Sunday, July 31, 2011

Good-bye July...

Wow, that month flew by! Why does summer seem to pass so fast and winter just drags, especially around March??

I've managed to get a few more things cleaned out and organized, worked in the yard and the garden

zucchini casserole (before)

zucchini casserole (after)

and caught up with a few friends for lunch.

This past week we have been super busy because these special girls arrived a week ago!

This was shortly after they arrived and someone didn't get a long enough nap. She rarely falls asleep like this so you know she must have been tired!

Once she caught up on her sleep we have been on the go, non-stop!
We've gone swimming a few times

Visited the garden

Gone to the park

Taken Charlie to the park

Eaten more popsicles that we can count (they are sugar free which is a good thing because we are on a second box)

Climbed the stairs dozens of time and sat on them innocently while reading her books

Practiced finger painting. Apparently she doesn't like it when they do it at day care but she had absolutely no problem with it here, until it was clean-up time and then she wasn't too happy.

Celebrated Grandpa's birthday

Went to a baby shower for a friend who is having her first grand-child in September

Played farm with Uncle Scotty

Plus lots of other things that I didn't get pictures of like going for walks around the block, riding the merry-go-round with Grandpa at the mall, going to a dairy farm and visiting the cows and eating ice cream there, playing with and chasing Charlie and Zoe all around the house (those dogs are saints) coloring, singing, and dancing.

It's been really hot here but during the two days of rain we did have I saw these little cuties crossing the street to get from the pond behind our house to the pond behind the houses across the street. So cute!

So it's been a week since the girls arrived and this morning Amber left for a few days of work in NYC but Quinn stayed behind with Mimi and Grandpa. We will take care of her until Wednesday night when Mommy comes back and then they will leave for Virginia the next morning. What a nice long visit!!

I'm sure I'm gonna need a few days of rest at the end of the week. Taking care of an 18 month old is exhausting! She is such a busy girl, running from one activity to the next and expecting us to keep up with her!

I should probably get to bed soon. I'm gonna need all the energy I can get for the next 3 days! Wish me luck!

Have a good week!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Horses & Four Wheelers

We left for Tennessee Friday morning, taking a route south that is less traveled. You only have to go through two larger cities, Indianapolis and Louisville. The drive through both wasn't bad at all and the rest of the trip was fairly uneventful. We arrived at my aunt and uncle's place around dinner time.

These beautiful creatures are in the pasture right across from their house. The horses don't belong to them but to a neighbor but they graze on my aunt and uncle's land. The pinto is a gelding and the other two mares. They were tolerant of petting but only because they thought you might have a treat. You couldn't get too close because we were separated by an electric fence!

Then we went for a ride on this four wheeler.

I was hesitant until H had a little practice. We rode down a country road where we saw a deer and a huge owl swooped over our heads and across the road.

Part of our trip was just like last summer when we visited but we enjoy these things when we go there. The hummingbirds are always special.

They hang 3 large feeders every day and by the end of the day they are empty. The birds fly in and out all day long.

We also love going to the lake.

It was a perfect day for it. We drove out to a little cove and enjoyed a swim. The water was the perfect temperature. For a Saturday afternoon/evening it was not very crowded on the lake which was great! We ate dinner out on the boat, relaxed a while and then headed back to shore.

The main purpose of the visit was to pick up a beautiful wooden swing that my uncle made for me. (No, this isn't the new swing, this is the 20+ year old one) We had to disassemble it to fit it in H's trunk but we made it home with no problem. We thought it would be a simple switch out since I have a swing that is 20+ years old which needed to be replaced but we thought the frame would be ok.

I guess upon further investigation H declared it was not ok and needed to be replaced. He worked all day yesterday on building a new one but it's taking longer than expected. Pictures soon.

Yesterday morning Scott and I headed out to the garden for some serious weeding. Shortly after H joined us and we all spent the next hour+ cleaning things up. I harvested this beautiful broccoli (two heads) and some zucchini.

H thought this crazy little carrot looked like a tooth.

So far I've gotten about 5 zucchini's with the promise of more as there are lots of flowers blooming.

Speaking of blooming, the clematis is in full bloom

and these beautiful lillies bloom every year even though I try to pull them out every year too. They just keep coming back.

