Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In the Fennel Forrest

Meet one of the babies! There are FOUR Swallowtail caterpillars this year. Last year, there were about 12. They have been eating away at the fennel and you can smell the licorice smell coming from their chewing.

I need to find a butterfly house to put them in for safe keeping. Last year, the wasps killed and ate about 8 of these guys.

On a funny note, we went to eat Mexican food tonight. A lady got stuck in the bathroom because the doorknob broke. It probably wasn't funny to her but we got the giggles over her loud banging and the frantic scurrying of the servers.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Let the sun shine in

It may have rained all day but my heart was happy. Tonight, we went to dinner at a friend's house because they are about to leave us to go on a vacation to Glacier National Park! We'll miss them!

I ordered a Kindle and it came it tonight. Now I'm off to go figure it out....

Monday, June 28, 2010


We ate our first watermelon of the summer today. Seriously, this stuff is better than ice cream.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


There are baby caterpillars on the fennel plant again! We actually grow it just for the Swallowtails. Soon, the caterpillars will take this plant down to a nub. It is fun to watch and I love the smell of licorice that you can smell from the fennel as the critters eat.

Now, all I have to do is protect them from the wasps.

Just for the fun of it

Here are some pictures from our trip to Orlando. We loved, loved, loved the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If you can go, it sounds like staying in a Universal hotel is the ticket as you get early access to the park. Still, we lucked out by going in the late afternoon after riding the other rides in the park. Without further ado...

Dona makes a Dalton face while waiting in line for a Dr. Suess ride.
Deciding what to eat at Mythos (we all ordered Pad Thai).
Striking a pose like the driver.
Yay! We can see Hogsmeade. At this point we weren't yet able to venture into that part of the park.
3-D glasses! Don't they look great! We rode the Spiderman ride twice. It was awesome!

Yes! We finally made it into the Wizarding World. We WALKED RIGHT IN and immediately felt sorry (and we gloated just a bit) for our friends who waited FOUR HOURS in line just to get into that section of the park.
First thing we did was to order a round of BUTTER BEER!
Butter beer was delicious and foamy!
We waited about 20 minutes in line to order food at the Three Broomsticks. We all got fish and chips! It was awesome! Also, Dalton ordered Pumpkin Juice - another fantastic drink!
We got to window shop while waiting about an hour (as the sun went down behind us) to see Olivander in his wand shop.

Overall, it was hot and muggy as is typical in Florida - and no different than Georgia (though one never really gets used to it) but FUN! We all had a great time!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I know, I know... the picture is lame. After working ALL DAY (and props to me for not telling off my husband's business partner as he was being a real jerk), with my husband, we rushed home to prepare some appetizers for a little soirée with some friends. I only took this picture today. I really, really wanted to cheat and put up a decent picture... but I can't make myself do it.

Thanks to my friend, Kippy, for introducing me to Ranger - another beer I love. And thanks to Dan for some great Mai Tais.

Also, Butterscotch Schnaps and Ginger Ale can pass for a do-able Butter Beer (just for fun - and thanks, Laurie, for indulging me!).

I better go to bed now. I think it is probably against the law to post while under the influence....

Friday, June 25, 2010

Nature is the art of God

Today, I went canoeing for the first time in my life! It is about time I learn my to embrace my southern roots.

I've seen this beautiful lake all my life. The cypress trees grow all about in this lake and made gorgeous clumps of shade that were perfect for a few minutes of respite on this hot, muggy day. The lake is unbelievably peaceful and quiet.

I was afraid to take my camera in the canoe (one never knows if there will be a capsize) as I was worried about an accidental baptism... so, the only pictures I took were from the bank of the lake.

I can't wait to go canoeing again!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Will you still need me?

Will you still feed me? ... When I'm 64...

For whatever reason, when I was taking this picture, this song by the Beatles was playing in my head.

Sometimes, the best part about a vacation is coming home! I'm tired but happy. And I missed my husband!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Don't cry because it is over. Smile because it happened.

We've had an awesome two days. Today, we spent the day at Universal Studios. During the heat of the day, we went to City Walk to see a movie (Toy Story 3D). In the movie, the kid is about to go away to college. It was fitting as that will be the scene at my house in a couple of months.

It made me realize that I am so fortunate to have had this time with my son - and that he so willingly lets me tag along with he and his girlfriend. I think I needed this time together more than he did.

On a different note, a parent I know is going through a very difficult time. Her little girl (Elizabeth) has cancer and is a very sick child. There have been many ups and downs - and right now they are needing our healing thoughts and prayers.

I pray that they get to see Elizabeth graduate from high school. I pray that this mother has to worry about her child going off to college. I pray that this cancer will one day be a distant memory.


Boy, did we luck out! The group we are with has several stragglers who made us all leave a bit late... and we were ready to get into the Wizarding World! Since we arrived at the park after 9 a.m., my son, his girlfriend, and I decided to ride the other rides and wait to try to see all the Harry Potter stuff since the line just to get in that section (never mind the lines for the rides... the stores... the restaurants...) was wrapped around the park. The rest of the group declared themselves to be die hards and got in line to wait. FOUR HOURS later, they managed to get into Harry Potter-land! OMG!

