Monday, May 31, 2010

My HEART Rocks on My Porch

I bought these fun, romantic heart rocks off of eBay a few weeks ago, and when they came in the mail, I was excited. Until I saw how crushed the box was...but here was what was inside...

 Crushed box

I had bought 50 + naturally heart shaped rocks for 25.00 ( w/ free shipping ). Free shipping was THROWING them in a box too flimsy from Arizona to South Carolina.
But, most arrived OK.
Here they are. I had no idea what I was going to do with them anyway, put them in the garden ? In a bowl or planter ?
Then I looked over at the big vintage wooden Mexican platter and laid them inside. I had to take Maxine's leash out , but she did not notice as she was busy on squirrel patrol.
There she is , the intimidator.

That's my cute new hummingbird hanger w/ basket .

Will be pretty soon, or prettier, I think it is pretty now.

I started picking up all the rocks, feeling the smoothness, and thinking about how certain heart rocks reminded me of some people that I have loved , do love. This little white one is possibly my favorite.

Here was a large, heavy one. I was considering the weight of the love I have felt before for people, and then considering who this one symbolized to me.
I looked at the large tray of heart rocks, and wondered if I had loved, truly loved that many people before in my life ? At first I thought no , not in a romantic sense...then they would only be able to fit in the palm of my hand. But when I considered my family, some of my children's friends that practically lived with us all the school years ( or ate us out of house and home, cried over lost loves over my kitchen table , sleep overs, etc. ), then I could see that I have loved that many people.

Some smaller ones I put in this shell.

Rosie@Leavesnbloom told me she thought my little back porch looked like a magpie feathering her nest with found objects.
How true, I smiled when she wrote me that comment.

Forgot that I threw out the other broken heart rocks, but I kept this one.

I put it together in my hands sometimes . I have left it to the side, by the whole heart rocks to remind me to try not to break a heart, or to remind me of when I have had a broken heart.
To see the delicacy of a heart.
I know that God can mend broken hearts , it may not even always be in this lifetime...but eventually He can if we allow him to. I also believe they are the hardest body part to ever mend.
We all need to treat them , our own and other people's, with extreme care.
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. ( thanks Rosie ! )
A neat little tole heart frame that I leaned over here for now.

So this is what I see now, when I walk out on my porch to go to my garden.
I know that my back area here is ' too busy ' looking. That's alright with me for now. It is my outside nest.
It is raining cats and dogs here,
thunderstorms all day so far,
Bless you,

" For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds. My defense is of God, who saves the upright in heart. " Psalm 7:9-10

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Great Son-in-Law Stationed in AFGANISTAN

Here is a short tribute to my adored son-in-law who is stationed in Afghanistan. I have known this young man since he was about 9 years old, and was lucky enough that he has excellent taste in women after he proposed to my oldest beautiful daughter . A terribly romantic proposal with a gigantic diamond ring hidden in a glass she was about to drink out of ( after he cooked her a gourmet meal ). He did ask my husband for our daughter's hand in marriage before he proposed as well.
He is respectful and polite...always.

 Here they are below with my youngest son being goofy. They had a Christmas party at their little duplex, and it was the best Christmas party I have ever been to. Too much food & cookies, drinks, and Christmas trivia games...good clean fun.

My daughter had just finished law school and she is an attorney in a local practice. Working wayyy too much. She is not only beautiful, she is the strongest Christian I know. She is a constant inspiration to me. I am amazed at her most of the time. And she picked a real winner with my son-in-law.

He is the most pleasant person to be around, very, very funny...and the BEST person to cook for as he likes everything I make. He helps me when I cook big family dinners , he sat on a stool one Thanksgiving and popped up to help me whenever he thought I needed something. I did not even have to ask, before he took the initiative and did what I needed. He plays with his brother-in-law who is only 9 years old with Nerf guns, or whatever game they come up with . He makes my little one feel loved and appreciated.
So you see, God has blessed our family with this remarkable young man. He is very proud to be serving our country, he is VERY patriotic.
I love this guy !!
I cannot wait until he is back home , Mrs. Safety-first ( me ) wants him back with his new bride of two years.

Bless our service men and women , pray for them ,


" For wisdom is a defense as money is a defense , But the excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to those who have it. " Ecclesiastics 7:12

Saturday, May 29, 2010

My GARDEN Chairs Were Actually USED !!

Waiting for occupants

I finally got my other matching chair from the front yard to the back ( courtesy of a little patience and my husband's muscles ), and then I put a pot I had inside a metal plant stand I ALSO had  ( wink, being frugal )...
and look how it turned out..


My luck it fit great.

So my chairs ( a mother's day gift from about 8 years ago ), have been reunited and are waiting for someone to sit there and look at my handiwork .

