Monday, August 6, 2012

From this window - 8/6/12...

Today, we pull out of beautiful Sparland in Central Illinois and head for the Pacific Northwest.  We plan to spend several days in Bozeman, Montana visiting friends and then it's off to Port Angeles, Washington, Victoria, British Columbia, the Oregon coast and then home.  We will be gone about three weeks and plan to visit all the National Forests and Wildlife Refuges between our house and the west coast, including Antelope Island by Salt Lake City.  We expect water levels to be down and some areas won't be as green as we remember them from our last trip.  We leave our beautiful gardens to the mercy of timers hooked to our watering hoses and hope that everything is still alive when we return.  Our female bluebird is incubating three eggs that we won't see hatch but may see fledge when we return.  It's always an anxious time leaving and when we finally turn east and head for home, I can't get there fast enough.  Three weeks is enough time to be away from my "studio", I actually miss crafting while I'm gone but the brain is always working.  I'm wondering how I can use found objects on my greeting cards.

The funniest story my husband tells about me saving things to use later happened on Sanibel Island, Florida many years ago.  I walked the beach with a plastic bag picking up things and saying, "I wonder what this will look like when it dries"?  I loaded my bag into the car for the trip back to the motel.  Carl went down to the car later that afternoon to get something and he said when he opened the car door the smell hit him and almost knocked him down.  A whole bag of dead fishy stuff in a hot car for an afternoon - can you imagine?  He separated everything that had been alive from the shells and driftwood and walked all the way across the property to the garbage cans on the other side and dumped my precious finds.  Then he aired out the car.  And I'm not allowed to collect anything like that again.  Driftwood I collected on that trip so long ago that has been in the attic for at least ten years finally ended up in a project.  Carl drilled holes in the center of all the small pieces, strung them on a piece of wire that was crimped at the bottom, added a hanger on the top and created a work of art that hangs from our gazebo.

Lovely, isn't it?  The box for the new collection of driftwood is already in the car and I find it ironic that now he's collecting stuff.

We are already picking fresh veggies from the garden.  We had sliced tomatoes for dinner last night and they were wonderful.

The garden is a bit overgrown due to hot weather.  I love the garden looking its best all the time but not at the cost of heatstroke.
And this is the structure from the old deck canopy.  The green container in the background is my gallon sprayer of Liquid Fence.  The deer found the leaves to be really enticing so I've had to spray them with the most noxious smell in the world (dead stuff in a hot car notwithstanding).  We fenced off the bottom of each leg because the rabbits found the new leaves irresistible.  We should have blossoms by the time we come back.  If you double click on this picture, you can see that the vines are already working their way to the center of the roof just as I hoped they would. We will have red flowers in the day time and white flowers in the evening.  The yellow and green rocket-shaped container hanging from the gazebo is a Japanese beetle trap.  They weren't as thick this year as last year, but Carl was kept pretty busy emptying the 3 traps he put out.  They did a lot of damage to my Chinese Wisteria and our River Birch but it was worse last year.

So, join us on vacation, I will post pictures as we find WIFI.  Most of the motels will have it but some will not, we tend to like to stay in areas not so packed with people.  I hope wherever you are the birds are singing and the breeze is soft on your face.

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