Sunday, March 23, 2014

Freezing Flowers At The Opera

Good Morning All!
Geez, it feels like forever since I've posted anything....
Oh Wait! It has been!
It amazes me how quickly things can become scrambled and how much slips through the cracks. There just doesn't seem to be enough minutes in the day to complete everything.

My wife has been in and out of the doctors. She has two degenerative disks in her neck, which has been causing her a lot of pain. It has also been affecting her hands, unable to grip things. They (the doctors) have been running test, poking and prodding, and want to 'try' everything that pops into their heads. She also is going in (on Monday) for carpal tunnel surgery. And I feel useless, since there doesn't seem to be anything I can do to alleviate the problem.

My daughter has been sick as well. And having insurance issues.

My son is still looking for work. He just got another car, so hopefully things will improve and he can get back to normal.

My PC crashed and was out of service for almost two weeks on top of everything else.

Ok, so now you know the whys of my absence. I apologize to all of you who make my blog a regular stop on your internet journey!

Now, let's see if we can recap some of the good (and bad) stuff that has taken place...I think we shall start with the recent.

Yesterday I put in our 'flower circle'. I've been planning this for months and the weather and circumstances all came together yesterday. At the center is our new birdbath. I can't tell you how many of these I have looked at. There are some truly hideous birdbaths out there. I finally found one, it is a combination of two separate baths. The bowl has a green patina and the base has a brown patina. Of course the people at the store looked at me like I was out of my mind for wanting to separate them. I placed some ground cover (can't remember the name right off) and some dwarf mondo grass around the base of the bath. That is the basis for ring one.
I have been studying up on PermaCulture over the last few months (Thanks Stephen!). I have found several ideas that I want to incorporate into our yard. Trying to make things easier, since the older I get the less I want to break my back in the yard for. I have incorporated 'swales' into the design of the flower circle. For those of you who know what swales are - good for you! For those of you who don't you can go here to learn more.
There are three rings and three swales in this design. Each ring has various flowers and the swales will help to feed them. The 3 swales are filled with cypress mulch to retain the water that flows into them. I am hoping that this will drastically cut back the amount of watering - since it gets so hot during the summer here. And because we have had such a terrible time of getting grass to grow.....
I have planted quite a variety of flowers in the circle. They include Sunflowers - 3 different varieties -Moulin Rouge, Goldy and Soraya, Broom Corn, Cleosia 'Tornado Red', Craspedia 'Billy Buttons', Verbascum 'Southern Charm', Digitalis 'Candy Mountain', Lupine 'Gallery Mix', Lobelia 'Fan Scarlet', Tithonia 'Torch', Stipa Sirocco (a type of grass), Heliopsis 'Summer Sun', Wildflower 'Southeast Mix', Lavender 'Vera', Wildflower Mix, 'Bunny Tails' grass, Sweet Pea, Larkspur 'Sublime Mix', Calendula 'Zeolights', Forget-me-not 'Victoria Blue' and California Poppy. Fingers crossed that something grows from all of this. LOL!

the plot where I am putting the Flower Circle
(this is from the street to the house)

the beginning of the circle
this is after about two hours of tilling
you can see the bath and the second ring (darker dirt)

this is all 3 rings seeded and mulched and the 
last minute bench that was added
i will be moving the bench - do not like it there

I am planning on doing some strawbale gardens in the back this year as well - keeping with the planting theme. I have begun my tomatoes and peppers indoors and should have them planted in the next two weeks. Next year after the bales break down they should help the soil. These will be put in areas that don't want to grow any grass - now that I think about it, that seems to be a whole lot of my yard. :)

Just over a week ago we went to an opera. We saw Faust. I still have no idea why they named this Faust. It has very little to do with him. It seems to be more about the poor woman that is tormented. That was my take on it anyway. The tickets were given to us by my daughter's future husband. Thank you Perry, we had a wonderful time and really enjoyed the production. The opera was at the Cobb Energy Center.
This is fairly new venue that we have never had the opportunity to visit. We had good seats (not that there appeared to be any bad seats) to the left of the stage. The first scene was from behind a curtain that was back lit - all I could think was 'I could use that layout for Halloween'. Yes, it's ALWAYS running in the background of my mind. :) It ran for about 3 hours. They had two 15 minute breaks to change the stage scenery. All in all it was a great experience.

this was our view
the only photo i got - there were very particular 
about photographs

the photo my daughter took and fancied up
on our way to the opera

I have been working on a large Wee, as time permits. As well as acrylic transfers of Huggin and Munnin. I had hope to have them completed by now, but that has not happened. 

large Wee with a regular Wee
this one is a stamped burlap

I'm sure by now that you have seen the lunacy that occurred during our 'winter storm' here in Atlanta. We got hit twice. The first one, in January, was the biggest mess I have encountered in the 20 years we have lived here. Yes, I was stuck in traffic. It took me over 4 hours to get home. Something that I will never understand is how people, 90% of the state, who moved here from the north can't drive in a little bit of snow. This is the storm that made news all over the place - Atlanta drivers can't drive. :)

my dogs - not sure what all this white stuff is...

The second storm, about 2 weeks later, was more ice than snow. It closed things down for a couple of days - they freaked out after what happened during the last storm. I was at home and we lost power. It was out for about 6 hours. Apparently, someone slid into an electrical pole just around the corner from my house. This one freaked me out a little bit. I spent the day watching the tall pine trees in my yard bending over and dropping limbs. I was sure one of them was going to come crashing through the roof. Fortunately that didn't happen. 

ice covering all the trees and branches
freezing rain - yuk!

my poor truck - covered in ice

and then it snowed on top of the ice
wonderful mess

My daughter-in-law and my son made me a fantastic Faery House for my birthday. It is made from materials they went out and gathered from around their home. Right now it sits on my fire place. It is supposed to go outside. Maybe I will work it into the flower circle once the flowers have come up.
They did a wonderful job on it.

bad picture - i know
will take another once it's in the flower circle

My Aunt and Uncle were in town recently and we got to have lunch and catch up with them. I have not seen my Aunt since my Dad passed away - 7 years ago. It's hard to believe it's been that long. I haven't seen my Uncle in over 20 years. Wow, that doesn't seem possible. I had a really good time talking with them and visiting. They seem to be doing well and their children and grandchildren are keeping them busy! I'm really glad they got the chance to visit while they were in town. They stopped to visit Stone Mountain on their way from Florida back to Michigan. 

my Uncle Wayne, Aunt Pat, my daughter Jenifer
and my grand daughter Kennedy

my Aunt and Uncle and me  :)

Well, I think that is where I will leave you...
There were many more little things that went on in this time frame, but I'm sure I've put enough of you to sleep for now. :)
Looking forward to our next get together - I will try not to make it so long in between this time.
Until then....

Be Good, Be Safe, Be Happy!!