Saturday, November 27, 2010

Palm Christmas tree!!!

Yes, I've seen palm trees lit up for Christmas, but this was my first time seeing one SHAPED like a Christmas tree!!! What made it really special for me, was that it is one of my fav palms...looks like a feather duster on top...LOL. So YEAH for feather duster Christmas trees!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

In my garden today!

Such sweet surprises today! I looked out the kitchen window yesterday morning and saw an aggplant growing where a flower had arrived and presumably dried up! Here it is today a little larger yet. I am amazed when things get past me like this...I was out there every day watering and looking things over...hmmmm.

These red passionflowers always put me in mind of Christmas! They are really flowering right now!

My carrots are growing up to be big boys!!!

Red begonia seems to be happy in it's new garden spot!

New red growth from the Ferocactus latispinus. I find this cactus to be so alien looking...these daggers are frickin SHARP and very when you get poked, you really get wickedly impaled!

I am loving this time of year here and all of the expected changes during this great season!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A checkers game!

After our Thanksgiving meal, 5 year old grandson announced to me that he wanted to play Checkers! Not having a board, we decided to make one! It turned out so cutely! I took a peice of green and red construction paper. We looked online to see how many squares we needed on our board, and how many playing peices. I looked through my Christmas scrapbooking supplies and found a few sheets of printed papers (one had snowflakes inside of circles, and one peice was a red and white teenie tiny checked pattern. Donovan had wanted to have candy cane and some other Christmas item for playing we went with these. I hand cut the canes, and cut out the circles of snowflakes and I attached them to the top of pennies (for weight). He applied some alien/rocket/UFO/stars stickers to the end parts of the "board", and we were ready to play. He creamed me. I had to take a picture of the board. Tonight I realized how much I love creating things out of paper. So sweet. Of course, the sweetest thing here was Donovan (I can say that cause Emily was asleep at that time...they are both of equal sweetness)!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am sitting outside in the cool breeze while watching Emily play on her little pink ride-on toy...and thinking of how I don't have much to show or tell today because I spent a bit of the day yesterday cleaning out my pantry! My DIL was the one who did most of the work, cleaning and arranging...I was outside throwing stuff away and gathering up a total of two bags of stuff for the Goodwill. It is amazing how much gets stored in the pantry and NEVER used. I just decided if I hadn't touched it for a year or longer, I probably never would. I'm ashamed to say we found things that had expired as far back as 2005. Scary...but then again, it was things we would never eat anyway.

I am thankful for many things...mostly my family, the roof over my head, good food to eat, and all of you, my blogger friends! Thanks for aways being there, and I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful! See ya again soon!
xoxo- Julie

Sunday, November 21, 2010

An artist's date, this morning...for Cactus Monday!

With me, myself and I. It was wonderful. I made my coffee (note to self: bigger mug next time)...took my sketch pad, pens, pencil, and my copy of The Artist's Way, and sat in my little seating area I arranged on the side of the house, overlooking my flower/vegie garden. I'm not sure if I've ever had such a luxurious space all to myself before. There's not much to it...but there is just something about it. It is a place I can go all alone, and not be seen by anyone inside, or out. I can stare at the plants, bees, lizards, and birds and butterflies...all by myself. WOW. Oh, and not to mention, in silence as well. Are you feeling it??? Oh, yes, it is sweet.

Here are the views I saw from my adirondack chair, focusing on floral views.




I read up to chapter 5 in the book. Tomorrow morning will be my first Morning Pages. I am looking forward to it. THere are fun activities to do along the way...some are hard, for sure, and others just really get you thinking. The author is amazing. I need to look for her other books.

I did do a little sketch but it was fairly lame...I want to have a series of three and maybe I will show them later, we shall see. My timid self says no, but in my trying to be gutsy and self confidant artsy way, I want to say yes. Hmmmmm. Thankyou, Messyfish for your comments regarding the Artist's is encouraging. I think it would be fun to do with an artist friend, but I guess I need to make a few (locally)! Nobody I know will own up to it!!! Hehehehe.

