Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday and What I Gave Up for Lent

Actually, I don't "give up" anything any more. Each year I try to add something to make me a better person. Since I can use so much help, the possibilities are endless!

This year, I focused on other drivers that totally make me nuts!! I have little patience and could be known to suffer a little road rage. Not enough that the other driver would ever know---or that could cause me to get shot or anything, but I do certainly huff and puff and call them "stupid" while behind the wheel in my own car. I had to keep it "G" rated since I always had kids in the car, so it stuck. Still, I probably use the "S" word at least 5 times a day.

Each time I caught myself hyperventilating and calling other drivers "stupid," I immediately calmed myself down, apologized and then said a little prayer for the other driver for being so stupid. 

So maybe I didn't get it 100% but it's a start!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Five Things Thursday

1. I think these towel clips are the most adorable things! However, since I'm not the "lay out" type, I resisted buying them from Target.

 2. For the life of me, I cannot figure out what this road sign is supposed to signify. I have never once seen a donkey crossing here. This is in the heart of Green Hills in front of Hillsboro High School. Way too much traffic for donkeys.
 3. I had no idea that there is actually a product for my chaffing problem. I just thought chaffing was the bane of chubby thighs. I didn't buy this either---is was nearly $10.
 4. Mindy had her dad put air in her tires. Actually, I don't think she had anything to do with it. I'm sure he noticed she needed air. She thought it was so funny that she sent this text to the family:

 5. Picked up my needlepoint pillows I made this past December/January. Nothing like getting a jump on Christmas 2014! This one is for Jordan. She doesn't read my blog, so she'll never see it. She texted me last December and asked if I would make her a needlepoint pillow. I've been waiting for just such a moment from my 19 year old granddaughter. I never expected it so soon!!
 I fell in love with this little print. It has nothing to do with Christmas---it's about art. It's just perfect for this colorful pillow.
I made this one for myself. The girl that does my finish work is just fabulous! I can always depend on her to do them exactly the way I want! I pick out everything and she makes it work.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What's Happenin' in the Garden

I strolled through the garden on Sunday to see what was happening. Don't let these pictures fool you. They are pretty, for sure. But our yard is big so the color is really spread out.
 We have this Oklahoma Red Bud in the front yard. I love the horizontal nature of it.
 Close up of the red bud flowers.
 The dogwood is spectacular. It was a windy day when I took the pictures, so they are not the greatest.

 We have wild violets in the yard. You really have to look closely to find them amidst the grass.
This is a Forest Pansy Red Bud. It's a shade loving tree and doesn't get too tall. It's meant to be a tree that sits beneath other larger trees. It's also a darker---more fuscia color than purple.
 I love how it really adds color to the darker shade garden.
 The Virginia Bluebells are looking pretty weak this year. Maybe they need more fertilization.
 The same goes for the foamflower (tiarella cordifolia). I used to have several more plants.
 I seem to have only this one left.
 The bleeding hearts (dicentra) are gorgeous as always.
 The wind was really blowing when I took this picture. The "bishop's hat" (epimedium) is really low to the ground.

 This lenten rose (hellebores) is in my little white garden. It's really pretty, but wish they didn't have that droopy nature. It's kind of hard to see the flowers.
I have had this white climbing hydrangea for at least 15 years now. It has not flowered a single time. It's in a good sunny location, so I have no idea what the problem is. Maybe I got a male.
When we first moved in---19 years ago, I had bugleweed (ajuga) everywhere. I gave a lot of it away. Now I have just this little patch left. It's a nice ground cover. It looks nice next to the lamb's ear---which can really get out of control if you don't watch it.
 My lilac is just beginning to bloom.

Just walking near the lilac is heavenly. It smells so good. If I weren't going to be out-of-town for the next two week, I'd cut some for the house. By the time I get back, it will be gone. It's easy to miss.

And that just about covers what's happening in the garden right now. The peonies should be in bloom in a couple weeks.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Let the Planting Begin!

