Friday, April 29, 2016

A Tweet Conversation...and Other Tidbits

Hello!  It's been a busy week with planting flowers and a few trips to the Big Town.  We've had lots of showers and a few thunderstorms coming through, but our county is still in the drought zone.  

The pots are all completely planted on the front porch/patio and I have just a few to finish on the back patio.  I also have a little garden area to plant once the soil dries out enough.  We had 3 knockout roses there, but they never did very well, so BG dug them out for me. 

I bought some new cushions for the chairs that go with the patio table.  Also a cover to pull over the whole shebang that's supposed to keep the chairs dry when it rains.  

I walked into the kitchen the other day and saw the above cardinal sitting on the window ledge.  Thinking maybe he had hurt himself by flying into the window, I took a closer look.  He just sat there looking at me, but appeared to be okay.  The window was closed but I began talking to him like I would talk to one of my kitties.   

After a bit, I turned around and went in search of my camera, thinking all the while that my new little feathered friend would be gone when I got back.  He was still sitting there, waiting patiently.  

I snapped a couple of pictures and began talking to him again, telling him how pretty he was and how much I enjoyed watching him and his friends flying between the nearby trees and the feeders.  I'm sure he understood every word!  

At one point I turned away thinking he would fly off but when I looked back at him, I saw that he had moved his body slightly so that he was looking straight into the window as if he were looking for me.  I went back and talked to him a little more.  Soon after, BG came home from work and I told him to take a look at the bird and when BG got close to the window, the cardinal soon flew away.  He hasn't been back for another chat, but I will always remember this "tweet" visit.

Me:  Stormy, what are you doing?
Stormy:  What does it look like...I'm taking a bath!
Me:  Do you have to do it there?
Stormy:  Well, it is the bath room, isn't it?

This afternoon is almost gone and I still need to get out the vacuum and clean up after the furkids.  I'm loving my little vacuum that I ordered, it does a fantastic job picking up the fur.  

I'm also so thankful for Clorox Wipes.  They are used several times a day, wiping off kitchen surfaces...and the bathroom vanity...that I know some little feet prance around on even though they know they aren't supposed to!

This weekend will be a busy one with BG heading back to The Project to work on the electric wiring.  Last weekend was spent on yard work.  Hope your weekend is a good one!  Take care...

xo Cheryl  

Friday, April 22, 2016

Of Flowers...

It isn't spring without the sweet scent of lilacs wafting through the house.  I think the scent may be my favorite of all the flowers.  Honeysuckle is another one I love.  Which flower has your favorite scent?  

I have been on the road quite a bit this past week to go traipsing through greenhouses looking for flowers to fill my pots.  Oh, the scents, the colors...I just wanted to buy several of everything I saw!

This photo is from my last (I hope) shopping trip for flowers.  It takes quite a few to fill all the pots on the front porch and back patio.  As long as I can still get them planted and watered, we will have flowers!  

I didn't mean to be away so long from blogland.  But I love to get out and about and just enjoy the beauty of spring and the weather has been absolutely gorgeous.  It has been warm enough to open windows. Until now.  It has rained...which we really needed...and turned cooler again.  The weekend sounds like it will be very nice.
Happy Friday to you!
xo Cheryl 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

This and That Tuesday

I never tire of driving to our nearby lake to sit awhile and gaze at the water and watch for bald eagles and other wildlife.  The redbud trees are at their peak and so beautiful this year.

BG and I picked up some fast food and ate at the lake yesterday.  The sun was low enough in the sky to cast a golden glow on the tree tops.  I kept an eye out for the eagles, but didn't see a one.  I did, however, see a new-to-me bird perched on a small tree near the water.  

It's not a sharp photo because of the distance and my shaky hands, but I got a clear enough shot to be able to look this one up and found out it's a female Belted Kingfisher.  They spend most of their time near the water and dive for fish.  And they nest in burrows that they dig into soft earthen banks close to the water.  I'm always thrilled to find a new bird! 

Our son was home for the weekend.  We played a few games of cards Sunday afternoon, and I am happy to say that my daughter and I finally won most of's always a competition and the men usually beat us soundly and never let us forget it.  It was payback time!  

Daughter and her BF went out looking for morel mushrooms, but they didn't find even one.  The weather has just been too cool for them and they aren't popping up yet like they would if it was warmer.  Brett walked around our Back 6 looking for the morels, but didn't have any luck.  He took the above photo of our mighty oak tree with his phone while on his walk.  

