Thursday, April 30, 2009

Good Times in Novice Gardening #4

We finally had dry enough weather to finish putting "Mel's Mix" into the boxes. Les was a GREAT helper. Here they are - all ready for planting!

We shopped for seeds and seedlings to plant, but I didn't get to them until today finally. I have the official grids used in "Square Foot Gardening" for one box, but since those are officially supposed to be 4' by 4', I had to adapt. This first box is 8' x 3", so I have to have some grids made for it - maybe HUBBY will help me on Saturday? Still, I planted anyway and hope the grids fit when I have them some day. This box that is against the wall will need to have a net and frame so that the tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and other stuff have a place to climb. Hopefully Hubby will help me with that, too???

I also planted broccoli, onions, carrots, several types of herbs and lettuces, cherry tomatoes, and I even am trying strawberries. We have lots of critters in our neighborhood, so we will see if it all lasts - and then June bugs will be along soon as well.

One of the interesting things about following Square Foot Gardening guidelines is that you can add flowers amongst the veggies. So, I did!

I have SOO much to learn. So they say gardening is supposed to save you money, right? Well, let's see....with the wood, soil mix, and plants and seeds, I could have paid for another trip to Utah or two (read my other posts if you are wondering why that would matter....). However, this year was my big investment and I need to LEARN this stuff - provident living, right? Right?

Now, I just have to WAIT a little while for some stuff to harvest!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Song, Dance, Cookie Jars and Sunshine

We recently got back from yes, another trip to Utah, for a Parents Weekend at Leslie's school. It was time for another evening of entertainment by all the girls. They LIVE for these events. These are their moments to SHINE - moments that have perhaps come too seldom before.

Look at these adorable faces!

Leslie got to perform one of her favorite songs from Aida, "Every Story Is A Love Story". She did a beautiful job - complete with back-up dancers!

It was also time for a Mother/Daughter outing to the pottery store. Our assignment was to express ways that we are the same, and ways that we are different. We chose a cookie jar shaped like a cupcake because we love to bake together. We have a running joke between us that she is "random" and I am "symmetrical" in our style of living. That causes a few mother/daughter conflicts as you might imagine. We are both learning to appreciate those differences and let that bring us to common ground. So, I painted the bottom in, yes - you guessed it - a symmetrical way. She painted the top in random colors and style. Come and see it when we get it back from being fired and mailed!!

We also took a Sunday afternoon drive to see the new Draper LDS temple. Very pretty, especially at sunset. Here are my attempts at artsy photography....
I have a lot to learn, but it was fun to try!

Blessings galore.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Good Times in Novice Gardening #3

Since I am flying to Utah in a few hours, I figured I would use my time wisely right now and blog (bloggers are sick people, aren't we?). After the rain that lasted oh, from Monday until last night,
I thought I'd update my interested gardeners on my progress:

Behold the boxes Malcolm built. Behold the mess Deon built on the tarp - the beginning of my official soil mix. Behold it drying it out since the tarp
MOSTLY shielded it from the rain.

Here is the lovely mud - great for mudpies (one of my favorite childhood activities). NOT great for starting a garden...

Good times. OH, but I did "Repurpose" (no, offense, but I really hate that word, which I think is overly used nowadays, but that is another blog post - don't hate me) the abandoned basketball hoop.
It is now.......wait for it.....look closely......

Yes, a little robin is using it as a perch! What a great idea!
Hmm...I wonder if she has a good shot?

(oh, and you googlereaders, don't forget to look at my sidebar
where I have added my official thesaurus.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Good Times in Novice Gardening #2

Ok, so this is the second post because this was number one. After I whined about my issue with wanting raised garden boxes to a few friends, Malcolm, the husband of my kind friend Aileen, offered to help me. Really!! Bless his handy heart (and hands). When Richard had a few moments before leaving town on Saturday, he helped me shop for all the things I needed according to Better Homes and Gardens, and the Square Foot Gardening website, thanks to Jodee.

I have such knowledgeable and good friends.

We then did what we could to clear the areas of overgrown "decorative" grasses, and regular icky grass.

