Friday, May 29, 2009

The Beauty of a Garden

One Saturday, I went and helped my friend, Josie put up a garden wall in front of their house. It was getting difficult for her husband to mow that sloping part of their yard because of his bad knees.
Below is a picture of what we were working on ...
(all photos can be enlarged by clicking)

This is what it looks like after 2 days of hard work! ... but it was worth it, don't you think? It's hard to see, but Josie planted beautiful roses, dahlias, gladiolas, and I don't know what else. I'm pretty sure it will be a beautiful display of flowers once they start blooming.

If you are a frequent reader of my blog, you'll probably remember how my front yard looked "blah" in the winter. I've been debating on what to do to give it a little ommph! When I saw my friend's completed garden wall, I said, "that's it, that's what I will do with mine!" ;)
So, I took a week off from work, and my friends, Josie and Cecilia came and helped me spruce up the place. Pictured below is the before ...

... and after. There was a lot of hauling and digging. I could hardly move the next day; my whole body ached, very back- breaking work for sure, but the red blocks made a lot of difference! Sometime next year, I will strategically plant a few dwarf pines or yews, that will stay green in the winter. I think it will look nice with Christmas lights.

Remember also, when this same friend, Josie came and helped me start a new garden bed by our walkway? If you click the link, that's how it looked like then.

Anyhow, at first, we put two layers of blocks along the walkway, but I decided that it looked like too much, so we came up with just two layers in front as a garden wall, and one layer along the walkway as edging. I think it's more pleasing to the eye that way.

This is what the other side looks like. There are dahlias, zinnias, poppies, cosmos and marigolds growing in here, that is why I can't really dump some mulch yet.

The next day, Josie came back and helped me weed our peonies. I swear, sometimes, grasses and weeds grow as fast at the plants themselves.
This is before ...

... and after. I can almost feel my peonies thanking us! lol Now they can "breathe".
To save my aching back and rickety knees, I decided to use those landscape fabrics, covered with mulch to prevent weeds/grass from growing back.

It's amazing what you can do in a matter of two days. We were even able to weed, mulch and plant a few geraniums and snapdragons around some of my bushes/trees.

... like this one.

... and these. Next time, I will show you what I've accomplished for the rest of my week; a very busy and tiring but productive week off indeed! And hey, I lost 6 lbs from all these exertions by the way! ;)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Homing Pigeons

Have you heard of homing pigeons before? Probably a lot of you have. Not me though (hey, I grew up in the boondocks.) lol
Last week we celebrated Memorial Day at the facility where I work. Part of the celebration was to release 25 pigeons in the air. That was my first time to hear about pigeons having the ability to go home where they were raised. I was so amazed and flabbergasted that I had to talk to the owner. She said they started training homing pigeons at an early age. They encourage them to fly around the house or porch first at around 1 month old to give them freedom to explore their surroundings. They normally don't give them food before they do this so that the birds will go back in the house to feed. Once they are trained to go back, they will drive a few miles away from their house and release them again. They always make sure that there is food waiting for the birds at home as rewards. They keep doing this, increasing the distance gradually until the birds are fully trained to return home. Pictured below is the owner, getting ready to release the pigeons.

... off they go!

It's hard to see (white speckles in the sky) but they circled about 3 times, waiting for the rest of them before they headed home.

The owner said they get requests from weddings, birthdays, graduation parties and even funerals for their birds to "show off." ;)
Now that I think about it, birds do migrate to the south in the winter so they must have this ability and/or instinct to navigate, so now I wonder if other kinds of birds can be trained too, to come home. Hmmmm?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What'sup ...?

TODAY is Mother's Day, so greetings to all mothers, grandmamas, step-moms and everybody in between! ;)
The ladies of our church and a few friends from other churches were treated, and served a scrumptious breakfast by the men yesterday (Saturday), hosted by Bobo, the clown. Bobo was a member of the Ringling Brothers Circus, and was married to one of the Wallenda sisters; a member of the famous Wallenda flying troupe. His wife and son died in a horrible car accident. One of these days, I'll interview him and post it here. The story of his life's struggle is quite interesting and he loves sharing it.
Pictured below is Bobo, without his make up.

A busy day yesterday! Early Saturday morning our son and his Funk Uncle's band went to Blackdog recording studio, to record a CD. They've been dreaming of having a CD done for a long time, so this is like a dream come true for their group.

Saturday afternoon or early evening, was Prom Night! As soon as we got back from the recording studio, our son jumped in the bathroom and took a shower. A few minutes later, I heard a "bye mom!", and I said, "Wait, I want to take a picture!" He says, "I'm already late, mom, I was supposed to be at our meeting place by 5:30!" (it was already a little past 6 pm). Of course that won't fly by me, so he obliged by posing a few seconds with a "forced" smile on his face! ;)

... I took another shot while he was loading his stuff. Our son just got his junior driver's license this year and is not allowed to drive after 9pm yet, so his dad drove him to their meeting place and after the prom, was picked up by the mother of his friend where he stayed the night along with other boys. I should have went with them when he was dropped off to take more photos with his date and friends, but I was in the middle of something.

This was prom night last year, that's our son in a purple tux and his date in a purple gown.

...nice couple if I may say so myself! ;)

Prom nights bring good memories for me too. I particularly remember selecting the most popular songs to be played for the occasion; stamping our feet dancing to the music, "Knock Three Times", that was our "rock 'n roll" then ... and slow dancing with my high school crush, to the song, "Honey" lol ... boy, I'm really showing my age! ;) Over time, proms are surely a-changin' ... we didn't have formal dinner at a restaurant before nor after the prom; we didn't have limos either. Although our proms were not as elaborate and expensive as nowadays, they were still good memories just the same. How were your promenades?