Happy Cactus Monday to all, and a marvelous start to the week ahead!!!
xoxo- Julie

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Consumed by life!

I am so glad I walked to a garage sale down from my house today. I came upon a book that I had heard about and thought I should read. It is called The Artist's Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron. I know many of you have read it, and even taken courses on it. I am up to chapter 2. She is talking about writing Morning Pages each day...writing 3 pages about anything that comes to mind. I have a problem with putting on paper something that could ever be read by another person (personal feelings, etc) I'm not sure how I would do it. Maybe a private blog...although she says to do it the old fashioned way...with pen and paper!

I am feeling the creative side of me being lost. Life is very busy and I never seem to have time. But is it just an excuse??? I'm not sure.

Well, I am hoping for a resurgance of it.

We put up our Christmas tree yesterday. My DIL and the grands were here and my daughter too, so we figured it was a good time...and we would have it ready for Thanksgiving. I am thinking tomorrow night I may get the lights on the house outside as well. I want to be prepared this year...not late (usually more like it).

One thing I think that has changed recently is that the more focused I am on having things perfect, the less likely I am to be creative. I want things clean and in their place. Never a dirty dish in the sink. No dirty clothes in the baskets, no toys on floor, tables cleaned off. I'm becoming what I believe they call...ANAL!

I am even cleaning out and organizing my entertainment center (huge), my secretary (disaster), and my crafting area (sheles upon shelves of crap). Oh, and not to forget the pantry is gonna get a clean out as well. Hopefully all before Thanksgiving!

Maybe it is just Fall there such a thing? Or maybe I'm prgnant??? At 54??? Let's pray not! Hehehe. Well...maybe it will stop after the holidays and I can go back to being just plain old me, dirty house and all!

Hey...good news...I saw out my kitchen window yesterday morning...a beautiful red cardinal, here for the winter!!! I was so excited. He stayed in the Mexican Sunflower for about 5 whole minutes and I stood, fixated on it...not even saying a word to share the occasion...being very selfish. Anyway...Mr. Cardinal was very bright red, and sitting amongst the brown stems and bright yellow flowers there, I could not take my eyes off of him. I was thanking God for these miraculous moments, when you can stop and really appreciate something.

I think I shall have about 9 giant okra on the counter in the next 4 days! I will be happy...we can make a whole side dish with that many due to their size. Hubby is looking forward to it as well.

I found two red geranium plants at Lowes last week for 50 cents each and added them to my flower tires for the winter...everyting looks so good this time of year...our best growing season!

I am doing my best to try and think of something creative to contribute to Cactus MOnday this week...I've been absent the past few weeks, being my new anal self, I guess. Where has the real Julie disappered to?? If anyone sees her, would you send her back? Thanks in advance!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Every day is an adventure around here! I had a funny thing happen when I was in an office the other day. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop...I was there an hour and not one phone call came in, and barely a voice spoke during that time. Well, at some point a person there decided to call someone, and they did it while having the phone on speaker. They tried three times to call the same person, and after the third call, I thought I might be in another universe! Here's how it went:

Sound of dialing the phone (remember it is all on speaker now, OK)...
Sound on other end when it picks up: FAX MACHINE BEEPING.

2nd try:
Sound of dialing (still on speaker)...
I am trying to reach "so and so"
You have the wrong number! (Spoken quiet loudly and clearly as I could hear all of this very well from the next room over).

No, I'm trying to reach "so and so".
As I said, you have the wrong number.
Oh, I have the wrong number, I'm sorry.
Hangs up.

3rd try:
Sound of dialing again...
When phone picks up it is the melodic sounds of la, la, la...this number is no longer in service, please hang up and try again!!!!!

Now, I ask you, was this person on crack, or what? It's not bad enough that you can dial the supposed same number three times and end up calling something or someone different each of the three times, BUT....YOU HAVE TO HAVE IT ON SPEAKER SO EVERYONE CAN HEAR HOW STUPID YOU ARE!!!

