Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Texas Visit

I haven't blown away yet, but the wind has been mild so far. Until tomorrow. The weather people on the nightly news keep grinning about it - wind and dust and more wind. I'm looking forward to seeing it.

I've taken some pictures but don't want to fool with them on someone else's computer. These inlclude a dust devil, many cows, flat fields, a bunch of mule deer in a fence. Mike and Mama and I rode out into the country, just taking dirt roads and exploring. I wanted to see the huge tumbleweeds but only managed to see one anemic one.

The trip out here was great, considering my passengers were an 87-year-old and a fairly active dog. We stopped in Mississippi near Meridian at a rest stop where Mama said she had an excellent cup of coffee and enjoyed sitting in the sunshine talking to strangers.

Darby was a great traveler, sleeping most of the time. Her favorite parts of the trip were the McDonald's Happy Meals we got for her. McNuggets and a mermaid on Saturday and
McNuggets and a race car Sunday.

We just missed the tornadoes and bad storms that went through MS and Al on Sunday. We spent Saturday night in Lindale, TX, and thunder and lightning and really hard rain woke me up about 2:30, but Sunday morning headed toward Dallas, the sky was bright blue and the air fresh-smelling.

Mama has settled into her little room with a recliner and TV and turqoise bathroom from the 50s. She has a little refrigerator and microwave and someone to vacuum and bring fresh towels, so she's happy. Darby is happy there too and enjoys sitting in the little courtyard out front watching the birds and trucks. I spent a nice hour sitting there in the sunshine embroidering.

We went to Lubbock to look at houses and neighborhoods and realized again what a pretty town it is. I was very impressed with the new Barnes and Noble and love the Market Street grocery.

Then we had a nice dinner at Rodriguez's in Littlefield with friends Linda and Butch and met another couple, Terri and Tommy. Such a fun night. Enchilados and taco salads and lots of laughing. Sweet people. We'll get by to visit some more folks this afternoon.

I'll be sorry to leave Friday, but I guess it's time to get back to real life. It's fun to wake up in the mornings and realize you have nothing you have to do and nowhere you have to go. I needed this vacation.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spring Makeover

Darby is ready for her trip and for the rest of the summer with her cute hair cut.

This is the before picture. Look at those Grinch feet.

And here she is after we got home. This is not the scarf she would have picked out. I think she wanted something brighter and not so flowery.

She has a sweeter face with all the hair, but she's happier and cooler with the sleek-dog look.

The groomer lived through it fine and had enough strength to discuss her afterwards. Darby is an awful customer. When she sees the brush or realizes it's bath time, she starts drooling and shivering and trying to put her head on your shoulder.

She also got her shots, and all her tests returned negative.

I wish I could get all my grooming and medical checkups for the year done in a couple of hours and so cheaply.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Still Here

Just a bit overwhelmed with having to do yard stuff now and having to spend a lot of unnecessary time arguing commas with people at work. They need to know I'm the spelling and grammar queen from way back, although this blog might not show it.

Two things that made me happy early this morning.

If this is any indication of the berries to come this winter, this pyracantha should be gorgeous.

My absolute favorite of all my plants, and I try not to play favorites. I've killed more clematis of all varieties and colors in more towns than I like to think about, but this one is just a survivor. I always put the pot in some out-of-the-way corner for the winter - outside - and it's usually the first thing to leaf up in the spring. This year, the pot had even been overturned and lost most of the dirt, and here it is again.

Mama and I are busy packing and getting ready for our trip to Texas, and Mike and Elise are busy thinking of exciting things for us to do. Elise has already checked out the quilt shop in Lubbock for anything interesting going on. It's ALL interesting in a quilt shop so no problem there. They want to go to Albuquerque, but with Mama and Darby, that may have to wait until another time.

Darby is getting her yearly shots and a new haircut tomorrow. I'll have before-and-after pictures.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Well, just April.

There's nothing like it. Nearly every day you want to bottle up the beauty and save for later. I love that walk to the front sidewalk to pick up the paper every morning now, just savoring all the fresh smells and birds chirping and people walking. It's just a happy time.

I get to check on the progress of my plants and rejoice that I haven't killed one yet. Well, maybe the plumeria, but I'm still waiting for a leaf on that one. I've nurtured it 12 years, so it better not leave me now.

