Monday, July 27, 2009

Cactus Monday Love in the Air!

Tonight my son, daughter and grandson all went for a walk after dinner, and we went to the end of the street where a cactus garden resides! It is kept by the owner of a shop (beauty shop) a few blocks away from my house at the end of the street, over looking a lake. In the top picture I used no flash, and you can really see the close up image, which was the lovely large prickly pear...and palm front hanging down...

And with the flash, you can see the far away, like the lights out over the water, and boats at the dock just outside of the cactus garden. It was really a beautiful scene...and rather cool and breezy out, which made me exceedingly happy to be alive and in the presence of all this love...I am so grateful.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Having a lot of fun!

The kids and grands got here Friday morning! We have stayed very busy! Amazing how busy a few little kids can keep you! LOL! Looks like they will be staying with us a few weeks, and then can start renting their apartment on the 15th of August. I am trying to just enjoy every minute of all the sugar kisses, hugs and laughs. Soon it will be all quiet and boring again in my house...I know I will miss it...but luckily they will be right down the street! How lucky can I be?

My Doozie is wrapped around my neck right now...she misses the quiet moments when we sit like this when I am on the computer. Poor Doozey. She still gets lots of love...she spends a lot of time sitting next to my husband the big cushy recliner chair.

Hope everyone is doing well. Will be visiting you all again soon!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

List slashing and grill cleaning attempts!

Just call me "The Slasher" with all of the list making and slashing things off that I have been doing the last few days! All of my lists of things to be done before the kids get here!

I got the latest idea on cleaning the grill racks tonight...and from several sources...2 live people and the internet! This method is to throw your racks out in the grass in the evening and place newspapers over top and wet them down with the hose and leave overnight...everyone said something about how the dew keeps them wet all night, and by morning you can just hose them off! I really don't think I believe the hosing off part...but I did learn another very cool trick that I just tried tonight...and believe me, I LOVE THIS ONE!

Instead of using a wire brush on your grill racks (which in my estimation, just moves the grime and grossness around a little)...try scrubbing with a balled up peice of aluminum foil! It works! And you end up with clean foil at the end too...all the stuff falls off and no grime build up like with the wire brush! It is a miracle! You can just throw your foil in the trash and use a fresh bit each time. Yeah...I love clean!!!

My racks are out on the grass, covered and waiting for the magic to happen! Can't wait till morning's light to check them out! Full report to follow!!!

I am working tomorrow, then off Friday. Getting all my last minute work things my time sheet is due this week...musn't forget my paycheck!!! Oh lawsy...I am so excited about the kids arriving tomorrow night I am coming out of my skin! OMG, OMG, OMG! I think I need some Valium or something!!! LOL!

I want to drink coffee this evening, but am afraid of what it might do to me...and you know I need my beauty sleep! Ha ha ha!!!

My sweet children are sound asleep right now in Germany, but I think they will be waking in only one to two hours to go to the airport! Oh goodie, goodie gumdrops!!!

Please fly safe, Mr. Pilot, and let them have an uneventful flight across the big pond! I am not even Catholic, but I have my Rosary Beads out tonight!!!

God bless each of you out there in Blogland...and thanks for listening to me ramble on in my hyper-excited state!!!!!

Good morning!

It's early, but thought I would sneak on here and say hello while my Mommy makes coffee. She is coming back out here in just a second, so I have to hurry...she doesn't remember if she can drink coffee before a cholesterol check, and then she read my mind that told her she should ask Google. She thinks she cannot live without it until 9 in the morning...LOL. She is so silly! Ha ha ha! Hee hee hee!
Love, Doozey

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Oh gosh...

I am getting more white hairs on the tip of the Rat Tail cactus every day and I can see it is growing upward at the tip (the plant itself)...I was hoping that it might be the start of a flower, but no such luck! It is fun to watch something you haven't seen before to find out what will happen! This is my first Rat Tail, as you can see!!! Hee hee hee!

I got a new mattress delivered to use while the kids are I have a full sized pull out couch, and two futons and large long couch, and 4 beds for all of us to sleep on. Plenty of room.

