WORKING ON THE WALKWAY

As I’m writing this, I’ve got the song “I’ve been working on the railroad” going through my head. Not sure exactly why, except that “working on the walkway” fits.

May 22,2019

getting started

I didn’t know that I was going to do this until I started. I knew I was going to do something – either work on the walkway or the rock wall in front of the house. This seemed much easier! The plan for today (yesterday) is the “sink” the telephone poles in the ground and get the river rock in place. Not that hard to do!

Rather easy! It helps that I already have the poles in place where I want to put them. Just move them and start digging. The ground is marked because they’ve been in place for awhile.

The trench is dug and one pole is in place. It would’ve probably been easier if I had been able to do all of it at once, but…I can only do so much at a time. With having some time off from work, I’ve been able to do more in a relatively short period of time. Could I put the money towards something else? Of course, but I’ve been working on this for a couple of years (since before my dad passed away). So, I get done what I can when I can.

Notice, in the photo above, how the grass has died off? That’s the marking I was talking about. Just dig all that out from the outer edge of the dead grass to the rocks…you’re done!

Both poles are in place and rock where I need it. The grass in the foreground is harder to dig out…it’s closer to the driveway and is full of gravel. Actually, the driveway used to go to about the edge of the first pole…grass has just taken over.

I had two bags of rock left after filling in around the poles, so I dug out between the flower pot (with a dead grape vine in it!) and the garden/steps. I had seven bags to start the project.

It didn’t take very long to get this done…about two and a half wheelbarrow loads, two hours. I would’ve kept going, but all the rock is gone. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Yeah, I know I need to replace the bottom riser on the steps to the deck. Maybe I can get my boyfriend to help me with that…at least cut a board down to size. I can put it in place!

I watered the rock…yeah I know, watering rocks? I could’ve just let nature take care of it, but I like to rinse the sand plus, I wanted to make sure the water runs off and doesn’t pool anywhere. That’s the whole purpose of doing this.

As I was watering the rocks, I noticed some not so happy ants. And, of course, I had to take pictures! They’re were ants in the picture above with the end of the pole in it, but you can’t really see them (my camera focused on the pole instead of the ants).

Why use river rock? Well, I think it’s aesthetically pleasing, easy on bare feet (uh, I don’t wear shoes unless I have to), and helps with erosion. I could use mulch – but for the reasons listed above it wouldn’t be very good. How much mulch would be tracked into the house?! It wouldn’t feel very good on bare feet, and I would have to replace it (the mulch) every couple of years (if not sooner). With rock, I can leave it! If it settles, which I’m sure it will, just add more rock.

I could pour concrete, but with the slope towards the deck…doesn’t seem very practical to me. Or as pretty. If weeds start to grow, I will pour vinegar on it. ( I read somewhere that you can mix vinegar with dish soap, works better than just plain vinegar. I will have to get the recipe and try it! Also, cornmeal kills weeds…we shall see!!)

Anyway, that’s about all I have for today! Here’s some flower/abstract picture I took recently… (yesterday)

And I will leave you with this…

Until next time…

“Do not feel sorry for your tears as rocks never regret the waterfalls.”

– Munia Khan

“It is not what you look at that matters it is what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau

(My boyfriend and I are going sometime over the weekend to get more mulch, so I’m sure I will post about it!)

YESTERDAY

“Yesterday

all my troubles seem so far away

Now it looks as though they’re here to stay

Oh, I believe in yesterday”

– The Beatles

That song has been stuck in my head for the last 24 hours or so. I don’t know why…yeah, I have troubles, but I try not to dwell on them.

Anyway, I was busy all day yesterday. I upgraded by blog site, just now figured out how to add a page and have it on display. Going to add another one later. I also started selling photos on PicFair – which is why I upgraded the blog and added a page. Later, I’m going to add a page for Shutterstock, I hope.

Didn’t do much yesterday – I did get the cold water tank drained. It is suggested that the hot and cold water tanks be drained once or twice a year (I drain the hot water twice and the cold water once a year). It helps with the performance of the tanks and clears out any sludge that might be in the tanks (especially the hot water).

I hook a hose up the the tank I’m draining and run it outside. As soon as the pump kicks back on, close the drain spout. ( I guess I should’ve taken pictures of this, didn’t think it would be necessary.) When the pump turns off, open the spout again. For the hot water tank, it takes about 4 times/cycles to get the water clear. The cold water tank, only two cycles. You could hire a plumber to come out and do this, but it’s fairly easy to do…the hardest part is making sure no one runs any water while you’re doing this.

