Monday, July 31, 2017

Last Day of July...Blogging and Etc.


If I don't hurry with this post, July will be gone.  Our daughter came over for supper and afterward we settled down in our comfy seats in the living room after dinner.  She turned on the tv to watch the Investigation Discovery channel and I turned on my laptop.  

I'd never watched any of the shows, but I got interested in this episode and that has put me behind.  Not that I have anything all that interesting to share today.  ☺


So many seem to be leaving blogland lately and some have just left without a word.  I've been blogging almost 8 years and it's almost like keeping an online diary for me.  If I can't remember when something happened the past 8 years, I can usually find it in a blog post.  Truthfully, that is what keeps me blogging.

I don't blog to get X number of followers, although I will say that I love comments just like everyone else.  I don't blog because I like to show my house or photos of my family.  My house frankly isn't all that show-worthy and my family doesn't like for me to publish their photos. 
 

I only blog once or twice a week and that is all I seem to be able to get done lately as there are so many other things I like to do, too.  I've also said this before, but I am slow.  When you get older, it takes twice as long (or even more) to get anything done.  

And then I often have problems when typing a post, such as I had a paragraph written just below the half-opened sunflower.  It just went "poof".  I have no idea why and this is a fairly new laptop.

Hate to admit it, but I don't even remember what I had said so I can't rewrite it.  The brain cells are getting older too, so the memory isn't what it used to be.  

 
Our son came in for the weekend.  BG and I had run to the Big Town Saturday morning so he could get a haircut and then we went by Lowes to buy a new leaf blower.  I ran into Kohl's with my 30% off coupon and found a new pair of white capris and new tennis shoes for him.  

When we got home, Brett was there and had brought some hamburger and brats for grilling.  I made a pasta salad using the recipe I shared on a previous post just after the 4th and we also grilled some veggies.

Our weather has been much nicer the past few days and the nights are cool.  It will probably heat back up as August is usually the hottest month here, but we're enjoying this cooler weather while we can.  

 🌈  🌈  🌈  🌈  🌈  🌈  🌈  

I'm trying to work up the courage to repaint my walls, unless I can talk BG into letting me find someone else to do it.  We'll see.  I'm not counting on it.  

The bigger problem is choosing the right shade of paint.  I'm not quite sure what I want, but I'm thinking a creamy white.  Not a stark white.

We have put off getting some new carpet for too long.  That will hopefully happen after the painting is done.  Our carpet is 20 years old and I will say that it's held up well for all these years but it's beginning to look it's age and more.

If you have a favorite white paint or a carpet style you just love, please share.  I am always looking for suggestions as there is just so much to choose from in both paint and carpet that it's mind-boggling.

Off now to hit the publish button while I have a couple of hours of July left.   :)

Happy Monday to you!
xo Cheryl

Thursday, July 27, 2017

This and That



Flowers make me happy.  Yellow flowers especially make me smile.  What is your favorite color?


Actually, I love all colors and I have about every color on my patio.  Above is a small corner of the flowers.  There is also a rooster in that corner.  See him? 

The sweet potato vines are on either side of the door to the basement.  They've almost taken over the other flowers I planted in the pots with them.  There is a pink double petunia still visible.

I planted a few of the pretty double petunias this year and they have done well, so far.  


Above the retaining wall on that end of the patio is the flower garden we just mulched a few weekends ago.   It's hard to get a good photo as it slopes downhill so it looks much better in person than in this pic.

I planted several new perennials and a few annuals.  The Stella's aren't new but are still blooming.  One of the Salvia I transplanted is doing well.  The Knockout Rose at the end has been attacked by the Japanese Beetles, so I'm not sure it'll survive.


 
Stormy wonders why I don't want her on my lap when I come in from watering and shower and put on clean, dry clothes.  Even with central air, I sometimes turn a fan on to cool off.  

I had been down in the back since the weekend but the watering still had to be done.  We had a storm Saturday night and I think I might have pulled something Sunday afternoon while picking up small limbs in the yard.  

The storm knocked our electric out here in town for about 6 hours.  Thankfully the house didn't get too unbearably hot without the air on.  My "lineman for the county" hubby had to work 12 hours beginning around midnight as there were numerous electric outages around the county.    
 
I finally began feeling better Wednesday and went outside and finished picking up the remaining limbs while BG mowed after he got home from work at 2:30.  They go in to work at 6:00 am during the hot weather months.


I could barely get in and out of the car with my aching back, but I went with my daughter to the Big Town Tuesday.  She had a meeting to attend.

While waiting for her, I got a pedicure since there was no way I could reach my toes.  It's hard enough to reach them when my back feels good.  ☺  Btw, pretend you don't see the wrinkles on my olden toes.  

