We (it runs in the whole family) have a bad habit of taking in strays of all kinds.  The worst is plants!

The last five years we have been nurturing several ground cherry bushes that we purchased at a local auction.  A greenhouse grower in Nebraska was going out of business.  He brought a ton of trees and bushes to our little local auction (it may look small, but they get buyers from all over the world – via online networking).  Since we are small, chemical-free, farmers; of course we had to check it all out.

We bought four of the sad looking things.  One died the very first year.  The other three apparently loved the spots we picked out for them, they survived.  Well this year we received a very thrilling surprise:

ground cherry 2


Now this might not seem like much to most of you, but to a chemical free small farmer – it’s HUGE!  It is a sign that we are doing something right.  Now, the funny part…

ground cherry 1 6-20

The largest two of the three remaining bushes only have one cherry each?  The third one has several cherries on it.  According to my sister, “They are yummy!”

I guess we must be doing something right on our little piece of heaven.  The bushes were dried up sticks when we bought them, and now they are amazing!  They have always been a pretty bush (you can see the deep greens and maroons), I just never thought they were strong enough ever to produce fruit.  Surprise, surprise!

I know a lot of you may not see the joy in this, but anyone that has been, is or aspires to be any type of grower will appreciate the significance of this miracle.

I do not think my sisters, and I will ever outgrow taking in weak, pitiful, unusual things (our older sister prefers straggly, stray scrawny cats – she strives to feed the world’s critters – lol).  In the long run, I think this is good.  Every once in a while, it provides me with proof that it is the right thing to do, such as these bushes.

silly cat


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Make Erie Ooo Sound Here!!

Thursday, June 23, 2016, approximately 5:00 p.m.

Phase One: The wind (from hell)-

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(duh me – next time I really should do a video of this to show the wind – LOL).

The trees were all being sucked toward the northwest (this storm).  Whipping around really good!

Phase 2: Moving Fast –


Clouds were swirling in all directions, but luckily not in any circles! Phew!! (wipe brow here)

Phase 3: Moving Closer (too close for comfort)-


The tree line in the background is the back edge of our property.  The heavy/dark gray streaks are the tons of rain heading our way.

Phase 4: Ah – what – huh?

6-23-16 WILD STORM 2

The rain was now falling, but from the other direction (I didn’t notice the clouds behind me to the south)?  Apparently, that was the first wave that came through when I ran out to shut everything down and close up.  So while taking these pics, my back was getting drenched – oh joy (yes sarcasm)!?!

The storm I was chasing was now almost black up in the clouds.  I got right up to our tree line and then – – – disappeared???

It was almost like someone had a huge bucket they had dumped up in the sky and it just ran out – that quick.

I shouldn’t be so surprised by Colorado storms anymore.  Several years back we were sitting out on our front patio watching the storms and cars go by.  Then we noticed that it was raining fairly hard across the street, but not a drop on our side – how wild – and fun!

When I was about eight years old on our farm in Wisconsin, I watched a tornado dance across our back yard.  Saw it take out the tree house before my older sister grabbed my arm screaming at me that I was an idiot – so true (hee hee and very proud of it!).  Just love watching the skies!





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What Is That Doing There?

My Grandson is brilliant!  Ok, on most days.  However, he was helping me weed, and I stepped in to check something and here this “Grandma come look?”  I couldn’t drop what I was doing so I just asked him to wait a minute – my mistake (ok, now in retrospect, maybe this is my fault??!!).

He comes prancing in all excited, “I found a ladybug flower!”  I quickly (now I’m still not looking at him) correct him, “No Honey, you mean a ladybug ON a flower.”  He then instantly shoved the flower in my face and said: “NO – It’s a Ladybug Flower!”  I’ll be darned; he was right:

6-15-ladybug poppie 4 Front Side

6-15-ladybug poppie backside  Back Side

Now the really weird part – WE DO NOT GROW THESE? LMAO!!  I was shocked (and that doesn’t often happen anymore) – “Where did you find this and why did you pull it out by the root?”

