Monthly Archives: May 2008

Giving it a shot!

So tomorrow starts the June version of Nablopomo.  I’ve signed up (see the cute little widget…no..over there…) and am gonna do my best to meet the challenge.  I think this is just what I needed to get myself in gear.  The theme for June is “home” which is both comforting and very difficult for me….so hopefully it will be a good learning experience.  I’ll do my best to include a photo each day as well….hey, I’m not promising, but I’ll try!

On a side note, the shrub is still sitting in it’s trench waiting for the proffered chainsaw to arrive, but all veggies have been planted, and flowers are trying to make a comeback.  We can only hope.  On a personal level, I have itchy spots which I refuse to acknowledge as any type of “poison” and am currently just ignoring.  I’m being Scarlett and thinking about it tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, I’ll see you then!

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I fought the lawn, and the lawn won

Aren’t I clever?  No.  but in keeping with my vow to myself to get BACK to blogging after my crappy spring…..I’m sharing my crappy frustration and annoyance over my lawn/garden. It starts with the shrub.

Technically, it’s not a shrub, it’s an azalea bush. A HUGE GIANT white elephant of a bush planted smack dab dead center in my backyard.   I mean, this sucker is 5 feet on a side if it’s an inch.  We’re talking a good 25 or 30 square feet of shrubbery.   Now, my backyard, albeit a rather small townhouse backyard, has been a thorn in my side since we moved into this house 2 years ago. As you know, I’m ms. neat and tidy, and the backyard looked like the ugly step-child of the property. VERY strange plantings, pavings, just no cohesion to anything. I’ve worked on it since we got here….and believe me, it has been WORK.  Between digging, removing overgrown bushes planted in odd places, weeding and general WTF junk removal, it’s been a challenge.

After I became “self employed” last year, I made a commitment to myself to really bring the backyard up to par.  I removed 2 juniper bushes (you know the type….planted as “accent pieces” by townhouse developers….yes, those) that had become overgrown (like 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide threatening to topple over one my children at any moment) tilled and filled the area and turned it into a flower bed, etc.  Not having a lot of expendable income on my hands, it was mostly make due with what I had.  I was able to get some beautiful daylillies at the flea market for .50 each, and they really brightened up the place.  So this year, I said, this is it.  I’m gonna bring this thing up to par.  Before the allergies kicked my butt, (partly caused by my working outside in the yard)  I was in the process of removing 12×12 pavers that had been laid down over grass (thought process I guess was, well, if we just lay them here, they will kill the grass and we won’t actually have to do any work…WRONG). I’ve tried to move them around, level them without hauling in a beach load of sand…weeded like a maniac, you name it. Finally I decided that having this extended patio type thing that annoyed me also removed about 10 feet by 12 feet of yard for my dogs. Up they would come. So I began removing them 3 or 4 at a time, filling with dirt and grass seed, and letting nature take its course. And yet, the shrub still bugged the crap out of me.

I assume it was planted to provide some privacy to the back sliding door. I get that. And it is a lovely shrub when it blooms for all of 2 weeks in the springtime…ok…I’m onboard there. But dude…this thing is HUGE (as you are about to see). So, I decided it was time to go.

Yesterday, I began the process of removing same said shrub. How hard can it be, right????? I’ve removed many a tree/shrub/bush in my day..and it’s not rocket science.  I decided to approach it from the logical, ecologically sound standpoint.  I’ll dig it up and offer it to a friend.  If they can’t use it, I’ll offer it to some of DD’s friends that do landscaping…perhaps they know someone who could use it.  Prepared for work with dreams of an open yard in my head, I began the digging.  HA!  Aside from the fact that the damn thing is on a slope (not so easy to gain footing) it made me itch. Apparently he/she/it has enough pollen left in it that a mere brushing of it on my skin brought out very unpleasant itchiness. Not fun. So, between digging for about 45 minutes at a time, then reaching the I can’t take it anymore stage, running in to scrub off all skin surfaces then sitting until the itch subsided and I could breathe comfortably again, I spent the ENTIRE DAY yesterday for the following result.

