Sunday, August 31, 2008

Biker babe

Riding with her babe and the favorite man in her life.



Saturday, August 30, 2008

Stiiiiill growing

These pics were taken on Tuesday, a week after the first photos.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Defeet


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If at first you don't succeed, then tickle Grandma's toes and try something else.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Current bloomers

Lots of these black-eyed susans:

Another kind of hosta:

And these godetia(?) or mallow(?):

Anybody know which they are? A closer look:

Sedum just beginning to open:

Geranium:

Dragon-wing begonia with some alyssum that kinda got carried away:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Glamour Girl

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Baby care can be so frustrating!

Especially when you have 2 at once!

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Poll Results

The results of the poll "Have you been losing sleep because of the Olympics?" are as follows:

  • *YAWN!* (6 votes)
  • Nope (3 votes)

*YAWN!* I admit it. Although I did better once the gymnastics was over. :-) Looks like I was in good company, anyway. It was all very enjoyable and rather addicting to watch. I'm glad it's over, though, so we can quit dragging our supper to the basement to watch TV in the family room.

Thanks for voting!

They're back!

I was getting concerned that I hadn't seen any hummingbirds coming through yet on their way south. Then I saw one at our evergreens last week... then one the next day at my million bells. But none came to my feeder, which I've had out for over 2 weeks. Finally Saturday they appeared... and again yesterday morning. Not a lot yet, but hopefully the numbers will increase during the next couple of weeks.

These little guys looked kinda ruffled, like the trip's been rough already. They'd better drink up... they have a LONG way to go!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The exersaucer is still fun...

... from the OUTside!


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('Course it keeps Grandma busy, too, UNlatching them! :-) )

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Worms?

Nope. Very tiny caterpillars. Monarch caterpillars. It's that time of year again, when the monarch butterflies lay their eggs. I've enjoyed watching these ever since I first learned about them as a kid. I think it's fascinating to observe them from newly hatched caterpillars to newly hatched butterflies... all in about 4 weeks.

I heard on the radio a few days ago that the number of monarch butterflies is way down this year because of the cold wet spring we had, so we might not see the bunches of butterflies coming through on their migration south like we sometimes do in the late summer.

I haven't seen many butterflies, but I sure found a lot of caterpillars! There were at least 4 on this one milkweed plant (and I found some on other milkweeds, too). Here are 3 of them, of various sizes.

This next leaf also has an egg on it... you can see the little white dot (smaller than a pin head) down in the lower right-hand section of the photo. The butterflies lay only one egg at a time.

The above photos were taken on Tuesday. Yesterday I took another pic of one of the same caterpillars, just for size comparison. It's growing fast. They only take a couple weeks to get to full size and ready to make their chrysalis.

A few years ago I kept some of the caterpillars in a jar and took photos of their progress... my own personal "documentary", I guess. I'm not going to bother to do that again this year, but I'll dig up those pics and post them on here sometime. I even managed to get pics of a couple of the butterflies hatching. Very fascinating!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Grandma, pleeease...

"I NEEEEEEEEED to go outside!!!!"

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(Note from Grandma: We did! Like I could resist that plea? :-) )

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Scary creature!

Courtney wasn't sure what to think of this big guy that was right up by our house! He was fascinating, but kinda scary when he hopped!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A funny "bug"...

... and another cute outfit.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Maple tree problem

Our entire maple tree is covered with these ugly black spots. I don't know what they are... fungus because of all the wet weather or something? I haven't done any researching about it yet. I just hope there's no permanent damage and that the tree is okay next year.

Anybody else's trees look like this?


