Category Archives: pretty things

Ann Arbor Garden Walk Part 2

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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! !

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Several of these stone thingies around.

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Purty door! Gratitude, yes.

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

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Lots of cute bookshelves in this house!

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Snuck in everywhere!

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Going down the basement stairs! So clever!

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

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This was a rushing water feature! No trickle here!

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All uphill to their garage on top.

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Delicious napping spot covered with a pretty quilt!

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Have I mentioned I like the rocks?

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

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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.

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Only a little bit raised.

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Loved the rocks and the retaining wall.

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Lush.

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I like these hangers.

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Their gardens went with the Victorian era house.

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Always have to meet a pet on a garden walk.

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Halfway a wrap around porch.

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Ahhh, the coleus, my Precious!

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Pretty rose arbor in Ann Arbor!

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Thank you Ladies, it was a fine day!

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Ann Arbor Garden Walk Part 1

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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.

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Love that succulent.

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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.

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Loved these steps!

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

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

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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!

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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!!

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

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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!

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

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So FUN!

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I am also a fan of a stone pathway.

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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!

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

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Don’t mind me, just being NOSEY!

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

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This house had a definitely challenging, sloping backyard.

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Heart this!

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

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

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Purty pot.

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This house did not slope.

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Another nice porch for Ab.

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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!

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They had a small back deck,

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surrounded by this pretty scene.

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

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

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

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Still content.

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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??!

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This was a great idea. Cute little decorative area.

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

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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!

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

BFG For the WIN!

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This is my Bible case. Pathetic I know. It’s probably 10-15 years old. I had never used one before, so when I bought it at Sam’s Club, I chose one of the two they had.

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It has been well used. It most likely has been worn more than normal because of sliding it in and out of my BSF bag for so many years. Those handles are flat worn out. It was getting embarrassing.

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I began looking for a new cover several years ago. I thought the biggest problem was going to be locating another case with handles. That seemed to be rare. Well not completely rare, but rare to find one without excessive…..decoration. The ones with handles were fain-cy! Loud colors, wild prints, bejeweled. I was looking for something a little more subdued, Some were too soft, some were too big, kind of like a purse, some too young looking. I was starting to feel like Goldilocks. Dissatisfied.

I looked in stores, I looked on Etsy, I looked on e-bay to see if there might be another like my Beloved.

A year ago last Christmas I found this one online and I ordered it. My hopes were high. Then they were dashed. In all of my looking I did not know that the inside of Bible cases were not created equal. Mine had several slots for things in the front and a large pen/pencil/marker holder in the back . The new case was woefully inadequate. It had one little loop for one stinkin’ pen!!!!! And all of those handy dandy slots and compartments are apparently what I need to carry my Bible successfully. I used the new one for approximately 1 month, then I went back to my first, true love. The rattiest Bible case in the Kingdom.

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I used the Case of Abomination for another year, until I had what I thought could be a great idea. I wondered if perhaps Capri Deb might have an idea how to make my new case into an useful engine? She is a clever and insightful gal! She took pictures of the inside of my old one and took the new one home with her before Christmas.

I saw her last week and look what she brought me!!!!! Her husband, BFG made these nifty inserts!!!! To hold all my junk!!!!!

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3×5 cards, prayer requests, book mark, and my personal fan for when I am sparking!

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And yes, I DO need all those pens and markers and a pencil!IMG_4666

I love, LOVE, L.O.V.E. it!!!!!!! No more nasty case!

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Thanks BFG and Capri D, I am a happy girl! Little baby geniuses is what they are!!!

South Carolina Y’All!

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Hi Guys, long time, no blog! Honey and I took a quick trip down to South Carolina to have a little look-see. Just checking out potential areas in case we decide to relocate after retirement. We really don’t know what we will do, but it’s fun to look around!

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We flew into Greenville but drove over an hour to Westminster on Lake Hartwell. There are a lot of beautiful trees down there!

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We limited our search to three lakes; Greenwood, Hartwell and Keowee. We saw many beautiful homes! I think the biggest surprise was how rural it was in between all those small towns. We still need to do more praying about what our retirement will look like, where we will live and serve, and how we can best be used by the Lord, no matter where we land.

