The Weekly Smile

I think it is so important to smile. I am joining in on the weekly smile with friends and this is put together by Trent who is so kind to put this all together for all of us to enjoy! Thank you Trent! I know I am enjoying reading and hearing about everyone’s smile and so I will share what I am smiling about this week. Part of my smiles is a vacation day with July 4th off tomorrow! Yippee!! We all LOVE an extra day off of work, and to celebrate our Independence even better right? I hope you all are going to have a wonderful day tomorrow, I know I will have a great day! πŸ˜€

Me Smiling today riding my girl Miss Chloe on trail!

I am so happy to be riding my girl down the trail. Today I was by myself and am lucky she is really a good girl all by herself. We do not travel far and she knows the route by heart. I don’t even need to guide her as she knows every turn. We ride around the block which takes about 30 minutes and what a big huge smile on my face as we quietly walked the trails. Thank you Miss Chloe for a perfectly, wonderful ride! Love her so much! ❀

This morning I was watering and the smell of this rose AMAZING! MADE ME SMILE!

I have had a busy week, it will only get busier later in July for me but I went outside this morning to water my very small garden and the temperature and air were just wonderful. I was just taking in the beauty of the day and as I was watering I noticed some beautiful blooms. This one rose bush did not bloom last year and almost died. But this year it is flourishing and I am thinking probably because of all the rain we have had, what ever the reason this rose has the most incredible rose smell. I don’t know much about roses, but this one the buds are so round and compact and then when they eventually unfold, it is just beautiful but so different than my other roses or what I would call “normal” blooms. I guess its just the species of this rose. I’ll have to do some research. These roses were all planted by the previous owner of the house.

This is a bloom from the same plant above. It’s so different, and I am glad it came back to life!

What are you smiling about today? or this week? I have a new employee starting at work this week and that puts a huge smile on my face. I am hoping she will like working at the lab. I am looking forward to more trail riding tomorrow and through the weekend. Both my horses need the exercise and it is so fun to ride and am hoping to be joined with my girlfriends at the barn. I will end with a photo of my horses since they are my therapy and really help keep that smile on my face. I hope you enjoy your weekend too! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

This photo is from 2015. I’m planning on sharing more photos on my next blog post from 2015, but thought I’d share this one here as I smile at them beauties!

I feel like I am smiling at a lot of different things, but that happens right? So this blog is about my day to day things I love and when I see things that catch my eye, I sure enjoy sharing!

Keep Smiling!! πŸ˜€

-Diana

The Weekly smile

My friend Trent hosts a weekly smile and I decided it’s about time I share my weekly smile! I am so HAPPY about this as I truly believe that a smile to share is so important to us all. I try and smile to everyone I see each day, it’s so contagious and it makes you feel so good. I find it so helpful to stay positive so here is what makes me smile this week. πŸ˜€

Flowers of all kinds make me smile! This is in my front yard. πŸ˜€
I don’t have a special camera, but am thankful for the Live Focus on my phone camera!

I have shared many times how much I love photography. Photos just make me SMILE. I love the beauty that you can attain whether it be black and white photos, still shots, close up shots, I can stare at beautiful photos all day! Some day I will have to start saving for a nice camera but for now I am so happy I can take decent photos and share for my smile this week! To be honest, my weekly smiles will probably always contain photos – I’m just that addicted to them!! ❀

This is a small sized palm that is in my front yard and I thought this an interesting photo.

I was enjoying my flowers today as I watered in the front yard. They all just make me smile so I thought I would share. Today or last night was my night off so I am enjoying this day outside not only at the barn with my horses earlier but with my flowers in my yard. Oh yes, and I am enjoying the day with my hubby, my best friend, my companion for life. Thankful for these smiles. What made you smile today?

My tea rose up close!

Thank you for the SMILES!

-Diana πŸ˜€

Weekend Coffee Share: It’s June 1st!

My roses LOVE the cool weather! Summer is almost here….

It is afternoon and I don’t have a photo of tea only coffee. So I decided to share my rose photo instead! I know rather random but it sure puts a smile on my face as I have some ice tea with some kettle corn as my afternoon snack. What are you doing this weekend? Would you like some ice coffee? tea? hot or cold? Weekend coffee share is to share what we are doing on our weekend, to share with friends old and new. I so enjoy sharing, my photos are all rather random as I don’t have a theme this weekend. I have been busy, so my photos show all that I have been doing these last few days! πŸ˜€

I am at the end of my walk up to my house. This is the side view as we live on a corner, our driveway leads to one street and our address is the other street along the front of the house!

