Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Two movies I'm sooooo looking forward to...

Some of my favorite sagas are coming to their conclusion, and I'm sad and happy at the same time.  The final Hobbit movie comes in December.  I'm such a fan of Peter Jackson, he's absolutely fantastic.  I hope we see more from him in the future.

And in November we'll see the first movie of the last book of the Hunger Games.  There will be one more movie to finish out this series next year.  I loved the books, and I'm enjoying the movies, too. Thankfully, the casting has been great for these movies, matching exactly what I envisioned when I read the books.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Almost final pool post....

The solar light post caps came in the other day and we got those installed yesterday. They are glass with cedar bases.
These are on the two posts by the gate, and the two posts at the back of the pool.  We're just about done for a while, John's taking a break from the deck for the next couple of hot months.  I think we'll just enjoy the pool for a while!

PS: John did re-do the gate, and I'm liking it much better.  Once he's finished with that in the next day or two, I'll put up some finished photos.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer Day Camp --- Day Fourteen

Today we started with a trip to the library, where we found some books about airplanes....
 ...did some drawing, read a few other books, and did a few puzzles!
 We got home in time for lunch, and then went for a long swim - 1-1/2 hours! Whew! We were tired and ready to do something in the shade after that!
Next up, a craft project.  KT and Grumpy built a model airplane that is powered by a rubber band.  After they built it, it was time to decorate it, so they painted it together. This took a while.

KT loves to paint!
 All done, now to let it dry.  We didn't have enough time to fly it today, so we'll do that next week.  I'll let you know how it goes.
We left for town a little early so that we could make a trip to the ice cream shop.  So it was off to the Baskin Robbin's for a treat.
 KT chose chocolate chip cookie dough, I had my usual chocolate, and Grumpy had sherbet in a cone.
Grumpy giving us the "evil eye!"

Shivers!!! Can. Not. Wait.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Have I shown you this little cherub lately?

We have electric lights!!

John finished putting in the electric lights around the pool in one day.  I don't know how he does it, the heat out there just drains me in no time.  I sat in the shade and murmered encouraging words some, but that's about it. Whew!  But I really, really love how they turned out.  They are on all four corners of the pool deck.
 Here he is crawling under the deck running the electric lines....
 ...and climbing ladders to hang the lights.
 And here's how they looked that night.  Lovely! We don't have lights in the pool, but I have a couple of floating lights that just put off flashing lights from the top of the water.  Not much light, but they are pretty snazzy. Ha!  He's just about done for the summer...we will be skirting the bottom of the deck, but probably not until it starts to cool off this fall.  It's just hellish hot out there right now, and he really needs a break from this project.  The solar cap lights came in yesterday, and I'll post a picture of those as soon as they are put on.
Oh, and don't ask me about the gate....we're still negotiating his design.....arghhhh!!!! He's so stubborn!

Spring 2014 Garden Diary, Post 25

A few things still growing out there, despite the heat (or maybe because of it!)  These Porter tomatoes are still going strong.  The large cherry tomato and the Better Boy are still looking good, but the San Marzano and the Mortgage Lifter are looking stressed.  I'm keeping them watered and the rain the other day really helped.
 I'm starting to see some of the bottle gourds, seeds that I saved from some I grew several years ago. This one is about the size of a softball.....
 ...and there are several little ones coming on here, too!
And those Guarijio Frijol Gamuza black-eyed peas have finally started to bloom!
 Here's a cucumber, finally.  This is the second batch of cucumber seeds that I planted after the first one's were dug up by the armadillo.  So late, but I'm happy to get whatever I can.  They are in the same bed as the peppers, so luckily I can water them all together.  Most of the beds are completely empty and everything in them has been pulled up.
These are the Big Jim peppers, one of these plants has just been a big producer, the other three not so much.  Supposedly they are fairly mild, and we're planning some poppers with these soon.  So far we've harvested about 1-1/2 pounds of peppers, not a great year.  I'll cut these back in August sometime and re-mulch and fertilize them for fall and hope they do better then.
 All of the Castor Bean trees have drying seed pods on them.  The plants still look great, very tropical.
That Litchi Tomato plant has reawakened! It seems to LOVE the heat, and it is growing again, lots of little tomatoes on it.  It's a real conversation piece.  I wish I had planted this one in the ground, though, I think the pot is keeping it from realizing its full potential.
And the morning glories are just beautiful every morning.  I really love looking out the porch and seeing them at the edge of the lawn.

Summer Day Camp --- Day Thirteen

This week our theme is Airplanes, so of course we hit the movies! We went to see Airplanes, Fire and Rescue in Boerne at 11:30 a.m.  It was really cute, and KT was interested in it the entire time.  She already knew the main character, Dusty, from the first movie, so she was able to jump right into the story.
We had hot dogs, popcorn, candy and drinks for lunch while we were at the movie ... come to think of it, that may have helped keep KT busy, too! ha!
 (screen shot at the movie!)
KT's drink had this cool model of Dusty on it!
When we got home, it was time to swim! I didn't get any pictures of it, but we spent a whole hour in the pool today...that wore all of us out!

