Archive for the ‘gardening’ Category

Hi everyone it’s Cindy here. Today I’m joining the Hookin on Hump Day blog hop to show you a sunhat I made for my mom for Mother’s Day. We all know that as our parents age it becomes more difficult to find things to gift them at holidays and birthdays. When the Summer 2017 issue of Crochet! magazine arrived I glanced through it as usual and when I saw the pattern for the Sheer Southern Style Sun Hat by Kathy Lashley I just knew I had to make it for my mom.

My mom loves to wear hats, especially in the summer, so since Mother’s Day was a few weeks away I set out to find the yarn. When I do a pattern for the first time, that you must do to the same size as it’s intended (unlike an afghan for instance), I like to use the same yarn that is called for in the pattern. The yarn used for this pattern is Omega Sinfonia DK-weight yarn. Fortunately I found a local source and went to acquire the yarn. The pattern calls for the colors Navy, White and Blue Orchid. The store didn’t have any of the Blue Orchid but the Light Teal was a great substitute since it was the same value color as the Blue Orchid.

No hat is complete without a proper hat box. Since this hat pattern uses millinery wire to keep the brim from flopping I wanted to give it to my mom in a box that could be used for storing it properly. I looked all around (Michael’s, JoAnn’s, etc.) and couldn’t find anything wide enough for the wired brim. A quick perusal in our basement found a box that stored a vacuum hose for Charlie’s wood shop that was the perfect size for the hat. He was very gracious in giving up the box for the hat but I couldn’t have my mom’s hat sitting in a “tool” box.

This is one of those boxes that comes apart and opens to a flat piece of cardboard. I rummaged in my wrapping paper supply and found this great floral and two solid colors that all went together (even if they weren’t bought as a set). With a bit of spray adhesive, scissors, and tape I had a proper hat box. The only thing left to finish off the gift was a flower.

I couldn’t find one pattern that fit the bill so I took three patterns and combined them to make the above flower. The main pattern is called Blossom Posy and I did the whole pattern using the white for the center and the light teal for the petals. I wanted to make the flower a little bigger and so I used a modified version (by not doing the “extended single crochet”) of the final round of the Cheerful Crochet Flower pattern to add the white around the outside. The last thing I added was a covered button to fill in the middle of the flower with the navy colored yarn. The reason I wanted to fill in the middle was because I added a pin to the back and I didn’t want that to show through the hole in the center of the flower. With the pin back the flower can be worn as a lapel pin if desired.

I love the way the hat and flower came out. My mom was very surprised and happy with the hat and has worn it many times already. We have an outdoor wedding to go to this summer and she said the hat matches her dress.

The hat pattern was very easy to follow. I had never worked with this yarn before and found it a bit sticky to use. It is a nice 100% cotton but as you pull it out of the skein it kind of sticks to itself and can sometimes get tangled. This wasn’t too much of a problem that I would use this yarn again if I found the right pattern for it. When I went looking for the millinery wire I did a search on Etsy and found Kathy Lashley’s shop by accident. I didn’t even realize at first that the Etsy shop where I purchased the wire and joiner was owned by the woman who wrote the pattern.


I receive no benefit from any of the links in this post but have provided them for informational purposes to my readers. The pictures of the hat were taken with a form under the crown. It doesn’t stay up on its own.

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Today we are joining our Blogville friends to remember Dory the Flower Friday Queen.

We don’t have much in bloom right now but one of the things we do have blooming is our cherry trees.

Cherry tree blossoms

Dory was as perfect and sweet as the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae.

Honey bee on Cherry tree

We know her three brothers are missing her and trying to figure out life without her. Blogville misses Dory and her beautiful smile too. We are sending hugs to Dory’s pawrents and hope they are feeling the love from all of us today and every day.

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Hi everyone! Today we are joining Madi and Angel Easy to show their friend Sammy our favorite place in our home town.

Little Black Dog in Big Snow

Little Black Dog in Big Snow

Whether it’s right after a winter snow storm where we love to plow through the fluffy white stuff and wrestle until we look like abominable snow dogs or…

walter - little dog in big yard

Little tan dog under big tree

…it’s early spring when the trees and shrubs are just starting to bud out and the grass has started to green up or…

Walter - with toy under Katsura tree

Happy tan dog in shade of big tree

… it’s the heat of the summer where you can cool off in the shade of the Katsura tree during a game of fetch or…


Two dogs playing on a cool fall day

…it’s a wonderfully cool fall day to play fetch and search the yard for hidden treasures (maybe a mouse, mole or vole to dig up) there is no better place than home.

We love our back yard and are sure Sammy would enjoy visiting us here any time of the year.


Even with this celebration for Sammy we are sad to report that today he crossed the rainbow bridge. He was in poor health and that is why Madi and Easy wanted to let him travel the world with this blog hop today. As many of you already know our dear friend Easy didn’t win his battle with bloat and crossed the rainbow bridge a few days ago. We know Easy and Sammy are having a great time meeting up with all their friends that have gone to the bridge before them.

rainbow - starling flock in back yard

Here is a beautiful fall rainbow from our back yard to share with all our rainbow friends and the Angel sisters that lived here before us.


In addition to the pain from loosing Easy his pawrents have been left with a hefty vet bill that their insurance won’t cover. To help them donations are being accepted through PayPal. You can learn more about how you can help by visiting Murphy & Stanley’s blog. We made sure to get out our mom’s plastic card to send some money to Easy’s family.

