That Dang Garden Keeps Calling My Name…

That dang garden…It keeps screaming at me, saying , “Weed me, weed me!”  Not really, but it sure feels that way this week!  I’ve found myself awake at 5 am two days in a row–thinking about weeds!  Am I losing my mind or what?

Now picture this in your mind…me wearing my mother’s old pocketed apron over my shorts, to hold my MP3 player.  I head for the garden, carrying a hula hoe in one hand, and my Grasshopper gardening stool in the other.  Jimmy Buffett is singing his heart out on the MP3, singing about Margaritaville, sailing, and life in the islands while I weld my new handy hula hoe against those weeds invading my precious plants…After about 30 minutes, I’m wishing I was in Margaritaville…surely it must be 5 o’clock somewhere!

Do you happen to know what a hula hoe is?  It looks like a stirrup on a stick, and some people call them a stirrup  hoe instead of a hula hoe. We just bought a new one, and it’s the neatest thing–much easier to use than a regular hoe.  I’m deadly with a regular hoe!  I chop down about as many plants as I do weeds.  I can cover a lot of ground with my new hula hoe–and not do quite as much damage!

Ed bought himself a “new toy” last week.  He got a new weed eater (and not a day before he needed one!) and it came with  some attachments.  One of the attachments is a limb trimmer, while the other is a small cultivator.  The cultivator has already come in handy–to clear out all of the weeds in between the garden rows!  It’s much quicker than hoeing!

Yesterday afternoon Ed and I were doing a little weeding together.  We were sitting on our matching Grasshoppers, doing some “close weeding” using hand tools.  I couldn’t help but notice how meticulous Ed was with his weeding.  He’s much more of a perfectionist than I am, especially when it comes to weeding.  He probably frowns upon some of my weeding…

Many of the seeds that we planted several days ago didn’t sprout, while others sprouted, then rotted.  The excessive rain has wreaked havoc with our fall garden–except for the volunteer plants that came up from unharvested seeds!  Those plants are growing like weeds and doing fine…  We’ve  decided to leave the volunteers alone–and just consider them a bonus.  We’re not using that part of the garden anyway…  It will be interesting to see what they produce, if anything.  This morning, while I was weeding, I couldn’t help but notice an abundance of volunteer zinnias and marigolds–leftovers from my row of flowers in the spring garden!

This afternoon Ed and I are planning to plant some carrots, radishes, and a few turnips.  According to the almanac, it’s a good day to plant root crops.  I hope the ground isn’t still too wet.  If it doesn’t rain anymore for a while, we’ll be fine–I think!  I’m going to take a chance and replant the green beans today, too.  I hope they will have time to produce beans!  It will be interesting to see what happens.

Some things never change around here, and one particular cat still insists on accompanying me to the garden–every time I go out there!  His name is “Mr. Big”, but I’ve nicknamed him “the garden cat”.  He’s always wants to rub against me or walk directly in front of my feet.  Many times, back in the spring, I was so afraid he was going to cause me to trip and fall.  I don’t understand Mr. Big’s obsession with me and the garden, because he never comes around me when I’m in the yard. However, you can bet your last dollar if I walk toward the garden, he’ll be right there under my feet!  I suppose I should feel special.  How many people have their own personal garden cat…

Published in: on August 14, 2012 at 11:15 am  Comments (7)  
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Random Tuesday Thoughts…

It’s been three whole days since I turned this computer on!  For me, that’s almost a record.  The truth is, I felt like I needed a break from the computer, so I took one.  Sometimes change is a good thing.

Jennifer and kids blow out candles

We started the three-day weekend off with a family gathering at our daughter, Brandy’s, house on Friday evening.  Jennifer had a birthday last Sunday, and I had one on  Tuesday, so the gathering on Friday evening was a late birthday celebration for the two of us.  Brandy and daughter-in-law, Christina took care of the cooking.  Brandy even baked and decorated a cake for us,  while Christina took care of the birthday decorations.  All we had to do was show up!  Everything was delicious, and I appreciate the hard work that went into preparing the supper for all of us.

Kathy and kids blow out candlesJennifer and kids blow out candles

Following the supper at Brandy’s house, Ed and I actually spent the rest of the three-day weekend at home…doing absolutely nothing.  Sometimes that’s the best kind of holiday.  We were both still somewhat tired from our adventures at the beach last week, so we used our long weekend to rest and relax.  At least I rested and relaxed–Ed seems to have a problem doing that!  He spent his time mowing the ditch, cleaning out his “man shed”, and raking the yard.  Those types of things are Ed’s idea of relaxation!  I took long naps, watched a movie, and read a book!

