Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lost trees

 Our neighbor had a beautiful Oak, probably about 100 yeas old, but this year, it died. Ours also died at the same time. It might have been trama from putting in a new septic system, or oak wilt, but they are still dead and need to come down.
  We contracted with a tree service to come take them out and, as you can see in the first picture, they did a lot of work yesterday on the neighbor's tree. Today, they were supposed to come and finish theirs and work on ours, but they called that they won't be here until tomorrow. I took advantage of the delay to take one last picture of our tree standing. I'm sure the 100+ degree weather isn't making them happy either. Ours is costing $650.00 and Theirs is over $1,000.00. It's a big chunck of change.
    I plan on having them leave the trunk up above that first branch off to the left, and trim that branch above the bend so I can put a swing on that nice horizonal branch. If someone gets a wild hair to build, I wouldn't mind a platform up there either. (hint)

There's no doubt that we have a LOT more sun than we ever have and will have even more after these trees are gone, even in their current state.
I'm sad we are losing these two magnificent trees but if it ever stormed here (gosh it's been a dry summer so far) we might lose our houses. We are keeping the wood for firewood (or whatever) so we're going to be set for a LONG time for our woodstove.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Registering for classes

My turn to take Maura to Kansas City- this time to register for classes and some sort of orientation for the parents. It's a long way to go for a tiny bit of actual forward progress. It did point out she missed signing up for the dorms and meal plan- but the financial aid stuff is still not showing all her scholarships.
 We had hopes of also meeting with her (potential) part time job, but UMKC kept us from 8 am until 3:30 so that was a bust. We did drive to it to see how far it was. A bit farther than I hoped and all uphill. Maybe the bus schedule will work out.
  She had no latitude for her classes- in fact, they were all picked for her by the program she's in. They are addressing the fact that most beginning teachers don't get into the classrooms until their last year by having them start earlier and so her classes are a mix of innercity ed with general classes, but those seem to be taken as a group. She'll see a lot of her fellow ed students. Other than one day, the rest of her schedule seems to be working ok with the part time job hours. I think the job will fit nicely with her major too (not to mention her summer job).
  I had great hopes for her to continue to sew when I heard there was a fabric store at the shopping district nearby, but when we went in, it was all VERY pricey designer stuff. (like $59.00 a yd) That's not on her budget at all.
 So mostly exploring KC was a bust after the UMKC stuff.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Garden time

 I love my garden, but this year, I'm not having a lot of time to enjoy it. Still, after the rain we got on Monday, the baby squash that wasn't quite ready jumped to this size!I see squash caserole in my future!  I also got several more peas. I think I can finally have stirfry!
 This is my garden area on the side of the house. I have blueberries and then peas, cucumbers and squash here. The big thing? That was a sunflower that came up from Delaney planting it LAST year. Steve has planted a whole stand of them (and corn) and is enjoying their progress along with the tomatoes.
 My window box looks lovely this year. Impatients are doing great and the nastursiums as well. There's a strange volunteer on the left. I'm waiting to see what it does.
 My herb patch. I'm not thrilled about the basil being in a small pot, but not quite sure where else to put it. The other planter has chives and rosemary.

 Lord! Watch out where you put morning glories and then watch out where they decide to go! I have them popping up in several different places, but this one is the funniest- between my tomatoes and roses. I need to get some rose dust on them- the bugs are snacking.
 Like I said, Morning Glories sprout up everywhere and so do grape vines. This area also has a Clematis, but you'd never know it. Originally, I planned on Honey suckle on one side and Clematis on the other. I have Honeysuckle, grapevines, a clematis and morning glories instead.... oh, and the Vinca is growing around the base.
 Mint- Lord! what was I thinking? Here's a testiment to their hardiness- This location has been dug up, a rock wall has been installed, a curtain drain, logs have been piled here, and still they come back here and several other locations.
 Vinca is the same way. In the foreground is my summer flower area with blooming glads but the Vinca is always threatening to take it all over. I feel like a lion tamer with this stuff (Back! back I say!)

Look at how the Vinca has grown through the Iris.. and into the Hostas. Oh, and (they don't look so good at the moment) the Holyhocks that Steve destroyed when putting in spring bulbs one year have found their way into the Hostas. These weren't the double holyhocks I was hoping for, but single (primitive) ones that meh.. Don't much like, but you have to kinda admire their moxie.
And then, here's what Roxie was doing all morning! Which is much better than what she and Lola usually do to my garden. They have broken quite a few plants with their romps through my garden in search of turtles. I fear the path they wore through my summer flower garden has strongly discouraged my bee balm from growing. A real shame because I find them and Columbines to be beautifully complex flowers.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Bluegrass Festival

Story time-
   When I was around 13 or so, I used to walk to town after school and go to the Library while Mom finished work. I spent a lot of time there looking at all the books and records. I even  got locked in once, but luckily, I banged on the window and the Librarian saw me before she got in her car. (then she showed me the emergency exit door if I ever did it again). Anyway, the town I lived in had a small AM station that played country music all the time, with the exception of the TOP 40 countdown on Saturday. I found myself exploring the LPs that the Library had and , oh, did a bit of Ray Charles, some Jazz and one day I found the Dillards.
 They were my introduction to Bluegrass music. Forget that they played the Darlings on the Andy Griffith show- I first knew of them from the Library's LP collection. I don't know why I connected so much with that music. I just know it spoke to me on a fairly deep level that seemed almost genetic. I shared my interest with my friends and we started going to Bluegrass festivals. In Florida, there are quite a few and it's a lovely way to spend a Saturday.  I lost track of the music when I was in Ohio (other than listening to Mountain Stage), but spent my Friday nights in Orlando at the Piggly Wiggly parkinglot, even when I had Tyler. (mostly cause Steve was out of town)
  Now, I live near Branson, mo and the most surprising thing for me was learning I was heading to Dillard Country. It feels full circle to me. So now, I'm working at a park and they have a bluegrass festival going on now. I went in on a day off to just enjoy the music for a day. I have been out of the loop for so long and am in a different geographical location, so mostly the bands are new to me, but I enjoyed the music very much. I don't mind the big stage shows but, honestly, I like getting up close and personal with the music.
Others do too. That's probably why people enjoy the front porch pickers so much at the park.
It's more informal and closer- like you are just hanging out on someone' porch. So, the Hammered Dulcimer isn't technically a bluegrass instrument, but I'll forgive that, cause it's so cool.
  I mentioned that I think my love for this music is genetic. I really don't know how else to describe it.
My Dad grew up in the mountains of West (by God) Virginia and was a musician. His instrument was the fiddle, but could also play the guitar and mandolin (didn't care at all for the banjo). He would play at dances and all sorts of other get togethers where music was a plus. All that ended for him when he was 25 and wounded in WWII. His bowing arm was never to be flexible enough to play again and, it seems to me, he locked music out of his life after that. I never heard him even play the radio! That's why I feel it's a genetic link. Discovering the music he lived by checking out a random LP from the Library. You know what? I can see one of the original band members from the Dillards in the local band, Missouri Boatride in the Kimberling City parkinglot all summer. How cool is that?