Friday, June 26, 2009

Stroll Down Memory Lane with Me

Another day of being too hot to do much productive. Bah, humbug! I've been playing around with scanning old photos into my computer. I thought you might like to see a few of them. The picture above is my father's mother. My grandmother could do anything. She and my grandfather lived on a farm for most of their lives. She was born in 1905, and knew what it was to survive The Great Depression. In the picture above she's showing off some of the farm's produce that she canned and entered into the Harvest Festival. That porch behind her is one of my fondest memories. I spent many a morning or afternoon in that swing, waiting for the mailman to go by or for the man to come by in his truck full of all manner of things to buy. Mostly I spent the time reading. It was a great place to relax and go off into another world. :)
This is my grandparents with my dad and his sister on the side of that same porch years earlier. Daddy said that they had paid a man to come and build that house, and that while it was being built - they slept in one of the old outbuildings on the farm they had bought. They and the man they'd hired tore down the original farmhouse and built this one. They reused all the lumber and even the nails. It was a wonderfully comfortable house and my sister and I spent many childhood summers there. I know it's not supposed to be done, but this dear grandmother told me when I was about ten years old that I was their "favorite". By then I had another sister and two brothers, so it meant a lot to me that someone thought I was special. She told me not to tell the others and I never did.
This is my grandmother again, here in her living room that was her pride and joy. We messy children were usually not allowed to play around in there. She is displaying a tablecloth that she made (and sold) at Harvest Festival. I can't even imagine how long it must have taken her to crochet that. When I moved back to Mississippi for a time in the vain effort to save a hopeless marriage, one of the good things was being able to spend more time with her. By then my grandfather had moved to heaven and she had moved into "town". (Believe me, it was a tiny place!) She had sold the farm and bought herself a brand new brick house. She was so proud of it.

This is my daddy with one of his bird dogs. He loved his dogs and he loved to go bird hunting. (Quail, in case you're wondering what kind of bird.)

And here I am at my other grandparents' home with my doll Roberta. I have no memory of her, but Mama assures me that was her name. It's even written on the back of the photo.
Life was so much simpler then. It was also harder. Most people at that time did not have air conditioning. Few stores at the time had any either. We all just fanned a lot. :) Remember those cardboard fans with the wooden handle? I remember the little Presbyterian church we attended when I was a child had oscillating fans mounted on the walls around the sanctuary. We thought that was pretty "uptown"!
Thanks for joining me on this little trip. It's good once in a while to go back and remember. I was born in 1948, so I grew up in the fifties and sixties. I graduated from high school in 1966, but our little town was so small there were no drugs there. I can't say the same now, but then - beer was about as wicked as kids could get. It was not even sold in our town at that time. No liquor of any kind could be sold within the city limits. It's what was called a "dry" town. Are there any of those left?
Take a little peek at your own happy memories. And tell me about them.....please.
Hugs and kisses,

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Relief from the Heat in Chicken Land

Seriously. It is hot here! I just looked out the sewing room window and the chickens were panting in their yard.

Bruno and I went outside to release them to roam a bit.


It's a dangerous thing to do without supervision, but they need a little relief, too.



By the way, we have ripe figs now. Do you know how I know this? I saw the branches jumping and shaking. The chickens were jumping up and pecking the ripe figs. You have to laugh. Or at least I do. They are so funny.


I just gave them a nice big (over-big, actually) cucumber that has been cooling here inside. They very quickly demolished it!

Bruno said it was just too hot out there for him. He prefers the coolness of inside on days like this. :)







Me, too!




Have a great day!





Hugs and kisses,

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Remains of the Day

Yesterday was Elder Daughter's twenty-seventh birthday. There was a celebratory dinner with most of our immediate family (sorry you weren't here, Younger Sib!) along with Boyfriend and Granddaughter's boyfriend. And of course a homemade (by me) cake and ice cream for dessert. She's had a lot of challenges in her young life, but she's come through them all with flying colors and is beautiful - inside and out! Outside.........it's still hot, but the flowers don't seem to mind as long as I give them little sips of water.




Except for maybe this little Christmas cactus which I should probably get off that hot windowsill and into a little more shady area. Don't you love this old hippo planter!


Mr. Muddling went fishing last night in the Gulf along with our son and daughter's boyfriend. They have returned with a few nice fish and are now recovering their lost sleep. I think they all had a really good time. There's just something about boys of all ages out together fishing.

Hope your day is filled with lots of what you love most!


Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Another Sunny Day

video


Hi. I thought I would share a little Houston heat with some of you who haven't warmed up yet. (Those who have, sorry - I know you've already had enough.) This little video was out in our front yard this morning around ten. It's not quite ten thirty now and it's already 87 degrees with a heat index of 103. Welcome to summer.
These are my field peas growing along the side fence. I've picked, shelled and cooked one good pot load of these already, and it looks like it's about time to pick a few more.Sweet Million tomatoes growing in a bucket with the bottom cut out.
Yippee! Look at those lemons! My mouth is watering already. I'm so excited about this little tree. (I don't think you can honestly even call it a bush at this point. I just like to say "tree" about it.) :)Zinnias LOVE the heat. It doesn't bother them a bit, and they just bloom and bloom.
And have I mentioned that I have a LOT of cucumbers???
My neighbor gave me this bromeliad several years ago, and it is blooming again. Or to be more specific, one of its "pups" is blooming. Bromeliads only bloom once and then they die, but if you've given them a happy home, they will send up little baby plants of themselves all around the dying mother plant. Then, those plants will bloom. I like that.





