Monday, October 11, 2010

An Amazing Fall

This has been an amazing Fall! I have a new grandson who is just adorable! I had the opportunity to go to Texas and stay with Hilary and her family for a week soon after Kellen Maxton Fuller was born. Quinn is growing up so fast and, of course, I'll notice that immensely with Kellen soon too! I don't have any pictures of that visit. Randy came down towards the end of my visit and he thought to take a few, but I was busy helping Hilary get some "newborn photos" of Kellen and never got any of my own taken. Unfortunately Hil's been too busy to get copies of hers to us yet.

Then this last weekend we went to Grand Island for 1 day to see the other 1/2 of our family. Those two kids are growing like weeds also. We went to a pumpkin patch that had lots of fun things for the kids to do. Here are two little videos of each of them on the zip line.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Soggy Sunday

Needless to say, I got no planting down outside today or any other outside work. It has been raining, albeit a nice, light rain, all day! I put a garbage can out by the corner of the front porch because we need our gutters fixed. This is what it collected between noon and now (it's about 6:30 p.m.):

I think it is something like an 18 gal. garbage can, but it could be bigger, I'm not sure. Either way, that's a lot of water.

On a brighter note, here are some pictures of my flowers, or at least a few of them. They always look better and greener in the rain! My irises were beautiful this year. On the side of the house, there are large clumps of yellow and purple ones. They REALLY bloomed.

And here is just one of my roses. Look at all the blooms! It's going to be beautiful this year! Makes me want to go out and get more roses. All of mine seem to be doing pretty well this year. Even the minis are healthy and budding like crazy!

Okay, so I wasn't able to do any planting, so I went to the Farmer's Market and picked up some fresh asparagus. They had lots of fresh produce and lots of bedding plants. Then I went looking for the eggplant plants, but none of them looked very good. I did end up with a grape tomato plant and some jalapeno peppers. I'll have to check again later this week. Since I had to be inside, I got my laundry done, canned some more rhubarb sauce, made a pound cake (I needed something to try out the rhubarb sauce!), and read some of my book.

I also cooked for a change--I haven't made a meal for several weeks. Since I had my asparagus, I decided to make a decent supper. I grilled a small steak, made garlic-asiago mashed potatoes, and asparagus. Yumm! I could only eat about 1/2 of it, but it was awesome! So now back to my book.

I hope you had a good a day and as productive as I did! Have a great week!

Rain, Rain, Go Away

There are not enough hours in the day or weekend. Today there is just a constant light rain--actually somewhere between a mist and a rain, but enough to keep me from doing the outdoor work I wanted to get done. I'm not majorly complaining because we can always use the rain, and in a month I'll be wishing we had some, but I still have a lot of things to get done outside.

I did get my tomatoes planted yesterday (yea!!!!!). I have one little chocolate pepper plant to put out and some green beans to plant. And I kind of want to put out a couple of eggplants. I'll have to see how wet it is out there. I may still be able to do it today if I hurry up. Maybe I'll even take a minute and go to the Farmer's Market. I think the Sunday one has started.

Then this afternoon, if it's still raining, I think I'll can some rhubarb sauce and finish my laundry. Then there's the book for my book club that I still have to finish (or at least get close!). Well, stop writing about it and go get it done.

Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ya Gotta Love Weekends!

So what are weekends to homeowners? Why fix-it times, of course! That's what this weekend is. I had a great Friday night with some friends. Lots of good conversation, some pizza and a couple of beers--oh and some trivia contest that went downhill fast!!!!!

Now it's Saturday morning and I was up bright and early (yeah, well didn't actually sleep much so getting up wasn't hard!). Got out around 7 and dug up the sprinkler line--

Yeah, I know...what a mess!! Then I went to Reams Sprinklers and told them I needed to fix my line and what do I do? Ha! Apparently they get this a lot! Anyway, they were great about explaining what to do and giving me the parts I needed (I was smart enough to take pictures and have something to go by). I came home and cut out the bad parts and replaced what I needed. Tested it out and it didn't leak, so Woo Hoo!!!!!!!

