Friday, April 30, 2010


Several years ago my chiropractor told me my right kneecap was out of place and had been for several years prior. He fixed it but I referred to it as my 'weak knee' and took extra care where I placed my feet. Last week I paid him another visit and the next morning on the last tenth of a mile of my daily walk, something happened to my 'good' left leg muscle. I couldn't bend my knee at all and it's been painful all week and has really slowed me down. Going potty has become a 'work of art' trying to get up and down and unable to bend my knee without screaming gasping in pain...try it sometime!

After another visit to the chiropractor which didn't seem to make any noticeable difference, I made up my mind to push past the pain and walk as normal as I could. Suddenly, I remembered an old-time solution - vinegar and epsom salt...
So I'm now soaking half an hour in the tub with hot water, salts and vinegar and after which, I put ice packs around my knee to get to the inflammation and am finally getting relief! Hobbling around a week with a bum leg is no fun - especially this time of the year!
(EDITED 2012 - I've since learned using both viegar and epsom salts work against each other...use one or the other.)

But then I had to think of others who have a 'bum leg' and have to live with it all the time. I'm very grateful for my health and want this to keep me more compassionate to others who live with constant pain. Health is a gift that can be taken away in a split moment.

Being limited in motion kept me housebound. iIspent more time on the computer and am grateful hubs 'loaned' me his chair, using a pillow on top of the wastebasket to keep my leg up.
Since I'm on a 'reuben sandwich on Ezekiel 4:9 bread' binge right now, it was a good place to eat at as well and it's finger-lickin' good!
 Thankfully, I can sit very comfortably in a recliner and am able to sleep in it when the bed gets too tiresome. 

Speaking of health...
I knew I wasn't drinking enough water so I got this brilliant 'convenience' idea to keep water bottles filled in the frig to keep track of how much water I'm drinking.
So far, i'm having a good record in downing a bottle an hour - which means more 'potty down to an art' work! :) Hopefully, this will help to release the inflammation as well!

Enjoy the lovely eighty degree weather that's on tap for today!



Thursday, April 29, 2010

rooting your own roses

There are several ways to start your own roses - I'm going to cover only one way today as I'm starting a New Dawn rose for my sister L. But first, I want to give you the history of my New Dawn rose.

Spring of 2001 was a a very deep valley for us - one of them was the collapse of my MIL and her death from a brain tumor in a matter of weeks. After everything was over, DIL M. gave me a New Dawn rose, something I had been yearning for. What a wonderful reminder this was...that death is not forever but is merely a 'new dawn' waiting for all of us!

At that time, we lived several miles from here but were renting this place out and I knew I wanted to have it here when we moved to our 'dawdy haus' (retirement home). New Dawn roses grow up to twenty feet so they need good support and space to grow so we installed a gated arbor and picket fence and planted it at the 'Gap house.' Today, it's in it's third location since we've lived here - after living in one spot for six years, they are moveable but it takes either a crazy woman to move it or a panic call to a son to help you out of a bind! :)

Back to the main topic...

 Spring is a very good time to start a rose like this as the canes are easier to work with than later in the summer. However, it can be done at any time throughout the summer.

Take at minimum, a second year growth cane that has a good length to it...
bending it toward the ground without breaking the cane. 
Place the rest of the cane on the ground...
 pinning it to the ground with a u-pin or a stone,
making sure the nodes (where the leaves are) are free to root.
 U-pins can be bought at any nursery
or you can make your own by taking a wire clothes hanger,
cutting it with a wire cutter 8-10 inches long and bending it
like a big hairpin.
I used two pins here, then covered it with dirt.

That's it!
By the end of summer,
you'll very likely will have a new start wherever a leaflet is.
Let it there till the next spring,
cut the new growth from the 'mother cane' and plant...
s.i.m.p.l.i.c.i.t.y itself!

Now if you're like I am,
our local Stauffer's of Kissel Hill carries them for,
oh, something like 20-30 bucks, then go for it!
Unless you're blessed in having a DIL like I have...

  A pic of when I started mine a month ago and here it is today...
It's off to a very good start and I just counted six starts.

This is one I started in 2005 - picture from last summer...
...grows fast!

...happy gardening!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mr. Jack Bryer

i met Jack ten days ago but he feels like an old, comfortable friend. 
our common interest is gardening...
his is rhododendron and azalea - mine is perennials.

in 1958, Jack bought four acres of bare ground for four thousand dollars...
his plot is on the north side of the Gap Hill
and he has a glorious view for miles
of the countryside.
he and his wife built a house
 and Jack either bought or planted starts of azalea and rhodies,
and he's got the cutest raised bed garden.

- join me on our tour of Jack's place -

the back of the house
  this freshly-fallen dogwood was eye-catching...
so-o-o lovely!

on the east side of the house is his raised-bed vegetable garden
fertilized by 'black gold' from his own compost pile
that he works on up behind the house.
- his son's beehives -

walking down from  the back of the house is this lovely view...
 these are four azalea  planted together and is simply gorgeous! 

by the way...Jack is eighty-five -
i hope i can still do this at that age!