On the other hand, we rode Spiderman and the Hulk twice, then rode several other rides, ate at Mythos (an excellent restaurant with air conditioning -seriously the food was ok... the AC was amazing), before heading back towards Harry Potter a little after 4 p.m.

We walked right in. The wait for the Dueling Dragons was 10 minutes - so we rode it twice. We did have a rather long wait (about an hour and a half) for the Hogwarts ride - but it was worth it and the line moved the entire time (did someone hear mooing?). Afterwards, we waited in line for about 20 minutes at The Three Broomsticks for a fantastic meal of fish and chips. We then waited for about an hour to see Olivander at his Wand Shop - and the "kids" each bought a wand.

All in all, it was an amazing day! We didn't get back to the house we rented until after 11 p.m. So.... my insider tip for the day is this - Wait until the late afternoon to go the Wizarding World. It will still be crowded - but I imagine it is much less crowded in the afternoon/evening than it is in the morning.

Oh, and the BEST story! While in line for the Hogwarts ride, we kept passing a lady who was breast feeding her baby. I'm all for breast feeding but it was FUNNY to see this happening in the Hogwarts line with hundreds of people being prodded along like cattle. Ironically, there was a guy just behind her (but not with her) that wore a shirt that said, "Boobies make me smile." We think that if the baby had worn the boobie shirt, it would have been more fitting. Plus, it might have given that guy a fighting chance to see some boobage more so than his shirt was going to give him.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sweet Day

Made it to Orlando and spent the day at Wonder Works (a cool place) after a fabulous lunch at Pom Pom's Tea House. It has been an exhausting day - but fun!

Tomorrow is Harry Potter day! Yay!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Oh, look... a bird!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads, father figures, and want to be dads.

Soon after my husband and I married, we got Mili (aka Miss Poopy) to add to our family. My husband has the girls. I have the boys. And we have Mili.

It is our own sick version of "his-hers-and ours."

Tomorrow, I am leaving with my son and some of his friends for Orlando. We are going to the HARRY POTTER THEME PARK at Islands of Adventure (I may or may not be excited!). I'm not sure about the internet access... so, I may be out of touch until Thursday.

I'll take plenty of pictures.

Oh, and I'll drink a Butter Beer for each of you. :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Just spent the evening hanging out with some old friends. I've missed them since they've moved a few hours away. The youngest daughter was fascinated by the slugs.

After this picture, the germ-o-phobe in me made her was her hands. In hot water.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer vacation has officially started

So, today I celebrated by weeding in the garden. Again. When I went behind the arbor, I was surprised to see a branch with bean-like appendages - which totally reminds me of how much I love Barbara Kingsolver books.

I am currently reading The Lacuna. I may reread The Bean Trees. Again.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

... Miss Lucy called the lady with the alligator purse...

One of the awesome finds we found when cleaning out my mother-in-law's stuff after she passed this past March were a box of old purses. I LOVE this alligator bag (and relax PETA people... this alligator has been dead for over 50 years... it would be a waste to not enjoy his markings now)!

I've gotten several comments (positive comments... again, for the record.... and for the PETA people) about this "retro" bag.

Should I start vacuuming in high heels now?

Cookies and milk, anyone?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow ~ Albert Einstein

Live for today. Really live for today.

There are no guarantees ~ so take risks.

Reach out. Comfort someone.

Be kinder than necessary.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dried cosmos

Dried cosmos in my garden... and for some reason they just make me smile.

Monday, June 14, 2010


My son's girlfriend left early this morning on a flight to visit her grandparents. Paula the rabbit is staying with us until the girlfriend returns. As I was lacing up my running shoes at 4:30 this morning, I heard my son talking with her on the cell phone before she left on her flight. This evening, he has just been sitting around, holding the rabbit.

I think they might really have it bad for each other.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures...

~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

After working with my husband (he is a caterer) yesterday, I came home exhausted and a bit upset because I lost a toenail. What the heck?! I bumped that toe back in February and with running caused a lovely purple bruise. Since February, I've painted all my toenails purple (in honor of the bruise... or to disguise it... you choose).

Now what am I supposed to do?

And do I get a discount on my next pedicure?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

True love doesn't have a happy ending because true love never ends

Happy Anniversary to my husband and I! We've been married for 6 years - after dating for 9 (I know, I know... we rushed things).

One of the things I love best about our house the memory of getting married in the backyard. Just for kicks, we posed at the scene of the crime. The wedding picture in the photo is one of my favorites. I love how my husband was smiling at me (and I won't say anything about what a sweet sap he is and was... because he got something in his eyes... that's all it was). :)

I hope he knows I have no regrets. I'd marry him all over again. Even if he still gets stuff in his eyes.

Friday, June 11, 2010

42,864 weeds met their demise today

After a quick run, the dog and I hit the backyard as the sun was coming up to begin the war against the weeds. Three hours later, I decided to wave the white flag.

I took a shower (whether I needed one or not) and then took my son and his girlfriend to the movies. I know I'm probably cheesy - but I loved the new Karate Kid.

