Saturday, June 30

Must Keep Going

It sounds like a raceway here with the all the buzzing from June Bugs. They bounce off the house and anything else in their path.
I remember catching June Bugs when I was a kid and tying a string to one of their legs. I'd then hold on to the string and have a live kite. How mean! Wonder who thought of that idea initially??

Nowadays, I'd just like to photograph them--and they never slow down or stop.

Do you think generations of June Bugs have warned their young to NEVER stop, lest they have a string tied to their leg for children's entertainment?

Thursday, June 28

The Orgy On the Hill

I noticed my Rose of Sharon have started to bloom.

Then I noticed the Japanese Beetles have noticed
my Rose of Sharon are blooming.

So I went up on the hillside to add more beetle traps,
with my trusty companion leading the way.

I'm hoping to lure the Japanese Beetles away from my Rose of Sharon
and Crepe Myrtles with these Pheromone traps.
Pheromone is a sex scent to beetles which lures them to their demise!

And then, I headed back to the comforts of home...

Tuesday, June 26

I'm Sewing Again

My granny sewed. Momo sewed. I sewed for my two young ladies most of their childhood... everything from frocks (my friend's favorite word) to bikinis. It sustains me.
So it's entirely appropriate that when my Sony Trinitron bit the dust early Monday morning, I ventured into the sewing/exercise room.
I found a large piece of leopard print interlock which I have fashioned into a wonderfully well-fitting frock. I have this marvelous bust form that one of JB's friend scavenged from an estate sale that allows me to "dial" my measurements for a perfect fit. I'm halfway there.
After two trips 30 miles up the road, I have found a new-fangled LCD that I think I can live with and can afford. But, all the while, I am drawn to finishing my frock.
It's good to create.

Side note: The playdough figure which is perched on top of my Singer was fashioned by one of my little girls more than a hundred years ago. It inspires me to create great things.

Saturday, June 23

I Have A Plan

I've managed to keep the deer away from my coneflower.

And my garden is producing green beans and tomatoes, but could use some weeding.

I knew I wanted hibiscus when I saw them in HUGE window boxes in Puerto Vallarta.

But I really have dreams of a garden like this.

It belongs to my little friend down the road.

We had our Friday at their house last night, complete with campfire.

And JB wore his new shirt I found when I went shopping with Momo.

Friday, June 22

Still Water Runs Deep

Everyone alive must fish, according to Mark Nepo, who wrote The Book of Awakening. But this requires stillness and patience and a willingness to drift.

Teach a man to fish, and he'll learn patience. He'll also soon figure out that a great deal of time will be spent waiting on the fish.

So, he follows the methods of those he views as wiser or more experienced. But his catch will come in it's own good time.

Strength is required to wait quietly and use this time for quiet contemplation. Nepo likened our personal truths to the fish, living deep below the water not wanting to be caught. It's no surprise that the weak grow agitated, and abandon the effort before the fish bite.

To provide nourishment the fisherman must bridge the gap between the elusive fish and the eventual feast.

So he proceeds cautiously, but resolutely, with what he feels will produce the desired results. This situation calls for consistency and patience. And patience is a powerful force.

But, time is an ally with those who posess inner strength - the kind of strength that allows you to be uncompromisingly honest with yourself, while sticking to the path you have charted. Perseverance with a positive attitude, can weaken even the hardest obstacles.

To rush anything, or impatiently force results, stimulates resistance and may cause setbacks.
Like a crash diet, you achieve surfacey changes that may just as quickly be reversed. Steadfast waiting - holding to your integrity - leads to slow but permanent improvements.

The young man brought JB a Father's Day card which read: Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he'll sit in the boat all day, drinking beer.

The photo is me and Grandaddy Jack (Pop's father) on our way to an ocean fishing trip.

Wednesday, June 20

It's Texas Time

My scenery is about to change...

I can't hold the phone comfortably for extended periods of time without a wrist or shoulder "locking up."

I think the rubber band that runs between my shoulders and holds my arms might be dry rotted or something.

When I was a little girl, Pop repaired a doll for me that had this very same problem. I had gotten her from the Fair and was very upset when her rubber band slipped out of place and her arms ceased to function. Pop fixed her. Once repaired, her arms lay rigid by her sides and never moved again. But she had arms, so I was happy. And Pop had fixed her.

I also had A Chatty Cathy that one of my two older sisters broke. When her pull cord lay dangling down her back and she wouldn't talk anymore, Pop fixed her too. She spoke some foreign language, but she talked.

I guess things don't always turn out the way we anticipate, but the goal is a resolution rather than perfection.

JB tells me I over analyze and overreact. I bet I do. But, I realize the importance of being a parent and take it very seriously. My heart hurts when they're sad or having a tough time of it. But then, what parent doesn't ultimately just want happiness for their offspring?

