Wednesday, August 24, 2011

And the garden is finally done!

Ta Daaaaa!  Here it is!  I've been working on it just a few minutes a day, but had Tuesday off and decided, when it cooled off a bit, to just finish it.  The problem is landscape cloth.  I guess I should have laid it down, cut holes and dug holes thru it and then planted the plants but that seemed so....messy. So I put the plants in and then had to lay the cloth around the plants. A real pain, let me tell you.  I don't think there is any easy way to do this and it was further complicated by rose plants, which have thorns, which stick to it if you aren't careful.
 This one shows the hummingbird feeders.  I moved it about 3 or 4 feet from where it was originally located.  The wasps were not happy about it.  I had to move it because I didn't want to lay the cloth over the base of it.  The darker mulch is just damp, it will all be the same color when it dries out in a day or so.
As usual, I was carefully watched by the Peanut Gallery.  This is temporary fence that we put up until we can have a bit of time to fence the front yard properly.  And it's decent enough that I can live with it for the time being.  But it's actually my puppy fencing and will need that set up in the back yard at some point.
This is Carling:
This is Zophia:
This is Trinity and Zophia:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Breakfast at The Hummingbird Cafe

We got up this morning to the usual swarm at the feeders.  There were at least a dozen of them:

And here is another video of them.  They must have been really hungry!

We just love our hummers!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Funny dog video

Oh this one always cheers up my day!  What a great video!

Photos from a year ago

 Now, remember that I told you all that I had so many photos from the last year?  Here are some from about a year ago.
We have Tabi on the back of the couch. The corgis really love this couch, there is a wide back area and they are up high.  We had some problems with them leaping over it but when we separated the two couches and made a traffic path through them, voila!  No more leaping off the back of it.  We had lived here for some weeks before Kathy sat on one end one day and for some reason, stuck her hand down between the cushions, felt something and thought it was the tv remote. Being ever helpful, she grasped whatever it was and tried to bring it up.  The back of the area she was sitting in went down and her feet went up!  I was sitting there and talking to her and the expression was turns out that there was a recliner in that part of the couch!  So I leapt up and started to pull down cushions and I found there was also a queen sized hide a bed there!  We have used this for company a couple of times, it is a bit public but hey, it works.  :)  That was a lovely bonus for us, since the previous owner had left the couch behind.  By the way, in the deep South we called them sofas when I was growing up.  In Denver they are called couches.  In Ohio they are called davenports (took me a while to figure this out when I lived up there) and in Ontario they are called Chesterfields.  There.  You have learned some new trivia today!
Here is a beautiful moon rise in the evening just after sunset:
I caught this photo of Kentucky,one of the world's cutest corgi pups, hiding in the child's play slide that the pups like to play in and hide under.  It was just so cute with his little eye watching what I was doing and so very sure that he was undetected:
This is our breezeway, for lack of a better term.  A long room between the garage and the house.  It was used as an aviary for the owner who built this place, has skylights in it.  But an ugly concrete floor. So I got Lowe's to come out and put in a new asphalt floor like what they have in the supermarkets.  It looks wonderful but just a bit of advice, I was way overcharged for the skill and effort this took to put in.  It probably took the man 2-3 hours to do it.  So don't go to Lowe's or other home stores to have this done. They had given us an estimate to do the floors in the house in tile (not all of it, just the main area) for $10,500, just for labor. I had the brains to walk away from that one.  In any case, the workman did a great job and it is a snap to clean up, as I want all my floors to be.  In this room, I have a raised tub, air conditioning and all the comforts of home for bathing and grooming my dogs and having a place for the girls to go into isolation when they are in season.  It's not particularly organized in this photo.  I have almost all the boxes unpacked or at least in a place where they need to be so they can be unpacked.  Currently I am in a "the stuff is more or less where it needs to be, so now let's actually organize it and make it look good".  I started in the kitchen this morning, moved some things around and am satisfied with the one counter.
I move things from here to there, why is the address book on the kitchen counter, it belongs on the desk sort of thing.  Unless you have moved with this amount of stuff, animals and trying to get basically out of someone else's house and leave, you will never understand this concept.  I still have curtains to make, etc, a lot of things to do.  And found a wonderful place to buy curtain material yesterday so now have to find some time to measure the window and decide what to do with that big window.  And what color, etc.  :)
Here is one of my favorite photos of Jerry. This was taken the morning after he arrived here:
He had gotten here about mid afternoon the day before, Kathy and I had decided to knock off and go get a sandwich or a coke or something at McDonald's.  Jerry had called a couple of hours before and said he was nearly here.  I thought we had just enough time to go and when we pulled in the parking lot, I was looking at a car that was an exact replica of ours.  Huh?  I walked over to see and sure enough, Jerry had stopped for something to eat.  It was the first time he had driven down here on his own, he was hungry and decided to eat something before coming home.  We walked into the place and he was there, standing in line, so I walked up and touched his arm and said "Hi" and he turned and looked at me and smiled one of the happiest smiles I have ever seen on his face. We'd been separated for two months with just one quick short trip up north for me to get the rest of the goats and another small load of "stuff".  We all sat and ate and he was so excited to nearly "home".  So he followed us home then.  And because Google maps has us on the wrong side of the road, he kept trying to turn that way and did so for several weeks afterwards!  He just got it in his head that is where the house was.
Anyhow, he took his cup of coffee out and just sat there, looking at the beautiful view and was out there for quite some time.  A long journey for him, not in terms of miles traveled the past two days but in terms of the whole moving process over the past few months.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

