Monday, July 28, 2014

happy new (school) year!

i went back to work today.  summer vacation was awesome, but i really don't mind (too much) that it's over.  relaxation and laziness are good for me, yes, but so are schedule and routine.  i rather enjoy this time of year.  it's like a second new year and new beginnings are so good for getting me back on track.  like getting back on the track literally.  i have quite fallen off the exercise wagon.  i feel myself getting squishy.  oops!  yep, time to reassess my projects and goals and rediscover my motivation and drive to succeed.

on a side note, do you hate feet pictures?  maybe let's make that a rhetorical question.  i ask because i carpooled with a coworker today who mentioned really not liking feet.  i do like feet.  they are ever so useful and even at my maximum density i still liked the way my feet looked.  at least i do when i have my toenails nicely groomed and polished.  this summer i did not have time for such things and my sister was extremely appalled when she saw them.  I made sure to tidy them up for the first day of school.  (also, note the new flips.  cute, yes?  i got them in hot pink with black too.  oooh.  sparkly sequins.).

so, back to my goals.  several of them center around my "one little word" for 2014, "holiday."  to keep the word fresh in my mind, i decided to make a mini-album centered around it.  i went gangbusters on this through march and then nada.  i finally pulled it back out last week and forced the issue.  that first page on the left there came out totally fugly.  so bad that i had to redo it.  i'm not overly impressed with this second version, but it will have to do.  the next two pages are okay and may was hit or miss, but i finally found my groove once more with june.  sometimes, "get'er done" is what it takes.

then tying in with that i thought it would be nice to get a jump start on christmas crafting.  you know, finish all the old december daily type projects, make some christmas cards, make some crafties for gift-giving during the "holiday" season.  yea.  not so much.  the christmas papercrafting box stayed under the table in the shadows till last week when i knocked this page out after getting caught up on the aforementioned holiday mini-album.  what can i say?  i am a lazy bird, but when the ocd kicks in, it can be a glorious thing.

i did make some initial progress with the gift type projects.   i got that set of dish towels done and the cute easter baskets, but then started in on a couple baby afghans and got totally bogged down in them.  i have finally gotten those figured out and am cranking out rows at a steady pace now.  so, why not add some more projects to the mix then?  i'm loving jenni's new "crafted kits" and have plans to make this one for the nurses in the family.  i am a glutton for crafty punishment.

then there was the brilliant 52 week project that i decided to attempt.  it lasted through march too.  and since i'm still working on those baby afghans, it's still on hiatus. 

of course, i am doing project life again.  in my mind.  in actuality, i've gotten my photos printed through april, my photos sketched out through june, and my photos scrapbooked here and there and hardly at all.  but this is a project that i don't so much mind being behind on.  i know i'll just as much enjoy scrapbooking these photos when g goes off to college.  maybe even more so.

say "crappie sparkle nibbles" three times fast

this fish bait made me laugh. (six word memoir.  so easy.  so awesome.).

then over at get it scrapped! i set up a nice little list of monthly photo and/or word challenges for myself and whoever would like to play along.  goodness!  i was such a busy bee that last week in december coming up with all these ideas!  i managed to keep this one going through april till it fell by the wayside.  time to resurrect it.  august is "six word memoirs."  i think i can handle that.  brevity is a good thing.
and then on to the goals that I never mentioned publicly.  like, "oh it would be nice to read a book a week (52) books this year."  I've gotten 21 under my belt so far.  hey!  this one could actually happen.

incidentally, has anyone out there read this one?  not a rhetorical question, by the way.  i was only 40% through when the library called it home and so far i don't really much care for it.  is it worth putting it on hold again to finish it?

and then there's the "wouldn't it be fun to blog every day (365 times) this year?  yea, i'm laughing too.  but i might hit 31 posts this month.  july has been good for me.  (love this magazine, btw).

and the new year's resolution type things that you know you need to do:

organize the house - shockingly, i'm close to done with this one without hardly trying

tackle the landscaping - i found out i could do so many things this summer and i'm so looking forward to next spring when i can plant my little heart out instead of ripping out holly, pulling up rampant weeds, and chopping a felled bradford pear into garden poles.

paint our walls white - the landscaping accomplishments have made me brave.  i think i might actually attempt this one this fall once the cold winds drive me inside.

