Landscaping

This spring has brought on yet another huge project that we have chosen to do ourselves.  Would someone please remind me why I do these things!  Oh, yea……it costs less to do it yourself.  Guess that is why the shows on DIY and HGTV are so popular.  Doing it yourself doesn’t look that hard……but it is.

It is kind of a lie for me to say “we” in this instance because “The Husband” did 99% of the work.  I did the fun part, design and shop.  I did help out with the grass removal from the beds, but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t that much.  We spent an entire weekend (and I mean entire) from 8 am each morning until 5 or 6 pm each day with an additional 3 evenings during the week getting this much done.

A friend suggested that I take before and after photos.  So that’s what I’m doing.  Here are the photos of the progress to date……more to come.

The “Before”

Delivery of the dirt and mulch

Let the work begin!

(I guess I did do more than pull out dead grass)

(Oops….there is a sprinkler line there, and there, and there….)

Planting!

All planted…soon to add the color

Still have the other big bed to complete……stay tuned!


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I am thankful for……..

The  gentle rain to water my new plantings.  


Finding the Past

I am going to begin this entry with my “I’m Thankful For…”

I’m thankful for a brother who is interested in maintaining a relationship and is willing to experience life with me.

Yesterday my brother and I went on a journey into our past.  We started our day with breakfast out and my nephew “Mr. Zan” in tow.  We were going to see the houses of our childhood.  On our drive over to the town we exchanged stories of what we remembered growing up in each of these houses.  I have not returned to these neighborhoods since we left in the early 1970s so it is not a surprise that  as I exited the highway and started down the streets to the first house, nothing looked familiar to me.   HouseThank goodness for “The Brother’s” iPhone and GPS!  It wasn’t until we came up to the street that I knew we had arrived!  The house looked exactly the same.  The trees had grown and the front door was now red, but it was the same house.  We reminisced about fun times…..football games in the front yard….. the night the sleep-walker banged on the front door in the middle of the night……and about eating watermelon under the streetlight in our yard.  “The Brother” told his son about the time he was pretending to drive the car and threw it into neutral causing the car to slowly roll out of the driveway and into the street.  Our Dad ran frantically across the yard and jumped in to stop the car before any damage was done.  Yes, lots of memories.

We continued around the corner and down the street to house #2.  Yes, we moved around the block.  It is a spanish style house that is now trying to be “country” with that railing across the front.  Don’t quite know what these owners are thinking, but whatever.  HouseWe told stories about the cork wall in our playroom that “The Brother” put his head through one day as we were “playing” and the pit (a sunken living room) that we had.  It was quite deep.  We always wanted Dad to fill it up with water so we could have an indoor swimming pool.  That idea never was very popular with him.  Hmmmm, wonder why?

Our next stop was our “home away from home.”  We were one of 3 families that spent a lot of time together.  We all went to the same church, the same private school and spent many weekends together.  There were fun games in the front yard of one particular house.  The Anthony’s house was the place to be!House  They had a heavily wooded yard and at night we would play “gorilla” amongst the trees.  It was fun and scary all at the same time.  A kids dream world!  Right across the street was the second family we played with.  I was older than the kids at this house, but “The Brother” and “The Sister” were dear friends with the kids and hold fond memories of times together.

It was wonderful to see that the Anthony’s house had not changed.  It was almost like the side door would open and out the family would come.  “The Brother” brought me right back to earth when he announced, “You know, this all took place 44 years ago.”  Well, THAT made me feel old!  I was having such a wonderful time in my mind, back in the days when we were all carefree and having fun.

We went on to see the grade school we attended…..I was fortunate enough to attend 1st through 8th grade at the same school with the same kids.  (and people wonder why I don’t like change as an adult….I had stability!)  SchoolAs we drove up I was excited that one end of the school had not changed.  We walked up to the cafeteria windows, peered in and it was the same as it was all those years ago (I prefer not to dwell on the actual number).  The tables even looked the same.  It is an open air school, there are outdoor corridors.  The  classroom doors opened on to the 2 corridors (one on each side of the building).  Our first stop after the cafeteria was “The Sister’s” first grade classroom.  “The Brother” yelled,  “Hey, they even have the same desks we used.   Wow, that took me back.School

Not much had changed to the part of the school I attended, but changes do occur and there are newer buildings added on.  We walked over to the church and walked inside.  Nothing had changed!  I mean nothing.  I could walk in there right now, open my guitar case and get warmed up for 5:30 mass.  OK, well maybe not, since I haven’t played guitar in over 20 years.  But it felt like I could!

