Tuesday, June 28, 2011

God's person~

Once you figure out who God intended for you to be, all of those obstacles and failures are revealed to be a shepherd scooting his sheep back onto the correct path. Or, as my partner at work and I like to say, "Stay in your own lane!"
God is revealing some things about myself to me that are long overdue for me to finally grasp. Everything about myself can be categorized as "good" or "not good." I can be introspective or antisocial. I can be a deep thinker or an intellectual snob. I can take pride in my appearance or be vain. I can be easy-going about my appearance or be lazy. I can be a dedicated employee or a workaholic. Same is true of everyone. Because satan is the accuser, taking everything about life and twisting into an ugly something that makes us ashamed of our very being. Don't laugh so loud! Why are you always so serious? On and on and on it goes.
What has often felt like my greatest shortcoming, though, is starting to be one of my favorite attributes lately. That's because I'm letting God give me a renewed mind and a new way of interpreting myself that is accusation free.
For instance, I am not not not a people person. People wear me out, people exhaust me. People make my bones feel dry. That doesn't mean I don't love people, it means that mostly, I love them from over here as opposed to up close. I means that while lots of you are planning for date nights and parties to enjoy your weekend, I am dreaming of a quiet house and watering flowers. That used to make me feel like a really rotten person. Like I didn't have a Christ-like heart. For years the devil had me thinking that I disliked people. And certainly someone with a heart like Jesus couldn't dislike people.
Well,I don't.
I don't dislike people.
But I'm wired for solitude. That means that an eight hour work day surrounded by co-workers and patients and visitors just about sucks the life out of my molecules. It is like what a people person might feel if they were isolated inside of a room for days on end. Exhaustion isn't a strong enough word.
God made me like this, and there is a purpose to it. For all of my life I've been a little off balance figuring out my purpose because I thought part of that purpose was to become more gregarious, like any good Christian must be. Years and years I've spent trying to be something that fit a better mold, that would make me seem a better person. Or taking the route of the sarcastic, negative and sardonic person. Now hear this. I am a tender-hearted, gentle, deep thinking, deeply loving person.
Who does better in solitude than a crowd.
At work, I've been taking on quality, investigations and risk issues in exchange for my partner, Natosha, taking on the direct supervision and patient care issues. Guess what? I feel like the weight of the world has been, if not lifted, then slightly shifted from my shoulders. I work in solitude. Me, a chart, a report, statistics, data and white board. Conversations happen one to one instead of in a staff meeting.
Natosha? She is one of those planning 1,000 activities every weekend people. So she is out there talking to everyone, holding meetings and spending her day surrounded by staff and patients. Her reaction is the same as mine. A weight has been lifted. For her, sitting in an office with a chart and statistics and a white board is torture.
Both of us had a lot of stress and even a little embarrassment at not embracing all of the aspects of our jobs but when we had honest conversations and revealed our hearts to one another, we found that we were created differently and there was no need to try to stretch our personalities beyond what the Lord had intended for us. I now have some thoughts about my career that I've never had before, I want to work in risk management, policy and law. I've been told that this is a waste because I'm such a good nurse. Yup, I am a good nurse. But I can be a good nurse without working on the floor and without supervising 20 people.
Do yourself, and the world, a favor. Tell satan to shut up. Take a moment, a day, a year, whatever you need and consider the possibility that the very thing that seems to be your downfall is the thing that defines your purpose. Is there some way that what you have called your weakness is an invitation to what is your strength -if embraced and celebrated for Jesus' use.
I will never again apologize for not being a people person. If I was, it would prevent me from being God's person.
Image: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_mFBNIXtfXxg/TTM7EXCzO5I/AAAAAAAAAQk/CDdzISvJKmM/s1600/IMG_1954_edited-1.JPG

Sunday, June 26, 2011

One of my favorite scriptures~

Job 11:16
You will surely forget your trouble, remembering it only as waters gone by.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

10 stuffs I like~

1. Smashbox mascara
2. Flowers
3. Campfires
4. Hammocks
5. Limes
6. Coffee
7. Ponds facial wipes
8. Jeans
9. Cilantro
10. Blogs

Image: Mac & Donny in the hammock (on the patio!)