DD called it the tree trench.  It’s not easy to see, but suffice it to say that there is a 2 foot wide by 2 foot deep trench dug around that very itchy tree.  Did it budge?  no.  That sucker wasn’t going anywhere.  So, although I wanted desperately to save the stupid thing, allowing someone else to plant it or whatever, hopefully today a chainsaw will be procured and it will be GONE!.  GRRR.

THEN (you say isn’t that enough???)  the dumb dog apparently ate something he shouldn’t have (a big draw back to bull terriers I must admit) and started puking.  Nice, right?  So ds let him outside…smart move except he didn’t watch him.  Now, we ALL KNOW what dogs do when they get sick, right???  they eat grass…greenery (do you see where this is headed??)  That little shit got in my flower bed and ATE 4 BEGONIAS AND BOTH OF MY NEW CONEFLOWERS!!!!!!  It’s important to mention here that I do not do annuals.  I just don’t.  But begonias are my weakness.  I love their shiny leaves, the thickness contrasting the delicate nature of their bright flowers, I just really love them.  I had several gift cards left over to Home depot and used it to buy myself/the house some flowers and a few vegetable plants.  No matter how the day is going, I know that I have this beautiful little oasis I can visit and it makes me smile.  NOT ANY MORE!  The begonias he just plucked the flowers off (grrrrrrr) but he literally ate one of the coneflowers down to the ground, and pulled the other one out and ate the entire thing!  GONE!  more than half my flower bed consumed in a moment by a puking dog.  I could just choke him!!!!!!!

So after finally being able to get outside and do something happy and productive…the day ended with me itchy, stuffy, snotty, achy and frustrated in a heap on the couch with a “don’t you even THINK about it”  look on my face.

I’m sure this is one of those things I’ll look back on and laugh…I’m thinking today probably isn’t that day.  🙂

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Heads or Tails – My Job

This week the theme for Heads or Tails is “My Job”. My job is as a photographer. I have always loved to take pictures, of my kids, friends, stuff. I enjoy the unconventional shots…strange angles, light, shadows, pieces and parts more than the sum of the whole. Through a life changing event last year, I finally found the courage to approach my new found freedom head on, and started my own photography business. A rather ambitious task, I will admit, but I think that I have a good eye, and tend to see things differently, which gives me a unique style to my work.

I love what I do. It gives me freedom to be with my family, self expression, and hopefully as I move into the future of this project, financial security for my family as well.

I haven’t been around much for the last couple months (has it really been that long??) because for the first time in about 6 or 7 years, the pollen really kicked my butt. Another great take on my job is that I work when I want to…which has been VERY good through this spring since there were many days when I was nothing more than a sneezing snot filled blob on the couch all day. It’s been rough, lemme tell you. I don’t do “sick” at ALL, and this is as close as I’ve been in too long and I’ve been miserable. Many a tuesday I planned on my HoT, only to find that I barely knew my name, much less had any type of intelligent thought available. Hopefully, as we move into june, things will settle down and I’ll start to be back to normal (Normal??? me???? lol!)

I have been working on the website this last week or so, and have put up a few of my fine art prints for sale. Take a look if you get a chance, and let me know what you think. HeartsinFocusPhotography

Yesterday I visited the local Memorial day parade, and got this shot, so thought I would share.

Hope that everyone had a wonderful, peaceful weekend, and that you are feeling a lot better than I am!

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New photos – a day in the park

They’re up here:Hearts In Focus Photography

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Heads or Tails – Mother

When I was young, mother collected plates. She hung them on the wall, like so many folks did back then. Our relationship was always very … odd… and one year, I was about 10 I guess, I saw a plate that I wanted her to have for mother’s day. I think even then I wanted her to see me in her world. To this day, some 30 years later, I remember the poem on that plate I got her.

Millions of Stars in the Heavens Above
Only one Mother to Cherish and Love
Thousands and thousands of flowers and trees,
Hundreds and hundreds of mountains and seas
Everything multiplied over and over
Robins and butterflies and bees in the clover

Many good friends to think the world of, but only one mother to cherish and love.

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