Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Birds...

Stopping for dinner while on a road trip with Ashley one day, I noticed this flock of birds flying around...
They were flying crazy everywhere!
...then I noticed them on every traffic signal pole I could see.
...and all along the tops of the buildings
in this little strip mall,
 and on every street lamp.

...of course, they were on the electric poles and lines too!
... on the signs the trees, basically everywhere you looked!
I'm taking all these pics and Ashley said "M O M, they are just birds!!"  But, I'm thinking of the movie by Alfred Hitchock -- "The Birds!!!"  ...and the thought that Ashley is too young and probably has never seen it!  ... if only she knew!  LOL

Tully's Fun With the Halloween Bowl...

I previously posted a picture on Facebook with Tully sitting in the halloween bowl... but here are a few more sweet moments that evening with the bowl.  Just watching him figure things out is so fun.

Ashley had given him the bowl and he played quite contently with it.  At one time, I placed several of his toys in the bowl along with a few packages of the Skittles.  In a matter of seconds...
Over the bowl was going...
It was a little effort, but he got it tipped over!  He did this several times.
He explored the sticker on bottom and then got up on his knees.
The next task was the blue cup...
it belonged on top...
Task Accomplished!  See Mom!!
I love watching him discover and and figure things out.  His little mind just never seems to stop.  He is so inquisitive and constantly on the move.  He doesn't just want to look at your shoe strings, he wants to untie them!  He's army crawling to the lamp cords hanging off the end tables!  He's only broken one of my necklaces thus far-- shame on me!

The front door was open and we were standing outside; we watched him crawl from the middle of livingroom right out the door!  When he reached the bristly grass mat on the front porch, his little arms touched it and he began to give this "little help me whine" and looked at us and held his arms up in the air as if to say "come get me!"  It was pitiful...

Here is my sweet treat in the halloween bowl.
Such a happy boy!  6 1/2 months old.

Update and Ramblings...

For those of you who have followed my blog, you probably remember the stories about my "wren family".  I am happy to report that I am seeing more wrens at my bird feeders; and what is even more interesting is that the wren house now has a new tenant!
If you look closely you can see a Leopard Frog in the dilapidated  nest.
After the baby wrens left, I watered the plant as usual with the garden hose rather than using the water globes, so therefore the nest had basically collapsed.  One day Dennis noticed this leopard frog had taken up residency in the old nest pictured above.
I continued to find tree frogs everywhere... this one was resting on top of the feeder.
I am known to set my sprinkler with a fine mist for my hummingbirds to cool off at their feeder.  One scorching hot day when Dennis came in from work he saw this hummingbird laying on the patio in the breezeway.
If you get past his dirty hands from work,
you can see that he picked up the tiny bird and held him.
He brought him in the house to show me and ended up holding him for several minutes.  I got my camera out and we went back outside.  I took a few pictures and then put some hummingbird nectar under his tiny long beak.   I'm not sure if this little guy was just hot or if he flew into the glass door and was dazed or what; but after a few minutes he did fly away.  I haven't seen any hummingbirds around lately, hopefully they have all headed to warmer weather in the south.  Only the old and weak stay behind.

We have gotten tired of eating Armadillo Soup! ...just kidding, but thanks to Dennis, we now have eight less of these guys digging around in my flowerbeds and yard.

I am thankful the gophers have not taken up residency in my yard!  I see mounds and mounds of dirt in the different neighbors' yards as I drive through our neighborhood...
I'm thinking word must have gotten out among the gophers
that we don't put up with digging in our yard!  They must be scared - Haa!
Dennis has trapped approximately 19 gophers at the Country Club... they have been a nuisance  on the golf course!  I'm sure he has not gotten them all, but there are certainly less of them now!

Late summer Ashley and I found another bicycle trail to ride
We have been busy and have not ridden lately, but hopefully we will get back on the trails some before winter sets in or for sure next spring!

On Labor Day, I thought as a farmer my vegetable garden was through producing when we ate the last of the tomatoes I had picked. But to my surprise, I continued to get a few smaller tomatoes up until the recent frost in mid October.   I had lots of blooms and actually had lots of green tomatoes still on the vines.
You can see the many tomatoes on the vines after the frost.
I had traveled out of state for a few days at he time of the frost.   When I returned I found the vines had been nipped but the tomatoes still looked okay.  We had some really pretty weather this past week, and while the tomatoes continued to grow some, they had not ripened.

