Monday, February 25, 2013

Blogging Break

Due to life, I am going to take a blogging break. I am planning to continue to do the Friday's A Week in Pictures posts; but, all other posts will be put on hold. I will return to regular blogging as soon as I can. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Week in Pictures (#22)

Wildflowers from the Phlox family with a Pipevine Swallowtail 2/15/13

I was out with my cats when I saw Swallowtails stopping at these flowers in our yard. There seems to be more of these flying flowers now. I assume this means Spring (Summer) is coming. Hurray!

Junk Shop Finds 2/17/2013

{To see a larger image, go here

I had a hankering to go exploring for antique and junk shops nearby. We did not find many; but, there is a nice decent one in Seguin, Texas.. I do not remember the name of the store and I am not sure if we could find the place again. Ha!.

Anyway, we found these items for cheap. I absolutely loved the cat pictures frames. Mostly, I loved the mats with the paw print cutouts. I figured I could leave the existing pictures or replace them with pictures of our own pets. These were $4.50 each which I thought was a decent price. Dan found the book which was $8.00. It is copyrighted 1958 and the comics (drawings) are definitely old – they do not look like the modern Snoopy and Charlie Brown you see today. The china saucer is a little darker than the picture indicates and was $2. All of the items are all positioned on a mirror that Dan spotted and it was $6.00. It is the size of a full-length mirror; but, extremely thick quality glass. I thought it was a bargain considering Wal-Mart cheap full-length mirrors were crap and cost a little more. Dan will be making a frame for the mirror. I have a specific spot in mind for this item.

Overall, I’m real pleased with my haul even though I only found one item I am specifically looking for which was the mirror.

Gracie 2/19/2013

Chessie Begging 2/20/2013

{To see a larger image, go here

We give Chessie wet cat food twice a week due to her digestive issues. Dan is the one that usually gives the cats their food in the mornings. Well, he has gotten her to “beg” before he sets the dish down on the floor. Usually, she just sits up and begs like you see dogs do. But, on this morning, I messed up with taking a picture; so, we had to get her to redo the trick. As you can see here, she got impatient, Ha! Anyway, I love this pictures because her coloring shines through.

Chessie 2/21/2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wordy Wednesday (Contentment)

02/19/2013

Gracie has really flourished here at the new house. At the old house, I could not let her explore freely due to many dangers. But here, she can really explore. She loves the yard – both front and back. At first, she was very insecure and lacked self-confidence; but lately, she has really blossomed to the point where I will soon have to put a leash on her. I am just not sure how I am going to do this. I want my cats to be free to explore as much as they can; but, Gracie has two speeds: fast and stop.

Yesterday, she took off running from the front yard and headed towards the back. I quickly went after her and when I rounded the corner and there was no sight of her. I panicked. I quickly headed to the back of the house. She ran all the way to the back door and was ready to go inside. She simply had a brain fart and forgot about the front door.

FYI: I think she will always have this issue due to sustaining brain trauma from being hit with a car (which ultimately resulted in losing her front leg). This event happened before we adopted her.

I think we all love this place. At the old place (rental), I just could not breathe. There was not any elbow room between neighbors. Because the houses were crammed together, I wanted privacy and there was none to be had. I wanted a bit of land and most of them (houses) hardly had any land to call one’s own. I felt stifled. And, things had to be done just so (e.g. grass cut) due to HOA regulations.

At this new place, we love the freedom of being ourselves. We have neighbors; but, we have breathing room. If we cannot get around to cutting the grass this week, we will get to it later without concerns of being cited. I do not have to worry about the state of the lawn in the midst of a drought.

I admit it bugged me that people went through the effort of having a perfect manicured lawn while water restrictions were in effect. We had neighbors at the old place that would sit in a chair and water their lawn via hose sprayer to get around the water restrictions in effect – a waste of water, money and time in my humble opinion.

Another reason I love this place is because we can have livestock. The more I am here, the more I want chickens and a goat. I love going outside and seeing cows, a donkey and horses. When I walk down the road to pick up the mail, I often see goats. Once in a blue moon, I will see chickens too.

By the way, the chickens I am seeing are HUGE. The more I see them, the more I suspect they are Plymouth Rocks. More specifically, the Partridge Plymouth Rock. This particular flock seems to just venture out in the early mornings and spend the rest of their time in the coop.

