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Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Good morning and a happy Memorial Day!
I've finally reached the 'I think I'm in good shape yard wise for the plant sale' point. I've got all the yard fairly weed free at the moment, all the bushes that needed trimming trimmed, and the yard is looking pretty good.
I've also finished printing the flower pics to add to the pots so people can see what they'll look like in bloom.Now, I just need to cut them, glue them to plastic knives, and insert them into ziplock baggies to protect them from watering. Craig is working on the name tags, and I've got all the price tags from last year. I also touched up the paint on the yard sale banners we put out by the road.
So today will be mostly finishing up on the pics. With one week to go until the sale, I'm in very good shape.
Craig spent most of yesterday, making home made potato salad and baked beans. He doesn't do it often, as they're a time consuming process. But boy are they good!
I then grilled chicken, and it was a tasty meal!
And I also managed to get some pics taken, and here's a few more flowers currently in bloom.
An early trumpet Daylily, and a light blue Siberian Iris.



A variety of Ranuculus, and very pale pink single Peonies.
And today we're taking it easy.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday

Good morning!
And a happy Memorial Day weekend!
Just another quick post.
Another busy week at the Salon done, and yesterday after work, Craig and I mowed the yard.
This morning, I've already sealed the driveway and took my shower. I'm writing this as Craig takes his. Then it's off to the farmers market for some produce, and Meijer's for other supplies. Then it's home and more yard work. I'm on the home stretch in the weeding department, and should be pretty much done by Tuesday. I'll try to remember to take some pics.
Later!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

plant sale list.

Just a quickie post this morning.

I just came in from an hour of weeding. and watering. Between work, the yard, the plant sale, I've got no time for anything else. I filled the cracks in the asphalt driveway Tuesday, and plan to seal it this weekend. I'm about 80% done with the weeding, and I've printed about 70% of the pics for the plant sale. I'm on the home stretch with just over a week to go. But I'll try and check in and keep you updated.
Oh, and the spelling of the plant names may not be right, but you'll get an idea what I have to sell this year.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday post

Good morning.
Another late post. I worked in the yard for an hour or so. Still weeding and trimming. Yesterday, we had a bunch of running around to do. First, the bank to deposit last weeks checks, then Lowe's for patio paint, then Staples for an Ink cartridge for my printer, then to the beauty supply store for a new blo-dryer for Craig. Then, since the yard is looking so good, we decided to treat myself to lunch at Houlihan's.
So first off is a pic of the front entry next to the driveway

As you can see in the pic, the concrete surface is very rough. We would have it replaced, but when they put the city water in, they had to run the water line to the kitchen, which is the right side of the pic. They had to cut a piece of the cement slab out to get the water line into the house. The guy who cut it said he'd never seen such hard thick concrete. So it would be very expensive to redo. So every year, I just paint it, and it looks okay.Then we got this coupon in the mail for Houlihan's. They have a new, what they call, small plates menu. It basically looks like appetizers. The coupon was for 2 free small plates. We ended up ordering 3. Wanted them to make a little money. :-) They were really very good! Although not very much. They normally cost $5 each. I don't think I'd pay that much for so little, but the 3 made for a nice lunch. We picked...Spicy Chicken and Avocado Eggrolls,

Greek-Chic Chicken Kabobs,

and Vietnamese Shrimp Spring Rolls.

Then we came home, and I cleaned the storage/compost area. That's where I stored all the pots people gave my through out the year. I had way too many small pots left over, so I bagged up 2 large garbage bags full to take to work and put in the dumpster.
Then it was turkey burgers for dinner, and our Monday sitcoms.

And I'll leave you with some Cranesbil's that are now blooming in the gardens....




.

Monday, May 24, 2010

weeding and more weeding

Good morning.
I'm late posting because I've been letting Craig sleep in, so I was weeding and trimming in the yard. I got Craig up early yesterday so we could get to Horrocks and get our plants before it got to busy. Horrocks is the largest garden center on our side of town, and so it always has a huge selection. I got tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and 3 types of squash, and some annuals for the 3 pots we plant. I also checked out their perennial prices to make sure I'm pricing mine right. I want mine to be at least 1/2 the store price. That's why I sold out last year in 45 minutes.
We also picked up a turkey breast, some potatoes and corn on the cob for grilling. Then it was to Menards for crack filler and driveway sealer.
Then back home while Craig did bookwork and laundry, I cleaned off the driveway and entryway and did more weeding. We then trimmed up some shrubs and trees, and burned the cuttings with all the stuff that accumulated through the long winter.
And here's some things currently blooming....


