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Sunday, March 31, 2013

The rain held off....

These were the most beautiful little blue flowers... so tiny
We were expecting rain today but it was a beautiful sunny day after all so Scott and I took the opportunity to go for a wonderful short walk by the river....
"The Happy Tree" with more of the blue flowers as a skirt.

We aren't sure what this little bird was but plan to research a bit to find out.

Orange Fungi



Violets

This vulture was so busy chewing on this discarded ham bone we got to drive right up next to him on our way back home to take his picture. Gruesome fello huh?
Before we left for the Riverwalk we checked out the lower side of the house and took note of all we have to do down there...
We've got to get all the bushes on this side cut way down so that Scott can get in to make repairs on the house.

The bushes have just gotten way TOO tall!

I've got to cut the old wood away from the Confederate Rose and I have to come up with something for a trellis for this yellow flowering plant that I can't remember the name of at this moment.
Perhaps this lower side will get our attention next weekend. It's raining now and I will need to get to bed so I can get up in time to leave for work; 3 AM arrives all too quickly.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Saturday "photo shoot"

Scott took a whole string of photos of me and said.. "THERE... you should have at least one or two good ones in that mix." In deed he was correct I found 4 I really liked and thought I would share here...
I like how the sunlight is playing through my hat onto my face - "sun freckles"




Yard Progress

Much too busy for photos
Still too busy to smile at the camera

The bushes after their "hair cut"
Lumber that was salvaged and the Gardenia's new "doo"


Very little of that huge pile left to deal with now/
Our composter and an old rose that I cut back and mulched. Had a REAL battle with Wisteria!

The remaining side section - old brambles and yard trash all cleaned up and out.



Tackling the yard

Today Scott and I have plans to tackle some of the yard clean-up. We will begin in one of the side yards. He had brought home some HUGE pallets to recycle some of the long pieces into a tractor shed for his Gravely Tractor to free up space in the garage/shop so we can build new cabinets and shelves. At least thats what my memory tells me but perhaps it was for another project entirely. He plans to dismantle these pallets today and put the usable lumber in the garage.  I will be cleaning up on the opposite side of the fence in the back yard portion of this side yard. Here is some "before" pictures; Scott will tackle this...

And I will handle the bushes being trimmed up and general cleaning up of this section in the yard...

And will do all  the cleanup just on the other side of our fence in our back yard as well...







Thursday, March 28, 2013

OK... who replaced my head this morning?

BLAH! My head is so stuffed up; gotta just love pollen season. If I take an allergy medication then I will be all fuzzy headed and sleepy and that is not a good combination for driving to work or processing merchandise once I get there.  But I may break down and take something as the pain and pressure is about to drive me bonkers.

Scott completed his Programmable Hydraulics class and passed  the final. So now he will be home on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. He is looking forward to getting to sleep earlier on those nights.

A new month begins in just a few more days... 1/4 of this year is gone all ready. Before we know it Christmas products will be showing up in the stores. ... CRAZY!

With the weather finally warming back up this weekend I want to do a tour of our yard with a legal pad in hand to make a list of everything that needs to be taken care of out there. I have a feeling the list will be extremely long but I will tackle it a little by little over several days/weeks.

 I was talking with Scott last night over dinner about getting some things done on the den re-do now as I'm tired of being in sheet-rock limbo. So next payday I am hoping we will be able to buy some nice plywood for him to get some shelves built. So my crafting money will be going toward that for the next couple months; not that I need to buy a thing to be able to make something as I have plenty of supplies here all ready.

I guess I better get this day started... what I'd really like to do is climb back in the toasty bed next to Scott for a couple more hours. AH well thats not to be... HAVE A GREAT DAY!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Junk Journal and Custard!

Here are some photos of my latest creation. It's a Junk Journal that will be an ART Journal when it is full of art!

It's made up entirely of recycled packaging!




It will be a lot of fun to fill it's pages!

I've been thinking a lot about my Grandma and this morning I woke up thinking about afternoon custard. We would have tea at three as I got home from school each day. It always involved some type of sweet whether it was cookies or custard it was always GOOD! It was her way of reconnecting with me after I had been gone all day and we would talk about what I was learning. So today I am making egg custard...
Baked Custard
I use the same recipe she always did in the old Better Homes and Gardens NEW Cookbook. I don't have her cookbook but I found one with a Copyright of 1953 for $10 at some Antique Mall or Flea Market.

Baked Custard

3 slightly beaten eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 Cups milk, scalded
1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla

NOW FOR GRANDMAS SECRET EXTRA...... sprinkle top of custard once it's in  the custard cups with ground nutmeg.

