Friday, May 31, 2013

the flowering begins

Good morning.
It's been a very busy week in the Salon and it continues today and tomorrow.
We've had a mini heat wave this week, with temps into the low 80's. Of course, I haven't been able to enjoy them since I've been working.  :-(
And of course, just in time for my weekend, the temps are forecast back into the 60's.
I just hope it's dry so I can get out side stuff done.
I have been outside every morning for about an hour before I went to work, and I've been able to really get a handle on the flower beds.
And speaking of flowers, here's some of what's blooming right now....
Above, gas plant to the left, and a cranesbil on the right.
Purple columbine.
Cupids dart.

Above, my sedum garden. No flowers, but the different sedums are pretty
My largest tree peony with a pink weigela behind.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

the garden springs forth

Good morning.
I've just come in from working in the yard during a break in the current rainy period.
It has been raining pretty much non-stop since shortly after we got home on Monday.
We've gotten just over 3 inches of rain. We are under a flood warning, again.
We are forecast for scattered showers all week.
But, the rain has really gotten the yard looking good.



I don't have the waterfall or fountain running in these pics, as I took them between rainfalls. We usually only have them on when we're out in the yard to enjoy them, which because of all the rain, we haven't been out.
The perennials have really multiplied this year. The downsized beds I did last fall with all the transplanting and moving of plants are really looking good.
I've got some things blooming now, and I'll post some pics later this week, but with the selection of perennials I have, my yard looks best from mid June to mid July.
So, because we were stuck indoors for most of Monday and Tuesday, I was online looking for an alternate place to buy the Salon's laundry detergent and coffee. I'm a member of Sam's Club and this year, they're hiking the membership fee to $45. I think it crazy to pay a yearly fee for the privilege to shop somewhere, so I'm looking for an alternative. Anyone have any ideas? That's pretty much all I but there as the nearest one is on the other side of town. 
Now it's time to go back to work, and it's gonna be a busy one!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

trip #2. Maumee Bay State Park

Good morning.
I've just returned from cleaning the Salon. It's currently a cold 52 with rain. Over the holiday weekend, we went to Maumee Bay State Park. We arrived Friday afternoon, after working half a day at the Salon.
It was a cool chilly weekend. Mostly sunny, low 60's, with a brisk cold northern wind. 
Not the best weather, but we managed to have a good time.   :-)
Went for a bike ride Friday before dinner, which was turkey kielbasa's.
Saturday morning, I didn't bike as it was only 39 when I got up.  :-(
We did go for a coffee walk when Craig got up as it had gotten up into the upper 40's by then. Then headed into Toledo for a stop at the downtown farmers market. The place was packed! Besides the usual selection of produce, this weekend was flower weekend, where the market invited area growers to sell flower, perennials, and hanging baskets.
I found a really cool hosta, but didn't buy it due to no place to put it as I've been downsizing my flower beds.
After navigating the market, we headed over to the Libby Outlet store, where we managed to buy nothing.
Then as usual for our trips to Maumee Bay, lunch at Tony Packo's.

We eat at the one downtown near the baseball stadium. It's only about 8 blocks from the farmers market. Of course, we both had 2 of their famous Hungarian chili dogs. Yummy!
Then back to the campground where we managed to find a sheltered spot in the sun to relax with cocktails.
Later, another bike ride, and pork steaks on the grill with a baked potato and grilled marinated zucchini.
Sunday morning, after our coffee walk, we headed over to the new Hollywood Casino, on the south side of Toledo. It's been open just barely a year, and looks very nice with it's art deco decor.
We spent a couple of hours playing the slots and when we were ready to leave, I was up $40, but Craig was down $30.  Is anybody noticing a trend here? I think I need to leave Craig home, or in the car with a book.  :-)
Then on the way back to the campground, we stopped for lunch at a Buffalo Wild Wings where I, of course, partook in spicy garlic wings, and Craig had mini pulled pork sandwiches.
Back at the campground, it was a little nicer as the temps had reached into the mid 60's and the wind was light. Still colder than normal for this time of year, but okay.  After relaxing a bit, another bike ride. This time, over to the beach, about a mile away. At least it was good weather for biking.
Then we made chicken thighs on the grill with another baked potato and grilled asparagus.
While fixing dinner we notice out the window behind the couch, a couple of Baltimore Orioles where feasting on nectar from the tiny flowers on this bush.
Sorry for the pic, but it was shot through the window, and the sun was on that side of the mo-ho too.
Before retiring for the evening, I strapped up the bikes, put away the grill and chairs for an early morning departure.
We arrived home late Monday Morning, safe and sound. All systems functioned normally. It was another good trip!
I managed to get the yard mowed while Craig did his usual paperwork and laundry, before a late afternoon rain moved in.
Today will be our usual Monday running around before back to work tomorrow, which looks like another crazy busy week.

Friday, May 24, 2013

almost the holiday weekend

Good morning.
 As expected, it's been a crazy, busy week.
I worked 11 1/2 hours on Wed. and 10 on Thursday. I've got another packed day today.
Her's a few more pics of the yard....
Above Bridal Wreath Spirea, and below Japanese Kerria Plentiflora.

