Monday, July 31, 2006

Monday Musings

This morning I was sitting on the deck for a short time, as the heat is already beginning to creep up on us. While watching the birdfeeder I was able to spot at least four squirrels and three or more blue jays, plus a variety of smaller birds that I'm not able to identify at this time. I did find out that those crazy little birds that run up and down the trees like a group of teenagers roaming the mall are actually white breasted nuthatchs. They act a little "nutty" so the name really fits.

I was heading over to see Walter this afternoon - but he has been so out of it "sleepy" that I haven't been able to get in touch with him since this morning. He has all the supplies that he needs to nurse his sunburn, so I'm not too worried. Tim called and let us know that he and Walter had caught the boat limit of fish, since they weren't really interested in keeping them so they were doing catch & release fishing. He was impressed at Walt's fishing abilities. Way to go Walt!


Nothing is as painful, As unforgiveness to the soul;
A heart that's torn asunder, With forgiveness becomes whole.
A single kind word spoken Means more than countless words;
The three words, "I forgive you," Are all that need be heard.
To a soul that has been wounded, Like a healing, cooling balm;
Forgiveness soothes and comforts, Till at last the soul is calm.
For the soul that seeks forgiveness, When forgiveness can't be found;
It struggles vainly everyday, To hear that simple sound.
The power in those three kind words, Can heal a heart that's broken;
But that heart cannot begin to heal, As long as words remain unspoken.
Compassion in its purest sense, Resides in those three words;
The three words, "I forgive you," Are all that need be heard.

Author unknown - EFT Insights Newsletter (July 31, 2006)

I was having some fun this morning recording Tweat. Once I had the recording, and starting to play it back that is when the real fun began. Tweat was would answer the recording. What a hoot! So here is what our sweet little Tweat sounds like.

Tweat in the Morning

powered by ODEO

The temperature here has been in the 90's, but it has seemed so much higher. It is even muggy feeling in the house. I don't expect tomorrow to be any better, but we will be having swimming lessons for Sam & Abby. At least we will all be wet and cool - the pool is in the shade during the early part of the afternoon.

We got our Insight & Focus CDs today and I can hardly wait to try them out. They are designed to help with stress and to increase focus. I'm sure that everyone in the house can use them - we all need to have less stress and more ability to focus on things.

I had an unsettling discovery this evening, the water coming out of the faucet was a bathroom shade of yellow. How unappealing! I'm going to have to phone the water department tomorrow and find out what is going on. If we didn't already have bottled water, I would be running out to the store to get some. It may be a result of one of the neighbors putting in an irrigation system or some other such cause. But it surely looks very unhealthy.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Lazy Sunday

I massively over slept this morning. I couldn't believe it. Since I did this ultimate boo-boo, the guys and I got together to head up to the bookstore after lunch. We didn't even get finished getting ready to go out before Dean received a page and had to take care of that before we could get out the door. Thank goodness that was the only one today.

Since we have invested in year round passes to Colonial Williamsburg, we are investigating a trip back to attend a candle lit tour entitled The Ghosts of Williamsburg which is conducted in the historic area. The tour that we are thinking of going on is based on a book, Ghost of Williamsburg ...and Surrounding Environs, by L.B. Taylor. We think that the tour will be especially interesting for Sean and that perhaps we may spend the night there and visit some of the early morning attractions or events prior to returning home. We are going to pick up the book to read in preparation for the trip. It is always nice to have something new to read and it will be especially cool when it can be tied to something that we are doing.

I also picked up several other bargain books while at Barnes & Noble for a bit of ecclectic end of summer reading:
  • The Gnostic Gospels - this book is more about what they are and why there is a controversy over them. I was curious since they had been mentioned one Sunday during Sunday school class.
  • Life Strategies Doing What Works, Doing What Matters, by Dr. Phil McGraw - just a bit of psychology thrown in.
  • Encyclopedia of Heresies and Heretics - just sounded a bit interesting and hey, it was only $3.00 - on the bargain rack.
  • Magnetic Puzzle Pack - a really cool puzzle book that really makes you think out the puzzles - this one was on the $3.00 bargain rack too.
Plus also have several e-books passed on by Alice for me to digest as well:
  • Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth, by T. Harv Eker
  • The Science of Getting Rich, The 1910 Classic Prosperity Guide, by Wallace Wattles, and
  • The EFT Manual (Emotional Freedom Techniques), by Gary Craig - This one I found on my own - this is suppose to help with stress.
Walter called to let us know that he was back from his trip - quite a bit more sunburnt for the wear. We instructed him to take some Tylenol, drink a lot of water and get some sleep. I even suggested that after he got a nap in that he should boil up some tea and pour it in to the tub and get in - to help take the sting out of the sunburn.

Tweat has been quite vocal today and entertained us with her chirps and songs. Rascal was MIA for most of the day, he was let out last night and since we were late coming downstairs. We were getting a bit concerned that something could have happened to him, but much to our joy he appeared near 8:30 p.m.

While speaking with Alice on the phone this afternoon, she relayed to me the most humorous events that were going on at their house. It seems that Terry has taken up "reading" their health insurance handbook, laying in the floor and flipping the pages. He has even carried it up to his room for some "bedtime reading". Well today he picked up the yellow pages and toted that heavy volume up the stairs and laid down in the floor in his room to "read" the yellow pages. Alice said that when she went up to check on him he brought the book out to her and dropped it at her feet. It is just amusing to think that a special needs four year old is carrying around such materials to "read". Dean suggested that now that he is carrying the yellow pages they had better watch out because he must be shopping. Alice said that she has figured out that he like the feel of that particular type of paper - thin crinkly sheets.

Sean planned and prepared dinner for the family this evening. He even made his own cocktail sauce to go with the shrimp. It was delicious and he has stated that he would like to make a larger meal for the rest of the family before school starts.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Simply Saturday

Out as usual this morning to check out the yard. The "shamrock" rose had fully opened since yesterday. The photo shows the garden fairy just behind the rose bush. A closer inspection of the open rose revealed a stunning interior, and the opportunity to take the shot could not be passed upon.

While watering the fence line shrubbery, a honey bee had landed at the waters edge in the birdbath, it was very unusual to see a bee taking a drink of water.

