Sunday, December 24, 2006

You Are an Angel

A truly giving soul, you understand the spirit of Christmas.

Monday, December 11, 2006

My Favorite Plant - edited by Jamaica Kincaid

Today I started reading the book selected for this month on the Garden Bloggers book club at May Dreams Gardens. I've been waiting for it for a week. I tried to find it in our library but they didn't have it. Then I found it on e-bay and was the only bidder until the last minute when I was busy with Army parties and someone out bid me by 50 cents. I went over to Amazon and paid $5.00, which was a better deal then the book on e-bay.

I've been trying to figure out what my favorite plant is and I just can't pick one. I decided to start with plants I actually have. If I picked a houseplant I would say it's a toss up between the African Violet and the Christmas Cactus. I grew up with the African Violet. My grandmother always had many different varieties all over the house. I think that is one of the few luxuries she allowed for herself. She had other plants, but it was the African Violets that would get you into the most trouble if you dared to disturb them.

The Christmas Cactus I've only been getting to know for about 7 years. It's been a nice 7 years they never give me any trouble. They don't care if I'm a little late watering them. They will stay in the same pot for years without complaining. And every winter they reward my neglect with beautiful flowers.

My plants outside are probably all a favorite plant, just at different times of the year. I planted for the first time some Crocus bulbs. They should be making me smile in a few more months. Daffodils come next and I wouldn't have a garden without some. I've always thought of them as happy flowers:) My mother's favorite flower is top on my list. I love the many different colors and styles of the Iris. The smell is sweet and they are so easy to grow, all you need is dirt and sun.

During the summer I can always count on Daisies. Every Memorial Day I take flowers to my loved ones graves. Sometimes there are Columbine, Peonies, Roses or Iris in the bouquet, but every year there are Daisies. I can't forget my annuals what would summer be like without Petunias, Allysum, Snapdragons, and Rose Moss, just to name a few.

In the autumn Mums, Asters, and Pansies are something to look forward to. But it's the changing colors of the trees that really catch my eye.

My Favorite Plant was a nice read, it was similar to Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul which I also liked. Last month's selection I didn't really like, I quit reading it after the 4th chapter. I'm going to try to find next month's book at the library. But if I can't find it I'll be reading Eat More Dirt by Ellen Sandbeck. I checked it out at the library and couldn't get enough of it so I bought a copy for myself.

It is impossible for me to pick one favorite plant. If there is a plant that is easy to grow, blooms all year long, smells real pretty, and doesn't mind a little neglect I might pick it. But only if I can keep all my other flowers too:)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Strawberry plants in the Fall. Posted by Picasa

Making babies;) Posted by Picasa

A gift from a friend, Thank you Mrs King:) Posted by Picasa

My winter flowers. Posted by Picasa

First bloom. Posted by Picasa

I brought the fuchsia in for the winter. I wasn't done enjoying it yet:) Posted by Picasa

Kalanchoe  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veterans Day Salute

It's 6:45 a.m. and pretty soon my favorite veteran will be getting ready for work. Have you hugged your favorite veteran today? I saw my second favorite vet last week at the store. I asked if I could blog him today and he said yes:) His name is Robert B.J. Jackson, and he is a pretty amazing young man.

I've known BJ since he was a teenager hanging out with my son. He was one of the few friends I actually got to meet. He married another one of JD's good friends Abby and she is pretty amazing too.

For me their story started a long time ago, before 911, before the Afghanistan war and before the war in Iraq. But for the rest of the world it started on August 7, 2003. I'll never forget the day JD got the call saying BJ had been seriously injured in Iraq. He was so upset and there just isn't anything you can do but sit around and wait for the next phone call. I could tell you the whole story but that would take too long and I think BJ tells it better here.

It took a little while but he finally came home. We saw him here and there and in the newspaper or on TV. He always looked so proud and strong standing there shaking the Presidents hand or showing Oprah how well his new legs worked. Last year I saw him out trick or treating with his 2 daughters. I could tell it was not easy for him walking up and down the hills and on the uneven ground. But he was having a wonderful time with his kids and that was all that mattered to him.

It could have been different he could have sat around and felt sorry for himself decided not to walk again, but I don't think for him that was ever an option. Instead he chose to fight for a life and now he helps others do the same thing. It's been over 3 years since that horrible day in Iraq. BJ has a great job being an Iowa Representative for the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes. BJ and Abby have a new son and they have welcomed 4 other children into their family and their new home. I'm glad that his story has a happy ending or should I say his new life a happy beginning.

BJ you are a wonderful person, a loving husband and father, a loyal soldier and I am very proud of you and your wife. My husband and I salute both of you.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Madison County, Iowa

Friday JM,Michael,Austin and I went to Madison County. I wanted to get some pictures of the Fall colors and a few other things in that area. I didn't find much color but we did manage to find 5 of the six remaining bridges.

This is a picture of the Hogback Bridge it turned out the best. If you want to see pictures of all of the bridges and learn a little of their history go here. Some of the bridges were rebuilt after an arsonist burnt them down. I found an article about what they are doing to prevent any more fires.

Besides the bridges there are other points of interest in Madison County. My favorite place to go is Winterset City Park. When you go in, there is a place to park so you can see one of the bridges. But if you keep on going down a winding road, eventually you will reach the Clark Tower, where you can see a great view of lots of trees and this cute little house.

The park has a great playground for the kids and a campground. After I got home I found out it also has a hedge maze. So next year I will have to go back just to check it out. Of course we couldn't leave without driving by John Waynes' Birthplace. We didn't go in because the babies were getting tired and so were we.

It was a nice day and JM got to see some things she hadn't seen since she was little. Like her parents initials carved on the wall inside the Hogback Bridge.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Windy Weather

I've been really tearing up my yard this Fall. And now Mother Nature has decided to lend a hand. Last week a gust of wind picked up my gazebo and flung it onto my neighbors car. There was broken glass and headless fairies everywhere. I got the thing off of the car and there it sat.

The neighbor came out a little later and helped me roll it up the hill. He wasn't as upset about his car as I was. And he was very nice about the whole thing. Whew!

My deck looks naked now:( But I now have a gazebo to put in my secret garden and grow vines on. Maybe the vines will hold it down better than the nails did. JD bent the corners back where they belong. It looks ok, but now it has weak spots. The awning was torn up, so I had to trash it.

JD is so sweet he has been looking all week for a new one for his mama. I told him good luck they are more expensive now and it's not the right season to find them at any stores. Maybe I'll get a new one for Mother's Day next year. Wishing and Hoping;)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I'm back from vacation and it's raining right now. I've been trying to finish up on the yard and get everything planted before winter.

I ran around this morning taking pictures of everything that is still blooming.
The petunias are really outdoing themselves, they must know their days are numbered. I have more flowers blooming now than I did last year at this time:)

The Dahlias are great:) They started out kind of slow but really took off and surprised me. I will be planting more next year.

I haven't planted Morning Glories in the yard for years. But that doesn't stop them from growing anyway.

I used to have them growing on the front deck, but I had to trim them all the time so the Mailman could get through. Someday I will find the perfect spot for Morning Glories.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Time for the Snapdragons to put on a show. Posted by Picasa

I See You. Posted by Picasa

Bella has been sleeping in the Artemesia. Posted by Picasa