And the yard is finally filling out. The trees would normally be fully leafed by Memorial Day, but our cold spring has delayed that.  Probably in another week or so.
It rained nearly all day Wed and Thur but sun is forecast for the entire weekend, though it will be a little on the cool side with temps only in the low 60's.
Anyway, have a great holiday weekend! I'm looking forward to a long weekend also!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

stupid, no good, weatherman

Good morning.
Well, as usual, the weatherman was wrong again.
Monday, it rained a brief period early, and was sunny most of the day, and Tuesday, it looked like it wanted to rain, but didn't. So much for a 70% chance of rain.
Soooo, I took advantage of that and did some more work in the yard.
We have a fountain out in the yard, and I had Mother of thyme planted in it. Some years it looks great, and other years not so much. This was one of those years. Once it started to grow, I could see it was half dead. It's done this before, and I usually sort out the dead stuff, thin the good stuff and replant. Not this year. Because it's a raised bed, it can get very dry during the winter if we don't have much snow fall. This past winter was one of those, and so it drys out to much and dies off. So, I decided to tear it all out, and replant with a creeping sedum that thrives in dry soil.
Here's the after pic. I didn't think of getting a before one. This sedum spreads quite fast, and should fill in the entire top by late summer.
I also did a bunch more weeding, and I'm surprisingly in good shape for so early. Downsizing flower beds has accomplished what I intended. Less weeding. And it should also help in the fall, with less deadheading.
Also, we cleaned out the dryer vent. This is what we took out of the chute, after the lint screen.
Couldn't believe how much lint gets past the lint screen!
And as promised, here's a few pics of some tree peonies that have begun blooming...


And now, time for another work week. It's looking to be crazy busy, as I'm going in early today and tomorrow, as it's a short week due to the Memorial Holiday this weekend.


Monday, May 20, 2013

a beautiful Sunday

Good morning.
I've just returned from cleaning the Salon. I know, it's not Sunday, but let me explain.
My weekend's forecast, (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) was calling for sun and 80 on Sunday, and rain Monday and Tuesday, so instead of cleaning the Salon Monday morning, I decided to put it off a day and clean and seal the roof of the mo-ho.
As soon as it was light enough to see, I got up on the mo-ho roof, and spent an hour cleaning.
After allowing it to dry, I then sealed the roof. The roof of the mo-ho is rubber, and it needs to be cleaned and sealed every year to prevent it from drying and cracking which of course would then lead to leaking.
After Craig got up, we did our usual running and also stopped and picked up flowers for the 4 pots I plant, and also a big bag of moisture control potting soil. I first used it last year, and I must say the stuff is amazing. We were able to leave on a camping trip for 4 days, and when we got back, the pots were fine. I highly recommend this for anyone who doesn't want to have to water your pots every day.
Back home, I planted the pots and I also washed the mo-ho and the Kia and Boston.
I then did some more weeding. It was an exhausting day, but I got a lot done.
As a treat for all my labor, we had pork steaks on the grill. Yummy!
And here's a few pic of the yard....


Everything is looking pretty good. All my tree peonies are starting to bloom and I'll try to take some more pics.
Oh, and now, the weather forecast for today is just a 40% chance of rain after 2pm. So hopefully, more time to work in the yard.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

a quickie

Good morning.
It's been a very busy week. In the Salon, and at home.
Now that we've finally have gotten some summer like weather, I've been working in the yard every morning for an hour or so before going to work. I've managed in one week to get a good chunk of the yard in shape.
But I've still got a lot more to do.
Here's a pretty Parrot Tulip.
It's a late bloomer, but worth the wait.
I'll try and get more pics this weekend.
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sorry

Good morning.
Wow! I didn't realize I haven't posted since last Thursday. Forgive me.  :-)
It was a busy week at work, ending with a couple of prom do's. 
The warm week left us in a hurry, just in time for Mother's day, which hit a high of only 48 with a brisk north wind.  Craig an I went to Muskegon to take my Mom out for Mother's Day lunch at Muskegon's famous Whitlow's. I cut her hair, dida little cleaning and off to lunch we went.
 Joining us for lunch was my brother Bruce, and my brother Brian and his wife Ruth. Mom and I had Perch, and Craig, not liking fish, had a double cheeseburger. All very good. After lunch, we said our goodbyes to the brother's who had other plans for the rest of the day, and took my Mom to the VFW for drinks and pull-tabs. For a change, we actually won a $100! From there, it was a little grocery shopping for Mom, and back to her apartment.We arrived back in Lansing safe and sound.
Monday morning, I let Craig sleep in while I cleaned the Salon, and at 9:30 had my yearly physical. Everything was normal except my Cholesterol which was 245and should be under 200, and my 'bad' cholesterol which was 148 and should be under 130. He wasn't too concerned since my 'good' cholesterol was 81, which is more than twice the recommended higher than 39. Supposedly, the higher you 'good' cholesterol is offsets the 'bad' cholesterol. He wants to recheck that in about 4 months. If it stays high we may need to think about medication.  I'm thinking all those wings I've been eating probably is what did it. Even with boiling and baking, they probably aren't the best thning to eat.   :-)
Anyway, after our usual running around, I got out in the yard, despite the still cold weather. Yesterday only got to 53. But I prepped the newly reduced garden area for grass seed which I'll put down today, and I started weeding the flower beds. That process should go quicker, since I've now taken out the equivalent of a 6 x 30 ft bed between last fall and this spring.  And I may take out more!
And here's a few pics of the yard....

