Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Number Four

Half price day at Savers - the best store in the WORLD.
Mounds of clothes, including a vintage Vanity Fair nightgown (breathe...breathe...), two pairs of semi-slut shoes, two precious little drinking glasses - one monogrammed with an "F" (for FinnigantheCurious), and last, but not least, two glass decanters. I have been wanting to start collecting little vintage drinking glasses. When I saw these two decanters I realized they would be puuuurfect for refilling the tiny glasses.
Girl, this kind of stuff rocks my world and makes me so happy. I'm embarrassed to tell you how much it all cost. Less than a dinner at a cheap restaurant. Really cheap.
I'm pleasantly sunburned, swimming tired, and hungry as all get out. Hope your Memorial Day was wonderful too.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Oh, Oh, Oh, OHHHHHHH, we have babyish chikkins!!! Would you just look at the face on this child? He is smitten, besotted, enamored, absolutely in love with them. Especially this one. This is one he calls Little Peep. I call her Margie Ann (for my mama's long lost best friend, Margie Ann Smith). I think we've about decided that we can all call them whatever we want. I will name them for the now departed women from my childhood. All the women with whom my mama ran wild with and who in turn taught me a little bit about different kinds of wildness in women. Margie Ann, Lynell, Joellen, Shirley, and Mary Davis Smith. I have no idea what other names Finn will come up with. His darling friend Olive has named one Poddie (adorable). What is it about naming things that is so attractive to humans? Us anyway. We name everything around here, even our vehicles. Strange, but true.

I was gonna get hens, but then I walked in to Buck Moore Feed and found out they had toddlers who were ready to be outside and, well, you know the rest. I was really not interested in baby babies, but I'm fine with this age. FinnigantheCurious and Jackdaddy both kinda wanted babies so, this is a fine compromise. I figure since I am the one that's gonna end up doing all the work, I should be able to choose the level of dependence I'm willing to endure. (A lot, apparently, as we now have 2 dogs, 6 chickens, one kitten, several new fish (either Tortilla or Redhead had babies), zillions of tadpoles, and one child in my our care. (I was gonna make a crack about caring for a grown man, but I didn't. Still haven't.)

This is the other gray one that I call Lynell. I know you're gonna ask me what kind they are. I know that four of them are Americaunas and I can't remember what kind the other two are. They're the kind that lay eggs. Well, actually, there is a 95% chance that it's the kind that lays eggs. There is a 5% chance that it will be a rooster. There will then be a 100% chance that he will go live somewhere else.

I can't tell any of the Americaunas apart yet so, I don't know who this is. She's cute, whoever she may be.

Look at her sweet little baby feet! She's the smallest of the lot AND the bravest. (Funny how that works.) She was pecking at my skirt this morning, then jumped up on my back and walked up to my head where she poked and pecked in my hair for some time. If we ever get the dreaded childhood lice invasion again, I'm gonna sit my ass right now in that coop and let them go to town. Guess there's a chance I could get loused by them. In that case, I'll just take a blow torch to my head. I am glad to report that the dogs have no interest in them whatsoever. I am reluctant to report that the kitten is literally salivating with desire. I never thought I'd do this, but I made a spray bottle and I've been giving him some little squirts when he comes a prowling. I hate to do that, but he wants them. Badly. Really badly. I hope his instinct to stay dry outweighs his instinct to eat birds. Somehow I doubt it. Well, they just need a few months and they'll be much larger than he is. I won't ever leave them alone when he's out anyway. Famous last words.
Y'all come on by and take a peek at the peeps!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More sun.

It worked! The pain and suffering of moving the raised beds from where I wanted them to be to where they wanted to be has paid off apparently. See all those yummy (still green but chug chug chugging along) tomatoes? I have never had much success with them in the past due to the circle of mostly trash trees that canopies my yard. I managed to find a tiny little spot to squeeeeze them into and they are tres happy.
What's that you say? Wherever did I get that dreamy blue Adirondack chair? La La La, lucky me. My friend Dawn moved to Portland (oh, Portland, how I love thee) and I got to inherit TWO of these chairs along with TWO baby ones. OMG the baby ones are soooo cute. All of those are painted white, but this one...oh, this one is such a lovely robin's egg blue. I've got to scrape off some paint so I can match it. I must have them all this same color. I feel like I must have everything be this color. I go through color phases, you know. Well, I should say that I am hardly ever not in a robin's egg blue phase, really. Can you see what I'm holding in my hand? A large gumdrop with a candle in it. That was part of my blog's birthday celebration. Luna ate it. All of it. The gumdrop with the candle in it. Gotta love a Labrador.

