Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blessings of a Sunday Morning...

 It's quiet here this morning. Well, quiet as it gets...the cacophony of the wild birds can be deafening, unless you love it as I do.  An occasional car goes by on the road, sometimes the dogs bark, sometimes they don't.  I've had a  nice weekend.  Yesterday early in the day, we strolled around the yard, looking at stuff. The yellow crookneck squash has flowers, but the butternut doesn't yet. Those plants are really looking substantial finally--I was a little worried because the seedlings I started winding up staying in the flats a lot longer than they should have because of all the rain. But they look healthy and hearty now. We picked about a cup of blueberries, we ate some raspberries we found.  Lilies are flowering everywhere.  This picture is of the elder flowers on the side of the yard. I'm going to make a cordial with some of them, and hopefully leave enough for some elderberry jelly.  The cordial gets mixed with lemon and a simple syrup, and then you use about a tablespoon or so and mix it with water, making a refreshing summer drink. I can't wait to get on that, maybe tomorrow.

  Today is my day off.  lol  I did fire up the vacuum and clean up the dog hair and stripped the bed. But that's all I'm doing. I need a quiet day. We had a plan for me to go pick up my sister-in-law and come down and see the baby tomorrow, but she texted me this morning and said she has 2 more days of chemo and that it's making her feel pretty sick, so maybe we can do it next Monday. Bless her heart...I texted her back and said sure, and was there anything I could do for her in the meantime?  Haven't heard back...  So now I am free tomorrow to gather elderflowers if I want to. Or something.

 We've been getting more rain here the past day or two. Rained pretty good last night. Keeps acting like it wants to rain now, but then the clouds will part and the sun will come through.  It's 69 degrees right I opened all the windows and turned on the fans. The gardens are loving the rain, sweet potatoes are spreading runners everywhere. Potatoes are thick and flowering. Edamame is sturdy and tall. Lettuce is basking in the warm (but not too hot) weather and all the rain.  Tomatoes and peppers, spinach and chard--all looking good.  And the grass needs mowing again. Sigh...

 The neighbors are supposed to have an Open House today.  They have found a condo and are all ready in case the house sells fast.  It's hard moving.  I thought I would never move again, but we are talking about making a move to Wisconsin. We've talked about this before, but it's on the table again. His dad is getting frail and I want my husband to be happy. He hasn't lived in his home state since he left for the marine Corps in 1978 We would have to sell this place to buy another one, unless we dipped into the 401K money, which we don't really want to do. And I don't really want the hassle of having two houses either. But it's all in the dreaming about it phase. I told him he'd have to make sure he had a job first.  We are talking about the northern part of Wisconsin, Chippewa Falls or farther north.  There is some industry around the Chippewa Falls/Eau Claire area, and that's where his dad lives. We'll see what happens...but we could be relocating.  All I really need is enough room for a big garden and some fruit trees and I'll be happy. And room for the dogs. I don't need a big house, I don't need a lot of anything really. Except for my husband to be happy. 

 Okay--just got a call from him (speak of the devil) and he wants me to come meet him for lunch at the little Mexican place.   Sounds like a plan. I'm outta here.

  Have a serene Sunday, y'all.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday. Really ? Already ?

 One of the many stands of daylilies in my yard. I love these things.
The Stella de Oro's are starting to bloom too. I need to separate these this year I think...

And this is at the corner of my front porch. A double lily, or  frilly lily.  I think it's gorgeous.

 The clematis is blooming. A very pretty and hardy plant and flower.

 I had to stop at the top of the hill on my road and take this picture.  This time of year it's so lovely...the trees form a canopy over the road to Honeysuckle Hill, and it's so peaceful and quiet.


  It's been a strange week. I mowed the yard first of the week, which was an ordeal. So hot and such high humidity. Yuck. I was beet red and soaking wet.  And I stopped and went inside a LOT.  and stayed hydrated.  Otherwise I'm sure I would have been found dead among the blueberries. lol  Tuesday I went down and spent a good portion of the day with my newest great nephew. Adorable.  So tiny these new babies are !  Then my niece had a medical emergency (her incision from the C-Section split open.)  They took the staples out before the baby was even a week old! I thought it was too soon, but nobody listens to Dr. Annie-knows-everything ! lol  So she went to the ER and they glued her this time and put a dressing on it and told her to take it easy. (And that her staples were probably not ready to have come out.)  HAH! lol

