Monday, August 25, 2014

Window Boxes


 Our acre is mostly sand, gravel and the old stone fortress. When we moved here the field stone pile they must have worked out of was still handy on the north side of the house piled where I envisioned thick green grass.
Thick green grass is a pipe dream around here. So is a productive garden. Unless you haul in something that will compost.  I like flowers, green grass, vegetable gardens, shrubbery, fruit trees,  berry patches, anything that grows something green on a stem. So we hauled.
We hauled in old hay, cow manure, rabbit manure, the fall leaves, cardboard, you name it, we put it on the garden for composting.
The first few years the weeds didn't even grow in the portion of our sandy patch that I had designated as the garden. Oh my, you know you're in trouble if the garden won't even grow weeds.
I have not complained about weeds ever since. So my first valuable lesson in gardening is: If you have weeds you can grow vegetables.
Living on a sand pile in the heat of summer is depressing and sandy. Sand came in on the shoes. I couldn't keep it out. We had no grass to speak of and the lane came right to the door. No grass, no shrubbery, and a very abbreviated sidewalk. Concrete steps, also constantly sandy and dirty. What a mess. I longed for a shady front yard, green grass and shrubbery.
I envisioned a patio lined with flowerpots spilling over with ivy and geranium. Outdoor furniture and fountains and a firepit. Why not order up a pergola while I'm at it. That all I wanted all summer, every summer. A cool, shady, comfortable, private place.
It's been almost thirty years now.  The garden grows flowers and vegetables. Not your heavily loaded vegetables on dark green leafed out bushes. And no root crops unless you want to wait until Thanksgiving to harvest them. But still, as long as we feed the soil with organic trash of some sort, we can grow tomatoes and cukes and green beans. And flowers.
 So window boxes was a perk I had only sort of half wished for. You can't very well imagine growing greenery virtually ON the stone fortress if you can't even get grass to grow at its feet, now can you? This summer we are growing green grass and flower boxes full of ivy and geranium. This is probably one of the most satisfying gardening projects we have tried to date. It's amazing what you can do with potting soil, Miracle Grow, and a few bedding plants. We have to water them a lot ( every week whether it rains or not and sometimes more).
We now have a shady front lawn, plenty of sidewalk up against which grows green grass and shady coolness outside our front door. On the patio is an outdoor cushioned love seat that Elv built for me. Dreams fulfilled plus. God is good.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer From Annie's Perspective

 I moved the motley collection of photos from phone to computer this week. The summer flew by so quickly so I'm glad for these glimpses of the life and times of the Grabers.

 The mosquitoes were rather numerous this spring so a screened tent was just the thing. It was great for tea times, reading, and visiting.
    We hadn't had it set up for several years...almost forgot we owned it. We found a few holes in the screening but gray tape soon took care of that.
   Our times with Jube and Halla have been greatly treasured. I think they like it, too.


 We took a load of who-knows- what- all, when we went to the cabin midsummer for Havilah's birthday party. Ruger enjoys our expeditions.

Who could resist picking the ditch flowers this summer. They were awesome. I caught this over by Peninsula Road. Lisl declared that this was for what she came home from Thailand this summer.


Jube and Halla stayed with us for a day when their parents went to a wedding up in Canada. Finally found the landing at Durphey Lake to be the only decent place to picnic and let the children play in the water.

Especially this summer I felt like the years scrunched themselves down into a little short span of time. Only a few days ago it was when our own children played in the water at this very spot.

Elv and I made a quick weekend trip to attend the open house for Francis and Josh.
Sometimes I think man's efforts at power and energy create a certain beauty in spite of ourselves.  But it makes me smile because only what God already made allows the possibility of our landing at any degree of wonder and beauty.

We tried to be at Lisl's house as often as propriety would allow while we had the chance. It'll be a few years until we can be in on their home life again.


    A sandbox for these two outside children came into being about midsummer.

Two huge successes in the garden department around here this year were the hollyhocks and the weathered wood window boxes. I really need to dedicate  a whole posting to the window boxes. They surpassed my fondest dreams and wishes for them. Elv instructed me that the wood I chose for them was well and truly rotten. To his mind that was a score in the wrong direction; but to mine it was exactly the thing for my purpose. He is impressed with them now, too.


White Alyssum against the rotten weathered wood. Makes me happy in my heart, as Amy would say.

We spent a Sunday morning in Mom Graber's garden just outside her door enjoying the scenery and the humming birds. Perfect way to begin a day of rest.

Here is the view from the top of Valley View Acres (Lewi and Marlene's estate). I must have another look no matter when we go. Mar says she feels like she owns it all standing up there. I say she does own the view so it is all the same as if she did own the landscape anyway.

Oh, here we are all the way to our camping already. This is all of our children and grandchildren seated for a breakfast of eggs, pancakes, and cold cereal by the fire on our first morning at camp. Oh yes, and bacon, too. It was dry and cozy indoors. The weather was perfect all the other days we camped, so this one rainy day was fine anyway.

Monday, August 18, 2014


We went camping last week. With everyone here and a lake and cabins and canoes the week was a successful happy time. For our own record I have created a collage of each of the littles. They are not in age order here. In a few years they'll all be the same age anyway. Click on the collage to get a bigger picture.
Havilah (Halla)


James (Jimmy)

Jubilant (Jube)

Gwendolyn (Gwen)

Bendick (Benny)


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