Thursday, August 20, 2009

you have to wonder....

Oh, if you only knew what was behind that mischievous smile and sparkle in his eye!

This little guy is all boy. Never stops. Busy busy busy. Pushes all the buttons. But how can you resist when he smiles at you like that? Or comes over to plant a smooch on your face when he knows he did wrong? Yea, I'm thinking this is my son's payback....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

the calm after

The calm after.... after what you ask?

The first fall storm of the year. And a doozy it was.

My daughter's birthday dinner. With homemade pizzas grilled on the bbque. So good!

Eating too much good food.

A hectic day of babysitting two active grandbabies.

Bathing two dogs.

Wondering how on earth I'm ever going to be ready for the Garden Tour this weekend when I have no time.

Learning that my husband may need more spine surgery and will be out of commission for months.

Thinking vacation can't come soon enough....

Monday, August 17, 2009

a fall day

I think our summer is done.... It was certainly nice while it lasted. This was an incredible summer with weeks of sunny, dry weather. And temps into the high 80's! This is so not typical for Juneau where it rains all the time. Or so it seems.

Today was an incredibly stormy day. So much that I'm sitting here, in the late afternoon, sipping coffee. What a nice thing for a day like this. Some Baileys would have made it better, but I didn't feel like getting out of my chair to get it.

I was supposed to work outside all day today. Our yard is going to be part of the Master Gardener's Tour this year and I have lots to do yet to get it ready. Well, not really. It's in great shape. I just feel like I should be puttering out there, pulling every single weed that sticks its head in my direction. But it was just too nasty to be out there. I'd be fearful for my life! A branch might come flying in my direction! And the rain. Did I mention the rain.....? Lots of it. So I decided to make some zuchini bread instead. Oh, I did donn my rain gear and go out for an hour and a half while the bread was baking and it wasn't so bad once I got outside.

But I feel like today is the turning point from summer to fall. And what better way to "give in" than to light candles, turn on dim accent lights, and plug in the little twinkle lights (without the twinkle) that I have in various places of the house. NOW it really feels like fall! But it's one of those dark and dreary days and we need a little extra light to cheer us up.

Today is also my daughter, Tracy's, birthday. We're going to grill pizzas outside on the bbque. They are so so yummy! We'll let the men do it. They can take cover in the garage (partially out of the rain) while the pizzas bake and us ladies will wait inside in the nice, warm (and dry) house, waiting to be served upon. Yes, we will. And the men will. We have good men.

gerbera in the bird bath

I've never been a huge fan of gerbera. They seem too delicate for our rainy summers but they're doing just fine. Could be all the sunshine we're having.... I can never keep water in this bird bath so decided to just keep a planter in it instead. The real test has been the last couple days of nonstop rain. Heavy coastal mist, light drizzle, and heavy heavy rain. And they still look nice! Hmmmmm may have found a new favorite!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

the trough and woodstove

I'm really not certain what this container is.... a trough....? For what.....? It was left here by some kind previous owner.... Rather than take it to the dump, I decided to make a planter out of it. One man's junk is another man's treasure.... I love putting plants where it's not expected.

Like here. This is another gem that was left behind. It would have cost a pretty penny to take it to the dump, so I had my husband remove the door and transport it from the shed to this little garden room. A little dirt and there you have it! A planter!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

house and curry

Gardening, for me, is about the details. A garden with nothing but plants can be a little uninteresting. But bring in some rocks, some wood rounds, a bird bath, different colored foliage or different shapes, and it changes the whole perspective. Like this little house. Weathered. Broken. But it has its place on this broken piece of pallet. It's proud! It's interesting! It has a place in this world!

Next to it is a planter box, practically rotten, but it still held dirt. So what better way to honor this little shadowbox of a garden, then to plant some curry. It's a lovely addition to the compost area. I love this little picture.

Friday, August 14, 2009


My mom was a fantastic birder. She knew the names of all her birds. Me? Not so much.... I love to watch birds, feed them, and am amazed at them, but I have a dickens of a time when it comes to identifying them. Or remembering what they are from season to season.

We have a hawk hanging around our place.... I believe it to be the sharp-skinned hawk. Heck, it could be just about any kind of hawk and I wouldn't be able to identify it correctly! REGARDLESS of which type it is.... I want them gone. They don't belong in my back yard. Or my front yard. I have birds. And little squirrels. And baby squirrels. I suspect that's why they're here....