I was taught that the things we appreciate the most are the ones we've worked the hardest for--a little depression era wisdom from Momo and Pop--and have experienced it. I've also been told that I'm being prepared for what's next when time were particularly trying... very much a kin to the old saying "That which does not kill us will make us strong."

I try to pass the same type of wisdom to my girls and they ask, "What does that mean? Why are you always so vague? Why don't you just say what you mean?"

I wish I had all the answers. And you can bet, if I did, I would readily share them.

Sunday, June 17

Fathers & Daughters

The picture above shows Pop with all three of his daughters (yep, I'm the pretty one Hoss).

I can across a book called Why a Daughter Needs A Dad that I really, really wanted to send to my ex, but thought better of it. But I flipped through the pages at the bookstore and read how a father teaches a daughter...
  • A daughter's relationship with her father is usually her first male-female relationship. From Dad, little girls gain their first reflection of themselves as a female. They develop a sense of acceptance or non-acceptance; they feel valued or discounted.
  • Father-daughter relationships are an important place to learn how to negotiate fairly and compromise appropriately. If a father is overly-critical and all-powerful, men become the enemy. If a father is fair and listens to his daughter's thoughts, she will gain self-confidence and pride in her own opinion.
  • Daughters need to be able to relax, be affectionate, and know that they are safe with certain males. They need to be regarded as people, not sexual objects.
  • When daughters learn to communicate with their fathers, and trust that their opinion will count, they can develop self-assuredness which will allow them to be assertive and stand up for themselves. This is very different from aggressive reactions which stem from a sense of powerlessness and combativeness. It is important for dads to listen to their daughters and appreciate their views, even if they don't agree.
  • Daughters learn what to expect from a male-female relationship by watching Mom and Dad. If parents treat each other well, this becomes the expectation.

I love John Mayer's song Daughters:

Fathers be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do...

...On behalf of every man
Looking out for every girl
You are the god and the weight of her world
But it's never too late, you know. You can alter the course of any relationship at any time.
The years I was in Texas, I probably spoke to Pop once a year, if that. It's not that we were angry at one another or anything... we just had nothing to say, really. But since I've moved back, we talk about every day. And he and Momo come visit just about every Sunday.
They're coming today because we're hosting a Father's Day dinner here. We've invited the in-laws and the outlaws.
I'll let you know how things turn out.

Saturday, June 16

Broccoli Ham Quiche

This rich quiche recipe is attractive enough to serve for company and satisfies the biggest appetite. Tastes marvelous, too.

1 unbaked 9" deep-dish pastry shell
(I used a can of crescent rolls for the crust rather than the prepared pie crust.)
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped steamed broccoli
1 cut (4 ounces) shredded Swiss chess
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons flour
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk (or heavy whipping cream)
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 cup diced fully cooked ham

Line unpricked pastry shell with double thickness of heavy duty foil, Bake at 450 for 8 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 minutes longer. (If you using crescent rolls for crust, unroll dough and press into greased pie plate.)
Toss cheese with flour; set aside. In the bowl, beat the eggs. Add the milk, onion and seasonings; mix well. Stir in the ham, broccoli, and cheese mixture. Pour into prepared crust.
Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Thursday, June 14

When You Can't Take The Heat

I've been out of commission for the past couple of days due to my inability to know when to quit. I get a little compulsive when it comes to most projects and just keep right on going, because I know I am almost finished. Truth be told, I'd be better off (and the project as well), if I'd take a break somewhere in the middle.

I'd definitely be better off to take frequent breaks when working outdoors. I carry a hand towel and mop my forehead and takes swigs off a Diet Pepsi. I just get a bit too carried away with my grubbing in the yard.

My first year back here in Virginia, JB had to run me to the ER because I became dehydrated after working outside during a period of high humidity. I think it was a clear cut case of heat exhaustion. Here's what I have learned from that 4-hour visit in the ER.

You have to eat. When it's hot, food is the last thing on our mind. But, food is the source of energy that keeps the old bod moving along.

You need potassium. You can eat bananas, drink orange juice or have lots of Gatorade.
You need water. Most sources have indicated 4 8-ounce glasses a day.

Limit caffeine and alcohol. If you have wine in the evening and coffee in the am, and then go work in the yard during high humidity, you just might be in for trouble.

In the 1960's the World Health Organization (WHO) developed an oral solution containing sugar, which improved the absorption of salt/water preparations, saving the lives of many dehydrated persons in remote areas. This solution can be prepared at home by mixing the following:

  1. Table Salt - 3/4 teaspoon
  2. Baking Powder - 1 teaspoon
  3. Sugar -4 tablespoons
  4. Orange juice - 1 cup
  5. Water - 1 quart/liter

This beverage can be taken in small, frequent sips, and is often tolerated in the face of nausea and vomiting. Several commercial preparations are available, but since their composition varies, your physician should be contacted to decide which replacement solution (if any) is best. Changes in the type or amount of fluid replacement may be needed as symptoms improve. Care must be taken to avoid using these solutions improperly.

