Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Behind Our Garden Gate

Did you all have a great weekend?  The weather here was spectacular on Saturday and then it heated up again on Sunday, but we were glad for what we got. 
Bella has been asking to get her nails done, but during dance season she is not allowed to wear polish on her fingers or toes.  So we celebrated the end of the dance season by going in for a mani and pedi.  She loved it and I'm not going to lie-I did too!
Sunday it was girls day.  My cousin Kathy has a daughter who is the same age as Bella and though they seldom get to spend time together, Tory always makes it to Bella's  birthday party.  Yesterday, Tory had her party at a Skate Fun Park.  My aunt and uncle were in town from Colorado for Tory's recital, and though her birthday isn't until September, Tory wanted her grandparents there so she had her party early.  The girls get along so well and really have fun together, it is so nice to see!
They just love each other!
                                             This little girl sure loves her Grandma!

In other news, I'd like to take you on a tour of our yard to show you what we/ve been up to. (And by we, I mean that I go to the nusreries with Mr. W, show him what I like, bring it home and he does all the work!)\

I really love to garden and have always been an active participant in our garden, but lately I just haven't been able to do it. It is just to taxing on my body.

That orange bench that you see is one we have had for years.  It was built with extra lumber from our deck and has been moved all over the yard and never made an impact at all.  This year I was thinking I would paint it when the Mr. suggested the same thing.  We wanted something bright and eye catching, so I got the orange.  It took about 5 cans to cover.  (I should have primed it first!)
We love the look.

The string that is around the pond is there to keep the Herons' out, they love to swoop down and snack on our fish!

This garden has a little asian feel. I'd like to get a Budda or something for this area.
The fountain had not been used for several years, but the one that we had down here died so the one you see was brought back out. 

This is another view of the same garden.  What you can't see is that this garden is kind of a kidney shape and starts at about the middle edge of our patio and wraps around the corner of it.  That lattice screen I designed and our neighbor built for us many years ago.  It mirrors the corner of the patio and creates a screen from the neighbors behind us.
Again the same garden, this is where it begins.  In the Spring we have bright blue windflowers that pop up all around the bottom of that tree.  One of my favorite pieces of statuary is in the tree-a monk on a swing!

This is under the deck.  Jim loaded it up with hostas as it gets full shade and added the stepping stones to creat a path to the spicket.
The gnome (barely visible in the back there) was Bella's idea.  She love him!

This is right inside our gate.  It used to be a sun/shade garden, but now is complete shade. 
I think that we have a total of 5 birdbaths and all of them are frequented by our birds as well as the stream bed in the pond area.

I love our backyard!  It is a peaceful oasis in the middle of a subdivision.  When you are back there you forget the location as it is very quiet and peaceful.  There are frogs in the pond that make themselves known in the evenings and mornings, lots of birds and dragonflies, and butterflies, so relaxing.

So there you have it.  While these are not all of the gardens in our back yard, they are a good representation.  I'll try and take an overall picture to show you that we still have plenty of green yard space available for playing!  What kind of gardening do you do?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Whiney Wednesday! (Sorry, that's the best I can do today)

Have you ever had one of those days when you feel like you should have just stayed in bed and pulled the covers over your head and shut the world out?  Yeah, me too.  As a matter of fact, that day started for me on Monday.  I'll let you know when it's over. 

So, I am little lot cranky and whiney.  I will apologize in advance-sorry.

Let me tell you about it.  Monday came too fast, as per usual.  I went to work and was just slammed!  I had to take care of a few issues that I should not have had to address, but did. After a long day, I left and went to the doctor for my first of three injections-in my NECK!!  This is how it went.  He says to look down with my chin on my chest, dr. swabbed the area and then gave me an injection of lidocain.  Not an all together great feeling, but not horrible.  Next he says he is going to give me the injection if he can get the it in right because my neck is such a wreck that he wasn't sure he could get the right spot.  He warned me that I might hear a 'pop' and not to worry as it was normal.  Just the needle going into the tendon.  Ummm, ewwww!  Sure enough, POP! goes the tendon and then some pressure as the medication is plunged into my unsuspecting body.  I left and went home with just a small bandage covered by a piece of gauze and tape so as not to mess up my clothes.  After I got home I was doing a few things to help the hubs (who was at work) get ready for his trip with Isabella and Tim to Breezy Point, when suddenly and much to my dismay, the lidocain wore off and it well, hurt!  Not just the regular hurt of say a broken bone or a root canal hurt.  This was more like, OMG!  Rip my head off so I won't feel this, kinda pain. Suffice it to say it was a long night ending with me sleeping in the recliner only to have to get up and go to work the next day.

