Archive for the ‘Ramblings’ Category

The 80’s Social Network.

It’s not a five star restaurant or anything, but Sonic is gnarly dude.

Sonic, by far, has the best ice around. I mean, it’s awesome to the max. Ha! Remember the eighties?

Sonic Ice!!!

Ok, back to Sonic. What about the styrofoam cup! Between that and the ice it’s totally tubular.

304/365

Did you know the first Sonic opened in 1953?

And that the original name was Top Hat? And that in 1987 (a year before I graduated high school) the 1000th Sonic opened up?

Yep, I graduated in ’88. The year George Bush, Sr. was elected President, CD’s outsold albums for the first time, a gallon of gas was between .82 to .98 cents, and one of the top songs of the year was Push It by Salt N Pepa!

Salt-N-Pepa: Push It (Remix)

“Cantcha feel the music pumpin haaaud like I wish u would now Push It. Dun du nuna nun. Push it good.”

Sorry. I feel old now…

But I do have fond memories of Sonic. Living in the country, there wasn’t a big choice of places to go for teenagers at the time, so the big thing was cruisin Sonic.

Not just once.

Not even two or three times.

I’m talking hours of endless circles. I’ll have to admit, it was rad. You had friends everywhere and the possibilities were endless. It was the place to hang dude.

It’s not like we had Facebook or iPhones!

Sonic WAS our social network.

Driving around for hours to see who you could run into from high school or any school for that matter. It was conveniently located in a town that was in the middle of two other small towns. I don’t think there was another Sonic for a good 45 minutes away. It was on.

I was a teenager once.

I remember.

Totally, fer shur!

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Record breaking heat in Houston

Quoted from The Houston Chronicle:

“Forecasters said Thursday was the earliest day the area has reached 100 degrees in more than a century. The previous earliest 100-degree day was June 10, 1902.”

kitchen, 1902

Also, slender chance of rain throughout next week. So much for wishful thinking. I think I’ll google how to perform a rain dance. Better say a prayer instead…

PRAYING FOR RAIN

Anyway, I’ll be stockpiling our Lipton Cold Brew Iced Tea in the pantry for the next 5 months!

my new food love: Lipton Cold Brew

A bloom for Memorial Day

A flower is an educated weed. ~Luther Burbank

I grabbed my iPhone this morning to take a picture of my Hummingbird Vine aka Cypress Vine bloom.

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And here is the flag we ordered from the local Boy Scout troop. The flag was put up early this morning, then taken down before dark. This is in honor of those who have served and are serving our country! They will do this again on Independence and Labor Day, too.

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Hope you had a happy and safe Memorial Day!

My scary, monster squash…

Let me start by saying that I’m not an expert when it comes to vegetation, so when I planted some squash seeds on my kitchen countertop, it didn’t surprise me that everyone that day thought they were brownies.

We don’t have much of a yard for vegetable gardening, but I found a spot that looked like it would be okay. Finally working the nerve up to just go for it, I planted them in the spot. I knew they needed all day sun and this was the spot for that.

I threw a bag of some soil I bought from the garden center to mound it up for proper drainage – I read that somewhere and thought it might a good idea – you know, in case it rained – ummm, well, not so much!

Seriously, I must have done something right or just had really good soil in the spot, because this squash has turned out to be way better than I ever expected!

As a matter of fact, it scared the crap out of me today.

First of all, the leaves are so big that in order to see any vegetation, you have to peer inside by moving the monster leaves and getting up close and personal.

Monster Squash

Once inside, this is what I saw…

Is that a freaking snake?

I don’t know about you, but that dark green twisty vine looked like a freakin’ snake to me!

Check out that dark green vine - very creepy looking!

Anyway, after I calmed down and my heart rate went back to normal, I picked this monster.

Squash #3 - the biggest so far!

This is the third pick and there are about 10 – 12 more on the way.

In the meantime, I’ve been watching my newest sweet potato vine, it’s starting to grow and looking really healthy. Nothing scary about this one!

Sweet Potato Vine Plant

And here’s a picture of our Ficus tree by the kitchen window. It’s doing really well in this spot…

In the corner by the kitchen window - our Ficus tree.

Speaking of kitchen, I think I’ll go cook the squash now! Yummy!

Somewhere over the Rainbow

Our livingroom is oddly shaped. It’s long and narrow and feels empty to me, so I’m taking an interest in doing something about it today. At one end of the room is a huge bare bookcase, with the exception of a few blue ray DVD’s that my husband has been lining it with. Well, unfortunately, I removed those today filling it with some “stuff” that I found around the house. This is what I came up with. I guess it will do for now, although I’m still not completely happy with it. And yes, I need to fill a few of our picture frames!

While I was arranging this bookshelf, I spotted the Cardinal. Yes, the Cardinal that pecks on our windows all day if we don’t have birdseed for him! The previous owner had warned us about him before we moved in, but we didn’t realize how serious he was until we heard it for ourselves. I think he’s taken ownership of the house.

Here is a piece of furniture we found at an antique place off of Westheimer in Houston. We traded an old antique mantel that was mounted on our fireplace and got a pretty good deal. It hides our electronic equipment and wires. Our flatscreen is above the fireplace now and looks much better than the mantel did.

The piece you see at the top is one of the centerpieces at our daughter’s wedding reception. Here’s a closer look:

The only thing missing are the beautiful flowers she had in them.

And here is a picture of our daughter Charlotte in her wedding dress! Isn’t she beautiful?

Charlotte before walking down the isle with her dad.

And here’s the happy couple at the reception.

Adam and Charlotte cutting the cake!