  Wednesday I spent the day puttering and doing odd jobs around here. And went shopping early in the morning for boneless/skinless chicken breasts at 1.79/lb.  Got about 26 pounds, and brought them home and divvied them up into serving sizes and got them in the freezer. One of the stores locally also had pork steaks for 1.39/lb and I intended to get them yesterday afternoon as well. But somewhere in there I decided that since it was good and hot , it would be a good day for the quarterly mega-scrub and cleaning of the chicken coop. What an ordeal. After shooing the chickens all out into the yard, I close the front door so they couldn't come back in and raked all the straw and poo out. Into the compost pile that went. Then I got my long handled scrub brush and using the garden hose and about a gallon of white vinegar, proceeded to clean and deodorize the walls and floors of the coop. It took me almost 3 hours to complete this vile task. And all the while, the chooks are pissed, wanting back in.  LOL  I scrubbed and sanitized the food and the water dishes. I knocked down cobwebs and spiderwebs from the ceiling. I put in clean pine shavings and straw, new water and food and let them back in. Of course, they proceeded to wreak havoc on the straw, as always. But they were happy, in there rooting around, looking for bugs in the straw. By the time I was finished, it was time to fix supper. I was whipped from the heat...I came in, cleaned up, and thanked God for 76 degrees air conditioning.

 I fried up some chicken thighs...also on sale (1.13/lb), so I bought 3 big packages. I rarely fry anything, but sometimes you just can't beat good old fried chicken.  I peeled and boiled some potatoes and steamed some broccoli. And then I was DONE.  We ate and I kept thinking I was going to fall asleep in my plate.

  Today I sat with my neighbor from 10:30-2:30.  Before leaving, I finally got my sh*^t  together and made laundry soap (I've been stalling , for some reason, and the laundry was piling up). I made dry soap this time, instead of the liquid. It was a lot easier and seems to get the clothes plenty clean. According to the recipe I got online, I made a years worth of laundry soap. lol  I don't know how they can claim that, since no two households do the same number of loads of laundry, and people like me always use more than they tell you to.  LOL made a pretty good sized batch.  So I got one load washed before I had to leave the house, and the vinegar into the rinse cycle. When I got home later in the afternoon, it was still hot and sunny, so I took that load out to hang on the line while the other load was starting.  I no more than got the last piece of clothing on the line than it started clouding up. I thought, well--I'll leave these out here, but I'll go ahead and dry the rest of them in the dryer, since it's suppose to rain again tomorrow. It never did rain today, but was so muggy and sticky that the clothes still felt damp when I went out 4 hours later to take them down. SO--I'm throwing them in the dryer in the morning too.  sigh...

  Another long day and I am pooped. I meant to be in bed about half an hour ago, and then got the bright idea to come here...and here I still sit.  


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer Solstice and super moons

 And here we are, smack in the beginning of summer then. Today is hot and muggy, and not raining. It poured like a monster yesterday. Complete with lightning and thunder and even some hail here and there.  Supposed to have thunderstorms today and tomorrow, but right now the sun is shining and the sky is an incredible blue. We'll see what happens.  They are also predicting 90 degrees, but it's 11:45 right now and only 71.  So..we'll see.  

 Yesterday our little solstice celebration very nearly got rained on...we dodged it a bit and wound up inside for part of it and outside for much of it.  We sat in a circle and shared favorite summertime childhood memories, and then wrote a haiku based on it, or on what we heard from others in the circle.  Then we walked around the drive and took big sidewalk chalk and wrote our Haiku's on the drive. The we walked around and read them. It was fun. I took a few pictures but didn't take one of my own.  sigh...I should have photographed them all--they were quite good.  We made music with different instruments--tambourines, drums, kazoos, and all manner of drum and gong type things. Then we had home made healthy snacks that everyone brought and in the end, turned the sun staff as we always do.  This marks about 5 years or more of our attendance at these rituals. We usually have a bigger turnout, but I think the impending storms kept everyone away this year. We still had about 12 people I think. It was good.

