A little dirty shirley


After the terrible weather on Saturday, the rain and the wind, it was amazing that Sunday was gorgeous! It was cooler and sunny, the kind of day that I was waiting for to do this….tear out these dead, nearly wild roses. They just didn’t come back after our winter. We had quite a few and the others are hanging on by a leaf. I didn’t have the heart or the muscles to pull them out. I was pretty well pooped after digging out six. They hung on for sure, it wasn’t easy.


To replace them I bought these really pretty coneflower plants. I love the different colors on one plant. They tolerate the heat, they stay upright and compact. I think they will do well in the spots. See that rose in the front, how half of it has nothing on it. I will give it a chance and see what it can do. I don’t get upset when something dies…I remember watching a master gardener on television saying that things will die and all you have to do is replace them, it just happens. So right they were.


The only casualty we had from the wind was this daylily branch full of not ready to bloom buds broke off. I brought it in and put it in water to see what it will do.


While buying the coneflowers I also purchased these beautiful blue delphiniums. I am very attracted to their eye catching color.


They are a really nice addition to my flower garden. I didn’t water any of my new plantings because I knew it was going to rain the next day, and it did. Today was dreary again. So then after I had done the pulling and the planting and Tom had mowed the lawn, we sat down to watch the Tigers and have a Dirty Shirley beverage. We both fell asleep in our chairs on the porch getting a neck ache. The Tigers were behind and when we woke up an hour later they had tied it up and went ahead to win! It was worth falling asleep and missing the aggravation. Let me give you the Dirty Shirley Recipe. ice in a glass 1 1/2 ounces orange vodka1 1/2 ounces grenadine or maraschino cherry juice top off with sprite, cherries and an orange slice. Depending on how big your glass is how strong you make it. It’s refreshing…..and it will help you sleep! Thanks for visiting!


me oh my…bean soup


Inside this pot…..is…..you guessed it….I’m sure….Ham and Bean Soup. I am going to share my recipe for this. It smells so good and makes the best broth. This time I used a package of dried Navy Beans but have at other times used the ready to use beans in a jar. I let the dry beans soak overnight to soften them up. In a large pot I put 1 package or jar of navy beans…. water to cover plus 2 inches over…. 1 large onion chunked not diced if you have someone who doesn’t like the feel of onion as we do. 1 celery stalk chopped…. chunked up ham…1/2 to 1 pound…. 2 T. brown sugar…. salt and pepper to taste…. 1 tsp. minced garlic…. 2 T. Worcester sauce. Stir together and let simmer for 3 hours. I will be making cornbread to go with this also.


I got this nice ham at the grocery last night. I like a little fat on the outside, I think it helps the flavor.


I cut off what I needed for my soup ( I took off the fat) and wrapped it up in foil. In a couple of days I am going to bake this and make scalloped potatoes. At our house we say we are open 24 hours a day. There is somebody up during all hours because of the times they work. I like to have something that is filling and keeps well so that there is something to eat without any more preparation then the microwave. We try to eat well, and not so fattening, but I also like to have food that tastes very good. I would rather eat less of something that tastes fantastic, than eat more of something that tastes like cardboard because all the fat and sugar has been removed . Moderation is the key to everything.

I also am going to make up some strawberries and shortcake.  Good dessert, and something easy to dish up yourself.

I also have some asparagus to bake….I will meet resistance with wrinkled nosed possibly, but if the cook likes it….the cook makes it.


Why am I making something that is usually saved for cooler weather, you are wondering I bet….well maybe not. This is the kind of weather we are having today….rain, heavier rain, really heavy rain and wind. Normally you can’t see the water on the far pond because it is down there. Not so today. We have had the wettest June on record here. It keeps the grass green and the flowers watered but people who are flooded are having a tough go.


The geese are even huddled over on the far bank. Standing water in the bean field. That goes down into a creek that runs into the far pond you saw earlier. I hope we have a little moderation on the rain here soon for everybody’s sake. Other places in the US would love some water, like California and Utah. The weather amazes me all the time. Till next time…..Thanks for stopping!

Here’s What’s Going On

First off with our warm and wet weather my morning glorys will be reaching up to climb soon. The week has just shown a growth spurt. There is a rotten dandelion weed behind the trellis that I just can’t get the roots out and it keeps coming back.


The hollyhocks are putting on a good show this year. I have really dark maroon ones.


Also some really light pink ones.


My candystriped daylilies are just going to be a profusion of blooms very soon. They are going to be mighty pretty. I have several bunches planted around the yard.


The pots of begonias like the sun and wetness. Full and vibrant these are.


I signed up for this online course last October but was not able to participate in it when it opened. It is still up until October 1st, 2015 and I am going to start it again, possibly today. I signed up because I needed more work with drawing faces. These ladies have different styles and there is a lesson with each one and also Effy Wild who is the wonderful lady that put the class together. It looks like you can take the course for half price right now and she is putting together a second Radiant Faces Course that will be starting in October.


