Monday, March 29, 2010

30's Years Together Now! :)

It's hard to imagine that 30 years have passed already since Rud and I were married for time and eternity in the Idaho Falls Temple! Yet at the same time, it's difficult to think back passed the time we united! Rud is my everything! He's my best friend; my sounding board when I need someone to run things by; he's my amazing handy-man (I'm convinced there's nothing he can't do when he puts his mind to it!); he supports me financially, spiritually, and emotionally; and he's the love of my life!! :)
In this photo I was holding onto my viel as it was trying to slip off my then silky hair! The gesture reminds me of a common saying when one's about to take life by the horns, ... "Hold on to your hat!" - That pretty well describes the enthusiasm with which I've marched through life with this man at my side!! :)

It seems we've always been holding on to one another! :)

The eagerness with which I attatched myself to him, then, has not changed! My heart is still given to him freely and completely! He truely is my soul mate! :)
Well Honey, ... 30 years together and all eternity still to share!! I wouldn't be happy with a minute less!! :) Happy 30th!! :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Garden Talk! :)

I managed to get the onions planted yesterday! Two 15' rows of Walla Wallas, and one row each of Mars, Candy, and Copra! :) Walla Walla is our favorite sweet onion, for fresh eating! Candy is said to be similar, so we're trying it this year! Mars is a red fresh eating onion, we're also trying for the first time, that I'm hoping will be great in our tossed salads! Copra is my favorite storage onion! We're Still using the last of our Copra Onions from last year's garden, and their flavor is ideal! :) We like Copra for cooking, carmeling, and even fresh eating! :) They are smaller in size than the other onions, and hard to the touch. They can't be beat for their long storage life!
Here are a couple photos of the planned extension! Once the deer fence is up there will be no changing the size of the garden, so we thought it best to add more space to it now! I could tell by the way I had to cram things into last year's garden, and still had things I didn't have space to grow, that we needed to add more space to our garden this year! :)

We've added around 6' of space to both the width and the length, so I'm feeling it should now be about right! The blueberries will remain in the garden, and there will be more fruiting plants added, like raspberries, strawberries, and an Agria Grape! :)
I can't tell if the tayberry and raspberry plants I planted last year, lived or not! It's possible their roots may be alive and will yet push new shoots. If not, I will buy replacements. If they did live, I'll be moving them, to better fit the new size of the garden! :)
I purchased two fig tree starts last fall, too, but for now have decided to keep them in pots! They will be moved into the garden during the summer months, so I'll be happy to have added space to accommodate them, as well! :)
Having the deer fence up will not only limit the size of the garden, and the amount of things I can grow, but it will also limit how large the area is that I will need to work! Thank goodness for that, or who know How large I'd end up making it!? :) Seems I can always think of more things we need to add to our garden! :)
This size garden should be perfect now! :)
Who knows, maybe I'll even plant a few pots of tulips and place them within the safety of the deer fence! The pots would protect them from the gophers, (below ground), and the fence would protect them from the deer (above ground)! :)
Yes! That will work!! :) ... See why I always need more space!? :) grin

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Garden Fever! :)

I admit it! I've got garden fever! :) I spent the last month checking out all the local nurseries and pouring over the garden seed catalogs! I made my local purchases, and mailed the catalog order, and now have all my seeds and onion plants waiting on me and the weather! :) I've been looking at the colorful seed packets planning how I'll lay out the 2010 garden! A quick look back at photos of '09 garden, (one shown above), is not only a reminder of where crops were (in order to rotate them this year), but it's also a powerful reminder to my senses of how much I'm yearning for this year's garden! I want to see fresh 'tilled loamy soil, smell it's fresh earthy aroma, and feel the sun-warmed soil in my hands! :) I want to start getting seeds and plants in the ground and begin watching for those first seeds to sprout and push up through the soil! :)
My mouth waters as I think about that first bite into a warm, ripe tomato, trying not to let the juices run down my chin! :) ...
I need to remind myself that it's still March, and there is much to be done before the real seed planting can even begin! This year we will be extending the garden area and putting up a deer fence! We have measured, squared, and put in the corner post! Just seeing what it Will be, makes me all the more excited about this year's garden! :)
We're hoping the ground will dry out enough, by tomorrow afternoon, for Rud to 'till an area for me to plant the onion plants! They need to get in the ground ASAP, so atleast I have that to look forward to, to tide me over untill the rest of the planting gets underway! :)
So does anyone else have garden fever, like I do? If you're a gardener, I should warn you, - it's highly contagious! Before you know it, you may catch it too! :) - I hope you do! :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mason Bees! Our new addition! :)