The girl who did my pedicure laughed at the white marks on my feet where the strap of my sandals cover.  I don't tan easily and I have to take off my shoes to prove I even have a bit of a tan.  


I have to confess I've been getting a bit of a cranky on the past several days.  This excessive heat and the bad back where I could barely lift my leg to put my capris on was getting to me.  Oh, how I know things could be much worse.  Been there, done that.  But it's still annoying to not be able to get as much done as you'd like to.  
I think the heat and humidity this summer is beginning to wear on lots of folks.  I wonder if I can blame the weather for all the vitriol I read coming from the media and others?

I could possibly be called a news junkie.  But I've about reached my limit on what I can read without getting really cranky.  It is time for a time out.  On the news, that is.  Well, knowing me, that will probably last all of a day.  :)  

Now, I think I need to get back to the flower gardens in spite of the heat.  There, at least, is something to make me smile.  Nature always soothes the soul anytime of the year even if it means only standing at the window gazing at the outdoors. 

Happy Thursday to you!
xo Cheryl

Thursday, July 20, 2017

A Cat Tale



My daughter loves cats as much as I do, which is a good thing.  She has several that have come to live at her house this year. 

This tale is about Uncle CT.  

We had been calling him Crooked Tail, because his tail had been broken when young or maybe he was born with it that way.


He was also born with a few other deformities.  His claws come out at the top of his toes instead of the end like normal ones.  His front right leg above his foot appears to have been broken and it bends there when he walks and he does walk with a limp.

Uncle CT is a feral cat that will allow you to pet him on occasion. 


When another cat, along with her 5 kittens, showed up at Kim's house, Uncle CT took on the roll of guardian or "uncle" to the brood.  Here he is with one of the little ones on the deck where they sometimes sleep in the chairs.  

What is funny to us is that he has gotten the mama cat's call down pat.  Kim feeds him and all the others and keeps the water bowl full.  When the food is put out and the kittens aren't in sight, he will call out just like the mama until the kittens come to eat, too.  

The little one pictured above is called Lil Stormy, and you probably can guess why.  The kittens are pretty wild even though they will come up on the deck to sleep in the chairs now and then.  

It is so sweet to see Uncle CT keeping an eye on all the kittens and even with his deformities he seems to be happy and content while taking his babysitting duties seriously.   

Happy Thursday to you!
xo Cheryl

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Very Hot Weekend


We had a very hot weekend in which to do some yard work, but we got it done.  The new mulch that we finally got and put down looks so nice and I even planted a couple of new perennials that I bought last week.  The new flower bed looks pretty good for a hot July.

The annuals are still doing well and my new favorite combination of Lantana and purple Angelonia is so pretty.  I'm watering every day and I know that by the time August rolls around the flowers will begin to fade and I will, too, from dragging the watering hose to the flower beds and pots.  But, I'm enjoying the flowers while they last. 


I haven't talked about Stormy in a while.  She is still busy keeping an eye on everything and everyone in the house.  Here she's perched on the Hoosier cabinet in the kitchen watching Sissy who is on the island.  They love to be in the kitchen trying to talk me into giving them a few treats.

I had just gotten home from a grocery shopping trip and had set down a couple boxes of pasta before snapping the above photo.  One of those boxes was the tri-colored rotini that I use to make our new favorite pasta dish.


This dish was a big hit at the 4th of July party with everyone.  I even had a couple of the men ask their wives to get the recipe.  It's a Wallyworld Copycat recipe and I made it again this weekend.  It's quick and easy. 

Broccoli Cheddar Pasta Salad
1 medium head of broccoli, chopped into small florets
1 medium red onion, diced fine
2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (I used 1 1/2 TB)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
 1 box tri-colored rotini pasta

Cook pasta in salted water according to directions on box.  
Drain and rinse with cold water to cool before adding other ingredients.  
I also sprinkle in a little olive oil after rinsing
to keep pasta from sticking. 
 
Wash the broccoli well and chop into small florets.  Dice
the onion fine and then mix the onions and broccoli into
the pasta.  Add the cheddar cheese to the mixture, mixing
well. 

In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sugar and
cider vinegar, stirring well.  Pour over the pasta and
mix well.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.


I will be heading to the Big Town later this morning for another shot in my eye for the macular degeneration which is developing in my left eye.  It will be my fourth shot. 

It's not a pleasant procedure, but it's bearable and I'll be going alone this trip.  Since they dilate my eyes to examine them thoroughly each time, it makes driving a bit more difficult especially in bright sunshine.  So I'll be hanging around town waiting for my vision to improve before driving the 30 something miles home. 