Peonies, Lupine, and Ranuchulus.

Above a shrub callled Slander Deutzia, and below a Rhododendron.




Above a Thacium, and below a deciduous Azalea

And more weeding to do later.......

Sunday, May 23, 2010

summer is here.

Good morning.
It looks like we're in for some great summer weather. Forecast for the entire week is to be in the mid 80's. Sounds like grillin weather to me!
We've just finished a busy week at the Salon yesterday, and came home and mowed the yard, did more weeding, and then relaxing with cocktails on the deck. The yard is looking good!
For dinner, it was home made pizza, ground beef, mushrooms on a Boboli crust. Then watched an old movie, Starship Troopers.
Today, I've got to clean the Salon, then it's shopping for flowers for the pots and veggie starters for the garden. I should have gotten them in last weekend, but we were gone. Also need to pick up driveway sealer and crack filler. Hope to seal the driveway next weekend.

And here's a couple of pics of my 300+ plants potted up for my sale on June 6th.


They completely fill the area from the mo-ho back to even around the car kaddy. Now when time permits, I need to inventory what I have, write name tags for all of them, Print pictures of them in bloom so shoppers can see what they'll look like, and then price them all.
So it looks to be a very busy weekend also.
I'll try to update later.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday

Good morning.
It's another busy week in the Salon, and that is good. I've also been busy in the yard. The weather is warming this week and I've been able to work in the yard in the morning before work. Wednesday, I hauled the rest of the 100 or so plants from areas in the yard up to the gravel area by the garage. I now have all 300+ by the garage. I can now use one sprinkler to water them all. Thursday morning, more weeding, and Thursday evening, more weeding. The weekend is also looking good. Rain today and tomorrow, but sunny Sunday and Monday, so I hope to get even more weeding done. I'd say I'm just over half way there.
We're also looking at another health insurance policy. Our rate is going up again in June. The policy we're looking at is only a 1000/2000 deductible/co-pay where as our current one is a 2500/5000 deductible/co-pay. The new one does not cover yearly physicals or office visits like our current one , but does cover colonoscopies. We would save about $35 per month each with the new one. Since we seldom go the doctor, I'm thinking the new one would be a better choice. And Craig had polyps at his last colonoscopy, so he is suppose to have one again next year. And me again in 4 years. They run around $1300.00. We're meeting with an agent next week to decide.
Well, that's all I've got for now.
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Aren't they lovely

Good morning.
The weather hasn't been very nice. Cold, windy and rainy, but I did managed to still get some yard work done. I did some weeding, and potted up 6 more plants for the sale. I've now hit 300, as long as they all 'take'. And here's some things blooming in the garden....
These are Tree Peonies. They bloom a few weeks earlier then the herbaceous ones. The difference between them are the tree peonies grow from a woody frame work like a shrub instead of dying back to the ground each year.


I love tree Peonies for there massive size. They can get 6 feet tall in their old age. Most of mine are around 3 ft tall.They also come in colors you don't see in the Herbaceous ones. Like this red and white bi-color.
And they are larger than the herbaceous ones. Look at his one compared to my hand....
It's a very light delicate pink. If you don't have any and have the time to wait for them to grow, they will reward you with spectacular blooms.
I also moved another 100 plants up next to the garage as I try to condense all my plant sale plants to one area instead of all over the yard. Boy, that's a lot of hauling!
And the work week looks to be very busy. So time to hop in the shower and get going!

