Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Weeding...and Other Super Fun Things!

Our yard is constantly attacked by weeds. We live next to a big cow pasture in one of the windiest areas of California. It seems that by the time we make it around the yard (front, back and side) and pull all the weeds...they are already popping up again. We get all kinds of weeds; low amaranth, little bittercress, California burclover, spurweed, bermuda buttercup, mousear chickweed, white clover, common cocklebur, dandelion, fiddleneck, cutleaf geranium, common groundsel, horseweed, tumble mustard, bristly oxtongue, scarlet pimpernel, broadleaf plantain, buckhorn plantain, annual sowthistle, creeping spurge, Canada thistle, large crabgrass, prarie cupgrass, goosegrass....and my all time favorite, Blessed Milkthistle (silybum marianum).

Blessed Milthistle, such a nice name for such a horrifying noxious weed. According to Wikipedia (the modern-age encyclopedia of everything...if its there, it must be true!), Blessed Milkthistle has been grown as a medicinal plant in monestarial gardens since ancient times...and more recently, the extract is now also being used in Rockstar Energy Drink as an energy enhancing agent. Maybe I should call Rockstar...I have a yard full of this crap they can come harvest, heck I wouldn't even charge them for it, as long as they remove it!

Whenever I see the darling little sprouts of the Blessed Milkthistle...I cringe! I can't even pull the seedlings out with leather gloves on, the thorns are so dang hard. So usually I let it grow a bit and then hack it out of the ground with the shovel and use tongs to pick it up and throw it away! I swear the sight of this weed sends shivers down my spine!

But on Sunday I found the coolest tool at Lowes...the UpRoot® Weed & Root Remover by Fiskars.

I bought one (for about $26) and thought I would give it a try. We have so many weeds and the constant bending, kneeling and pulling is horrible. I actually wore through the fingertips of my gloves a couple of weekends ago on a marathon 5 hour weed pulling session!

But I digress...again...we tried out the UpRoot and were actually stunned by how well it worked! First you jab the tool into the grond over the weed, then you step on the side of the tool and rock to the side, which pulls out the weed...root and all...then, and here is the best part, there is a slide on the handle that you use to forcefully eject the weed off of the end of the tool. I was shooting those damned weeds accross the yard and into the garbage can like I was in the NBA! Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration, but it was fun! So fun, in fact, later that night after watching TV, I was tempted to go outside and pull weeds...for fun...are you getting what I am saying here! This is absolutely crazy!

I sent Fiskars an email Monday morning letting them know how much I love this tool:

“I LOVE this tool...I bought one yesterday and it is so easy to use, and works wonderfully on low braodleaf weeds! Our yard is almost overrun with braodleaf weeds (we live right behind a cow pasture...and the weeds are a huge problem), but this made pulling them out so easy! And no bending or stooping or waddling around on my knees! What a godsend! At 9:30pm last night, with nothing good on TV, I even considered going outside and pulling was so fun! Crazy, I know, I never thought I would say I wanted to go weed the yard! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Thank you so much! Fiskars are just the best tools...I have a lot of crafting Fiskars, and now won't consider anything less for my gardening tools!”

So...I just wanted to put this out there, for all to see...weeding can be fun! So get to it! You wouldn't want your neighbors to complain....(more about that at a later date!)

PS: The ladybug pictures below are from the weeding marathon....and the ladybug on the bottom right is crawling on a Broadleaf Plantain...actually a very pretty weed I considered keeping in the yard...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ladybugs...and Other Elusive Things

One day while weeding the backyard I noticed ladybugs everywhere. It seemed like it was ladybug season! I was so intent on finishing my yard work, I didn't grab the camera...never got pictures of the little buggers.

And of course for the next several weeks I was on the constant lookout for in ladybugs! Little buggers!

Apparently, they only come as a reward for doing yard work, 'cause this Saturday I spent many agonizing hours cleaning our side yard of weeds...and the ladybugs were out in full force!

This time...I had camera in hand!

Here are the fruits of my labor:

I think it was well worth the wait...

Now all I have to do is print, trim and scrap!

(Be sure to click on the above pics...the first one is a cool front view...lots of details)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Backroads...and other Fun Photo Ops

I was driving around this past Sunday, running errands here and there...and realized that nine times out of ten, I take the backroads. I enjoy the scenery. It is a longer drive but slower in pace, relaxing (and if I have to be behind the wheel, I might as well be me, you want it that way...).

I love open space, rusty metal, flowering trees, green grass (and the occasional cow); all of which are along the backroads!

A little art project and layout idea popped into my I took out my camera and snapped a few photos along Rockville Road...for inspiration.

This isn't the final project...just a group of some of the pics I took...I have a little mental list of what else I want to take...when the ideas stop percolating, and the final project is done...I will share!

Until then...don't forget to enjoy the scenery!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wacky Wednesday...and Other Mid-Week Madness

So I got some fun news the other day...The Everyday Scrapper website asked me to join their online forum team. Woo-hoo!

I'm in charge of when mid-week has got you down, shoot over to the forum and check out my topics!

I will be posting the Question of the Day, the Scrapbooking Question of the Day, opening up a forum post for the Website Topic of the Day, posting some Daily Inspiration and posting a Tutorial...every Wednesday!

And now I'm sitting here, gathering ideas...and I think I have some fun things for the Tutorial's a hint...think "Clean House" sure to check it out next week!

On another note...I checked on my tulips last night. They are starting to send up buds (yeah!) is a sort of fuzzy picture...I had my camera set on macro, and there was a breeze, so nothing would stay still long enough for a clear shot!

Except, little Bonnie...who normally never takes a good picture...I thought this one turned out pretty nice. Hmm...I may need to scrap this picture!

Thanks for stopping by...

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Month in Review

Well, February has come to a close...and I looked back at what I accomplished in the month (craft-wise) and what I spent...yep, I'm still super budgeting!

I did buy a few things...mostly necessities, but I did pick-up a couple of cute $1 stamps at Michaels and pair of $2 scissors I have been searching for less than $5, I got my fix of new 'toys'! I also finally ran out of Zip-Dry (neccessity!) and Xyron 500 cartridge (which I have been using a ton of with all the cards I am making!)...So I picked those up on Saturday. All-in-all, I spent less than $50 this month on crafting stuff...not bad!

I also tallied up what I finished this month...

3 knitted washcloths
9 scrapbook layouts (11 pages total)
1 cute fabric-tied basket
36 cards (wow! I think I am on a card making kick!)

I also think I am falling in love with flocking is a cute card I made for a baby shower (and card swap at 2Ps):

Can you see the cute fuzzy brown spots on the giraffe...too much fun!

I started working on some Easter cards this weekend with the $1 stamps from Michaels and some pink and yellow flock! I'll let you know how it goes!