Thursday, May 26, 2011

Well, I never!

This is what I awoke to yesterday. Sigh. And let me tell you, yes they did leave huge scars in the front lawn and no they did not get the dirt/gravel out of our drainage ditch. Oh well, at least I got some free leveling dirt and gravel out of the ordeal for our...

...tree ring!

Thankfully the street guys took their lunch right before the delivery guy showed up with our stones. Poor fella had to walk then drive his forklift the whole length of our street just to get to the house. I started work on the tree ring yesterday and I'm so excited with how it looks so far! And I'm in too much pain to finish it today. My left arm is about dead from lifting these bad boys and the bags of sand needed to make them level. I got two levels up yesterday and a bag of pea pebbles down for drainage. Still need more pebbles (a lot more) and dirt and plants. But I've hit a bit of a financial wall. After I bought these, I realize I had to get a hotel room for my cousin's wedding this weekend, bought presents, and then Foster had to go to doggy emergency room. He's fine now, well, except his pride.

"What are you wearing?!"
He's got another corneal ulcer, but thankfully this one is very tiny compared to last time. Last year he had the same thing and we didn't get an e-collar on him in time and he almost ruptured his eye. He had to have a cornea graft and now he's partially blind in that eye. Which is kind of humorous, because I'm also blind in the same eye so when we go on walks or pass by each other in the hallway we both move the same direction because we favor our good side. Looks like he'll have to take some medicine for a week then go back to the vet for a check-up. But after all that, plus a skimpy month in pay for me, these next two weeks are going to be tough. Probably won't be getting any hostas in that ring anytime soon. Unless Dad's got some plants for me when I visit... 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Grandmother Shower

Yesterday I attended the first ever (as far as we know) "Grandmother Shower" for a fabulous lady at work, Melanie. My work is a very family affair, as in the doctor is my husband's friend and when he first opened his practice it was him, his sisters and his mom, Leslie, running the place. None of them work in the office directly anymore, but his mom comes by to visit occasionally and his dad has just started to work our "gravyard shift", as he likes to call it, cutting lenses with our newest toy. And when they hire people to work in the office usually that person is known through someone and quickly is adopted into the family.

Leslie had emailed us all about a week ago with the idea of a surprise shower for Melanie becoming a new grandmom in the next couple of months. I thought it sounded like a lot of fun and was relived I knew the perfect gift to bring. If you ever know anyone that's about to become a grandparent I strongly suggest the Grandmother Remembers / Grandfather Remembers series. I found my Grandma Hazel's to me after the Alzheimer's had started being a problem, but when I would ask her about things she had written it was like a lightbulb going off in her mind. She looked me square in the eye and told me all about her and Grandpa meeting for the first time without any of her usual "ummm's". That afternoon was probably the last time I saw any clarity from her before she passed away and it's such a happy memory for me.

Anyhoo, the shower was gorgeous. Leslie had a rubber ducky theme going and lots of delicious food (and sherbert punch, a personal favorite!) and everyone had a wonderful time. Until the ladies who have already had children started telling their war stories, and the four of us who have not had kids were a little freaked out...haha. One of the guests remembered she had morning sickness of 16 weeks and I stopped mid-other-conversation to make sure I heard her right. 4 months?! With both her children?! Please, Lord, do not let me have that much puking going on....oy!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Eek! Aah!

I just saw a commercial an hour ago about Lowe's having a sale on retaining wall stones. I've been dreaming of making a big tree ring around our monster in the backyard for months now, so it seemed a little heaven sent. Then I checked the website and the sale is over in, oh, fifteen minutes. I hurriedly decided what color/type stone (ugh, based on my theories of what we'll paint the shed and trim on the house), calculated how much I'll need and whipped out the credit card. That last part hurt a little. Ben and I both try very hard to live debt-free or at least debt-smart. With the exception of the house, all of our debt is interest-free so I don't mind owing a little here or a little there. But this had to be put on a real credit card with real interest, ugh.

On the bright side I'll have something productive to do this week since I don't work half the week and Ben's gone to Atlanta all week.

::sad face::

Dang, that bright side didn't last long...haha. In other news today was spent putting together our grill, a Christmas gift from my parents, and learning how to use it. The results were....tasty!

We made grilled corn on the cob (of course), lime-tabasco chicken, and attempted peaches with honey.
Everything was really yummy, except the peaches. I thought it was odd the recipe called for frozen peach slices and not thaw them, yeah they were ice cold still...ah well. Hopefully I can get my hands on some farm peaches for the next try. I used to live a couple of miles away from a peach farm that belonged to a classmate's family. They always had the best peaches and strawberries, would kill for some right about now. It was always fun buying from them too, because they usually hired our teachers as cashiers while school was out and you could catch up with them for a while.