I try and walk at least twice a week, I should walk more often but walk a fair amount at work and at the stables. It has been very gloomy in the mornings, the temps in the 50’s which is great walking weather! I wish I walked today, this is my walk from yesterday. The sun has not come out until noon this last week which is A-okay with me as the summer heat I know is right around the corner. I was scheduled with 2 days off in a row. The next photos are all the things I have been working on the last few days on my days off. I felt very productive, what do you do on your days off?

My daughter’s guinea pigs, time to clean their cage! So they are out getting some exercise, or maybe just eating! Haha! Love them! ❀
I have been working on these crochet zoo animals! I am almost done, there is still some detail work to finish up on the Hippo. They aren’t difficult but it has taken me awhile to get them done!
My days off include trail riding! These beautiful purple Jacaranda trees are in full bloom!
I know I’ve shared these blooms before, but they are going crazy! Pomegranate trees at the stables with TONS of blooms!

I have been wanting to try and start a garden but I had so much trouble last year that I haven’t gotten up the energy to give it another try and I probably should have put my energy into it because this year I think our weather would be so good for gardening. This time last year we were battling heat. It was a very hot year last year and even though I know I would still have to water a lot, the cooler weather I think is kinder to growing plants. I know it isn’t too late if I investigate and find what is good to start growing this time of year. I also could buy some starters instead of starting from seed. Hmm… just writing about this is making me think I will give it a try and grow just a little garden. I had gopher problems last year, but I could just stick with my containers. Okay, I think I’ve convinced myself, thanks for listening or reading my ramblings! Haha, writing is so cathartic, I hope I’m not boring!

I found the trick to photograph her sticking her tongue out! Feed her a treat, stand back to take a photo and here you go! Haha, She’s adorable!

I sure am enjoying sharing my tea with you today! I also did some house work, laundry, you know all the usual stuff. Its funny, I am so busy and since I have the horses and my family is busy with their responsibilities we do not plan on very many outings. I did when my kids were young children but since my grown children live in far away places I just plan my outings there, visiting in their towns or cities. So in two weeks I will be driving to Arizona to see my son and family, so excited as I can’t wait to see my granddaughter!! Since I trail ride so much and am outdoors with my horses, my other relaxing outlet is my crochet projects. What do you do to relax? I use to read but have been really bad about reading. I blame that on my horses! ❀ ❀ ❀

Feeling relaxed, weekend FUN,

-Diana

Roses are blooming!

This rose has the most AMAZING rose smell! I LOVE IT! ❀

I have a small garden in my front yard with a few rose bushes that are LOVING all the rain and I am getting some blooms. I can’t believe it is almost Spring and I absolutely LOVE the smell of roses. I find it amazing how smells can evoke memories as these beautiful roses remind me of my youth. This blog is all about roses! πŸ˜€

A rose bud, so fat and cute! ❀
This is so beautiful as the bud opens so dark in color, fading with the flower below as it ages on the vine!

Nature just amazes me with all it’s beauty. I have a handful of rose bushes that are all different, the variegated colors above are just gorgeous. I love being outside and seeing what the day brings and what is new in the world. There are a lot of fun things to observe. I wish I got my camera out yesterday at the stables as I observed a wild finch as it flew and perched itself on the fence and I thought what funny whiskers – haha – it’s beak was full of horse hair as it was gathering this for its nest! Darn, it would have been a great photo!!

Such a big rose, so compact in the middle! This is my favorite smelling rose.

I cheated and the first rose is the same rose as the last, but I tried a super close shot opposed to farther away. My favorite is the super close up shot, with my second being the rose that is light yellow with a pink fringe! I like the rose bud too, heck, I love them all. I just had to share my roses today as they put a giant smile on my face and I can’t wait until the sun returns. We will have some rain tonight and we have just seen the sun a little bit here and there the last week or so. It is to warm up this week and I am SO EXCITED! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

Can’t wait for SPRING, can’t wait to garden!

-Diana ❀

Teeny Tiny Garden Update!

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This summer is just crazy, and I know many will agree! It’s crazy hot and crazy wildfires, and I pray the fires will all go out soon even though I know the fight will be long and hard for those putting their life on the line. But I am so thankful we are not near any fires, no, we are inland enough to get a healthy dose of hot weather pretty much every day. My poor garden is really suffering and I feel badly only because I did not prepare better, but it is all a learning curve and boy have I learned a lot this summer! I have to thank fellow gardeners that have given me some great advice, and most of that advice I’ll have to try the next time around as my garden that once was mighty, even though it is small has wilted down and is just about ready to be dead. I never thought I would write about death, but my cucumbers have succumbed and my pumpkins are right behind. I think I will have one pumpkin, maybe, it’s not the size most normal pumpkins are and it is still early for a pumpkin but the plant itself I don’t think will make it more than a couple of weeks if I’m lucky. I’m SUPER HAPPY about my tomatoes! That is what I decided to put as my first photo, they are very happy tomatoes in a container and I hope they stay that way. I didn’t want to put photos of my sad pumpkin/cucumber patch, okay, here are a couple of photos. It’s just about done like I said, next time I will prepare the ground better and definitely I will lay down mulch to help with keeping things moist when I water! I can only post these tiny photos as its hard to look at, I’m rather embarrassed, sort of, well, it is what it is at this point!Β  😦  I know, I’m being dramatic…

