31 March 2012

Reflections of My Week

What a week! I am still behind in yardwork and laundry, etc, but I have a good excuse.  Can you guess where I was?

I'll give you a few hints:

Highway Walkway
This is the bridge I walked over to cross the highway...

These are the steps that I lugged my luggage and laptop up and down twice during my stay...

Nearest crossroads...

Got my lunch here one day...
Give up yet?

How about a couple of really good photo clues?

25 March 2012

Get Out

That, we did.

We took off for a couple of days of camping. Originally we were planning to camp in NE Oklahoma, in the Fort Gibson area, but with the recent deluge in rainfall, we decided to head West (to drier ground) at the last minute. So Thursday morning we drove to the Wichita Mountains ...in the pouring rain the entire way.

Baby Girl's Shoes

We thought about the rain much like we do when we are heading to the beach in Florida in a downpour, it will be over with soon so stay the course. And we were so glad that we did.

22 March 2012

Poolside Progress

Back in September I was dreaming of building a pergola in the area where the hot tub is:
I Can't Wait
September 2011

We tore off the paneling this past week and then Scott got after the tub with a chainsaw... and I pruned the almond tree a  bit.

That eyesore will be gone soon!
Won't be too much longer now...

Halfway Gone
I can almost see that cabana...

20 March 2012

Vernal Equinox

Today at 12:14am winter was officially over in Oklahoma and while I was sad that we didn't get any snow days this past winter, I am looking forward to springtime. And praying that we don't have an extreme summer like last year...

In addition to flowers, I am hoping to get some strawberries, watermelon, kabocha squash, tomatoes, snap peas, kale, cauliflower, basil and cilantro and hopefully some hops for Scott's home brew.

So far I'm very pleased with what I am finding in our yard.

Lavender, Tulips & Aubri
My lavender grows back thicker each year...

It's Spring!
Snacking on apples and sniffing tulips

I am so happy that our tulips are thriving! It was only 4 months ago that we planted the bulbs and because it didn't get really cold, I was worried that they wouldn't bloom.

First Rose Bloom 2012
First  Knockout Rose Bloom
Remember 6 months ago when things were starting to cool down just a bit?

Moved Borders
September 2011

Vernal Equinox 2012
Welcome Spring!

17 March 2012

The Little Leprecoon

David came home last week asking me about a leprecoon*. I thought it was so cute and funny thinking about coming across that particular pot of gold until late last night...

Rocky Raccoon

In case you were wondering about our commentary in the video, our late night visitor resembles one of our cats (see below) who has been hanging with the neighbors a lot lately. We found out recently that they thought she was a he and they've been calling her "Mr. Snuggle Britches". 

Bobbie Cat

* David's teacher is spanish and pronounces "leprechaun" a little differently.

16 March 2012

My Girl

Yesterday we passed by the super secret location of the Anonymous Tulip Planting during rush hour and noticed several purple tulips! They were hidden in a big patch of dead nettle and henbit and wild onion (what's is UP with the weeds this year?) but they were there for the passersby to enjoy. I am hoping for more pops of color to share with the world on this fairly busy street.

Today I went with Emi and her classmates to the Museum of Art (4th grade students are fortunate to be part of the pARTner Project). Love that we can walk from our house to this museum and so many other wonderful places! It was nice to hang out with her and her schoolmates for a while. We got to tour part of the new wing of the museum and then we got to make clay pots downstairs. It was a very relaxing project, rolling the clay in long "snakes" that spiraled on top of each other to form layers...smoothing the lines in between each layer. We should have our pots back from the museum after Spring Break.

At The Fred Jones Museum of Art
At the Museum of Art (we were getting ready to head back to the school for a picnic lunch...

Scary Masks
Some of the masks surrounding us as we worked...

13 March 2012

Glamorous Life

The weekend went by way too fast and with all of the rain that we got (I am in NO way complaining), I was worried I wouldn't get any yard work in before the Sunday Dread kicked in... I was wrong (happily).

Friday night started off with dinner at Ray's (always hits the spot) before we dropped Emi off at her Girl Scout lock-in. I actually got teary-eyed on the way back from dropping her off because she seemed so at-ease with me leaving her there for the night...my little girl is growing up so fast. Another troop hosted the lock-in (bless their hearts) and the girls got comfy so quickly, kicking off their shoes and claiming their spots for the night. The theme was "Gross Out" and I noted a table of "dirty diapers" on my way out. I'd seen this particular game played at our "baby shower" when David and Aubri first joined the family.  Identifying the particular candy bar soiling any given diaper was the goal of the game and it was too funny to see people intentionally getting their noses right up into those diapers.

