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toni
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Likely South and East of here

Category: Random bulletins from my brain | Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:52 pm

Those words are becoming the most common words said by the weathermen on my favorite TV station. They are, of course, referring to the chances of rain on any particular day.....of which there are always two....slim and none and Slim just rode out of town.

This is day 53 of no rain on my yard and it is only June 28th. We are heading into July and August which are normally the driest months of the year here. So what does that tell you?

I have tried to start thinking about what I need to do this fall.....divide the Iris and Glads, move the Lilies to a sunnier location, move the spreading Lantana plants to the front yard, build a wishing well from the bricks Lisa wants to get rid of, make a garden area using the wagon wheel replica and old cowboy boots, paint the shed and at least a dozen other things that will come to mind over the next few months. So sometime in November or December I will be back out in the yard working again....that is if the spiders have died off by then.



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Summer Solstice & Cherry Soup recipe

Category: Puttering Around The House | Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:18 pm

Saying today is the first day of summer is a joke really. This is mid-summer, but then that would put the beginning of Autumn around the first of August and everyone who lives in the southern U.S. knows that the first of August means we are only 2/3 of the way thru summer.
Summer begins around the first of May, the second 1/3 begins on Solstice, the last 1/3 begins around the first of August....some years we do have a fourth 1/3 that begins around Sept 21 (autumnal equinox)...of course last year the fifth 1/3 of summer for us began on Dec 21 (winter solstice) then we went into spring and quickly into summer again.

Anyway, getting back to the Cherry Soup. It really is a dessert and is really a great way to celebrate mid-summer.

2 1/2 pounds of pitted dark,sweet cherries (fresh if you can find and afford them, but I use bags of frozen)
4 cups of water
1/4 cup of either honey or maple syrup (adjust to taste)
juice of 1 lemon
Whipped cream or yogurt for topping. (we use chocolate redi-whip)

Put cherries, honey/maple syrup and water in saucepan , bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes
Cool to room temp.
Place all in blender with lemon juice and process until smooth adding more sweetner if needed. Chill thoroughly, serve in pretty bowls, top with a dollop of whipped cream or yogurt.



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'Nuther update on my daughter

Category: Random bulletins from my brain | Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 9:46 pm

The biopsy results are in and it is the basal cell type of skin cancer. That means it does not spread and when she has the removal procedure next week it will be gone.

Besides covering up as much as possible in the sun from now on, she will also be in for a head to toe checkup every 6 months from now on.

Thanks for the good thoughts, positive energy and prayers. I am sooooooo relieved now.

Toni

This blog entry has been viewed 403 times


Plants I have loved and lost

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:07 pm

This is day 43 of no rain. Houston is flooding and parts of Dallas got multi-inch rain Saturday night and my yard go a scant 1/8th inch. Some might say that some rain is better than no rain, but in the case of my yard that doesn't hold water...bad pun attempt. My garden beds are covered with mulch so anything under 1/2 inch just gets the top of the mulch wet and evaporates in the sun, the plants get nothing except the sprinkle might dust off thier leaves.

There are cracks in the ground and most are 6 to 8 inches deep.

So far I have lost:
Snapdragons, they were so big and bushy last year. I bought new ones before I realized that last years plants had reseeded...but they are all gone.
The eyeball plants I found last spring, they never really had much of a chance since the rain stopped about the time I put them in the ground.
The summer squash, got two small squash and then the plants started die-ing.
The zinnias, marigolds and daiseys have given up no matter how often I water them.
The Green Cotton Lavender is growing weaker.
The patchouli plants, all the leaves have dark edges and are curling up and they have barely doubled in size from the 6" pot they came in almost 4 months ago.
The hardy Hibiscus have stopped setting blooms, usually they bloom from June thru Sept.
The Dusty Miller are stunted, haven't grown since I planted them.
The HorseHerb is suffering, it will probably come back next spring...it did this last year in the drought too.
The cucumbers are just about history. The vines are only about 2 feet long, they put out a few blooms but the cucumbers are deformed and very bitter...they needed rain in May to finish producing in late May and early June before the heat of a normal summer killed them. That didn't happen.
The dwarf hollyhocks which normally do not bloom until about this time of the year and go thru July, Bloomed in May and are pretty much only good for birdfood now, the little sparrows love to hop from stem to stem picking out the seeds.


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FRED is now Certified

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 6:26 pm

I received my certification notice from the National Wildlife Federation today. FRED is now a Certified Wildlife Habitat. Yeah, I know...that and $4 will buy me a cup of Starbucks coffee...but I am excited.

When filling out the application I had to list all the creature feeders, habitat locations, trees, shrubs and flowers. And I sent copies of the pictures Randy took from the roof so they could see the whole thing. And they liked it.




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Update on my daughter

Category: Random bulletins from my brain | Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 1:57 pm

Lisa had the sample taken for biopsy yesterday. The doctor was very encouraging, she believes it is basel (spelling?) cell and not the spreading kind. We will find out for sure in about a week when the results come back.

She is as red head, her skin is not as pale as a lot of redheads but she is pale. She has never been able to tan no matter how many hours she spent laying in the sun when she was younger. In the days before sunscreen, everyone used suntan lotion that was supposed to help you tan but most often ended up in a bad burn.
Anyway, the doctor said she can expect more of these spots and some may very well be the bad kind.
Now she has to always wear sunscreen when she leaves the house and a wide brimmed hat when she is going to be out in the sun for any length of time. She hates hats but I think she will look really good in one.