Have a little adventure this afternoon - after spending a good majority of the morning talking with Alice, I ended up heading over to her house to pick up my "PhotoShop" lessons for the fall and also found out about a new graphics website. There are some interesting sites that have available royalty free images. It won't be too long before Alice has me doing some interesting graphic designs - I'm going to put myself together a syllabus based on my lessons so that I can have a planned out semester to work through the book. Then come my second semester, she has a second book that will need to be worked through as well. Not to mention the "brainstorming" sessions that we may take a notion to have every once in a while. Great fun bouncing ideas off one another since we tend to think along the same line and then at others totally in opposite directions. It is great to get the feed back.

While hanging at at Alice's, Mom came by and delivered some corn from Dad's garden. That sweet white corn is always wonderful. Thanks Dad!

I got this cartoon in my email today and thought that I would pass it along:

This afternoon has been dedicated to a sewing project for Miss Carla. She has a couple of chairs that she particularly likes to sit on, yet she leaves little hairs that she has shed behind. So, in order to help with this particular problem I made two "seat covers" for her. Now the trick is going to be to get her to sit on them over the other parts of the sofa or other chairs. So far it appears that she likes them....keep your fingers crossed that she picks up this new habit.

Dean put in some work on the new office putting together the bookcase. It fit the nook fantastically and looks absolutely great.

I found this really neat program called AndreaMosaic and it uses images from your own collection to create a mosaic of a base image that you select. There was a brief tutorial on a site I found which linked to the download site. In my first mosaic I used images of my granddaughter that I had gathered from web images. It didn't come out too bad for a first effort. Of course the further you are away from the image when you look at the clearer it becomes.

This could be a great way to use those extra photos that we gather together, for example, when you have a couple of hundred photos of a hummingbird they could be used to create a neat mosaic of a hummer.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Friday's Findings

Oh what a night!...and not the good kind. We had a series of telephone calls last night that kept getting us up every hour or so. The first struck just after 1:00 a.m., okay a wrong number. One you can forgive & forget.
  • The second came a little after 2:00 a.m.,
  • the third at 3:05 a.m., and finally a
  • fourth ringing in at 3:09 a.m.
The last three all came from the same phone number and the last one finally had someone speak and ask to speak with someone in the household. When the person was asked if they knew what time it was they hung up, and that ended the phone calls for the night. Yet this really messed everyone's sleep up. Then to top it off it's overcast this morning and may put everyone in a sleepy mood.

I popped out this morning to water the plants, after hearing that the odds for rain were slim only chances of scattered thunderstorms. The birds were out in force in the front yard and after I filled the feeder and put out some corn for the squirrels they began showing up in the corner of the yard to eat. I noticed that the "Shamrock" rose was budded out - but this year it is a light yellow-green color. I wonder if that is due to the lack of some type of mineral?

The blur that is behind the rose is my little garden fairy that Danielle gave me for Mother's Day. She is surrounded by a plant that we call "scrambled eggs". From the point of view of a fairy's job to watch over the garden and take care of the plants, she is doing a pretty good job. Things are blooming in their time and there have even been a few oddities here and there in the yard as well.

I hung Tweat outside for a short time this morning while I pulled out the dog brush and gave Carla a good brushing (on the deck). That would have been a huge mess if I had attempted to do that in the house. She may just wind up having a bath today if I get excited enough.

Great Quote for the day: "Don't let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to start where he was." Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is a real hoot:
Now That'’s Efficient!

Last year I replaced all the windows in my house with those expensive double-pane energy-efficient kind.

Yesterday, I got a call from the contractor who installed them. He was complaining that the windows had been installed a whole year ago and I hadn't paid for them yet.

Hellloooo? Now just because I'm blonde doesn't mean that I am automatically stupid. So I told him just exactly what his fast- talking sales guy had told ME last year... namely, that in just ONE YEAR these windows would pay for themselves!

“Helllooooo"? (I told him). "It's been a year"

There was only silence at the other end of the line, so I finally just hung up....

He hasn't called back, probably too embarrassed about forgetting the guarantee they made me.

Bet he won't underestimate a blonde anymore. --- Author Unknown


Yesterday, the young man that committed the assault against Sean went to court. I phoned the Commonwealth Attorney's office this morning to find out the final outcome of the case. He was tried as a juvenile and he pled guilty. Since he had turned 18 since the time of the assault, this resulted in him being sentenced as an adult to four days in jail.

Walter came by this evening to check in before his upcoming trip. He had been out gathering together the supplies that he needed for the trip. His final stop before heading home was to pick up a fishing license. It will be an early morning for them as they are putting in the boats above Maidens. Walter & Tim are heading out this weekend on a float trip with a bunch of the fellows from work. They are going to be floating from somewhere above Maidens and coming out at Maidens on Sunday. As the float is an overnight trip, I hope that they have a really good time and fair weather.

According to rumor, Danielle & her family are heading out to Lynchburg for the next week or so. This will be a great time for them to be together. Here's to having loads of fun.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Wet & Wild Thursday

Bright and early this morning I began working on the downstairs carpets and sprayed upholstery cleaner on the sofas in the family room. I started to spot clean the carpet in the family room but ended up just about spot cleaning the whole thing. I did finish it off with the shampooer though, and even got the hall runner shampooed as well. It looks so much better. I'm planning on them being dry by the time we return home from swim lessons.

Wow, have I gotten a lot done this morning:
  • carpets cleaned in living room & family room
  • upholstery clean on the family room sofas
  • shampooed the hall runner
  • washed dishes
  • made a parakeet cage cover for Walter (and working on one for Tweat)
  • repaired several articles of clothing
  • prepped the dining room to be shampooed
We headed out mid-morning to try again with the swim lessons for Abigail & Sam. At least we knew for sure that the pool would be open today. Sean will also had the opportunity to get in some swimming also.

Swimming lessons went great! Abby was frightened but she sure could hang on. It did take a bit of talking in order to convince her that it was okay to be in the water. After that I was able to get her to blow some bubbles in the water, which was a major event, since she doesn't like to get her face in the water. Then she finally got up the courage to sit on the ladder step and do some kicking for us. Then she moved to the edge of the pool where she kicked away.

Meanwhile Sam really took to things. He was able to stand in the 3' area without any trouble so that was a big confidence booster, knowing that he had his feet on "solid" ground. It wasn't too much longer after that, that he and Sean were all over the pool together. Sean worked with him on his kicking and how to do the free-style stroke.

Great Job! Sean, Sam & Abby

The kids found the life preserver ring and did a little practice of throwing the ring into the pool and pulling each of in from the deep end. It was all good and fun until Elda tried to throw the ring out to Sean and Sam, and hit me in the back of the head. Ouch!!! It was headache time. I had to "sit in out" for a spell, but there was no permanent damage other than a few rattled brain cells.