Scott's cousin was a pro at this game....

Still can't believe less than 2 years ago we had TWO in diapers! We remedied that real quick.

So Saturday morning I got up early to pick Emi up from her lock-in and I found her trying to sleep. Another girl from her troop said that they'd gone to sleep at the last minute which means they got about 15 minutes sleep. No problem for Emi except that she had a soccer game at 9 and a basketball tournament game at 10:40am.  

Emi won The Grossest Girl of All award at the Gross Out lock-in. {we're so proud}

Gross Out Girl
Emi's proud of her trophy - it's chilled in the freezer waiting to be filled with a nice cold one...

Crashing (or trying to)
What goes up, must come down...

We gave her a cup and a half of coffee and started the first game...I don't think we've ever seen her run so fast or kick so hard. They won their soccer game...and then they went on to win their first basketball game. They didn't win their second game though (and we were okay with that).

It was cold and wet out so we hung out inside and watched movies and baked...spinach artichoke dip and chocolate chip cookies...

Oh, and I was also terrorized by Ozzie when I went out to give the chickens a little scratch...the nerve! You can see the scary moments captured here. Yes, Scott taped my moments of terror instead of beheading the devil chicken. I think his days are numbered...

Sunday turned out quite gorgeous after a while. After church while Emi was getting her hair done by Ketiesha, I got busy making Chicken n Dumplings (Emi's request) and in between steps I was outside weeding and planting some of those bulbs I got a couple of weeks ago.

While I am excited about the prospect of flowers and greenery and fruit/veggies growing, I am almost constantly overwhelmed with the amount of weeds in our yards. I know, deep breaths, in and out.

07 March 2012

Beyond the Sea (La Mer)

Back in 2010 while I was in Florida for a conference, I picked up a couple of Tommy Bahama CDs for Scott for Father's Day. I thought he might enjoy them because there was a nice relaxing variety of poolside music on them. I never thought I would become obsessed by a song on one of the CDs almost 2 years later.

It seems to be constantly running through my mind at work or while I am doing yardwork or washing dishes.

While I took 10 hours of French in college, I still had to research some of the words/phrases to translate the song for you...

La mer (The sea)
Qu'on voit danser le long des golfes clairs (That one sees dancing alongside the clear gulfs)
A des reflets d'argent (Has silver reflections)
La mer (The sea)
Des reflets changeants (Changing reflections)
Sous la pluie (Under rain)

La mer (The sea)
Au ciel d'été confond (To the summer sky merge)
Ses blancs moutons (Its white sheep)
Avec les anges si purs (With such pure angels)
La mer bergère d'azur (The sea, shepherdess of azure )
Infinie (Infinite)

Voyez (See)
Près des étangs (Close to the ponds)
Ces grands roseaux mouillés (These big wet reeds)
Voyez  (See)
Ces oiseaux blancs (These white birds)
Et ces maisons rouillées (And these rusted houses)

La mer (The sea)
Les a bercés (Has rocked them)
Le long des golfes clairs (Alongside the clear gulfs)
Et d'une chanson d'amour (And with a song of love)
La mer (The sea)
A bercé mon coeur pour la vie (Has soothed my heart for life)

I could definitely live by La Mer

Daddy and the Kids
Ma belle famille
The song reminds me of the time spent on the beach last summer and it's motivating me to try to capture the feeling of being near the sea in our backyard... Maybe some sand and paint can help recapture that vibe...we'll see. Until then, I have La Mer to inspire me.

What about you? What's inspiring you lately?

Missing My Sweet Sidekick

Taken on the day after I got back from California, right before I took him in to the vet.
His eyes were pleading me to help...it was heartbreaking to see him not wagging his tail... 

At the vet, he'd been wagging his tail and seemed hopeful. He was peacefully waiting for Mama to get him some help...

I miss him trying to get comfy in the doorway of my bathroom, pushing his body against the pocket door and sighing deeply...never mind that it was 2 am and yes, we were sleeping...

I miss him running full speed through the house to find me in the bedroom before he would even allow himself to eat a bite of his breakfast...he had to check on Mama first..

