May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

Memorial Day is an interesting holiday. We were talking about it last night over dinner. When I was a kid I knew it was a day without school or mail and we would be heading down to my grandparents for the day. (If it was a bank holiday - we were at my grandparents with the rest of the family!) RL said when he was little, it wasn't so much about military remembrances as it was about people they had lost. They would take flowers to the cemetery and put them on the graves of their family members. Mom said it was always a military remembrance for her. This year it has been for us too. We have been watching old movies on TCM - Dirty Dozen, Stalag 17, The Guns of Navarone, Operation Petticoat, The Great Escape and probably some more that I've forgotten. I've never seen most of them and they are good movies! My Dad would have loved watching them with us. So, today I remember Daddy, as I do every day. I also remember RLs Dad. I also remember all the soldiers who have served past and present, especially Sam. Be careful and come home safely!

May 27, 2010

The Boys Are Back!

My boys are back from Florida!

Boy, did I ever miss them! RL and L went down to help RLs Mom do some landscaping before it got too hot. I guess the joke was on them - it was already too hot! That's not just a joke, it's a cruel joke! I grew up in Florida and never thought I could live anywhere else. After living in North Carolina for almost 13 years, I've changed my tune! The humidity down there is brutal. The only season down there is brutal too - that season would be summer.

In about 90 degree weather, they replaced some shrubs that had frozen this past winter.
They also enlarged this butterfly flower bed. I felt so sorry for them. They would call and tell us how hot it was and how they had to take breaks from time to time. Even the natives thought it was too hot for that type of work! When the natives complain, you know it's too hot! But at least they are finished until the next time.
On the home front, I got my hair trimmed. I have always had short hair. However, about five years ago, I decided to let it grow. I've had it cut once since then and maybe had 10-15 inches cut off. I thought it was covering my rather round bottom, but it wasn't. I asked RL to trim it and he cut off about six inches. Well, I thought it was six inches, turns out the ponytail I made as a guide was slightly off and was more like eight inches. Oops! As Mom says, it's only hair and it'll grow back. Oh please be right Mom!
As for knitting, I'm almost finished with a pair of socks. I'm very anxious to finish them. My ravelry buddy sent the yarn to me and it is gorgeous. I hope the pattern I chose does it justice!

May 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Ginger

Today Ginger is 15 years old. She acts more like a kitten now than she ever did. What is up with that?

What do you do when you are outside and should be working the soil for your sunflower garden? Anything you can think of to NOT work the soil for your sunflower garden! The weather here has been very pleasant - I don't think we got out of the 60's today. It's not going to stay this way for long, so the time to do heavy garden work is now so you don't get heatstroke. We've been finding rocks out in the back of the yard for weeks now. RL tried to make a mini Stonehenge for me, but it fell down. While R was trying desperately not to work in her garden, she decided to take up a rock stacking challenge. How on earth she got that big heavy rock to balance on those little rocks, I'll never know. If anybody can do it though, it's her! It was kind of like watching Jenga in reverse.

We may not have sunflowers later this summer, but we will still have our gravity defying rock sculpture!

May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Happy Mother's Day Mom! Kelly and I still cut fine figures, don't we? How come she probably weighs the same thing she did then, but I still have the same gut?????
I love you Mom!

May 7, 2010

Seis de Mayo!

Yes, I know the actual date today is siete de Mayo and I know that the 'big day' is cinco de Mayo. Around here things don't exactly happen when they are supposed to. On quatro de Mayo, about 11:00 p.m., the kids watched Alton Brown's Good Eats. He was making tamales. They wanted to make tamales for Cinco de Mayo. It sure looked like a long process to me. I knew we would have to go grocery shopping for the things we needed. I knew the kids wouldn't wake up very early to go shopping for the things we needed. However, I am a 'team member' contrary to what they may tell you. I took them to the store, bought what they needed, dropped them off at the house, went to another grocery store for the other stuff they needed and promptly came home to collapse on the couch. They started working around 2:00 p.m. If you know anything about Alton Brown, you know he doesn't necessarily prepare fast food. Things take a whole day, if not days, to make. I was starting to realize that this wasn't going to be a meal finished by 5:00 or 6:00. And 6:00 is pushing it for RL to eat dinner. I let the chefs know that we might need a 'stand-by' plan, just in case. That was when I was told I was NOT a team member. (Am too.) Mom came over around 3:30 or 4:00. The cooks were working hard on this Cinco de Mayo meal. RL got home at 4:30. Cooks still working hard, but it's just not looking like this is going to be a finished meal before maybe 10:00 if we are lucky. A whole lot of talking took place and it was decided to hit Taco Bell and have the 'whole enchilada' the next day - oh, I crack myself up! Two very dejected cooks agreed, but kept on working in the kitchen. About 11:00, the tamales were finished. I am so glad we didn't wait! We all had a bite and they were great! We decided that we would definitely have them on Seis de Mayo. The kids made some rice, black beans and homemade salsa. Very, very spicy for this lily livered person! Thank goodness for ice tea and sour cream!
Why yes, that is a picture of Ginger in her party hat! Thank you for asking. She gets into the holidays just like the kids do - whether she wants to or not!