As you can see from the pictures Abby's confidence level increased the longer we were at the pool. It was our intent to have lessons for an hour, but we ended up being there for a little over 1 1/2 hours.

While we were at Walt's I tried out the shop vac that Mom sent to him and it worked out great getting up the mess that Butch & Sundance made with the millet. I dropped off a office chair for Walter to replace the broken one that he had. This will make it much more comfortable for him to work on the computer.

I piled all the kids into the car with me and had Elda follow us home. Abby really had fun being in front of her mommy in the car. Sam & Abby both kept waving at her each time we stopped at a traffic light. When we got home and parked in the driveway Sam & Abby both stood up in the car and waved at their mommy through the sunroof of the car.

We all returned to the house for an afternoon of cosmetology - I did some work on Elda's hair for her. We had a great visit during all the waiting time that we had. Sam and Sean played for a little while on the computer. Then Sam had Sean connect him and that was it. Sean went out to work on the tree fort for a while.

Mom dropped by with Cassie to pick up Miss Abigail for their stay over adventure at Mommaw's house.

Faith Update

I talked with Danielle this evening Faith had a doctor's appointment she now weighs in at 15 lbs 1 oz and is 25 1/2" long. She has been given the okay to eat teething biscuits & applesauce now. Danielle told me that Faith really does enjoy the applesauce and the biscuits too. I spoke with Faith and she was full of giggles and according to Danielle she tried to find me near the phone. She has been growing and advancing quite well over the past few weeks, she is sitting up better, and is even attempting to crawl.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Working Wednesday

The fog has settled in over the area during the night. It gives an eerie, spooky look to a normally peaceful appearing area. Getting on with the day Carla and Tweat have been spending some time out on the deck. I have hung Tweat's cage from one of the ribs of the market umbrella on the deck. He seems to appreciate being outside, at least he is not pacing back and forth on his perch like a small child waiting in line to see Santa Claus. It does calm him down.

Carla has put on her protectorate of the neighbors hat this morning as a cleaning crew arrived at one of the neighbor's houses. The crew actually came over to see her before they went in. Carla being Carla growled a lot but was wagging her tail the whole time. Fierce but harmless.

Sean & I have had an excellent morning together - We have watched movie trailers and finally found a movie to watch together on television this morning. This afternoon I got to work on shampooing the carpet in the new Office, but being thus motivated I hit all the upstairs rooms and the hallway. I did have one incident with the shampooer - the belt broke, so I switched it out and finished up. I took a break out to take the little guy to the orthodontist - great visit no broken brackets or bands, if he keeps up wearing his rubberbands he may get them off this Fall. After we got back I set my sights on cleaning the living room sofa cushions - Oxyclean and a lot of scrubbing, but I hope they come out great.

This evening after dinner, Sean hung Tweat back outside for awhile. I walked on the deck for a bit and he was singing and so was just about every other bird in the area. There were mourning doves, wrens and several others that I don't have a clue as to what they are. The squirrel was doing acrobatics on the birdfeeder and even caused it to really swing when he tried jumping from the feeder to a tree. I brought Tweat back inside and gave him a stepup lesson - he was so funny trying to fly away. But once he figured out what we were doing it was okay, I got him back to the cage and he flew up on top of the cage. He flew down to the chair and then stepped back up on my hand and then hopped into the cage without a problem. He earned a small spray of millet as a reward for his efforts, which he is thoroughly enjoying devoring,

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Tuesday Tickles

This morning I went out to do the usual watering and thought that Carla would be content being able to walk around the yard. But as a special treat I took Tweat out and sat her/him on the deck rail to enjoy the morning. Tweat really did - oh boy the singing and trying to get out of the cage to get involved with the other birds in the yard; and the other birds in the yard were interested in him/her because they were coming and sitting on the gutter and deck rail towards the opposite end of the deck. Miss Carla did not do much walking around with me she laid on the deck under Tweat's cage and "babysat" while I did the watering. I did have a great conversation with Walter this morning before he went to work - Butch & Sundance were really checking him out as he changed their water and food.

Mom came over this morning while I was finishing up painting the Office closet doors. They really turned out well (photos of completed Office/Exercise room to come). Then Mom helped me to clean out the freezer(s). They really needed to be done and I'd been putting them off for so long - I had initially wanted to do them when we first moved in, but I messed up and didn't do it then due to unexpected circumstances, and I kept putting it off until today. YEAH!! Mom was such a big help holding all the trash bags and just being around to talk with while I tackled such a big job. I really appreciate the encouragement. I remember when I lived at home and we cleaned out the chest freezer! Talk about a real job. Taking everything out and then defrosting and then reorganizing everything as you put it back in. Exhausting work.

Mom & I spent a little time hanging out on the deck with Carla and Tweat, it was so funny to watch Carla as she strained so hard to keep from trying to smell of Tweat's backside. She thinks it is just another "dog" that needs an introduction. Mom took this awesome picture of Carla watching Tweat in the cage.

Some of the gyrations that Carla does when Tweat is chirping and talking are amazing. It appears that Carla is either trying to get hold of Tweat or to talk back to her. She whines so, like a small child that wants something.

We then went back in and put a perm in Mom's hair - I had forewarned the family that we were doing that today so that they would be prepared for the "smell" that would be in the house when they got back. We also lit a spice scented candle to help cover up or at least mask the smell. The candle really did help. While waiting for Mom's perm to process we went back out to the deck where the birds entertained us further as well as a squirrel that totally lost it and sorta fell off the bird feeder. That was funny. As for Mom's perm it came out beautifully, and had lots of body and curl.

As Mom was leaving we saw this interesting critter on the butterfly bush it looks like a cross between a hummingbird and a bumble bee, however with a little research I found out that it is actually a Snowberry Clearwing Hummingbird Moth (Sphingidae: Hemaris diffinis); and what was even funnier was when Mom got home she opened the Virginia Wildlife magazine and the picture of the month was of the hummingbird moth. Talk about timing.

I found the shot with the dreaded Japanese beetle to be particularly curious looking. It almost looks like the Hummingbird Moth is checking out the beetle. None of my shots produced any stop action, but this critter is fast and not quite as cooperative as the bees. It definitely has the speed of a hummer. I have never seen one of these particular type of moths before, it is amazing at the variety and number of insects that God created and put here for our joy and entertainment, then of course there are those that give us all some torment too. This one seems like He was trying to give the Hummingbird some company. :)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Monday Madness

This morning as I was conversing with Mom while sitting on the deck enjoying my cup of coffee. I spied this praying mantis hanging on to the screen in the middle of the kitchen windows. Never one to pass up the opportunity I hurriedly got the camera and was able to capture several good shots of him.

