Thursday, April 30, 2015

I May Be Evil

I'm not sure, exactly, what this thing is. When I was straightening a birdhouse on the side of a tree at the lake, he/she came running out and up the tree. Scared the bejeebies out of me! We stared each other down for a good 15 minutes. And even an hour after he scurried up the tree, he was still there crouched down like this. Is it a baby squirrel or something else? 

Notice how he kind of flattens out and his sides looks rippled. Hmmm, I have no idea.

Back home now....on LaLa Lane. I snapped several photos to capture what mid-spring
looks like here in SC. This is planted in my backyard. It's shrub sized and for the life of me,
I can't remember what it's called.

He hangs out at my back door. Can you see the pollen on his back?

I was hoping for a bird family to move in, but no residents, yet.

I've always loved this poem. It hangs on my front porch.

The azaleas were so pretty this year.

And, so were the dogwoods. This one is growing just inside the edge of the woods.

Just because I love a close-up.....

My front yard.


Miniature Roses

Back in the upstate.....a cute little barn that I pass regularly.

Hostas at the lake.

Snowdrops at the lake.

And lastly, another barn that I pass often with the leaves of the trees popping out.

Oh wait, in case you were wondering.....I may be evil. Remember the squirrel stealing the birdfeed? Well, he brought visitors. There's three out there now, eating the it's the best thing they ever ate in their life.  I'm so sorry, but I just can't have that. Squirrels drive me nuts, no pun intended. I read about sprinkling Cayenne pepper on the birdseed. The writer said that it would send the squirrels packing and wouldn't bother the birds. So, day before yesterday, I tried it. I didn't see any squirrels that day. Yesterday, it rained all day and the squirrels feasted. Either the Cayenne pepper didn't bother them or it was diluted or washed away by the rain. And lo and behold, when I got home from yoga this morning, there they were...hanging on the side of the birdfeeder....chowing down, again.  Gah....I grabbed the pepper and ran outdoors. I sprinkled the pepper around the bottom of the feeder, heavily. I've been watching the squirrels all day, just waiting for them to get into it. I even giggled at the thought of their tongue being on fire from eating cayenne laced seeds. See, I think I'm turning evil. Well, I guess the jokes on me. The squirrels are hovering around it. I think they must smell it and won't go near. The closest they have gotten was when one shimmied down the chain and tried to chew the top off the feeder. It's metal so he couldn't do anything with it and gave up. Have mercy, though, they are still hovering.

OMG! Update!

He did it! He braved up and went for it. You can see the cayenne pepper sitting there on the bottom right. At first, I thought it didn't faze him. But just now, he jumped down and started digging a little furrow in the dirt and rubbing his nose in it. Ha!

Well, there you have it. The cayenne pepper may only put a damper on keeping the squirrels out of the birdfeeders. This one ate it until he couldn't stand it any longer, I guess. And then, had to go rub his nose in the soothing dirt. I'm afraid this is a never ending battle.

 I may be here all day. Ha!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Freeze Frame Flips, Baby Darling and a Sad Heart

Friday was a whirlwind. On the way to the lake, I had several stops. Some planned and some not.

My first stop was not planned. I definitely got a little distracted, when I saw it. I couldn't just ride by!
Salem Black River Presbyterian Church
(near Sumter, SC)
Founded by Scotch-Irish settlers in 1759.
They originally met in a log cabin, then later the wood framed building and then this brick one.
As a matter of fact, it is commonly know as The Brick Church.
Next, I had lunch with Pam in Camden. Left there and drove to Greenwood to buy more paint to continue painting the lake house. After leaving Greenwood, I had just enough time to drive to Laurens to meet Patti to pick up Lidia and Sawyer. On the way to pick them up, I got a text from Lidia.
What in the world? So, I called her immediately. 
Me: What's up baby?
Lidia: We don't want to come to the lake because Baby Darling had her kittens and Sawyer is sad because he doesn't want to leave his teacher and move up to third grade.
He had just realized at a school celebration for promotion to the next grade that he wouldn't have the same teacher next year and that this school year was quickly coming to an end. That was a powerful realization for him.
For a minute there, I was scared.
For Lidia and Sawyer not to want to go to the lake, something major had to have happened. Well, turns had.  I mean, who could leave Baby Darling and her three new baby kitties? And, when going through something as traumatic as leaving second grade and your most favorite teacher and not being able to ever see her again is just so, so SAD. And who feels like swimming and fishing, when your heart is breaking?
But, both Lidia and Sawyer were brave and came to the lake anyway. And then, things cranked up!
Saturday, they fished. They caught something like 15 fish. And then Saturday night, six of them were fried up in a pan. We chowed down on fried fish, hushpuppies, corn on the cob, coleslaw and fresh strawberries.
I spent Friday evening and Saturday afternoon weeding my flower beds. I found two more flowers that I didn't know was planted there. Lavender and a peony. I was happy about the lavender, but nearly jumped for joy over the peony. And I forgot to take pictures of both. Although, the peony just had a bud, no bloom yet. So maybe next time.
Sunday, Lidia and Sawyer swam practically all morning....then it was lunch on the porch.....and more swimming in the afternoon. Sawyer had been practicing his flips. I wasn't successful in snapping the shutter at the right time. Here's what I got....Sawyer in his freeze frame flips.