We currently have lots to do around here and keep us busy. I want to start building gardening beds. I want to start building a chicken coop and maybe even a small livestock shelter to temporarily take in (foster) a goat or two. We are tearing down some fencing that surrounded the house. I discovered, by accident, the vast majority of the fence posts are not cemented in the ground; so, Dan has been pulling them up in groups of three or four. This is hard work considering they have been buried six or seven feet deep. The more posts disappear, the more contentment I gain. I do not feel boxed in now. I feel like we have so much land now. Ha!

We also have work to do inside the house which is a top priority at the moment. And, for some reason, we keep putting off the garage conversion. I think the fact we have heard too many horror stories about general contractors is causing us to be hesitant.

Overall, we are content. We love this place. It has been a good move.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Macro Monday {Pipevine Swallowtail}


{Participating in Macro Monday and I heart Macro.}


Pipevine Swallowtail
2/10/13

{To See a larger image, go here.}

Dan spotted these two while we were out exploring the backyard. It pleases my heart to see the butterflies making a return even though a false spring has occurred. The temperature went down to freezing on the 12th/13th of February. There was evidence of ice and frost when Dan left for work early in the morning. I just hope that it did not harm the growing wildflowers and existing beneficial critters.

{To see a larger image, go here.}

Links about the Pipevine Swallowtail:

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Week in Pictures (#21)

A Hole in the Ground 2/8/2013

I went outside and discovered a humongous fresh hole in the ground by the garage. I was curious to see if I could capture a critter inside. Imagine me freaking out upon opening up and zooming into this image. My imagination got away from me. You do not see it? Here, let me help you:

Eyes. It got eyes! Ha! 2/8/2013

Actually, I do not know why this jumped out at me. But, I believe the clumps of dirt are weeds and whatnot that fell into the hole as it was being made by a critter. We do not know yet what makes the holes and clumps of dirt all around the yard; but, I am determined to find out soon. There is a nursery out back that I plan on visiting and maybe the kind gentleman (owner) will tell me what is what. It is because of these (among other reasons) that I have not started on gardening. We are going to make beds and whatnot; but, I will not get started on any type of gardening until fall.

Wildflower from the Phlox family 2/10/2013

These are popping up everywhere on the land. I just hope the ice/frost that occurred several days later did not kill them off.

A Scrawny False Dandelion 2/12/2013

I love these and prefer them over the authentic Dandelions. In fact, I often will pull up the real Dandelions because they are insidious, tend to overwhelm the yard and kill off other plants.

Dotty Dotties 2/13/2013

I have been folding up tons of dotty fat quarters fabrics that I purchased from Fat Quarter Shop at 50% off quite some time ago. It just thrills me to have all these dots. I am wanting to make a quilt all with dots! It will be challenging and fun!

Partial Lazy-Boy Loveseat, Recliners/Rockers 2/14/2013

We purchased this last Saturday and Dan picked it up on this day. It had a middle console at the store; but, we opted to not get one as we want to cuddle up from time to time watching a movie or whatnot. It is not the prettiest thing; but, it is functional and we are both content. I am currently reclining with the laptop watching TV and blogging. Gracie wanted to get up with me; so, I got an old beach towel and put it down for her to lay on. She is happily sleeping beside me. It certainly is going to be a heck of a lot safer for us both because she used to sleep on the back of Daddy's recliner whenever I sat it in the chair. There has been times when I forgot she was there catapulting her onto my back and she would hook me with her dewclaw drawing blood.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wordy Wednesday {Changes}

Remember my long hair? Here is a picture I took back in November of 2012 for a mirror challenge (which I never finished):

As you can see, my hair is long. Well, last Saturday, I had it cut. Chopped. At least a third is gone if not half. Here is me today:

Much better, huh? And yes, I intentionally tried to reproduce the same pose and all; but, I did not succeed. Anyway, I could not decide on a hairstyle. So, I just got it cut off. I wanted it long enough to put in a ponytail because I do not like my hair falling on my face while crafting, sewing, cutting fabric or even doing minor yard work such as pulling weeds. I also decided I did not want bangs because my face is small and bangs would make it look even smaller. There is nothing wrong with wrinkles anyway! They are a fact of life just like my grey hair.

There is another minor change; but, nothing different for most of you family and friends. For those of you who do not know, I have had a pair of holes in each earlobe since the early ‘80s.

Well, last Christmas, I wore earrings (in the second upper hole) I had purchased from Wal-Mart that claimed to be gold. Never, never again will I purchase earrings from Wal-Mart. I will stick with Kohl’s (along with their coupons).

