Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Beautiful and the Pathetic!



OK, now this just isn't FAIR! It's blistering  HOT and I'm trying      R E A L L Y  hard not to be homesick for California and Jeff sends me photos of Kate and Allie and the GORGEOUS tomatoes they are growing in their little garden. There's so much to be said for California - where you can grow ANYTHING - ALL YEAR long!!!  My goodness, that top photo is magnificent!  Bet the tomatoes taste that way too! Great shot, Jeff!  It's worthy of a tomato-growers magazine! You can see how our pathetic tomatoes look after 30+ days of temps over 100 degrees - and LOTS of water! Pretty sad. I've picked three, count them, three tomatoes. Two were rotten on the vine from the heat, one I ate. Whoopee! One can only hope the remaining three will be edible.

Way, to go girls! Keep up your gardening!! You make your Grandma proud!  When you get a crop, it really is fun, isn't it!

Love you all!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Cole!

Today is Cole's 18th birthday! Happy birthday to our #1 grandson!!
Cole at 6 months - such a cute little baby boy - sporting three bottom teeth and LA Dodgers blue!
Fast-forward to 2011! What a handsome young man.

He loves hanging out with his school friends. (That's Cole in the blue shirt and tie.) This may have been after a school dance.

I love it that he can have fun dying Easter eggs with his sisters.

OR hang out with Papa and me! We love the times we have together!

Cole, you are a bright young man with the world at your fingertips. Reach out and grab it! We cannot tell you too many times how much we love you and know you have a bright future.

"Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off."
Proverbs 24:13-14

Sunday, July 17, 2011


This HEAT is enough to make ya crazy!!!

When I came home from my Saturday morning gym workout - all hot and sweaty - Rich said to me, "Hon, will you help me a few minutes? I'd like to sweep out the garage." Now mind you, he'd already been out watering the yard for TWO hours! So what's a girl to say but, "Sure!"

It was filthy! All the mud and dirt from WINTER. It was so bad that I'd long ago put down cardboard and other mats to cover it up so we wouldn't track it into the house.

That stack of bricks??? My job was to stack it, three high, according to directions. Well, it's all nice and neat now with garden pesticides and ice melt in boxes.

We swept and swept, hosed it out, reorganized some stuff. It looks SOOOO MUCH better! 2.5 hours later, 97 degrees in the shade - we about fell in a heap!

Now the rest of the mess still awaits. But, heck, what's the rush??? It's been like this for nearly five years. Surely it can wait until a 40 degree-kind of day!

The very best part of this little story, aside from being having a garage "somewhat" cleaned out is that Rich had the stamina to do all of this. Man-a-live, it's been a long time comin'!! He's pretty happy about all of it!

And yes, heat WILL make you a little crazy! :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sun-Fried Eggs

"It's so HOT you can fry an egg on the sidewalk!"

July 10, 12:40 pm, 102 degrees (in the shade)

July 10, 1:40 pm, 106 degrees (in the shade)
The bulge on right is hard. Egg white beginning to harden.

July 10, 2:40 pm, 110 degrees (in the shade)
Yolk is hard. Feels like plastic. Squishes when pushed on. Egg white is hard and shrinking. Feels like plastic.

And in case the temp is unbelievable, this is our indoor/outdoor thermometer, located on a kitchen wall. The sensor for the outdoor temp is located under the deck, in the shade!

Walking out of church this morning the air smelled burnt; not from fires, but from heat-burned grasses and crops.

Brutal, very, very BRUTAL!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bye, Bye, Birdie!

Since the middle of June I've been watching a robin's nest built in the purple smoke bush right outside my office window. What a fun experience!

Seemed like the nest appeared overnight. Initially there were three eggs in the nest. (Not my photo. Seems as though I forgot to take one of the eggs.) We also had a nest in the crabapple tree in the back yard but it was too high to see much more than a robin sitting on the nest.

Then after a few days, there were only two eggs. Can't imagine what happened. Perhaps a larger bird swooped down and took it???

Momma bird did a good job of sitting on the nest. She would fly away when I approached to check things out, but quickly returned when I was no longer a threat.

So we had two birdies hatch. Actually they are rather ugly - no feathers, just skin and then a gray fuzz.

Then, sadly, just one little birdie remained. I never saw any remains on the ground. Hope it wasn't taken by one of those aggressive grackles. Once I put just safflower seeds in the finch feeders the grackles disappeared!

So I checked my little birdie every day, watching the fuzz change to feathers. The last photo I took was on July 7. He seemed to me to be ready to soon leave the nest.

Momma bird wasn't happy to have me around at this point. She flew to the roof and really told me off!

So today, I did my morning check - an EMPTY nest. BUT as I write this, I look out my window and what do I see but little birdie return to the nest! Apparently out on an adventure to try his new wings! So I go out to try to catch another photo and he flies off, momma and daddy not happy with me, so I go back inside. Best leave this little family alone now.

I've read that baby robins often don't live their first year. Too many life lessons to learn! I've also read that robins usually lay a clutch of eggs at least twice a year, so I wonder if we'll have more. Hope so!

And speaking of little birds, my friend Mary Ellen has published her first children's book, "Flitty, Twitty, and Itty Bitty". It's a precious book that tells how God cares for little birds, and even more how He cares for us. It's available at amazon.com.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Happy Birthday, Maeve!

Today Maeve is celebrating her 4th birthday! I called her "Spunky Monkey" and she is just that! Don't be fooled by her very tiny and petite frame. She's "smart as a whip" - knows her letters and sounds, and reminds me of her Daddy at her age - doing her level best to keep up with everyone else!

She can be such a little "goof ball". She's in the stage of making "goofy eyes" in every photo!

And she can be very sweet - all the things little girls are made of!

Maeve asked for a tall pink cake so we made our family favorite strawberry cake. Licking the beaters (which she called "tweezers"!) is the best part!

We love our precious little granddaughter! Happy birthday sweetie!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Revival Tents????

Before we made our move to Kansas, we made several trips here checking on the building progress of our house. On one such trip we saw lots of these tents - popping up all over. It reminded me of when I was a young girl growing up Iowa. You see ... every summer an evangelist would come to town, set up a tent and have a revival.

I said to Rich, "Well, you can tell we're in the Bible belt with all of these REVIVAL TENTS!

The revival tents of my youth were your basic 1950s brown canvas tents ... not colorful like these.

And then, Lo and behold they weren't revival tents at all but were these ...

Fireworks go on sale here from June 30-July 4. I have counted no less than NINE of these tents within a 4-mile radius of our house. CRAZY! And then, to top it off, we have neighbors who hold some back to shoot off at midnight on New Year's Eve! Talk about a rude awakening our first year here! 

What a foreign concept to us! You see in California, fireworks are illegal, except in cases where a beach city will have a display off their local pier, or a park and rec will hold a community-wide event, or such as these in Dodger Stadium. Now THESE are some fireworks!!

Have a safe July 4th - celebrating everything that is good about the USA!