Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Update

At one point I thought that it would be good to update my blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  I don't think that's happened yet, but since it's Monday, maybe today is a good day to start.  I might change my mind by Thursday...but I'll try to follow through!

We'll start with photos from a week ago.  The horses at the farm.  Tish, Skylar, Breezy and Czar.  Boarder, mine, boarder, mine.  Mare, gelding, mare gelding.  That's all I have to say about that.

The birds are always busy at the farm.  I loved the greens in this shot...and the little bird too.

A woodpecker finding insects in the fence post.  My mom sometimes puts an orange half on the nail.  The Orioles love that!

She has a lot of finches this year.  So pretty and bright!

This is our old dog Penny at our house.  Her health isn't the best, but she's hanging in there.  She's a sweet but deaf old girl.

Brian and I were outside in the yard chatting last week when he spotted this red dragon fly.  It stayed on the dandelion just long enough for me to snap it's picture.  It's rained since then...the yard looks a little better now!

A cosmos in my front garden.  The blue in the background is actually my neighbors paved driveway.  I like how it turned out!

Our little kitten is over a year old now.  She's still a soft puffball.  Sometimes she has time for a nap.

I have a few sunflowers that have come up in my hanging pots.  Too pretty to pull.

Greta loves the great outdoors.

Eric and I took some time for ourselves and went golfing together on Friday.  I didn't bring the camera onto the course, but did have it in the car so I could take this shoot through the decorative grass.  I loved the light.

We had some haying to do on the farm.  My brother is restoring this Farmall H.  It's looking pretty good!  Now if someone could restore my muscles after trying to lift bales over my head I'd be happy.  Oye.  I am not in farming shape!

Breezy and Czar were spending some time scratching each others backs.  Pretty funny.  No one was bitten.

And last but not least a lily in my garden today.  I'm so happy to have my perennials blooming this year.  Thank you Greta for scaring away the rabbits!

And with that, I'm caught up.  Time to take some Advil for my aching back.  Thanks for stopping by.  I hope to see you here on Thursday!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Summer is Fading Fast

It's hard to believe that it's the middle of August already.  The cold and rainy spring along with the monsoons of June and early July have really made for a short summer!  Between that and baseball my head is spinning that it's almost time for Billy to go back to college.

We haven't spent as much time at the farm as I would have liked.  I took this picture of a cute little bird one weekend when we were there.

And a rainy day picture of a day lily.  And then it quit raining entirely.  So now we are short on rain again.

It's been an odd year for weather, that's for sure.  My cone flowers have liked the conditions though.  And so have the bees that visit them.

The little lilies have been almost choked out by the cone flowers.  I have to push my way to the back of the garden to find them.

It's worth the effort though.  Isn't this a pretty color combination?

This sunflower is a volunteer that is growing out of a pot of petunias.  I should pull it, but I love sunflowers, so it's staying.

I went to the Arboretum with a friend last week.  There are some really pretty glass sculptures there right now.  Fun to see.  There flowers are all blooming only where they were planted.  And no weeds.  I need a garden crew.

The butterfly exhibit was fun to visit too.  Mostly monarchs when we were there. So pretty.

This is my volunteer sunflower again.  I guess it's a weed.  But I don't care.

Sunflowers are happy flowers!

A rainy day lily again.  I guess I was wrong about not getting anymore rain, it obviously rained this day.  But we could use some more.  It will come.  It always does.

And I'll end with a shot of the super moon.  Someday I'll have enough time to get a fun moon rise photo, but for now it's just a shot of the moon in the sky. I'll end this with a little public domain song about about the moon.  I think it's pretty sweet.  Thanks for stopping by!

<xmp>I see the moon and the moon sees me And the moon sees the one that I long to see. So God bless the moon and God bless me and God bless the one that I long to see. It seems to me that God above created you for me to love. He picked you out of all the rest because he knew I loved you the best. I once had a heart called mine you see, but now it's gone to you from me. So take good care as I have done for you have two and I have none. I see the moon and the moon sees me And the moon sees the one that I long to see. So God bless the moon and God bless me And God bless the one that I long to see.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Back to the Flowers

We drove through the night on Sunday to get back from the baseball tournament in Dickinson, ND.  We both had work things that needed to be done.  But one of the first things that I did when we returned was take my photo of the day.  I knew that as soon as I downloaded the thousands of photos from our quick trip that the last thing I would want to do is take another photo.  It had rained while we were gone, the garden was green and lush.

I caught up with the work stuff, I took a nap, I downloaded the pictures and started sorting out the baseball ones to add to the team facebook page.  By Tuesday evening I never wanted to look at a photo again!  But I managed to take one from my cell phone while we were golfing in the ladies league.  This cute little bridge was nearly under water in the monsoon season of June.  Things are back to normal now.

It took me a few days to feel normal after our trip.  The older I get, the harder it is to recover after staying up all night.  Old people problems.

I've been happy to see butterflies in my garden.  I even left a few milk weeds for them to enjoy.  I'm sure that my neighbor isn't enjoying them nearly as much.

 Bee balm and cone flowers...both are doing great this year.  They are about 4 years old now, so that helps.  That and the fact that the rabbit population is down this year due to our little cat Greta!  She chases those rabbits right out of the yard!