Friday, July 18, 2014

My mom...

My mom is not doing very well again.  She's been on my mind and in my prayers constantly for the past couple of weeks.  
Her body is giving up and I'm praying that she will be called soon to join dad and Danny. She is getting the best care, devoted people who are doing what they can for her, so that makes me feel like we're doing what we can, but I think she's trying to tell us she's tired of this.  
I'm struggling here to find words to explain how I'm feeling, so I think I'll just leave it at that for now.  Please pray for her.  

Spring 2014 Garden Diary, Post 24

Not a lot going on in the garden right now -- I've finished picking and shelling three of the cow peas.  These are the Piggott Peas.  I received 30 seeds from Baker Seeds, and we got 1 lb. 3 oz yield, which will last us a good long while.
This little batch is the Bisbee Black cow peas.  There were about 1 out of every 6 pods that had a creamy tan pea instead of black?! No idea of this is normal, or some seeds got totally mixed up in the bin. Anyway, they only sent me 25 total seeds in the packet (these were from the Native American Seed Bank) and we only got 7 oz, so I went ahead and cooked these up.  Delicious!
I'm saving seeds of all of these cow peas to plant again next year.  The Peking Black cow peas really were the champs, though. I started with 28 seeds, and they yielded 2 lbs and 4 ozs.  The other cow peas that I got from the Native American Seed Bank (Guarijio Frijol Gamuza) are still growing out in the field, but haven't shown a flower or pod yet.  They seem to LOVE the heat, the plants are beautiful, and they seem to be more of a vine then the other types, but I'm wondering when they will flower.

Here are the BNH444 tomatoes that we have growing in our front flower bed.  These are from the plants that froze back in April.  Aren't they pretty?!
The morning glories are blooming every morning -- all faded shades in pastel.  They are growing well, but I'm kind of missing those brilliant blues from last years crop.
And we have a bird making a nest in the Bean Haus!  I haven't caught anyone home when I'm out there yet, but John thinks its a redbird that he sees out there all the time -- he caught her hanging from one of the Sorghum plants pecking seeds off (smart girl!)
Most of the rest of the garden is drying up pretty fast.  I'm keeping the peppers and the tomatoes going as long as they will, the peppers are starting to actually look better (maybe they love this hot weather?) and I'm getting tomatoes every day (total of a little over 19 pounds of tomatoes so far!)

Sydney, the Donkey dog!

We've always had to entice Sydney into the Donkey until now....all of a sudden she's decided it's an okay way to travel around -- she comes running when she hears the engine, she runs and jumps into the floorboard, then hops straight up into the seat and tries to take the driver's seat.  You have to push her over, then she sits and leans into the driver and props her front leg and elbow on for balance.

And heaven forbid if KT tries to take her seat -- Syd pushes and jambs herself behind KT trying to get her out of "her" seat, and continues until KT moves over.  It's hilarious! What a character.....

Pool Update

John's been making steady progress on the pool project, even as we are enjoying the pool every single day.  I wish we had done this years ago, we are enjoying it that much!
He's almost done with the railing around the pool deck now, but here is a picture of the first post that he put in.
The left side railing is completely finished around that side of the pool now, and he's just about two panels short of finishing the right side.  
He started and finished the walkway railing in one day!
 We added black caps the top of most of the posts, and will have solar caps on some of the others.  Those caps are ordered but won't be here until next week.  I'm looking forward to seeing how they will look!
Here's a view of the right side railing progress.  The four tall posts on the corners will have electric lights for those days we want to swim in the evenings.  It's looking great!
I think we'll be using tin to skirt the bottom of the deck, on three sides.  More about that later!

Summer Day Camp --- Day Twelve

Today's Nature trip is to the Lost Maples State Park and Natural Area!  We've been here so many times, and we love it every time we come.  At first we were worried that the trip was going to be rained out (which would have been okay, since Texas needs the rain so much) but we ended up having a wonderful day!  We got sprinkled on a few times, but the sun came out some too, which was nice!
 Today we were working on a Scavenger Hunt! There were twenty items to find on our hike today.  KT really enjoyed this and found her first item at the Bird observation hut at the trail-head -- a bird!
 KT and Grumpy found another item - circled!
 I can't seem to walk as fast as these two, so this is the view I had most of the time...hand in hand!
Down at the pond, KT decided to climb into a tree.....
and poke a stick into the pond.
 On the way back to the car, KT decided to walk in the stream, so off came the shoes and socks!
Yes, she slipped in the water, but she was such a good sport about it! I thought we were going to have a melt down, but we laughed it off, so she did too.  I told her that Uncle JR and her mom did the same thing when we were here before....that moss on the rocks is very slippery.  She's such a good sport!
After a little clean up, it was time for lunch.  We brought a picnic and it was delicious!
KT found all but four things on her scavenger hunt ... we heard a frog once, but after a thorough search, we never could spot him.  
Back home, it was time for a swim!  We had a wonderful, busy day!