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Thursday, June 30, 2016

If it Looks Like a Duck ...


I'm all for "innocent until proven guilty", and I realize we can't know with one hundred percent certainty that alcohol was a factor without a blood or breath test ... but honestly ... does anyone think alcohol was not a factor in his behavior? For his, and his family's sake, I certainly hope alcohol was involved!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Toe Stretchers

I was window shopping online and came across this nifty invention. At first glance, this little appliance looked like the apparatus women use when painting their toes. I've never used them ... my toes line up side by side without overlap, allowing me to paint my toes without fear of them attacking each other and ruining my pedicure. But, as I read the description, it wasn't for painting your toes ... it was designed to be worn inside shoes! I don't know about you, but I think my feet would hurt a lot worse if I tried to stuff my foot into a shoe with those on my toes!

The product description said ... “Toe Separator Socks or Stretchers may help improve the health and comfort of your feet, and may help reduce friction between your toes. They can be worn all day and easily fit in most shoes. These flexible toe stretchers may help relieve tension in your feet and legs, and may help realigh and straighten toes to restore flexibility and circulation. They may even help alleviate the symptoms of bunions and metatarsalgia." (Say that word three times fast!)

Metatarsalgia. Metatarsalgia. Metatarsalgia. 

Let's make that our word of the day, shall we?!

For those of you getting ready to Google the word "metatarsalgia", I've done it for you ... it's when the ball of your foot becomes painful or inflamed.

And this concludes our podiactric lesson for the day!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

In Her Heart, She's Still Eight


Thing 1 has been a life-long sidewalk chalk addict. She spent many hours of her childhood happily drawing whatever spoke to her heart that day. She's all grown up now, but she still gets excited when sidewalk chalk goes on sale! The other day she drew a hummingbird. She's really quite good!

There has always been a sweet innocence about Thing 1. She's not necessarily naive, per se, she just doesn't have a mean bone in her body (she did when she was three, but that's another story!). Since she's not manipulative or vengeful, she is particularly hurt when someone takes advantage of her kindness and empathy ... and I don't blame her. It doesn't stop her from being nice, but the person that abused her thoughtfulness in the past won't get the same courtesy extended to them in the future. Oh, she'll still be nice to them, but she won't inconvenience herself for them again.

Her incorruptible nature is one of the things I love about her. She knows who she is. She knows what makes her happy, so she isn't susceptible to peer pressure. It's never bothered her that she's the only sober one at a party. She's happiest at home with her husband and animals, or having friends over for an evening of burgers and playing board games. I think the world would be a lot better place if there were more Thing 1's around.

So, when I see her sidewalk art, I can't help but smile that something so simple makes her so happy. You can see more of her sidewalk creations here and here.

Monday, June 27, 2016

This Equation Can Predict Happiness


Scientists claim this equation can predict happiness, but just looking at it makes me sad. And depressed. And most of all, nauseous. The only thing worse than having to solve this equation would be if I had to do it in Siberia ... in December ... naked.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

It's Official

My fairy door obsession is threatening to get out of hand. It doesn't help that my children are major enablers. This is my newest fairy door ... and I made it myself! I think it turned out adorable, or as an elderly acquaintance would say ... cuter than a little speckled pup!








Saturday, June 25, 2016

I Saw a Red Fox!

.

Tuesday evening I was in the garage looking for something. The overhead door was open and some movement towards the woods caught my eye. I looked over to see a red fox walking out of the woods and down my driveway! I stood perfectly still and watched it pass by not more than fifteen feet from where I stood. He never looked over, so I'm fairly certain he didn't see me.

That is the first fox I've seen "in person". I've seen them on tv and in print, but I've never encountered one "in the wild". I don't know if I'll ever see my foxy Hank again, but I hope I do!  (Yes, he's now my fox, and yes, I named him Hank.)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Today is Praline Day!

Today is Praline Day. I LOVE pralines! The ones from Savannah's Candy Kitchen on River Street in Savannah, Georgia are my favorite. Every time I go to Savannah, I make it a point to go to the Candy Kitchen with the express purpose of devouring this tastiest of treats!

The Candy Kitchen gives out pieces of pralines to customers, trying to entice people to buy them. I don't need any enticement ... pralines are the sole reason I'm there! My kids don't like pralines, so they give me their samples. I've told the kids it's too bad they don't like pralines, because that's what they serve in heaven!

I don't know that I will get to enjoy a praline today, but if I could, I'd hop in my car and drive to Savannah, buy a box of freshly made pralines, and sit on a bench at the river's edge and enjoy my purchase.

I guess it's a good thing I don't live any closer to Savannah ... I'd weigh a ton if I did!


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Tomorrow is Fairy Day

(Click on the picture to enlarge)
When I was a little girl, I was always enamored with miniatures. I could stare at miniature dollhouses for hours on end, daydreaming about how fun it would be if I could shrink down and play in them. When my kids were very young, I made miniature foods (above) for local hobby stores and craft fairs.