OVEN set to 325*F

Combine eggs, sugar and salt. Slowly stir in slightly cooled milk and vanilla. Pout into six 5-ounce custard cups. Set cups in shallow pan. Pour hot water around them 1-inch deep. Bake in slow oven (325*F) 40 to 45 minutes, until knife inserted off-center comes out clean. Serve warm or chilled. Makes 6 servings.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Is it REALLY Spring?

Yesterday the wind was AWFUL! I was happy to have this roof over my head that is for sure; 45 mph gusts of cold air. I made this video for my friend, Amelia in South Africa.

My current project is a "junk" journal; made up entirely of food boxes (cereal, Popsicle, etc... whatever I could pull together before they hit the trash can). I made the cover all up and then decided I really didn't care for how it looked and took out some greyish blue paint and painted the entire thing over and re painted it and now I like it much better.  I'll share a picture of it tomorrow when I have good natural light so the colors aren't all washed out.

I'm glad readers enjoyed that forwarded story I got on Facebook. I rarely forward anything as most of it I consider junk and an eye sore. But every once in awhile a truly touching story reaches me and I do share.

This is Scott's final week in the Programmable Hydraulics class and he is looking forward to having his evenings free once more. Working and going to classes is not as easy as it was when he was in his 20's and 30's.

Tax time! UGH! I hate doing the taxes every year! And I don't have much longer to get them done; April 15th is just around the corner. I'm so hoping we won't OWE this year. We are making less money so you'd think our tax burden would be less. Ah well... "whatever to be will be and there is not a thing we can do about it"... one of my Grandma's favorite things to tell me when I was growing up. I've been missing her badly this Spring... wishing I could help her in her garden just one more time. She's been gone since 1992 but she's always just a thought away.

My hours have been cut to just 4 -4 1/2 hours per day. It's almost not affordable to work. Ah well.. .it is what it is and there is nothing I can do about it so I will just press on. Besides it gives me more "play time".

Tomorrow marks the midway point of the week and warmer weather will arrive with the weekend. YEAH!

Scott and I are trying to come up with a fun place we've never visited within a 4 hour (or less) drive of us to spend our Anniversary weekend. Nothing touristy! A place with character and characters and good food and fun! I have some time to research.

Well folks I'm going to wrap this up here and get the kitchen cleaned up for the day... oh and there is laundry waiting as well. Take care and best wishes to all!

Monday, March 25, 2013

We Should ALL make time...

Now this is a forward I received on Facebook but I thought it was so beautiful I had to share it here. NONE of us knows what tomorrow may bring we should all try harder to stay in touch with loved ones... they may be gone before we know it and then all we will have is regrets.

After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said, “I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would love to spend some time with you.”

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my MOTHER, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally
. That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie. “What’s wrong, are you well?” she asked.

My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news. “I thought that it would be pleasant to spend some time with you,” I responded. “Just the two of us.” She thought about it for a moment, and then said, “I would like that very much.”

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel’s. “I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed, “she said, as she got into the car. “They can’t wait to hear about our meeting.”

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady. After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half way through the entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips. “It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small,” she said. “Then it’s time that you relax and let me return the favor,” I responded. During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation – nothing extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each other’s life. We talked so much that we missed the movie. As we arrived at her house later, she said, “I’ll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you.” I agreed.

“How was your dinner date?” asked my wife when I got home. “Very nice. Much more so than I could have imagined,” I answered.

A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn’t have a chance to do anything for her. Some time later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place mother and I had dined. An attached note said: “I paid this bill in advance. I wasn’t sure that I could be there; but nevertheless, I paid for two plates – one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you, son.”

At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: “I LOVE YOU” and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till “some other time.”
After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said, “I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would love to spend some time with you.”

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my MOTHER, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally
. That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie. “What’s wrong, are you well?” she asked.

My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news. “I thought that it would be pleasant to spend some time with you,” I responded. “Just the two of us.” She thought about it for a moment, and then said, “I would like that very much.”

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel’s. “I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed, “she said, as she got into the car. “They can’t wait to hear about our meeting.”

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady. After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half way through the entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips. “It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small,” she said. “Then it’s time that you relax and let me return the favor,” I responded. During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation – nothing extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each other’s life. We talked so much that we missed the movie. As we arrived at her house later, she said, “I’ll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you.” I agreed.

“How was your dinner date?” asked my wife when I got home. “Very nice. Much more so than I could have imagined,” I answered.

