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Monday, May 26, 2014

On Our Way

(Here's my first attempt at posting via iPad---I can't seem to figure out how to change the size of the photos)  After a morning that looked something like this:
Callie picked us up to take us to the airport.  Fortunately, we allowed plenty of time, beacuse about halfway there, we realized that we had left our coats at home on the couch.  And when Ron ran in the house to pick them up, discovered that I'd also left my purse with passport, wallet, etc. right beside the coats.  hmmmm. . . .
But, we DID make it back with plenty of time to spare.
And now we are here (Denver):
Before the night is over, we'll be here:
And looking forward to this:

Friday, May 23, 2014

What's Up in the Garden?

So far, the netting that we installed over the garden is working well---no more digging in the plot.  Since the sugar snap peas seemed to be nice and plump, I picked some for dinner tonight.  As I walked over to the right side to unhook the netting, I got quite a surprise when I almost stepped right on this!!
Oh my goodness!!  I did a double-take and then went inside to get Ron.  Without explaining why I needed him to come out RIGHT NOW, at first he didn't want to come.  But of course, he understood the urgency when he saw the snake.
Obviously, he had gotten caught up in the netting last night and died there (thank goodness).  I know that many snakes are harmless, but at my house, the only good snake is a dead snake!
We looked him up online and think that it is most likely a non-venomous Texas Rat Snake.  I'm just glad he's gone!!
After taking care of that guy, I was able to pick tomatoes, sugar snap peas and purple hull peas, as well as
The purple peas weren't quite ready, I don't think, so I'll wait a while longer before I pick any more.  I grilled the sugar snap peas with a little olive oil and seasoning and they were tasty.
During supper, we had a little friend watching us on the fence.  Can you spot him?
Here he is a little closer.  He sat and watched us eat and didn't even budge much with the dogs running around.
So tonight it was all about snakes in the garden and squirrels on the fence!   Wonder what tomorrow will bring?
Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mish Mash of Thoughts and Pictures

As an update to yesterday's post, I wanted to show you Danette's curtains hanging in her house.  They look so awesome!!
This is the from the inside:
And this is on the porch looking in---all you see is the bamboo with fringe at the bottom.
Today, I was able to put together a quick and simple travel journal for our upcoming trip.   
I used an 8x8 looseleaf album and bought a variety of different page protectors to hold Instagram and 4x6 photos, as well as a small packet of "travel themed" journaling cards.  Everything else was from my stash.
I plan to take the journaling pages with me on the trip to record our activities each day.  Then when I get back home, I can add photos, etc.  I write better when I have lines to use as guides, so I just drew lines on the front and back of these pages.
Because I wanted something to keep tickets, brochures and other memorabilia in, I cut down a couple of 9x12 manila envelopes, added patterned paper trim and a velcro closure, then punched holes to fit in the album.  
This was such an easy project---hoping I find it equally easy to jot down my memories as we go!

Tonight was the Mudbug Madness 5K.  There was a big crowd, so we ran into quite a few of our running buggies--both from our weekly group and from USA Fit.  It was very hot this evening and neither of us have run very much lately, so we were slow (although Ron was faster than me). 
After the race, we were so hot and sweaty that paying to stand around at the Festival and eat crawfish didn't sound very appealing.  Instead, we chose to sit in the shade and eat the post-race fare--corndogs, cookies and bananas.  
The good news was that Ron's calf didn't really hurt and neither did my shin.  Perhaps we can get back in the habit of running regularly this summer so that this heat doesn't feel quite so brutal.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
This summer, my office will be under construction.  In fact, most of the school will have some sort of remodeling project going on (finally!!!), so we have to pack up our things in preparation for the dust and drills.   Friday is the last day of school for teachers, but in my office, we've already had to turn in all of our folders, important paperwork and pack up all of the materials and office supplies.   That leaves us with a bit of time on our hands.  Time for a project or two.

While Gwenn kept herself busy with the garden outside our office, Danette had the perfect craft project for this morning.
She brought her sewing machine and supplies to school with her today and we set to work constructing roman shades for her front doors.  She found this on Pinterest as inspiration:

Recently, she bought new drapes for her living area and ordered two extra panels in a smaller size to be used for this project.  She found bamboo shades in the exact size she needed at Home Depot for $15 a piece and some beautiful trim at the fabric store.
We discovered that by cutting the drapery panel in half lengthwise, it was the perfect width for the shade.  I measured and pinned, while she sewed.  First she sewed under the raw edges, then sewed the trim to the bottom of the panel.
We opened the second panel and cut off the top to be used on the shade "flap".
Next came the fun part.  Gluing it all down.  Just as we got started spraying, a train began rolling by on the tracks.