Carla was being all whinny, until I realized that she wanted me to water the yard like we have been doing over the past few weeks. But since it had just rained on Saturday night I didn't see the need. So in order to satisfy her I just walked around the yard in the normal path that I water and that took care of her. She's so funny. I went out for a bit this morning and left her outside gated in on the deck so that she could be outside and enjoy the temperate weather this morning. She was happy when I returned, but looked satisfied at coming back into the house.

We are headed out for a session of swimming lessons for Sam & Abigail. Sean will even get the opportunity to have some swim time as well. Plus everyone will be able to see what Butch & Sundance look like up close and personal. Well, the swim lessons were a bust! The pool is closed on Mondays. Oh well, Elda and I will just pick another day to do lessons this week and then just continue doing them on Tuesdays. However, we were able to have a pleasant visit with one another while we were there. The kids have grown and Abigail is just as sweet as pie, and Samuel's manners are excellent. The kids were playing with the door stopper at Walter's and each time it made a noise his birds poked their heads up and looked to see where the noise was coming from. It was comical to watch.

Since we didn't get any lessons in I'm heading up to finish painting the woodworks in the Office. I got as far as the closet doors before dinner, only one bi-fold door left to paint. Tim stopped by and dropped off a dozen ears of corn from Dad - our resident farmer extraordinaire. This was white corn - our favorite.

I headed out this evening after dinner to visit with Alice, but they were in the process of getting dinner ready so I only stayed there for a few minutes. I did however, give Terry his obligatory drive around the cul-de-sac. He does enjoy the ride so much. Who would think that something so small could give a little guy so much pleasure. I then popped out to Mom & Dad's house for a couple of cups of coffee and a few hands of rummy. It was a pleasant couple of hours.

Meanwhile back at the Mews - there is trouble in the office, they are sorting out the anti-virus program and attempting to get a game to work on one of the computers and it is giving them a a fit. Hopefully they will get it working shortly.

I read an article this morning in the Richmond Times-Dispatch about man name Fred and what he had written as his own obituary. Remember now he wrote this himself - he sounds like someone who enjoyed life and had a great sence of humor:

Frederic Arthur (Fred) Clark
Frederic Arthur (Fred) Clark, who had tired of reading obituaries noting other's courageous battles with this or that disease, wanted it known that he lost his battle as a result of an automobile accident on June 18, 2006. True to Fred's personal style, his final hours were spent joking with medical personnel while he whimpered, cussed, begged for narcotics and bargained with God to look over his wife and kids. He loved his family. His heart beat faster when his wife of 37 years Alice Rennie Clark entered the room and saddened a little when she left. His legacy was the good works performed by his sons, Frederic Arthur Clark III and Andrew Douglas Clark MD, PhD., along with Andy's wife, Sara Morgan Clark. Fred's back straightened and chest puffed out when he heard the Star Spangled Banner and his eyes teared when he heard Amazing Grace. He wouldn't abide self important tight *censored*. Always an interested observer of politics, particularly what the process does to its participants, he was amused by politician's outrage when we lie to them and amazed at what the voters would tolerate. His final wishes were "throw the bums out and don't elect lawyers" (though it seems to make little difference). During his life he excelled at mediocrity. He loved to hear and tell jokes, especially short ones due to his limited attention span. He had a life long love affair with bacon, butter, cigars and bourbon. You always knew what Fred was thinking much to the dismay of his friend and family. His sons said of Fred, "he was often wrong, but never in doubt". When his family was asked what they remembered about Fred, they fondly recalled how Fred never peed in the shower - on purpose. He died at MCV Hospital and sadly was deprived of his final wish which was to be run over by a beer truck on the way to the liquor store to buy booze for a double date to include his wife, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter to crash an ACLU cocktail party. In lieu of flowers, Fred asks that you make a sizable purchase at your local ABC store or Virginia winery (please, nothing French - the *censored*) and get rip roaring drunk at home with someone you love or hope to make love to. Word of caution though, don't go out in public to drink because of the alcohol related laws our elected officials have passed due to their inexplicable terror at the sight of a MADD lobbyist and overwhelming compulsion to meddle in our lives. No funeral or service is planned. However, a party will be held to celebrate Fred's life. It will be held in Midlothian, Va. Email for more information. Fred's ashes will be fired from his favorite cannon at a private party on the Great Wicomico River where he had a home for 25 years. Additionally, all of Fred's friend (sic) will be asked to gather in a phone booth, to be designated in the future, to have a drink and wonder, "Fred who?" Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on 7/9/2006.

Ben & Danielle

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Lazy Sunday

As I fell asleep last night the sounds of rain beating against the house lulled me into a sound sleep, in fact, I even slept later than usual for a Sunday morning. While upstairs I heard our newest "family" member singing in the kitchen. It was delightful. It gave me the feeling that the windows were open and that all was well.

Dean surprised me this morning with a delicious breakfast - he served it up almost as soon as I walked into the kitchen. Which sent me off with the sweet taste of blueberries and strawberries as I headed off to church.

Our Sunday school class was a bit on the giddy side this morning. Lots of laughter and jokes about the way the family night dinner menu might be read. Just a comma in a different place and it took on a whole new meaning. Paul was on target with his teaching, finishing up the 2nd part of our lesson on Daniel 9. Very informative. For instance I learned that the Jewish calendar has only 360 days.

I visited with Faith, Danielle & Ben for a while in the nursery this morning and got these photos of Miss Faith.

I arrived home this morning from church only to be greeted by Miss Carla and our parakeet who was chirping delightfully when I came inside. The boys have been in the office all afternoon playing Asheron's Call or some other such game.

There has been a decision on the name of the parakeet. It will be either Mr. or Miss Tweat. In line with the characteristics that he/she has presented.

I spoke with Walter this afternoon and he had been greatly enjoying listening to his boys talking with one another and singing up a storm.

Our neighbor came over this afternoon after returning from their trip to California - they brought me back a couple of starfish from San Clemente as a souvenir. It was very thoughtful of them to think of me.

Before it got dark this evening Dean headed out and mowed and trimmed the lawn. The yard looks really great and you can tell that he really put a lot of effort into making it look great. The little guy hung out in the office until almost 9 p.m., doing this and that on the computer. I believe he may have installed a new game, defragmented the computer or such stuff.