I didn't take any photos of our food, but we had tacos for one meal, and the way I make them is to layer on each plate the browned hamburger seasoned with a packet of taco seasoning over flour tortillas and then layer lettuce, salsa, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes and onions, ending with a dollop of sour cream.  Quick and easy and very yummy!

Another meal was sliced potatoes with turkey kielbasa, diced onions, and green peppers fried together in a large iron skillet and I baked canned crescent rolls.

Of course, bacon, scrambled eggs and those yummy orange-iced cinnamon rolls were breakfast fare one morning.  There were some Halos to eat, too.  I just love those! 

While the men were fishing Sunday afternoon in between the rains, I fixed lasagna, a big tossed salad and french bread.  

Dessert was my favorite quick and easy cherry cobbler.  For that you melt a stick of oleo or butter in a 9 inch square baking dish and then pour a well stirred mixture of 1 cup self-rising flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk over the melted butter.  Spoon 1 can cherry pie filling over the top of that.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown on top.  I served mine with Lite Cool Whip.  Hey, you gotta cut calories somewhere!  By the way, if you don't have self-rising flour, you can add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt to your regular flour. 

In one of my last posts, I mentioned that I was going to go for a drive in the country.  Well, that plan didn't turn out the way I'd hoped.  When I got in my car and put on my new sunglasses, the right lens popped out.  What!!??  Yes, the new glasses that I have barely worn.  So, I just drove straight to the eye care building where I got them and also mentioned that my regular glasses already had a small scratch on the lens.  I had paid extra to have the scratch resistant coating put on them.  Hmpf.  Guess it wasn't so scratch proof after all!  Well, to make a long story short, I was not a happy camper.  I had paid over 800 dollars for these 2 pair of glasses and hadn't even had them barely a month, if that.  They did fix my sunglasses and sent for new lens which I picked up yesterday.  

Those are the new glasses in the selfie photo taken when we stayed in Branson last month.  I have no idea what makes glasses so expensive other than I have many different levels of strengths due to near-sightedness and also some astigmatism.  After picking myself up off the floor when they told me what the price would be, I was thinking I should just make a run for the door and head to WalMart to check their prices, but of course I didn't.  After the problems I've already had, I'm thinking maybe I should have!

I had planned to have my photos that I had made framed and hung by now, but after spending time last week cutting out templates to hang so I could see how it would look without nailing too many holes in the wall, I discovered that I'd overlooked something.  Duh!  The mats in 4 of the frames were for 4x6 photos, not 5x7's which is what I needed.  So back to the store I go and hoping they would have the right size that would go with the 8x10's.  I found them...whew!  I haven't got the new templates cut out yet, and I'm now hoping this all goes together like I envisioned.  I'm afraid that the frames which are bigger than the ones I took back might throw my plan off a bit.  I'd probably give up on the whole project except for the fact that the wall looks so bare behind the tv.  

Meanwhile, BG is still hard at work...when he has some spare time...on the wiring at The Project aka our rental house.  He said he had never seen anything like how this house was wired.  We knew the man that lived there a long time before the last couple and he was not a electrician, but as the saying goes...knew just enough to be dangerous.  Remember this is the man who put 9 outlets in one closet?  BG is pulling his hair out trying to find where all the wires go to.  And he can't afford to lose anymore hair on top.  Shhh, don't tell him I said that.  Ha!  He said that if he had it to do all over that he would have ripped all the sheetrock off the walls, it would make his job a little easier.

As for me, I'm trying to get some much needed things done here.  Things that I should have done over the winter.  But, procrastination is my middle name.  I hope to get back to visiting and posting more regularly, but if not don't think I've left the country.  All is well, it's just a busy spring.  I hope all is well in your world, too.  Take care and enjoy the spring!

xo Cheryl    

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

April Love

Hello April!  Have I told you lately that I love you? 

If I had to choose right now, I'd pick April as my second
favorite month.  Ask me if that is still true when May rolls around.

It's the redbuds blooming and the tulips and all the beautiful
new growth springing forth after a long winter's sleep that
makes April such a beautiful month.

My hostas are beginning to make their appearance after
giving me a bit of a worry that they might not have survived.

We planted a few things in the garden yesterday.  A couple
of tomatoes were even planted, although we may be getting a
bit ahead of ourselves with those.

