Isn’t it funny
That god spelled backwards is dog
In this, I believe
© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl
We had to rebuild our pond when the original 5 gallon bucket we used proved not to hold enough water for us to leave for a weekend before it splashed out. Many times the Robins would sit on the fountain and during their bathing would flap a good portion of water out of the system. We decided a larger basin was needed. However, many of the basins that are specifically made for pondless fountains are very expensive. What is expensive? Anywhere between $400. and $700. dollars. I feel that cost places these fountains out of many folks price-points. I’d rather use that money towards the ‘art’ part. The part everyone sees… The fountain!
We dug-up everything that was buried and set it out for re-installation. We decided we were going to try a plastic storage container and see how well the $20. dollar bin would hold up. We dug the hole about 4″ inches larger than the bin and back-filled that area with pea gravel. We hoped it would allow the bin to freeze (expand) and thaw without cracking. So far, this fountain has been through one winter with no issue.
So the lid wouldn’t cave in, we set the central weight of the fountain on top of a 6″ piece of PVC pipe. The pump (with its filter) sat just outside the PVC pipe. We placed holes in the lid to drain the water back into the basin, however not enough to compromise its integrity.
After everything was installed in the basin, but before the fountain was assembled above, we checked if the pump was working correctly. Better to check now than to stack the fountain and realize there’s an issue. DoH!!
Everything was running well, so we continued to finish the installation by adding the grate, the pond membrane and returning the stone to the area. We then carefully stacked the fountain on the copper pipe. We plugged it in and stepped back to admire our work.
If you want to see other pondless fountain ideas, click here!
© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl
My head reels with the stinging pain of last night’s events.
Thoughts of you caused me to become disobedient.
At least this time it was a strong dose of alcohol.
You always said I would forever be your babydoll.
I remember a time when you loved with such passion.
You said no woman you’ve loved would fair in comparison.
The adoration you gave me was overwhelming.
I didn’t see the wound inside you festering.
I’ll never forget your white boy face and deep brown eyes.
Mystic, somber pools of emotion that terrifies.
Something behind them obsessed your heart and inner soul.
I felt myself helplessly falling onto a black hole.
I often think back to what you said pushed you to the edge.
That even a mere glance of me was your sole privilege.
Your possessiveness and insults made me such a wreck.
I saw the love in your heart through the marks on my neck.
I tried to leave but you wouldn’t pardon my release.
Hunting me down wherever I went to find inner peace.
You thought you couldn’t exist without having me.
There was no way in your mine I’d ever be free.
I finally decided I had to end this fate.
The pain and suffering wouldn’t let me hesitate.
I still feel your haunting stare upon me behind the shadows.
But at least I know it was coming from the gallows.
© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl
Good day Friends of Midwestern Plants!!
On March 10th, 2013, I started Midwestern Plants with my first post. The only ‘LIKE’ on it (to this day) is from my hubby 😉
I started this blog to build a portfolio of work to break into freelance writing, along with a photo library of Midwestern plants. I didn’t really think of making any money from the blog or even building a following, let alone find some really cool friends here!!
I shopped free blog sites and settled on WordPress. It was easy to figure out and they even had a nice app to use (I’m an app-fanatic!!) This was to be my first use of a ‘social media’ type site. Suffice to say, I’m not a fan of Facebook or other social media, due to many reasons that I won’t go into now. I think FB can be a rude, unsupportive place for a writer.