Ever since I worked at a garden nursery that sold Mason Bees, I've had a desire to buy some for our own property! :)
"Each bee can do as much pollinating as 120 honey bees! :) Mason Bees are often referred to as solitary bees because they do not have a social order like the honey bees and bumble bees. They do not have a queen or a hive and they do not make honey. However, they are perfectly happy making a nest right nest to each other. Mason Bees tend not to sting because they are not a social bee and do not have a hive or a queen to protect. Fortunately Mason Bees are not susceptible to the Varroa mite which has caused such havoc with honey bees all over North America." (These quotes are taken from the write up that came with the Mason Bee house I purchased, shown above!)
We use to sell MB houses made of wood that are shaped like the outline of a house, so there are other types that can be purchased! This was the only type offered at the nursery I bought it at! :)
We worked around the Mason Bees all the time, at the nursery, and never had cause to worry about being stung! :) Since I don't want the responsibility of the honey, or the worry of getting stung while working hives, - the Mason Bee is the perfect bee for me!! :)

If you look close you will see the skinny tube that I purchased of baby mason bees! :)
I bought it in Feb. and have been checking for activity from it, ever since! One day, when my sister was visiting, I slid the tube out, and we found it had split down one side and had a little round hole knawed through it! :)
Yesterday I saw one, (two to be exact), for the first time, out pollinating some grape hyacinths! I got so excited that I ran in and grabbed a camera!! :) You will need to click on this photo to enlarge it if you want to see it! It's a small black bee, the size of a fly! It's hanging from the bottom of the small blossom, in the middle of all the daffodil stems! :)

This one is hanging from the small bloosom in the center of the photo! :)

This one is easier to see! It's face is facing us, up-side-down! :)

This one is 'center photo'! We have a better side view! :)

I saved the best view for last! It was difficult getting any photos of them at all, as they would fly as soon as I tried to aim the lens at them! Cute little things!!! :) Even though we have ample honey bees and bumble bees frequenting our property, I'm thrilled about adding the sweet Mason Bees!! I've been adding enough trees, shrubs, and perennials, through the years, to have something in bloom when the bees are out! Of course I'll be adding annuals in the veg' garden too, so there will be pollen for all!! :)
Soooo little Mason Bees ... Welcome to your new home!!! :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Has Sprung! :)

Spring has sprung! :) Flowers are blooming; hummers are zipping from flower to feeder; tree swallows are filling the air with skilled activity; and all nature, and mankind, is getting back into action as we feel the energy of spring! I love this time of year!! Need I say more!? :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Luck O' The Irish! :)

Today I'm celebrating the Irish part of me, and sportin' a little green!! :)
May the sun shine upon you, may the wind be at your back, and may the luck o' the Irish be with you today and always!! :)
HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY everyone!!! :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Evening Grosbeaks! :)

This morning I decided to be brave and just try taking a zoom photo, of a bird, with my new camera! I had just rehung the feeders for the birds! (I take them down every night now, or the raccoons come and steal the suet, cages and all, and take most of the sunflower seed from the feeders!) A single Evening Grosbeak made his appearance!
A couple of females then came to the suet! :)

One by one, more birds started to arrive, so I kept taking photos! :)

In the past I've only seen a few Evening Grosbeaks, at any given time, in our yard. Last month I bought this new tray feeder, and ever since the number of Evening Grosbeaks has grown! :)

They enjoy how easy it is to land on and are willing to eat together as a flock! :)

I've counted up to 18 - 20 Evening Grosbeaks in the back yard at one time, since buying the tray feeder and the feeder you see two perched on in this photo! :)

I was a good distance from the "bird station" when I took these photos, but am disappointed my 300 lens didn't zoom in even closer. Either I'm expecting too much from it, or I still don't understand how to get the most from this lens. Some time I'll try to sit closer to the feeders to see if I can get better photos!

