A Bowl Full Of Jello

Just to be clear, this post has nothing to do with jello! My brain just feels like jello… yesterday was a day full of nothing, didn’t do much of anything. Today and tomorrow will probably be about the same. I’m having a procedure done tomorrow, so…two lazy days are in my immediate future.

flame proof balloon

I was going through all my photos and found the picture above and figured I’d write a little about homeschooling my son.

FLAME PROOF BALLOON – A science experiment we did. All you need is a balloon, a little bit of water and a lit candle. Fill the balloon to the top with water and then blow it up with air, tie it off. Hold the balloon at the top while slowly lowering it over the candle. Why doesn’t it pop? Water is a heat conductor!

When my son was in 9th grade I decided to home school my son. It wasn’t an easy decision – first and foremost being where we live. We don’t have a lot of neighbors, none of which have kids his age. He’s an only child, I’m a single parent. How is this really going to work?

When he started high school, all of his friends went to one school, he went to another. I was literally dragging him to school every day and more times than not, he came home early. He absolutely did not like school…by the end of October, he had missed 11 1/2 days ( since the end of August), was failing or close to failing all of his classes. So, on Halloween (it was a Monday) he woke up and asked if he really had to go to school. My answer? No! I called the school, told them my son wasn’t coming to school – today or ever! I sent a note to his teacher and told her I had decided to home school, and got a letter off to the home school dept of the county department of education. She – his teacher – told me she thought it was the best decision I could make. It was…he flourished!

my son at Indian Echo Caverns, PA

I got my son back! But how did I do it being a single parent? With God and my dad. I know God carried us through.

The first year, we went through the county – but doing it that way is very tough! For the most part, they want you to home school with the intention that you will eventually go back to public school. THey suggested I look at an internet K-12 program, I did, and found that they literally want you tied to the computer, and I have to be by his side the whole time! I didn’t start homeschooling to be tied to the computer and stuck inside all day.

I stumbled across Many Paths of Natural Learning – the learning is child based. There are requirements, but there is freedom! This is what I was looking for!

at the WWII Air Show , Mt. Airy, MD

We went on many field trips, some through MPNL (Many Paths of Natural Learning), some on our own. We went to the library and got supplies, most of his material came off the internet…youtube included! Homeschooling can be expensive – but only as expensive as you make it. Most of the money I spent was to enroll him in the program.

Their philosophy – besides being child centered, is the whole world is your school! Excercise? Go hiking, do yard work, climb stairs instead of using the elevator. Music? youtube! church! the radio or cd’s while on your way to the grocery store. Math? History of math counts…so does finances, check writing. There is no such thing as one size fits all with this group!

WWII air show

We had a good time! He flourished! In 2016, the director of the group got in touch with me and told me I didn’t need to homeschool the following year! He was 18 and he had enough credits (more than enough)! We could keep home schooling, but we didn’t need to enroll the next year. We talked about it and decided that he would continue learning…on his own.

This actually turned out to be a blessing…in April of that year (2016), my dad started having trouble with his blood count. His liver counts were elevated, but they couldn’t figure out why…until I took him to have a bone marrow biopsy. The doctor pulled his shirt up, looked at me with shock and said, “He’s jaundiced!” I had no idea. You couldn’t see it until his shirt was lifted up.

After that, my dad started having fevers and would end up in the E.R. He’d be taken to the local hospital, then transported to George Washington University Hospital. He had three fevers before we enrolled in hospice care. He was in Hospice Care from Dec 2016 to March 2017 when he passed away.

During this time, my son helped me through. God did too! If my son had been in public school I would have never survived! My son would stay up at night so I could sleep. At first, it was to ensure nothing happened to dad…he didn’t get a fever in the middle of the night, didn’t get lost (happened more than once!). During the last couple of days, dad was in a comma, I had to give him medicine every hour from nine am to midnight. From midnight to nine am I could give it to him every two hours. My son, at night, made sure that I got up every two hours. Of course, I didn’t sleep much.

I would have never made it through if not for God and my son.

Anyway,, I’m going to end this on a lighter note. No quotes today – just some of my sons artwork…

found art…

Sometimes, I’d just be walking through the room and find something my son put together.

he called this “Air Head”
digital art

Having an artist for a mom has its benefits!

