Monday, July 30, 2012

A Tiny Treasure Found

I found this tiny nest on the ground under one of our trees this morning. It's a tiny thing, only three inches in diameter,and the center measures just two inches across.

This spring I found one of the dog's toys in the yard. It was made with several colorful strings knotted together. When I found it all raveled and torn, I almost threw it in the trash. Then I rememberd a blog post I saw a few years ago where someone put out little bits of lint and strings around the yard for the birds to use in their nests. I'm so glad this little mother bird chose to use them. It also looks like she made use of the old shredded plastic weed barrier that's left in the garden.

How curious is the nest no other bird
Uses such loose materials, or weaves
Their dwellings in such spots - dead oaken leaves
Are placed without & velvet moss within
& little scraps of grass - & scant & spare
Of what seems scarce materials down & hair
For from mans haunts she seemeth nought to win
Yet nature is the builder & contrives
Homes for her children’s comfort even here
~John Clare

I dont' know much about birds so if anyone can tell me what kind of bird would make a nest so small, I'd love to know.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Survival of the Fittest

Ah Kansas, where the wind never stops blowing, or so it seems. We've had nearly two months of tripple digit temps with only a handful of mild days. And rain...well we did get a few drops here and there.

We have not been watering our flowers because of a city water shortage, but we have been watering our trees simply because we have more invested in them. Sixteen years of coaxing, watering, trimming these trees and now we are finally seeing some results.

So what can survive weeks and weeks without water? Well let's first take a look at what DIDN'T survive:

Our lawn--brown and crunchy.

I found this little nest under a pine tree. The heat wasn't the cause of it's demise but the never-ending wind was.

Believe it or not, even these weeds did not survive. But they do like to attack me with little stickers when I walk by. That's my compost bin in the metal trash can and it's doing quite nicely. It has that rich earthy odor and I can't wait to use it this fall.

One of our beautiful maples. In autumn this tree had the most gorgeous orange color.

And it's twin also bit the dust. I'm pretty bummed about this. They took so long to get this big.

And the jury is out on whether these next few will survive. Crossing my fingers on this River Birch. It has a few green leaves and we continue to water it, but it really looks bad.

Shasta Dasies that barely flowered, and are now wilted. I hope they come back next year because I love these little guys!

Stella de Oro lilies with no flowers at all. I'm hoping these come back too.

Our sweet little Ginko tree. I love how her curvy leaves flutter in the wind. She's a slow grower and I'd hate to see her go. This is her good side. I'm sure she would want it that way.

And just what you've been waiting for, with baited breath, I'm sure: What can survive in weeks of tripple digit temps with no water?

These little flowers came up from seed with no coaxing or watering at all. They're a bit of brightness in anotherwise sad garden.

Out of four mums this one is the only one that survived. It's flowers are very small, and there's only a few

I'm sure you're not surprised that these weeds are green and growing. But you might be surprised that we haven't done anything about them.

Most every farmer that planted corn lost their crop due to the heat and lack of rain. But across the road from our home is a nice green field of soybeans. Go Beans!

A transplant from another field--not sure what it is.

Another transplant which looks a bit like milo. It's getting cozy with the brown weeds.

Miss Maggie has survived, but just barely. And we do give her water and shade.

Sedum purpureum, or Live Forever as my mom used to call it. Aptly named, wouldn't you say?

We have 25 living trees plus a row of pine trees in the back. It takes all day running two hoses at a trickle to water all of them. We never water our lawn because we think it's a waste of water, and we have three acres which is impossible to keep watered anyway. We have let Mother Nature take it's course for 16 years, but we will be burning it this fall and re-seeding--hopefully.

So what is or isn't surviving in your yard?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pretty Patterns plus an Earring Card Idea

We use a lot of tissues in our house with allergies and sinus problems. Normally the tissue boxes are quite boring so we hide them in the ready-made boxes. But lately I've noticed the boxes are much nicer with pretty patterns and colors. I think I will be using these to make cute earring cards suggested in a recent blog post at Rings N Things. Check out the post by clicking this link.

