26 August 2012

Promise of a New Day

After a particularly long week at work last week, I was ready for the weekend...and the elusive rain. Saturday we spent the first half of the day in the yard and alley clipping, raking and bagging up yard waste. I decided to get busy on rooting some English Ivy for the back drive because all of the exposed concrete wall is too tempting for the local graffiti artists and the clematis roots that I bought this past spring were duds. The English Ivy is readily available here so I'll go with that. Kids don't spray paint pretty green vines, do they?

I also got to spend some quality time in my garden and I'm disappointed that I let it go so much this summer. Earlier this summer we harvested the single kabocha squash that I'd grown (before it died on the vine) and Emi cooked it up in a sort of hash that I didn't get to taste. ;.( One of my Casper pumpkins perished because of the heat or possibly because it was choked out by some mystery melon species that I wish I'd cleared out months ago when I found it growing in the compost pile. I am not 100% sure, but I think it's an invasive wild melon.  The other one is sitting on the counter in the kitchen possibly maturing, not sure at this point. It definitely doesn't look like Casper though. It's a brownish green.

My organic watermelon vine grew 2 melons that were taken over by insects before they could get too big. ;.( Actually one is still out there possibly surviving, possibly not.

Last October I brought these home from the office breakroom ..

Mystery Melon - do YOU know what they are?
We didn't eat them because we were never sure what they were - ever the composter though, I tossed them into the compost pile.

And this is what I found in the garden last week.

Found This in the Garden

Something had already started gnawing on it so I threw it away, but then I really inspected what was left in the garden and it looks like I have at least 9 more of these babies growing on a vine that had taken over my garden. We cut one open yesterday to see what was inside and it smells like cucumber and it looked like it was oozing.


I should have been suspicious when this vine was growing so well. Only weeds grow this well, right?

I am still hoping to get a bumper crop of tomatoes as the weather cools down and maybe I might be able to salvage that single watermelon out there....

And I'm sad to say that those pesky orange caterpillars devastated my passion flower again this year. I hope the vine will be able to come back next year, but a couple of years ago when they invaded, my vine never recovered... ;.(

But we got rain (glorious rain!) last night and between that and the rains from last week, things are looking up around here (except for my fragrant Craepe Myrtle which was looking down after being soaked with rain)...

002 copy

I am looking forward to a new day and a new week...last week was brutal...

On the way home from MeeMaw's and PeePaw's
Here's to the promise of a new day for us all this week.
Hope you all have a fantabulous week, friends!

24 August 2012


Last night I reached into my jewelry box and found a tangle of earrings, rings and necklaces (and buttons and coins and rocks, oh my!). I decided to sort through the mess when I remembered that I had some small ziploc bags down in the basement that I could use to keep things tidy. While I was rooting around in the crafting supplies, I ran across some small watchkeeper cases that I bought many years ago on a whim. These are 33mm aluminum cases with glass tops (20 in an aluminum case).

Aren't they cute?
I also have a box each of 41mm and 48mm that are waiting to be used.

For valentines one year, Emi and I hot glued magnets on 70mm cases and filled them with conversation hearts for her friends.  We thought it would be cool for her friends to be able to reuse the cases to store small items on their fridges.

So anyway, this mess:

plus this mess:

were merged into this neat box...
I sifted out a few pair of mismatched earrings for our little Christmas tree (and to donate) and also bagged up a few necklaces to keep them from tangling up again.
I probably should have done this sort last Thursday before our garage sale, huh?

22 August 2012

First Day of School

It seems like only yesterday that we were telling David he'd be going to school with Big Sister Emi next year...

First Day of School
Emi's First Day of 4th Grade (August 2011)
But that day is here. Today the whole family escorted David and Emi to their first day of school.

Growing Up So Fast
Emi 5th Grade, David Pre-K

My Little Ones

Daddy and His Big Girl

Emi was embarassed that we were escorting her to her class and taking pictures (get used to it baby girl!) and David was so excited about making new friends...he wasn't embarassed by us being there. I feel sorry for his teachers because the class is 75% boys...luckily there are 2 teachers to keep things under control.

Excited for Her Brother and Sister
Happy for Big Brother
And Aubri was so excited for her brother before we dropped him off, but so sad on the way home... until Daddy took her to see any old friend at her old school... she brightened a bit after that. She sure does miss her brother when he's gone...

Next Year
Next Year, Baby Girl...

21 August 2012


Friday was the first day of the city-wide garage sale in which we decided to participate. We had random items in the yard and in the basement and garage that needed to go and normally we'd take this stuff straight to the Salvation Army. But the kids (at the behest of the oldest sibling) had been bugging (begging) us for a new pet. Specifically a pet rat. We are not quite sold on the idea, especially since I saw a special on rat infestations and how quickly and boldly they can take over... but we are still entertaining the idea of getting a fancy rat.

But we aren't going to pay for said rat, so we decided to let the kids earn some money to start a new Pet Fund.

