Monday, June 30, 2008

Things that make my heart happy

The Merry Little Flower Garden Next to the Driveway

This is the flowerbed just next to the driveway. It used to be all grass with the lantana, some holly, and the nandinas in a much smaller flowerbed. After the driveway was poured and the forms removed it just made a nice size flowerbed. It used to be so plain and now I just love to look at it. And here is hubby's hibiscus....his favorite flower. We usually have one in a pot by the pool, but this year we just went wild and planted it in the ground like we had sense. It is an annual, but it makes him so happy to see it bloom. His grandparents lived in South Texas, known hereabouts as The Valley. So any kind of tropical plant reminds him of very happy times with them.

just to make you crazy to make one

Peach cobbler just the way it should be. Here is the cobbler from the last of the peaches. It was/is so tasty. It is made from peaches, sugar and spices. The crust is from a ready mix that sounds like Mixit Quick, but it called for some grated lemon peel and I added some of that brown granulated sugar over the top.

And here is the warm cobbler with ice cream on it, all melty and good....and this is even the peach ice cream on the peach cobbler. That is the ultimate decadence. Oh was so good. The recipe for the ice cream is below a few days ago.

These are some things that made my heart happy and in moderation probably won't hurt it too much. Didn't make my waist all that happy though. Maybe, I should have called this Weight Watchers can wait....but not long. And especially after I get the test results for my physical. aie aie aie

I promise to work on the picture issues and the weight problems tomorrow. There truly are many more things that make my heart happy...these are just a very tiny fraction of them.

While the uploading of these pictures wasn't bad I need to figure out why they didn't all upload. It worked pretty much like it should and had been working. hmmm. And apparently my luck is better with the least for a little while tonight. Melli, I'll post the pictures of the curtains tomorrow. Something happened while they were uploading and they didn't make it.

Garden Spells bySarah Addison-Allen
looks like it will make my heart very happy right after I finish reading some other books.
Note to Pyewacketcat...I think you will like this, too and they have the audiotape, etc.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The domesticity funk

I've been so domestic this past week I think I need to go get a beer and sit around in an undershirt or something. And, remember when I so wanted to be hubby's biker babe on the Vespa, but chose not to have helmet hair instead...well, while reading Crazy Aunt Purl I found a link to this Scooter Babe embroidery pattern. It is very cool...and there are so many really cool ones at Super Crafty, but it means there have been LOTS of women becoming scooter babes ahead of much so they have an embroidery pattern for gosh sakes. There really are some cute patterns at that site, even though they have crushed my dreams of being original.

The domesticity today was sewing, for goodness sake! We remodeled our upstairs bedroom some...well, a while back and I'd never gotten blinds or curtains for the clerestory windows above the bed. I had the matching bedspread and curtains and pillows and had craftily taken one of the curtains and made it into a shower curtain. How clever is that! But now coverings for the windows over the bed. Our daughter is coming in August for my birthday and my mil's birthday and she is like her mom...she likes it to be somewhat caveish for sleeping. A trip to Home Depot for blinds was first on my list this morning, then over to Garden Ridge for accessories that I'd seen but didn't buy and sheer curtains. Well, the sheers were 84" long and the window is 25" high, so there was some altering going on here today....and with what I had left over I made a tiny little matching curtain for the bath. It has a tiny little window.

Did I mention the peach cobbler made from the last of the peaches? Well, it was wonderful and last night I gave in and put some of the peach home made ice cream on the heated cobbler. It was so good. I will be looking for a Weight Watcher's meeting place very soon, but my goodness it was so good. I'll get pictures of the cobbler uploaded tomorrow, but I'm worn out. Here is a picture of the ice cream.

a bowl of peach ice cream

Apparently life size for tonight...I can't get the edit thing to work right now, or the little hand thingy to scruch it down some. And for another thing I lost the pictures in a post about our vacation. They just will not transload from the hosting site. It might be God telling me not to post those ones, even though they were for family viewing. I'll work on that tomorrow, too after I run to my doc to get the paperwork so I can get blood work done for the physical in July. I'll get better at this blogging thing one of these days.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Just Leave it alone

This fern had died back over the winter and during the spring rush of getting things planted and preparing for the party, I had forgotten all about it. It is coming back just fine being left totally alone and forgotten. Sometimes that is just the best policy, I think.

Friday, June 27, 2008

total bliss

I just found this picture of my grand niece on my nephew and his wife's website. If this isn't total serenity, I don't know what would be. Welcome to the world of ice cream, sweetheart. She had just had a good tasting of it. I love that sweet innocent little face. She is so interested in learning about the world.

