Another week has flown by! And, July 25th reminded me that we're only five months away from Christmas day!
This week has found me digging in the dirt every night until it's too dark to see where to place the shovel. The weather has been cool and perfect for getting new plants in the ground. I finally finished planting all the new plants and Andy helped me move seven boxwoods. I planted Roxanne Geraniums, Blue Hill Salvias, Cheyenne Spirit Coneflowers, Rudbeckia, Pyrimidal Boxwoods, Autumn Sedum, Wine & Roses Weigela, and Hydrangea. I moved boxwoods, Sweetspire, and Mexican Heather. Also, planted a number of coneflowers and daisies back in front of and beyond the air conditioning unit you see in the picture above. I can't wait to put the mulch down. That always adds such a finished look.I still have a number of plants to transplant from the garden where the birdfeeders are to the new area. I'm making a "cutting garden" towards the back on the side of the house. Lots of coneflowers and daisies. I love cut flowers to bring in the house.
As you can see, we still have a lot of work to do on the house. Andy is going to rent a lift to get up to the high places on the house so he can finish painting. Then, there is work to be done on the porch. We took down all the railings - they were rotten and the former owners' dogs had chewed a lot of them. Next, the posts need to be replaced because they are rotten, also. We're going to box them in and make them wider.
I was headed toward the Farmers Market today to set up and the sky looked ominous so I turned around and headed back home. I wish I had gone ahead. The weatherman predicted severe weather all afternoon and we only got a sprinkle. Oh well. I plan to be there next Sunday.
I got some porch-sitting time in with Buster. Someone mentioned that this photo looks like I photobombed his selfie! I guess it does! I don't think he minded, though, as long as I continued to scratch/rub/pet him!
I finally got back in the soap pot yesterday and readied seven batches of soap that will make approximately 20 pounds of soap. By readied, I mean I measured out all the lye for each batch, added my sodium lactate, measured out all the hard oils, and labeled all my recipes and containers as to what is what. There is zero room for error when making soap.
I made three batches yesterday - left to right - White Ginger & Amber, Lilac Blossoms, and Confetti. I've cut all but one log of the Confetti. I'm want to let it air-dry another day.
I love nothing better than planning / designing each soap. My basic recipe is designed to produce a hard bar that is conditioning with creamy and bubbly lather. To that basic recipe, I add any number of things - seeds, herbs, flower petals, spices, clays, oatmeal, vegetables, fruits, milks, beer, colors, glitters, fragrances, etc. I can adjust my recipe and/or additives any way I want. It's very satisfying knowing what a hand I have in each bar that comes out of the mold.
The vegetable garden has been doing well. Lots of squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. The tomatoes are finally ripening. I've even harvested the first four beets and roasted them. YUMMY!
I mentioned above how I love cutting flowers to bring inside. Here's some cut today. So pretty! I can't imagine a life without flowers. They add so much beauty. I have my mother and her green thumb to thank for that. And, I guess she has her mother to thank. Nena could grow anything! I remember her cross-pollinating African Violets.
This year, I planted a lot of petunias in the pots on the back porch. They've been beautiful! Great for the full sun and heat from the patio. I also planted an orange Canna in a pot and it has been gorgeous. I want to plant more next year. It's hard finding something that will tolerate a summer of full hot sun on a white patio.
I want to show you my sunflowers that the birds have planted for me. That will be another post. They're wondrous flowers!
Hope you have a great week! I'm off to work on a knitting project!
Time is flying by! I can hardly believe that August is just around the corner.
Last weekend was a very busy one. So many things to do here in Southwest Ohio! You have to weed through all the options each weekend to decide what you're going to participate in.
Friday, July 11th, was the opening of The Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon Festival in Middletown, Ohio. Mom, Daddy, Andy, and I went and had a great time! The weather was perfect! A little too warm but that improved as the night went on. There was little to no wind which was perfect for the balloons. There were lots of vendors selling crafts and food. The Wounded Warror skydiving team performed throughout the evening. The lead skydiver was a double amputee having lost both lower legs in battle. You can see his prosthetics in my picture. They were amazing and even skydived through the pitch black sky with pyrotechnics on their feet.
We stayed until the end. Didn't want to miss the balloon glow. I'm so glad we did! It was gorgeous! Andy and I went a couple of years ago and it was too windy - they couldn't let many of the balloons inflate. But not this time! The weather cooperated and there were fifteen ballons that participated in the glow.
The Ohio Challenge is really a contest and the balloons and their pilots compete in different challenges all weekend. They come from all over to join in. Entries this year included balloons from Ohio, Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Kenucky, South Carolina, and New Mexico. The hummingbird balloon you see in the pictures was made in New Zealand and is from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Here's a picture of Mom and Daddy with the balloon glow as a backdrop. Love this!
