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  • Don't forget to stop and smell the Roses.
  • It All Started With a Hairy Melon Ball.


    baby musk melon ball leanne wildermuth vegetable garden

    The weekend started off with a wave of excitement as I discovered my first Musk Melon taking shape in my vegetable garden. I squealed like a girl, in proper first-time-vegetable-gardener form, and set to fetch my camera. There are hairy melon balls hanging ALL over the place, and I know that sounds so wrong but it feels so right. I want to go bless each of them with Holy Water, or something.

    And then, I gazed. Stargazer Lily Island has fully developed, and I want to pop a tent and live in the back corner of my yard. It’s a bit harder to isolate the lilies now that there are so many, but I am fully enjoying that there are so many. I will be moving them closer to the house. They are waaaay too far away from me. Must. Bring. Closer.

    Of course, I would not be me if my weekend didn’t set out to overachieve in some aspect in my life. This weekend I chose to build a custom vanity cabinet for my shoebox sized bathroom, “easy peasy” I said, as I packed my daughter, my big purse and myself into my car and headed to Lowe’s for all of the fixin’s. If you can’t find it pre-made, build it yourself, right? Right. So I have this under 24″ space to fit my sink in, and nothing in this bathroom has EVER worked (for long). I built it in my head, and then I built it in my garage. With Hubby and Catybug’s help, of course. It was a 6 hour project, an experience I’ll never forget, a Saturday I’ll never get back, and….

    custom 20 inch drop in sink cabinet leanne wildermuth
    A sink I’ll never use. Anyone need a 20w x 18d x 32h custom vanity cabinet with a drop in sink? Urgh – when you have a shoebox for a bathroom, the last thing you want is something so deep that it makes you feel like your peeing in a porta-john. Seriously, if I gain just 3-5 pounds, someone will have to pry me out from between the wall and the cabinet, and that would not be pretty.

    Well, then, on to the next project.

    Did I mention my garden is doing well? Four burpless cucumber plants have taken over half of my garden. I have more cukes than I can count on two hands, what’s a girl to do? Make bread & butter pickles, that’s what.

    bread and butter pickles cucumber garden leanne wildermuth

    If you like bread & butter pickles, then you’ll want to check back, because I’m going to have a little contest, and you could win a jar. Because I’m a Midwestern kindof gal, and it’s a Midwestern kindof contest.

    While my cukes were cooling, I meandered around my garden again. As I do every day, I stopped to smell the roses.

    This rose bloom was just picture perfect. I was pretty angry when I went back to appreciate it again, as there was a Japanese Beetle munching a great big hole in the petals. I’m glad I captured its beauty while it lasted.

    lupine bud bloom macro leanne wildermuth

    I didn’t know what to expect from my Lupine this year (especially since it’s not a Lupine, it’s a Delphinium. Thanks, Taba.) – I planted the root last fall and it’s supposed to get really tall and be very hardy. It’s slowly making an appearance, and the blooms are so dainty I’m afraid I’ll hurt it if I get my nose too close.

    Enough with the wandering around the yard, there’s work to be done. Our honey-do list included installing the vanity that I didn’t want, but have to live with because the other one is too big. Got that? Okay. Well, on the honey-don’t list was “break the sink we have to live with.” We successfully took that off the “don’t” list and then quickly added to the “do” list “fix the support that busted in half when top heavy sink falls forward onto Hubby’s leg and shaves off top 3 layers of skin”. Check. First we repaired Hubby, then I repaired the sink.

    And also? I attempted to remove a nut that had rusted onto the waste line with a tool that was not a pipe wrench. The result?

    torn nailbed leanne wildermuth

    Tears. Lots of tears. And then, a(nother) trip to Lowe’s.

    I eventually got the nut off (using the proper tools, and some spray goo that loosens rust), because my bathroom hates us and I’m bound and determined to fight back and win. I figured if the plumbing doesn’t work this time, I’ll google how to build a bomb and blow the freakin’ bathroom to smithereens. That’ll show it who’s boss. Of course it would have to be a bomb that would only blow up the bathroom, and it would have to vaporize all remnants of the immediate area so there’s no clean up involved.

    Well at 6:58pm we realized that Lowe’s closes at 7pm so there was no more shopping on Sunday for us, and that meant no more plumbing, which also meant putting a big bowl under the bathroom sink so we could brush our teeth. Whatever, I’m used to brushing my teeth in the kitchen sink so just being in the bathroom was sweet victory to me.

    Monday morning. The Monday morning that no Quad City resident will ever forget. A storm blew through here like I’ve never seen, winds blew upwards of 100mph. Trees came down. Power went out. The Cities are dark, still, and I feel so fortunate to have power.

    The National Weather Service says the storm that hit the Quad Cities is called a “derecho“, a type of long lived and destructive wind storm.

    From our local news station this morning:

    Moline, QUAD CITIES — MidAmerican Energy says 72,000 Quad City residents and businesses are still without power as of early Tuesday morning.