“The Good Earth”

One day (2014 is the date on this photo) he asked me to fix him some chicken nuggets with something on the side!

Does God know what we need before we do? I think so…if I hadn’t been homeschooling my son I probably would have really struggled going through what we went through. (My sister didn’t help, but that’s another post.)

Sorry this isn’t about landscaping, gardening, or like any of my other posts. I think I needed to write this though!!

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Holly’s World

Why did I call my blog Holly’sWorld?

Intriguing question…I originally thought of naming it photography by hcmorris77, but I found that didn’t work. Yes, I’m passionate about photography – but I’m more passionate about taking pictures than I am talking about them (lighting, aperture, focus… blah, blah, blah). I actually find that boring (reading about it, getting tips is totally different).

this is part of my world

My domain is still photographybyhcmorris77.com, and I do love photography! I got my degree in photography at Shepherd University. My photography is still included on/in my blog. All photos are my own, all artwork is my own (unless otherwise noted, but I seriously doubt there will be anyone else’s photography on this site). My blog is actually about my photography…but where am I? What am I doing? Why am I here… or there? Is there a story to tell?

So…what do I call my post? I love Holly’sHobbies, but it’s already taken. Welcometomyworld is to long… so, I treid Holly’sWorld. It wasn’t taken, so I kept it!

Alien in the Hat
I drew this, then had it tattooed on my back

So what is my blog about? Anyone already following me already has a clue as to what my blog is about, although I may not! It’s about art, life, nature, gardening, family, wildlife…anywhere or anything that has become part of my world and I find interesting. There will be facts about a subject when I find it appropriate. There will be silliness when I’m feeling goofy.

About the tattoo picture… I love Dr. Seuss!! He’s one of my favorite authors. The artist who put it on my back wanted to give it bloodshot eyes, but I said no. I didn’t want to be 90 years old with a bloodshot alien in the hat on my back, although it does seem cool! My son gave me an old Dr. Seuss book for Mother’s Day this year! I love it!

my dad singing to a daddy long leg

I ALWAYS have a camera on hand. Which is good for me, otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten this picture of my dad singing to the daddy long leg while on vacation in Pennsylvania a few years ago.

He – and my mom – taught me to have fun, and make the best of things. Or at least try! There will be hard times, but if you can still laugh about things…everything will be ok! Also, trust in God. Life really isn’t all that bad. I try to keep a smile on my face…

So, there will be adventure…

where are we going?

…travel

me and my son at the Buxton Lighthouse, North Carolina, 1999
me and my son, Smokey Mountains, 2001
Frederick Watershed, 2005?
somewhere in Pennsylvania
Raccoon

…wildlife

turtles

…artwork

lumen digital print

…silliness

burnt burgers

…mistakes

…plantlife

barn cat

…domestic life (including gardening, yard work, care giving and anything else that pertains)

transplanting lilacs

At the end of my posts, you will always find a quote or two. It will be one way you will know that the post is finished. Today I have four! Hope everyone has a great day, keep a smile on your face and look for the beauty around you! It’s everywhere!!!

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.” – Audrey Hepburn

“I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.” – Arthur Rubinstein

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein

“If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” – Vincent Van Gogh

Carefree Saturdays 1

I’ve decided that Saturdays are going to be days that I take care of myself. No matter what!! I’m a caregiver 6 days a week – giving care to everyone else (clients and family), so Saturdays are going to be my day to take care of myself. Yes, I only work 4 days a week, but those four days are hard days and when I get home I still have care giving to do.

I feel that I was starting to get caregiver burnout. Sick to my stomach, starting to not care about myself or my feelings, not wanting to get out of bed in the morning. Despite all this, I was trying to pretend everything was ok. My boyfriend and son knew something was wrong…my son was trying to help me feel better, but nothing was really helping. I finally crashed! Something had to change, so….I decided to have a carefree Saturday. It took a couple of days to get here, but I think I’m doing the right thing.

Every Saturday is going to be Carefree Saturday! I don’t really know how my boyfriend feels about it, but if he’s allowed to go hunting once a week then I’m allowed to have carefree Saturdays. He says whatever I need to do. I thought that I was going to have to put my two weeks in, but I feel better since I made this decision.