Monday, May 17, 2010

trip #3

Good afternoon.
We've just returned from another trip.
This one took us to Indiana Dunes State Park. And even thought the forecast was for a reasonably nice weekend, it wasn't so much. We averaged about 15 degrees below normal for the weekend. Instead of around 70, it hovered in the mid 50's and was cloudy and windy and that means cold. But we made the best of it as usual. We arrived safely Friday afternoon, and got our site all set up. Upon a tour of the campground, we discovered it very busy with lot's of tenters. Now those people are true campers to come out with night time temps in the 40's. And as with our Dunes tradition, we had Popeye's chicken for dinner. Yummy! Love that spicy chicken! There's a Popeye's about a mile from the park at a truck stop next to the highway.
Saturday morning as we were returning from are coffee walk, I discovered the front passenger tire on our car was flat. Upon inspection, I saw a nail just next to the tread area by the sidewall. Craig said because it's so close to the sidewall, we'll probably not be able to have it repaired. I got out our air compressor and filled the tire to see if it would hold well enough to get into town and find a place to replace it. It appeared to hold the air, so off into town we went. We found a couple of tire places, and they confirmed Craig's thoughts. The tire needed to be replaced. And Craig knew that the tread was getting bad on all the tires so he decided to go with a complete set. And he wanted them from a dealer we also had in Lansing, just in case a warranty issue comes up in the future. Well, nether of the first 2 places we found were also in Lansing, so we kept looking and finally went to a Walmart. They had tires in stock and at a good price. So by time we got that all taken care of it was nearly noon, and since our sunny mild morning was turning cloudy, cold, and windy, we decided to skip our drive into Chicago. So as a back-up plan, we went and had lunch at the waterfront cafe in Michigan City, and then to the big outlet center. There we ended up at the Fossil outlet where Craig got a new wallet, and I a new watch. Then back to the campground for a warm fire and turkey kielbasas on the grill followed by a movie in our warm mo-ho.
Sunday I let Craig sleep in and went for a walk to the beach. Our campground is about a mile from the beach via road, but there's a beach trail that goes from the edge of the campground following a creek to the beach that's only about a half mile long. Well when I reached the beginning of the trail, it was strung with that orange mesh fencing with a sign saying it was closed. We drove down to the beach later to discover that they were reconstructing that end. The creek use to come out of the woods into a large marsh-like area, where it disappeared under the parking lot, only to come back out at the beach side. 2 years ago, the tiles used to carry the water under the parking lot must have failed and the entire corner of the lot collapsed. At the time the just fenced off that section of the lot and dug a temporary ditch for the water. What they are doing now is building a kind of viaduct from the marsh area to the lake with a foot bridge over one section to connect it to the beach trail, and another foot bridge near the lake to connect the one side of the beach with the other. Burying rivers in the first place never seemed like a good idea to me anyway.And with the cloudy cold weather continuing, we decided to try our luck at the Blue Chip Casino. And as usual, Craig won and I lost. Maybe I should just go and watch him. :-) Then we went back to the campground, read the paper, and I did dishes while Craig made a pasta salad for dinner. While the salad was 'resting' we took a walk. Then it was pork steaks on the grill to go with the salad. Then we decided to break down the campsite, as rain was forecast for Monday Morning. The less we have to do in the rain the better.
Monday morning arrived and the radar showed the rain very close, but not on us yet, so I awoke Craig very early for him, :-( and we got the mo-ho hooked up to the car caddy and the car loaded and on our way before the rain hit. We returned home with out and incident, so a good trip.

we're back!!

Yep! we just got back from another weekend trip. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow morning, since right now, I need to get yard work done!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

It's almost the weekend

Good morning.
Finishing what ended up as a busy week in the Salon. And it looks like the week of rain is finally over for a few days. We've been getting more like April weather this month. But then, we got May like weather in April. I knew we'd pay for that.
I was unable to do my Alzheimer customer this week. She was not at all cooperative, so I'll try again in a couple of weeks.
Not much else to tell right now. We've got a trip coming up I'll tell you about then, and I'm trying to get the gardens weeded between the rain storms. But it's looking like a nice weekend, so we'll see how much I get accomplished.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's Thursday

Good morning.
I missed my usual Wednesday morning post, so here I am today. Wasn't much to say about Tuesday anyway, it rained a-l-l day. So I cleaned the inside of the mo-ho, vacuumed the house, and surfed the net and played games. Craig made a tasty dinner. Pan fried rice, mixed with sauteed onions, mushrooms, and asparagus. All put in a casserole dish topped with seasoned, browned chicken breasts, and covered with a honey mustard sauce and baked in the oven. It was really good!
And work is getting quite busy. After my crazy busy week last week, I expected a slow week , but the phone rang a lot yesterday, and the week is filling up nicely.
Current plant sale total, 296 plants.
If I don't get back here in time,
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

trip #2, the details

Good morning.
We spent part of our weekend at Muskegon State Park. Here's an early morning view from our campsite. This view is of Muskegon Lake.
Muskegon State Park has 2 campgrounds. The north campground which is on the lake, and the channel campground which is on the channel linking Muskegon Lake and Lake Michigan. Muskegon lake is the largest lake linking to Lake Michigan and is a major port for commerce.