On Friday, Butch and I bought our first batch of flowers for the pots on the patio and around the pool. The full selection is not yet available, but we still managed to get some pretty things.
 My favorite colors in the garden are pinks and purples. We couldn't resist the yellow. Plus, there is dusty miller and white verbena buried in there.
I love these too. Some of these things I refer to as sucker plants. They are so pretty that you have to have them and then they promptly die after you plant them. I'm hoping that Butch might have a greener thumb than I do!

There's still a threat of frost this week, so he's going to wait to do the planting Easter weekend.

After stocking up on flowers, we made one more stop on the way home.
We had to go to the liquor store to stock up for happy hour.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I Have a Confession to Make

Today is normally "Movie Monday." I'm going to be out-of-town with a few of the gals that normally would be there, so we aren't doing it this week. But I have a confession to make. Ever since I started "Movie Monday"---last fall, I don't think I've seen a single full movie. I can't help but nod off. Seriously, turn out the lights and make be sit still and I fall asleep.

I'm pretty active and do not spend a lot of time sitting still. That's why I multi-task while watching television. If I didn't, I'd fall asleep. I've always said I can sleep anywhere---and at the drop of a hat. In fact, I think I'm the only person I know that has fallen asleep (several times) during a root canal. The oral surgeon had to keep nudging me to wake up as when I slept, my jaw slackened---making it hard for him to do his work. I guess what that really means is that I am not nervous in the dental chair. Just get it over with---that's my motto.

Anyway, I have never missed enough of the movie for it to matter. I always seem to know what's going on. But I do wonder what I've missed.

Anybody else have problems staying awake in a movie theater?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Living Life on a Time-line

That's how I get everything done. I'm busy---just like everyone else. I have a pretty healthy social like and I want to do everything. In order to do that, I have to plan ahead.

I start every week by checking my schedule on Sunday night. I make a list of everything I need to accomplish during the week. Then I start plugging things in. I try to keep all errands on the same day---usually working them in around social engagements.

I'm going to be gone pretty much over the next two weeks. I started planning for that last week. On Sunday night, I planned my week. It looked something like this: Monday---which is "Movie Monday" when I meet my friends for lunch and a movie---I had several errands I wanted to do before. I knew I needed to be at Panera Bread at 11:15 a.m., so I started backing up my time from there. I needed to go to Michaels and Target. I planned 45 minutes for each place with 15 minutes of travel time. That meant I needed to leave the house by 9:15. Which meant I needed to get in the shower no later than 8:30---which meant I needed to have my hour on the treadmill and breakfast prior to that. Since I get up around 5:30 or 6:00, I had plenty of time to do a couple of household chores.

Still, living on a time-line you have to be flexible. When I was just about ready to leave on Monday, I found that my cleaning lady had brought her sick 8 year old with her. I settled him on the couch and started to figure out the kids channels---which I know nothing about. I made Kevin a snack and was ready to head out---15 minutes late. Right off, I knew that my schedule was "blown." I proceeded on and only went to Target before meeting my friends. I had a little extra time before lunch, so I parked at the theater and walked to Panera---just to get in those extra steps. I don't like to waste time either. (Side note: when I got my very first report card in the first grade, I got an "E"xcellent for uses time well. I had no idea what that meant then, but now I do. And I do use my time well).
I decided to add a little first grade "me" to break up some of this text.

On with the story.
After the movie, the plan was to go to the grocery store, then sit and read in my car while I waited for Connie to meet me for our monthly pedicure when she gets off work. I went to the grocery store---planning ahead, I had the cooler with me. After the groceries, instead of reading, I ran to Michaels. I still made it back right in time for my pedicure. That put me back on track with my schedule.

The rest of the week proceeded as normal. I made my freezer meal for "freezer club"** that meets in two weeks. I'll just be getting back from the beach and will only have one day at that time. I pretty much always do things way ahead because I just never know what might come up at the last minute.

