For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows grace and favor and glory - honor, splendor and heavenly bliss! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Psalms 84:11

Friday, May 29, 2009

Aloha Friday! Me & Amelia

From An Island Life:

In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

If you'd like to participate with your own question on your own blog, head on over to An Island Life to link up and join the fun!

I've seen lots of blogs/forums/what-have-you who ask the question, "If someone were to play you in a movie, who would it be?" I never really know how to answer that question. The closest I can usually come up with is Sandra Bullock because she's a brunette and she does klutzy very well.

Who I really think I tend to emulate most of time is Amelia. Not Amelia Earhart. She's way to brave and heroic. Oh no. I think of THIS Amelia!

That's right folks, Amelia Bedelia. For those of you who didn't grow up on her books, she's the not-so-clever maid who takes everything too literally and ends up getting herself into a lot of trouble. Her boss asks her to make a sponge cake? She uses actual sponges. Her boss asks her to dust the living room? She finds the makeup "dusting powder" and spreads it all over the place. Apparently my mom read me too many of her books as a child because obviously I've taken it to heart.

Case in point? Last night I was cleaning my broiler pan. I took it outside because I decided to use Easy-Off to get off the charred bits. And since I was out there I thought, "Oh yeah, Hubs said the grill needed to be cleaned! Wouldn't it be nice of me if I just went ahead and did it for him?" That sentence alone is probably enough to make my 2 male readers groan. Because apparently touching a man's grill is TABOO! I had just crossed over into Male Territory without even thinking about it. So I started taking the various grill pieces out of the grill and arranging them on our concrete patio thinking that I would spray on the Easy-Off, let it sit for a while, and then come back to scrub them up and rinse them off with the hose.

While the pieces were sitting out soaking in chemicals, Hubs wakes up. I'm all proud and excited, waiting for him to discover the nice thing that I'm doing for him.

He notices, does a double take, and says, "You did, what?!"

"I'm cleaning the grill for you, honey!"

"You're going to stain the patio! Not to mention the fact that you know nothing about my grill!"

"Oops... I'm sorry, I thought I was being helpful."

"Well, it's not helpful. The grill and the garage are mine. I'd appreciate it if you left them alone."

"Alright... ... I'm sorry."

"Hey, when does Sims 3 come out again? I'm thinking you need a new game or something (so that you will stop trying to be helpful and leave my stuff alone!)."

So yes, our patio is stained. And one of our dogs ate all the charred bits and threw up black stuff upstairs this morning.

No, Amy is not short for Amelia, but sometimes I'm thinking it should be. lol

My Aloha Friday question today (HA! You thought I forgot didn't you?!) is, Have you ever had an Amelia Bedelia moment? And if so, what was it??

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Things I Love Thursday: Ecco Yucatan Sandals

I haven't participated in Things I Love Thursday in a while, but today I have something that I just HAD to share! And for the record, this company doesn't even know I exist, and certainly hasn't given me any free samples or anything to giveaway. But they are seriously SO awesome that I would sing their praises till the end of time for no reimbursement whatsoever.

Today I'm gonna share with you my new kicks that I bought a couple months ago.

They are the Ecco Yucatan Sandal!

They are by far the most comfortable sandal I've ever owned. I wear them shopping, I wear them out in my yard, I wear them to walk the girls down the street, and although I haven't had the opportunity I'd certainly wear them all day long to a theme park or to take a 5 mile hike. Yes, they are THAT comfortable!!

They come in a wide variety of colors, but I'm boring, so mine are brown. But I LOVE brown because it goes with everything.

Here's what mine look like (after all-day, daily use for 2 months). WARNING: Mine are dirty and need a bath of some sort. I'm just not sure how to clean them without ruining them (because I CANNOT ruin these wonderful sandals! I'm not sure how I'd function without them anymore).

Only downside of these sandals? Because I do wear them every day, and I'm spending as much time outside in this beautiful weather as possible, I've developed quite an interesting tan line!

Yup, I now look like a total dork when I take them off. Which is why I must keep them on at all times! lol I've gotten lots of great compliments on my lovely bare feet. Hee hee!

But honestly, I'm beyond the age of caring about such things. I also have a lovely farmer's tan, but I'm ok with it. Because I'm a farmer. lol

Now I will say that these are also the most expensive sandals I've ever purchased. They chime in around $120. Ouch! But I only buy sandals about once every 5 years (I purchased my last pair 7 years ago for my honeymoon!), so to me they're an investment. And given their high quality I'm certain that they'll last me for at least 5 years if not more. Plus I'll have the added bonus of no blisters or raw spots on my feet due to less comfortable sandals that don't fit me nearly as well.