Food intake should be continued if at all possible, except for high fiber fruits and vegetables. There is controversy regarding ingesting milk products since the ability to absorb milk sugar (lactose) may be reduced.

According to emedicine, Heat illness is a major cause of preventable morbidity worldwide.

Be careful out there (and I'll try to do the same.)

Wednesday, June 13

Look Both Ways Before Crossing

I have two hummingbird feeders out on the back deck.
JB says it sounds like a freeway out there when he's grilling.

Sometimes you have to duck and dodge just to stay out of their way.

I think JB can manage. Especially since he has a new toy.
His latest culinary delight is this gadget to infuse marinade:

Who Needs A Scarecrow When You've Got A Cat?

I got my first "mess" of green beans from our garden on Monday.

I've decided Thomas can patrol the garden for me and keep out the critters.

With those fangs and his love of catnip, we should be covered.

Monday, June 11

MR Squirrel

The animals are taking over. They've emptied the birdfeeders.

Cute little things, though. Look at those "fingers."

Looks like he took a nosedive.

(Don't get all excited... he's fine.)

Saturday, June 9

Bloom Where You're Planted

Mary Engelbreit has a line of whimsical and very colorful stuff that hits home. (Another favorite is her "Queen of Everything" which my youngest wore proudly during her preschool years... and preteen). I like her use of vibrant colors.

Maybe I like bright colors because I've had a colorful life, filled with lots of colorful people. I'm always hesitant to share too much since Momo and Pop read this blog occasionally.

My oldest, Jessica, always teases me and suggests I'm too old to be afraid of my parents. I'm not afraid of them--I have respect for them. I would never intentionally do or say anything to upset them or make them uncomfortable... key word being intentionally. Sometimes we all slip up, though.

Bad thing is, sometimes it takes a while before we even realize we may have slipped up. Then we're not sure. And we have to think about it and analyze it and worry over the possibility some. Then we brush the entire thought aside because, after all, that happened so long ago and what difference does it make NOW?

The difference it makes now is that our perspective has changed and we can see things that weren't so apparent during the initial decision making process. And, to make things more interesting, everyone has their individual take on just how things went down. Chances are when you hear their memory fragments, you'll wonder if someone has lost their mind... and you're not sure whether it's them or you. Because that is not what happened and they didn't get all the facts. Or they don't quite understand why...

I spent too much money for some very good legal advice that saves me in times like these:

You have to make the best decisions based on the information available at the time.

Just make the decision and go with it. A leap of faith, so to speak.
But in essence, faith in yourself.

Friday, June 8

Hell In The Hallway

The deer are becoming more comfortable with we humans that share their space.

Most mornings I can catch them invading OUR personal space--right outside my bedroom window.

I caught them working their way up to my garden and flowerbeds this morning.

Their fur looks velvety soft. I've not ever gotten close enough to find out if this is true.

Instead I admire them through binoculars or a zoom lens and respect their need for a safe distance.

Look at those tomatoes!

Hoss made reference to me living in a hothouse and I believe it is indeed true. (Or maybe he cursed me?)

Yesterday the heat about got me. I had to give it up and come inside about lunchtime. It was about 90 with 50% humidity.

Wednesday, June 6

We're All Doing Our Own Thing

Here's a befitting shot of Sir Thomas, aka Fat Cat. No disrespect intended, I assure you. I've just never had a cat this big.

He's hooked on catnip and spends much of his day sunning on the back deck as a result, I'm afraid.

The squirrels run rampant--which is very suprising considering we have 3 outside dogs and a rather large cat.

But remember, the cat is high on catnip and probably really doesn't care what's running where, as long as it leaves his catnip alone.

I have 4 squirels that feast at the bird feeders every morning.

They're very industrious...

I believe they are in cahoots with the deer.

Note to Hoss: The deer are not eating my Hostas, or green beans or any other plant because I am spraying Liquid Fence once a week. It really works and is worth the money!)

Tuesday, June 5

Today I Am Practicing Nonattachment

Sometimes you can see things a bit more clearly if you just listen...

But instead,
we get so involved in reactive thinking ...

...which ultimately just leads to indecisiveness.

That's why today I am practicing nonattachment to outcome.

Monday, June 4

Rain N' Dogs

I awoke to a rain-soaked world yesterday...

while everything else was still sleeping...
(this is Haji, the neurotic peke, not Blue.)

I think I must have brought the rain,
because I gave Blue a bath on Saturday.

I tried to keep his white feet out of the red mud
but, he had to go visit with Jake.

It was a lazy, rainy Sunday.
Blue and I played fetch...

And I watched my garden grow.