Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In A Tizzy

Good Morning!
I'm sitting here in a bit of a tizzy, not knowing what to do first.
I have so much to tell you, and I'm not sure how or where to start.
The thing about blogging, if you don't get it right out there, the story loses it's shine, and it's hard to write about it.

I need to tell you about Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday!
Each day has it's own dysfunction, wonder and fun.
Now that's a lot of blogging, and a lot of drivel.
This is going to be a long post-so for those of you that are kind enough to read it all, I thank you. For those of you who aren't - I totally understand!
You will need drink refills.
I'm just sayin'.

I know you are all riveted to your chairs, dying to hear about the Garden Walk - especially Fake Accent Lady - and the bus load of the nicest people I've ever met. With all this build up, I sure hope you won't be disappointed!

I need to tell you the Coop Happenings!
Bumblefoot, broodiness, impacted crops, new hatchlings, etc....
Seriously, never a dull moment.

And of course, my day with the Flower Patch Farmgirl.

Where do I start? Where, I ask you? Do I blog the whole derned week at once? Or do I try to do nice little cohesive blogs about everything individually?

It's 10am on Wednesday morning, and I'm sitting here in my bra and pajama pants.
Aaron is on summer break, so here's only here a few days a week now.
It's so unusual that I find myself alone.
I'm a bit scattered, as usual.

You'll get a big insight into my personality when Shannan shares her Tastee Top story.

I think I'll tell you a wee bit about Thursday night, and then about Friday night - and then I'll do a blog next about Saturday and Sunday (the Walk), then I'll tell you about Tuesday (Flower Patch Farmgirl) and THEN I'll tell you about Monday.

And then I'll be plum worn out and close the blog, k?

Thursday - July something or another...2010

After receiving the 'Nod' from Terry, I felt free and happy.
It was raining on and off all day, so I just hung up the trowel for the day and went to the library, looking for my next big project, my new 'thang' and some info on goats.
6pm was the Appreciation Dinner at Gardens on the Prairie in Lowell, IN.

If you've never gone - you need to go.
I mean, go. Like in drive two hours if you have to - plan a day of it - just go.
It's so lovely there! I find the staff very helpful, Wayne is fabulous and there is just so much to see, so much to be inspired from and he has a great selection of everything.
Love that place.
And it's just a stone's throw from me, so you can visit me as well!

The ladies from the Garden Club not only garden well, they can throw down some grub.
It was reeeeallllly hot and humid, which makes it hard for me to eat, but I forced down two chicken legs, some corn pudding and dessert. I didn't want to appear rude.

It was fun talking with all the other home owners, and hearing there tales of preparing for the Garden Walk. One gal in particular reminded me so much of me, and said she'd need medication to get through it. One homeowner had a lovely sundress on and appeared so calm and collected.
I wonder what that's like?

I brought my camera to the event, but really didn't take many pictures.
Did I mention it was hot?
I was tired, and busy talking.

We toured the Garden Center, and I became incredibly inspired, and do now, in fact, plan on planting twice as much - I think - I mean - I want to -
It's hard to see the fabulosity of Gardens on the Prairie and not walk away wanting to grow something.

Friday - July something or another 2010

The day started out early, and happy.
I was out in the yard by 6am, happily deadheading, final weeding, and beginning to stage things for the Big Show.

Aaron showed up at 7:30am ready to work, blesshislittleheart.
I was so proud of my attitude, and felt like 'this will be such a great example for Aaron - of handling stress".

My friend Sue showed up about 9ish to see if she could help.
God knows the right help to send.
Sue is very laid back, and was a great counterbalance to my frenzy.

Oh, I didn't tell you that I was in a frenzy by 9am?
Just a little one. It was short lived.

I thought I'd be all done by about 1pm, and I could languish in the bathtub and moisturize my leathery skin, perfume and pamper myself for the Pre-Walk where all the homeowners and the Garden Club members get a sneak peek of the gardens. I wanted to show up there like I'd been vacationing in the Caribbean, not slaving in NW Indiana. I wanted a sundress, and a hairdo and a calm collected demeanor.

Do you know that expectations can get you in a lot of trouble?

Sue left about 1pm, and I thought - well, I'm just about done.
I just have to.....oh, and I just have to....and oh, ya, that - well let me just....


Aaron is on the computer messing with pictures.
Glen's on the couch watching DVR'd "How It's Made".