My great niece, Lilly loves ice cream, tooMy great niece, Lilly loves ice cream, tooMy great niece, Lilly loves ice cream, tooMy great niece, Lilly loves ice cream, too

And I just got a whole lesson in familial relationships, and how. While I was brushing my teeth and talking to my husband who was settling in to bed I asked him what the difference is between a Great Niece and a Grand Niece. He, who has NO clue about how family connections are figured out, started telling me that if she was younger then me...well, something something...if she were older than me the she would be the Grand Niece. He based this reasoning on the fact that Grandparents are older. He is wise, my man.

So, to settle my mind about the whole grand-great debate I googled it. OH have NO idea what is out there about relationships. My mind was spinning and and my eyes were rolling after looking at some of the charts. This one is a doozy!! It has an enormous chart detailing any possible relationship to anyone ever who is remotely related to you. Definitely worth a click just to see the thing. Man, someone went crazy figuring that out.

Then there was the slightly odd website that was very serious about relationships on Prince Edward Island. Wikipedia had this to say, "According to the 2008 estimates, Prince Edward Island has 139,407 residents[3] collectively referred to as Islanders. " I guess with that small a gene pool one must be most rigorous in selecting someone from the Island, or possibly all of Nova Scotia.

I didn't used to get too interested in how my family was related to each other...there just weren't that many of us. That is the deal with my husband, he was an only child, too. (My sister has gotten that name for her website, so be on the lookout) So, anything other than a cousin was pretty exotic for us and after thinking on the relationship for a nano second we were back into our own little worlds, where we were king and queen. And we lived in a very large metropolitan area where we were not likely to marry anyone remotely related to us, so it just wasn't all that important to us. But now, I'm getting older and there are more and more of us after the first influx of my siblings. Same dad...different mother. And now they have children and grandchildren and our world has grown so much and become complex.

After all the reading, grand niece and great niece are the same thing, but ain't she grand!! Anyway, I wanted to show you Miss Lilly in all her loveliness at age 7 months 21 days, with ice cream face and wide eyes. Keep this image with you today as you go about your business and I think it will make you a little happier.

My great niece, Lilly loves ice cream, too

Disclaimer-I did make sure it was ok with her grandmother to use this image and grandmothers are the toughest.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

the actual ruler of this house

PhotobucketThis is our cat called variously Got-e-bo, by her previous choice of owners and then The Doppleganger by my daughter, because she looked just like the cat we had before. This cat would come to our house and hang out before we took her in she moved in with us. I tried to call her Daisy for a while, but it didn't fit. Now she is ' in the cartoons. She lived with my neighbor down the street, but they got a dog....hiss...and that was unpardonable to this little cat.

She only weighs about 4 pounds, but is healthy. I asked my neighbor the other day how old she is...the cat not the neighbor...and she thought for a moment and said, "Well, she was born under Sean's crib, so she is 18 years old!" She, the cat, is a good one. We get headbutts and kitty kisses when we return from a trip, but only after she has made us feel pretty bad about leaving her with only the kid to feed and water her twice a day. Our daughter, who has her own home and job, actually sits with her and once turned on the sleep timer on the tv for her so it would seem as if we were home. It made Puddy all calm and we were told. My husband saw her checking out another neighbor's house the other day. He was sort of worried she might be thinking of moving on to live with them.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

it's all just peachy

I've been watching tivoed So You Think You Can Dance and turned on the news. It is STORMING like crazy just on the other side of town and we got nothing, nada, not a drop. Unbelievable. It has been such a hot day today...the heat index was 101F and it felt like it, too.

This morning while I was looking for a file on the computer I found a recipe for peach ice cream.
I have no idea where the recipe came from, if you do please let me know so I can give credit where it is due. It was easy to make and it is good. I added a bit more sugar...just because I like it like that. It nearly dropped me to my knees when I tasted it before putting it in the ice cream freezer. We have an electric one that is ages old, but it worked. We haven't made homemade ice cream for twenty years...for real. Wish I'd taken a picture of it. It was like magic how the cream expanded as it froze and came up in the cannister. This was the first time I've ever had homemade that didn't have salt in it...I thought, but after I finished I got a tiny aftertaste. It was truly the real deal.

Texas Peach Ice Cream

3 medium size Fully-ripened peaches, peeled, stoned and chopped (approximately 1-1/2 cups)

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons Sugar

1-½ teaspoons Pure vanilla

2 cups Half-and-half, or 1-½ cups whole milk plus ½ cup heavy cream

In a bowl, using a potato masher or wooden spoon, break up the peaches with the sugar and vanilla until coarsely mashed. Stir in the half and half. Taste and add more sugar if needed.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions. You can also "still-freeze" this ice cream, but it will not be as smooth (see directions below). When the ice cream is thickened and frozen, scrape it into a plastic container, cover and freeze for at least 1 hour. Let it soften slightly in the refrigerator before serving.