Saturday, Mom and I traveled down to Cincinnati to the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. We wanted to see the Princess Diana exhibit before it closed and headed back to England. We also saw the IMAX movie about the lemurs of Madagascar. Both were absolutely wonderful!
The Princess Diana exhibit, "Diana, A Celebration" started with her childhood and followed her until her death. The exhibit featured childhood movies, lots of pictures, diaries, memorabilia, family heirlooms, etc. The famous wedding dress with the twenty-five foot train was there in a glass case, as well as, the dress of one of her flowergirls. The exhibit also had a dress gallery that included about twenty-eight of her extraodinary designer dresses and many photos of her wearing them. There were volumes of condolences sent from all over the world at her death.
It was a wonderful tribute to a beautiful person who left this world way too soon. I remember watching the royal wedding and was also watching TV in the wee hours of the morning when they interrupted programming with footage of the accident that led to her death. I was stunned.
Here we are with Princess Diana taking a selfie - or would that be an usie? Here's a picture of Mom in front of the museum. I hear it's on the endangered list and is in need of renovations. It would be awful to lose this wonderful place! Hopefully, that won't happen.
The weather has been cool this week - in the 70's and low 80's. Perfect for getting all the new plants in the ground in the front and side of the house. I've planted 4 pyrimidal boxwoods, 3 hydrangeas, 9 coneflowers, 6 salvia, 5 weigelia, 3 Roxanne Geraniums, 5 Rubeckia. I still have 11 boxwoods and three coneflowers to move and more (6) Roxanne Geraniums and (5 or 6) Autumn Sedum to plant. It rained overnight and this morning so is too wet to finish today. I'll be glad when it's done and I can sit back and enjoy looking at it all!
The vegetable garden is doing well and has produced lots of zuchini, squash, and cucumbers. The beets and tomatoes are beginning to come in, too. I can't wait for the tomatoes!!!!!!
Tomorrow is another Farmer's Market in Waynesville, Ohio. I'll have lots of new soaps! Here is one of the new beer soaps - Apple Rose made with Redd's Apple Ale. Smells SO good! Come see me at the market from 1:00 - 4:00 PM.
In closing the last post, I promised you that the next one would feature soap and knitting projects. Then, this came to town - a piece of my heart. Or, to be more exact - four pieces of my heart.
It's so hard to believe that Taylor is all grown up. In fact, he just celebrated one of those special decade birthdays. When I look at him, I have flashbacks. Taylor and his brother entering the terminal in Philadelphia when we picked them up from their flight from South Korea. Our new sons! Taylor in Tiger Cubs, kindergarten, on the soccer field, dressed up for proms, etc. And, flashbacks of the mischief. Yes, there was a lot of mischief with Taylor. He was always so funny and charismatic. Now, he imparts these traits as a father and it's a joy to watch. He and Rachael parent with love and humor and their children will be the better for it.
Landen is now three years old and Raleigh will turn one later this month. They are adorable but then I'm pretty biased.
They arrived last Sunday and we've had a spectacular time! There is absolutely tons of stuff to do here. Mom and Daddy (Holmonee and Halrabojee - Korean for grandmother and grandfather) are nearby and that's a wonderful plus. Before moving to Ohio, they'd never spent more than a few hours at a time with the grandchildren so having them here has been great. This week, we've enjoyed swimming in their pool and including them in dinners and outings to the Splashground. Yesterday was cool and cloudy so a visit to the Caesar Creek Visitor Center and playground was the perfect choice.
There has been fishing in the pond, driving in the Arctic Cat (battery car), reading stories, chasing cats, checking the birdhouses, going to see the next door neighbor's chickens, coming nose-to-nose with and petting a horse, feeding the fish, digging out Daddy's toys from the basement (Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles), etc. So many great memories made this year and lots and lots of pictures.
It is so special having them here - under our roof - for a wonderful weeklong visit. It's different - having them here vs. going to visit them. It's so much more special. No going back to the hotel at night. So much more interaction. We really appreciate the effort they make to come and see us.
I was fortunate to grow up with all four of my grandparents within close proximity. I have the best memories of overnights and frequent visits. I hope that Landen and Raleigh will have the same blessed memories.
Today is July 4th and the weather is delightful. Sunny and a little cool. My Mom and Daddy will be coming over later for a holiday dinner. A boat ride on the lake this morning and much playing are on the agenda for today.
Special special times with this precious family - a BIG HUGE piece of my heart.