Monday, May 13, 2013


Dad's amaryllis in full bloom with four flowers

The weather was slightly chilly and windy on Saturday but it was time to get moving on dad's garden. The crocus were no longer blooming but the grape hyacinths were in full bloom, the tulips were ready to pop, and the hostas were peeking out of the soil. Our goal was to get the center garden cleaned out and rototilled so that mom could plant grass seed if she wanted to (I am still working on the sod idea.)

Mom was working so it was the first time I went into the house by myself since dad died. When mom was working he would usually be either in the backyard weeding or in the basement watching TV. Often I like to just pretend he is in the basement but I couldn't do that on Saturday. Messing with dad's garden...yikes....he didn't like anyone  messing with his plants.
Plants in bags in Tanzania

When it started to sleet on me I was sure it was a sign that he wanted me to be careful with all of his plants. He was pretty meticulous about getting them potted perfectly. However, when we visited Tanzania he saw how the garden stores just potted the plants in left over bags. He must have had the same idea because he had lots of bags saved. He also had a lot of pots too!
Nathan back for another load of compost

Michael, Nathan, Isabella, and Faith came to help. GGpa would be so proud that Nathan hauled away the entire compost pile by himself. It hadn't decomposed much so it was better suited for the Ramsey County composting site.
Compost pile all cleaned up!
It was cute....Nathan asked Mike when he would be done with the pile. Mike replied, "When you feel you have done a job to be proud of, then you are done." He looks pretty proud of his accomplishment!

There were old bushes to dig up and get rid of but there were many awesome flowers. Daisies, peonies, foxglove, hens and chicks, crocus, tulips, irises, allium, and many more!!
Bella picking rocks and Faith moving all of the plants. 
Michael saving one of gramp's tulips
We decided to dig up everything we could from the center garden and then move it to a "parking lot" garden in my yard. That was Sunday's job. To get all 200 plants replanted! Keep in mind-there are more plants to clean up after this center garden!!

Mike rototilling so that Granny can plant some grass!
A couple of years ago my dad wanted me to bring his deer to my house. He has had these deer in his yard for as long as I can remember! Taking them from his yard just seemed wrong because they were something he loved. Dad and Mom would take turns painting them throughout the years.  Then when he got sick he said, "Kuff we got to get those deer to your house" then he would explain how Mike would have to get a log and roll the deer on them across the yard so that we didn't break them. Then in the hospital, after they told him he wasn't going to beat the cancer, he said, "Kathleen, don't forget to get those deer in your yard." They were really important to him and he wanted them to be enjoyed. SO..the center garden needed cleaning so that we could move the deer too!
The deer before we rototilled. 

The kids were excited to show Granny how hard they had worked to clean up the yard but it was getting late so they couldn't stay. When mom got home she was surprised how much we had accomplished but there were also tears for dad's missing garden. There was joy too, knowing that the plants would be carefully replanted in my yard and for years to come they would be shared with my sisters, the grandkids, and anyone else that wanted a piece of "Riley's Garden."
Some of the plants ready for moving

Sunday my sister Jamie and her husband Lyle went over and did MORE work! They dug up bushes and cleaned up some of our left over mess. It isn't done yet! You're always in our heart Pops...and your plants will be in all of our gardens too!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Crazy May and Busy Days!

What a crazy start to May! This is the snow that we woke up to the morning of May 2nd. The trees were weeping with heavy, wet snow on them. But in the grand scheme of life-a little snow in May is nothing to weep about.

So this was the snow on May 2nd!

We had a busy weekend. On Saturday Mike, me, and the Mike Jr. family all participated in the Run for the Roses 5K to benefit the "This Old Horse Organization." It was a wet, muddy run but I finished my first 5K (well I walked some)!! It was a fantastic event.  We sipped on non-alcoholic Mint Juleps...the drink of choice at the Kentucky Derby! Some runners donned fancy hats. This was the first year of the run so expect even more fun next year!! Check out This Old Horse!

Mom and dad always watched the Kentucky Derby together so I went over to mom's house and watched the derby.

Sunday I did some more horsing around with Nathan. We went to groom Joey of the Half Pint Horse Foundation. Joey would be visiting some senior friends and needed to be cleaned up. I arrived a little early so thank goodness for youtube. I needed a refresher on how to put the halter on. We got Joey all brushed and sort of ready to go. Once Allison got there we vacuumed him and washed his hooves. He is so precious and laid his head in Nathan's lap.
Nathan with Joey
The afternoon was beautiful and it was time to start working to move dad's garden. Bittersweet to say the least. I could hear his voice and see him walking through his garden and pointing out all of his flowers to me. It was easy to tell that his last day's in the garden must have been hard for him. He has so many plants and so many beds to weed. The crocus were in full bloom, the grape hyacinths were popping up, as were the tulip leaves. There were irises everywhere and Lyle helped dig them up with the pitch fork.  We carefully removed the leaves uncovering emerging plants.
Lyle, my brother-in-law, and my sister Jamie

Mom looking for that Big Daddy Hosta
More bagging and potting in the days to come. Sure wish Pops was here to play in his yard with us!
After some digging, potting, and of course was time to head home. And look what greeted me!
Another of dad's amaryllis was blooming. Wendy said when she noticed that only two flowers had bloomed so far..she said it reminded her of me and my dad. I like that. 

Dad's amaryllis
Sunday night was time to get the two new packages of bees into their new hives! Nathan was my photographer. 
The new hives ready for bees

Spraying the bees with sugar water to slow them down

The bees were successfully installed into their new hives. I will leave them bee (no pun intended ha, ha) for a few days so that they can get acclimated and start making the honeycomb so that the queen can get laying eggs!

Speaking of eggs...the last chore of the day was to round up the chickens and gather the eggs! Until next time....don't forget to tell those you love just how much you love them!
Nathan with one of our hens-love you Nathan! What a great help he was today. 

Beautiful brown eggs