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Houses have become the "thing" in the last few years, have you noticed? HGTV, blogs, magazines...there is no shortage of sources for those wanting to get their house fix. Put me on that list by the way, I've never spent so much time absorbing house media that I'm bored. I wonder if this abundance of house candy has caused a little bit of discontent though? I'll admit it, I sometimes look at the homes shared in blogs and think to myself, "I can't possible post any pictures of my house." It's never big enough, clean enough, fabulous enough to compete." And never will be. And does anyone else find themselves baffled by the shows and sites that are trying to encourage us just to jump in and _____________-insert project here. I am not lacking inspiration, I'm lacking money! Case in point, Curb Appeal, The Block on HGTV the other day. Neighbors came out to announce that seeing how fantastic the subject house looked after the $20,000 make over had inspired them to go ahead and reside, reroof and landscape their house and finally put that in ground pool in the yard. They were just waiting for inspiration? Inspiration I got in spades, it's the $20,000 I can't seem to put my hands on! Who are these people who have all of this money and simply can't seem to get to the Lowe's and buy those shrubs they know they need?

How about the competition show, Bang For Your Buck. Three couples have remodeled their bedroom (and en suite bath doncha know), let's see whose $75,000 got the biggest bang for the buck. Good grief! I could rock your world for $500! My bedroom make-over (lacking en suite), was about $1,500 including furniture and bedding. P.S. it took us 3 years to get it done!

And Yard Crashers? Yes, the make overs are amazing. But give me a five figure budget and an army of professionals and I bet I could get it done too.

Anyway, I love all of these shows and I'm not complaining. I'm just wondering, which I think I said somewhere six paragraphs earlier, if we common folks might look around and feel entirely overwhelmed and under equipped to make our postage stamps yards and bungalows into something sweet and lovely with the three year low budget plans that are our reality. So let me give you a little inspiration for the common man...

Small houses mean small windows, cheap and easy to dress. You can afford to change your window dressings seasonally if you want to, a valance for the windows in my house (36 inches wide), cost about $10! Plantation blinds for the window over my kitchen sink, $20.

Small rooms mean easy paint jobs. A few gallons will cover any room and without cathedral ceilings it can be done by one person in a day or two. $30 can change the complexion of an entire room. Buy neutral foundation items like furniture and you can update the room yearly if you want, and if you hate what you've done you can remedy it relatively cheaply. Not to mention, adding architectural details like crown moulding won't break the bank in a 10 x 12 bedroom.

Older homes have figured themselves out. They live in established neighborhoods on tree-lined streets, you don't have to look out your windows and figure out how to afford sod. The grass is there, the trees are there, often even the shrubs are there! Embrace the vintage classic flora and fauna, don't let the professional landscaping jobs in new neighborhoods make you insecure! Work with what is there and you'll find your little old house has still got it. Every year you can invest in one or two perennials to bring new life and a few dollars more for some annuals and it's charming, not old.

House built pre-1970s are going to be smaller and you're not likely to have a master suite. Families used to share one tiny bathroom and if there's a second commode in the basement you're living in luxury. Hey, I would love more bathrooms but it is what it is. What it also is is hardwood floors, arched doorways and six over six paned windows. And if I want to carpet over those hardwood floor, carpet is affordable. Area rugs can also add warmth and color for less than $4,000.

I love admiring those master bedrooms with sunken whirlpool tubs and yes,I daydream sometimes. Infinity pools and pergolas and outdoor fireplaces are beautiful beautiful beautiful. I'm just encouraging the bungalow dwellers out there to enjoy the eye candy like you enjoy a vacation, coming home and loving the way home feels and not resenting it for not being a 365 resort hotel.

In other words, bloom where you're planted.

