Saturday, April 30, 2016

Saturday Things

I started to blog about the heat, it was 93º here yesterday, but I decided it was much too early in the year to start complaining.  So I'll talk about a few other things.

Reading:  I finished the novel, notice I didn't say book, it's so much more than that, North and  South and I have to say it is one of the best books I've read in awhile.  I'm glad I stuck with it inspite of the use of dialect that was slowing me down.
Though it dealt with many social issues (the growth of industry, unions, child labor, strikes) it was at its heart a love story.
And its love story reminded me, in a strange way of Pride and Prejudice  , my favorite book.  When Mr. Thompson tells Margaret of his love she is as angry as Elizabeth was when Darcy first declared his.  But she was both full of pride, after all she was a lady, and prejudice, he dealt in business.  He expected her repudiation, but like Darcy he was wounded.
At the end when he again asked for her love it reminded me of Darcy asking Elizabeth is she'd changed her mind.  And like Elizabeth, Margaret was ashamed of her former refusal.
This one will stick with me for a while.

Listening:  On my MP3 player today while I was exercising were:

Roxanne by the Police
Surrender by Cheap Trick
Take Me Home Tonight  by Eddie Money
Red, Red Wine  by UB40
Talk Tonight by Oasis

Worked on my puzzle, it's a doozy, beginning to wonder if I'll ever get it done

For lunch today, if I get up and get going, will be pizza and a salad.  Not too heavy for a hot day.

Tonight it will be silly British TV:

Was It Something I Said
Room 101

And not so silly, but oh so good, a Miss Marple.

Hope you're having a good weekend too.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Five on Friday

It's a hot, hot, hot Friday--think 90º--and I'm afraid summer may be here for awhile.  Time to join in with the lovely Amy at Love Made My Home for Five on Friday.  Quiet week for us, too hot to do much but muck about the place a bit.  I did get some flowers planted, though Mac had to finish it up, I just got too hot.
Anyway it was a nice week and I'm sharing a few things that made me smile.

First on my list are the veggies from our garden that we've been eating this week.  Things you've grown yourself are always tastier and Lord knows they're fresher, talk about farm to table freshness.  So this week we ate our own lettuce, broad beans, sugar snap peas, strawberries and red potatoes.  . The potatoes went into potato salad and the peas were blanched and put in my salad along with the lettuce.  Plus I froze green peppers. The tomato plants are finally forming tomatoes so I'm thrilled.  We don't have a lot of luck with tomatoes so fingers crossed.





No more lettuce for a couple of days and the beans are finished,
but still lots of potatoes, peas and strawberries.  We have to pick
the strawberries early to keep the critters away from them.


Second is seeing the local pond turtles coming out to lay eggs.  Mac always worries when he sees them crossing the road and helps them across.  He's raising a couple of box turtles that he found last year, one is about a year old and the other 2.  He'll keep them till there bigger then let them go in  the backyard.  We already have 3 that live near the pool.



















The one-year old

The two-year old, aren't they cute.



Third is my, or is that Miss Kittie's, new bathroom sink.  It's finally done and all we have to do now is paint the bathroom.  It's not a huge room, so if the weather cools a bit we'll get it done.  Right now it's a rather light sand color and we're going to go a bit darker with a brown that has pink undertones.

The before

And the after!



Fourth is not something that made me smile, but was an interesting fact I learned.  While reading the novel North and South I learned that in the mid-1800's women were not allowed to attend funerals.  They were considered too emotional.  So the main character in the book was not supposed to attend her Mother's funeral.  How strange is that.




And Fifth  is the book Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson.  But then Bill Bryson always makes me smile.  This is book he wrote in the early 1990's before he moved his family to the States.  He wanted to revisit the places he'd first seen when he arrived in England in the early '70s.  He was a little cruel, but most of it was written with love for he does love England.  And after a few years in the States he moved his family back to England.

That's  my Five, hope you have a great weekend.






Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wednesday in the Swamp

Knew it was going to be warm today, didn't know it was going to be HOT!  Worked in the garden trying to get more of the plants we bought Monday planted.  I think I fried my brains!  I was slathered in sunscreen which also is an insect repellant, so I'm not burned or bitten, but oh was I hot when I came in.  Not done yet, will try to get out a little earlier tomorrow and finish the job.
Miss Kitty was outside too and we thought we'd lost her, but she's gone under the back deck to cool off.  Obviously she has more brains than we do.
Mac is working assiduously on the pool, but I don't know when it will be ready and Friday the forecast is for 90º weather.  Hope you're enjoying good weather wherever you are.
The new Lily has been planted, there are Zinnias in the background.


The patio is covered in tomato plants, no tomatoes yet though.

My Easter Lilies are blooming.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Reading Habits

I love to read and I'm a fast reader, but a couple of books have really slowed me down lately: North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell and Villette by Charlotte Bronte.  The problem is language,  North and South primarily takes place in the north of England in an imaginary town called Milton, research suggests it's supposed to be Manchester.  When the characters from that area talk it's all in dialect.  I'm no expert and I assume it's some sort of midlands dialect.   I  thought at first it was a Yorkshire drawl, but if it takes place in Manchester and that's not Yorkshire.
It really slows the story down for me.  Instead of breezing along I have to read very slowly to get the meaning of what's going on.  I was very frustrated at first and almost gave up on the book, but it's such a good book I couldn't.  And I'm glad I didn't, I'm almost finished and it's so good.  Reading the dialect hasn't gotten much easier, but I don't mind as much now that I know the characters better.  I'll do a review of this book when I finish it.





The other book giving me trouble, Villette, and the  problem is because of all the French sprinkled
through it.  I guess that most educated people at the time this book was written could read and speak
French, but I cannot.  I read and speak Spanish so you can throw Italian and Latin at me and I can pretty much figure things out.  I lived in Germany for a number of years and even though I don't speak it well, I usually recognize enough to understand short bits of it.  But French destroys and annoys me.  I'm not the biggest fan of the Brontes to begin with, but I needed a book written a 100 years before I was born for a book challenge so I chose Vlilette.  I'm about half way through it, page 300 and something, and I'll be honest, I'm not sure I'll finish it.  I just don't care enough about the main character to go on, I don't care what happens to her.
Are there things in books that give you trouble?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Finally Here

Yes, finally, my glasses are here.  They called late Friday and said they were in and that they were open till 5.   We live 8 miles from town and and we never go in for just one thing, so we didn't dash off Friday to pick them up.  There were several things to be done today, in addition to the glasses--box to mail at UPS, paper notarized at the bank and masses of plants to buy, so we waited.
When I tried them on today it was interesting because I was wearing my contact lens.  Notice I said lens, not lenses, I only wear one because my brain only listens to one of my eyes.  So I put the glasses on, closed my good eye and looked with the other (my brain will listen to that eye if the other one isn't available) and said they'd do.  The lovely assistant said they really look nice and I laughed.  I said that with this prescription the lenses look like coke bottle bottoms and I only wear my glasses at night, at home, otherwise I wear my contact lens.
Saying that triggered a memory and when I told Mac about it, I teared up and almost cried.  For when my Mom was dying, before I could get to see her one last time, she kept asking my sisters where the little girl with the coke bottle glasses was.  So sad, but as Mac said, it meant she was thinking of me.



Friday, April 22, 2016

Five on Friday


The weeks they do fly by.  We've had beautiful weather all week and I've got a bit of cabin fever, plus a dose of allergies to go with it.
I'm joining in with Amy at Love Made My Home, do go and visit the others who are joining in there.

As much as I liked decorating for Easter it was time for a change, so all the bunnies, lambs and eggs have been sent back upstairs for another year.  Now it's time for springy looking stuff.

First is my table, where as I always say, no one sits or eats.



