30 April 2012

Let the Music Play

He tried pretending
A dance is just a dance
But I see
He's dancing his way back to me
He's dancing his way back to me

Ok, now that I got that out of my system, here's a recap of my weekend.

Emi's soccer team went undefeated this season so they participated in a soccer tournament this past weekend. Her team won their game on Saturday (No pics because I forgot the camera!) and that meant we had at least one more game on Sunday. After her game, we met my friend Stina and her kids at the house and the kids went swimming for a while while we adults relaxed in the yard before heading out to the Norman Music Festival.

David's Sharmin

We ran into Sharmin at the Jack Daniels stage where a cool band was playing their version of "Me and Mrs. Jones".

27 April 2012

RDO* Recap

These are my neighbors' trees. See how they are trying to get into my pool? They are really bugging me because they like to leave little gifts.

All Around the Mulberry Bush
I have to stand on the pool house to trim the non-mulberry tree.
I don't think that any of the trees were planted on purpose but they sure are hardy and most years the electric company has to come out to trim them because they grow into the electrical lines. I'm thinking the owners should be responsible for their trees, but what do I know, right?


They stain the rocks and concrete...and are a pain to clean up after...
I was going to trim the branches hanging over onto my property before the berries started dropping but the berries beat me! ;.( Me and the girls collected several handfuls tonight and fed them to the chickens so it hasn't been a total waste. I am curious to see how the berries affect the eggs...stay tuned.

I really, really want to get the neighbors' trees out of my yard for good (I have other things I'd rather do with my free time) so that I can plant some trees of my own in my own yard. I am in love with the look of espaliered fruit trees. And I so want to try to get my hands on a 6-in-1 espaliered apple tree to grow flat against my fence.  I am thinking of trying to espalier a tree or two on my own, but I'd really like to get a more mature apple tree so we can enjoy the fruit sooner. And how cool would it be to be able to run to the fence line as a kid and select an apple from 6 different varieties on a single tree?

But my immediate goals are to finish up the big clean up chores around the yard that involve a chainsaw or sump pump or a flamethrower, then I can see about planting that dwarf orchard (say that 3x fast). I can totally picture a dwarf orchard in my back drive area next to the gate (hippie entrance). With purple clematis growing up the fence...

So, anyway, back to the title of my post... my RDO didn't go exactly as I planned but I still got a lot accomplished. So what did I do, you ask?

Let's see, I:
  • moved the bags of soil that my sweet husband brought home to me (thank you, baby!) close to the garden and weeded the garden.
  • deadheaded roses and trimmed the tulips down to the ground
  • moved mulch from the tulip border area to the back beds (letting the lawn grow back in again (I know, I am fickle about my front lawn but I am serious about not messing with that border any more this time!)
  • watered my potted plants and seeds and garden bed
  • attacked the jungle that is the dog yard/patio (I had totally forgotten about my asparagus bed and now it's too late to harvest!)
  • began trimming neighbors random plants/vines growing through the alley fencing.
  • took my daughters on a quick grocery trip.
  • took my girls on another quick trip to the mall for bras/bathing suit for my big girl who thinks she's a teenager already (so does everyone else! The cashier thought she was 13! Don't worry, I am always there to remind her of her real age!)
And I enjoyed some brownie bites that Emi made for her daddy (who shared them with us). My favorite way to enjoy a bite is like this:

Nutella, I love you!

I hope you had a fabulous Friday friends! And for those of you local, did you get out to the Norman Music Festival? We are going to try to catch a few shows tomorrow...

*Regular Day Off

22 April 2012


I was fortunate to spend most of yesterday outside. First on a picnic blanket at the soccer fields watching Emi, then lunch out in the back yard, and after nap we got out in the yard to check on what's growing and blooming these days.

I saw that my Asiatic Lilies were coming back and bringing friends, but they were being encroached upon by my healthy lavender plant.

Asiatics Before
2 lilies have divided into 5 over the years...

So I got my spade out and tried to fix the situation.

Asiatics After
I may only have 4 now as I accidentally severed the smallest plant from its roots. Fingers crossed that it will come back.

