Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Buds galore!!!

Here are my two Christmas Cacti in one pot! They are both covered in with white and one with pink! It looks great! Now, to wait for some to open!!!
I will post more pics when that happens!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy Cactus Monday!

This darn Euphorbia is growing in the neighborhood and is approximately 6 ft. tall!!! It took on a Christmas tree shape (to me), so I took the photo and brought it in to add some holiday touches...You can see the tall Sansevieria, or "Mother In Law's Tongue" to the left of it, and how much taller this beauty is! What makes me really mad is that it was not my eye that spied it...but my Mom's! LOL. Good eye, Mom!!! Happy Cactus Monday to all my friends! If anyone wishes to join and participate with this group, see the link in my sidebar!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Collards are growing!

I discovered the little seedlings popping up on Christmas Eve, I believe. I took this pic on Christmas Day. They are a little larger already and seem to be vigorously growing in the Miracle Gro soil. Love that!!! As you can see I just stuck about 5-6 seeds in each hole...knowing I would have to significantly thin and transplant most elsewhere! I already know of two other gardens they will go to, which is super fantastic for me...I want to keep what I can in my tires, and NOT have to prepare any further ground. My Mom and my cousin have their areas all ready to accept these babies in the next week or two, and all will be perfect!

I saw this succulent in my tire, and noted it's pink edges as of late...I love what happens to many succulents in bright winter light...the pink/red colors start to pop! This plant has such a pretty green color, and with this edging, it nearly makes me want to cry! I can get pretty emotional over my sux!!! LOL!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to all!

Merry Christmas! Here are a few south Florida blooms for you at Christmas time! This top pic is not a bloom at all, but the festive red with white streaks of the poinsettia over in my neighbors yard! Must be a hybrid one! Gorgeous!!!

You guys are all so awesome...and I appreciate you so much! Above is a huge Poinsettia (all red) at another neighbors house...really amazing!
Below is a huge tree with purple blooms that look sort of like orchids!!!

As Tiny Tim says, "God Bless Us Everyone"!

My Christmas Cactus that I planted up a few months ago...a pink and red together in one blowl...are covered with blooms! I had fertilized them a few months ahead of blooming time, and placed them outdoors in a hedgerow to keep them in semi-shade and provide at least 12 hours of darkness from October till now. I will get a few shots of them tomorrow and post.

Merry Christmas!!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I'm all screwed up!

My sleeping that is! Here I am wide awke at 3:15am! We went out to dinner with a friend and my Outback! Before we went we had a glass of wine. Then when we got there we had a 30 minute wait, so we got a glass of Merlot while we waited! The food was devine (as usual)...and as soon as I got home around 9:30pm, I fell asleep (soundly) on the couch!!! Then I woke at 1:30am, and here I am, still. This is what wine does to me. I don't drink it enough, and when I do it really affects me!

I have spent the last hour designing and beginning to sew an ATC...hand stitching sort of an embroidery for 2010. I wanted to do a sort of candlewicking design. using white french knots on white paper, or off white on off white. The problem is I am not sure it wouldn't be too hard to see and

I did the darn thing with 4 bright colors!!! I can see it!!!

This one will get sent out to blogger who has sent me an ATC In the past and I have never reciprocated!!! There are several of you! I apologize for being so lax. I want to get my roll going and really start participating with everyone.

Tomorrow I have more wrapping to do...I need to pick up around here, and shop for a red blouse to wear to a Christmas program tomorrow night...nothing like waiting till the last minute! Wish me luck!

Happy Christmas to those who celebrate!
xoxo- Julie

Monday, December 21, 2009

Kitten or Pussy Ears blooming!

While passing through the screenroom today I saw this one little cute bloom on the Kitten Ear plant (Tradescantia sillamontana),positively I.D>'d by Mr. Subjective from Plants Are The Strangest People! Thankyou!!!!!

This plant is a succulent and basically hates water, as best I can tell. I not only never water it, but I also never water it!!! LOL. It is such a has sort of lived and died off and on for the past three years or so. I never know what it will plan to do next! When it does seemingly a while here will come up new plants what grow slowly, but will eventually look so great and healthy (kinda like now)...and it will bloom so nicely...and any goes out dead again! It has been amazingly fun to watch! I don't even get upset anymore when it pops off!!! Hee. You can see below the cute little furry kitten ear leaves! Just adorable!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Homemade cat toys for Christmas!

As some of you may remember, my friend, Karen had given me a catnip plant and I have been busy drying it for several months. I finally had to polish off the drying time using the oven, but I got it done. One the way to my Uncles recent funeral (I had three hours in the backseat of the car)...I hand cut, sewed and stuffed my first cat toy!