After about 30 minutes of looking at the recipe off and on, I told my husband we must go to the farmer's market right now! We weren't sure if the Parker County peaches were ready yet, but there was one guy who had a bunch of peaches. He was sorting them and putting the bruised ones in a box. I asked if he would make me a deal on that box (the overipe ones are the best for what I wanted). He made me a deal for $3.00.!! I made a double recipe of the fresh peach ice cream and have enough for a peach crisp or cobbler tomorrow. Oh yes...those peaches count for fruit servings....well, in my world they do and they do for real. We just won't think about the half and half tonight.

a bowl of peach ice cream

Thank goodness we have a new little freezer to put our ice cream bounty into.

You can see how messy our garage is...and I spy the pink flamingo's rear end...been wondering where it know..yard art and all.

Alas, poor brown freezer we knew you well. You served us for forty years and kept our food frozen solid, except for the time the kids pulled your door open trying to reach the popsicles and the side of beef defrosted. That was not a good day for pretty much all of us. The parts guy came for you today and carted you off to freezer heaven, for you could go to no other place, faithful Montgomery Ward freezer.

Keep an eye on my weather thingy to see how hot it is and how we at my house are not getting any rain whatsoever and the other side of town is nice and cool...however, there were some bad issues associated with this rain. No tornadoes or anything like that, but I did hear them say a lot of wind. Now I feel awful that I envied their rain.

Wordless Wednesday

This was taken very early last spring when we had a snap cold front
with snow....guess I should have not done WW with this at this
time of year. It has been SO HOT the past few days,
and it is just the beginning for us.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

home grown

It has all come back to me about why I retired/quit last November. This week and last week were non stop busyness and I didn't like it at all. That was the way it was when I worked even though it was part time. There was never enough time for all that needed doing. While working I'd forgotten how much gardening means to me...and it does mean a lot. Several years of neglect and a lick and a promise to get things in order have started to turn around.

Tomatoes are on the "forbidden list" this summer and thank goodness we planted a bunch this year. Here are some of the tomatoes, very hot serranos, and mild sweet peppers we planted this year. It has been a bountiful year so far.
It has been ages since we have grown the little yellow pear tomatoes. They are less acidic and just yummy to me. When we picked these not all had all turned bright red yet. Once they get a bit of pink they will ripen in the house, but don't put them in the fridge or they will taste like the tomatoes you used to get at the grocery store...pretty much tasteless. We hadn't put up the bird net to keep them them from eating all of our crop. They like them when they turn red and will peck one and it will be ruined.

Putting up the bird netting is a task and a half. Our tomatoes grow really tall so we have experimented with several different ways. See the poles waving in the air all wombly and all. We fixed that real good....and see those weeds in front of the bed....well, they are gone now and the bottom of the net covers up anything that regrows outside the bed.
Here is a picture of hubby as we were starting to get it together putting up the net. See...the plants are very husband is 6', and those durn weeds in the foreground...actually are driving me crazy and I didn't see them until I just now got to really looking at the pictures. We started pretty early last Saturday morning, because it gets REALLY hot out in that area. It is a rock garden and the heat reflects off the rocks....and well, you know. Anyway, we had tacked our poles up all wombly and all, and were going to put the bird netting over them, when I got to playing around with them while waiting for him to get something and decided a teepee configuration would be really nice. We tied the poles together with twine and then covered them in...what else...duct tape at the top.
It may not be professional, but this way keeps the net up off the plants and gives them room to grow without growing through the netting. Anyway, I am very pleased with the way it is working out this year. Last year we tried pvc pipe, but it was not only not very functional, but the aesthetics were just all wrong. The vines look like they are about to play out, but there are still flowers and fruit on them. It may have been the glare from the sun washed them out so much. When it gets this hot, though, they pretty much quit setting fruit. I need to check the nursery to see if they have new tomato plants. If I plant again in July, they will make a great fall garden. I'll (read hubby here) have to make another little bed to plant in, but I'd been thinking about that anyway. I have the landscape timbers for it and I'm NOT hauling in two tons of topsoil for it again, either. That is another story. In all places this says "I", please read "my poor husband".

My very favorite plants this year are sweet potato vines. Oh my! They are hardy and pretty, too for that matter. One type has a bright green leaf. This is one growing out of the pot and around some ornamental peppers. I like to think of it as our "ring of fire"; however, the peppers are the fiery part. I'm hoping the peppers will drop seeds and come back next year since they are so colorful.

