Propagating Geraniums with a Method by Kevin Lee Jacobs

This is the result of my following an excellent tutorial by Kevin Lee Jacobs on his blog, A Garden for the House.  The post is called, “How I Prepare Geraniums for Winter Bloom” and can be found under his tab, Gardening and then, Annuals. I started with around 25-30 of these plantings, but through attrition and bad methodology on my part, lost several, leaving me with around 15-17 that I think will make it. It is really a thrill to know I won’t have to buy geraniums this year! Visit Kevin’s blog for complete instructions and information.

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“Livinonthecrowrock” – What the heck is that?

We live out in the country. The Crow Rock is a large outcropping of rocks on the side of a hill just south of us on a neighbor’s property. It’s a local landmark that, except for locals, is largely unknown. So, while we don’t live “on” The Crow Rock, we live near it, and in a way, we do live on it.

Out here in the country we have challenges and thrills that are absent in other places where people choose to live. We have limitations and freedoms that aren’t found elsewhere. Sometimes it’s VERY challenging.

We had several strong storm systems come through in the last couple of weeks. The last one did a number on the treeline below our backyard. It had to be something like a micro-burst of wind because there was considerable damage in a concentrated area below us down the hillside. The pics will tell the story of the clean up. It was a long hard day and the DH had already spent a whole day on it and there are probably a couple more in the near future, but now we can mow.

I figgered I’d add a couple others that depict “Livinonthecrowrock.” That might be continued in the next post, too. 🙂 Happy Sunday!

Our new helper.

Our new helper.

 

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The end result. We'll use this for mulching some trees, some beds and our gardens.

The end result. We’ll use this for mulching some trees, some beds and our gardens.

Redneck shooting range

Redneck shooting range

Gnarled old apple tree

Gnarled old apple tree

Cat-ching Fire

TaggyMy husband and I have a cat who is 14 years old. She is an orange mackeral tabby. (Mackeral is the type of pattern in the fur, mackeral  means stripes. There are also classic, spotted, and ticked tabbies.) Her name is Taggy and she’s never been all that much of a people person, er, cat. She’s also never been much of a cat cat. She took up residence with us after our son, who survived in a house fire and lost his little kitten, KG, was gifted with her as a “replacement.”  Pet lovers know that pets can’t be randomly “replaced”. The young lady had good intentions, but, the orange mackeral tabby was left at home with us when our son recovered and went about his life. He never bonded with her, nor she with any of us, really, having come from a litter of barn cats.

But, there we were with our first pet as marrieds. She still had no name, so we named her “Tag” or “Taggy” after a field hockey player whom we admired. A few years later, we moved to a house in the country. Taggy came with us.

Shortly thereafter, on the way home from church, we passed a sign that said, “Free Kittens.” We thought Taggy might need some company in the new (to us) house. We stopped and had no intention of taking one home.  We walked in and were shown a passel of kittens all rolled up around one another in a big ball on a chair. Our hearts stopped. We poked one another and I bent down to pick up a very furry, brown and black striped kitten with a high white chest and white paws. Moments later, we were in the car on the way home choosing a name for our new baby. We named him Texas. The funny thing is that Taggy hated him from the get go. But, if it wasn’t for her, we probably wouldn’t have had him in our life. But, this is a story about Taggy, not Tex.DSCN2930

Taggy has never been very nice. After we got Tex, she was relegated to the “lower level,” or the basement as some non-real estate people call it. It’s a finished basement and is heated and cooled, but she had to live separately from Tex for fear of his bodily harm. We do go down there and see her. My husband works down there frequently in his workshop and in these later years, she has started to come upstairs for short periods of time. She does not like our Maine Coon, Gryphie. But, she and Tex became pretty close to friendly in the last years of his life. It was nice to see.  If she is feeling lonely, she comes to the top of the steps. Most of the time she cries a little in a sorrowful little meow. Last night, I woke up and had to visit the necessary room. When I sat up in bed, I noticed that she was sitting at the top of the steps. Kinda unusual for her not to be meowing a little. When I returned to bed, she was still sitting there, silently. I lay down and just kept an eye on her from my bed. My eye was drawn to a shimmering light reflected on my bedroom door near where she sat. I sat up and quickly walked to the door. By the time I got there, I looked down and she was gone.

But there, flickering in the darkened living room, was the candle that I had forgotten to blow out.

 

Some things never change!

When my husband and I were newlyweds, Bob Villa was on This Old House and we watched it all the time. Then came FoodTV and DIY shows of all sorts and we watched them all the time. Now, I have an iPad and my desktop and I am on them all the time. Doing what, you ask? Admiring old houses, looking for recipes, and compiling ideas for DIY and projects on Pinterest. All.The.Time. Back then, we spent so much time watching This Old House and The New Yankee Workshop (I’m really dating myself here, aren’t I?), we didn’t do many home improvement projects.