On Saturdays, I will not do laundry, no dishes, no cleaning – it’s going to be my day to do what I need to do so I can manage throughout the rest of the week. I know it sounds harsh, but it’s what I need to do – especially if I am to continue working as a caregiver.

It might be that I work on my gardens, or paint the rafters of my deck (we have carpenter bees), or I go to the library, window shopping with my son, or go hiking. Whatever I need to do to take care of myself. And I’m going to blog about it – Carefree Saturdays (#) is going to be the name of the post – today’s is Carefree Saturdays 1.

Gambrill State Park/Frederick Municipal Watershed

May 11, 2019

Overlook at Gambrill State Park, Frederick, MD

It’s been almost a year since I’ve been up here – even though it’s only a few miles from my house. It’s so peaceful and quiet…I was hoping to see some wildlife, but no such luck! It was actually my sons idea to go hiking – or go window shopping. I chose hiking, going window shopping didn’t sound like too much fun.

Frederick Municipal Watershed
moss growing on a tree trunk
fern
some kind of tree disease
fungus growing on a fallen tree

Researching “fungus growing on trees” on the internet says that not all fungus is harmful for trees, in fact, some are beneficial. I’ll do a post on actual fungus/fungi later, but this post is about hiking!

There is actually a blue bird resting on a big rock in the path, near the top of the photo. If I had had my telephoto lens with me it would’ve shown up better. I used to carry at least two cameras with me all the time. Well, I did have two – but one was my cell phone camera. It doesn’t always focus the way I want it to.

My boyfriend was out turkey hunting and had his camera with him.

Mountain laurel and two other plants growing on a moss covered tree trunk

my sons feet
fern
strange mossy plant

It was kind of cloudy, but the sun did pop out for a little bit. It wasn’t too cold or too hot. We hiked for two hours…which kind of surprised me! I haven’t been hiking with my son since 2014 when we went camping near Niagra Falls. It’s been a long time and I thought he’d want to turn back sooner than we did. We talked a lot about things, played would you rather until I couldn’t come up with things anymore and the conversation turned to The Hundred Years War and Camelot – that’s my son!!!

Don’t know what these two plants are (above and below), but they’re pretty.

My son has agreed to go hiking with me once a month! Not sure what I’ll do next Saturday, it all depends on the weather. I do need to work on the rafters on the deck – a carpenter bee has started drilling. I might try and get that done during the week though. We shall see…

“Taking time to do nothing often brings everything into perspective.”

– Doe Zantamata

“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.” – Frank Tyger

Dirty Hands and Old Shoes

These Dirty Hands

these hands

Never thought I’d be writing about dirty hands, but here I am.

These hands have been through a lot, even for forty something years…

no gloves for this girl

I really don’t like wearing gloves. I like to be able to feel what I’m doing. When I’m wearing gloves, I can’t “feel” what I’m doing. My boyfriend is always getting on my case, “Put your gloves on!” Even when I’m mulching, I don’t wear gloves, even though it is recommended. I’ve applied top soil and fertilizer without wearing gloves. Gross, I know…but this is who I am.

These hands have spent a lot of time at the beach and holding a fishing pole, catching more fish than not.

me and my grandfather aka “Poppy Dear”

These hands have held the reigns of many a pony and a couple of horses…

I preferred ponies. We owned Patches for a while, ended up having to give it back to its owner…it got really mean. I’m almost certain they ended up selling it.

me, my dad and Patches

These hands have been the tender touch my baby boy needed…

These hands have shown compassion to dying loved ones…

These hands have gotten stuck in bumpers and shut in doors…

These hands have prayed for strength to get me through…

These hands have pulled weeds, held frogs and toads and touched black snakes (haven’t gotten the courage up to pick one up though)…

driving

These hands have gotten out of many a tight situation, pounded nails, dug holes, painted walls – with more paint on me than on the walls, it would seem.

These hands have had stitches…

You can barely seen the scar here (below), but my ring finger was nearly torn off…One Saturday morning, I decided to take our new dog for a walk. I was 8 years old. I walked in the pen with the leash, leaving the gate open. After I hooked the leash on her collar, and unhooked her chain she bolted. I held on and tried to stop her by grabbing the fence post – an old telephone pole! My finger got hooked on an old rusty nail! My parents rushed me to the hospital and I think I ended up with 16 stitches outside and twelve inside. I had been cut clean to the bone. The doctor’s said I was lucky I didn’t lose my finger. The scar used to start above the ring, down and around the knuckle, and almost back to the top of the ring. As I’ve grown up and my hand got bigger (with age) the scar shrunk.