And if any PR person from Ecco happens to stop by, please say hello! Me and my feet would LOVE to thank you for saving us from another summer in less comfortable footwear!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Way Back When-endsday! Grandpa & Great-Grandma

When: July 2007
Who: The girls with my dad & his mom

My dad LOVES babies! He seriously can't get enough of them. He's always the first one to notice the cute baby at the grocery store, and that weird guy who comes up to people to oogle at their newborn. So needless to say he was OVER THE MOON when he found out I was pregnant with twins. And he very much loves being a grandpa!

My grandma also had fraternal twin girls! (And oh yeah, at the time she had 3 young boys as well, all under the age of 5... I seriously don't know how she did it! She's an amazing role model for me!) So when she was scheduled for a trip down to California to visit her sister 6 weeks before my due date she made me promise, "Don't have those babies while I'm gone!!" Sorry Grandma! They were of course born the day after she left. She was gone for 3 weeks, so she wasn't able to meet the girls until she came back. And that's when these pictures were taken. Now every time I take the girls to see her at her assisted living home (she's gonna be 93 in August and is still up and around and sharp as a tack) she is VERY proud to introduce us to everyone, "This is my granddaughter Amy. She has twin girls, just like me!"

I'm the only one out of ALL my cousins (and in a large family, there are a ton of us) who has had twins. They all think it's super hilarious. I think they're just jealous. :P

For more Way Back fun visit Cheryl over at Twinfatuation!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Twins: In their native habitat


We must be vewy vewy quiet...

The twins in their native habitat are easily disturbed. The docile... oh who am I kidding?... sometimes aggressive beasts... will pounce at the slightest provocation. Great care must be taken to avoid such a catastrophe.

And there they sit! You would never know by looking, but these are truly savage beasts.

Alas!!! We have been spotted! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!

Oh the fangs!!! Guard your vital organs!!! (No seriously, you might wanna do that!)

Absolutely vicious I tell you!!!

We may never live to tell the tale!

Look, the pink one is using some sort of sideways maneuver! If we live we should report this new behavior to the authorities.

And look at the purple one! I've never seen such shaggy mane! She must truly be a rarity.

Whew! Well it looks like we might live to see another day... They spared us this time, but will they be so kind tomorrow??

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mystery Spice Monday: Vanilla Bean Pancakes

Ok, I realize at this point that it's practically Tuesday, but I couldn't give up and leave ya hangin'! Hubs woke up, informed me that I needed to do something ridiculously easy to make my computer recognize my media card... so here I am! Stylishly late! (or not...)

It really is worth it being late to the party sometimes. Because late comers get to have Vanilla Bean Pancakes for breakfast tomorrow!

If you remember long ago in my tour around my spice cabinet, that I have these marvelous vanilla beans that Hubs bought for me at Costco. He got them back in, oh I'm thinkin' October? And of course I failed to use them in any of my holiday baking. So in my cabinet they sat...until last night!

For some reason they just screamed pancakes to me. What can I say, I have a sinus infection and a craving for comfort foods.

I took the easy route and went with some Bisquick, you can use whatever kind of pancake mix you like or you can get all fancy with flours and shortenings and stuff. But in my opinion, why bother?

Two cups of Bisquick, 2 Tbsp of sugar, 2 tsp baking powder.

1 cup of milk, 2 eggs. Stir. It really can't get much easier than this.

Now if you don't have vanilla beans screaming at you to be used you could always just add some vanilla extract. It wouldn't be super special, but it'd still be good.

If you do have beans screaming to be used, then here's how. Take your bean...

Cut it lengthwise to split it in half. And the scrape the seeds out with the edge of your knife blade. Add the seeds to your pancake batter.

And oh heavenly stars... just looking at this makes my mouth water... just the batter!

Scoop 1/4 cup of the batter onto a hot griddle.

When you start to see bubbles it's time to flip!

The second side will only take a couple minutes, and then you're done! Pile them on a plate and cover with foil until they're all done.

And if you're like Hubs you'll smother them with butter and blueberry syrup.

If you're like me you'll use significantly less butter and maple syrup.