In the first lesson we were to choose a picture to use, so I am that far.


I did get the notebook done though and even made a few for my friends.

Indiana Woodlands with watermark

Yesterday I finished up my Indiana Woodlands poster. My inspiration was from a biology class that I took, where we tromped around the woods in search of species. I added some of the critters that we found also. Prints can be purchased in my Etsy shop.


All the drawings are from pictures that I took from our journeys.


Since I finished my painting I am putting my attention back onto my little quilt so I can get it finished and posted in my shop. I will be adding much embroidery. I really love quilting and needlework together. This little quilt is named “Words to Live By”.


Another flower that is blooming in my garden is the balloon flower. What a wonderful blueish purple.


I love the way it blows up like a balloon before it blooms.


A decorating project that I am going to start is recovering the dining room chairs. I found this fabric on the greatly discounted rack at Joann’s and it was just what I was looking for. The green will be the chair pad covers and then the others I am making a banner to go at the top of my three windows in that room.


I have picked up this book again and have gotten into it. When I finish it I will give it a review.

Pioneer Girl

I got an email that this book has shipped. I bet it is out in my mailbox now! Tomorrow my niece Wendy and I are going to his an Antiques fair and an Art fair in Fort Wayne. I also plan to go to the Farmers Market in the morning. I should come back with lots of pictures to share. Hope you have a great weekend! and as always….. Thanks for stopping!



I was taking inventory tonight of what books I have to read. I then realized I had 4 that I had started but didn’t finish. I think school and life took over. This will be the first one that I am going to finish. My dear friend Colleen sent this one to me. She worked at a high school and Jodi came and spoke. She got an autographed copy for me. This is a very special gift. She also sent a picture of herself and Jodi. I love autographed books, it’s a favorite of mine.


I also started this one. I wasn’t too far into it and can’t quite remember what it was about, but it is on my list to restart and finish.


I was pretty far along and there was a double murder and I still have no idea who did it. I will find out.


This one was good as I recall. One of the main characters had a form of autism that was Aspergers and that is one reason why I started reading it along with it being a Jodi Picoult book. A very near and dear person to me has Aspergers so I was especially interested in this book.

Billy Joel

This was on my must read list and I just ordered it from Amazon. I am a Billy Joel fan and this came out in October.

Pioneer Girl

This was also on my must read list. It came out in early this year and it was so popular that they had to print some more copies. I ordered this and should get it by Friday. In September I am taking a trip to Colorado for a mini art retreat with Geninne. I am driving so I plan to stop at Mansfield Missouri where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived her adult years and wrote the Little House books. I am looking very forward to both. I will give my book reviews when I am done. Thanks for stopping!


Too Pretty not to Share


I know I share a lot of sky pictures but when my 21 year old says Mom, you need to come look at this sunset, I knew it had to be good. It was picture-worthy for sure. I did not do any kind of touching up for this, which I usually don’t, it is all it’s own glory. Just Amazing!


The day lilies are starting to pop open. This one opened this morning and was influenced by the sunset I’m sure. They are the same color.


I love sun and moon things. This is just one of those metal sticks for the garden. I have always thought it is pretty though I was a wee bit disappointed that it didn’t glow.


The moonbeam coreopsis are showing their faces.


Flower from still the un-named bush we have.


The grasses are looking lovely, I have 4 of these and as you can tell they flow nicely in the wind. It moved as I snapped the picture. They are doing really well for their first year.


I had forgotten that I planted nasturtium seeds in these pots until I looked this morning. Lo and behold they are showing up nicely. Nasturtium are one of the easiest seeds to grow. They are beautiful, and edible. You can use them in your salads to add color. Zinnias and Morning Glorys are right up there in easy also.


We have had so much rain it filled up my fountain nicely. I have a rain gauge the goes to 8 inches and it was overflowing.


First year for these day lilies. I believe they are called Betsy Ross and may be red and green, but we will really just have to wait and see. I bought 10 plants and they also sent me 3 free also named of a historical figure, maybe Abe Lincoln or George Washington…can’t remember. They are very hardy and larger with buds now.


Here is a Betsy Ross with a bud.


I plugged in the fountain for you. I don’t plug it in on windy days (which are often) it just blows all of the water out and I can’t keep up. It looks pretty here though.


There is a story here…..Pavel the cat (upper right) was being ornery and following Lily the cat(bottom left) and she was spitting, and sputtering and hissing and getting all wrapped around the axle and always makes it sound worse than it is. That brought out Stonewall (lower right) and Sophie (upper left) and not shown Sebastian, I think he went back to sleep. When something big goes on everybody wants a piece of it. We had to disburse the crowd or there would have been a riot. My next project Sophie is under. I am going to recover the chair pads, thanks to youtube. It looked pretty easy and I purchased the fabric on the deep discount table at Joanne’s Fabrics. I hope to get to it next week. As Always-Thanks for stopping by and Have a Great Weekend!