Tonight I tried to clean the BBQ grill racks in the self cleaning oven! I read about it online and it sounded like a wonderful thing to do! Now...I have to tell you... DO NOT USE THIS METHOD!!!!! There was some baked on stuff, and I first tried cleaning it with this really fabulous looking cleaner that I found at Home Depot by Simple just wasn't fast enough for me...and I was trying to save some elbow grease too. Anyway after about 40 minutes in the self cleaning oven, smoke started billowing out the top of the oven through a burner area, and then the smoke alarm went off. I turned the oven off, and then I had to disconnect the smoke alarm from the ceiling and put it out the front door to get it to shut off!!! We had to open all the windows and turn on fans, etc. Luckily it is a semi-cool night so we are able to leave all the doors nad windows open for a while! So how dumb was this idea???

The next thing I will try is to place the racks in a garbage bag (outside) and cover with ammonia and water for about 4 hours...then you rinse with the hose...and brush.

I WILL BE THE WINNER!!!!! (Somehow)

I will also get my refrigerator all wiped out tonight as well. After that, I think I will be ready for the kids to arrive on the 23rd.

The only thing will be grocery shopping and one last lawn mow before they arrive.

After the 23rd, I cannot say how much time I will have for blogging...I will be thinking of you all so much and wondering what you are all up to, and I will get back here once I have them situated in their new apartment.

Oh, the house has really cleared out now (smoke) and I think we can safely close up the windows again...but you know is actually kinda cool out now. It is 10pm here and the air is quite pleasant...maybe I will leave them open a few more hours...I can hear the bugs churping and I love the sound of the nighttime critters! Hey I will at least sleep with my window cracked open a little just for that!!! Sweet sounds of summer! I always feel like I am camping outdoors when I can hear the sounds through the window.

Goodnight.....sleep tight.....zzzzzzzzz.....

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Happy Cactus Monday early!

I got very excited to see new growth on the tippy top of the peice of Golden Rat Tail Cactus, my blogger pal, Claude sent to me a few months ago...(see the white stuff at tip)this means it has rooted and is thriving...and this makes me a Happy Cactus Monday girl!!!!!

Cactus or succulent seed challenge!

Hey...would anyone like to do a little seed challenge??? In other words, if you are having any desire at all to try growing either cactus or succulents from seed...maybe you are wanting to produce some exotic variety or just to experiment and see what happens? I have been having an urge to give it a try. It is something I have never done before (in the succulent world anyway). So, if it sounds like fun, and you guys would want to try it and we could post pics as we get anything going...(hopefully we will)...let's do it! Do a google search for Cactus seeds, and see what you find. I was thinking of using the Cactus and Succulent Society, as they have a Seed Depot, but their site will not work with Internet Explorer... you can send your order in by mail to them, and the address is there for you. The nice thing here is that the seeds are all donated by members and you will be fairly sure that what you order is what you will get. I like that it is all member run. Then there is a place called Seedman, that looks quite good. There are more. If anyone is interested in doing this, let me know and we can keep up with each other progress on the blogs!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Succulents and a Soulbrushesque painting!

Here are a few of my succulents...I'm not sure what these are called and I am too lazy to look them up tonight. I have been cleaning and arranging for the arrival of my kids from Germany on Thursday, all day today and I am exhausted!

I went to visit a friend in the hospital today and found these paintings by Gerri Aurre, and this particular one of a baby made me think of Soulbrush, who's paintings share many of the same characteristics. I wanted to let her see, because of her little granddaughter, Maggie! It just made me think of you Souly-B!!!!!
Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Kari Callen

Click here to see a video of Kari Callen from America's Got Talent. She has such a beautiful voice and I am rooting for her big time!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Award recieved and passing on!

I recieved this award from Soulbrush, a friend I call Souly-B...because she has such a big soul and heart!!! Yes, it's true! I appreciate it being passed on to me Souly!!!!! I would like all (if you wish) of the bloggers I have listed in my Blogroll to please take the award, as I feel you are all deserving, and then spread the love further on your blogs!
Have a Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Workplace beauty!