This and That

I decided to start going through the photos that I have not shared (or maybe I have shared some of these) from the time we got down here. So this is July, 2010, and a view of the Eastern sunset.  The western one was probably pretty, too, but we have noticed that the colors in the east are just as pretty most days.  It's peaceful in the valley that we look out over.
Here is Goodness who decided that the empty planter was a very cool place to get away from the other corgis:
For those who wonder where the name Goodness came from, we had a litter of three girls, Shirley, Goodness and Mercy.  :)
When we got here there were dozens of morning glories on the porch.  They were gorgeous.  Until they died in the fall and I had to clean up the mess.  Which took me most of 2 hours to do.  So I have been killing them off as I find them.  I wonder why they don't grow up along the darn fence where the horses are?

There were some volunteer sunflowers coming up from the birdseed that Rose had fed through the winter.  A little finch came to eat the seeds:

Dear Hayley had a hard trip down here and it took her several weeks to settle in and realize we had a new home.  Here she works on reviving her energy:
Tabi wasn't sure what was going on, either, but she liked the couch a lot. They all also lie on the back of the back rest.  It's really wide, just right for a corgi nap:
Trinity likes the couch, too, and has probably stolen this treat from someone to eat in peace.  They are sweeter when you steal them:
Looking out the front of our house, a wonderful hill and so beautiful all the time, even in the wintertime:
A Rose of Sharon in full bloom (several colors planted together so there are different layers of flowers here:
We didn't have shade in the backyard so I hooked up my pop up tent and a shade tarp so the dogs had a cool place to go to.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More Amazing Things in the Sky

Tonight I was down by the horses and turned around and saw this in the sky:
I ran back to the house and grabbed the camera, but by the time I got there, it was almost gone.  I was very disappointed.  I had pointed it out to Jerry and he's never seen one. This is called a sun dog.  When you have a rainbow, you face the rainbow and the sun is at your back.  This is looking at the sun (which is on the right side in this photo) and the sun dog. So sort of a reverse rainbow for lack of a better word.  I looked it up on wikipedia so Jerry could read it and then he said he had seen one where we came from.

 So I wandered out to get the mail and took out an empty box (yay!  one more down!) to the trash and had the camera still with me. And then I noticed the second one.  This was to the right of the sun:

As I watched, it got more intense and stronger in color.  What a show!  It was actually a deeper golden than what is shown in these photos.
We also have had the full moon coming up every night, big and as orange as the zinnias I have.  Seriously.  I tried to take a photo of it tonight but it looks like an orange blob.  I'll try to get it uploaded tomorrow.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Food in Kentucky!