I finally decided to vacuum and mop a little on Monday.  That’s when Ed moved the washer/dryer to clean under them, and in the process,  discovered a leaking water hose behind the washing machine!  We just can’t seem to catch a break from water leaks this summer!  You know, we just got the leak fixed from the A/C unit, which is located in our hall closet.  In fact, I just mailed off the check for the final $436.00 repair bill!  That was for labor only since the leaking condenser coil was still covered under the warranty.  Thank goodness for small favors…I find myself thinking, what next? 

We were finally the recipients of two inches of much-needed rain on Sunday night!  We desperately needed it.  Lately, our water faucets have occasionally been spitting and sputtering.  Sputtering is not a good thing when you get your water supply from a shallow well!  We’ve been holding our breath that our well won’t run dry…Hopefully, those two inches of rain will buy us more time until we get more rainfall.

After the evening rain, I found myself thinking about all of those Labor Day campers.  I used to hate it when we went camping and it rained!  There is nothing worse than packing up wet camping gear–except for sleeping on the cold, hard, wet ground in a tent that leaks!  I’m happy that those days are in the past.

Speaking of days in the past…this morning brought an official end to summer for our granddaughter, Madison.  She officially began her school year at “Busy Beavers Preschool”.

Brandy and Madison outside of the school

I got up early, and went over to Maddie’s house because I wanted to be a part of her new adventure.  Madison was all dressed and ready to go!  In fact, she was a lot more ready to go than her mama was ready to let her go.  I took a few pictures, then rode with Brandy to take Madison to her first day of preschool.  Madison didn’t shed any tears…I can’t say that is true for the rest of us!  Where does the time go???
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Published in: on September 6, 2011 at 10:17 am  Comments (5)  
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No Shoes, No Socks, and No Water…

daughter and family at the wedding

The weekend began with a swirl of activities surrounding the wedding of our son-in-law’s cousin.  Our granddaughter, Madison, was one of three flower girls in the wedding on Saturday evening.  Between the rehearsal dinner, and the wedding the following evening, things were “all abuzz” next-door, which usually tends to flow over into our house.

On Friday evening, at the wedding rehearsal, the tailor guy finally brought the flower girl dresses for the little girls to try on–so he could measure them, go and hem the dresses, then bring them back to the wedding on Saturday!!!  Woah, can anyone say “last-minute preparations”???  However, the little girls did get their shoes and socks at the rehearsal!

Unfortunately, when the shoes were dyed, they shrank and were then a snug fit on Madison’s feet!  Apparently, she wasn’t alone.  Long story short…due to a couple of different circumstances, such as trying to wear the shoes with no socks, resulting in hurting feet for all of the little girls, the flower girls ended up going barefooted in the wedding.  Unusual, but much more comfortable for the little girls–and who wants to deal with three unhappy little girls during a wedding? 

 About an hour or so after the wedding,  Madison became ill with a severe stomach-ache, which cut her family’s stay at the reception pretty short!  They called us on the phone, in a bit of a panic, wondering if they should take her by the ER–it was that bad!  Within a few minutes of arriving home–looking rather frazzled, I might say,–Madison made a trip to the bathroom…and felt much better!!!  It would be an understatement to say that we’re all relieved that one wedding is behind us.

Of course, we  have another wedding coming up in June, our son Brad’s, and our entire family is involved in this wedding!  Dresses are arriving, the tuxes have been rented, and on Sunday, thanks to Brad, I was finally able to get a key to peak inside of the church annex where the rehearsal dinner will be held.  The rehearsal dinner–that’s my contribution, and the detail that I’m most concerned with.

Anyway, we headed over to the church on Sunday afternoon to take a peak at the annex, but arrived to find the place filled with people who were having a family dinner!  So we left to do other things, and planned to return later.  In the meantime, I laid the church key on top of the gear shift console in my car–and it promptly fell into a crack and with a “ping”  it disappeared!!!  Thank goodness, my hubby is a “Mr. Fix it”, and managed to remove the console cover and retrieve the key!  I think I aged a few years in the meantime!

When I finally got to look around inside of the church annex, I realized that I didn’t have a tape measure to measure the tables with, so I had to get Brad to measure them after Sunday evening’s service!!!  He just happened to have a tape measure with him at church because they’d been measuring tables at the reception site earlier in the day!  How’s that for a little luck?  Yeah, I hope this luck continues to hold out for the next few weeks…No more lost church keys for me!

