Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Heat, The Hurt and Other Happenings...

This has got to be one of the hottest summers ever here in Michigan. I can't say I've heard the official news but every night the news is talking about record temps for record number of days, etc. If you do venture out you are dripping with sweat within just a few minutes. Yesterday I went out to the garden because it had been a week and I was pretty sure some tomatoes would be ready to pick. There were a few and they are absolutely delicious! But the big surprise was that I had 3 cucumbers to harvest, hiding in a nice full vine!
And while there were a lot of grape tomatoes and some of the bigger tomatoes, the really big ones are still green. But the good news is that there a lot of them! And with this heat they should ripe up nicely!
The potatoes should be ready soon and the carrots are coming along. The Master Gardener gave me a few nice, big zucchini so I came right home and made zucchini casserole. That just says summer to me! We had it for dinner last night along with a caprisi salad made with grape tomatoes and my basil, delish! On Saturday we went to a wedding. The wedding was at 2:00 in a church but then we had a few hours between that and the reception which was held in a different location. We came home and I looked down at Charlie and noticed a big gash right above his eye! It scared the heck out of me! It was pretty fresh too and while it wasn't dripping blood it did have fresh blood on it.
It's hard to see from the picture. I wanted to take him to the vet right away because I was afraid it might need a stitch or something but, of course, they were closed. Since it wasn't bleeding I decided to just put some neosporin on it and wait and see how it looked on Monday. The next day I put some peroxide on it and more neosporin and have been doing that twice a day and it's looking like it's scabbing up now.
The hardest part was trying to keep him calm! We really don't know how it happened but Tyler thinks he might have hit it on the car door as he was jumping in. On top of that he had some type of reaction to his breakfast on Saturday (eggs and toast) and spent the next 24 hours throwing up. I put him on rice, beef and yogurt the next day and he's been doing better ever since. He's still not back on his regular diet yet but probably will be by tomorrow.
This week I made new covers out of napkins for my pillows that are on the chairs on the porch. This isn't a very good picture but they turned out ok. My sewing machine gave me some problems and I lost a needle somewhere (haven't found it yet) but I finally finished the job.
I also had to replace my hanging baskets this week. The heat and my 10 day vacation were just too much for them. I got a great deal on these and they are full and gorgeous!
I can't believe July is almost over. Summer is flying by. And while I do wish it wasn't quite so hot so I could get out and enjoy it more, I don't want it to end yet! I know, it's not over but once July is over it seems like it just flies by!
I do have a few things coming up to look forward to. Howard's birthday is this weekend, I have a Bunco Girls weekend coming up and we still have out trip to Florida in August. I'm also hoping to squeeze in another visit with my little sweetie before I have to go back to school in the Fall. Plus there is a lot more gardening to do! Maybe I'll even can some tomatoes again! Maybe...
Have a good week!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Big Blogging Break...

So, when I last blogged, which was quite some time ago, school was winding down. Here's a quick update of what's happened since then! We did attend Ryan's funeral and I cried through the whole thing. It was just so sad that such a sweet little boy and wonderful family suffered and then lost the battle. It was good to have that closure though before school was out. I just saw his Mom at the grocery store the other day and there really are no words. We talked about orchids since I had one in my cart, small talk. Just before school was out I celebrated, and I use that term loosely, another birthday. My good friends Loretta and Natalie took me on the Scamp Home Tour, always a good time. My guys took me out to dinner at Outback and then for my gift they gave me another couple hours in the Community Garden, spent planting corn, tomatoes and peppers! My 18 hours are now complete and I think I even have an extra hour in the bank!
Speaking of the garden, here it is a few weeks ago. My tomatoes have gotten much bigger now and I recently harvested my garlic!
After my birthday came Father's Day. That day was spent at home, spoiling "Dad". He enjoyed a nice breakfast and then installed his present, a new grill he had been wanting for the Mustang.
A grill is a grill is a grill to me but he liked it! A couple weeks later we decided to check out new cars. Howard's old car is getting up there in miles and Scott's car was on its last leg since he's had it since he started driving at 16. We decided this was a likely candidate. This is the car we test drove at the dealer's that day. It's a beautiful 2012 300M, Blackberry. We decided to lease it.
