Thursday, March 31, 2011

happy hallow-spr​ing!

To remind everyone (and inform any newbies), we started a new scoring system this year. Scores are accrued quarterly. This allows more people to sit in the catbird seat and be on top of the Along Life's Highway field reporter list. Today the scoring begins again. The first quarter player scores are moved to the Top Scores page so you can continue to admire your accomplishments.

Any submissions in my kitty will be posted this quarter. Good luck  to everyone for the Spring Quarter.

Top players - Winter Quarter 2011

First place: Matt from Pass Along Plants. Matt is new to game and competed  strong and enthusiastically.


Second Place: Lola Nova of Whatever Lola Wants. Lola is a seasoned field reporter recruited in the first year of the game. She has an excellent eye.
 Third Place: Morning Glory a long time commentator, Morning glory decided it was time to get off the bleachers. She did it in a big way.
Congratulations to everyone who submitted. We will still have our awesome year end extravaganza reporter review and vote for best yard of the year.

To kick off the new Spring Quarter:

Diane comments and submits:

love it. please tell me each one gets the holiday bonus.

they certainly do
3 out of 5 pumpkins are mortified to still be on display in April

Score

5 pumpkins: 5 points + 25 points (holiday bonus)

Subtotal: 30 points

Creativity Bonus

For 5  little pumpkins standing in a row with a wide range of emotional responses and really how hard is it to pack up 5 pumpkins?: 2 points

Total: 32 points

cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com
We Blog Cartoons.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Why It Is Important To Stop and Smell the Yard Art

Karen of Rock Quarry Stained Glass is taking us out for a Sunday drive. Sit back and enjoy.

 I just had to share these pictures with you.  We were out on a little road trip about 40 miles from home on Sunday.   I know the pictures aren't scoreable since they aren't in anyone's yard, but this is like the Holy Grail of all Things Yard Art. 

We were driving down the freeway, when we spotted the Pink in the distance. We had to investigate.  (the sign of a great developing field reporter!)

Turning off on a frontage road allowed us this view:


Now, that's a Moose.
Wow, he sure knows how to catch the Big Ones.

Look out!  The ducks are coming back for the summer.
Ever feel like the weight of the World is on your shoulders?  This guy can relate.
Oh, my!  Udderly disturbing. (she said that... not me)
Deer Hunting is alive and well in Wisconsin. (Deer hunting and deer hunter hunting)

But wait, (cue Heavenly Music) do you see It?? (can it be?)


This is the Biggest Pink Flamingo I have ever seen in Captivity. I wanted to get closer, but the area is all fenced off. 
(The mother of all flingo-flingos!)

There is so much more to see in this display, but they aren't officially open until April.  This is a business that specializes in selling the 'Unusual'.  I don't know what they do with it all, but we had a good time taking pictures.  I want to go back and get some better pictures some day.  (Their advertising sign says, "Where Do They Get All This Stuff?")  Good question.

Just as we turned off the frontage road, this came into view:
Notice the nice, big rocks?  (Well, after you're done looking at the dinosaur-y thing) I know a certain Laura who would be very interesting in purchasing this T-Rex.
 I told Carl we need something like this to dress up our Quarry garden.  He agreed.

There's a sign out by the road:  "The owner says, Make Me An Offer". 

Apparently there aren't any takers yet.


Karen, first you should definitely go back in April and make a purchase. If you noticed most of the big items are already loaded on handy trailer for easy transportation.


**********************update from Karen**********************


The place is called M. Schettl Sales and it is located near Oshkosh, WI. They used to have another location a bit farther out in the country, but now have moved a lot of their inventory right near Hwy. 41 (the freeway). We had gone to their old location several times but never bought anything, as the statues are out of our budget (and out of this world!) but had a whole lot of fun just looking at it all, sort of like a flea market/outdoor museum of Humongous Yard Art-Collectibles.

Here's the website:

http://www.mschettl.com/


Thanks Karen!