Second is a closer look at some of the thing on the table.
This was a gift from Mac, no maker's mark, but it's handprinted, and so pretty.
I believe it's a berry bowl and should have a plate under it.

This is a berry or vegetable bowl and it does have its plate.  Looks
very 30ish to me, I bought it in England.

This is another plate from England, it's Royal Winton.

Third is a pair of jugs, they're Clarice Cliff who I love.




Fourth are some paintings by Mac,
































Fifth is a sad farewell to  a great entertainer, Prince.  I always preferred him to Michael Jackson.  He wrote all his own music, played multiple instruments, was an actor, and made movies, loved Purple Rain.
  He was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his music written for movies.  While I was exercising yesterday his song Red Corvette came up on my MP3, when I finished I came out and saw the news that he'd died.  So sad, he still had so much more to give.


That's my Five, hope you have a great weekend.











Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wednesday in the Swamp

Nice mild day, spent a while in the garden weeding, still lots more to go, but it's looking good.
Trying to figure out why my cabbages haven't formed heads.  They look great, but no heads, should I just pick the leaves and cook them?  Just Googled that and I'm still not sure, but the article said we could eat the leaves anyway, so I see cabbage in our future.
The bell peppers are amazing too, they're from last year and have been producing peppers the whole time.  Mac grew them in pots and kept them in the greenhouse over winter.  He needs to pick some so I can freeze them, I use them a lot in cooking and also like a stuffed one from time to time and Mac fixes that.
Mac bought me the most beautiful lily yesterday.  It was a gift because I had to see my retina specialist.  He wanted to laser my eye, I didn't really want him to, but the pressure was up in both eyes so I let him do it.  He did the left one, my good eye, and will do the other one in a month.  You don't feel anything, just see bright flashing lights.  Scary though, I mean lasers and my eyes, not something I'd think of doing.
Still no new glasses, I'm wondering if my prescription will change before they get them made.  It's been about 6 weeks now.  Don't think I'm going to have this place do my glasses any more, and that's sad, because I've been using them since we moved here 13 years ago.
Exercise time so I'm off.


Monday, April 18, 2016

A Minor Miracle

You can buy iris plants here, put them in the ground and enjoy the bloom, but they won't bloom again.  Oh they'll grow, lovely, long green leaves, but there'll be no flowers.  It's the same for tulips.  It's something about the fact that we don't cool enough in the evenings.  Won't do any good to dig the bulbs up and refrigerate them, they still won't bloom again.
I read all about this when we first moved here and it saddened me, I love Irises, even brought some bulbs with me from California.  They didn't bloom.  So I did some research and found some irises from Louisiana that were ideal for a warm, swampy location.  I ordered a half dozen in shades of lavender and purple.  A couple of them bloomed, once, and then never again.
That is until now.  Two of them are blooming and they're beautiful.  That's my minor miracle.  I have no idea why they're blooming this year.  Nothing is different, we've changed nothing in the garden, but they're blooming.  Makes me smile.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Minor Disaster

The Culprit
First of all, a  thank you to all of you for thoughts and prayers for my daughter in Japan.  As I said she's fine and the aftershocks have settled down and she's looking forward to getting some sleep tonight.  We'll be Skyping with her in the morning.
Now, my minor disaster.  On Thursday Miss Kitty went with me when I went upstairs to work on my puzzle, I've been making good progress and had it about half done.  Mac came up to take a look and when he left I thought Miss Kitty had left with him.  So when I left I looked in the window seat and when she wasn't there I assumed she'd left, so I left, and shut the door so she couldn't get back in and mess with the puzzle.
She hadn't left and when she woke up and found herself locked in she did what any self respecting cat would do----she jumped on the puzzle and flipped it over.
Mac heard the thud of the board it was sitting on hitting the ground and ran upstairs to find Kitty sitting there with a "Who Me?"  look on her face and the puzzle scattered everywhere.  He ran downstairs and got a spatula so he could pick up the pieces that were still connected, then he came to tell me.
I didn't cry, I didn't scream, I didn't drop kick the cat, it was my fault I should have made sure she wasn't still in there.
So for the last 2 days I've been trying to get it back together again and I'm about a 1/3 of the way there.  When I came down today I carried Miss Kitty with me.  I may be forgetful, but I'm not stupid.