Image: My kitchen window.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

In my Father's house are many dream homes~

My sisterfriend Debra has been sharing her home and life with her blog neighbors for a few years now and we've been there with her as she moved into her dream home, a farmhouse. If you know me at all, you know that this would be the dream most likely shared between Debra and me. Since 1976 I've been trying to get back to The Farm. More recently, Debra and her husband Tom have come to the realization that it's time to leave the farmhouse behind and seek a smaller place to call home. Always willing to share her heart, Debra has allowed us some special glimpses into the frustrations as well as the pleasure of her farm life dream as the sparkle has started to tarnish just a bit. Did Debra and Tom mis-hear God's voice when they moved to this high maintenance dream home? Or are they missing it now as they move away? Ahh, these are the thoughts of mortal minds. Minds trapped inside of time who feel the ever-present threat of wasted moments or years.
As for my mind, well, I try to keep it on the immortal track, there's much more time from that perspective and much less fear of wasted anythings. That's another thing I suspect Debra and I have in common.
Just confining the conversation to dream homes, I've had a thousand and lived in one. The one I ended up living in was the very one I was absolutely convinced I didn't want. The one I've wanted most of all (The Farm), I don't expect to live in. Well, not while I'm caught inside of this doggone mortal body of mine-despite my attempts at immortal thinking.
I've wanted to live in large new constructions with lofts and cathedral ceilings and those catwalk things that connect the two halves of the second story.
I've wanted to live in a cottage by the sea, preferably in North Carolina. Where I have never actually been mind you.
I've wanted to live in a log cabin in the woods on top of a mountain.
I've wanted to live in a Frank Lloyd Wright prairie home.
I've wanted to live in Key West, but just for a minute while watching HGTV.
I've wanted to live in a condo with zero maintenance.
I've wanted to live in a reproduction mid century house in Monroe, MI.
I've wanted to live on a river.
I've wanted to live on a working farm.
I've wanted to live in a farm house.
I want to live on The Farm.
I live in a post war suburban bungalow with two bedrooms and tiny closets. I never wanted to live here. Until I lived here. Now this is precisely where I want to live.
In less wise moments I have thought that the list of places I was absolutely desperate to live in represented a fickle mind that was not Spirit-led. No more. The immortal mind is the dreamer. Some of the dreams we get to experience, like Debra's farmhouse. Some of them we only dream, The Farm. How do we know the difference? We let that immortal dreaming mind go flying through all of the possibilities and hold each one in our hands, turning it in every direction admiring the sparkle and depth of it. And we leap foolishly into the realms of faith by putting our lives into the hand of God, who turns us in his palm looking from every direction and admiring the sparkle and depth of the life he has planned for us.
Some of the immortal dreamer's wishes are granted in part or whole. This is the seeing through a glass darkly part.
Some seem to become less necessary as the years go on, and yet more beautiful and clear. These are the ones that draw us toward heaven. The peaceful dreams of the immortal mind. For me, these are the dreams that lead me not to move back to The Farm and yet, have me convinced that The Farm is my mansion; built just for me.
God doesn't whisper visions and dreams into our hearts out of meanness, to show us what we can't have. He is standing on just the other side of that river I have wanted to live next to, he's crooking his finger and smiling and inviting us to dream.
Because immortal souls are not worried about how much time it takes to live the dream.

Image: My grampa and me, The Farm, 1968.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy birthday Jay~

23 years since you were born, it seems like you should still be a toddler and it seems like there was no life before you.
You are treasured and loved.
Happy birthday sweet baby Jay!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day~

My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived and let me watch him do it.

Clarence B. Kelland 1881-9164

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Little old happy kind of day

1. Having Father's Day Dinner here.

2. That means today is a baking and preparing day...my favorite kind of day!

3. I will be happily cleaning fresh green beans on the back porch.

4. Lemon squares and brownies into the oven shortly!

5. Flat iron steak, pilaf and Armenian bean salad on the menu.

6. Iced tea & lemonade!

7. Yard work done for the weekend.

8. Setting up the new patio furniture.

9. Mac goes back to work tomorrow; praying for & claiming a wonderful day for him.

10. Hope you have a little old happy kind of day too!

Image: Mac building his grandpa an Adirondack chair for Father's Day.

Friday, June 17, 2011


I have a tendency not to take my vacation time at work and this year I decided to amend that. I am using my time on these rare wonderful summer days mostly to either work in the yard or just plain relax. As you know we started working on our patio in May. Well, not actually working so much as planning. This is the area directly behind our house and where said patio was to be placed.

This has been a weekend warrior job mixed in with a few of those vacation days I spoke of. Make no mistake, the Mr. and Mac have been the muscle. I've just taken the pictures and made stuff pretty. After all, a person needs a pleasant place from which to drink coffee and give "helpful hints."

We plan for the landscaping of this half of our yard to continue into next year because we ain't rich and there really are a limited number of vacation days available. Happily, the biggest phase is done...pavers complete!

Ain't they purty? No, we didn't end up with my scattered old stones with grass growing between them. That's ok, I still plan on using that kind of idea as a stone pathway in my garden nook...but probably next year. That will be here...to the left of the deck (looking from the patio.)