He said he had to show me it, and that is why he pulled it (luckily it came up root and all).  Here is where it came from:

6-15-16 where ladybug flower pulled

In the corner between these three bricks- I still can’t figure it out?  However, I quickly put the plant in a tall glass put in about a teaspoon of sugar and a touch of root starter.  I’ll be darned – it’s still growing:

poppie still growing

It has three more pods getting ready to open?!  Now the true test:  I have heard that you cannot transplant poppies.  I have a perfect spot I want to put it in outside (hope it will flourish and have babies – hee hee), so I’m gonna shove it in the ground, give it some good top soil and see what happens.  Wish me luck – it’s just too pretty to let die!  And “ladybug flower” was just too cute!


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I made a vow to be funnier and bring more laughter into my life this year.  But the Orlando thing is just one of those things that are hard to bring a gentleness too.

WHY?  That is all I keep asking is “why” – what is the sense of it?  SO – for all those lost in Orlando and more for all those who are grieving, I give you my fresh, living, uncut flowers as a token of my thoughts, prayers, and verification that life goes on.  Some days it is hard to see, but you will get through this with the help of family, friends and those of us that feel your pain.  God Bless!

(These are all things that were blooming on the morning after – just for you!)

6-11-16 new volunteer flowers6-11-16 new volunteer flowers2

6-11-16 wild weed 2


allum 1


May these gentle reminders of life bring you a moment of peace!

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Can You See Me Now?

It was a warm spring evening (have to start this like some weird scary novel).  My sister and I were enjoying our relaxing moment when we spotted it!  Then we spotted “them” and ran to investigate further.

So you see it?

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They move like a stealth fighter. Fast, bobbing, weaving, one moment there, the next gone.  Here is a better shot:

HB moth 1 6-10-16

A Hummingbird Moth – actually two of them on this honeysuckle bush.  We spotted them just as the sun was disappearing, at first we thought, it was a hummingbird.  But it is a bit early for those cuties.  So this was pretty cool.  It was really hard to get these pics since they dart about so.  My sister said I should just sit still on the ground by them.  I was covered in dirt and filthy from working in the gardens all day, and my shirt alone looked like this:

my filthy shirt 6-10-16

So I did, and it worked.  Guess you have to look and smell like a plant before they will sit fairly still for a photo opp?

Oh, and F.Y.I. – I like wearing oversized men’s tee shirts in the summer, but I have to pin up the neckline, or everything goes down the shirt (weeds, dirt, bugs you name it).  So this is what you are seeing.  No time to sew, just pin it and it works.  In a couple of months I will have torn and trashed this shirt to the point of no return, so no biggy.  AND – no I am not a neat prissy gardener!  I get down and dirty into it.  My good bugs like me this way.

Happy Spring Gardening!


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Grandma, Why Do You Walk So Funny?

Out of the mouth of babes, Grandma, why do you walk funny? (It should be noted that he is now mimicking me – I want to growl, but started laughing instead – little jerk! LOL) Since he has ADHD, and since he thinks computer games are way better than gardening; I decided to show him in pictures:


dried footer

Became this:

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And now is this:

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rasp before 6-5-16.jpg

Became this:

raspberry row after 6-4-16

This and so much more was all done with the help of things like this:

my R shoulder xray-after.jpg 

Several great doctors, modern technology, and some really strong metal and plastic parts (hope I don’t rust – hee hee).

Before the new body parts, I could not lift my right arm without my left arm’s help.  Both knees were sitting bone-on-bone (cartilage totally gone in both), and one foot had bones that shattered as my beautiful doctor tried to fix it (and NO – none of them were named – Frankenstein).  The other foot is yet to be determined, but it is useable on most days, so I’m ok for now.

On good days, I walk upright.  On fun days, I walk like the Hunchback of Notre Dame (of course, then I have to chase him around the yard yelling “Where’s my bell?  Give me my bell?” with a lisp of course.)

So, my answer to my grandson is – I HAVE EARNED IT!

