Country Girl Making Due in the ‘Burbs

23 03 2009

Project garden has been underway around here…Obama’s stimulus showed up on dh’s paycheck, and alas…it won’t be enough to allow us to buy some acreage.  It did pay for a can of stain for the cedar planters I lucked up on last week.  Next week’s will cover the second can I had to buy when one wasn’t enough to do the job. LOL  Ok – that’s enough, I know …”Nobody likes a smartass.”

My neat little home for veggies and herbs (’cause my dh didn’t want “to have to weed-eat around anything else!”:


As-purchased, without the roof

I found two of these covered sandboxes at the local garden center.  I just happened to walk up and show interest in using one as a planter (hadn’t looked at the price tag yet), when one of the employees said his job today was to break them down to be sold as planters, because the pulley system to raise and lower the roofs were broken and they weren’t drumming up any interest as clearanced sandboxes as-is.  After speaking with the owner, he offered me a very good deal if I bought two, because they really needed them out of the way for new spring stuff.  I ran home and measured my space, because I wasn’t sure if they’d take up the whole back yard…and I needed to have a phone conference with my honey over the deal.  They fit, and hubby approved, so I headed back to the garden center to pay for them and arrange to pick them up when my honey got home from work with the truck.  As I was excitedly paying for the two veggie homes, the guy who made me the deal walked up and said he’d found a third in the back and that I could have the three for even less each.  My mind was reeling with whether or not they’d even fit in the yard, whether the money was even in the checking account, and thinking quickly, I asked if I could have the same deal if I paid for two now and came back for the third before they closed that day.  He hesitated, then agreed.  He then offered to follow me home to deliver them – for free – because he really needed them out of the way.  Of course, I didn’t argue with that!  And after measuring and consulting with my dh when he got home, we went back and bought the third for less than a nice dinner out 🙂
After staining and placement

After staining and placement

I’ll post more pics later.  I’ve already planted some herbs and seeds, and still have a few places to touch up with stain, plastic corners to put back on (after having spray-painted them tan – they were primary colors).  They look very nice and will provide some growing fun and of course, the satisfaction of plucking something I’ve grown for my family to eat.  The roofs have a green tarp over a cedar frame, and will eventually be stained and have clear plastic instead of green tarp – but I want to do some research first to see if it’s worth it.  I don’t know much about coldframes and hotbeds and such…and don’t even know which is which.  I only know that right now the roofs will serve to protect from frost on nights when it is still possible.

In letterboxing news, a most frustrating situation has materialized.  I’ve been working on a set of 9 themed boxes for months.  Seven are planted, one is waiting to be planted (because the building on the plant site is undergoing renovations and I simply can’t plant until that is done), and the last one is nearly complete.  I recently got an “attempted” message on one of the plants – which could usually mean that the box may be lost…but this one was inside a building, inside a case that only employees can access, and was enthusiastically placed there by the owner.  So, of course, I had to go there and see what is going on!  An employee informed me that it was removed because “it didn’t receive enough traffic” – which I didn’t promise loads of!  Since the owner was not there, I left a message and am hoping with all my heart that they didn’t just throw the box away.  Surely not!  But it is difficult to think of much else until I hear from him.

<Deep sigh>  It was one of my favorite boxes.

The dryer is beeping at me.  And it is time to get the potato salad fixed so it’ll have time to chill before dinner.

Hasta luego.

Gettin’ on the Soapbox

12 03 2009

For a quick update on the last post, the stamp illustrating my opinion of what makes Kentucky beautiful is coming along.  My son did know someone who is an excellent artist, but I wavered and then changed my mind about getting help.  I determined to do it myself for two reasons, the first one being purely sensible:  my son pointed out that I couldn’t very well ask this person to design a stamp for free.  I hadn’t thought about that – my only thought had been getting help 😉  Then after I had agreed to compensate the artist and tried to convey to my son what I wanted, I struggled to believe that I had a great chance of being 100% happy with the work, and could end up paying and still not having a stamp image, not to mention that I’d be pushed for time with the days spent depending on someone else (and I am not good at that).  So I commited myself once again to the task and am on the verge of having on paper what I had in mind.  Most importantly, the work will be entirely mine, which was the other reason I changed my mind about getting an artist – I really want it to be mine, even if the artwork may not be noteworthy.