  I made a new recipe, after hemming and hawing for a couple of days about what to take. I had sort of settled on fruit kabobs, (because they would be FUN) but at the last minute didn't want to make the drive to buy organic fruit. So I started looking around and thinking..hmmm...little tarts maybe? Made with my own peaches or blackberries ?  Or just trail mix ?  Or...and then the Irishman suggested granola bars (which are way too much work for a last minute thing, and I didn't want to anyway) and so I came in here and googled healthy snacks/bar recipes. I found a recipe from  Seattle Farmers Market Girl  for an almond cranberry bar that promised to be addicting and simple. And it wasn't an overly sweet thing--the only sugar in it was the sweetened condensed milk. I looked over the ingredients and the only thing I wasn't sure about was a can of sweetened condensed milk, which I knew I could easily get here in town. I had a can but it was outdated, seriously outdated. LOL  So, I ran in , got the stuff and came home. It was very easy and especially good.  I'll post a recipe for it next time I make it and take pictures. They ate the whole 9x13 pan, except for one bar.  So, I guess we can call it a success.

  The Irishman worked in the gardens all morning, weeding and mulching. He got a LOT done before the rains began. It's looking good out there. This morning I noticed the butternut squash plants have about doubled in size in the last few days.  We are eating greens out of the garden now, and  I am SO loving it.  Big nice salads, all gussied up with fresh basil, cilantro, parsley and lemon balm out of the herb pots. I love summer.

   I have a few chores this morning... I just pulled down the hummingbird feeders to clean them and fill. My son came by and hung them back up for me. I am going to make laundry soap today, and am trying the dry form this time. I stopped on my way home yesterday and got the stuff I didn't have.  I am having a slow lazy day today.  I am thinking about big salads for supper...maybe with some nice garbanzos and kidney beans on it if I have any. Need to check out the pantry. I used the last of the sugar making hummingbird nectar and I am out of onions too, so a short road  trip might be in order.  I've been really craving some 3 bean salad lately...I might pick up the ingredients to make that too.  Night before last I opened a can of wild caught Pacific pink salmon and cooked up salmon croquettes for supper. I try to keep tuna and canned salmon in the pantry because they are such great protein sources, and make a wonderful last minute meal in one form or another. And they keep for a long long time. I found some corn in the freezer that I did a couple of years ago, some green lima beans and made a pan of succotash. There was some leftover salad from our garden, and I chilled and opened a jar of applesauce that I canned too. It was really good. My pantries are emptying's time for another inventory in there and cleaning up day. I've been trying to use things up and rotate things and do a better job of storage management. Anyone who lives like this knows how important it is to keep things used up and ordered.  All part of the deal. So I know I need to buy some non-perishables to restock this dwindling pantry, but I want to make sure about what I have. Nothing worse than going in there to look for something you need and find 10 bottles of mustard and not a bean in sight.  lol

There are 2 kiddos here, one little one, and you can barely see her fingers on the staff, she's so overshadowed by her big brother. Turning the sun staff.

You get a better view of the river in this shot, as well as little Iris. La Vista is up on the bluffs overlooking the Mighty Mississippi.

Our fearless leader, clowning around as we're putting things away...

  Alright. I have bits and bobs of things to do,  ponderings of supper meals to make,  dog hair to pick up and slipcovers to straighten. Nothing big on today's agenda, just a slow and simple living Sunday...

  Hope all's well in YOUR little corner of the planet!



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

..."I don't know nuthin' 'bout birthin' no babies !!"

Wow. This is my newest great nephew, Aiden Michael.   He was in no hurry to be born...due date was June 12th. They finally induced labor at 3 AM on Tuesday and he was finally taken by C-Section after a LOT of hours of hard labor (that could not get him down the birth canal). He was born just before midnight, came in weighing 7 lbs. 13 oz.  There was a little issue with wet lung (common with C-Section babies) and they kept giving him treatments and  suctioning him and  he just kept hanging in there like a champ.  This morning they took him off the oxygen and he and little mama are doing fine.

Here he is today.

  I went down to the hospital to be with my sister and wound up in the birthing room while my niece was still trying to push him down the canal.  Things sure have changed since I had my son in 1971... lol.   I was at her left leg and my sister at her right, as the doula tried and tried to get that baby the traditional way.  When the contractions would come, we would lift her feet and legs up and give her a strong base to push against.  Today, after 4 hours of that, I feel like I got run over by a truck. My shoulders and back hurt, my legs hurt from all that standing (not to mention the walk from the ER entrance to the OB unit, which felt like 10 miles!!).  I didn't get home til almost 2 AM and then had to get up and be at the dr at 10 AM for my final knee injection.

  I was about 3 sheets to the wind.  lol  

  Tonight I am exhausted and cannot believe that I am still awake. After the doc shot the voodoo juice into my knee joint, I got in the car and came straight back home. Generally I run errands or do a little shopping or something, since I've made the drive to the city. Not today.  No way, Jose.  