After leaving the school/church, we drove around the corner to a house we stayed in for only a short while.  It was funny that “The Brother” and I remembered the same thing as we drove up…..”Remember the night of the fire?”  Yes, we do!  The house next door was built very close to ours and it was on fire.  In the middle of the night we were bundled up, put into our car and driven down the street to watch the fire engines come to fight this frightening fire.House

I retold a story about the time (while living at this house) I saw a commercial on TV for a free Beltone hearing aid.  So I called.  Yep, wanted to know what one looked like and how it worked……curiosity.  The hearing aid came, I played around with it…..no big deal.  Then a few weeks later a man came knocking at the door wanting to know who at this address needed a hearing aid.  Well, you can imaging this conversation…….”no, we do not need a hearing aid…….I was just curious……thank you for your time”……..Opps.  I still recall that event every time I see a Beltone commercial today.

Our drive home was a happy one.  We relived many good and not so good memories from days gone by.  ‘Mr. Zan” really enjoyed his time hearing us talk about “when we were kids.”  At one point as we were driving through an older neighborhood (ours) he stated, “This is really cool, all this old stuff and old architecture.”  “The Brother” and I chuckled as we looked at each other with that  “are we old?”  look.  I guess to “Mr. Zan” we are……but for a brief couple of hours, we were in the Anthony’s yard at night yelling “GORILLA!!!”

Thanks, brother,  for a lovely day!

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There Are No Movies in Triage

I am very aware that I haven’t blogged in quite a while. (sorry Mom)   Life has been busy and complicated lately.  Not much time to think about blogging.   In all of the “stuff ” going on, the one event I will write about is my tragic spring cleaning episode.

The weather has warmed up tremendously in just 2 weeks since our “ice storm” that paralyzed the city.  When the weather warms up in the spring I get the urge to throw open the windows and out clean all the winter dust and mustiness.  Decided that the carpets needed shampooing, closets needed rearranging, etc.  I was hurrying about these duties (I hurry because this urge to clean departs just as quickly as it came….better hurry and get as much done before the feeling flees) when I was stopped dead in my tracks by a closet shelf.  Yes, the closet shelf did me in!

As I was moving winter clothes to the back of the closet (quickly) I pulled my hand away and caught the metal edge of the shelf.  You can just imagine what happened, yep, big and deep gash across the top of my hand.   As I went to the kitchen sink to wash out the cut, “The Husband” came to see what all the commotion was about.  Upon inspecting the wound, he announced it was deep and needed to be seen by someone.”  Couldn’t that someone be him?  Guess not, as I was taken to the emergency clinic for a verdict.

While sitting in the waiting room we were treated to a movie showing on a big screen hung high on the wall.  I guess the management of this establishment feels the need to entertain us while we begin our loooooong wait to see the doctor.  Well, you can only imagine the feeling when they finally call your name to go into the back examining room and you are wanting to see the end of said movie (which you have now invested much time in)!  Never fear, once in the examining room, you are greeted by a smaller monitor running said movie.  A sigh of relief…..you won’t miss the ending!

After another long wait, the doctor entered the room, took one look at my hand and proclaimed that stitches were required.  “OK, don’t cry, you’re a big girl, you can do this………oh boy!”  “The Husband” was with me during this event and was a great comfort.  I’ve never been stitched up while conscience.  Surgery stitches don’t count as you are not aware of pain while the procedure is accomplished.  Now stitches while conscience is another animal.  Pain is definitely involved!

We were informed that we needed to walk to triage for the stitching up of my hand.   We walked into a room that looked like a minature operating room complete with the big light, all the instruments, and a bed.  But no movie.  Yep, they didn’t have a monitor to view the movie……no movies in triage!  That alone could cause trauma.

I have stitches in my hand and the urge to spring clean has left…..thinking it might not come again until next year.

(No photos for this post as documenting this event didn’t cross my mind until later)

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Thankful for……

“The Husband” who takes such good care of me and walks along side the hard things in life with me.  God has given me such a special man……I am more than grateful!

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Packer Fever!

Craziness has erupted here in the Dallas area, from the ice storm of 2011 to the Super Bowl activities (both of which I like).  My Green Bay Packers are in this year’s Super Bowl and that is cause for rejoicing in my family.  We are die-hard Packer fans (with a lone Bear fan and a Cowboy fan stuck in there somewhere…but we still love them though).  The phone calls and text messages have been flying between Texas, Cincinnati, and Wisconsin since the championship game ended.  Elation and ecstasy are in abundance.

