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Friday, May 19, 2017

Garden of Weedin

We have lived at this home for almost 20 years and I have fought a Battle Royale every year to try and get a decent garden. My mom and dad have a nice garden and I was raised weeding and watering. My gramma had huge garden complete with an apple orchard. I remember trailing behind her eating raw kohlrabi, seeing her giant cabbages and her pantry with jars of tomatoes, pickles, beets, homemade horseradish and sauerkraut and tons of applesauce, Her pantry smelled of dried sage and dill. My mother in law's garden was huge and spectacular. MY garden has tree roots from hell, crazy weeds, rogue morning glories and critters that munch things in the night. MY garden actually started on FIRE last year..that should give you an inkling of my skills! To be fair, my son was burning some brush and left the fire unattended after it had burned awhile. Something rolled out and caught my raised beds wood on fire and it spread from bed to bed! *sigh*

THIS Spring my husband said "Why even try will just be a disaster?" Which I saw as both hurtful and a challenge. (This is some fire proof garden "art" I made from metal sculpture "curls" and a copper crane I bought at a couple different estate sales. The crane now has a nest!)

Some volunteer lettuce from my horrible garden from last year. I just planted new seeds around it. My garden started as hard red Tennessee clay. Every year I have added bags and bags and pounds and bales of compost, manure, humus,top soil and even straight up Miracle Gro potting soil! I'd hate to think of the dollar amount for that dirt!

I also had a ton of volunteer marigolds. I always feel bad about weeding out viable plants so I just moved them to the edges out of the way of my spinach.

The only bed that escaped the inferno of '16! It only has a year or 2 left before it crumbles from age. I left the Queen Anne's Lace as it wasn't bothering anything. It is technically a weed here, but I like it,

I moved a bunch of strawberry plants that had grown out of their spot and into the lawn (Probably trying to make a break for it) You can see another volunteer passion flower vine at the edge. A wildflower here.

At the end in front of the slightly singed compost bins I planted hills of watermelon and butternut squash. This is my trial of the year. I dug up the space, spread thick "Painter's paper" and weighed it down with a few old glass insulators I had in the garden. I cut holes and deep dug where I wanted to plant. I am hoping I won't have to weed there this year.

There is mint at the edge of the garden..I do have to keep an eye on this or it would overtake the whole garden!

Some of the insulators. I use these for decoration and I put them on top of stakes to keep from poking an eye out.

This is oregano in front of the crane ..also a plant it once and it grows all over plant. So. When my husband said "Why even try?" It raised my hackles. Why even try at ANYTHING? Why try if you think it might or even will certainly fail? Why even try if it won't be as good as other's? Because  I have HOPE. I have vision. I have dreams. They may or may not come to fruition but I know what will happen if I do not even try..NOTHING. It is not about the results..the thing is the TRYING..The ATTEMPT, the blind stupid stubborn HOPE. So I dig..I plant ..I water and weed. If all else fails I will plant some zinnia seeds and if everything else goes to hell (and barring another fire) I will at least have cheerful flowers!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Lilah Grace

So much has changed since my last post. Febuary 12 our grand daughter Miss Lilah Grace came into the world.

Older brother Hunter was instantly in love.

Unfortunately she was born with a cleft palate..but fortunately it was contained to the top of her soft palate area and was not as bad as it could have been Lots of stress andLilah and her parents spent several days in the NICU of the local Children's Hospital. There were so many babies there in much worse shape we actually felt lucky.Once she learned to nurse from a special bottle and started gaining weight she was released to go home.

Her mom was able to take some time off from grad school to be with her in her first months.

She was soon smiling...

Even though for awhile her looks were more of the judgmental variety!

She is a happy girl and the apple of several sets of eyes.

She has come over at least once a week or I go see her for my "Lilah fix".

With her Momma today. She will have a mostly cosmetic surgery to close her palate in late summer. A bumpy start but we praise the Lord daily for Miss Lilah. And now you know where I have been! You can always find me on Instagram at hopeandjoyhome. I post there a lot more often as it is quicker and for me a lot more social interaction than pretty much talking to myself here! I will TRY to get back to more regular posting. Hope you have all been well and see you soon! Til next time. Julia