 The days I get this shot, my activities are limited. I can walk around, but can't do anything like yard work or gardening or vacuuming.  So, once I got home and had some lunch, I went out back and did a little weeding with my newly sharpened hoe. That worked like a charm in the sweet potato bed, as well as the okra and carrots. It got pretty hot today, high 80's and humid, so I was sweating like a pig in no time. I gathered one egg, topped off the girls' water bowls,  and wandered around the garden a little.  Then I came in and the air conditioning had just kicked on, so once I sat down, that was pretty much it.  lol

 I opened a jar of home canned/grown okra, tomato and onions and heated it up and had it for lunch. God I love that combination !  I puttered around on the computer, took yesterdays  laundry off the clothesline [finally]  and straightened up the bedroom a little while I unpacked the last of the stuff from the trip and put the suitcases away.   I started trying to think of what to make for supper (something meatless), and decided on Aglio y Olio  (Angel hair pasta with a garlic and olive oil  dressing, chopped fresh parsley and freshly shredded Parmesan cheese.)  I went out to the garden and picked a big bowl of fresh greens of all sorts to make a salad.  We didn't eat until after 7 o'clock, because when the Irishman got home from work, he went out to pick cherries and blueberries. But when we did eat finally...O.M.G.  

  It was really good.  Here's a closer look at the pasta: 

 So simple, and so good.  One of our [many] favorites.  lol

  Okay. I guess I should get to bed. I have a meeting tomorrow afternoon regarding the retreat I'm cooking for in August. I plan to spend the morning mulching those sweet taters and maybe making a decision about whether I am gonna use the wire tomato cages this year. last year I didn't--I just staked them with bamboo poles.  It worked okay, but not as good as the cages.  BUT--when the 'maters were done for the season, it was a lot easier cleaning up and pulling the stakes than wrestling those stupid cages. Not sure what I'll do...but, I'll decide one way or another.  In the meantime, have a great solstice  everyone!! 


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Home again, home agin...clippety clop

 And here's my handsome husband with his great nephew, Ethan.  This child was the star of the weekend show. lol  I don't think I've seen a happier baby in my life.

  It was a good weekend, even though I had a couple of moments of my own. I won't go into detail about it here, but suffice it to say that when you hurt someone I love through your selfish do NOT win points where I am concerned. The end.

  The countryside was beautiful. I told the Irishman that I always thought I liked southern Wisconsin more than northern, but I have changed my mind. The area north of Chippewa Falls is breathtakingly beautiful.  Here's a picture (s) of the Chippewa River at a little town called Jims Falls:

 The little campground was very nice, the cabins were cozy and clean. The bed was surprisingly comfortable (even for me) and we had a good time there.  

This was our cabin. #2

 The great room
The Kitchen

The bedrooms.

The cabin and deck.

Kudos to the folks at the Mallard Resort.  It was a nice place to stay.


  Back to our regularly scheduled programming.  lol  The Irishman is at work, the dogs are over their missing-us-ness, and the cats are almost ready to speak to us again. lol  The chicken coop is cleaned and refilled and refreshed. The Garden is in dire need of weeding. Things have grown SO much in 5 days!!!  I have one load of post vacation laundry washed and hung out to dry and the second load is almost ready.  Then I have to drive to the city because my niece is in labor today and my sister is coming unhinged from lack of sleep.  lol  Not sure what I am supposed to do besides offer moral support, but I'll be there for a little while.

  The drive home yesterday was about 9 hours, a little less. I am tired and achy, but mostly good. I am going to fix my sweetie some chicken fajitas for supper along with some home canned pintos and tortilla chips and salsa.  It's about 85 today, a little hot, but not bad.  Should dry the laundry nicely, as there's a good breeze whipping along. 

  The major house cleaning that hasn't been done in 5 days will have to wait until tomorrow.  We got babies need birthin', Miss Scarlet !!

  It is really good to be home. 


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Adios, Hasta la Vista, C U Later...

Miss Caylee--always on duty.

  This will be my last blog post for a few days...we are leaving on our most excellent adventure first thing in the morning. We are packed, the arrangements and list of things to do to care for the critters is in place.  I have printed out the directions to the Mallard Resort at Chippewa Falls, I have gassed up and oil changed the car. I have gathered up the funds we'll need, the food we'll need, the food we don't really need but will have anyway-(Brownies)-  The trail mix is made.  2 gallon water jugs are in the freezer, and will be our freezing component on the way down and drinking water while we're there.  The laundry is all done up and the suitcases are packed. The books are packed (I can't travel without books--can you ??) . I will be without a computer for 4.5 days. It will be heavenly, lol.

