Another busy week on the farm! So much to do in the summertime. All that “vaccinating,” more hay baling to do, plus all the milking morning and evening, can make a person tired. We don’t get very many vacations, if any. So, I created a retreat in my own backyard to help soothe my heart and soul. A place to sit and reflect. A place to take a deep breath, inhale and exhale……and count to ten as many times as needed. Follow me and I will show you where I like to go after a long, hard day. 038.jpg        I can see this from the barn door while I’m milking. I start day dreaming about the ivy covering the whole front of the shed and how much I love orange cannas. And then I’m suddenly jerked back to reality……I hear a “squealing” milker about to fall off, and “big girl” decided that now is the best time to stomp on top of all the hoses. So much for daydreaming. 028.jpg      I kick my heavy chore boots off and head for “serenity”. I have plenty of places to sit and rest. I just take turns moving from chair to chair. I want to experience them all. I can’t sit for a long period of time anyway, I have “ants in my pants”. I get restless and nervous if I sit for too long a time. 022.jpg        I have picked up quite a few treasures at antique stores over the years. I like to incorporate them into my gardening. Earl thinks I get a little carried away at times. So, I try not to get things cluttered. That isn’t always easy. There is so much to display. I always find room for milk cans. The boots are special…….the kids wore these when they were little.023      Old doors…….they have so much to offer. I switch from side to side on this particular one. The other side is that old “green” color that was so popular years ago. Every once in awhile when we get a wicked wind storm, they fall over and smash my plants. That’s never a good day.036     Another old door. I wired this to the post and set an old iron wheel in front to try and hold it in place. It must be working, because it doesn’t fall over. See that milk can? They work great as a plant stand. 024.jpg      This is right outside my kitchen window. So, should I call it my kitchen garden? That is the cool thing these days. It’s full of herbs. I love herbs. I try to use them, but I also like to brush my hands over them and breathe deeply. Ahhh….they smell so good. Especially the basil. It’s intoxicating. I can’t use too many herbs in my food, because I have “men” in the house and they think it’s a green weed. My dudes have a problem with that.056.jpg        Don’t ever throw away an old pot. You might be able to still get some use out of it. Like this one…..the bird is helping to hold the dirt in place. Unless they’re in pieces, I always save them and set them around for added “clutter”, as Earl would call it. What does he know about gardening anyway? 021.jpg       I found this old tank at a garage sale years back. I use it to catch rain water. It’s amazing how a little shower can fill it up. I just dip my watering can into the tank and water all my hanging baskets. 034.jpg     This is how I like to put my baskets together. Every year. Over and over. Dragon wing begonia. They’re so easy and they look so impressive. Add a little creeping jenny and you’ve got yourself a winner. I see someone has been drinking coffee. That’s a must around this place.059.jpg     Coffee in every form. I don’t always fix it up with the special toppings…….but some days are “harder” than others. This must have been a rough day. Haha It makes everything feel better.017.jpg     I pulled this tank under the eaves to catch more rain water and now Clyde thinks it’s his swimming pool. Who knows……when it hits 100 plus, I might jump in too. We’re all about survival. How do you like the bike seat? The dogs had a chewing festival one day.027.jpg     The swing comes in pretty handy for a little power nap. The kids like to take a snooze on here. This is where I buy new pillows every year. Those naughty dogs. Some nights they get bored when they don’t have varmints to chase. Of course the cats think it’s their domain too. Those nasty felines!029.jpg     I planted some new hydrangeas this year. I love hydrangeas. The pink, blue, and then this color as they finish up blooming. They make great bouquets.035.jpg      Then we have this old bar. When I have parties…it’s a drink bar…….it’s also a flower arranging bar. I also collect old watering cans. And clay pots. I collect pretty much everything. I want to give this another coat of paint and then maybe antique it too. I just haven’t had the time to get it done. So much to do, so little time.040.jpg      This is between the patio and Shooter’s memorial garden. I have orange cannas everywhere. I started out with 2-3 plants two years ago and now I have them all over the farm. These bulbs multiply like crazy….but I love them! The family is divided on the shed. Some think it needs to be painted….others think it needs to stay as is. What’s your take?

     Well, there you have it. It isn’t perfect or fancy. It’s definitely not a tropical paradise vacation, but it works for me. It’s the best I can do under the circumstances. Earl never complains about my gardening inspirations. He knows that it’s my passion. My therapy. My motivation. Plus, he knows that I might just bite his head off if he says the wrong thing. Haha It’s all in a days work. I think I’ll go dream of my next project………………….Carol