Thursday, June 28, 2012

Back from Austin

I'm just back from Austin and had a great visit with my family and dear friend Christi and her family.

When mom and I got to Austin on Tuesday we picked K up from school early, waking her from a nap. I had to bribe her with a cookie to try on the new dress that I made her. Isn't it cute?! It was really easy and fast to make, probably under an hour of sewing. I love the design with the sporty racerback. I kind of want one for myself.  The free pattern and tutorial are here.  I'm loving sewing with knits and really wanting a serger to make it even easier.  I also finished a knit maxi skirt for myself the night before we left for Austin.
 Karlie in her racerback tank dress Karlie in her racerback tank dress

Even with a cookie bribe her patience wore thin for my picture taking. Karlie in her racerback tank dress Karlie in her racerback tank dress

It was hot, of course, but my brother and I took Karlie swimming in the San Marcos river yesterday and it was just perfect. I could have stayed in the river all day. I love to swim, especially in cold, clear water on a hot Texas day. San Marcos river San Marcos river

Also, today is another one of my oldest friends' birthday. The mom of a teenager and two more gorgeous children, she has grown up to be a wonderful lady and continues to be one of my best friends after twenty years. We had a lot of fun together as friends and roommates, and still have fun together these days. I love you Susy Q!

Here we are in Taos in the summer of 1996 on the bridge over the Rio Grande Gorge. This is one of my favorite pictures of us. Ashley and Susan in Taos 1996

Monday, June 25, 2012

Roberta thinks she owns this place

Roberta is quite at home here, Frank tells her too much so. She is a character and very sweet, but owning a cat is so different than a dog. She lays in funny places and has claimed the back of the couch as her spot.
 Roberta Roberta Roberta Roberta Roberta

 I have a million and five things to do today, and I have to work. I leave town tomorrow, hitching a ride to Austin with my mom. I get to see one of my best friends, Christi, and my favorite almost three year old, Karlie. What a nice mid-week treat! Better go accomplish some more of my list before work....

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Where I Want to be

The garden continues to call me outdoors. I always dedicate myself to the garden in the Spring, but normally lose interest come Summer. With today being the second day of Summer, I feel like I have kept at it longer than most years. Granted, so far it has been mild. It looks like that is about to change. Monday I was in the yard til noon and it was not too hot. Today by 10 it was pretty steamy. Anyways, I hope I do keep at it because the garden is bringing me great pleasure these days. I feel content there.

In the garden

Even getting stung by a wasp while trimming the yucca didn't keep me away for long. Baking soda soothed the sting.
In the garden In the garden In the garden In the garden

I have Moonflower, Morning Glory and Black Eyed Susan vines sprouting. In the garden In the garden In the garden

I'm still planning to paint and make cushions for my patio furniture.
I'm thinking navy blue for these chairs.  With yellow and white chevron cushions.
In the garden In the garden
And more Yellow Chevrons for the sling chairs. In the garden In the garden

I have a palette in mind, and just need to order fabric, buy more spray paint and sit down at the sewing machine to make cushions. As if I don't have a million other projects to get done. Speaking of that, I'm off to accomplish my massive to do list. See you later....

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Still Obsessed

It rained on Wednesday afternoon after I was done with my yard work. It was nice to have a Summer rain and it cooled things off for a bit. The backyard The backyard

Yesterday I was off work and Frank helped me in the yard. We got a late start and it was hot. I had a bit of a melt down, just wanting to quit but he convinced me to finish and I'm so glad we did. We mulched, mowed, cleaned, trimmed, planted and so on. We cleaned up the back porch and I potted my clearance plants that I found last week. It's really looking good! The backyard The backyard

The back patio is really coming together too. I finally painted the vintage metal chair. The backyard

I was obsessed with finding that specific color of spray paint, Lagoon from Rustoleum. Their website led me astray and no one seemed to have it. I finally found it at Joann and I think it was worth all the effort. I still want to paint the other metal chairs and swing, probably keeping them white and make or buy cushions for them. Why do outdoor cushions have to be so ugly and expensive? The backyard

Roberta disappeared for more than twenty four hours and I was worried but she reappeared yesterday.
The backyard

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lazy aka Smart Gardening

Working in the backyard this morning I was thinking of myself as a lazy gardener. I chose plants that will self seed, spread easily, require little care, or can be easily divided. Plants that can be set on or in the dirt and will root are particular favorites, like sedum and succulents. I am also a cheap gardener, so all of these things go hand in hand with spending very little money on the yard. Don't get me wrong, I love to buy plants, and may even go plant shopping later today, but that is rarely in our budget. Most of the plants in our backyard were transplanted from the front bed or from my parents house.

After a few hours of yard work and feeling hot and sweaty, I realized I'm not lazy at all but smart!

I have learned which plants thrive with little care and reward me despite being ignored.

Fresh transplants, that do the work so I don't have to.


The front garden is pretty self sufficient, it just needs pruning now and then to keep it under control.

I have been giving my efforts to the back yard and though it is getting quite hot and humid already there is still so much more that I want to achieve. I figure if I make it look pretty at least I can admire the view from inside once it's truly too hot to go out there. The veggie garden does not fit with my cheapo gardener mentality and that is why it gets ignored some years, this being one of them.

I thought I would give you a list of plants that I have used and which thrive in my garden and fit my criteria.

Self Seeding:
Mexican Feather Grass
Sea Oats (can seed too much)
Mexican Bird of Paradise
Creeping Plumbago
Four O'Clocks
Morning Glory

Spread Easily:
Golden Oregano

Require Little Care:
Spineless Prickly Pear
Texas Sage
Spanish Lavender
Russian Sage
Desert Willow
Mexican Oregano

Easy to Divide or Root:
Flame Acanthus
Salvia Greggii
Wandering Jew
Prickly Pear
Mexican Feather Grass
Jerusalem Sage

I'm sure I have forgotten some, but these are a few of my favorite plants for North Texas. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

In Need of Relaxation

After way too many days in a row of work I'm looking forward to a weekend off and some serious relaxation and me time! There will be some work involved. My house is in desperate need of cleaning. I will sew, or garden or knit depending on which bug bites first. But mostly I will enjoy being away from work.

One way or the other I will be spending some time out here.  The weather is nice people, like as good as we could ask for this time of year.  Highs in the upper 80s with a cool breeze. Ahhhhh

Chillin in the garden Chillin in the garden Chillin in the garden Chillin in the garden

It has been a long and tiring week at work and I over did it in the garden the other morning. My muscles have been yelling at me ever since. Once I start working in the yard it is hard for me to stop though. I have been enjoying the view of the back yard and will keep working on it. Soon it will be too hot, but I'll be able to sit in the air conditioning and appreciate all the hard work that I put into the garden this Spring.

I hope you enjoy your weekend!