Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Guess What I'm Doing Today

Do you see it? I know you see the dust but do you see the cobweb that some little spider has attached from the picture frame to the piano? I noticed it yesterday and Travis pointed it out last night. It looks like what you might see in a house that's been abandoned for ages but I assure you my house is not abandoned. And it's not like I don't dust because I do. It's not on my mind all the time but I hate dust and so does my nose so anytime I see dust I get rid of it. I know people that say they hate to dust but as chores go it doesn't bother me. What does bother me is having dust- and now cobwebs. So here's a picture of my not perfect life and a cobweb that's about to meet it's maker. I hope you enjoyed it and that it makes you all feel a little bit better about your dust and cobwebs.

Monday, July 28, 2008

More Plant Life...

Our first sunflowers have finally bloomed! I don't know if you can tell how incredibly tall this one is but I took this picture while I was standing beside it. I think that it's at least 7 feet tall. I didn't think that this variety was supposed to get that tall, I thought it was more like 5-6 feet. But this is the one that Halle planted before vacation.

And here it is with me standing on the kids slide. See Trav grilling in the background? We had yummy basil garlic burgers harvested from the basil plants you see next to Trav.
Here's the sunflower that Chloe planted. It's the only one that sprouted out of all the seeds she planted. And I'm really surprised this one did considering that the ground it's planted in has plastic under it and really crummy soil. It seems to be doing fine though. The flower is just a bit taller than I am. I wish I could have gotten a good picture of whatever little critter was busy gathering pollen. His little legs were completely covered in the yellow stuff and it was very cute. Oh, and I noticed it just as we were pulling out of the driveway this morning. I had to put the car back in drive and pull up so that Chloe could see it and she was *very* excited. And she declared that she would be a gardener forever and ever. Oh, and on another note, the little blue flowers that I couldn't remember what they were called?They're forget-me-nots, ha! I think I rolled my eyes at myself when I figured it out.
Chloe flipped a little when she saw this butterfly yesterday. I had to kind of chase it around the plants hoping to get a good shot.
The pumpkin plant is still blooming although these are all guys. Yep, the long stems are males- bummer. The females are on short stems with little baby pumpkins at the base. I'm still really hoping that this turns out well. There are probably 50 blooms on this plant though and some of them have to be girls, right?

Friday, July 25, 2008

It's Raining...

So I thought I'd show some pictures of what I'm *not* having to water today. It's not like watering plants is such a big deal but it is nice to get a reprieve from mother nature- plus it makes the house cooler. This is basil and some flower I planted from a packet of seeds somebody gave me at the mall. I can't remember what it's called but apparently I didn't research it very well because it's almost as tall as the basil. I thought it was supposed to be a creeper. So it's not beautiful but I get excited anytime something I plant grows *and* flowers. I can get lots of things to grow but they don't always flower. Blanket flower come to mind. I'd like to try those again though. It was the soil, you can't grow stuff in just anything.

I have 1 little african daisy so far. I think I might get more though. Apparently it's an easy grower that blooms "profusely", hmmm, we'll see. They're kind of crowded though and I planted them as an afterthought. I got the seed packet wet and they started to sprout and I felt bad for them (I feel bad for plants so I probably won't make a good gardener) so I tossed them on some potting soil and covered them with a little more soil, watered them and they grew. Go figure. I like this flower though so I might try to do better next year. This is a marigold variation. I can't remember what they're called but I like them better than regular old marigolds. They look terrible in that pink pot though. Note to self- next time buy something not pink. I don't even like this color. I also planted cosmos in this pot and bush morning glory but I *always* underestimate how big the plants will get so the morning glory was crowded out- it sprouted but they aren't going to bloom. I'll probably put them in the front containers next spring. The cosmos should bloom soon. They're no-brainers-almost. I've learned that whenever someone says they're "fool-proof" that it's relative. If you're a gardener and are outside every day at least watering things and keep an eye on everything then, yes, these are easy. You still have to water them (even though the package says "drought tolerant") and fertilize them- but not too much- you just have to get a feel for it and learn things little by little. I find it much more helpful to look up all the plants online rather than just by going by what the package of seeds says.
This is Chloe's pumpkin plant. I have really high hopes for it and we got some blooms that bloomed and then died and fell off. I was so sad until I found this website and found out those were male blooms. Who knew? I certainly didn't. And I thought all our chances were gone but there are about 20 or so blooms on this plant and the info on the web said that they just keep producing blooms trying to make pumpkins. But it can't be too hot or too wet and it needs enough phosphorus (bone meal), I shouldn't get so invested in plants but I want Chloe to have her very own pumpkin, please.
Here are some more pumpkin blooms.