Yup...I discovered these Bromeliads blooming in the lobby at is an indoor garden with a fountain in the middle...and I rarely go office is on the other side of the building where the parking garage is, so I was delighted today to snap these photos with my new Moto-Q cell phone (my new WORK phone). I think they are a litle grainy and blurred, but I need to practice!

I hope everyone had a lovely Wednesday!

Omg...I just heard the most amazing singer on America's Got Talent...whoa!!! She said she had had a cleft palate and was disfigured from it...but she has so much confidence and just blew the hell out of "Somewhere"...from West Side Story! WOW!

I am excited I am eating so many fruits and vegetables this summer! I had strawberries for breakfast, and for lunch, mixed vegies and well...potatos...well, the form of french fries...but that counts anyway, doesn't it???

Then... hubby (who is still off this week) made talapia, lentils and collard greens tonight! The collards and lentils were left over from last night when we had them with corn bread! Ohhh...heavenly!

One of these pics are blurry...sorry about was probably the first one I took with the new camera! I am starting to like it, is way different from my personal cell. This new one has a qwerty keyboard and I can upload my photos directly into the computer which is great. I may not need to buy a new camera depending on how this one does!

Here is a little poem by Helen Steiner Rice for you that I memorized in high school and I have loved my whole life! It is called "The Gift of Friendship"...and appropriate for all of my blogger friends!
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The Gift of Friendship
By Helen Steiner Rice

Friendship is a priceless gift
That can't be bought or sold,
But its value is far greater
Than a mountain made of gold.

For gold is cold and lifeless,
It cannot see nor hear,
And in your times of trouble,
It is powerless to cheer.

It has no ears to listen,
No heart to understand.
It cannot bring you comfort
Or reach out a helping hand.

So when you ask God for a gift,
Be thankful that he sends,
Not diamonds, pearls, or riches,
But the love of a real, true friend.

ATC ideas!

If you are looking for a new form of art to use on your ATC's...check out this absolutely amazing snipping artist...she papercuts with such precision! If you can scroll back through her blog, you will be amazed and delighted, and oh, so happy....I promise! Here she is...presenting...Snippety Gibbet!...hope you enjoy your tour through her blog! I would love to learn how to do this fabulous thing called snipping!!! If you try anything like this, please let me know so I can come see!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tea and Roses

Several of you asked where to find the Prickly Pear tea I had recieved as a gift from my Sister in Law...well, I found it! You can order it Here, at Amazon. It tastes great.

Here are a few photos of my new miniature rose plant! It will be the first to go into a new tire soon as I can get myself out in the heat to do it!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Happy Cactus Monday!!!

A very strange thing happened after I drank a cup of Prickly Pear tea this evening! I got out a sketchbook and my circle maker tool, and a couple of pencils, sat down, and started to draw....

Please take note of that sexy cactus mug created by none other than our Cactus Leader, Teri, of Painted Daisies! I found this mug in her online shop and have loved it ever since!

So here is the strange thing that came out of my having that cup of tea in a magical mug...

Click on image to make it big so you can read it!!!

I drew it on white paper, then daughter (my trusted sidekick) took it to Photoshop and did a little digital color on it for me...which made it scorching hot...

Thanks for all of your responses to my doll post (previous post) was a lot of fun to see and hear about everyones dollies!!!

To join Cactus Monday, click on picture in my sidebar and and join us for fun every Monday!

Have a wonderful cactus-y week!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My favorite dolly!

Serena @ Art By Serena, posted her doll from childhood that meant so much to her, and asked her readers if they had a special doll also.

I do!

I wanted this dolly for about a year (at least). She was in the S & H Greenstamp Catalog, which was something where you collected stamps from the grocery store and filled books and saved so many books to buy things out of a catalog. Lucky for us, the S & H store was right next door to our grocery store, so we could just walk right in and present our stamp books and pick out what we wanted and take it home! It was a lot of fun. As kids we loved the "job" of sitting down with the stamps and empty booklets to fill. Our Mom would give us a wet sponge on a little plate and we would spend time putting those stamps in the books perfectly straight (I'm sure they were NOT)...LOL...

