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No green thumb? Try air plants…

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If you don’t have a green thumb and struggle to keep your houseplants alive you might want to try air plants.   They are plants that require no soil to grow….just sunshine and a soaking now and then.   There is no transplanting!  That makes them easy to grow and care for.

I’ve always loved using plants to decorate my home.  I can remember a time when I actually had over a hundred plants in my house!   Of course that was before I had children of my own and my priorities greatly changed.   I still enjoy having plants around me, just not in such an overwhelming quantity!

Air plants are a tropical plant in the bromeliad family.   They like a spot with good circulation around them where they can breathe.  They look lovely inside glass domes, but only for a short time as they prefer fresh air.  Glass globes with a hole in them or open containers are ideal.   I purchased glass globes in different shapes that are made specifically for air plants.  They have “breathing” holes in them.  You can find a variety of plants and globes at Amazon.

These little plants love a good soak. The best way to water is to read more….


Have you ever heard of the “Big Hurt”?

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Have you ever heard of an event called the “Big Hurt”?  I hadn’t till recently and now I know why it has earned that name!  It is a grueling 4 leg race beginning with 16.5 miles of mountain biking, followed by 3 miles of ocean kayaking, 30 miles of road biking and ends with a 10k run.  Participants can race solo in Iron Division or as a relay team of 2-4 persons in the team division.   The Big Hurt originated in Port Angeles, Washington in 1997 and was an annual event until 2004.  It was resurrected this year to the delight read more….


SM Foodtrucks with headerTwo of our favorite hobbies are FOOD and taking drives along the PCH. Put the two together and you have the perfect date night!

Main Street in Santa Monica is a great place to experience an eclectic selection of cuisine. Every Tuesday 8 food trucks congregate in a parking lot on Main Street between the California Heritage Museum and The Victorian Restaurant. Savory scents of garlic, curry and grilled meats attract locals and visitors to the event. The small park next to the museum is full of families and beach goers, as well as people stopping in for read more….


Attracting HummingbirdsWe love hummingbirds! Currently there are 4 that reside in our back yard. All day long they chatter and chase one another around the yard competing for nectar. Of all our flowering plants the Cigar Plant seems to rank #1 in popularity with our hummingbirds and the Hibiscus is probably the 2nd most desired.

Hummingbirds do not rely on scent but rather color to lead them to flowers that produce large amounts of nectar. They are particularly drawn to tubular shaped brightly colored flowers of red, orange and hot pink. Hummingbirds will also read more….


Couples shower for Mom, Dad and baby Ella

shower couples baby shower picSo, what do you do when you have an endless list of ideas but not enough time to make them happen? Keep it sweet and simple when planning a backyard baby shower! That’s what we did for baby Ella’s shower. With little time to prepare we came up with decorations and food that were foolproof and simple to create. Rachel isn’t much for drawing attention to herself so she preferred a couples shower which helped to ease the nervous feelings associated with being the center of attention. read more….


Two fun, simple games you may have forgotten


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We have found two great games that include everyone when our family gets together.  These games have proven to be fun for all, from Connor our youngest grandson of 6, to the most mature folks, Mike and I!   This weekend was no exception.  I’m certain our neighbors must have heard the commotion!

Pit was the first game on our agenda.  This game has been around for a very long time, it was published in 1904!  Just to put that into perspective, the Wright brothers flew the world’s very first airplane the prior December. read more….


Our Friend Mia

Mia PiaWe lost a very special member of our family this week. Mia, our miniature Australian Shepherd, passed away on Sunday. She was our friend, mascot and all around great companion.

When we brought Mia home in 2001, she was a cute little ball of fur with a freckled nose. Our daughter Rachel had earned money to buy her by doing chores, having garage sales… and a few donations from family and friends. Although she was originally meant to be Rachel’s dog, in no time at all she became the family pet. Rachel picked out the name Mia (pronounced with a long i). I tried to convince her to spell the name ‘Myah’ so it wouldn’t be mispronounced. Rachel stuck to her guns and as expected we were constantly correcting people on how to pronounce Mia’s name! Dad, who always nicknames our dogs, quickly labeled her ‘Mia Pia’,  sometimes lengthened to ‘Mia Papayah’! read more….


Growing dahlias…simple and rewarding

091 pink dahliaI love green….luscious growing green things.  The green things with flowers are an extra bonus!  For many years we lived in the Southern California Mojave Desert.  If you’re familiar with this area you know it is very difficult to grow much and even harder to keep anything alive as the temperature climbs to as high as 118 degrees in the summer.  At that temperature you’re trying to keep yourself and your loved ones alive!  I can remember my husband Mike attempting to dig a hole with a pickax and sparks actually flying as the ground was so hard.  We always tended to vacation to an area that was “green” and suffered from what we referred to as “green withdrawals” when we returned home.  In all honesty the desert has a beauty of its own…the night sky has more stars than you can imagine and the sunsets are breathtakingly beautiful.

When we chose our new home on the Olympic Peninsula Mike and I were so excited to have our very own one acre filled with green grass & shrubs, trees and flowers.   We have since learned just how much work all of that green can be.  Someday it will be too much for us but we’re not at that point yet!  We continue to work on ways to reduce the amount of maintenance that is required.

Every year I look forward to July and the first dahlia blossoms. read more….


Things I Learned from My First Garden

Veggie ChalkboardWorking in the garden is healing to the mind and soul!

I am 60 years old and I have never had a vegetable garden, until now.   When I was a child my grandparents always had a large garden. My sisters and I were sometimes allowed to pick out our very own little watermelon. We loved that. I can remember eating watermelon and having the juice run down our arms and drip off our elbows!

Our mom worked most of the time as we were growing up so vegetable gardening was not something she felt she had time to do. So I didn’t grow up accustomed to having one, or learning how to garden. Now more and more I want to eat and live more naturally and healthy so a veggie garden was on my agenda. read more….


My Backyard Chickens

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Maybe it’s because I grew up in Missouri and am a country girl at heart.  I suppose that is part of the reason I wanted to have chickens in my own backyard.  It may seem strange to some, but it is a comforting feeling to me when I drive by fields with animals; horses, cows, sheep, chickens…it really doesn’t matter what kind!   Growing up, our family never had a true farm, but we did have horses, dogs,  banty chickens and even raised rabbits for a time.   Bantys are a small breed of chicken and the chicks are very small.  I can remember feeling devastated as a child when I found one drowned in a mud puddle!

When we made the decision that it was time to get our own chickens Mike began drawing plans for a super chicken coop.  He designed and built it from the ground up.  Just another reason why he is my hero!  We used old wooden read more….