We went to the farm / cabin the first weekend in August.  Billy had some fireworks that he wanted to shoot off for his friend Rachel.  They were spectacular!  Purchased in Wisconsin, they really packed some punch.

The next morning at the cabin was much more calm.  Such a beautiful and peaceful place.

There are a few day lilies that bloom there in the woods.  Such a punch of color among all that green.

Billy has had a fun summer with baseball and his friend Rachel.  He wanted to show her the cabin and the little town where he has spent so much of his time growing up.

I think that she liked it there.  They have a lot of fun together.  But summer is coming to an end, she's heading to a different college 6 hours away from where Billy will be.  Life as they know it is changing.

They knew that it was coming, but I think that saying good-bye is going to be pretty hard for these two. Sometimes all that a parent can do is say a little prayer that everything will be all right.  And it will be.  Amen.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Baseball Follow Up

My last post...way back in July...left off with Billy's baseball team winning the Sr. Babe Ruth State tournament.  With that win they earned a berth to the Regional Tournament in Dickinson, ND.  The State Championship game was on Friday.  We had a busy few days before leaving early Wednesday morning!

On Saturday we went to the Stillwater Log Jam days and saw Greg Brown perform.  Very cheap tickets and we were in the front row.  Score!  He was performing by himself and in fine form.

From Stillwater we drove to the cabin and spent the night there and at the farm the following day.  This day lily is one of many that bloom at the farm.

On Monday I spent some time catching up on work stuff to get ready for our time away, and snapped a picture of the abundant Bee Balm in the garden.  It has gone crazy this year!

Tuesday was more work stuff, watering the plants in preparation for being gone, laundry and packing.

We had to be in Dickinson in time for the team to check in at 1:45 Wednesday afternoon.  We met at the baseball field at 5:20 a.m. to pick up a few extra boys and all their gear...and off we went.

Pretty blues and greens along the way.  North Dakota is beautiful...we got to see many miles of it from the car!

Everyone arrived safe and sound.  The team checked in on time.  And then the waiting around began.  The team wasn't scheduled to play until Thursday evening, after the opening ceremony.  So Eric and I did what most respectable parents would do...we ditched the kids and went golfing!  That sounds bad...but Billy is 19 and had an on-line college class to finish up so we were really doing him a favor by giving him some space.  And there was a top 100 scenic golf course 30 miles away.

And boy, was it scenic!  We golfed at Bully Pulpit in Medora, ND.  It was like driving around in the badlands in a golf cart...while losing golf balls along the way!  Golfing there made the trip worthwhile all on it's own.

From the golf course we drove to Theodore Roosevelt National Park and toured the rest of the badlands from our van.  I didn't realize the badlands in North Dakota were so be honest I didn't even know that they were there.  What a wonderful surprise.

After our tour we headed back to Dickinson.  The boys had a short baseball practice and then spent some time watching the other Minnesota team playing their game.  The other Minnesota team came from Eden Prairie as that was pretty cool.

And then it was time for the opening ceremony.  They do it up right with a lot of tradition.  All of the teams are introduced and take the field.  They recite the sportsmanship code:

Develop a strong, clean, healthy body, mind and soul.
Develop a strong urge for sportsman-like conduct.
Develop understanding of and respect for the RULES.
Develop courage in defeat, tolerance and modesty in victory.
Develop control over emotions and speech.
Develop spirit of cooperation and team play.
Develop into real, true CITIZENS...

And then we sing the National Anthem.  I like that they take the time to do things right.

How lucky are we in this Nation to have the freedom to play baseball?  It's a game, but some true life lessons have been learned along the way.  I'm beyond proud of how Billy has handled it all.  I know that my dad is smiling down on him...he would have been pretty proud too.

The first part of the tournament was pool play.  Top two from each pool would play on Sunday.  The boys played Dickinson on Thursday night...they won.  They played Charleston, MO on Friday afternoon, they lost.

On Saturday morning Eric and I took another little break from baseball and went to Taylor, ND for their annual horse festival.  We didn't know what to expect, it sounded pretty big!  It wasn't...but that's what made it perfect.  25 horse units in the parade.  A petting zoo.  A few tables with items for sale.  And a lot of local characters that made me smile and wish all over again that my dad was with us.  He would have loved it!

We made it back to Dickinson in time for some more baseball.

The boys won their 3rd pool play game vs. Holyoke, CO.  That meant that they were 2nd in their pool and would be playing the winner of the other pool on Sunday.

On Sunday at noon the boys played Fargo, ND in the semi-final game.

Winner plays in the Championship, loser goes home.

The Eden Prairie boys came to play...and win!

Their win put them in the Championship game versus Charleston, MO at 7:30 Sunday evening.

The Charleston team was tough.  They had won the tournament last year.  Billy's team gave it their best.  There were only 3 hits from EP in the game.  One boy had two of them.  This boy had one. Yeah Billy!

Second place in Regions, can't complain about that.  Billy and his proud dad.

And Billy with his proud mom.  I'm glad that his team did so well.  I'm sad that his Eden Prairie baseball playing days are over.  He's planning on playing club baseball at Iowa State again in the fall.

We don't get to watch...but on the other hand...he's on his own with the baseball laundry.  I'll just think about that when I'm missing the days at the ball park!
I'll be back to the pictures of flowers and horses and whatever comes my way before too long.  Thanks for stopping by!