So here’s how the weekend ended…I decided to take an early shower. First of all–I never take a shower, but I was in a hurry because I wanted to watch the first episode of “The Kennedys”.  I got into the shower, got all soaped up, and then water ceased to come out of the shower head!  I had to get out of the shower, even though I was still all wet and soapy, then yell outside for my husband to see what in the heck was going on with the water!!!  It turned out that he’d decided to drain the water tank , to release air buildup, in the middle of my shower(which he didn’t know I was taking)!!!  Talk about bad timing!  Thankfully, hubby got the water turned back on quick as a wink, and I was able to get all of that disgusting dried soap rinsed off! 

It turned out to be a bit of an eventful weekend, but as they say, “All’s well, that ends well”, so I guess I can’t complain–much  🙂

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Published in: on April 5, 2011 at 9:07 am  Comments (6)  

Random Tuesday/TuesdayTrain…

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As always, on Tuesdays, I’m joining up with two of my favorite blog hops.  Just click the buttons at the top of this post to find out the rules for joining in, and to view the complete list of participants.  I really enjoy these blog hops!  Now on to the random business for today…

Today will find me headed to the hair dresser for some much-needed color and a haircut!  I always look  forward to  my visits with Wendy the hair dresser.  I especially love the times when I get hair color, a hair cut, and have my eyebrows done!  It’s like having a “make-over”.  Since I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather lately, perhaps a “make-over” is just what I need!

Today will also find me putting away St. Patrick’s Day decor, while I drag out Easter decorations.  Each time I’m in the process of dragging around those heavy plastic storage containers, I always ask myself: why do you do this???  Then, once I get everything decorated, I’m always happy!  Soon I’ll be surrounded by Easter bunnies, chicks, and decorated eggs…and of course, the year-round tree.  Then I’ll be fine until time to change the decor again.

The weather has been absolutely beautiful here, and last Friday we had our first family cookout of the year.  Is there anything more delicious than grilled food with all the trimmings?  I think not!  My husband’s barbecued chicken is fantastic 🙂  It’s also great being outside right now because those pesky mosquitoes haven’t come out to bite yet!

Last Saturday was set aside to go to Savannah so all the men in Brad and Jennifer’s wedding could get measured for their tuxedos.  Most of us left around 8:30 in the morning in order to be there for the 10:00 appointment.  About two hours later, everyone(all nine of them) had been measured, fitted, and each man left the store one hundred sixty-five dollars poorer!  What a ridiculous price to rent a tux!  It’s just not right when the men’s outfits cost more than the ladies’ bridesmaids dresses–and the men have to return theirs!  Where’s the logic in that?

Last night the new season of “Dancing With The Stars” premiered.  I didn’t think I’d care much for this year’s cast, but they were actually pretty good.  However, I’m sad because Derrick Hough isn’t on this season.  That man knows he can dance!  It just won’t be the same without him.  It turned out that I was most impressed with Ralph Machio (former Karate Kid), and I was also impressed with Kirstie Alley!  Who knew she could dance?  I believe I heard them say that she is sixty??!!  I didn’t think this cast was going to be very strong, but I was pleasantly surprised.

My friend, and blog reader, Cindy, left me a comment asking what my cat, Bobs, has been up to lately.  Bobs has been enjoying these wonderful spring days.  She’s been spending most of her days outside, coming in only at night so we both can rest!  She’s been having so much fun rolling in the dirt that now I have to give her a sponge bath at night! 

Fortunately for Bobs, I haven’t caught her “marking” lately.  She’s very sneaky and very moody though, so I have to keep a close eye on her.  Her spot of choice seems to in be my storage closet, so I  keep the double doors to it blocked with something because Bobs knows how to open them with her paw!   If I ever leave it unblocked, she heads straight through those doors. 

Unfortunately, Bobs has had a little upset stomach lately, and has thrown up twice in the house within the past week!  Ugh!  Fortunately, for both of us, once was on a throw rug, and the second time was on the tile in the hall.  Life is never dull with Bobs! 

I’ve tried very hard to keep Bobs outside only, but I’ve never seen a cat as determined (and crazy) as she is.  She sits outside and claws at the door for hours…just ask my son, Brad, who tried to sleep in my bedroom one night while she clawed at the outside door all night!  Many times I’ll let her in, just to get a break from the constant scratching.  She’s nothing if not persistent!  Don’t even ask what the weather stipping looks like on the back door!  So now you know what Bobs has been up to–no good 🙂  Notice that look of defiance on her face in the photo below…

That's my Bobs...

Published in: on March 22, 2011 at 8:15 am  Comments (13)  

Tuesday’s Random Thoughts…On time, trees, fish, and frogs!