This little guy showed up about a week ago.

I think he was probably the one responsible for the two dead moles we found on the front porch two weekends ago. I've caught him a couple times just sitting under the bird feeders which I don't really like. Thankfully I haven't found any dead birds out there yet. He's very unusual looking.

I decided to do a little research and I swear he looks just like this exotic cat I found when Googling.

According to the research this is a very unusual and rare breed of cat. So what the heck is he doing in our neighborhood? He has a very odd tail. It's like a half tail. Not bobbed but just half a tail.

He's really not afraid when I come out on the deck, he just slowly walks away.

It was a beautiful week last week. We were able to have the air conditioning off and the windows open all week long! That all changed yesterday and this coming week is going to be brutal. One day next week is supposed to be 99! I don't think it's ever been that hot here since we've lived here. No windows will be open next week and the air conditioning will be running full blast! Instead of working in the garden or the yard I will be working in the house, decluttering and other fun stuff like that.

At the end of the week we have a special treat to look forward to! More about that later...

Have a good week!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Well, Hello July!! :-)

Hello July, my favorite month! June went by so quickly and I was so busy. When I returned from Virginia I went straight into summer school for two weeks. It was only 4 days each week but it still didn't provide for much of a break. I wasn't teaching but was more like a floater, getting things for people as they needed and filling in when they needed a break. It included a field trip each week, one to a dairy farm and another to a nature center. It was pretty steamy still at school so that was another negative, for me anyway.

I also squeezed in a little baking (this batch of English muffins turned out much better than the last)

Bought myself a Mother's day/Birthday/Anniversary/Christmas present

It's an iPad 2 and I absolutely love it! It's so much fun. One of the most fun things I can do with it is called "facetime". It allows you to video chat with someone (Quinn) who also has one. It's been lots of fun.

I've also been out to the garden quite a bit. Things are coming along pretty well.

The radishes have gone to seed and I just pulled them out today. The potatoes and carrots are growing like crazy though!

Broccoli is doing well. I just harvested a head today. Except for one strange thing that happened last week. I went to the garden after a week away expecting to find a nice head of broccoli waiting for me and it had been broken off. No sign of animals and it was the only thing missing. I mentioned it to the master gardener out there but he didn't know what might have happened to it. Hmmmmm, strange...

Tomatoes are coming along, slowly. I've harvested one small one so far.

The onions are doing great this year. They haven't gone to seed yet and it looks like the bulbs will be bigger this year, hopefully.

H's gardenia tree is doing well. It's loaded with blossoms right now and every day 2 or 3 more flowers open up.

The hostas are HUGE and the hydrangeas are starting to bloom.

This little house wren has decided to set up housekeeping in my bird house. I woke up yesterday morning to their very distinct song and them flying in and out of the house. At least I think they've set up housekeeping. I can't say I've seen or heard them in there today. Guess I'll have to do some investigating.

And this morning I looked out the window and saw the Mother duck and her almost completely grown gaggle of babies out on the pond. I counted 7 plus Mom but couldn't get a very good picture of them all together. They were quite busy catching bugs on the long grass and diving under water to get whatever was under there too.

So, that's what we've been up to, in a nutshell. H took this last week off to get a few things done around the house. He repaired some wood trim that the woodpeckers have decided were hiding some tasty treats and stained the deck. I've planted a few more flowers around the house and tended to the ones that are finally starting to grow.

We enjoyed a beautiful 4th of July with our friends at their pool. I didn't take the camera that day but the company was good, the pool perfect and the food delish. We made ribs and some salads to go along with them. I'd never made ribs before but they turned out well so I think I'll try them again soon.

In other news, our little sweetheart had her first serious boo boo a couple weeks ago.

After a trip to the ER where both Mommy and Daddy were troopers and made it through though it was more traumatic for them than Quinn, and after the stitching was all done, and thanks to the work of a very gifted plastic surgeon, she is good as new.

I'm sure I've skipped a few things that have happened in the last 3 weeks but those are the highlights.

Since H has 4 more days of vacation left we are headed out in the morning for a little road trip. Scott will be holding down the fort and pup sitting.

Details soon...