A few feet from the garden, I noticed Mr. Robin watching
us plant.  I wonder if there is already a nest with eggs in a
nearby tree?  I hope you help keep the bugs from eating our
plants, Mr. Robin!  

Someone inside likes April too.  Miss Callie is peeking out
the opened window and enjoying some fresh air.

We've enjoyed some very warm days, but also some chilly 
days, too.  On one of those cooler days I fixed one of our
favorite soups and bruschetta.  The potato soup recipe can be 
found on my Recipe page.  The bruschetta was made with 
what I had on hand and I fixed just enough for the 2 of us.

I sliced some Italian bread and drizzled olive oil over it and
toasted the bread in a 425 degree oven for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile I sliced a cup or so of cherry tomatoes in half
and finely sliced about 8 leaves of basil.  I placed the basil and
tomatoes in a small bowl and sprinkled liberally with garlic
salt and a bit of black pepper.  Then I again grabbed the olive
oil bottle and drizzled a bit more over the tomato mixture and 
stirred.  After the bread was toasted, I spooned a good amount
over each slice and it was ready for eating.  Ummm, good!

I know I didn't report on that drive that I was going to take
when I was last here.  There is more to that story that I'll
tell next time.  Nothing earth-shaking, believe me.  Just an
annoying trip that I shouldn't have had to make, but it wasn't a
completely wasted day.  

I try to make the most of my trips to the Big Town, so 
while I was there, I got my photos made and picked
 out the frames for my wall-behind-the-tv project.

I hope to get them hung soon and I'll show you how it 
turned out.  That is, unless it's a complete disaster and I take 
them all down and start over!  Stay tuned....

xo Cheryl

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Beautiful Spring Day!

Did you have a nice Easter?  We did, although it was a wet one here.  We had a change of plans and met our son for dinner late Saturday afternoon and it turned out to be a good idea as the weather was so nice and the rain moved in Easter Sunday.

I puttered around the house yesterday and decided some changes were in order.  First of all, I took out the extra leaf in our oak table and now it's just a round table.  Just a wee bit of a change sometimes makes a big difference.  

Last night was spent on the computer searching for photos to put on a memory stick so I can get some enlargements made.  I've searched for just the right pictures in the shops to put on the wall to sort of frame the tv but haven't found what I like.  So, I've decided to frame some of my own photos.  We'll see how that turns out!

Spring...a new season and a new beginning.  It always seems to me that spring heralds new beginnings more so than turning the calendar over to a new year.  Maybe it's because the new year comes while we're in the midst of winter.

Part of me is feeling the urge to clean the cobwebs and dust from the corners and perk up the house, but the other part is wanting to hop in the car and see more of spring down some country roads. 

Which would you choose on a pretty sunshiney afternoon?

A no-brainer, you say?

Me, too.  

I'll see you when I get back!

xo Cheryl

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

He is risen!

A blessed and happy Easter to you!
Love to all,

~comments closed today~

Friday, March 25, 2016

Names...and other things

"What's in a name?  That which we call a rose
 By any other name would smell as sweet."
~Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)

My hubby went to the grocery store for me recently and when he returned he told me that a woman, and he couldn't think of her name, said to tell me hello.  He said it was Scrooge's wife.  Well, I immediately knew who he was talking about.

That started a conversation over dinner after I made sloppy joes from the hamburger he had gone to the store to purchase for me.  I have never heard Scrooge called anything but that and I'd be hard pressed to recall his real name.

We started thinking about all the folks we know in our small town with colorful nicknames.  There is Dragon and Gator also Critter, Scoop, Punky, Snooky and the funniest nickname to me was one who is now deceased but was called Cabbage.  

One of my classmates starting calling me CQ, which were my initials, in high school and it became my nickname for a few years.  Do you have a nickname?  Do tell!  

The only one in my family who has a nickname now is BG.  The "big guy" was coined by our son.  BG was also called Shorts by his uncle because even though he is 6' 2" tall, he is the shortest man in his family.  lol!  

 Wanna nut?

I'm not planning a big Easter meal this year.  We'll be working at The Project as much as we can this weekend.  BG is wanting to get back at the wiring.  We plan to meet our son for dinner Sunday if he can't get away to come in.   

Some have asked about the rental house, so for new readers The Project is my name for the rental house we bought a year and a half ago.  We found it needed a lot more work than we anticipated, the worst being the wiring nightmare my hubby found.

