Thursday, June 28, 2007

Squirrels Don't Like Squash

Apparently, the squirrels don't like my squash, THANK GOODNESS!! I picked the first squash this morning and had seven of them ready. Everything else seems to be growing along very quickly. The tomato plants are loaded and I think I'm going to try some cayenne pepper as a squirrel deterrent next. The smelly liquid concoction that I bought from ACE Hardware didn't really do the trick. We also have radishes, lettuce, green peppers, and spinach ready for picking. I'll have to try to do that tonight. My bike ride was rained out last night, so I'm planning on trying to get 25 miles in today after work. We have thunderstorms in our forecast for tonight, but it's partly sunny right now. I'll keep my fingers crossed!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Biking and Cards and Other Stuff

I made a new friend at the Monday night MS150 training ride. Her name is Tressie. I told Curtis that I finally found someone my own age with whom I can ride... She's 25! :) Anyway, Tressie just bought her road bike a couple of months ago, so we're both new to the long distance riding. She's super nice and we're planning on participating, together, in several of the longer upcoming rides. There is a 65 mile ride scheduled for this Saturday and I just committed, today, to a 65 mile ride in Mt. Vernon on July 7th. Tressie and I only rode 25 miles on Monday evening and we're planning to meet again tomorrow night to ride another 25 miles.

I spent my day in Monett, MO today at a "Problem Solving" class for work. It was a fun class, but it will be nice to return to a "normal" day tomorrow (whatever that is). When I got home tonight, I finished painting the bi-fold doors that open up into our outside storage area and washed the garage door so that it can be painted in the near future. I planted two climbing rose bushes off the back patio and tied up some tomato plants that were weighted down by green tomatoes. I've been using a deer, rabbit, and squirrel repellant to keep the squirrels out of my garden, but it doesn't seem to be working. I'm still coming home to half-eaten green tomatoes lying on the ground next to the plants. I just don't know what to do about them and it's becoming VERY frustrating. It won't be but just a day or two until we'll be able to enjoy some of our own home-grown squash, bell peppers, cucumbers, and some more tomatoes and radishes. The lettuce is nearly, if not already, ready to pick.

I made a card tonight using my new "Baroque Motifs" stamp set from the upcoming Winter catalog. I stamped the images on "Whisper White" cardstock using Versamark ink and a gold detail embossing powder. The gold paper and the ribbon are from Michael's. TTFN!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

MS150 Training Ride

I rode in a 55 mile MS training ride yesterday. I'm tired. That's all I have to say about that!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The First Harvest

I picked the first of the veggies from our garden today. We had two grape/cherry tomatoes that were "ripe for the picking". The one on the left probably needs to ripen for another day or two, but the one on the right is gone. That's right... I ate it! It was the best tomato I've had in years. That one tomato made the whole garden worthwhile!!

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my husband, Curtis; to my Dad, Larry; to my father-in-law, Herb; to my brother, Derek; and to my brother-in-law, Tony!! ...And any other dad's I didn't mention. Here are the cards I made for Father's Day. These were made using the "Au Chocolat" designer seriers paper from Stampin' Up! and "Chocolate Chip" classic ink. The "Father" stamp is from "Paper Inspirations" and the deer stamp is from "Stampabilities".

MyStampin' Up! Fall & Winter preview order was delivered on Friday and I LOVE the new stamp sets. Actually, I love everything... I just haven't had time to play with all of it yet. This card is one I made today using the "Pick A Petal" and the "Hugs & Wishes" stamp sets. The paper is from one of those jumbo economy packs from Hobby Lobby and the images were stamped using Stampin' Up!'s "Chocolate Chip" classic ink pad.

This card was made using the "Pick a Petal" and the "Hugs & Wishes" stamp sets, as well. I stamped the wings using the polka dot petal and "Purely Pomegranate" classic ink and cut them out. The head and tail-end of the ladybug were made using circle punches and basic black card stock. The antenna were drawn on with a black Sharpie pen. Cardstock colors used were Purely Pomegranate, River Rock, Whisper White, and Basic Black. The ribbon was purchased at JoAnn's. Let me know what you think. TTFN!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I'm Hunting Wabbit...