LOOK how big my blackberries are! (TWSS) (If you don't know what that means, you have to Google it. Hee Hee.) They are also deeeelicous. The planting of the blackberry bush was one of my early gardening, uh, miscalculations, let's say. I planted the blackberry bush right next to a rose bush right next to the path where I walk 2,000 times a day. So, now, 2,000 times a day, one of these two stickery things reaches out and attacks me. They also grab my hair whenever I am weeding (ha ha) and I dissolve into howls of pain as I go to stand up only to find that my head is being ripped backwards because my hair is all stuck in the branches. I continue to do this on a semi-regular basis. Good times.

Purty, purty, huh? I had to move a bunch of peppers today because, thinking that I was not really going to get any tomatoes as usual, planted them right on in there with the maters. I'll be damned if those tomatoes didn't take right off and now the peppers are about 4" tall and 'bout half dead. They perked right up when I got them in some sun. It's always something with gardening, isn't it? You get the tomatoes down and damn if the peppers aren't screwed. So it goes.

Just a little shot of my pretty green pot with some succulents in it. I wanted a Meyer lemon tree to go in this pot, but my allowance seems to disappear long before I get to the lemon aisle (whatever that may be). I also have a heart attack when I see a $41.00 price tag on any plant. (Any plant except my $200 bamboo that I am still saving for.) For now I'm giving in to my succulent obsession. Actually, I really just have a Ghost Plant (Graptopetalum paraguayense) collection. I am obsessed with succulents, but somehow I've ended up with 574,293,999 Ghost Plants. Basically, you can throw them on the ground, spit on them, walk on them, and in about 4 days there will be a whole new one growing. I like that in a plant. You can also break them off very easily if you happen to be walking down the road and someone has 584,455,222 of them growing in the front yard by the curb. Not that I would ever do that...I'm just sayin'. I'm gonna put some Silver Ponyfoot in there and maybe a big showy Bromeliad too. Udij;at943p32qdlkj; (Ak! Kitty on the keyboard...gotta go.)

PS I'm going to get 2 chickens tomorrow! Stay tuned.
PPS I put a picture of myself in here today because someone, I won't say who, Bob, told me at a recent gathering that I looked much larger on my blog than in real life. I'm just glad it was that way instead of the other way around, if you know what I'm sayin'.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Happy Number Three (and Happy #23)

A big, ole stack of books from the liberry (as we say in Texas) makes me so happy.
I am going to blog about gardening tomorrow...really. This thing is turning into the Suzy Homemaker Show. Hrmpf.
A belated birthday HUZZAH to my dear, dear, delicious friend, Danielle. She is TWENTY-THREE yesterday! Um...yea, that's right, sure...sure...23, uh-huh. Haw Haw. She is my cohort in crime and adventure except she lives in Big Bend, damn her. Anyhoo...I miss her and wish I could give her a big hug, a slab of cake, and a bottle of vino-a-go-go. Happy Birthday sweet thang. Here's to many, many more.

PS No, we weren't getting waxed. Au contraire...we were slamming down some vats of pasta and wine next door at Mandolas. We couldn't resist hoohawing in front of the poster. Wax this, honeychile.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Uno Ano!