Although, I was worried that WP could turn into FB, I was pleasantly surprised that after 4 years of blogging, I’ve only had maybe 1 or 2 ‘troll’ comments. And on the other hand, I have made so many friends here!!! Not only have I met friends, I’ve gotten so much encouragement, support, camaraderie, ideas, praise, laughs… I can’t imagine my life without all of you! =-D
On January 12th 2015, I wrote my 500th post. Seems like I’m on par for about 250 posts per year. It was January, so I had just gotten my report from WP with my ‘crunchy numbers’ (WP term). I don’t look at these kind of stats on a regular basis, however I do like to read this year end report. My ‘Top 5’ of read posts hasn’t changed much since then, however the folks that are following and commenting has changed a lot. Out of the 14 folks I mentioned in my 500th post (2 years ago), only 6 are still actively blogging. Some of the folks I follow posted that they were taking a break for whatever reason, however others have just disappeared. I always wonder what has happened to stop someone who’s posted daily for years to just disappear. Did they get a full time writing job? (YES!!!) Taken by aliens? Joined a cult? Lost in a forest? Got caught with kiddie porn? Die? Ironically, the kiddie porn one kinda happened! A blogger I followed had an outstanding warrant for touching kiddies and was extradited back to his home country. =-( And he seemed so NORMAL to me =-O Another woman told me that she had contracted a stalker and had to quit posting, so this person wouldn’t learn more about her.
The internet can be a scary and peaceful place at the same time. Although I don’t post photos of myself and am somewhat anonymous, I have physically met a few fellow bloggers. We had followed each other for a while, so I was not nervous to meet them. I would also love to meet others in the future. Many bloggers in my circle are local, however some are from islands very far away. Maybe one day I will do some puddle jumping 😉
I want to pay tribute to some awesome fellow bloggers that sure make blogging worth it for me. Although I can’t thank everyone I follow personally, I do want to say, THANK YOU all for the comments, the laughs, the support, the tears, the wisdom and the friendship I get from all of you! ❤ ❤ ❤
Travels with Choppy: I just can’t get enough of Choppy’s outfits and celebrations of holidays we all should learn (Letter Writing Day! Who knew?!?) Even tho he’s a cat, Schooner is pretty funny also. And now that #@}0*%ing ELF?! I never know what else I’ll be laughing at next being subscribed to her blog!!
Thanks Sarah, for making me have to change my pants after I’ve pissed them from laughing… One of these days, the fur kids have to meet… Schooner? Probably not 😉
Mad Cap Dog: Scifihammy has me in stitches, whether it be from her Sunday musings or the antics of her Little Monkey! She also keeps me sane with the beautiful, warm, colorful landscapes of Cape Town, while all I see is white 😛 She chills out to my snow posts, so it’s a win/win!
Scifi, I love ya! I’m so glad someone gets my Star Trek references… otherwise I’d be hearing crickets. Thanks for always letting me know you’ll be out for a bit. I would seriously miss ya, if you just dropped off. Dropped off writing, I meant 😉
Easy Weimaraner: I’m beside myself as I write this. Two weeks ago, Easy left us for the Rainbow Bridge. There will never be another Easy. He was hilarious, from his classroom teachings to his indoor snow creations. His staff are equally funny, as Dad can’t stop injuring himself and Mom can’t stop shopping.
Kathy & Mark, I can’t say enough how missed Easy will be, butt time will heal the wounds.
Mongolope: Mongo is a Labrador Retriever that lives with his family in Seattle, Washington. Mongo usually gets in a lot of trouble due to his appetite. He is very smart, however very food driven also. My favorite thing Mongo does is fetch the paper, how cool is that? Be sure to read about Mongo’s first Halloween… You’ll be in stitches!!
Mongo’s Dad, Love the stories you tell about your buddy, Mongo! He is so much fun to read about and sure has some, um, interesting habits 😉
Eddie Two Hawks: Eddie posts wonderful photos of plants from a tropical, Florida location, along with beautiful pieces of wisdom. The photos excite my eyes and the quotes make me think.
Eddie, Thank you for all the wisdom you have brought to my life. I always feel warm and fuzzy after reading your posts. Your photos bring back memories of all the tropical plants I had in my yard while living down there.
I’m not sure what directions all of us are going, however I am so glad to have met you all and share what time we have on this big, blue marble. Lastly, I share with you a favorite tidbit about friendship:
Friends are in your life for a Reason, a Season or a Lifetime:
When someone is in your life for a reason, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. S/he has come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
S/he is there to meet a need. Then without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, s/he will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes s/he dies. Sometimes s/he walks away. Sometimes s/he acts up or out and forces you to take a stand. What we must realize is that the need has been met.
