Category Archives: Garden

Ann Arbor Garden Walk Part 2


Annnnnd we’re back! This was the first of the two houses we were allowed to walk through. This couple were artists, he was a glass blower and she did mosaic and fiber arts work. Their house was full of their wares!

Frontal slope as well as uphill backyard. Hi Tammi! !


Several of these stone thingies around.


Purty door! Gratitude, yes.


This had a little note about how the artist sees the progress of grief, going into the dark and coming out into the light.


Lots of cute bookshelves in this house!


Snuck in everywhere!


Going down the basement stairs! So clever!


Mosaic back splash. That looks like a TON of work!


This was a rushing water feature! No trickle here!


All uphill to their garage on top.


Delicious napping spot covered with a pretty quilt!


Have I mentioned I like the rocks?


At this point we noticed that The Back Door Neighbor had on her garden walk shoes!


Last house we walked through as well. It was very old and the current owners had been there since 1980, restoring it. It had a LOT going on.


Only a little bit raised.


Loved the rocks and the retaining wall.




I like these hangers.


Their gardens went with the Victorian era house.



Always have to meet a pet on a garden walk.


Halfway a wrap around porch.


Ahhh, the coleus, my Precious!


Pretty rose arbor in Ann Arbor!


Thank you Ladies, it was a fine day!


Ann Arbor Garden Walk Part 1


The Peanuts Champ, The Back Door Neighbor and I did something fun on Saturday, we hit up the 27th annual Ann Arbor Garden Walk! We went early because they were predicting some melting temps.


Love that succulent.


The first house had all these beautiful rock walls! The terrain in Ann Arbor seems to be somewhat steep. Probably not everywhere, but certainly most of the homes on the garden walk! Possibly to show the creativity of the gardeners! This house was steep in the front, hence the rock walls.


Loved these steps!


Children or perhaps grandchildren names woven into the grout, plus faithful pooch-i-doo’s paw prints.


We have decided that we all have the boring kind of hosta and would like to branch out with these giant beauties!


I have a few shepherd hooks that I don’t want to hang a pot on, it never occurred to me to hang something else!


When I was walking with Mrs. Schmenkman on her favorite path last month, there was a pretty little tree that I just loved, some sort of variegated pink beech. This house had a huge glorious one! Heart emoji!!


I love how they used this small sedum in this small space.


I took several pictures of the second house because it had an awesome front porch and The Ab-Cat does love a good front porch!


The owner said it was a great place to watch a rain storm!




I am also a fan of a stone pathway.


This picture was for Honey, an add on with a granite top for your BBQ-ing needs. A possible option on his post retirement list of things to do!


This house also had a screened in back porch, additionally delightful!


Don’t mind me, just being NOSEY!


And a swell patio. Lots of room to visit at this house!


This house had a definitely challenging, sloping backyard.


Heart this!


Their yard abruptly ended here, backing up to a cemetery. Very quiet neighbors out back!


They made good use of their space, very lush and green.


Purty pot.


This house did not slope.


Another nice porch for Ab.


We noticed several interesting things about this home. I am guessing these stones helped with a drainage situation. I like this because we also have a drainage situation in our back. I can copy like a BOSS!


They had a small back deck,


surrounded by this pretty scene.


And then a much lesser slope down to this pretty patio.


I took this picture to send to my SIL Karen who sells succulents. A bowlful of pretty!


They had considerable shade so their fancy hosta were very content.


Still content.


This was along the side of the house next to the driveway. I actually have one of these pots, given to me by my friend Teri. I could use it as a herb pot!!!!! How cute is that??!


This was a great idea. Cute little decorative area.


Hiding the dumb hose on the other side!!! Pretty meets function, my favorite! This house was number one for me in the idea department.


The Peanuts Champ pointed this out to us. It never fails, people work their tails off to have a beautiful yard and garden and the neighbors still have a Halloween decoration out!!! Good for a laugh!


That’s it for part one, tune in tomorrow!

Catching Up


Spring is shaping up nicely in The Mitten. Honey and I actually got out there one day last week and did some yard work, weeding, cutting back grasses and such. Mousey helped me empty our shed of chairs, wind chimes and the pretty shelves and other things that help us enjoy our patio. I was sitting on the front porch yesterday afternoon with the elder felines and young catten and decided that this week needs to be the first grass cutting.

But, I got ahead of myself, we need to go back to Easter weekend. We took a trip over the Ambassador Bridge to see The Canadians! They have been here, but it had been far too long since we had visited the land of Honey’s people!