The Worm Farm needs to be carried out.
Now, I know none of you ever feel like this - like people should just be up knowing you need help, and standing in line to help you - I mean, they just know all that needs to be done, and should just do it. Right?

So, being the stubborn cuss that I am, I carry the worm farm out the house m'self. And I'm not too quiet about it. It's not that heavy, it's just awkward, and then you have the fear that 5,000 moist, wiggly, red worms could possibly spill all over you.

I pulled my back, or my butt muscle, or something. But ding dang it, I got that Worm Farm where I wanted it.

And then I cried.

And then I came in the house crying 'Why won't anyone help me? This is my final hour! Don't you realize how much still needs to be done? Why have you abandoned me?"

And of course they came to my aid. I did feel better once I released all the tension.

There was no languishing in the tub.
There was no moisturizing.
There was no perfuming.
I think I took a shower, honestly, at this point, I'm not sure.
My hair was tied in a bandana.
There may have been lipstick involved.
I was limping.


We (me, Glenco and Aaron) were at Garden #1
I'm holding on to Glen so I can sorta stand up.
Fabulous garden, beautiful lawn, lovely home. Wow.

Garden #2

Again, limping - sweating -
An incredibly lovely home, mainly shade, immaculate new home, perfectly thought out beds - I feel my teeth bucking.
Oh Lord have mercy. I have a blue snap together pool in my yard.

I'm Garden # 3

I'm dying a thousand deaths as Wayne Gruber of Gardens on the Prairie tours my garden.
It's kinda like having Martha Stewart for supper.
He tells me he loves my garden and that I'm eccentric.
He's being very kind - or is it sympathy? I'm not sure.
He wants my photo by the camper and me holding a chicken.
This is normal for me - apparently - he finds it eccentric.
Maybe he meant eclectic. That sounds better doesn't it?
When I think eccentric, I think of a crazy lady in a shift gown painting bowling balls and feeding numerous cats.
Wait-maybe he did mean eccentric.

Garden #4

A gorgeous yard on a lake. A veggie garden to die for.

My tomatoes have blossom rot.
My zinnias in the veggie garden are mummified.
Why did I do this?
My teeth are still bucking.

Garden #5 is the Gardens on the Prairie which we saw on Thursday.

Garden #6

Ok - after seeing this garden, I can easily eat an apple through a picket fence.
Is this a joke?

I'm starting to feel like Carrie at the prom.
I can't imagine the time and money involved in this estate garden.
Weeds would shake at the root even thinking about invading this place.
I have to sit down.
My butt muscle is killing me.

Garden #7
I had a really hard time getting out of the car.
Where's my walker Pa? I'm crippled.
Then I manage to hobble to the garden.

Stick a fork in me.
I'm done.
A saltbox house that is perfect in every stinkin' single way.
Woods, shade, perfection.
I really want to know how people get things so perfectly manicured and clean.

I'm going shopping for overalls as soon as I leave here.
There's chicken poo all over my house.
And a green baby pool with ducks in it.
A rabbit that's gone feral and is digging holes.
And a snap together big blue pool.

I didn't sleep much that night.
I really did worry.
My garden is so - how shall we say - um - not perfect.
All the crap is still behind the garage.
I have more creeping charlie in the lawn than grass blades. It almost doesn't need cutting.
Darn you, Lowell Garden Club!
Darn you Terry Smutniak!

Next post:
Saturday and Sunday - July something or another.
The Garden Walk
The Bus
The Fake Accent Lady, Smoking Lady and Fighting Neighbors.


  1. You are too funny. Of course your garden looks bad compared to others...the grass is always greener..we always see our own flaws first! And I gotta tell ya, I can appreciate all gardens, but from what I see yours was the best!

  2. I like your garden best. fooling!

  3. Finally, the REAL story! Isn't it the truth how it feels when we compare our stuff to others? And I'm constantly telling my own daughter, "Don't compare yourself as there will always be someone who is smarter, funnier, more artistic," whateva!

    I agree with Jaimie, your garden style is charming. Some of those other gardens were tooo perfect and probably full of pesticides and weed killer! Thank you for inspiring me to be better in all I do everyday!

  4. I think Jaimie above spoke well when saying "we all see our own flaws first". Don't get caught up in people 'approving' or even 'liking' you or your garden, both are Wonderful and Genuine. Do what pleases you and people will love your positivity and joy. I love how Shannon said you filled her with "joy & nonsense", with comments like that, I don't think you have anything to worry about!

