Monday, June 28, 2010

Landscapers - HELP US!

I felt really good after my last post on Thursday because the backyard was really growing and I was thinking I may have a green thumb after all. It appeared that the garden, flowers, and plants were doing really well. We do however need some help and we had landscapers come on Saturday to discuss some work we needed done. Nothing too difficult but we needed someone who knew what they were doing. We needed our lilac bush, evergreens, and cherry tree trimmed and while they were at it we needed new mulch put down. Not difficult but having someone do the physical labor is music to my ears. So I showed them around the yard and was very proud of everything growing. Until.....I learned that one of my perennials that I thought was growing like gangbusters was actually a WEED!

Can you see the difference between the weed growing in the front and the actually perennial in the back? I was utterly embarrassed and wanted to crawl in a hole. They were really nice about it but they were amazed at the size of the stem - we are talking 2 inches thick! And to think that I watered and nurtured that weed to about 3 feet tall! Yet another reason why we need help.
Here's what it looks like with the weed removed. It was hard to pull out and needed to use a shovel to get out that bad boy.
And there she is -the largest weed every known to man! The landscapers will complete the work within 2 weeks and the sooner the better, we need some help!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's Growing Like a Weed

We planted a veggie garden again this year and I learned from our first one that we planted last year that practice makes perfect. While it grew and produced lots of veggies last year, I learned that cucumbers grow like weeds and you need to make sure they don't take over the whole garden therefore they get planted on the end. I planted the veggies and flowers about 4 weeks ago and they are looking good. Thanks to my composting neighbor, I got some great compost to add to the garden and we have only used rain water to water the garden - thanks to mother nature and our rain barrel. I also visit the garden everyday and share my words of encouragement - so far it seems to be working. The first thing I do when I get home is give Tanner lots of love and then we head to the backyard to look at all of our growing veggies and flowers - it's a very therapeutic thing to do after a stressful day at work. Who knew I would learn to love weeding and watering flowers? 

Potted Flowers on the Deck
The largest cucumber plant - notice I'm "training" it to grow vertical this year!
Tomato Plant

My Tomato Turvy - only 4 weeks and this thing is growing like crazy!!!
These look funny but it sure works.
I like to plant things differently to increase my odds of getting lots of goodies.

I even have 5 tomatoes so far!

What do you think? Not so bad for a girl with a brown thumb. I planted cucumbers, different kinds of tomatoes including cherry, basil, dill, green and yellow peppers. Hopefully I'll have lots to share towards the end of the summer.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lots of Change & Time for Vacation

You probably have been wondering - where in the world is Melissa these days? Life has been a little crazy and all of this change has me in a bit of a rut. Unfortunately the company that I work for had to lay off 1600 people which was a huge and utter shock especially since it's a successful and profitable company. I understand the reasons behind the decision and I agree it's the right thing for the future, but boy has it been tough. I'm happy to say that I have been retained and actually moved into a new position. When was it effective I asked? "Well immediately".....hugh?!?! I am one that LOVES change but I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me and I have zero control - there lies the issue. I lost many of my co-workers who I had very close working relationships, lost 1/2 of the sales force that I once supported, and I started a new role immediately. I hope I don't sound like I'm complaining because I'm ecstatic about my new role and overjoyed to continue to be employed during these tough times but gosh - this girl needs to catch her breath. Survivor's guilt is a real thing and watching people walk out the doors carrying boxes everyday has been a bit much. Did I mention that I had to cancel my vacation in the midst of all of this? OK, deep breath Melissa....regroup and move forward. As a result of all of this change, my hubby and I are planning on taking a "real" vacation - far, far, away. Here's some of the locations we are thinking about. Can you guess where they are? The pictures include 3 different countries. The first person to guess 2 of the 3 countries will win a $20 Starbucks gift certificate - who doesn't love caffeine? Bonus: help us pick from these 3 locations and we'll bring back a souvenir for you! (Hint: they aren't the first place that may come to mind so dig deeper.)

Gosh - there are so many places I want to go and so little time.....please help us!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Shirts Off Their Backs

This past weekend my husband and a couple of his friend's headed down to St. Louis to see the Cardinals play the Milwaukee Brewers. Yes, another guy's weekend but after a HIGHLY stressful week of layoff's at work, it was really nice to be at home and do whatever I want whenever I wanted to. Anyways, they were having a "Shirts Off Their Backs" promotion at Busch Stadium and so David bought a couple of tickets and ended up winning out of 20,000 tickets sold. He wasn't sure what that meant but he knew he had to be in a designated spot in the middle of the 7th inning. Well they ended up going down below and got to draw #'s to see which players game jersey they would each win. While he didn't draw Pujols number, he did get a really good player - Ryan Ludwick #47!!!! He was ecstatic and he said besides the day he married and the day we got Tanner, it was the happiest day of his life. Wow - glad we can check that off our list now. Luckily we had some friends at the game that snapped some pictures while he was on the field. Now if I had been there I would have taken about 100 more!

Beautiful picture of the field from David's seat

A really close up view after winning the raffle and getting ready to go on the field.
Nothing like front row seats for a couple of extra innings.

And here's the signed game jersey that was worn the whole game. I envision it being framed and ending up on a wall in our house sometime in the future. In the meantime he likes to show off the autograph and the dirt on the jersey from the game. Mr. Ludwick is a dirty boy!

David enjoying his 15 minutes of fame after getting his jersey from Ludwick.
Getting to meet a couple of the players too.

David has been a Cardinals fan his entire life and I was so happy for him to have such a once in a lifetime moment down at Busch Stadium. I was so happy for him but I really was sad that I wasn't there for his baseball dream to unfold for him. While he was enjoying time at the game and on the field - Tanner I were sitting in the dark with no electricity! Sure do love those thunderstorms!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Parade

We had a busy weekend - Cubs Game, boating at the lake, a BBQ gathering, and the Memorial Day Parade. I have a lot of pictures but in memory of all of those who have fought for our country, I thought I would share with you pictures from our local Memorial Day parade. It started 45 minutes late because of a rainstorm that passed through, luckily we had a great place to take cover from the showers. It finally ended and I have to say it was a pretty good parade. My favorite part was all of the dogs that they had in the parade. Many were available for adoption too! Tanner was asked to participate in the parade but his lazy mama couldn't commit to being up on Monday by 10:00 after a margarita party at the house. It turned out to be a good thing because he wouldn't have liked the rainstorm!

The parade was full of the different parts of the Medinah Shriners - my hubby's favorite was the coolers on wheels! He has found a hobby for when he retires!

We hope everyone had a great Memorial Day! We are truly blessed to live in such a wonderful country with all of the freedoms we have.