Hubs didn't notice the vanilla bean flavor, but I think it was due to his syrup choice. I thought it tasted magnificent!

Breakfast for dinner! Or for breakfast. :)

Vanilla Bean Pancakes
Adapted from the back of the Bisquick box

2 cups of Bisquick
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 vanilla bean

Combine Bisquick, sugar, baking powder. Add milk and eggs. Cut vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out seeds with the edge of your knife. Add seeds to the batter. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto hot griddle. Cook until edges are dry and bubbles begin to form. Flip. Cook until golden.

If you have a Mystery Spice recipe, I apologize for the delay! Here's Mr. Linky. He's always stylish when late. :)

Mystery Spice Monday: Sorry for the Delay!

Apparently my computer has decided to not recognize the media card which has all of my recipe pictures on it. :((( Which SUCKS because I made something super fun to share with you!

So it looks like I'm going to have to wait until Hubs wakes up to help me with that...


In the meantime, if you have your own Mystery Spice Recipe to share please leave a link in the comments! I'd love to read it! And I'll be sure to post up my recipe and a Mr. Linky later this afternoon.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My Grandmas Of New England Coffee Cake !

My Grandmas Of New England Coffee Cake !

Seriously, you must check out this giveaway! Apparently it is "the world's most critically acclaimed coffee cake". I'm pretty sure that a company who makes that claim must have a pretty darn good product!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Aloha Friday! Clothing Optional

From An Island Life:

In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

If you'd like to participate with your own question on your own blog, head on over to An Island Life to link up and join the fun!

We're now on day 7 of Ziva's pants strike (ie. she has refused to wear pants for 7 days). Yesterday she escalated to also refusing to wear a shirt. So yes, Ziva is a diaper only girl at the moment. We're referring to her as our resident streaker. We're using duct tape to keep her diaper on, otherwise that would be gone too. Summer is nearly here, so I'm not that worried about her getting cold or anything. But I am wondering how long I can expect this phase to last? Any parents out there with little streakers of their own, please chime in! :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Family Update

Also known as a bunch of random stuff that wouldn't be enough on it's own for a post. :P

The most predominant feature of this past week is that we're all sick with colds. I'm certain Hubs brought it home from one of his Dr. appointments for his shoulder, I've since lectured him on the importance of hand washing. We're actually going on week 2 with this stupid cold that never seems to diminish. For the first few days I pretty much camped out on the couch with the girls and soaked in as much Backyardigans and Sesame Street and The Wiggles as we possibly could. I let the house go to crap. Let the dust bunnies collect en mass. Let Hubs run out for fast food or let him warm up meals from our freezer (for some odd reason he didn't seem to get as sick as the rest of us). Let the weeds grow like gang busters all over my yard. But day before yesterday I just couldn't take it anymore. I pulled myself up off the couch, threw dinner in the crock pot, and bustled around picking up used kleenex and vacuumed my dog hair ridden floors. It was disgusting. And I feel a lot better now that I'm not grossed out every time I look down. I just wish my head would catch on and drain or something so that I could actually breathe through my left nostril.

Hubs' shoulder actually seems to show some improvement, Praise GOD! After 2 months of practically no noticeable difference it seems miraculous that he's actually able to help out a little around the house and wean himself off pain meds. Our chiropractor is a miracle worker, that's all I have to say. And Hubs is finally a believer in her. Having never been to a chiropractor in his life he was reluctant to give it a try, and his primary care Dr. just gave him pain meds and said come back in 2 weeks. FINALLY after WEEKS of NOTHING CHANGING his Dr. referred him to Minga my chiropractor. And whaddaya know? After 2 weeks of seeing her 3 times a week he's nearly all better. My guess is that he'll still need to see her for continued treatments for a while, but the good news is... he's going back to work on Tuesday!!! He still has a scheduled appointment with a neurologist to test for nerve damage (which everyone suspects he has) next week so we'll see how that goes.

My Dad is doing great! For those of you who missed my posts about him 2 weeks ago he recently had surgery to remove his prostate. They say 3/4 of men end up with some form of prostate cancer at some point in their lives, and my dad had stage 3 prostate cancer. Last week they got the test results back on his biopsy and it confirmed that they removed all the cancer, so he should be in the clear now. He's recovering really well! He's taking lots of walks with my mom up and down their street and even getting out with her to run some errands. He says he's still having some pain at his incision sites (they make 3 small incisions for the robotic surgery) but that he's feeling better each day.