I also spotted a Butterfly Ginger plant coming back to life on the other side of the lavender plant! I moved it a little further from the lavender plant so that it can have some space to grow. I'm hoping for some purple and white intoxicating blooms this summer.

Speaking of surprise finds...look what I found at Sam's:

I Needed This Lunch Tote
Emi left my go-to lunch bag at school and it's long gone (I even braved searching through the lost and found) so this was definitely something on my list to replace...yay for giraffe print!

Today I got distracted inside with an astronomy project for the kids. Last month when we went camping we actually got to see many constellations while sleeping under the open sky. We were so intrigued with the stars that I bought a Night Sky deck of playing cards to learn more. I'll be honest in that most of the sky looks like the Big or Little Dipper to me, but I want more for my kids so when I found a pack of unused glow in the dark stars in Emi's room, I asked to use some for the Little Ones' sky...and Emi's too.

From the deck of cards I found the following and recreated them in the Little Ones' room:

  • Orion (because David kept "spotting" the hunter while we were camping)
  • Camelopardalis (The Giraffe - that one was for me!)
  • Andromeda
  • Cygnus (the Swan)
  • Corona Borealis (the northern crown)
  • Ursa Minor (the little bear)
For Emi's Night Sky I created the following:
  • Cancer (her zodiac sign)
  • Aquila (the eagle)
  • Canis Minor (the little dog - this was just 2 stars..har!)
  • Cassiopeia
  • Sagitta (the arrow)
  • Pegasus (the winged horse)
  • Gemini (the twins - this one reminded me of the little ones)
  • Cetus (the sea monster)
  • Lyra (the lyre - this is where I decided to move on to other chores)
I also hung the biggest stars 'A' and 'D' and the Little Ones immediately saw their initials in their sky before naptime. Back when I had stars on my ceiling (in college) I didn't bother organizing them into constellations. Maybe that's why I can't decipher the sky these days...

So later, Scott and I tackled an unlovely chore of removing the wonderful graffiti that some sweet kids gifted us with recently.  It seems like only yesterday when this happened the last time.  This time Scott sanded the paint off the fence and I followed after with the wood sealer.

You can hardly tell that there was anything spray painted on our fence at all, right? (Right!)

I am almost embarrassed to say that this is after sanding and sealing (and moving gravel and partial weeding). This does look so much better than before but we have plans to 1) paint this section of fencing a heather gray and 2) truck in some larger sized gravel to pave the back drive better.

This section of the back drive could be a really nice area (once was, in fact) for extra parking and maybe a creekside garden but it's overgrown with weeds and vines. And this is after I filled 4 lawn bags with vines and "corn" looking stalks. It's hard to see in this picture but this walled area is not flat.

Back Drive - Interim


Back Drive - Interim Shot

This area is getting ready to be attacked by Round Up and flames before I lovingly transfer in some clematis and English Ivy and mulch (and gravel).

For now I am good with the work we got accomplished on this Earth Day and pray that the hoodlums find another place to post their messages...

21 April 2012


Emi's team won their last game today and they are un-de-fea-ted! I was nervous because Scott said it was a big game against another undefeated team and Emi also spent the night at the Science Museum with her Girl Scout troop last night. A night at the museum! They had science classes and experiments and they had breakfast up there too, but I don't think there was much sleeping going on...and remember last time she stayed at a GS lock-in before her big game(s)?

Crashing (or trying to)
This was our champ post-lock-in and pre-games...
Well, today we decided to go with Sweet Tea before the noon time game and it proved to be a wise choice. They won 4-0! The girls played so well! It was like they were on fire or something!

Emi Kicking
Sweet Tea is not considered a performance enhancing drug, is it?

So proud of my baby girl!

Compost Garden

Earlier today after reading Shawna's post about growing more tomatoes, I finally put some grape, cherry and super sweet tomato seeds into pots I already had. I am not sure why it took so long to get the seeds from a drawer in the sun room to the soil filled pots that were sitting on the south steps into the sun room, but I'll use a lame excuse I hear the young kids use.

It is what it is.

So a little while after I put those seeds into the pots, I went to dump some expired peppers into my compost pile and look at what I found!

I guess I probably need to stir my compost pile a little, huh?

