Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A few more 'round the yard

I'm not sure of the "real" name, but I've always called it Hummingbird vine or Cardinal vine.  Either way, I love it.  It reminds me of my grandparents old house.  It was always growing up the columns in the carport.

If you click to enlarge this and look closely, you see, what we always called, an inch worm.

Sue, over at A Corner Garden was kind enough to share seeds with me and these guys are really tall!

Another pink zinnia.

Swallowtail.  They love the zinnias.

Another that I'm not sure of the real name, but growing up, it was called Spanish Moss.

Spanish Moss

Today is a busy day, I have ribs in the oven for tonight's dinner.  I'll have butternut squash, canned green beans and whatever else strikes my fancy.  I bought ALL my books for my last semester (WOOHOO) and they're neatly stacked waiting to be read.  I've been sorting and filing the multitude of papers from the boy's schools this morning.  I'm ready for load 3 of laundry while the second load dries on the line.  I started draining the pool to take it down.  I hope it doesn't take as long to take down as it did to put up.  

After that's done, it'll be about time for the kids to get home and then we'll start the nightly routine of homework, chores, and reading.  Somewhere in between that is dinner and showers.

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Corn husk angels, twig stars, and pumpkins

Yes, I am ready for fall.  The sights, smells, colors.  They all intrigue me.  Last fall I made dozens of these cute little corn husk angels.  I ended up using them on my Christmas tree!

Corn husk angels

I made dozens of twig stars last fall that also ended up on the Christmas tree.  I can't help but start getting excited when the humidity finally breaks.  It is a sign of things to come!

Twig star

Are there certain foods that you normally only make during the fall and winter?  This mystery cake is a favorite!  I make lots of soups and stews during the winter and am already anticipating a big pot of venison stew!

Yes, I know it's early.  I'm like a kid in a candy store - I canNOT wait for fall.  I love the mums and pumpkins.

Let's not forget the gourds!

Pretty isn't it?

I always use these to decorate.

And these end up sprinkled throughout the house.

Can you tell I'm ready for fall?

To Autumn
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
   Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
   With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
   And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
       To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
   With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
       For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
   Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
   Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
   Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
       Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
   Steady thy laden head across a brook;
   Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
       Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
   Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,--
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
   And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
   Among the river sallows, borne aloft
       Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
   Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
   The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
       And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
- John Keats

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Birthday Boy

 I cannot believe he's 12 now.

Dad and Joe posing for pictures

We had two classmates spend the night.  They had a blast.

I really thought they'd spend the night playing video games.  We were pleasantly surprised that they spent a lot of time outdoors playing.

Little brother has to give bunny ears!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer's End

The boys started back to school this week.  It's been such as adjustment for them, trying to get back on a schedule.  Ranger faced a huge challenge in leaving elementary school and heading to middle school.  It's overwhelming, scary, and nerve wracking.  But he's hanging in there.  Like many boys his age, he loves video games.  I told him to tackle middle school like he does a new game that's hard to play.  Just keep at it and don't give up.

First day of school

Summer is coming to an end.  If you watch closely you'll see the days are getting shorter.  The humidity isn't as high as it has been.  

No balls are bouncing.

The pool is empty.

The tire swing stands alone.
And the yard is lonely and empty since the boys went back to school.

On another note- I had an abundance of tomatoes a few days ago and decided to see what all the hoopla was about with oven roasted tomatoes.  After a quick wash they were sliced in half, drizzled with a little oil and sprinkled with oregano and basil.  I roasted for 5 hours at 200 degrees.

They definitely took on a completely different taste than I expected.  It was sweet and caramelized.  After I nibbled on a few, I took some of the others and tucked into the freezer and then a few more that I chopped up and mixed into a pot of angel hair pasta with grated Parmesan.  I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious!  

Today while the boys were at school, I snapped a few pictures.

I'm not sure what kind of bloom this is.  But I thought I was very lucky to capture this picture with the skipper and the bee.

This is a mammoth sunflower.  The head is nearly a foot in diameter.  It's so heavy it's leaning.

Peach colored zinnia.  I LOVE this shot.

Same bloom bee was on above.

Fuchsia bloom 

This sunflower is over 10 feet tall!

These stand several feet above the little barn.

You can see the mammoth sunflower in front leaning and how tall the ones in back are.

Wasp in pink cockscomb.

Bright yellow!

Zinnia bud.  I LOVE this shot, too!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A day of rest

After furiously canning yesterday and scrubbing tomato pulp and seeds from the floor, ceiling, and counters the tomato skins in the garbage can finally stopped laughing at the mess they'd made.  I decided to take it easy today.  I slept late and made a big lunch for my family - cornbread, dumplin's, hominy, canned green beans and potatoes, cukes and onions in vinegar, and garden fresh tomatoes topped off by a big glass of iced tea.

I still need to sweep and mop the kitchen floor, but I decided to tiptoe out to my flowers and snip a few to bring inside.

The boys are outside so it's the perfect time to get the kitchen floor clean.  Too bad it will only stay that way for a short while.