I checked in with Walter this evening after dark to see if Butch & Sundance had also quieted down for the evening and he said they had. It was neat, the darker it became outside the less vocal Chirpy was. I've covered the cage for the evening, basically putting him/her to bed. We still haven't decided on male or female yet. Hopefully not too much longer now.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Saturday Events

Last night we heard the booming and saw the lightining, but no rain. According to local weather we are on watch today for thunderstorms - hopefully this time with rain. We are going out this afternoon to lunch with LG and if we need to dodge rain drop so be it. Walt is making his way over to visit for a while this evening. He's even promised to play a few hands of rummy with us.

We went to lunch with LG to Red Lobster this afternoon, her cooking was fabulous as always! We had excellent conversation and did a lot of family catching up. Afterwards we did a little shopping for the Office/Exercise Room (Sean's old room), we were able to find a desk that both of the boys could sit at at once and a bookcase to fit into the nook area perfectly. I painted half of the woodworks and the window frames, while they worked on getting the furniture together. It is amazing how well the color of the room compliments the furniture. I'll probably get the remaining portion of the woodworks done tomorrow so that the Soloflex and Exercice Bike can be put into the room.

Walter came by for a visit and we had a great time. After admiring the new workspace upstairs he checked in on the new parakeet. Well, one thing led to another and he "borrowed" me for a while...We went out to PetSmart where he checked out the parakeets and then walked up to Wal-Mart where he purchased a cage and other supplies that he would need for a parakeet. Following a leisurely stroll back to PetSmart he picked out two parakeets - since he is not home all day they will be able to keep one another company.

One is blue and the other is a lavender blue color. The poor girl at PetSmart had the dickens of a time capturing the blue one. I know that she spent a good 10 to 15 minutes working on getting just the right one. Since this one was the more socialable acting one. Once we got them back to Walt's place and had the cage all set up, Walt opened up their traveling cage and - the blue one made the his escape. It was so funny Butch was trying to make his escape and was flying all over the apartment. We were finally able to corner him on one of the chairs at the kitchen table.

Thus he earned the name Butch and since the other one was quietly wating in the travel cage we figured he was the smart one of the two and tagged him with the name Sundance. His color even reminds me of one of the colors in a sunrise over the beach.

I got most of these photos of Butch & Sundance through the cage bars. I believe that they came out fairly well for being taken under such adverse conditions.

We got back to the house the boys had finished up putting the desk together and were hard at work playing AC together. By this time also Sean's parakeet had started to become a bit vocal and every now and then it does seem that she is become a full member of the family.

Walter and I grabbed a sandwich and spent a good portion of the evening playing rummy together. As usual I think I was able to get the best of him, but he had a couple of hand where he put me to shame. If we actally kept score I believe in the end that we would probably tie most of the time.

I really enjoyed the visit with Walter and I know that after he gets home this evening if his boys are beginning to sing and talk he will really enjoy listening to them.

We really had a great visit and I look forward to more such visits from all the kids.

Walter sent this snapshot from his cell phone after he got back home. Butch & Sundance had moved up from the bottom perch to the top of their cage they look like they are beginning to settle right in to their new home.


As I was getting the photos ready to post this evening - those promised thunderstorms came through and so did the rain...AMEN. We have really been in need of the moisture to refresh all the plants. Have a great evening all!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday Adventures

Yikes! it's grocery day. Off we go to visit Wally World for our supplies for the next couple of weeks. Why does it always take two carts to get back to the car? It all fits into one in the store.

Our adventure this morning started with a drive-by of Petopia, Pettails & PetSmart. We were able to pick out and purchase a delightfully perky yellow parakeet. We don't know yet if it is a male or female, but since it is a baby it will take a little while to find out.

We went on to Wal-Mart after picking up the parakeet and she/he was quite entertained by being in the grocery store.

Our youngest has been busy trying to get him/her to hold onto his finger. He is working on hand trained him/her. A little at a time. While we were in the store he/she was stepping up on to his finger and even curiously looking about at the colors.

I got permission from Sean to post this one of him and "Princess/Prince". They look like they are really going to get along well together.

I remember when Walter was little we had a parakeet that would gleefully tell everyone when Walter needed a new diaper or had gone "potty". We were teaching that at the time we had gotten the bird, so of course that was what he hear most of the time. Be careful what you say or it may come back in a the most inopportune time in the form of this little living "tape" recorder.

After we got home from shopping, we found that the "vegetable fairy" (Dad) had stopped by and dropped off some green beans and tomatoes. His fresh veggies are always so delicious.

Then we spent a little time and got his/her cage all set up he/she went on a little adventure in the lipstick plant jungle.

It was really cute the way that "she" was hiding among the leaves. She looked like she was right at home in the greenery. Her cage is hanging right above the plant so it is likely that "she'll" wind up there again.

After getting all settled in "she" was very accommodating and let us have a photo shoot. She is after all so bright and photogenic. This evening as things are beginning to settle down, she has been talking to us a bit. Just every once in a while, but talking none the less. We've been told that females are not as apt to learn to talk, but here's hoping that she can at least learn to say hi or hello.

This evening we covered her cage and after awhile, I began to hear movement and then the little bell that is on the end of her toy making little tinging sounds. She's really settling in now.

Mom sent this along on an email this morning and it was a good clean funny that I thought that I would share with everyone.

Mourning the Mayonnaise
Author Unknown

Most people don't know that back in 1912, Hellmann's mayonnaise was manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York.

This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico. But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York. The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was forever lost.

The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss. Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this day.

The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course, as Sinko de Mayo.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Thursday's Thrills

Well the weather has changed a bit. At least the temperature was below 70 when I started the day. I don't believe that we got that much rain last night, however, it did come down at least a little earlier this morning. As there are some puddles on the deck boards. And here I thought that by sitting my indoor plants outside last night that they just might get a really good soaking. Perhaps next time.

By-the-way and update on the laryngitis, the voice is coming back around but is still scratchy and a bit painful at times. I have a bit of a cough that has developed but I'm pretty sure that it from allergies. The rain we had last night just was enough to knock what is aggravating me out of the air. The last time I was like this it last about three weeks! It would be wonderful if the time passed a bit more quickly this go round.