  5. This is a great post! I'm so sorry you hurt your back. You are okay, right? Those are nice photos of the other gardens, but i still love yours the best!
    can't wait to read more!

  6. I wonder how many of those other gardens and lawns had professionals tending to them once a week. Though they are beautiful, they look much like manicured yards in any neighborhood. Your garden is a Monet.
    Your animals and The Squirrel are the jewels that adorn it.
    Perfectly imperfect.

    I've really missed you, my friend.


  7. Well, I guess you ran out of steam. I was just getting getting settled in to read until about midnight.
    I was interested to hear that you're blogging in your bra and pj pants. I myself am blogging in my panties and pajama shirt. I got too hot with the pants on.

  8. I needed a good giggle today, though not to laugh at all your worryin', oh me, mercy...I am a nut case about stuff like that too! Always seeing the flaws and the things I neglected to do....I am my own worst enemy! Your hard work is what we ALL saw! You are truly AMAZING- don't ever forget that!

  9. Thank you, girlfriend, for being so honest about how you felt when you did the pre-walk of the other members gardens. From the snippets I've seen of your gardens and then looking at the other garden pictures I have to say that I much prefer yours. While everyone put forth an effort in design and presentation, it was you who did all of your own work...who labored for endless hours to give it your best shot. It is YOU whom we all love...not because of your gardens, as beautifully manicured as they are...but we love you for the person who made the gardens what they are.

    Love ya,

  10. Linked here from Flower Patch Farmgirl - LOVE your blog! I'm in far west Chicago 'burbs (near Aurora).

  11. Seriously, Jayme, I'm sitting here LOL.. and my dogs are looking at me like I am nuts. You are killing me! Those gardens are lovely, but I'm sure yours will be my very favorite :) -T

  12. You just make me happy. :) Can't wait for the rest.

  13. if those other home's don't have a "squirrel" then phooey on them ;) Chickens and pools and campers are REAL good livin'!!

  14. Those are lovely gardens! Puts mine to shame today!

  15. "When I think eccentric, I think of a crazy lady in a shift gown painting bowling balls and feeding numerous cats."

    Okay, I was just on the floor, I had to this point in the story I couldn't read anymore cause I was laughing and I must have pulled my muscle...and "teeth bucking", and "eat an apple through a picket fence????"
    People in my home are wondering what I am laughing so hysterically about!!!!! You TOOOOO funny girl...I can't even finish some of your posts...but I made it through and to the comment box...Here I am... I can't wait for the rest. Laughter is the BEST medicine. You must make a lot of sick people feel a lot better!! Lol...hugs and waiting for more!

  16. Jayme, please, please let me move next to you... It would do my heart so good. I am so glad to know I am not the only one who thinks the family should read my mind and jump to attention when I think something needs to be done.

    Please don't go by a shift dress or overalls. We love you just the way you are.

  17. Lynn in MichiganJuly 14, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    Okay, I know the other gardens would make me feel inferior too, and they are beautiful. But I would not feel at home in any of these places...too stuffy. Your home, gardens, squirel and critters make feel cozy, warm and comfortable...I could easily sit in a chair, drink ice tea,chat and watch your garden(weeds included) grow all day. So stop bucking your teeth over it!!!

  18. Jayme, dear Jayme, thank you for bringing all of us along for the ride ... a very scary ride, I tell you. Your garden is REAL and GENUINE, not for show and definitely not LANDSCAPED. I can't wait for the 'rest of the story'. Let's hope Fake Accent Lady is worth all the build-up ... I have no doubt she is. :)

  19. Jayme! You are TOO funny! I'm chokin' over here!!!
    I vote yours as best garden of all. The others are stuffy and not near as charming as yours. Blood, sweat, and tears....THAT'S what yours is all about. And I LOVE it.

  20. I didn't make it past "Selah" and just started laughing. Kindred spirits we are!!

    Now..I shall click the x box and go back to finish the "rest of the story".

    I miss you.

  21. k...i'm done.

    baby...they ain't got nuttin' on you!~ You're garden is BEAUTIFUL!

    So are theres, but yours is so naturally beautiful!! Just think if it this way...they bought and planted EVERYTHING they had...God had the birds plant some of your stuff. Now HOW skinkin' special is that??

    I still miss you.

    And you look mahvelous in green!

    And lets meet at the Tasty Top for lunch next week.

