Friday, May 20, 2016

Trippin' Over My Own Feet

Yup, I'm kind of out of commission.  I did what my mother called Tripping Over My Own Feet.  But let me back up for a moment.

We had 1-1/2 weeks of crummy cold and rainy weather.  You know, the kind that grass and weeds thrive in.  So when Tuesday was sunny and warm, I trotted over to my daughter's house to dig out some plants that she wanted to give to me before she rips them out to put in a patio. Digging them out, prepping a new spot in my garden, and planting the new additions after a long winter's nap, so to speak, was pretty tiring.

Then my sis called.  Wanted me to go to the grocery store.  By this time it was 3:30.  Nope, not today, but I complied and trekked out to McDonald's for her.

Now, let me tell you that I suffer from Sciatic issues.  All that bending and digging aggravated it A Lot.  But still, I insisted that the geraniums on the front deck needed water.  On my way up the stairs, I tripped on the top stair which launched...yes launched my body forward.  Since I had water in my right hand, I broke my fall with my left.  The LAUNCH part bent my left hand backward.  I ended up spraining my wrist, thumb and pinkie finger. I'm feeling the sprain all the way up to my left shoulder.

I have been sleeping on and off for two days.  This fall zapped my energy!! I think all of it went to my left side to assist the healing process. I'm 64 and I'm thinking it takes me longer and longer to bounce back from this stuff.  I took the brace off today just to see how I'm doing.  The welling is down but still can't go without it. But I'll show the Universe...I will NOT be kept down.  I'm going out today to see what I can do with one good arm!!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Bird is the Word!!

May has been a really busy and somewhat stressful month so far. I think a "Stuff" post will be in order pretty soon.

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite bird visitors, though I can honestly say I love them all EXCEPT the Evil English Sparrows.

We have a Grosbeak family that has been coming to the feeders and to the pond.  Here is a male eating Cherry Suet, while a juvenile male is at the feeder next to the suet.  We have seen the female at the feeder as well.  The other day a juvenile female was bathing in a rain puddle next to the pond.  I wonder if they are a family.

 I am always so excited when the Orioles stop at the feeders.  Here a male is eating oranges that I place in a suet feeder.  We have seen the male and female come together.  Recently there have been juveniles visiting as well.  I saw a juvenile at a puddle by the pond.  It is usually pretty difficult for me to get pics of the Orioles.  They are usually fraidie cats and fly off with the least little noise. This family visits frequently and don't seem so afraid.  I like to think they are the same pair that have been coming every year and have become comfortable with us.  I don't put a syrup feeder out for them because they don't seem to use it, but they love the oranges. Later they will eat from the Hummer Feeders.

We are blessed with Blue Birds again this year.  I have two of these houses in our area, plus a few cedar houses.  The Blues seem to prefer these round boxes.  We had a pair lay eggs in the other house...then abandoned it leaving the eggs unattended.  After two weeks I emptied and cleaned the box. then I noticed a pair with two babies coming to the feeders.  They usually come to the feeders about a week after leaving the nest. Also they are hanging around the OTHER round house and now the mother is sitting on another brood.  Can't figure out what is going on because I never say the parents in that box before.  Anyway, the father is sitting on a branch of a dead tree we debranched but let stay to promote the woodpecker population that hunt for bugs there. His two babies are sitting on one of our poles I like to refer to as our totems.

We have the usual variety of birds visit the feeders.  We have Cat Birds nesting in the Honey Suckle next to the house.  Cowbirds, Titmouse, Nut Hatch, Chickadee and others I might have forgotten to mention here all visit.  I make an effort to attract the Wood Peckers that I love so much and put out bread for my beloved Crow.  Three visit all the time.  I don't know why I love them so much, but I do.  Of course we have visits from Hawk and I love them too. I haven't seen any Hummingbirds yet.

