Saturday, May 31, 2008

We're Famous

Bruce and I are featured on the home page of the Hacienda website.

So are our friends Kelly and Heather.

Both photos were taken last July when Dave, Kelly, Heather and Travis came up to visit. We spent the day at Weco Beach and then went to Hacienda to celebrate Kelly's birthday.

I'm the Slowest Painter in the World

Where are those darned speed-painters from HGTV when I need them.

I started painting the garage door about 11:30am today and finished just after 6pm.

That included the the garage door and trim, and the walk-through door -- both inside and out -- as well as the trim.

It's the exact same color, but much fresher looking with the fresh paint job.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sex and the City Premier

Four fabulous friends -- Kelly, Sharon, Cheryl and Donna -- went to the premier of Sex and the City Friday night in South Bend.

We met at Hacienda before the premier and gathered there after to discuss our favorite parts of the movie.

Some of my favorite scenes of the show:

* Charlotte accidentally drinks the water in Mexico and has an embarrassing reaction.

* How the blue shoes in the closet of the Manhattan penthouse bring Carrie and Big together.

* The hunk that lived next door to Samantha.

* The fact that Miranda was too busy at work to schedule a wax before leaving on vacation.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Transplanted Roses Are Thriving

Two years ago I dug up all of my climbing roses and gave them to the neighbor who lives in the house directly behind my veggie garden and suggested she plant them behind her shed.

My goal was to pretty up the side of her shed that faces my garden.

Instead she planted them on the west side of the shed. So, I still have to see the weeds that grow along the back of her shed, but the roses are thriving in their new home.

I dug them up because I have no talent for growing roses. They would bloom for a couple of weeks and then get black spot and all of the blooms and leaves would drop off and I'd be left with sticker branches.

They didn't bloom last year, but there are hundreds of buds on them right now so I'm sure in a couple of weeks they will be in full bloom.

Perfect Little Bleeding Hearts

I love the macro focus setting on my new camera. It takes great closeups.

Caught in the act

Bruce and I were looking at the front of our house tonight when the neighbor's mop dog came walking up our driveway.

We just stood there and watched to see if its owner would react. She was out mowing her yard and actually got up off of her mower to come retrieve him from our yard.

The little scamp ran into our back yard and I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing as she ran right by me, chasing after him.

So now I see that my poop-in-a-bag message got through to her. But, she hasn't figured out how to resolve the problem yet.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Finally... our lilacs are in bloom

Not sure why our lilacs are always the last in the neighborhood to bloom. -- but they finally did this weekend.

I can't think of anything that smells better than lilacs.

Okay, yea, maybe cookies baking in the oven.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I love my veggie garden

I absolutely love this time of year -- from May to September.

Every morning I walk out to the garden to see what's new.

Every evening I walk out to the garden to see what's changed.

Tonight I noticed the radish spouts have broken through the soil and one of the strawberries is red.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Clematis in Bloom

The first clematis blooms popped out today. I now have two purple Jackmani clamatis' by the chimney, two on the trellis entry to the veggie garden and two in the front of the house.

Not an HGTV Paint Job

When we built the shed, I borrowed a Pantone color book from work so I could determine the exact color of our house and then buy matching paint for the shed.

Apparently I'm somewhat color blind because our house is green and the shed paint I had special mixed was tan.

After three years of procrastination, I finally got around to repainting the shed today.

When I returned from the parade, Bruce was leaving for work so I readied my painting supplies with the goal of finishing the job before he returned from work.

Nine hours and several Diet Coke breaks later I had a green shed, a bit of a sunburn and "Pop Goes The Weasel" hopelessly stuck on auto replay in my head.

Around 2pm the ice cream man pulled into our neighborhood -- I never caught a glimpse of him, but I envisioned a giant weasel popping out of the top of his truck each time that song played.

He must have thought he'd reach his frozen-treat-selling quota in our neighborhood today because he stuck around at least three hours. Okay, maybe it was only 20 minutes, but with that annoying song playing, it seemed much longer.

As I was painting the shed, I kept wishing I was on an HGTV program. On those shows, they can paint anything in 30 minutes, plus build a pergola, install a yard full of sod, build outdoor benches and sew seat cushions. And, they never get paint on their clothes or on their dog's ear.

Spike spent most of the day outside with me, but every once in a while he forgot that I was outside and started barking to be let inside. Most times I would whistle to catch his attention and he'd remember that I was outside and he'd lay back down in the grass. Late in the afternoon I couldn't get his attention so I put down my paintbrush and let him in. I had quite a bit of paint on my hands and somehow left a big smudge on his ear.

Osceola Memorial Day Parade May 26 2008

The Osceola Police and Fire departments led the parade, but were not allowed to sound their sirens this year. Apparently someone complained last year.

The Mishawaka Pilots Club provided a flyover including ten airplanes.

Osceola American Legion Post 308 Color Guard -- led by Commander Bobby Dial.

Sgt. 1st Class Bob Olando was honored as the parade's grand marshal. Bob rode in the side car of Captain John Gruszynski's Harley. Captain John recently retired from the St. Joseph County Police Department. Bob has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan with Company F, 151st Infantry. He just returned to Osceola in early May.

Here's a tip for parade organizers... put the horses at the end of the parade so the little boy and girl scouts don't have to sidestep the road apples.

