Thursday, May 31, 2012


Good things are popping up in the garden -

The red lily (a gift from Paula) blooms again.  The blue salvia is growing
strong (bought when I was out and about with Patti).  And the daisies,
 in a new spot this year, are amazing (thank you, Carrie).

In the pots on the patio my basil and mint, recently transplanted into larger pots, are filling in.  Not everything popping up in the garden is good.  Pests are invading.  Why does something insist on eating the mint before we do? 

I've got more than one type of bug bugging me. 

Insects who would rather eat my flowers than look at them.

This is my Passion Vine, it is slow to get started, and now that I know it has survived I want to take good care of it.

Yes, I am afraid of a little bug.  Me and my purple gloves.

On the bright side, the moon flowers (second planting) are up and healthy.

Over the last few weeks our tranquil existence has been shaken up a bit. The gorilla suit, pictured here and in my last post, remains in front of the television.   It will return to college in August.

I figure it's as real as any reality show on TV.

The month of May has watched us go from blissful empty nesters to happy parents - only for a few weeks this summer so we will enjoy it. Things are different - we had "Pickle Shots" before dinner on Tuesday.  (I tried to think of it as another type of Dirty Martini... I couldn't.)

Something Baby learned while at college this past year. 
Higher education is something else.

Recipe - Pickle Shots

1 ounce chilled vodka
1/2 ounce chilled pickle juice
1 or 2 dashes of Tabasco Sauce
slice of pickle for garnish

Pour vodka and pickle juice into small glass, add a dash or two of Tabasco Sauce, garnish with pickle slice. 

Down drink (no sipping! remember this is a 'shot') and eat pickle.  Smile and act like you could do this all night.  Face it, your college age child will not consider you cool no matter what you're doing.  Just try to act like you do this kind of thing all the time and are ready to try something else.  Don't act too bored - you don't wish to offend, but don't act happy or you'll be expected to drink this again.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Around the House

Tuesdays that are Mondays are crazy at our house.  We love three day weekends, and try to make the most of them.  When they are over and it is time to get back to our normal routine, there always seems to be a hiccup or two.  It's like we have had such a good time we don't want to go back to normal.  Maybe our 'good times' should become our normal?

Doesn't everyone have a gorilla costume?

Is your normal wonderful or does it need a bit of tweaking to make you happy? 

My knee is a little better (patience is not one of my virtues) and my house is a little dustier, as it should be...

What's new at your house?


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Me of Little Faith

Happy to report the swelling in my knee has gone down a little, and there's not as much pain. (Maybe my doctor knew what he was talking about?)  I'm still taking it easy - goofing off - watching TV, reading, and knitting.

I have almost finished with the first skein of yarn.  The scarf is over five feet long.  I could stop now, but all those years of watching "Dr. Who" (the Tom Baker version) have me wanting to make this a very, very, long scarf.  Or maybe I just want to see what colors will pop up next.

Do you receive lots of junk email?  Here's the best WORST one from this week, for some reason I just don't trust he, she or it.

Sent: Sun, May 20, 2012 2:34:54 PM

Dear Winner,

This is to inform you that you have been selected for a prize of a brand new 2011 Mobel BMW 7 Series Car and a Check of $500,000.00usd from international programs held on the 1st section 2012 in the UNITED STATE OF AMERICA.

The selection process was carried out through random selection in our computerized email selection system (ESS) from a database of over 250,000 email addresses drawn from all the continents of the world which you were selected.

The BMW Lottery is approved by the British Gaming Board and also Licensed by the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR). To begin the processing of your prize you are to contact our fiduciary claims department for more information as regards procedures to claim your prize.

Name:Mrs. Amaka Eunice
(Sorry I'm leaving this off)

Contact him by providing him with your secret pin code Number BMW:2551256003/23. You are also advised to provide him with the under listed information as soon as possible:

1. Name in full. 2. Address.
3. Nationality. 4. Age.
5. Occupation. 6. Phone/Fax.
7. Present Country. 8. Email address.
9. pin code Number BMW:2551256003/23

Mrs. Rachael Adams.

For starters, BMW stands for Bavarian Motor Works - why is it important that the British approve this?  I see things like this and start picking out the little (and big) mistakes.  Then I start to wonder if I'm more worried about the facts than the truth.   Another thing that my little prize email brings to mind is the old expression 'If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.'  (I Won!  Really?  Out of all the people in the world, I just won a contest I didn't even enter... How lucky is that?!!!)  Then there's the word "fiduciary" - for some reason I giggle when I hear that word, I have since the first time I heard it - hey! we've all got our quirks.

Here in the good ol' US of A it is a presidential election year, our Texas primary is next Tuesday. I am thankful I have always been able to vote (a right granted to women in this country by the 19th Amendment in 1920). I don't have faith in politicians (I really don't think we are supposed to have faith in them), after a couple of weeks of TV, reading, and just plain thinking I'm not sure what I have faith in. Between the crazy emails and all the politicians telling me how good they are and how bad every one else is, it's almost impossible to tell the good guys & gals from the bad.   I now watch TV - from decorating shows to 'the news' and find myself suspiciously saying "Follow the money" every time someone says use this or don't use that.  It is enough to make me have doubts about religions, coffee, and The Weather Channel.

