Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Breakfast Surprise

I'm glad that Jared saw the love before I continued cutting up the cantaloupe. :)

It was either the way the cantaloupe formed, or I did it as I scraped the seeds, but either way, it was a fun surprise.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Honey Bees

I have seen so many honey bees this year, and I'm so excited about it!

They have been on the lilacs

and dandelions.

And today I discovered them on the Staghorn Sumac Tree's blossoms.

I was so excited that the detail was so clear on this pic that I zoomed in again on one of the little bees.

I've never seen the blossom this detailed. I didn't even realize that each little pod had all of these little flowers on it.

My camera rarely can get shots like this, which is why I am saving up for a Canon Rebel. And a macro lens. :) The world looks so much better up close, I think.

And may these little honey bees love pollinating my garden this year, and have many, many years of happiness. :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Count your blessings name them one by one.

Hmmm. It was a baaaad day. So, I'll count my blessings so as to remind myself.

*The weed wacker is fixed. Wahooo! I'm cutting down the jungle in the garden's aisles tomorrow. Thank you Steve, for fixing it for me.♥

*My computer has worked now for a couple of weeks straight, knock on wood.

*I have had great conversations with two of my closest friends this week.

*Lost Season 5 is so much better than Season 4. This is very important for Steve, his sleep, and his pillow. During Season 4's viewings I was in constant defense mode while I slept, even once throwing Steve's pillow across the room while thinking it was really a map to somewhere to keep us safe from The Others. Poor Steve. He can rest easy for now.

*Matt had a great time canoeing during Scouts.

*Michael was invited to Scouts for the first time by a wonderful, dear lady who just became his den leader. And I trust her to be kind, gentle and patient with him.

*Amber and Steve came home safely (although Amber is burned to a crinkle crisp.)

*Jared's diabetes is under control for now. Yay! WTG Jared!

*It is finally warm outside!! And my garden is growing! And the flowers are blooming!

*My squash plant has an itty-bitty squash on it. :) :)

*Everyone in my household is well for a minute.

*I bought chocolate chips tonight. I will make cookies tomorrow. :D

*I stocked up on fruit for breakfast! Maybe I can lose a pound or two.

*The receipt for my mom's rent for her nursing home was found. Have I ever mentioned that I detest working with cash, cashier's checks, and money orders? There is no paper trail to prove payment. BUT, the receipt was found!

*My children have been more peace-able with each other lately.

*Emily is excited to have animal chores passed on to her, and I know she will be a great caregiver to them. I haven't had to remind her once!

*Oh. I never told you why I was nervous a few months ago. Steve's company was bought out by another company. We didn't know if they would hire him, or if we would be jobless. He *was* hired. :) And we had insurance right away, which is a HUGE blessing for our family.

*So glad that we are all safely home this evening and enjoying each other's company.

Things are actually pretty darn good. :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

my lucky day

Do you want to hear a great story? On Saturday I went a nursery to find a peach Iris. I figured I'd better hurry, since Irises are starting to loose their blooms right now and I have really, really wanted to get a peach one. As I was looking at the irises in their pots none that I could see had blooms. And then, I saw it: the only iris with any blooms on it. And it was PEACH!

So I took my one Iris pot and one Peony plant to the front to check out and discovered that it was a buy 3 get 1 free week. So I got two more iris plants! It will be a fun surprise next year to see what color the other two irises' blooms are.

I just love lucky days! :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Master of Karate and Friendship Award

Betty, at Keeper of the Skies Wife gave me the "Master of Karate and Friendship Award.

That pic just makes me laugh. :) Thanks, Betty!

I'm supposed to name 5 things that I've mastered, which will be tricky since I'm a jack of all trades and master of none. Hmmmmmm...

Since I don't really feel like I've mastered anything, but am still a work in progress, I askeded my children to tell me what they think I've mastered. They came up with this list:


And out of the list .... Photography? Hmm. Still learning. Homeschool - ok, I do my style very well. Cooking - I don't like to cook, but my family likes it (and I'd rather eat my cooking than eat out most of the time, so I guess that says something). Gardening - okay, for my style I do it well. Motherhood? bwahahahahaha! But babies, I *am* a master of babies. :)

And now to hand out the award to five six of my bloggy friends who I think are Masters of Karate and Friendship:

*Tammy from Three Little Pixies
*Coffee Bean from The Righteous Buzz
*Joy from Joy in the Burbs
*Stephanie from Ordinary Life Magic
*April from Making Ends Meet who reads my blog and then calls me to comment :)
*And another back to Betty. :) I'm so glad that she is back to blogging for the summer! I have missed her so much!

