Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Two Reasons to Celebrate the Day...

 ...the beginning of a New Year for our extended family and wonderful friends to enjoy--and we get to join in!

...Red Letter Day For Old Ladies...I swapped out the regular weight cotton sheets for the winter weight flannels. This is one of the ways you know when you are a senior citizen!

Monday, September 26, 2011

When Hubsy Met Blogsy..... September 1975, he kept her so busy with excursions and fun that it turns out she put all her paints and painting gear away in a drawer and forgot about everything til Friday. This is what your palette tray looks like after 36 years uncleaned. It cleaned up pretty well, after some chiseling and a trip thru the dish washer!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Flower of the Eggplant....who knew?..... perfectly lovely, in a Halloween-y sort of way. We've had good success with the eggplants this summer; from two plants we've had perhaps a dozen full-size gorgeous fruits. I like to slice them across in about half-inch slabs, arrange them on a plate with kosher salt in the 'fridge for a few hours. Rinse and pat dry; then dip the slices in beater egg and fry in a bit of olive oil 'til tender. These can be eaten as a vegetable as is. Or stack a slice of mozarella cheese and a spoonful of marinara/ spaghetti sauce and nuke for a few seconds til everything is melty and warm.  That's a better vegetable. All from this pretty purple flower!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hummingbirds, finally...., I don't have any photos. But today, there were two in the yard. At this point in the season, the yard is a bit of a mess--the sunflowers are for the goldfinches to eat and I don't care what they look like, since sometimes I count perhaps a dozen little yellow and olive colored birds chowing on the seeds and getting drinks at the birdbath. I leave all the "nectar" flowers alone for the bees and birds. As the season gets colder, the hummingbirds stops for a spell to eat and rest before continuing on to warmers weather--I've never seen more than one at a time. They must be telling their friends about the nice restaurants we have here on our little street.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Unless I've Messed this Up....'s the "before picture" or "baby picture"....

...and here's the "after picture" or "graduation" for the Black Swallowtail Butterfly. Hubsy took both these shots in the garden, the catarpillar was just a few days ago; the full grown was last summer--perhaps an ancestor of the "baby"? it would be nice to believe.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Back to Nature... the backyard garden, Hubsy found and photographed this odd concoction of an insect, with a mean-looking 4 inch stinger-like thingy on it's rear! Thank Goodness for Google: I was quickly able to tag it as an ichneumonid wasp--and fear not the stinger: it is the devise of a God with a sense of humor, used to boar into tree wood and deposit eggs. Videos of the process are even more humorous than.....(think of your favorite)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Another Very Special Birthday!!

...You know, it's not easy to decide to start a blog; first you get the idea, then overcome the natural tendency to say "why would anyone read my blog? my life is so humdrum, I bore myself." Then you might "run the idea" past your Hubsy and friends.    Goodness, you would think I suggested committing a crime!! I can be discouraged easily, so you'd think I would have left the blogging to others. EXCEPT for the bright smile and interested encouraging attitude of Lady R! She is such a gracious, smart lady that I designated her the Official Blog Encourager! She's very busy contributing time and energy to charities she likes, spending time with her family--her wonderful Hubsy, two great sons and adored Grandies. This friendly group of people "came with the package" when our Blonde Guy married L'il Pearl, since Lady R is BFF of Pearl's Mom. I borrowed the photo above from Lady R's fb--at her happiest with the Grandchildren. Happy Birthday, Lady R!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Today is My Birthday...

...what better time to introduce my late Mother, Vivian. In the photo above, she's the older girl with her small brother on her lap. I would date the photo sometime in 1928, by the appearance of the baby. Mom was about 9; her twin sisters about 5-6. The girl on the right, Betty, remembers the photo shoot---she had to go potty very badly and was uncomfortable and anxious--finally the photographer realized what was wrong and she was taken off to the bathroom. In time.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Special Birthday...

