The Natives Make Me Restless

Forty-five native Oklahoma plants were delivered yesterday! Forty-five!!!!  Guess I lost my head a little. Now to get them in the ground. Feeling just a little overwhelmed and restless to get out there in this gorgeous weather.  It’s an absolutely wonderful day out there – light breeze (okay, so its windy, but after all, this is spring in Oklahoma) sunshine, perfect temps.

Wild bergamot, goldenrod, and friends

Wild bergamot, goldenrod, and friends

Climbing Prairie Rose, Hibiscus, Muhly Grass

Climbing Prairie Rose, Hibiscus, Muhly Grass

Didn’t realize the Prairie Rose was the climbing variety.  Will have to re-think a location for it.  I guess I will have to wait until the irises bloom and wither, then remove some of them and plant the rose to climb up the post of the pergola.  The challenge will be keeping them alive in their plastic pots for a while.

Can’t wait to see the new bed finished.  Got the False Indigo planted last night before it got too dark to see what I was doing.

Okay, back to work.  Have a simple kind of day!

 

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On the Bluebonnet Trail

The Great Bluebonnet Expedition of 2014 was a success. The weather kinda sucked, but it was okay. We got some good pics.

I have to admit, in my own mind, part of the motivation for the trip was to recapture the joy of summers spent on the edge of the Hill Country visiting grandparents and cousins.  I remember the enjoyment  of turning off the interstate onto the 2-lane road that took us through the edge of town out to the country, through 14 bucolic miles of corn fields and grazing cows.  Being a city girl, miles and miles of growing corn and the black heavy soil of the farmland was an oddity.  Another strong memory is the sound of gravel crunching under the tires as we pulled into the driveway of my Dad’s parents’ farm and my grandmother being at the screen door on the back porch to welcome us.  She always had Snickers in the freezer and the most delicious pot roast you’ve ever tasted cooking in the oven.  Today, I realize her’s tasted so good, not necessarily because of any great culinary skill on her part, but because the beef was grass-fed on their own land and never treated with antibiotics and growth hormones.

Of course, over the years the landscape has changed.  New stacked highway interchanges, hotels and restaurant chains now line the once serene stretch of road that led to my grandparents’ house.  The cousins I once spent weeks at a time with were all too busy for even a brief visit this time.  Adult children and grandkids take precedence over see-you-every-couple-of-years cousins.

So, putting aside the disappointment of my inner child (admittedly tempered by the purchase of jars of honey and locally made German sausage), we set out on the trek for bluebonnets.  After we finally figured out that we needed to get off the large, fast state highways and onto narrow county and ranch roads, we found an abundance of photo ops. We talked to a waiter at a great burger place in Marble Falls and he told us exactly which roads to take for the best results. He was right.  County Road 200 and Ranch Road 1741 provided a peaceful and colorful afternoon’s entertainment.

ImageI love the limestone architecture of the farmhouses and the huge expanses of pasture studded with mesquite trees, cactus and bluebonnets.

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We spent some time in Burnet at the Bluebonnet Festival.  Love the huge bluebonnet sculpture in front of the Town Hall.

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There was a sweet young family from Sage Creek Farm selling soaps and crocheted baby items made by the mom and beautiful wooden cutting boards and French rolling pins made by the dad.   Wish I had had more cash to spend.  I love to see a new generation of hand-makers, simple-lifers coming of age.  It gives me hope for the future.

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More bluebonnets.

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On the way back to Oklahoma, we drove to downtown Dallas (scary!) to Dealy Plaza, the location of the assassination of JFK.  We’d been wanting to make the trip for a long time, so this was the perfect opportunity.  It was very surreal.  I was 8 when he was killed, and I remember seeing it all on TV.  To see the street with the Xs marking the spots of the bullet strikes, the grassy knoll and fence, the School Book Depository building all right there, made it all so real.  I’m glad we didn’t make a special trip previously, because we only spent about 30 minutes at the site. A place where America’s path was changed forever.

Too gloomy!  Back to the bluebonnets!  Here’s one more pic.  Have a great day everyone and keep it simple!

Patience with an Attitude

Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting – Unknown

I will be the first to admit that patience is not a virture I possess.  Once I make a plan, I want fruition now, thank you very much. My latest test of patience is our new backyard landscaping project.

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I posted this picture a while back.

After hours battling a sod cutter and hauling loads of crumbling clay and grass, resulting in sore muscles, liberal applications of ice packs and downing of multiple Ibuprofen, this was the result.

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You get the general idea of the curves.

Anybody want some free dirt ?

Anybody want some free dirt ?

Last weekend, after riding 33 miles in a bicycle fund raiser, my husband helped me haul 65 concrete edgers to the back yard, load after heavy wheelbarrow load.  We hit it again Sunday afternoon and got the last one in place just as it started to rain.

I'm really pleased with the result.

I’m really pleased with the result.

Don’t know if you can see it, but there is a very young redbud tree planted in the corner.

Bloom wannabe.

Bloom wannabe.

We’re living in redbud heaven right now.  The Oklahoma state trees are in their full glory, blooming in colors ranging from light pink to dark fuchsia.   I think the one we planted will be the light pink variety.  I love the lacy airiness of the mature tree.

Our's should look like this in a few years.

Our’s should look like this in a few years.

The blooms stand out against the bright green new leaves and still bare branches of trees around them. They show up everywhere- in landscaped lawns and the natural wooded areas that line local creeks.

Now comes the patience part.  It will be another two weeks before my young native plants can be weaned from the greenhouse at  Wild Things Nursery.

Since we are at a standstill, we decided to take a trip to the Texas hill country. We’ll go visit my Dad’s grave at the little cemetery in Buckholts, stop in at Green’s Sausage House in Zabcikville (don’t you love that name?) to stock up on the best German sausage and kolaches you’ve ever put in your mouth, and then tool up the road to the Walker Honey Farm in Rogers. My parents grew up in this tiny town (population 1000 as long as I can remember) where my sister and I spents weeks every summer, visiting grandparents and cousins and fighting about who got to sleep on the foldout sofa or the rollaway cot. I think the best part of our trip will be a driving tour of the Marble Falls area where the bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush are supposed to be at peak.  I need a good dose of the Hill Country.  What few roots I grew, I grew there.

May have to rethink the retirement-in-the-mountains plan.