Now, a week or so later and expecting the second frost, I decided to gather the remaining tomatoes, thinking I might have some "Fried Green Tomatoes".  Haven't ever fried them before but guess I'll give it a try.  I certainly enjoyed the juicy red vine ripe tomatoes while they lasted!
It was interesting to find one ripe tomato with all the green ones.
My last update and rambling -- Thank goodness the lines have been painted on the resurfaced highway.  Sure makes it easier and safer for my drive to see my brother and my precious grandson, Tully.  I do make that trip often ;-)
Now, if I could just get those bugs cleaned off my windshield!

My Gardens Survived the Scorching Summer...

Most of my flower gardens somehow survived the 100 degree heat.  Here are a just a few pictures I took towards the end of the summer as the heat was finally starting to let up.
We had an overcast day and the blooms on my Hibiscus actually
stayed lush long enough for me to take a picture before wilting!

This is the third year for my Hibiscus to come back.
Each year it gets bigger and bigger.
The blooms are approximately 9-10 inches in size.
This flowerbed is on the west side of the house and to my surprise,
I managed to keep it alive in the scorching sun.
It is a hodge-podge of plants
Celosia was tolerant and seemed to thrive in the heat!
This is the third or fourth year for it to come back from seed.
The Roses and Lirope were both stressed, but survived.
This area is at the end of my driveway and gets neglected quite often,
but thankfully I have plants that are heat tolerant.
The tall purple plant on the back right was new this year.  A friend gave me a small start and it thrived in the full sun.  It is supposed to come back, so I hope we have a good winter and that I see it again next spring!  The Redbud tree on the left has been through a lot and lost limbs during a winter ice storm and it was very stressed from the heat this summer.  For the most part my gardens are perennial.  I just try to plant things that bloom at different times of the year or plants that add color with their leaves or foliage.  One day I hope to put in a sprinkler system, but for now... I water the old fashioned way-- the garden hose!

As fall sets in I see things getting bitten by the frost, losing blooms and leaves, shriveling into a start of their dormant stage and producing seeds.  Pictures below are after the frost.

It was another beautiful summer even with the heat and for now... I will enjoy the fall and winter and await spring for new blooms.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tully Meets Aunt "B"...

We recently had a fun week with my sister and her husband from Colorado.  She made the rounds and got to see most of our brothers and sisters in this area and she got to meet Tully and spent time with him on a couple different days.
Tully loves his Aunt "B"
At one time while Aunt B was visiting Tully modeled a crocheted hat for us... No, he's not a girl and one day he will be mad at Grammy for putting a girl's hat on him!
...but he was a good model!
Tully is 6 1/2 months old.
I will have a future post about a small retail venture Ashley and I are doing with baby items.  

After my sister's visit here, we then took off to Branson for a few days and caught a couple shows and just found time to relax.  Of course, the guys found time for golfing.  It is always good to spend time with them.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Skinks, Wasps, Spiders & More Snakes...

I haven't blogged about any of my little critters lately and with fall here this will give a few highlights of some of my summer critter adventures.  Living in the country I have lots of other living things running about.  I've been able to capture a few pictures during Spring/Summer.  I see skinks quite often, but they don't pose much for my pictures.
I saw one of these little guys on the rocks by my waterfall
 but he quickly scurried into the garden mulch when I got too close.
Here's a second species I saw on the sidewalk while I was watering some plants in another garden area, but he gave me an opportunity for only one picture... then he was gone!  They like to live in dead leaves, mulch and such; and they are very skittish and fast!
I don't know about the rest of you, but in early spring of this year, we were bombarded with red wasps flying around and they were brave.  They would even dive at us, as if we were in their space!  It is interesting to watch them land on the water in the pool and somehow they form a little bubble of water  hanging from their mouth about the size of their head and they carry it away.  I assume they take it back to their nest.
Here is one that is permanently grounded, he was big and mean... but Dennis was bigger!
This is only a fraction of the ones Dennis has eliminated.
In early Spring they kept multiplying, I think they hatched news ones as fast as he killed them.
But, thank goodness we do have less now than we did in the Spring and Summer.
This poor tarantula found out the hard way, he can't swim!  ...or not for very long anyway.  We found him on the bottom of the pool!  I have had one living in a flower bed beside the pool for the past two years.  I just left him alone because I knew he ate insects, guess he got a little too close to the water.
...poor little guy 
I found his brother hanging out this past week in an area over by the grill among some acorns.  I just left him alone.

I'm actually thankful for all my bug eating critters and for the most part my gardens don't have bugs.  The grasshoppers do more damage than anything.  My birds should get busy and eliminate them, because I have not found a use for those jumping-leaf-eating little pests yet!

