November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Rainbow

Shall it rain,
Shall it snow,
or shall the sun come out?
Maybe Mother Nature will give us all 3...
and throw in a rainbow for good measure.

November 25, 2008

My Tale of Love

My "love" story is about my lovely little niece and nephew.  This summer on a camping trip.  We loaded up the kids in the car and went on an ice run.  While we were waiting for ice.  We decided to get my nephew (age 3 1/2) an vanilla ice cream on a stick w/a chocolate coating on the outside.  My niece  (age 1 1/2) was happily sucking on a lolly-pop.  So we didn't bother with get her an ice cream.  We give the nephew his treat and drive back to the camp.

When we get back to the camp I turn around in my seat and there they are both of them covered in melting ice cream and chocolate there car seats covered and the seat in between them an melted ice cream chocolaty mess.  As I sat and watched my nephew take a lick then pass it to my niece and she would take a lick and pass it back.  So forth and so on. Dripping, slurping and laughing.

My heart was filled with love for them both.  My little nephew loves ice cream.  And without even being asked he decided to share with his sister.  He loves her and she loves him.

November 24, 2008

Love Actually

Friday night I wandered into the living room, plopped down in front of the TV and started to channel surf.  And much to my surprise and delight 'Love Actually' was on.

A favorite.  I saw it in the theater and have seen it on DVD a couple times.  And every time I watch it I 'notice' a new relationship.   Another example of love.  

The opening is Hugh Grants voice and shows the arrivals gate at the airport.  People hugging and kissing and happy to see loved ones.  The last line he speaks before the movie starts is this.

"If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is....all around."

How true and yet how easy is it to close our hearts and minds to it.  If you haven't seen it.  Make a pot of hot cocoa with whip cream.  And sit down and watch it.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.  How have you seen or demonstrated love recently?

November 22, 2008

Silent, Soft, and Slow

Out of the bosom of the Air,
  Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
    Over the woodlands brown and bare,
      Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
        Silent, and soft, and slow
          Descends the snow.
      - Henry Wadsworth LongfellowSnow-Flakes 

Bit early for snow storms like this for Western Pennsylania.  3" more over night and 17F when I got out of bed this morning. Brrrrrrrr.....

November 20, 2008

Happy Girl

Oh how I love Jack Russell Terriers...

She just has the absolutely happiest disposition.

And she is just so cute and cuddly.

November 19, 2008


Panicum v. 'Heavy Metal'
So last year I designed a beautiful wall project.  Last week I took some pictures of the job.  These grass are blue in the summer.  But the fall/early winter color is the best.  By next year they should be all grown in.  So it will just be a seamless wave dancing in the wind.  
Ornamental grasses can add life and movement to a hardscape.  Do you like ornamental grass in a landscape design?

November 18, 2008

Holiday Mail for Heroes

Do you send out Christmas cards?  Do you have one extra one?  Now, no matter how you feel about war (present or past).  Our Veterans and Soldiers deserve our respect, thoughts and prayers.  Please be so kind as to mail a holiday card to:

Cards must be postmarked by the 10th of December.  For more information on this Red Cross project click the above address.

A little added incentive.....for every person that leaves a comment that they mailed a card....I will mail an additional card.  In other words...if 10 people leave comments that they mailed a card.  I will mail my original card plus 10 more.

Help make the holidays a bit more joyful for someone.

November 17, 2008

James Bond

Weekend Recap......

Daniel Craig makes for a delicious James Bond.

Scrambled eggs, toast & tea is good for lunch.  Especially if you just got out of bed.

Eeking out a book (The Bronze Horseman) a couple pages at a time because your afraid it will end badly for the characters...

Getting an award always makes one feel so lovely.  I got the Superior Scribbler from Gizzards & Calf Fries.   I'm going to spread the love over the next couple of weeks.  The award itself is over to the right. 
Next year Obie gets a new winter blanket... at $105 for repairs and cleaning a new one would have been cheaper, unless the patches hold.

Does anyone have any ideas on what I could do with a huge pile of leftover mashed potatoes?

November 16, 2008

Sleeping Angels

The Jack Russell's enjoying a little down time before creating havoc.

In the Sea of Green post I asked if your dog(s) could go off leash.  And got lots of responses.