    Unless Mama calls.

    Maybe I'll go fetch her and bring her along. I think she'd rather be eating a hamburger! Poor mama!

  22. theres? Geesh...THEIRS! Brain dead fog on this end!

  23. Jamie,
    By garden picture #5 I was laughing to tears, you are just too funny. I'm with Fairfieldhouse your garden is Monet. Those perfectly manicured gardens are pretty but constipated. They are too perfect. Your garden is my kind of garden. However if you want to feel really good I'll send you a few pictures of my garden that seems too crowded at the moment, seriously it's a mess. I look forward to your next post, especially the fake accent lady, smoking lady and fighting neighbors.

  24. I look at their landscape and I see plants, I look at yours and I see home...

  25. The other gardens are very nice. But who wants to live in all that order? What happens if a weed pops up or, God forbid, a dog poops? I love your garden. It's pictures of your garden that I look to for inspiration. Seriously. I am starting my own cottage garden all around the yard and I look to see what you have and think..hmmm. I have a little blue lagoon (although my hubby refers to it as 'the ghetto pool') and I really don't care what other people think of it. It's way too nice during the summer. My inlaws had an inground pool and it was a ton of work and money. If mine breaks down, I'll just go to the Walmart and buy a new one. :) Love your trailer, love your nephew (who takes awesome photos, by the way). There are people who like brand new things and brand new homes with white carpet and white furniture (hahahaha) and people like us who love the history in old things and old homes. And your chickens! AWESOME! I can't wait to get my own. Someday....for now I raise boys. No time for chickens. So I will watch you and yours with green eyed envy. Can't wait for the next installment! I hope you felt better at the end of it all. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. It's a joy. You're so eccentric! ;)

  26. "I really want to know how people get things so perfectly manicured and clean. How???"

    Hired help and enormous amounts of disgusting chemicals. I hope that helps; it was meant to! BTW, I like your garden best... and I'm not just saying that 'cuz it's your blog and all...

    Can't wait to hear the rest of the story!

  27. I'm on the edge of my seat, Marto! Edge, I'm telling ya. And I know how it ends!

    Your post tomorrow will positively be the highlight of my day. I just have a feeling about're gonna rock it. It's just a feeling I get. It's something special.


  28. Jayme you are so funny, I love your stories! Let me say to the other blog readers out there, that the other homeowners did do their own work and no one had any help...they all worked very hard, Jayme too and it was so darn hot the week before the walk! A big thank you goes to them and to Jayme for sharing with the Garden Club and the public! Also let me say, that everyone loved Jayme's yard. She got compliment after compliment. I just looked at her on Sunday afternoon and said "Told you so"! Let's see... was that before or after she took out the Billy Boy teeth? LOL
    Terry Smutniak

  29. oops that's Billy Bob teeth!

  30. Well those are beautiful gardens. They have their place don't they. My best gardening friend and my mom in love puts a plant in and if it does not stay in it perfect shape they take it out. I put a plant in and if it does not take over and multiply and grow all over the place I am disappointed. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I personally like your gardens the best. I dream of gardens like yours. I just posted some new pics of the feathered ladies tonight if you have time for a visit. Have a good day tomorrow look forward to the next post.

  31. I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes as I read about you hobbling around the garden tour. Eccentric is better than perfect any day. Your garden is just the way it should be! Hope that muscle is feeling better.

  32. LOL!! Pa. :)

    Still laffin'!

    And honestly, from my own view, woman, do you KNOW what you've created there?!? Maybe if I show you my garden you'll feel a whole lot better. In one bed I have lovely geraniums. The greenery is magnificent. Alongside NO blooms. They all died and left me green magnificent leaves. The plant tag definitely showed blooms. FAIL.

    (my blue smurf pool blows up)

    Feel good now, k?


  33. Seriously ~ most of those other gardens are so boring.
    Yours is free flowing and blooming with love and color.

    Now, onto fake accent lady ~ do tell :)

    ~Andrea in NH

  34. Jayme I love you so! I don't know what to comment on for fear of leaving something out. You are amazing sitting there in your bra and pj's. Your teeth are bucking out! I'm laughing so hard I can hardly write. You go girl.