In 2014 we relined our pond. We planned to re-landscape it so that there would be a minimal amount upkeep which really means weeding. The first year was pretty much the relining effort and a new privacy fence on that side of the yard.  Since our back yard is about 250 feet long and Terry and I did it ourselves it was slow going.  Last year most of our summer consisted of cloudy was depressing and we didn't get that much work done in the back. We did enclose the back porch and believe me THAT was an accomplishment.  However, I feel really confident that this will be a great summer with perfect weather and we will get the replanting done.  I am off to a great start already.

Last year I added a little channel area to the pond.  I planted some grasses there.  Last week I got a picture (top left) of the fish using that area to spawn.  Before I took the picture there were about 4 times as many fish, but I scared them out of the picture.  The frogs have been singing their throats off and you can see they too are giving us billions and billions of babies (top right).  You can see them along the entire pond area.  I think the pond is about 20 x 30.  Our water lily are doing well.  We planted 7 more this year.  I can see them sprouting, but have not yet reached the top of the water.  See those ducks?  No, I'm not going to tell you we have ducks.  Well, I guess we do, but they are of the plastic variety.  Terry bought 3 at a garage sale and they have been floating with the flow of the water created by the filter system.  I must admit that I like them.

I never tire of bird watching.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

21 and Cutting the Apron Strings

Today is Corey's 21st Birthday.  This is a great pic of him with his mom.

Corey has lived with us most of his life, but has also lived with his mom at various times. It may be a weird situation, but it works.  Terry and I have been his parents for the most part.  His mom has been his friend.  The one he can tell things to that he would never talk to us about.  The one he could go to over the years for advice about things that grandparents would never understand.

I recently realized what "cutting the apron strings REALLY means".  It brought forth a lot of feelings I never had with his mom.  It's not a bad thing! There is a certain sense of responsibility that I no long feel.  I have no need to wake up at 4 AM to be sure he is up for work.  He does not want me to pack his lunch and guess what !?!  He can do that very well his self.  From going to the store to buy what he putting it in a bag each morning.  I still do his laundry if I think of it and want to, but I no longer feel like I SHOULD do it.  He works 12 hours a day so we don't expect him to do anything around the house, but he will if asked or if he notices he can help in some way.  A couple of months ago he was going to move into an apartment.  Maybe he just wanted to see if he would be approved, I'm not sure.  Anyway, he told us he would stay here for a while.  Maybe the prospect of paying off his car may have more appeal. He's 21 and learning the answers...with new questions popping up all the time.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sunday Morning Surprise

Last summer Terry and I enclosed our back porch will a row of windows and a storm door.  We often prop the storm door open so we don't have to actually go outside to let the dogs out.  Also Junior likes to lay on a rug on the porch.

Corey bought a 50" TV during the Walmart Black Friday sale.  He wanted to keep the box just in case there was a problem with it so I told him to put it on the back porch and we would dispose of it in the Spring.

Recently I have been seeing a wren on the porch.  I thought it had flown into the porch and couldn't find it's way out.  Frequently I heard a bird chirping when I let the dogs out.
Saturday morning I thought I heard a bird in the box, but really didn't pay much attention to it.

Then Sunday morning, I still heard what sounded like a bird flapping around in the box so I decided to investigate.  Looking inside, I way what appeared to be a bird nest nestled in one of the spaces in the Styrofoam filler. Though I didn't see a bird, I could hear that there was a bird in the box.  
As I began removing other paper/plastic filling that was in the box I found this little guy inside.  I picked  up the plastic he was sitting on to get a closer look.  He was fully feathered and able to fly.  I really didn't want to leave him in the porch.  I feared he would land on the floor where the dogs would be happy to play with him.

So with Terry's help, I took him into the fenced pond area where we tried to leave him in the nest, but he flew out.  The mother bird was near by watching what we were doing.  We suspected that there might have been other babies that had already flown out, but this guy had been caught below the box filling.

Even though we have peeked in a number of bird nests over the years, I have never seen a live baby bird this closely.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Temperature Afghan Still Going Strong!!