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Loss of Innocence

His opening line is so good, I have nothing else to say:

Bom from The Plant Chaser comments and submits:


I'm no longer a TYAG virgin.

I have to explain that there are hindrances to submitting.  My wife's theory about having more oriental influences in the garden is logical and seems to hold ground in most cases.  Another reason is that land area in the Philippines is very small.  Often less than 100 sq. m. per household owner so there is not a lot of space for a yard much less yard art.  The most major hindrance is security.  The residential areas are divided into subdivisions (gated and guarded) and people are generally not allowed inside a subdivision unless they are a homeowner.  Also, property is divided by concrete/cement walls so that it is rare that you can get a glimpse of the yard from the street even if you do get inside a subdivision.

Grottos are the most common thing to find but since the Virgin Mary doesn't warrant a score, there is no point to report on these.

I finally found something to submit although I am not sure if it will pass your quality testing.

I found these along a road that I pass at least once a week but never noticed them until recently.  The perimeter wall is probably just 2 feet away from the road and I found these in the strip between.  The cut of land is larger than most.  There is a log blocking the steps leading to the main gate by which two mermaids and a tailless whale wait.  No body of water anywhere nearby.  The area where I found them is notorious for having water supply problems and maybe that is why they were banished?

Someone from the house saw my car and opened the gate.  It appeared she was going to approach me so I inched the car forward slowly and saw something else hidden amidst the plants.  I am not sure what it is.  A mutant flamingo?

Sorry for the picture quality, I just shot through my windshield.


While some people clip the wings of their parrots or ducks to keep them from flying away...
Others clip the tails off their mermaids to keep them in the garden
To make up for her lack of tail, Ariel likes to flip the family eel. She claims it builds  her torso. She also claims she is not on steroids.

and I'll just keep hiding here in the shrubbery

Score
  • 2 mermaids missing most of their mer: 2 points
  • Frighten eel (and that is saying something): 1 point
  • Crane type bird: 1 point
Subtotal: 4 points


Creativity Bonus

For the muscle bond Ariel and her less than willing victims companions: 3 points

Total: 7 points

For losing your yard art virginity and being discovered by a homeowner
Bom, may your ball always been gilded

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Insurance and the Protection of Yard Art

Earlier this week I posted on Facebook that a family's yard art valued at $6000 was stolen. This was a big caper because it would have involved at least a wrecker or a wench. I will not explore the cleverness of thieves but I do ponder the sanity of owning a $6000 boat propeller and if it was covered by a home owners insurance policy.

But a timely field reporter answered my question.

Rosey from Dung Hoe Gardening comments and submits:

When my college-age daughter told me there was a house in her neighborhood with a lot of statues, I had no inkling of how many and how big they would be. I thought they would be little frogs and donkeys but these were big suckers. When we took her home last weekend, she showed me this place and I was shocked. I couldn't even get photos of all of it. So use what photos you think show the vast quantities these people have hoarded. I wonder if they would even notice something missing? ( I should have gotten a picture of the sign that said it was covered by so and so insurance company. )

I feel so much better, a stellar yard artist can protect their collection from theft and destruction by the reputable SO and SO insurance company:
This may be the most awe-inspiring, yard art dedicated ( read:expensive) collection I have ever seen.
Where Don Quite and the Great Buffalo can cavort in safety behind a white security fence
So have you been in the sanctuary long
Yes, Its been going on 6 years. You get the yellow boots on your 5 year anniversary.
sweet!
You can tell, the jockey is never going to catch those horses. Even with the bucket of feed
The eagle is feeling like turtle for dinner. The bucket is for the shells. He is a neat eagle
How much wattage is on that fence? How much wattage is needed with Pissed Off Bear guarding the gate


Score (feel free to scroll to the bottom)
  • Horse & insurance model Elk ( I cannot image the cost of some of these pieces): 2 points
  • Donkey cart (kitsch factor): 3 points
  • Flying ducks: 2 points
  • Knight on Horse (unsure is knight actually has a face or a head for that matter): 1 point
  • Stately buffalo: 1 point
  • Wagon (and I missed opportunity to hitch the buffalo to the wagon. A missed opportunity of awesomeness!): 1 point