This is the finished product:

It'll take a little time for the dirt to settle and the grass to meld back in, but it'll happen.

Now onto the next project!!!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Week in Michigan

I had a very nice week in Michigan! As part of my work, we spent this last week at a Tribal Gathering in Petoski, MI. I met lots of nice people and learned a lot too! We flew into Traverse City and then drove into Petoski. On our way back, we got to do a little sightseeing. We went to a couple of wineries and then had dinner at a brewery. Hmmmm, do I see a pattern here? Here are some pictures of us:

This was the view outside my hotel window in Petoski.

Here is most of our crew (sans me--I was taking the picture) and a couple of our federal friends having supper at a pizza place downtown.

And here is the whole MCWIC group at a winery during our "off duty" sightseeing time:

It was a great week and we did a lot of good work. This is an amazing team and I'm really proud to be a part of it!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Another beautiful day!!!

This day was absolutely straight from heaven. Yeah, I know, they all are, but this one was especially nice. In fact, the whole weekend has been beautiful. I got a few more things planted today and got the lawn mowed. I tried cleaning out the window well, but I don't think that's the problem with the window leaking--I think I'm going to have to caulk and seal around the window well. Yep, yet another weekend! My list for next weekend is getting much, much longer!

I was really hoping that I could get some pictures of my handiwork and let you see it, but I think I need to mulch first and get some flowering plants planted so that there is some color. Maybe next weekend!

I got most of my laundry done and now I have to pack. Did I mention that I've been up since 3:30 a.m.? Yeah, I don't get it either. I think I miss my doggie. I'm not used to being here alone and I worry about him even though I know that Heather will take good care of him. It's not easy for us oldies to adapt to something different! On the other hand, thank heavens he has Heather. He'd really be lost if he were here alone for a whole week!

Have a great week!

Busy Weekend

I got another wonderful opportunity to spend time with my grandchildren this last week. I went to Grand Island on Thursday night to stay with them while Heather was in Washington, D.C. for work and Fred was at the Fire Station. We had lots of fun. Wyatt is a rambunctious almost 3 year old and Bella is a 1 1/2 year old "on the move" little doll. We played and danced and sang and watched videos. On Saturday when I left, Wyatt asked to go with me. Granted, Grandma was so tired, that taking a 3 y/0 with her didn't sound like a good idea, but the fact that he asked, just warmed my heart!

Shakespeare stayed with Heather this time as I am headed out of town for a few days. Last night was surprisingly tough for me without him. It's amazing how used you get to the company of a pet. He won't even come to me anymore because he's afraid if he gets too close I'll put medicine in his ears, but he still follows me everywhere.

So when I got home yesterday, I watered the front yard because my new grass was getting very dry. (Guess I should have mowed first!). I didn't get to mow because the grass was wet. Duh! So that will happen today. I did discover, however, that I have a break in my underground sprinkler line so next weekend I'll be working at fixing that as well as repairing one of the sprinkler heads. I really wanted to get my garden planted, but that will not happen until next weekend either! So what else did I get done? Got some more plants moved, some new perennials planted, some weeds removed and some of the back yard cleaned up. Then I picked some rhubarb and canned three small jars of rhubarb sauce.

Okay, I know it seems like a waste canning such a small amount (these are 1/2 pint jars) but I didn't want the rhubarb to go to waste. If I have time next weekend I'll can some more and maybe some larger jars of Rhubarb pie filling. This sauce is delicious and can be used on cake, ice cream, pancakes, etc. And since it's canned in a water bath canner, it's easy to do even just a little. Yummmmmmm!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Easter Past

Since I'm updating my blogs, I should put on some of the Easter photos I took. I spent Easter this year with my daughter Heather and her family and some friends of theirs. We went to church (12 of us! Quite a group!) and that was very nice. Then we went back to her house for Easter dinner. Fred had cooked a wonderful smoked turkey (smoked it himself) and I brought twice baked potatoes and potato salad (potatoes are a very important vegetable, you know!). We had strawberry shortcake for dessert that our guests brought and some bunny cake pops that I made. It was fun. We spent a lot of time outside because it was such a beautiful day. These pics are mostly outside.

