Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010



Memorial day weekend comes to a quiet close at our homestead. I took time to reflect on my parents and the difficult path they must have taken in their courtship during the war. When my father finally returned from WWII, they quickly got married and settled down to their home and children (all 4 of us!). I have wonderful news clippings of the local paper at that time and I treasure the memories. If he only was still here, he could be one of those going on the Honor Flights for the veterans to Washington DC. He would have loved it!

But as for us and this long weekend...we did the 'staycation' thing - no travelling the roads fighting traffic...just enjoy every minute of our wonderful homestead. Our strawberry bed began yielding beautiful fruit so I made up a delicious golden shortcake to complement them.

Oh of course we went for a couple bike rides and long walks in the woods as well - but lawn mowing, weed pulling and just sitting and swinging rounded out the weekend. We are looking forward to some rain this week.

I did spend some time working on cards for a swap I'm in and also cards for our troops. But I did not get everything done I wanted to do and have decided I need to set priorities.

Above is a very simple card using a child's image from Stampin' Up (from a friend) as well as copics, bazzill paper, and even my new Martha Stewart Edge Punch and a few embellishments.

Tomorrow my Princess Raggs (our lovely grey feline) will be 9 years old! She'll have to have a special plate of tuna for sure - and of course a birthday picture for her album. Yes, she has her own portion of an album dedicated to all of our cats, past and present.

Hope you enjoyed your weekend.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Showing off ....



Patriotic and spoiled!

Just as one would schedule an appointment for your hair, dog groomers now need appointments ahead of time for the pooches. So today was Nikko's Grooming Day! Nikko is our Zuchon.

Here is a photo before and then after - same day. One wonders if we brought home the wrong dog!

We were alerted when we first got him to never laugh at him, so with a few well hidden snickers we got the pictures you see and he's now curled up trying to keep warm in 80 degree heat!

Wow, and we thought we were doing him a favor!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Update on Irises


We had a vicious thunderstorm yesterday. As much as I feared for my irises, they weathered it well. A few had broken and I brought them into enjoy, but here are a couple that continue to dazzle me every year! I keep the photo for my wall paper, it just doesn't get any better than that for any gardener!

Congrats to All of Our Grads!



I just want to say Congratulations to all our graduates out there! Go for the gold - don't let anyone tell you that it can't be done!

The above card was created for our grand-niece graduating from high school. I used copics, bazzill, metallic papers, vellums and my nesties! Woo hoo!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Friends on the flowers!


I have no idea what type insect they are. They seem to appear to be relatives of the dragonfly! But how precious to find them mating on one of the iris petals this morning. We now have 14 flowers open on that beautiful iris plant! All around me now are lavender irises, and white irises with deep purple petals as well as this beautiful orange one.

Sorry I'm so late in posting anything.......been busy sending out cards to friends and trying to get a grasp on my card making in bulk.

And making rhubarb crunch! Here is the recipe in case you are so inclined to enjoy a Midwest delight! This recipe is the very best in my collection!!!

RHUBARB CRUNCH

1 c flour
3/4 c quick cooking oats
1 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c melted butter
4 c raw rhubarb, cut up (you can use frozen as well)
1 c water
1 to 2 c sugar
3 TBSP cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
(and perhaps a pinch of cinnamon!)

Combine first 4 ingreds in med bowl, mix well. Remove 1/4 of the crumb
mixture and set aside. Press remainder in a 9x9 glass dish or pan. Place
rhubarb over crust. Combine sugar, water, cornstarch and vanilla in heavy
saucepan. Cook over med heat until thickened. Pour filling over rhubarb
and top with reserved crumb mixture.

Bake 350 50 to 60 min.

Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream!

So I hope you are having a lovely weekend!
:) Linda

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

An iris is an iris is an iris.......


