Thursday, June 30, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Hello, Ladies

My garden is coming along, not as well as I might have hoped, but, well enough that I can realistically expect to harvest something in the very near future.

I have given a lot of thought to the conditions in the garden, specifically, to how conditions have changed in the years that I have been planting there, and, I have reached a few conclusions:

1.  The soil is not as rich as it used to be; it is possible that additional soil will need to be trucked in to enrich things, accordingly.

2.  I plant in a different configuration than I used to; deep farrows vs. planting on a level surface.

3.  I used to irrigate by filling the farrows and now I water from above. Maybe the water isn't penetrating the soil as well as it should?

Most importantly,

4.  Bugs. Specifically, Lady Bugs. I used to purchase and release thousands of the critters. They kept the pest population down and aided in pollination, which resulted in healthier harvest yields.


I loved watching the kids release the bugs.

I think it would be a good idea to bring back the Lady Bugs; the garden would benefit and it would give me another opportunity to spend time with my kids in the garden.

Oh, who, am I kidding? The kids don't have time for Lady Bugs or for playing in the dirt in the garden. They are beyond the time when spending hours discovering interesting insects (Queen B was fascinated by Praying Mantises...Manti? I have no idea how to plural Praying Mantis, my bad) and searching out frogs was considered high entertainment; I have to face the fact that I am on my own in the pursuit of the perfect homegrown salad.

I'm grateful for the memories, though.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Dear Mother Nature,

Hey, lady! How ya been? Good, I hope. Say, I was just thinking about all the awesome sunshine you've treated us to lately, and, also kind of wondering if you would maybe see fit to give us some more this weekend? See, we are taking the boat and RV to the lake and it would be really great if we could actually, you know, play outside? I mean, the RV is great and all, but, I don't really think anyone wants to celebrate Independence Day stuck inside a hot, muggy motorhome while it pours buckets outside. I certainly don't.

Anyway, just thought it would be worth it to ask. We're cool, either way.


Have you lost weight? You look really, really good.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tonight, On Biiiiig Brother

I remember when this show used to be fresh and interesting.

Wow. I'm showing my age.

For years when the children were small, Big Brother was the yardstick by which I measured summer; the smaller the number of houseguests, the closer we were to the beginning of another school year.  Now, the show simply provides background noise to my internet surfing or to whatever else I am doing while it is airing. That's kind of sad.

I am really going to have to come up with some new entertainment strategies once this nest is completely empty.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Ah, Monday, We Meet Again

You know, despite having only four days in my work week, I still feel like I'm not getting enough down time. That's pretty ridiculous and greedy of me, isn't it?

Don't answer that.

So, it's Monday, again. I have mixed emotions about Monday; on the one hand, I am energized and ready to tackle the goals on my weekly To Do at Work list. On the other, I am still in weekend mode, and, would be perfectly content to spend a leisurely morning on the porch.

I wonder if Day Job would be cool with a three-day week?

Probably not.

Thank goodness my weekend was pretty relaxing; hosting the Booster social was the most energetic thing I did. Otherwise, I spent time in my garden, picking the random weed and mentally willing my Brussels sprouts plants to produce while verbally encouraging the tomatoes to ripen "Come on, San Marzanos, mama's got a Bucket List with your name on it".

Speaking of the Bucket List, I can also scratch seeing Independence Day: Resurgence off the list; Hugh, the Man-Cub and I saw it last night after a dinner at the Chinese buffet. The movie was ok, I may have enjoyed the original a little more, but, it was still a pleasant way to spend the evening.

Prior to that, I had been on my own for the weekend; Hugh was in Mount Pilot at a wrestling clinic and the Man-Cub was in a nearby town at basketball camp. I took advantage of my solitude by cranking up The Highway on Serius XM and dancing around the house with a broom and dust rag. Because I know how to party, clearly.

I also ate the rest of the brie from Porch Night, so don't feel too sorry for me.

Then, last night, after the movie, while the Cub and I were relaxing on the couch; Hugh went into full Cop Mode after hearing what he thinks were gunshots in our neighborhood (no confirmation at this point); he came blazing down the stairs from his office, firing off commands to us like we were his own personal SWAT team. The Cub and I hit the lights and dropped to our bellies on the floor, where we crawled around, locking doors and securing the pets while Hugh radioed in the report and then left to cruise the neighborhood in his patrol car.

We were given the all-clear about thirty minutes later and went back to our regularly scheduled couch surfing, and, that was the excitement for the weekend.

Which, brings us back again to Monday. 


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Porch Night with the Boosters

I hosted the Boosters Club Social on the porch last night and we could not have asked for better weather. We definitely could have asked for a better turnout, but, at this point I have resigned myself to the sad fact that we are outnumbered by people who want to have everything done for them while making no effort on their part.

