Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Garden Memories

Sometimes when I am working in my garden, I can't help but become nostalgic for the things I left behind in Elizabeth. Not so much the house...it was never really mine. But the gardens I created were my own works of art. I put so much thought in picking out just the right colors and sizes of new plants to fit in with the existing ones. I loved going out there every morning and seeing what new surprises had surfaced, and it was my favorite place to be in the evening. I miss it...

"The main purpose of a garden is to give its owner the best and highest kind of earthly pleasure."
                             -Gertrude Jekyll


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Irises & Naan Pizza

The irises are finally blooming! I felt bad when I left my one iris plant behind in Elizabeth, especially since it took about three years to bloom! But when we moved to this house in Castle Rock, we discovered a huge iris bed in the backyard. They are simply gorgeous... I took these pictures yesterday evening.

While I was taking the photos of the irises, a pair of robins paid me a visit. They are so used to us being outside that they have very little fear...

 The spinach planted in the horse watering trough is coming along nicely...

 Larry resting after working hard in the vegetable bed yesterday...I was experimenting with the black & white setting on my camera.

Enjoying a glass of wine on the patio and thumbing through my bird book - there always seems to be a new variety of feathered creature to try to identify.

Duchess enjoying an evening game of Dog Soccer...

We reluctantly went into the HOT house to make dinner...Naan Pizzas. I cut up the red onion, roma tomato,  kalamata olives, roasted red peppers & basil. Larry did the assemblage... we sprinkled on some mozzarella cheese, thyme and sun-dried tomatoes and popped them in the oven...

I woke up this morning a little after 7 a.m., came downstairs, poured a cup of coffee and settled down on the sofa to do some cross-stitching - my usual morning routine. Duchess started barking at something - I looked out the window and their was a hot air balloon right over the house - in fact, it looked like it was coming right at us! I couldn't grab my camera fast enough to get a good close-up shot, and it was moving pretty fast. We ran out to the backyard and I managed to get a shot before it drifted away...
I did some weeding in my "wild" flower bed and discovered this lily of the valley in bloom... and what I thought were weeds turned out to be cosmos that I planted last year...it's good I didn't pull them all up before realizing what they were. They'll soon be adding a lot of color to that corner of the yard.

Well, time to take a basket of laundry out to the clothesline...it's supposed to be 87 today!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Day in My Life...But Not a Typical One!

Larry & I decided a few days ago that it would be practical to say good-bye to our Yamaha V-Star motorcycle and trade it in on a new Kawasaki KLR for Larry. It made me tear up to think of parting with the Yamaha. We have had so many wonderful times on it, but the last few long rides have been very difficult for me because of my arthritis. So today I met Larry at the dealership to sign the papers. But before I did, I decided to document some of the things that I did today...

I went out this morning and picked some of the asparagus that we discovered the spring after we moved here.  There were five or six stalks big enough to pick. They're growing in a part of the garden that doesn't have anything else planted in it yet, which explains why there are so many weeds surrounding them!

Then I picked some rhubarb for the rhubarb buckle I was planning on making for dessert...

Before I went shopping, I hung some clothes out to dry - it was a lovely day for it.

I put the dogs in their outside pen, hopped in the car, stopped at King Sooper's for gas, and was off to do some shopping. This is the view of Castle Rock from the Target parking lot.
"The Rock" is on the left...Pike's Peak on the right

Another view of Pike's Peak
I stopped at Sprouts and King Soopers to pick up a few ingredients for a stir fry and the rhubarb buckle, and then headed for home...That is the "Castle Rock" itself. I've always meant to climb it, but haven't gotten around to it yet!

Before long it was time to head for Littleton and meet Larry at Grand Prix Motorsports to sign the papers. I said good-bye to the Yamaha without shedding a tear, although my eyes weren't altogether dry on the ride there. It only took about an hour at the dealership, most of it just sitting around and waiting, but soon we were on our way. I left first and Larry stayed while they did some final touch-up work on the new bike. He managed to make it home safely, and in time for Jeopardy!
Saying good-bye.

Larry with the new bike.
Yes, it's a nice bike, but I would have picked the yellow one!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dollhouse Spring Cleaning

I took a look around the dollhouse and saw that some Spring cleaning was in order! Since Dot doesn't own a vacuum, I took all of the furniture out of the living room and dusted a bit. I'm working on the new rug, so when it's finished there will be some more rearranging of furniture. Now that I look at this photo, I see that the picture on the wall  is crooked - better fix that!  The little room holds so many memories. I got the sofa and chair at a miniatures shop in Mount Vernon that Margie and I visited a couple of years ago. I bought the basket behind the chair at the Gorilla Run in Denver last summer. I ordered the stove in the corner from a miniatures shop in England about six years ago. The "logs" in the basket are twigs from the spruce trees in the yard. Phil made the library table and clock over 30 years ago for my first dollhouse. I cross-stitched the rug and knitted the afghan on the tiniest knitting needles I could find, with sock yarn. I bought the girl sitting on the floor because she reminded me of Kamaria, and printed the laptop from my computer.   