I have lots of little errands to do today which will do much to clear my to-do list of  nagging interruptions in regular duties.  Though I typically put such things off till the last minute, it is always completing them that makes me feel most satisfied with the day’s accomplishments.  So why don’t I just do them as soon as they go on the list?  Pshaw, if I knew that, I could council others on their procrastination!

I got an email this morning directing me to a news article about a North Carolina judge forcing a homeschooling mother to enroll her children in public school this fall.  Without recapping the story or expounding on the apalling comments he made (because you can google it yourself if you’re interested) I must say that I am utterly disappointed in the increasing incidence of loss of rights in this so-called free country.

Now before you go making assumptions about my views on every aspect of freedom, let me say that this is just one more area, like gun-control and socialistic tax reform that some people’s views on are seriously off – and it ain’t mine!  This is America – a country that was founded on rebuking unreasonable control by government, and we are inching closer and closer to becoming exactly what our founding fathers were rebelling against!  It will be a dark, dark day in the Land of the Free when law-abiding citizens can’t buy guns, while the criminals would continue to get them the same way they always have, when wealth earned by hard-working, motivated tax-payers is “spread” to those who refuse to get off their butts and realize that the world doesn’t owe them jack, or when families who spend their own money on their own curriculum, often sacrifice a second income so one parent can teach, strive to offer their children an educational advantage in a competitive world, and commit themselves to being solely responsible for their children’s morals are told that they cannot choose this path.

Parents can beat, molest, neglect, and/or mentally and emotionally abuse their children and the government carefully tiptoes around their “rights”, often to the detriment of the child; but parents who choose to homeschool, which is in no way easier than plopping them in a government school where books, food and transportation are all free and if the kid doesn’t fare well in life, responsibility can be blamed on someone else to boot, are being targeted.

What is this country coming to?

I’m gettin’ down from the box now 🙂  I feel better!

Letterboxing Headlines

9 03 2009

New Boxers Successfully Recruited

My brother’s crew is in!  We had a beautiful day for boxing here in the Bluegrass, and it only took two successful finds to convince some potential Newbies that letterboxing is just plain cool.  I was worried when we found the first box, because not only was it at a busy park, the crazy March winds had apparently blown the box from it’s hiding spot (under a naked group of deciduous bushes) right out into the open, only about a dozen feet from a walking trail.  As my sister-in-law read the clues aloud for the benefit of the group, my nephew plunged ahead and interrupted, “I found it!”  That wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned for their first find.

As I lectured about the importance of re-planting carefully so the box doesn’t end up like we found this one, and about  how being inconspicuous is paramount, I led the group away from the plant site and we plopped into the grass for the ceremonial lesson on how to properly stamp in and conscientously replace the contents of the box, being careful to seal and deflate baggies and care for the stamp itself.

The stamp was not in the box.  The logbook was there, in a baggie, but no stamp.  Of course, although not a great way to persuade someone that it’s worth the trouble to find a box, it was to be a perfect example of what can happen if…

While I consoled, my sister-in-law returned to the plant site to have a look around, and miraculously returned with the stamp in hand.  How in the world did this box survive?  We certainly arrived at the climax of it’s life!  Happy boxers stamped in all around and added the new stamp to the ol’ logbook or carefully pressed the first image into a virgin one.  The box was carefully wedged into the crown of a bare bush, where the wind will hopefully not dislodge it.  It pained me to leave it so visible, but there was nowhere to put it that would have allowed the next finder to find it using the clues, so I made a mental note to alert the owner, and have done so.

The next box was the one that really did the trick.  It was well-hidden in the ivy at the base of a tree on an historical property – my favorite kind.  Not a soul was in site to wonder what we were doing, and the clues weren’t simly directions this time, which hinted to the newbies of the many possibilities that lie in boxes planted by different people.

Out of time, the newbies declared that they will box again.  I was satisfied.  Since they’re visiting the town where I have a “never before found” box this weekend, I made sure to tell them they’d be “first finders” and hopefully ensured that they won’t wait too long to start an AQ membership and get out and go boxing again!

Artistic Efforts Disappointing

I have discovered how difficult it is to convey what I think is beautiful about my state into a stamp image.  I know what I want to do; I just can’t seem to illustrate it.  I’m going to have to try finding each element as clip art and somehow join them together…ugh!  Maybe my son has a friend who’s a good artist that would be willing to help me get the image drawn…

Since I should be making Minestrone, I’ll go talk to him about that while I cook.

Letterboxing is in the air!

8 03 2009

I said I was going to bed, but here I sit…  I have to pass the computer on the way to bed, and I had just come upstairs after setting my letterboxing backpack right on the counter near the door so I wouldn’t forget to grab it on my way out in the morning.  After church tomorrow, the whole crew is going boxing in a new town.  The best part is that it’s my brother’s town, and his whole crew is going, too – and they’ve never been!!!  Awesome, huh?  Finally roped ’em in persuaded them to try it 😉 

Anyway, as I passed the computer, I realized that the one essential that wasn’t in my backpack was clues…like we’d get very far without those (hee-hee).  Soooo, I had to boot up and decide which ones looked most enticing, then couldn’t resist unloading some energy here.

We (gs troop) had another cookie booth today, and the weather was so much nicer for this one.  The wind was wild, but the temp was perfect!  And it is about time.  Kentucky winters are way too slow movin’ out for spring (not that I’m claiming that that’s what’s happening right now – I don’t count my chickens…)

So I am about to get my image settled for a Beautiful 50 states:  KY stamp.  The stamp will be part of a big gathering somewhere (I can’t remember where at the moment – it’s late), but I’m finally about decided on the image.  Expressing what is beautiful about my state in a stamp is quite more difficult than it sounded once I really started  trying to figure out what to carve.  I don’t know about the logbook yet… nothing like procrastinating till the last minute.  I’ll just have to set some time aside this week to complete the box.

Gotta go to bed now.

Jibber-Jabber and Scribble Scribble :D

2 03 2009

Well so much for writing an update to that last post soon! LOL  Life just has a way of sweeping you along and sometimes days and weeks are but a blur.  Obviously I got back to life as usual, with heavy labor being avoided, of course 😉  and although I still have a lot of catching up to do in every area imaginable, it is very nice to be off the couch.  I have had some setbacks, but by the time it’s warm enough to really hike distance, I’ll be ready!  I had hoped to have had some short hikes in by this time, but between the setbacks and the nasty, nasty cold weather, outdoor activity is still on the back burner.  I only managed to get one of my stamps carved, and a mere four scrapbook pages done, because just as sitting at the computer was uncomfortable, so was sitting at the table to scrap or carve!

I am going to try my hand at writing children’s programming curriculum for our church, and I’m very excited to write again.  This blog has been a nice outlet, but because it is just a hobby, I tend to put it last on the priority list, and don’t put much thought into what comes out.  I’m nervous, of course, about the whole thing.  I put off commiting to it for too long, because my mind was just reeling with doubts:  I haven’t really written in forever!  What if I really just don’t have it.  What if I can’t come up with a way to get the message across one week?  What if they hate it?  I used to love writing, but what if I find that something I loved to do once is no longer a dream, but a terrible nightmare?  And what if I regret volunteering to do this?  My dh finally gave me a reality check by matter-of-factly pointing out that I’ll never know if that’s where my heart still is if I don’t give it a try, and that it is not a job that puts food on the table, and that I’ll just have to be honest with myself if it doesn’t work out.  Most importantly, he reminded me that it is simply an open door that I can choose to walk through, or not, and that God would not force me to do either, but that I did have to either walk through it or walk away.  I do believe that this is an opportunity from Him – I always, always wanted to write, and recently began spending some brain power on the possibility of writing some children’s books.  Several ideas just came to me and I got so excited about them.  I jotted down some things and then out of the blue, this opportunity came…. could be divine.  So, I’m going to give it a whirl.  Oh, another cool thing.  The guy I’d be working with in the children’s ministry department said (without knowing about my desire to write children’s books) said that he has been writing the programming, but that he’d love some help, because he’s really an artist, not a writer, and hopes to illustrate children’s books some day… really could be divine, huh?


We’re knee deep in Girl Scout cookies around here, and took the troop for a great field trip to the local recycling center today.  I think I’m always more mesmerized on such trips as the kids.  They never have questions, while I’m trying to sort out which ones to ask, ’cause I can’t possibly ask them all!!  It was very interesting to see how the whole process works, and the most amazing thing was this:  they grind glass down into a shiny, shimmering, colorful sort of mulch and some of it into non-conformist looking sand!  Being the child that I am, I just had to dig my hand into it before leaving – he was right – all the sharp edges were gone!

Well my honey came in here and asked when we were having our “hot and sweaty date”, so I’m gonna go talk to him about it.  FYI:  I sent him an email with that subject line (because you know they’d read that first) that was a link to register for a couples adventure in hiking/orienteering that is happening toward the end of this month.


Good night 😀