By the way....

...the gardenia bush finally bloomed! I was beginning to fear we wouldn't have any this year. Ah, the smell of summer!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Cannot wait for this bad boy to bloom. So glad the multiple cold snaps didn't kill them!

Pretty Veg Garden

Finally bought some tomato cages yesterday, though I can just hear my grandma's disappointment from beyond the grave. But hey, I didn't have any sticks lying around and we haven't a storm knock any branches off in a while. Anyhoo, I noticed at Lowe's the other day they had colorful tomato cages for sale. As in for $3 more a, yeah right. So I got my $3 cages at Big Lots and spray painted those suckas!

Sorry about the cruddy pic, the two on the right are blue, but the sunset wasn't doing me any favors.
I'll need some more stakes and lines (or whatever it is you use for beans and peas, need to do more research) eventually and I think I'll get some different colors just for them. Our garden is going to look cur-azy!

Thanks Mom and Dad!

Last weekend my parents and my youngest sister, Jolie came to visit. We had a great time despite the nasty weather we had for a few days there. (We've had yet another cold was 40-something for a few nights!) They got to see what we've done with house since moving in. The last time they were in town we were *still* sanding the floors. The highlight of the weekend was going to the Tennessee Renaissance Festival. Every weekend in May each year the Freeman family about 20 miles outside of Franklin open their home for tours and in the field across from their castle are food, games, shows, and Renaissance-thingies to buy. This was my third visit to the Ren Fest and I finally made it for the castle tour. Unfortunately, I didn't take my camera with me, so I'll have to wait for Mom to post hers to facebook before I can share.    :-(

One of the real reasons you go to Ren Fest: Deep-fried Oreos!

One of the beautiful fountains from a local coppersmith. It was a bit too much, but I did get a copper rose.

And most visitors come dressed appropriately. And if you don't have any appropriate garb, there's plenty for sale.
Sunday was rather lazy since it was cold and gray and we were beat from walking all Saturday. We went for traditional Krispy Kreme (there's not one where my parents live) and they came over and gave me a TON of plants and bulbs! My dad works for the plant that packages and ships these bulbs to Home Depots and Lowe's all over ther company. Seriously, look at the bottom of the packaging and it will most likely say "Van Zyverden, Meridian, MS". The best part is at the end of a season the employees can take home whatever is left over and they brought me a few things.

Now where am I going to put all these?!

I've figured out a plan for most of them and planted a few yesterday. I'm really excited about the blue potatoes, but who knows if they'll turn out, I've never attempted to grow potatoes before!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Some of our blooms so far

Not quite a month...

since my last post but darn close. These past couple of weeks have been extremely tough and tiring for our little family. Two days after my last post a huge outbreak of tornados swept across our region. It was exhausting going in and out of the bathtub (our safe place) with the animals to checking the radar on tv, and then checking the live streams of the tv stations where we have family and friends. A tornado touched down about a mile from my grandmother's house and where my sister works in Meridian, then the huge one that tracked across North Alabama was about a mile away from our old house there. That night and the next day was spent trying to get ahold of folks to make sure they were okay and to see if we could help them out. Then we find out a family member is sick and it may be serious but we don't know yet. The next day Ben gets a phone call saying he didn't get the promotion he was trying for. I can't even remember the other little bad things that kept happening, but it has seriously been one crappy thing after another. I had joked if only April would get over with maybe things would look up, but May has been just as tough on us. Turns out that family member is seriously ill, and will have to start extreme treaments. And I just found out yesterday a friend of the family had passed away.

I know the Lord only gives us what we can handle, but I really could use a break! It's tough work trying to keep positive and not cry when everyone around you is so sad about what's happening. Thankfully we've had a lot of company lately. My parents and sister just left after visiting for the weekend, and some of my friends from Huntsville have been up to visit a couple of times. Once, just to get away from not having electricity and having a city-wide curfew!

House-wise not much has happened, I've mostly been working outside: I bricked out and mulched the rest of our front yard, cleaned the gutters, set up our vegetable garden, and cleaned up our window boxes.

The other half of our front yard's flower beds.

Our veggie garden! Soon we'll have tomatoes, yellow tommy toes, cucumbers (for pickling), black eyed peas, butter beans, and sweet potato leaves (and I guess sweet potatoes if someone else wants them).

The forests of maple saplings that were growing in our gutters. Ben said he felt like he was destroying whole civilzations pulling them out.

Petunias in the window boxes. Might build real window boxes one day...

Even Foster's been busy, just look at those holes he dug! Don't know if he wants me to plant something there, or he thought I didn't have enough to do and wants me to fill them. What a sweet dog...haha.