Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wordy Wednesday {A Favorite}

False Garlic

Whenever these simple wildflowers pop up in the spring, it brings up good memories of my childhood. These would be one of the first wildflowers to pop up on our lawn and I would pick them for my mother. Of course, these never lasted long even in a vase of water because they are wimps! These are better off left unpicked and enjoyed while viewing the landscape.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Signs of Gardening II (Rest of March)

Yukon Gold Potatoes; 3/16/2014

Red Onions; 3/16/2014

Cucumbers (pickling); 3/17/2014

Blackberry Buds; 3/21/2014

Note: I do not expect to see any berries this year as the bush is still getting itself established. In fact, I prefer that the plant concentrate on establishing and growing before producing berries.

Blackberry Flower(s); 3/29/2014

Blueberries; 3/29/2014

Note: As with the blackberries, I do not expect to see berries this year as this bush was planted early this spring. I prefer that it would establish itself and grow first.

Grape Bush; 3/29/2014

Note: This bush has established itself and has really grown since this date. I actually had to start training using kitchen twine. This one will produce blue grapes that is good for turning into jams and jellies. I have also purchased another grape bush which is doing good and will produce green grapes. It is my hope to eventually have at least three grape bushes on the property.

Lone Raspberry; 3/29/2014

Note: As with both the blueberry and blackberry bush, I do not expect any berries this year. This one is struggling to survive. I will have to pamper it along as Raspberries typically do not grow down here.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Feline Friday {Stalking}

Shot on March 5, 2014

This little girl, Gracie, is always stalking me. She hollers at me when she gets close and demands attention. She often photobombs my efforts making me give up for a bit and give her the attention she demands. I love her fur when she is outdoors as the red (orange) really shines in the sunlight.

Shot on March 12, 2014

She looks grumpy here, does she not? She got tired of following me. When I saw her here and the wildflowers, I thought it would make a pretty picture.

I am not sure why the coloring in the pictures are strikingly different. It could be that it was cloudy on the second picture. I need to start journaling what is what when I take pictures so that I can continue to learn.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

My Bucket List

I will turn 50 this year. I decided about a month ago to that it would be fun to create a new bucket list with 50 "goals". I ended up with 51. Some of the items were carried over from an old shorter bucket list. These are the things I truly would love to do in my lifetime even if some items are only a pipe dream.

I plan to update this list as I strike off the ones I have done.

  1. Get a new passport
  2. Set foot in the 48 contiguous states
  3. Grow a garden (successful)
  4. Get a couple trees established and thriving (more difficult than I thought)
  5. Learn to crochet and make a Granny Stripe Afghan
  6. Overcome my fear of flying (Eeeks!)
  7. Ride an Airboat (Eeeks!)
  8. The Grand Canyon
  9. Grand Canyon Skywalk (Eeeks!)
  10. Redwood Trees (Redwood National Park?)
  11. Alaska Northern Lights
  12. Key West (FL)
  13. Yosemite State Park
  14. Kayaking
  15. 5K
  16. Pacific Ocean (already seen the Atlanta and Gulf)
  17. Witness a Green Flash (occurs sunrise/sunset over the ocean)
  18. Design and make a quilt
  19. Last Will and Testament
  20. Mardi Gras in New Orleans
  21. Handle and shoot a gun
  22. Washington DC
  23. Stay in a Treehouse
  24. Ride a Segway
  25. Niagara Falls
  26. Learn to ride a motorcycle
  27. F1 race with Dan in Austin
  28. Write a novel/book
  29. Zip Line (Eeeks!)
  30. ATV
  31. Statewide Shop Hop (September)
  32. Enter a quilt show
  33. Adopt/rescue a dog (must replace front fence first)
  34. Beekeeping
  35. Raise Chickens
  36. Tower of Americas and have a dessert (Eeeks!)
  37. Visit Maine again
  38. visit PEI (Prince Edward Island) where fictional Anne Shirley of Green Gables lived
  39. Create a decent painting –should be fun trying
  40. Open an etsy shop (successful)
  41. Texas State Fair
  42. Visit Stonehenge II in Ingram, Texas (I have seen the real Stonehenge!)
  43. Rock Climbing
  44. Scotland
  45. Get out and see if I can find a church home
  46. See a Lavender Field and pick some Lavender (farms in Hill Country Texas)
  47. Make pickles
  48. Make Jam or Jelly
  49. Explore a beach I have not been to
  50. Learn to Waltz
  51. Learn how to play the mandolin
States I have set foot in:

Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wordy Wednesday {Floodgates Opened}

A nasty storm blew through our area on April 14, 2014.

The floodgates of heaven were opened and there was a deluge...

I found this sight fascinating. Such power coming from the gutter and splashing against the rock we set upon the barrel for both weight and the birds. I wondered how we could harness that power? Ha!

By the way, We have a rain gauge and this particular storm brought over an inch of rain within a hour. The big drops of rain flattened my fragile herbs and the winds damaged a few plants. But overall, my plants survived this particular storm.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dry Fitting {Desk / Beading Station}

Dan has been slowly slaving away in my room. He has installed window aprons, casings around openings and doors, the detailed craftsman style headers, etc., and etc. Yes, I helped. A little. Ha!

We decided to work on installing the desk / beading station first. Do not worry. It will not look like this when we are done. You will not see that ugly backing of the cabinet amongst other things. This is just a before image.