These hands clean up pretty well

Old Shoes and Dirty Clothes

old shoes

Old shoes for yard work…

Old shoes for mowing…

Old shoes for swimming…

Old shoes for cutting wood…

Old shoes for shoveling snow…

Old shoes to keep my feet clean…

…but not my jeans.

I have been known to do (minor) yard work in my bare feet. I have chased snakes through the yard in my bare feet, taking pictures! But of course, I don’t have pictures of that! I do, however, have pictures of the snake.

“Jump into the middle of things, get your hands dirty, fall flat on your face, and then reach for the stars.” – Ben Stein

“Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature good humor, vast security, good speech, good silence and nothing too much.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

MORE TREE FROGS

**First off, I have to say sorry for not posting anything yesterday. I worked, then I was busy taking pictures and editing them. I’m trying to figure out how often I will post. I will post as often as I can, first thing in the morning – but there may be a day here and there that I can’t/don’t post every day. Once I figure out what I’m doing, I will let you know.

Since the tree frog came back yesterday, I wanted to try to take some pictures of him, especially his legs.

When I first saw this yellow spot on his legs a couple of years ago, I thought there was something wrong with him. There isn’t, it’s normal.

Some (basic) facts about tree frogs:

  • eat moths, grasshoppers, crickets, and flies (in my earlier post I noted that they are insectivores, but I wasn’t specific)
  • there are about 800 species of tree frogs, inhabiting every continent except Antarctica
  • there are approximately 30 species in the U.S.,more than 600 in Central and South America
  • most tree frogs are small enough to sit on the tip of your finger
  • Guenther’s tree frog is the only frog that has teeth in their lower jaw
  • simply touching the yellow banded poison dart frog can lead to heart failure
  • tree frogs use there eyes to help swallow food – they close their eyes very firmly which pushes the food down their throat
  • the Costa Rican flying tree frog has webbing between their toes, which helps them to glide between trees
  • some tree frogs secrete a substance on their skin that is used as a hallucinogenic drug by indigenous people
  • (INFO FROM ANIMALS NETWORK)

I love listening to the frogs at night. I’m not sure exactly when they showed up, it was a few years ago and I’m sure that the pool had something to do with it. I don’t worry about them peeing on me and causing warts – it’s just a myth! I have had them pee on me, but I just wash my hands. (This one hasn’t peed on anyone, as far as I know.)

I’ve never seen the tree frog tuck it’s legs under it before. I watched it all day long the other day, it stayed with it’s legs tucked under the whole time. Seems to be saying, “Hey, I’m comfy! Take some pictures and read me a story!”

The picture above and below are examples of its color changing abilities. Then there’s the grey color like in the other pictures. I thought at first, with it swimming in the pool, it might harm him – but I use the minimum chemicals so it should be ok.

in a pot with snake plants
Peekaboo!

These last couple of pictures were taken last year…I know my plants need some TLC, but at this point I was more concerned about taking the picture of the frog than what my plants look like. (House plants tend to get a little droopy in the winter time, going into a kind of hibernation and it’s normal! In the spring, or when you think about it, just pull all the dead stuff and they’re good as new. When I put my plants outside for the spring/summer and into fall I will thin out my plants, getting rid of all the dead stuff.)

How you enjoyed this post! I will hopefully be posting tomorrow.

Any comments are always welcome.

So, until next time, take care, put a smile on and look for the beauty around you!

TREE FROGS

When I woke up this morning and started thinking about what in the world I was going to write about today, I had no idea. Then, our tree frog showed up! He seems to visit the porch just about every day!

almost looks like a baby turtle from a distance

It didn’t take me long to notice him…I’m always on the look out for him. It seems like he enjoys our company, seeming to say “Good Morning!”

I know it’s part of their feature, but he always seems so happy. I’m not sure whether this frog is female or male, but I’m calling it him.

happy to see you, tell me a story please!