The quest for flat ground on our little property then began. Where to put them?? Where do we actually get sun on those flat pieces of God's earth?

We decided on the side of the house...

...and right in front of our driveway.

Yes, a garden box will now replace the abandoned basketball hoop. I wanted to paint them- you know, so they look GOOD... but it rained and rained and I couldn't. Malcolm was scheduled to come on Saturday, but it rained and rained and so he couldn't.

So, tonight, he came. Armed with many tools on a chilly Maryland April evening, he quickly made the boxes.... and then helped m
e with the uneven ground which took a while. He pretty much knows how to do everything I think. While he was working on that, I began my mix of peat moss, compost, and vermiculite. And.... well, then it rained. And stopped. And rained. I covered it with a tarp in an attempt to no longer tempt the rain gods for the evening to ensure that Malcolm could finish.

It got darker and darker, but Malcolm finished. Bless his heart.

Oh yea, and I checked the weather for the next three days. It will..... rain and rain. It will stop on the day I leave town to visit my daughter. (Yes, I should probably own a house in Utah since I am there every other day it seems). So, I will now have very puddly empty unpainted garden boxes crying out for the special mix they need to grow things for me. Hmmm... maybe it will NOT rain next week so I can finish?

Guess I'll have to wait a little while....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Those Gentle Hands

his hands

tools of creation

stronger than nations

power without end

and yet through them we find our truest friend

his hands

sermons of kindness

healing men's blindness

halting years of pain

children waiting to be held again

his hands would serve his whole life though

showing man what hands might do

giving, ever giving, endlessly

each day was filled with selflessness

and i'll not rest until i make up my hands what they could be

'til these hands become like those from galilee

his hands lifting a leper

warming a beggar

calling back the dead

breaking bread, five thousand fed

his hands

hushing contention

pointing to heaven

ever free of sin

then bidding man to follow him

his hands would serve his whole life though

showing man what hands might do

giving, ever giving, endlessly

each day was filled with selflessness

and i'll not rest until i make up my hands what they could be '

til these hands become like those from galilee

his hands

clasped in agony

as he he lay pleading, bleeding in the garden

while just moments away

other hands betray him

out of greed, shameful greed

and then his hands

are trembling

straining to carry the beam that they've been led to

as he stumbles through the streets

heading towards the hill on which he died

he would die

they take his hands, his mighty hands, those gentle hands

and then they pierce them, they pierce them

he lets them, because of love

from birth to death was selflessness

and clearly now i see him with his hands

calling to me

and though i'm not yet as i would be

he has shown me how i could be

i will make my hands like those from galilee

~Kenneth Cope

Thursday, April 9, 2009

a perky perk - "Bay"

While in Utah for Young Women's Conference, SHORT as the trip was, we spent a little time with my niece Bailee (Sorry, Laura - we'll catch you on the flip-flop). Bailee Bailee Bailee - what do I say about her? She is my youngest niece, a few months older than my son. Besides me, she is the only family member who has left Arizona longer than 10 minutes.

Hmm.... no wonder I feel like
I can relate to her.

Her father, my oldest brother Troy, passed away very suddenly about 2 1/2 years ago on Conference Sunday. I need to blog about him one day. I think that now that he is gone, and his children are now adults, I feel the need to attach to them more - have them be a part of my life. Living on the east coast has not made that very easy over the years. I won't get into the psychology of our family, but often those opportunities didn't present themselves more in years past. So, with our frequent trips to Utah to visit Les, we take the chances to snag time with family members who we miss so much.

Bailee is one amazing person - she can sing better than most people on Broadway, and is in BYU's Young Ambassadors. We saw her in Aida a few months ago, which I posted aobut here. She has wonderful aspirations to beautify home interiors, to sing, and to teach. She currently goes out to Les's school and teaches her voice lessons as often as possible. She lights up rooms when she walks in, and has an amazing ability to make everyone she meets, regardless of their "issues", to feel like they are amazing, too.

Bay, when you are rich and famous, please don't forget us little people
who love you.

You can get to know her on her blog at .

Tell her I sent ya.