My Mom's Mother would be 114 today, if still alive. She passed about 1970. Above is a photo of her 1st Grade class in Rockport IN about 1903. She's in the front row, third from the right, looking much like her great-granddaughter of today, FlowerGirl. The teacher was her dad's sister, Aunt Emma. This picture was taken not too long after the death of her mother and younger sister, all in the same summer. It was a tragic family, in some ways. But she had her Dad and brother, a couple of sets of Grandparents and her aunt, sometimes she lived in Rockport, a small town now but bustling then; other times she was back with her Father in Louisville KY.
...I think FlowerGirl got some of that "cute" DNA.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lexi's Family Photos....

 ...her youthful and lovely Grandmother...she's FlowerGirl's Grandma, too...

 ...her handsome Dad, who has a great sense of humor, as well....

 ...and her beautiful Mom, Angelique. It is amazing the amount of stress these young Mom's deal with and still manage to have a gracious sense of the importance of family...'s a better photo of the Mom, ministering motherliness to little 'Bella, while Lexi lights up for the camera... she'd like to be a fashion model--certainly she's very pretty!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

FlowerGirl's "Goodbye to Summer" Gathering....

 ...she's only 6, so she doesn't understand the concept of Sept.11, 2001. It was a lovely warm day, so we had a somewhat subdued family gathering at her house...

...with a recipe from a childs' cookbook, and her mom's direction, Our FlowerGirl made those shortbread squares with dark and white chocolate on top....of course, they were great...

...FlowerGirl has three adorable girl cousins in her own age group; Lexi, Olivia and 'Bella. Lexi, who's about 11, took off with my camera (it was ok, she was very careful) and took this lovely photo of her sisters in FG's playhouse....

 ....then followed photo of a little tempest....GlowerGirl.

...and finally, her sisters again, at the door of the playhouse. In other events, the older girls tried shutting the baby into the playhouse--that was panned by the critics! ....earlier that afternoon, Edie the dog got into nettles and had to be rushed to the dog groomer for an emergency haircut; and of course, skunks might be living under the playhouse just now (it's skunk-season here in northern IL.) Good Times.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Vintage FlowerGirl.....and her 1st Cousin, the BlondeGuy in LA

 ...FlowerGirl is a late addition to our family, sort of a Special Dividend. My kids are 31 and 26, this one...
only 6, soon to be 7. These were some early-baby FlowerGirl, when she was in her 1's....
 ...she's a bit of a carbon-copy of her Dad, my younger brother, with this baby-grin. Cute.
...and here was Blondie, back in the day at about the same age. Our older son, BrownEyes: his baby pics are all on paper...guess I better digitize them.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

From One Year Ago...

...some shots of NY and PA to look at while I say Thanks! I sorted my "Mapco" gadget for top cities, where visitors come from. I realize, most of my "frequent flyers" are family, friends and family of the Gardener Next Door, including The Official Blog Encourager, Lady R. (more to come, since our birthdays are soon! and close together). But, Goodness! I don't think I know anybody in SanFrancisco, Providence UT or Glendale Heights, IL, yet I have some regular visitors from those locations, it seems. Wow. And several other places like Scranton PA. Thank you-Thank you!  There's even a nice sprinkling of people from abroad--I'm honored!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hubsy's Packing More Pickles.... I'm staying out of the kitchen and playing in his garage--a role reversal? Two coats of Martha Stewart's "hummingbird blue" in semi-gloss acrylic interior paint. I plan a painted-on design in creamy white on the back..

...just a small repaint of this little hall table, currently having a sadly chipped "1980's" color. Hub's just announced 38 qts + 21 pts and several gallons of fermented refrigerator pickles! The cucumber harvest was pretty good this year.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

It's The Time of Year....

 not much going on harvest and canning is in full swing. The late summer flowers are in full's a hybridized sunflower from an envelope of seeds I scattered last season and finally came up this year....
 ...after 15 or more years of having hollyhocks (and never adding new purchased varieties) the mix tends to hybridize as well...above is a pale yellow tinged with deep red.... tattered, tired looking tiger striped swallowtail flittering around the sunflowers a few days back...I feel it's pain, I'm tired myself sometimes. The weather is beginning to cool, the days are shorter---and the people who write blogs in Australia are noticeably happier, with thoughts of spring!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Haha--another kind of mask

One of our home grown potatoes seemed to smile at me as it was readied for cook pot.