When we first started doing this, we’d have two five gallon buckets – one is being filled while the other is being dumped. You definitely need two people if you do it this way. It’s back killing as well. Five gallons of water is heavy! Then, we figured out we could hook up a hose to the tank and run it outside. When you first start draining, the water will more than likely be brown (you’re getting all the sludge and brown water off the bottom of the tank). After a couple of cycles, the water should be clear.

Over time, naturally occurring minerals can settle in the bottom of the tank. The build up can potentially reduce the efficiency and capacity of the hot water heater/tank. It can also plug the drain and interfere with ongoing maintenance, leading to early failure. (diynetwork) DIYNetwork suggests draning it ever year or two, while Dave Moody (plumbing pro with Service Experts) says that if you live on a well, you may need to drain more frequently. (I drain my hot water heater twice a year, my water supply is a well.)

So, all I took pictures of is the running water coming from the hose that’s hooked up to the tanks. If you want more info on how to drain the tank(s), let me know and I’ll make another post…or you can look it up on the internet. There’s lots of info out there.

dragonfly

I did go out and take some pics of insects and flowers.

purple iris and rose
bee on red rose
wild roses and pink rose
deep purple crepe myrtle

I guess that’s about all for today…

I am going to work on the walkway today, so I will be posting about that. I guess I’m a little bummed because I have to go back to work on Friday, need to pay the bills. I would love to do this and take pictures all day…soon, I guess that will happen. But not today.

So, until next time…

“Magic is seeing wonder in nature’s every little thing, seeing how wonderful the fireflies are and how magical are the dragonflies.”

– Ama H. Vanniarachchy

“My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature.”

  • Claude Monet

“Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it.”

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson

PICFAIR IMAGES

I now have images for sale at picfair…

I have been wanting to do this for a while, I’ve just been so busy with my part time job and life getting in the way!

Here’s an example of some of the images that are available…

ABSTRACT

bird in tree swirl with red
purple hosta heart
blue and yellow iris swirl

FLORAL

dandelion fluff

LANDSCAPE

Chesapeake Bay Shoreline
driftwood and flowers

Insects and Spiders

trampoline spider

WILDLIFE

frog peaking out of plant saucer
tree frog

All I have for wildlife right now is frogs…sorry ๐Ÿ™

SNAKES

peekaboo black snake

Photos can be accessed here:

https://hcmorris77.picfair.com/

CAREFREE SATURDAYS 2

May 18, 2019

Sorry I didn’t post this morning, my cat let me sleep in! As soon as it got light enough outside, I started on trimming out my plants. Today is as good a day as any… Actually, I’m sick and tired of my boyfriend mowing down my plants. So, today I trimmed them out, tomorrow I am mulching as soon as I can get out there.

Doesn’t look like it, but there is a rose bush there. It used to be about a foot tall…until my boyfriend started doing the mowing. Now, it’s only a couple of inches.

I’m sure it will be much happier now, especially after I mulch! I know I will be!

And here is a baby azalea!

I took this before I started trimming…doesn’t look like much! I have already pruned the dead stuff off of the crepe myrtles and lilac.

There are yucca, holly’s and crepe myrtle’s planted in the picture above. When I was trimming around one of my crepe myrtles, I noticed another baby crepe myrtle.

I thought crepe myrtles weren’t supposed to send out runners!! I’ll have to check into that again… I bought one for my mom in 2007. Now I have at least a dozen. I haven’t actually counted. (I will be sure to do that tomorrow!)

I trimmed everything on both sides of the lane. I wasn’t going to, but I figured I’d get the trim done and mulch tomorrow. The picture above is crepe myrtle and lilac.

I’ve got three baby holly trees where the reflector poles are. The big holly tree I transplanted about 6 years ago.

CARPENTER BEES!!

I’ve got carpenter bees drilling in the support beams on my deck. A sure sign of them is sawdust (below)…

We’ve had problems with them ever since we put the roof on the porch (now a deck). I’ve painted part of it, but my boyfriend said I shouldn’t use the paint I was using. So, the next chance I get I am getting a cheap gallon of brown paint and finishing. I could use polyurethane, but I need to finish painting first.

