Monday, August 29, 2011

clean up from Irene

I just love my little piece of mother earth that I call home. I have the best of both worlds. I live in the woods but only 4 minutes to the highway and 5 minutes to the mall. It was a great place for my children to grow up. A family friendly neighborhood, where everyone knows our name. The one downfall about living here is our road. I live at the bottom of 2 dirt hills, and when it rains the rain washes the road in my driveway and creates craters in the road, which in winter is brutal.  
after the hurricane, my husband shoveled by hand and wheeled a good 10-15 full loads of dirt up the hill using the wheel barrow in the above photo.
This puddle of water is runoff from the pond across the street, which will continue to dribble water for a few days after the torrential rains from the hurricane.

Our neighbor has a friend that let him borrow his machinery to fix the road. I am ever so thankful. If you click on the photo you will see some craters in the road.





This is the dead tree that snapped and fell in the woods. We have been watching this tree for some time now, and with each storm we would pray it didn't land on the house.

Now our road is smooth until the next heavy rain, and all is good once again. I pray that the rest of Irene's victims get back to normal, and my sympathy to those that lost their life in the storm.
Hugs,
Ellen

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Heafty price tags

These chickens were made from recycle materials. They were crafted by Sean J Harrington. They are well over 6 feet tall, and quite amazing. They will be on display until September.  And they came with a hefty price tag. When we first entered the property there was 2 bulls in the distance, and at first we thought they were real. Then we realized they were not. I did get some photos of these two chickens and some pigs. I had planned on taking more photos, but after class was over, it was too hot to be out and about.
This guy was priced at $5,900.00




And this one was priced at $6,500.00. He was in such a beautiful area with nice views of the mountain.


I just think the face on this one is very well crafted.



And the three pigs, each with their own price tag.



I hope to go back to see the others.
Hugs,
Ellen

I am linking to SJ Homemaker on a dime

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fairy or Fairytale

I can remember as  young child and my curious affair with fairies. I always knew they were there, playing in places that I could never get into.  Even into my adult hood, I had always kept fairies close to my heart. And one year I had planted some freesia bulbs and when they bloomed early spring they reminded me of the perfect place that fairies could be found. Which in turn I made this oval flower bed my "fairy garden". I also have cone flowers in this garden and in the heavy rains of summer, the fairies would be protected under the upside down pedals of the coneflower. In spring the cluster of grape hyathins is a beautiful addition to the fairy garden along with the small blue and pink blooms of the Bethlehem sage plant. The flowers of the fairies are endless.
The above photo was taken early spring 
On this day in the midst of summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a "fairy garden" class at 
http://www.towerhillbg.org/ along with my sister Shirley. These are the days that I will treasure and take with me till the end of time.
The class was taught by an amazing woman Betsy Williams. If you click on Betsy's highlighted name it will take you to her website.
This was what I started with, a basket, a fern and a ivy plant.
After we got our dirt and plants in the basket it was off to find all kinds of fun things for our fairy garden. Betsy Williams had such a wide variety of materials and the creativity was ours.


what fairy garden doesn't need lots of moss


This is just a sample of the kinds of materials we had to work with.
Being the kid at heart that I am, I wanted to create a play area for my fairy. I thought how nice it would be to have a swing to sit on and sing. I made 2 swings and then I made one more trip to a box of small twigs and pieces of bark, when all of a sudden sitting there waiting for me was a piece of white birch that was just right for my swing seat. The third time was the charm.
This was the first swing attempt, I did like the wideness of the wood, but it was too big for the basket.

I thought this second attempt was the right one, sized to proportion.....

But this beautiful piece of white birch was perfect.

this garden and the next three were the design of some of my classmates. It was so nice to see a couple of young adults. The two girls were so lucky to have had the opportunity to do something that most girls their age would have loved to have done. And they had the best imagination of what a fairy would love in her garden. A table set for company, just the perfect magical mystical hiding places for the fairies that would hopefully find the "fairy gardens" built specially for "little people".




The basket to left was cleverly crafted by my sister and the one to the right was mine.

 Here is my fairy garden in its new spot, inside the oval fairy bed.
I must say I had the best day in a long time, and wish to extend my thank you to my sister for her invite, the tower hills for hosting it and the talented Betsy Williams for her dedicated knowledge and sharing some with us.

Betsy was kind enough to have her book "are there fairies at the bottom of your garden?", autographed  in the gift shop. Written by her and illustrated by her husband Ned.

