Sunday, August 28, 2011

Winding Down Summer...

We had a wonderful week in Florida with family and friends. Coming back from that I find the letters from our Superintendent of schools and our Principal setting out the year's first week of school (for teachers and staff anyway) and realize summer is really almost over. :-(

Our flight was uneventful until the very last minute. The landing gear went down for just a few minutes and then they went right back up. The pilot announced we couldn't land because a nearby thunderstorm was causing windshear. We circled a few times and then the pilot announced we still couldn't land and now we were running out of fuel so we would have to fly to Orlando to refuel. Thirty minutes later we were in sunny Orlando, fueled up and waiting for the ok to return to Tampa. The time finally came and we headed back. Even though we were disappointed to arrive 2 hours late we couldn't really blame anyone except Mother Nature.

We had a very busy week and were blessed with fantastic weather. There were a few thunderstorms but we always expect those.

We went out to a nice dinner to celebrate Scott's college graduation and toast his future.

We ate popsicles and fudgesicles by the pool.

We took walks on the beach, every day. Some of us in the morning

Some of us in the evening, just in time to watch the sunset.

And there were some beautiful sunsets

We swam in the pool, a lot!

We visited with friends

Took a boat to Shell Island

Collected shells and played in the sand

We had a wonderful time and really enjoyed sharing Quinn's first beach experience.

Our last night Quinn said, "bye beach". I think she really enjoyed her first time with her toes in the sand.

Unfortunately, because of the threat of Hurricane Irene, it came to a quick end. Amber & Andy decided that instead of leaving at noon on Saturday they should take an earlier flight at 6:00 a.m. to try to get home before the storm hit. That made an early night for them since they had to get up at 3:30 to get to the airport by 6:00. They made it home without incident but did find a little damage once they got home due to the earthquake! Yes, earthquake! While we were in Florida Virginia experienced a 5.8 earthquake. I was glad they were all safe and sound in Florida.

It felt good to be home yesterday. It felt good to sleep in our own beds and even to come home to cooler temps. The pups were very happy to have us home again even though Scott came home on Tuesday and picked them up so they had been home for days. They were still happy to see us.

Today was spent trying to catch up with laundry, grocery shopping, taking the pups to the park and then heading out to the garden. I didn't take any pictures of the garden but it is a real mess. The weeds are intermingled with the veggies but I still managed to harvest a few things.

The tomatoes are still coming in

Look at this onion! It's huge!

I pulled these today but there are still a few more left in the garden.

There was more broccoli

And a few more green beans

I had the pups in the car with me since we were on our way back from the park so I couldn't stay too long but I think my potatoes are ready to harvest too and I have to start doing a little clean-up. I had a nice pumpkin growing but apparently in the last week the vine died and the little pumpkin shriveled up. So sad.

So, tomorrow is the big welcome back to school ceremony. I was only planning to work on Wednesday which is the official "meet the teacher" day but I guess I'm going to have to go tomorrow too.

Summer is definitely winding down and the first day of school is just around the corner.

Have a good week!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Another Week...

Another week of summer, another week closer to school starting. This was a pretty quiet week. The weather was so nice I was able to leave the air conditioning off and windows open all week. It was a pretty slow week.

Not much happening. I joined a couple different friends for lunch, attended a little get-together for our new Principal which wasn't very well attended but still fun. Apparently most people are trying to get those last minute trips in before school starts.

On Wednesday I had to take Zoe and Charlie to the vet to get their Bordatello vaccine (which really isn't a vaccine since it's a liquid given through the nose) so that they can go into boarding next Saturday. First, I've never taken them to the vet together. I don't recall if this began intentionally but I don't think so. Right now Zoe has to go for her check-up and shots in October and Charlie goes in December. The trip this week had to be together though. First I had to make sure no other dogs were in the waiting room. Check. Then we made our way to the reception area and on to the scales individually. To say they were excited is an understatement. While waiting Charlie let out a bark every few minutes just to remind them we were there. I think the receptionist finally got his hint and before long we were in our exam room. The exams went without a problem, both were curious about what was happening to the other which was funny. While there I did ask the vet about Charlie's anxiety medicine and why it wasn't working.

He switched him to a new kind and we got a chance to try it out last night. Poor dog! He was so drugged up we were kind of worried about him. It relaxed his eyes so much they were droopy and so bloodshot! But I have to say, he was calm. I think next time I will give him just a half instead of a whole pill. The nice thing about the pill is it lasts for 12 hours instead of just 4 like the last one. Next time we have storms all night long he should be much calmer.