I'm still going strong on this project.  I must admit that it is using MORE than my stash, lol.  I suspect I'll be making some other projects with these colors next year!  Do you see those yellow rows?  That is the 70 degree color.  Two 70 degree days in March!!  Those days were nice, but really having 70 degree out of season weather makes it kind of hard to face several days of temps in the 30s that followed.  Here it is April, and like a lot of you we faced snowy days last weekend.  But I suspect that pretty soon I'll be adding more colors to this project. I like that this is a year long project.  The fact that you stitch a row according to what the temp of the day is, you can't just keep going.  I have found it the easiest to wait a week or so then catch up. For me that's easiest since the colors change so often.

Storms blew across the South last night with baseball size hail causing so much damage in the Dallas area.  I have learned not to complain about the weather too much.  It seems if it is calm and peaceful here, someone else is suffering Mother Nature's wrath.

I hope the weather has been kind to you.  If you are in the storm area there are so many praying for you.

Be safe, Be happy and have a great day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Boho Shawl In Progress and Other Stuff

Remember when I showed you a picture of a Bohemian Shawl that one of my blog friends was stitching?

After checking my yarn stash I found a few skeins and balls that fit the color scheme I wanted.  This is the start.  So far the top is about 18 inches across. I definitely didn't want a granny square look.  I started with a triangle of mesh stitching that I had to play with to get just the V angle I wanted.

I am dividing my stitching time between the Temperature Afghan, CQ blocks and this shawl.

I'm glad Easter is over.  Our family is pretty dysfunctional and holidays always lead to some kind of drama and this one was no different.  I slept almost all day Monday.  I thought maybe I was fighting off a bug, but now I am thinking that the holiday just zapped me.

Even though the weather is not cooperating very well, I try to go outside each day and do even just a little yard work. Today will be in the 60s and rain.  Then we will have yet another cool down with temps trying hard to reach the high 40s next week. It's a good thing I have stitching to keep me busy.

I continue to sort though closets looking for items to donate to my grandson's church rummage sale.  The more you go through things, the more things you realize you can live without. We have accumulated way too much stuff.

I am longing to look outside and see flowers blooming.  I am planning to fill my front deck with geraniums again.  I love to look at them and also their scent.  I AM going to cut back on our gardens.  Smaller areas and more bushes and mulch.  I will be 65 and Terry is 69.  His health keeps him from working outside much so I need to make out land more manageable. It's funny how much I resisted this change for the past couple of years and now I am embracing it.

Boscoe is going to the Vet on Friday.  Last year he weighed 106.  Sheila (our Vet) said she wanted us to try to keep his weight at about 100.  I am scared what the scale will say this year as he looks way more heavy to me.  In the summer we play the Run Boscoe Run game.  That's where I encourage him to run around the back yard several times until he gets tired..  Also, Boscoe and Tyson play hard in the summer.  Maybe I should switch his Vet visits to the Fall before he gains his winter weight!

Tell me what you are up to.  What are you looking forward to?  Are planning a vacation this year?  I would love to.  But Terry's health and living with 3 LARGE dogs pretty much limits us to day trips.

Have a good one!!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Happy Easter

No body says it better than Snoopy!!

I hate it when Easter comes early.  Where I live the temperatures are pretty warm right the low 50s but with rain.  Not really the kind of weather to show off pretty new Easter outfits.  Or hide eggs in the back yard!! 

I like Easter Dinner to be very simple.  The menu is not new with dishes my family looks forward to.  Ham, of course with lots of pineapple rings baked on top.  Polish Noodles.  Shredded hash brown casserole.  Green bean casserole.  Something Jello.  Bread Pudding.

I think we will go to the Farmers Market in South Bend tomorrow.  The Polish Bakery that made my wedding cake has a booth there.  On Saturdays they bring just about every Polish pastry known to the Polish.  It's hard not to buy one or a dozen of EVERYTHING!

How will you spend Easter?  What Easter family tradition do you look forward to?  What will your menu be?

Be Happy.  Be Safe.