Several other weird happenings occured during my visit to this particular office, and I felt I should get up and run away as fast as possible. I did escape there fairly quickly, and I was so relieved to get back out in the fresh air and sunshine!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Is this a Pokeberry?

I got a question from Mr. Green Thumb about whether these berries in my blog title area are Pokeberrys...well, I don't know!

We came upon them on our nature walk the other day and they tree has red branches and main "trunk", and then these are the berries. Can anyone out there identify this?

If it is a Pokeberry I will be so excited because of my blog pal, Mary over at Pokeberry Patch. She has these tree/shrubs where she is and she loves if this is one, I can see why she loves them so...they are beautiful!!!
Here are a few shots of a little feller that we saw while walking too! There were two Armadillos, and this one was much more comfortable around humans (or so it seemed). I like the second shot of his awesome tail. Like a knight in shining armor!!!

Bye bye cutie pie!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

If anyone wants to see...

my paper bead Christmas tree earrings, you can find them here, on my other blog, Let It Beads! I made the christmas tree beads over the last few days, and finally got the rest of the supplies today and strung them together. FUN. Now I'll be making about 6 more pairs for Thanksgiving surprises for friends and family! :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

My carrots, and newest addition...kale!

I set up a tire of kale starts from Lowes a few days ago....all fresh compost and soil in I think it will be OK as far as any toxins leaching out of the tire. Here are my carrot pots, and a a cute shot of another okra bloom!

Hope everyone is having a good week. We are planning Thanksgiving already. My cousin and aunt will be here, and it will be a lot of fun. I'm hoping I won't have to work.

I never thought I would end up with a color coded garden! LOL! It's just the way it worked out. My green buckets are carrots.

Terracotta pots are eggplant, and orange buckets are okra. Kale is in the black tire! Hehehe.

The colors all make me happy...kinda adds a little extra pazzaz! Wish I could find a few purple buckets!!!

Parasitic wasp gall???

Could those hairy light brown balls in the photo in my last post be parasitic wasp galls? I had never heard of galls before, but after Googling some search words about these things, I see there are hairy/fuzzy ones. I guess the wasps hatch out and then the gall falls off the leaves??? I am going to go and take a few leaves off this tree and place them in an insect house and watch them to see what happens. If anyone has any idea about them, please share!!! It is oh so interesting!!! I will post pics on any developments!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What is this?

This afternoon, the grands and daughter and I went for a nature walk and came upon this tree with these furry light brown things on the backsides of all the leaves? It put me in mind of fern spores...(I used to have a fascination with them)... At first glance you might think they are really short furry caterpillars, but then we saw tons of them all under the tree on the ground. Well, maybe someone out in blogland will know. Sorry I didn't get a pic of the tree.

Friday, November 12, 2010

What I am reading...

I finally got a copy from the library system...and it has been well worth the wait...

Talk about some very interesting information and funny stories about all of these toxic and deadly plants! I was amazed to learn so much about many of the plants in our own backyards!!! the lady in southern California who tried to poison her husband by mixing oleander leaves into his food. He got very sick, but didn't die. While he was recooperating, she polished him off by adding antifreeze to his gatorade! She is on death row in California...but the only one of all on death row, who attempted murder by using a deadly plant. I've just about read this little book overnight! Such fun!!!!!!!

Now, something even more interesting looking are these other books I have just found on her website...the other three look great too! Check them out here:!!!

My bug filled backyard patch of a farm!

Today I moved my 5 orange buckets of okra and eggplants over behind the tire gardens, so they would not get more sun and warmth. They like that. This summer, it was too hot for them, so I had moved them into a shadier spot. Now they are gonna be all happy again! It is hard to see all of the plants because they are sitting in front of the jasmine fence. They are still covered with buds just waiting to open. The one okra plant that came up mysteriously in my flower tire has been the most vigorous and has had a continuous production for me. I think it is because it has been in the sun and in the black tire that kept the dirt warmer. The roots were protected by a tall purple salvia plant...and all in all, it was just a better growing condition. Did I tell you my new ambition of being the best backyard okra grower in the world??? Hehehe. I am learning more every day...

