Monday, July 30, 2012

Our Indoor Campfire

Hubby being a musician and all, we've made a lot of musician-type friends.   They all love to "jam" which usually means sitting around, picking out a song that most know, and playing it together.  It's an awful lot of fun.

We have  really nice fire pit in our backyard, and we very rarely use it.  So I thought it'd be great to have our musician friends over for a Campfire Jam.

Seeing's as how they're all very busy folks, I announced the date for the jam 2 months ago, so everyone would pencil us in and hold the date on their calendars.

Naturally, after one of the sunniest and dryest summers on record, Mother Nature chose that night to give us rain.

So, we moved our jam inside.   Sadly, some folks decided not to come.  But we ended out with about 10 diehard friends who came and ate, laughed, played and sang.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


There's a beautiful mini-golf course in our town, and despite the fact that Hubby has been living here 6 years, he's never been.   We don't seem to be mini-golf people.  But of course, having a grand-daughter that's almost 5 changes that outlook.  

We took Emily last night for her very first mini-golf game.  I knew it would be hilarious, and it was even more fun than I anticipated.   There are no photos or videos, because of a whole silly camera fiasco that won't be mentioned.

On the way over, Hubby predicted that Emily would last until about the fourth hole, and then she'd lose interest.  He couldn't have been more wrong!   She loved every minute of all 18 holes.

The excitement began with the choosing of the color of the ball.....they had no rainbow balls so dark pink had to suffice.   Hunting out each hole in numerical order was a lot of fun too.

She totally understood the concept of hitting the ball either gently or harder to reach the hole.  She surprised me with her understanding of geometry by choosing the tee that was the most inline with the hole each time.   It was quite exciting to run to the end of the hole and check out where the hole was, then run back and choose the best tee to hit from.

The course is laid out with plenty of water, which includes waterfalls, which were quite fascinating.  There were also some gigantic frogs in the pond that were very interesting.

After the first couple of holes, she decided she'd help us out by letting us tee off, then putting all the balls into the holes.  "I can handle that for you"!

 After Pepere commented that he and I each had a hole-in-one, she proudly announced that she had a "hole-in-seventeen"!

While taking a water break, we let the couple behind us go ahead of us.  Turns out it was someone I knew and we chatted for a bit.   Then Emily watched while the couple played their hole.  When the husband was having trouble putting out, Emily seriously asked me, "Do you think I should ask that man if he needs help?"

Just as we were finishing the 18th hole, we heard rumbles of thunder, so we headed over to the ice cream parlor.   We dodged raindrops with our ice-cream and sat inside. 

Then Emily noticed the arcade, so we went inside and played skeeball, whack-a-mole, and "jump-on-a-spider".   She (and Pepere and I) earned plenty of tickets.   "All these tickets are really for me though, right Pepere?"   We had enough tickets for a necklace, bracelet and two rings!

There's nothing as much fun as re-living childhood fun with your grandchildren.  It puts such a great perspective on things.  We kept no score.....just played for the joy of playing.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Dennis the Menace

Dennis the Menace visited the office yesterday.   In about 1/2 hour, this six-year-old boy managed to:

*  Destroy the Travel Store

*  Go in the bathroom (alone) and throw paper towels all over the floor, soak the floor under the sink, and hold the button down on the soap dispenser to create a pile of soap on the floor under it.  He did flush the toilet though!

*  Play in the water bubbler, soaking his shirt, the wall, and the (carpeted) floor under the bubbler.

*  Play between the newly washed sets of glass doors, streaking his fingers down the glass, rubbing his nose on it, and licking!!! the glass.

*  Pull out the Bumbo seat we purchased for our littlest customers for their passport photos and sat in it.   (for the uninitiated, a Bumbo seat is for babies 3-6 months old to help them sit up before they can sit up on their own).

*  Stand beside his mother and played with the metal mail-holder we have on the counter for outgoing mail.   He dropped it repeatedly.

During this entire time, Mom never spoke to him, never even turned her head!!!  Not once!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Garden Photos

Since I talked about the garden yesterday, I figured I'd show y'all what it looks like.  Compare these photos to the ones I posted just two weeks ago!

I swear to you, this is NOT Adam in the Garden of Eden.  It's just Hubby standing behind the 5 foot tall tomato plants.

This is our first-born tomato.  It's getting bigger and bigger every day.  Can't wait to pluck it!

Most of the other tomatoes look like this.  There are at least a couple of dozen and many, many more flowers.

The pumpkin plants are out of control!!

Hubby actually extended the fence over into the neighboring yard.  The house has been empty since we moved here, so we didn't think anyone would mind.  The pumpkin plants were climbing the fence!

The beans don't look quite as impressive. Although,  Hubby had to put another line of string up higher so they'd have somewhere to grow.  Next year I'll put vertical strings for them to climb up.

However, the plants are deceptive.  Look at that beautiful big bean hiding under the leaves.

And we picked our first handful and had them for dinner.  Yum!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Time Flies

Yes, it's been over two weeks since I last posted.  Time sure does fly!  As usual, our time has been filled with the mundane and the interesting....

*  Summer is definitely here.   Day after day of bright sunshine and 90 degree heat.  You know it's summer when you 
A) hope those thunderstorms they're predicting really do happen  
B) have to take a cold shower at night to clean off the stickiness before going to bed 
C) figure out who in your circle of family and friends has a pool!
D) All of the above!

*  Naturally, all our thoughts and energy have been turned toward the outdoors.  Most weekends, we spend working on our yard.   We agreed that summer is too short to think of doing any projects indoors.  Now we have:
1) no more gigantic shrubs blocking windows in the front of the house
2) Instead there is one beautiful hydrangea and an azalea we from the overgrown backyard of the empty house next door.
3) a stone wall instead of a fence in front.
4)  a vegetable garden that has, so far, exceeded all my expectation.

*  The vegetable garden is way in the back part of the yard.   The soil there is rich and dark.  The sun is sparse.   I wasn't sure if a vegetable garden would really grow there.   I was wrong.  Right now we have:
1) Pumpkin plants so huge, some of the leaves are twice the size of my hands.
2)  Tomato plants that are up to my shoulder (that I have had to stake twice!)
3)  Green bean plants covered with blossoms, and plenty of growing green beans.
4) Squash with brightly colored flowers just days from turning into tiny zucchini.

I wish we'd planted more - peppers, carrots, broccoli, eggplant.   I'm sure the gardeners' motto is "My garden will be bigger next year!"    I know for certain that next year, I will put six-foot stakes on the tomatoes, even if the plants are only six inches tall when we plant them!

Beyond, the yard and garden, we've been enjoying having a yard for BBQ's and picnics as well.  I cook out on the grill more often than not, and we've had several gatherings for friends or family in our beautiful, manicured backyard.   In a couple of weeks, we'll be having our first Annual Campfire Jam, at which we'll invite all our musical friends to sit around the campfire with their guitars and sing and play.

Hope your summers have been going as well as mine.  I am blessed.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Garden Goodness

Front Porch Impatiens

Hydrangea - Mother's Day gift from Nick

Wild Black Raspberries

Tiger Lily

Tiger Lilies on Parade

Green Beans are a'coming!

Lookit those big plants!


Lots of flowers = lots of tomatoes!

Pumpkin plants are big but still looking for the first flower.