The Mr. is off to get the stone that will trim the edges of the patio. In the meantime, it's me and my coffee enjoying the flowers and the progress so far and the dreams of what's yet to be.
Yellow poppy in my grampa's old cement planter on the porch step.

Thursday, June 16, 2011



Lurv it and all of it's cousins right down to Southern dumplings, as in chicken and. I have never made Spaetzle specifically but I tried it the other night with kielbasa and sauerkraut. Somewhere along the line I had printed a recipe online and it was not a good one. They tasted good but didn't cooperate. Number one, I don't have a spaetzle maker and lots of folks online claim that you can substitute a colander but that didn't work. User error, bum instructions or this simply doesn't really work; not sure. Now of course I feel I must get a spaetzle maker. Bed, Beyond & Beyond maybe? Didn't see one at Target, and yes, I've already tried to find one!

The recipe I tried was very watery and being a genetic nokedli-maker, I knew how to fix it. The colander trick didn't work so ultimately I ended up with my typical version, what my grandmother would call peasant cooking. Her words. This means, my cooking is simple and rustic as opposed to finely chopped and beautifully presented.

Behold Hungarian peasant spaetzle.

Have you ever made spaetzle? Do you have a spaetzle maker? A great spaetzle recipe? Do share if you're so inclined!

Despite the peasant chef, dinner was delicious. Have you ever met a dumpling you didn't like? I haven't. Nor a kielbasa for that matter. You really can't go wrong with any kind of one bowl meal; if you are a peasant anyway.

If you haven't tried to make nokedli or dumplings or spaetzle it is about as easy a comfort food as you're likely to make. A little bit time consuming yes, but not complicated. And by time consuming I mean about 20 minutes to a half hour beginning to end. I decided to make it (them?) at 4:00 as I started dinner and everything was on the table by 5:00. I have made them ahead of time and put them in a gallon zip lock over night and I bet they'd freeze well too. They are the very foundation of chicken paprikash, chicken & dumplings and goulash. I've also put them in soup or served as a side where you'd serve any starch. My biggest challenge is usually Mac, who eats them cold, hot, from the pan, off the floor or your plate if you look away.

Share your recipe for whatever dumpling you love and if you haven't tried it...give it a go! You truly cannot mess them up. I know because I messed them up and they are still all gone.

Happy spaetzling!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Lord willing, this is the last post about Mac's assault to which you will be exposed! I had thought about chronicling the events in detail but that's just ridiculous. I'll tell you why it's ridiculous, because as I was sitting in the emergency room on Saturday night praying for Mac I also prayed for myself. I had to ask God to dim the memories and dull the emotions of the situation or I might just lose it. And he did. So why in the world would I go back and dredge it all up? Nope. It's given to Jesus and over.
Officially over as of today. Mac went to employee health at Henry Ford main this afternoon and was cleared to return to work on Friday. His neuro checks were all fine. His knee is still a little sore but so much better, he'll just have another look at that on June 23 to be sure. His heart and mind are also mended. The work of God on minds and bodies...so miraculous and yet so easy to "forget" about as the rough patches are put behind us and he actually answers our prayers. The pain goes away and we move on.

Mac holds no anger toward his attacker, has forgiven him and is anxious to go back to work. I ask for continued prayer over the hospital and that when he has his next violent situation he will be filled with a sense of calm and confidence. I am claiming it now in Jesus name.

We sat on the back porch today drinking coffee and agreeing that God worked a miracle with Mac's injuries and that frankly, if you're gonna be off work injured; it's a really pretty day to stay home!

So no, you won't be getting the down and dirty on Saturday night. I'm not pulling it back close enough to share it. We are back to normal; laughing and relaxed. And there we intend to stay.


Monday, June 13, 2011

All the time

God is good all the time, all the time....
Yesterday Mac was showing much much MUCH improvement and today he's nearly back to 100% Mac. The neuro symptoms are gone! Praise the Lord! No headache or any of the even scarier things that were going on. He has a knot on his head but that's his only souvenir of head trauma. His knee was his biggest complaint yesterday but today that's even better, he has taken the wrap off of it and the pain is decreasing.
Tomorrow he will go to employee health at Henry Ford Main for return to work instructions and we are confidant that this is going to be a quickly fading memory (well for him, most of Saturday has already faded) and a lifelong testimony of God's protection and healing. I will share the outcome of tomorrow' doctor's visits and then I am planning on moving forward and not looking back.
Words cannot adequately express my gratitude for your love, compassion and prayer. Truly I cannot imagine how people go through things like this and much worse without Jesus and the knowledge that an army goes to battle on their behalf when they are under attack.
On Saturday afternoon driving home from work I made plans with myself to go to Greenfield Village all alone on Monday (today.) As you know, I've been needing to find a quiet corner lately. Little did I know that within hours my son would be on my cell phone speaking incoherently and my staff on my work phone asking if I wanted an ambulance to transport him to the emergency room. My quiet corner had never been further away and Greenfield Village was no longer on the schedule. It is so good to know that in my ignorance and plan-making, God had already looked ahead to dispatch angels to surround Mac. Sure, I would still rather He had prevented the attack altogether. Some events change a little part of you forever, and this is one of them. But we do no awaken in fear for what might come next as we go through life making plans and hoping for the best.
I don't want to ever face a day trying to remember if I have covered my family in prayer. I urge you make this a priority in your life as well.
God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Isaiah 58:8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

Our youngest son, Mac, was seriously assaulted at the psychiatric hospital where we both work when a psychotic patient attacked him. He received several blows to the head as well as a knee injury. His CT scan of the head was negative, thank God. He had a blinding headache, dizziness, mild confusion and short term memory loss. His x ray of the knee was also negative and we are hoping this indicates a soft tissue injury, if he continues to have limited movement and pain he will have an MRI.
We did neuro checks all night and although he was sleeping very deeply (who could blame him?), he seemed ok. This morning on last check he was easier to arouse and said his head was "fine." He is about halfway through the 24 hour close watch because of his head injuries.
Knowing all of you, I feel sure that those who didn't already hear this news are now joining the prayer circle around Mac. I thank you for that and ask you to continue to stand on his behalf that all of the symptoms from last night will be faded away by this evening. He will go to the employee clinic at Henry Ford Main in Detroit tomorrow for evaluation and be assessed to return to work.
In addition to the physical injuries, all assaults come with emotional ones as well, even when you work in a psychiatric facility and know it's possible. Often, these linger beyond the bruises and pain with mental health care providers and there is no time off of work granted for those injuries. Mac is already worried about missing work because he is contingent and gets no paid time off, medical or vacation. I believe this worry is just another attack of the enemy against him and I am praying that he has wisdom to take all the time he needs to feel strong and ready to go back. At the same time, I am praying that God will guard his mind and restore peace and confidence to him.
Thank you for your love and prayer and I will continue to update you regarding Mac's injuries. We are believing that with this beautiful new day, he will be already greatly restored.

Image: http://www.dailypainters.com/images/origs/526/edge_of_the_woods.jpg

Saturday, June 11, 2011

10 truths

1. I don't feel like working today.

2. I have a slightly upset stomach, although that isn't why I don't wanna go to work.

3. I believe in big hair.

4. Bought Smashbox mascara, used it once, like it.

5. I feel tired all the way to my spleen.

6. I really need to get back on strict eating guidelines, ^ fruits & veggies.

7. My mom told me Sear's has scrubs.

8. The Mr. is off to rent a rototiller to work on the patio some more.

9. Spent time with the Turpin/Andrewses last night, good for the soul.

10. I'm praying for some stress relief.

Image: Truth #11, tomato plants make me smile. Look at the sweet baby maters!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Little foxes~

I really need a vacation! Lots of little foxes chewing on my vines lately & I've come to the conclusion that I need to find a fox-free zone for some mental R&R. I am off today which is good however, that's because I'm working the weekend, which is not good. In short, that means today I will run around like a wild woman getting my list of errands done and Monday (my next day off) will be spent recovering from the weekend. I know, I'm whiny. Sorry. Having a bit of a melancholy outlook lately. I'll get over it. Unfortunately I'm one of those people who is a loner on a good day so when I feel the world pressing a little too close, the only cure for me is complete aloneness and quietness...not easy to find.
Because I am someone who isn't all that social in the first place, I am usually very hesitant to confront people or put boundaries on situations because I don't trust my own instinct since that instinct would be to just snap at or walk away from people instead of healthy interaction. And since I am of such emotional make-up, honestly, I want to put an end to anything that becomes too high maintenance. Too honest? Ah well, that's what blogs are for.
So what I'm saying is, not unlike the autistic people I care for at work, people really wear me out. After a couple of run-ins I start to feel soul dry. This has been a week for run-ins. Moderately unpleasant situation that most people just put into perspective and move on take a little bit of a toll on me. The devil knows, doesn't he? God knows too, so it's going to be fine. I just need to find my wellspring of quietness, solitude and reset my heart back to peaceful.
One more cup of coffee on the back porch, which is cool and lovely at the moment. Then I will get myself in gear for those errands. So if you happen upon me and I seem distant it's just that I'm concentrating on getting myself back in balance. Days like these are the perfect reminders of just how much Jesus I need to cover all of the Sara.

Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards. For our vines have tender blossoms. Song of Solomon 2:15

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Nice warm Mitten

Whew it's warm in The Mitten! And I am not going to complain for the following reasons: I have air conditioning both in my home and at my job. I did complain when it was cold. The flodders are happy. It'll get cooler soon enough and then downright cold and then...to everything there is a season. My mossies (above) and pond (below) are reaching toward the sunshine and I'm just simple-minded enough to come home every evening and go looking for plant progress and just about giggle when I find it. Do you know that the Mr. had this house so cold last night I turned on my electric blanket? Ridiculous! No, I'm not going to complain.

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods, Mac is on a double and I'm fixin' to get movin' myself.


Sunday, June 05, 2011


A little Sunday morning gardening and my moss roses are tucked away into old tin buckets, camp coffee pots, and a few more traditional containers. I love love love moss roses! Nothing fussy or pretentious about them, just sweet little easy going flowers that can thrive just about anywhere!

With the rosemary in the window box...

In good old fashioned pots...

Old camp coffee pot...

Sunday morning~

Psalm 143:8
Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

10 Happies

1. Berry garden rescued.
2. Flodders (the Mac Smith toddler pronunciation) planted.
3. Ferns hung.
4. Back porch reclaimed.
5. Patio area prepped.
6. Berm built.
7. Figured out Donny's reverse sneezing and how to stop it.
8. Lost a pound.
9. Sleeping well: cut out the pop, artificial sweeteners and chocolate. Chronic headaches gone too.
10. Happy home!
Images: Top back yard before patio prep. Bottom, patio prep stage one!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Berry tired!

Good help is certainly hard to find and with the Mr. and Mac working today, I was left with only this individual. At 9:00 a.m., this is what I got when I invited him to join me in the yard.
Despite the abysmal workforce, staycation day three goal has been met met. Shew am I tired and sore; I see Tylenol and a nap in my near future. But the garden has been demeadowed and regardened. Let's pause to remember the meadow days of yore...

And now we have a berry garden!

The herbs were more or less choked out except for parsley and garlic chives, both of which I did a slipshod transplant into containers. They may not make it but if not, that's ok. Easily replaced. I decided since the berries were taking over it's easiest to let them do their thang and declare the meadow a berry patch...strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Next addition-blueberries! I'm not all that hopeful about a bumper crop this year because of the cold snap and lack of attention but that's ok. Us berry farmers know that it takes a year or two to establish new plants anyway and the blackberries just went in today.

On to something less lovely; this is my summer challenge! What we have here is a piece of lumber the source of which is a mystery and an old deacon's bench. The bench was looking pretty ragged last year so I painted it red and distressed it, however, it is even more distressed now than I recall. So I'm gonna build me a potting bench! Yup! I realize I will need more than one piece of mystery wood and a distressed deacon's bench but I've looked at a few samples and plans online and I'm going to create something fabulous from reclaimed wood and stuff and things. Oh, you're gonna be amazed when it's done. And frankly, if it gets done, I'm gonna be amazed as well. This glorious creation will be placed against the garage wall across from the Berry Patch (aka Smith Orchards.)
And that neighbors, is all there is! The Mr. plans to start work on the patio this weekend and I have a few ideas for a container salad garden but that will wait for another day. This evening I am thinking of take-out Chinese (because I am obviously too tired to cook!) I do believe I'll make a pitcher of lemonade and enjoy the view from my humble old back porch. I was thinking as I looked through my pictures that there are many more impressive blogs out there if you want to see how people live, but this is how I live and I don't find myself envious. Not that I don't admire and enjoy what I see elsewhere, oh I certainly do. Sometimes I can find inspiration in something grand that I can use in this neighborhood bungalow of mine. Usually the inspiration for life is right here waiting to be uncovered. I guess I've already done the "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" essay and I never left my backyard! Thanks for coming by and if you've a mind, check in for patio updates and salad gardens. If you are in the mood for a glimpse of ordinary life; this is the place to visit!

The berry & herb garden/meadow/hot mess

Oh Lord, here's my dirty little secret! It's the berry & herb garden. You might think the secret is that it looks like this but not so! The secret is...I like the way it looks. Yes, my name is Sara and pretend this is a meadow. I realize it is entirely unacceptable to have such a thing in suburbia but if it was a few acres bigger, you'd think it was a beautiful country meadow, yes you would.

Well today I'm going to put on my gardening gloves and grab my rake and stare at it for a while and possibly remove some of the plants the less-informed call weeds. There are herbs and berry bushes in there somewhere, and that is really the only reason I'm considering cleaning it out a bit. I'm concerned the intentional plants are being choked out and a little concerned about what I am cooking with assuming it to be herbs. Ha!

In the meantime, a few years back I bought one of those bags of wild flower seeds that you just kind of scatter; you know the ones? Anyway, the bag of seeds is 2 years old...is there any point in planting them? Yes, you guessed it. I'm thinking of pulling out the wild flowers, cleaning up the beds and then planting wild flowers.

Maybe I really do need to double check those "herbs" I've been eating! At least I recognize the baby strawberry trying very hard to ripen without much help from Mother Nature the last few weeks...Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Two for Two!

Another day's yard work done and with a bonus; today was Mac's day off so I had help with the heavy lifting! Today's goal was to fill and freshen my containers and I'm happy to report tis done! As I mentioned, with the patio going in I have tried to spruce things up without doing major work and major money spending before I can see how I want things done. Yard work is much like house decorating for me, I need to let it unfold and show me what it should be. Behold, day two! The cement planters were here from the days when my grampa planted flowers around this new old house so they mean more to me than eye candy. Mac moved them from another part of the yard to "anchor" our porch steps and I like 'em there, a poppy in each. I think they look sweet. The topiary evergreens (which need re-topiaring; a job for another day) were moved from the foot of the steps to either side of them and again it's a nice change of pace. The large cement pot was my own purchase and was scooted from the side of the garage and planted with something that is supposed to be purple when it blooms and starts with a D. Helpful? On the second and third steps on the left hand side going up are the cherry tomato and blackberry bush which will have to hang out there for the moment as I plot and plan. The berry and herb garden is on tomorrow's to do so the blackberry will probably find a home there shortly.

Around the old utility pole you'll find more nostalgia; I played with that old buggy and then daboyz. Until another generation is in need of it, it holds my house plants for the summer. The cement chicken and baby are two of my favorite things in the world. They used to live on The Farm and I can actually remember straddling the chicken like a horse and pretending to ride it, just barely fitting my butt between the neck and tail. Since it's a life-size chicken; I would have had to be a toddler. The plant behind the chicken is the peace lily daboyz sent to the funeral home when Dean's dad passed. It's grown since February so it has a new bigger pot for summer.

Along the side of the garage is a little of this and a little of that including a few perennials that survived after the majority of the ones I planted didn't make it so they just grow willy nilly and I still like them. Marigolds and petunias in the hanging baskets (baskets recycled from years past and two flats of flowers to fill them.)

The fire pit is sitting on what was left after the sewer guys replaced our pipes and put a clean-out in. Mac and I decided this is a fine place for now until the yard is finished.

And here we have one of my two bird baths, this one cement and purchased by me to replace the one my grandparents had used but had been broken. Does it seem like I have a lot of cement stuff? This just occurred to me. But I just love it, it's so permanent. It sits out through the winter and lasts for several generations. My next cement purchase is a small bench I've already got my eye on. And the Mr. truly enjoys bringing home these prizes and carry them around the yard until I find a home for them. Ha!

Right on schedule and day two complete. Yes, in case you're wondering, I did have coffee on the back porch this morning for the first time this year. And yes, it tastes even better than inside. I drank 2 cups while I talked to Jesus and listened to the wind chimes all while wearing my pajamas. Perfection as far as I am concerned!

Tomorrow...herb & berry garden!

Oh what a beautiful morning!

Oh what a beautiful day!