Monday, June 29, 2009

What is it?

Out by my garden, under the tree...

Looks like a tomb, or a shrine...

But SURPRISE!

It's a sandbox!

Courtney loves it. And kitty loves to be right there, too.

So it's a good thing it has a cover.

Hmmm... kitty loves that, too.



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Ahhh... success at last!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Grandpa rocks!

Grandpa G got this from Courtney for Father's Day. I thought it was awfully cute, and very fitting, since the two of them have lotsa fun together playing with rocks... collecting them, throwing them into puddles, etc. :-)

In case you can't tell, it's made of rocks... glued onto a paint stick. I think Courtney had a little help with the project. ;-)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blogcast...

... to present our latest accomplishments on video. ;-)

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"Courtney Grace ... ", whose last name shall remain anonymous, just like Grandma's. ;-)

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(Notice the scar on the forehead is healing nicely, too. :-) )

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This is a first

A first for us, anyway. We planted a hackberry tree in our yard several years ago. This year it's producing fruit (which we didn't even know it would do). I did a little researching on them, and I found that this is the way they normally grow, just individual berries scattered around like this.

(Click any photo to enlarge.)

They turn red when ripe, and they're edible, although they contain a rather large seed. They can be used for baking, jellies or wine if you grind the seeds along with the berries. However, considering the small number of them, I doubt I'll be doing any of that. I might taste one, though... supposedly they taste like the "outside shell on an M&M". Too bad the inside isn't chocolate! ;-)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!

From your creative little daughter, "hamming" it up! :-)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Squiggles!

I bet you're having Courtney withdrawals, right? Sorry, I got carried away outside the other day (and still haven't shown you all the pics I took!). Well, here she is back again. These pics are kinda old... she doesn't even have the ouchie on her forehead yet. I'll get caught up some day.

When her daddy and Auntie Jess were little, I used to sew a lot, and while I was sewing, they had a great time playing with "squiggles". In case you didn't know, squiggles are styrofoam packing peanuts. They used to do all kinds of things with them... load them into trucks and drive them around... and whatever else they could think of that I don't even remember anymore.

So I thought maybe Courtney would also enjoy squiggles and they might keep her busy while I got a little sewing in. She thought they were pretty fun... for about 15 minutes. After that, it was more fun to check out the colors of Grandma's threads, play with boxes of bobbins, see if pins were sharp, etc., etc. Needless to say, Grandma didn't get much sewing done. Nice try, but it must be more fun playing with squiggles when there's someone else there to play with them with you. ;-)

(Click to enlarge.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Turkey trot

While I was out discovering the "spittle" (see previous post), these guys didn't even seem to notice me standing still, and they practically came right up to me. They were looking rather impressive, and with the camera in my hand, I just couldn't not take pics of them.

(Click to enlarge.)

And here they are in action.

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I was hoping they'd gobble for you, but they didn't while I had the camera running, naturally. I think it's interesting how they drag their wings on the ground in their little "dance". That one hen is pretty lucky(?) to have 3 boyfriends.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Update (read previous post - "A messy morning" - first)

[I had to do a new post for this, because if I added pics to the previous one, it'd screw up all the formatting, and I don't have the time (or patience) to fix it right now.]

I just checked the bubble globs on the grass. Here's what I found.

Each one had at least one of these little critters in it.

They must really mature FAST, because I found nothing but a tiny 'something' that was indistinguishable in any of the bubble globs this morning. Now they all have these larvae in them. This last one had three!

I still don't know what they are.

The answer: Grandpa called his crop consultant, and he said they are Meadow Spittlebugs. How aptly named, huh? Now we all know.

A photo of a mature one can be found here, and there's some information about them here.

A messy morning

Remember the million bells I had last year? And the incident I had with them right after I'd planted them? Well, guess what. It's happened again! Only this time it was worse. This is what I saw on our deck first thing this morning.

Yeah... ON THE DECK! Would a skunk come up the steps and onto the deck? Or would a raccoon do that? Or a woodchuck? Anyway, I'm mad! The poor little plants were just beginning to look pretty nice. I'm sure they'll survive... they're like a petunia, and they're pretty tough. But there was a LOT of root damage, so they won't look nice and full for a while.

I often take the planter off the deck railing and set it on the floor overnight, in case the wind comes up or something. I guess from now on I'll be putting it in the garage overnight. Always something to contend with when growing anything outside, but this is ridiculous. I hope whatever it was gets sick and dies from all the plant food, etc., in the potting soil.

While I was out on the deck, I checked the birdbath. This is how it looked.

YUCK! And it had looked like that last night, too, so I'd rinsed it and refilled it then. Sure didn't stay clean very long... had lots of mud and blades of dried grass. I rinsed and refilled it again, and after I went back in the house, I kept an eye out to see who the culprit was. Didn't take long. It was a very dirty ROBIN. Apparently they're doing some nest building, and I think I know where. I'd seen a pair building in an ash tree nearby a few weeks ago, but the nest was abandoned. Today I looked up there after seeing the robin fly to that tree, and sure enough, it looks like they've been doing some renovating. The nest has gotten much bigger. I think they've added a complete story. ;-)

So that explained that mess. Then as I finished up taking some other interesting photos (fodder for future blog posts... stay tuned), I happened to look at the long grass in the ditch across our driveway. Here's what I saw.