(Holy cow, Deon, get the stinkin' hair out of your eyes --- it was windy, OK??)

And, Yes, I like the word amazing amazingly a lot.

Somebody get me a thesaurus quick.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I had the privilege of going to Utah and accompanying my daughter to a wonderful, spiritual meeting - the General Young Women's Meeting.

It's a yearly event for LDS teenage girls and their moms where talks full of hope, love, expectations and encouragement are given just to them. We were accompanied by my wonderful sis in law, Janet and her adorable daughter Lolly (Ok, Lauren, but we all call her Lolly). We had an amazing time!!

Les said that her favorite talk was the one given by President Monson,
our prophet and president.

Her reason was that it felt like it was given "just for her". I think it will bless her life for a long time. Here are a few quotes from that talk, and a few photos.

"Although this is a remarkable period when opportunities abound, you also face challenges which are unique to this time. For instance, the very technological tools I have mentioned provide opportunities for the adversary to tempt you and to ensnare you in his web of deceit, thereby hoping to take possession of your destiny."

"May I speak first about the courage to refrain from judging others. Oh, you may ask, “Does this really take courage?” And I would reply that I believe there are many times when refraining from judgment—or gossip or criticism, which are certainly akin to judgment—takes an act of courage.
"Unfortunately, there are those who feel it necessary to criticize and to belittle others. You have, no doubt, been with such people, as you will be in the future. My dear young friends, we are not left to wonder what our behavior should be in such situations. In the Sermon on the Mount, the Savior declared, “Judge not.” At a later time He admonished, “Cease to find fault one with another.” It will take real courage when you are surrounded by your peers and feeling the pressure to participate in such criticisms and judgments to refrain from joining in.

"I would venture to say that there are young women around you who, because of your unkind comments and criticism, are often left out. It seems to be the pattern, particularly at this time in your lives, to avoid or to be unkind to those who might be judged different, those who don’t fit the mold of what we or others think they should be.
"The Savior said: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another. . . .“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” ...True love can alter human lives and change human nature.
"My precious young sisters, I plead with you to have the courage to refrain from judging and criticizing those around you, as well as the courage to make certain everyone is included and feels loved and valued.

"Great courage will be required as you remain chaste and virtuous amid the accepted thinking of the times.
"In the world’s view today there is little thought that young men and young women will remain morally clean and pure before marriage. Does this make immoral behavior acceptable? Absolutely not!
"The commandments of our Heavenly Father are not negotiable!

"My final plea tonight is that you have the courage to stand firm for truth and righteousness. Because the trend in society today is away from the values and principles the Lord has given us, you will almost certainly be called upon to defend that which you believe. Unless the roots of your testimony are firmly planted, it will be difficult for you to withstand the ridicule of those who challenge your faith. When firmly planted, your testimony of the gospel, of the Savior, and of our Heavenly Father will influence all that you do throughout your life. The adversary would like nothing better than for you to allow derisive comments and criticism of the Church to cause you to question and doubt.

"Your testimony, when constantly nourished, will keep you safe."

Friday, April 3, 2009

Plant Ponderings

I do not have a garden. I do not can. My food storage is not complete. Do not judge me (I have a friend who says that a lot on her blog, and it cracks me up - thanks, Val). My father was a master gardener. Even in the heat of the Arizona summer sun, we had a great garden - covered in smelly, awful "horse Panooch". According to him, that was THE best fertilizer ever. What else would a crusty, home-building cowboy say? I did not inherit his skills in this department.

I want a garden this year - ok, I said it out loud. I have a small, slopey, cruddy backyard taken up by a really big ugly bathtub (above-ground pool to you non-Marylanders), with many 4-legged critters who would probably eat anything planted, and no fence. So, where the heck would I put a garden? I don't know. I really don't. But I want a couple of these:

So I got all excited when I found really easy directions in my Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I thought, "WOW! Richard and I could probably actually do this! Let's do it!". Then he got assigned to work 7-day, 12 hour night shifts due to "world issues" so he can't help me. I don't do power tools.

Any husbands for hire?? Any girlfriends who use power tools?

I really can wait another year. Seriously.