Dispite their colds the girls are doing all kinds of new and interesting things. Ziva has now on day 5 of her pants strike. Yup, she's refused to wear pants of any kind for 5 days. On day 1 we quickly realized that she would need some duct tape to keep her diaper on, otherwise that would have been a problem. She's showing all kinds of signs of potty training readiness but with us all with colds I'm just not ready to give it a try. In fact, before her pants strike there was one day when after her nap she woke up, took off her pants AND her diaper, pooped, and then proceeded to smear it all over her crib and herself. Yeah, we have some great pictures to prove it but my guess is that none of you want to see a poop covered baby. We all think that she obviously knew she was going to poop before she undressed because her diaper was absolutely clean. So duct tape has become a necessity around here.

Anya has started blowing kisses a lot more recently. She starts from the moment I pick her up in the morning. It's super cute! We also rearranged our living room a couple weeks ago (before we all got sick) and the girls are really enjoying running around the loveseat and playing peek-a-boo with us around each side. They squeal and laugh and throw their arms in the air and say "Yaaaaaay!!!" Super fun times! They've also really started dancing a lot more often. Pretty much anytime a song comes on the TV (even if it's a commercial) they'll get down and boogie!

We haven't met with Julie (their Early Intervention teacher) for the past 2 weeks due to illness. And of course Julie is on vacation next week, so we won't see her again until the first week of June. So that's kind of a bummer. We all really like Julie and look forward to her visits.

So that's about it! I have one more funny story but I think I'll save that till tomorrow. :P

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Way Back When-endsday: Double Feedings

Approximate age: 4 months
Where: At our house on Hubs' lap

I thought this was a fun picture to share because it shows how Hubs often fed the girls. He'd set them both across his lap, and then bottle feed them with one hand.

This picture makes me VERY thankful that we're all done with those baby days! I'm definitely preferring toddler-hood!

For more Way Back fun visit Cheryl over at Twinfatuation!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mystery Spice Monday! Tatter Tot Casserole

I know, not my usual pick for a Monday is it? Well since all of us have terrible colds this week I pretty much decided to cook as little as possible and take lots of naps instead. And one super easy meal which I had all the ingredients for was Tatter Tot Casserole. Hubs hates it. It reminds him of all the thrown together box dinners of his youth. Me? I kinda like it! It reminds me of all the thrown together box dinners of MY youth! Funny how perspective alters your taste buds.

In any case, Hubs refers to this meal as s#%@ on a shingle. Which I think is kinda funny because to me that phrase usually refers to biskets and gravy. But to him, anything with a cream of _________ soup base is s#$% on a shingle. I think he just likes to say s#$% in the context of food when it's towards something he doesn't like.

The good news is that because he doesn't like it this dish doesn't disappear as quickly as some of the others I make which means it can be used as leftovers for several days in a row if necessary for me and the girls. This my friends, is an EXCELLENT thing to make when we're all sick. Perfect in fact! Because it means I don't cook for 3 days. Hubs probably doesn't think so, but he's generally ok with eating doritos and top ramen for 3 days.

Notice, there is really no mystery spice here. Sorry about that. I'll have something better next week, I promise!

Tatter Tot Casserole
Adapted from The Duggar Family Website

1 lbs. ground turkey or beef, browned & drained
1 bag of frozen tatter tots
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can evaporated milk

Brown meat (or if you're like me you'll have stashes of this in your freezer already cooked), drain, and place in a 9x13 casserole dish. Place frozen tatter tots on top of the meat. In a bowl mix soups and milk. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper to the sauce. Pour the sauce over the tots and the meat covering thoroughly. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

Have a Mystery Spice Recipe that you'd like to share? Link up!

Linked to:
Sunday Swap

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Morning Elephant

I've sort of started a pattern of not posting on the weekends. I'm kinda liking it. Two days a week when I can unplug myself, or at least spend my plugged in time not thinking about "what am I going to write about today?". It's good, I like it. So I think I'll stick with it.

But every once in a while I come across something fun worth sharing, and I'll do that no matter what day of the week it is.

Today, it's Samudra. Don't know who Samudra is?? She's the cute little baby elephant down at the Oregon Zoo! I haven't actually seen her in person yet, but I'm hoping to at some point this summer. Apparently we were actually AT the zoo when she was born last year, but for obvious reasons they don't allow visitors to see brand spanking new baby elephants.