I hope these photos enlarge when you click on them, for a better view. ...

This is a beautiful bird, and well worth a closer look! :) Hope you enjoy them as I do! :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Birthday Bliss! :)

Now that I'm in my 50's, birthdays don't hold the same excitement they did when I was a child. Not only was I excited about celebrating my birthday, in those days, but I was also excited about turning another year older! :)
These days, the ideah of adding another year to my age, comes as a disappointment! :)
But all that said, I have to say that this birthday was joyful for me! :) Rud came home from work with a gorgeous boquet of hot-rose, roses for me! Then he and Cal took me out to my favorite restaurant, (Red Lobster), for dinner! I felt spoiled by all the birthday wishes I recieved from friends and family by way of Facebook, phone calls, a card, and even being treated to a birthday lunch twice, previous to my birthday, (once by my friend, Vicki, and once by my sister, Diane)! :)
All that made me special! I'm so satisfied as I feel celebrated and loved, and that is what a birthday is truely about! :)
There is one more gift that will come later, ... my requested deer fence around our veg' garden!! I've wanted one for years and we have decided to put other attempts (to keep deer out) aside and just build it!! :) It's actually a good thing we didn't put it in before, as I discovered the plot we had just wasn't big enough! So we will be expanding our garden area when we fence it! :)
Thanks to everyone who made this ol' gal again feel the pleasures of "birthday bliss"!! :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Magic Morning! :)

I'm an early riser who enjoys watching the sun rise! There's something soothing about watching night turn to day and knowing it brings endless opportunities! :)
This morning felt especially magical as an owl's voice "hoo-hoooo-hoo-hoooo" broke the silence!
As I stepped outside to snap a photo I heard the whir-whir sound of the ducks flying overhead! (I wish I'd had my new cam' in hand as it snaps photo after photo! By the time my sure shot was ready to take another picture they had passed by!) :)
I love the calm stillness when the only sounds are those of nature waking up or, in the owl's case, prepairing for sleep! :)
Sweet dreams, little owl, and I shall dream dreams too, now that I'm awake! :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Making Room For Stewartia! :)

When my friend, Vicki, and I were "nursery hopping" she introduced me to Stewartia! Vicki and I worked at All Season Nursery together, but for some reason I had never been introduced before! :)
When I saw the grace of this tree and listened to Vicki telling me about her white camelia-like blossoms in the spring/summer; it's red, purple, and gold fall color; and it's mottled, peeling orange, gray, and tan bark as the tree matures, for winter interrest - I knew I had to make room for Stewartia! Her full name is Japanese Stewartia! :)
Since there was no room in the existing flower beds I went home and pondered where she could go! I determined that by expanding one of the flower beds I could make room for her! The next day I drove back to the nursery, bought her, and brought her home with me! :)

The next step was to position the plants I'd chosen to accompany her! :)

Once I was satisfied I used the edger to cut out the shape of the extended bed; removed the grass sod; and proceeded to dig the hole for Stewartia! I was disappointed to hit riverbed rock at the base of the hole (it's probably the only place on the property that has river-rock down in the soil) and Rud helped me finish digging out enough of the rock to atleast have a foot of soil beneath her roots! I hope it's enough and that she will be able to thrive in this new location. I keep reminding myself that this spot is much improved over the pot she's been in! :)

Today I finished planting the rest of the plants and put down beauty bark! So now I've done my best to make her comfortable and I hope she makes herself right at home! :)