I can always count of these ladies to lend a listening ear, give great advice, AND they are all super talented. Thanks for your friendship ladies. I love ya more than my luggage.♥

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy (belated) Father's Day

A Tribute in Pictures:

Thanks for being there for us, Sweetheart. I hope you had a wonderful day.♥

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Entry for Gardening Gone Wild's Photo Contest for June

I was going to wait until noon on Monday to make my submission, but the anticipation is killing me.

To choose, I found three that I loved: the lighting is good, the material interesting, the composition nice. I've left just those three up on my monitor for the past few days, scrolling from pic to pic, and leaving each up for awhile to see if I'd grow tired of it. After a couple of days of that, this is the one I've chosen:

I love this one best for its energy: the lavender's branches that wildly go in all directions seem to emit an energy by portraying action.

I love it for its lighting and color: not underexposed and dark, not overexposed and blown out, but just right. The colors (at least on my monitor. this has been my bane! colors appear different on any given monitor. grrr.) are vibrant.

I love it for its composition: maybe this has a lot to do with how I planted the plants in the beginning :), but I love how the plants appear separate and distinct, yet blend together so well with color and texture. And one more thing: I'm not sure why there is the soft, fuzziness in the middle of the lavender; perhaps it is some cotton from the cottonwoods that blew there, but I love the softness just in that one spot.

AND, I haven't grown tired of it yet! In fact, I'm thinking of printing out a physical copy for my kitchen, and decoupaging a wooden frame with seed packages from oregano, sage, and lavender. :)

Thanks so much to those who have told me their favorites. And for those of you who still wish to participate, I stand firm on giving you a 4"x6" to tell me which pic you would have chosen. :) Take a look at this post to get the details.

I hope that you all have a lovely day!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Self Portrait of a Goof Ball

Yesterday morning I got up and started playing with photos, reading blogs, and listening to the kids plan out their day.

I saw someone else's self-portrait and thought of what a goof-ball I am with self portraits. Remember these?

And even my portrait for my blog is me in my apron, scurrying around trying to get the last minute Christmas stuff done up. I even took one pic of me immediately after getting home from anniversary-ing for the weekend with Steve to show that I really *can* look relaxed sometimes. :)

I was the person in high school that, while most members of my College Prep English class were reading a lofty classic, read Charlotte's Web and found symbolism in it. :D

In college the teacher asked for a compare/contrast essay. I compared and contrasted Disney's Belle from Beauty and the Beast to Jasmine from Alladin. Yep, I'm a goof-ball. (The teacher was ecstatic, much to my surprise and delight. He announced to the class he was looking forward to my essay because he'd grown tired of hearing toothpastes and orange juices written about.)

And I'm actually considering of submitting this pic to a gardening blog photo contest:

Yep, a goof-ball.

At 11:30, as I was sitting at the computer, still in my pjs with my hair and teeth unbrushed, my visiting teachers showed up. ("Visiting teachers" are a pair of ladies assigned to each woman in my church to look after each member.) Oops. It is a good thing I'm a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of a person, or that would have ruined my week. I was glad to see that the house was more or less straightened up. I laughed and told them that they'd caught me. :) They laughed and seemed perfectly at ease in my lived-in house. I'm glad that they are down to earth ladies. Later in the visit my daughter Amber brought in some cinnamon rolls that she had made. "Food makes everything better," Amber later told me when I thanked her. It is a truth, too!

After they left I started puttering around the house and started feeling crummy again. So the kids pitched in and helped with food, chores, watching Michael, etc. etc. etc. and we all enjoyed another semi-day-off watching LOST. Kids milled in and out of my bedroom (where LOST was playing), stayed for an episode or so, and then milled back out to play with friends or play outside together. I think Amber was the only one who stayed with me the whole time, because we are both very wrapped up in Season 4 right now. ( has all of the LOST episodes and many other tv shows too. :)

Today we have a kid birthday party to take Emily and Matt to. It is Steve's nephew's birthday today. (Happy Birthday, M!) My goal is to get ready and go drop them off and see if I feel better today. My body's immunity isn't so great this year. I can't believe that I caught another bug. On the bright side, at least I discovered LOST first! :) Jared and Matt were both complaining of their stomachs hurting last week. They must have caught something and brought it home. I wish they'd just bring me chocolate instead.

It looks like another beautiful day out there! I hope that you enjoy it to the fullest!