  35. Eccentric=interesting and awesome. Perfection=boring. And who knows, those big, perfect gardens probably have landscapers to help! I love your garden photos -- honest -- yours is the one I'd want to come into, sit down, read a book and sip iced tea.
    Totally sympathize on the frenzy ... I do the same thing, do something myself, even though I should ask for help and then wish they all knew how much I needed them. Silly. We just need to ask :) One last thing ... bra and pj bottoms? When I'm hot the first thing to go is the bra. Awful thing!

  36. Hope your backside is mending. I LOVE your garden!

  37. I pull a butt muscle every time I read your blog...rolling over laughing, falling out of my get the picture!!!
    Your garden is my FAVORITE!!! It's inviting, cheerful, friendly, relaxing!! How I wish I lived next door to you!!!!
    I love the part about the guys not "reading your mind"! No one can read mine either!!! Of course I love to lug heavy stuff around while they all sit on their "non-aching" butt muscles!!!!
    I look forward to reading more and more and more!!!

  38. I think your gardens have so much personality. I'll take personality over perfection any day of the week!

  39. Hi from the UK!

    Personally I need you are fab! Give me your garden any day (literally!). Those gardens look like they should have a 'Don't walk on the grass sign'.

    AND they don't have chickens or ducks OR you.

    Hearty hugs, Sarah x

  40. oh my goodness, this is my first stop at your blog and I am dying laughing! You are a hoot! Can't wait to read more!

  41. I used to work for a women here in South Bend who's home was always in the garden walk. She was crazy I tell you, crazy. All the grass blades had to be blown with a blower, so the grass would be facing the sun on the morning of the walk. This post had me on the floor, brought back way to many memories. Your gardens are beautiful and way more inviting.

  42. I came to your blog by way of Front Porch Indiana, I think. I absolutely love your blog ~ what a great story ~ and great writing style too. All the gardens on the garden walk looked nice, I thought.

    And who knows what those same gardens will look like next year? My mom's backyard was part of a garden walk one year, it was the best I'd ever seen it. The following year she let it all go to heck ~ not the same yard at all now.

    Have a great weekend. ~ I look forward to coming back here to continue reading. Cheers ~

  43. I love your garden (as well as your blog)!
    I've never trusted the owners of perfect gardens...they're hiding something I'm sure.
    Thank you for the laughs!


  44. That picture with Shanny Bo and Aaron, is that white car behind them running?? (Tee Hee!!)

  45. OK.
    You had me at the bucking teeth.
    Make a bumper sticker and make a million dollars!
    Of course you injured yourself- that's just how we roll.

    Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.
    It means I am working hard in my yard and getting things done.

    I wish I had been on that bus!!!

    White Spray Paint

    You have inspired me to start my fall planning!

  46. Great photos, great narration of your brain thoughts and muscle pull. Your gardens had so many wonderful details: the bees, the Squirrel, Milkweed Way, the chickens, ducks, Hugs, comfortable relaxed feeling and sooo much better color. You can't compare yourself to other folks....
    You create in a unique way and we all love you for it.
    I do think it would of been a hoot if you had your neighbors goats there that day.

  47. This is Kara Skinner ( Jan Keilman's daughter) and I visited on Sat afternoon with my mom and my first of 4 kids - Nolan who is 5.

    I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED, your gardens, your house, and all the fun happenings such as the bee hives, chicken coop, ducks, worm compost, and who could forget the souped up "bigger deal" camper.

    Your gardens radiate such a unique personality - much like yourself! Immediately after getting into our car I said to my mom "You know how they say that dogs resemble their owners, I have never before seen a garden that so perfectly represents the personality of the gardener." This is remarkable considering I only had but a few moments to talk to you and meet you. Your gardens, much like my short first impression of you, are undeniably FUN, FULL OF LIFE, and FREE-SPIRITED! I very much enjoyed visiting with you and seeing your passion shine through in your yard. The style could not suit you more perfectly. I will remember my visit with you and your gardens in the many years to come as I strive to someday have a yard to be as striking.

    You have also inspired me to get my toes a little wet in the area of becoming more self-sufficient. When I got home, my husband said "so how was the garden walk?" My response - "I think I wanna get chickens - MAYBE!" He says, "Well we drink a lot of milk too - I hope you don't want a cow next!" So anyways, we are toying with the idea of getting chickens, but need more information on just how much work they are before we dive into it too quickly. So I might be emailing you soon with questions on the matter.

    Anywho, thanks so much for sharing your FUN yard and personality with us. We appreciate all the hard work and behind-the-scene stuff that consumed your life for many weeks prior.

    Thanks and hope to talk to you again,


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