Update: Okay, I quit being so lazy and decided to do a little research to see if I could find out what these leaf spots are. Here's what I found on a University of Illinois forum in a post from 1998:

The black spots are very likely what plant pathologists call "tar spot," a disease caused by a leaf-invading fungus. The disease specifically infects Norway Maples trees, and has reached an epidemic in many areas, with just about every tree in the area being afflicted. Spraying the tree with a fungicide is rather impractical, so the best way to manage the disease is through cultural practices. The fungus, as most do, thrives under moist conditions, so all attempts to control it should be aimed at reducing moisture in and around the tree, and reducing the presense of the sporulating pathogen itself. Rake up the leaves each fall, and have all dead, dying, and diseased branches in the tree removed by a tree professional. You may want to have the tree's canopy thinned somewhat to allow more air to circulate within the canopy to further reduce the moisture. Tar spot doesn't have a grave effect on the tree's health since it develops after the leaves are fully developed and have had time to perform their duty of supplying the tree's energy resourses for the winter. Even after performing all the above practices, signs of the disease may still remain, since tar spot is well known to be difficult to control. You'll probably have to learn to live with it knowing you'll have done all you could do practically.

I also read similar information at other places online. I think I'll just "learn to live with it".

Monday, August 18, 2008

My overgrown garden

You may have noticed I've been a little lax in posting lately. (At least I FELT like I have been.) I've been under the weather with one heckuva cold (or something) the last couple weeks and just haven't felt much like blogging, much less have any inspiration of what to take pics of. And because of not feeling well, I also didn't have Courtney for over a week (who was also under the same "weather" for awhile), so I'm also out of pics/videos of her (till tomorrow). And then there's been the Olympics on TV every night, so that's taken up some of my usual computer time. And I can't see the TV from the computer. Enough excuses? Anyway, I started to feel alive again yesterday, and though I'm not 100% yet, I believe I'll survive. ;-)

Due to the abundant rains we've had this summer, my garden has really gotten overgrown! It's been hard to even get into it to pick anything. Front and center here is what is supposed to be 'bush' acorn squash. That's some "bush", if you ask me! It's completely covering a row of green beans on one side and moving well into the wildflowers on the other. Later this afternoon I must go out and cut the vines off the beans... I do NOT want that many squash! And as you can see from the second photo, they're still blossoming profusely, and the little honey bee inside the right blossom is doing its job, too.

On the other end of the garden are my 2 hills of cantaloupe. They were totally covering all that bare space between the 2 rows of onions, until I ruthlessly ripped out the excess vines a couple nights ago. The melons are VERY thick in there... easily the most I've ever had. I can't wait for them to ripen, though... they're soooo yummy!

My tomato vines are also very thick, and it's hard to even see the fruit under them. But here's a peek.

My green peppers are producing abundantly, too, but were too covered for a good photo. And even though I only planted less than a 2-foot row of beets, I'll have more than enough there, too. Needless to say, it's been a good year for gardening.

Oh yeah, the weeds have done well, too. In the last few days, I've hauled out two 5-gallon buckets of "beloved" purslane. (I should've taken a pic before I started pulling!) But at least it was easy to pull, with the ground being wet, and with so much shading from the tall vegetable plants, it also stood upright, rather than flattening out on the ground like it usually does. So I've gotten most of it pretty easily.

P.S. I realize I don't have a little poll to vote on this week, either. My sluggish brain couldn't think of anything fun to poll about, plus I've been testing out some other blogger "gadgets" which I may put up for awhile instead. I guess you'll have to wait and see what develops there. ;-)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Peaceful and pretty

Our sunset last evening:


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Poll Results

The results of the poll "Are you a big fan of the Olympics?" are as follows:

  • ABSOLUTELY! (3 votes)
  • I enjoy watching (6 votes)
  • I can take it or leave it (1 vote)
  • I don't really care for it (0 votes)
  • I think it's crazy (0 votes)

I enjoy watching the Olympics, especially the gymnastics. I do sometimes, however, think it's kinda crazy as far as some of the things the competitors put their bodies through! Whew! But it does make for interesting viewing! :-)

Thanks for voting!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fascinating new toy

And she found it all by herself... next to the wastebasket in the garage on her way in from her afternoon of soil tasting. (Grandma did do a quick washup job before letting her play with it... washup job on her, that is.)

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I love how she crosses her ankles. :-)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

In the eye of the beholder

Late yesterday afternoon, a small storm system went through our area, and we were under tornado watches and warnings. The sky got really, really dark and there was a lot of rumbling going on. Fortunately, we didn't get anything out of it but rain.

