Thursday, April 29, 2010

Jail-Break Barbb...

...she's on a Field Trip; busy taking surprising and unexpected (because I didn't expect to take them) and will return soon...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Make the most of what you have...

...these are nearly the only tulips I have, give or take a few in the backyard. They are fully in bloom now. Chicago-land is at it's "best" at this time of year and again in Sept-early Oct. We get these crystal clear days with all the fresh greenery and vibrant colors of the season and deep blue skies. Makes you want to RUN outside. Today you would need a warm jacket: the air was so cold it felt like being suddenly dashed with lots of cold water. Chilly.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Enjoy them while you can...

...Virginia Bluebells in full-bloom. It's still only April, yet so much of the season is behind us by now: snow and snowdrops, squill and crocuses, the daffodils and tulip are done in some places, tired looking in others. My small irises are in bloom and the lilacs will be out soon. The hostas are up--and so fresh looking! I enjoy capturing these sights in photos.

Revisit the Daylilies' Pre-School...

...these four are part of ten or so that are in temporary (sunny) spots around the yard to mature at bit. Ultimately, I will re-hab some sunny locations that I've not used well for them. Or give them away to friends.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Another little Science Experiment...

...last summer, I hybridized all the daylilies in the yard, in all different "crosses"; had good sucess producing seeds. Before that, I hybridized all my bearded irises, as well; with limited results--only a couple of the "crosses" produced seeds. But I Googled around and found some simple instructions to get the seeds ready to grow. (Basically, you just plant them in a bed or a big pot in soil and leave them outside at the mercy of the elements all winter and wait a while til they germinate.) I was just about to conclude this wasn't going to work, or my seeds weren't viable when up they popped a week ago. You have a wait about two years before you learn what flowers you have helped along.

Turns out: it's a weed!

When we first moved here in 1983, this was one of the few flowering plants in the yard: Star of Bethlehem. It was all over the yard, but had a pretty flower; I've gradually pulled it out to replace it with other things. Of course, it's a non-native species and it's very aggressive.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Unusual, Eye-catching Tulip....

...scene in a municipal park the other day. A bit past it's prime; striking to see, in a mass.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Just one last Tea Party Image...

...by this time, people drifted over to hear the speakers; not so many standing by the road.

There was an old saying....

"Every party has it's pooper(s)": Every Tea Party is supposted to have it's "infiltrators" from the Empire. This BrainTrust was as near as we could find; but they were pleasant enough, tho isolated from the main body of the crowd...

Other "Dangerous Subversives..."

...goodness! We can't have Recumbent Bicyclists here, too!! This must be extremely Extreme!
Think of the Peril to the Nation! (Besides, Hubs and I are too independent--or we fight too much to have a tandem bike. We each have our own 'bent bike)

"Scary Protestors" at our local Tea Party last week...

...we visited the nearest event, which was held in Palatine, IL on Apr. 15. The event took place in a small plaza flanked by US Route 14, a very busy road. Most of the demonstrators concentrated their efforts along the highway, to the delight, mostly, of the passing vehicles. Drivers honked their horns and passengers waved and smiled. Truck drivers were especially noticable in their support, no surprise. There were lots of Moms and Kids with their homemade signs; Seniors Citizens like us. Obama must be quaking in his flip-flops at the sight of such a scary little family as the above....

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Where did it come from...

...in the yard, what appears to be a Yellow Fawn Lily (flowers can also be pink or white). I located this one a bit late, the flower was past its peak. I have no idea where I got it. Maybe it rode in with other plants given to me. (Thank you!!)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tidy, well kept-up barn....

...near the small settlement of Ohio, IL. We noticed several barns in the area with this distinct pattern and contruction. I took this picture just AFTER I missed the flight of pelicans overhead.
Click on the photo to see the barn more clearly.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Stately Farmhouse in NW Illinois...

...the front entrance to the organic gardening materials supplier. (They have a back entrance for the trucks). Just after we left, we saw a good sized flock of flying pelicans making their way to the Mississippi River, I suppose. Really impressive! The birds were over us and gone before I could get to the camera, drat it!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Nice, Optimistic Blue Sky...

...the last of the group of photos from from near the Mississippi. I'm having a "bad, old-lady day" today. Nothing really wrong, but no drive, energy or imagination either; low ebb, no spark.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Other Peep's Biz--again...

...this is still from last weekend's jaunt to NW Ill.; anyway, I was caught by the contrast among the bright green of the budding tree, the all-bright lavender of the house, the St. Pat's Green lawn and the blue sky. I have a weird attraction to situations where people have painted their homes all one bright color. (when I was 4, I thought it might be a good idea; out-grew it tho.)
This looks like a "cry for help".

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Other People's Business Break 1.2

What was this originally? A small carriage house or very early garage? Probably there was a set of nice old wooden doors at one time. Too bad about the ham-handed remodel job--likely a 1960's or '70's-era mess. None of my business, but I hate painted brick.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More of these Spring Beauties...

...they were all over the forest floor at the State Park just outside Morrison; they had spread to nearby lawns, as well. They looked a great deal 'pinker' in person than these photos show; really charming. Claytonia Virginica is the scientific name; according to "The Flower World of Williamsburg" by Joan Perry Dutton, this Clayton fellow was an English immigrant to Virginia in the early 1700's. He lived a long life and spent much of it collecting native colonial plants; the English were absolutely crazy about plants and gardening in those days. I guess they still are.

Springtime, again...