Of's one of my favorite subjects!
There is lots of "South" in the food here and heavy into barbeque.  I understand Memphis BBQ is good and so is Nashville.  There are very different styles to BBQ.  The prevalent style here locally is to baste a piece of meat with a marinade and cook it and continue to baste it.  Not what you think BBQ sauce is at all.  Very tasty.  I was walking around an event, clutching a sandwich of some cut of pork in between two pieces of what I am supposing was Wonder Bread. Because the bread was dissolving into the surface of the pork (it's mostly air, anyhow).  The bread was apparently not to make a sandwich but rather a grasping surface so you could eat the meat.  At least I think that is how it was supposed to work.  :)  Everyone who passed by said "where did you get that sandwich?" and "is it good?".  I waved in the general direction of the vendor, as they usually got me with my mouth full.
Greens.  Well, I don't like 'em.  I suppose this comes from a fear and hatred in early childhood of spinach.  I can do a spinach salad if it has other stuff in it, a lot of other stuff, and a great dressing.  But then I could just have a salad without spinach and still have a great salad and be even happier with it.  I'm not a leafy green vegetable girl. Down here they have poke, which is cooked with other greens and will assume the taste of that green.  Mustard greens, turnip greens (which do not grow on top of a turnip, much to my surprise, they are an actual kind of leafy thing) and of course, collards.  I know I am probably missing some.  But....this bores me.  Let's dance!  :)
I have never tried fried green tomatoes but they do have them down here.  Maybe I will ask for "one" with dinner some day.  I don't like how green tomatoes smell so can't imagine that I will like this at all.  On the other hand, breading and deep frying can cover a multitude of sins that a food substance can have, so maybe it's wonderful. We'll see.
Corn bread and biscuits, just love them!  You can get biscuits with nearly every meal you have down here if you want them.  One of the local Mexican restaurants serves cornbread with corn in it which is neat.  And all of the biscuits I've had down here have been at least pretty good and most have been excellent.
Biscuits can be served with sausage gravy, which I have seen all over the USA now.  Very good.  And there is country ham, too, which is a super salty type of ham.  It takes a while to get the hang of eating it.  Like about 4 cokes along with it.  And you will pee all day from it.  I never had this as a kid, Momma always made fresh hams and I never tasted smoked ham until I was in my teens.  I remember how wonderful it was, Momma's were good but what an amazing ham it was when it was smoked!
I have seen chitlin's for sale in the grocery store, along with pig's feet and pork neck bones (which I give to the dogs to chew on).  I've never tried one because Momma told me what they were.  Nuh uh.  Not even if I were starving.  I put them in the class with Rocky Mountain Oysters.  Nuh uh, thank you for asking, though.
Okra is also in the Nuh Uh class.  It's....slimy.  There is just no other word for it.  And green.  And no wonder people try to hide it in gumbo.  I'll bet someone's mom came up with that one. But don't be fooled, it's in there.  They also fry okra, under the mistaken idea that it can be made virtuous by rolling it in breadcrumbs and frying the heck out of it and fooling small children. Small children (and me) are smarter than that.
Would you just look at those slimy little things?
Grits can be heavenly or can be poorly made.  Poorly made is usually done by a clueless Yankee.  They put milk and sugar on it.  Or some other godawful combination.  Grits were made to go with eggs, bacon, cheese, butter and sometimes jalepenos.  I love grits!
So a couple of weeks ago, I was driving down the road and there was a sign that had these for sale:
These are boiled peanuts. They are salty and come out soft.  They are wet and stay wet as you keep them in the fridge so they don't dry out or spoil.  Yuuuummmmm!  However, those who have never had them, you will either love them or hate them. There is no middle ground at all.  The sign was outside a gas station and they were made by a Pakistani man.  He also had Cajun ones.  I will try "one" next time, just to see.  I have to get back down and get another batch of these.  Several people at work tried them, having never tried them before and liked them but all commented "they taste like a pinto bean".  Now pinto beans are a big thing down here, too, you make them with bacon/bacon fat and maybe a little tomato and they are great with cornbread.
Moon PIes, well what can I say?  Long a staple of the rural south and even deep fried at some fairs.  You pronounce the pie part "paihhhhh" long and soft.
Black eyed peas,just define the South.  About my favorite vegetable of all time if made correctly. I like them with onion, bacon and with or without jalapenos.  I used to drain them and put them on bread and make a sandwich when I was a kid.  Perfect. Wonder Bread and black eyed peas.
Now for the drinks. First, all carbonated drinks are called CoCola.  If you go to the store and ask what your spouse wants to drink and he says CoCola, then you respond "what kind" and he can say "Dr. Pepper" or "Pepsi"  You can also get real CoCola in the little tiny bottles I remember getting out of the CoCola machine when I was a kid. For a nickel.
We have some other drinks down here, too.  One is Yahoo chocolate drink.  Kind of a chocolate milk that comes in a bottle but it's not carbonated.  I still like it, very sweet but very chocolately, too.  Yummy.  Cheerwine is something I have not had the opportunity to explore.  But I will.
Locally, there are about three counties that CoCola produces a drink called Ski.  Now this is GOOD!  Kind of lemon and orange, carbonated,  and very refreshing.  I found out why when I read how much caffeine was in it!  But it only seems to sell here and I haven't seen it anywhere else.
Then, of course, there is moonshine.  I actually had about a pint of this clear, barbaric drink in the refrigerator for the last year.  I got it from a neighbor because I really wanted to taste it. Really, really wanted to. But I couldn't bring myself to do that.  One of my friends upended it and drank it right out of the Mason jar it was in. Seriously, you have to drink it in a Mason jar. Her comment was that you could thin paint with it.  However, later she tried something called apple pie moonshine and pronounced it excellent.
So dinner at my house tonight!  BBQ with a strange, thin but very good marinade, cornbread or biscuits, your choice of CoColas, pinto beans and maybe some Moon Paihhhhhs for dessert!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Trompe l'oiel in Kentucky

