Saturday, June 30, 2012

going down the lane on 1880s train...

My outlaws (in-laws) come to visit about once a year.  We always pick one day for an adventure.  This year's adventure was the 1880s Train.  The photos are courtousy of my Mother-in-Law, since I forgot my camera.  Thanks Cindy!  We took the round trip from Hill City to Keystone and back to Hill City.
The train station in Hill City.

I hear the train a coming.

We are waiting patiently for the train to come around the bend.

The Number 7 engine in this photo has been in numerous movies.

Cindy got some great scenery photos.

That is the engine going around us, so it could take the train back to Hill City.

More good scenery photos.  My Mother-in-Law takes good photos.

Goin' around the bend.
(small disclaimer it is not January 6)

We saw this nice barn on the way home again.

I highly recommend the 1880s Train if you are in the hills.  It was a fun way to spend the day.   

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A walk in the garden...

Prairie Sunrise


William Baffin
Delphiniums and Columbine

A Baby Blue Iris

 Morden Blush Rose

A ruffle of pink peonies.
Cl. Westerland
Back to the porch for a cup of coffee.  Hope you enjoyed the tour.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Well, my bees must be doing pretty good.  Today they swarmed.  I'm guessing another queen was born and she took off to find new digs.  My two hives still are active, so it must have been a good thing.  Wow. It sure is a sound when the start to swarm.  It was literally a roar.  At first I thought they were going nuts, but then when they started flying in a tighter formation I figured things out.  It didn't take long and they conglomerated on an oak branch.  It was a sight to see.  Funny thing is once they got in a group it was quiet.  If it hadn't been for the earlier activity you wouldn't have known they were there.  I got two photos before my batteries died.

Then as fast as it happened, they were gone.  Vanished.  I'm sure they found a hollow tree to nest in.  There are plenty about.  Kelly and I heard on the radio once that while they are in the stage above searcher bees go out looking for potential homes.  Then they come back to the swarm and try to politic the rest into how great their find is.  Somebody must have been persuasive.  I'm sure going to keep my eye open for a hive in the trees now.  I am happy to think my little troop has expanded.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

barnyard project...

Very early this spring we had a spot next to the house leveled for a barn. Of course, since it will be a while before we put a barn in.  We will get it done someday. In the meantime, we needed to do some landscaping. What would we do if we didn't have a project to work on? I call it our barnyard project. 

This is the beginning.

You may remember this photo.  I promised we would make something out of those two posts.
Here is the grand unveiling.  A little ledge with chairs and a fire pit.  The posts are recycled guardrail posts from a local highway project. 

Someday there will be a barn down there.  Can you picture it?  I can.  We will have a barn dance for our grand opening. 
We are just waiting to get some top soil so we can bring soil up to the patio and then seed the lawn.  I can't wait until it is surrounded by a sea of green. 
 Ella gives it her seal of approval.
                                                                              I finally get to use my woodpile. 

Looks cozy huh?  All I need now is a glass of wine and some marshmallows to roast.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A rose by any other name...

Finally, after seven years the rose my mom gave me bloomed.  I find it very fitting that it bloomed this year.  It is my parent's Fortieth Anniversary.  I love plants with history and this rose has a story.   I believe it is a Harrison's Yellow or the "yellow rose of Texas."  I prefer to call it the prairie rose since you see it by every old prairie homestead.   As Shakespeare said in Romeo & Juliet, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
My Grandmother is a wonderful historian and she sent me the story of how she obtained the yellow rose.  "We (She and her sister, Clara) both went over to the John Gerlt place where Alvin Millard now lives. The yellow rose bush grew by the old house that stood on the creek. I have fond memories of John and Marian Gerlt who lived just over the hill from our place on the creek, and so does Clara. We went over one day with a spade and each got a few shoots from it. The last I heard it was still blooming in the yard where our old house still stands. I don't think it lasted on the Millard place, though and I don't know if there is one where Clara and Bub lived either."
When Mom married Dad, she took a slip from Grandma's plant to put in their front yard.  It must have loved their sandy soil because it became a beautiful thick hedge.   I remember creating a path to a small area in the middle that I could sit and play.  I must have been very little.  It only bloomed once a year, but oh the fragrance.  I also remember us taking photos in front of it while it was blooming profusely with my Grandma Gregg when she graduated from college. 
After Kelly and I built our cabin, mom waited until my gardens were settled and gave me a slip.  I was so excited, but not very informed.  I planted it in a very shady spot.  It came up every year and never got any bigger.   I finally broke down and moved it to the sunny corner of the rose bed.  Still, it needed time to readjust.   It got much bigger, but never bloomed.  Until this year.  This year it is loaded.   I can say it was worth the wait. 


Monday, June 4, 2012


I have had this old 'Keep Out' sign for a long time.  I wanted to use it for something special.  I just didn't know what.  I peeled the log and sanded it.  I sanded the sign and pulled out the over abundance of nails. 
I painted quite a few 'sign' type things on it:  Welcome, Welcome to the Cabin, Bonnie's Garden.  I didn't like any of them and sanded them off.  It needed something special.  Finally, this week I decided what I wanted.
I decided it was meant for a quote. I picked one of my favorites and painted it on with shaky hands. Then I repainted it because the paint dried too dark. I added a couple of do-dads that I had stumbled across in my travels. I stained it and put it up.  It isn't perfect, but I didn't want it to look perfect.  It needed to look rustic. 
It is the first thing we see when we step out of the garage and head to the cabin.  It was the final touch this lively bed needed.   It makes me smile when I see it, because I am happily married and we live together in our cozy cabin in the woods.  I am a lucky woman. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Making progress...

Well, May is over and I am busy busy.   The greenhouse was such a good investment.  It is the first day of June and already I am harvesting produce.  We have eaten more lettuce than ever before.  Yes, those are pumpkins you see.  I did not plant as many as last year.  I do remember their attempted hostile takeover of the strawberry bed.  Still, we did have pumpkins. 

If you are wondering about getting a greenhouse let these two photos explain why it is such a good thing.  The tomatoes in both of these photos were planted from seeds at the same time.  One is planted outside and the other inside.  The difference is amazing. 

Please, do not let this innocent looking creature fool you.  She is not guarding the basket.  She is the carrot thief.  Looks so sweet huh? 

Every year we add a few more lengths to our orchard fence.  It is getting harder and harder to take photos of, as it is getting bigger.  Everything we've planted looks great.  So far I've only lost one apple tree.  Still it is trying for the impatient gardener.  I have about 2 or 3 more years before it really starts producing.

I know this doesn't look like much, but it is the progress on our future barn projects.  Those logs in the center are the beginnings of a retaining wall.  If you look close there is a shimmer of green from the tiny grass sprouts.  I would appreciate it if do not comment that you don't see the green.  I keep telling my husband it is there.  It is hard to see the possibilities, but keep following.  I promise it will look good in the end.
Don't think we spent the whole time working.  Every morning I sit in my chair and enjoy a few cups of coffee. 

The bears even went fishing.