Queeny B and Paisley!

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Paisley with her big brother Burke!

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Then Turtle, Kim and sons! Parker and Spencer are adorable!

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Finally Krazy Kenny, Honey’s sister Nanny Rachel, and Burke again. We need to do it again soon, those kids are SPROUTING too quick!!!!!

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Our Easter Girlies. I am not sure what animals they are, but I love it!


We spent Easter Sunday at church and then joined The Grandpa, Beeve, Stacey and Goomba for lunch at a mediterranean restaurant, in a nod to our Savior’s place of origin.

I am hosting the Sharing Day fellowship for BSF admin and children’s leaders again this year. I have set a goal to have my flowers planted and arranged attractively in their places. It will either turn out great or cause me great angst. To help me get a jump on my plan, Jip the Farm Dog and I are heading out to the Favorite Flower Place on Thursday after BSF. She is, of course, buying flowers for her own yard. For some reason we have a great fondness for buying way too many flats and pots and then have to perform something like garden Jenga to get them all in the vehicle. We evidently like a challenge and take great pride in recalling our past successes!

Have a pleasant Monday.

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge


Happy April! Click on the button below if you would like to link up. Here we go!

From this Side of the Pond

1. April is Lawn and Garden Month. On a scale of 1-10 what’s the current state of your lawn and/or garden. (10=a showpiece, 1=send in the professionals). Tell us about any lawn or garden plans you have for this month.

Well, it’s a little early to be working in the garden up here in The Mitten. The backyard is still closed up for winter, pots covered, debris to be cleared, furniture in the shed. Heck, Honey’s snow plowing sticks are still in the ground and their services could still be needed! I’m going to say a solid 5, we are no further ahead or behind than usual, just dormant.

We have had a few nice days that caused the day lillies to poke their heads up for a looksee, but that’s about it. Once it looks like spring has sprung, the first thing we usually do is get the chairs and patio pretties out of the shed and start cleaning up the beds, cutting stuff back and distributing the pots back to their homes.

I do need to get on the stick and get my hyacinth bean seeds planted in the house so they can be ready to plant in the ground. They need to have a good head start so they can climb the trellis and have a party at the top! That’s my big plans.
2. “Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.”~Thomas Fuller What does this quote mean to you?This could be love, laughter, friendship and memories. Not sown in dirt the traditional way, but beautiful, lovingly cared for, and treasured all the same. All grown in the garden of life.
3. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about God?


I don’t understand how anyone could think that all the amazing, beautiful, intricate things in our world could have just evolved out of nothing. The human body, our universe and its delicate balance, a mind complicated enough to build a computer, watch, or rocket ship and solve intricate problems. There has to be a Creator.
4. If we were chatting in person, how would I know if you were nervous?

I don’t think you would know unless I told you, I have a pretty good poker face 🙂
5. Do you like the color yellow? Would I find any in your home or wardrobe? Daffodils, tulips, roses, sunflowers, day lily, black eyed susan…which yellow bloom on this list is your favorite?

I like the color yellow, just not on my person. None is represented in my wardrobe or our home, but I love, love, LOVE it in the garden! I have many yellow day lillies and black eyed Susan’s, and have a special place in my heart for the sunflower because it was our oldest daughter’s favorite for many years.

My favorites lately are the cheerfully reliable zinnias!


And happy million bells. They add so much.

6. Flip flops or bare feet?

Bare feet or sandals. My flip flop days are long gone, plus that slapping sound annoys me.
7. Tell us about any Easter plans, celebrations, or traditions you’ll carry out this month.

For so many years we were on vacation at Easter, it has only been the last couple of years that we have even been home. I find myself at loose ends and very out of practice! The only things set in stone are we will go to church and we will eat….something! Another tradition would be Easter baskets, I still do that for the girls.

We are studying John this year at BSF and we are almost to the crucifixion. I want to always remember what the Lord suffered so that I could have my sins forgiven and be made righteous. He sacrificed himself so that I could believe in Him and have my sins covered by His blood, and receive the blessing of His Holy Spirit to guide, teach, and refine me.

John 14:25-27

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His death and resurrection prove He has power over the grave and is fully capable of offering forgiveness, salvation, the Holy Spirit and the promise of eternal life with Him in heaven. That is something to celebrate!!!!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Here is some Way Back When-sday from 2000, SEVENTEEN years ago!!!!! We were in Florida for Easter break. This is when we used to take the kids out of school for an additional week to have a nice long vacation! We are at Islands of Adventure here.