The posts (from Wal-Mart) turned out to be cheap metal. My ears could never tolerate cheap metals. I can wear hypoallergenic earrings for a short duration; but, gold is best for me because I can put the earrings in and forget about them. Anyway, my ears got infected from the Walmart earrings. I ended up having to leave earrings out altogether and they finally healed.

When I tried to put a pair of good earrings in after they healed, the posts would only go in about halfway. The holes had closed up and I was very sad. I thought that I would not bother getting them re-pierced – I am too old and stuff. However, I missed having the ability to pair up earrings in each lobe. So, after a bit of thought, I decided to get the re-pierced.

I went with nice simple white gold earrings. Let me tell you, getting your ears pierced the second time around hurts like the dickens! I am happy that I have two pairs of earrings in each lobe once again even though I cannot take the white gold ones out for two months.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Macro Monday {Meadowlark}

{Participating in Macro Monday and I heart Macro.}

Meadowlark 2/1/13

This particular picture (and a few others) was shot with my macro lens through a window when the birds foraged close to the house. Since I do not have a telephoto lens, I tried to use my macro as a telephoto lens. The pictures are not too bad; although, they are a bit grainy. But still, you get the idea how these birds can look very ordinary and yet are beautiful. The Meadowlarks blend in with the land so extremely well - you often do not know they are there unless you see them move. It is because of the birds (and other critters) that I am chomping at the bit to get myself a good quality telephoto lens.

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Week in Pictures (#20)

I feel like I am losing my touch. I have not been able to take decent pictures for several weeks now. I think it is due to the fact that it is winter time and I have not felt like taking pictures. Hopefully, my desire, and consequently, good pictures shall return soon. In the meantime, here are the pictures that I managed to take this past week.

Meadowlarks 2/1/2013

{To see a larger image, go here.}

I looked out back and discovered some Meadowlarks close to the house and decided to try getting some pictures through the kitchen window with my macro lens. The pictures are not all that great; but, because of these, I am really wanting a telephoto lens! I do have a better picture that I am saving for Macro Monday.

Monster Daring Jumping Spider 2/3/2013

{To see a larger image, go here.}

I was out removing screws from the cheap fencing right beside the driveway while Dan painted some casings for the doorways and windows. Let me tell you, that was hard work. Anyway, I managed to remove a section of the fencing while doing this chore and showed it off to Dan. We both agreed that it is so much better without the fencing. He proceeded to help me remove a tiny section right by the garage and this monster was inside that section of fencing. I mean, it was a MONSTER. I have never seen a daring spider that big. I would estimate that it was over an inch long. I felt bad because we basically destroyed her home in the process. But hey, the fence is going to be gone sooner or later. She better move along and find a new home. By the way, I am assuming it is a female because it was rather large and females are typically larger than males.

Closeup (Macro) of Yellow Wildflower 2/4/2013

Another silly wildflower showed up recently and I decided to try taking a picture or two in spite of the gloomy weather. I believe this may be a scrawny Golden Corydalis.

Blondies 2/5/2013

I meant to take a picture of the blondies I made for Super Bowl Sunday; but, I totally forgot. I decided to take a picture of what we had left today and then they rapidly disappeared. The recipe can be found here.

After the Rain 2/6//2013

It rained on this morning and both my cats loved being out on the back porch in spite of the rain and dampness. I spied this plant with water drops and decided to try taking a picture when the rain stopped. These kind of look like Bluebonnet plants (leaves); but, I do not think they are due to the number of leaves per stem. {I believe Bluebonnets have five whereas these have seven.}

Monday, February 4, 2013

Macro Monday {Aliens}


{Participating in Macro Monday and I heart Macro.}

I was looking through some old pictures and opened up this particular one that I snapped while out butterfly hunting with my macro lens:


11/16/2012
{To see a larger image, go here.}

What the heck? Zoom in a tad and….
Unknown; dragonflies? 11/16/2012
{To see a larger image, go here.}

And, then I remembered! I was out there when these two moved scaring me to death. I had no clue to what it was and no way was I going to get real close. I snapped a few pictures wanting to identify the critter and went on my merry way looking for more butterflies to shoot. It turned out that it was not one; but, two of them. And, they were obviously… um… never mind! Ha! I honestly think they are dragonflies of some kind.