This is nothing new and we paid no attention at all until children and parents began pouring out of the auditorium and running to the fence.
It was the Barnum & Bailey Circus train.
Of course, we went to the fence as well, hoping to get a glimpse of circus animals or perhaps a clown.
There were no animals or clowns to be seen, but the train was long--a myriad of passenger cars, air-conditioned freight cars (presumably where the animals were) and flat-beds with equipment.
After the kids went back to their classrooms, we continued with our gluing.  We were skeptical at first as to whether or not the spray adhesive would really be strong enough to make this fabric stick to the shade, but by spraying each piece---the shade and then the back of the fabric, it made a permanent bond.
Once sprayed with the adhesive, the top of the panel did not reach all the way to the top of the string mechanism, but that part will be hidden by the flap anyway.
Perfect!  And so easy!!
Can't wait to see them hanging on her doors!!  Now, what can we do tomorrow morning?

Fresh From The Garden

Have you ever been camping?  Well, if you have, you know that everything tastes better if it is cooked over a campfire.  For some reason, the ordinary turns to extraordinary when cooked over an open fire.   Well, the same is true from vegetables straight from the garden.  We almost always had a small garden when I was growing up.  Although I don't really remember helping much in the garden, I do remember getting to pick green beans occasionally and I seem to remember Mother saying that strawberries were hard to grow.

As you know, this year I have my first garden---well more than tomato plants.  Tonight we finally tasted the first bites from it.  It's a small garden, but I started much of it from seed, so it has been fun to watch the sprouts emerge and begin to grow.  This evening, we had lettuce and cherry tomatoes fresh from the garden on our grilled hamburgers!  They were so YUMMY!!  (I had pictures, but they somehow got deleted into cyberspace by accident)

Unfortunately, this morning, we discovered a large hole in the garden and several spinach plants destroyed.  Thinking that a possum was to blame, I headed to Lowe's bright and early to purchase some bird netting with the hopes of getting it in place before nightfall.   However, when I got home this evening, I discovered two more large holes and dirt thrown everywhere.
This was definitely not the work of a possum, but more likely of that black four-legged critter that lives with us!  I was NOT a happy camper!  So, after dinner, we got out the bird netting and rigged a canopy of sorts to hopefully deter future predators (squirrels, possums or Joy!).
Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Philly in May - Final Chapter

Our trip to Philly would not be complete unless I posted photos from Callie's graduation.  Saturday morning, we were able to sleep in before heading across the street to the Crate and Barrel for Jordan to find a Mother's Day gift for his mom.  Of course, I always love to look around that store!
Look what I spotted!  They had several different Charley Harper accessories and I loved these plates by artist Jane Dixon---wish they came in melamine for the deck.

From there, we headed to the Eastern campus for graduation.  Parking was extremely limited, so we had a bit of a trek from our vehicle.
At the last minute, I decided to purchase an umbrella at the bookstore.  While it wasn't raining at the time, it was forecast for later, and I thought it might come in handy on the walk back.  Thank goodness I did!  Right after Jordan and I were seated and Callie was whisked away with the other graduates, the rain started.
It was about this time that the battery in my camera died--yep, I had forgotten to charge it the night before.   Callie sent us a couple of frantic texts after discovering that the bookstore had supplied her with the wrong color hood.  After checking with people in charge, it was determined that I should go get the hood, take it to the bookstore and exchange it for the right one.  So, I rushed through the woods, back to where the graduates were waiting, only to discover that they had already corrected the situation.  :-)

It cleared up long enough for the students to march in and for the ceremony to begin.
But, just as the main speaker began his address, the skies darkened and the winds picked up.
No one was paying any attention to him as the rustle of ponchos (which had been passed out a few minutes earlier) became louder than his voice.  Then the rain began.
 And it got harder and harder.

So did the wind.  So eventually, they had to stop the ceremony and herd the graduates towards the gym.
About this same time, I began getting the 10%  battery warning from my camera, so I turned it off in hopes of saving the last few shots for the actual awarding of the diploma.  Seating was limited in the gym, so I was glad that Callie had remembered to give us the 2 tickets she was allotted.   They were finally able to finish the ceremony, with each somewhat bedraggled graduate marching across the stage to receive his/her diploma.

After we returned to our car, we headed into downtown St. David's, PA to eat a nice dinner and then returned to our hotel to rest and pack.  The trip home was uneventful, thankfully.   With her graduation completed and the school year coming to a close, Callie is now down to one part-time job at Community Renewal.  Perhaps she'll even have a little time to relax before the baby is born because we all know there won't be much time for that AFTER!

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