So this past week Scott cleaned out the garage and we had items sorted to toss, keep or sell. Thursday night we lugged stuff up from the basement and started pricing.

Friday morning after the sun came up we set up shop and unloaded a lot of items we no longer needed (i.e. a dolly, some bikes, an air compressor)...

  Manning the Sale

David did his part in helping out by greeting the customers and letting them know who's bike that was ("That's my sister's bike!") and then talking about the customers as they walked away ("Why didn't they buy anything?!") Despite his valiant efforts, stuff got sold!

By lunchtime, we thought were done, but after we put the kids down for their nap we powered through...for another hour.  Then we decided to load up the truck and cart the remaining items to Salvation Army a day early. That second day might have yielded a little more cash, but it was so freeing to be rid of the extra stuff, have some cash on hand AND have Saturday free to TCB.

And in the end
I'm sure Spidey has found a good home...

Saturday morning started off really nice, chilly and overcast. After breakfast, we loaded up the kids and headed out for back to school clothes shopping. Our first stop was Kohl's. As we were making our way to Kohl's, the skies opened up and dropped buckets and buckets of rain. We were soaked as we made our way into the store and then the electricity went out. The looting began almost immediately!

Just kidding! The power flickered for a few moments and then we got to the serious business of getting the kids some much needed socks, shoes, under clothes, etc.

Two hours later....it was still raining and we were finally headed home.

Drinking up the Rain

Later in the afternoon, we girls decided to get out and find me a cheap hair cut. I have a go-to girl that I am happy with, but I didn't want to futz with an appointment and I really just wanted a trim, so to Top Cuts is where we went. I was in and out within 15 minutes!

After that we braved Walmart for groceries and school supplies. David starts Pre-K and this will be the only time that he's in school with big sister Emi. What a year this will be! He is also going to play soccer like big sis. I don't know how we'll squeeze in all of the extra-curricular activities, but I guess we will. Looking forward to what this year brings us!

Cuteness Overload

Sunday was a relaxing day after church. I even managed to get a 30 minute nap in.

Today I am longing for Sunday afternoon. I have been way busy at work this week and this morning at 3:21, I woke from a sound sleep thinking I heard a gunshot coming from campus. I can't be sure I wasn't dreaming...I hope I was.

Hope the week has been kind to you, friends!
Here's to Back to School!

17 August 2012

A Look Back...

I was looking at some old pictures that Scott had imported into iPhoto and mixed in with the thousands of pictures of my sweet little Emiliana (being the center of our world back then), I found this old high school picture of me. (I had scanned it in back then for the big 20 year reunion.)

Hello Hair!
Emi asked why I wasn't smiling and I had to think hard about this. I was a moody teenager so it could have been anything.  While I was a rebel, I was a generally happy kid and I don't appear to be doing the teenage bershon thing here. I was 15 (this was my junior yearbook photo) and I was excited about being in high school finally with the 2 junior high schools funneling their student populations into 1 high school. Then I remembered why I wasn't smiling; I was wearing braces for the 2nd of what end up being 4 years! The braces thing got old after the first year...

So this is me today.

27 Years Later

12 August 2012


[im-byoo] verb (used with object), im·bued, im·bu·ing.

1. to impregnate or inspire, as with feelings, opinions, etc.

2. to saturate or impregnate with moisture, color, etc.

Blank Canvas
My blank canvas
So I haven't done anything with that blank canvas that I hung up 3 months ago, but it has sparked conversation at every gathering we have at our house since that time. And it's a step ahead of where it was before (parked beside the piano).

I'd thought about doing a mixed media project- affixing mementos of places visited or favorite places or keepsakes and paint and sketches - and I'm still toying with that idea, but I'm thinking about making it a collaborative effort with family and friends. 

Scott's brother Randy put that idea in my head last night when he suggested we put markers or paint out near the canvas and let party attendees add their "thumbprint" as they pass by each time. What a neat idea! 

I like the idea of getting a unique piece of art made for me by loved ones...I can't  wait to see the finished product!

The Three Stooges

These days my little Aubri has gotten a little shy...intermittently. She always has love for Mommy though (and I am eating that up!)...

Shy Aubri
"don't wanna smile"...we almost caught her smiling here at Grandaddy-O's birthday dinner...

My Sweet Babies
Not gonna do it...she was forced to "smile" here...
The other night when we talked about renting The Three Stooges and picnicking in the living room, Aubri said "Yeah, the Three Students!" That's my girl!

So tonight we actually did watch the remake of The Three Stooges and it was really good...had us all laughing in between bites of leftover casserole.

And the kids learned a few new moves which they practiced on themselves...

Wise Guy!

Nyuck! Nyuck! Nyuck!

I am so proud of all three of my stooges!