My walk came hand-in-hand over time just like my wrinkles.  The real answer is: just too much fun growing up, so now I pay the piper.  With any luck, by the time everything gives out, I will have it all completely replaced and then have a great excuse for not knowing who that lady is in the mirror!  He is only seven, so he didn’t get the joke.  It was too hard to explain why I couldn’t stop laughing at this point, so I just tickled him for a while.

Then I proceed to tell him all about the reasons why Grandma is so silly all the time – but that is a whole other story.

goofy frankenstein


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By George, I Think We Got It – Maybe?

Well, we finally got to it.  Cleaned up the first major plot (it’s about 20’ long, 2-1/2’ wide) using the “weedless gardening method”.  Corn, beans, and cucs (The Three Sisters) are in here.  We are about a month late on the corn, so it will be interesting to see how it grows.

corn beans cucs weedless plot.jpg

The high grassy area next to this one is actually 2 more plots and two more walkways.  I still find it amazing how fast the weeds can come back.  The posts to the east of that area mark where the raspberries are.  We just started them a couple of years ago, but they are also filled with weeds.  East of that is three more walkways with two rows of field fencing (for those that do not know – that is fence about 4 feet high made up of 4”x4” squares, non-electric) which once held dozens of heirloom tomato plants.  We have the plants safe in the greenhouse, but they must come out soon – getting too big for their britches in there, sneaky buggers.

The potatoes that I started the weedless gardening method on are doing outstanding, even by the horseradish:

horseraddish n tadders 6-2-16.jpg

There are weeds around the plot, but only a small amount actually in the plot.  The potatoes are about 10” high already- woohoo.  Oh, and, yes, that is our horseradish at the top.  It is getting ready to flower, which is a first for us.  We have had it for several years now.  IT decided where “it” was going to be planted (true story).  We had it about 10 feet to the east of this spot originally.  It began spreading to the west all on its own.  Not as bad as the mint, mind you, but moving non-the-less. (Hee hee, maybe I should write a scary movie based on this? Lol).  It finally settled here, so we created a plot just for it.  Happily, it has not tried to run away to another spot since settling here.

Then we have these wild beauties:

widdows tears 6-2-16.jpg

We call them Widows Tears.  The pinkish/purple stems explode open first, looking like they are done – but wait – a green pod forms on the ends of the stems and this beautiful blue flower with yellow center opens up.  They do not last long, but the bees love them.  There are not thousands of them, but they do manage to scatter about a lot.

This is one of the bee favs:

catnip mint 6-2-16.jpg

It’s catnip mint (also a fav for our barn kitties when I am not in the garden).  Can you spot the bee?  There were several bees at that corner of the plant (stands about 2 feet high), but they would not stop moving about – grrr, ha ha!

This amazing thing (amazing that it is alive) resides in the front yard:

orange bush 6-2-16.jpg

A local hardware store was going to throw away some end-of-year stuff a couple of years back.  We happened to be there and made an offer on several of the bushes.  Most looked like they were dead, but we managed to salvage several.  This wonder is one of the saved.  Have no clue what it is, but it is about 4 feet high, and it gets these beautiful white/yellow flowers about the size of a quarter.  They smell like oranges?!  One of the others that we saved was the blue sea mist that all the butterflies loved last fall (here is the post: Where did they all come from?. If you want to see our little miracle bush.)

Well, here are my wishes for you all today:

  • No more severe storms, pretty sure we are all fed up with them (time to do our naked dance around the fire pit in the middle of the night – eeek, oh no – no one wants to see that!)
  • All the plants that you are putting in late like ours, will grow excellently (is that a word?)
  • You get just enough rain and sunshine to stuff your pantries with your own food in the fall.
  • And, most important, you have fun doing it all!

Well, I’m going back out now to try to tackle the other ½ of our 5 acres – me and my “Knight in Shining Armor” –  riding John Deere mower – woo hoo!  Nothing runs like a Deere, especially me!

Happy Green Thumbing!

burgandy bearded iris 5-30-16.jpg

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