Sunday, July 15, 2007

Back again and with more pictures!

It's been a really busy last few weeks! Unfortunately, it's not the "good" kind of busy of gardening, refinishing furniture, repurposing items and generally hanging out with my husband when he's not at work.
Parts of today's posting may sound depressing and downbeat but I really don't mean for it to be taken that way because things are now so much better.
First let me explain that my hubby's youngest son was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was 14. It's a terrible illness and people who have it must live through terrible, frightful experiences. Those experiences are not "real" as you and I may determine. But they are true and very real to the schizophrenic. If you've ever had a horrifying bad dream that, as you are dreaming it, feels like reality then you may have an idea of how life is to a schizophrenic. Yes, there are medications to help and yes, my stepson (who is now 26 years old) is on heavy doses of Clozaril. But there are times that, for various reasons, the patient will "crash" (a term used when the meds become no longer effective or when the patient stops taking the meds, causing the person to hallucinate and hear voices).
Long story short, my stepson has been "crashing". When this happens he stays with us so we can make sure he is taking his medications properly, eating properly, etc. If his condition worsens he has to be hospitalized. He has been staying with us now for three weeks. Keeping constant watch on him to make sure he doesn't become more paranoid or delusional is neither a fun nor an easy task.
His meds have now been increased and though it will take a couple more weeks for him to mellow out, he is now somewhat aware of his paranoia. Trust me, being "somewhat aware" is better than having absolutely no awareness of it at all. Case in point: He no longer believes that his Dad, myself and his neighbors are plotting against him to kill him.
Additionally, a very good friend and neighbor of ours died a few days ago. Two days before he died we were blessed to be able to tell him we love him and how much we've appreciated knowing him the past several years. He was 65 and shared my love of nature and gardening. He was also an avid hunter and fisherman and literally never sat still. He loved his family and friends and loved doing things for other people. I thank God that his suffering from cancer was short and that he was chair or bedridden for only five or six weeks.
Okay, now that all the above has been said, I'd like to share more of my garden shots as well as some pictures of furniture that we have brought back to life and some miscellaneous projects that I've done in the past.
Let's start with something really sweet.

Okay, now, is there really anything cuter than baby animals? These two baby wrens shared the nest with another sibling and when I took one of my (many) daily walks through my garden, noticed that they were gone. (*Sigh*) They grow up so quickly.

My gardens have finally recovered from that late frost we had! I was beginning to think that none of them were going to have any blooms this year! But, as you can see, my lillies are growing and blowing and my gladiolas are coming into full color. I love how our big garden angel stands in the midst of these day lillies and am so glad I decided to plant the ones my mother-in-law gave me around her!

Remember my garden path? Would you believe I still haven't finished it? But wait! Don't yell at me yet - I ran out of bricks (I was using the discarded bricks from my MIL's old fireplace)! And, although I was mixing some stones and river rocks with the bricks on the pathway, I won't take responsibility for the short fireplace. Okay, okay, so it's not a real good excuse. But it's the only one I could come up with at such short notice. And, speaking of my MIL...This old birdhouse has always delighted me. She gave it to me several years before she died; however, it stayed at the old homestead until my SIL moved out.

Nobody knows who made it or when. All I know is, it's very old and I need to re-attach the tiny barrel and bucket that are supposed to sit on the front porch.

Looks like something from Little House on the Prairie, doesn't it? I can almost envision that a miniature Laura Ingalls will come bouncing out of the door at any moment.

I haven't noticed any bird families checking it out but I don't really care. It's one of those things I love for no particular reason.

Oh! Here's one I almost forgot to show you!

Okay, she's not much of a re-do as it didn't take a lot of brain cells to figure out what to do with her. But she's still a re-do and I really like how she looks in my garden.

She started life as a wall hanging. I know this because there was a toothy-type hanger on back of her when I bought her for 25 cents at Sally Ann's (our acronym for Salvation Army). Except for a bit of reddish nylon doll-hair hanging from the nape of her neck, she was bald-headed. So I threaded a ribbon through a tiny straw hat and glued and stapled it to her head. Ouch! She seems okay, tho - look how serene she looks! Of course, I removed the hook from her back, put a silk flower in her hand, attached a dowel rod and plunged it into the ground.

Amazing, some of the things you can do with the plywood bottoms of discarded drawers!

No, I didn't cut this cow from the bottom of a drawer but wouldn't that have made it more interesting? Hmmm. At least it's something to give myself to think about. I actually made it from some discarded plywood my hubby and I found at a building site. The ears are scraps of "pleather" - a supposedly fancier term for plastic fabric created to look like leather (it doesn't). I painted it with acrylics and weather-protected it with about seven coats of varnish. I probably overkilled it on the varnish but look how well it's withstood the elements.

This little phone seat was seat-less when I found it. I scrubbed the filth off it (why does discarded furniture always have to be so darned dirty???), painted it, recovered a seat and you're looking at the results. It's for sale in one of the shops. The two primitive dolls on it were made by me.

This 1800's chest was an absolute MESS when we bought it! Someone had given it a sloppy black and white paint job over green paint, over blue paint, over all the previous colors. Some of the drawers were broken, the pulls were either missing or broken and the wood had deep gashes in it. All this, and a child's crayon artwork on the back and in some of the drawers. It was made using dowel rods for nails. The wood was in such bad shape that my hubby decided to paint it black after he repaired it, and he added these sweet pull knobs to the lower drawers.

If you want to see more photos of the items we have in Shop Around the Corner, click here:

'Till next time...

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