Many things have been ticked off the list.  The deck was mostly replaced, the bathroom completely redone, the hardwood floors (except for the "spare" room) have been stripped and varnished.  A lot of the painting is done and light fixtures replaced.  The spare room will be carpeted and a bedroom needs to have the walls sanded down.  That is the room that BG has put a new breaker box in behind the door, so we're not going to stir up dust by sanding until the wiring is done.  About 3 rooms still need painting but that won't take long, also a few other little things remain to get done.  Painting and a few little repairs need to be done on the outside, but that will keep until we have the time. 

We've had a carpenter do a little of the work, but the rest is done by us with my DIYer BG doing the majority.  Since he is still working full time and is not so...ahem...young anymore, it is taking a bit longer than we'd hoped.  It's work awhile, then take a break, then back to work again.  It's not something we need to be in a hurry for since our daughter is the one that will be living there.  She has been too busy with work writing grants and taxes and such to think about moving.  The boyfriend takes up the rest of her time.  :)

Speaking of nicknames, I'm sure the folks in our community are calling us Slowpokes.  We get asked frequently what we're doing with that house!   

Have a blessed Good Friday,
xo Cheryl

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring Is Here!

Happy Spring!  

I want to thank each of you for your very nice comments on my birthday post.  Thank you!!  I had a wonderful birthday and getting to celebrate in Branson was the icing on the cake!  To be honest, it's been a little hard to get back into the swing of things since we got back home.  I've not yet started on the dirty laundry we brought back.  The kitties have wanted lots of attention and I've had one or the other on my lap each time I've sat down.  Stormy started off with her usual pouting which lasts only a day, then she was all about getting attention.  She makes us laugh because she does this every time we go away for a few days.

I want to show you these beautiful flowers, another birthday surprise from my handsome son who had gone shopping while I took a little nap the afternoon of my birthday.  Later that evening, we went to dinner and I wore the pretty bracelet my daughter had gotten me.  I must say that it was a special birthday and I didn't mind a bit turning 70 years young!  I only wish our daughter could have stayed longer, but she had to get back to work.

The photo above shows the sun coming up on our last day in Branson this trip.  I didn't want to leave, but we'll be back!  

I love spring!  The redbuds and other flowering trees were blooming all over Branson.  So pretty!  We have much the same here except the redbuds aren't open yet.  Which is a good thing as we have a freeze warning for tonight.  One of our fruit trees has blooms, so we covered it.  After a couple of chilly days, it's supposed to warm up again this week.  

I snapped the forsythia at The Project aka the rental house.  BG worked on the electric wiring there this weekend.  I think he may be seeing the light at the end of the least as far as figuring out where all the wires went to.  Now that he's traced them all down and written on his chart where each one goes, it's time to replace them with new.  

I have to make a run to the home improvement store tomorrow for some outlet boxes.  He's had to take out part of the sheetrock to get the old ones out in the living room.  It couldn't be helped, but that means some repair to the walls and repainting will be needed. 

And, it's that time to think about spring cleaning.  That may be all I do...think about it!  How about you?  Is spring cleaning on your agenda?  If I can get a couple of closets cleaned out and a couple of new blinds hung up, I'll probably call it good.  :) 

Have a nice Monday!
xo Cheryl

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Birthday Girl

Guess who is celebrating today?  
Let's have some music....listen HERE!
I love music and LOVED dancing when I
was younger.  About the only dancing I 
to do now is around my kitchen by myself.  lol! 
It's a gorgeous day and I have had my beautiful
family with me the last few days here in Branson
MO.  My son had the ice cream cake above waiting
 when we stopped by the hotel he was staying
in the first night.  He had work here and will be
here the next few days with us.  Our daughter and
her fella came down on Friday night for the weekend.

This was my birthday card from my sweet and beautiful
daughter.  I am so blessed to have such wonderful 
children...yes, I am!  And a great hubby, too! 

This is the scene that greeted me when I opened the 
bedroom door at the condo this morning.  My wonderful son
stayed up late and decorated after BG and I had turned 
in for the night.  

And while I sat on the deck enjoying the beautiful weather,
my son fixed breakfast for us.  Awesome!  

After eating, I enjoyed looking through the magazines
he bought for me.  What a relaxing day and I've 
thoroughly enjoyed being spoiled!  We will be going
out for dinner later.  There are so many places we love to
go, that it will be hard to choose. 