I had saved candy wrappers that crunch when you squish them, and my toy has one of these, some catnip, and some polyester stuffing inside. I also sewed on some stiff shiny gold ribbons, and green ribbons with a bell attached. I believe this may be the worlds most ultimate cat toy with all of these fantastic features!!! LOL.
Seriously, though, I tested this one out on my 11 year old cat, who has lost most of his spunk for living...and even he was attacking and batting it around! I have great hope for the younger kitties that I will present them too at Christmas! I need to make only two more...but I am about to pull out my sewing machine. The only part I will hand sew is the end "cap". where I stuff and attach ribbons. It is a delicate operation being so small. The whole toy is about 1.5 inches long.

I'm glad no one is waiting for me to make any other sort of thing this my current "loss of creativity" stage...I doubt if much else would materialize! Here's hoping for a much more creative 2010!!!

Painted Bunting info and update!

Information found on the Painted Bunting (including it's song) is here:
"This gaudy bird is one of the most beautiful in North America. Its brilliant plumage made it a popular cage bird until it came under federal protection; it is still sold in the markets of Mexico and the West Indies. Despite its vivid coloration, however, it is often difficult to see as it skulks among dense thickets, although in Florida, at least, it often comes to feeding stations. Its other well-known name is "Nonpareil," meaning "without equal." This species, common in parts of the Deep South, raises as many as three broods each year. The female is one of the few bright green birds in North America."
Could you think of a prettier name than Nonpareil??? WOW...I love that!!! It has a very sweet and lively little song too!!! I am keeping my eye out today for any more sightings, but so far none! As Claude had commented about on my last post...he may have arrived to extract my collard seeds...they do that...they EXTRACT seeds! You are probably correct, Claude! I just hope some still remain in the tires!!! LOL...we shall see!!!

A Painted Bunting in my yard!


I nearly dropped my teeth when I looked out my kitchen window and saw a Painted Bunting (a colorful male)...right out on the grass next to my succulent tires! My son was here and I ran out and he handed me his I Phone...but when I got back in the kitchen, he flew away and I could not have my very own shot of this amazing bird! I was so disappointed! THey are GORGEOUS. I don't believe I have ever seen one here, and man was I excited! It took me a while to calm down, as you might imagine!

My "Birds of North America" identification book lists the buntings as TROPICAL. Maybe I need to be more aware and keep my eyes open for this guy, and his gal (the female is a brilliant yellow green color). My book says it has a soft warble. You can bet I will be on high alert for any reappearances, and consider this a really amazing Christmas gift to myself! I'm grateful!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

OK...I did it!

I got outside early this morning and finally revised the tires. You can see my three succulent tires in the sidebar. This long view shows the 5 tires now on the ground and planted with collard green seeds. It says it will be about 20 days to see the seedlings popping through...I can hardly wait. I planted way more than the tires can I will have to set up more pots or dig a plot in the ground for all of the overflow!

Buddha and my strawberry pot full of Kalanchoe say hello!

My grass is finally starting to grow back in now that the sprinkler system has been fixed and every area is getting water twice a week now! YEAH!

And are a few shots of my garden assistant!!! (She wasn't there for the planting, but for the photoshoot)...perfect timing!!! LOL!

Could today be the day???

I just discovered some Georgia Collard (Brassica oleracea Georgia) seeds I bought several months ago...and I am looking out the window at my terribly disheveled tire gardens. Hmmmmm...I think I will force myself to go out there and take apart 2 stacks of tires and move some of my succulents into the other tires. The 2 stacks left over will give me 5 tires free (there are 2 tires in one stack, and 3 in the other). I will pull them apart so that all 5 tires are on the ground and then get them planted up with collards. Just looking at them, I can see that I will plant two collards in the smaller ones and three in the larger. It says on my package that it takes 80 days to maturation, so that should have them done before it starts getting too hot here! Yeah! This should be fun.

I am having a sort of two week break from my babysitting duties right now (with granddaughter, Emmie June...since my son is having his break from college for the holidays! They still come over and hang out or we go shopping or to lunch, but I am able to sit around in the mornings and have coffee. This has been good as far as trying to rest and have time to get over this darn cough goes.

I will post pics of my new collard gardens as soon as I get them done today...(THAT WAY IT WILL HOLD ME TO IT)!!! LOL!

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm back!