    At 3 a.m., the largest concentrations of those without power were located in:

    * MOLINE – 33,000 are without power
    * ROCK ISLAND – 28,000 are without power
    * MERCER COUNTY – 6400 are without power
    * ROCK ISLAND COUNTY – 5100 are without power
    * COAL VALLEY – 4041 are without power
    * HENRY COUNTY – 2620 are without power

    Alliant Energy is reporting fewer scattered outages in southeastern Iowa. About 500 are without power north of the Quad Cities.

    The utilities report they have broght in extra crews to try to restore power to the region. At one point, more than 200,000 people were without power due to the strong storms.

    To say that trees came down is really an understatement. What really happened was that the entire landscape in the Quad Cities was changed by force over the course of one storm that lasted about one hour. City streets look like country roads – no stores are lit up, no street lights. People lining up to buy generators, McDonald’s, gasoline. Chainsaws are completely sold out.

    Trees were just ripped in half by the winds. I saw a tree that had to be 6-8 feet in diameter lying on at least one car, maybe more. Many trees just completely uprooted and lying on their sides.

    quad cities derecho storm tree torn leanne wildermuth

    Our damage was minimal. We lost a couple of branches about this size:

    quad cities derecho storm tree torn leanne wildermuth

    And smaller pieces were scattered all over the yard. We are definitely one of the fortunate ones – and I’m so thankful that we had our tree thinned out last year.

    eerie clouds quad cities storm leanne wildermuth

    The clouds lastnight were eerie, but beautiful – as I hosted my girlfriend and her boys who are without power, it’s been an unusual 24 hours and we’re wondering how long before power is restored to our area. We’re also wondering what we would do if we had to live without it on a permanent basis. Life without power. What would that be like?


    Renee said,

    Wow! what a weekend. Love the garden.

    Small bathrooms are a pain. I knew someone who had a very tiny bathroom…so tiny that she put the toilet paper hanger inside the vanity. She used a label maker to write “If you can read this, you’ll need to open this door.”

    Glad that your wind damage wasn’t too bad. I just look at all of that and see firewood though. I hope they get power back up soon.

    7.22.2008 @ 10:32 am

    Great pictures, as usual – I love stargazer lilies!

    And now you’re reminding me that I really need to get some trees thinned in our yard. Lucky you didn’t have worse damage!

    7.22.2008 @ 10:50 am
    pam said,

    Wow, you’ve had a LOT going on! Beautiful pics, but I’m sorry you hurt your finger…! :hug:

    7.22.2008 @ 11:05 am
    Sue said,

    Leanne, I need to figure out how to get as much done in a day that you do. Seriously. I am coming over cuz I love, love, love homemade bread and butter pickles and I wanna see your yard cuz I am bored with mine, mostly with this 80 feet plantar box. I have little baby tomatillos growing and 1 bell pepper is still making it. Next year I will have a proper garden. That hairy melon ball (that cracks me up) is cool. I have a mini, 1/2 bath in my bedroom that needs help… got any time? LOL LOL


    7.22.2008 @ 11:28 am
    Karen said,

    Hmm, living in So. Fla-these pics hit home…as we are in the midst of hurricane season. It’s awful to see such destruction. Last hurricane we were w/o power for 4 LONG, HOT days. Not fun.
    Hey Leanne, I have a question. Is there anything you can’t do? So many talents you have! You are one creative lady!

    7.22.2008 @ 11:29 am
    Tabatha said,

    yay for hairy melon balls!! so cute!
    and your lupine is actually a delphinium.
    and i’d love that sink for my bathroom if you didn’t live so dang far.

    7.22.2008 @ 12:36 pm
    June said,

    I’m exhausted! You’re to be congratulated on your productivity and talent :clapping: I’m duly impressed that you built that sucker yourself! As for the destruction…yes, reminds me of Florida.

    7.22.2008 @ 5:10 pm
    sarcasmom said,

    I have a friend who has a friend (whom I have met) that she refers to (most fondly) as Martha F*****” Stewart because she can make any little thing into a project extrordinairre without breaking a sweat. I think you are like MFS. I mean that to e a compliment :)

    7.22.2008 @ 6:19 pm
    Clara said,

    What a weekend…take a nap girl!

    7.22.2008 @ 8:51 pm
    Shane said,

    I didn’t know that Melon had a hair like that:) I like that pink rose picture.

    7.22.2008 @ 11:10 pm
    YellowRose said,

    Girl you have been a busy bee! The flower pictures…gorgeous! So glad you didn’t have much damage with the storm! That had to be very frightening! That sky photo is menancing!

    7.23.2008 @ 1:13 am
    Da Goddess said,

    Never knew about derechos. Glad you’re okay. Except that the way you’re working on that vanity, well it’s bad for your back. Work at waist level, girlfriend. I’m surprised you only mentioned a sore finger and not a horribly aching back. /nursey lecture

    7.23.2008 @ 7:30 pm
    Shane said,


    7.27.2008 @ 10:12 pm
    Leanne said,

    Hello! :wave:

    7.28.2008 @ 8:06 am

    Sorry, comments are now closed.

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