Monday, July 18, 2016

A Blast on the Fourth

With apologies to pet owners who hate the 4th of July, I LOVE fireworks. Big bangs, pretty sparkles, the smell of gunpowder -
I mean, how fabulously fun is it?!

This year was especially fun because Mr. Wonderful's employer gave me the loan of several tubes and a couple of racks, schooled me in some basics, and *gave* me a big box of happiness.

Over 80 1.75" double breaks. Mr. Wonderful built me a couple additional racks so that I could have 40 loaded and ready to go. Oh my, it was fun. Mr. Wonderful also loaned me his electric ignite propane torch to use to light them. I did a few a couple of nights before the big show on Monday, both to get some practice in and to add to the anticipation for the littles.

But Mama also bought some fun for her littles.

My Little Guy loves lighting the smoke bombs. (And it's something I will let him handle on his own.)
Miss Adventure loves lighting the smoke bombs as well. I also had a dozen or so of the parachutes for daylight fun. I wore Miss Adventure and her friend out chasing them in the hot afternoon sun. :-)

Fountains and assorted others rounded out the evening. We took turns with our next door neighbors shooting things off so we had something going all the time and double the fun.

Love the Fourth!   

Friday, July 15, 2016

Holiday Zoo Fun

July 2, Saturday morning and Mr. Wonderful has a three day weekend because of the 4th holiday. We needed to do something a little special. So we headed for the zoo. Mr. Wonderful and My Little Guy had not yet had an opportunity to see the elephants.


We stayed quite a while under the cool shade of the viewing platform. Perhaps a little too long for some?

We love to feed the fish!

After checking out the elephants, we decided to do something we rarely do - go on the boat ride. (Most of the time when we visit, the boats aren't operating since we usually go during less crowded times.)
 On our way to  the boats, a plane flew low overhead, making its approach to our airport. I still love to watch these amazing machines. I may be a bit of a rube, but I think it's cool when a large airplane flies so low and so loud overhead.

While waiting for our departure time, we checked out these little guys - prairie dogs. Hadn't visited them in a long time. The zoo has had to make their enclosure a little tighter. :-D


Waiting for our boat, the River Blue, to load.

Miss Adventure will have to wear a life vest, but the rest of us are expendable, I guess. :-)

Already making friends.

Good-bye dock.

The ride is cool since it generates a bit of a breeze on this hot, humid, and still day.


Lemur island!

The boat circles around Lemur island, past the new elephant exhibit. The elephants can enter this water, but there is an underwater fence to keep them from leaving.


The bridge to the gorilla exhibit.


Returning to the dock where the captain of the Murky Green awaits to bring our boat in close and tie it off.

Once the boat ride was over, we were hungry for lunch and had had enough zoo. Off for a bite to eat before heading home for more holiday fun.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

It Just Keeps Growing

 Another pause in my drive to get caught up to post a garden update. This garden takes a lot of my time, energy, and attention. So I want to see its progress when I print my blog book at the end of the year. Skip on by if this bores you. :-)

Potatoes. I harvested 17 pounds of potatoes from one of my three patches. I think I may have been a tad early, so I'm waiting a bit to harvest the other two beds. Though they will need harvested soon. Their foliage is dying back indicating time to harvest. We've already had three meals with some of the new harvest.

My deck flowers continue to give me joy.

I love it when the morning glories start to cover the bedroom window. It feels so cottage-y. :-)

This cherry tomato plant has climbed out of its cage.

While in the garden, the tomatoes are full of fruit. I even moved a planned meal of spaghetti tomorrow night to last night with so many tomatoes ready to go. I've enjoyed several BLTs and lots of slicing tomatoes. Yum!


My watermelon babies! Still pretty small, but growing each day.

My three sisters are actually doing rather well. I have three pumpkins!

And here you can see a bean plant with its delicate lilac blooms using the corn stalk to stand upright.
 I did some weeding this morning and rescued the melons from the joint grass. I found one little melon started, but I've damaged the vine in my weeding. I'm not sure it will survive.

After weeding, I checked on the strawberries. The chemist and I snack on their juicy sweetness whenever we visit the garden. So much flavor in such a sweet little package. But the peak of the harvest for these seems to have passed.

Along with the tomatoes, last night's sauce included a huge handful of fresh basil and some oregano from my garden as well. We've had six days in a row eating something from the garden. I'm feeling particularly virtuous. It really is cool, though, to be having fajitas and walking out to the garden to pick onion, peppers, and tomatoes.
 Happy, happy.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Up a Tree

Miss Adventure had been wanting to climb a tree for quite some time. We finally have a tree big enough to climb. But I wanted her to wait until July 1 before she attempted. (If she were to fall and break an arm I wanted the 60 day insurance waiting period to be passed!)
So July 1 arrived and Miss Adventure was so excited to try. She did try. And try. And try. Late morning she came inside, almost in tears. She just couldn't make it up the first branch.

I had been surripetously watching her all morning. I knew she was having trouble, but I really wanted her to figure it out on her own. At this point though, I could see frustration was overwhelming her. After lunch, I told her, I would give her a boost.

It didn't take much of a boost for her to be up. Oh, she was excited.

I puttered in the garden while she enjoyed her leafy perch, waiting to make sure she could descend on her own. She did easily.

Later that afternoon, she wanted back up the tree. But she also knew I would not be keen on coming to give her a boost every time she wanted up, so she tried again by herself. Success! On her own success! She was so excited that she could do it by herself.

Miss Adventure, tree climber.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Happy Father's Day

Yes, I am a month late. I wanted graduation photos in this year's poster. It just took me a long time to sift through them all. But I did finally get the poster ordered. Cut me some slack, please!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Deck Project

You would think I would be ready for a break by now. And I mostly certainly was, but . . . with the house freshly painted and looking great, the deck was showing its need for a sealing job. I had been waiting for the right opportunity - that is about 5 days with no rain forecast. I did lights for the final show on Sunday afternoon, then Monday started a five day stretch of no rain forecast. Here was my chance, the fact that I really wanted a break was immaterial.

I started by power washing the deck. That was exhausting enough, but it looked great, all clean and shiny. It also meant I finally got a break, because the deck needed to be thoroughly dry before staining.

A couple of days later, I stained. And stained. And stained. It took me until 11pm to get it finished. I had to wait until the deck was in the shade to begin or the stain would dry too fast. Then I needed to work quickly and completely. I was so very tired when I finished.

Then the deck needed to be left alone to dry. I tried to arrange the patio chairs in a "You shall not pass!" fashion. Only a couple of  mishaps, both, thankfully, after the deck had mostly dried - not too bad with the crew I have.

Finally finished and it looks great!