Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours!!!

Although we are not having everyone over here for Thanksgiving I
still set up our table centerpiece as if we were... here are some

The wood bowl is from an antique store I visited a few weeks ago. I
was thrilled to find it. I'm sure it is from Pottery Barn or something
like that but I really wanted one and was super happy to find it and
I couldn't wait to fill it up with harvest stuff...
A close up of the left end...

Here is the right end...

Turkey Lurkey keeps moving around the house, trying to 'blend in' ...

I hope you have a wonderful day reconnecting with family and friends!

See you soon!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gratitude Day 7

Day 7 (Friday)
1) Rain
2) Rain barrels to harvest the rain water for the veggies & friut trees.
3) chili starter
4) Mom being able to visit for a couple of weeks
5) Dad for letting Mom be here to visit without him
6) The rest of the family for promising to check on Dad on a regular basis
7) An email from a very good friend
8) online classes to stretch my creative ability
9) 9 years of being the mother of a pair of awesome kids
10) 10 amazing years with the love of my life
11) weather radar online so my Farmer Hubby can keep up with what is going to happen with the weather every day
12) the ability to pick up and go at the drop of a hat
13) letting more and more of the past go
14) better sleep
15) parent’s night out at the local gymnastics gym for the kids tonight so the kids have a great time with friends and coaches while we celebrate our anniversary with a fancy dinner date
16) great timing
17) the ability to learn something new everyday
18) non-squeaky dog toys for keeping the pups busy on a rainy day
19) big windows to watch the rain from
20) crafty friends who share ideas

Well, that was fun! I thought I would really have to stretch to find
140 different things I was grateful for but it wasn't very difficult
to do after all.

More stuff coming (including a new look for my blog)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gratitude Day 6

Day 6 (Thursday)

1) A husband who I adore
2) Mo & Lasses - the Slow Poke Twins (even though it sometimes takes 20 minutes to get from the kitchen to the car)
3) patience (see above)
4) my terrific chiropractor
5) guard puppies
6) snuggle kitty curling up with me while I’m asleep on the sofa
7) a vacuum that works - finally!!
8) the ability to stay home and take care of the kids, pets & house
9) more ‘good’ days than ‘bad’ days physically
10) patience from others when I go a bit silly
11) generous inlaws
12) community wide curb-side recycling so I don’t have to drive to a recycling center to drop off all our saved up stuff like I did in a previous town.
13) living only a mile from the kids school so they can bike or walk if they get up early enough.
14) alarm clocks
15) kids who wake up to an alarm clock with a SMILE! (I swear sometimes we think they must be aliens!)
16) double double mega chocolate cookies with extra chocolate and a bit of chocolate on the top - my Husband’s own super chocolate cookie recipe that is just absolutely incredible! (that is his name for the recipe!)
17) a working stove/oven
18) freezer space
19) enough art supplies in my stash to start a store -or help a kid create a masterpiece for a local competition without having to make a trip into town for supplies
20) tennis lessons with a great group of ladies and a very patient coach

More later!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gratitude Day 5

Day 5 ( Wednesday)

1) low temperatures in the 40's make it really feel like Fall
2) Wonder & Spike - the goldfish twins
3) playing fetch with Wiley & a paper towel roll
4) new books to read
5) kids who love to share new books
6) a clean reliable car
7) the super nice guys who pick up the trash and leave the cans
on the sidewalk instead of out in the street
8) email pals
9) the ability to learn a new trick
10) validation from an unexpected source
11) only 2 more days until the weekend
12) my crock pot
13) a sit down dinner with the family every night
14) A tolerant/loving husband who puts up with me and all of my crazy ideas
15) friends to stitch with
16) Starbucks -so glad the one in our town didn't close
17) a second pair of super yellow glasses- so I can drive at night even though almost every car out there has those stupid blue headlights that cause me massive debilitating migraine episodes if I look at them without the intense yellow filter and I don't have to worry about losing my only pair.
18) Sam from Eyemart Express who was able to fabricate a second pair of yellow glasses even though it took hours of dipping and redipping them in yellow & pink tints! Such a great guy!
19) cool sleeping weather after a really long day
20) awesome dreams

More tomorrow!