Well...ok... some of them weren't flips. He improvised. Ha!
Cliff's mama spent the weekend with us at the lake. She would probably die, if she knew I posted a picture of her on my blog. So, shhhhh!
I parked myself on the lounge chair and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, sipping sweet tea and looking at Pottery Barn catalogs.

Epilator legs. Ha!
And just then, it was over. I had to take Lidia and Sawyer home. Lidia was ready....she had Baby Darling and kitties waiting on her. Oh, in case you were wondering.....their names are Bold Blackie, Baby Darling, Jr. and Logan. All gender neutral names because Lidia didn't know if they were boys or girls. Ha! She thinks of everything.
And in case you were, also, wondering.........NO, I did not get any painting done this weekend.  Maybe next time.
Til then,
P.S. On the way home today, I took several more pictures of old churches. Post that later. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 24, 2015

I'm Really Ticked Off

There is nothing that I can't stand more than a thief. Well, that might be a little dramatic. I mean, there are worse things than that. But, a thief really ticks me off!

Let me just tell you what happened....

We've just experienced the most beautiful wedding. As part of the floral decorations, we used ferns. These ferns were full and beautiful and huge. After the wedding, I used a couple here at home and took the rest to the beach. I hung three on the front porch and one on the back porch. Hanging ferns on your porch just adds something special. It makes it look all southern and such.

Well, when I went to the beach yesterday, I didn't notice it at first. I had walked over to my neighbors house to see her new porch. We were talking about the wedding and I told her that the ferns were from the wedding. I pointed to the back porch to show her the one there and, AND.....OMG, where is my fern? Y'all, it was gone! Nothing left but the chain it was hanging on.

You know how when you experience something traumatic and every thought in the universe runs through your mind in 3.2 seconds flat? Yeah, well...that's what was happening to me. I may have felt faint and nauseous, but I couldn't let my neighbor see my shortcomings. So, I just said.....something like, "Who would take my fern? All I know is they better be asking for forgiveness." But what I really wanted to say was, "I can't believe someone would steal my fern! I hope they get caught and their hands fall off. I hope the fern dies. If they wanted it so bad, they could have asked and I would have given it to them....don't just up and steal my fern!"

So, I looked all around the house wondering if maybe the wind blew it down....and...nothing. I questioned the neighborhood, asking if they had seen anyone take it. And no one had. Pam remembers seeing it on Sunday. So sometime between Sunday and Wednesday....a THIEF came on my porch and stole my fern! And I am still mad!

I kind of have an idea who might have done it. And I guess before I start wishing things fall off on the man, I should really hope he asks I said originally. For now, I'm going to breathe deeply and try to get over it. Lord knows, I hope no more go missing. I don't want to spontaneously combust.

Fuming in the Carolinas,

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Weekend Review

This past weekend at the lake, I was one miserable woman. I caught the CREEPY CRUD! I'm not sure if I caught it from Lidia, but she did have bronchitis last week. I got lots of hugs and forehead kisses, so I guess it's possible I picked up whatever bug she had. Anyway, my intention for the weekend was to continue painting. But it just wasn't happening. I was pretty much confined to the recliner with a cup of hot tea and honey in one hand and tissues in the other.....doing crazy sneezes I've never done before. Ha! I did drag myself down to the dock for a little bit Saturday and took a few pictures while L&S played and Cliff kayaked. As this is our first spring at the lake house, I'm discovering all kinds of new plants. Here's one, below. Found out from friends on Facebook that it's a Hobblebush from the Viburnum family. Never heard of it before, but it sure is pretty. Sunday, I felt even worse and pretty much slept most of the afternoon. Yesterday, there were tornado warnings not far from us at the lake, which made for some interesting lighting in the distant skies. I watched the clouds in amazement, while praying no tornadoes formed. How can something be so beautiful, yet frightening all at the same time? I was a little worried because one of the areas that was under a tornado warning was where Emily and the children live. As a matter of fact, as Cliff was headed over to Lidia's school for her awards program, he said he drove through some of the rain that was coming from that system. Thank goodness, all was well there. And in case you were wondering, Lidia got the Stellar Writing Award for 5th grade. We are so proud of her. And finally, I snapped a few photos from inside the house. Just didn't feel like going outside. From here, I will let the pictures do the talking.