Here are the irises I brought from the purple lady's yard (later ours) in Thomaston. I took several colors and varieties, but these are the only ones that have made it through 4 moves. Not my favorite color but still a beautiful creation.

A couple of side door pots that make me happy.

The bricks are from our old house in Andalusia.

My never-fail daisies that have also been moved many times. I can't remember if these are the ones from my mother-in-law's beautiful collection of flowers, but I think they may be. I just dig them up every time we move, and they love it wherever they're put down.

We go to Prattville for Mama's doctor's appointment this afternoon, and I'll hopefully get some tatting done while we wait. Between yard work and work work and just lethargy, I haven't picked up any needlework this week. I did get out my embroidery machine to see if I remember how to download designs and applique.

Mama and I will go to Texas next week, and I'm packing up a few embroidery projects to take with me. There will be 2 nights on the road, and we'll stay 5 or 6 days. It will be nice to get away, although I'll pay for it when I get home.

I'd better work a little bit this morning and answer a few emails so I can have my evening to myself when I get back from Prattville.

Life is good, according to Jacob.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bishop Accomplished

Or so I thought.

Looking at the pictures, I discovered two flowers with no leaves. And a few pleating threads. Easy fixes, though.

And the bias band is still not where I want it to be.

But I'm very happy with it. I'm still going to do something different with the sleeves and, of course, hem it one day, but it's finished for now and has been a nice learning experience. I'm going to do another one - soon - probably in the summer since yard work takes my little spare time in the spring.

Roy sent these pictures of his yard in Andalusia. Beautiful.

Pretty much all we have around here are promises.





My most excellent clematis.

These little pots of plants that I don't remember what they are, but I remember they were quite showy last year. Purple, I think.

My sad little back door bed. It gets all the leftovers and no mulch yet , but I know how pretty it will be in about a month. Just let those wave petunias start doing their thing!

I know this will make Elise more homesick, but I'll be looking for pictures of pretty things Texas has in the spring.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Travels of Uncle Fuddy-Duddy

Uncle Fuddy-Duddy is a well-traveled rabbit.

He's been to many places in the U.S. as well as Guatemala and England that I'm aware of. He's headed for California in May to a little boy named Kanan, a friend of Barbara's.

Last week he was in Washington visiting with Isabella.

With her is Aunt Stacy, a friend of Emily's. She says Isabella especially likes the fact that the books are signed.

Uncle Fuddy-Duddy was created by Mike's dad Roy many years ago to entertain his grandchildren when they came to visit - and entertain them he did. They couldn't wait for the next wild adventure of Uncle FD and to see how he would escape from his latest predicament. But he always did and always had a lesson to impart.

A few years ago, Roy began to write these stories down, first just to document them for his grandchildren, but he and everyone else enjoyed the stories so much, he decided to put them in book form. He collaborated with a cousin Polly from Vidalia, GA, to do the illustrations, and she got into the spirit of the thing and just outdid herself with the detailed drawings. There were so many stories that there had to be a second book, and now Uncle Fuddy-Duddy and the Big Bad Bear is at the publisher's and due back any time now.

Here Gabi and Alejandro in Guatemala read one of the books.

And Alejandro's cousin Diego. Diego's favorite is Tardy the Turtle, which is going to be in the new book (but he's already had a sneak preview.)
He's an adventurous rabbit, and who knows where he'll end up next.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I need a few.
Everything is going fine in my life, but lately I've just convinced myself to be overwhelmed.

I guess the realtor calling at 11:30 yesterday and wanting to show the house at 1:00 is not overwhelming! Especially when I'm supposed to work until 12:00. I at first put her off but then decided I could do wonders in an hour.

For some reason when I went to bring in the paper this morning, I turned on the hose and washed down the front of the house, including the shutters, front door, porch, and porch furniture. All that pollen went away temporarily and it was all sparkly with the new red geraniums. Who knew it would be so important? It was fun too.

Once I decluttered, I had to vacuum and mop and clean up cat feeding areas, and that was all doable. Mama and Darby and I took our little trip to the library to turn in a stray book and to pick up a newspaper. It was fun to ride in the sunshine and talk about IF we move to Texas. It's still not clear in our minds what we should do, and that's why I'm not worried about someone buying the house or not. Selling the house would solve one problem but open up a whole lot of other ones.