I see a LOT of this down here.  I'm not exactly sure why.  It could be that there is an art teacher somewhere who loves this stuff (as I do) or it could be that there are artists with itchy fingers wanting to paint a blank wall into something interesting and fun.  
Here is an article on it:
I have taken some photos of some pretty darn good artists' works down here.  I'll add to this blog as I find more but I see these EVERYWHERE down here.  I wish I had one of the building in Michigan, though.  It looked like the bricks had broken on the side of a building and you were looking through the whole to a whole galaxy.  I thought it was amazing.  It wasn't real technical but the artist still did a great job and showed a rich imagination.
This one is in downtown Glasgow:
What a neat way to fix an old crappy wall!  And bear in mind, this is their BACK door...just to make it a little fun for everyone to see.
This artist was really, really ambitious.  And he likes big girls. Big, big girls:

Above and below is the other side of the Big Girls building:

Not real fancy but really looks like a real batch of storefronts, doesn't it?
There is another wall I need to get a photo of in Edmonton, but haven't had the chance when I go through there.
This is kind of my favorite, though on a feed company's wall facing a busy road.  This is their warehouse:

Cows could technically be a little more realistic but then, the picture as a whole is wonderful.  You look down at the building and it's "open" and filled with cows eating their grain!
Hope you all enjoyed this!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Five Amazing Things Seen In the Sky at the Same Time Tonight

We had a friend over for dinner tonight and after she left, we stood out in the yard for a while.  There were five amazing things we saw in the course of an hour.  As you all know from reading my posts, the skies here are absolutely incredible, the blueness, the giant fluffy clouds I remember from when I was a kid, the sunsets and sunrises.  But tonight was special.  We had a rather fast but hard hitting thunderstorm come over.  It only lasted about 20 minutes but brought some much needed rain.  Lightning hit very close to us and right now as I type this, I can see the lights from the linemen up on the hill working on the electric pole there.  So now I know what it hit.
First was the rainbow, which I did not get a photo of.  It was a full one and went from the north to the south.  I suggested we search for the pot of gold but no one wanted to go tramping through wet vegetation to do that.  I have seen more rainbows here than I did in all my years up north.
Next is the first video of a thunderstorm to the south east of us.  The sun was setting and down behind the horizon.  I grabbed the camera and caught this:

Here is a second video a few minutes later, it had gotten darker and the lightning showed up better here:

When I was done with that video, Jerry said, "Look!  It's the space station" and we watched it go from South to North East.  Stupidly, I nearly forgot to get the video.  Unfortunately, although I can see it on my camera, it doesn't show up on youtube.  The sky was blue, the light was bright and steady but so far away that the camera just couldn't pick it up.
Then, we observed bats.  Now usually we have a couple that come around and hunt mosquitoes every night and we welcome the little critters.  But after the storm there must have been lots of bugs stirred up because we saw a couple of dozen.  We live about 3 miles from one cave and then there are several about 6 miles to the north of us.  We hardly ever see mosquitoes in spite of having four ponds here.