This one is of some of the group as they arrived. What fun! They have 5 kids ages 12-2 (I think she's 2, but she may be 3).

Bella sure likes the sandbox! Sun was a bit bright, though.

Awww yes, the Easter egg hunt! The kids were so good! The older kids even helped the younger ones find the eggs. Very well behaved kids.

Hmmm, which to keep and which to give away? Such decisions!

Don't the guys look like they're having a wonderful time? Ha! Well, there are more pictures, but some were blurry because children move fast when they are looking for Easter eggs! Enjoy!

Spring Fix-Ups

Well, I guess it is time to start writing in my blog again. I've neglected this for way too long! I've been working hard getting things ready for Spring and Summer in Nebraska!! Two weeks ago I built an 8' x 4' raised bed garden. Went to Home Depot and picked up the lumber, screws, stakes and countersink bit. I was a little nervous about how I was going to fit 2 2"x6"x8' and 2 2"x6"x4' boards into my Nissan Altima, but no problem! I then came home and proceeded to build it. Cordless drills are awesome! The next week my neighbor ordered 5 cubic yards of dirt to share with me. He helped me level the raised bed (that was harder than I thought!) and then I hauled 18 wheel barrels of dirt down to the bed. Actually, I had some help from Gwen next door. I'm a lot more out of shape than I realized! It's now done and ready to plant!

An added bonus was that as we were getting the bed ready, I found one of the sprinkler heads on that side of the house that we haven't used for years! We got the hardware and extended it so it's ready if I ever get that line going again! At least now I may be able to find the others in that line!. Later that week I came home from work and Don, Gwen and I hauled dirt to the front yard to fill in some low spots and then hauled dirt to fill in under their pine tree. We have a little more to do, but have accomplished a lot!

Last week I had a sprinkler company come fix the backflow valve on the sprinkler system (it blew two winters ago and didn't get fixed). Today I went out in the cold (54 degrees) and got the sprinklers working. I'm sure the neighbors thought I was crazy because yesterday was certainly a nicer day to do that!! However, yesterday was filled with lots of other tasks. I started the morning out by getting my laundry started--had to wash bedding! The went to coffee with my friend, Mary. We had a wonderful, relaxing time. Then I came home, put some more laundry in and then went out and mowed the lawn. I then remembered that Menard's had wooden screen doors on sale for $14.99. We used to have a wooden screen door at the exit from the kitchen to the garage. It hasn't been there for about 15 or more years. Since I plan to work more outside and in the garage this summer, I'd like to have a screen door to get some airflow through the house. So I ran to Menard's and picked up a screen door and some hardware. Then proceeded to take the screen door out to my car. Oops! 81" x 32" screen door vs Nissan Altima. HOW am I going to do this? Well, since I don't know anyone with a pickup that can help and I no longer have mine, I guess we'll just have to make it work. Wait a minute, is that a raindrop? Oh great! So I proceeded to maneuver this screen door into the car through the trunk. Whoala! It was in, trunk was shut and I just had to drive home (If I could squeeze in between the back of the driver's seat and the steering wheel with my knees in my face!). No problem!

I still have lots of yard work to do such as mulch to put down, weeding to do, additional planting, etc. but that will wait until my budget begins again next month! Also, hopefully next month I can begin redoing the back deck and recarpeting the front porch. Stay tuned! I'll get this place whipped into shape yet! Ha! I need new batteries for my camera, but when I get those, I'll take a picture of the screen door (once it's up and working, that is!). Today will be spent getting the screen door on and running a few errands. JC Penneys has $10 off a $10 purchase and I need new towels. Penney's here I come! Free towels!

Take care all and I'll be back again soon!