I spoke with Walter this morning he is making the rounds this afternoon. He's coming over to pick up his mail and perhaps talk a bit before heading back down to Chester. It seems that he left his backseat there - It was get a makeover. Danielle's mother-in-law, was altering a seatcover to fit. Since she has been down from having surgery on her foot, it does seem that she is getting stir crazy. This gave her the opportunity to do something different without going out or being up. He and I even had a delightful conversation about our "herb gardens" and the condition of some of the individual plants and their reaction to the current weather conditions.

I'm off to see Dr. Peery about my eyes this morning. Oh no! It looks like my sight is beginning to change a bit and it appears that I'm going to have to get some new eye wear or contacts. I'm tending to leaning towards contacts if they are something that I am going to need to be wearing all the time.

Great news, my eyes haven't changed since 2002. Amazing. I just need to get a new pair of glasses to help with the reading/computer work. I found a really nice pair that totally disappear when I put them on. I will probably use them much more while singing in the choir, since I didn't like the way the old ones looked (too dark). Much to my surprise...they are Italian, too. So I guess that is in line with the whole Italian/beach thing that I have going on at this point in life.

This evening I was able to enjoy sitting outside for awhile this evening after supper. I believe I even nodded off a couple of times. Tomorrow is the dreaded grocery day - so much to do. At least I'll have a bit of help tomorrow.

Mom sent this along and it really did seem like it would be something to see.


The Red Planet is about to be spectacular!

This month and next, Earth is catching up with Mars in an encounter that will ulminate in the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history. The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287. Due to the way Jupiter's gravity tugs onMars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only bec ertain that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the Last 5,000 years, but it may be as long as 60,000 years before it happens again.

The encounter will culminate on August 27th when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky. It will attain a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide. At a modest 75-power magnification.

Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye.

Mars will be easy to spot. At the beginning of August it will rise in the east at 10p.m.and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m. By the end of August when the two planets are closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30a.m. That's pretty convenient to see something that no human being has seen in recorded history. So, mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars growprogressively brighter and brighter throughout the month.

Share this with your children and grandchildren.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I stepped out onto the deck this morning to acess the day - Yuck! My barefeet didn't hit dry deck it was damp (not the nice kind) and the sun is hidden by lots of cloud cover at this point in the day. According to the local forcast it is only going to get worse, as temperatures soar once again to near 100-degrees. Well, at least the temperature didn't get as high as they thought and there is hope this evening of a thunderstorm. I can hear the rumbling now, I hope that it actually does come through, and cool off the air a bit more. The plants could truly use the water and we could use the cooler tempeatures. It has finally begun to rain here (8 p.m.), I hope that it keeps it up for the majority of the evening.

I was relieved to see that the convention of wasps that had gathered on the edge of the house last night had dutifully dispersed - I got them with RAID last night during their big "meeting". That will teach them to hang out on our deck. One shot did the job. Poof! they scrambled and fell. Yippee!

I played around a bit with a recording I made of Faith during our last visit (7/14) - she was all giggles. I think I've got it figured now how to let you hear her, click on the link and listen to the fun that she was having that morning:

Miss Giggles

powered by ODEO

Alice did a drive by "booking" this morning to leave me with the latest novel that she had just finished up The Love Song of the Universe, by Mary Sparrowdancer. She says it is quite interesting. Of course, the book review will come later on.

Mom came by after getting her haircut and had me ride with her over to Sally's to pick up a perm and some color for her hair. Sally's was out of her color - how dare they...We put off putting in Mom's perm until later, because her hair just looks so cute as it is.

It's later: I Finished! Book Review time: I found it to be an interesting book on so many levels. As Science fiction it works well; on the subject of theology it takes interesting turns and if presented as fact it give pause for contemplation. This is one that can be read - either enjoy purely for the way it is written or as an examination of the author's experiences alone. You can take away many different things from this particular writing.

I came across this really odd bit of news on the Drudge Report this evening. It was about a man in Texas who caught a fish with human-like teeth, it is the oddest looking thing that I have ever seen. Then there is the weird story about a woman who gave birth to her own granddaughter. Just loads of weird things that are going on in the world.

Walter checked in with me earlier this evening and let me know that he was coming by for a visit tomorrow. I get to see my big guy. He has gotten his DSL all install at his place and is now able to cruise the net. Way to go. He and Danielle have finished their tutoring sessions. I'm so happy for both of them. They neither have to think about Chemistry for a good while now.

I stuck my head out of the door this evening and the katydid's are talking up a storm. They seem to be rejoicing at the rain that has fallen thus far. The cat had to get outside, his normal routine - he'll be sorry later if the rain returns.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hot, Humid & Hazy Tuesday

I see that we are for temperatures at or near 100-degrees today. I hate to think what the heat index here will be. We are under another air quality & heat advisory for the day. Of course, the recommendation is for everyone who has any type of respiratory problem is to stay inside. It's hard to believe that we are having temperatures this high before mid-August. I was able to get a load of laundry started before I headed out to the yard.

I'm sure glad that I got out early this morning. I was able to water the transplanted plants along the back fence as well as the potted plants on the deck rails, before any of the extreme heat started to catch up with us.

I found this rose blossom peeking out of the scrambled eggs - this is the "Shamrock Rose". This is a rose that I received from Alice when she was getting her backyard into "child" readiness about five years ago. It is such an interesting green color when it blooms.

I noticed that the small flowers transplants that I brought home from Mom's a couple of days ago have begun to bloom. They are so pretty - the one that is blooming is white with a purple center. I hope that I will also have several that are pink. This evening...when it isn't so oppressive, I'll need to get outside and pot them in a proper pot.

I also found that one of the several tomato plants that I had found in the monkey grass that I had picked up from Mom & Dad's house, to put around the base of the birch trees, had produced several blossoms. So I have tomato plants growing in the monkey grass under the birch tree. I believe that it is a tommy toe tomato, but then again I don't know that for sure.

This fellow was hanging out next to the front door this morning I thought that he was a cicada, but that isn't correct. He was very cooperative in having his photo taken. He just sat there pretending that he wasn't there and I was around either.

I've been trying to figure this one out by searching online - that's how I found out that he wasn't a cicada. So I think my next search is going to be for a leaf bug? Or, I'll just break down and send an email to Steve and ask him. But I'm afraid that if we keep that up he'll start charging for each question email. Hehe. I found it! she is a Broad-Winged Bush Ktydid (scudderia pistillata Brunner 1878). She is a type of grasshopper.

It looks like I'm going to be able to get those couple of loads of laundry done before 9 or 9:30 a.m., that I was shooting for so that the heat doesn't build up extra in the house.