Well I think they said that about the rose, but it most certainly pertains to the iris. This time of year in WI we have the most beautiful irises blooming everywhere, right along with the Bridal Wreath bushes! So I want to let you see how an iris opens up. This iris used to be very chocolate but over the years is fading in color and this is perfectly normal. However their size will not change unless they are hurting for the proper soil. It's gorgeous in person, one of my very favorite flowers:
It appears as a closed bud for some time; so long that my husband and I kiddingly were betting on when and which one would open the first! We were both wrong! Those are phlox behind it.

As you can see, it's gradually changing in shape and the petals will soon unfold. There really are three petals in each layer, and each petal seems coordinated to open immediately after the other.
Oh what Mother Nature has given us, huh?

Now I will relish every morning in seeing how many more will open. I believe I counted 14 flowers in this one plant.
What is your favorite flower? Leave a comment and I'll send you some iris images to color!

Monday, May 17, 2010

le fleur de mon jardin....

That translates to: "the flower of my garden"......

Well they are not the flowers of my garden yet....but I have high hopes this year for several beautiful gardens. Tomorrow my favorite iris will be open and of course I'll post a photo for you.

Meanwhile, wouldn't this card make a lovely "Just a Note" type card. It took awhile to do - very intricate work for these fingers! But it was fun. I used my copics (of course) and the pen nib of a Stampin Up pen in light lavender for the writing. Otherwise, papers used were Georgia Pacific for the white cs and image, bazzill and Leaving Prints cs for background papers. And of course some cute little skittles!

What do you think?

Just a follow up.......

to yesterday's QOTM posts.

This card will go to my great friend in the wonderful state of Louisiana! Mel, hope you enjoy along with the wonderful images I now challenge you with!

Hugs,
Linda

Sunday, May 16, 2010

QUEEN OF THE MONTH - MAY

Sometime back I received a RAK of images from my friend Pat - I just knew she had intended to challenge me with one of them! I've done the same to her so fair play, huh? Well this particular image was all about the QUEEN OF THE MONTH in our scrapbook group! During TV time today I decided to complete all 3 and since I already had the background of the cards completed, wallah! I'm done and ready to send off to the new queens for May - along with some images that may challenge them too! And Pat is one of them! ROTFL!!! Back at yah Pat! :)
I used basically copics for coloring but included 2 different colored Zigs I had on hand but don't have similar colors in my copics. Background papers, gems, ribbons and stickpins are from my stash.
Hope you all like the results.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

CARD OF THE MONTH.....May flowers!

MAY is such a wonderful month of fun and surprises. From May Day thru National Scrapbooking Day and the Mother's Day - not counting in all the birthdays of mothers and grandmothers I know - I just knew the card challenge for this month would be a good one.

Pat assigned us all a recipient of our Card of the Month - mine is going to Barb L. in Florida! And the subject MUST be "flowers". So I was wondering what does one send to a Florida person......probably not the same as I would send to an Alaska person. I found one of my seldom used stamps because the flowers are so intricate to color and thought I'd give it a whirl.

I love how it turned out - I really struggled with the blending of the colors with my copics. I found I do not have enough close buddies in the 'red' dept. so we all know what that means in the future! :)

Well I hope she likes it - do you?

Friday, May 14, 2010

I MISS YOU!



What does everyone else do when your time slot for creativity gets narrowed to NOTHING? Betwixt the weeding of the various flower beds, the planting of the new annuals I've raised from seed, the weeding of the garden, cleaning house and laundry and shopping as well, I've just been stretched to nothing by evening. Come evening I love to browse the various blogs on the net and I do not remember HOW I came across Kellybee's blog, but I am sooooo happy I did! As soon as you find a bit of time, hop on over and visit her and leave her a comment! I was totally surprised when she personally emailed me back offering me one of her lovely images!

Anyhow, above is a card I made following one of her 'shower cards'. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to give my creativity a whack in the behind and get moving - notice the paper pieced raincoat.........Kelly did that also on hers. The most difficult was finding paper I could do it with. Actually cutting and gluing and coloring with my copics were fun! I don't know if it's my monitor this evening, but the background yellows are true yellow - not mustard. :) I had a chance to use my sewing machine with a zig zag holding the papers together, and I also put a few tiny rhinestones on the rain drops - 5 to keep that perfect balance.

Now off to make some more using different themes. Hmmmmmmm, I just thought of something wonderful - a paper pieced card category in a card swap would be an awesome twist. And I'm hosting a card swap at Scrapbook Place! Woo hoo!

Til tomorrow and hopefully I will be back here for a bit! And oh yes, I have to update you on the Jacks - they are HUUUUUUGE!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Heaven's stairs?

SMILE!!!!!
Mother's Day weekend was here as it probably was at most homes - very hectic but full of love and surprises around every corner. My daughters, granddaughter, and great granddaughter along with 2 of her friends came for a grand day on the ranch on Saturday! Here the kiddos are piled around our wood pile! You gotta love those little boys - they knew how to play me for everything they wanted! They had a ball, needless to say! I heard that the riding lawn mower switch got left on over nite - can we all say "DEAD BATTERY"!!! ROTFL!!!!!!
So of course, then the Moms and Sis gathered for a picture too! Wonder who that gray haired ole lady is!
My biggest surprise was finding my great granddaughter later in the afternoon sitting in my craft room making something special for her mom. She had already acquired a lovely heart hanger from my hubbie - she knew what she needed cut and nailed and he did that. So then she got in my craft room and found flowers, stamps, pens, bling to embellish it with, you name it - this kid was happy!!! And I was so happy to see her sitting in MY craft room - I could not imagine sharing it with a more deserving little angel.
And then the grand presentation to her mom! We made her mom close her eyes and she was just ecstatic to think her 7 yo daughter would just come up with such a grand idea! Of course this was on Saturday so on Sunday Mom Laurynda still got another prize from her kiddos for Mother's Day. I'm sure it was a wonderful weekend for her this year for sure.
Well Sunday came and since one of my daughters stayed over we decided to go geo-caching! It's getting to be a long standing tradition on Mother's Day - drag mom thru the worst and darkest of caves, stand Mom on the edge of a river bank and watch her try to fall in; drive to the highest peaks in Wisconsin, and this time climb (YES I SAID CLIMB) up 266 steps on the MOUND which is a huge mound from mining days! My legs still ache but it was a blast! I immediately found one of the caches and then we went on a tour for the 2nd cache in a cemetery 15 miles away - Shelly found that cache! We had a blast, and can't wait til next year to do it all again!

That's me and my companion Nikko - he actually did all 266 steps much easier than me - maybe cause he has 4 legs!?? This is the cache we found - in a rock carved to hold the journal and goodies. We are all a very active family which is why we just don't feel our age, geocaching is and always will be our playtime of choice when nothing else is available! It's just plain fun reading the journals and adding your own little notes! You can check it out at http://www.geocaching.com

Hope you had an awesome weekend too! And did you hug a Mom?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I just need more time!



I can't believe how my days are picking up in work and becoming shorter in hours! While I don't want the temperatures that winter brings, I sure would love a bit of the laziness it allowed me. Yesterday I spent all my free time pulling these ugly weeds from my flower gardens! Late in the afternoon I found a gentleman who was selling nursery stock nearby and also these huge brown hen eggs! Yummmm! Then my cousin and his friend showed up and we all enjoyed a few hours together.

Today of course I'm sore. Now an update on what else is happening........

First of all, let me tell you about my friend Lelia. She sent me some gladiolus bulbs to plant and along with those bulbs was this beautiful card and lovely message inside! Doesn't the butterfly seem to fly right off the page at you! Wow - those colors are awesome!