  We are waiting to see if the promised storms are coming, but it doesn't look like we're getting any of it. We could use a little was 97 here today.  It's been in the 90's 3 days in a row.  If none comes, we'll water before we leave.  I cleaned house today, and we cleaned and filled the chicken coop and the birds cage and the cats and the dogs.  And so I think we're all ready.


  Today the Irishman and I celebrate 21 years together.  It's been a beautiful journey, not without it's hardships, and certainly not without it's miracles and joy as well.  I feel blessed.  I also celebrated 23 years sober and clean today.  Another milestone. And the former wouldn't have been possible without the latter.

  We worked around here and got a lot done in spite of the 97 degree heat. It was horrid. You could  barely breathe out there. Tonight we went to a newer rather upscale Indian restaurant  for supper. The food was splendid, the service was impeccable and we had a great time.  We came home to get the suitcases packed..and now the dogs are REALLY suspicious.  They know something's up...and they don't like it.  Miss Caylee is following me around room to room, not letting me out of her sight. The other 2 dogs are flanking the Irishman or sleeping in here on my feet.  They're not used to one of us not being here and I'm a little worried. I'm sure they'll be fine...but will I ??  lol


  I'm tired and it's an early one tomorrow. I went down for my knee injection this morning early and have been up since 6 AM. That wouldn't be any big deal, but I haven't been sleeping well. Oh well. Hopefully I'll get in there and get some shut eye tonight.

  I hope everyone has a grand time while I'm away. Don't work too hard. Don't forget to be kind.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Saturday evening

 Early this morning...the light was just so beautiful, and this is one pretty cat. Little ChiChi. Click to biggify and see her in all her splendor.

 It's been a strange kind of a day. Nothing bad. Nothing extraordinary. I had to cancel my company yesterday because I have come down with a cold and am coughing like crazy. Had a tiny bit of a fever and a sore throat. Did not want to risk getting that 6 month old baby sick. Or anyone else...I was so looking forward to having them here.  I went to town today and bought coffee and went by the drugstore and then just came home. I've been laying around reading and sitting outside some since it was so gorgeous today. PLUS it's supposed to rain the next 2 days, so I figured I'd better enjoy it while I could.   I made some salty popcorn (because my body was crying for salt) and took it out to the rocking chairs and ate and shared some with the dogs while I read. 

  I kinda wanted to hit the Farmers Market, but when I drove by, it just looked like too much work to find a place to park and browse all those craft tents.  There's not much available in the way of produce or fruit...the weather has seen to that. And really, I was a little more worn out than I realized. I actually went to bed last night about 11, which is crazy early for me.  So I was up at 5:30.  sigh...But my body is acting up. One of the many gifts of chronic pain is that it beats up your immune system. I cannot believe I got sick again. This needs to stop.  :(

  The Irishman is gone to a speaker meeting tonight. Tomorrow is the big assembly and he will be gone all day tomorrow too. He wanted to go with him tonight, but I am coughing too much. I told him I hate it when people cough all the way through a speaker, and I really don't want to be one of those people. lol  I have some beautiful piano and guitar music playing, and it's very peaceful in here. He'll be leaving early early tomorrow morning, around 6 I think.

  I'm going to spend part of the day doing a couple of big chores and then just hang out and listen to the rain. The worst one is the 30 gallon aquarium needs cleaning, so I figure a rainy day is the perfect time for that. It will take several hours to get it done right. Yuck. And then I'll clean the birdcage--nowhere near as big a job. Trying to get lists made and menus made for the time in Wisconsin next week.  Making a big list for the boy of what all needs to be done while we're gone, to care for the critters.  Making a flexible menu/food list for the trip, so we don't wind up eating lots of bad food the whole time we're there.  No offense to my husband's family, but I am not eating bratwurst and hot dogs.  We just don't eat like that, lol. So...I'll be making some simple meals around quinoa and vegetables,  grilled chicken and fish, salad and fruits. I'll take eggs and granola and rice milk. And bread. And peanut butter.  And that should be good.  The cabins we are staying in have a full kitchen and  refrigerator and stove. And coffee pot, I think. And my SIL said something about new teflon cookware (OMG) so I will have to take a few key pieces of my own stainless steel pots and pans and of course, a cast iron skillet. You probably think I'm crazy...we're only going Thur-Mon. We'll be home Mon evening. LOL  But it is 11 meals...

