Berries in a Bucket

Strawberries

Strawberries are my favorite part of summer, so when the coordinator of the Farmer’s Market I frequent offered me an entire flat of starts for free because they weren’t top stock I was elated. Since we don’t have the vegetable garden set up yet, I had to figure out another spot for my personal berry patch.

I’d seen tiered planters on Pinterest and knew I could rig something similar that would work using a large metal tub I already had. The hubs found me a freebie metal bucket to create the second level and it fit perfectly.

I didn’t take pictures of the process since it was so simple. He drilled a few drainage holes in the bottom of the bucket and I just placed it on top of the soil in the larger tub, filled it with dirt and planted my new berry babies. Easy peasy, berry squeezey.

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The Magic of Kohls

Kohls
I hadn’t been to Kohls for some time, but swung by before our trip to pick up some new camisoles with a 20% off coupon. There was a great sale going on and in addition to the camisoles, I ended up finding several amazing bargains, including several new costume jewelry pieces and a dress that should transition right into fall with several cardigans I already have.

I also used the in-store kiosk for the first time ever to order an item they didn’t have in my size in the store. Shipping was free, I got to use my coupon and the process was fairly quick and simple. A quick scan of the item’s barcode took me right to an order screen where I selected the size and quantity I wanted, then scanned my Kohls card and coupon. My only complaint was that the screen was a bit finicky when I was entering my address and email information, but I’d use it again for sure.

When I checked out with my in-store purchases my savings were more than my total spent thanks to my coupon and clearance finds. That always confuses my hubby, who just can’t understand how it’s possible. When I mentioned that to the cashier, she said “That’s the magic of Kohls!” I have to agree.

And here we go…

Sorry for “going dark” recently, but we’ve been traveling the AlCan to Portland and back to visit family and bring home my prized 1955 F-100 pick-up. I’ll be posting about the trip soon, but for now I’ll get you caught up on a few projects I didn’t have time to share before our trip.

The biggest was the installation of our first landscaping, two flowerbeds out front! After waiting weeks for the builder to grade our lot without resolution, the plants that had been sitting on my porch in anticipation were in desperate need of a permanent home. So we purchased top soil, mulch and weed fabric and set to work.

Flowerbed1

I marked out the shape I wanted with the hose as a guide. Then the hubs helped me till and level the area.

Flowerbed2

We added a layer of top soil on top of the tilled ground in the area where we planned to plant.

Flowerbed3

Next, we put down the weed fabric and used some large metal staples that came home in a bucket the hubs found for me as pins.

FlowerbedPin

Then we put a section of pea gravel on top of the fabric along the house so when the rain water runs off the roof it doesn’t pool in the bed. Luckily, the hubs was able to get a free supply of gravel that worked out to be just the right amount for this project!

Flowerbed4

We also placed large rocks from around the yard along the border.

FlowerbedPrepped

After that, I laid out the plants to decide exactly where I wanted everything. It took a little rearranging to get everything just right, but it was fun trying out different groupings.

FlowerbedFlowers

Once I was happy with the layout, I cut holes in the weed fabric to plant each. The hubs filled in mulch around each plant as I moved on to the next plant.

FlowerbedFinished

We also did a small bed between the porch and the garage, which included a walkway to the hose spigot on the wall. The pavers were a bargain find on a local buy/sell page for just $2/each, so we picked all we could and have a healthy stash for other projects.

FlowerbedSmall

We followed the same process as the larger bed, but included spots for a rain barrel, hose rack and fountain.

FlowerbedSmallFinished

The rain barrel and fountain still need some work, but at least they are in place and prepped. Watch for posts about those and the hose holder soon.

The entire process took about two days – much longer than I estimated, but it was well worth the effort and looks great!  Although the kids played most of the time we were working, they did take a few breaks for naps on the pea gravel which they apparently found quite comfy.

FlowerbedNap

FlowerbedNap2

In retrospect, I probably should have skipped the weed fabric since everything we planted are perennials – hosta, iris, lilies, phlox, dianthus, peony, pincushion flower, lavender and salvia – which will spread with each season, requiring I cut a bigger opening to allow that process. I’ll leave it in place for now and see how it goes. For now, I’m just giddy to have our first plants in the ground.

Iris

Lilly

Lavender

Pincushion

Salvia

Peony

Now I just need to get the rain garden, lawn and veggie garden going! Let the madness of planting begin!

Sea-Life

It’s another crazy fast week here in the DB&DT home, but I did manage to find time to edit images from our trip to Seward over Memorial Day weekend to visit friends from Kodiak.  While we were there we went to the Sealife Center to check out all the Alaskan sea creatures.  Here’s a few of my favorites!

First we saw the harbor seals, who were totally adorable with all their spots!

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We also saw them from underneath the water, while they swam.  This one liked to swim upside down. 🙂

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Next was the sea lions, including Woody the MASSIVE male who’s been there since he was born.  He wasn’t super active but at 2,500 lbs I probably wouldn’t be either!

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The bird enclosure was my favorite because you could stand right next to the water where the birds were swimming, which made for some great close ups.

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The puffins were my favorite bird there.  Here is a regular puffin and a horned puffin.  Check out those eyebrows!

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There were also several other species of ducks and water fowl, although I don’t remember all the names.

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I spotted this puffin right behind where I was standing and enjoyed watching him watch his peers.

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Apparently someone was building a nest, because this puffin kept taking mouthfuls of material up to this ledge where it would hide them behind that rock on the right.

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But some just chilled, looking dashing in their permanent tuxedo.

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We also saw this sea lion from the overlook to the training and medical pens.  He was quite interested in what the staff were doing near his enclosure.

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And of course there were many types of fish.  Some cruised back and forth in their tanks, while others just ‘hung’ from the rocks.

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Then there were the jelly fish.  Every time I see one I think of Dory and her “Squishy”… and yes I did quote her several times!

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But one of the coolest things to see was the giant octopus, or at least what we did see of him against the glass!

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Although he never moved the whole time I was by his tank, he made some great abstract art!

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