Saturday, July 9, 2016

Garden Tour. .

I've stayed away longer than I expected!
I took a few pictures a couple weeks back. .but never had time to post them. .
So here ya go. .
Beware--heavy on photos this time!!
We have had so much rain and cooler temperatures than we have for quite a while. .that the vegetation is looking great!! And I wanted to document it. .oh and share it with you all too!!
Here is the cucumber jungle! I have picked a few small picklers and one large cucumber today! The dill is at the lower center of the photo. At the back of this garden is the pepper plants and beets! 
Here is my blackberry bush! WOW!! We have picked handfuls and handfuls!! Because the garage we just tore down was mounted on a concrete base wall. .I can now walk behind this bush and the soil level is at my waist. .SO. .after Jeremy builds me a wooden support. .We will train the bush over it and it is already a blessing to be able to pick from the back side of the bush as well as the front!! My $7 plant that I have moved 3 times is finally paying for itself! 
The trumpet vine has also really sported the blooms! We even saw a lone hummer on it last week! 
I dont' know what little succulent this is. but it loves the horse trough it is living in! 
Because of the construction of the new garage, my compost pile got relocated! Jeremy built me a sturdy iron structure to replace my rotting, falling down pallets. .and we put it on the north side of the green house. The watermelon rinds are sure attracting the butterflies!! 
Chocolate flower. .new little plant I bought from High Country Gardens to go on this super hot west bed that nothing else will grow in. .He likes it there! 
I LOVE frogs!! 
I don't know how they find us in this desert land. .but there are about 100 that hear jumping into the pond every time I walk by! 
Speaking of the pond. .
I LOVE this!! Jeremy has really helped out with maintaining it. .
And the plants are finally looking good!
Here it is again, peeking up toward the house. You can't see the pond when you drive into our driveway. .and it often surprises people when they walk up the sidewalk to the house. 
Look at this gorgeous water lily!!
4th of July found Tristan and I digging holes for these salvaged rail ties. We put in solar lights to light up the sidewalks. Both up the front walk (see the pond up yonder) as well as outline the memory garden walks. LOVE THEM!! 
My favorite daylily. I need to see if I can find a plant label. .but I love the colors! 
My little asparagus plants are doing well. 
Pampas grass that will grow up tall so it will block the unsightly views of the dead car lot! 
Other thing Tristan, Jeremy and I did on the 4th was trench in a water line UNDER the existing sidewalk so I will no longer have hoses left over the sidewalks! It was an all-about-me day. .and I made over 14000 steps that day. .plus some SUPER sore arm and chest muscles from all those post holes and digging!! I'm not 20 anymore. .I'm not 20 anymore. .I wish I could remember that!! 

Here is the memory garden about 2 1/2 weeks ago. .It's filled in more since then! 
Shasta's, yellow coneflowers, and a salvia in the memory garden. 
You see how quickly those cucumber vines took over the place?? 
I finally had Black Eyed Susans that look like the kind that bloom in Michigan. .right Sue?? 
You can see how loaded those black berry bushes were! 
East deck with some gorgeous ferns!! Those self watering planters made 100% of the difference! 
North garden is finally filling in. It doesn't take a great photo yet. .but it is coming right along! 
Lavender and a different variety of susan.  
A couple photos of some of my daylilies. 
This one has a little Monarda in the front. 
This hosta gets dripped on by the condensation from the roof. .It loves that!  
Here is the blooms from my Russian garden. .They looked nice this summer!! It is one of my neglected beds. .and there are plenty of weeds to pull. .ug! 
Love this little penstemon!
It's planted next to this Videx tree. Cami spotted a hummer here last week. We haven't seen him since. .but it spent quite a while on this bush! 
Memory garden. .It's before the next light fixtures. 
We also enjoyed several handfuls of raspberries this summer too!! I can't WAIT till those babies produce again next summer. .they were delicious! 
Here are the cucumbers again. .looking toward the new garage. .and by the white picket way in the back and upper left is where the black berry bush is. .you can see the concrete wall there. 
Cynthia. .here is that monarda that you shared with me a few summers ago! I have transplanted some to two other places in my flower gardens. .I LOVE it!! 
Had to end with a spectacular Kansas sunset!! I LOVE our sunsets. .
Thanks for stopping by!! 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Best Vacation. EVER. Part 2