The other picture below is the light color leaf sweet potato vine and the very dark purple one in the same pot spilling out onto the patio and starting to grow everywhere. I love it. It doesn't take too much to make me very happy and when the plants grow I'm there. Everything is reaching the fullness of the season and only need watering and some fertilizer from time to time. I actually do that part...and planting, but digging new beds...well, hmm...I have in the past though.

I have other pictures of the garden, but they are going to have to wait until another day. Blogger is very slow uploading pictures tonight and it is nearly midnight here.
Just one more. This one is planted with basil in a strawberry pot and you can see the light purple/lavender leaves of the sweet potato vine trailing out of the pot with the moss roses. They have covered the entire strawberry pot over. It is great to go out and pick some fresh basil to go with the tomatoes. In the little herb garden we made this year I planted sage, oregano, tarragon, rosemary, and pineapple sage. I didn't have a clue what to do with pineapple sage, but when I looked it up they said it is wonderful in cream cheese.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

nightmares....or the freezer went out

Ugh and blech...our freezer died last night or maybe a few days ago or sometime. I'd thought to fry some fish today and when hubby went out to get it...the odor was fierce. Only the fish was smelly...all the other food was still frozen and seems to be ok. It is ridiculous that the two of us have a full size gigantic freezer in the garage like we did when there were three ravenous kids living here. We only cook for the two of us, unless it is a holiday....and then Katy bar the door and the whole food thing gets out of hand. I cook as if there will be an influx of strangers at our table to eat with us and our holiday table is laden with such a bounty as to make a Victorian family proud.

Our bunch is actually pretty small though. We had three children and only one is married with one son. The other two have significant others and then there are my husband's parents, so, there is the possibility there could be 12 for dinner and other meals during holidays. That is a presentable family number. I mean when the kids were very small it occurred to me that there could be a Malthusian principle thingy leading to catastrophic happenings when they got older and married and had their own children. I had a little too much time on my hands when I was younger and would read my husband's college textbooks for fun. Later when we got all the kids through college I went back to get my degree and it wasn't so much fun reading my own textbooks, except for a few and that few never included math textbooks which are just evil. My husband was a happy man when I finished my last math class. He was a math major and helped me with all of the math and chemistry and stats classes I took.

Basically I would get fairly woozy just thinking about all that could happen populationwise with my family back then. If my three had three kids plus a mate and their three had three, well, I'd have to have a MUCH bigger house or at least a ginormous dining room to feed them in. This anxiety must have had an effect on our kids, because only my son married and they only had the one child. Thus much ado about nothing in that area, and my husband is an only child and I am, too except for my three half siblings who didn't grow up with me nor did we share holidays that much. So, I have enough dishes and places for everyone and could mix and match to include half siblings. My sister has always told me she was going to write a book called, "My Sister Was An Only Child". Look for a blog by that name coming soon.

So, anyway back to the freezer situation we did go out and buy a new one to allay my food anxiety never know when one of them could marry someone with a bunch of kids, but we only bought a small freezer, 5 cubic feet instead of something huge. Hopefully that will keep my buying habits in check while still providing some extra food storage. However, we will not be eating fish tonight or for a very long time. It was not a fun task throwing away so much and we aren't sure if the dump takes household garbage. We may be sneaking around looking for a dumpster tonight.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Cautionary Tale

Oh my....Martha Stewart has been denied entry into the UK to conduct business because of the conspiracy, false statements, and obstruction of justice guilty verdict in 2004 which resulted in a little prison stay. But she was a model prisoner while she was there and helped rehab a few cells and all. Plus she isn't a terrorist or anything; however,from time to time she has terrorized me about some failing or other in my homekeeping style...hopeless mess...I even subscribed to her magazine for tips and all. Her reps and I hope there can be some understanding and things can return to a state that will allow her entry.

I half heard about this while I in another room from the tv last night and looked it up today to make sure I had heard correctly. Apparently I had and hadn't dreamed it.

The Guardian News and of course Perez Hilton had plenty to say about all this.

Let this be a cautionary tale regarding not getting into any trouble at all ever!
It will stay with you for life....and you may not be able to get into the UK
to see the Queen or anybody for that matter.

Friday, June 20, 2008

biker babe dreams

The other night while watching the news they had a story about Vespa motorcycles. Umm...scooters is what they call them. Anyway, a little lightbulb went off in my little head....I could be hubby's biker babe if we had one. I quick googled them and was delighted to see they had a three wheeler they cleverly call an MP3. Just right for the seniors, I guess. The price was great...we could get one for about $2,000 to $3,000. The gas tank holds 2 gallons, but it gets 60 to 70 that is a big plus. After thinking it through though the helmet hair would just not work for me....and it does get so darn hot here in Texas that if we fell over...well, we'd just cook to a crisp before we could get up. I so had a good idea for a cool tatt....but it is just not to be. Just say no to helmet hair....I'm thinking.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Granny would so like to get down

Wow! The past couple of days have been bizzy! Meetings and appointments galore, and next Monday is going to be one of those all day things. It is so good to have things to do and places to go, though. Went for the bone density test today and....well, I might say there is a possiblity it won't be too great. The tech didn't say anything, but by the time I left my back was not in a happy place.