Some facts on tree frogs:

  • Grey Tree Frog, aka Northern Tree Frog
  • closely related to Cope’s grey tree frog
  • distinguishable based on variation of calls
  • common to northeast (USA), but has a distribution range from Texas across from northern Florida up to Maine and New Brunswick
  • prefer wooded habitats with trees and shrubs near water sources
  • varies in color from greenish-gray to gray-black depending on background environment (I’ve seen pure black ones here – at least they seemed pure black)
  • have a light colored spot under eyes and skin may have bumpy texture
  • have yellowish patch on ventral side of back legs (inside), might only see it when jumping or moving
  • expert at camo
  • relatively small – ranging from 1.5 to 2 inches in length
  • insectivores
  • adults are also opportunistic cannibals, eating smaller frogs
  • larvae graze on algae/other plant matter
  • emerge from water burrows in April, breed in May
there was a bug on your eye!

We first noticed the frogs a few years ago. I think the pool drew them up to the house (there is a drainage pond below our house that has water in it most of the time now).

We had fun with the frog on this night. Luckily, I grabbed the camera when we went out to explore.

This picture was taken before he jumped on my sons face. He looks very intrigued by my son, who is sheltering him with his hand.

He loves the pool…but since we cut the branch down that over hung the pool I haven’t noticed him in the pool as much.

“There are some things one can only achieve by a deliberate leap in the opposite direction.” Franz Kafka

“The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives” – Indian proverb

We also have a toad that comes and visits, but that’s another story!

“A frog decided to reach the top of the tree

All frogs shouted,

“It’s impossible. It’s impossible…”

Still the frog reaches the top…

How…?

Because he was deaf…

And he thought everyone was encouraging him to reach the top…”

the moral: ” Be deaf to negative thoughts, if your aim is to reach your goal.”

ROAD TRIP

This was much needed…for both of us! I was supposed to work Sunday, but with me not feeling well on Friday, I got the weekend off. I need to work, but at the same time, I can’t if I’m feeling the way I do. I love my clients….but at the same time, I need to take care of myself.

Enough of that, I’m writing about the road trip! We went to see my boyfriends mother near the Chesapeake Bay. Even though it was rainy and foggy, we still had a good time!

This is in Frederick Md

I had almost forgotten about this house! It’s been hidden behind trees and undergrowth for years! I remember my mom talking about it, but can’t really remember any details. It’s for sale now, I need to find out more about it. I’m sure it will be torn down and something else built. It’s across the street from prospect hall, for anyone who knows Frederick.

On the road

Yes, that’s a stretch limo! Someone’s getting married!! More than likely.

We’re on 70, heading to Baltimore. You can see how overcast it is. The fog came and went. This is Saturday morning.

Driving through the country

Some of the roads we take, take us through old farm land. These farms used to grow tobacco, not sure what the farmers grow now. It’s nice to get off the highway and take back roads!

Side road

We don’t actually take this road, it’s a good place to stop if someone needs to take care of business (uh…use the bathroom). I would love to drive down this road and see what’s there. Maybe I can talk my boyfriend into it some time. He does all the driving when we head down to the bay!

At the Bay…

The sun did come out for a while and people were out and about. I don’t know how I managed not to get pictures without people in it. This is looking up towards Scientists Cliffs. There’s a lot of fossils at Scientists Cliffs, which is why they named it that. They have found megladon sharks teeth and huge clam shells. In order to walk to the cliffs, you need to plan on catching the tide at low tide during the full moon. My boyfriend says you’re no longer allowed to walk there. The cliffs have been washing away. We didn’t walk as far as we could have. There was a party going on near where the shore line turns, we turned around before we got to them.

driftwood and flowers
driftwood

It would’ve been nice to be able to bring some of the driftwood home – but we would’ve had to drag it out of there. And neither one of us felt like dealing with that! They would look nice in some of my gardens.

more driftwood

It’s amazing – to me – how trees and plants can survive in conditions like this.

wild rose at the beach

Mine will be blooming soon!!

some kind of wildflower
looks like teeth

I believe this is a tulip poplar bloom.

We didn’t spend a whole lot of time at the beach – just enough to get our fix.