Who to vote for - another tough decision.  Come Tuesday, I'll make that decision.  If you have the opportunity to vote, please do.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I'm playing with my blog.  What else can I do?  My knee is swollen and I am following doctor's orders.  As I sit here with my knee elevated and iced, I am watching dust bunnies dance across the floor.  Weeds are growing outside my door.  Ironing is piling up - yes, I iron.  I enjoy the work, I could almost wax poetic about it.

Bright spot:  Joy at A Vintage Green is a great blog for learning something new.  She does bits and pieces here and there and before you know it you're smarter than you used to be.  She's been teaching us how to use iPiccy and I am learning the basics of collage design.  Look!  I have more than one picture on my header. 

Baby is home for the summer.  It's our last summer together, he'll graduate next year and get on with his life.  I want us all to have happy memories of this time so I'm bringing back a few recipes that I used to make when he was young.  These biscuits were a favorite. 

I really like cooking with my cast iron skillet. 
Many thanks to Jane for my new trivet.

Recipe:  Sausage Biscuits

Mix up a batch of biscuits (I use a baking mix - you can do yours from scratch if you want to) and add a tablespoon (more or less) of precooked ground sausage for each biscuit you want to make, add one or two minutes to the cooking time.  I was in a hurry so wet my hands, picked up a tennis ball size portion of batter and shaped each biscuit. Please note:  I made two plain biscuits then added the sausage to the rest of the batter.  These are easy because I keep precooked sausage and bacon in my freezer.  You can use grated cheese instead of sausage.

What's your favorite breakfast?


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Down Time

I've done something to my knee.  I noticed a twinge last Monday but couldn't stop as I was in full clean up mode getting ready for the carpet cleaners (the carpet does look nice).  I tried to get better on my own, no luck.  I have a doctor's appointment this morning - I assume if I had been bleeding I could have gotten in sooner but I guess they were giving me a few days to see if I really was hurt.

Roses from my husband - he's a keeper.

I usually have these blinds open but I'm pouting today because I can't get out and play (work) in my garden. 

I should have been more sympathetic to Catnip at Diary of a Suburban Gardener - it's one thing to tell someone to get better and quite another to realize I am just not up to the job and must rest and recuperate.

The world will look better and I will have more to say after I heal.  Take care of yourself - trust me, I know what I'm talking about.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Is this Normal?

Even I can see that having the carpets cleaned is a good thing. However, I've spent the last few days racing through the house cleaning, picking up, storing, stashing, actually throwing away stuff, cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, sweeping... and there's still lots more sweeping to be done. I'm exhausted.

I've come to the conclusion that if I should ever have a maid it might be hazardous to my health.  I would probably knock myself out cleaning before she got here to do her job. Oh, the horror of someone finding soap scum in the bathtub, beds not made, or (how can I say this?!) trash in my trash cans....

Then again, should I ever be so fortunate as to have someone to clean up after me, I think I could adjust. 


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lucky Me

I love to plan and I love it when a plan comes together.  Some might call it luck, but I believe "Luck" happens when hard work and preparation come together at just the right time.

Something I didn't plan was this sunflower. 

A sunflower blooming the first week of May is new for me - I'm lucky (there's that word again) if I can get them to bloom by August.  I first have to tell you I did not plant it.  A careless squirrel or bird got this beauty started for me. 

Mid April.
Yes, it seems the birdfeeder is always be slanted, I think it's because of the squirrels
or maybe I just need to get out there and straighten up the pole.

When I noticed it coming up, right next to the bird feeder, my first impulse was to pull it up.  But I just left it to see what would happen.  As I explained in my post "Moving On" (June 2011) the squirrels and I have a running battle over the bird feeder here outside the kitchen window.  This particular bird feeder ("Texas Star" - got it at Lowes) is metal.  I have had it almost a year and I love it - so do the birds and squirrels.

Last Friday I noticed that 'someone' had used the sunflower to break a fall or as a climbing aid.  Either way the flower was broken.

Too bad. I saw this and thought
"Next time I mow, I'll get rid of the poor thing."

Now here it is Tuesday morning and "TA DA!"  How lucky am I?  I have a sunflower blooming just outside my kitchen making even this cloudy day seem sunshiny.

Talk about blooming where you are planted - no matter what.

I have to put away my computer and get busy.  The carpets are scheduled to be cleaned this week, the guest room looks like a quilt bomb went off in it (I really, really need to finish my sewing room), and my neighbor stopped me while I was outside taking pictures for this post to ask me if I'd seen the article in this morning's paper about all the snakes around town...  He asked this just as I reached down to pick a few blackberries.

He looked at the blackberries in my hand and then back at the garden (imagine eyebrow raised to suggest weeding might be in order) and told me how lucky I was I didn't get snake bit.