As my teeny tiny garden is shrinking (minus cucumbers and soon pumpkins) I am planning on starting a new one in 2 containers that I have waiting to be planted for fall. Since I had to battle Mr. Gopher I am going to just concentrate on the containers. I will check my planting zone as I’m sure this will help my success in my gardening. I’ve known about these zones, I just haven’t taken the time to look and see what grows best where I live. Since my garden is tiny, I plan on keeping it that way until I get the hang of this gardening thing. I sure love watching my garden grow and so I will do my best with my fall crop. Haha, I have to laugh because it isn’t much of a crop but it is still a garden and really fun!Β  Β πŸ˜€

P.S. I only got about 7 cucumbers that I am eating instead of pickling. They are delicious, sweet, succulent and only one that was bitter so I threw it away. Maybe I will try to grow more cucumbers. Next time.Β  πŸ™‚

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Only one of my tiny herb garden is beaming and that’s my basil. It sure is shiny and green. The box for my herbs is really small which is fine since I need to learn to cook with fresh herbs! I have occasionally bought fresh herbs from the grocery store but I’ll be completely honest, I have NEVER grown my own herbs. Oh dear, I need to learn to eat healthier and cook and eat fresh and home-grown foods! I’m slowly getting there, better late than never I always say….

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As sad as I am about losing some of my garden, my eyes and nose can’t believe my honeysuckle!! It smells AMAZING! And it is blooming like CRAZY! It’s just loving life and so it puts a huge giant smile on my face! I have to say that I love sharing my garden even though it is so very small. My little tea rose is loving life too like I’ve mentioned before. My other bigger roses are dormant as I think they bloom later in the fall or usually late winter into spring actually. So I’m not surprised they are not blooming right now. Here is another tea rose bloom. It is so pretty, I do love these plants.Β  ❀

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I hope you have enjoyed my gardening plights and joys. It is work, but it is rewarding except the part about the plants that don’t want to live any more. That part is sad, but everything else is really fun and enjoyable! If you have any gardening tips I’d love to hear from you!

Newby Teeny Tiny Gardener,

-Diana

My First Cucumbers, YUMMY!

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I have never grown cucumbers before and I have to scratch my head and wonder why? Oh my goodness, home-grown cucumbers are so amazing I have no idea why I have never planted them before. For some reason I always chose zucchini or yellow squash to grow and I’m not bashing them but my hubby has never liked zucchini or squash so I end up making zucchini bread and I bake the squash despite his lack of enthusiasm. When I cut into this cucumber the sweet, juicy flavor was unlike any I’ve had before! It’s like home-grown tomatoes, they just taste so much better than buying from the store, so strange but it’s so TRUE!!

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I LOVE these babies so much that I cut up the whole cucumber and put it in my salad. Haha, I had more cucumber than salad but it was so delicious I had to have a salad the next day and of course consume another cucumber. The skin is not very thick on my cucumbers which is fine by me, as it makes it that much tastier. I’ve been seeing and reading a lot about other gardens and all the produce they are producing its just amazing as my garden is so tiny but it’s a start. I am such a busy Mom, Grandma, supervisor, horse owner, dog owner, kitty owner and small garden maintainer, not to mention the house work I need to do (it’s pretty easy to neglect the kitchen floor) also working on crochet projects, did I tell you I’m really busy? Yup, now I’m repeating myself! And I love sharing and writing and that takes time too! πŸ˜€

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Here is one pumpkin that has taken off and I had planted white and orange seed pumpkins. I think this is going to be a white pumpkin. I also discovered that in my zealous trying to be a good pumpkin/cucumber mom I’ve been over watering! Oh dear, I’ve had a few pumpkins get all mushy and fall off the vine and upon reading this is caused by too much watering or flooding. Oops, so I’ve backed off and am trying to just water every day by wetting the soil and like counting to 10 and making myself stop. Haha, it’s been so darn hot that I’ve been standing there flooding my garden! πŸ˜€

I’m getting some weeds and a bit of grass growing around my pumpkins that I’m leaving for groundcover to help keep moisture in since I waited to long to mulch. At this point I just want to get one or two pumpkins full-grown if possible. And I’ve gotten six cucumbers, yes only six, remember I’ve got a teeny tiny garden and I can see more cucumbers growing on the vine so I may get more before the vines all shrivel up and die. We scared away the gopher for now, hopefully he’ll stay away to complete this growing cycle. It’s all good experience. I’d rather learn by trial and error on a tiny garden than invest a whole bunch of money and time on a huge endeavor only to screw it up and have most of my crops drop dead! Haha, I’m not doing too bad considering!