By the front door, a dwarf hosta, Hens and Chicks, and a dwarf ornamental grass.
A late blooming crab apple.
A purple Leafed Sand cherry.
A dwarf Fothergilla.
3 Japanese Maples. Red one, called Bloodgood, green one called Green Fern Leaf.
And this one called red twig.  Because the branches stay red year round.
And that's it for now....

Thursday, May 09, 2013

feels like summer

Good morning.
It's been a beautiful week, temps in the upper 70's and that has allowed everything to burst forth. The shrubs have all leafed out, and the trees are right behind.

We did the second mowing of the yard on Monday, and I divided and transplanted hostas. I also made a batch of lawn weed killer and spot treated the yard. It sure looks nice without yellow dandelions all over the place.   :-)
It's forecast to start cooling off towards the weekend with Sunday only a high of 50 before getting back into the 70's next week.
And it's a busy week in the Salon with Friday being a prom day, so working late that day.
And with that, time to go....

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

trip #1

Good morning.
I've just returned from cleaning the Salon, which I do instead of Sundays when we go away on our weekend trips.
We returned home safe from our first trip.   :-)
Our first trip took us to Indiana Dunes State Park. 

The park was about half full with a good mixture of mo-hos 5th wheels. travel trailers and tents.
All systems functioned normally. 
Since this was our first trip of the season, our first meal was Popeye's Chicken! Damn that's good stuff!
Saturday morning took us into Chicago for some shopping. On our way back to the campground, we stopped at the Ameristar Casino in Gary, Indiana, for lunch and a little slot play. I had gotten an e-mail for $10 slot play and $5 in comps. We ended up, Craig down $20, me up $20, so a wash there, and the comps paid for half our lunch. back at the campground, we took a nice walk, and Craig fixed turkey cheddar kielbasas for dinner.
Sunday morning, after our coffee walk, we headed into Michigan City, and the Blue Chip Casino. There, Craig ended down $60, but I was up $80, so a $20 profit!
Then it was lunch at a marina nearby, and shopping at the big outlet mall here where Craig picked up these...
He also got some socks and I got a couple shirts.
Back at the campground, another walk and chicken thighs on the grill for dinner.
Packed up Sunday morning, and arrived home a little after noon.
Spent the rest of the afternoon, working in the yard.
Here's a nice pic of a large bed of Grape Hyacinths...
We've had some pretty nice weather, and that has made everything just pop!
I  need to get out there and start weeding.
But now, time for my shower and wake up lazy bones.   :-)

Monday, May 06, 2013

we're ready!

Yep! We're ready!
Mo-ho all checked out, car loaded, mo-ho packed.
We're ready for our first trip!
Actually, by the time most of you see this, we'll be back home from our first trip.
Craig won't let me pre-post when we're going away on a trip. He thinks there might be someone out there reading and watching for an opportune time to come break-in.
 He's a bit paranoid like that, so I just humor him. Just easier that way.   :-)
More on our trip later.

Friday, May 03, 2013

spring flowers

Good morning.
It's been a beautiful several days, even though I had to work some of them.
But the warm weather has really brought out the flowers...
A Star Magnolia top pic, and a cherry in the bottom pic.

periwinkle ground cover and of course, forsythia.
It's been a very busy week in the Salon, and today is more of the same.
So other than that, I'm happy the warmer weather is finally here.   ;-)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

wet

Good morning.
Well, as usual, the weatherman was completely off on his forecast.
Instead of a sunny weekend, we had rain most of Sunday, and half of Tuesday. But we did talk advantage of what little dry weather we had.
Our April ended with 7.61 inches of rain. Our April average, 3.09. So a very wet cold month.
My daffodils are now in full bloom, nearly 2 weeks behind.
Craig made a tasty chili dish for dinner on Monday.
He took a package of chili hamburger helper, and added beans, onions, diced tomatoes and black olives, and a little shredded fat free cheddar cheese. Very good!
We also managed to do a first mowing of the yard.  Front yard top, back yard bottom.
Nothing is leafing out, but the buds are swelling.
Haven't started weeding the flower beds yet, most of the perennials are just starting to grow, and I need to know what's what before I start pulling.   ;-)
Of course, today they are forecasting the best day of the week, sunny and 80!  And you know what? They'll be right this time, since I'm back to work.  :-\
And with that, time to go....
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