That said, the game must be watched with only a choice few.  We become raving lunatics during the highs and lows of any Packer game, much less the Super Bowl.  Yes, I will be watching with “The Brother” (and family) and of course “The Husband.”  People asked me if I’m having a Super Bowl party……my answer is, “Are you kidding?…..that would be a no!”  We become complete “crazies” during a Packer game, so we keep it in the family and that’s how it is.  To express how deep the emotions run, I’ll give the example of my reaction to attending my first Packer game IN Lambeau.  “Little Brother” handed me my ticket, told me to go into the stadium and find my seat, he would follow later.  Lambeau FieldI sat down, looked across the field, glanced at the players and fans, and began to cry.  Yes, as close to a religious experience as you can get!  It was so moving for me just to be sitting in Lambeau.  This sort of stuff can’t be faked or bought, it is carefully taught.  Yep, from cradle to grave our allegiance to the Packers is instilled and nurtured.  I recall spending Sunday afternoons at my grandparent’s house in Wisconsin watching games as a family.  Then we moved to Texas, and spent time with uncles and cousins watching Packer games.   The history is there for us and we are proud Packer Backers!

To contribute to our Packer pride, “The Little Brother’s” family sent a NFC Conference Champion t-shirt to both me and “The Brother.”  Packer Shirt We now have the appropriate apparel to wear on the streets of Dallas.   I also received a Clay Matthews official NFL jersey from “The Brother” for a birthday gift this week, an even better item of apparel to wear for the big game.  Jersey

Speaking of the big game, I’ve decked the house out with all the Packer stuff I own.  (Ok, not ALL that I own, but the stuff that really matters!)   A few of my favorites….

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Reggie White autographed mini helmet…

Reggie White Helmet

A Replica of Lambeau Field…

Mini Lambeau

My Cheesehead…

cheesehead

Last but not least, Leopold the Leopard wearing the appropriate headgear!

Many women have scripture cards, framed art, and pretty calendars, etc. around the house for inspiration, but I have a photo copy of a magazine page from 1996 with Reggie White and the scripture from Joshua 1:9b hanging in the entrance to my closet.  I see it every day…….now THAT is a Packer Fan!!!

Our house is ready……..enjoy the game 🙂

Packer Flag

Packer sign

Packer Fan with Chai Tea Latte

There are just some things I find painful to endure.  Going to the Dallas Cowboy’s Valley Ranch Imaging Center and having a sonogram performed is high on the list.  Not the procedure, but the location.  As a lifelong Green Bay Packer fan, it is like going into enemy territory.   I knew I wasn’t going to like my visit the moment my doctor gave me the brochure and stated that they had made an appointment for me.  No time to protest or ask for a change in venue. Nope, I just have to be a big girl and go where no Packer fan has gone before (well, not that I know of).   I found this visit the perfect opportunity to show off my loyalty to my beloved Packers and wore my green and gold jacket.  No wondering whose camp I’m in!

This place really catered to the pro athlete, there were even special parking signs for those fortunate enough to use the Cowboy’s services.   I knew it was going to be rough going when I walked into the lobby of the medical area and was greeted by everything Cowboys, right down to the magazines.

I was very grateful that I was almost immediately whisked into the imaging room.  Well, on my way to the room, I was again surrounded by jerseys, helmets, and to top it off, a huge poster of Cowboys in action right above the patient table.

I am certain that my youngest brother would have asked to accompany me on my visit if he lived here (he is a Cowboy fan living in Wisconsin).  Well, I’m a Packer fan living in Dallas and it isn’t easy!  Now, I’m wondering if there is such a place in Green Bay?!?!  Do the Green Bay Packers have an imaging center and will they take my insurance card?

After my very emotional experience, I headed out to do the only thing I could think of, shop!  I went to Home Goods and Target, two of my favorite places.  I was actually on a mission to find the Tazo liquid chai tea concentrate that Starbucks uses to make their chai tea lattes and I heard Target had it. During the Christmas holiday, “The Sister” introduced me to these wonderful drinks.  (great, another expensive drink to become addicted to!)  I have tried several bagged teas with little success in achieving that “Starbucks” taste.  After time online searching the internet for options, I found that Target carried the concentrate and organic to boot.  Now I can try my hand at making this delicious treat at home for so much less money.  “The Sister” had the “Stash” chai tea bags, but they just aren’t spicy enough, but I have found (at Target) that they have a “double spice” chai available.  Bought a box and will try it too.