During my miniature hobbyist days, I purchased a door made for miniature houses with the intention of mounting it someplace in my house, as though little people lived in the walls. When I bought the door, I was living in a rental and couldn't mount it permanently, which meant I couldn't mount it at all ... if it was removable, the kids would remove it!

When I purchase a home of our own, I bought a 100 year old Victorian with the wide, rich molding made from 100 year old oak. I couldn't bring myself to attach the door to that beautiful molding, nor could I bring myself to cut an opening for the door. Besides, if you've ever worked with 100 year old oak, you know it's almost as hard and dense as concrete!

So, I hung onto the door, wishing I could think of a cute place to put it. Then, I moved ... and I had the perfect place! I'd had that little door for almost 25 years, but I knew exactly where it was.

Mounting the one door only made me want more, so I bought a resin one, chipped away some bark from the tree in the front yard, and mounted it. I plan to add more fairy doors (and houses!) for my grandkids to discover as they roam around the yard.

My daughters love my fairy doors and gardens. Thing 1 has a fairy door at her house and plans to add more. Thing 2 saw my blog yesterday and ran home at lunch to see the fairy garden in person! (You can view it here.)

One of my sisters went crazy for my first fairy door, so I sent her one for her birthday. She had a lot of fun deciding how to decorate it and where do put it. She made a mouse door (picture at left) for another sister. Isn't it adorable? I'm going to try my hand at making one, too!

Last night I made a cobblestone "patio" in preparation for my second fairy garden. It's not exactly what I was going for, and I'll probably tinker with it a little more, but it's passable as is. My third fairy garden will have a brick patio, but more on that some other time.


I'm still spellbound by miniatures and I am having so much fun with these silly fairy doors and gardens! I realize it's becoming somewhat of an addiction, but there are worse things to be addicted to ... and I rather enjoy having this miniature monkey on my back!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Fairy Garden Number One


I planted my first fairy garden last night ... and it's so cute! (Click on the pictures to enlarge.)

I bought some containers for my fairy gardens after work yesterday. None of them are actually for planting, but they were the size I needed. I was able to plant in one of them right away, but the other two need to be waterproofed first. I put a thick coat of varnish on them last night. I'll put on another thick coat tonight. Once they're dry, I'll put some water in it to see if it's going to leak. Once I'm sure they won't "pee" everywhere, I'll plant my gardens.

After I finished planting, I showed off my garden to two men, one in person and the other in a text. They were both like, "Oh, uh, yeah. Um ... yeah" ... said with all the enthusiasm they would have displayed if I had shown them a new brand of furniture polish. Well, guys may not appreciate a fairy garden ... but girls do!



Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Fairy Garden Plants


I stopped by the nursery last night and purchased plants for my fairy gardens. I have enough fairy lawn furniture to make 3-4 planters, but I don't have the planters yet, nor do I have any idea where I'm going to put that many plants. I saw some planters online that were adorable, but they aren't wide enough to accommodate what I want to do, so the search continues. I'll just need to keep the plants watered until I find suitable containers. The fact that they are sitting on my kitchen counter should motivate me ... I can't stand clutter ... even cute clutter!

Below are close-ups of the plants. To help put them into perspective, the tiny purple flowers in the picture below are less than 1/4".






Monday, June 20, 2016

Fire Pit

The fireplace, when I moved in.
When I moved into this house last fall, the former owners had been burning in the backyard. There was an outdoor fireplace nearby that was completely full and covered with ivy. Obviously, no one had burned or barbecued anything in the fireplace for many, many years. I would much rather burn in the fireplace than the middle of the yard, and that meant digging out decades of ashes and plants (click on a picture to enlarge). I had boxes and yard debris of my own, and since I couldn't burn in the fireplace, the burn pile grew even higher.

The outdoor fireplace and the burn pile, as it stands now.
The outdoor fireplace, half-way dug out.
Thing 3 started digging out the fireplace, and I've been working on it when I get home from work. I could have finished it in one evening, but it's hard work digging out the roots that grew deep into the compacted ashes ... and ... it's boring! In addition, when I'm digging out ashes from the 1950's, I look around and see poison ivy that needs to be sprayed and a slew of other outdoor chores that need attended to. Since the fireplace isn't a priority, I wander off and take care of other more important chores. The fireplace and ashes aren't going anywhere (unfortunately).

The burn pile, ready to grow grass (and weeds).
The burn pile in the yard was heaped high with ashes, half-burned logs, and metal objects. It looked very unsightly, so before I started working on the fireplace last night, I cleared the unburned/half-burned debris from the burn pile and spread out the ashes. Before long grass (i.e., weeds) will start growing and the burn pile will be history.