I don't have a picture, but one day earlier this Spring I saw a 3 foot snake crawling up the wall of the house in the patio area.  Yes, he was crawling up the stone wall!  He used the mortar lines as his pathway and he was half-way to the eve/roof area.  I am not sure what specie of snake he was nor do I know what he was after, maybe looking for a bird nest or such.  Lucky for me my A/C repairman was here doing an annual maintenance and with his help, the daring snake was no longer a problem.   I saw this particular snake before I had started blogging about my critters... but, wish I had taken a picture of him on the wall!

I also came across another small Garter Snake, which preferred the wood chips in front of my house.  He may have been on the prowl for my froggies.
I had a clear view of his head, but by the time I got my camera he was slithering away!
This is a picture similar to what he looked like.
There are many variations and colors of garter snakes.
I am afraid of snakes so I do keep my distance!  With the drought this year, I know they came closer to the house for my watered gardens.  I'll hope that next year we will have more rain and they can keep their distance!  On this link "Garter Snake Play Time" you can see where Dennis had fun with a snake on our patio.

I just have to hope with fall here and winter coming that none of them will want to reside in my house! Even with all these little creatures, I do enjoy my country living!

See tab at top for other Critter links or here are the top read critter stories:
Mr. Turtle Will You Be My Friend
The Frog Who Wanted To Be A House Guest
Armadillo Soup

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tully Travels to Washington DC - His Last Day...

Okay, sorry for two posts in one day, but this is our last day of travel.  On Saturday, September 24, 2011, we were headed back to Oklahoma.  What a fun week I had with my daughter and with my precious grandson, Tully.  We managed to get everything packed and still have time for breakfast while waiting on the taxi so we could head to the airport.  After 35 minutes, we gave up on the first Taxi that was supposed to be coming and got one from another hotel that was next to us.  This driver decided to take us to the airport via the tourist route... traveling all the way down Wisconsin Avenue.  Ashley questioned him about driving that route because she had made that airport trip numerous times!  He said he was going to turn and get on Hwy 495, but then never did.  By the time we got there, he knew better than trying to over-charge us; but the time itself that it took to get there was crazy!  ...guess it was a good thing we had plenty of time before our flight!

This is how Tully navigated around the airport.  He loved being able to see everything that was going on.  We were waiting to board the airplane and I'm sure he was ready to see his Daddy!

We didn't leave anything behind that we know of and somehow we maneuvered our small amount of luggage once again for check-in at the airport!  LOL

Our flights and connections were all good, but we did have an unusual experience with another passenger on the way home. I was one of the first to board the plane and got our carry-on bags stashed in place and then Ashley boarded almost last with Tully.  I sat in the middle seat and there was a lady who sat down next to me in the aisle seat.  She didn't really say anything, just shuffled her stuff from one place to another.  She dug in and out of her bags several times looking for... well, I don't really know what she was looking for!  She didn't ever seem to get anything out, maybe she was just making sure it was all there!

Everyone was still boarding and after a short time she put her seat belt on.  I thought that was odd, since the window seat in our aisle was still vacant and they had announced the flight was full.

I finally broke the silence and asked her if she was going home or leaving home?  She matter-of-factually said, "I am going to a conference."  ... and that was the end of the conversation.  That much told me she was from the East Coast!  Everyone continued to board and I could see Ashley coming with Tully, so I thought I would tell her that "my daughter was coming and would be sitting by the window."  She just looked at me... so, I was thinking rather than take her seat belt off, she probably wanted Ashley to just crawl over her...

Ashley likes to board fairly close to the end, so Tully is not confined to the seat any longer than he has to be.  Eventually, they made their way to our aisle to be seated.  The lady looked up as if to say, "you want me to take off my seat belt?"  I'm thinking what a sour puss!  At this point, I was just hoping that Tully would once again sleep through the whole flight... I cannot imagine what this lady would be saying if he were to cry.

Tully being the good boy that he is, settled in and was going right to sleep!  Just about the time he almost got to sleep, this lady got her bag out which looked like a black canvas laptop bag and she ripped open the velcro flap on it.  Tully just about jumped out of his Mommy's arms!!   Now, this was not a little piece of velcro it was 12 inches long and 2 inches wide and she did not open it quietly.   She ripped it open, looked inside and then closed it.  She then proceeded to rip open the velcro of a second flap on the backside of the bag and looked inside there... she got out her magazine.  She put the bag up and began reading her magazine.  Thank goodness, Tully about jumped out of his pants on both rips.

Tully got settled down once again and then within a few minutes the lady started going through the magazine ripping out all those little advertisement cards... RIP - RIP - RIP (at least three of them) and of course Tully jumps again on each RIP.  A few minutes go by and he's just about asleep again and then you hear "rip-rip-rip" she tore those cards into several little pieces.  I'm thinking, can you not see this baby jump every time you rip something up or open it??? ...enough already!