Today, now, I am trying to tear myself away from Pinterest and Hometalk on one of the soon to be nicest days yet this year in Western Maryland. I have new chalk paint that I bought yesterday, a new (old) metal drawer that I want to turn into something, previously frozen “melted” fall pumpkin guts  on my porch from which I want to glean seeds (and then get the heck off of my porch since they are disgusting), and so many other projects that it makes my head spin. But, here I am, blogging about my issues and not DOING anything! So, after I post a couple of pics of hopefully-to-be-done-today projects, I am going to hop to it!

Don't judge! ;)

Don’t judge! 😉

Chalk paint?

Chalk paint?

Chalk paint the aluminum bowl? Make a banner from the embroidered pieces?

Chalk paint the aluminum bowl? Make a banner from the embroidered pieces?

 

Carpe diem!

Morning Happiness

Someday, when they are closer to the road I travel to work every day, I will take a picture of “my” little herd of friends who make me smile whenever I pass them. With Spring right around the corner, the teeny little kids, who are new this year, can be seen jumping and running in and out of the rest of the herd. They are so lively and playful! They always warm my heart and make me smile. It’s a wonderful way to start off my day.

Today was cloudy, so I didn’t see one, but on sunny mornings, my interstate route takes me through a mountain pass and the sunrise is always visible right through the middle. Sometimes, it’s spectacular and sometimes it’s not as much so, but it is always something to look forward to.  Other times, I have to wait a little longer to get a glimpse and if it’s really good, I sneak a pic. I know, please don’t lecture me, but how can I not preserve something so beautiful? I promise I am really careful!

God is good and there is always evidence of His love for us. I thank him daily for the ways He shows me each morning that there is something for which to be grateful.

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Am I going to have a blog or not?

signs o' spring 09 Spring! It might finally be here in a few days! 


Well? Am I? I have had a form of this blog for a few years. First I was on one blog site, then, I switched to WordPress (which I really like), then I decided, after almost complete inactivity, to go to my own domain. For one year. I think that maybe my FB posts are a lot like blog entries. Sometimes, I try to rein them in so they stay FB posts. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Seems most of my FB posts resound more readily to my FB friends; at least some of them. I often find myself wanting to post about something more, well, well…um. Frivolous? Fun?

In the past, my blog posts (all 3 or 4 of them) have been all over the map. Is this a diary? Is this a confessional? Is this a lame attempt at humor? Do I want to write about my feelings? What we used to call “Current Events?” Humor in my life? Horror in my life? Why do I feel this desire to write? And put it out there? I don’t want to be another blahblahblahblahblahblah blog. No.I.Don’t. I see quite a bit of that and the blog world doesn’t need more of the same.

I’m not brilliant or erudite. But, I see things and maybe it’s in a way that you haven’t considered. But, maybe you have and I’m not alone! Yay!

I have too many interests to list. At the same time, though, I would like to see if anyone else shares, at least, some of the same. I would like to not have a blog that asks that stupid question at the end, “What do you think of ______?” Blah. Blah. Blah.

I am a grandmother (and not ashamed of my name, Grammy Sue), I am a wife and am blessed with a wonderful husband. I am a mother of two very different, yet wonderful children. I am a sort-of-reluctant-full-time employee who loves her company, the men and couple women with whom she works, and the time I spend with my mind engaged in something other than fabric, antiques, and all things decorative or grandmotherly.

I, I , I , IIIIIII! Too many I’s! But, I feel like I am starting over again and this is the Spring of my blog (please let it be the Spring of 2014!). This time, I will either stay with it or I will let it go. Not everyone needs to, or should, blog. I might be one of them, but I would like to give it one more shot. One year. I gotta get what I paid for. Not going to waste it. Thanks for going along for the ride. Long or short, hope it’s a blast. Or at least bearable.  😉

Christmas House Tour in MD

One of my best friends recently was part of a Christmas House Tour in her small historic little town near Baltimore. Actually, her house was in the tour, not her. But, she was there. And, so was I. It was fun. Busy. Hectic. Lots of people came through. I was the “docent” in the family room. I think it was one of the favorite rooms- but I think the whole house was much admired by all who came through. I decided that I had to post a couple of pics so that maybe, some others might enjoy her home. I will be pinning a couple of the pics to Pinterest and I hope you do, too! Enjoy!

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Snow Peeps made from antique bottles in a wintry scene- put together by my friend. Cute, isn’t it?

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Have a wonderful Christmas and a safe New Year- if we make it past tomorrow. 😉

September!!

Looking forward to a lot of THIS! Fall colors are the best!

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So many things to do- I want to get a coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on an accent table I bought recently for our foyer. I think I am going to use Chateau Grey. I need to work on the 2 banners for my son’s rehearsal dinner on the 22nd. Did I even mention that he is getting married?? I know I am wayyyy behind! I also want to clean this place up some- never ending non-requited desire. I want to spray paint the vintage Easter basket that my little Avery Doodle is going to carry as the flower girl. I thought about a few different choices for baskets, but this one won because it used to be my daughter’s Easter basket as a wee one. Sentimentality wins every time! Here’re the basket and table I will be re-doing:I will keep you posted on the progress.