When a person comes into your life for a season, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. S/he may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. S/he may teach you something you have never done. S/he usually gives you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Lifetime relationships teach you lifetime lessons. Those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. You must accept the lesson, love the person/people anyway, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl
Oreo is my closest friend. Not closest because we’ve known each other for years and know each others most intimate thoughts. Closest because he is quite literally on me most of the time! I struggle to type because his nose must be under my hand as I type. If I move out of the norm of typing, he thinks it means I’m ready to pet him and he nudges me with his nose. Sometimes, he puts his paws in my hands. I’ve never met a dog that likes his paws held before. Of course, this doesn’t follow through on mani/peddi days when the clippers come out. Nope.
Oreo must sleep with us also. He is the horizontal line of the ‘H’, as he likes to stretch and push on us with this four paws. I’ve gotten good at spinning his 40# around parallel to us like the Roman numeral III when the humans are gripping onto the bed edges.
Breck is the complete opposite. He doesn’t mind a good neck scratch, face rub or frog-dog, but after 60 seconds, he’s had enough of me and saunters off to do ‘Breck business’, unless I’m headed to the pantry (Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard). He’s borderline cat-like.
I have read that dogs don’t think of hugs as affectionate, but as a dominance thing. I don’t hug Breck much because he doesn’t like it and I don’t want to freak him out. I know he still loves me!
On the other hand, Oreo wants to give me his own style of affection. He enjoys sniffing eyes. Yes, sniffing eyes. He sticks his nose right next to your eyeball and just hovers there. I have no idea what he’s doing, but he doesn’t try to lick or poke my eye out, just sniffs. I like to ‘butterfly kiss’ him with my eyelashes. He will usually just lightly snort and continue to sniff. That’s when usually the other human (that’s not getting their eye sniffed) tells Oreo to kiss the eyesniffee… Then it’s all over… Slobbery licky kisses!!
I had to laugh after being persuaded to do an internet search on the topic of ‘eye-sniffing’… Turns out many wise folks on the internet think I must have cancer or some other debilitating eye disease! Don’t get me wrong. I truly believe dogs and other animals are capable of many feats of nature we humans are too bull-headed to see. However, in the case of Oreo, I think he just enjoys being close to us.
© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl
I like how spring is unfolding here. Lots of things are at least starting to show growth and or if it has survived the winter. I had a bunch of stuff die in my front beds. See, even professionals have issues sometimes! I had a whole row of Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Jefam’ or ‘Amber Jubilee’ croak on me. Gaaa! Those were $45. even at wholesale. I have still to see on some late emerging stuff, but after another couple of weeks, the truth will be told what is making a comeback..
Stylophorum diphyllum ~ celandine-poppy, wood poppy, poppywort | Chionanthus virginicus ~ fringetree
Sanguinaria canadensis ~ bloodroot | Viburnum Carlsii ~ Koreanspice viburnum
Rhododendron ‘Karens’ ~ Karen’s azalea
Malus ~ Crabapple
Viburnum dentatum ~ Arrowwood vibrunum | Glechoma hederacea ~ Creeping Charlie
Draba verna ~ Whitlow-grass
© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl
Who isn’t lulled into serenity at the sound of a mourning dove’s coo?
This pair has been visiting me for a few years now. Mourning doves feed on the ground and in the open. They peck or push aside ground litter, but don’t scratch at the ground. mourning doves tend to feed busily and store seeds in an enlargement of the esophagus called the crop. The doves love the cheap millet that is found in less expensive seed mixes.
Males have favorite “cooing perches” they defend from other males. Members of a pair preen each other with gentle nibbles around the neck as a pair-bonding ritual. Eventually, the pair will progress to grasping beaks and bobbing their heads up and down in unison.
When taking off and landing, mourning doves’ wings make a loud whistling that may help startle predators or warn flock mates. They also can clap their wings together during takeoff much the way rock pigeons do.
The oldest known mourning dove was 31 years 4 months old!