We purchased both the doors (the countertop / desk surface) and the cabinets from Habitat from Humanity Restore at excellent prices. The doors are solid wood and were $30 and $15. I have to tell you that I LOVE shopping at the Habitat stores.

There will be some minor work done to the cabinets themselves to make them look nicer in this room. I will not go into all the details in this post as I do not want to spoil the surprise. I know some of you have a real good ability to imagine how things will look in the end if given details.

Dan cannot really see what I envision for this space and how I want things done; but, just seeing this staged and seeing things in my mind's eye is getting me excited! One step closer to having a beautiful and functional space!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Macro Monday {Phidippus audax}

Daring (or Jumping) Spider

I was turning our compost tumbler when this tiny thing appeared and scared me out of my wits. It was extremely tiny! I believe it is a juvenile. I went to the house to grab my camera. This was the last shot I took. I gathered up my courage and slowly got as close to the critter as I could, took a deep breath to calm my nerves and snapped the picture. I am amazed at how well it turned out.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Feline Friday {Wisdom from Abby Gail}

Take time to hunt down your peoples and spend some time with them. I like to play with my humans and harass my sister Gracie.

Take time to smell the flowers. In other words, enjoy life and do not let the harried world get you down!

Take time for yourself or you will end up utterly crazy! In fact, demand it! I do go crazy if I do not get what I need. After all, my humans call me 'that wild thang' for this very reason.

Take time to say that is enough. I am out of here!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Unphotographable Memories 8 and 9

Why Unphotographable? As explained years ago, I took it one step further and included moments in time remembered with such clarity and refuse to be forgotten. I thought it would be a excellent way to practice and stretch my writing abilities.

This is a picture I did not take of a dark gray cat lying flat as she can be amongst the Phloxes (wildflowers) intensely watching a hummingbird drinking nectar from an Indian Paintbrush.

{Witnessed and written in March 2014}
This is a memory forever engraved on my mind standing frozen with closed eyes while a pair of swallows circled so closely around me, feeling the brush of wings and hearing a tiny single squeak.

{Experienced and written on April 3rd 2014. This was a scary awesome blessing. }

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordy Wednesday {Mishap}

Gracie is having issues with allergies of late and I have been vigilantly checking her hind paws for missing nail caps because if I do not, she will destroy her face. In case you do not know, she scratches herself violently and viciously creating a bloody mess. She does not seem to know to do it gently. As a result, I decided to use nail caps on her hind feet. This was quite some time ago and it has been very effective.

We have been checking her paws every night before we go to bed. One particular morning, I noticed she was missing a cap and decided to take matters into my own hands. I usually have Dan's help with putting on the caps; but, this time I was on my own. I thought I could do it alone.

Right. < with reeking sarcasm >

(Please ignore the ugly thumb, dry cuticles and whatnot.)

It did not help that Gracie fussed and gave me grief while trying to put it on her. As a result, I managed to get the cap glued to me! I was pretty disgusted and decided to wait until Dan got home from work. In the meantime, I prayed that she would not harm herself. (She did a little). I used nail polish remover to get this stupid thing off of me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Birds of a Feather...

I have been using my long lens of late. Maybe I should start having a "Long Tuesdays"; but, that sounds awful. And besides, Tuesdays were (and still is) dedicated to DIY/Crafting/Sewing genre around here. I just have not had time to do much along these lines. So, I have been posting whatever I feel like posting until things get back to normal around here.

We have had many birds visit our feeders and rain barrel (which is a bird bath when full) this spring. They make such a chatter and fuss at the cats. Most of the birds do not mind my presence; but, the cats make them nervous.

I saw these Red Winged Blackbirds through the window of the kitchen door. I took these pictures through the window. I have since tried taking pictures outside; but, these birds are very skittish and shy; although, their behavior around the food reminds me of the Jays -- downright rude! Ha!

These pictures were shot two days after the red winged blackbirds made an appearance. These are finches. More specifically, I believe they are House Finches. I love their bright red colors. Some are more colorful than others. They are brave and stay in the trees. A few come to the hanging platform feeders we have even in the presence of my cats.

I have been trying to capture a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher which is no easy task considering they love the field behind ours. I will keep on trying.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Macro Monday {Albino Bluebonnet}

Early in the morning of March 15, 2014 when the sun was rising, I looked out the front door window and spied some ghostly sentinels all lined up in a row. I was like "what the hey!?"

Much to my surprise, there were six rare white bluebonnets. I was floored.

You could not see the regular bluebonnets in the gloomy predawn; but, the white ones stood out in the darkness. I had to wait until the sun was up before snapping pictures on this particular day.

I did not think of them much after snapping pictures because single white bluebonnets spaced about a foot apart were not photographable.

When I went out on March 26th in an attempt to photograph the tons of bluebonnets we had around our property, I discovered more white bluebonnets sprouted around each of the single bluebonnet I discovered earlier in the month.

I now knew I officially had a big cluster of white bluebonnets on a particular spot of our land and I am absolutely thrilled.

The rest of the pictures below were shot on April 2, 2014 when I finally focused on trying to capture the numerous bluebonnets we had on our property.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Feline Friday {Catching Sunbeams II}

I caught my big girl catching sunbeams not too long ago. She sleeps most of the time nowadays. She does get up daily wanting to go outside; but, if it is windy or rainy, then she turns around and finds a new spot to sleep. If it is a beautiful day, she will go outside whether she feels good or not. On her good days, she goes for walks. On her bad days, she will head for the side of the "hangar" (the detached garage), lie down amongst the berry bushes and contentedly watch the world go by.