There are almost as many baseball teams in Osceola as their are bars. This lucky team got to ride on an antique fire truck.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Amish Acres

Bruce took me and Grandma to lunch at Amish Acres in Nappanee today. Neither Bruce nor I had ever been there to eat, so we really didn't know what to expect.

The meal is served Threshers Style (family style). It included broasted chicken, roast beef, beef and noodles, bread, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, stuffing, slaw, bean soup and choice of pie for dessert.

We all nearly fell into a food coma before leaving the table.

After lunch, we strolled through the gift shop.

Here we're having fun playing with the Amish hats and bonnets.

The old stove in the General Store brought back memories for Iris. She showed us where you load in the firewood and the hatch at the top that kept food warm while the rest of the meal was still cooking.

Iris enjoyed seeing the Iris' in bloom near the Amish Acres Big Round Barn.

Bruce tried to figure out how I got the hook on the ring in this Amish Ring Game -- on my first try.

Bremen, Indiana is "A GoodTown"

We took Grandma to the cemetery today so she could place flowers on the graves of her loved ones.

It was a beautiful day for a drive to the country and Grandma certainly enjoyed being outside and breathing the fresh air.

Although the slogan on the Bremen welcome sign looks Photoshopped in this picture, it is real. Seems like the town council was a bit short of creative thinkers when they came up with the phrase, "A Good Town".

The brown ranch isn't so brown any more.
This is the house where Bruce's Grandma Meyer grew up. The sign on the porch says, "The Brown Ranch".

From the backseat of our van, Grandma gave us a tour of Bremen, her childhood hometown.

She showed us the sidewalk where she roller skated, up-hill, to school. She pointed out the house where her husband grew up and the playground where he practiced basketball. We also saw the mansion where former Governor Otis Bowen lived.

These horses on Ply-Goshen Trail stopped playing long enough to pose for a photo.

We drove home through the country roads of Elkhart County and enjoyed seeing the Amish gardens and farm animals.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pergola in Front Yard???

Now that we've ripped out the front bushes, I'd really like to have a seating area in the front of the house.

Our porch is very small and short of hiring an architect to design a proper front porch, I'm trying to figure out how to make something work.

Our well head is in this area so I put a large pot upside down over the pipe and another pot with flowers on top of that -- neat trick I learned from watching HGTV.

I saw pre-built pergolas at Thompson Landscape, but I've never seen a pergola in a front yard. I'm afraid it would look out of place.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Azaleas in Bloom

I haven't had the chance to clean out the leaves from the garden along the backside of our house.

And, it's too late to do anything about it now because the azaleas and bleeding hearts are in full bloom.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Landscaping Ideas

I've been driving around looking for landscaping ideas for our front yard.

I'm somewhat inspired by the fountain at the Woodwind and Brasswind. It would really make our house stand out in the neighborhood.

I think Spike would enjoy chasing around the little ducks that would surely move into the neighborhood.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


The chives survived the winter and are now the beauties of the veggie garden.

There were a couple of good-sized stumps behind the garden and rather than trying to grind them down, I put small whiskey barrels over them.

Last summer I put chives in one barrel and basil in the other. I really didn't expect either herb to survive, but was pleasantly surprised when I saw this purple beauty.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Curb Your Dog

Several times each week a neighbor's dog comes over to our yard to do his business. If I'm outside when he visits, I chase him off, but I'm not always quick enough to get him moving before he's left his little gift.

During our garage sale last summer, the owner came into our driveway with the dog on a leash and I told her that her dog looked just like the dog that always takes a crap in our yard. I though that would be enough of a hint for her to keep him in her own yard, but it sure wasn't.

I've even taken photos of him making his deposits, but I never got around to printing them out and delivering them to the owner.

This evening when I tried to shoo the dog out of our yard, he ran into the back yard and left a huge pile. I went inside and grabbed a Ziplock bag and then went back and located the pile and packaged it up as a gift for the owner.

I walked it down the block and across the street and knocked on the side door. When the lady opened the door I asked her if this is where the little mop dog lives. I already knew it was the right house, but that was the best opening line I could think of. When she said yes it was, I handed her the fully-loaded Ziplock bag and said, "Here, this is yours."

I went on to tell her that I was tired of her dog pooping in our yard and was there anything she could do to prevent it from happening again. She apologized and asked which house I lived in. I pointed to my house and she said she'd do her best to keep her dog out of my yard.

Now, I'm wondering exactly how she's going to teach the dog to stay out of my yard... when she's still going to let him run the neighborhood in search of a toilet. Did she walk with him down the street and point out my house and tell him that it was off limits, but any other yard in the neighborhood was fair game?

I don't blame the dog for his actions... obviously it hasn't been properly trained to stay in his own yard. But, I'm seriously considering calling the dog pound the next time he's in my yard. If they succeed in capturing him, I will let the owner know so the dog isn't left in the pound. Maybe the cost of getting him out and paying a fine will be enough to motivate her to get an invisible fence.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Flowers in Bloom Today

Goodbye Fish

After having the fish tank set up and running for the past five years, we decided it was time to tear it down.

We invited our friend, Rick, over to take the fish for his 55 gallon aquarium.

The biggest reason I wanted to get rid of the fish was that the Placastamous (algae eater) had gotten so huge that he freaked me out.

We may turn the tank into a terrarium. Bruce mentioned something about adding lizards -- not sure how
thrilled I am about that.

I asked him what lizards eat and he replied, "Crickets."

I know how annoying it is when crickets get into our garage in the summer -- I can imagine how much fun it will be to have them in our family room.