Everywhere were these little white globs! Have a little closer look.

Okay... have a REALLY CLOSE look!

They were little globs of bubbles! It looked like someone had tossed some dishwater suds into the air and the wind scattered it all over. No, it wasn't me! It's gotta be some kind of bug or something, doesn't it? Like inside those bubbles are eggs or something? So someday soon are there going to be some nasty bugs all over the place??? ACK! I have no clue. Does anybody know what makes this? Dale, do you know???

It rained lightly for quite awhile today. I'll have to take a look soon and see if anything's left.

But now I must sew again. Our Etsy shop got restocked today with the 5 new bags I sent Jess. We'll see how long they last (I just checked and saw that one has sold already!). And now people are asking for more of the smaller book covers, so those are next on my agenda. At least I already have a few cut out, and they're pretty quick to make. Last week the postcard packs were selling strangely fast. We don't know if somebody's blogging about our stuff and causing the extra sales or what, but it's nice. Does keep me busy, though, so I guess I'm glad for the rainy weather. Grandpa's not so happy, though, since the hay was almost dry. :-(

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Osteospermum

These are what I have planted in my whiskey barrel in front of the garage. They're beginning to look really pretty now. I just took these pics a few minutes ago. Enjoy!

(Click to enlarge.)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

It's been a busy week

Here's what I mailed to Jess this morning for the Etsy shop.

The two on the left are from the same pattern, just a larger size. Below is a little more comparison.

Since there's a little more room inside, I made the pocket a bit bigger and sectioned off a place for a pen.

So it was a week of accomplishment. I was very glad for the rainy weather so I didn't have to feel like I should be doing things outside. Also because it was a great way for my late-planted garden to get started. Now if we just get some sunshine and warmer weather, things should grow like crazy. Oh, yeah... that means the lawn, too. Always something to do.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

OUCH!

Courtney had a little mishap at daycare last Thursday. She was running, tripped on a mat, and fell against a bookcase, cutting open her forehead. Mommy got called at work to come and take her to the emergency room for stitches. She was a brave little girl, though, and came away with some new stuffed animals. ;-) I went to see her that evening, and except for the pretty bandaid on her head, you'd never have known anything happened. She was just as lively and cheerful as ever. Yay!

Here's what the stitches looked like yesterday.

(Click to enlarge.)

Forget the stitches... don't those eyes just grab you?!! :-)

She also tried for a few more bruises while she was here yesterday. She took a tumble down the basement stairs all the way from the top... did a somersault and slid the rest of the way. But it was all sort of "gentle", on carpeted stairs, so it just scared her more than anything. She cried for a minute, then when I asked her if she wanted to do something, the tears promptly stopped, and off we went. :-)

Later, when Mommy and I were sitting on the deck steps, Courtney was running back and forth on the deck, then tripped down the steps and I caught her by the shoulders as she was upside down! A slight bump to the head was all she got that time.

Whew! Life's been tough for Courtney lately. Oh, yeah... and then there was the little kid at daycare on Monday who bit her on the head right above her stitches. Good grief!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Out my sewing room window

I finally got my three amaryllis plants and tiny impatiens out of the basement window and put into the ground outside, and after I did so, I realized what a beautiful view I'd been missing! Here's what I see out my window now.

Lots of dianthus... and the poppies in the background.

Lovely, huh? And without an ounce of effort on my part, except for a little watering.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

She still loves dirt

And she loves it when Grandpa plays in the dirt with her.

They're in my garden. My as-of-last-Tuesday unplanted garden. But, I did manage to get it planted on Thursday (and have never planted in such DRY dirt before). Now if it would really rain instead of just teasing us with sprinkles and drizzle, my garden might actually grow.

The good news is, Grandma got a really good deal on a sandbox, and it should arrive this Tuesday while Courtney's here. So if Grandpa does his part and gets the sand, she should have a much cleaner place to do her scooping. Yay!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bird watchers

Needless to say, all the birds at my feeders are great entertainment for my cats. They spend hours every day at the windows. Here's a not-so-typical example.

Kind of a weird-looking cat, huh? Okay, so look from another angle.

Wispy was there first, and when she wouldn't move after Willow asked her nicely to do so (she really did... she sat on the floor making these little "hmm?" sounds), Willow decided to just do the next best thing. Wispy got the idea and squeezed out eventually. Willow ALWAYS wins. ;-\

Here's Willow after a tough day of bird watching.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Who do you think is enjoying this story the most?

(Click to enlarge.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Grandma's little hat model

Nice hat, but look how long those curls have gotten!

Monday, June 1, 2009

A really clean oriole

This is a first! I've never seen the orioles use the birdbath before, except to take a drink now and then. He sure did make the water fly!

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