It started with our Easter baskets. Hey, who said adults can't have an Easter basket? Mike and I have a tradition of making each other a basket, but this year things took a new twist. Chocolate and raspberries go together well, don't they?
We found this wonderful little artisan chocolate store in Carmel, called Chocolate for the Spirit. The chocolate is handmade daily in small batches, and let's just say it's amazing! I guess I should have taken a picture of the bunny earlier before the head was removed and eaten...
In 2010 I bought Mike several raspberry plants, and he created this wonderful garden in our back yard. Well, over the years we've neglected the garden somewhat with remodeling and selling my house in Des Moines, re-building a screen porch.
And then there was the Fall when the lawn service people unexpectedly cut down all the raspberry plants (were they thinking weeds?). So the garden needed some help.
|3 new Heritage and 1 Latham Red Raspberry plants|
I bought Mike 4 new raspberry plants to help fill out the garden. And I thought this was an easy gift; just plant them and go. Somehow things are never that easy. Mike thought we needed to fertilize the soil, and next thing you know we have the soil testing kit out. I didn't know we had a soil testing kit in the garage! But before you know it, I'm getting soil samples out of the garden and Mike is testing (playing with chemicals?). After testing for ph, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, we bought fertilizer, and we added 3.5 cups of sulphur and 3 cups of 12-10-10 fertilizer(proportion of nitrogen to phosphorus to potassium) to approximately 150 square feet of garden.
|Mike testing the soil|
Mike worked up the soil, and planted the raspberries while I rebuilt the "rabbit fence" which had worn down over the years.
|Planting the raspberries|
|Chopping up the soil|
After researching how to prevent weeds in this garden, we decided on pine needles which allows the soil to breathe and it adds valuable nutrients like calcium, nitrogen and phosphorus. And it just so happens that we have plenty of pine trees in the backyard to supply this free mulch.
|New green plants in middle and older canes on right. Covered in pine needle mulch.|
We are looking forward to some wonderful raspberries over the coming months and years.
And if you are at Lowe's buying fertilizer, why not pick up some pansies? I love the bright color of pansies and the fact that they can withstand the cooler weather in the Spring and Fall. So I filled a few planters, and I am SO happy to look outside and see the first beautiful flowers of the season.
And oh yes...the exorcist.
At our church's bi-weekly session called "Pizza with the Pastor" we heard a riveting talk by Father Vincent Lampert on exorcism and demons. Father Lampert is one of 50 Catholic priest exorcists in the United States, and he officially holds that post for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. He has been an exorcist for 10 years, being trained in Rome where he participated in 40 exorcisms.
He discussed the various types exorcisms from infestations where there are inexplicable sounds or smells in the house to demonic possession where an individual may have superhuman strength, speak in other languages or growls like animals. He showed us his exorcism kit consisting of holy water, a crucifix and book of prayers. He described witnessing a person levitate and an individual speaking in 7 voices at one time. He read us the prayers he says during an exorcism and how he asks the demon to identify himself.
It was a chilling presentation, and Father Lampert entertained many questions from the 100 people in attendance. He ended his discussion telling us that we should not sleep uneasily that night as God is stronger than demons. Although I understand and believe that, I immediately locked the car doors when we left the church. And I shut all the blinds and curtains in the house and set the alarms system when we arrived home. As if that would help...
If you are interested in learning more about Father Lampert, you can find articles and You Tube videos by searching on Google.
I have always wanted a wreath on the front door, but the typical wreath hangers would not fit. So Mike made one out of leftover stainless steel from our last grill. Yes, he used the plasma cutter, metal bender (called a "brake") and belt sander to make this wreath hanger. And then he painted it to match the door. It's lovely.
So of course I needed a wreath. After pricing them for $40-$50, I decided to try my own hand at a wreath. I purchased a grapevine wreath and garland of flowers at JoAnn's for $10. Using green florist wire, I attached the flowers to the wreath about every 3 inches or so. I found a couple of ribbons in my supplies and this was possibly the most difficult part of the wreath: tying the bow. The wreath looks great on the front door.
|Finished product. Note that great wreath hanger.|
|Inside of wallet|
And I tried my hand at a small fabric billfold that I could carry in my jeans pocket when shopping or anytime I didn't want to carry a purse.
Looking through my fabric stash, I found a couple of coordinating fabrics and began cutting and sewing.
|Outside of wallet|
|Folded wallet with elastic surround.|
Maybe it's not the best sewing job ever, but I'll get better with practice. I finished the wallet and tried it out yesterday. It easily carried my license, credit card, insurance card and cash. I love it!
So, it was a strange and crazy and informative week. So life goes...
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