Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Ditch Project

Around the front of my yard there is a slope down to a ditch.  No culvert under the driveway or anything, but it does collect some water and of course snow in the Winter.
It's hard to mow that slope and my neighbor quit trying, so some small poplar trees and other wild things are growing there.  I think that gave me the idea that I should add some perennials to that ditch area closest to the driveway and on the slope.  So, I started last year by transplanting a large clump of garden phlox from a friend's yard, a white peony from a friend's yard, a new yellow peony, white phlox (ground cover type) and purple phlox (ground cover type) and have added quite a number of plants this year.
Added this year:  3 White plume grasses, 2 Boomerang Dark Purple Lilac bushes (supposed to bloom Spring & Fall), 3 Prairie Dropseed Grasses, 1 Rapido White Bellflower, 2 Herbstsonne' Conflower (4 foot tall yellow coneflower, very showy), 1 Hocus Pocus Veronica Hybrid, 1 David Garden Phlox (white), 1 Jim Crockett Star Aster, a clump of Siberian Iris, several clumps of Cleome, several clumps of wild Geranium, chives, and a few more that I have forgotten.

It doesn't look like much yet, but I am quite hopeful that next year that area will be a bounty of perennial flowering plants, from Spring into Fall.
It is a work in progress, but next Spring should be fun.

If everything comes back, we'll be on our way to having a showy area here along the ditch.

In my raised bed down below, I planted those crazy and cool Castor Beans.
Also, a bunch of Gladiola bulbs along with a ton of white Morning Glory seeds.
The Gladiolas have suffered.
Finally there are 2 going to bloom, the rest are bound with morning glory vines.



The Castor Beans have gone wild, they are at least 6 feet tall if not more.
I'm thinking they were the inspiration for Jack & The Beanstalk.
Fee Fi Fo Fum...


The Morning Glory seed packets said that they were Angelic White.
Well, they are really deep purple, but no matter.
Having the Castor Bean as support seems to please them.


The Castor Bean is growing a big flower, looks like a SyFy plant.



I ran across this Swallowtail butterfly on the Verbena, making the rounds.
Verbena will definitely be on my list for next year, a butterfly favorite and I like it too.


I have to say, the hops are fabulous this year.
They are practically trying to get into the house.

 These guys give me joy as I walk in and out of the house.
Next Spring I'm planning to root up a bunch of cuttings and add more hops to my yard.
Why not!

I'm kind of tired of all the eclipse coverage.
I'm going to be home, I don't have the special glasses, and I have heard it will probably be cloudy anyway.  I hope all my pals who are traveling to see totality enjoy themselves, protect their retinas and make some lasting memories.
I'll probably take a nap.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Sewing Up North

The WITC (Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College) offers a number of adult education courses around the area.  One of my favorite topics is quilting.  My Luck school pal Mary & I and another sewing pal, Sharon have attended several of these.  On Friday, I met Mary & Sharon at the Community Center in Cornucopia for a day of sewing.

I drove Up North early Friday morning.  It is an easy drive, about 120 miles.  
Basically I drive North until I get to Lake Superior, then take a right.  
I stopped at a Wayside to get a look at the big lake.  I was surprised to see how red it was.  
The Iron River flows into the lake near this point and with all the recent rain, 
the lake was heavy with sediment.  



Regardless, Lake Superior has a commanding presence and I never tire of getting to see it.

Our friend Myrna was our instructor and the project was a Friendship Star Quilt.  When I was pre-reading the instructions I decided that I would make a runner instead of a quilt.  I have the perfect place for decorative runners on my bookcase/credenza in the living room.
Here is my finished (almost, just needs a backing & a binding) project.


Everyone else in the class chose to make the quilt.  It was far more complicated than this little runner, and was designed to be made using scraps.  Since I don't keep my scraps, my job was much easier, as I was cutting from new yardage.
That scrap work takes time, lots of evaluating color and sizes, pressing and then finally cutting before figuring out the layout and eventually sewing.
Several nice quilts were starting to come together before we called it a day.
Everyone had much more work to do before having a finished project, I was all smiles.
Mary's quilt is going to be a beauty, but she has a ways to do.