I plan on surprising her shortly with some Resurrection bulbs which shall bloom sometime in July this year and be a real surprise! She is a member/moderator on Scrapbook Place and indeed an artist in residence! Her blogsite is at: http://greengoddescreations.blogspot.com/ Hop on over and visit her and put her on your list to visit every day! It's a read worth watching!

Ok, here's the update on the "HOLES"...I took my little canine companion out for his nightly walk on Monday evening. We got near the edge of our lawn and something barked in a high pitch voice and growled in the most menacing tone I never want to hear again. All I could think of was "wolverine"! Our neighbor had reported seeing one - all too unlikely but still could be I suppose. Nikko wanted to fight - he was all for being as aggressive as his little body could be - lunging for the brush area where the noise was coming from. I couldn't see that well but apparently he could. This was not for me - I am not the brave one in this family. So we retreated for the house very quickly.

I tried to watch thru the larger windows and peer thru the darkness as it fell and it took only about 20 minutes and it looked like a fox appeared and ran across the lawn. Either that or a small coyote - I'm leaning towards the fox. I've heard the whimpering of little kits now too when watching the area. Hopefully they will move them soon to a larger woods away from us.

So for this evening, I'm heading off to clean/steam my kitchen and living room carpets. Mother's Day isn't too far away and land sakes, can't let the girls see Mom with dirty carpets! :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Coyotes or Foxes?





A few weeks back we found these holes in the lower southern area of our woodland.......all too close to our lawn and home. Figured they were groundhogs which we detest, but as time went on we'd see crow feathers, rabbit fur, even garbage wraps from the burn barrel. Today we found a huge goose egg! Yes, that's right. Look to the right of the hole in the bottom right picture. It's very real but slightly cracked too - but I'm wondering why they haven't eaten it yet unless we surprised them. My brother thinks it's a turkey egg.



There are about 5 exits they've mined and probably all connect. The local Dept. of Natural Resources is guessing it's a den of fox raising young ones. We've noticed a lot of gray hair lately being rubbed off at the entrances when they come and go - so now we suspect it's coyotes. We have both in this area and I really don't treasure either living there.

It makes our dog very nervous when they are moving around or yipping or something. I can't hear it at the time and haven't seen anything move yet. But his keen hearing keeps him alert. We have an electric underground fence between the lawn and the woods so he doesn't go there unless we allow it.

Perhaps someday we'll see a young group of coyotes or fox......and they'll leave!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

WHAT IS IT - Continued!

It's Saturday and I promised - so here I am with the answer to the beautiful plant and our winner!




On Friday I took a current photo of the plant as it continues to unfold; it's going to be one of the largest JACK IN THE PULPITS I have ever seen, I am sure! Yes, Becky, you were right. It's a Jack and to watch them unfold is a passion of mine! It has other names, Indian Turnip is the most common one I've heard......don't know if the Indians really ate them or not! Note the smaller Jack to the left of the larger one.

There were several good guesses and I'm glad you ladies took time to stop and just leave a comment.




Here's a photo of a Jack already opened further down the path as well in my woods. It's smaller and opened sooner; there are a lot of them open right now and they stand about 6 inches tall and seem to be of 2 differing varieties - one in the pale greens and the other snake like markings. The one we are waiting on has those snake like markings and could easily tower over everything at about 30 inches or more.



And here's a photo of the red berries it produces before it goes to sleep for the winter. We usually wait for the whole shabang to almost fall off the plant and then replant them thruout the woods. Some years my husband has literally tossed them around and we do find many new tiny plants starting the next year in those areas. They are 3 leaves when they start and that's about all they do the first year. They don't always return year after year however. Very pretty berries anyway.




And congratulations to Anna N. as her name was drawn by one of those random generators for me. I'll be sending you a little surprise Anna. Thanks everyone for playing. Now I'll just wander on down the wooded path in my sloppy trekking clothes with my faithful companion Nikko - notice all the apple blossoms falling on the path! It's gorgeous - a bit unfriendly for us allergy sufferers but worth every sniffle!