Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Theadore Henry Benton (Toad)

Charles Wesley Benton

Elizabeth Charlene Benton (Many Feathers)

Gina Bulls Gillispie (Red Bird)

Grace Maria Pshigoda (Yellow Bird)

Henry August Pshigoda (to be named May 9)

Henry's amulet

Many Feathers made Henry's first pair of shoes
when they are tiny and don't walk yet, the soles are completely beaded

The Morning Star is worked into all new born beading

Henry, named for two great grandfathers,
one German potato farmer and one Native American Choctaw--
has some big shoes to fill
but for starters,
these will do

Monday, April 6, 2015


Many years ago, in a haggling conversation, a friend said to me: "you know just a little bit about everything don't you?"

Good gosh Phil....I hope so!!!

But it wasn't until a few years ago that I came upon my first bee hive swarm.  Have you ever seen one?  It is truly an incredible sight.

The most interesting thing about the first bee swarm I saw, was where it was located.
I was just beginning the HPO and eager to do any kind of local news story that came my way.  People knew this, so they called me when interesting things happened.

A call came that a bee swarm was in a tree
I grabbed my camera and headed to the nearby town of Gruver
to a house called the Gruver house
the house of our son in law...only they weren't dating yet

a few years later
we purchased 822...over the phone, site unseen (inside)
the night before we were to go look at it,
I dreamed that Grace and I were growing lavender and had honey bees

we discovered this wild hive on the picnic table in the backyard the next day

since the beginning of our renovation
we always planned to put in a hive
Jason the Bee Man (the keeper who came to rescue our hive)
told me when we got ready, he'd bring us bees




it's taken several years for the yard to finally not be under heavy construction

so that a bee hive could thrive undisturbed

we spent Easter weekend

putting the hive together

Mr. PV laid a brick foundation for me

and put it together...it was very simple
we put in in the southwest corner of the yard, out of the way
where someday it will be shaded by the meandering branches of the red bud trees
very near to roses and lavender

luckily I still have a jar of honey and comb that Jason the Bee Man left me

I smeared a little on my new hive
because when bees swarm
they like to be places other bees have been

I have my fingers crossed that we will catch a hive
the natural way
and it will be a great story to tell

It makes me happy to think that the stories about us and the things we know a little bit about,
will include....
a little 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


The first (and last) time I was approached by a professional landscaper, he lost the job before he ever began it.  Why?  We met, he said he'd come up with a plan, and within a few days he gave us a very elaborate and professional video presentation....and then gave us his bid....$85,000.00.  Yes...you counted right...5 zeros and an 8 and a 5.  This was for the backyard and 1/2 of it was already a pool.

He was so young and stylish and ambitious, that to this day I feel guilty for not telling him a very important #1 lesson from a cranky old poor lady....ask the simple question right up front....
No matter how big or small....we all have one don't we?

His assumption offended us.  We ended up doing our own landscaping, with our own ideas, 
for 1/10th of his price.  

Divide your budget into short and long term....landscape is a forever love and task.

The most important thing in a landscape project is to evaluate and select your style...usually this is based on your home.  Do you live in a rock house with French persuasion?  A Cozy Cottage?  A Rambling Ranch?  A Southwest Adobe? A Texas Hill Country Farmhouse?

Spend time driving around neighborhoods, browsing Pinterest or blogs....choose what appeals to you and save to a folder, whether virtual or real.  If your home is on the plain side, your little garden out front can define your style.

This could be a specimen tree, a fountain, a large pot, a statement rock, a garden statue or something zen. Your focal point alone can be the one wow factor on which all other elements build.

remember...think wow!

This is also the time you might incorporate other hard-scape into your home style...like window shutters or boxes, garage door hinges, porch lanterns and other embellishments that will make the world of difference to the entire feel of your nest.

After you have chosen your style and your focal point, begin to build around that.  If you have chosen a large Mediterranean pot, you might also consider a hedge of lavender.  Then you might find that grasses or more pots, or rocks might add just what you need!  Consider zero-scape and perennials, but don't be afraid to plant some annuals.  Annuals can be changed each season for a new and different look and can be quite rewarding if you enjoy gardening.

Things to consider if you are very busy or travel...make your plot easy to care for.  Also, if you live in a drought area...purchase plants that won't die if you can only water on a time grid.

Another tip....just because your local box store sells $12.99 Italian Cypress does not mean you will successfully grow Italian Cypress....in our landscape we have lost 13 Italian Cypress.  The first 5 taught us not to pay $100 a tree...the next 8 taught us that we don't live in Italy...this year we will replace them with something else, which will still be an experiment because all 13 we purchased were in our zone range.  BOO!

SPRING INTO ACTION MATTIE AND COACH BEEN...but be patient.  These things can take time and while it is wonderful to be able to landscape your front yard in a weekend...there's always a great deal of pleasure in having a worthy project...ongoing...that make your muscles tired and sore...that after being weekend warriors...you can sit back, together in your adirondack chairs with a nice glass of Merlot and an ice cold Miller's in an frosty OSU mug....and admire the results of your
landscape plan

***All photos are my own or via pinterest...if they belong to you, please contact me and I will be most happy to give full credit to you

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Betty to Ashley:  did you know that a basement is under your house and a cellar is in your yard with its own door?
Ashley:  well your Poppy and B are working on a wine cellar in their house
Betty: and they are just wrong

 so...I guess we will now refer to this as 
and we made lots of progress over the weekend

I must admit for such a tiny space it will have great impact

scary scary scary

the first thing one needs to begin is...
a focal point

the right product for the job

good bones are imperative 

plan ahead for behind the scenes...use your imagination to take advantage of 
the talent before you!

the round ceiling made use of old pallets 
(don't you love to re-purpose?!)

Think man think!

Cheer on man...cheer on!

measure twice cut once!

plan on a few cattywompers in an old home

test the light before you remove the ladder

yes...cute carpenter man can even sew and weld
I asked him

and he has a bit of a feel for decorating

just a few little details left after
Cute Carpenter Man and his Trusty Helper
get done with their day time jobs

my part?  to win the contest!!!

and dust the wine bottles