One day I had enough stamps to get this beautiful BRIDE DOLL, all decked out in her white gown with veil, and shoes, jewelry, etc. I don't believe I ever gave her a name...she was just always "My Bride Doll".

Over the years, she lost a lot of her attire, and so about 10 years ago, my Mom sewed her a new dress, and I made her some new jewelry. I beaded her a necklace, and used cut off quilting pens (with colored balls at the ends) to stick through the holes in her ears, for new earrings!

I was able to find her the exact same shoes (reproduced) at a place online...her old ones were white of course, but her new pair are pink! The only things original now are her petticoat and underwear!!!

I got her when I was around 8-10 years old, and she is made of hard plastic, and has some damage on her lips, toes and chest where she is decomposing a bit. I have thought of taking her to a doll repair person, but then again for now, when she is dressed, she is OK. The sweater you see just went on her about a week was a sweater I had bought at Micheals Craft store for one of my daughters dolls, but she did not like it, and it actually made a real cute 3/4 length sleeve sweater for my bride doll. I feel so much better now, knowing she is not cold sitting up in my entertainment center in an air conditioned house!

Do you have a doll from your childhood that is special to you???

Friday, July 10, 2009

New plant, new blog banner!

We got home yesterday evening and have had a relaxing day hanging out with my Mom...making ribs, collard greens and lima beans for dinner. The ribs were baked 3 hours on 250 degrees covered, and hubby plans to put them on the grill for a while to give them a little smoke right before we eat! My house smells devine!

My new blog banner picture is a new Purslane plant I picked up just prior to our trip...the colors just got my eye, and there was NO WAY I could leave it at the Target store where they had these lovely overflowing pots 2 for 5 dollars!!! It goes so well with my orange chairs too!!! LOL!

Hope everyone is looking forward to a beautiful weekend!

xoxo- Julie

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Caterpillar I.D.

Thanks to everyone who took a guess on what this guy is! The exact match though, was I.D.'d by Cindy, from Bug Safari! It is called a Everglades Caterpillar - Seirarctia echo, and will become an Echo Moth! I had a feeling it would be a moth with all of that bushiness about him!!! LOL. I want to thank everyone else who gave it a guess on the blog and in my e-mail. It was a lot of fun. The exact match can be seen at

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Florida trip- Day 4!!!

Today we spent the day exploring around in Ocala National Forest. I was searching for the illusive Praying Mantis! My friend out in California, Cindy, from Bug Safari challenged me to possibly find one in Florida! Since I've not seen one in years and years in south Florida, I thought I would look around in North Florida. I even stopped in at the ranger station to inquire about them, and the best I could get from two different rangers was that you have to be patient, they show up very sporatically, and one of the rangers has seen both the "walking stick" varieties and the green Praying Mantis' in her own yard!!! This was encouraging to hear! YEAH...they are alive here!

The only thing worthy of a picture today (it was another lightly drizzly rainy day)...was this lovely, juicy looking caterpiller! Sadly I do not know what type of tree I found him in...maybe someone recognizes the leaves??? I have spent the last 30 minutes trying to I.D. it, and to no avail! I was both creeped out and intregued by these unbelievable creatures! I really HAVE TO KNOW what this type of caterpillar is, and what it will turn into! If anyone out there can I.D. it...please let me know!!! Maybe you, Cindy??? The body is smooth with bands of yellow, black, yellow stripes and each set of that is separated by a bristly orange hairy section! Click to make it big to really see close!

Tomorrow we head home...and I get to see my Doozey dog again! I did buy her a chewy toy/treat at a cute little pet shop in St. Augustine...a corn cob shaped Nylabone chewy thing that is supposed to be good for their teeth...It smells like bacon...I hope she will like it!

I got the smallest one here just for my sweet baby girl!!!
See ya later everyone!

OLD cemeteries for you, Claude!!! LOL!

As promised...two cemeteries from St. Augustine, Florida. These are some REALLY old dead people!!!!! This is not something I would normally take pictures of, but I had to get these for you, Claude. Hubby and daughter got in on the fun of finding them for you too!!! LOL!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Florida trip--- Day 3, with fungus,bugs, crabs and flowers!