...in Northwest Illinois last weekend, near the adorable little town of Morrison, we saw forest floor, lawn and hillsides covered with these Spring Beauty flowers; in full bloom.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, KIDS!

This, for now, is the conclusion for the Special Anniversay Commemoration Blog Event. Two wonderful, fun and event-filled years which have gone by so quickly! I will save back other wedding and travel photos for other special occasions, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Kids, you are always in our hearts. Love, Mom (Barbara)

Soon, stuff like this was happening...

see how happy they are!
a little later on, we Ladies (the Mothers, a couple of brides' maids) accompanied li'l pearl to a wedding dress fitting. (I wasn't sure how I'd get the use the funky photos I took that day, but here's one.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Years Rolled Along...

...the darling little child...
aspired to great goals, got her degree from an acclaimed university in the East, and settled back in Chicago-land to begin her career. Happy fate, star-crossed paths, a broken bike tire pump and a painful case of shingles entwined to produce an auspicious meeting one May day in 2005...
(tho Fate was happy, I will take a moment to remember that this was also a time of sad loss of
a loved-one in l'il pearl's family; for us, since we did not get to meet a wonderful person.)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

From the start they had something in common...


...both pearl and the blonde kid knew right away how to look adorable while making messy-faced meal time portraits. A match made in Heaven; both had big blue eyes, too--her's still are, his are now "hazel".

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hubs and I, along with our son, L'il Monkey...

lived in another village, not far away. In 1985, we were blessed again with yet another fine little boy. We were also delighted and we named him "l'il baldie" since he had no hair for a very long time. (then we had his name legally changed to "l'il blond kid"). L'il monkey is "anotheroprahshow", his story will be covered later. L'il blonde kid is our subject now....

Tho She was, as yet, Unaware....

...about this time, someone new joined the Family of Man. Later she would be glad of this...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Our Heroine continued to advance...

and grow, ever observing and questioning. From a very young age, she had a keen interest in higher education and learning; even though she knew how to have a good time!!

The Story begins with a "once upon a time...."

1982 was a great year, as it turns out: a wonderful young couple who we did not yet know, was blessed with the birth of a beautiful, brilliant and redheaded little baby girl. They were so delighted! They named her "l'il pearl" (well, not really, it's her blog name.) l'il pearl's big inquiring eyes took in everything, she asked many questions and grew smarter and more darling each day.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Announcing a Special BarbbblogEvent!!

...in the next few days, we will share memories and celebrate Special Times. Tell your friends and Stay Tuned. (I will probably learn to do a few new things on the 'puter, too.) I am fortunate to be in possession of some very early works from the spirited graphic artist, Ian H. Besler, of which the above is one he may not even remember!!

Forsythia Blaze...

...and fortunately, the weather turned cool and wet so as to help retain the vitality of the flowers.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Special Favorite Lady....

told me she loves Pineapple Upsidedown Cake, so I made it the dessert for our Easter Dinner Celebration. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Use a 9 x 13" baking pan.
Ingredients: 1/4 Butter (substituting margarine not recommended due to taste.)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar.
1 20 oz. can pineapple slices in pineapple juice, drained; keep the juice, it goes
in the cake.
12 maraschino cherries
1 package your favorite yellow cake mix (about 18 0z. size) (follow pkg directions)
oil, eggs and enough water, when combined with the pineapple juice makes 1 cup
Put the butter and brown sugar in the pan;put the pan in the hot oven to melt the butter; about 10 mins. Drain the pineapple slices and cherries for a few minutes on paper towels. Carefully remove the hot pan with it's really hot contents from the oven and carefully arrange the pineapple slices and cherries in the customary fashion. Or use your imagination, but be careful: hot. Set the pan aside while you make up the cake mix.
Pour the batter into the pan on top of the slices, butter, sugar, cherries. I have learned to put the cake pan on a baking sheet before putting it back in the oven. The directions I have says to bake it for 40-47 mins., but it always takes mine about an hour. It's done when it feels firmly springy to a light touch. Once it's out of the oven, let it stand about 3-5 minutes. Just time enough to go dig out a good presentation platter and give it a rinse and dry. Back to the still very hot cake: run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Place the platter face-down on top of the cake pan, then carefully, holding pan and platter firmly together, flip them over so the pineapple slices are face up. Carefully, but quickly, remove the backing pan. Great! Let it cool a bit; some people love it warm from the oven; or else you can serve it a room temperature. I always make mine the day before and just cover with aluminum foil. Due to the hot pan and ingredients and the need to turn the hot pan, this is not a good project for a young beginner, unless help is available.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

My, how you've grown...

a Lupine clump which was tiny on March 28 has progressed beautifully.

Lovely Lupine

The foliage is fascinating to watch as it develops; such a distinctive shape. The flowers stately and elegant later on.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Siberian Squill

I am the only person in Chicago-land who does NOT have 40 million of these! Some lawns and vistas are sky-blue with the profusion of these pretty little blooms. I only have a few, but have encouraged the ones I have.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Baby Daffodils: they're so cute...

..I first saw the variety in a city park out by the Mississippi last Spring on a bike trip; then I found some at 'Depot. These are called "tete a tete"; they stand about 6-8" tall.

Another look...

...at the little Striped Squill flower. It's sometimes called a Lebanon Squill, too.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Snowdrops are done now...

...but the Striped Squill have taken over. From now till late November, there will be something now in bloom as the seasons progress.

More progress with the Goldfinch summer outfit...

...this was taken a couple of days ago. They love their thistle-seeds.

Haha--another kind of mask

One of our home grown potatoes seemed to smile at me as it was readied for cook pot.