10 August 2012


Last night started off so promising. I was beat from 4 very busy days at work and all I wanted to do was get to bed. I made dinner for the family and after we got the kids to bed, I took a nice, long, relaxing bath and then I read a couple of chapters of Hunger Games. (Emi and I are both reading the book but she's about 40 pages ahead of me.) Emi had a friend sleeping over so Scott and I decided to watch an episode of Mad Men in the bedroom (we're on season 3). I could barely keep my eyes open for the whole episode so I didn't even try to....

After I dropped off that first time, I was awakened around 1am. Emi and her friend were still awake making noise in the living room, so I got up and told them it was time to go to sleep...then I went back to sleep for another hour...

At 2:20am there was a little hand knocking on our door. It was David and when Daddy got up to see what the problem was, I could hear David stage whispering that he'd had an accident.  [Note: He didn't wet the bed but we'd had a reminder talk earlier in the evening about telling us when he has waited too long to get to the toilet instead of letting us find out on our own or lying about it, so he was really emphatic about letting us know so he wouldn't be in trouble...at 2:20am!]

So we got back to bed and I managed to get back to sleep for an hour and a half! This time it's Aubri beside my bed telling me she's had a bad dream. She's grabbing my hand and when I asked her why her hands were wet, she said it was because she just washed them after she went to the bathroom. At that point I knew that she really hadn't had a bad dream, she was just trying to scam her way into our bed. I walked her to our door and she stood on the left side grabbing at the door. When I asked her what she was doing, she said "Trying to open the door" (while pulling Daddy's robe and towel off the door).  The handle's on the right side of the door...right where it's always been. Did I ever mention that sometimes Aubri reminds me of a little drunkard?

When we got to her room, she said she couldn't get her covers back on her bed. I asked her what they were doing on the floor and she said she fell down.... okee... After I got her tucked back into bed I had about 45 minutes of glorious undisturbed sleep...

Ahhh... TGIF!

08 August 2012

Full Circle (sotto voce*)

I don't normally participate in Wordless Wednesday but I thought I would lower my voice just a bit when telling you that we had a wonderful meal tonight at a good old standby, T.E.A. Cafe, where we've been going since they first opened up... mmm mmmm

* Am I the only one who thought of Funny About Love when reading "sotto voce"?

05 August 2012


This weekend was packed with lots of family and friends. I'm so glad that's a recurring theme in our life.

Friday morning we were teased with the possibility of rain...it clouded up and cooled off and I could hear the thunder in the distance but...

Please Rain

it didn't quite happen for us....at least it was cool enough to rake up those Magnolia leaves and water plants and swing for a bit before tidying up the back yard.

Picking Up

We had a funeral to attend on Saturday (Scott's Mema) and it wasn't really a sad occasion. She'd been suffering recently and her husband (Papa) had died suddenly way back in 1993 ... she was ready to go. She was a strong woman of faith and it showed in the stories shared about her at her funeral. I've known her since 1995 but I really enjoyed hearing about her life before I came to know her. Wow...what an inspirational woman!

Getting Ready to Release the Balloons

Scott's cousin had a really neat idea for the grandkids and great grandkids to write down memories and kind thoughts on tags and tie them to balloons to be released after the funeral.


Scott's balloon got caught up in the utility line pictured in the background there....wonder what Mema would think about that (or if the caught balloons were freed yet)....

Speaking of inspirational women, today we celebrated the birthday of another inspirational woman. The Little Ones' birth mom visited and we celebrated with her favorite salad and cake (I tried to replicate each as best as I could).

Cobb Salad
Cobb Salad

Gummy Bear Cake
Yellow Cake with Butter Cream Frosting...the gummy bears were Aubri's idea...

The weekend was full and seemed to zip by but I am so glad that we got to spend time with family and loved ones if only for a few moments...

FaceBook keeps us in touch but we can't hug online, can we?

01 August 2012


Emi's sisters have been over visiting for a couple of days and it makes my heart full to see them hanging out together being sisters. They've shared some great time together.


Tonight they accompanied me to the store in search of dinner and anything else they could try to sneak into the cart.  Emi wanted Egg Drop Soup so we got that (not a fan) and some ingredients to make our own version of the Banh Mi.

Banh Mi

I thought it turned out really yummy although I think I need to stock up on stuff from the Asian market for next time...like pork loaf.  My inspiration was that yummy sandwich I had at Lee's a couple of weeks ago and another recipe for Vietnamese Fried Egg Banh Mi I have wanted to try for the longest time. Whoa!

I used French Bread,  Braunschweiger (yum!), Smoked Turkey (not pictured in this second helping) vice pork loaf, Miso Mayo, shredded carrots, cilantro and a bit of Roasted Asian Sesame dressing. I did not fry any eggs this time even though I could have easily done so out on flagstone patio yesterday. I thought the banh mis were fantabulous and I'm guessing my husband and Emi did too as they got seconds as well.  Even the Little Ones liked the "brown stuff" (Braunschweiger).

My belly and heart were full tonight... I hope yours were too!