I used glue and tape (both gorilla). The tape is to keep the glue from running out of the hole. My boyfriend doesn’t seem too concerned about the bees…he will when he has to replace the beams!!

It’s kinda hard to see the hole… and as you can see, they’ve started drilling through the paint. So obviously, I do need polyurethane!

When I was filling the hole and covering it, I noticed the second hole. Hopefully the gorilla tape works.

It’s kinda hard to get a good picture of the holes, but you can notice the light brown hole in the dark brown… I also filled this hole with glue and covered it.

I have seen the carpenter bees go in and out of this wind chime. They also recommend putting up posts made of soft wood. I’ll have to see about that.

another picture of my old shoes…at the end of the day
and my dirty self

My day’s not over (it’s 5pm), but I figured I’d go ahead and get this done…the rest of my day will be spent doing nothing in particular. Maybe reading, maybe get my hammock out and swing in it for a while.

I do have some new flower/abstract photos for you…

I took this when I finished the first part of the trimming. They’re cedar berries. Did you know they’re edible? I little tart, but otherwise not too bad.

The blue berries are edible!

pink peony with ant
pink peony swirl
…inverted
three pink peonies
black and white with red

I tried to add some green, but I didn’t like it.

charcoal and chalk
neon glow
neon glow swirl

So, I will leave you with this for today…

“Whoever said ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous

“”If you want to be happy for an hour, get drunk. If you want to be happy for three hours, get married. If you want to be happy forever, make a garden.” – Chinese Proverb

“Seed +Sun+Water=Weeds” – Anonymous

RANDOM THOUGHTS AND ABSTRACT PICTURES

Sometimes, Life Gets In The Way

yellow and white buttercup

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday, I had a procedure done! Everything’s okay…just messes up the schedule this week. Just something routine I have to have done every three years. I do have to increase my fiber intake and drink more water, but other than that I’m fine.

Hopefully, by tomorrow I’ll be back to my normal self. I don’t have to go back to work, til next Friday…so I should be able to do everything I need to do before then. Like, figure out a regular schedule to post, work on gardens that I’ve been neglecting since before my dad passed away, trim out and mulch some of those gardens and trees, work on the walkway, make phone calls, and as always, take more pictures. (I know I won’t be able to do EVERYTHING I want, but I can dream…right?)

Pictures…that’s why I’m so late in posting today! I was editing photos for three and a half hours this morning! (I needed some for today’s post!) I had about three days worth of photos to edit, got most of them done but not all. Then I took a nap because I just wasn’t feeling up to par. Still not, but I do feel better. It always takes me about 24 hours to get back to my normal self.

I know they say to have a couple of drafts on the back burner, which I do, but this post is pretty much just flowing out of me. So I’m going with it.

field daisies

Couldn’t tell you how many I edited, but it was quite a few. Like I said earlier, if I hadn’t had the procedure done yesterday, I would’ve had this post done this morning! My hope is that I can post regularly on Sunday, Monday, Wed, Fri, and Sat – at least for the time being. (I looked at my blog posts and marked on my calendar when I posted, these days seem to be pretty much average posting days for me.) If I can’t post on the given day, I will post the following day!

ABSTRACT PHOTOS

The following photos are all abstracts…original first, then the abstracts.

bird in tree…

bird in tree original
bird in tree swirl with red
bird in tree with red 2

Sometimes this just happens. I will start messing with a photo to see if anything sticks.

peony

peony original
peony swirl
melting peony

green and purple tulip leaf

green and purple tulip leaf swirl
tulip leaf charcoal and chalk
melting purple and green tulip leaf

white iris

white iris original
white iris swirl

light pink rose bud

light pink rose bud
light pink rose bud swirl

The picture above, I applied a gradient map in PhotoShop then swirled it. That’s why there aren’t any of the original colors in it.

Sometimes, messing with pictures like this works…sometimes it doesn’t. I think these work!

For the most part, I don’t abstract my photos (but obviously, sometimes I do). I tend to stick to the original. I have to be in the right mood and have time to mess with them if I’m going to abstract them.

until next time…

“There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward, you can remove all reality.” – Pablo Picasso

“I think you have to let go of this idea that you can be precious about everything, and let it be the abstract mess that it is.” – Ryan Reynolds

(I think I might put this last quote in my profile or include it in every post. I really like it!!)

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!!

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