At least we have a clean house!

Two other things hanging over my head like gray clouds are Mama's electronics. I know nothing about TVs, VCRs, DVDs - nothing. She watches TV and likes to put in video tapes to watch, so it's important to her. But her VCR died. We've already tried buying another one, but the new ones don't work on her TV. So it looks like I'm going to try to have to pull one of my DVD/VCR things - that I don't know how to work - out of my cabinet and try to make it work for her TV. Ugh.

Also her computer stopped working Sunday. There's supposed to be a network among our 3 computers, but hers is in a different room from my two, so it has to have an external drive and a network key. I poked around enough to see that I was going to have to reset something but wasn't sure what and figured I would end up calling my computer guys.

So this morning, I reluctantly went into her computer room with the network key and decided to retype it and see if that worked. And it was already working! I guess it works to pray for small things too.

Now if I just knew what to pray for with this house-changing thing.

I'm enjoying my kitchen window right now. As of today I haven't killed these herbs, but one is looking a little pale. I think they're lemon balm and Italian sage. They smell delicious when you crush the leaves, and if I cooked, I might think about using them. Debby and I found the cute little pots when we were in Destin (I think) at the Old Time Pottery store. They're not really pots but ramekins with no holes in the bottom, so that may be a problem. Right now, I'll just enjoy them and my little angel.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

It looks like it's going to be a beautiful day.

This is the cherry tree in my father-in-law's yard in Andalusia. I need to get back to see the azaleas and dogwoods blooming soon. It was amazing last year. Those pictures were taken in March 2009, but I don't think I've seen azaleas blooming around here yet.

But then I've been in a fog lately, bloggy and otherwise.

Last year I had a wedding looming that kept me on my toes and made my life a little more interesting.

This year I just have a job that's getting worse and worse and a feeling of limbo about where I need to live. It will all work out, and I'm not actively worrying, but I can't find the cheerful face I had last year.

This week I did buy geraniums for the front porch - groans from Mike, Elise, and Emily. I'm going to have my geraniums for the front porch if I have nothing else. Mike calls my style of gardening "old lady" planting with no design or plan in mind. I got red and pink verbena, a strawberry, white impatiens, yellow snapdragons, ivy, some green grassy stuff, and a bunch of herbs yesterday. We'll have to see where they end up. It was fun to get my hands in the dirt again. Darby and the cats like it when I spend time in the yard, so I had an enjoyable couple of days of yard work. Pictures later maybe.

I worked some on my blue bishop. So thankful there wasn't a real person waiting on it. I just lack putting the ribbon in the sleeves and getting a few more leaves on the flowers, and it's done until time to hem it - and there's no hurry on that.

I haven't had a good audio book to listen to lately, so it's time for another trip to the library. I also started a book that I'm not going to finish. I just plowed through the Tracy Chevalier one, Remarkable Creatures. I usually love her books, but this one was about an old-maid fossil collector in 1804. Kind of depressing and cold. I have to admit skimming a little and then skipping to the end, but I couldn't tell you how it ended.

I have some of Debby's that she loaned me that I know will be good, so I'm going to start one after work tonight.

And Debby's Tom came home from Iraq. For good and forever. I can't imagine how happy and relieved they are this spring. That's another visit I'm going to have to take soon.

Mama and I are planning a trip to Texas at the end of the month. Gives us both something to look forward to - an adventure. I never thought of Mama making that trip, but with my niece's wedding next month, Birmingham is out for her. She's actually excited. I hope it works out.

I have my 4th anniversary with the company I work for this month, so I get some extra vacation days and a little raise. Still doesn't make up for the fact that I don't enjoy it any more. But I have a carrot dangling in front of me. Eighteen more months, and I can quit. Before we started Voice Recognition, I had planned to work on indefinitely, at least part time, because it was enjoyable to me, but now I'll be counting the days.

Time to get ready for church. I'd love to hear the visiting choir singing, but I'll be in the nursery. Maybe the kiddos will be quiet enough for me to hear the service on the PA system (is it called that? The voices coming from a speaker in the ceiling?)

Hope everyone has a happy day. Spring is here. Things are going to be better.