So here ya go, Samudra. Keep on watching, the best parts are towards the end.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Substitute Teacher

Today I shared an old post over at Little Bites of Heaven. You can click over there if you're interested. :) Rachael is a fabulous mom of a singleton + triplets, and I LOVE her blog so I'm very honored that she allowed me to share something of mine over on her blog. :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Aloha Friday! Sick Days

From An Island Life:

In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

If you'd like to participate with your own question on your own blog, head on over to An Island Life to link up and join the fun!

We're all sick at the moment with colds so I thought a good 2 part question for today would be What is your most HATED cold symptom? And what is your most trusted cold remedy?

Me? I hate it that when I have sinus pressure my brain turns into mashed potatoes and I can barely form a coherent thought. Remembering that the milk goes into the refrigerator and not the freezer becomes very challenging. My go-to cold remedy is Robitussin. I hate it, I think it tastes nasty, but it seems to do the job for me so I take it anyway.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

How Does My Garden Grow? Part II

So I showed you my veggie/herb garden on Tuesday, and now it's time for the rest of my yard. In some respects, the rest of the yard is even more exciting for me! Why? Well the story of our yard in a nutshell is that we built our house back in 2005, and in 2006 we had the basic landscaping done by professionals. Really, this was the only way it was going to happen for us. We needed someone to come in with big machines to do the basic grading and we needed a retaining wall to be built. And let's not forget, where I live used to actually be IN the Columbia River thousands of years ago or something, so you basically only have to dig a few inches into the ground before you hit gigantic boulders that easily weigh 50-500 lbs. apiece. When we built our house they created this HUGE mound of boulders on the one side of our property just to dig the foundation. And then when they did the landscaping they found more. All in all they took away 4 dump truck loads full of boulders, and yes, the rocks you see in the following pictures all came from our yard. And that was after I put an ad on craigslist advertising FREE boulders to anyone who wanted to come and get them. I think five people showed up, and only 3 of them actually took anything away because once people saw them they realized they were completely unequipped to haul them off.

Once the big work was done, and our financial resources were spent, we didn't have anything left to buy plants (except for a few really cool trees that our landscaper found for us). And then Hub's dad passed away, and we learned we were expecting a slush fund but that we couldn't expect to receive it any time soon due to his dad never writing a will. (Word to the wise, have a will.) So although we knew money was coming, we didn't know when. So no plants.

Then 5 months after all that occurred, we found out we were expecting twins. And I was pretty sick and unable to take care of plants anyway. They were born in June, 2007. And my life has been a whirlwind of diapers and boo boos ever since.

So finally this year I proclaimed THIS IS THE YEAR!! I WILL HAVE PLANTS!!! Because let's face it, after 3 years of having such beautiful beds and the "bones" of my yard sitting right in front of me and being able to do absolutely nothing about it I had developed ideas. LOTS of ideas! And they are just CRYING to get out into reality!

Everything that I am about to show you is a work in progress. Some of these beds are still BARE, and might be for a while. I only have so much time and energy to do things between nap and bedtime.

So this is my perennial bed. It is located directly outside my living room window in the back yard. Hubs has given me "free reign" for this area, which means I do whatever I want here. So far I have a selection of native and non-native plants that should come back each year. I tried to get things that would bloom at different times of the year, so some things don't look like much now but they will be later on.

(As always, click to enlarge if you wish.)

And here are some close ups of things that are currently blooming in that bed.

Not sure what this is, but it's cute and sweet.

Below are coral bells.


If I'm remembering right this is salvia.

This is facing the garden area and the back fence. That perennial bed is behind me when I took this. And those are my brand new lovely lovely coral bark maple trees! I love them SO much already and they're not even in the ground yet. Oh, and there's Rocky too. Turd wouldn't get outta the picture!

I LOVE the red bark on these trees, which means there will be color out there ALL year long! If you live in the PDX area and would like to also get the very best price in town on these trees and more then you should call Dick Alm of Alm Nursery. He'll hook you up. 503-618-0383. CALL HIM TODAY! He's a wholesale nursery grower and right now he's open to the general public but he generally only sells to landscapers and retail. If you need some trees, get over there before the end of this month or it'll be too late.

Moving on, here's a little part of the yard where I actually have plants. Three red hot pokers and some succulents. The pokers got wind whipped last week and haven't looked happy since. But I have hopes that they'll perk up.