A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn’t have a chance to do anything for her. Some time later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place mother and I had dined. An attached note said: “I paid this bill in advance. I wasn’t sure that I could be there; but nevertheless, I paid for two plates – one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you, son.”

At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: “I LOVE YOU” and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till “some other time.”

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Gloomy Dreary Sunday


It's definitely not a "CHEERY" Sunday morning here at nearly 7:30 AM. I'm glad that we had a semi sunny day on Friday even if it was cold as all get out that day. We haven't seen the sun since then... rain, rain and more rain. The birds are still out there sounding chipper and excited about a new day as they always do; perhaps I should be more like them and greet everyday with exuberant joy. On a more positive note the rain is really bringing on the flowers and the green of Spring and everything is so beautiful. Just in time for Easter!

I will just have to keep myself busy indoors today with laundry and cleaning up. Perhaps I will even make a little something as well. I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

AWA Meet in Charlotte, NC

Taken March 22, 2013

COOL Sculpture as we approached the Charlotte Airport

Antique Radios


Scott with his nose in a radio.... He is like a kid in a Candy Store at this event.

"Can you hear me now?"... speakers.








Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wednesday... let a chef cook

Tonight I am hoping to let someone else cook our dinner. Well that did not happen - had to throw a meal together out of leftovers as Scott had somewhere he had to be tonight that I forgot about... see too much going on! Not feeling so good. Scott's longer days and hectic schedule are wearing even me down. I took a 2 hour nap today and could still lay down and go right to sleep. There are also 2 very nasty bugs going around that I am truly hoping miss our house one respiratory and the other intestinal... neither sounds like anything I want to experience. AH yes and it is also "POLLEN SEASON"... the yellow dusting has begun!

This coming weekend we have the AWA meet to attend in Charlotte. Scott is hoping to sell a bunch of stuff out of  the bonus room; me I'm just looking forward to some time out of this City and to spend some quality time with Scott.

I have a new "Boss" now and I am hoping she settles in quickly and we keep things moving forward. I think she'll do just fine in time. Until everyone has settled into their new positions though it's going to be a bit bumpy at work. My hours have been cut to just 4 a day so I am going to try to get back into caring for the yard more and perhaps have it looking really good this year. Since I started working my main focus has always been my job ... that is a LOT of years to be unfocused on ones dwelling. SO many projects half started and few completed. When I was a homemaker full-time my focus was entirely home and family and I did most everything... now. I come home and ignore it all. It's not like we entertain a lot and we aren't big "people" magnets. We have a few superb friends that truly value us as friends and enjoy spending time with us. But it would be nice to have the yard looking good again... you know me... always looking outdoors or being outdoors. My home is functional NOT frilly! People actually LIVE inside our house as well as animals... it's reality! I don't feel the need to hold up a front of someone I am not to please other people.

I've done some pages in my Art journal... read a few magazines and then went through and ripped out the pages I thought would make neat collage elements before tossing them in the trash. And some boring stuff like laundry... can't run around naked. Thats been life this week... exciting huh?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

This weekend...

I made these yummies yesterday...
Carmel Cinnamon rolls with Bourbon Raisins
They were AWESOME! I still have 14 left and am thinking 7 will go into work with me tomorrow for my co-workers.

 Last evening we took a walk around the neighborhood and I was able to get this lovely sunset shot as we walked under the power line right-of-way...
Then we drove to the boat landing and out past Amazon's Distribution Center to see what kind of wild life we could spot. As we were driving down Old State Road we stopped to look down the blocked off old road to our neighborhood where we have seen deer in the past and a Cop stopped to see "what we were doing". We get asked that a LOT... must be odd to enjoy Nature anymore as people look at us like we are crazy or something. SO if there had been deer there they were gone before we could get a good look with the two cars making so much noise and light. GRRRRR!We let him go on past and we drove on down to the entrance to the Congaree Creek Trail and wouldn't you know it that same Cop got behind us again but he left us alone. There were 3 vehicles in the parking lot which meant there were people still on the trail and it was getting dark. I hope they had flashlights because once it gets dark in there you can barely see your hand before your face. Luckily the Officer went on his way after that and we drove on down past Amazon. I don't have ANY pictures because everything happened SO FAST... first an Owl flew up out of the brush right in front of us on the way down the road and on the way back a Bat flew right at us and we both went "AHHHHH" as we thought for sure it was going to hit us. Then as we neared I-77's overpass I saw 2 sets of eyes... 2 crazy Raccoons coming toward us in the opposite lane.  Then as we came up our Street we encountered 2 black cats... Scott said that "two negatives always make a positive" so we're safe! ha ha.

Check out these stems on this variety of mustard...