Friday was my friend, Nancy's, birthday. I bought her gift a while back, but couldn't begin to find it in my gift closet. I put that on the schedule for the weekend. I cleaned it out and organized it today.
Sorry, I didn't realize you couldn't really see the mess in the closet. The stuff on the floor is sorted and ready to be put back. Whenever I'm out and about and see something that would be perfect for a friend or family member, I pick it up. I just kept cramming things in without rhyme or reason. That's why I knew I had Nancy's present in there. While I was at it, I found Morgan's birthday present. It's not until May 10th, but while I was wrapping, I figured, why not? I'll see Nancy this week at the farm.
This is the finished closet. Each shelf represents different groupings of gifts. The top shells is all friends gifts. The bottom bags are Christmas things---hostess gifts, table favors and game prizes.

After cleaning out the closet, I got myself all packed for the farm. That means that tomorrow (Sunday) I get to spend the day outside reading! I plan to finish my book so I can start a new one this week. I'm planning to start the Divergent series. Anyone read that yet? Connie read them. Stephanie is on book two. They both really like them.

Anyway, that's why living on a time-line really works for me. I like the sense of accomplishment and feeling on top of things. In fact, since I will not have internet access while at the farm, I have pre-planned a few blog posts this week. I hope you have a good and productive week yourself!

**Here's the freezer recipe I promised---it's really good, low calorie and easy:
Hearty Beef  Stew
1 lb. beef stew cubes
4 carrots cut in chunks, peeled
4 red potatoes cut in chunks, unpeeled
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
2 cans 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup
1-8 oz. can tomato sauce
1-10 oz. frozen green peas

Place all ingredients in a gallon size freezer bag and mix it all up. I put everything in a crockpot liner first and then put it in the freezer bag. When ready to eat, remove from the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Cook on low in the crock pot for 7-10 hours. Don't worry, it might still be frozen, but will cook up just fine.

If you decide to try it, let me know how you like it.

Friday, April 11, 2014

What's Happenin'!

Outside my window: As it continues to warm up, more and more things are blooming. Butch has big plans for the pots on the patio and around the pool. I'm happy about this as he doesn't usually get so involved with the garden.

I am thinking: That tomorrow is going to be a fun day as we are going to the Farmer's Market and the aquatic nursery to buy plants.

I am thankful for: Our freezer club---a new post coming soon with a recipe share. It's so nice to have dinner in the freezer.

From the kitchen: Since I am going to be out-of-town for basically the next two weeks, I made my food for freezer club. It's a new crockpot recipe. If it's good, I'll be sure to share the recipe.

I am wearing: Lounging around the house clothes.

I am hoping: To get my gift closet cleaned out and inventoried this weekend. 

I am reading: The Invisible Wall. OMGosh!!! This book is so good. So far it is a definite "10!" Over last weekend, I finished What She Left Behind ---another one that is sooo good. Totally worth the read. 

If you have any books that you've read lately that you just love, do send the titles my way.

I'm watching: Just the regular stuff this week. But last weekend, I watched a movie starring Eddie Redmayne called Birdsong. It was really good. I also watched Great Expectations. Fabulous. You know how I love anything British. 

I am busy creating: I haven't created anything this week---although I did get several layouts done last weekend. This week, I've been planning what I'm going to take to scrapbook at the Farm Crop next week. 

I'm bummed: That all of a sudden, my internet reception on my treadmill is not all that great.

I am hearing: A Bob Dylan tribute on "Great Performances."

Around the house: It's looking like Easter in the house.

I have had these baskets for about 12 years now and they are starting to really show their age. I could do a little re-hab work, but I don't like doing that sort of thing. Maybe next year...

One of my favorite things right now: I signed up for Lumosity based on the recommendation of my friend, Karolyn. It's a series of brief games a few times a week that are supposed to keep your brain sharp and ward off Alzheimers. $4.00 a month. If it works, it's worth it. You can check out Lumosity and take a free test.

I appreciate: Bread and Company's fruit tea. And Starbucks tea. And my collection of Twinings tea.

I regret: that there are just not enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to do---all fun, but I do have to work in a few chores.

How the weekend is shaping up: Tomorrow after happy hour, we have poker. The rest of the weekend is free. I'm planning on getting some work done. Most likely I'll finish my book.

I hope you have a fun and productive/or lazy weekend!!