Gratitude Day 4

Day 4 (Tuesday)
1) A finished ‘work in progress’ landscape solution diagram
2) computer problems that Hubby can fix for others
3) digital camera
4) Brownie scouts in charge of the Flag Ceremony
5) Volunteers
6) our babysitter
7) short board meetings
8) great books
9) a full evening of pass-the-pig with the kids
10) hearty soup & fresh homemade bread
11) sheets fresh from the dryer -love that smell!
12) a clean kitchen
13) COFFEE (after an incredibly late night)
14) money to pay the bills
15) friendly strangers in line at the grocery store
16) Good Morning hugs/kisses
17) 1 week until the kids are home for Thanksgiving
18) inspiration to work on some canvases
19) clean/fresh smelling dogs
20) a purring cat in my lap during the late news

More later,

Gratitude Day 3

I wrote this out but it didn't get posted for some reason so here it is...

Day 3 (Monday)
1) a wonderful Husband who is up todate on the latest technology
2) a family that loves to play tennis
3) a place to play tennis close by
4) rain(even if it postpones tennis! : ))
5) cooler temperatures
6) a constant breeze
7) good friends
8) the lemon tree w/only 2 lemons
9) eggs benedict for dinner
10) hot showers
11) clean clothes
12) sweet smelling clean kids
13) the farm
14) Hubby home for lunch every day
15) My EarthKind Classmates & Teachers
16) the patience of the family as I continue to run ideas past them
17) flexible curve rulers
18) erasers
19) the information available on the Ag. Extension office sites
20) leftovers

More to come!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gratitude Day 2

Day 2
(in no particular order)

1) air condition zones so the bedroom is cooler than the rest of the house
2) good books
3) kids who love to read good books
4) legos -specifically Star Wars Legos because they make my son so happy
5) computers
6) working “UPS”s (uninterrupted power source) for the computers
7) washer and dryer inside the house
8) google search -so I can find just about anything I need or want in just seconds
9) internet shopping - so I can purchase the item from #8 if necessary
10) talking to Mom just about every day on the phone
11) good friends moving into the neighborhood this week
12) a very reliable baby sitter
13) the opportunity to take classes in different subjects nearby
14) peaceful family together day at home
15) the huge laughs that the misspelling of my last name generated
when I read it out loud during breakfast! (Thanks Jilliene!)
16) the Bill of Rights
17) the right to disagree with the government without fear of retaliation
18) the slow cooker
19) inspiration every where I look
20) the time and ability to act on that inspiration

Check out other lists by other bloggers beginning here.
See you later!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Attitude of Gratitude Day 1

Several of my online friends are participating in this year's list of gratitude.
The basic idea is this - create a list of 20 things you are grateful for every day
for 7 days. I know I have said many times how grateful I am for this or that but
I have never actually tried to make a list. So, this is a first for me and I am
looking forward to it. So, here is Day 1...

Attitude of Gratitude
Day 1

1) my incredibly smart and loving husband

2) my 2 bright bubbly kids

3) 2 playful pups

4) a soft sweet kitty cat

5) our dry (and almost clean) house

6) my soft comfy bed

7) friends from the internet who inspire and challenge me

8) my iMac and large format printer

9) a beautiful sunny Saturday

10) a nice visit with family

11) kids able to spend the day with Daddy & Grandpa
water-skiing in NOVEMBER!

12) quiet time

13) loud giggling

14) card games with the family

15) a safe place to create

16) seeing the trees from my kitchen window

17) green grass

18) the trampoline

19) happy fish

20) feeling healthier after a week of illness.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Double the Trouble...

Double the Fun!

I was flipping through my iPhoto files and found this great picture
of Wiley and Whimsy -actually getting along- and thought I would
share it! I took it on the front walk in September. That was just
before the new law saying dogs had to be restrained by a leash or
fenced in the back yard. No more playing in the front yard with the
kids for these two. Oh well, at least that is 2 family members I don't
have to worry about running into the street.

I will have some more pictures of layouts I've been putting together
in the next few days or so. I have been fighting this horrible cold since
Thursday night (I started feeling yucky at our STMUG* meeting)
and it just got worse from there. At least I can sit up and almost
function today. Hopefully the healing trend will continue and I'll be
much better by Tomorrow. Fortunately, the rest of the family has
already had this cold and seems to be immune to it. I hope that's
the case, anyway.

Enjoy the pic & See you soon!