It looks like just another day of trying to stay cool.

I finally received a phone call from Walter, who has been "missing" all weekend. It seems that he has been tutoring his sister in chemistry since the middle of last week and still has a few more days to go. The reason he was "out of touch" was that he left his cell phone in the work truck over the weekend. Silly bug :)

I got outside for about a half-hour this afternoon and potted the seedlings that Mom had given me. I put them into a hanging basket and hope to have it hung up within the next few days. I also repotted the shamrock plant into a larger pot to give it a bit of growing room.

Mom & Dad dropped by on their away across the river to drop off some fresh green beans and a couple of tomatoes. We enjoyed one of the tomatoes with dinner this evening. It was wonderful.

This evening Bubba has been going freaky. He keeps chasing my fingers around the bowl. When I am using the mouse with the computer. I think he is trying to play with them or at least the shadows that they project into his bowl. He's just hanging out down at the bottom of the bowl waiting for me to move my hand over towards the mouse. It is quite entertaining.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Muggy Monday

Today looks like it is going to be a very humid and nasty day, one that is going to keep everyone inside. I took a brief foray outside to repair and refill the bird feeder. The squirrels gnawed through the rope holding it up, I guess they were trying to get it to drop and spill out anything left inside. They were sure disappointed, because it was already empty.

I also watered my plants on the deck that are in pots, the poor things were terribly wilted - the parsley and oregano was wilting away and the petunias are beginning to get straggly looking. But I'm sure that it would not have been very a very healthy thing for me if I had stayed outside much longer. It is my understanding that we are under a poor air quality alert. I'm even worried when I let Carla out for more than about 5-10 minutes at a time.

Elda and I postponed the kids swimming lessons until next week. Neither she nor I thought that it would be healthy enough for either the kids, her (with all the allergies), or I to be out in this weather - we all need to be able to breathe to swim.

Legal Shine!

I read an interesting article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch this morning about a Mr. Chuck "Moonshine" Miller who runs Belmont Farm Distillery in Culpeper County. It seems that he has become the first legal moonshiner in Virginia, able to sell his product, Copper Fox directly to his consumers at the distillery. The story goes on to tell how he inherited his moonshine recipe from his grandfather, and even uses the copper still that his grandfather used under less legal circumstances. What I found interesting came at the end of the article which is quoted:

Miller laments what he says is a dying art that is an integral part of America's history. "The Indians had the corn; the Europeans had the technology," he said. "Then you had the colonists trying to hide it from England to avoid taxation. And George Washington himself put down the Whiskey Rebellion." "It's our heritage and tradition. It's our history," he said. "Some people might say that's a strange way to look at it. But that's how I see it." From an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sickly Sunday

I went to Sunday school, Paul did an excellent job on teaching the our lesson on Daniel, Chapter 9. I always enjoy his teaching. I feel like that I have really learned something new after each class. Next week we are looking forward to Chapter 9 part 2.

I didn't stay for church, due to not feeling well. The laryngitis is one thing, but it was topped off with a terrible headache. I believe that it was the exposure to the extra mold in the air, since we were outside all day. I don't know if yesterday was a bad air quality day or not, but that could be it. I came home and went to bed. I've gotten up a couple of times for more advil, but have pretty much slept all day.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Sultry Saturday Road Trip

We took a road trip this morning to Colonial Williamsburg. We started out in the visitor's center watching their introductory movie to the Historic area. We started our tour at the Governor's Palace, our guide was very informative and pleasant. We made our way down the Duke of Gloucester Street to King's Arms Tavern for lunch. It was a very pleasant meal. The service was excellent and very relaxed.

Then we headed off back up the street to explore the various shops. We toured the Printing Office and the Post Office. The Printing Office was located next to a stream that runs under the Duke of Gloucester Street. It made the office are a bit cooler than some of the other places.

I do believe that we stopped to do a bit of shopping in each and every shop in the Historic area before heading on to Market Square. The boys having been successful in obtaining the greatly sought after rock candy. Our stop at the Market Square turned out to be a fruitful stop for me as it yielded a summer hat, with peach and beige ribbons - and it matched the outfit I was wearing for the day, and also some lovely scented soaps as well as lavender powder.

We attempted to secure a carriage ride but they were completely booked by the early morning. We did find out that in order to schedule a ride we would probably have to be at the Lumber House Ticket Office by 8:30 on any given morning to secure the carriage. Wow, that is early.

I slipped into the Colonial Garden and was able to find a busy bee on a grand thistle. The size of the thistle blossoms were about the size of woman's fist. The garden also had some exotic fruit trees planted, as well as some sunflowers that were nearly the size of a charger plate, if not larger. The boys saw an extremely large lizard by the fence but I wasn't able to get there fast enough to get a photo.

While the boys were taking a peek into the Harness & Saddlemakers shop and I found a lovely gated garden behind the shop. I found a "painting" that is just waiting for me. The photograph itself is awesome, I only hope that when I am able put brush to canvas I will do it the justice that it deserves. I did get several other photographs of the gated garden but this one just seems to call to me.

The humidty was becoming oppressive as we finally made it all the way to Merchant's Square and into the Barnes & Noble to cool off. While inside it we found that there was an upstairs cafe and a great place to have a seat. It was nice to sit down inside and enjoy an icy cold Raspberry Italian Soda, to over come the sultry weather outside. Much to our surprise while sitting in the cafe a sudden downpour arrived. We thought for awhile there that we were going to look like drown rats just getting from the store to the bus stop, but just as suddenly as it arrived the shower passed.

We headed in the Merchants Square area and found an interesting gallery in one of the upstairs shops. They had quite a number of unique and whimsical items. For the truly pampered they even had silk slippers.

We found that the early evening that we had hung around for was called off due to the rain, but not to be discouraged we made the walk back toward the Governor's Palace.

I stopped off again in the Colonial Garden and was amazed to see several humming birds feeding on the bee balm plants. If you look closely in the shot with the red flowers the humming bird is feeding on the top flower to the right. It was amazing to watch and even more amazing that I was able to capture the image.

The boys wanted to pick up some more rock candy and we continued back up the street, where I met up with a friendly little squirrel, he came down one of the side streets and almost right up to my feet as I was looking for other "painting" to catch my eye. He really was something else. I do believe that he was expecting a snack when he got close enough to me to reach one.