Now I'm no gardening expert, but I'm fairly certain those large plantlings are tomatoes. I can't possibly imagine what variety they are (well, I guess I could) but I'm hoping that they are yellow pear tomatoes. I guess we shall see (if I can manage to not kill them transplanting them).

Happy Gardening, Friends!

18 April 2012


The spindly passionflower went from this:

Passion Flower Vine
July 2011
to this:
Passion Flower Blooming
April 2012
Last year we got a single bloom and I missed it. Now I am seeing a few each day and I bet I get fruit this year like I did back in 2009. I'm hoping my kiwi vines do as well or better.

And I got a single bloom from my peonies after I removed a ton of suffocating growth from around the clump of plants.

Only Peony
A prominent color in my yard it seems - this summer I hope to mix it up a bit...

I decided to divide the peonies now before another year passes by... so I planted 4 of the newer offshoots to the East of the Moon Flower plant (which I will keep in check this summer) and just North of the red Asiatic Lillies that will hopefully grow and bloom this summer.

Peonies and Asiatic Lillies
Watch this space for changes...

Speaking of plants that come back every year.... I can totally recommend banana trees (mine overwinter outside), day lillies and irises... All of these plants come back thicker every year and I'm still amazed each time I catch some spot of color in my yard.



My almond tree looks heart shaped these days...completely opposite of the way the tree is supposed to be shaped. I probably should have pruned it better a few years ago when I let it get too bushy. Oh well, I think it's pretty and it looks healthy and I hope we still get almonds one day.

Heart Shaped

This is what things look like from the dog yard (through the almond tree)...

Through the Almond Tree

Can you say cabana? (Maybe one day...)

Welcome to the Jungle

How about jungle?

I am working my way up to working on this area again... I neglected it last year and it sort of scares me now...maybe I should have ended this post with the cabana thoughts? Nah...we keep it real around here...

Hope you are enjoying this fabulous weather even if it's for only a bit...

15 April 2012

Weekend Roundup

Well, the rest of the weekend was not quite as exciting (or hysterical) for some of us, thankfully!

Did I mention that we'd only had Salty (our Disco) back for a week? After extensive engine repair work? The kind of repairs where one seriously considers whether to keep said automobile or trade it in? We had the whole engine resealed while I was in DC.  It bought us another 60-75K miles on her so it's worth it. But now it might be a while before I will get to drive her around on my RDO.  Thankfully, thankfully, thankfully no one was hurt and the Disco can be fixed...and we have good insurance. Wonder if now's the time to have that Turquoise Paint job that I mentioned on my Living List?


So Saturday we trekked up to the North side of the city to meet Papa Dave, Shawna, Jasmine, and PawPaw and Great, Grandma Margaret (who is 96!!! and sharper than a tack...and very sweet). We also met Aunt Vicky and a small cousin, Alyssa.

With Great Grandma Tampkins
Great Grandkids with Great Grandma Margaret

Later, Emi had a soccer game (which she won - she scored TWO goals!) and I stayed home with the Little Ones because I was a little concerned about the weather (after Friday night)...I didn't want to get caught out in it again. At bedtime, the eldest child was a little PTSD and begged to sleep with the littlest one (who was already asleep...such an innocent trusting little soul, that one). And sleep was interrupted every couple of hours by the following: dog 12:30am, eldest/middle child at 2:30, dog again at 4am, kids again I can't remember when. I just know I didn't sleep enough at one time to reset my brain so I may or may not have hallucinated earlier today... We did manage to get outside for sunshine and yardwork this afternoon and I feel like we made some serious headway:

Hot Tub: Gone!
Check it out!

I weeded this bed (and the flagstone patio)

Getting There
And this bed... and surrounding area...

I also weeded my garden but before I can do any more yardwork, I will need more gardening gloves...mine are thrashed with holes now....it was worth it...feeling like maybe just maybe we might be able to get a handle on this yard of ours this year...