*South Texas Macintosh User Group

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Do you have a way to store Rain?

This mish mash of buckets and bins were, until today, my rain catchers and
since we haven't had much rain in the past couple of years (aka extreme
drought) I never really thought much about catching and storing rainwater
to use on the plants.

Say 'Hello' to my new Rain Barrels! Yep - I got 2 of these lovely blue barrels!
A few weeks ago I started a class with our County Master Gardeners and
County Agriculture Extension office and have been learning how to
redesign our yard to take advantage of EarthKind Landscape principals
(formerly, at least partially, xeriscape -no cactus, though.). One of the
main ideas is that harvesting rain water is the best way to provide water
for the plants in your yard and rain barrels are perfect for that.

Well, I had heard of rain barrels, certainly, but it never occurred to me
to use them in Sunny South Texas - I mean, it almost never rains. Well,
it did last week and it rained so much I filled all my 'rain buckets' and
a full sized trash can lined with a 55 gallon plastic trash bag twice- it
collapsed from the full weight of the water and then I set it up, leaned it
against a post and it refilled almost to the top! I have been using the
water I collected to water my potted plants, citrus trees and tomato plants.

So, after having lost a whole trash can full of water I decided that
was not the way to go and started researching rain barrels. The
Master Gardener presenters in my class showed pictures of their
lovely set-ups and they shared the benefits and how-tos and as a
result I started to pay more attention to the drainage in our yard
in order to find the perfect place for my rain barrels.The barrels
I found online at Home Depot and Lowes were only available
online in our area and they were much more expensive than I
wanted to invest. So, my incredibly smart Husband suggested I
check on for them.

I was amazed to find someone listing them almost immediately.
He was a few towns over but not too far away and his price was
perfect (less than half of the fancy online barrels that I would
have to pay extra for shipping on) and he seemed very pleasant
on the phone.

That was Thursday of last week. I asked him for 2 barrels and
he said "I'll have them made for you by Tuesday morning." Well,
it is Tuesday morning and I am very pleased to show my 2 new
rain barrels!

They have faucets at the bottom that are threaded for a hose coupling and
the tops have a plastic flower pot with mesh and rocks to act as a filter. I
can make a flexible downspout to connect right into the flower pot on top
and the water will be filtered before draining into my lovely blue barrels.
The dark color will keep algae from forming inside and they are pretty
lightweight until filled with water. These barrels held soy sauce so they
are food grade plastics.

Cool, huh? Now, I just have to get the rain gutters around our patio up so I
can take full advantage of the next rain and have less of a flooding
problem in our back yard. Oh, if the blue color is not to your liking, just
plant a couple of plants around the barrel site to cover up the color or use
a plastic spray paint (like Krylon's Fusion for Plastic) to spray it a color
you prefer.

Of course, just because I am putting in rain barrels to cut down on our
need for heavily chlorinated City water for our landscaping and to cut
back our expenses by using 'Free' Rain Water does not in any way mean
or indicate that I believe there is such a thing as Global Warming nor
do I want to be involved in any sort of discussion about it.
Because I don't. Seriously. Period.


On a lighter note, since you made it through such a super long post and
just in case you didn't get enough Halloween cuteness from my last 3 posts...
I give you...

Frightening aren't they? LOL! Yep, they would probably lick you to death
or run your arms off playing 'throw the squeeky toy'!
Whimsy (l) is 7.5 yrs old and Wiley (r)is only 7 months old but his feet
are so tiny that we are pretty sure he won't be getting much bigger.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Night!!!

Daddy & the Twins went Trick-or-Treating while I
finished up decorating the porch and handing out
candy to the 'lil Ghouls who rang our doorbell.
Punkin's Jane o'lantern was a white pumpkin with huge seeds and it's
insides smelled like cinnamon! Weird! That is a tiny squash sitting on
top like a hat.
The stacked pumpkins sat on the edge of the porch on each side of
the walkway.

Buddy's Jack o'lantern was a traditional orange pumpkin.
This was the stack of pumpkins on the right side of the walkway.
Last year we had kids come up to the glass door and try to
get into see the rest of the room and all of Daddy's electronics.
Then they went back to their groups saying "They have this and
they have that!" and that really bothered me. Especially since
so many of the kids that visit us on Halloween are not from our
area. So, in order to keep everything fun and to avoid that
sort of unwanted attention I added a couple of things to our
door decor that made it much more enjoyable for all of us.
An upclose shot of the indoor decorations...
Our house was very well lit!
That black stringy stuff on the right is our huge sparkly spider web and
Stanley the Ginormous Spider is sitting on the bush right behind the Boo
sign. I was disappointed he didn't show up in my late night (9pm) photos.
Oh well, he sits there every year so I'm sure we have a photo of him somewhere.