Neas Nuttiness asked if they were good with kids.  My girls are.  Though they are not really interested in interacting with kids.  But they will sit for pats and don't snip when hands get a little rough.  But Charlotte is interested in being with the kids because I'm with them....not because she really wants to be with them.  Charlotte is very attached to me.  And only me.  But of course.....I'm very attached to her.  Jack Russell Terriers are notoriously known to become attached to one person in a household.
Far Sid of Fifty asked how much off leash work I do with them.  Charlotte has had extensive (and ongoing) off leash training.  And although she has a 'pretty good' recall.  I would not bet her life on it.  She does work undergound.  And has a HUGE prey drive.  So I would not bet her life on a recall.  Clarice on the other hand.....not so much of a prey drive.....but would follow Charlotte.  And Jack Russells are also well known for 'same sex aggression'.  So two female terriers in one house can be a bit of a management nightmare.  Charlotte is 7 and Clarice is 2.  Charlotte is definitely all terrier.....she exhibits every single terrier characteristic in spades.  Clarice is a little softie and though a terrier....she was picked to be a pet more than a worker....she is bred differently, and though still a terrier.  Has a more lovable personality.  And not so aggressive.  So I trust Clarice to comeback....but I don't trust Charlotte enough not to get really 'ticked' off at her constant intrusion into 'business' not to thump her good enough to seriously hurt her.
Dog Geek mentioned that she always carries cheese along with her hiking.  That is a wonderful idea.  Clarice is very motivated by food.  Cheese is amongst her favorite.  And I use it for a jackpot for her.  Charlotte.  Not motivated by food at all.  Being with me and working underground are her motivators.  And it's hard to say which is more important on any given day.
Want to see if a Jack Russell Terrier is for you?  Try the JRTCA Interactive Profiler.
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November 13, 2008

Pearson Park & The Garden Club 1

There is a right place to plant Junipers and a wrong place.  The above pictures show the wrong place.  These poor plants got to be to big and had to be hacked back into submissions yearly.  Therefor became.....welllll......ugly.  I understand that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  But I really do think that the natural shape of yesterdays Junipers is FAR superior to the ones pictured above and below.

The Garden Club sought out Moi for some advice in regards to what to plant in the Junipers place.  I came up with three options and crossed my fingers that they would pick my favorite of the three.  And they did.  So the next few posts will show the evolution of a small Garden Club landscape project with big results.

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Pearson Park & The Garden Club 2

You remember my hubby's girlfriend right?  The Stihl Farm Boss.....well Hubby always finds a way to get a little action for her.  When Hubby volunteers for a job it's always for projects that involve machinery of some sort....or action for his girl.

All the Junipers are removed from both sides of the walk.  And the roots are dug out.  Now Junipers do not have a really extensive root system.  So you don't have to dig that deep, even for really big plants.

Pearson Park & The Garden Club 3

I take the time to check the PH in a few places along the walk.  Yikes....those hands, scaly skin and gross cuticles.  Farm Girl hands...there is just no helping them.  Anyway...we're looking for PH between 4.5 & 6 for what were going to plant in this area.  PH was a little low here....but when I moved it over a 1' we were right at 5.5 so I was happy overall with the site.

Next step....marking for plant placement.  Now Plants don't grow at the same speed.  And we are going to put in a whole row of the same type of plants (what? really? we just took a row of the same thing out? are you losing it? .... your going to have to trust'll be okay).  My point is that you don't need to agonize over plant placement.  Cause no two are exactly the same even when they are the same species (in other words you don't need engineering specs).  When I measure a job out I use a weird combination of measuring tapes....but it does the trick every time.
We use the water soluble marking paint.  And it's a good thing, cause no matter how careful I am with the can.....I get the stuff everywhere.  On my boots, hands, tape measures, walking wheels.  Everywhere....nothing is sacred.

Orange dots get replaced by holes.
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Pearson Park & The Garden Club 4

Ta-Da!  Azeleas are beautiful.  I gave the Garden Club a choice of Boxwood (Buxus) and two forms of Azalea.  They chose.  A hybrid of R. nakhari (The R. standing for Rhododendron....meaning Azeales are a form of Rhodys which is interesting.) developed by Mrs. Polly Hill of Martha's Vineyard, MA who has been messin' around with Japanese azaleas since the 1950's.
The one used here is North Tisbury Alexander.  Which was the one I hoped the Garden Club picked.  It's flowers are a lovely salmon-red blooming late into June.  And it has the most amazing prostrate growing characteristics getting a maximum of 18" high and about 3' wide.  Cold hardy to -10F.
After getting all the Alexander Azalea out of there pots and into the ground.  We then took a spade and edged along the side walk so that when the mulch was put in it would look nice and tidy and most importantly stay put.

See how the mulch lays right up to the sidewalk nice and tidy.

Next to the tools of the trade was this big guy.  And he just was sticking out like a sore thumb.  He had to go.  He was blocking the view of the fallen fire fighters memorial on the other side of the walk.  

That's better.
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Pearson Park & The Garden Club 5

So folks....what do you think.  
Did you like the Junipers better or do you approve of the Alexander azalea's?