If it appears that I'm neglecting my blog friends, it's not because I'm not interested.  It's because there is always something that seems to keep me away from the computer.  Summertime is a busy time and I'm sure it is for you, too.  Do you find it hard to keep up with blogging lately?  And if you have a good tip for being able to do it all without cutting back on blogging, let us all know!

Happy Monday to you!
xo Cheryl   

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Little Getaway


It's probably not too hard to guess where this road leads to.  

Yes, it is just a few miles from Branson.  BG mentioned after the 4th that it would be a good time for him to take off a few days.  I had the laundry all caught up, so I packed the suitcase and we were on our way.  

Our son was still on vacation so he joined us for a few days.


The weather was nice and hot, but we had some beautiful skies after a fast moving storm blew in Friday evening just as we were getting ready to leave the condo to go to dinner.  

The rain cooled the temps down and the humidity wasn't as high, so we enjoyed a game of miniature golf after dinner that evening.  I, of course, came in last...as usual.  ☺  The men are such competitors and I don't stand a chance.  And I even got a hole-in-one!  Brett scored 3 holes-in-one and still lost to the Big Guy.  BG never lets us hear the end of it, either!  lol 
The food was delicious everywhere we ate.  I fixed breakfast a few times at the condo and we had snacks, but the main meals are eaten out.  That's part of the fun of vacation, right?  'Tis for me.
   


I wish I'd zoomed in a bit closer on this tree just outside our deck at the condo.  We can't figure out what it is.  It appears to have large clusters of what looks like nuts of some kind.  Anyone know what this is?  



Pretty skies were overhead as we traveled home.  The weather is very hot right now.  Our daughter watered the flowers and kept the cats fed while we were gone.  The flowers are still looking good so far.  It will be a battle to keep them that way with this relentless heat and humidity.  

The Japanese beetles are still around devouring our peaches.  And the raccoons are feasting on them as well.  The deer may miss out this year.  Some years I feel like we plant just to feed the wildlife.

I have picked one ripe tomato.  And the cucumbers are full of flowers getting ready to turn into fruit.  But the green pepper plants look pitiful.  There won't be many of those this year.


 
Our little vacation was nice but ended all too quickly.  The days just rush by and there's so much to see and do that there is never enough time.   Now it's back home and back to work.  

I want to do some changing up in my house, but first I need to get some of the purging done.  There is a long to-do list that I've made and I'll be happy when I can draw a line through those items that are done.  What are you up to this summer? 

Happy Wednesday to you!
xo Cheryl

Friday, July 7, 2017

The 4th - Fun and Food


We had a fabulous time on the 4th.  Our daughter hosted a party at her house for several friends and family.  Our son was able to drive back in for the fun, too.  There was a lot of food and laughter until time to move our chairs further out along the driveway in order to see the fireworks show that started at 9:30 pm.


Kim had her house beautifully decorated for the 4th.  I didn't take as many photos of her decor as I did the food.  Guess what's most important to me?  lol  


The food was plentiful and delicious.  Every one loves the pinwheels she makes.  The pasta salad and Mexican dip in the background were 2 dishes I brought as well as a pan of meatballs.


The weather turned out to be perfect, but there was rain in the forecast so grilling wasn't in the plans this year.  I made meatballs using a tried and true recipe that I've had for many years.  Everyone loved them, in fact I think you can see a couple of spots in the photo where 2 or 3 had been fished out for sampling before the party started.  :)

Barbequed Meatballs

Meatballs:
3 pounds ground beef
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup cracker crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder

Sauce:
2 cups catsup
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke or to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup chopped onion

To make meatballs, combine all ingredients (mixture
will be soft) and shape into walnut-sized balls.  Place
meatballs in a single layer on wax paper-lined cookie
sheets; freeze until solid.  Store frozen meatballs in
freezer bags until ready to cook.  To make sauce, 
combine all ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Place frozen meatballs in a 13x9 inch baking dish or pan;
pour on the sauce.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or
until done.  Makes 80 meatballs.

I didn't freeze this batch of meatballs and it still took
nearly an hour baking time.  I also never come out 
with 80 meatballs since I must make mine a little 
larger than walnut-sized. ☺ 


Throwaway dinnerware was used for easy cleanup.  Some ate out on the deck and others inside around the table.  There was so much food as others brought dishes, too.  One brought some yummy dips and my Mexican dip was a big hit, too.   It's quick and easy as is the pasta salad.  Many asked for my recipes and I'll share another time  how to make the pasta and dip.

Have a terrific day and weekend!  I've not been able to be online much lately but I'll be visiting as soon as I can. 

Happy Friday to you!
xo Cheryl

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Fourth of July!!



 
To all of my blogging friends here in America,
I wish you a beautiful day celebrating 
Independence Day! 

Love,
Cheryl 

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