Pretty soon she got her bag out again, RIPPED open the velcro flap and placed the pieces of the little cards she had just torn up into her bag.  Then she ripped open the other side and got out a box of ginger candy.  She proceeded to unwrap the box of candy that had that crinkly clear plastic wrapping on it and then wadded the crinkly paper up for a bit in her hands and then took one piece of ginger candy out before closing the bag and sitting it on the floor.  As soon as she took the wrapper off her candy, she proceeded to get her bag back out and of course... she ripped that huge velcro flap open once again... oops it was the wrong side, so she ripped the other side open and threw her trash inside of it.  She sat her bag back down and I'm thinking, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!"  I know you are reading this and probably thinking I am exaggerating this story... oh no,  I'm not!

Few minutes went by and then she got her bag out and she ripped it open again to get another piece of candy... each time Tully jumped and woke up!  Ashley and I looked at each other and I know we were thinking the same thing.  That lady is lucky her head was still sitting on her shoulders, because I wanted to rip it off!   Ashley said to me, "one more time and I am saying something!"  Well, of course, within seconds of closing the bag, the lady needed to put her second candy wrapper in her bag... you know it -- R-I-P!!!

I don't think the "ripping" had even finished when Ashley leaned towards the lady and told her, "M'am, I'm trying to get my baby to sleep while we are flying so he doesn't bother anyone and every time you rip that velcro open he jumps and wakes up."  The lady looked at her and and held the palms of her hands face up and says, "I don't know what to do."  Being the smart person that Ashley is, she told her, "you can either get everything out at one time or just not get it."  The lady just looked at her.  I then commented to her ( not being as nice as Ashley was), "if he wakes up again, I will hold him and you can listen to a crying baby your whole flight."  She proceeded to close her bag without saying a word and sat it back on the floor.

Not to say that she did not get it out several more times while in flight, but somehow she managed to open it quietly and she left the flap open.  Hmmm, imagine that being a solution!  I could not believe what she was doing.  She could see that Tully was trying to sleep and she could see him jump with every RIP... I would assume that she had no children!  I might even assume that she has never been married, I can't imagine anyone living with someone that inconsiderate.

Once she quit ripping up paper and ripping open her velcro bag... Tully did manage to sleep the biggest part of the flight.  When he woke up he was a happy baby full of smiles and bubbly coos.  He was standing on my lap and the lady behind us talked to him and the guy in front of us turned and talked to him quite a bit... I never made eye contact again with the lady sitting next to us, but of course Tully wanted everything that she was holding!!  It was hilarious!  Certainly, I did not let him touch anything she had or bother her.  She did not say one word to him and he was just smiling and looking at her.  Lord, please don't let me grow to be an old prude. 

After we made our connection in Houston or Dallas or wherever it was... again, I boarded with our carry-on bags ahead of Ashley and Tully.  Eventually a young lady sat down in the aisle seat next to me.  She immediately began a conversation and I had to laugh after sitting next to that prude on my last leg of our flight who wouldn't even speak.  I asked this young lady if she had any velcro and told her a little bit of the story.  When Ashley soon boarded with Tully she saw us talking and the first thing Ashley said to her was, "Hi, do you have any velcro?"  The lady just laughed.  At least we had a good laugh out of the whole situation; but truthfully, I could not believe what all that lady did.  I probably should have asked her if she wanted to hold Tully.  You never know what someone is going through in their life, he might have actually made her day!  Wish I had thought to do that, but I was just concentrating on how to not rip her head off and to make sure Tully didn't bother her.  Anyway...

Arriving in Tulsa, John picked us up at the airport and Daddy was certainly happy to see his son!
Tully had lots of hugs for Daddy!

 Tully was so happy to see his Daddy!

We stopped for a pizza on the way home
and they couldn't seem to take their eyes off of each other. 
And then Paw Paw Dennis was pulling his ear!
Here are a few more random photos while in DC that didn't get on any of the previous blogs.  
Tully picked a flower for Mommy.
I think this was the first day in DC.
He probably wondered why I took so many pictures,
but one day he will enjoy reading through his printed blog book! 
He was singing to everyone at the Metro Station while waiting for Mommy.
I could not believe how voice-tress he was -- this one day in particular. 
Just another sweet moment one morning.
I sure do love this little guy!
So, another day, I'm sure we will have another adventure in Washington DC...
until then, we have these memories.
Other related blogs on Tully's travels to DC

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