The disaster, Mac had already picked up some of pieces before he came to tell me.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Missing

Haven't written all week, doctor appointments, still trying to get glasses and now the earthquakes in Japan.  Our daughter lives 100 km, 60 something miles from where they hit.  She's fine and I know she's going to be fine, but I'm nervous, and I won't feel comfortable until things settle down over there, so I won't be joining in Five on Friday this week.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Adorable

Let me be very clear, I don't do adorable, no Pollyanna pooh for me.  But having said that I have to say we watched The Minion Movie last night and it was adorable and I loved it.  I may have to become a super villain, because they'll only live with a super villain,  so that I can have a minion of my own.
We enjoyed the Despicable Me movie and liked the minions, but hesitated to watch their movie for fear it might be minion overload, but it wasn't.  It was funny and full of great music.  If you haven't seen it I do recommend it.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Saturday Evening

A pretty, but windy day here today.  Watched a lot of the Master's Golf Tournament from Augusta and it was really windy there.  So nice to watch a tournament where no one is yelling, "Get in the hole!".  They don't allow it and you will be thrown out of the tournament if they hear you.  Wish other tournaments would do the same.
The course is so pretty, love all the azaleas.
Each year we get in a lottery to win tickets to the Masters, but so far no luck.  We have gone to the Par 3 which is the mini-tournament held on Wednesday before the start of the real Tournament.  It was fun and when we get in the ticket lottery I always sign up for Par 3 tickets, I think I'd rather go to that, the golfers are so much more relaxed.
Hope it's a bit less windy tomorrow.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Five on Friday

As usual I'm joining in with Amy at Love Made My Home for Five on Friday. This week I'm blogging about things that made me groan, not smile.

First is the new sink for Miss Kitty's bathroom.  It's a standard size and should have fit perfectly, but it didn't.  Our opening for a sink had like fillers on each side, so we had to find something to work and match the new sink.  We think we've solved it and when the sink is finally done I'll take pictures to show it.  But what a pain in the neck, b***, etc.

Second were the faucets for the new sink.  I bought a nice nickel finished set to go on it.   Standard size faucet for a bathroom have a 4 inch spread.  Well guess what, this sink has an 8 inch spread. GRRRR!  I went online and ordered the right size and it should be send out free----in a week or so!  So still no working sink in there.  And we can use the smaller set in another bathroom, but really, can't anything cooperate?

Third were my new glasses, I still don't have them.  I have such a strange prescription  they had to be send out to a specialist lab, but nobody told me anything.  After 3 weeks I finally called and they said that the lab was having problems, but should be sending them to my Doctor on Monday .  I went there yesterday because I had to pick up my contact lenses and they told me they weren't ready, that there had been a problem putting the lens in the frames I'd chosen so they had to send them to a more specialist lab.  I asked if I picked a different style frames would that help and they said yes, for me to pick one with a bigger bottom to hold my lens in.  So I did, paid more money and asked it that was everything, they said yes and that hopefully the glasses would be in sometime next week.  HA!  Got a call after we'd been out all day saying I needed to come back in so they could take new measurements for doing the bifocal.  I told them it would be sometime next week before I could get back to them.
So who knows when I'll be getting my glasses.

Fourth I don't think my B-12 is working any more, I'm having some problems and I'm going to have to see the doctor---are we having fun yet?

Fifth was my new dishwasher, it's in and looks great.  But unfortunately it took me forever to figure out how to turn it on.  I'm not stupid, it should have been easy.  But even holding the directions in one hand and following them step by step it took numerous tries before I got it to work and quite frankly I'm not completely sure what I did right that I hadn't been doing before, so who knows how long it will take me the next time I use it.