Spring has arrived here and the redbuds and other 
spring trees are blooming.  It's just beautiful and the 
weather is wonderful.  I think I might have mentioned 
the weather a few times already, but it IS just so perfect!
It's such a beautiful day to celebrate 
a birthday in Branson!  I am so blessed and thank God 
for all my 70 years and for my precious 
family that loves me.  I love each of them so much!

I am thankful, too, for all my blogging friends. 
I will keep comments open, but feel free to skip on
out without commenting as I haven't had time to do
a lot of visiting and commenting lately myself.
We'll be here a few more days and I'll catch up with
everyone when I get back home.  Take care and 
have a great week!

xo The Birthday Girl 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Ponderings and Plans

While standing at my window this morning, I was thinking how most days seem so much the same.  But, as I continued to stand watching the birds at the feeders and noting that a couple of ducks were on the pond, I realized that out my window is an ever-changing scene.  

The grass is getting greener with each passing day.  The sky may be cloudy like today, but the next might be clear and bright, or filled with fluffy clouds in a beautiful blue sky.  

The maple tree may be filled with cardinals one day, waiting their turn at the feeder or the pesky starlings may swoop in to gobble up any food they can find.  I'll open the window and clap to scare them away, but they'll fly up into the tree and wait for me to leave so they can get at the food again.

The sounds of nature are also ever changing.  I am hearing the crows cawing as they fly overhead.  I might be in the minority here, but I like hearing them.  Their cawing reminds me of my years spent on the farm where I frequently heard them.

Soon, maybe this week the weatherman says, we will start hearing again the sound of rain and thunder.  We've had some very nice spring-like days.  The nights are still cool enough to have the furnace on, but I love to open windows when I can to let fresh air into the house.  

The greening grass is not the only sign of the changing seasons.  I found this sweet little crocus in full bloom while looking around the yard.  It was a little gift to see when at first all I was noticing was the work that needed to be done.  

Hubby and I worked awhile in the yard yesterday cutting out volunteer trees and shrubs growing where they are not wanted.  We cleaned out the peony bed.  I wanted to do more, but when I first start on yard work I have learned it is wise to take it a little at a time until those unused muscles have gotten more used to the work. 

Speaking of changes....

I know I've been getting behind in blogging and commenting lately due to several things including another phone outage which means I can't get on the computer.  Someone had cut into a fiber optic cable. 

When I have had time to peek at my blog list, I've noticed several who haven't posted in quite a long time.  I always worry if something has happened to them.  Even if you haven't met the blogger, you still feel a loss when they aren't part of the blogging community any longer. 

One thing that never changes for me is my love for Branson.  It is my favorite go-to spot in all of Missouri.  I like the Lake of the Ozarks and we spent lots of weekends there when our children were young, but Branson just has something special that appeals to me more.  In spite of the traffic during the tourist season.  

Maybe it's the condo where we always stay.  It's like a home away from home to us, and it's relaxing there.  The view in the photo above from the deck is one that we'll be seeing soon.  We'll be there for around 5 days this month to celebrate my birthday.  Can't wait!  

This isn't a very good shot as it is so far away and it was a cloudy day too, but I just had to drive to the lake not far from us the other day to check on the bald eagle nest.  Yes!  I see that white head!  Do you see it, too? 

I ordered myself a birthday present and it should arrive tomorrow and I'm excited to get it.  Bet you can't guess what it is that I'm so anxious to get!  A new vacuum.  Yes, I can't wait to get a good vacuum.  It's a job that I have to do fairly often as I have too many kitties in the house and you know what that means.  My last vacuum isn't all that old, but it doesn't seem to be working as good as it should.  Having kitties means needing a good vacuum. 

Our plan is to get the rental house finished soon.  If BG can get the wiring figured out.  He has to get into the attic and it's hot in the summer and cold in the winter, without electricity there is only flashlights to see with.  There is also loose insulation covering the wires so that makes finding them difficult.  

He will rarely hire work done that he can do himself.  I appreciate that he likes to save money, but in this case, I wish he had hired someone to do the wiring.  I try not to say anything.  Too often.

Where did the day go?

I have worked on this post off and on all day.  My daughter was off work today and visited for awhile.  The phone has rung too many times.  Needy kitties wanted attention.  Not that they don't get it, they get plenty of attention!  I have to stop and gaze out that window in the first photo every now and then to see what's going on in the back yard and Back 6.  It's now time to fix dinner.  I have ground beef, so I think I'll go make some chili.  What's on your agenda this week?  Hope it's a good one!

xo Cheryl