After sewing, I drove to Rick and Mary's house to spend the night.
On the way I drove through Washburn, a nice little town on the shore of Lake Gitchigoomie.
I tried to take some photos of the view
 as I drove into town from my dash mounted cell phone, but it was a fail.  
You'll just have to take my word that seeing Lake Superior in the distance is a sight to behold.

We ate dinner at The Four Corners Food & Spirits near Mason, WI.
I think it was the best fish I have ever eaten.  Their claim to fame is fresh fish from Lake Superior. 
I forgot to take a picture because I was busy eating the fish.

This morning I enjoyed a yummy breakfast by Mary and then headed towards home.
I ran a couple of errands on my way, stopping to pay the balance on my October Quilt Retreat and doing a wellness check on our Sandcastle cabin.

On the way I spotted an eagle, preening on a high branch.
I watched him for a little while.
He seemed to be soaking up the sun and cleaning up his tail feathers.

It was a fun trip Up North, but as always, it is nice to be home sweet home with the kitkats.

Monday, August 14, 2017

2107 Johansen Cousin's Reunion

A few photos from our Johansen Cousin Reunion in Des Moines on 2017.08.12
Aunt Johanne, Dad's sister, 92 years young 
Barb, Ellen Jordan, Nancy, Jenny & Johanne


Barb, Ellen, Pat, Jordan, Nancy, Jenny & Johanne

Denis and Nancy with 50th Wedding Anniversary Kransekakke
 This is the group that was in Des Moines at Grandview Park
Back:  Wanda, Ellen, Barb, Cathlee, Pat, Becky, Nancy, Gary, Jenny, Nancy, Glenn, Judy, Kathy, Jordan
Front:  Johanne, Ron, Lee, Denis, Eric, Janet

Judy, Johanne & Eric

Kransekakke

We had a first cousin's reunion in Des Moines, IA last weekend.
I made the traditional Danish wedding cake,  Kransekakke, for cousins Denis & Nancy who just celebrated 50 years of marriage. 

I also made the little congratulations  banner. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Danish

I decided to make a little banner to take with to the cousins reunion as part of the kransekakke display celebrating cousins Denis and Nancy's 50th wedding anniversary.
I have been wanting to make this little Banner pattern for a long time so it was a good excuse to give it a try. 



As you can see from the picture to the right, my first attempt of pinning it together left me with something that looked like Danish but was actually the word spelled exactly backwards.

I'm happy with how this quick project turned out without, I think it will be cute.  I'm trying to come up with some kind of thing to make tomorrow quickly in the garage like a goal post for it to hang from.

There will be more pictures from the party.

Quilts for the garage

I found these fun quilt squares at Shopko on clearance and grabbed them.
I had originally thought I would put them over the garage door but getting up on a tall ladder turned out to be not my favorite thing, so I added them to the little sitting area that Dad & Ev used to called The Red Room. I think they're just as cute as can be and they set off and Ansgar's Barn Door nicely.

Off to cousin's reunion in the morning. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

NO days off

Sister in law Lois brought me this little sign when we met for lunch last Friday.
It's true, and it's a good thing.

I do take the occasional day to be a slacker, like yesterday.
I had a crown crack so spent yesterday morning in the dentist chair having the old crown jack-hammered out in preparation for a replacement.
For whatever reason, it wore me out and I took the rest of the day off.

I did take time to notice how pretty my red impatiens are though.

I found this garden spider in the same place as last year.
He never takes a day off, always working on his web and his latest catch.
The spider species Argiope aurantia is commonly known as the yellow garden spider, black and yellow garden spider, golden garden spider, writing spider, corn spider, or McKinley spider. Wikipedia

Female Argiope aurantia spiders tend to be somewhat local, often staying in one place throughout much of their lifetime according to Wikipedia, so I guess I'll start looking for her each year in this bed.



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