Burning The Candle at Both Ends

Wow! I can’t believe tomorrow will be a whole week since I posted! You can see the title and realize I have been doing just that! Kids have been doing activities, family responsibilities, doctor appointments and working on the National Junior Honor Society reception have done me in! The reception was last night and went very well…..hordes of middle schoolers, parents, grandparents, and siblings descended on the tables and “POOF” the food disappeared! Amazing! Our daughter won the award for “most inspiring student” and we were very proud of her!

I have a pic of the table decorations I made which I thought were really cute! And cheap to boot! I used a tomato cage for the base, lined it with green crepe paper and then (using bottles filled with beans for vases) put GIGANTIC paper flowers inside. My girls want to keep them but finding a safe place for them in this house will be a challenge……we’ll see!

It is HOT, HOT, HOT here and we are watching our new little veggie garden carefully so nothing dies. My hubby built all the cute fences to keep out the rabbits! Funny coincidence, we now seem to have a neighborhood stray cat that a few of our neighbors have been feeding regularly. The rabbits have mysteriously been non-existent! Poor hubby…….don’t worry, they’re not gone completely so the fences ARE necessary! That’s a Concord grapevine behind the garden and last year we had the most delicious grapes! Right now we have squash (yellow/zucchini), cucumbers, tomatoes (grape/slicing), peppers (red/yellow/green) and basil (my favorite herb).

Despite the heat, the Hydrangeas are gorgeous….probably because it has been beautiful for the last month….not too hot and some very nice rainfall.
These are the Endless Summer hydrangea and I reccomend them highly if you are a lover of hydrangeas as I am. I have about 6 or 7 bushes. Otherwise, with the old fashioned, single blooming type it’s over in May. I love having them longer and can’t wait to dry some. I’m sure most of you know how to do that but here is what I do. Wait until the flowers are past their prime and the petals feel a bit dry. Otherwise, when you cut them, the blooms will droop (beacause they are heavy with moisture) and you won’t get the nice full bloom you’re looking for. I either cut them (early in the morning) and stand them in a vase with just an inch or so of water and bring them in the house to enjoy, or I cut them and hang them upside down on the screened porch to enjoy. Either way, in a week or so, they are nice and dry. If you do the water in the vase method, let that water use up and don’t add any more. After time they will fade and I often buy floral paint (at Michaels) and VERY lightly spray some color onto them. I also just let them keep fading and get that lovely creamy beige color. I also choose to let them dry on the bush which will almost always result in the beige color but absolves me of having to cut them. However, you need to keep a regular eye on them so that a hard rainfall doesn’t rip away all the petals and you’re left with a shredded bloom. Either way, nothing looks more gorgeous than a huge basketful of  dried hydrangeas. The beige ones are great in the Fall.
So, what’s next on the agenda? We have our first grandaughter graduating from high school next weekend…..I can’t believe it! She is such a miracle. I’ll give you a short version of her story. She was diagnosed as autistic when she was a toddler. She really had no language skills until she was about four and throughout her elementary years was in a special ed class or an inclusion setting. Her Mom worked so hard with her and we all devoted time to helping her at different points. She is graduating WITH HONORS and a regular diploma. She is also in the French Honor Society and has a job right now at Sonic. She’ll be attending the community college in the Fall! How about that? We are SO proud of her!!!
Next time I hope to show you some pics of my studio….unfortunately, I’m still cleaning up the mess after the Porch Sale……I’ve been too busy to stay at it steady…….soon…..

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