That realization sucks, but, whatcha gonna do?

I can tell you that we are going to do our level best to raise a record amount of fund for this year's Senior Sports Banquet, at which we will hire a caterer, an MC, and black-tie servers so that we, as the parents of Seniors, can sit back and enjoy the evening without having to bust our asses (like we have for the past three years). Then, when the Treasurer hands over an empty bank account to next year's club (assuming they can pull together enough volunteers to have a club), they can plan a banquet featuring canned beans and hot dogs.

Karma, bitches.

All of this was decided at the meeting last night, in between sipping on wine and munching on snacks that included a triple-cream brie, spread on a rosemary water cracker with a dab of fig jam on top (Oh, my sweet LORD, to die for!) and a petit fours assortment that included lemon sponge, white cake with raspberry, and angel food with a blueberry ribbon. And, that was just an appetizer and dessert, the main course featured meatballs that had been slow cooking all day, loaded baked potato skins, and sliced deli meat sliders. It was a delicious evening, even with the bad taste in our mouths regarding the turnout.

And, the porch was the perfect location, as always.

I'll take a disappointing meeting on the porch over a crowded meeting in the school library, any day.

I'm Becoming a Crazy Cat Lady, Only, With Roses

Rose bushes were buy-one-get-one-free at the nursery today and, I could not resist. I purchased a gorgeous apricot rose called Just Joey and a pale pink  rose called Bride's Dream. They are both beautiful and healthy and I planted them in the back yard, where, God willing, they will root in deeply and bloom for years to come.

Or, Rowdie will find a way to pull them out and I will find them scattered in a million chewed-upon pieces in the yard, in which case, I may have a yellow lab in need of a new home.


Kind of.

Just Joey

Bride's Dream

Thursday, June 23, 2016

All Better Now

This afternoon, the heavens opened up and poured forth a rainstorm so fierce, it flooded the streets of Hooterville, turning parking lots into lakes, swamping businesses, and marooning people in their cars until the storm subsided.

I watched it from the warmth and dryness of my office while eating a pink-frosted Granny B's sugar cookie and sipping on a latte from Starbucks.

As I headed home, the concerns I had for my garden were completely alleviated when I hit the Petticoat Junction town line and it became obvious that the storm had taken an abrupt right, bypassing the town and sparing my fragile vegetation from both the hammering rain and the high winds.

Currently, the sky is clear and the winds are calm.

It is Thursday, which, is technically my Friday.

I am about to head to a fellow Booster Club Mom's house for a product party that is sure to include wine, and, the pain in my foot has improved since this morning (Please, please, please don't let it be the beginning of plantar fasciitis, again).

I'm in a far less bitchy mood than earlier, is the point I'm trying to make.

On a totally unrelated topic, I've heard that having rapid mood swings can be an early symptom of menopause, but, since I've also heard that it can be a symptom of simply being a bitch, I'm not going to worry too much about it.

Time will tell!

Things That Make Me Frown

The weather the past couple of days has been cloudy, windy, and overall unpleasant, which, is fine since I am in the office all day, but, it better get with the program tomorrow because momma needs a pleasant weekend.

The crappy weather is affecting my mood, and today I am going to bitch about things that irritate me. Because it's my blog and I'll bitch if I want to.

1.  Weeds in my garden and flower beds. The fight, it is neverending.

2.  One of our fire alarms shit the bed last night; we know this because it went of at 2:00 this morning, waking us from our slumber with an ear-piercing shriek. I'm still shaking as I type this.

3.  My feet have been giving me fits, lately. Specifically, my right foot. I have no idea what its' problem is but I grow weary from the aching, swelling, and general pain.

There is more. A lot more, but, I am already running late for work and, I do try to be a mostly positive person, so I will leave it as this.

Which, is depressing and morose.

Tune in later today, when I try to redeem myself with a cheerful post.

Or, not.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

2016 Summer Bucket List

Yesterday was the summer equinox, or, as it is more commonly known, the first day of summer. I spent it at home, recovering from a migraine headache that started sometime during the night, causing me to miss the window of opportunity in which my prescription medication would be effective in stopping the headache.

That's...not really the way I wanted to start the summer.

Happily, I still have a couple of months in which to do summer up right; here is what I hope to accomplish, experience, and enjoy.

1.  Eat my weight in locally grown cherries (I am well on my way with this one-Jana brought a bag of cherries from her tree on to the boat this past weekend and I ate them all).