I wrote my first post one year ago today! How 'bout that? Isn't that something? (You do know that there's no way to have only one candle on a cake when there's a 6-year-old boy in the house, right?)
I just wanna say thank you
ever, ever, ever so much for being part of my home, garden, and life for the last year. Truly, I've had such a wonderful time! All of you have been so kind and helpful to me...I just couldn't have kept it up if not for you. A special thanks to all of you who have taken the time to leave comments. I'm always thrilled when I see a new comment in my inbox. I've laughed and laughed and learned and learned. I look forward to being a venerable gardener someday, but, for now, I'm just so happy to be having this much fun and to have you playing along. Know that I am grateful to the bottom of my heart for every single person who has ever stopped by.
Please do eat some chocolate cake today in my honor. (All cake is calorie-free today because I say so.)

PS Next week....bok, bok, bok!!!!
PPS Does anyone know where I put that new box of Sharpies?

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I cannot even begin to tell you how many butterflies, caterpillars, and bugs we saw while camping this weekend up at Garner. I have never in my life seen so many butterflies and caterpillars doing their thing! The wildflowers were magnificent too. I was, am still, amazed that there was just field after field after field of them this late in the season. The weather was insanely perfect. Cool (Cool! in Texas! in May!) and overcast on Saturday. Then we got light and yummy rain on Saturday night in the tent. Sunday woke up overcast, but turned sunny and warm by afternoon which was perfect for swimming. Monday was a carbon copy of Sunday. Lucky, lucky, lucky campers.

I. love. these. flowers! Does anyone know what they are?

So very Dr. Suessian. (Very Theodor Geiselian, as the case may be.)

Dude. Big, badass, bug. I think it's a Cottonwood Borer bug thingee. I have these great Audubon Society Pocket Guides that I got from my MIL's garage. I'm always toting them around trying to get FinnigantheCurious to identify bugs with me. He's, uh, rather, over it, to be polite. However, this bug got us all flipping pages. There's a very similar one in there labeled as a Cottonwood Borer, but this one seems bigger. Maybe because he's from Texas?

Still life with dog and fly. The world's best camping dog - Luna.

The world's best camping boy. Why is it that kid's just do not give a hoot about water temperature? I could barely put my feet in and he was in it all. day. long. I'm such a cold water wuss though. Thank goodness for Jackdaddy and the dogs or he wouldn't have a swimming buddy this time of year.

I love camping. I detest cleaning up after camping. I'd show you the pile of laundry too, but it's just too sad. Anyone wanna come over and fold clothes? Wash dishes? Sure?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy: Numero Dos.

(I couldn't very well call it, Happy Number Two, now could I? Heeeeeeeee.)
We just got home from camping so we are a happy home and happy to be home. The wildflowers and the butterflies were out. of. control. Never, never have I seen either of them so prolific! I was mesmerized the entire time. My boys were entranced the first 200 times I asked them to, "LOOK!" After that ... not so much.
I'll show you some stuff later. I'm off to scrub the grit and grime off.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy: Number One

It's always tough for me to blog on Mondays. The house is a wreck after the weekend...Daddy is back at empty pantry/fridge requires immediate attention...piano lessons, and sewing lessons, and guitar lessons know, the week. As I was unloading the dishwasher, I realized that this little windowsill always makes me so happy. (Those tiny IZZE cans are ta. die. for.) Anyway, I thought that maybe Monday should be "Happy" day. I'll just post a quick picture of things in my life that make me feel so happy (as opposed to overwhelmed). So... here's to Happy Number One.
Hope you're feeling happy too!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Bad Scientists.

I heard about an interesting experiment on Dayna Martin's blog, and I couldn't wait to try it. Jackdaddy and Finn were equally enthralled so we sat down to do some cool New Age science (is that oxymoronic?). There is a Japanese author named Masaru Emoto known for his claim that if human speech or thoughts are directed at water droplets before they are frozen, images of the resulting water crystals will be beautiful or ugly depending upon whether the words or thoughts were positive or negative. Emoto claims this can be achieved through prayer, music or by attaching written words to a container of water. We talk about the power of words a lot around here (being big talkers and all), so we boiled up some rice and put them in their respective Mason jars.

Next, we put their respective labels on. One container was the "bad" rice and the other was the "good" rice. The experiment rules say that you're supposed to send angry, hurtful thoughts and feelings to the bad rice, and happy, loving thoughts and feelings to the good rice. Several times throughout the day you're supposed to pick the jars up and concentrate on sending these positive or negative thoughts to them while speaking the loving or hurtful words out loud.