Notice the tired Trick-or-Treaters? They stayed up to help hand out candy
for another 45 min or so and then disappeared upstairs and into bed. If you
know Buddy, you know that is highly unusual. He is usually up until after
midnight playing legos or star wars or something quietly in his room. Not
after all of their Halloween fun! They were absolutely worn out.

Another close-up of my candy set up. The candles are glittery and are
battery powered. I LOVE them and will be keeping them out for the
Fall too. I love the look of tapers without the mess. (Yep, I'm lazy and
I know it- totally hate to clean up melted wax or burned down

Our neighborhood is usually very decorated and the houses
are well lit but this year there were only 4 lit houses on our
street and we were the only ones who decorated. It was busy
but only because the kids were moving through the neighborhood
pretty quickly. We had kids at the door starting at 6:15 pretty steadily
until 9pm. We took all our decorations in at 9:15 and turned out our
lights. I think it was a 'light' year even though it was busy.

As much as I love Halloween, I was very glad it was over.
So much fun in a short amount of time!
See you tomorrow!

Halloween Fall Festival at the Elementary School

Our Elementary school hosted their annual Fall Festival
today, held old fashioned games, cake walks, dance offs,
hoola-hoop contests and the first grade wing was turned
into a Haunted House. It was an amazing day with a high
in the mid 70's and a light breeze. Just a perfect Fall day!

The Tennis Shop from the local Country Club set up
the QuickStart Tennis for kids 'booth' and it was very

Punkin heard Buddy had won a real Goldfish so she had to try her hand
at that game too...

They BOTH brought home gold fish! Just what we needed to add to
our current zoo...
Punkin tied 2 other girls in the Hoola-hoop contest. After hearing a couple
of the girls talk about hoola-hooping for a couple of hours the judges just
called it a tie (it had already been about 20 minutes!)

This Halloween Lady Bug landed on my orange shirt and then spent
the next 10 minutes walking up and down my hand...

All 4 of us in a lull between Color Wheel games...
This is the Color Wheel game that was very popular (you got two prizes
from the Cauldron of Fun if you won and only one if you didn't) for 2
tickets. (Tickets were 25 cents each.)

Since the beginning of the month, the classes have been collecting items
to go into the Themed Raffle Baskets and the kids were all given raffle
tickets to sell for $2 each. The PTO made up gorgeous baskets for the
raffle - P & B were disappointed they didn't win the Legos or Webkinz

There was also a silent auction going on and it ended the same time the
raffle basket winners were called out. It turned out to be a big money
maker for the school again this year. Hopefully, that means there won't be
a need for anymore fundraising again until next year.
By the time we got home, finished getting decorated, got some dinner
and the kids freshened up their costumes it was getting dark and they
were ready to head out Trick-or-Treating with Daddy. I manned the
door and photos of that are in my next post!
See you in a few minutes!

Happy Halloween - Pumpkin Patch Photos!

Here are the photos I took of the twins at a local
Pumpkin Patch Friday after school...

Buddy decided to go as Commander Cody of Star Wars Clone Wars
fame and Punkin wanted to be Wonder Woman. This is my favorite
picture of the afternoon.

The Lady running the Pumpkin Patch was very gracious to allow us
to have our photo shoot there and, of course, we bought 8 pumpkins
to take home with us. So I think she felt like it was worth the few minutes
of us tromping around in the empty patch.

What's the point of having a magic lasso if you don't actually use
it to lasso anything? We just had to try it out! : )

Punkin was looking on as Buddy posed as a very serious Commander

I think she was having fun!

Being a Clone Trooper is very serious work.

By the end of our little photo shoot the pumpkin patch was full
of people and several of the younger boys were following Buddy
around and asking about his uniform and a couple of girls were
following Punkin around with questions about hers. It was just
too cute! I had a hard time getting these guys in the car to leave
because they were caught up in the fun.

We had a fun afternoon!