Well, the office didn’t exactly get finished, and the curtain rods didn’t leave their boxes, but we did manage to accomplish a few other things that have been on our “to do” lists for a while, and sometimes it’s better to do things when the mood strikes rather than force yourself to something else. So J and I spent a lot of our time outdoors, doing yard stuff and soaking up the sunshine.

I’d been feeling a little guilty about the level of hospitality we were offering to our woodland creatures, so we did a few things to remedy the situation. I bought hummingbird feeders to hang on our screened-in porch. I already had the hooks, and after a trip to the grocery store this evening (for sugar to make the nectar), they should be ready to be hung. We also got a squirrel feeder. We’ve been watching some adorable little squirrels since we moved in last fall, and since they bring so much joy to my days I figured it was about time I gave them something back. If I’m lucky I might even be able to get a picture of the allusive little creatures now that they have a reason to stay in one place for more than two seconds – they’re fast little things.

We also did some lawn mowing and weeding, but most importantly, J was finally able to fix our little pond. It’s been in pretty poor shape for the last few months. Foster managed to rip a whole in the side of the plastic lining over the winter (trying to retrieve an errant ball, I believe), so it’s been only half full since then, and keeping the fountain flowing has been a consistent struggle since last fall. And since we have a couple frogs who like to call the place home, J and I both felt the whole thing needed an overhaul. So we bought a few inexpensive supplies and got to work draining, cleaning, and patching (well, J did anyway, while I took on the responsibility of making sure no frogs were hurt in the process…which basically means stood over him and yelled “look out for the frog” while he did all the work). Finally, we replaced the disturbing “naked boy” fountain that was there originally with a cute little spitting frog. We’ve filled it just enough to make sure the patch worked (which appears to be the case), so the only thing left to do is to finish filling it to the top. Now our froggies will have a happy, clean, little home for the summer.

Last year’s frogs enjoying the pond.

Eventually we’ll need to replace the crumbling rock and cement surround, but hopefully that can wait till another year. We’ve certainly got our hands full for this summer. I’m also a little worried that the lack of water in the pond during the last big freeze might have killed the waterlily plant. We took it out while cleaning, but neither of us could tell if it was still alive or not, so we put it back in and decided to adopt a “wait and see” attitude. Hopefully it will make a come-back, because I’d hate to think that we managed, in one winter, to kill something that has obviously been there for many, many years (the root ball is the size of a watermelon!). I should really learn how to take better care of our plants.

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Back inside the house, all that creature business inspired me to make something that would bring some of my love for the wildlife in our yard into our living room. I recently saw these pillows in the latest PB Teen catalog (yes, I get PB Teen and PB Kids catalogs, and no, there are no teens or kids in our house, but I love some of the ideas they have, and who says they have to be just for kids and teens?):

I love the one with the squirrel, so in true Monkey See, Monkey Do fashion, I copied the idea. Here is my version (still a WIP):

I used linen instead of white cotton and this Amy Butler print instead of a solid. I still have to stitch around the silhouette, cover the cording with the coordinating print, and decide how I want the back…and of course sew the whole thing together. But I think it’s shaping up to be a cute addition to an otherwise overly formal living room. I keep you posted on how it turns out.

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