Remember that little baby bird I found at my front door one day last year? I think it's some kind of egret, which is a shore bird. We are not at the shore, but apparently they have decided to colonize this area. They like the tall pine trees and there are nests in a number of them right around me. This one is in the yard behind ours.Here it is a little bigger. You still can't tell much about it, but I've had my eye on it. There are baby birds in there that have been hatched and are now being bed by Mama Bird. And yes, those white streaks under the nest are just what you think. Last year a family of them nested over another neighbor's driveway. Can I just say - it was messy over there!
Well, what with going outside to move the sprinkler and then getting caught up in something else out there that needs doing, it is now 11:30. And for those that are interested - it is now 91 degrees with a heat index of 99. Oh boy, time to work INSIDE!
Have a great day!
Hugs and kisses,

Elaine

Saturday, June 13, 2009

What's In A Bloggy Name?




I ran across that question in a new blog I stumbled across today. You should be able to click on the button and go and see what some people have written about how their blogs got their names. Isn't it interesting to get a little glimpse into the thought processes of others? Or is it just that I'm incredibly nosy?? :)

Edited to add: I've tried and tried, but I just can't get her button to work right. Anyway, the blog is "1/4 of an inch" . Try clicking on that. Sorry.....






Here's another little bit I "borrowed" from her blog:








I sent it to Mr. Sweetie Pie and he agrees that I AM weird. See, he knows. He lives with me.


But I do just find so many things interesting! I'm curious how things work, and why people do the things they do, and how they do the things they do, how things are made, how to DO so many things.









And that is how my blog got its name. I'm curious and I like to learn, and mostly I like to figure it out for myself (with the help of all you lovely people out there in blogland). So, most of the time I truly am "Muddling Through". I'm having a lot of fun, though, and that's a good thing!



Are you learning something new today? Helping someone else learn something new?


Have a great day!


Hugs and kisses,

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bloom Where You're Planted

This is the little quilt I was having so much trouble with. I just couldn't get my pieces to line up correctly no matter what I did. :( Bummer! I guess I need more practice, huh?


Anyway, I decided to just cut a couple of big holes from the middle and plug in these Mary Engelbreit prints. I like the "Bloom Where You're Planted" saying. Most of her artwork just makes me smile. And smiles are always a good thing!

And how do you like this wild print on the back?


I wondered what I would ever use it for, but it seems to go well here, doesn't it?




In gardening news, I could use some help with all these cucumbers! My neighbors are getting a bit tired of me giving them cucumbers so often. Good thing we all like them so much!
This yellow Angel's Trumpet is just blooming its little heart out. Isn't it pretty?
And here is another example of making do with what you have. Our little bird bath got broken when we were doing our big plumbing extravaganza earlier this year and will no longer hold water. So, it's now the bird feeder. It will hold seeds. But we still needed another birdbath. I looked and looked but couldn't find one I liked for under fifty dollars. I just didn't feel like spending fifty dollars for a birdbath. I know, cheepo me. :) Anyway I had this little ceramic glazed pie plate. It used to have a cover, but that got broken years ago. So, I used silicone and glued it onto one of the pvc pipes we had leftover from the same plumbing work and just stuck it into the ground. It works pretty well. Free is good! It's right outside my sewing room window so now I can see the birds eating and drinking and splashing around.
As you can see, our other fig tree is also outdoing itself putting on figs. I'm glad it seems to be recovering well from its ordeal of going through the hurricane last year and being pruned so heavily.
Hope your day is going well and lining up perfectly for you!
Hugs and kisses,

Friday, June 5, 2009

Hot Fun in the Summertime




For those of you too young to remember, that's the title of a song recorded by Sly and the Family Stone in 1969. I know........telling my age. :)


It really is hot here now. Summertime is here, but early in the day it's not only bearable, but actually pretty nice. I was out this morning working in the yard and thought you might enjoy a little stroll around to see what's happening out there right now.


Here is one of the last of the gardenias. I'll really miss them! That delightful fragrance just makes me happy!
I have my coffee under a little glass plate so that only I will be drinking from that cup!
One of the chickens inspecting the tomato plants in buckets along the side of the chicken yard. Apparently they all passed her inspection.






This is an angel wing begonia. The little bunches of red flowers just drip off the plants. So pretty!


We picked up this little rose plant at WalMart this spring. It was just too pretty to pass by and I'm glad we didn't (pass it by)! That's one of the more native salvias next to it. They come back every year without re-seeding. Matter of fact, I have to pull up a lot of them and toss them or we'd be overrun with them! LOOK, those are lemons on my little lemon tree. They're still green and pretty small yet, but...... I think we're going to have some lemons this year!! Yay!




This lily is so pretty and so fragrant. I've cut several and put them in vases inside to perfume the area.

This is a Rain Lily. It only blooms after it gets wet, usually with rain, but since we haven't had any of that here lately - - - it got wet with the hose.


You've seen my pink angel's trumpets a LOT, but this is a new one for me - a yellow one. It's on the opposite side of the back yard. I think it will probably get big enough to shade our little patio.

My harshly trimmed fig trees are bravely showing me some fruit production. Hopefully we won't have a hurricane to mess with them this year!


There are still lots of pretty flowers out there that enjoy the heat.
Even if they have to be fenced to keep the dogs and the chickens off them!




I'm hoping, hoping, hoping for lots of garden fresh tomatoes soon, too!

I have some field peas planted along the side fence with tomato plants in front, and some marigolds scattered along, too, just for fun.
There is more to see out there, but I think that's enough pictures for one day!
Hope your day is full of sunshine and pretty things for you to enjoy, too!
Hugs and kisses,
Elaine