Eleven year old Ab-Cat, nine year old Boy and six year old Mousey.


We spent quite a bit of time at Seuss Landing!



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Back at the pool, their happy place!


Thanks for stopping by, Happy Easter!

Before and After on the Patio


Is everybody out there melting? The Mitten is a scorched, crispy land. It feels like a broiler outside. I have not heard there is an end in sight either. I just keep watering, because Mother Nature has been beyond stingy with the rain.

Since it is getting to be mid August (I can’t believe it either!) I thought I would take you around and show you how my garden has grown.

These were the raw materials. Well, not all of this was mine, the second cart was Jip the Farm Dog’s, we went to The Favorite Flower Place together.


A better look at my stuff. I always try a couple of new things and it usually results in sadness or failure. I should just stick with what I know, but the rare time the newbie has been successful keeps me hopeful and or cocky to try again the next year. This years additions will probably not be invited back. As per usual.

Things don’t always stay where they start for various reasons. Color incompatibility, death, range of growth to name a few.

The lantana in the tallest pot needed more blazing sun and was re-homed.

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The new pot on the same table had experienced pansy death, a common occurrence in the dog days of summer. I stuck an extra sun patience in there and some leftover vincas in the bottom pot and everyone seems very happy.


These shelves of million bells have been the saddest four customers on the patio for the last 2-3 years. I am sorry million bells, I am breaking up with you, I don’t love you anymore. The day I planted them was the very best they ever looked.

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It’s been a long, ugly, non performing slide downhill ever since. I am left with only bitter anguish over what could have been. I am going back to the always beautiful, possibly disease ridden, impatience. Call me shallow, but at least they look good.


On a high note, the neighboring coleus, right next to the shelves of shame, is one happy little son of a gun!!!!!

We now move to the other side of the patio. On either side of our bedroom door wall is always one of my favorite areas. Plants seem to like it there. The plants did not look like this too long.

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This was a month or so later. On a side note, I also tried million bells on the three brick pillar pots this year. I don’t know what I was thinking either. It only solidified my certainty to never invite them back to the house. They looked like that the entire time, barely changing, until they started with the dying. WORST HOUSEGUESTS EVER!


And here we are at present. The dead million bells were replaced by the seemingly always perky sun patience. I think I will try lantana there next year.


I don’t know what I was thinking, but I do not have a before picture of the other side! It is a crying shame too, because that side has gone plum WILD! This is about a month ago.


And two pictures of the here and now. Two because I wanted you to see how pretty the portulaca is in this first one! It is on the second shelf and it’s glorious like this all day!


All the flowers close up in the evening, but this is probably a nicer picture of the area.


I LOVE all of the different coleus shapes and colors!


This is going down the ramp. See the tall pot on the brick?

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Turned into this handsome fella who lives over by the million bells of death!!!


He was replaced here by another pot that features big zinnias and another nationality of coleus that I find particularly beautimous. It’s hard to believe those little pots of runty coleus grew up to be these sparkling beauties!


Speaking of runts, 7 or 8 of these little dudes…

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…grew into quite handsome sentinels! The gateway to the pool!


We are now down by the pool area. Honey said this was one of his favorite areas. I have to say that zinnias are another one of my Precious.

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Boom! So happy, so reliable.


Even bigger in the early morning light.




This pot and its sister pot are at either end of the perennial garden.

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They busted out all over! The sweet little violas were given to me by my friend Dear Sandra, I had taken this picture to show her how content they were.

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One more shot of the patio. I have been very pleased with the effort put forth by the plants this year!!!! It’s a good thing we don’t use that door wall!


This and That


Hi Guys, another unexpected blobbing break. Seriously, it is nothing more than busy mornings and poor planning on my part. It seems like every morning I walk with either Keelyody or Jip the Farm Dog, hurry home to get my sweaty self in the shower so I can get to wherever I have to be! Between working and Bible study (which I am LOVING!), and what have you, I am having a busy summer. How about a list?

We are a little immersed in the Olympics over here!!! These are our faves.



My only complaint is it runs so late into the night! I am having to watch it the next day because Mama can’t stay up that late anymore.

I needed to buy some more plants to replace some of the death. Not much death, but it was a little prominent. therefore, needed to be vamoosed. These are called sun patients. I don’t believe I have ever had them before. They are supposed to be sun hardy, which is called for in their desired location.


