talk and move through the episode. At any rate, my blood pressure was sky high and I am now on BP pills and asperin therapy and a strict, strict diet. Goodbye ice cream and salt.

We got some jobs accomplished around the house, which we moved into 16 months ago. We fixed up the falling down garden shed which now looks almost new again and built a new shed by the pool for pool toys. We built a large raised veggie bed and grew our first vegetables. I would call it a success. We managed to come out with a pantry full of pickles, and a freezer full of carrots and tomatoes. I'll be sure to plant a lot more sugar snap peas next year. They were so good from the vine that they were eaten raw and seldom ever made into the house. The melons were a bust. I'm not sure if I'll try them again next year or not. But, thanks to my companion planting there wasn't an insect problem all year. Powdery mildew yes, insects no.

The bushes in front of the house were all dead when we moved in and there wasn't a bit of curb appeal. Just a big bed of 2" rock. We managed to get half that rock removed and got a start by planting some hosta and ferns and pachysandra and built a small fountain by the front walk. The other half will have to wait till next year. We did manage to spruce up the windows. We hoped to completely replace them with the 30% government rebate but that never materalized. Can you believe they didn't include "northern" low E glass in the rebate? Maybe next year I'll get my new "divided" windows.
Window Make-over

Fountain by front walk

My daylily collection was in full bloom this year. I had dug them all up from the garden at my last house and brought them along in the move. I was afraid a couple might not have made it because they were in pots for some time before I had places prepared to replant them all. I also brought along my hosta collection from the previous garden. They are all filling in beautifully in their new shady home under a giant maple. I brought over 40 plants along from the last place.

It was such a treat having the completed pond right outside the window this year. At the last house the pond was at the back of the yard where we missed all the action. The robins and cardinals were bathing and splashing all summer long. The fish were jumping. And we were able to see the frogs watching and waiting from the lilypads for a tasty insect to come by for lunch.
Our last pond was in a shadier spot and we were unable to grow lotus. Now we have 2 lotus in the pond. What a show they put on with their enormous flowers and beautiful cupped leaves. The cat tails swayed with the slightest breezes and the waterlilies and floating hearts spread and bloomed and put on a summer long show of their own.

My darling grand daughter, Sienna, celebrated her 2nd birthday on September 20 and on September 26 she got a new baby sister. It was pretty scary as the ambilical cord was wrapped very tightly around her neck. But, luckily, she appears to be fine and healthy at this point.
At left, Sienna at age 23 months. Below, Sienna meeting
her new sister, Ava Elizabeth, for the first time. She definately approved!

Ava - 12 hours old in her
"granny" knit designer hat
Ava, full of smiles at just 25 days old.
I spent the last year desperately searching for a nice used sofa on Craigs List. I found a couple beauties but they were always priced too high or sold almost as soon as they were listed. Well, I finally broke down and ordered a new Johnstons Benchworks sofa from Saltbox Farm in Howard City MI. As luck would have it, I found a pair of gorgeous wingbacks on Craigs List the same day I ordered my sofa so I was able to order matching pillows to put on them. The chairs are in brand new condition and cost half of what 1 new chair would have cost. I also found a cute little corner hutch on Craigs List for just $60.00 to display some of my ironstone and flow blue collection in. The room finally looks just as I pictured it should.

Finally, there haven't been many sunny or even dry days here this fall. But we did have one gorgeous day this week. This is the very colorful view I have from my computer desk at the moment. Of coarse most of this particular day was spent outside, fertilizing and cutting back the gardens and loving every minute of it. Soon the trees will be bare and the snow will be flying and the only outside job will be to shovel the snow. These beautiful colors will be but a faded memory.


whimseycreations said...

Beautiful pictures and thanks for sharing. Down here in the south our trees are just beginning to turn and with the crazy weather we had in the spring and now too, I think most of them will lose their leaves before they turn the beautiful colors. Love your pond - everything around it looks so lovely.

Saltbox Farm said...

The sofa looks wonderful with your chairs and the rest of the room Mary. So happy to know you're pleased with it!