Which brings me to the next thing I was thinking about tonight after watching "So You Think You Can Dance". Oh my gracious, if I was 40 years younger, and a lot more limber that hip hop crumping style would be all mine. I LOVE IT....can't do it, but there is just so much raw power in the dance. While the judges were deciding who had to leave there was a hip hop singer named Flo Rida that flat blew me away....even with this ole back I was trying to dance while putting up dishes. Such a waste this style didn't show up until now. I'm pretty sure there aren't any other ole white, anglo-saxon ladies who probably get off on that style, but I dig sure Flo Rida is the man. He has a new album called "Mail On Sunday and he sang "In The Ayer" tonight on SYTYCD. He rocked!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

task day

Ahh...this morning I woke very early apparently looking forward to my appointments. Must not have had enough "important" stuff to tend to lately. The first was with the dermotologist and my doc's office had given me an old address for them. It is almost horrifying to methinking I might be late..... I finally tried to call and the lines were all busy. Sheesh! Finally I spotted it and skidded into the office with three minutes to spare...then I sat and filled out forms and sat and sat and finally got out 2 hours later. The good news is there wasn't a return of the actinic keratosis (a precancerous thing) on my lip that was removed last year. Got an all over check and came up cool, except for a tiny little thing that needed to be taken off my nose. We are going to a dinner/meeting tomorrow night and the PA assured me makeup would cover it. I guess...last year at another dermo's office the PA argued with me that I had a cancer on my nose....even though I was steady telling her it was a zit from being very stressed at my job the day before. This went on the next time I was there two weeks later and I finally told her to take my makeup off and tell me if it was serious. She fixed my zit and got me out of there. I haven't been back to that office, but the girls in the one today really enjoyed that story.

On my way home, I stopped to pick up the new lenses for my glasses and while they were cutting them to fit my frames, I walked over to the Ross store. Hubby was not a happy dude when I got home with my treasures, but they did have some good deals. The lenses are better than any I've had in a long time and I can see really fact can see a lot of dust and clutter, etc. Got some of it straightened out a bit ago and the dishes in the dishwasher.

Oh yes....we went to Wal-Mart this afternoon and I scored the over the counter antihistimine eye drops the optometrist had advised me to get for $4 less than they had them at another store and the hyrocortisone cream the dermo gave me a rx for was on their $4 formulary. That was very satisfactory indeed. The $s saved can go toward something I really want and probably could be put toward the cost of the very fine sheets purchased while waiting for the lenses to go into the frames I didn't have to buy. The frames I have were shockingly expensive when I bought them 2 years ago and they are still in style, so new frames weren't needed. One can find so many ways to cut corners in these days of dreary gasoline prices taking the fun out of shopping. I'll be so glad when my rental property gets a new tenant. *note to self to start cracking whips or something with realtor*

So the good news thus far in the whole scheme of the yearly physical is that so far there is no big C returns. I go for the dreaded mammogram Thursday followed by another bone density test. My doc likes to get all the tests before he actually does the physical.

Oh yes....the PA and her assistant told me my skin is in wonderful shape and they were astounded at my age. HA! However, one of them had come into my exam room earlier to get some Botox to take to another room. It was two bottles...I could only imagine what was going on in there. I have strong views about this point in my life...I don't want anything associated with clostridium botulinum to be put into my body. I know there is a difference, but I want nothing to do with it. Now that Restylane thing...that might be another story. Alas, you know about how vain I can be. I told the PAs my skin looked pretty good because I'm fat. It fills it all out and makes it all look better up at face level. Just don't look down or too close.

We may get a little rain tonight...not as good chances as they thought earlier, but it cooled off a little. Maybe a little rain in the morning to make things perfect...well, for us. No mention of rain in the Mid-West would be welcome at all for a very long time. My thoughts and prayers are with them at this very terrible time. It just goes on and on for them....bless their hearts...and I really mean that.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Today was a totally random day

For some reason I was just worn out today and spent the afternoon on the sofa getting caught up with a whole lot of shows we had Tivoed. Gosh...even Tivo is now a verb. Anyway, I got caught up with "Firefly", a sci-fi show I really liked. I googled it and found out there are only 14 episodes and it didn't really make it because Fox sort of showed the episodes out of sequence, which would confuse a lot of people. I thought it had been on for years, because I guess I've been seeing the same ones over and over at random. I was just looking for the times and on what channel it was showing so I could set up the Tivo when I found out this startling fact. The random thing about that is the ship in Firefly is a renegade ship of the Serenity series. That must have been in the back of my mind when I chose this blogging adventure. I'm not as wild about sci-fi as say, Dr. John, but I've seen a lot of it and read a lot of it in my life. I'll not be entering the Liars Club contest, though.