Awhile later, I got an email from a friend who included these photos. This is what our storm looked like from her perspective... 70+ miles away! (Click on photos to enlarge.) Quite an awesome sight, huh?!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Chocolate?

With a look like this, I doubt it.

Here she comes, back from a day of working on the farm.

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Yup, her work of the day was soil tasting... to see if there was adequate moisture for the crops. (Or if that mud was as good as it looked.) ;-)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Yum!

Those first home-grown tomatoes of the season are always such a treat. These are the first ones I've picked, and we ate the one on the left yesterday, sliced atop grilled burgers.

Usually the first ones picked are smaller, but these are BIG. The slices extended over the burgers and buns a ways. They sure were good! :-)

They're 'Better Boys', by the way.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Yes, yes, YES!

On July 30th, I posted the below photo (minus the arrows) and asked if anyone noticed anything unusual about it. I only got one comment, which said "They seem to be camera shy." That was sort of along the right track, but not quite correct. Someone else did tell me in person what the right answer was, but I was hoping somebody would leave the answer in a comment. I was thinking about bumping the post back to the front page till I got a correct answer, but hadn't decided whether to do that or not.

But now I don't have to, because last night I DID get the correct answer in a comment! WAY TO GO, KRIS!!! I wish I had a prize for you, but I don't. Then again, I could give you a bouquet of sunflowers next time you're down this way. ;-) Anyway, THANKS for being so observant and letting us know what you saw.

For those of you who haven't figured it out yet, it's that all of the sunflowers are facing the sun, except for ONE (that the arrows point to). Click on the photo to see a larger and clearer version.


Whew! I'm glad that's solved! :-)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Stargazer lily

My stargazer lily bloomed better this year than it did last year. However, it's still not as pretty as it used to be.


You can see from this other bloom that there's still something wrong with it. Notice the funny brownish spots on the far right petal? Can anybody give me a clue as to what's wrong with it? Fungus? Disease? Grace, you're a lily expert... you must have an idea! :-)


Poll Results

The results of the poll "Do you make backups of anything on your computer?" are as follows:

  • Yes, regularly (4 votes)
  • Yes, but not regularly (2 votes)
  • I always intend to, but... (1 vote)
  • I know I should, but... (0 votes)
  • I did once or twice (0 votes)
  • I've never backed up a thing (0 votes)
  • What are backups? (0 votes)

Out of those who voted, it looks like most do a pretty good job of backing things up. I wonder if those who don't make backups weren't ready to confess. ;-)

I probably wouldn't be as good about backing things up if I had to remember to do it myself. But I have a couple of programs that automatically back things up to a second hard drive for me. I also have burned most of my photos to CD's, but I'm behind on doing that. I only hope that nothing wipes out both my HDD's at once. I'd be in big trouble then! Well, not 'trouble'... but I'd surely be disappointed at my loss! Then again, it wouldn't be the first time I've lost 'everything'.

Thanks to all who voted!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Potty business

Grandma got a potty chair for... well... you know what. Normally it's in the bathroom when Courtney comes, but Sunday I didn't bother to put it in there because she was only gonna be here for a few hours. And she doesn't use it yet, anyway.

Well, after her nap, she discovered it sitting in the bedroom and decided that's not the right place for it. So she picks it up and away she goes! Ummm... no... not to the bathroom!

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Sure makes a great reading chair!

I think we have a ways to go yet. ;-)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Isolated showers

A 20% chance of isolated showers and a tiny blip on the radar, and conditions can sure change fast. These clouds came out of "nowhere" and dumped nearly a half inch of rain on us last night. Because we had hay down again, I guess. :-(




Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's too bad....

.... that hostas bloom "upside down".

They're much prettier viewed from below.

Just one of life's challenges, I guess. ;-)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Grandma's babies

"Whoa!"


"Okay... let's share."


The babysitter.

Monday, August 4, 2008

On a hot day...

... we have a bit of a lineup for the bath! (Click on any photos to see larger... especially the first one to see how high the water's flying. :-) )




"These flowers don't give much shade to wait in."


"Hurry up, will ya? I'm croaking!"