We had no trouble at all with the love jar, as you can see below:

The problem in our experiment cropped up when we tried to be mean to the bad rice. None of us could do it! We started out kind of giggling when we were trying to say the mean words. Then Finniganthecurious got quite upset about it all. Truth be told, Jackdaddy and I felt the same way. We all felt so sorry for the poor bad rice. We tried for a couple of days, then decided to just stop. It made us all feel bad. We fed the rice to the dogs because Finn said that would make the dogs happy, and the rice would probably be happiest knowing it was being eaten by a happy dog. (LOVE kid logic.)
The results of our experiment? Words hurt. We're not perfect...we do say hurtful things to others sometimes, but we sure have big hearts. It felt so awful being mean to that poor rice. Finn said next time he feels like being mad at someone, he's going to just picture that little jar of rice. I say whatever works. One man's "face of Gandhi" is another man's jar of rice, right?
Y'all be nice now.

Oh, and Happy Mother's Day if you're a mama!

Monday, May 3, 2010

That's better.

I have finally, but finally, but finally finished one whole flower bed. I'm so proud of me. Wanna see the before and after? Here's a quickie rehash of the progression. This was the back of our house shortly after we moved in. Holy wonder I was crazy back then (unlike now).

Then Jackdaddy designed the patio, and things started rolling along. I'm not even dreaming of landscaping at this point.

Now we're getting somewhere! The patio is up, but things still look unfinished. This is when I start thinking about gardening...landscaping...decorating with plants...a whole new world! Some poor guy in my neighborhood had an entire yard of century plants. Needless to say, his yard was a combat zone. He finally got out there with some friends and waged war. It really did look like a battlefield. He said whoever wanted one could come and get it. I had always really, really wanted one, so I did, and there she is. That's all that was there for a looooong time. Then, I copied Pam and got my bottle tree going. You can just see the post behind the agave.

Then I realized I need a border. Something to define the area. (I'm reeeeally new to this) I just love this brown metal trim. I do not love paying for it. You know I am a thrifty gardener, but sometimes a girls gotta to do what a girls gotta do, right? That stuff makes such a neat, clean border. This neat-cleaness is the direct opposite of most of my yard which falls into the messy-skanky-but-loved- and- used category. It's starting to look kinda nice at this point, but still a long way from finished.

This weekend I got out there and finished that damn bed up! I tried to finish it last month, but I made all kinds of mistakes and everything went to hell and so I had to try again this month. This time I got it right. Ha! Lots of butterfly weed (my favorite) and butterfly bush (supposed to be red...came out purple..sigh) to attract the lovely wildlife. Some flagstone pieces to designate a path (let's see if the dogs and the kids get the hint) with lots of bulbine alongside it. My one remaining Pride of Barbados is just a teeny, tiny Lazarus right now, but it should be kicking by late summer and that will look bitchin'. Those to-die-for cobalt blue birdbaths that I pick up every spring at HEB look wonderful against the hot colors. May I just digress for a moment to sing the praises of the blue HEB birdbaths? Man, I love those things. I hope to have a yard full of them someday. Fingers crossed that HEB keeps carrying them. They usually sell out in about 14 seconds, but there are still some green (yum)and some brown (yum yum) ones left at the store on Burnet. I fill mine up with rocks as they are actually too deep. I noticed that the birds were not using it much at first, but once I put the rocks in it, they came back big time. The rocks give them a place to stand in the deep, slippery bowl.

Ta Da!!! The cool blues of the bird bath and the bottle tree calm my garden down a little. I like HOT, hot, hot. Everything I have is red, orange or yellow. I do have a 2 pink (eek!) rose bushes in my back bed (and the mislabeled new butterfly bushes), but they came with the house. Nothing I can do about them except live with it. At least my MIL appreciates them ... as soon as they bloom, I run out there with scissors and cut them off as fast as I can. She gets the roses and I get back to my HOTS.
Anyhoo, I'm finished! Only took me 3 years. Yep, I'm that good.