After getting caught up on a lot of shows it was nap time and then dinner time. We branched out into "exotic", for us, cuisine. We roasted a chicken on one of those things like a beer can and put herbs de Provence on the chicken. Wow! I made rice with roasted peanuts and currants...well, I didn't have currants, which are only little bitty raisins, but I did have some raisins and some craisins even. Sliced some of our home grown tomatoes and steamed some green peas. It was a really good dinner and there is plenty of leftovers for tomorrow.

I think I'm caught up on rest now and hope to sleep well tonight. I have an appointment in the morning and haven't had to get up early in a long time now....ever since I quit/retired from my job last November.

This picture was taken from our daughter's house at sundown. If he could have found the camera just a few minutes quicker it was even more beautiful. I like it anyway. It is a fitting end to this day.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Sweetest Little Things

Hey...we are back from Houston and it is hot here! Whew!

This afternoon while we were driving home I saw the sweetest thing. There was an older woman about 75 with about six or seven little girls about 5 years old. She looked like their Vacation Bible School teacher who was taking them out for a little field trip. They had stopped at a gas station/convience store for a potty break and the teacher had about all she could handle with them in the few minutes I was in the same room with them. I was coming in as they were preparing to leave. The woman was trying to keep them together and manage the situation. The little girls were so cute in their little frilly sundresses and white sandles and they were chattering like a bunch of little chickidees. Finally she ordered in a firm, but kind voice..."Madeline, get next to me and Grace, you form us into a line and lead us out of here straight to the front door"....all with little heads held high and on a mission. It was truly grace under fire for the older woman managing such a number of little girls and figuratively leading them to womanhood....even though little Grace led them today.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Headin' South

Talked to my kid this morning and we are headed south tomorrow for a much needed visit. Got to get clothes and stuff ready for this very short visit, but you know.

Beware the handicap symbol

I was visiting my cousin's blog the other day and when I started to post there were those crazy letters to type in so that it can make sure you aren't a bot posting weird stuff about gambling sites or porn sites or what not, but I find it a pita sometimes....I'm waiting on new glasses, ok. Anyway there was this handicap looking symbol like a wheelchair and I thought well, maybe it will give me some biggo letters that would be easy. Well, it doesn't do that. It locked up my computer for a bit then it started speaking random words. Then I flipped out. Maybe, it is something for people who really can't see or something, but it totally freaked me out. I can't see it on where you post on my blog, but in the setup it says I do. I'd never tried that feature before, and don't think I ever will again. If I have it all wrong, please let me know. It is a mystery for now as to what the heck happened and what does it really do. In the meantime proceed with caution with the handicap symbol. I would hyperlink to my cousin's blog, but she might not want to be "outted" yet.

Was up very late last night working on something I hope you guys will enjoy. I'll post it later in the week...more toward Father's Day. Also, if everything works out right we are going to try to go to Houston to visit our daughter for a few days. This week neither of us have anything going on, but starting Saturday we both have wall to wall meetings and picnics and Father's Day and appointments for all of next week and into the next. Then I'll collapse for a bit.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


The Governor's mansion in Austin burned last night, and it is now being reported that it may be arson. All of the mementos and memorabilia had been taken out some time back for renovations. Governor Perry and his wife are out of the country.

other gardens

Lately I've had the "wanderlust" so bad and we really need to get away for a little while. We will probably go somewhere close to home because of the gas prices these days.

Last fall we went to Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, Arkansas where there is this fine bridge. It is constructed of, it appears, 2x4s turned sideways that have been curved into an s shape. This bridge is just is so beautiful to me with the weathered wood and lovely shape.

The Anthony Chapel is in the garden, too. It is constructed of glass and wood and that is about it besides the floor We saw it just before we left the garden late in the afternoon about five pm. It is available for would be like getting married in a forest. Follow the link to see much more beautiful pictures of the chapel than I could take with a hand held camera.

Below is my husband walking up the hill next to the fabulous stacked stone wall...he never saw it, but I took a lot of pictures of it, too.

The garden is on Lake Hamilton, which I think is a beautiful lake. I'm sure there are more beautiful lakes, but it was here we decided to buy a boat. Haven't got it yet, but still thinking.