Viburnum lantanoides...

....otherwise known as Hobblebush.
Lidia with one of her teachers, after receiving the Stellar Writing Award for 5th grade.

A few views of the patio and flower beds from the den....

The flower beds are a work in progress.
I have new hydrangeas planted down the long side of the porch. This light thingy was left by the previous owner. It just needs a couple of bolts to make it stand straight again. It's on the list.

I love the porch, but again everything here was left by the previous owner. I have plans to paint the rockers and add the new blue and white cushions I just bought for them. The fans and blinds will be replaced and I'm bringing in a cabinet to use for storage for the gobs of shoes that seem to accumulate here.

Another view from the porch....the patio is to the right.
And, I'll end it here with a floating lesson in progress. LOL!!
I'll be back soon. Hopefully, I feel more like myself in another day or two.
Talk soon,

Saturday, April 18, 2015

What I Want For Mother's Day

Me and My Girls
I read this quote today. "For my girls to be proud to have me as their mother, because I feel proud [to have been] chosen as their mother......My children are my greatest accomplishment." -Heather Estep
It was her answer to the question, What do I want for Mother's Day? This made me think about what I wanted for Mother's Day. I know this is something my girls will be pondering. I decided, without hesitation, that I would like the same as the mama above. I would love for my daughters to be as proud to have me as their mother as I am proud to have them as my daughters.
I couldn't stop there, though. I came up with a few more things.....
1) One of the ways I show love for my family is to cook meals for them. So, if my girls were to prepare a meal for me, I would know how much I was loved.
2) Giving of one's time speaks volumes of love. And, I'll take it.....anytime!
3) I want to see Emily and Whitney pass along the values that Cliff and I taught them to their families.
4) I want to see them flourish in their own family unit. Spending time together....whether going to church, having dinner together or just playing a game together, makes my heart sing!
5) I always love it when they share their favorite childhood memories and I want them to make great memories with their families.
These gifts of time, of passing along things they learned as children and fond memories don't cost a thing and would mean the world to me. I am so very proud of Emily and Whitney. Both have secured two of the most important things in life, in my opinion.....a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a good education. They both have good careers and have married wonderful men. Emily made me a LaLa and Whitney gave me *grandkitties. They are both caring, considerate and compassionate. They both hate to see injustices and have no problem speaking up for those who have been a victim of injustice. Emily and Whitney were raised to be strong, independent women and have no problem exerting their independence.
I mean, I just don't know what more a mama could want! have her Colorado child move home.
These amount of money can buy and they are freely given.
This Mother's Day, I wish for all mamas....lots of time spent with your children and lot's of pride in knowing your children are living the life that you've always wished and prepared them for.
I'm a blessed mama,
*In case you were wondering: Kitter has a new sister.....Phoebe. Kitter is not very fond of Phoebe, yet.
   She knocks the c-word out of her, sometimes. Ha!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Wedding Teaser

I know, I know! You want to see pictures, you want to hear details. Well, you're going to have to wait just a little longer. The pictures aren't quite ready, yet. Our photographer said he'll get them to us as soon as possible. And boy, I am excited. Emily's new sister-in-law took this picture and a few more at the rehearsal and reception. So I have an idea of what we are in for.

Emily and Matt were married Saturday. EVERYTHING was perfect, except just one issue. You're gonna have to wait for the full wedding report to find out what it was. For now, Emily and Matt are enjoying their honeymoon.

Lidia, bless her heart, got sick with Bronchitis. Matt's mom has been taking good care of her and Sawyer. Sunday and Monday, I wrapped up loose ends from the wedding and came to the lake, today, to help with Lidia and Sawyer.

I'll fill you in on the wedding soon, but for now, will leave you with this....remember it. Click the link and listen. There will be a quiz later.

Talk soon,

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Day 2....The Surprise Weekend Adventure Continues

Day 2:
Sunday morning, bright and early, we left Denver heading north. I was promised that there were more adventures to, I thought, this is it. We are heading to Wyoming. A couple of hours drive and we're there. But then what? We would drive a couple of hours and arrive at the beginning of the bike tour and then what? So, once again, this scenario didn't make sense. So I caved and asked Whitney, who was sitting in the backseat with me, where we were going. She told me Estes Park and then I knew......we would see snow, today. Now, it's making sense.