Thanks for the good thoughts and prayers for her.

Toni

This blog entry has been viewed 500 times


Not much liking this week either

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 11:57 pm

You read about my weekend earlier and it really hasn't gotten any better this week.

Monday - the drain pipe under the bathroom sink decided it was old enough to rust away and start leaking. Don't how long it had been leaking, there was a plastic storage container under the pipe with cleaning supplies, but once it filled the container up to the handles on the sides and started spilling over...then we knew. Randy has been working on that last night and tonight hoping to repair it without having to take out part of the wall to reach the main pipe.

Tuesday - I found out that the rash on my oldest daughter's neck is suspected to be a type of skin cancer. Her doctor thinks it is the "good" kind but she has to have a biopsy to find out for sure.

Wednesday - Randy left this afternoon to run some errands before going to the dentist. He came home about 10 minutes later and informed me that the AC on my car had died....again. The parts are under warranty, which means he has to take the car to his Dad's (2 hours south of here) where they have the tools to remove the parts...take them to the place where he bought them. Then we have to wait anywhere from 2-6 weeks for them to rebuilt the parts. Then he will take them back down to his Dad's for putting them back in the car.

I am quickly running out of wine and will be sending him to the store for more tomorrow.

Whatever you belief system is, prayers, lighting candles, sending positive engery thru the universe, etc....please do it for my daughter.

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Thank the Gods this weekend is over

Category: Puttering Around The House | Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:54 am

This little house was not made to hold 6 people. I know my Grandmother had 6 kids plus her and my Granddad in a house with only one bathroom but it was a larger house than this one is.

My oldest daughter and her husband had their yearly marriage enrichment weekend to attend, that meant we had the grandsons (ages 10 and 6). It was also the weekend of the Anime Convention in downtown Dallas which meant that my youngest daughter had her best friend spending the weekend to go to that.

A-con started Friday morning, Randy took the girls to that then went to a convention of Ham Radio operators, giving me 2 hours of absolute alone time before the boys arrived.

Saturday morning I was awakened at 6 "bloody" a.m. with the news that the only toilet in the house was stopped up. Randy got that cleared out, took the girls to day 2 of A-con (they are both almost 19 and neither one drives yet) and proceeded to day 2 of HamCon. I on the other hand was home with two boys who love to come to Gramma's where they can play video games as much as they want and have desert after each meal....except breakfast, I do put a limit on that.
After A-con on Saturday Amanda's friend had to go home, so we were down to only five in the house. Sunday morning Amanda "plopped" down on the Futon couch/bed where the boys were sleeping and broke it. Randy got over the PO'ed mood and decide he could probably repair it. We took Amanda back to A-con then we took the boys to the Dallas Farmer's Market.
The boys went home around 1p.m., we got the Futon repaired and brought Amanda home.

We were able to put an end to the weekend's festivities around 8 p.m.
Goodness this wine tastes good and it is definitely bedtime.



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39 years ago today

Category: Random bulletins from my brain | Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:03 pm

It was 39 years ago today that I planted my first vegie garden. I had helped my Mom when I was 4 but this one was mine.
The reason I remember it so clearly is because I had been having a true case of "nesting syndrome" for more than a week.
My first baby was due at any time, at my Drs. visit the previous Monday I told him about the nesting thing....cleaning house like a madwoman, rearranging cabinets (would have literally taken them off the wall, I had that much energy, but couldn't find a hammer). My Mom had said that meant the baby would be born in 7-10 days, my Dr. said that was an old wives tale and to make an appointment for the next Monday....they didn't induce labor in those days, the baby decided when it would be born.
So that Thursday I took a shovel and some okra and blackeye pea seeds out into the back yard and started digging in the hard, dry west Texas dirt to make a garden bed about 10'long and 2' wide. Got the seeds planted and watered, took a nap and we had some friends over for dinner that night.

4 o'clock the next morning I went into labor and my first baby, my beautiful Lisa was born just under 6 hours later that morning. (and this is one of those years when her birthday is on the same day of the week on which she was born)

The vegies did grow, even tho I was a little distracted the rest of the summer with a new baby. We never did pick and eat any of the produce, it got hot and with a new baby I just forgot the plants were out there until we were getting ready to sell the house in Sept and found the dried up remains out there.


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Daddies Birds

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:57 pm

For many years my Dad's hobby was woodworking. He started small and progressed to making some gorgeous pieces of furniture....two sets of speaker cabinets (not the small black box kind either) and a octagonal pedestal game table approx 5' in diameter that matched one set of speaker cabinets. I have that set of cabinets in the livingroom and can still make the windows next door rattle when I turn the volume up on a favorite piece of music :)...another of his loves was building radios and record players (before the days of stereo) so these cabinets are not just for pretty :)

Anyway, the small things he started on were birds in assorted sizes and shapes. When he passed in 1995, I found the box of birds in their shed and brought them home. I knew I wanted them out where I could enjoy them but had no idea where, so they sat in the box in my workroom closet. When I started gardening the idea of painting them and mounting them to a fence panel started to form, but that just never worked out either. Then I spotted this stand on the curb two houses down waiting for trashday. It was just too good to passup so on the night of my birthday in April, I sent Randy and my son-in-law down there to get it for me. Randy is used to my odd ball collection of stuff but Kenny was just dumbfounded.
This is the piece that we figure was used by the neighbors to hold pool equipment of some sort.

The stars and birdhouses I bought and painted to use as fillers with the birds.


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