The funeral was beautiful, and my aunt and cousin are doing well. My Uncle and his other daughter (she died before him)...are buried near a huge tangerine tree in the cemetery. We picked some from the tree (they were just falling off and no one was picking them)...and I have brought them home to eat one a day for a while to prevent scurvy! Ha ha ha...just kidding!!! LOL. a day to get extra Vitamin C. I am still fighting the residual cough from my bronchitis. I advised my husband to do the same...he, too, is still coughing. We had both come down with this just after we returned from Shreveport. I am sick of has been 3 weeks already!

Thankyou to everyone who left such heartwarming condolences!!! It meant a lot to me!!! I have not been able to visit blogs, but hope to get back to it somewhat tonight.

My litle Thai pepper plant is making peppers profusely! Little red things among gren leaves! One of my Moms neighbors (a man) loves HOT we are delivering them to him. I told him I only want to know if he can make something positive from other words...something he will enjoy! I am still picking off cubanelle and banana peppers, which has been great fun! You can always throw a mild pepper into just about anything (AND they are high in Vitamin C as well)! Perfect for winter!

Doozey was doing well when I got back home! She was VERY excited to see me and carried on about 30 minutes before she could settle down after I walked in!

I found two big from family (Christmas presents), and one big box of goodies I ordered... of gifts for the grands!!! Both very exciting to open!!!

Tomorrow I mail out our last box of gifts for our out of state kids and grands. That will be a relief to have it all mailed out, so we know it will arrive in time!

It is such a busy time of year, isn't it??? I'm glad I am not doing a traditional Christmas dinner, but any family that wishes to join us may do so at our local Chinese buffet. It becamwe a tradition while my son and his family were in the Army...and now I am not about to change it...I am too old and worn out to cook anymore!

Happy holidays to everyone!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Oh gosh...

I just lost my closest Uncle today to a probable infection that came on suddenly and escalated overnight. Suddenly, he had to be taken to the hospital via ambulance...then before getting out of he ER, had to be intubated and placed on a respirator. He passed away before we could even realize the extent of his problem (although we knew it was extremely severe). We are all in shock...not even fully able to realize what has happened...or has it really??? really has happened and I am so sad. He was such a fine gentleman, a Christian man, who would give you the shirt off his back. A deacon in his church (the same one he raised his children in...for more than 30 years). He sold Christmas trees every year on the church lot. Travelled up north to buy and transport them, and and returned to sell them. He was always there for everyone. He loved football...especially college football. He always built things with my Dad...rooms on houses, TV's, organs, you name it. Our families always got together at Grandma and Grandpas farm nearly every other weekend as I was growing up...and my cousins and we were VERY CLOSE. My Uncle and his wife were like second parents to us. So many good and happy memories. My gosh, Uncle Clay, I will miss you so much!

We will be packing up and leaving to cross the state on Thursday, for his funeral on Friday...and will spend a few days there before heading back home. Talk to you all when I return.

xoxo- Julie

Monday, December 7, 2009

I'm sorry...I HAD to laugh!!!

Senior health care solution, according to Maxine :

Senior Health Care Solution
So you're a senior citizen and the government says no health care for you, what do you do?
Our plan gives you a gun and 4 bullets. Your are allowed to shoot 2 senators and 2 representatives. Of Course, this means you will be sent to prison.
There you will get 3 meals a day, a roof over your head, and all the health care you need! New teeth, no problem. Need glasses, great. New hip, knees, kidney, lungs, heart? All covered.
And who will be paying for all of this? The same government that just told you that you are too old for health care. Plus, because you are a prisoner, you don't have to pay any income taxes anymore.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cherry pie from Jewel

I am watchig HGTV's celebrity Christmas decorating show tonight and Jewel had her house done. She showed her Tart Black Cherry Pie and it is super easy to make, and looks fantabulous! I can't wait to make it! I checked online and they had already published her pie recipe and a picture too! Here it is!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Busy while laying around...

I finally decided I may as well get busy with Christmas shopping even though I cannot go out to shop. I am currently on REST detail. So...I got out the chargecard and got online. I wanted to show you this can of the cutest scottie black licorice! Are they not adorable? I ordered them for my BIL and SIL, who you may remember have the Scottie named Finnegan! I also sent them something else unusual (I had not seen or tasted it before)...a tin of milk chocolate covered potato chips!!! They look scrumptous!! These came from FIGI's...a really fun catalog to peruse!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Look at what showed up at Apartment today! The reds and dark purples in this succulent wreath just make it pop!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Doozey cuteness and a South Florida rant!

Today my little camera shy girl actually turned her face toward me and that a faint smile I see??? I snapped the picture. She likes to get atop this little 12 inch soft microfiber pillow and curl up. It seems so funny to me because she is kinda on her perch! LOL. Anyway...I could not resist and was so happy she charmed me with a look!