The wedding was in Destin, Florida. The beach was a bit windy, but gorgeous and we are ready to go back. This song was playing when her dad walked her down the isle. She said it reminded her of him. I thought the song was perfect.

A snail in my Chocolate Mint at Easter

So I found this snail when I was cleaning out a container on my patio and wow, this guy is a killer! He was about the size of a golf ball and was pretty gross.

Check out the hole he chewed in my Hosta!

I found him buried underneath the soil of some dying spring flowers I decided to dig up and throw out. Now I know why they were dying so quickly after my futile attempts to save them by keeping them in the shade and giving them plenty of water and fertilizer.

From what I’ve heard, snails can damage plants and gardens rather quickly. He must have been sucking the life right out of them!

He's fast for a snail!

Turns out, the best way to get rid of snails and slugs is by adding crushed eggshell or rocks to the soil. Apparently, the sharp objects cut them up, so they end up dehydrating and dying. Already used coffee grounds is another way to get rid of them. The caffeine increases their heart rates, they eventually have heart attacks and die. I know, sounds morbid, right?

After reading about the eggshells, I remembered this stuff my hubby had purchased called Diatomaceous Earth. It’s a natural killer of any any insect or pest! This stuff is made from a naturally soft rock that crumbles into a fine flour-like powder with teeny, tiny particles that are fossilized remains of hard-shelled algae. It’s perfectly safe for humans and pets, but rids your home and yard of ants, fleas, ticks, roaches, earwigs, SLUGS AND SNAILS!!!, beetles, flies, silverfish, bed bugs and many other pests by physically puncturing them and absorbing the moisture from their bodies. I sprinkled this stuff on all of my plants – so I’m curious to see what happens. It’s kind of hard to find locally, unless you know of a feed store. I think he bought our bag for $8 or $9. And you can always go online.

Recently, I was given some perennial plants by a lady on Free Cycle. Free Cycle is a network that promotes waste reduction by keeping the landfills down in order to save our landscape. It’s also a great way to rid yourself of unwanted items that you don’t feel like hauling off – stuff that someone else may want or need, for free. You know the old saying, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure?” Anyway, this lady was cleaning out her garden beds and gave me a ton of stuff – namely my Chocolate Mint plant.

Chocolate Mint Plant - even smells like mint chocolate!

I’ve read that this plant grows along the ground and spreads rapidly, so I’ve decided to contain it for now – at least until we pull those boring shrubs up on the side of the house.

I found this cute tin planter at a Marshall's in Florida!

Isn't it cute for the patio?

Chocolate Mint is an herb that can grow from 12 – 18 inches in height, likes the sun and has violet or lavendar blooms that come out in early – mid summer. They have bronze-green foliage and are very aromatic, but tend to be invasive although it attracts bees butterflies and birds. It has average water needs, so water, but don’t over do it.

Propagate by dividing rootball, rhizomes, tubers or bulbs – also from cuttings. I actually just stuck mine in the dirt and they grew roots and took! I was so happy to see this work!

Did you know you can eat this plant? It tastes just like chocolate mint! I’m planning on making some chocolate mint tea soon! You can add it to all sorts of desserts like cakes, cookies, teas and coffee! You can’t find that at Starbucks, lol…

Oh, I almost forgot – I bought something pink for Easter!!!!

Happy Easter! Pink Impatiens- I love them!

On the left side of my Impatiens are some Asters I adopted, but on the right side you can see the new coleus plant I bought – it’s a baby right now, but here’s a closer look.

Coleus basking in the sun for a while...

I also added some Impatiens to my Caladiums – they match the pink in their leaves!

Caladiums and Impatiens

Pink, pink, pink!

Have a blessed and pink Easter!

Digging in the dirt.

You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt. ~Author unknown.

So the hubby and I woke up this morning and decided to take a trip to Dirt Cheap Mulch Co. to buy some sand and sod for our yard that is in major need of resuscitation. It’s pretty much in garden ICU for now. Anyway, we got a nice sized load of sand and sod for thirty bucks. It’s just what the doctor ordered (my husband, that is).

But not before our morning ritual of iced coffee.

Here’s the doctor laying the sod.

This is pretty much all the help we got from Dixie, our Boxer…isn’t she a ham for the camera though?

So while Mark was out laying sod, I decided to peruse the patio. I found my Imperial Dark Blue Plumbago had finally bloomed! It’s really pretty and the shrub is supposed to produce these phlox-like blue flowers for most of the year. I’m happy with the decision to purchase this shrub. It’s in a container on my patio.

I was surprised at outcome of this close up. Yep, I found my camera this morning! We moved into our new house back in January and I finally found it this morning! It’s a Nikon CoolPix L11o with a Nikkor 15X Wide Optical Zoom lens.

Ok, so last month I decided to sow some squash seeds. I kept them indoors for probably longer than I was supposed to, but I was really nervous about planting them outside (mostly because I have no experience whatsoever with planting vegetation). But I planted them – all five of them – and this is the one that survived. I’m happy with the outcome. It looks like it’s going to make it and hopefully we will have squash soon!

And to make up for the one’s I lost, I decided to plant the seeds directly into the ground the other day, just to see what happens. And voila!

So every Monday morning when I’m back at work – sitting at my desk – I dig – but not in the dirt. I am digging for my Advil, because after a weekend of working in the yard and garden, every muscle in my body is sore and my back has been burned from the sun!

And as the quote at the top of this blog says “You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt”. Yes, gardening has mental health perks, too. I’ve read that it reducing stress and it’s been recognized for hundreds of years as having healing and restorative benefits.

So, if you are looking for a good fitness program with amazing perks – forget the gym – try gardening!