  • 3 mountain goats: 1 point
  • empty pedestal (something is going to be added to the collection): 1 point
  • Majestic deer/elk: 1 point
  • Fighting eagles: 1 point
  • Doofy bear: 1 point
  • 3 raccoons clinging to a stump: 1 point
  • re-bar - rabbit cane or defense weapon?: 0 points
  • Chatty rabbit: 1 point
  • Fashionable turtle: 1 point

  • Rooster, 2 ducks & a deer: 4 points
  • Jockey with little or no catching skills: 3 points (kitsch factor)
  • 7 escaping ponies: 3 points
  • Second lazy jockey: 3 points
  • Christmas decorated arch: 3 points (holiday bonus)

  • Eagle in mid-snatch: 1 point
  • Sea turtles (note blue water mulch): 1 point
  • Dutch couple: 3 points (kitsch factor)
  • Bear hunting trout: 1 point

  • Angry bear and little bear cub: 2 points
  • Bugling Elk: 1 points
  • Team of draft horses: 2 points
  • Random little man: 1 point
  • 2 guys and 1 dog on a bench: 3 points
  • What I can only call a buffalo merry-go-round that lights up!!!: 1 point
  • Buffalo on gate (kicked off the team): 1 point
Subtotal: 51 points

Creativity Bonus

For an amazing collection of privately insurance yard art and mostly for the buffalo merry-go-round: 4 points

Total: 55 points
Rosey welcome to the Loyal Order of the Golden Manatee, may your manatees not be blobfish

They should have went with So and So Insurance:

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's Friday and You Know Somewhere The Party Has Already Started

Texting from a Field Reporter where alcohol may or may not have been involved:

Diane:

Oh my f*cking god how many points for a live gnome?????? Lmao



And that my friend is a story for another day... in fact it will be another of my epic videos.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

unnecessary use of garland

Ah, it is getting to be the time of year where holidays begin to stack up against each other. As a holiday decorator it is imperative to keep up with your calendar and remove old holidays as you display new ones, otherwise you begin to fall into crazy yard art neighbor category instead of festive holiday celebrator.

Tufa Girl comments and Submits:

The Christmas ornaments are now aging with the Valentine's Day decorations. My sweetie noticed the poor flamingo hiding in the shadows - obviously embarrassed by the never-ending holiday spirit.

If we wait all through the summer...

This house could get quite interesting.
I'm just not getting the fence poles and I am sadly disappointed by the lack of lighting
help me

Score
  • Red & green garland festooned plant hanger resplendent with festive Christmas Balls: 6 points + 18 points (holiday bonus)
  • Red valentine garland entwined in then entry gate leading up to a welcoming Valentines Day Heart: 2 points + 2 points (holiday bonus)
  • 2 green garland covered fence posts (which is not a bad way to hide an unfinished project): 2 points + 6 points (holiday bonus)
  • Another quite fetching Ball Hanger: 3 points + 3 points (holiday bonus)
  • Large holiday ball in tree: 1 point + 3 points (HB)
  • Green garland pole: 1 points + 3 points (HB)
  • Swan (managed to ignore all the holiday fuss): 1 point
  • Featherstone the Flingo Flingo who wants a new home where he is the center of the attraction: 1 point
Subtotal: 52 points

Creativity Bonus

Not being a great fan of garland, plus the garland is not even sparkly! and where the heck are the lights... there is nothing sadder than somewhat tasteful yet lazy holiday yard artist: 1 point 

Total: 53 points

In an act of extreme bravery, I expatriated Featherstone. Here is his freedom dance:



***** Late Breaking Important News Flash***********

Tufa Girl: A drive by today. No St. Paddy's Day ornaments (Irish need not apply.) Although, I have discovered the key to keeping those holiday ornaments fresh year after year.
 ah ha ha ha, sealed for freshness

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

When the redgirl bus rolls, you just get out of the way

redgirl comments and submits:

I am pleased to discover that my hometown has as little taste as I hoped! When I saw this beauteous specimen, I couldn't believe that I hadn't seen it before! That being said, I don't usually look UP.