Here is a pic of the Lake Express car ferry that runs numerous times daily between Muskegon and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

And above is a barge full of what looked like sand. Why they need to bring in sand is beyond me since this side of the state is full of sand. And below, the same barge the next day leaving empty.
But enough pictures. After an extremely busy work week, we packed up the mo-ho Saturday, and drove the 1 3/4 hour drive to Muskegon. Once we were set up, I called an old acquaintance I hadn't seen in years. He lives about 20 miles north of Muskegon. He tracked me down some years ago through the Internet and we were finally finding time to meet. We drove up to Whitehall, met him at his home, and had a nice dinner at the local Harbor View Grille. It was a very nice visit with an old friend.
On Sunday of course, it was time for Mother's Day. And over to her apartment we went. She is very happy to be back home, although not happy about not having a car and going when she wants. We discussed the various public options, and I think she'll look into that. We went out to Applebees for lunch. Mom and I had the house sirloin, and Craig had some kind of turkey wrap. It was all very good! Then over to the 'club' where we had drinks and pull-tabs, and did not hit a thing. On the way home we stopped at the store and got her some groceries. She was very tired when we got back to her apartment, but a happy tired. She knows it'll be awhile before I come back, and 2 of my brothers that live in the area, won't take her to the 'club'. They have an issue with her drinking. But anyway, on the way back to the campground, we picked up some wood and had a nice fire to end the evening, and on Monday morning, we packed and drove back to Lansing. I spent the rest of the day weeding, dividing, and working in the yard, while Craig did laundry and bookwork.
And of course, no trip of ours would be complete with out having an 'incident' and of course this trip was no different. Fortunately it was fairly minor. Saturday on the way to Muskegon, it was a very windy day. We almost cancelled the trip because driving a big box on windy days is no fun! But the wind was from the west, northwest, and I thought it would be okay since we'd be driving directly into it instead of it hitting us sideways. And really, it wasn't bad, but about 2/3 of the way there, our dryer vent cover came off and hit a car passing us. We were right near a rest area, and pulled in there with the car. She thought there would be damage from the loud noise when it hit, but couldn't find any. The vent cover is all plastic, but at 60 mph, probably did sound bad. So fortunately, it turned out okay. Now we'll need to get a replacement sometime. In the meantime, I duck taped over it to keep the rain out.
So, all in all a good trip.

Monday, May 10, 2010

trip #2

Did you miss me?
I know you did....
We just got back from a little RV trip to Muskegon.
I'll tell you all about it tomorrow morning as right now I need to get out and work in the yard.....

Friday, May 07, 2010

busy, busy

Good morning.
It's been a crazy busy week at work and today and tomorrow will be more of the same. I had 18 customers yesterday. Started at 8:30am and finished at 7:15pm. I was one tired puppy when I got home. But a couple of glasses of sherry made it all better. And did I sleep! ;-)
And before I started work, I had a dental cleaning appointment. Now I will say one thing. If you dislike going to the dentist as much as I do, Here's a little trick to make the cleanings go faster. My hygienist on my previous visit said I had a lot of tarter build-up. So she gave me a 3 minute timer and said to brush until it runs out. Well, the first time I used the timer, I thought I was brushing for an hour! 3 minutes is a lot longer than it seems! And apparently a lot longer than I had been brushing. But I did as was requested, and when I went in for my cleaning yesterday, it took nearly half as long as before! I was in and out in about 1/2 an hour! Now this I like! She also said there was less staining, and that my gums looked better too! So brush longer, and your dental cleanings will be quicker!
Also on Wednesday morning the repair man came to (hopefully) fix our 13 year old washer at work. Now this washer takes a beating because all it washes are heavy loads of towels. I was hoping we wouldn't need a new one. As it turned out, the connection that is suppose to let the washer run when the lid is closed was all corroded and not making a good contact, so with some good cleaning, we were back in business.
And we've got a cold front coming through today that will take our high temps in the low 60's and push them down to the upper 40's, with 2 mornings of frost. yuk! No planting of annuals yet! Looks like an indoor weekend.
So have a great weekend! I need to shower and go to work!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

weekend in review

And again, another weekend over. I can't imagine only having a 2 day weekend. Our 3 day weekend goes by soo fast!