Today I turned a leaf with my cold. I can feel like the end is in sight now, which is a big relief. I am sort of becoming one of these people who want to live in a bubble try and avoid sickness. Here in south Florida, we have a huge tourist season that is just starting up for the winter...and I quite frankly don't want to be out with all of the northerners who bring all their evil germs with them! I will certainly avoid large crowds or crowds inside of buildings. I am constantly watching and listening for coughs!!! I am swabbing all electronics in the house and washing hands/toys/towels. What has become of me??? What have I turned into??? It's scaring me. Maybe if I can go a few months without getting a cold, I will relax a little. YIKES! week both family and friends are expecting their first rounds of relatives from the north. There goes our restaurants longer can we walk in to our lovely spots without waiting. There are a few problems involved in living in a tourist state! I guess I should stop my belly aching and just be happy I live in a paradise year round!

I had a lovely day with my granddaughter. She is such a bundle of sugar. Her hair is coming in CURLY...just like mine was as a girl! I can't wait to see what she is looking like by this time next year! She just makes my heart swoon (just like her brother does)!

OK...hope you all have a wonderful week. Sorry no Cactus Monday...I just can't seem to find time to plan anything...maybe one of these days I can get more organized as I learn my new role as a stay at home Grandma!!!
xoxo- Julie

Friday, November 27, 2009

Doozey love!

A few pics of Doozey when she was shivering this morning, and we decided to put on one of her sweaters! This is my favorite one with a Christmas tree with doggy bones on it. It got down to 48 degrees last night. I also put this little fluffy blanket in front of my little electric fireplace and turned on the heat...she loves laying in front of that warm air. Still HATES having her picture taken! Sorry Dooz!

Quick kitchen sketch...the morning after turkey day!

With everyone still asleep this morning following Thanksgiving, Doozey and I are sitting here together on the couch drinking coffee and wondering about the day! The light started to stream into my kitchen window, and I suddenly felt the urge to do a quick sketch of the scene. The tiny Christmas tree as the focal point, with a little brown angel made from seed pods and a golf tee for a trumpet, being the focal point. I love waking up to the little glowing tree that I leave on all night (thanks to LED lights) emparts such joy and happiness!

Here is the view from my couch, into my tiny little kitchen with the sun streaming in. It is a scene of hope and peace for me. Happy Black Friday everyone!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Being Thankful!

PHOTO CREDIT: TheLegacyBuilder

I am so thankful for so many things...I can't begin to count them all. I am blessed. I am thankful for the things that make my life so amazing, like family and friends, and a roof over my head.....but I'm also thankful for things that may not be so perfect, and that may need some shaping, help, and or time to get resolved. That is what life is all about...ever changing, and ever expecting. I am thankful that I can be a friend, a supporter, a helper and cheerleader to those that need me. I hope I can be remembered for that when I die. Someone asked me once what I would want on my tombstone. It has taken me all these years (I was much younger then) to come up with it. I only hope I can be remembered as a nice person who was there when needed. I know I am sorely lacking in many ways...but I keep trying...and mostly I keep being thankful for everything I have, and everything I am capable of doing. I pray I stay strong, and keep growing and changing every minute. I am very thankful for all my blogger friends and your place in my life is invaluable! Thankyou! I hope and pray you all have the best Thanksgiving day ever!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The good the bad and the ugly!

The good thing to look at and love are Prince Donovan and Princess Emily! They were playing on my couch having fun in the early morning hours (after spending the night with us) and I took a few pics of them being oh so cute!

The bad is that I have a cold again...and not only me, but daughter also!

The ugly is what I saw while laying on my couch trying to drain my head and when I looked up, and saw mildew on my vent. I thought of a little hiaku to go with it!

While on my couch, looking up
I thought to myself..."do I have the strength"?
To clean; I must.

Since my posts are generally all happy and pretty...I thought you would like to see what never seems to end at my house...mold and mildew! AND...I am allergic to bleach! It is always a problem. Well...better get to work. No time to rest. My stepson arrives tonight for Thanksgiving week! Yeahhhh!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My silly crochet for Messyfish to view...and anyone else who cares to!!!

My efforts to work with my MIL with crochet were trying but fun for us both. She could not remember how, and I had taken her to the store to pick her own needle and yarn, which she did. She just never could get the hang of it...and this was a woman who crochetted many an afghan! She was very fun though, laughing at herself and saying things like "I think I should win the blue ribbon for this"!!! We really had fun that night. While she fiddled, I started just doing single crochet rows about 12inches across. You can see the final product which was some sort of doily-ish thing for the table. I added a frilly edge on both ends...and it looked semi-decent! LOL!
I did love this variegated yellow cotton yarn though. I have an affinity to Sugar and Cream yarn (the brand name of this stuff). My problem with crochet or knitting is that it doesn't really pay to learn to do much with it, because we certainly cannot wear it down here in south Florida! So I just do a little fiddly-farty project like this on occasion...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Loss of identity, but gain of a greater love!