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

mourning a dove

every summer we have a pair of doves nesting in our pergola.
their nests are mostly built out of sticks,
and i don't understand why the babies don't fall out of them -
hasn't happened yet!

this morning i saw this...
and this...
a hawk picked off one of the doves.
they mate for life...
  all is quiet in the back. 




Lilacs are g.o.r.g.e.o.u.s.o.u.t.o.f.t.h.i.s.w.o.r.l.d beautiful! The smell? Indescribable! Just walking past them hits the senses with a deliciousness that is worth going out of your way to walk past them! But that's easy to solve...plant them close by or at a corner that is frequently passed by on your walks around your yard.

This lilac is an offspring that came from my mother, who got it from a friend. She had it for many years and when they moved into a double-wide unto our property, hubs dug it out and brought it along over. Two years ago, I brought a big start over and it's very happy here. It's a wonderful memory of my mother!

Lilacs do take a little maintenance to keep them happy. They can also be kinda invasive if the sideshoots aren't kept under control. These are good to give to friends. To keep them bloom-happy, the old wood needs to be cut out, doing several every spring - like these...

This shrub is in it's third year here and already has 'old wood' which will be taken out after it's finished blooming. Old wood is knobby, knarly and tends to small splits. Simply cut it as close to the ground as you can. Mine is still blooming but after it's finished, I'll do an edit so you can see the difference it makes after it's groomed. If you don't want to spend a lot of time with grooming a lilac, simply plant it in the back forty and let it grow as it wants to! :)

Several years ago I got a start from our neighbour that is a double lilac, making the flower a really full cluster.

Due to neglect, and without passing any kind of judgment - she loves flowers and enjoys mine from her house - this is what it looks like today...

Lilacs do die from neglect but are simple and elegant to have and care for. I seldom take them in the house because they stay nice for such a short time. Splitting the ends of the stems helps but they still tend to wilt quickly. Either way, I love 'em and a new one is available that blooms all summer...hmmm - tempting!

...happy gardening!


Monday, April 26, 2010

weekend musings

we're in a rainy season,
which we're needing to give transpalants a healthy start.
these are my parade of flowers...

- old fashion iris and catmint -
- ladies mantle -
- ajuga -
- primrose, bleeding heart, lilac -
- golden carpet, catmint, pink geranium -
-peony tulip, peony tree -


- Psalm 24 -

The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof;
the world, and they that dewll therein.

For he hath founded it upon the seas,
and established it upon the floods.

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?
or who shall stand in his holy place?

He that hath clean hands and a pure heart;
who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity,
nor sworn deceitfully.

He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
and righteousness fron the God of his salvation.

This is the generation of them that seek him,
that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.



Friday, April 23, 2010

behold the lilies...

The work of Thy fingers!
- lily-of-the-valley -
- tree peony -
- and a sneak preview of a work-in-progress -

Ahh...the delights of gardening!



Thursday, April 22, 2010

seeding grass

Two years ago we lost this HUGE mimosa tree that was in the middle of the back yard. Let me tell you right off the bat...DO NOT PLANT THIS TREE! In my opinion, it is ab-so-lute-ly the dirtiest tree e.v.e.a!'s my personal opinion but we I lived with the dirt for four years. The flowers and scent are beautiful but aside from that...well, you've read my opinion already. After the tree starts blooming, of which there are a ga-zillion blooms, the pods come, of which there are ga-ba-zillion seeds in there that crop up e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e!!! Then the pods dry up on the tree and take months...MONTHS! drop. The tree grows really fast which is why they're weak trees, often splitting about the time they have a nice formation.

Anyhoo, enough...I think you get my opinion. :)

While the tree was there, the grass was not so nice and got not so nicer after it was gone. Last September I decided to re-seed the grass and due to the tough wide-bladed grass, it needed to be treated twice and got too late to finish the job. Minus the bird cage, we had this huge brown spot all winter.
As soon as I could I began what seemed like a big project...getting it ready to re-seed. By letting it lay over winter was an advantage because the dead grass was looser and easy to remove. I used the dead grass to put in the flower beds as mulch. The pile on the left is the raked up grass - unraked grass on the right.
The wide-bladed ugly grass was in other spots,
 so I treated and re-seeded that.
The grass was seeded close to the pergola floor, choosing to do that so the pergola will have a 'floating-in-the-grass' look. It also means I will be getting on my knees and hand-trimming around it.
Our son L, is a landscaper and he says the key to a successful grass seed project is water, water, water. So...after it's seeded, girls, WATER, WATER, WATER it! :)
Nine days later, it looks like this...
April and August are the best times to do re-seeding. The new grass takes longer to sprout in the spring and may need to be watered through the summer if there's a drought. The August planting will be up in five to seven days but will have the winter snows lay on it. Either way, grass is tough and will survive most any weather except a drought. so...water! water! water! if the rains don't come.

...happy gardening!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

friday yard sales

i liked the light enough to pay twenty bucks,
and will use it outside somewhere.
candle delight!
they'll be used outside this summer
at the twilight garden tours the end of July.
the grandbabies will get the bubbles.
the stand is ugly but transformable...
the mirror will be embellished and painted,
and after seeing funky junk's use of a bed spring,
i brought this freebie along home.
mine won't look like hers,
i shall come up with something!