A little color change


I finally got around to painting my door this week. Here it is in the before shot.


And here is the after shot. I painted the sides in Benjamin Moore Fundamental White and the door is Benjamin Moore Crystal Aqua. I love it! As you can see it matches my floor rug very well.


I had found this scatter rug at Marshals to put in front of the door, so I can just throw it into the washer. It was pure happenstance that I found it and it was the perfect color too.


I moved the “Sisters doll” into that room because the aqua color is perfect.


This is the scatter rug I had bought earlier and it has the right colors but it has a baby room feel to it and I just wasn’t happy with it. I love it but not in that room.


I found this very distressed and textured frame and added one of my little 4 X 4 watercolors. The painting above it is one that I recently finished and showed in an earlier post. It can be found on my Etsy shop.


These wings are from Kelly Rae Roberts line and I am going to hang them above the door. They are probably 15 inches wide.


This wall hanger is just the perfect color also. I really like it with the rose shaped drawer handle. It’s a fun piece. Hope you are having a good day. Thanks for stopping.



Picked this picture up on Thursday. It is one of my newest works and I had it framed at Michaels Crafts. I am very pleased with the way it turned out. I just picked out a frame and had them cut two mattes. I am giving this away to a friend along with the next one.


They are printed on archival paper by a high quality Epson art printer.

Happy Birds 72 DPI with Watermark

Also I am having my first givaway on instagram. Instagram is free and you can sign up for it on my home page. Once on Instagram just like the post about Happy Friday, Happy Birds picture and then tag someone using the @ and their name on your comment. If you win I am giving away a print of this picture to the winners. One for each person. International instagramers are fine. Shipping is free and I will announce the winner on Wednesday. Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping!

Sky Show


On Monday morning the 8th, this was the sun. I tried to get it with my phone camera but it wouldn’t get the redness so I had to run in and get my Nikon so I lost some time. It was even more brilliant than this, very captivating.


Last night, I was sitting on my swing by the pond just watching these clouds and sun. There were three different areas changing and moving. It was great entertainment. It seems as if this shot should include the sound of singing angels.


The cloud is changing.


It is starting to look like an axe.


Cool sun-rays coming from the hole in the clouds.


Here is another area of clouds right in front of me. If I were knowledgeable about cloud formations I am sure there would be a special name for this one. It looks like pictures of the atomic bomb when it explodes. There were definitely storms brewing somewhere far off though.


Here it is, doing it’s quick change routine.


The colors and reflection off the pond.


There was a lot going on out there.


I had inexpensive entertainment.


I am loving the graduation of color, from light to dark.


This looks like a reflection through a window on the ceiling.


Darkness is coming upon the area.


The reflection of the colors on the windows is breathtaking.


Now for the lightening show in the far off distance.


I struggled for the settings to capture these, but I did something right.


Timing also for the lighting is difficult. I just kept clicking the shutter.


I just couldn’t get enough of it all. We hadn’t had much rain by the time I went to bed. I think this time it was just all around us. As always, I appreciate your visit.

Busying around


Mr. Blue Heron was closer than he was the night before. But I still can’t get the best look at him yet. He is just teasing me by being so close yet so far.


Finally got a few herbs planted. Sweet basil is so great to just touch and smell.


These two pots are growing cat nip.


Finally got the begonias planted. There are two more pots in the back of the house also.


Front porch planters are growing and blooming. Can really tell a difference.


I started a poster of wildflower plants and birds. It will be done in watercolor.


Cut out the birds to applique onto the little quilt.


This baby squirrel has taken refuge in our covered porch. This morning Lily must have been toting it back home to present to me. It got away and went shooting into the porch with Lily on it’s tail. Next thing I knew it was up by the celing and I wondered how it got up there. The little thing can climb on bricks!


It has been hunkered down sleeping all day. I hope it figures out how to get down tonight. Thanks for stopping by.

Book Review-Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Leaving time by Jodi Picoult

This story touched on many topics; the plight of elephant poaching, elephant sanctuaries, psychics and the afterlife, murder and mental illness. The setting is Africa and a female doctor is studying the habits of elephants and grief and documenting it for study. To me this topic was very interesting, much more than I had anticipated. Elephants are very interesting animals. There is much intelligence and family instincts it appears from the information in this book. A man who has started an elephant sanctuary in New England comes to Africa to gather information about elephants and the female doctor and the man fall for each other. He travels back to New England and the doctor finds out she is pregnant. She eventually decides to go to New England and inform the man about the baby. She decides to stay and they get married. In the first few years it begins to unravel because of mental illness, and the cost of keeping the sanctuary solvent. There eventually is a murder and the doctor comes up missing. The daughter is now a teenager and with the assistance of a psychic and a retired detective she tries to find out what happened to her mother. I enjoyed this book as I always do anything written by Jodi Picoult. It has twists and turns and a surprise ending which is good. It was a good read to start the summer with. I recommend it. Thanks for stopping!