This is the end of the Shreveport photos. I had more, but lost them in moving my files! I am a techological wreck. These are just a few more of the beautiful trees, and colored leaves on the lawn.

Today was my last day at my LOA ended and I am not going back!!! It seems so weird...a loss of identity for me! Well..I have a new identity called Grandma now. I am keeping my granddaugher all day, and administering her breathing treatments while she is getting over a cold with severe lung congestion and wheezing. Poor thing is getting better now and I am so relieved. I decided I will keep her instead of sending her to nursery...she is only 1 year old. We have a fun time together all day and I am madly in love! Luckily I can take a few months off from a working job, and then try and find a 3 day a week evening job and leave it at that. She will be my little angel to watch every day and I am so blessed!!!

I did discover a great thing to do while following a walking 1 year old going around in your house trying the get into everything. I took my Southern Living Magazine and would read 1-3 sentences before having to intervene in some way...then she would go another direction and I would follow along for a few more sentences! By the time we got tired of all the walking and exploring, I finished my article! She sat in her high chair and had some snacks, and then play with toys while watching me in the kitchen and also being able to see the TV (with her little shows on, of course)...and she was happy as a clam for about 40 minutes while I made dinner! Stuffed peppers, BTW. They turned out very well. I used red peppers so they were very beautiful as well. That dinner was SUCCULENT!!! LOL.

Everyone have a wonderful Thursday tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Poke for Mary!

This is a picture of the pavillion in Blanchard, Louisiana...named for a yearly festival(In May)that they have there! As soon as I saw it, I had to pull over for a picture for my blogging friend, Mary at Pokeberry Hill. She always talks about the Pokeberries on the hill (mountainside) of her new home! I am actually still wondering if these two are the same!

Poke Salad. I've never seen it before, but here is a picture I found online. It looks and sounds so interesting!!!
The website for this past years festival...if you are interested, is HERE.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Finnegan, the newest Scottish Terrier in the family!

Here are a few shots of my B and SIL's newest doggy. They love Scotty dogs. We saw their previous little all black coated ST last time we visited Shreveport, and the poor little thing died only a few months after we had been there, sadly.

This new little feller is so adorable, and with a brindle coat, which I just love. They have a HUGE back yard in the country, where he plays and runs with the squirrels...but mostly an indoor dog.

He is very athletic gets very worked up over a basketball, which he pushes up the walls and does a sort of upside-down dribbling of the ball!!! He starts snorting and barking and getting so riled up, they can only let him play with the ball for about 10 minutes!!!

This is him after a wild game of basketball!!!
What a doll. Just thought you would like to see this little cutie pie!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cactus Monday and a pretty flower!

I thought of Marianne, when I looked at this photo on screen! It looks like something she would feature in one of her gorgeous mandalas!!! To all of you who know and love her, I ask you..."Doesn't it"??? YES!!! I found it growing around a mailbox a few doors down from my MIL's house! I have no idea what it could be, but boy, is it every purdy!!!

For Cactus Monday, I found one in Shreveport, in the form of a decortive plate on the wall. I didn't see any cactus outdoors there, nor did I see any at all at the Lowes there. (I did enjoy walking throught their garden center though...they carry flowers we simply do not grow here...and that in itself was such a glorious time to see...things like cone flowers, and frilly things like snapdragons)! Gorgeous!

This plate was one in a series she bought many many years ago. (Sorry it turned out so darn blurry). One of the other plates was missing and she said it had fallen and cracked. I meant to look at the back of the plates to see who made them and try and locate a new plate for her (I forgot to look before I left, but will have my SIL check it for me). Anyway...Happy Cactus Monday to all!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Artsy American flag, and first images of Shreveport!

I am back home and so very happy to see my house and take my first shower and good nights sleep last was heavenly! It was sad to leave my MIL, and the kids and grands, but you know how it is getting back home!!!

Here is a HUGE flag that was hanging in the had been covered (in the red and white areas) with patriotic artwork! It was so great.

The Shreveport watertower...I always try to get shots of watertowers where we visit! Strange, eh?

A few beautiful trees with changing leaf colors in my MIL's neighborhood! They were gorgeous! I have more that I will show in the next few posts!

Have a wonderful Sunday!