After a busy day at work I came home to hubs having just gotten home and beginnng to unload the car.  I dropped my stuff and  helped unload the stuff. Now here is where things begin to get ugly.  Mr. Wonderful's idea of unloading the car is to take everything out of it and dump it in the kitchen!  My idea of unloading the car is to take everything from the car and put it away. So while he did who knows what?  I rinsed the sand off everything, emptied the cooler, put the unused towels away, and unloaded the dishwasher before I could load it again because he didn't have time to do it before leaving for the beach. When we, and by  that I mean I finally sat down, he took the remote and turned on one of his shows and promptly fell asleep.  Really?  Then when he woke up had the nerve to tell me how tired he was from spending the day at the beach and went on to elaborate with details of all they had done. Like it wasn't good enough to just plunge the knife in he had to twist it too.  Meanwhile I had taken the med that the dr had given me and instead of making me tired, it made me wired and I was up until midnight.  When that alarm went off at 4:45 am I wasn't feeling very rested at all.

An hour later I get in my car to go to work and notice after I turn the car on that all the lights on the dashboard light up - again.  (Same thing had happened the week before.)  Grrrr!  I get to work and call the dealership telling them that I don't want to stay, I want to drop the car off and get a loaner because I really don't want to stay and wait for it. I made an appointment and after yet another squirrley day at work I headed to the dealership.  When I arrive they check me in and I'm told that it will only take a moment to diagnose the problem, so why don't I have a seat in the waiting room-that was at 4:30.  At six o'clock my car wHeas done and I was good to go!  Why did I have to make an appointment to wait?  The worst part of waiting was that I had forgotten my book in the car, the waiting room television was showing amatuer boxing (really!) and did I mention the waiting area had no air conditioning?
All I wanted to do was go home and get something to eat since I had neglected to have lunch and put my head down. 
As you can tell, I was none too happy and then on the drive home everything irritated me.  I live in a small town that has a great radio station that I listen to.  Unfortunately, the local businesses in town choose to make their own radio commercials and they stink.  I mean, really BAD!!  Let me just say that if you are making a commercial that is going to be played on the radio and said radio is listened to people who are driving in cars, it is NOT a good idea to have police sirens in your ad!  I think I'm getting pulled over or am supposed to pull over for the emergency vehicles or something.  Not a good idea. 
And just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I see this guy running down the side of the road.  He was about 5' 9 or 10" and about 120 pounds, yeah his bones were showing!  He was about as pale as vampire in Miami and he was wearing the shortest, ugliest shorts I have ever seen.  Do I really have to bear witness to this?  It was just wrong on so many levels I couldn't stand it.

Then, I get home.  And here is the part where Mr. Wonderful looses his moniker.  From now on he will be referred to as just-him or he.  Why?  HE had left the toaster on the counter right where he left it after he used it.  I have to assume that he must have broken his arm taking it out of the cabinet which is why he wasn't able to get it back in the cabinet.  He failed to put any of the dishes or glasses that he had used into the dishwasher, that arm must have really been killing him. Then I went upstairs to grab a quick shower and put my pj's  only to discover that not only did He not make the bed but, He practically ripped the sheets off the bed in his sleep and left it that way.  I don't know about you, but I can't get into an unmade bed.  I HATE it.  And since He was sooo tired and went to bed early, HE took all the pillows off the bed and threw them on the floor.  In a mess!  Isn't is just so much nicer to put them in an nice, neat pile before putting them down on the chair-or the floor if you must.  UGH!  I so  hate to have to get into an unmade bed that on the day I was to be released from the hospital, Michelle ran over to the house before work or on her break or something and made my bed.

All I can say is: Thank God I had the forsight to raise that child right!

G' Night!
I'll be better tomorrow, promise.

Friday, June 14, 2013

A New Post!?!

I know that it has been too long since i have posted, but I have a good excuse.  Sort of, maybe, I guess it really depends.  My excuse is that I have simply been too tired to write. 
Doesn't sound like much of an excuse, does it?  It is however, the truth. 
So, let's review what I have been up to, shall we?
First up is Isabella's Birthday Party.  Each year I typically let her invite five girls so that it would be six including her.  For the last couple of years, they haven't all been able to come and we wind up with 3-4 girls.  This year I told her she could invite 11.  Her first question to me was "Did you ask my Mom if that's okay?"  Ha!  She's such a good kid.  After convincing her that mom was okay with it, she went ahead and made her guest list.  So this year all but one showed up! My Dad and Marlena arrived first at about noon and there was a certain amount of excitement as they saw her outfit.  Bella was wearing a shirt that said "Big Sister".  That's right, Isabella is going to be a big sister sometime around the middle of December.  (If the baby stays put.)  More on that later.
Then one of the guests arrived with her mom and dad and dade wanted a tour of our backyard.  I was happy to oblige but while giving him the grand tour, the rest of the guests arrived.  It wouldn't have been a problem, except taht I had not had a chance to take any pictures yet of my decorations.  Consequently, I have just a few as compared to normal.  The theme was Hollywood Red Carpet and our girl just loved her party!  