Wow!  I can’t believe it’s March already!  They say, “time flies when you’re having fun.”  Well,  I must be having fun, ’cause time sure does fly these days!  I can remember a time in my life, way back in my teen years, when time just seemed to d-r-a-g, but those days are long gone!  🙂

For the past several days, I’ve been noticing (and enjoying) some of the new colors showing up around the yard.  Yesterday, I ran outside, just before dark, and photographed our purple tulip tree, because it was supposed to storm during the night.  It’s technically called a “Japanese Magnolia” but we refer to them as tulip trees.  First come the beautiful blossoms, then later come the leaves.  Unfortunately, the blossoms don’t last long, especially if it rains.  This particular tulip tree is located next to our goldfish pond.

Speaking of the goldfish pond– for a few days each year, just before spring, the water in the pond clears up and I can actually see the fish!  Most of the year the pond stays cloudy and green with algae.  It’s not very pretty to look at, but the fish love it as protection from the sun and birds of prey. 

This time of the year is sort of like “the unveiling” of the fish.  I get to see how much all of my older fish have grown, and how many new fish were hatched last spring.  Those precious few days of clear water are here, and it’s time for the unveiling!   Pictured below are more colors that I have been enjoying in the yard.

The pictures don’t really do the fish justice!  It’s hard to photograph them with the sun shining down on the water, and the water still greenish.  If you look close, you can see my calico koi.  He’s much larger than the goldfish, even though he’s the same age as the larger goldfish in the pond.  I bought three koi several years ago, but he is the lone survivor.  The other two became victims of predators that we refer to around here as “pond birds”.  I believe their technical name is an egret.  I regret when we have a visit from an egret!  🙂

When we dug the pond, several years ago, I bought some tiny, assorted (in color) goldfish at Wal-mart for thirty-six cents each.  Now they have grown to over eight inches in length!  I estimate the koi to about sixteen inches long, and he was only  two inches long when I bought him at Pet Smart!  I’m not sure, but I think some of the goldfish may have cross-bred with that koi.  I have some odd-looking fish swimming around in my pond! 

You can’t see them in the photos, but there are lots of brown goldfish in the pond, too.  Usually, the brown ones will eventually turn gold.  There are also some solid white goldfish, as well as calico colored ones.  It seems funny to call them goldfish when they aren’t gold!  I can’t count them, but I’m guessing there are close to a hundred fish living in that pond–of all colors, shapes, and sizes!  I wish I knew someone who needed some fish!

I’ll be sad when the water clouds up again, but soon after that happens our yearly ‘frog party” takes place.  We always look forward to the visit from the frogs!  They migrate in large numbers to swim, frolic, and lay their eggs.  They socialize, fertilize, and  make a lot of noise while they are here!  The noise is deafening!  I think it’s the frog’s version of “spring break”!  A few weeks after the “frog party”, our pond is filled with tadpoles.  The great thing about tadpoles is–they eat algae!  If there is one thing we have plenty of…it’s algae!  Below is a photo taken of a few of last year’s frog visitors. 

Frog Party

This year I’m prepared!  I’ve got my new camera with the zoom lense, and I hope to get some better photos to share with you.  Come on, froggies, let the party begin!

Note: In case you’re wondering, pond algaecides are available, but we choose not to use them because some of our  pets drink from the pond.  Gotta’ keep everyone safe!  Oh, and check out the two neat blog hops below that I’m linking with today!  Have a great Tuesday…

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Published in: on March 1, 2011 at 8:29 am  Comments (10)  

Random Tuesday Thoughts…February 22

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Boy!  I am getting spoiled with all of this “spring-like” weather.  I’m trying not to get too used to it though, cause I know it’s still February!  Would you believe on President’s Day, I was actually able to open some of the windows of the house to let the fresh air blow through?  Amazing!  Sometimes, I miss “old-fashioned” things like airing out the house, and hanging the laundry on the clothesline, but I’m thankful for my central heating/air unit and my clothes dryer.  I can remember a time, back in the day, when I didn’t have either of those luxuries!  Let’s hear it for progress!!!

I neglected to mention last week that our daughter-in-law, Christina, celebrated her 30th birthday on February 15th.  Her husband surprised her with an ice cream cake (her favorite), so my hubby and I  went down and ate cake with her on the evening of her birthday.  As you can see from the photo, we surprised her in the middle of cooking her supper–spaghetti in progress.

Christina with her ice cream cake

  Then, on this past Saturday night, one of Christina’s sisters threw her a big surprise party in honor of the milestone occasion!  Two birthday cakes within a week, does life get any better??? 

Happy Birthday, Christina!