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AND I’VE GOT TOMATOES GROWING! I feel like a little kid, look what I did Ma! I grew a tomato!! You have to realise or if you haven’t noticed yet I get REALLY EXCITED over little triumphs. I want to thank all the blogs I have read on gardening and thank you all for sharing your stories, photos, tips and encouragements. You all as I sit and stare and read about these beautiful gardens are why I try to do some container gardening. I have to think small as my land where I live is not conducive to a large garden area. And I live in the stinkin desert, so it makes growing much of anything a bit of a challenge! But I try!Β  ❀ ❀ ❀

I thought I’d close with my honeysuckle bush which is absolutely LOVING all my watering! It has so many blooms ready to bloom I just love it and the smell is AMAZING! There are a million buds and I took a close up of the tiny flower but boy does it smell good. I wish I could share the honeysuckle smell, but suffice it to say that I am doing a bit better with my plants but then they are a bit more forgiving. I have plans on two containers that I will plant probably this weekend some fall veggies. Since I’m planting from seed it’s not costing much but my time, so I squeeze in time in my garden which is soothing and relaxing. I love being outside!

Crazy teeny tiny gardener,

-Diana

R.I.P Baby Pumpkin…..

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I made a discovery yesterday after struggling this last week with my pumpkin and cucumber garden. I kept watering and watering and watching the leaves droop like they were thirsty. I looked and looked and could see many ants, a large amount of them, teeny tiny ants, I believe they are Argentina ants and so I thought they must be hurting my garden and so I went and purchased some safe ant/insect dust for my garden and before I applied the dust I finally got a good look at the ROOT of my problem! Something is EATING MY GARDEN!! The roots are gone on many plants.  😦

As I watered I found a deep dark hole in the ground, grrr… a gopher or gophers. We have lots of gophers, but since we let our grass die out for many reasons, but mostly the bad droughts we were having here the gophers have mostly moved on to other houses in our neighborhood. But clearly they are not far away! I lost 4 good pumpkin plants and 2 cucumber plants. Oh my heart is heavy as I watch my garden die an untimely death. I feel like I’m planting and spending my time in my tiny garden to feed the creatures that make their home in the Earth. Sigh……

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I took this photoΒ of the better side and you can see what I had to pull out, all dead. I still have a healthy amount if I can keep the gophers at bay or hope they are caught (my hubby is the gopher catcher) or they move on as we set the traps in their holes. I will have to keep a vigilant eye out for the holes. Unfortunately I don’t have enough other vegetation for the gophers to eat so they are dining nicely on my fresh green garden! So I had to gather up my thoughts about all this as I felt very sad and frustrated. I clearly can live without seeing a mature pumpkin, and I am getting cucumbers that I will harvest this weekend so I will be able to sample some cucumbers soon. AND I still have my tomatoes in my container!Β  πŸ™‚

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SO I told myself not to be too sad and to focus on a new crop of veggies, a small crop that I am going to plant in my 2 containers I bought that are gopher proof! I will take a photo once I get them planted, but I feel I need to realize that gardening is not always easy and it has its perils. I am thinking we use to have bunny rabbits come in through the fence and dine on our grass when it was fresh and green. No more grass so no more bunnies. There are ground squirrels in our area but none on my street or at my house, so very thankful. And we have no deer to worry about so other than the bugs and insects these darn gophers are my headache! Here is a photo below of a good pumpkin still alive that if I’m lucky may grow up. I have more than one vine left, so maybe I’ll get 3 or 4 pumpkins. I’d love to get at least one so that I can give it to my granddaughter for Halloween.Β  ❀

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As I am out in my garden I have about 8 rose plants and only one is blooming right now. It’s a beautiful tea rose that is loving my attention and so it puts a huge smile on face. Its colors so beautiful. I won’t give up, I just won’t and I know the containers will be much easier to maintain. I have grown pumpkins here before when we first moved here around 13 years ago and they grew fine with no gopher interference. But I had a ton of vegetation on my property so either the gophers weren’t around? or they prefered something else.Β  They have eaten at the roots of one of our small palm trees, it is pretty much dead and a nice hole near that tree. Life with rodents and wildlife sure can be challenging. Do you have many challenges in your gardens? I’d love to hear from you, and thank you for reading my plight. I have to laugh, as I’d rather laugh than cry. I know I’ll survive but I can tell you I have been spending EVERY DAY in my garden grooming it and loving it with all my heart! ❀

Silly me,

Diana