Maybe I'll try some Kung Fu moves on the weeds later this weekend.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"For the person for whom small things do not exist, the great is not great." ~ Jose Ortega y Gasset

This was the tiniest bee! I love how he was collecting the pollen on his legs.

Helped the husband cater today for a party. Tomorrow, I'm planning to work in the yard all day long. I need some time with the sun (and time to show those weeds who is the boss). To heck with the 40% chance of rain.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Boys

This evening, I spent some time with a friend who wanted me to take some pictures of the "boys" for a Father's Day gift.

Don't they just make you smile?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What the cluck?!

My oldest son is taking care of some chickens for a few weeks and he let me tag along while he cleaned out the enclosure. They were so funny to watch as they scratched and pecked around.

Now I want a pet chicken!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Dragonflies prove that our creator had an imagination

I love the way they seem to float... almost as if tied to a gossamer string.

They remind me to smile. To force my shoulders to relax.

Dealt with a tough parent who is very unhappy with the school. Involved a long meeting with the assistant superintendent. Threats of withdrawing the child were made. I hope she won't follow through.

I wish she believed in us. I wish she would quit moving from town to town. I wish she would let us help her child. I wish a lot of things.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Memory of Duane Allman

As part of our Macon, GA visit, we toured Rose Hill Cemetery. What a fantastic place! There is so much history there - including a Confederate Soldier section. We spent time at the final resting place of Duane Allman (and Berry Oakley, too).

In the spirit of the Allman Brothers, we also found Elizabeth Reed's grave ("The Memory of Elizabeth Reed"). What a serene place (where I suspect much experimentation of music and weed were practiced back in the day)! The song was written in memory of their time in the Rose Hill Cemetery. Ironically, Duane and Berry aren't buried too far from where they used to hang out and practice before they made it big.

Why do so many of the greatest musicians have to have such tragic ends?

"If you don't know your family's history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree." ~ Michael Crichton

Spent the weekend out of town with our friends (and their adorable Ray) to celebrate their anniversary. We got to spend time touring the town they grew up in - Macon, GA. We loved the old houses and all the history!

Also, the food and imbibing was fantastic, too!

Friday, June 4, 2010

The rain reminds me to appreciate the sun

We found a new home for the Basset Hounds! A sweet teacher from my school responded to my plea for help and came to get the doggies tonight. Her kids are in love with the pups. And I'll still get to go visit them.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hello, Summer

The Basset Hounds are spending the night in the backyard! I think we may have some attachment issues - in that it is going to be hard to watch them leave.

I hope we can find a great home for them together.

Sometimes the story matters more than the picture

On Memorial Day, during our annual grill out, my sister called me from work. Someone had abandoned two Basset Hounds and they were sleeping under a van. Pictures were texted. We ooohhhhed. We aahhhhed. And we began to fret.

Where could these dogs live? Who did we know that would give them a home?

I called someone I knew from Basset Hound Rescue. "Yes, of course, they really are Basset Hounds. Yes, we'll email a picture. Oh, you don't know anyone that can take them tonight?"

Once my husband gave me nod, I called my sister back. "Just bring them to my house and we'll keep them for the night."

The dogs arrived - with ribs and hips protruding - eager for some attention. Because of the fleas and unknowns about these dogs, we decided to keep them in the garage.

Big mistake.

After worrying that the garage would be too warm, I convinced my husband that we needed to move the dogs to the backyard and just keep Mili inside. Both my boys and their friends went outside with me - ready to help me move the dogs.

When the garage door opened, they RAN FOR THEIR LIVES! We called for them (but they didn't have names). We chased them (I ran for a long time in wedges - not ideal). We drove around looking for them.

In the end, we went home defeated. And dog-less.

All night long, I woke up worrying about those dogs. Would they find each other again? Would someone kind find them and take care of them?

On Tuesday, I drove around before work and after work looking for the dogs. No sightings and lots of angry drivers raising their fists at me.

On Wednesday, my husband called me. "Come home. The dogs are in the carport."

As I drove home, I stopped by the vets to pick up a couple of temporary leashes. As soon as I got out of my car, both dogs hopped up and began wagging their tail. How could someone abandon these girls? They were so sweet. And so skinny.

I plopped down in the driveway - clothes be damned - and let the dogs clamor all over me. Once the leashes were in place, we opened the car door and the dogs jumped right in (I swear it was a synchronized move) and we took them to our vet.

The prognosis is rough - Hook worms (treatable - but highly contagious) and Heart worms (too soon to tell how badly).

World, meet Flora and Fauna. They are two tough, little sweethearts who need a good home.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Through the looking glass

Well, actually through the coffee table glass. Mili was looking up and waiting for a piece of cheese. Notice the beautiful floor her business end is resting on. That floor was the source of much chaos a couple of weeks ago. I think it was worth the upheaval.

Oh, and if you think that coffee table looks like it was nabbed from a whore house, you should see the lamp we have in the living room. My mother-in-law (may she rest in peace) had some swanky taste back in the 1960s. Personally, I love 1960s decor.