Now I’m looking forward to watching the Green Bay Packers in the Superbowl and sipping my chai tea lattes…….hhhmmmmmmm, scoping out the Packer’s hotel here in Dallas, might need to make a visit!

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Thankful for….

The  Green Bay Packers are in the Superbowl……let the festivities begin!

 

 

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Knitting Update

I know there are many of you out there wondering …”whatever happened to that sock she was making?” Yes, sock, singular.   Well today I finished the toe and closed it up.  Only reason that sucker ever came up for air was because I needed the needles for another project.  I now have a completed sock!  (do I hear applause?)  Can’t really say when or if another sock will jump onto any of my needles…..

Speaking of unfinished projects, or should I say projects that I have completed but have yet to blog about, here is the line-up.

Remember my post right before Christmas where I showed you that lovely long cowl and cake of black and gray yarn?  They are now finished and ready for use.  Seems I used a thinner yarn than the pattern called for, so the long cowl isn’t as bulky as the model in the photo, but that is just fine with me. I always feel like I’m going to suffocate when I have bulky things around my neck.  Plus bulky just doesn’t fly in Texas.  We have about 3 days out of the year you might need a bulky wool object hanging anywhere on your body.

Also completed is the ribbed scarf made with the black & gray yarn.  I loved knitting this!  “Miss M” actually knitted a row or two stating, “I don’t like to purl Auntie Kay, I just like the knits.”  A girl after my own heart! I don’t like the purls either, but it is a necessary evil in the knitting world.  This turned out to be a very long scarf and would be great for “The Husband” as he is so tall (his colors too).  This scarf is just off the needles so no owners yet.

Now on to new projects.  The first two in the queue are special orders from “Miss M.”   A lace slouchy beret in red and a lace infinity scarf in pink.  We are currently in negotiations on the yarn color as there are a bazillion pinks out there to choose from.  I’m ready to start the beret and realized I’m jumping into a big and difficult project.  This one will test my patience and lace skills, but that is how you learn and develop…..try harder stuff! Hope she doesn’t want it next month or anything!

Knitting ministry is in full swing again and we have welcomed 3 new members since the beginning of the year.  We are currently knitting hats for the preemies with a valentine theme.  These are great for a set of twins. Check them out!

That’s about it from this neck of the woods (wish there really were woods!) so I’ll leave you with my” thoughts of thankfulness.”

I’m Thankful For….

The Bible.  It is God’s instruction to us.  Its words are a comfort and at times a call to challenge and change .  I am especially thankful for the many words of God’s love in the scriptures….. His love for me!   God’s word is my lifeline.

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Off To A Slow Start…

I am off to a slow start this year in the blogging world.  Too many things going on that clutter my mind and I find it hard to sit and concentrate on writing.  Actually, not much blog worthy lately anyway.

I did complete the fox hat project for my nephew “Mr. Nick.”   Sure hope he likes it!  Seems these animal hats are the rage with the tweens,  go figure……another sign I’m old.  I just have a hard time seeing a guy in an animal hat, a girl maybe, whatever…..  I tried to remember what the “hot” fad in fashion was when I was 12 years old.  Can’t remember, maybe “The Nana” recalls what weird, wild and wacky stuff we were into back then.

Each new year people make resolutions.  I am not one of those people.  Never have been a goal setter or anything like that.  I take each day as it comes and am glad for the grace to get through it. Maybe not the most positive way to live, but I’ll take grace any day! This year I decided to find something in the small things of life to be thankful for.  Sometimes it’s hard to stay in a “thankful” frame of mind, especially when the junk of life can easily drag you down.   Scripture tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)  This is my resolution for the year, to choose to give thanks in ALL circumstances.  Yes, even when the circumstances are crummy, I can be thankful that my God is with me always and walking  alongside me through anything.  This I count on!

As I blog through this year, I will be recalling some of these “thankful” experiences.   Maybe you can find something to be thankful for too.

 

Mr. Nick’s” Fox Hat

 

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Thankful for….

In the barrenness of winter, there are beautiful birds at the feeder to entertain on the most dreary of days.  Thank you, Lord,  for creating such wonderful creatures to brighten our world.

 

 

 

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