Bella and the girls just loved these little Oscar statues!

I was pleased with this film strip banner that I created.  Each of her nine birthdays are represented on the banner and it is fun to see how she has changed!

The wreath is made from popcorn and unfortunately I didn't get a picture of it until after the birds had started to nibble on it! 
It was super hot that day, so although the party was primarily outside, we choose activities to help cool them off.  They had a water balloon fight, a shoot for the stars competition (gold stars hung from a tree and the girls had to sh oot them with a water gun.), a pinata and of course, all the girls had the opportunity to walk the red carpet.  They were so funny!

Don't know why they won't stay rotated?

After the girls all left my Dad & Marlena, my cousin Cathy and her daughter Victoria (pictured above in the red), Sean's parents and Vinnie & Sabina (our grandparents from next door) all stayed for dinner.  It was a very busy, but very nice day.
Sunday we had breakfast with Dad & Marlena before they hit the road.
After they had left, Jim and I headed down to Tyson's Corner to shop for Bella's Birthday at the American Girl Store.  She just love's those dolls and every single accessory!

On to the news of our newest grandbaby.  Michelle had a lot of sickness during her pregnancy with Isabella and she ultimately delivered 6 1/2 weeks early. Although Bella weighed in at 6 pounds 12 ounces, she would have been huge had Michelle carried to term.  True to form, Michelle has again been very ill.  She can't seem to hold anything down.  This came to a head on Tuesday when she began to feel lightheaded and generally poor after not holding anything in her stomach for 2 1/2 days.  She went to the doctor who sent her directly to the ER.  She had lost 4 pounds in 2 weeks and they needed to get nutrients in her right away.  She ws diagnosed with Hypermesis Gravidarum, the same condition that Princess Kate suffered with in the beginning of her pregnancy.  Wednesday she saw the Perinatologist for the first time who recomended a cerclage, stitching of the cervix to keep it closed.  It was scheduled for yesterday at 6:30 am.  We were to keep Bella so she wouldn't have to get up so early. 
Now, last weekend Bella and I went to Ohio to celebrate my nieces graduation from High School.  While we were there I noticed that her cheeks were quite red the whole time.  Bella said that she felt fine and it was probably just sun, but I had a different feeling.  Tuesday she was sent home from school with a rash and when Michelle called the dr. she was told that it was a rash and reallly, there was nothing to do about it but let it run its course.  All well and good, but she couldn't go back to school without a doctor's note, so Michelle called back and set up an appointment.  For 9:00 Thursday morning.  I took her and Fifth's Disease was confirmed.  Nothing to do for Bella, but the dr. cautioned me not to have her around pregnant women!  It can cause some complications in unborn babies.  I got Bella back in school and headed over to the hospital to spell Shawn so that he wouldn't have to take another day off work.  I thought we'd be there an hour or two, but no, not with Michelle.  She couldn't hold anything down and could not pass the final test needed to ensure release-going to the bathroom on her own.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Not so much, especially given that she had a spinal block for the procedure. 
Anyway, she was still at the hospital when she reminded me that I needed to head out for my scheduled MRI of my neck.  So I ran over to the imaging center, had the MRI and then was about to head back to the hospital when Shawn texted me to let me know that he was taking her home!  It was now about 3:00.
I went home by myself and walked in to Jim telling me that it was time to go get Bella from school.  I let him do that run alone as I hadn't eaten or taken a break all day!
Then it was time for Bellas makeup and hair to be done for her dress rehearsal.  After doing that I dropped her off with her Dad who was taking her to the rehearsal.  Michelle realized that today was the last day of school and she had neglected to get the teacher a gift, so I ran out to do that. While I was there, Shawn called and asked if I could pick up her Rx from the pharmacy.  Sure.  I went to CVS only to f ind that the dr. had not called it in!  Ran back to Michelle's to drop off the gift and told her.  Shaw called the doctor and at 9:00 he called back to say we could pick it up.  He was STILL at dance.  Problem is, the pharmacy was closing in 30 seconds.  I was able to reach the pharmacist who transferred the prescription to a 24 hour store and Mr. W ran over to pick it up. 
Whew!  I'm tired again jnst from typing that out!

Tomorrow is Bella's recital, so we will be busy with that.  Good news is we have nothing scheduled for Sunday.  Oh wait!  It's Father's Day!  Better figure out a gift for the hubs.  Any ideas?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Do you like to read?