We really liked several of the houses but I am going to show you my very favorite! We actually stayed right near it and we both LOVED it. It was move in ready and I can’t think of a thing I would change! I would LOVE to plunk it down where ever we decide to land!

Sorry, the sun was being a pain..

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Loved the stonework and our realtor was such a sweetheart.

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Purty windows as you walked in. Looking out onto a great covered porch and Lake Hartwell beyond.

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My favorite kitchen BY FAR!

The kitchen is very important to us. We spend a lot of time there and it’s where our people congregate. When looking through listings, I found that I liked many of the homes, but the kitchens, not so much. I asked Honey what he would be willing to change and he was not willing to completely redo the kitchen. It made it easier to discard a listing based on that information. I would keep it if it only required new countertops to make it work.

This island was my favorite! Large and all one level, I even liked the granite! I also liked the wood floors in this home. The color was a nice change from the honey oak we have throughout our current home.

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The kitchen was open to the eating area and a covered patio on the left. I could picture our table and china cabinet in there!

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Pretty view out that window of a canal on Lake Hartwell.

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Back to my Precious. Lots of cabinet and counter space. Did I mention that I LOVE the island? Cause I can certainly say it again. The cupboards were not white, sort of a greige color? I even liked the paint color on the walls.

Speaking of paint color, I have been thinking of painting our current house, what do you think of something like this Capri Patt?

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The powder room off the kitchen. Not one problem with anything there.

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Loved the laundry.

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This was one of my favorite spots. Tucked back by the door to the garage, near the laundry room, I would claim this as my own space! Honey uses our den, the only thing I use in there is the computer. I could move it in here, along with our bills and other necessities that help a home to function. Cupboards and drawers for my junk!  My own blogging/office, I.Would.LOVE.That!!!!!!! Deep, sincere, want.

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Standing in the kitchen looking onto the great room and den, front door would be on the left of the hallway by the light. That is also the stairway to the basement.

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Great room with built ins. That has become my interest lately, built ins. I adore functionality. And storage. And hiding all the junk. I never thought I would like the television over the fireplace but I find I do here. Plus, there is no other logical place for the tv in this space. This is causing me to rethink the space over our fireplace. Our layout is with the fireplace in one corner, and the tv in the other. Naturally, this affects the layout of our furniture, as we are dual focused. Having them both in one corner would allow for one focal point. Something to ponder.

To the right of the great room was a lovely covered porch, again, the sun was not allowing a picture that you could actually see.

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I took no pictures in the daylight basement but it was great as well. Two large bedrooms on the left with a small kitchen and family room in the middle, with a HUGE bedroom with 3 sets of bunk beds and other furniture! There was also an exercise room and a large storage area. We should have just called this house The Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way!!!! You might be wondering if we need all of those rooms. All I can say is you never know. Better to have them than to need them is one way to look at it. They might come in handy when we have company or future grandchildren 🙂

Y’All, it was a little warm down there.

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I did something that I have never done before, I met a blog friend!!!!! I knew that Joyce, who blogs at From This Side Of The Pond and our fearless leader from the Wednesday Hodgepodge, was living in Greenville while building a home on Lake Keowee. I emailed her and mentioned that we were going to be in her neck of the woods and was she available for lunch? She was!

We had originally planned to meet in Greenville, but when she found out where we were staying she offered to meet us out our way, which was closer to where they were building. I said that option offered the possibility of us getting a tour of her new home!!!! She graciously met us at her home build and gave us a tour of the beautiful new home they are hoping to move into next month.

We then had lunch at a place near there, The Lighthouse, where we talked for many hours and didn’t even realize that the place was empty! It’s surprising how much you learn about others when you have read their blog for a long time. Also surprising was Joyce had a southern accent! This was unexpected because I knew she was from New Jersey! She said she had moved to Tennessee for college and it just never left her.

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I have been a part of her Wednesday Hodgepodge since February 16, 2011! I am thankful that Joyce makes the time to host that weekly get together, it’s a day when when a whole bunch of us answer the same questions and you are welcome to join in!! It was such fun to actually “meet”!