I was pleased to discover the driveway empty (I have labeled it for your convenience) and the street front similar. This house's theme seems to be hanging objects, and they've started in fine form with a saw blade, which I have labeled "1" for you. Why anyone chooses to hang up object that are made for cutting up things (like PEOPLE! *ahem* maybe too many Criminal Minds there). Maybe for the same reason they hang up rakes.

When I got to the front of the lawn I realized that in noticing the main attraction, I had neglected to see the little things (or as Tufa Girl says, I had neglected to notice the festival in the grass for the sake of the Golden Manatee)

(be sure to click on images to enlarge - after all redgirl, did do all this sophisticated graphic artwork)

redgirl's bravery is outstanding....
A sacred Native American homage to the Dangly-Thing Spirit.
---late breaking addition---- (posted after submission)

dang it: ghost of Angry Bear Who Rides With The Burden Of Trancendentalistic Thoughts.was a ruse - and I fell for it., sigh.


Score provide by redgirl, my comments (if any) are in red

1) Saw blade (a good deterrent for cell phone usage while carrying groceries and trying to come in side door...yeah well, I learned my lesson): 1 point
2) TOTEM POLE. BIIIIG TOTEM POLE: 1 point
3) Dangley sun thing: 1 point
4) Ditto: 1 point
5) A decorative hanging icicle? It doesn't look like it would make any noise, so I'm not sure why it's there. (to dangle): 1 point
6) ....another sun (must be warm there): 1 point
7) *sigh* anOTHER sun. Get some imagination people! But, perhaps these are all ways that they worship the sun god of the Native Americans? Whatevs.: 1 point
8) Petrified Indian. He lay too long under the mountain creek. Having had too much fiber in his diet, he became like a piece of petrified wood. Local homeowners just thought he was a cool statue. REAL INDIAN RECOGNIZE FAIL.: 1 point (how do I top that)
9) Bear holding welcome sign. Really? "I'll BET lunch is on! How many bears did you invite to this thing? Do you take me for an idiot? Oh? You don't? Okay, I could use a bite...": 1 point
10) a. sun. On a stick. (Imma let you finish, but I have the best sun on a stick of all time. OF ALL TIME.)(yes you do!): 1 point
11) The Indian in the cupboard wants his totem pole back.: 1 point
12) The ghost of Angry Bear Who Rides With The Burden Of Trancendentalistic Thoughts. I wouldn't put the nursery in that room...: 0 points (but I will let you keep the indian because you miscounted the dangly things)

"There were probably a few more, but I can't recall them. I'm also sticking to my number one rule here. Don't go inside the picket fence. Even if it's only implied."

Subtotal: 11 points

Creativity Bonus

For the petrified Indian, Transcendentalists, hungry bears and most importantly a great list in which I did not really have to do much work: 4 points

Total: 15 points

and so we come full circle:
redgirl is inducted into the Loyal Order of the Golden Manatee and awarded the very coat of arms she designed

To complete our theme of Totem poles and dangly...nevermind:


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Manatee Takes A Vacation

Winnie of Winnie's Litter makes an important discovery. While The Manatee is waiting for an incredible yard to be revealed, she likes go back home and visit the relatives.

"A recent trip to Florida had me noticing Manatee mailboxes and even a dolphin one. Evidently I was in better environs as no REALLY good yard art presented it's self. However I did spy this little gem set up in the Melbourne FL International airport."

don't hate me because I am beautiful
I am pretty sure this is Gold Manatee's MeMaw 
I know my MeMaw has a similar outfit but a little less tasteful.