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November 12, 2008

Sea of Green

Juniperus chinensis 'Sea Green' aka Sea Green Junipers.  A big field of Sea Green Junipers.  In the summer they are a light green...okay but not wonderful.  But as the weather gets colder they get darker green.  And the color is gorgeous.

Clarice doing her thing.....lookin' out for Charlotte.

Charlottes ears are always flying when she's running.

My girls can not go off the leash at the same time, outside of the confines of the yard.  I'm not so much worried that they will get lost or won't come back, as I am that they will get tangled up with something that they shouldn't.
They are Jack Russell Terriers.  Which means they are brave to the point of stupidity.  Not to mention possessive.  Charlotte will only put up with interference into what she considers 'her affairs' for so long.  And Clarice is starting to get more and more interested in the things Charlotte is doing.  Like digging, working groundhogs, mole patrol.  Charlotte will not tolerate an overbearing presence from Clarice in these matters.
If Charlotte goes down a hole after a groundhog the last thing I want is Clarice to follow.  There is no way I could referee when they are underground.  And it would be dangerous for Charlotte to have Clarice blocking her exit.
Clarice is also a bit conformational challenged for underground work anyway.  With those short bowed front legs and big chest.  Cute as can be, but not built for work!
Do you have a dog?  Can he/she be trusted off leash?

November 11, 2008

The 11th of the 11th of the 11th

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

- John McCrae

As we celebrate and remember our Veterans today.  I want to say a special thank you to my Grandfather.  Who fought for our country in WWII.  You are an inspiration to our family, your strength, your loyalty and your love.  Your country honors the sacrifices you have made.  And your family is so incredable proud of our Veteran.
I love you Grandpa, thank you.

November 10, 2008

Leesburg Falls

Are these seedling hemlock?  I really have not a clue....Far Side are you out there?  We grow Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) here at the nursery and we start with 2nd year 2x sheared (2-2).  So they are already substantial and woody.  


I love how things morph in the woods.

Mum and I went for a hike with the dogs in the woods.  Leesburg Falls to be precise.  Hmmmm, why no pictures of the falls.  Why no pictures of the dogs.  Why no pictures of Mum.  Well....Tami and her camera were not syncing at all.  Not sure why not.  But yikes...the pictures were rough.  And It's a shame because the Hemlocks were gorgeous and the light was great.
Next time I go back I'm taking the 35mm SLR.  Film folks.  Maybe I can get a good shot.
But the hike, the company, the view were'll just have to take my word for it.  

November 7, 2008

Combine Harvester

I have an amazing life....a big part of what makes it so amazing is the wonderful people that I am surrounded by.  My Mum is married to Jeff who has a dairy and crop farm in Volant.  They farm about 850 acres and milk 80 head.  Things are always happening there.  Trucks, tractors, and equipment zooming in and out of the drive and around the farm yard.  I caught this photo of their Combine Harvester coming up the drive of the home farm as I was getting in my car after a visit with Mum.  I had just enough time to snap one shot.  And am so glad it turned out to be a good one.

November 6, 2008

Japanese Fall Glory

My very most favorite tree in the yard. The beautiful Acer palmatum var. atropurpureum 'Bloodgood' aka Bloodgood Japanese Maple. I will post some pictures of the different variations of the Japanese Maple in a couple of days. All beautiful. This one is of course very old.

November 5, 2008


Scout was born here 8 years ago. I put out the call to friends that I needed a companion for a TB Mare that was truly goofy. Goofy! She couldn't make friends with anyone. So I thought a pony would be calming. She didn't make friends with 'Penny Pony' either.

Penny Pony was an adorable Shetland. Very wild though. A law unto herself. A friend bought her off the meat truck for me following the Sugar Creek Auction. Scout was the surprise....we figured out that Penny Pony was preggers about 3 months before Scout was born. 

When it was time to wean Scout.... Penny went to be a companion to a friends horse. Scout has of course stayed here on the farm. He gives pony rides to Sisterella's kids.   Officially of course his only function is to boss around Obie.  And he does a good job of that.  Amazing that something so small can be sooooooo bossy.  He has one blue eye and one brown.  And is adorable and naughty just like a pony should be.  His stall plaque says: Scout ~ Loved by all, owned by none.

November 4, 2008


The first appearance this fall of a flock of Meleagris gallopovo aka Turkey.  Not your average Butterball but Wild Turkey.

November 3, 2008

Fur 'N Feather

The turkeys are defiantly afoot.  Found these turkey feathers on a walk around the back 50.

I found this feather near the above rabbit fur.  I'm thinking it may be a hawk feather.  Does anyone know?