As we aproached St. Augustine...just outside of town was this restaurant with the same name as my grandson! We had been looking forward to having lunch at a little Irish place in the old part of town, but when we saw this we had to stop! It was excellent, and I am already dreaming of taking my little grandson, Donovan there soon!!!

We left there and headed into town and ran into Fort Mose. Hidden away in the marshes of St. Augustine, Florida is one of the most important sites in American history: the first free community of ex-slaves, founded in 1738 and called Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose or Fort Mose (pronounced Moh-Say).

More than a century before the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves from the British colonies were able to follow the original "Underground Railroad" which headed not to the north, but rather south, to the Spanish colony of Florida. There they were given there freedom, if they declared their allegiance to the King of Spain and joind the Catholic Church.

Fort Mose was the northern defense of St.Augustine, the nation's oldest city.
It was here, on a boardwalk out over marshy land, that I discovered these fungus, bugs, and crabs! First...a beautiful tree limb covered with a white fungus whose name I have not had time to investigate yet! It is just beautiful.

This spider was so beautiful also gleaming in the sunlight. He was fairly large, but yet just out of reach for the camera lens! His body and legs had markings of red, black and yellow.

I believe this is a Cicada. We could hear them out in the trees farther out on the boardwalk. I grew up with this summer sound all in my neighborhood, and we actually used to play with these things when I was a kid. was torture for the poor cicadas...we would tie strings around their necks and fly them around the neighborhood. One little boy across the street was the brave one who would touch them and tie them up! Oh, gosh, I can't believe that we used to do that!!!

We found a ba-jillion crabs out in the dark muck at the end of the boardwalk! My daughter got very excited (normally she hates outdoor adventures)...but she LOVED finding these crabs! Here is a far away shot where you can see how proliferative they were.

You can see one giant claw in this pic...but there were actually about 4 crabs in the frame of the shot! They would scurry down in their holes, or be hidden by the grasses. There seemed to be black fiddler crabs, and then whatever kind these were with the white/fleshy colored claws! They would stick just their claws straight up out of the mud and pinch with was comical to see so many doing the same thing. I believe my grandson will have to see this as well!!!

A close up of Crepe Myrtle flowers.

A gorgeous grape vine draping down over a place along St. Georges Street in the old part of St. the rain!

AND...last, but not least...a gorgeous bunch of flowing Periwinkles where we stopped to get a latte at a Dunkin Donuts...I could not resist getting a picture!

I got some shots of two old cemetaries in St, Augustine (these are some OLD dead people in the oldest city on the U.S.)...will try and get them posted in the morning (for Claude, of course...LOL).

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy Cactus Monday from Fernandino Beach, Florida!

Well, I am barely slipping my Cactus Monday post in under the wire as it is now 9:45pm on Monday! We are tucked into our hotel, and I have uploaded my photos from today. Oops...the bear snuck back into the car with us again while we were not looking.

My husband has a "thing" for checking out prisons...especially big state ones, like Florida State Prison at Raiford. Weird, I know, but we saw the buildings surrounded by rolls of razor wire at the top, and then we were on our way again...

McClure's Hill was on Amelia Island, and I thought the marker story was very interesting...if you click on the picture you can read it easier!

a cool looking Prickly Pear next to a fence that had the top rail of it (a chain link fence) covered with sea shells!!! These homes were beach homes on Fernandino Beach. I thought this cactus, which my husband spotted, BTW, was neat looking because it was covered with the white areas where the flowers had fallen off, and now the fruits are developing! They were arranged in a pretty pattern, I thought!

How do you like this house we discovered there that was shaped like a boat??? Pretty cute! It was literally right across the street in a subdivision, from the intracoastal waterway! What a great view from your "boat-house"!!!

I had to take a picture of this staicase up to an art gallery in downtown Fernandina...for all you artists out there!!! Sadly we did not have time to walk up! I would have had time, too, if I would have been by myself ya know!!! Hmph!!!

Happy Cactus Monday to all!!!