By the way, I was outside yesterday taking out some screws in some fencing when a Swallowtail (butterfly) came around and landed near my feet. I did not have my camera with me and I confess that I was excited! The butterflies are returning! I will have to have my camera with me at all times now so that I do not have any missed opportunities.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Favorites of the Week

I thought I try something different for Saturdays seeing that I am not online as much these days. The Link Roundup posts will now be Favorites of the Week. I will give this a go and see how it goes. I may add or take things away from future posts. I know I want to add a “link of the week” later on. I just started this a couple days ago; so, I do not have a link this week. Let me know what you all think of this change.

  • Scripture of the week:

    If you love me, you will keep my commandments. ~John 15: 14
    I watched an episode of Joyce Meyer this week and she was speaking on “obedience”. She talked about how God’s love is always the same. We do not have to earn his love as he already loves fully and unconditionally. God knows our hearts. It is our flesh and willpower that often gets in the way of obeying God. He does not stop loving us if we fail. He loves us no matter what. Over time, it will get easier to do what He asks of us and obey His word. Well, that is major paraphrasing off of my memory in a nutshell! Ha!

  • TV Quotes of the week:
    The angels have the phone box.
    Fascinating race, the Weeping Angels. The only psychopaths in the universe to kill you nicely. No mess, no fuss, they just zap you into the past and let you live to death.
    Both of the above quotes come from Blink (Doctor Who). We now get BBC America and Doctor Who comes on in the mornings. I have been recording the show and watching them when I am feeling sick, down or needing a break. I am thrilled to be able to watch this show once again as I have not seen an episode since we left North Houston almost five years ago.

    Sure, I could buy the DVDs; but, I am too darn cheap. Actually, I am waiting for Amazon to come up with a Deal of the Day on the series; but, I highly doubt this will happen because it is a foreign TV series.

    Anyway, I watched this particular episode for the first time this past week and it is my favorite episode so far! I had to hit pause, rewind and play a few times due to the fact I could not keep up with the fast paced captioning (conversation). I saved the recording and watched it again that same night because I thought Dan would like it too. (And, I think he did). Seeing the episode the second time around was even better than the first!

  • Book Quote of the week:
    Dawn take you all, and be stone to you!
    I am currently re-reading The Hobbit by J. R.R. Tolkien and just finished Chapter II. This happens to be one of my favorite scenes from the book itself. (You have to read the book if you do not know what I am talking about. Ha!) I wonder if this scene is in the movie?

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Week in Pictures (#19)

Newest Bracelet 1/25/2013

I went into the city on this day with Dan and ran errands and even went shopping. I purchased this bracelet for $3.99 at Michaels and am very pleased. The picture does not do it justice. It can be for both formal and casual affairs.

Painting {Living Room} 1/26/2013

We started painting the living room and hallway and finished this project in two days. I never realized the original wall color had a yellowish tint until we painted. It is amazing what a little paint can do to lift your spirits.

Putting Up Casing (Living Room / Hallway} 1/27/2013

Dan started putting up casing between the living room and hallway. Both the kitchen and hallway entrances never had any casings or whatnot. I have always liked the look of casings even when there is no door. He has a lot more to do besides this one – front door, three windows, and the hallway of many doors (eight altogether).

Wedding Sampler Hung 1/28/2013

We hung up the wedding sampler my Mother made and put the china saucers back up in the kitchen. We still have four more “pictures” to hang up and I think the kitchen is done until we do the cabinets (which will be awhile yet).

A Favorite Magazine Arrives in the Mail 1/29/2013

I do not have very many magazine subscriptions (probably four altogether) and this is my current favorite magazine. Can you guess what it is?

Day Two of struggling with Headache bordering on Migraine 1/30/2013

‘Nuff said.

Gracie Hunting Birdies 1/31/2013

This is the only picture I took today. I was in “my” room messing with fabrics (putting them onto bolts) when I spied Gracie swishing her tail like a squirrel does which is very fast and jerky. Whenever she makes this kind of movement with her tail, I know she is either annoyed or excited. I then looked through the window and noticed the birds. So, I went off to get my camera and came back to take some pictures. But, by the time I took this one and only shot, the birds had disappeared.

By the way, Dan and I spied these birds in the fields several days ago and were amazed at how beautiful they are when we used the binoculars. They have yellow front (bellies). I had no clue to what they were; but, Dan managed to identify them with the help of the internet. They are Meadowlarks - most likely the Western Meadowlarks; although, it is a distinct possibility that they are the Eastern Meadowlarks. I am champing on the bit to get a telephoto lens because it would have been awesome to snap some pictures of these birds.