A little bit of magic

I've been thinking about life being magical. Where despite the trials and tragedies that come along with regular life, attitudes seem bright and hopeful and life is still exciting and wonderful. I remember being like that when we had our big farm in Kentucky, but somewhere along the way I lost the magic.

I really like the way that that kind of life felt, and I want it back. All I can think is that because it was a different culture and a different climate and a different lifestyle, I was seeing things through rose colored glasses. The cow, goat, and sheep getting out into the neighboring dairy's field and Steve walking them home, looking like a parade with Steve in front leading the cow, and the goat and sheep walking single file down the road at the same pace seemed comical rather than embarrassing or a hardship. Japanese beetles always getting the fruit in my fruit trees, instead of being a plague and making me frustrated, seemed like a learning opportunity to figure out how to get rid of them. Even the well that ran consistantly dry after I did 2 loads of laundry and had all of the children take baths and Steve and me a shower every day seemed like a minor bump in the road. Even when I didn't understand the well and the pump was too short, and we drained it totally dry where it took a day to fill up, and I learned to give all of the children and myself a sponge bath with only the water I'd filled to the brim of a 2 liter pop bottle seemed like a major obstacle overcome.

What makes the difference? I believe it is perspective.

I have lived in Utah for nearly my entire life. Barring being born on Guam and returning to the States when I was 9 months old and then living in Wyoming for 5 years growing up and then the 6 years we lived in the South, I've lived in Utah. So twelve years, give or take, outside of Utah, and 28 in it.

The culture and climate has been what I've known for 28 years, though the lifestyle is a tad different since I have my backyard farm and garden to tend to that I haven't had before in Utah.

But I miss the magic. Believe it or not, I even sometimes miss the thrill of getting lost on a road I've never navigated on, only to find it open up into a place that I recognize. I know these roads like the back of my hand. There is rarely a thrill of the unknown place for me here. But I don't think I need that for things to seem exciting. I just need a new attitude.

So I'm going to start watching for the magic in common life again. I'm going to start writing about it here and talking about it more often in regular conversation, too.

For instance, yesterday I went on a walk with Emily up the big hill bordering on the foothills of the mountain by our house. Up I went, hiking higher and higher, but the slope was pretty gradual and though my legs burned, I was breathing easy. A jot in the road and back up, this time steeper. As I climbed that angle, my breathing became heavier and more ragged. I got to the top, crossed the road, and then started the decline. The further down I went I noticed my heartrate slowing, my breath getting back to normal and then finally feeling comfortable once again as I neared my house. It is the perfect hill for aerobic activity. I'm glad that I figured that out after living here for only 7 years. ;)

As I walked I paid attention to the yards of the houses around me. Most were mowed. Some were landscaped beautifully, others sparsley. I noticed a flower bed of peonies and even stopped to smell their lovely perfume as I passed by. Men were out using their weed eaters and the smell of the freshly cut grass and weeds smelled so alive and fresh. A little dog, tied up near a house, barked at us defensivly, while another, a black lab, wagged its tailed and seemed to plead to go with us from its backyard. The sunshine was directly in my eyes on the way up, but on the way back down it let me see the distant valleys, a lake, and highways with cars and trucks that looked matchbox size. A slight breeze blew the whole time, at first being a little chilly, but after ascending to the highest point and starting down it instead felt refreshing and soothing.

Later on in the day I started feeling like I had caught the stomach bug Michael had a few days back, so I laid in bed and watched tv while the kids played the x-box, jumped on the trampoline, swung on the swings, and milled in and out of my bedroom. The entire time I had up on the computer screen, my three favorite pictures I've chosen so far, trading between each to see if I tire of them and trying to determine which is my favorite. I won't tell you which three, because I really want to see which one you'll come up with for yourself, but I think I've picked it. It could change though, and has before even when I've been set on just one. Sometimes its allure is short lived and I find I tire of it quickly. Keep telling me your favorites, and thanks to those of you who already have. :)

The sun is shining brightly today, and the trees' leaves are backed by a brillant blue sky. It looks like the perfect, magical day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Another Photo Contest & Photo Give Away

It's that time again: Time to figure out which pic to send in to's Photo Contest.

This one is a little different than the others. The theme is "The Best Frame You Have Ever Created". It is supposed to be my favorite pic I've ever taken. The one that I think is my best ever. Hmmmm. It is like picking a favorite child. I have created each of them, so I love each one for its own distinct personality.

Anyway, though you can't pick my favorite, I'd love to hear which is *your* favorite. So what I'll do is give you the link to each of the monthly compilations I've made for past photo contests.