There is a disease that is taking over the bats in our country. I think it is called white..nose? disease. Something like that. They are terrified that the bats in Mammoth cave will get it.  So they really question everyone who enters as to whether they have been in a cave, and where and with those shoes.  Bats are important to our environment and are great little bug catchers.
Currently the full moon is rising just behind the storms to our south east, which are still going on.  What a wonderful sight!  I am not good at night shots, though, so didn't try to take a photo of that.
I was so pleased to see these neat events in our sky tonight and wanted to share them all with you as best as I could.  The clouds all day here were wonderful, fluffy, very, very tall and high.  Jerry said it was tens of thousands of feet tall and he knows, having worked at an airport.

Scored big time!

This is part two of the lost photos that I took the other day.  Somehow my camera put them in January's pictures.  I don't know how to put them in August.  :)
So we will begin with my big score:  Last week at Wal Mart I saw they had huge markdowns on their plants and they had a lot of forsythia bushes for $5.00.  I decided to wait til this week and think about it some.  And when I went back yesterday, they still had plenty, so I got six and Jerry is helpfully planting them along the fence line between us and our neighbor, so we can both enjoy them next spring.  These are nice, good sized plants, they still have 2 months of good growth time and should be magnificent in the spring.  
Now onto the other scores of the week.  I had also gone to Lowe's and they also had great markdowns.  Some plants looked a little shabby but that's just because these places don't hire people who do a good job with them.  I found what I was looking for, a plant called a crape myrtle:

These are about bloomed out for the year, but a pretty light pink.  They have white and a very hot pink and a purple variety.  I'll be looking for those next year. They grow into these amazing large bushes down here, I've seen them ten feet tall.  The two small pines in the front yard were removed and these two put in their place.
Now remember I told you all about a type of native, hardy hibiscus?  We have several growing in the garden but darned if they didn't have one that was a light pink at Lowe's, too:

When the flowers are totally opened, it is specatacular, these were taken just before sunset.  This one is out with the Myrtle sisters.  I think I will call her....hmmm...Hibiscus has a nice ring to it.
These are the Rose of Sharons that live here.  There are about a dozen of them around and most of them are pretty big but these are along the driveway.  We actually lost one of the smaller ones in a windstorm this spring and so it had to come out.
Here are some of the zinnias that are along the front area.  It is so hot out there, lots of concrete, white siding that reflects the sun and some white rocks that also absorbs the sun and reflects it.  It makes that corner very hot.  Unfortunately, it's the main door to the house.  The zinnias are hanging on but I will give them some miracle grow this weekend.  I think they need it.  If I don't water them twice a day, they totally wilt, if I water them then they don't wilt but the leaves are not a healthy green, kind of a yellow tint which makes me think they have too much water.  Sheesh.  I think I will try marigolds there next year.  

It usually doesn't look all that trashy, but I'd been hauling mulch for the rose garden.
Here is the second rose garden.  There were a variety of plants growing there but I moved all of them and took out the fountain.  Then planted roses, Stella D'Oro lillies and took the hostas out of the back yard and put them there.  This should look wonderful in another year, it already is quite a wonderful and pretty change there.  But the weeds had gotten bad for the second time this year, so have killed them off, and now have about two thirds of it covered with landscape cloth and red mulch.  I hope to finish this project this weekend.

The top one was where I left off in early June when it got really hot down here.  Below is the other night when I used up the rest of the mulch.
I have reloaded on the mulch and cloth now, so that project will soon be done.
Here are Jordan's bunnies that I took from his sleeping spot right before we left.  I left the little memorial markers there and the new owner promised to keep the graves tidy and maybe put some flowers on them.  I feel that I brought part of him with me in the bunnies.  Now they have a nice garden to live in.
Here are the myrtles and the hibiscus:
And lastly is the first rose garden that I planted out front.  Can you see how much it has all grown?
I think I'm done buying plants for the year but still could put two more forsythias over by that fence.  I didn't know how many to buy but will look at it when Jerry is done planting them and decide.  I have tried to plant things that bloom at different times, don't take much care as far as deadheading or spraying, just a little fertilizer and water.  I will work on more more myrtles next spring and am thinking about doing a corner garden in the back yard.