Welcome back. .
Here's the second and final part of our trip to the beautiful state of Oregon!
So. .we headed out of Crescent City California on Wednesday morning. .Giving us 3 whole days to make the approximately 8 hour trip back up to Portland. Our plan was to drive up Highway 101 as far as we could--hopefully all the way to Washington. .which we were able to do without rushing!
I was so amazed at all the different variations of the coastline!! I just randomly picked photos to upload. .but, without taking time to study them in order again. .I would be hard pressed to tell you where they were taken!!
Often times as we drove, there were signs alerting travelers to the pull-out spots where you could get off the highway and get out to hike or gasp at the views! We did a lot of both!
Once, I think Cami and I walked about a mile because they would have bridges and walkways between the ocean cliff and the highway. We walked to the  next pull off and Jeremy and a boy or two would hop in the car and drive forward. It was AWESOME!!
We put about 1500 miles on our rented suburban while we were in Oregon!
We drove to many of the lighthouses on the coast. They are such interesting structures! We really only got to tour one that we hit during the open hours. This one was Cape Blanco Lighthouse.
This little stop was actually at Heceta Head. .and the lighthouse was behind Cami out of the photo. She is standing next to the jaw bone of a whale (I'm at a loss for what kind of whale) We never spotted whales again after leaving Crescent Beach. .so I was so thankful that we were able to view them multiple times from our hotel and beach there!!
On Wednesday night we were fortunate enough to find another hotel on the beach in Florence. We stayed at Driftwood Shores Resort in an amazing little 3 bedroom condo! It was very cloudy the night we stayed. .and drizzling the next morning. The ocean had a more sinister feel to it here than it had the entire rest of our trip.
The resort was very isolated. .and not all that busy due to our timing I suspect. .so if felt a little lonesome here. The boys were ready to relax with their electronics by this time. .so Cami and her dad enjoyed walking on the beaches looking for shells! This was the one place that all the kids enjoyed the indoor pool. .however. .Devin and Cami didn't miss one day of pool swimming. .which is always a highlight for them!!
I was really looking forward to seeing Cape Perpetua and the violent wave action that they get there. The tide was fairly low when we were there. .but the force of the waves was still incredible!! I took this picture before Grant got completely soaked from the waist down by the wave that came up over the rock he is standing on. He was NOT impressed!!
It was still cool and drizzling as we came across this area. It made the force of the water that much more frightening! We had just finished studying the last 8 chapters in the book of Acts before we left on vacation. .and this area made me stop and think about how frightening Pauls'  shipwreck was if the water during the storm was even partially as violent as this water was!
The foxgloves were blooming EVERYWHERE. .in the ditches, under the trees, on the rocky cliff areas. They were so beautiful!! All of the flowers were!

This is Yaquina Bay Lighthouse near Newport. Some of our crew headed for a bathroom break. .but Grant and I ran into the lighthouse to do a quick tour. It was really interesting!
The rooms were bigger than I would have thought. .and they were still decorated for the period.
The lighthouse keeper and his wife had 8 kids.
What a view from your second story window!! We did get to go to the 3rd story to see the little bedroom the lighthouse keeper stayed in each night. But the shaft that he looked through to see how the light was doing was closed up.
While we chose not to stop at the big Sea Lion cave near Florence. .we were delighted to see some sea lions both in Crescent City. .and again in the Old Downtown Newport.
They were SO noisy. .
But fun to watch!
Jeremy convinced Cami to try oysters on the half shell. .
Which she was a little skeptical about. But this girl can eat sardines and oysters right out of the can!
She thought they were "ok" but she probably wouldn't eat them again :-)
Look how huge those suckers are!!
I was so excited to see one of these little guys for the first time at AJ's house. It's a stellar jay. I caught this picture outside of our hotel window!! It actually reminds me of a couple of paintings hanging on my bedroom walls with tree branches and bird silhouettes. I'm thinking about getting this guy blown up and framing him! I did notice that there didn't seem to be a lot of birds that we could see in the redwoods, where I thought we would see a ton!! We saw a few different varieties in the trees along the coast. .but we saw mainly the same types of birds that we have in Kansas. .and a lot of the same vegetation as well!
I could drink this view in every single day!!
Thursday night found us staying on the ocean at Rockaway Beach. This was a beautiful beach right out of our hotel windows. The hotel was not so great. .but sometimes compromise is necessary. And by then, we figured out that staying on the beach was just what we all needed! The water was still icy cold. .
But that didn't deter the two young kids in their swim suits from getting wet!! Of course, they later warmed up in the heated indoor pool!! And. .You can make out by the photo. .that those who have all their mental faculties. .have on sweatshirts!!
The sunset was phenomenal that night. .and we were able to get some great photos and some great memories!!
The last day found us finishing up the Oregon coast! Beautiful blue skies. .and equally beautiful blue to aquamarine colored waters!
Look at the force of that seemingly innocent water crashing over the rock!! I still can't get over the sheer force of the waves on this coast. It was much different than what we saw of the Atlantic in Boston and southern Maine. .and that of the oceans surrounding Key West!
We stopped at so many tiny beaches to run and play that I lost track of where we were. I am hoping to put most of our photos into a digital album. .and am just hoping that I can get it done before I forget all of it!!
Grant found a live star fish. .and then complained the rest of the day because I made him throw it back! His dad felt so sorry for him that he bought him a starfish shell when we stopped to shop in Seaside!
Incredible rock formations like this jutted out from the water everywhere! I guess I didn't get a photo of Haystack Rock onto the blog. .but I walked about a mile along Cannon beach to get as close as possible to it so I could see the little black puffins. I never saw one up close. .but it was a beautiful place! Cannon Beach was by far, the busiest beach we ran into the whole trip! For the most part there were only small handfuls of people any place we went until then. And I wouldn't say it was crowded like I imagine it is during peak vacation time!
A picture of the Seaside Oregon sign in their famous little roundabout! We enjoyed some shopping and wandering on the streets there. We went further north to Astoria Oregon.
I didn't take a picture of this bridge. .because I was too busy freaking out about going over it. .Instead I copied this one from google images (For all I know. .Grant took this photo from the backseat and posted it!) It crosses the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington. It is 196 feet above the river at high tide. .and it is 4.1 miles long!! There were some ginormous cargo boats on the river--which was also very interesting to see!  We drove north into Washington for a bit before our GPS routed us back through Astoria to get to Portland. .so we crossed it TWICE!
We were glad to be headed home back to Kansas on Saturday.
It was a super fun trip. .Great family time. .Lots to do and see.
Memories to last a lifetime!
Thanks for coming with me to re-live it a little bit!!
Grabbed some photos of the garden a few days ago. .
Will share them soon!