Well that's enough groaning for one week,  the weather is beautiful here and I hope that wherever you are you have a great weekend.



Thursday, April 7, 2016

New Header

My new April header touches my heart, because of all the dogs we've owned through the years I only claimed one as my own and that was Charlie our sheepdog.  We owned him when we lived in Augusta, GA on a couple of acres of land.
He knew he was head honcho and when we'd come driving up he run all the way around the house making sure that the animals who were supposed to be there--the cats and horses---were there and any wild critters weren't near the house.  Then he'd run up to greet us and let us know that all was well.
He was sweet beyond belief and it almost broke my heart when he died.  We tried other sheepdogs, but it was never the same.
So Mac painted this picture for me.  I'm going to call it Charlie and Friends.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Wasn't Expecting That

His tail doesn't really show in the picture, but it was long.
This morning as we were finishing out morning walk Mac looked back down the driveway and said, "Did you see that?"
"What?" I asked.
"Look, it's a peacock!"
And sure enough it was, a large male peacock crossing our driveway with his long tail feathers dragging behind him.
Mac ran back into the house to get the camera and some bread to feed the bird while I followed the peacock.
Returning, Mac chased after him into the nearby woods, throwing some bread at the peacock, who briefly stopped to eat it while Mac snapped a photo, it  then disappeared into the deeper woods.
Have no idea where the bird came from, I'm pretty sure none of my neighbors own one.  I'm sure we'd have heard it if they did.
Hope he's safe in the woods.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Just a Few Tuesday Notes

Haven't blogged in a couple of days, no energy whatsoever!  My get up and go got up and left.  I thought the B-12 shot I got last week would help, but it didn't help much.  But today I'm feeling a little more normal, did some housework--boo-hiss--, worked on my puzzle, with Miss Kitty trying to climb on my back and did some shopping at Amazon.
I've been working away on my spring afghan, but not getting as much done as I would like.  It's not my shoulder, but rather my fingers.  My metal crochet hook is proving to be very uncomfortable and rubbing my fingers the wrong way.  I'd read that bamboo needles are easier on your hands so I've ordered a set, hope that helps.  This getting older is not for the faint at heart, 'cause if it's not one body part hurting it's another.
The weather today is beautiful, in the 70's and a bit breezy.  I have a load of laundry out on the line, love how it smells when they dry in the air.  I'm rather fussy about how I hang out my laundry.  Mac offered to hang it out once and I asked him if he would hang all the shirts and tops first, counting how many were his and how many were mine, then the underwear, counting those, and then socks and other odd items, counting them too.  He said, "You're kidding, right?", "Uh, no, that's how I do it.".  Mac brings the laundry in and he doesn't count anything.
Hoping you have a great spring day.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Saturday

The rains ended early this morning, we got more than 11/2 inches through last night.  Today was supposed to clear up, well if you call cloudy and gloomy cleared up, then we did.
Read that American military families are being moved from Turkey, things have gotten bad there.  We lived in Izmir, Turkey when Mac had a NATO assignment  and there were problems when we were there, they had armed guards on the school buses and soldiers were advised to wear civilian clothes to work.  But we weren't advised to leave.  Scary times.
On a happier note the garden is loving this weather. Mac has started moving plants out of the greenhouse including some Coleus for my side garden.
I worked on my puzzle today and managed a bit on my spring afghan.  The original plan was to finish it in March, now I'm shooting for the end of April, shoulder permitting.
The picture is Miss Kitty laying in the sun yesterday, no sun today.  She's been busy getting rid of her winter coat which means there have been lovely hairballs to clean up.  I'll be glad when hair shedding season ends.

Here's a few pictures from the garden.

My Snowball Tree


Lemon Tree








Garden Fairy

Orange Tree

All Wrapped Up

Started early, finished late.  I started wrapping presents way back in November and except for a few small things due in the mail I'm fi...