The basket will get a coat of white paint, a real pink ribbon threaded through where the pink band is at the bottom, one white starfish on each side where the handle connects to the body, ribbons trailing down from there with tiny sand dollars at the ends. They are getting married at the beach.  🙂

Oh! One last thing I wanted to share with you! A friend emailed it to me and it was such a good idea, I thought it had to be shared, so after I post it here, I’ll be putting it on my Pinterest page. 

By the way- Happy Labor Day!

SnoBalls

Yesterday Gar and I traveled back to a place that holds a lot of rich memories for us. We went, mainly, to attend the funeral of one of my best friends in life, Mary Lorraine. We met in 1986 at an evening PTA meeting. I enjoyed those evening meetings when I was younger. I suppose it was a chance to get a different perspective than that of my daily life as a stay-at-home mom. Don’t get me wrong- I loved that life more than anything and feel so blessed that God found a way for us to manage. As usual, I digress. That night, I found a friend who has stayed close to my heart for 26 years. We shared life, our kids, our husbands (no, not like THAT!) and good times galore.

After we left Richmond, we moved to Pennsylvania and 2.5 years after that, we moved to Western Maryland. By then, my two kids were in 4th and 9th grades and it was lonely and much harder to find friends than when they were younger. I was sad and depressed for a long time. I didn’t even send out a Christmas letter that first year because I didn’t want to sound ungrateful and negative. Sometime the next spring, I went to get the mail and there was a small package addressed to me. I stood there by the mailbox and opened up a pack of SnoBalls. I don’t remember the note exactly, but it alluded to the fact that I loved coconut. Mary had sent them; she wanted to send me something to smile about. She wanted me to know that she was thinking of me and that she hoped things were going better. It was so Mary. She was always trying to please people and wanted to “do” for everyone she knew. She ended her life last Tuesday.

There were dark days for Mary in the last 10 years. She couldn’t seem to hit a stride. She went from having everything, to having nothing, to having little to having everything. Materially. She seemed to be good at adapting to whatever situation she found herself in. Seemed to…though at the last, Mary couldn’t please all the loved ones in her life. She was a loyal wife and wanted to be a loyal mother and loving grandmother. This proved, in her mind, to be impossible.

Mary had a mental illness and as the presiding priest at her funeral said, it was like dying from terminal cancer. It took a long time and led her on a harrowing journey, but the mental illness finally won. He went on to say that our heavenly Father would have mercy on her and would give her peace and a heavenly home where she would be happy and cared for forever. We all needed to know that.

That doesn’t make me miss her less. She is still gone. I have memories, the last phone message she left me, pictures, recipes, gifts she gave me. There is anger, disbelief, and so much sorrow. I grieve for the moments going forward that we will never share. She won’t be at my son’s wedding and we won’t rock our grandbabies together on our laps.

Oh, Mary. I will always treasure our friendship and all the things you taught me about mothering, being a housewife, being frugal and “making quilts out of the scraps” we have been given. You are finally at peace and there are no more struggles. Thank you for being my friend.

Getting back on the Blog Train just in time for Father’s Day!

I have been wandering around the blogosphere trying to figure out where I best fit in. Is it on Blogger.com? WordPress.com? Not being a totally savvy blogger as of yet, I have questioned my “place” in the chic cyberworld of bloggers.

So, I am back here. I am going to try to make sure that this is what I need and want and that I will stay put! I have read many “horror” stories about successful bloggers who have started in one place and decided to go to another only to find that there is soooo much updating to the new blog that needs to be done. All I can say is ugh. U-G-H. So, I’m gonna start here (although my first three blog posts are on a different blogdom.).

Here goes-

I am older than most of the bloggers that I read; perhaps I am drawn to them for ideas that would help me with my 2.5 year old granddaughter. The blogs I cruise are mostly written by young, 30-40 year old Mommas who have younger children. I have also found that a large majority of the blogs I favor are written by devout Christian young women. I have not fully analyzed this, but I think it may have something to do with being a good steward with what we’re given, wanting to give the children in our charge a wholesome, exciting and colorful world to grow up in and to be able to use creativity to enhance the lives of all of those around us.

I miss blogging and when I do it, it does my soul good. It makes me feel like I can maybe be disciplined- a life-long dream and goal. So- I’m gonna try.Maybe I can share one picture – even amidst all the chaos of the many important anniversaries and holidays that this weekend holds. Let’s see!

Update: June 17th.

My BFF and Best Dad Ever

Got a short visit in with my Dad and Mom yesterday and today. The times I see them are too few and far between despite only a 2.5 hour distance. Gotta do better at this! But, to my favorite dad of all times, my husband and bff, Gary, I say – “God bless you, hunna bunna! You are one great Dad and husband and we all love you more than you could ever know!”