Friday, June 6, 2008

How does our garden glow

We had a little summer get together for some family and friends the past couple of pay back for parties we have attended and to catch up with everyone. Some we hadn't seen in years and it was so
great to get caught up a little. Anyway, we put up strings of lights over our patio and had candles everywhere. It actually was very pretty
and I've decided the lights are staying up....for one reason...we nearly got a divorce or killed each other while putting them up. Our neighbors probably heard some words they didn't understand during that time.

The experience may remind some of you about the Christmas tree lights. In our family that time is fraught with anxiety over the putting on of the lights. Well, if you don't need to have an explanation and if you don't you are very lucky, indeed. Anyway, I promised my friend Melli to post some of the pictures. I didn't actually remember to take pictures while our guests were here...of course. My daughter did, but she is in Baltimore right now and won't be back until Sunday.

The candles on the holder are very impressive at night, but I was taking these pictures in hurricane force winds last night and if I took the picture with the flash it washed it out and without the flash I couldn't hold still long enough for it not to be blurry. The crackle glass one is from a trip to LNT and the other from a trip to Garden Ridge where they had
these cool little bowl that held a three inch tall candle perfectly and fit inside the candle lantern. This picture looks a little lopsided, but the wind was blowing the day I took it, as well.

These are where the nexus of the strings of lights come together
at one corner of the patio. You may see the hummingbird whirlygig just next to the post.

How does our garden grow

Since early retirement back in November I've been trying to get the back yard in shape. Not that my husband didn't care for it, but sometimes he had so much to do he didn't see things that needed doing. He has gotten the pool back from being a green yucky thing to being an oasis again. It is a daily thing and all the high winds we have been experiencing lately have made it doubly difficult to keep it clean and sparkly. We got a great deal of growth cleared and sent to our local landfill if nobody wanted the wood from the trees.

We no longer have a wood burning fireplace...pity. We had a gas one put in years ago and it just isn't the same. Anyway, this is the back garden...well, part of it.

Over to the right is our shed...just around the corner of the fence. I've been thinking about how I can fix it up to be all that it can be since I started reading that Shed blog. However, nothing has happened out there yet to the poor thing to make it more lovely and desirable to sit by it. It does not have electricity, so I will not sit in it....also, it has all of our mowers, and garden tools, and pool chemicals inside. And a very leaky, smelly power washer a friend loaned us, but I've not been able to get in contact with her to find out how to use it to its full potential. I'm thinking...I'm thinking....and I know closing the door would be a very good start to making it look better. This may be a fall project since it is already very hot. Hubby has plans for the bit of gravel in front of the shed and I think the far side needs something to make it more habitable. If memory serves right, he is using it for a sort of compost pile. What that means is that when he gets the leaves out of the pool he drops them over there. It might work, but the live oak leaves have a half life of centuries to decay.

I've done a good bit of container gardening this year. Easter came so early this year and it was still cold here that day...there wasn't anything growing in the yard at all. We went to our local garden center and I picked up some plants to put in a huge pot by the front door. They had put the Oxalis that looks like Four leafed clover in the markdown bin, because St. Pat's was over. That is still blooming like crazy. They had some stock in the markdown. Anyway it was a very beautiful pot of flowers and when the lilly faded we put some sweet potato vine in and oh my goodness, it loves it here.

The dark vine is another sweet potato vine and the purple is a petunia peeking over the begonias. In Texas the best variety of petunia is called Heat Wave or Wave petunias. They don't play out when the temperatures get up to the upper 90s or 100. Wood ferns bow over the planter. They have been in that bed for more than thirty years and even though I take some for other flower beds it is still very full.

This little fairy caught my attention one day while shopping and I
just knew she should be in our garden. Nestled in amongst the ferns and begonias she seems happy. Begoinas are one of my favorites, because they
are easy to grow and very forgiving. Another plant I love, because it is so very easy to grow is Nandina Domestica...also, called Heavenly Bamboo. Some people just can't stand it, because it has a tendency to get "leggy" and it isn't too attractive when that happens, but if you cut one third of the tallest canes out it becomes full without losing the height. I love easy plants that look great and are lovely all year. Nandinas have red berries around Christmas and look great with the holly berries.

Another that is a native Texas plant
is lantana. It needs only a very little to grow and produce pretty pink and yellow blossoms.
We have it planted by the driveway and it flourishes there. We have had lantana at every home we've had since we were married. We take a bit with us when we move. This year I put in an herb garden out by the driveway, too. And some zinnias. It is very merry out there. Pictures of the driveway flowerbed will be coming, but I promised my friend, Melli, to post some pictures of the party lights tonight.

windy days

Yesterday and last night and probably for the next few days the wind will be just crazy strong. Last night we were losing power off and on so no new posts. I took some pictures yesterday that I'll try to get posted sometime today...granted the power is working and the internet connection is, too.