These beauties are from the garden. So pretty!

May 5, 2010

Flower or Weed?

Around this house, dandelions are flowers. We live in a part of North Carolina with very acidic soil and that gives dandelions the perfect growing conditions. Since the kids were little, they would go pick them once they were big fuzz balls, make a wish and blow for all they were worth. They still do. I never thought that was making a breeding ground for them. We enjoy them when they are yellow and we enjoy them when they are ready to 'blow.' However, Miss M's mom didn't like us blowing them in her yard. So we kept it to our yard. A couple of weeks ago, Miss M and her dad were on a walk while I was getting the mail. She was wanting to run everywhere, and in a moment of desperation, I grabbed the first thing I could find to get her attention - a dandelion ready to blow. She LOVED it! She could blow them or shake them and those little future dandelions would hit the wind. "More, More, More!" She was hooked! Not realizing I had created a monster, I went back into the house. Everytime I see her now, she wants to pick the 'yellow flowers' or pick up and shake the 'white flowers.' Last I heard her parents were calling a lawn service to have their yard sprayed for weeds. Some people just can't be converted.
A weed is no more than a flower in disguise.
James Russell Lowell

May 4, 2010

I'm Still Here

Ginger has the right idea. Hiding under a blanket and not coming out until good and ready seems like the way to go. The past month has been busy with spring activities. Gone are the weekends of hoping for snow, but knowing that you wouldn't have to mow whether it snowed out not. We are mowing EVERY weekend now and probably should more often. Old Faithful, our mower of years past, decided that it wouldn't mow one more summer. I felt the same way, but I didn't have a choice! Off to the store for a new fancy, smancy mower. It even has a hose hookup to clean the blades of your mower without flipping the mower over! I laughed at that feature in the store, but apparently RL really likes it. It started on the first crank and I thought RL would have a heart attack! Do you know how long we've been around anything that starts on the first try? Too long to remember, that's how long!
Mom decided she was fighting a losing battle with her blinds covering her sliding glass doors, so we decided to head to town to see what we could find. She found some very pretty curtains that were a little too modern for her taste, but she got them anyway. They are insulated, which is a very nice feature, especially in the winter. Very nice. Her cats don't know quite what to make of them. The slats aren't falling off every time you get too close to them, so that is a vast improvement. While we were at the store, I thought I would also like to give up the losing battle with our blinds. I hit the bargin bin and found some pretty red tab curtains. While we were putting the hardware up to hang them, they disappeared, along with R. Then it hit me - she was messing with those curtains and I KNEW exactly what she was doing with them. Sure enough, out walks Scarlett O'Hara - ala Carol Burnett! She had put the curtains on the curtain rod and fashioned herself a dress that would have made Carol proud! Never a dull moment!
I could have used a dull moment recently. I haven't been in the knitting mood lately. I tried making a Swiffer cover and used the wrong size needles - I know, gauge, yada, yada, yada. Then I found Interweave's KnitScene Easy magazine with some 'Easy Peasy Slippers'. I knew I could handle those. WRONG! The pattern was such a jumbled mess and didn't make any sense. I picked Rs brain and we figured it out. I wrote to the magazine and was informed that is was an 'easy' pattern, not a 'beginner' pattern and maybe I ought to find a more experienced knitter to help me. I was so mad! Luckily I have found others on Ravelry having the same issues that I did, so at least I know I'm not a moron.
I'm still waiting for life to get back to normal since Daddy died. I'm beginning to think it will never be the same. Things have definitely changed and I need to learn to change my outlook. I've heard all my life that if you can't change your circumstances, change the way you look at them. I finally understand what that means. I don't like it, but I understand it. I realize I take everything too seriously. Why do peoples opinions bother me when they are just that - their opinions and not mine? The past few weeks our neighbors have been outside a little more often. Their little girl will be two next month, which seems absolutely impossible! This afternoon I went over to play with her and her Mom while her Dad was busy. We kicked a ball around, blew some bubbles, pretended to talk on the cell phone. She got chalk on my phone which upset her parents - it wipes off - don't worry. She was pushing numbers - I didn't mind as long as China wasn't on the other end. She was blowing bubbles and spit bubbles all over me while trying to blow them. They were afraid she would make me sticky. I told them I wouldn't have to use as much soap tonight when I bathe. I don't know when I got to this point. I certainly wasn't like this when I had little ones. I was in their shoes, nervous that my kids would hurt themselves or something that belonged to someone else. It just doesn't matter. Life is too short to worry about those things. I think the best part of my entire day was when I was sitting on their front porch with her Mom and little Miss M saw a healing scar on my hand. She stopped what she was doing, said, "Oh, a boo-boo." Then she gently leaned over and kissed my hand. What a sweet, innocent gesture on her part. It made my day.