Getting away was very relaxing, giving me time to think. It was barely enough time to let me relax, but I know what I need to do. The ride home wasn’t very good for me. I had a terrible headache and was sick to my stomach. By the time we got back into Frederick I had a cold sweat and could barely hold my head up or keep my eyes open. I laid down for a couple of hours and took a nice hot bath with epsom salts and baking soda and burned some sage. All three of those are detoxing/stress relievers and it helps. Burning sage is the stress reliever, epsom salts and baking soda are detoxes you can add to the bath. Soak for twenty minutes, and you should feel better.

I’ll post at sometime about care giving and the ups and downs.

SOME MORE PICTURES AND FACTS

I was sick again yesterday, so I didn’t get a whole lot done. I think it’s nerves…work knows that there is something going on. I got the weekend off, have to decide what to do on Monday. I’m thinking I will stay with my two clients until the 16th, take a week off and decide if I need to put my two weeks in at that point. Of course, come Monday if my nerves act up I’ll have to put my two weeks in sooner. But anyway…

more important stuff. Some more pictures! I did go out yesterday evening and take some pictures.

black ants on peony
red ant on peony

Notice the difference in the ants. The top peony has many black ants on it and they’re small. The bottom peony has one red ant on it and it is much bigger. Still not sure why, but I will figure it out. (I lazed about yesterday trying not to think too much! I did get some of my house plants outside, so that’s a bonus!!)

5 tulips

Some tulip facts:

  • symbolic of spring (duh!)
  • can be divided into about 150 varieties, with more than 3000 naturally occurring or genitically cultivated varieties worldwide
  • takes 20 years to go from the beginning stages of cultivation to your local florist’s shop
  • have a wide variety of meanings: love, in general
  • red tulips = true love
  • white tulips = I’m sorry
  • purple tulips = royalty
  • multicolored bouquet – compliment of recipients eyes
  • symbol of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation
  • the most expensive flower at one point of history, in the 1600’s were more valuable than most people’s homes and cost almost 10 times what an average working-class man earned in a year
  • known for bold colors and beautiful shape – are almost perfectly symmetrical
  • tulips are edible; during ww2, tulips and tulip breads were often eaten by those who couldn’t afford other foods, can be used to replace onions in many recipes, even used to make wine
  • Netherlands are the largest producer
  • “tulip” name originated from Persian word “delband” meaning turban
  • “Tulip Mania” – during the 1600’s, people in the Netherlands traded tulips for their value and the flowers actually ended up causing what some say is the first economic crash likely due to the bubonic plague
  • related to the lily, part of the Liliaceae family which includes lilies, onions, garlic and asparagus
  • “Queen of the Night” – deep purple tulip that appears black in some lights (I think I have one)
  • information from teleflora.com
dandelion fluff

Who takes pictures of dandelions?! I do!!!

grape expectations lily (I’ll add pics when they come into bloom
tiger lily leaves
rose bud
Holly tree growing in Rose bush

I really need to get this out of here!

how old do you think this rose bush is?
wild fern and rock wall
purple clover
lily of the valley
iris flower bud

Sorry this is short and sweet – again. My boyfriend are going on a road trip today and I need to get ready to go. I’ve got more…lots more.

SOME PHOTOS

Not sure what I’m going to write about today. I work all day today… it’s going to be a long day.

Here’s some photos I took yesterday and this morning with my new camera.

azalea blooms and begonia leaves

I didn’t realize until late last night that I’ve been spelling azalea wrong.

ant on peony

The ants on the peonies down the lane are different than the ones up closer to the house. The ones up close to the house are black, as this one is red. Not sure what the difference is, accept maybe different environment. I’ll have to research that.

fallen azalea bloom

As I was walking around I saw this on the ground. It’s getting to the point that they’re starting to fall of the bush. They still smell good, just getting late in the season for them.

lily of the valley

When I was weeding the garden yesterday, I noticed the lily of the valley. They must have been transplanted with the peonies a few years back. I’ve still got a bunch of them in one of my other gardens…where the peonies used to be.

maple tree with old plow

I want to fix this plow up and display it better than just propping it against a tree. It needs to be sanded, painted and wood handles added. It does look nice there…

This picture was taken before I finished weeding. I’ll be sure to update when it’s done.

After weeding…all I need to do now is mulch it. Won’t get to that until next week sometime.