I got home from work today thinking I'd take a long bike ride since I REALLY need to start some serious training for the MS150. One of the first things I do, after getting home from work every day, is to let Ernie out and check my garden. Ernie and I played ball for a few minutes and then I stepped over the fence to check things out in the garden. I was looking under squash leaves for new squash, under cucumber leaves for new cucumbers, and under cantalope leaves for new cantalopes. When I squatted down to look at the green beans, a "Wascally Wabbit" was wooking wight back at me. After wooking at each other for a few seconds I said, "What are you doing in here?" He didn't answer. He just wan wight out of the gween beans and wight thwough a hole he had, obviously, chewed in the fence. SSSSSSOOOOO... my bike ride was put on hold while I made a quick trip to Lowe's for some GALVANIZED WIRE fence. I took out the old fence, which was made of some sort of plastic, and mowed the fence line. I got the wire fence up, but forgot to get wire cutters while I was at Lowe's, so the majority of my second roll is going to have to lean against the fence until tomorrow when I can go back to get the wire cutters. With the amount of rain we've had in the last several days, the garden is thriving. I had no idea that vegetables could double in size in 24 hours. I need to get out there and pull the weeds sometime. The grass seems to be coming back in faster than Curtis tilled it up.

This picture is quite humorous, I think. Apparently, Ernie REALLY likes the smell of freshly cut grass and couldn't resist rolling in it as I mowed. It doesn't show up very well with the dark green grass in the background of the picture, but he looks like he's wearing a green mask - and he looks to be very proud of it! No worries... I called the groomer and she has an opening on Saturday morning. Kelly (Ernie's groomer and friend) can get ANYTHING out of white hair!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Construction Area - Hard Hat Required!

Our current project is not complete yet, but I thought I'd post some pictures to give you an idea of how things are progressing. The soffit and fascia are complete and the siding is complete with the exception of the storage area off the back of the house. I expect that it will be another week or so before installation of the windows begins.

This area is probably the area that most needed improving. It has never been attractive and had deteriorated quite rapidly (with the help of a large dog) over the last couple of years. The doors will be sanded down and painted once the rest of the siding is complete. The siding on the storage area isn't complete because we had to decide what to do with it. I'm not sure it's obvious in the pictures, but this little area has a hinged door that opens in an upward direction. It's not possible to put siding on that door and still make it functional, so we've opted to have them side over it, making it a solid wall instead of a door. In the three and a half years that we've lived here, I don't think we've used that door. The area is accessible via the folding doors that you see in the first picture, so we aren't losing access to that storage space. I have plans to build a slightly sloped, shingled roof for the storage area. Currently, it has a flat, painted roof that appears to be made of some sort of metal. I'm adding the roof, instead of painting it, because dust and pollen tend to collect there and it only turns to mud when it rains. It's really not very pleasing to look at from my vantage point at the dining room table, so it's got to change.

The siding just above the garage door (it's a very small area) was replaced. I'll be painting the garage door once the siding and windows are completely installed.

This picture will give you an idea of the difference the new soffit and fascia has made already.

This is the north side of the house. Obviously, the left side is "before" and the right is "after".

I'll try to post more pictures as the work progresses. We've had severe storms and flooding here in the last 24 hours, so I don't know when they'll be back to work on it. I saw on the news, tonight, where the swimming pools were closed today due to flooding, but kids were swimming in the parks where "lakes" had formed overnight. The water was, apparently, quite deep because adults were swimming, too... not just sitting in the water.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

How Does Your Garden Grow?

My garden is coming along quite nicely. I have baby cherry tomatoes, baby yellow squash, and the beginnings of a baby bell pepper. I never thought I'd love gardening this much, but it has really grown on me (no pun intended). Here are some pictures I took earlier today...

It looks like it's going to be a busy summer for us. Curtis and the kids will be spending two separate weeks in Iowa with Curt's parents. I will be spending a week in Denver, CO at the annual Stampin' Up! convention, I will be meeting my three biological brothers the weekend of July 21st, and Branden will be testing for WINGS (Working with the Individual Needs of Gifted Students) on June 23rd. If he does well with the testing, he'll be attending the gifted program one day a week beginning this summer. Oh... and Branden will be going to church camp the week of July 9th with the 4th and 5th graders from our church. They'll be going to Windemere, which is where his dad worked while attending college. It's also where his Ye-Ye (that means grandfather in Mandarin Chinese) worked during college and his Nai-Nai (grandmother in Mandarin Chinese) was a summer staffer. It's going to be a busy summer, but should be lots of fun! TTFN!!