Saturday, June 30, 2007

In the garden today

The raspberries are in! With less than two weeks to be sad that strawberries and asparagus are done, we're getting big, beautiful, sweet raspberries. I used the only container I could find in the barn (this teacup) and filled it -- putting those left over into ME!

Also, we put up the scarecrow, called "Basketball Head" -- not very original, I know. He used to be named "Mexican Jones" because young Jim put a face on him that looked like a Mexican bandito, but that cloth face rotted away and was replaced by a dead basketball. Anyway, when Turner went out after that, he saw the scarecrow and FLIPPED OUT, barking and challenging. I can't get him to go near him -- he's sure he's a threatening person. Here's are some pictures -- see how scary YOU think he is.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Western Trip

We've just returned from our trip to the Rotary International Convention in Salt Lake City. Salt Lake was a much more contemporary and interesting city than I expected -- it was really clean & safe and had great sculptures throughout the whole city. We did a side tour to the Great Salt Lake and the Kennecott Copper Mine.

After that, we drove down to Las Vegas, stopping at Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park on the way. What awesome places they were! I continue to be amazed at the beauty and variety the Lord has created, just because He can!! I think Zion was my favorite because we were able to drive through it and really get a feel for the size and majesty of the canyons.

The next day, we drove out to Grand Canyon West, which is in the Haulapai Indian Reservation. We opted not to go out on the glass skywalk because it costs $50 more and you can't even take cameras out there! We were, however, just west of there at Guano Point (you can see where we were here on Google maps. The vistas were lovely and the Canyon is, of course, awesome -- there's a reason it's called one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The reason it's called Guano Point is that the indians used to zip-line & rapelle down the side of the canyon into bat caves there and "mine" the guano to sell!

Before you get to GC West, you drive over 17.5 miles of the worst dirt roads ever (even worse than those here in Michigan)! It takes about an hour to go those 17 miles, but they go through a Joshua tree forest and a beautiful part of the Mojave Desert. The Joshua trees go on for miles and are small (the tallest is about 15 feet) and gnarled looking. They are really old -- the forest is estimated to be about 900 years old! You can read about Joshua trees here in Wikipedia -- they really are fascinating, though I did find them ugly.

I saw some new birds, too, though I didn't have a field guide and had a hard time identifying them. I saw a Common Raven, a female Golden-Crowned Kinglet, and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. I get really excited to see new birds! I know I'm a geek, but I just can't help myself.

After that, we stayed in Las Vegas for a day & a half. That was, for me, the low point. I'm always taken by how decadent and darkened it is, with everyone concentrating on nothing but themselves, sex, drinking and gambling! It was also 11o degrees, which is REALLY hot when there's nothing but asphalt and cement. We walked miles and saw all the sights, including the new Wynn (which is lush with water features and gardens and really lovely) and the waters at Bellagio. There are some really pretty parts of Vegas, if you can forget about the loss and economy that builds it and the fact that they're devouring all the water everywhere around them.

So that's the story of "what I did on my summer vacation". Be sure to check out the webshots link below for more pics. Thanks for visiting and for reading my long post!

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by auntie20

Friday, June 15, 2007

What's New?

I haven't updated in a while. I've just been busy planting, watering and weeding. We've already got our first tomato growing (!) and have picked so many wonderful strawberries! I think the garden will be great this year, though the season is starting out really hot. New this year are leeks -- I'll keep you posted on how they do.

One of the girls died this week. Tiny, the Aracauna, had gotten so thin that I don't even think she weighed 1/2 pound. She just had less and less energy and hadn't laid an egg in months. All the girls are 3 years old and I believe that's old for hens, though they don't have a long life expectancy. My girls certainly don't face many hardships or much stress in their sheltered world!

We leave tomorrow for the Rotary Convention in Salt Lake City. From there, we'll go down to Las Vegas and will be going to see the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam at some point. It should be a fun trip, with lots of sightseeing. I'll try to post at least once from there.

The chickens, cats, dog and plants are all going to be in the care of Danny -- I hope he's up to the pressure (and Turner's early mornings)!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Lily's Quilt

Christy wanted me to post something about the quilt I made for Lily. When I gave it to her, I told Crit that I would, but now it seems like boasting -- forgive me if it seems like that to you, too!

The blocks in Lily's quilt are from animal patterns found in "Claire's Cats" and "Grandma's Bunnies", along with others that I made up because I wanted more variety. The fabrics are primarily Aunt Grace's (a reproduction line of 20s and 30s fabrics) and a few vintage ones that had enough strength to stand up to play. The polka dots, which also are the backing fabric, are an Alexander Henry called "Pop Dots" and I know that I bought every yard (and piece of a yard) available online throughout the country (because there is no more available anywhere)!

I love the outdoors and animals and hoped that Lily would have fun learning the animals and colors, discovering the patterns in the fabric and counting. This is, by far, the most fun I've had making a quilt and (I think) the best one I've ever done. The more I sewed, the more my imagination ran away with me and I'm really pleased with the result. Here are pictures of the blocks -- thanks for looking!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Gardens & Laptops

We've been working in the garden, finally planting the vegetables and STILL planting perennials! We're picking about a pound and a half of asparagus each day. The great news is, though, that the strawberries have arrived!!! They're so sweet -- well worth waiting a year for!

In other, totally unrelated, news -- I'm very excited because we finally have a laptop. Charlie's hard drive died and he replaced his laptop and gave the dead one to us. I replaced the hard drive & disk drive myself (it sounds harder than it is) and reloaded all the drivers, OS & software and -- after 3 nights of working on it and online chats with Dell because of our wireless router -- we have a laptop. It's fun to finally arrive in the 20th century!
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