It’s been a tough week in Blogville but we hope this tour of our back yard brought a smile to your face.

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Hi everyone! It’s Millie here.


This was just a few days ago when I was outside helping dad get the last of the leaves out of our yard. Today it looks like a winter wonderland. We got about 8 inches of snow the past couple of days and boy did I have fun doing zoomies in the white fluffy stuff! The temps are going to be above freezing for the next few days so all the white stuff should melt soon.

I’m sorry we haven’t been around to comment much the past few days. Our grandma had a minor operation (of course nothing is minor when you are in your 80’s) so our mom has been busy helping her and being with her at the hospital the past few days. Don’t worry too much because our grandma is home now and doing well but since she can’t drive for a few weeks our mom will be her taxi and personal shopper for a while.

I heard that we aren’t having a big bird for Thanksgiving but we are having a pork roast with all the usual trimmings so there will be plenty of left overs for us too.

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Hi everyone! It’s Millie here.


I’m hanging out under what my dad likes to call…

The Best Seat in the Yard

The Best Seat in the Yard

Our beautiful Katsura tree is looking the best it ever has in fall this year. It’s full of beautiful yellow leaves. We have lots of color in our yard and last week Walter showed you the Japanese maple trees. This week I’ll show some of the other trees and shrubs that are showing some lovely colors.

The Stewartia tree shows off its beautiful orange and yellow leaves.

The Stewartia tree shows off its beautiful orange and yellow leaves.

Oak leaf hydrangea (burgundy) against climbing hydrangea (yellow)

Oak leaf hydrangea (burgundy) against climbing hydrangea (yellow)

Multi-colored Spirea leaves

Multi-colored Spirea leaves

Parrotia Persica tree leaves

Parrotia Persica tree leaves

I love to see the beautiful colored leaves against our evergreens too.

Blueberry against a pine shrub

Blueberry against a pine shrub

Four colors and textures

Four colors and textures

Fallen Japanese maple leaves on blue spruce

Fallen Japanese maple leaves on blue spruce

Sometimes the leaves fall on the rocks our dad “planted” in the garden and that makes a pretty picture too.

Red maple leaves on moss covered rock

Red maple leaves on moss covered rock

Grape leaf Japanese maple leaf

Grape leaf Japanese maple leaf

Another view of "The best seat in the yard".

Another view of “The best seat in the yard”.

I’ll sign off with this picture of our yard. It was just a perfect fall day and Walter and I enjoyed our time outside. I hope you enjoyed seeing our beautiful fall colors. Sadly as of the writing of this post most of the leaves are down. At least we have these beautiful pictures to look back on.

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Hi everyone! It’s Walter here.

Walter - fall colors backyard

We are finally seeing some great color changes in our yard. The above picture was taken a couple of days ago and the big tree in the middle, a katsura tree, is now all yellow. Today I’m going to show you just the colors on our Japanese maple trees. We have a wide variety of them throughout the yard and boy are they putting on quite a show.

Japanese maple - south side of yard

Check out the beautiful yellow and orange on the Japanese maple on the right above.

Japanese maple - south side of yard 2

Now lets look at a different view of that same tree. You can see much more orange to red color on this side.

Japanese maple yellow barberry

Here is one of the lacy varieties of Japanese maple next to our yellow barberry.

Japanese maple - feather like leaves

This is a close up of that maple tree. Don’t the leaves kind of remind you of feathers? My mom said it reminds her of a feather boa, whatever that is.

Japanese maple - leaves

Here is a close up of some pretty leaves against the grey bark of the tree.

Japanese maple - leaves - back gate

One more close up of the leaves on another tree. These leaves are like a big fan and have such pretty colors ranging from yellow to dark orange.

Red Maple - Japanese maples - south east corner of house

Last but not least just look at the trees in this picture. The red tree on the far right and the one in the center are both Japanese maples. The lighter yellow/orange one in the background on the left is a Red Maple (not a Japanese type).

In case you were wondering what that darkish brown is on the corner of our house it is caulk that our dad put in some holes that a crazy wood pecker has been hammering into our house. It is one of the downfalls of having a cedar sided house. As you know we love the birdies around here but we didn’t want one making a home inside our house!

I hope you enjoyed this walk around our yard. Next week I’ll show you some of the other trees and shrubs that are giving us a nice show of color. Happy Fall everyone!

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Hi everyone! Today we are joining Dory for her Flower Friday Blog Hop. We are playing catch up this week as we took the past couple of weeks off to be in the Pawlympics.

We showed you many of our daylilies already so here are the rest of them.

Daylily - Yellow 2

Daylily - rose colored - with beetle

Daylily - Large Pale Yellow

Daylily - Large Yellow with rust center

Daylily - Large Yellow

It seems that many of the flowers in bloom are yellow. Maybe it is just the color of the hot time of year.

Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan

Yellow Crocosmia

Yellow Crocosmia

We do have some flowers of other colors in bloom now too.

Red Crocosmia

Red Crocosmia

The final flower in the perennial garden in bloom now is the Joe Pye weed. It is so tall that it almost falls over from the weight of the flowers.

joe pye weed

The rugosa rose is on its second bloom and the bumble bees and other bugs are enjoying the pollen.

rugosa rose with bumble bee

The last flowers are on another hydrangea.


We hope you enjoyed this trip around our yard.

Be sure to pop over to Dory’s Blog to see who else is participating.

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