We took an alternative route back to the bus stop to return to the visitor's center, near the Randolph House I came upon this cat sitting upon the fence, looking quite mischievous. He appeared to be posing while I was taking the photograph. In another photo he jumped down from the fence and stat on the bricks just at the gate once again "posing".

My final shot was at a creek behind the Governor's Palace. This was on the path that led back to the bus stop. The horizontially striped reeds were quite interesting. The little stream was crystal clear and appeared so inviting and refreshing, especially after the humid hours that we had been walking around the Historic area.

As we were walking around Duke of Gloucester Street, I remembered an elderly lady that I used to visit in a nursing home near to where we lived (when I was in about the 5th or 6th grade) in the 70's. She was in her late 70's or early 80's at the time and she would tell me all about what is now the Historic area of Williamsburg. Her family lived at the end of Duke of Gloucester Street and she remembered being able to see the capital from near her home. Of course, the things that she told me about were prior to the Colonial Williamsburg foundation taking over the area. I wish I was able to recall all the bits of history that she told me.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Click on image to enlarge

I had a really enjoyable morning visiting with Danielle & Faith. Faith rolled over for me and we "talked for a while". She really enjoyed playing with her Snoopy. She giggled and giggled. She began to get a little fussy so we took a walk around the house checking the other baby in the mirrors around the house. We also went outside to sit on the steps, since she loves being outside so much. We watched as a little boy went riding by on his bicycle and a jogger also. We listened to the birds singing and saw a a chipmunk going down the driveway looking for a snack. Once the outdoors weren't entertaining her any further since she was beginning to get tired, we went inside where and she sat snuggled up in my lap until she nodded off to dreamland.

After she woke up, Danielle got her all ready to take to the doctor for a quick look at her ears. It seems that she has been pulling at them and has on occasion cut her ear with her fingernail. I received a phone call from Danielle after I got home - the report on Miss Faith was no trouble with her ears and that her top two teeth are going to be coming in soon. She now weighs in at 14lbs 8oz. Growing like a weed.

I sat out on the deck for a little while this afternoon and enjoyed the great number of visitors to the feeder area. So far I've seen squirrels, mourning doves, cardinals, purple finches, starlings and a few others that I don't know their names. It has been quite a busy area so far today.

Alice and I got together this evening and had a wonderful time talking over coffee/hot chocolate at Panera's. I really enjoyed spending the time with my "baby" sister. On the drive home, the summer evening was evidenced by the sparkling of fireflies over open fields, and of course as soon as I opened the car door the mugginess of a hot Virginia night surrounded me. Praise the Lord for air conditioning.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


I came across this interesting theory on the three primary reasons why those who struggle with weight do so:
  1. A fear of moving forward in their life, living their purpose.
  2. The extra weight is a protection from a perceived threat or fear.
  3. Food is used as a counterfeit energy to compensate for the emotional and spiritual energies of sweetness, comfort, fulfillment, and satisfaction that are lacking in their lives.
Interesting to contemplate, as well as this little tidbit entitled "All Truth Goes Through Three Stages"
  • First it is ridiculed
  • Then it is violently opposed
  • Finally, it is accepted as self-evident
I'm heading out into the yard this morning and moving some small plants around in the area of the bird feeder. It is my hope that they will continue to grow and provide more color for that area as well and seed for the yellow finchs. Once I got started, I of course, got on a roll and ended up moving three small azaleas that weren't doing to well in the side yard. I think that they were getting too much sun. I put them in between the crepe myrtle bushes. I have seen this arrangement around town and once things get to full size it will look great!

I was right I wasn't outside long based on the level of humidity and the expected high temperature of 95-degrees. I got in before 10 and ended up hopping out to Mom & Dad's to trade some black-eyed susan plants for some, what we call trumpet flowers (although that is not what they are really called).

While Mom & I were walking around in her yard we came across a "June Bug" these are the type of beetles that I remember when I was little tying a string to their leg and letting them fly around. I've been looking around the net to see if this is actually a June bug and haven't found any that look like it - so off the email has gone to our resident biologist to find out what type of beetle it really is....and the answer (7/14) is it looks like a June Bug! to him also, it is definitely in the Order Coleoptera (which are the beetles). Thanks Steve for the answer to the burning question of the day.

I also was able to be blessed with some fresh picked green beans, squash and apples. Thanks Dad!

We received some bad news from Aunt Barbara Jean, Uncle Jimmy's sister passed away this afternoon. All our prayers and sympathy go out to them and all the family. - The Smith's

This evening a number of storms came through the area and really dumped quite a bit of water onto us in a short period of time. I thought that my petunias had been pounded down never to recover. Also it looks like I'm coming down with a bit of laryngitis - but I hope that it doesn't last very long this time. It took three weeks to get over the last bout I had of it. Thinking positively it will only last a couple of days.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Wonderful Wednesday

Mom took this on Walter's birthday, and sent it to me today, as you can see Walter is towering above us all and both of the guys are using me as an armrest. Me with my typical coffee cup and camera. Fun!

Sean all decked out in his 70's outfit for the "Blast From the Past Day" at camp. The outfit reminds me of the "Brady Bunch". I hope that he will have a fantastic day and really enjoy the activities that they have planned for them today.

Miss Cassie arriving for our "Girls Day"... We have lots of things that we want to do: manicure, pedicure, using the hot rollers and such thing. I know that we are going to have a great time.

We have painted our nails a lovely shade of burgandy and added little pink flowers to Cassie's to perk them up. We even painted pink flowers on her big toes!

After lunch we are going to watch a little television and then do some hair styling. Cassie's hair was really fun to do. She was such a helper getting the rollers together.

After we finished with her hair we ran a couple of errands and were lucky enough to find some blackberries ripe, right next to one of the parking lots that we passed through. We picked just enough for a small snack.

When Alice came to pick up Miss Cassie, she could hardly recognize her. Her hair was so bouncy and fun.
Mysterious Egg

Cassie and I were watering the plants in the yard this morning when we saw this amazing egg in the yard. But much to our surprise it turned out to be a mushroom. So....we thought that we could have some fun with the mushroom and the surrounding plants.

Cassie was wondering if this was one of those mushroom like in the story of Alice in Wonderland, that would let you grow larger and smaller depending upon which side of the mushroom that you nibbled from.

Cassie arranged the black-eyed susans around the "egg" for a really neat looking composition, she thought that it looked like the egg was in a nest of flowers.

We played around with PhotoShop and came up with these two composites. One with the flower and scrambled eggs in the background and the other with the lone egg in the middle of the all those scramble egg plants.