Anyway, it was another great day. potted up a few more divisions, did a crap load of weeding, and helped Craig mow the yard. I'm about 1/3 done weeding. I think this yard is getting bigger every year. ;-)
My poison ivy (or what ever it was) mess is starting to clear up. That was the worst I've ever had it and I don't even know where in the yard I picked it up. Beside that real bad spot on my forearm I had minor spots farther up the arm, on my side, my tummy, and my other arm too.
Oh well, the hazards of home ownership. :-]
On the work front, it's looking to be a real busy week. I've got just 5 slots open for the entire week. I'll probably get tons of calls. That seems to be how it works in the appointment business. Sit around one day and work your butt off the next. And I'm going in extra early today. The staff called yesterday to inform me the washing machine stopped working. So I've got a repair man coming this morning. And I also need to install those 3 batteries in the exit signs and emergency lights. I've also got 2 supply orders coming in today.
So it's time to shower and hit the road!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Flowers, food and mom

Good morning.
Despite a dreary forecast of mostly cloudy and a chance of rain, the weather yesterday turned out great! Sunny and 70! Just tell me, how can the weather 'experts' be so wrong so often???
So I spent an hour and a half weeding yesterday morning, while Craig got his beauty rest. Then after picking up 3 new batteries from the Battery Plus store for the Salon exit signs and emergency lighting, we did some grocery shopping. Then I spent the entire afternoon working in the yard. I now have 284 plants potted up for my big sale on June 6th. My goal of 300 is near!
And as promised, some thing currently blooming in the yard...

A very pretty orange Geum above and a colorful Cranesbil below.

Above, Cushion Spurge, below a flowering shrub called Dwarf Fothergilla.
And finally, a little visitor.
This tree frog was sitting on the arm of one of the deck chairs when we got home. He eventually move over to the table next to it and stayed there all afternoon. Our constant presence didn't seem to bother him one bit.
And for dinner, we had pork steaks on the grill with roasted red potatoes, and steamed broccoli. And for evening entertainment, our Monday sitcoms. We lead such an exciting life.
Oh, and in other news, my Mom is getting out of rehab on Wednesday. Just in time for Mother's Day weekend. She sure is happy about that!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Pizza meatloaf, umm good!

Good morning.
Yesterday, we ended up with about 3/4 of an inch of rain. A nice soaking rain. And it ended early in the day. I was able to work in the yard in the afternoon. Did some weeding and potted up another 10 plants.
Here's a tulip I've got blooming right now.

Isn't it just picture perfect?
And I've cut some branches off my Pussy Willow tree to root and pot up. I place them in a bucket of water to root.

I cut a bunch of them because only about half will 'take'. As soon as roots start growing from the stems, I'll pot them in potting soil. Regular garden soil would be too 'heavy' for the new roots to grow through.
And for dinner, Craig made a new variation of his meatloaf. He called it Pizza Meatloaf. You start with the basics, meat, eggs and bread crumbs. He used Light hot Italian turkey sausage instead of ground beef, and added in some diced tomatoes. Then he spread it out on wax paper, and added mozzarella cheese, diced turkey peperoni, and mushrooms. Folded it, and placed it in a casserole dish, and topped it with tomato paste and baked.

When done sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top. And here's Craig with the finished dish.
And I've discovered the trick to letting me take his pic....a couple of glasses of wine! hehehe
And it was real yummy! And another little hint. When you use low fat stuff in cooking, you tend to get a lot of water and this casserole was no different. So about 2/3 of the way through the cooking, suck out the liquid so the meat will dry some and hold together better.
And I'll post some more flower pics tomorrow!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

A wet sunday

Good morning.

Another weekend has begun! At least for me. ;-)
The weather has been very nice. I managed to work in the yard Friday and Saturday after work. Got one of the large perennial beds almost completely weeded. A good start. I should have dug, divided, and potted up some more plants instead because now it's raining, and the soil will be to wet to work. Oh well, we needed the rain, and I still have a couple of weeks to divide yet.
So today it looks to be a lazy indoor day.
Tomorrow I need to get 3 new batteries for work. On Friday, DeLau Fire came out to test and re-tag our fire extinguishers and discovered the batteries were dead in both exit signs and the emergency light. He was nice enough to tell us we can replace them ourselves and save us some money. So this morning after I cleaned the Salon, I took our the batteries so i know what kind to buy. They were very easy to remove.
And I was going to post some things blooming in the yard, but like I said, it's currently raining, so instead I'll gross some of you out with this pic....
Every year, while working in the yard, I somehow apparently get into either some poison ivy, or something like it. I'm never sure when or where it happens because the blisters don't show up until the next day. This one was particularly bad. The pic doesn't look so bad because I took this pic this morning, 4 days after it happened. Thank goodness for Ivy Dry. It really takes the itching away.
And that's my update for today.