I LOVE to read!  I think that the love of reading is something that is passed down.  My parents have always been readers and we, my sisters and I, were brought up going to the library and sharing books.  When I became a mother, it was only natural for me to read to my children.  They both loved to be read to.  My daughter is now 31 and she has a voracious appetite for books!  She will read anything, and I do mean anything.  When she was in middle school she ran out of books so picked up the encyclopedia and began to read those.  (I know that I am dating myself by admitting that we had encyclopedias in our home, not just on line)  Our son loved, loved, loved to be read to and that continued until he was in middle school.  He still likes to read, though admittedly not nearly as much as Michelle or myself.  It tickles me to no end to see how my darling grandaughter has grown up with such a love of reading too.  She if a very good reader and her vocabulary and comprehension level prove that.

Naturally, when I saw this month's Chaotic Goddess Swap was titled Books 'n Bloggers, I knew it was something that I would want to sign up for.  The idea of the swap is to help introduce bloggers to one another and to allow members to receive a special something in the mail.  Who doesn't like to get a package of fun in the mail!?  The rules of the swap are pretty simple, all you have to do is create a package that includes 1 of each of the following:
                          * A book that you have read and loved
                          * A book you haven't read
                          * A book from your partner's wish list

Additional rules are as follows:

•Packages must contain 3 books that fit the criteria.

•Send books that fit your partner's genre preferences.

•Books must be mailed First Class or better, no Media Mail, on June 28th or 29th.

•You must respond to emails from the swap hosts within a timely fashion.

Pretty simple, right?  Do you think that this sounds like something that you would like to do?  Sign up is easy, just go to: Chaotic Goddess Swap Sign Up and get yourself signed up!  You won't regret it!   

Monday, June 3, 2013

Where I've Been

The short and easy answer is: Nowhere!  I have just been BUSY!  Working on so many different things in the last few weeks and working at my job and my home and everywhere there is a lot going on!
Bella's birthday party is Saturday, and I have been busily working away on all the different elements for the party.  She gets so excited about everything and never forgets to thank me for everything-she makes it a joy to do things for her!
Memorial weekend was very low key.  We didn't go away or have anyone over which saved me some.  Michelle and Shawn did have a yard sale though and since they don't have a yard, it was at my house.  So, I got up at 5:30 on Saturday and started pulling tables out and the multitude of boxes that they had been keeping in our garage until the sale.  They showed up before seven and took it from there, but I did sit outside for most of the sale.  They were able to get rid of a lot of things, but I have scheduled a Purple Heart pick up for all that did not sell. 
After we cleaned up, we all headed to Sam's Club to pick up a few (hundred) things.  When we finished with that, I dropped the kids off at their house and headed home to try and get in a few things before the Mr. got home from work and before I knew it he was home and I was fixing dinner and the day was shot!
Sunday found me in my craft room working to finish up some projects for Bella's birthday party when my lovely daughter called to say that Bella was ready for her 9 year photo shoot.  She and I headed out to the park and I was able to capture some wonderful images of this precious girl!

She is growing up so quickly I can hardly stand it!  We had a wonderful time just strollilng through the beautiful park and enjoying each other while capturing some great shots while we went. 

Update: I have been so swamped that I began this post last week and am only now getting around to finishing it up!

Monday, we had no plans and the Mr. was working so I had made arrangements to do a shoot for a sweet girl that I worked with to get some shots of her two girls, ages 5 and 4 months.  I must say, these two were adorable but a bit difficult to photograph.  The 5 year old had difficulty looking looking straight at me or the lens and so often her eyes were all over the place.  She is also at that age where if it's not about her alone, she doesn't want too much to do with it.  Ha!  Who hasn't seen that in a child?!
The 4 month old was a precious, happy and beautiful baby, but she is not sitting up on her own yet and really want to.  When we'd try to get her down to photograph, all she wanted to do was put her legs straight to stand.  Then when she saw the camera, she was so fascinated by it she'd just stare!  Made for a difficult session.  We are going to try again when she's a bit older and hopefully have better luck, but here are a few from that session.

                                                         Meet Leah

                                         And Mya

These are straight out of the camera, I have not had any time to edit!  Mom did not want to have her picture taken, but she is just adorable and you can see where her girls get their beauty from. 

Tuesday came all too soon and I was right back to work!  My evenings were full to capacity and Thursday I was hit hard by a migraine!  With the party being on Saturday, I took Friday off from work to rest and try to get rid of the migraine.  I didn't get anything done for the party, but rested enough so that I could rise early on Saturday to try and get things going. 
More on that soon!