  The weather looks like nights in the high 50's and low 60's and daytime temps in the mid to high 70's.  I might even take enough of my dried veggies to make a small pot of soup. That would be easy and nutritious. I'm sure my husband will be sneaking a brat or But I just can't eat those sausage/wiener kinds of things. 

Wednesday is our anniversary. We talked about maybe going somewhere and I think that will just be too hard. I got a lovely anonymous gift and card in the mail today, that said " Annie, for you from a Facebook friend, paying it forward."  It was a gift card to a local Indian restaurant, not the one we usually go to, but a newer fancier one. So...I'm thinking we should use it for our anniversary dinner on Wednesday night.  Perfect gift, perfect timing.  I will also celebrate 23 years sober that same day. And the Irishman and I have been loving each other for 21 years that day.  God is good.

 Okay, think I'll go back and read a bit more and maybe even get my jammies on. It is 8:30.  I thought it was odd, I was feeling so worn out, then I remembered that I've been up since 5:30 ...that's 15 hours out of 24, so maybe not so odd after all. I won't be going to bed yet, but I'm winding

Hope you're all having a great weekend...


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

As if....

A tangle of roses (that really smell like roses !!!) , honeysuckle, irises and peonies. (Click to biggify).  Working out in the yard today was heady.

  Things are looking really great out there. Well, except that until today, I haven't been able to mow for 2 weeks, and the incessant rains make that imperative. SO the yard has been looking really raggedy again and the weeds are growing up around the road/edge of the crazy. And we are trying to keep things looking halfway decent because our neighbors have their property listed for sale...sigh. But it's nigh on impossible. 

  That I tackled it, once my son got the mower running again. The Irishman bought a new part (which it turns out wasn't needed--my son is a farm boy, and everyone knows that farm boys are masters of the jury-rig.)  He came out of the garage and told me he had fixed it, with duct tape.  It was a cable that the mister was sure was defective, but the boy said, no, it just needed some re-training.  lol  He also finished up the repairs on my wheelbarrow.  The reason he was home and able to do these things (including 2 loads of his laundry that he hung out on the line )  was because his truck died on his way to work and wouldn't start again. So, he worked on that and got it fixed and it was too late to go, since he was working about an hour and a half north of here. Worked out pretty good for ME.  lol

  I used the weed eater for about an hour, until my shoulders started hurting. I managed to get about 2/3 of the stuff done that needed it.  Then I took the mower and got all the front, the strip between the honeysuckle and the blackberries that borders the road, and all of the side yard done. I also cleaned the chicken coop out and scrubbed and refilled both their water dishes. This wet weather has made a muddy mess of the chicken run.  At that point, I was whooped. The humidity was terrible today and I was not only exhausted, but overheated-and wringing wet. A good detox plan?  lol  I was sweating like the mayor at election time.  If the weather cooperates, I should be able to finish the back tomorrow after my dr appt.  I am trying to get it done  A) Before it rains again and the stuff grows sky high and   B)I have some family coming up on Friday and I would like for the place to look halfway decent.  My sister-in-law emailed me and said  "NO CLEANING!!!!"  and I emailed her back   "AS IF !!!"   lol   My niece from Floriduh is coming with them and bringing baby Reef.

 We had our family reunion Sunday and it was a pretty good turnout. Some people missing, and some people there that are usually missing. lol  It was a good time and the weather was unusually cool, which was a blessing.  Still warm enough for those intrepid children to play on the beach and in the water some, and yet cool enough for us old ones to be comfortable. It maybe hit 70.  Lots of love, lots of tots,  lots of food, and lots of laughs. Here's a picture of us cousins...I was trying to figure out, I think maybe 7 missing.

I'm the 4th one in from the right, in the purple print shirt. The old white haired one.  lol

My beautiful family...


  I am sitting here with an icepack on my knee, and should be heading to bed.  I have some tea brewing that needs to be put in the pitcher and sweetened before I go to bed. I came in and stirred up a simple spaghetti for supper, with both black and green olives, carrots, onions, bell peppers and garlic in it. Patrick said it was excellent, served over angel hair pasta.  I had to take a shower before I could cook, so we didn't eat until after 7:30, which is late for us.  It's almost 1 AM now, and I have to be and att'em and at the dr at 9.  