There is a lot of ivy growing in the backyard, and I'd like to thin the woods near the yard somewhat. According to the previous owner, who grew up there and inherited the house from her parents, the backyard was once a lot bigger. As the kids grew up, and her parents aged, the woods began creeping ever closer to the house. I like the woods, but I'd like a little more yard. We'll weed-eat the ivy and weeds in the woods and cut down the smaller trees. My chainsaw isn't working, so that project is on hold for now. Lucky for me (said sarcastically) ... there's plenty of things to do while I decide to buy/rent/borrow a chainsaw.

But one day, we'll have the fireplace and backyard cleaned up and we'll be able to cook smores and hot dogs as we sit around the fire(place).

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Windows Updates


Anyone who has ever installed a fresh copy of Windows from a restore CD or drive, or has purchased a new computer knows that you have several hours of Windows updates in front of you. In my line of work, I spend a good deal of time installing Windows updates. (Can you say BORING?!!!!!!) Yesterday the first update that ran had 246 updates. There were many more to follow, and several reboots before there were no more updates necessary. The "record" for the most updates that I have been presented with at one time is 534.

As persistent and irritating as Windows updates can be, the nag to upgrade to Windows 10 is even worse ... and often appears at the most inopportune time ... as one meteorologist discovered during a live broadcast.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Oh, Olivia ...


Guess who likes to plop their big, fat butt on Thing 1's new shelf? Now ... guess who's big, fat butt tore Thing 1's shelf off the wall?!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My 1,000th Blog Post!

 
When I began this blog, I didn't post with any regularity. But, since December of 2013, I've posted daily ... and today marks the 1,000th post to this blog! Yea!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Sunday, June 12, 2016

I Have Very Inquisitive Plants

First Mr. Fern had a question, now it's Thing 2's Daddy plant! Well, it either has a question or is growing straight up so that it can see outside. If it does have a question, I think I know what the question is, and the answer is no ... I will not swap your plant stand with Gladys's so that you can see out the window.


Saturday, June 11, 2016

You Go Girl!

I was standing at the kitchen sink last night, looking out the window. I was watching the hummingbirds when I noticed the leaves swaying in the breeze ... and one leaf was REALLY getting into it! See if you can pick her out in the short video ...

video

If not, here she is ...


Friday, June 10, 2016

My New Bistro Set


Thing 2 bought this for me for my birthday, but she's incapable of waiting, so she gave it to me the day she bought it. Isn't it adorable?! Sadly, I will never get to sit here and drink my morning coffee ... because it's currently sitting on the window ledge above the kitchen sink. So, I guess I'll have make a fairy garden with it!


I have another bistro set, a bench, an arbor, two stone paths, and bicycle that I got for Christmas and my birthday that I plan on using to make another fairy garden (or two!), but I'll need to find some pots for them. The pots need to be wide and shallow. A local garden center has a large variety of miniature plants specifically for fairy gardens and I'm sure they have a large variety of pots, too.

Below is an example of a fairy garden ... aren't they adorable?!!!!


I may not get to enjoy my morning coffee at this cute little table, the fairies who have been building houses all over my property will!




Thursday, June 9, 2016

My Front Yard

Is slowly coming together.


I hung the porch swing from a tree in the front yard a month or so ago, and it's already logged countless hours rocking us back and forth in the warm sunshine. 

When I was looking at the house to buy it, I didn't pay much attention to the tree from which it's hanging. After I moved in, I looked up and realized it was a sweetgum tree ... full of those awful gumballs.

I had a couple of these trees at my old house, and I hated them. I love the shade they provide, but they hurt when you step on them, and they sound like popcorn popping when you cut the grass! I guess you have to take the good with the bad.

There is apparently something you can spray on them to stop them from making the gumballs, but you have to spray every leaf, and since this tree is at least 75' tall, there's no way to do that. I tried burning them once, but they seem to be fireproof! It appears as if I'm going to have to learn to love those pesky gumballs, but that seems unlikely. I have a feeling my (future) granddaughters will hate them as much as I do ... because their brother(s) and boy cousin(s) will take pleasure in pelting them with the gumballs. I can already hear them now ... "Grandma, the boys keep throwing gumballs at us. Make them stop!!"

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Side Flowerbed

Before
It's not the most dramatic before-and-after, but it definitely looks much nicer. The lambs ear that I'm sure was once between the center and right hosta was gone, so I bought a couple pots of them. I'm not sure how fast it spreads, but I'm guessing it won't be long before it looks symmetrical once again.

After
After


I spent most of my week of "vacation" working in the yard, but it was worth it. It rained on and off a couple of days, so I didn't get as much done as I would have liked, but I'm pleased with what we did accomplish. I thought I had killed all of the poison ivy/oak/sumac last fall when I moved in, but I've saw a lot` of it as I walked around. I finally found my poison ivy killer, and by the afternoon, it was already starting to wilt. It's mixed in with ivy and weeds around the perimeter of the yard, and since Thing 3 and I are both allergic to poison ivy/oak/sumac, we can't use the weed eater until I'm confident it's gone.


Next comes the driveway. Ugh!