If you would like to see more on these wonderful "fairy gardens" please visit my sister Shirley.
May you be forever blessed.
Ellen

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nature's beauty

Every year we have baby bunnies born in my yard. This year this little guy has been living in my bed of liatris. I have not been able to work in the yard, so the old flowers have become a safe haven for the little critters. We also have a lot of hawks that just sit in the trees and prey on them.
We had the parents early in the year.  They come running out from the strangest places, and they sure can make one jump. I look forward to the babies each year as they are so cute.... they learn so quick to run. We did one year have a neighborhood cat that found where the den was and emptied it one by one and brought them in the house through the cat door. The owner of the cat wasn't very happy.
One  evening my brother-in-law called to say a hawk was on his deck, and had a squirrel. So once again I grab the camera and go. He was very protective of his catch. There was crows in the trees that wanted the hawk to share. The hawk was there for a long time, I gave up watching but I am assuming he outlasted the crows.
This afternoon the crows were tormenting this hawk. He would not move. I don't know if the crows had a nest they were protecting or if there was another meal some where.
I have lived in this house for almost 28 years, I have seen deer, turkeys,blue heroin,rabbits and once even a moose. But this one day recently I seen something crossing the road, so I grabbed my camera and ran out door....It was a turtle. This was the first turtle I have seen here.
Who knows what else I may see....
Hugs,
Ellen

Monday, August 15, 2011

footsteps revisited

in a whole new perspective. I grew up in a very family friendly neighborhood, where everyone knew one another.  In the neighborhood was a very old cemetery. As a child I had been to this cemetery so many times, and as a young adolescent I would stroll through with my  nieces and nephews in their baby carriage. The cemetery had a gate at the main entrance and then another on the other end of the cemetery. We would cut through the cemetery to go to the park. It was a great place to grow up, and has so many of my wonderful warm memories of my child hood.
Last week my sister and I went for a walk in the cemetery. We were there with a few different purposes. One to try to find Ester Howland  grave site. We did find her parents, and we believe now that she is buried near Boston. This would be her parents.
The trees in this cemetery are very old and gorgeous. I did capture a few.


 George Crompton an inventor has a very large grave site that hosts a beautiful ornate building. I was just in awe as I kept looking at this wonderful piece of history, and each side of the building was just gorgeous as the other.

 It would have been nice if my family would have bought in this cemetery.  I bought in the cemetery where my parents and two brothers are. 
Hugs,
Ellen

Beaded ornaments

My 50th Birthday banner my sister made for my surprise party

Hedda Hopper


Birth:

May 2, 1890
Death:

Feb. 1, 1966
Actress, Journalist. Despite a 23 year career that encompassed over 120 motion picture appearances and chorus girl roles on Broadway to motion pictures, she is best remembered for her newspaper column and radio show that focused exclusively on Hollywood gossip, a subject she was able to tell more about to her audience due to her Hollywood insider status. Born Elda Furry in Holidaysburg, Pennsylvania, she left school to act on Broadway. In 1913 she married marquee star William DeWolfe, a man who was 32 years her senior. They had one son, and divorced in 1922, but she kept his name for the rest of her life (and changed her name to Hedda on the advice of a numerologist). In 1931 she began “The Hedda Hopper Show”, which initially ran as a 15 minute gossip show mostly devoted to Hollywood marriages and divorces. Enormously popular, it ran until 1951, and on the strength of its popularity she started the “Hedda Hopper’s Hollywood” column in the Los Angeles Times in 1938. She steadily gained a reputation for exposing tidbits about the lives of Hollywood figures, and created a character of herself in her own right, especially in regard to her vast collection of sometimes outrageous hats, and a long standing feud with rival gossip columnist Louella Parsons. With the advent of television’s popularity in the late 1940s and early 1950s, he radio show waned, but she herself became a staple of television programs and game shows, being a frequent panelist on “What’s My Line?’, and appear on shows like “I Love Lucy”, “The Colgate Variety Hour” and “The Beverly Hillbillies”. In 1960 she received the Journalistic Merit award, and published her autobiography “The Whole Truth and Nothing But!”, which recapped her over 20 years or being an Hollywood insider. She died in Los Angeles of double pneumonia in 1966, working right up until her passing. As a Hollywood icon, she created a number of friends and enemies; she gave harsh advice to actress Ida Lupino, which helped her gain recognizable part, but was despised by actress Joan Bennett, who once sent her a skunk. In 1985 a movie about the feud between her and Parsons was released as “Malice in Wonderland”, which Jane Alexander as Hedda Hopper and Elizabeth Taylor as Louella Parsons