Got some mulch down in front, need 8 more bags. My husband goes, "  "Great, more mulch to drift away to the back yard or get destroyed by Maxine on squirrel death patrol. "
I gave him a dirty look as he says this every time I buy mulch.
I have high hopes for my mulch...every time I go back and buy more.
Back to my chairs..
I had mowed and raked today, had one shower already after my morning walk and then after just mowing, by the way
the humidity is killer today...
I was heading to take another shower ,
but  when I looked outside, I had the pleasure of seeing this out my big picture window...

I couldn't believe my eyes !! I had two LIVE people in my chairs out there , it was not my imagination...two little munchkins drinking soda and discussing their Godzilla Wii game they had just played, were enjoying the chairs ! Grabbed my camera and got a few shots,

I was creeping up behind them , silent as a cat...

I was so tickled. I believe all the energy from me being happy made my son turn around after this shot. So I came to the front of them , told these two 9 years olds to pose as if they were looking out onto the garden..
 This view...

They looked at me and then at each other and started smirking . I told them to fake it ! This is what I got...

Sideways smirking.

Additional smirking and indifference. Little punks in my chairs.
Then I made my son, the one in red, come take a picture of me with my crape myrtle, I have planted 7 crape myrtles in my yard , they LOVE my yard. Grow insanely and bloom like crazy.
The one below is at the right back of my garden. I planted it 4 1/2 years ago, look...

 That's me reaching , I am 5 ' 6 and it reaches up past the power line ! Crazy growth ! I'm going to cut most of them back next Spring , as they are too large for the space. I let my Crape myrtles grow naturally and never trim them.

Pretty soon my garden will be awash with white blossoms and then I have two pink behind this and one pink towards the driveway.

Need to do some housework ( boring ), but I am praying for God to help me be enthusiastic about it. He is trying I can tell, but His receptacle ( me ) , is one little tough nut to crack.


" My son , keep My words , And treasure my commands within you, Keep my commands and live. And my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers ; Write them on the tablet of your heart. " Proverbs 7: 1-3

Friday, May 28, 2010

My Pickup LOAD from Lowes & 3 Gentlemen Day

Lowes Field Trip

I'll start this post out by explaining my bit of excitement about my recent Lowes trip to get some mulch. First I will explain how that can remotely be exciting...this is sort of complicated so stick with me...
I have had a rough beginning of the year with three root canals ( count that 3 or count that approx. 3500. ), found out that some pretty serious stress for the last few years can cause all  kinds of problems with our bodies. I have never had any problems with my teeth, but made up for lost time recently.

Secondly, our daughter's transmission died on her car, ching-ching 1300., down the mechanic's hands and in his pockets.
Then...last Friday going to my son's last baseball game, my air-conditioner DIED on a three year old car ( yes, it is just past the warranty stage ), and it was 95 degrees...and the heat has not abated since. To get that baby fixed, estimates are 1000.-1800.
We are in the process of figuring out how to get this fixed.
Long process.

So, almost through...I have been driving around for awhile with no air, and my husband was nice enough ( and believe me it SCARES him , when I take his truck anywhere ) to take his truck to Lowes. I have problems backing up, etc., in his truck. I hit a brick wall with one of his trucks 20 + years ago...I am thinking he may remember that still.

But, I told him I needed to get my mulch, please let me use the truck as it was 1:30 in the afternoon and already 95 that day.
He very shakily handed me his truck keys, looked at them in my hands for awhile,
looked out at his truck..I mean it was ridiculous.
I grabbed those keys and told him go to work , I am heading to Lowes.
In a vehicle with AIR-CONDITIONING !!!

We are so spoiled these days, as when we were first married, we had cars with no air-conditioning, so it did make me feel young the first 5 minutes I drove my car like that last week...but the sweat on my entire body washed away that feeling very soon.

Forgot to say I spied a few old bricks on the side of the road...for my borders and paths, and threw those in the back on the way to Lowes.

When I got to Lowes, I walked all around, I was coming for mulch, but also wanted to get a few marigolds for my mosquitoes to be less attracted to me, and a few other flowers.
I then walked to the back in the SWELTERING heat, had to be 98 in there with the concrete , wide open heat. Loaded up my 8 bags of mulch, I could not fit anymore on my pull cart...

See my lovely hummingbird hanger I did not need ?

After I loaded up that, plus my few flowers...I dragged the cart towards the potting soil . I finally got over there , and saw the best deal was the 50 lb. bag . I looked at my cart , looked at the heavy bag of soil. Stood  there trying to get my sweaty brain to work and help me figure out how to lift this on my cart.
While I was doing this, a man walked up...probably late 50's...and within about 1 minute , he asked me if he could help me lift it on my cart ?
What a gentleman. He quickly lifted it and fit it on the front, I smiled and thanked him.
Then I turned and dragged , as best I could...I believe I looked like a little kid pulling a wagon too big for them , as I was getting many  funny looks, it was obvious I was struggling to pull this now.
At the register, another man allowed me to go in front of him, I told him  " No, I have more than you. " He says that he would shop some more, that I can go. I thanked him, turned and smiled, and he goes, " You better get someone to help you get that in your car. "
I told him  , " No problem, I am not shy about asking them to help me load things."
Another gentleman. This man was probably late 60's or so.