Are you having trouble with putting colors together in your jewlery? Search your house for unexpected colors and patterns. I found some great ones in my kitchen towels, dishes, my daughter's summer dresses, purses, and even my shower cap.

You might even be inspired by the colors and patterns of your bed sheets or sofa pillows, or even store-bought thank you notes.

Still not inspired? Check out Design Seeds for some amazing color palettes.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Color Run Kansas City

Several weeks ago our two daughters, our niece, and some friends participated in the Color Run in Kansas City. This charity event was at the Truman Sports Complex in KC, Missouri, home to The Kansas City Chiefs, and the Kansas City Royals. There were 15,000 runners that day, and another 15,000 the previous day. The money went to the Ronald McDonald House-a very worthy cause.

Since there were so many runners, they were separated into large groups. Most of the runners walked or jogged. At four points in the race the runners were squirted with powdered paint. Of course our daughter's group wasn't satisfied with the amount of color the received, so they rolled in it.

As each group finished the race they celebrated by releasing more paint from little pouches they were given at the start. My husband and I were standing at the top of the hill and it was quite a sight to see.

Random People

Getting 'Colored'

More Random People

Oops, looks like he lost his fake mustache!

Our daughters; Erin with the yellow feather, and Sarah to the left, along with the rest of the team. I think they were smiling the entire race.

The Celebration

In The Thick Of It

After The Run: Random People

These next two are our daughter's group

Our girls after the run

Between my husband and I we took hundreds of fabulous photos. I wish I could show all of them!

Be sure the check The Color Run website to see if there will be one near you!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Attention Giveaway Alert

Kristi Bowman is hosting a giveaway to celebrate the arrival of her sweet Moo stickers. Check out her blog for several chances to enter!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Simple Truths Celebration Blog Hop

I was so excited when Erin started her Simple Truths Sampler Club and I was able to snag six wonderful charms as a result. Every month was like Christmas with a package arriving in the mail. Tucked inside was one a little piece of art lovingly made by Erin. And making it even more fun was that we never knew what it was going to be until we opened the package.

I have a confession, one that you can probably relate to; I'm a hoarder. I've held on to these lovely charms until now. I have Erin to thank for giving me a kick in the pants to use these. They are just too beautiful to be stuck in a plastic tackle box! The photo below are the four I didn't use.

For a long while now, I've been making asymmetrical pieces, but these Simple Truths charms just deserved their own spotlight, and I didn't want to make elaborate designs for fear of the charms being swallowed up. I have to say it kind of felt good to make symmetrical designs. So here are the two pieces I made.

When I was young I looked forward to summer. Since we lived outside of town we didn't go to the pool or library often. Instead we spent our summers riding our old pony, slopping the hogs, watching the ducks and geese swim in the pond, taking walks 'up north' in our pasture, and wading in the creek. To us, summer was carefree--well except for sweeping up duck and geese droppings from the sidewalk and pumping water from the cistern, lugging bucketfulls to the trees.

This necklace is very simple and sweet, just like the summers of my youth. Liquid Silver and mix of Swarovski Crystals called 'Heartthrob' from Fusion Beads is all it needs.

'Carefree Summer'

Erin's sweet bicycle charm. On the back it reads 'I have no time to be in a hurry'

Erin made the sweetest dandelion charm reminding us to set our wishes free so they can be made known to the universe. This necklace includes wasabi czech nugget beads, tiny turqouise jasper beads, pineapple jasper beads, and Vintaj components.

'Dandelion Wishes'

Erin's 'Make a Wish' Simple Truths Charm

A Big Thank you to Erin for hosting this blog hop. Please be sure to visit Erin's blog where she will be giving away a Simple Truths subscription to one lucky commenter who has never owned a Simple Truths charm. Also, check out the links below to see what the other participants made.

Erin Prais-Hintz
Sharon Misuraco
Tanya Goodwin
Alice Peterson You're Here!
Melissa Trudinger
Lori Bowring Michaud
Rebecca Anderson
Chris White
Cherrie Fick
Rosanne Garvison
Shelley Turner
Marlene Cupo
Mary Harding
Lola Surwillo
Michelle Burnett
Kirsi Luostarinen
Paige Maxim
Kristen Fagan
Cynthia Riggs