We first looked at this car on a Saturday and were hoping to take it on vacation the following Thursday but when we came to pick it up Wednesday night there was a slight problem; the air conditioning wasn't working. They couldn't seem to decide exactly what was wrong and of course, the service department had just closed so our sales guy told us to take his van on vacation and he would have the car ready when we got back. So while it was disappointing not to take the new car, it was better than taking it and having problems with the air, especially since it was so dog gone hot! The van turned out to be fine, we took it on vacation, and Howard picked up his new car the next Tuesday, when he got back in town. So next was our vacation. We were driving to Virginia for a visit with Quinn and Amber and Andy. It was me, H and Tyler. Scott had to work and didn't want to take the time off. We left early Thursday morning and took a little different route than usual and unfortunately it was a little longer. One of the highlights of our time there was visiting The White House again! Amber had a friend that works there and she got us in. That was great enough but we had an added bonus! Obama was getting ready to leave and go visit Florida for the day and we all got to see his helicopter (Chopper 1?) land and him walking out from the White House and onto the helicopter. That was the coolest thing. How many people have the opportunity to see that?? The down side was that is was sweltering hot and we had to wait about 45 minutes but we toughed it out. Even little Quinn was as patient as she could be. The helicopter landing was a little scary to her but she got over it pretty quickly. She talked about the helicopter and Obama for days afterwards and kept wanting to see this picture on my phone, saying "Obama went on the helicopter". So cute!
Tyler with Quinn and H-man, on our way to The White House.
The White House garden out by the south lawn.
Amber & Ty waiting for Obama to come out.
Amber & Quinn strolling after the White House Tour.
Proof that I was actually there! :-) The rest of the weekend we hung out at the pool, went out to eat, H & Tyler visited the Air and Space Museum, played Five Crowns and just enjoyed each other's company. The area they live in now is easily walkable to just about anything you would need, restaurants, shopping, you name it. H and Tyler left to drive back to Michigan on Monday morning but I stayed on another week to hang out with Quinn and hang out we did. We played, swam, walked, shopped, and generally had fun together.
Dinner at a local Mexican restaurant whose claim to fame is that George Bush ate there. I ate there anyway and the marguaritas were great!
Shopping at Barnes & Noble
Walking through the local park.
Snacking at the pool.
Another picture from the park. They had a little playground there. I really enjoyed my stay. Quinn only went to school one of those days and the rest of the week we spent together. It was very hot while I was there and one night we even had a really bad thunder storm. I kept thinking that we would lose power but somehow we lucked out and kept it. All over the area the power was out for days, including the little downtown area only a block away.
Since I've been back home I've been getting somethings done around the house but we have also had some problems to deal with. We also had a storm sweep through early one morning and it knocked a tree down in the wooded area next to our house. It hit the house, glanced off really, and was laying all over the yard. While H was trying to clean it up a couple days later his chain saw broke. As handy as he is he wasn't able to fix it and had to toss it. Also during that time, which was scorching hot here too, our air conditioning went out. After several service calls where we were lead to believe we needed a new furnace I proceeded to get some estimates to replace the unit. Finally when the last guy came for the estimate he recommended just replacing part of it which was thousands of dollars cheaper. We have been limping along waiting for the part to come in so H can fix it. He also had to replace a ceiling fan in the bedroom which was making a terrible humming sound. Let's just say, H has been very busy!
Tyler is still here. He went to Winnipeg for a couple weeks to visit his girlfriend, Melanie, and has been looking for a job since then. He is thinking about going to Florida with us in August so he will probably stay until then, at least. He has been applying for job but seems to think he needs to be in Hawaii for anyone to take him seriously.
Scott is still working and had some really great news!! The company he has been working for, through an agency, has asked him to go permanent. That means that in another 6 weeks, after the temp agency gets some more money, he will have his first permanent job!! Yippee!! Guess that's most of the news. It's been a really hot summer. We had a little break last week, still in the 80's but not as bad as the week before and this week is going to be really hot too. Here are somethings that were growing around the yard.
Day lillies. The fallen tree took out a few but this one survived.
Clematis. It was gorgeous but last week's heat took a toll and all the blooms have fallen off now.
My carpet roses bloomed like crazy this year. I cut them back last week so they can bloom one more time in another couple weeks.
"Our" kitty has been back. I think he belongs to my neighbor across the street. Yesterday I saw him run across the street, look up at her and then turn around and come back. She called and called to him but he just kept walking. He's independent, for sure. Today Tyler found a dead chipmunk under the deck and I found one a couple weeks ago. I think they have been his target. While I feel sorry for them cuz they are cuties, we do have plenty of them to spare. Sad but true.
Stumpy!! He was trying to cool off on a really hot day a couple weeks ago. That's about all the news for now. I have a few things out at the garden that are probably ready for harvest but it's so darn hot I have to get out there early. Tomorrow the tree trimmers are coming to remove some dead trees in the area next to us. I feel sorry for those guys. It's supposed to be 102 here tomorrow! Actual temperature, not with heat index! Unheard-of! Have a good week!