I love my dollhouse, the most recent of many that I've had over the years, and never tire of looking for new little treasures to add to it, every one of which has a special meaning to me.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Yarrow, Plum Blossoms, and Shirts in the Wind...

I spent awhile in the rose bed this morning, pulling up handful after handful of yarrow. I'm sure someone way back when thought it was a wonderful idea to add this to the flower bed, but it is definitely out of control - even pops up in the driveway! I like to leave a little here and there, but did manage to get most of it out from around my rose bushes. They seem much happier - just keep shooting out more green leaves!

I love this small old wagon wheel I found at a garage sale years ago - this part of the garden looks pretty bare now that I've removed the yarrow. I guess I need to find something to fill up the space. Last year I planted a Shasta Daisy, which is one of my favorite flowers, only to find that it had totally disappeared by the next morning! One of our deer visitors must have enjoyed it for dinner. Maybe I'll sprinkle some Cosmos seeds there - they would be a colorful addition.
Good Day, Sunshine! Another garage sale find - I brought it home and Larry sprayed it with sunny yellow paint. It would look better with a solid background, but we have to deal with this weird lattice around the porch, so it is what it is!
My flower "bed". Yet another garage sale find from a few years ago. I like to stick with my $5 garage sale rule, and have come up with some great finds keeping within that limit, but when I saw this rusty iron bed, I knew that it would be beyond my self-imposed budget. I had been wanting one for years to add to my "garden art", and simply had to have it! I approached the woman at the sale, asked her how much it was, and was pleasantly shocked to hear her say, "five dollars." Whooee!!!! A few years ago I planted peas which climbed up it nicely, until some creature snapped them off at the base. Gardening here is one challenge after another!

Done with weeding for today! My second bucket-full...

I took a stroll through the property, enjoying all the new growth...
The lilac tree has lots of leaves, but no buds yet that I can see. Things take awhile at an altitude of 6200, more or less. My favorite Chickadee likes to hang out at this feeder.

It's hard to make out, but there is a bud on the plum tree! Usually a bird will eat the tiny plums before they have a chance to mature.

Lilac buds on one of the bushes in the front yard.
This old rototiller was on the property when we moved in. I rather like the long grasses growing up around it, but have to get rid of them soon... I planted wild flowers and onions there last year, which didn't really do much then, but are looking good now.
We brought this old bench with us from Elizabeth. It came from an outside chapel in the Methodist Church here in Castle Rock. We love to sit under the apple tree and enjoy the view. We try to imagine what it was like when there were no houses across the street, no power lines, and much less traffic along Ridge Rd.

The view from under the apple tree...
Some more Yard Art...
Another shot of the rusty rototiller

Yet ANOTHER garage sale find - $5 rusty old lawnmower!

One of my favorite spots....

Blowing in the Wind!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I Found My Marbles in Bliss, Idaho!

I was going through some boxes in my basement a few days ago, in a never-ending quest to organize my photos and all of the treasures that I just can't seem to part with. I often ask myself how, considering the fact that when I moved here I hopped on the plane to Colorado with only a carry-on bag, I seem to have gathered so many possessions from my past life around me? Then I realize that I mailed quite a few boxes of things to Rachel before I moved, and every now and then my Mom would put a box in the mail for me, and whenever she  and Dad would come to visit the trunk of their car was usually full of my "stuff" that I had left behind in their garage. While digging around in a box that I must not have unpacked since Larry & I moved to this house almost three years ago, I came upon a sack of the marbles that David and I had bought at Bob's Museum, Rock and Gift Shop during our trip to Colorado in 2001. We were driving along on our way back home, traveling through Idaho, and passed an exit for "Bliss" - how could we possibly pass by a town named that without stopping. We stopped and chatted with "Bob" at the Museum for awhile, and he informed us that the town was named after a pioneer family and not after a state of being! The small town did seem quite blissful, though, even the large concrete dinosaur in front of Bob's shop. He had marbles on sale - 30 for $1.00 - what a deal! I walked away with quite a few extremely pretty ones.

When Andy was little, he was fascinated with the marbles, and always wanted to play with them when he came to visit. I kept them in a small basket then - not sure where the basket is, but they are now in a pretty little bowl that came from an antiques shop in Snohomish, sitting on my piano. No one has really appreciated them since Andy, but last Sunday night I showed them to Larry, and he put them on the floor and started playing a game of Marbles. I told him that my arthritic thumbs really weren't up to a competition, but he had fun shooting by himself! They have found a new fan. I just like the way they look!


Bob's Museum is falling apart

I went online to look up Bob's Museum in Bliss, and found that it is closed due to the death of Bob...so sad. Neither Bob nor David are with us any longer, but I will always have the marbles. Here's a photo of Bob's Museum taken in 2012 - thanks to Dornoff Photography. It's sad to see it in this condition, but I'm grateful for the memories.