This is the next garden I’m working on. The tree is a sage…I believe a bee balm sage. But I’m not exactly sure. I was told it was a Russian Sage, but thy have purple blooms. This one has white/yellow blooms. I actually have two of them.

purple tulip

I like taking pictures of the center of flowers. I feel that they get overlooked sometimes. Can’t wait til more of my flowers bloom!

Same picture, just a different crop.

tree frog

My tree frogs are back! I’ll be posting about them in a future post. This one loves to come up on the deck in the morning and say hi to us!

had enough

Sometimes it seems like he poses for my pictures. We started noticing a couple of years ago – the pool might have something to do with it.

A LITTLE SOMETHING OFF THE WALL

I was digging through some of my photos and found this…it’s from when I was homeschooling my son. It’s labeled “fire proof balloon” – part of a science project we did. I’ll have to look it up, because I have since forgotten how we made it fireproof. What ever it was, it worked.

a crop from the photo above
the same
another crop

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. I also hope you can feel that I really enjoy doing this.

“I don’t want to be a poo poo girl, I want to be happy flower child.”

– Drew Barrymore

Azalias

It’s been a long, busy day. After going to the store to do our weekly shopping, I weeded the garden that I started mulching yesterday. In about two hours I got it weeded. I would normally go out and get it done first thing in the morning, but we wanted to get the shopping done first. But that’s not really what this post is about.

It’s about azalias. We have plenty of them and they’re huge.

by the deck

In 2006 (give or take a year) I started putting coffee grounds on them. Before that, they weren’t knee high.

This was probably taken in 2002

Back when this was taken, everything was small. Even my son, he’s about 4 years old in this picture!!!! My beagle, Gracie, passed away in 2008.

Azalias love acidic stuff. You could put pine needles around them, but I save them for my blueberry plants. Coffee grounds have a lot of acid, even spent grounds. I just save the grounds we use to brew coffee and dump them on the azalias. I put them on my holly trees and hydrengea too – when I think about it.

The more things change,

the more they stay the same – Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

I can hardly believe how much things have changed around here. But it’s bound to happen!

the trunk system of the azalia by the deck

Sometimes, these area get forgotten. Last summer, I thinned out the hosta growing near the top of the photo. It was growing under the deck.

azalia and bleeding heart by the deck
Azalia clipping
new transplant

When I was cleaning out all the vine from the azalias along the lane, I pulled this up by accident. It was a branch that had rooted itself. I cut it off and replanted it near the elm tree along side the lane.

Looks like bare dirt, but it’s not.

Some azalia facts:

  • also known as “Royalty of the Garden”
  • nectar and leaves are highly poisonous; in the past see as a death threat if given in a black vase
  • need acidic soil
  • info is from “Ten Random Facts

“Minds are like flowers; they only open when the time is right.” – Stephen Richards

MULCHING THE GARDENS AND THE MOWER SHED

taken before I got started…got a lot to do

Mulching the gardens

getting started

It’s going to take me some time to get the mulching done! I’m feeling under the weather today…sick last night and not feeling up to par today. It’s kinda drizzly today, and I was supposed to work today, so I wouldn’t have gotten much done anyway.

putting mulch in the garden

Working by myself is long and tedious. But, on the other hand, if my boyfriend had been home I may not have gotten as much done as I did in the amount of time I did. In two hours I got four loads spread out in one garden.

It is very relaxing for me to do this kind of stuff. As long as I don’t feel rushed.

I used the tarp to help me spread the mulch. I initially only intended to use it in the wagon. Upon getting the mulch down to the garden, I thought it would be a lot easier to pull the tarp out and kind of roll it into the garden, rather than using the shovel to transfer it. I probably got it done in about half the time.

I’m about half way done in one garden. Got two more to go, plus some of my holly trees. My boyfriend suggested we do the trees as well. It would look nice to have mulch around the trees…I have, I think, 6 along the driveway. It would be nice, at least, until the trees fill out.

About half done with this garden

You can’t really tell it here, but there’s more garden to the left of the picture. It’s kind of in an “L” shape. As I get more accomplished, I will post more pictures.