Did I mention that Christina has eight siblings?  She has enough family members to fill up a room when they all get together!  The look on her face when she opened the door and saw everyone was priceless!

Hubby and I finally sat down and watched a movie on Saturday night, after Christina’s party.  I rented the movie “Secretariat”–about the famous race horse.  We remembered when Secretariat’s name was in the news back in the 70’s, and I was anxious to watch the fact-based movie.  It didn’t disappoint.  What a story!  What a horse! 

Today I rode my bike down to the mailbox to get the mail…when I got there, I realized it was a holiday, and there wasn’t any mail!  Just for fun, I rode back home, turned around, then rode back to the mailbox again.  When I rode back into the yard for the second time, my little granddaughter, Madison, met me saying, “I want to ride with you!”  Alright!  I’ve been waiting for six weeks to hear those words come from her mouth!!!  I dusted off her little bicycle(which she refuses to ride), and helped her ride a few feet down the road, before she said “That’s enough, I’m through!”  Well, at least it was a start!  I guess I’ll be riding alone for a little bit longer…

Can I do another little healthcare rant?  My hubby’s workplace changed insurance companies–again.  I had my prescriptions filled today.  One of the benefits of this new policy was supposed to be cheaper prescriptions.  Two of mine cost ten dollars each, while the third one cost a whopping eighty-seven dollars!  Previously, all three prescriptions cost less than eighty dollars…so where’s the savings???  I just can’t seem to win!

Thanks to The Unmom for hosting Random Tuesday!

Published in: on February 22, 2011 at 10:46 am  Comments (8)  
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Post It Note Tuesday and Random Tuesday Thoughts…January 25

 Only Parent Chronicles

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If you are interested in linking up with either of these random bloghops, just click on the buttons at the top of this post.  Thanks to both That One Mom, and The UnMom for hosting these fun hops!

Now for the rest of my “Random Tuesday Thoughts”. 

 The sun has gone, the rain is back.  Yuk!  Since it’s gloomy, I’ve gained a couple of pounds, and I need a laugh or two, let me begin by sharing this bit of knowledge with you that my friend, Cindy, sent me.  It’s a photo entitled “The Four Stages of Life”!  I’d say that about sums it up for most people!

"The Four Stages of Life"

My husband has begun to ride bikes with me in the afternoons.  He found an old bicycle in our “discard pile”, pumped up the tires, and they actually held air!  That bike had been in the back yard, discarded in a pile of jumk, since our daughter’s teen years–and she’s 32 now!  That’s my “Thrifty Ed”!  He bought a couple of new tubes for the tires, but so far he hasn’t needed them.  Who knew?  I think my hubby was secretly afraid that I’d get healthier than him!  He’s also cutting down on carbs and sugar 🙂

I have a new “healthcare” nightmare story to share.  On Thursday, I came home to find a message from my Rheumatologist on the answering machine.  When I called the office back, I got their answering service.  It was 4 pm, and the office was closed. (Yeah, right!  They just stop answering the phone at 4pm–they are in the office until at least 6pm)  The answering service advised me that the dr’s office was closed on Friday’s, so I would need to call back on Monday at 9am.

On Monday at 9:15am I called the dr’s office again, and got Voice Mail!  It said to me “If this is an emergency, call 911.”  Are you kidding me???  The message went on to say that the office was “overwhelmed” with phone calls, please call again later.  On my third attempt, an hour or so later, I finally reached the receptionist–who had no idea why I was called on Thursday!  Three long distance phone calls, and I never did find out why they left a message for me to call!

The second part of my “healthcare nightmare” involves a change in insurance carriers.  My husband’s place of employment keeps changing carriers–three within a year’s time.  Each time the coverage gets worse.  The saddest part of the whole thing is, hubby works for a hospital–and they should know how vital good healthcare coverage is! 

The latest plan will not cover any visits to a “specialist” unless we meet the $3200 deductible first!  Ouch!  It looks like I may be switching back from my Rheumatologist to my primary care physician.  I simply can’t afford the visits with no help from the insurance!  It’s usually a $50 co-pay for a $300 office visit–and that’s not counting the $50 yearly retainer fee that this doctor charges his patients!  Oh, don’t even get me started on that one!

I’m going to close this random post with a funny YouTube video that I found on friend Eva’s post yesterday.  I laughed so hard when I watched it!  It’s a bit slow getting started (just like old folks) but once it gets going, it’s hilarious!  To all of my “Over 40 Bloggers”, this may be us one of these days–in a nursing home retirement show!   Enjoy…

Published in: on January 25, 2011 at 10:37 am  Comments (6)