Tuesday, June 30, 2015

New Yard Stuff

I see my last post was April 7th.  So much for posting frequently.  No wonder I don't have much of a following.  Since DH's (Dear Hubby) last heart attack in February the days have slipped by with yours truly in a daze much of the time. His 6th one a year ago was hard to handle, but the 7th one 10 months later was devastating for both of us.  He's doing really well for the condition he's in.   Me??....not so good some days.  I'm going to try to get my act together and post some, hopefully, interesting information at least twice a week.  Would anyone like to hold my feet to the fire?!

We have a maple tree stump in our backyard at the edge of our dry river bed.  Great place for a potted plant.  So I found a shallow planter, wired an old metal hanging planter to the top of it and placed some plants in it.  I love doing things with stumps.  I wish we had more of these fir trees cut down.  I could do more stump art.  Here's a photo of the finished project.
DH decided that because I like fresh tomatoes so much he should plant more of them this year.  Tomatoes don't ripen very rapidly, if ever, in this cool NW climate so I helped him make a 'hothouse' of sorts.  Here is a photo.  Hope it works like it's supposed to.  He planted several tomato plants of various types. 
We have so much yard work to do that it's becoming overwhelming!  Neither of us can work like we used to.  We really need to come to terms with that and get some help.  We have a big yard.  No lawn to mow, but lots of bark mulch, rocks, shrubs, flowers, paths and dry river beds.  AND WEEDS!  They never stop coming up.  I pull one and two take it's place.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Jigsaw Puzzle Wall Art Tutorial

A few weeks ago my DH (dear hubby) finished putting a jigsaw puzzle together.  It was so beautiful that he wanted us to prepare it for hanging on a wall.  I'm posting a tutorial here for making a jigsaw puzzle suitable for hanging.  This is my first tutorial so please bear with me.  I'll do the best I can.

 He put the puzzle together on a piece of plywood that was larger than the puzzle.  No photo for this.  Sorry.  I told you this is my first tutorial.  I'll try to do better next time.

Here are a few of the tools used for the project.

After he put the puzzle together I brushed a layer of Mod Podge all over it with a soft brush.  Then I carefully scraped off the excess with a putty knife.  The next day I put another thin layer of Modge Podge on it in the same manner.  This holds the puzzle pieces together. 

After the 2 layers were dry we carefully slipped a mat board the same size of the puzzle under it.  

Using 1 x 4 white pine my husband made a frame for the puzzle.  He ripped the wood pieces to1 3/4 inches wide.  He then cut out 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch inside the edges to inlay the picture.  He cut a pattern in the outside of the frame material with a router, then cut it into four pieces the lengths and widths of the picture.  He cut the corners forty five degrees. 

He used 4 penny nails and wood glue to hold the corners together.  He laid the frame on a piece of cardboard from a flattened box and stained it with wood stain.  When it was finished we placed the puzzle and mat board into the frame and used staples to hold it in place.  Then we put a screw eye about a third of the way down from the top on each side of the frame on the back, twisted the ends of the picture wire through one of them and twisted the wire to secure it. We put the other end through the other screw eye, pulled it taut, twisted the wire end and the picture was ready to hang.


I would like to say that it’s hanging on our wall, but it was not to be.  There’s a Native American young man who works at the golf course where my husband plays golf.  DH thinks highly of him and wanted to give the picture to him if he wanted it.  Unfortunately for me, he loved it BIG TIME!  It’s now hanging on his wall I presume.  Now I’m trying to find another puzzle like it for me.   

Friday, April 3, 2015

Skagit Valley Tulip Fields

So much for my goal to post here frequently.  I see it's been a month since the last one.  Since my husband's last heart attack my emotions have been all over the place...from totally numb to depression to anxiety.  Some days I have to push myself to do much of anything.  He still has a lot of heart issues to deal with, but he just keeps plugging along.  He has slowed down a lot, but he refuses to stop no matter how he feels.  He's one tough guy and I thank God for that!

I planned to post a tutorial, but my brain isn't functioning well enough to do a good job of it, so I'll concentrate on our Skagit Valley tulip fields.  They bloomed two weeks early this year because of the unusually warm winter and spring.  Tourists come from all over the U.S. and some foreign countries to view the awesome sight.  Anybody who planned to visit during the last half of April might be disappointed when they see that the tulips have been deadheaded. 

I haven't been out in the valley to see them yet.  It used to be easy to go early in the morning or evening, but the crowds keep getting larger, come earlier and stay longer.  We could wander through the fields, but now we have to pay to walk through them.  I don't blame the growers for starting to charge.  Not only does it give them income, but also limits the damage to the tulips.  Most viewers are courteous and careful, but there are some who don't have a clue.  The fields can still be viewed from the fence lines without paying and great photos can be taken from that position. 

Here are a few photos from last year.  Enjoy.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Life Is Unpredictable

In January I set a goal to post on my blog three to four times a week, but sometimes life just gets in the way.  A week ago yesterday I had to take DH (dear hubby) to the emergency room.  He had pneumonia and a heart attack...his seventh one.  We spent six days in the hospital.  The doctor performed an angioplasty and a stent.  During that six days I lost his hearing aids, my car broke down and one day I was sick with what I thought was a cold.  It only lasted a day and a half so it must have been an allergy attack.  I don't get over a cold in a week and a half, let alone a day and a half.  On top of that when we got home and I emptied the bags of clothes that we had at the hospital his underwear was missing.  Some of it was brand new.  

But what's important is that he's still alive!  Thank God for that...literally.   I don't know how much more that poor old heart can take.  He's always been so active even with his health problems, but the last two heart attacks have really taken a tole on him. 