Then the girl at the register called up someone and he helped me load all this up. He was polite, friendly, and did not want me lifting anything heavy. We were standing in the parking lot, still around 95-96 degrees.
with all that, he was a gentleman.
So I had air conditioning, and three gentlemen to help my trip to Lowes be pleasant.

I jumped in the truck, I have to jump in this big truck, and turned on the air to blast myself with coldness. Opened my gatorade , drank about 1/2 of it ...I  had bought it too at Lowes, and headed home.

My hanging basket planter I got on sale for 6.00

My cute plant hanger was 13.99

Flowers 15.00 I think.
Mulch 24.00
Potting soil 9.00
Plant hanger 14.00
Planter basket 6.00
Gatorade 1.50
Bricks- Free
Altogether it was too much, I think 78. But...I am trying to use Flowerlady's advice and be more frugal. Which means I do not need to set foot in Lowes, or Home depot's plant areas.
Stay away from temptation !
After all, the dentist and endodontists and mechanics have all my money anyway.

Stay cool wherever you are, 
I am watching myself in the heat here much better now...
More later,
" For if you forgive men their trespasses , your heavenly Father will also forgive you. "Matthew 6:14

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Back PORCH Garden DROP Catch-all SPOT

My new garden catch all spot

I needed to do something with this spot on my back porch area, that I had moved my large Adirondack chair from. The funny thing is, I never sat in that chair, as it was always covered up with miscellaneous ' junk ' and some necessities as we come and go.
Then I decided to put this wrought iron garden table I had, that had been sitting in the driveway, close to  the house for over 6 months as I could not find a good spot for it. I cleaned it off, lifted it up here, and then put all my stuff that I felt I some unnecessary stuff I did not need,
on top.

 Case in point. 

 I put a large vintage planter in the back, and put some of my garden tools in it.

I then placed the St. Francis statue I found one day on the road to the right of it, some seashells below him...

 Our tennis shoes below everything, I used to have a planter rack I put these on, but they always ended up here so I left them.

I found this statue outside of a home on an evening walk,  it is probably about 20 years old or so, they had a large garden at this home.
Lucky find.

My only weapon against my mosquitoes , always handy..and when I put them in here...they don't fall over as much.

Since it is one of those tables with holes in the iron, dirt can fall through more than accumulating on top. Maxine's leash is in the vintage Mexican wood bowl there. She knows it is there and she gingerly picks it up before she takes it and runs insanely towards the front yard.

I also keep some other garden tools in this hand-painted letter holder I use for tools instead.

Some of my plant tags are in here..
Some just in a plastic plant container that I will transfer once I remember to scrap off the dirt of them...and some...LOTS, are in a ziploc bag inside my house.

I kind of have a hodge-podge of some hand painted art ( or in the cases that I painted them, extreme PRIMITIVE folk art). The angel I had my husband weatherproofed for me , and I liked that she was colorful in that corner. I collect some folk art angel paintings, and no...I do not believe real angels look like this, as in the Bible they are portrayed as fierce warriors or messengers of  God. I don't believe angels or fairies are running around my garden, sprinkling ' life ' or good spirits. 
I just like that these types of folk art angels represent ' Good ', the good in all of us, or maybe the good in me ( just gotta realize it is there ) guys are going to have to find whatever represents the ' Good ' in you , yourselves.
Whew, that was a long tirade about angels wasn't it ?
back to my little porch..

I like to use mirrors on my porch to reflect the light and my garden to me.

I have a gigantic Crape Myrtle, I planted only about 5 years ago, that is so beautiful with it's white blossoms showing through my lattice.

That's my little hand-painted Charleston , South Carolina scene brick...I have had this sitting here and there, but now I can see it every time I walk by my table. I encourage you to use little reminders or keepsakes outside too.

I just put this Art Deco vintage mirror up yesterday. Now I have three on my little porch.

Bought this on eBay. Just type in Folk Art angel paintings and a bunch will pop up. Buy one and support an artist . Or if you like landscapes or florals, type that in the Search box, and find you some art on wood ( for outside ), and then weatherproof it with shellac or polyurethane .

I love when the sun shines in here.

That's my news sprinkler, I have moved that to the front as I am watering today.  I am the sprinkler system at our house.

Patiently waiting for me to let her inside.

Yawning at me to hurry so she can take her 12th nap of the day.

It's really filling in in my garden now.

Hope your day  is good , I am running to Lowes to buy some mulch.

Bless you,

 ' The LORD is my light and salvation---whom shall I fear ? " Psalm 27:1