I miss how he'd enter the room snorting and sniffing and saunter over to me on the couch to paw me and let me know that he needed some affection...right... now...galdernit

I miss the way I could be editing a blog post and look up to see him staring at me with the loyalty and love that only a dog can have for his owner..then he'd give me a quick wink before coming over to me for some loving.

I miss the way he'd learned to be more vocal in the past 2 years in order to compete with the Little Ones' demand for attention...he'd found his voice and he wasn't afraid to use it...

I miss the way he come over to sniff my head when I was down on the floor stretching...

I miss how every time I got the cutting board out, Kirby would rouse from a sound nap and tap-tap-tap around begging for some veggies...

Kirby always wanted to be close to us, wherever we were...

Miss cuddling with you, Kirbs

No doubt he's being totally spoiled by my Nanny and PawPaw...they are probably spoon feeding him and petting him constantly... They probably told him to run to the light, boy! They finally have him and can give him the royal treatment he so deserved...

...I hope so...he was a good boy...

04 March 2012

W is for Water

I don't think that's a good idea, guys!

That's a much better idea...

I Filled A Bucket

Friday I was off so I decided to brave the Walmarts in search of lawn bags, kidlet shoes and other offerings. Now, I typically avoid Walmart like the plague, but I was motivated by some gift cards leftover from Christmas. When I got there I was wondering if maybe they weren't open yet because the parking lot was dead. I parked near the lawn and garden center and was pleasantly surprised to find the store open and desolate (yay me!).

I took a leisurely stroll around and saw mostly stockers while I searched for shoes (I found 3 pair for David and 4 each for the girls). Then I spent way too much time looking for a power cord for my work speakers and then I moved on to look for bike helmets. After I found a helmet for each kiddo, I was temporarily distracted by the clearance aisle (and now I currently have Buyer's Remorse for the long last lipsticks that I bought) before I went in search of lawn bags.

That's when the quick trip began to spiral out of control. I grabbed a couple of cool "buckets" in the garden area (they just happened to be my color) and started filling them with bulbs!

My Bucket
Other goodies not pictured: Veggie Tales Giant Watermelon kit and Strawberry Planter

I got 2 of these flexible tubs and I'm thinking I may go back for more for Easter "baskets". They'd be more useful for the kiddos for their outside toys and gear than a traditional basket, that's for sure.

I got out of the garden center with some pink Bleeding Hearts, Hollyhocks, pink fragrant Begonias (already in planters on the porch), 'Bowl of Beauty' peonies, 'Black Out' Asiatic Lilies, Peruvian Daffodils, 'Red Sentinel' Astilbe, and 'Kelvin Floodlight' dahlia. I was looking for some pops of color for the yard for this spring and summer (and with some of the bulbs I should get those pops of color for years to come).

On top of all the yard goodies I got (and now have to plant after I get the raking, weeding and pruning done) my mom sent me 3 kiwi plants to replace the 2 that died last summer. [Note: I got those suckers in the ground earlier today.]

I got the front yard almost weed-free (I would be done if I didn't also have to tend to the neighbors' weeds which were growing into my yard) and Scott spread the natural lawn food for me. I am hoping for a glorious green weed-free lawn in 1-3 weeks. Of course I still have clumps of some undesirable "grass" that I have to eradicate, but the yard looks well on its way. I also trimmed down all of the Monkey Grass in the front and side yards and planted the hollyhocks outside my bedroom window.

Sure the yard looks pretty thrashed right now, but in a few weeks when the Monkey Grass grows out and the Japanese Maple and Gingko leaves emerge and the tulips bloom, things will look nice(r).

Weeded, Trimmed and Fed (the yard)
Getting there...

I'm thinking that I might remove the paint on the porch (finally) and stain it on my next day off. It can't be that hard, right? I'm not looking for perfection, but the flaking gray paint looks so pitiful. I think a crimson stain might be neutral enough to work...we'll see...

Hope you are having a great weekend and are taking advantage of the nice weather to get your yard into shape as well...

03 March 2012


Yesterday I finally got the children bicycle helmets. {I know, parental fail!} and David rode around all evening with his new helmet, protecting his melon. Later he proclaimed he was ready to take off the training wheels on his bike and today he made good on that proclamation. We are so proud of him...

It was so sweet to hear him say he didn't want to ever stop riding his bike. It was also sweet to watch him riding up the street nervous about falling but happy that Daddy was there to catch his fall.

Look Ma, No Wheels

Serious Bike Rider