I also stuck them around where I had some pansy death. They seem to be acclimating well and playing nice with others. I chose orange because the million bells that mass expired were a loverly orangy color. There is one more pot, but I couldn’t manage it in one shot. Notice our hay field, formerly known as our lawn. Have I mentioned that it has been hotter than the face of the SUN up here in The Mitten? It feels like it has been forever. Also as dry as a bugs hull. Honey has finally figured how to make it rain, just run the sprinklers. As you can imagine, he is torn. I don’t think double watering will even be able to bring the green back. On the upside, I haven’t had to cut the hay every week! And when I do, there are sections that I don’t bother with because it is an exercise in futility. The weeds are still managing to spawn, why you do me like that weeds?!


I bought some of these mini lavender plants for the front to try and break the iron grip the wild geranium has out there. They are getting a little wild and inviting too many friends to the party. The yellow things are $1 experiments. They are in pretty rough shape. I don’t even know their names, and that doesn’t bode well.


The lavender seems quite pleased with its new digs, hopefully it will hold its own against the bullying wild geranium.


I am loving this Armor of God Bible study this summer! #priscillashirer #suitup! I thought this was very good. Faith is an A.C.T.I.O.N. word!

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Priscilla quoted her Dad, Tony Evans, a week or so ago. A good reminder.


I got together with some Girl Cousins last week!!! Girl Cousin Vickie (on right) was in town from Indiana and she got the Michigan contingent to gather at her sister Joyce’s house for Hudson’s Maurice salad and healthy chocolate cake, made with zucchini and lots of chocolate chips!

We had a good visit, updating each other, laughing, all the stuff you do when family gets together. We even got to see Girl Cousin Joyce’s two older grandchildren before they went out on an adventure with their Granddad.

I knew I wanted to get a picture so I stuck the selfie stick in my bag! A good first try, a little far away. From the left; Girl Cousins Capri K, Joyce, Kay and Vickie. Daughters and granddaughters of brothers Bob and Bill.


Closer is better! We’re getting the hang of this!


No idea what was so funny but this is my favorite!


Aww, love these Girlies!!!


Ok, I will try and get back here for The Hodgepodge. I make no guarantees. Enjoy your week!

A Whole Lotta Stuff


Hey Guys, just checking in from the summer of sketchy blogging. I seriously feel like I have forgotten how to do this. There is a way to think bloggaly, and I have lost my way, clearly.

How about a random, hopscotch kind of post? Thanks, because my brain is all random and full of hopscotch. I don’t know if I have ever written the word hopscotch before and here it is 3 times in 1 paragraph. Who made up that word anyway?

It is hot in The Mitten this week. And in celebration, my hot flashes are about an 8. I long for the good old days of shivering in air conditioning.

We went up to my Aunt Phyllis and Uncle Bob’s cottage last weekend, that was FUN! I have pictures to show you, but that will be a post in itself. In the meantime, I leave you with this to sow the seeds of excitement. The earth, sun and the moon aligned and we got a good group picture!!!!!! GLORY BE!!!!!


Saw this on the Facebook. Loved it.


The Little Mister. I was surprised how glad I was to be reunited with this fur face after last weekend. He is an A # 1 pest but I kind of like him. And in his defense, he can be totally sweet, until he’s not.

Here he is lying on the comforter at the foot of Abby’s bed. It kind of reminded me of those posed shots we used to get at the portrait studio. I never liked the dorky library or outside backgrounds, so I always told them up front only blue, white or black for me please.


Pretend like it says Olan Mills 2016 in the lower right hand corner.

This is a pretty from the garden. I heart the coleus SO BAD! Mousey always refers to these as Jurassic Park flowers, I can see the correlation, I really can.


I have been looking for our wire cat brush all summer. Mama Mia and Halle Berry have undercoats, which really just means they have twice as much fur as other cats. Cats with undercoats like a wire brush, while it proves too hurty for single coat cats like Lucy and Sy. I needed to find that brush because we have tumbleweeds of cat fur blowing through our house. We also have had quite a bit of cat hoark, which is natures subtle way of telling me I need to find that cat brush, pronto.


We are supposed to have a meeting with a financial planner this week to talk about Honey’s impending retirement. Can I just tell you that I feel like an imposter at these sort of meetings? When did we come to the age to talk about such adult topics??

Ok. I need to get out there and cut the grass before the heat gets to be an abomination. Have a good weekend, stay cool and drink lots of water.