Hopefully this will give you some perspective, and also includes my 2 blueberry bushes that I haven't planted yet. I'm pretty sure they're gonna go right where you see them here. Gotta put something in front of those boxes in the ground. And on the other side of the stairs, another tree from Dick's. Seriously, CALL HIM!

And on the other side of the pathway a new pink lace leaf hydrangea and a ground cover called brass buttons.

Which is in this bed on the north side of the house. The other plants there are helibores which need very little sun. This bed is actually where I first started getting ideas for my yard. I'm also planning to put different varieties of ferns in this bed. Which will hopefully counter balance the fact that I planted the helibores crooked.

Don't know what a helibore is? Well, we're all in luck because although I wasn't expecting to see any blooms this year I actually do have one that's blooming. Each one of mine is a different color. They come in a huge variety of shapes and colors and I think they're totally gorgeous!

Across from that bed is our large brick patio, the retaining wall, and our water feature. We've been trying to grow scotch moss around the water feature pretty much since 2006. It was one of the very first things I planted knowing it would take a while to spread and look the way I want it to. So here's how it looks now.

And here's the retaining wall. In the bed on top of it I'm thinking about a combo of 3-5 rose bushes, some lavender, maybe peonies, and decorative grasses. If you look closely you can kind of see something green in that corner bed by the water feature.

It's my new baby lilac tree! I got it for $2 at a garden club fund raising plant sale. It's nothing fancy yet, but someday it'll have nice pretty lavender blossoms!

So that's my back yard. Now we're headed in to the front.

This is the bed that leads to the back gate. Since I took this picture I planted my coolio dwarf clamatis at the base of that tree. It's a ground cover rather than a vine, which I think is awesome! And it'll have spring blooms. I also have some lily bulbs in that same bed which are summer bloomers. So I'm hoping there will be lots of interesting stuff going on in that lower bed. On the upper part? I'm not 100% sure. Heather? ummm... more decorative grasses? An azalea? What do you think?

(PS: That's the first of our 4 super gnarled stinted trees that our landscaper found at a nursery in Bend, OR. Apparently they're really old trees that grew up in the mountains and therefore won't get very big. I think they're really cool looking!)

On the other side of that path we have... nothing. And I have no ideas for this spot. At all.

In front of that spot we have this cool tree.

And next to that tree we have this one. And yup, that's our front door. My mom has some cool native irises that I'm planning to plant along the front walkway. Other than that I don't have any other plans.

And on the other side of the walkway is this little bed. So far I have some dwarf bearded irises planted there. I'm thinkin' that might be all that this bed needs. Except maybe a ground cover of some sort? And yes, that is hunks of moss you see scattered willy nilly on the pathway! A robin family has decided to build their nest on that pillar there. It's officially spring!

This is another tree from Dick's! I don't think we're gonna plant it right where it's sitting though, it's just propped up against the rocks so it won't fall over. The point of planting this tree will be to somewhat disguise that ugly utility box out front.

See that line of orange flags? Those are there so that people won't park on our yard. It's been a problem. Anyway, I'm planning to plant some sort of dwarf shrubbery along there, preferably one with white blooms and year round seasonal interest. Anyone have a recommendation? I'm all ears! In between said bushes I'll plant the tulips that I ordered which will be delivered this fall. They'll be so pretty next spring!

And this is the last and final bed. So far there's just rocks, lots of rocks. A smoke tree (which in a way memorializes my grandma), and 1 blooming succulent. I want all the other plants in this bed to be drought resistant, hearty, sun loving, plants, plus they also have to be able to survive our spring/fall deluge of rain. I anticipate this bed to be the most neglected part of my yard and it is not fed by our sprinkler system. I kind of see it looking sort of like a field of wildflowers or even more like a mountain hillside. Not sure if that makes since but that's the best description of what I have in my mind. Something flowery that goes with our stunted pine trees.

The flowering succulent.

And the smoke tree. I'm SO glad it survived the winter. I planted it just days before that awful snow storm we had. If you don't know what a smoke tree is you should google it. They're very cool trees that get these "blooms" in the summer that look like smoke. And oh yeah, Dick has these too if you're interested. He has everything. Call him.

PS: Dick doesn't even know I have a blog, but if you do call him tell him I sent ya!

So that's it! That's my yard! Like I said, it's a work in progress. But it feels good to actually make progress after years of doing nothing. :)
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