I saw our little kitty this past week. She didn't leave us any presents and she didn't stay around too long. I let the pups out on the deck after hearing what sounded like a Robin in some kind of distress and Miss Kitty ran off. I guess she was doing something the Robin didn't like because as soon as she was gone the Robin calmed down and quit squawking!
When I saw this guy from the top deck I thought maybe he was a victim of our kitty friend but I guess he was just taking a nap. He stirred when I made a noise and later when I came back he was gone so I guess he was ok.

Yesterday H and I made a trip out to the garden. We harvested some tomatoes but that was about it. I noticed a couple potato plants have died back so I'll be able to harvest those soon and probably the rest of the onions. Most of the tomato plants aren't looking too good. I had a lot of grape tomatoes which was nice and just a few plum. I won't have the big tomato harvest I've had in past years. I also got an email that the honey that our garden bees have made is ready for purchase. I can pick that up at the Parks & Rec office tomorrow. Last year they sold out before I was able to get some so I'm really gonna try to get down there and get some this year.

I guess that's all the excitement for this week.

I hardly even took any pictures. Oh, I almost forgot, one exciting thing! This coming week is Scott's final week of college!! He has a final on Tuesday and THEN HE IS DONE!! WOOOOO HOOOOOOOOO!! We are definitely going to celebrate. This is a red letter day! All 3 Mitchell children have finally (or will next week) graduated from college!! H and I have decided to celebrate next week on our vacation. And then Scott's job search will begin. Thankfully he already has a part-time job that he's also starting next week but he'll still continue looking for a REAL job!

We are counting down to our vacation at our time share in Florida.

I'm hoping we have much nicer weather than last year. I'm also so looking forward to spending time with Quinn and her Mama and Dada. They are coming down for the week too. We will also see some extended family members this week too and we can't wait to see them. This time next week we'll be sitting next to the pool with Margaritas!

Have a good week!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Birthdays and Garden Report

I'm not sure where the week has gone but it flew by quickly. It took a little while to catch my breath after Amber and Quinn left on Thursday. Taking care of Quinn while her mama was in New York went just fine but I have to admit anytime she took a nap or when she went to bed I used that time to catch my breath and rest up. That girl is a whirling dervish!

I know she looks like an angel here. She takes her piano playing seriously. She doesn't bang and she listens to what she's playing! And, just so you know, I didn't put her up here so she could play the piano. She climbed up all by herself and just started playing. She's very independent like that! I think she'll be asking her Daddy for her own piano real soon!

So even though she has tons of energy and never stops moving (unless Elmo is on) she is also a joy and so much fun to be with. Can't wait until we see her again in just a couple weeks!

I haven't seen our resident kitty in the last couple weeks but we do have proof of her visits. We found another dead mole in the side yard and then this week there was another one on the welcome mat on the front porch! In fact, I almost stepped on it when I went out there to water some flowers. So, for those keeping track, that's 4 moles caught and killed now! She's doing a fabulous job! Those things tear up the yard like crazy and have been in our front yard for years. Keep up the good work kitty!!

Today I made a trip out to the garden. It had been a week again and things have really grown up. Sadly one of my tomato bushes was loaded with tomatoes but they had all split and I had to throw them all away, I was able to harvest a bunch of other goodies though, including these grape tomatoes and lots of carrots.

I also decided to pull some onions though I'm not really sure I should have yet.

They are big enough and they look great but after I picked them and came home I googled onion harvesting and they said you should wait until the tops die back and then pull them. I guess I'll try both ways and see how they do. They are beautiful though and huge compared to last year's crop. I guess that bulb food really helped.

Sadly I did notice that the community part of the garden isn't looking too good, at least part of it. It's full of weeds and you couldn't even see the tomato plants for the weeds. I guess people aren't able to get out there to help out much this year. I know I haven't been out there to put in any community time yet either. Hopefully this week I can go out and help harvest for the farmer's market on Saturday.

Somebody had a birthday yesterday.

The birthday boy turned 4 yesterday but we didn't have much of a celebration for him.

The day passed fairly quietly for him though Scott did take him to the park for a quick run which made him extremely happy.

Look what I finally got today!

Actually we went to Tennessee a month ago to pick up the swing and the plan was to just put it on my old frame. But once H looked at the old frame and tried to patch it up, he decided that it just wasn't good enough and went about finding the material to make me a completely new frame too. It's taken a while, him being a perfectionist and all, but today he finally put it together and the swing is now operational and in place for my swinging enjoyment!!

I've still got a couple closets to clean out before school starts again. Hopefully I can get on that this week plus fit in a few other things. And swing on my new swing, maybe get back out to the garden (and remember my camera) and enjoy the outdoors. The weatherman is predicting cooler temps this week so I'm hoping to open up the windows and give the air conditioner a rest.

Have a good week!