It's not the first time we've had hawks hanging around. The fascinating part is the interaction between them and our Blue Jays. Now, I don't know how a Jay gets this certain job.... if he has to apply, or if he's assigned the job by virtue of being the oldest, the youngest, the dumbest, the bravest, or what.... But there's always one Blue Jay in the flock that is expected to keep the hawk away from the others. You'll see the Blue Jay flying, like crazy, with the hawk right behind. The Blue Jay keeps him away from the food source so the other Jays can enjoy their meal. Hawk free. It's interesting to watch. I feel sorry for the Jay that's been assigned this job. What if the hawk is faster? What if the Jay gets caught.... It's a brave Jay that gets this job....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

my orchard

I don't really have an "orchard." I do have a couple apple trees along our property line.... There are a couple apple trees we can grow okay, and the Montmorency cherry does really well here, but our summers aren't warm enough, or dry enough, to produce mature fruit. This has been an incredible summer for Juneauites and we've had a couple dozen apples on our tree. They won't mature, but it's still fun to see them.

Ligularia under the apple trees:

And a little bird house on a fence post:

I keep expecting to wake up some morning and find that a bear has enjoyed a midnight snack, but maybe they're waiting for them to ripen a little more! Nancy

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I love my yard and I love to share it with others. It brings such peace and calm to my life. Even weeding. Gardening makes for good therapy; it really does have a healing power.

Earlier this summer, I went out to empty our compost bin and found some seedlings growing in the top of the soil. They were trying so hard to grow, that we left them to see what would happen. Well, THIS is what happened! We're not exactly certain WHAT it is... possibly a yellow crookneck squash.... We'll see. Whatever, it's a happy clam in that compost bin.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

chef in training

Isn't she so adorable.... my little granddaughter....

In her little red apron from Williams Sonoma....

Yep, we'll be baking sugar cookies before the holidays....

Bon Appetit! I can hardly wait to try some of these make believe muffins! Nancy

Sunday, August 9, 2009

local attractions

It's that time of year....

For spawning fish.... trying to make it up Sheep Creek so they can die.

What a way to go....

For wildfires in Canada and Alaska.... (wildfires have burned more than 2.2 million acres this summer in Alaska....). Some how the smoke manages to filter its way to Juneau. What you can't see in this photo is the glacier or the mountains surrounding it. We have THAT much smoke!

For garbage bears.... This bear is making the rounds in a neighborhood, enjoying tidbits it can find. These are the dangerous bears because they get used to humans and get harder and harder to shoo away. They'll eventually get relocated or removed....

Some things never change in Juneau.... Nancy

Friday, August 7, 2009

the water runneth over

Do you hear that......?

It's my very own waterfall.....

And my very own sandy beach....

And my very own creek....

All in our back yard!

At least the beginning of my creek bed. Still lots to do... more rocks to place, more gravel to add to all the nooks and crannies, soil to add so plants can be planted....

It's awesome!

Stay tuned. Nancy

Thursday, August 6, 2009

we're busy busy

We've been busy around here this summer. Record temps! Record days of sun! Record non-rainy days! Wow! We've hardly had any rain this summer, just incredible incredible sunshine. You can't imagine how hard Juneauites work and play when it's sunny and nice out. We work hard and play hard because one just never knows when the weather will change for the worse. Which is most of the time.

Mike finished putting the patio back together. We had it torn out when the excavator leveled our back yard. Next year he wants to put pavers in rather than flat rocks because flat rocks are just too hard to find in Juneau. So it's a little uneven and not perfect enough. Being a mason for 30 years, he'll get it right when we have more time. But it looks good for now.
We gave away our hot tub last year and had this big, empty spot on the deck we didn't know what to do with. Well, I know what I wanted... but hadn't won my hubby over yet.... But we're slowly making it into a little room for me that I can sit and drink my morning coffee and not get dripped on from rain. This year we cut down more trees and de-limbed many (topped them off) so we could get more sunshine and day light in our back yard and, now, we have this record warm summer and we're wishing for some shade! So we hung some cute bamboo blinds to ward off some of the hotter morning sun. We got the blinds put up yesterday as well. I had to replace an indoor/outdoor rug we had in our den, an area where the dogs go in and out with wet and muddy feet, so I took the old rug out and put it under the bistro table. With all my annuals and some herbs and vegies in pots.... I love it! Another project to check off the long list! I love finished projects!
And when my hubby isn't working on my "to do" list, he's helping me tend to grandbabies. Hunter is 20 months now (on the right) and Ellis just turned one in May. Two of the cutest (and smartest) little babies I've seen in a long time! :O
Me, what am I doing while my husband is working on my list.....? Much of the same--landscaping, working, babysitting, making special little areas in the yard where we can sit and just enjoy. This is one of my favorite areas:
We'll sit out here and have lunch some times, where we can look out over all our hard work. Maybe in a few weeks, we'll sit out here and hear the sound of a waterfall.... just part of my new water feature that is getting put in. There hasn't been enough progress though to put pictures. But soon. For now, I can enjoy the loveliness of my gardens.
Later. Nancy