Speaking of meeting, Honey and I ate dinner one evening in Seneca, one of the little towns down there. When we were almost finished I mentioned to Honey that the gal at the table across the way looked like a friend who used to attend BSF, and also lives in the subdivision connected to ours. As I watched her I was struck that even her mannerisms reminded me of that gal. I told Honey I was going to walk past her on my way to the restroom so I could get a closer look. IT WAS HER!!!!! It turns out she was down there with her husband having a look-see too! We had a nice chat, introduced the guys and marveled at our small world!

We are home now and getting back into the swing of things here. Honey and Ab-Cat went out for their weekly Monday night dinner then started BSF this evening. Our class starts this week as well. The pool guy is coming tomorrow to close the pool. It has been blessedly cooler the last couple days and I am ready to welcome the fall.

Have a good week.

South Haven 2016

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Last week we headed over to South Haven Michigan for our annual Girls Getaway! Lake Michigan, sunsets, beaching, pretty flowers, shopping and good company, what’s not to love?

Here we are getting ready to ship out with all our STUFF. From left, The Mayor, The Oreo Mom, Capri Shaq and The Peanuts Champ. #loadedforbear #wedonttravellight #beprepared

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We got it all in!!!!! And off we went, to be joined the next day by 3 Good Kids, who was coming in from Myrtle Beach, and our good buddy Sally, who lives in Kalamazoo and visited for the day!

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The first purty flowers I saw were at The Peanuts Champ’s house, they were beautimous!

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Our weather looked very iffy this week but it surprised us and we were able to go to the beach on 2 days and saw 2 loverly sunsets! From left, Capri K, The Mayor, 3 Good Kids, The Peanuts Champ, Sally (or Ally from the group Sammon and Ally!) and The Oreo Mom.

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Some of us were brave and went paddle boarding! I would like to try it some day.

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The Mayor. She knows everybody, everywhere.

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The Peanuts Champ had already tried it once this summer. Old Pro.

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We were all so glad to see Sally! She moved away about 10 years ago but our hearts were happy she came out for the day!

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The Oreo Mom and I amused ourselves with Snapchat. It’s just a picture, I can’t seem to do a video on this thing. The squeaky voice gets me every time.

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We sent this to her husband, Kentucky Jim. He wanted to know what we had been drinking. We said Diet Coke.

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I find the Snapchat useful for picture taking and using the text feature.

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I got a new babe-ing suit this summer and it did not have the same coverage my previous suit did, hence I was a lotta pink in those areas!

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The first sunset was perfect.

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We were trying so hard to get a good picture of ourselves with the selfie stick we almost missed the main event!

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This was the next night, and yes, I do have the same shirt on. I don’t know why but there was a reason. Capri Shaq and her little friends.

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Not as perfect, but pretty interesting anyway.

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There is always a boat by a sunset on Lake Michigan.

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We went shopping on Wednesday because they have a cute little farmers market we like to visit. Such a pretty little town!

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A whole row of coleus and sweet potato vine!

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Love this. #truth #oldfriendsarebest #ihavethesekind #kissesonthecheekfromGod

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We ended up eating in the rental house for most meals and going out for lunch a couple of times. It worked out pretty good to not have everyone have to get ready after being at the beach all day. This was our 5th year staying at this rental and we were sad to find out that the owner had sold it. 😦  It has been a good place and we have really enjoyed it. The place across the street also rents and we are already booked there for next summer!

When we were packing up to leave we were reminiscing about previous visits. 3 Good Kids and I went to see if the the drive way still showed signs of when she dropped a bottle of white nail polish and it splattered all over us. It was still there!!!

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I think the name of the rental was The Seagull. This was out front. Looks like it’s pecking The Oreo Moms head!

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Goodbye Seagull, you have served us well!

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On the way home we stopped at Stein Mart, where we all found a few things to take home. Like flat front and back, elastic waisted pants that are the most comfortable pants I have ever owned!!!

Thanks ladies for a fun trip!

Before and After on the Patio

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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I LOVE all of the different coleus shapes and colors!

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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!!!

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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!

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

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

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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.

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Even bigger in the early morning light.

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Yes.

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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!

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A Whole Lotta Stuff

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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!!!!!

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Saw this on the Facebook. Loved it.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.