This garden has azalia, iris, peony, daffodils, wildflowers, ornamental grass, and a cedar tree. Some animal or bird brought the grass and cedar tree. When I was spreading the mulch around I noticed a tiger lily. There’s also supposed to be gladiola, I think I need to dig it up.

The Mower Shed

Oh, the mower shed!

When we moved into this house, my dad put up a temporary shed. This was in 1990. It lasted til 2015…kind of.

It had a tin roof and had rusted through. In order to get the mower into the shed, you had to lean over to the side. If you bumped it, stuff would come crumbling down.

(I know I’ve got pictures of the shed before it was torn down. I’m getting a new external hard drive delivered tomorrow. My son is using the one I have now for his xbox 1, and I don’t have the energy to deal with it right now. When I get it, I will get all my stuff off of it and let him have the old one.)

dad working on the shed

When dad started working on this in 2015, I had just had surgery done and wasn’t allowed to do any heavy lifting, mowing, driving …pretty much nothing. I had my ovary removed and was cut for the second time from my bellybutton to my pelvic bone. Details of that is for another story. He knew I couldn’t really do anything to help.

You also have to know, he was legally blind! He could see, but not much and colors were off (what would be green to me or you would be purple to him). At this point, I don’t know who took him to get the supplies he needed. I don’t remember. It wasn’t me because I couldn’t drive. Maybe we got the supplies before my surgery, so it was there when he decided to start. (That seems plausible.)

The play house needs to be torn down at some point. It’s not really safe to go up there. I’m hoping the shed can be saved – since it only a couple years old.

It took him a little longer to finish the project than it normally would have and I worried about him the whole time he was doing it. (He used the table saw while legally blind – he’s been doing this stuff since he was a kid. He knew what he was doing – no major injuries! Wait til I tell you about cutting trees after the ice storm in 2014!!) Near the end, I was able to help him a little bit. Not as much as I would’ve liked to but some. It was at this time I almost sat on the snake I mentioned in one of my earlier posts. (BLACK SNAKES)

the reason I take my camera with me EVERYWHERE

If you haven’t read the post, I almost sat on it when taking a break. I heard some commotion behind me (I was almost sitting down), stood back up and looked and there was a snake!

That’s the finished shed. It now has a tarp on it that can be rolled up and a TON of tools. My boyfriend brought a bunch of tools when he came here. It’s almost overcrowded in there. Actually, it would be if I hadn’t moved stuff to the other side. The building used to be a playhouse. Now it’s storage…my boyfriend and I are renting a dumpster this summer or fall and getting rid of a lot of stuff. I moved some of the tools under the playhouse just to get them out of the way. (There’s really no room under there either.)

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow” – Aubrey Hepburn

NEW CAMERA

I was going to make today’s post about azalias. I got a new camera on Sunday and it took me way too long to download the pictures to the computer.

Way too long!!

For what ever reason, my computer wouldn’t recognize my new camera. I finally had to go into the controls and add the camera that way. I was really getting frustrated, but I finally got it done. I couldn’t add the photos like I used to with my old camera, or even my boyfriend’s. Totally different!

Oh, well… at least I figured it out.

baby pine cones and needles

All the pictures included in this post are from my new camera. I still need to play with it and get used to it. It’s a canon eos rebel t6 – what I had before was a rebel xs. The rebel xs gave up the ghost and it was cheaper to buy a new one than to have my old one fixed.

Sometimes images like this work, sometimes they don’t. It all depends on who is looking at it. One thing I learned at Shepherd University is that not everyone is going to like all your photos all the time.

My next purchase is going to be a macro lens or fisheye lens. I can get a lot closer to my subject, with a sharper image. I like the photo above, very abstracted. With the macro lens, it would be sharper. (The wind yesterday could have had something to do with my images not being as sharp as I’d like them to be.) Kind of mysterious…

I think I actually will get grapes this year!!! When I took this picture, I didn’t realize there was a bug as well. I have no idea what kind of bug it is, but I had to include it.

purple tulip tip
peony with ants on it
strawberry blooms

My next post will be about the azalias. They’re absolutely beautiful this year! Last year we got too much rain.

Sorry this is another short post, gotta go get laundry done so I can get to work on my flower gardens!!

-if you have face book, check out Holly’sWorld (If you haven’t already). I post pictures and updates there.

see you next time!
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