2.  Host at least three Porch Nights.

3.  Churn a batch of homemade ice cream.

4.  Celebrate the 4th of July on the lake, with good friends.

5.  Get our annual photo of the children in the spillway of the lake dam.

6.  Do Stampede in a way that would make my dad proud.

7.  Finally have the star gazing party that Jana and I originally planned several years ago.

8.  Take the kids to the drive-in.

9.  See the following movies: Captain America: Civil Wars, X-Men: Apocalypse, Finding Dory (The Man-Cub's pick), Independence Day: Resurgence, The Legend of Tarzan, Ghostbusters, and Bad Moms. It's going to be the Summer of Movies, y'all!

10. Grow the perfect San Marzano tomato in my garden. At least one. Hopefully more, but, at least one, so help me, God.

11. Finally perfect the "beachy wave" hairstyle;  while I have managed to nail"lakeside stringy", it is soooo unflattering.

12. Photograph the perfect sunrise and sunset.

13. Tour the wineries outside of Neighboring City.

14. Spend a day at the pool with the kids.

15. Drink my morning coffee on the porch as often as possible.

Summer, 2016, here I come!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Thriftin', Giftin', Driftin', and Sippin'

I am now taking Fridays off of work, giving me three-day weekends for the remainder of the summer. But, even with the extra day, I don't know how much more I could have packed into this weekend; it was crazy busy to be sure.

Friday ended up resembling a Saturday, the day I traditionally use to complete household chores and errands, which, was a good thing; I got all of that out of the way, leaving me two whole days to have fun rather than slaving over domestic nonsense.

So, Friday consisted of bookwork at the hardware store, banking, grocery shopping, shopping for a gift for a baby shower later in the weekend, car washing, house cleaning, laundry, gardening, flower bed weeding, porch cleaning (first Porch Night of the season coming soon!), and wedding photo editing (almost ready to deliver my first wedding photo package to the family!). It was exhausting and productive.

Saturday, I got up early to join my friend, Kortni, on a thrifting adventure in a community about thirty miles away. We arrived at the sale early enough to scope out our bargain-hunting competition and to drink a cup of coffee before the barn doors opened (literally) and the sale was on.

I found a few treasures, as did Kortni. I also picked up about a million bites from ravenous mosquitos, but, what I sacrificed in blood, I more than made up for in deals, including the great price I got for a few old yard sticks (I have a project in mind for them) and this antique wicker high chair that I plan to use on the porch.

Once we were certain that we had picked through every available inch of the sale area, we headed out to visit a couple of antique stores in town, as well as stopping in a well-known local chocolate store for a shot of sugar to keep us going.

The chocolatier has been a feature in the town for decades, and, the collection of old cash registers and other antiques that decorate it are almost as delightful as the candy itself. Almost.

Our last stop in town was at an old creamery building, which has been transformed into an antique mall. I scored a vintage milk delivery box and a Bissell sweeper, circa 1906, while Kortni made out like a bandit on antique glassware.

When our thrifting adventure was over, I beat feet back to Petticoat Junction, where I had approximately an hour to relax before racing into Hooterville for the baby shower I mentioned earlier.

The mommy-to-be is the daughter of my girlfriend, Jill, and the sister of the bride for whom I just did the wedding pictures. Jill had asked me if I minded taking some pictures at the shower, and I was more than happy to comply.

The shower was a crazy affair, attended by family members from both sides of the family, especially from the daddy-to-be's side, as he is currently deployed on active military duty and won't be present for the pregnancy or birth; the family wanted to be sure to show their support in his absence.

The shower was hosted at a local gold course, and, while the women played traditional shower games, many of the men golfed, including the Man-Cub, who played on the foursome that finished in third place (out of eight teams, not too shabby!).

The day was beautiful; we could not have asked for better weather, or, for a more perfect location to spend the afternoon and evening.

Sunday was, of course, Father's Day. We chose to celebrate Hugh on the lake, and, while Queen B was at Country Jam and unable to join us, we still had a good enough time.

Chris, Jana, and the kids (minus Kaley, who is working at a youth camp for the summer; our numbers are shrinking!) joined us and we pulled onto the lake in the late afternoon, which, was fortuitous considering the large number of boat trailers in the parking lot upon our arrival. As an aside, the small lake in Pixler used to be largely deserted in the late afternoon/early evening, but, each time we have gone this summer, we have had to share it with more and more boaters; that sucks.

Luckily, a lot of the boaters pulled off the lake not long after we launched, which left us with enough room to drag the children around on the tube and to try my new paddle board as a surf board, which, worked out a lot better than one might have expected.

We finally pulled off the lake at sunset, then headed back to the house for dinner on the porch before retiring for the day.

See what I meant about it being a jam packed weekend? I'm already in need of another three-day weekend, just to decompress and recover. Lucky for me, those three days are just four days away.