I better get busy. 

Don't worry about me.  I will get the rooms cleaned and be ready for the carpet cleaners, I'll get back outside and finish weeding the garden (I'm sure all the snakes will have left our side of town by then), and - I've saved the best for last:  All my financial needs will be taken care of.  That's right, I got this email yesterday so I'm sure as soon as this sweet, old thing kicks the bucket, I'll be in the money. 

Maybe I was just born under a Lucky Star.

_______from the email of


Re: A Call From Above,

What I am about to do is based on blind trust, hoping and praying that you will expand my wishes as desired. Just recently I have notified my bank that I am willing my fund over to you for a good, effective and prudent work.

I have lost hope because Doctors said that my chances of survival are very poor because several diagnoses confirmed that I have Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Cancer since the past two years.

My happiness is that I have also adjusted my WILL and notified my lawyer about the adjustments; all you have to do is to contact my bank through my lawyer and present yourself as my appoint charity partner if I don’t make it out from the major surgery that I will be undergoing next week.

I don’t have a child of my own and that was why I decided to will/ this huge sum of amount to you for the good work and also to help the less privileged children and widows.

Mrs. Alimatu Zainab Khalid

One more thing from cJoy:  Being lucky is one thing.  Being gullible and 'just believing' may not be the way we were meant to live this life.  I'm a bit creeped out by the fact that my good fortune depends of the death of this grammatically challenged woman.  Having blind faith may not be the best way to plan for the future.  And as we all know "HUGE AMOUNT" depends entirely upon your point of view. 


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Vintage Thursday

Morning arrived very early today.  This morning the light outside woke me before 6:30... or maybe it was the neighbor rushing to get his trash cart out to the curb...

I feel like I'm running late - having my first cup of coffee and already the sun is up.

We live on one of the quietest streets in the city, so I stepped outside to see what all the noise was about.  The 'tile men' arrived early this morning to finish a neighbor's "new" bathroom.  Some one's lawn guy is here and mowing before 8 (isn't that against the law?).  The recycle collectors are not letting any grass grow under their feet - that is one noisy vehicle - especially when they dump our cart into their big truck.

(Sent to me by a friend - who knows me tooo well)

Once the door closed behind me and I was standing outside on the front porch I just had to smile. Yes, chaos is all around but the sweet smell of my first blooming gardenia was intoxicating.  On closer inspection I noticed two blooms.  I put broken oak twigs into the pots to 'hold' the plants - this also helps when you are trying to get a picture of the flower and the leaves keep getting in the way. 

Wish you could smell this, just two blooms and GARDENIA is everywhere.

Personally, I think the gardenia plant would be a great topic for Vintage Thingy Thursday.  How many grandmothers wore gardenia corsages or how many brides carried this beautiful flower in their bouquet?   If you want to grow something 'vintage' try these beauties - they work in containers or in your garden.  Sometime in my youth, I remember someone bragging about her gardenia bush growing just outside her bedroom window.  Back then I thought 'So What?'  Today I can't help but think what a clever friend my mom had.

But Suzanne has rules and I'm not sure my one year old gardenia is truly vintage.  So today I'm visiting Suzanne's blog ColoradoLady with my vintage Salt and Pepper shakers.

We've had these for years (we're not the original owners,
 but we did know and love them and that's why these
beauties have a place of honor on our table).

At night, work continues on my the scarf.  I am having fun working with this yarn, colors just pop in and out of my needles. 

I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

Hope you have a blessed weekend. 


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Clean up

Our house faces north. It's one of those 'must haves' on our list of what we're looking for in a home. My husband has his reasons. I have mine. The only trouble with this arrangement is I can't get roses to grow around the front door - I love that look. Every time I've tried it I just get tall, leggy thorns - not the look I'm going for. In fact at this house there's so much shade on the front porch that I just buy houseplants and grow those at my front door.  The gardenia, purple oxalis, and ivy are a year old (well, they've been on my front porch for a year).

This year I'm welcoming all visitors with green, pink, purple, and white.

The new plants I've added, including the Peace Lily, have just a hint of color  - and are lucky to be alive.

Some days I am my own worst enemy. 
The geraniums are for the back door - the door our children and friends use.

I had planned to have everything planted (and weeded!) in my garden by May 1st.  Sounds like a good idea.  Get the new plants into the ground so they can start growing and blooming.  Get rid of all the weeds so that everything is beautiful and the rain that we do get goes to help the plants that I want in my garden. 

The plastic carrier that I have had for at least a dozen years (got it when we lived in Germany) quit working the other day...  I was walking (rushing) through the kitchen with it full of baby plants and the bottom fell out.  New plants and dirt went everywhere.  What a mess. 

I wish I could say this is what prevented me from getting to all the weeding and planting but, no, this was just one of many little side adventures.  I leave you now to continue my garden clean up - I'm thinking I can have everything 'perfect' by May 17th...  June 3rd at the latest....  

Happy Gardening.