Going to get my eyes checked has been a while since I've had new lenses.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

day off

Today we went out for lunch at Chili' daughter had given me a gift card for Mother's Day and then to the movies to see "Indiana Jones". I loved the movie and I loved the day with my husband doing just what we wanted to do.

A friend sent me a link to this blog The Daily Coyote which is a very interesting blog with a lot of good common sense in it and some fantastic photography. I noticed on her sidebar a blog called She Just Walks Around With It...Because booty is only skin deep. Well, I couldn't resist that. It is funny and very creative.

Reading those blogs and the ones I like to visit was a great start to a fun day. Wind blew like everything here and is going to continue, also very hot already. Watering will be top on the "to do" list in the morning. I got what I could tonight using the floodlights and the party lights. I think the party lights are going to be permanent. I just love them strung all around and across each other and different sizes, but all clear. Target might have some of the round ones my cousin got for her garden.....and they might be marked down. Wouldn't that be something.

Also, thinking about what might happen around the shed in the next few weeks. Something nice and something that doesn't require a lot of water. Maybe just cleaning up around it...and getting the open bags of gravel that are in front over to where they need to be. It will never be a Mark Twain shed, but it can be better. I'm thinking of a stash of bricks that don't need to be in the front yard where they are not seen...yeah...that's an idea. This shed thing is becoming a thing in our life. He has something else cool this morning.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Today I found a cool blog about shed workers and the sheds they have. It is located at

It was listed as a blog of note by blogger and it truly has some very cool sheds. There is a picture of Mark Twain's office/shed. I want one.

Our shed is for our garden tools and random stuff. Here is a picture of it as it is today. After looking at all the really cool sheds I'm pretty sure it needs to be fixed up a bit. There is a wind vane on the top of ours that we really use a lot. In Texas it is important to know when the wind changes and from which direction it is from. Don't think you can see it in this picture, though. My sister gave it to me probably 20 years ago. Our shed is in a part of the yard not readily seen from the house unless you know where to look, but I like it very much. Plans are forming as I type for this little shed....even though I'll never work from electricity and no a/c.

Miracles do happen

I found the post that was believed lost. It was still on another computer.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Lazy Days

Today has been a lazy day of naps and not doing very much at all. We had a good time last night with family and friends while having a few drinks and eating some hamburgers. Even the weather wasn't so hot and humid...not cool by any means but not a furnace either. My cousin was telling me last night about how she is going to build a greenhouse from some old windows she salvaged. I thought that was such a great idea I can hardly wait to see it. She has a garden pool and is very interested in dragonflies. She sent a picture today of a nymph and they are pretty fierce looking things at that stage.

this is the nymph after it just emerged from the brown husk above
and stretched a lot

Later tonight I was watching a rerun of "The Unit" a television show about a military group. The leader uses the name of Snake Doctor when they are in the field. That got me thinking about snake doctors I'd seen when I was little. When I looked it up, I believe that what we in Texas call a snake doctor is what others call a damsel fly.

This site Dragonflies and Damselflies shows the difference between the two. I remember lazy days while fishing with my dad and watching the snake doctors hanging on a blade of grass in the water or on a turtle. I didn't like turtles very much, especially after I caught one and got it up on the dock and my dad had to get the hook out of it. It chashed me and my dad laughed. He said he thoght I was going to jump in the water to get away from it. Those were some of my favorite times with him. He and my step mother would go to a small lake that had a lot of snakes in it, too. I thought that probably wasn't the best place to fish, but what did I know...I was five years old, for goodness sakes. Frances, my stepmother would pack a nice picnic that we would eat on the dock in between catching turtles, and watching the dragonflies and snake doctors.

That is probably one of those things that folks now say should have caused me to have some horrible mental problems or probably should have caused me to die or something. I'm not sure how I managed to grow up sort of sensible or how my kids managed to make it to adulthood, either....but we did.

Anyway, it was a quiet day here at the house and a good day for remembering. My cousin brought me a star gazer lilly, too. One of her first ones to bloom this year. That brought back a lot of memories about my dad, too. That is a story for another day, though.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Sometimes it seems when something is difficult it might be that it just shouldn't be. Last night I wrote a long story about dragonflies and snake doctors and fishing trips with my dad. Today I had an update about one of the pictures and was editing the page and lost it all. Oh well. If you had the opportunity to read it, then you know. If not, then it is just as well. It was one of those stream of conciousness posts that just wouldn't come back like it was written.


I got this in my email today and it made me stop and think...and then cry for a few minutes. Then I strengthened my resolve to be a little more patient and a little more kind and a little more generous with my time.

Be sure to watch it all and then send to your children and your friends with or without children.

A Parent's Wish