I did finally find his hearing aids.  They were in the laundry basket.  I had put them in my coat pocket, but I must have taken them out and put them in my pants pocket so they wouldn't get lost (?!!), then threw the pants in the laundry.  Now if his underwear would turn up, the car would magically fix itself and his heart would heal all would be well. 

I'll try to post a more interesting, uplifting subject in a day or two. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Valentine's Day

Valentine's day has come and gone, but I'm still laughing at the jokes I heard and read.  Our church had a brunch for couples (or even people that weren't part of a couple).  Our church clown (sorry Bill) was in his element walking around with his microphone and jokes.  Here are a few I heard and read around and on Valentines Day.

Q: Why did the banana go out with the prune?
A: Because it couldn't get a date.

Q. What did the boy bird say to the girl bird on Valentine's Day?
A. Let me call you Tweet heart!

 Q: Did you hear about the nearsighted porcupine?
A: He fell in love with a pin cushion!

 Q: What did the pencil say to the paper?
A: I dot my i's on you!

GROAN!  That's the last of the one liners.  How about knock knock?

 Knock Knock
Who's there?
Pooch who?
Pooch your arms around me!

 Knock Knock
Who's there?
Luke who?
Luke who got a Valentine!

 Knock Knock
Who's there?
Olive who?
Olive you!

Double GROAN!  That's enough knock knock.

 Driving through Southern California, I stopped at a roadside stand that sold fruit, vegetables and crafts. As I went to pay, I noticed the young woman behind the counter was painting a sign. “Why the new sign?” I asked. “My boyfriend didn’t approve of the old one,” she said. When I glanced at what hung above the counter, I understood. It declared: “Local Honey Dates Nuts”

 The lingerie store where my aunt works was crowded with shoppers selecting Valentine’s Day gifts for their wives. A young businessman came to the register with a lacy black negligee. My aunt noticed that the next customer, an elderly farmer, was holding a long flannel nightgown and kept glancing at the younger man’s sexier choice. When it was his turn, the farmer placed the nightgown on the counter. “Would you have anything in black flannel?” He asked.

 My dearest wife is always going on and on and ON about NOT making a fuss over her on Valentine's Day.  She repeats that it's the thought that counts.
Well, I put a lot of thought into the gifts from previous February 14ths but she didn't quite take to any of them like I assumed she would. Here's my list - see what you think:
  • Brand new mop and bucket.
    I was thinking it would be fun to see what color the floor was because I couldn't remember.
  • Romantic dinner at fast food restaurant.
    I was thinking that she might like to go inside for a change instead of fetching dinner at the drive through.
  • Chocolates left-over from last year's candy box.
    I was thinking of how proud she'd be of me for not wasting food. She's been nagging me for years to recycle.
  • Midnight moped ride through the park.
    I was thinking that I'm getting too old to be peddling on the bike.
  • Dozen roses printed on high quality photo paper. One of my favorites  -
    I was thinking these would last a lifetime instead of just a week.
  • 45 second back massage.
    I was thinking any longer and she might think I was interested in something else. 
 Phil, a smart and handsome young man, dressed in the latest fashion, walked into this local pub. He noticed a woman gazing at him without blinking her big eyes. Phil felt flattered so he walked up to the woman and said in his deepest voice, 'I'll do anything you wish, beautiful lady, for just $10 but on one condition.' 
The woman appeared to be trapped in the moment and asked as if in a trance, 'What's your condition?'
Phil answered, 'Tell me your wish in just three words.'
There was a long pause, the woman opened her purse, counted out the money and handed it to the man along with her address.  She then looked deeply into his eyes and whispered, 'Clean my house.'

Until next year - -
Love is catching.  Spreads by kisses.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Getting Older

Tomorrow is just another day....and my BIRTHDAY.  Why do they come around so fast?  I remember when I could hardly wait for the next birthday.  Now I'd rather have one about every two years.  At our  church service last Sunday my birthday was announced, and when asked how old I would be I added 10 years to my real age thinking that some people might comment on how young I look for my age.   Most people knew me well enough to know I was kidding, but a few didn't.  They thought I looked AMAZING for my age. 

When I was young I thought that no matter how old I became I would always look and feel young.  I would make sure of it.  Wrong!!  I'm losing ground on both counts.  Most of my body is drooping and there's that neck that looks a lot like a turkey.  Last week I bought some of those jeans that ride just below the belly button. Well, from my belly button down I look like half of a blown up balloon.  When an item is sitting at the crest of a hill it's naturally going to roll down.  The jeans wound up down around my crotch.  

My joints hurt and don't want to bend when I tell them to. What doesn't hurt doesn't exist.  When I look in the mirror I wonder why my mother is there.  Sometimes I walk into a room and forget why I'm there.  Sometimes I forget that I forgot.  

Oh, well, I guess it's better than the alternative.  I'm my mother's clone and she lived to age 99.  I probably have -???? - more years to get used to the inevitable  

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My Attempt at Haiga

I have been writing poetry for many years and at one time I was a member of a poetry board on the internet.  I was never a big fan of haiku, but became interested in that poetry form as I read haiku that some of the members were writing.  I never became good at writing that type of poetry, but have written a few to combine with some of my photography, creating haiga (haiku + art).

If some of you studied haiku in school years ago you probably learned that haiku, Japanese form of poetry,  consisted of three lines...5 syllables, 7 syllables,  5 syllables.  However, the Japanese equivalent of syllables isn't the same as ours.  The modern day poets no longer use that rule of thumb. There are so many rules and non-rules pertaining to modern haiku that I won't list them all here, and I can't say I understand them all considering that I'm definitely not an expert on that poetry form. The haiku quite often describes nature, but not always.  The phrase that sticks in my head is that an 'AHA!' moment is important.  

Here are some of my haiga experiments.  I hope you enjoy them.  And if you're a poetry expert, please feel free to critique...or even if you're not.