The green buckets are all my 50 carrots, which will have to be thinned. They do not transplant well, so I may try to take out only as many as I feel I absolutley need to and let them fight it out. It will be a competition for the survival of the fittest!!!

Here is another okra bloom, and see the okra growing right underneath it? To the right of that you can see a fading flower which has another okra under it. You can see all the buds up top still yet to open. This is my vigorous opens about 2 flowers a day, which gives me about 2 okras a day. Nice plant....(it takes about 4-5 days to get them to around 6 inches long, once the flower falls off). I determined that that is the length that works out well, before they get too woody.

As I was out there watering and moving things...I saw all these bees (100 at least) all in the jasmine on the fence....but then on closer inspection, they were actually all in this other vine with little light purple bell shaped flowers (don't know what it is). The bees were popping in and out of the flowers so fast it was really hard to get any good shots...but I managed to get a couple. In this one, you see a bee trying to move into the flower, but there is one already in there, starting to back out! They seem to be quite friendly with each major battles going on out there anyway! LOL.

Then, to my amazement, a really slender black dragonfly posed for me. When I saw the pic on the computer screen, I saw that he has sky blue eyes! How pretty. I will try and find out what kind he is on Bug Guide later.

It is sunny, breezy and warmer, but yet still cool in the shade here. A perfectly gorgeous day. Hope you are all having similar conditions where you are! I've been out visiting your blogs, but it has been hard to post with the new job and all. See you again as soon as I can.
xoxo- Julie

Friday, November 5, 2010

Popping "Mexican Sunflowers", and Emmie!

These sunflower bushes (they grow huge) are all bursting with blooms this past week! In the top photo you can see the top of my Moms house on the right side of the pic just to show how they are towering over it! This one must be 14 ft. tall at least. Hers is chock full of flowers...just gorgeous!

I am showing a closer look...

And a real close look! So pretty!!!

Speaking of is a real cute girl we all recognize as my sweet granddaughter, Emily June, visiting my cousins cat, Taco...and she enjoys getting her Great Grandmas jug of cat food and feeding him.

Well, long after the cat had eaten and gone, she played with the food, taking it out, and putting it in the cats dish, then back in the jug, and so on and so on. I enjoyed having the minutes of quiet time just sitting there watching in the cool, dry breezy air we are having right now. I thought I might be in heaven!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'm here!

I have been so busy and only have time to read blogs late at night after getting home from work. I feel like it will really take some energy to post anything decent...I need a camera around and I rarely ever do anymore.

My new job is busy, and there is a lot, lot, lot of paperwork!!! Lots to learn and remember. It's a little scary. The co-workers all seem to get along well, and work together when things get rough, so that part is nice. Everyone has been exceptionally kind, helpful, fun. I like being around the people, both those we serve, and the co-workers. I think I really NEED to be around people...not around phones and chairs. No. Not that. Anything but that!

I always thought my dream job would be in a private office with my own phone and coffee maker. Boy, was I wrong!!! (Last job was with a phone and coffee maker...yuck)!

Hey, get this: My SIL keeps sending over fruits and vegies! She joined a food co-op and either gets too much to use or sends things she may get that aren't their favorites...but it has been fun the past few days my brother shows up with all these cool things! I need to have a big vegie stir fry. Thanks, Lynn!!!

My grandson is doing a fundraiser for his school and can you even guess what they are attempting to sell in this carbohydrate fearing, pitiful economy??? You will never guess! Tubs of 15 dollar Cookie doughs of all types!!! OMG! It has been all my Mom and I could do to bring ourselves to purchase two tubs! I just keep telling myself I will make the cookies and give them as Christmas gifts! We tow are the only two that has bought anything. I'm starting to feel like I am a nut case for doing it. It is kinda crazy!

Well, I am starting to feel too sleepy to even look at blogs eyes keep drifting off...hope there are not any spell errors...