plan a trip to washington d.c. - i was hoping to take my boy to the smithsonian this summer (don't you think he would love that?), but we ended up going to florida, north carolina, and texas instead.  next summer for sure though.

it has truly been a joy to reflect on a summer well spent on this blog of mine.  and now I will enjoy the steady rhythm that is back to school (and schedule a few more adventures for the dog days of summer).  thanks so much for tagging along.  :)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

good blog reads

the big little guy has been into fishing this summer.  fish, fish, fish.  my sister and I had to take him to the bass pro shop on our texas trip.  you all know that bass pro is a tourist attraction, right?  i don't mind.  it's in his blood.  my dad and brothers are all fishermen by trade and passion.  i keep a bag packed with a good book and my latest crochet project for his fishing excursion.  and my iphone is always handy for surfing and photography.  here are a few new blogs that have been keeping me company.  the first is very pretty and stylish baking.  the second has a bent toward memory keeping.  the third is straight up homesteading.  the rest are eclectic/lifestyle i would say.  i just picked up the summer issue of artful blogging, so i should have more soon!  :)

Friday, July 25, 2014

texas: fort worth botanical gardens

 we pretty much find critters wherever we go.  this little guy was ferocious!

 and because one can never have too many grasshopper pictures.

here is the moon flower sans grasshoppers.  very pretty.  and my brother-in-law says that they attract luna moths.  now i want one. 

 i suspect this might be a luna caterpillar.

 and continuing with the creature feature, here are some excellent specimens of the homo sapien.

there were several really nice pond areas with a variety of water lilies.  i liked that they were kept in pots, so the potential for invasive growth was kept under control.

string of pearls or string of peas or some such.  it was a tree.

 these are indigenous to tennessee, except ours are orange.

it seems that every botanical garden has a signature flower.  at the fort worth botanical garden, it was the hibiscus.  they were scattered everywhere throughout the 109 acre property.

the name escapes me at the moment, but these are sold everywhere in tennessee in the spring from fine garden centers to grocery stores.  they are on my list of must haves for next year.

yellow yucca.

red yucca.  i believe this variety must be indigenous to texas.  it was very popular in landscaping there.

 a veritable sea of verbena.

roses were another focus, as there were several large sections devoted to them.  although they were mostly spent by late july when we visited, i still managed to find a few blooming beauties.

the color on this one was SO vibrant.
and perhaps best of all, the fort worth botanical garden was completely free.  wow.  i could hardly believe it.  texans surely love their flowers!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

president andrew jackson's home

flashback to may of this year and i got to go on a field trip with my son to the hermitage, the home of president andrew jackson (1829-1837).  the texas sister and I have been wanting to go visit (she likes old homes and i like gardens), but for one reason or another we've never managed it on her trips here.  we're going to remedy that the next time she comes. 

i believe this was the foreman's cabin on the property?  i don't quite remember.

we weren't allowed to take any photos inside the president's home, but they had the foreman's cabin set up and allowed photos.

again, i don't remember properly, but i think this may have been a former home of the jackson's that was moved to the property and set up as two small cabins when once it was a two story home.

tool shed?


and oh the flowers.  they were in their prime then and i was in love.  i knew i wanted peonies one day, but this solidified my resolve.

i have never really desired roses, but the heirloom roses in this garden were gorgeous.  now i want roses.

i have absolutely no idea what this is, but i want it too.

pink peony.

heirloom rose.

foxglove with peony.  what a winning combination.

poppy.  yes, please.

heirloom rose.  I was especially drawn to the foliage around the bud on these.  so cool.

i made a mental note of the layout of this garden.  it was basically a large rectangular space divided into four quadrants.  there were walkways and beds around the edges of each quadrant with green space in the middle.  hey!  i have a large empty rectangular green space.  oh the possibilities!

the students toured the hermitage and also acted as jr. docents when they were there.  each one was given a few lines to memorize and then stood at specified locations and shared their new knowledge with other visitors there that day.

this is one of my favorite photos of my baby.  i need to convert it to black and white (the color is a little off for some reason) and print and frame it.

this is gabriel standing in front of his spot at the summer kitchen.  he was so proud of this assignment.  i think you can even see that in his smile.

turning in their costumes before heading back to school.  good-bye hermitage!  until next time . . .

linking up with manneskjur and "how does your garden grow?"