I feel like this one will take more time for each of you to do, so I want to somehow repay you for your generousity in taking the time to look through and judge for the best. How about if I send you a 4"x6" photo of the picture that you choose, would you be up to that? So choose the one that you think reflects my best work and I will have that pic printed out as a physical 4" x 6" photo that you can then frame or put in an album, or whatever you'd like, ok?

Here are your choices:

Winter's Light - February

Awakening - March

Greenworld - April

Spring Fling - May

and a compilation of this month's pics

The photo contest deadline is the 21st, so I'm asking that all who'd like to participate to please make your selection by Monday the 21st by noon Mountain Time (look on my left-hand sidebar if you are in doubt ;). I'll keep a link to this blog post at the top of my blog to make finding it easy, okay? Thanks for your help! :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ordinary Moments

I'm too sleepy for conversation, but I'll leave you with a couple of pics that will show you life around my house today.


Sage & Lavendar Blooms

Sage & Lavendar Blooms


Saturday, June 12, 2010

It's raining. It's pouring.

It has been a weekend to be spent in the house. But instead, a lot of it has been spent out in the weather!

Steve took the boys to our church's fathers and sons campout last night. They decided not to sleep over, but instead came home to get warm and dry and sleep in their own beds. Then it was up and back out to get some breakfast back at camp. The morning entertainment was watching everyone who pulled a trailer down into the meadow try to get it back out. Mud diggin' and campin'. Does a boy's life get any better? My sons were thoroughly impressed!

This afternoon, Steve & I visited Home Depot to price summer yard and home projects. A fence. Fixing up the bathroom. Redoing the original wood floors in my early 1900's house. Oh my. After thinking and talking and walking and pricing I came home and took a nap. My mind was on overload. So much work. I *like* work, but hate the unknown, never-done-before and don't-want-to-fail-at projects. I am a perfectionist. The nap did me good.

Then back outside to take a walk in between the showers. We got caught in the rain and decided to just enjoy it. With my jacket hood down and glasses off, I just enjoyed the clean scents, the cool spray on my skin, and the conversation with my Sweetie. With every other sane person spending time inside during the rain storm, it seemed like we were the only people on earth. Very, very nice.

Then back home with a warm shower and dry pjs. Life doesn't get any better than that, does it?

Then a quick note here to you, and time to get everyone in bed. I hope that your day has been just what you've needed.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pics from the garden

I went out for many hours yesterday and today to weed and nurture the garden. I even talked to them. I'm hoping that they will grow huge and give me lots of produce.

Have you ever noticed how excited peas seem? I think if they had a tail it would be wagging wildly!

I don't remember what this one is called... can I get back to you on it?? (Update: Nasturtium) It was recommended to keep squash bugs away, and since I get a ton of those things I decided to try it. I'll let you know if it works. But isn't it sweet? Can't you imagine a little fairy using that leaf above the flower as a canopy? And I think that the color of the flower is just beautiful!

Hmmmmm..... I can't seem to remember this plants name either... it's on the tip of my tongue... anyway, I bought it a few years ago and have enjoyed it immensely. (Update: a hosta plant)

I love how this squash blossom looks like a star. It will truly be the star of the garden this summer as it produces prolific amounts of produce for me! (say *that* ten times! :)

And these are what everyone tries to keep out of their garden. Pesky weeds. Rip 'em out is what I did earlier today. Yet deep down I admire these tenacious plants that come back no matter the lack of water or lack of love and gratitude by those whose gardens they grace with their presence. I have to admit that though I keep these guys out of my flower and vegetable plant beds, I let them live elsewhere. If they are that determined to live, I'll let them. Truth be told, dandelions are a favorite of mine. Sunshine on a stem, I say. :)

And these are some of my herbs: sage, lavendar, and oregano. Who'd ever believe that these came in a 4" pot two years ago? Love them!

I've saved the best for last:

My French Lop mama had four cute little baby bunnies. Aren't they precious? They are about 2 weeks old right now, and still spend all of their time in their fur-filled "nest". Did you know that right before a mommy rabbit has her bunnies she pulls out some of her fur and makes a soft and warm nest for her babies?

What has made your day wonderful?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Silent Sunday: June 6th

Well, more or less silent anyway...

Friday I went to the garden with a goal: capture the beauty of the ordinary. Here is what I came up with:

And of course I had to take pics of the bloomin' flowers ;)

And I can't forget my garden fairy...

And garden fairy after doing some funky stuff to her pic:

See you tomorrow, probably. :)