13 April 2012

Too Close for Comfort

This afternoon shook us up just a bit. For the past 2 days we'd been hearing that Oklahoma and Kansas were going to get some severe weather on Saturday, but the skies looked a bit ominous today as I was picking up the kiddos from school around 4pm. The skies poured rain on us as we headed home and we got stuck behind a postal truck that was partially pulled over. We were listening to the radio when Emi asked "What's that?" pointing just to the south of us. She said she thought she saw a tornado but I assured her it wasn't a tornado just as the power lines started flashing and popping! That got our attention and then - BAM! - a trampoline came out of nowhere and smashed our windshield!

That's when we left the Disco and ran for shelter in the school across the street. The Little Ones were crying and Emi lost her flip flops, but we were safe - and the sirens were going off a little late. After we calmed down and the severe weather dissipated a bit, we went out to survey the damage (and find Emi's shoes).

Trampoline on Disco
Trampoline on Disco

Trampoline on Disco
Traffic was diverted around us until we could remove the trampoline...

Trampoline Penetrated
This hole was the scariest because it was in front of Emi!

When Scott came to get us, David refused to get back into the Disco after all of the terror we'd experienced. David went with Daddy and we girls drove Salty home and then got into Beulah to continue with our plans to celebrate Scott's birthday at The Garage. We also celebrated surviving some severe weather tonight. It's not over though, tomorrow's supposed to get rough too.

Stay safe, friends!

10 April 2012

What's Growin' On?

Okay, raise your hand if you are hearing Marvin Gaye right now...

This is what's growin' on around the Morgan's house right now:

Watermelon and Kabocha!
Watermelon and Kabocha from produce purchased at Natural Grocers

I guess I really need to get busy turning over the soil in my garden, huh?

First Passionflower Bloom
First Passionflower Bloom (I hope I can get more blooms this summer)

Irises are not my favorite but they are working overtime in my yard...

Butterfly Ginger
Butterfly Ginger brought back from Florida last summer... the chickens ate the ones we left outside near the banana plants...

It's not all pretty though. I still have all manner of weeds trying to take over my lawn and patio.

Weed Invasion
This is about 1/3 of the patio that I have to weed. I am about ready to get out the flamethrower!

and pond ...the tadpoles are back or are still here or are TAKING OVER...

More Frogs Than Fish
Hold Me {this is going to be a Weekend Warrior project and I'd prefer it to be a While You Were Out project}

Unrelated: A couple of weeks ago Emi talked me into buying some tropical flavored apples. I was skeptical and curious so we got some to try. When I opened the packages, I did not notice any discernible tropical scent and the fruit felt really waxy (so I rinsed them) and when I cut open the apples some of the seeds had already sprouted inside. Of course I had to put them into a pot to see if they'd grow...and they are...check with me in about 7-10 years to see if we bear any fruit...

I actually have researched growing apples and it's really complicated. I used to want to grow Fuji apples (and still sort of do) but I think I'll put that goal on the back burner for now.

BTW, the verdict on the apples was just meh. Apples don't need any additional flavors (except maybe almond butter) to entice this family to eat them. If it ain't broke...

What about you, friends? What's growin' on with you?

09 April 2012

Keep on Truggin'

Friday Emi and I tried to make Easter Egg decorations a la HeyKayli (as posted on my friend Jackie's blog)

These eggs weren't very sturdy and began to unravel quickly after Little Ones handled them...I will try again because it was easy and I would try crochet thread vice embrodery thread next time....

01 April 2012

Going Medieval

Dragon Tent

We braved the March heat wave yesterday to check out the Medieval Fair.  Emi's sisters had never been and they were in for a treat. My favorite part is people watching because a lot of interesting characters come out of the woodwork.

I wonder if they think that about us?

Enchanted Tree
We saw an enchanted tree...check out Aubri's expression.

Medieval Fair Sighting...
Add your own caption!

Well Balanced
Was that a duster he was balancing?

Funnel Cake
These and the silver jewelry used to be the only reasons I made an effort to go to the Medieval Fair in years past....
The fair has grown so much over the years. I remember when it was so small that it fit nicely in at the Duck Pond. There was 1 place to get funnel cakes and 1 place selling swords and we'd go for maybe an hour tops. Now there are at least 2 places for funnel cakes and more than 3 places selling swords and so many options for getting food.

We were there for a little longer than a hour this time. And now I think we're all good for another year.

Hope you had a fabulous weekend!

A Beautiful Thing