 Our rivers down here are flooding and they have had to evacuate people  and it is a real mess. We really need for this rain to stop for awhile. We are safe up here, though our little creeks are going over their banks, but there is no danger for us.  The Mighty Mississippi is a force to be reckoned with...

 Okay...I'm gonna make like a banana and SPLIT !  lol


Saturday, June 1, 2013

...and Chicago thought THEY were the windy city...HAH!

 This is the first peony of the season. It's a short season,  and full of ants.  LOL

  Well...we closed out the month of May with a BANG! around these parts. 5 tornadoes in various areas, all where I had family and where I live. 10 miles from me a high school was hit,  and all around me varying amounts of damage, from demolished houses to ripped off roofs to uprooted trees to thrown around patio furniture. Whew.  It came from across the river and headed straight for us. We personally had about a half hour of crazy winds and lightning and rain...the bulk of it sailed over us and went straight to Gillespie.  That was the tornado portion of the program. It had already been raining and blowing some. And afterwards it continued raining like hell and blowing like crazy.  But there's no mistaking those tornadic winds from , well, WIND. It sounds like a freight train. It feels like nothing you've felt has an energy all it's own.  And then BLAM! it's over.  Leaving decimated buildings, overturned cars, and broken pink plastic flamingos in it's wake.  So far, there doesn't appear to be any fatalities this time. Thank Goodness.  Oklahoma got hit again too last night.  Mother Nature is on a rampage lately.

 It's eerily quiet right now. Every single animal I own is outside. (Well, not the bird, but he's even quiet). I think they're all suffering from a bit of cabin fever from the past few weeks of rain rain and more rain. This time of year, the cats especially take more to the great outdoors.  They all turn into wild things, and you can find them stalking the garden or sleeping under a lush bush. They love the heat, laying up in the shade or where ever their little hearts desire. They are cats, after all.

Sometimes they like to supervise. Other times they just want to stay in your way.  lol

  Tomorrow is the family reunion. I am making bbq country ribs and Asian slaw and some kind of dessert.  I just talked to my sis and she's making her world famous peach cake, so maybe I'll do something with blackberries or strawberries.  I don't know.  I was also supposed to go to a grad party, but it's an hour and a half from here, and I just don't think I have the energy to do that and make the food and make the drive tomorrow there and back (2.5 hours each way).  arrgghhhh...I'm pretty sure I'll see the little one tomorrow, so I'll just bring her card and gift then. And that reminds me that I have to get the gift wrapped and card made for my baby brother, who turned 52 today !!!   I just called down and talked to him. He's in heaven--rocking his baby grandson to sleep. They came up for 2 weeks from Florida, and he's crazy for that baby.  lol

  We will be going to Wisconsin in 2 weeks for the family reunion for my husbands family. More for Fathers Day, really...but we'll be gathering  and camping at a little place with cabins. It  will be fun. I am trying to figure out what all I need to take...and have to call my SIL and find out for sure, because my husband is absolutely no help when it comes to that stuff. He's talked to her at least 3 times since I asked him to get the info from her (she's the one that set it up...who knows the facts).  I should have just called her in the first place.  LOL  He's been making these trips by himself for the last few years...I need to go this time. My son is going to look after the animals, so I can go.'s a couple of more pictures of my beautiful occurred to me that I haven't taken one shot of our wild roses, which are so beautiful this year-loaded with flowers and fragrant as all get out.  I should go do that... 

Wild Roses

And more wild roses

And Budding Hollyhocks

A Garden Update--Edamame !

And the salad bed.

And just to show you how different things were this time last year, here are snow peas:

And here are snow peas.  

  And I did not plant early last year, like lots of people did...but I sure planted earlier than I did this year.  Weather and all.  You know...sigh.

 Walking around outside taking those rose pictures, I got an even better idea of just how much rain we got last night. I was sloshing and schlurrping through the grass.  And there are standing puddles of water on the lawn, where the ground is so saturated it just can't even absorb any more.  All I can say (once again)-- is thank God for raised beds ! Otherwise I suspect all my plants would be rotting at the roots.

  Okay. I'm outta here. Lots to do, and the Irishman was hinting at going to a movie (matinee) this afternoon. Probably won't, but I'd better get busy anyway. Lots to do....

  Have a grand weekend all.  And Beth---love and extra lovey hugs coming your way.