Sunday, July 30, 2023

Aunt Bonnie's...

 If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know that in the summer the nieces spend time with Aunt Bonnie.  It used to be a week, but as they get older they get busier and we take what we can get.

What happens at Aunt Bonnie's you may ask?
We always do a project.  Sometimes they are successful and sometimes they aren't.  The cement stepping stones exceed our expectations.
The girls have modge podge at home and were going to try to seal the colors in.  
Some sort of water activity is also tradition.  We used to wade in the water, now it is tubing.  I didn't think there was a big difference in size between my Willy's Jeep and my Rubicon, but there is.  We were able to get 5 people and 5 tubes in the Willy and can barely get 4 people and 3 tubes in the Rubicon.  Boo...
It did my heart good when the first thing the ladies said when they arrived is what should we make for the picnic? They immediately chose their recipes. 
 Kelly and Haley went for Fluffernut Cookies:  They turned out great, but we forgot the one rule of any peanut butter cookie at high altitude and that is add 1/4 cup of flour and lower the temperature by 25 degrees. They were a little flat, but tasted fantastic.
Taylor and I were team Jell-O and made some refreshing orange jello with orange slices.  There is nothing more refreshing at a picnic than jello in a jar.
Sierra took a risk with a chai cookie recipe: We were very skeptical and it took a bit to get used to them, but they were a winner.
Sierra made us a much needed trash can cabinet in her shop class. It makes me feel good to have something made by her in the cabin.

We went to the Days of '76 rodeo, played quite a few games of bean bag toss, and made s'mores buy the fire table.  The s'mores was cut short when the table started smoking.  There seems to be a design flaw.
It is hard to believe that the oldest is off to college soon.  Time certainly flies.  
I always look forward to our adventures and appreciate the little time I have with them.

It has been an amazing year filled with family and friends.  I count my blessings.  What family activities have you participated in this summer?

Sunday, July 23, 2023

A Riot of Colors...

I made a bee waterer this weekend.

It was actually quite simple.  Poke some holes in the top of a pickle jar.  Fill it with water, and turn it upsidedown on a bed of pebbles.  The pebbles keep the bees from drowning.
The bees haven't found it yet, but it looks like it will work.

My hummingbird has been coming consistently to the flowers and feeder.  I also have a small hummingbird moth that swings through now and again.

Everything is blooming like crazy.  It is a riot of colors.  This is what I dream about all winter long.

The camera will never be able to capture the vividness of the rose bed.

My vegetables are going right to town.  Of course we haven't had any hail since buying the netting.
These clouds teased us this week, but I'm afraid we aren't going to see any rain for awhile.
How are your gardens?  I'm getting peas, lettuce, asparagus, and carrots.  Are your flowers at their peak? 

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Close up of a butterfly...

 If any of you have ever tried to photograph a butterfly you know it isn't a simple endeavor.  They don't sit still and they can see you coming from a mile away.  

Can you believe these colors?
I couldn't stop taking pictures.  
It was breathtaking.  Yes, it was alive.  Occasionally it moved.  Eventually it flew away.  I guess like everyone it just needed a break.
I was thankful to be able to enjoy it up close.  It is rare to have one sit still for that long.

My chamomile was blooming like crazy.  I picked it and have it drying for tea and hair rinse.
My roses are extremely vivid.  The bees cannot resist.  The whole rose bed a constant buzz.

I have never been able to grow daylililies, but my mother-in-law gave these to me several years ago and they bloom faithfully every year.  They are quite pretty.

A friend of mine was selling this amazing birdbath at the Spearfish Festival in the Park.  She is a talented potter and I had to have it.  I love the details and how delicate it is.  I've been looking for a birdbath since hail destroyed my last one several years ago.  This is perfect.  
  It was a great weekend for friends.  My friend from college and I traditionally attend the festival.  While our husbands relaxed at their campsite, we enjoyed seeing everyone's talents.  We had a delicious meal.  It was great spending time together.
The next day we attended the wedding of a friend's son.  The best part was the Anniversary Dance.  All married couples are asked to get on the dance floor.  During the dance the announcer asks all couples married less than five years to leave the floor, then 10 years or less, then 15 or less, 20 or less and so on.  The groom's grandparents were the last ones on the floor as they were married for 69 years.  Now that is beautiful.

Overall, we had a pretty social weekend.  It was nice.  Excellent food, great friends, and new things to see.

I hope you had a productive weekend filled with friends and laughter.  


Sunday, July 9, 2023

Making progress...

 We've been checking a lot of projects off of our to do list this summer.  We both are tired of losing our vegetable gardens to hail, so we are trying this hail protective mesh.  

It took a bit to figure out how to cover my garden, but we took some boards and drill half a hole for the rebar to fit in.  Then we stapled the mesh to the boards.  We have had hail once a week, so now that we are prepared that should be the last of it.
We finally found a gate we liked for the orchard.  My husband surprised me and put it in  while I was at work.  It is very nice.  Way more convenient than the fencing/rake set up we had.  
Here is the hail protection for my husband's pumpkins.  No more running back and forth whenever it looks like hail.
My flower gardens are blooming like crazy.  
Last year the hail destroyed everything.  I guess the flowers are trying to pay me back for last year's disappointment.

This bug was sure enjoying the daisy.  
My mother's irises.
I certainly have enjoyed the summer.  After work on Friday, several of my coworkers stopped by for lemonade on the porch.  We played beanbag toss, giant Jenga, and just enjoyed the evening.  We haven't gotten together like that since COVID.  It was nice.  Even nicer was having a quiet weekend to garden and work on projects. 
The sun sets on another weekend.  Do you get much hail?  What is your biggest garden for?