Fantasy Yard Art Results:

Drawing results for the lovely Thelma and Louise 
Diane for  "brotha from anotha mutha"
 a gnome can only take so much humiliation...


Monday, March 21, 2011

They Leer and That Is Never A Good Thing

Ok...so I like weird... AND dolls are creepy. Weird creepy doll people are safely in Canada. Tonight they will haunt my dreams.

Marguerite of Canoe Corner comments and submits:

"We saw this scene last week while on a walk but gosh d*&^ if I didn't bust the camera the night before. Seems cameras don't like cement floors. Anyway I had to wait until this weekend to go back. We hurried back today, relief, they were still there. I don't know what worries me more, that they are still there leering at us or the possibility that they might go out and wander the neighbourhood."


Every day the scarecrow thanks his maker that he is stuffed with straw. The broken-neck zombie remains hungry.
Oh, could someone please prop my neck up again? A little help here.....


Lucifer detests Elvis:
He gets drunk every damn day and all we ask of him is to deliver a few brains for Madeline. Is that too much to ask? Is it?

No one ever knew what happened to the local gardener...

The birds welcome guests into the inner lair. After all they have wings and their brains are small. Aren't they sweet.
I suppose that is the tip jar. I suggest you not look in it.

Score (list provided by Marguerite, my comments are in red)
  • 1 owl on a post: 1 point
  • 1 scarecrow with a smiley face (you say smile, I say grimace): 1 point
  • 1 very broad shouldered lady with a doll face: (uh huh, there it is.... the doll face a dead give away): 1 point
  • 1 man, is that Elvis hiding under that hat?, reclined against a tree (passed out): 1 point
  • his buddy, evil red faced leering devil, on guard while his friend sleeps (as a rule in life, I avoid anyone with an evil leer... the more you know): 1 point
  • 1 milk can: 1 point
  • 1 sweet little bird family in a fake tree stump: 2 points
  • 1 garden fork reaching out of the snow (perhaps that's somebody's hand?  maybe I should have waited until the snow melted to find out, or not...) I think the prudent choice is to quickly leave
Subtotal:  8 points

Creativity Bonus

Zombie doll faced 80's shoulder pad wearing brain snacking Madaline and friends: 4 points

Total: 12 points

May the Royal Order of the Manatee guard you from marauding flesh eaters. The Rooster recommends you get your own 4 leaf clover.

I knew I recognized her:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Angst

I'm back from my not very successful horse trip but I am in one piece and Pete (my horse) is more or less in one piece (he pulled up lame and needs some time to heal). So after licking my wounds for one day (OK, two days) I am pulling myself out of my morass of self pity and starting up again with the game.

First order of business: We only had three entries for the fantasy give away for the lovely dragonflies. I am not sure if we should put it up for a vote or just have a drawing. 3 entries does not make for a very rousing voting competition. I'll let you guys decide. The winner will be chosen on March 21th either way.

Second order of business: The Yard Art Game Continues but the score will wrap up at the end of March and restart in April. I have a lot of yards in the kitty. They will not all be posted in in the next two weeks (this means you Diane). If anyone is sand bagging, better get it in. I'll choose the best ones (as in the ones that inspire me at that particular moment and get them up) Otherwise, your photos will just be used in the next quarter.

Oh and this is what a knee looks like after a water bottle has bounced on it for 22 miles:


Matt of Pass Along Plants submits:

In a world without beauty, landscaping, art or entertainment... Kermit preserves at the State Correctional Amphibian Prison
'sigh, I can stand not having a big screen TV, I just wish they would clean my litter box"


Score
  • Prison number F345678934b incarcerated for eating a beloved dragonfly on a stick: 1 point
  • Dung pile (or maybe I rock... possibly): 0 points
Subtotal: 1 point

Creativity Bonus

For the deplorable frog living conditions: no umbrella, no bench, no birdbath basically solitary confinement... the infrogmanity to frog: 1 point

Total: 2 points

Why kermit moved onto the easier prey on a stick: