Saturday, July 31, 2010


To Son No.2
Colin James

Graduation from preschool at age 4.

My middle boy turns 19 today.
He's a sweetheart. Always has been.

Me and my cuddlebug about 8 or 9 years ago.

When he was a little guy, we used to call him
Colin Doodle Bug
because he was such a cuddler.

Colin and his amazing girlfriend, Shannon.

But he was, and still is, stubborn and independent. Even as young as preschool age, we would always refer to him as our "little nonconformist".

He's very smart and quite level-headed for a young man of his age. He seems to know what he wants to do with his life, and just what's needed to reach those goals.
I know he'll succeed.

Happy Birthday, Doodle Bug! :o)

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010


"The ingredients that go into a home that embraces and welcomes aren't obvious, and they aren't exactly the same for every home."

". . . such homes have certain qualities in common; understanding them can help us restore much of what's been mislaid in the scramble and tussle of modern life."

"Here are those key qualities."


The above excerpt is from the book


by Susan Waggoner

In the book, Susan goes on to explain and illustrate in detail each of those key qualities.

So far, I'm really enjoying the book. It's bringing back to mind the simple things that make YOUR house YOUR home.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010


While doing a little harvesting and weeding this past weekend, I decided to take a few pics out in the gardens. This little guy, a Monarch Butterfly caterpillar, prompted my photo shoot.

Actually, it was his sibling - or so I assume - that caught my attention, but I couldn't catch him in a pic. He was being carried away in the jaws of a Praying Mantis. The Mantis drug him too far into the Butterfly Flower plant and I couldn't snap the pic.

But I did notice junior, there, munching away on a bud from the plant. Guess this plant's flowers did it's job by attracting a Monarch Butterfly to lay her eggs.

While I was out in the perennial garden snapping pics, I could hear a Robin in a nearby tree just squawking away. That's a pretty good indication that I'm too close to her nest.

Sure enough, I found her nest right in the Cornus Kousa (Japanese Flowering Dogwood) that's planted as the centerpiece of the perennial garden.

Cournus Kousa
Picture from the web.
Mine is not blooming yet, and is no where near this mature.
Below are the flowers and subsequent fruits produced by this gorgeous tree. It blooms mid to late summer unlike it's cousin, American Dogwood or Cournus Florida (The Virginia State Flower), that blooms very early spring.

Blooming quite prolifically in the garden right now are the Blackeyed Susans (The Maryland State Flower), Blanketflower (Gaillardia) and Verbena.

Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta)



Also just slightly passed it's peak of blooms here is my Crape Myrtle. I just love this shrub/tree. I intend to plant several more on the property. It's a wonderful mid to late summer flowering shrub. The flower bracts are amazing and slightly fragrant.

Below, a "Wild Sunflower" plant I purchased years ago at a native plant sale at a nature center is showing it's blooms.

Bright and cheerful orange Zinnias. Unfortunately, the bunnies gobbled up my budding Envy Zinnia seedlings I had planted, but didn't go for any other flower seedlings. Funny how picky their palates are!

Picture found on web.

The dainty flowers of the Threadleaf Coreopsis (also known as Tickseed).

Asiatic Lilies

My favorite Geranium this year. Don't know the variety, but I love the dark green leaves and deep red flowers.

As a vege gardener, a tomato blossom is beautiful thing.

A rogue cucumber is thriving in the empty cold frame.

Hopefully by next week some of the flowers planted in the vege/cutting garden will be blooming so I can bring fresh cut flowers in house.

I'm linking up my Bloomin' Beauties post to

Click over and check out what else is bloomin' in other bloggers' gardens.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010


It was a pretty good one.

Long Hots
Italian Gourmet
Sweet Bell

Lots of cukes!


YAY!!! I'm finally getting some decent tomatoes.
Early Girl
Big Boy
Bradley Heirlom

Think I'll make some bruschetta

to top mini ciabatta loaves

as a yummy side dish for dinner.

And maybe a batch of pico de gallo for snacking later this evening.

I want to make a batch of frig pickles, too, using Lisa's method. Jalapeno jelly making might start within the next few days as well. Those Jalapeno plants are really pumping out the peppers!

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Thursday, July 22, 2010


Ooooo . . . I'm just lovin' all these Pottery Barn pillows.

I'm hoping I can find fabric
similar to any of these fabrics and prints to create my own.

Pillows are so super simple to sew. I have a real hard time paying the premium PB price.

I'm crushin' especially hard on these:

I think I see a fabric hunt in my future.

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