The drive to Estes Park was beautiful. We saw ranches and farms and old barns. I didn't get pictures of them because it's difficult taking pictures from a moving car. Once we arrived at Estes Park, there was whispering going on and I started wondering what in the world are they up to. They were trying to figure out how to get to this particular address. And once we arrived, I saw that it was a ski, bike, snowshoe rental place. So naturally I thought that we were going bike riding.



Yipee! I've never been snowshoeing. I got excited about seeing snow and shoeing through it. We picked up the shoes, got directions to a trail and we were off to The Rocky Mountain National Park.

Man, I never get tired of this view! That's the Rockies, y'all!

On the drive up to the trail, we saw this beauty....

(I stand someone who knows......this is an elk not a moose.)
A female elk! If this had been a moose like I originally thought, it would have made my day. Heck, my day was already made....who am I kidding! Ha!

I think Jason told me this was mule deer.
I remember he said their ears were much bigger than a deer's.

I had to do a google search to find out what this bird was. It is a Steller's Jay. It's related to our blue jays, but lives in the west. Isn't it a beauty?

Whitney and Cliff

Whitney and Jason

Jason tried his best to climb up the mountain, but kept bogging down to his knees.

And, we are ready to go. 

And that's me....I'm the only one that used poles. After falling into the creek yesterday, I decided poles might not be a bad idea....seeing how we were going to be on a mountain and all. Not even a close call today, thank goodness.

Now Cliff is the one that's always talking someone else into doing something crazy. He told Jason to run as fast as he could so he could video him. Poor Jason, I know he burned 12,000 calories on that sprint.

I'm just still in awe of the beauty of this land.

And, just one more view before we leave.

And here's your Christmas tree.

Elk, I think. This was on the way back down to Estes Park.

Now, if you thought we were finished....we weren't. There was one more attraction to see, before leaving Estes Park. We had been talking about it all day. Does the picture below ring a bell? 
It is said to be haunted. Cliff and Jason were trying their best to get Whitney and me to spend the night there. Now, although I don't believe in ghosts, I didn't want to take any chances considering the reason this hotel is so famous.  Still don't know?

It sure is pretty. The red and white just pop against the backdrop of the Rockies.

Since we were not guests, we couldn't go past the lobby. And because there were so many people walking around, it was difficult to get pictures. But I did take a few of things that interested me. I love this fireplace mantel and mirror. And although I don't care for wallpaper, this one is pretty.

Look at this old elevator and what would you call that.....a floor indicator? Ha! Anyway, does Room 237 ring a bell?

A picture of the hotel and grounds.

Another old mirror in the gift shop. I love the wood molding in here.

Another view of the hotel. Obviously, this critter is not afraid to dine on the grounds. Does RedRum ring a bell? Ok, I've made you guess long enough. This is the Stanley Hotel, the one that the movie The Shining was filmed in. Everything happened in room 237. And RedRum is murder spelled backwards. Now, do you see why Whitney and I couldn't be paid to stay there? Ha! It was definitely pretty though. I would love to go back some time and take a tour.  But, I'll be long gone before dark.

Day 3:

We ran another trail. This one was near Whitney's apartment. It was called The Bluffs. I think the view from this trail was much prettier than at Red Rocks.

See what I mean? You can see 180 degree views of the Rockies.
This is Denver between the mountains and the trail.

Pretty still.....

......from atop this hill.

Wrapping up this Colorado trip....I loved the anticipation of where Cliff was taking me. It was so fun trying to guess where we were going and what we would be doing. I loved our adventure and it was even better that we got to do it with Whitney and Jason. I packed light and took warm clothes as instructed, but next time I think I'll question a little more. It was very warm in Denver, this week. Thank goodness I had the forethought to take a short sleeve shirt. Jeans were fine. I'm learning how to dress on these adventures. Layering makes it easy. You can dress warm and shed the layers when you warm up. In Denver, though, always take a jacket. It can be warm one minute and cool the next. Now, the next Colorado adventure, I hope is in the fall. I have seen those Aspens and they are gorgeous! I just can't get enough of them.

I was going to post more details about the wedding, but I'm running out of time. This is going to be a very busy week and I'm not sure I'll have time to blog. I'm sure I will write about the wedding and post pictures as soon as I rest up and gather my thoughts. We are so excited! Til then......... 

Happy Easter, y'all!
And remember, He Lives!