And this is my lemon tree. Remember that? I've had pretty good luck with it so far- even though I had to take it out of the pot it's in and put more potting soil in. This must be one hardy tree because I couldn't get it out of the pot without a lot of the soil falling off. I expected it to die but instead it started growing like crazy. I did all of that just before vacation and even had dreams about it while we were gone that the leaves had all fallen off. So it was a nice surprise to see it like this. I planted some parsley with it in the hopes that when I have to repot it again the roots from the parsley will help keep it all together. I don't know if that will work or not, I'm trying to not be too attached. And here are my sunflowers. These were grown from the seeds from last years sunflowers. Those seeds are harder to harvest than I thought but it's cool to grow the plants from them this year. I also have some chianti colored sunflowers growing but they won't bloom for probably another month because I planted them late. And I really like this door on my house. There are a handful of things I actually like about my house and this door is one of them. The others are the yard and patio and that it's all brick- and that's pretty much it- oh and that it's mine. But the door adds a little character even though it's just the entry to a storage closet. And I'm sure I'll like my house more the more we fix it up. It's just taking sooo long...K, I'm done posting about plants now.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Whew! The stomach virus is behind us and thankfully nobody else got it. Although I've been fighting a sinus infection all week. It's amazing how things go from 0-60 as soon as school starts. So here's the incredible rundown.

Monday- Chloe didn't go to school because she was really, really weak and looked like a zombie. And I kind of laid around all day because I had a fever and Amanda and I watched a Gilmore girl marathon. I heard the "la-la's" in my head when I went to bed that night- alone because Travis (and Eric) is working on a huge project at work. He got home really late and he might as well have been the tooth fairy because I was out.

Tuesday- I woke Chloe up for school and she promptly started bawling- and bawling and bawling and bawling. I get her up 30 minutes before school starts, which is plenty of time except for the bawling. "I will miss you mommy. I want to stay with you mommy. I don't want to go to school". But we were running out of time so I ended up barking orders at her and we pulled out of the driveway 10 minutes later than I wanted to. We were still on time though and when I opened the van door I hugged her really tight and she fell into me and just started bawling. It's the same feeling I used to have when I worked, although I think I was the one that felt like crying everyday while she ran off to play. Later that morning, Halle and I ran 5 errands and made it back home in time to toss all of the Costco groceries at Amanda to put away while I went to get Chloe. And after I picked Chloe up and Travis got home from work we ran around to 3 more places to look for shoes and to grab Little Caesar's pizza. The big (and only real) downside to starting school in July is that there are very few school supplies out and the selection of running shoes is beyond pathetic. Chloe has worn shoes that are a bit too small all week because we can't find a pair that I feel comfortable with her running in. Tisra suggested Shoe Carnival and while I don't want to spend big $$$ on running shoes I'm going to have to if I can't find some others by this weekend. Chloe's school will be doing a mile run again at the beginning of the year and they'll train for another mile run for the end of the year so she needs some that are functional and not just cute. I was tired. We ate pizza. We went to bed.

Wednesday- School. No crying because we had Life Group but it involved friends and swimming. She got up with an almost smile. She still doesn't hurry though and I have found her lying on the bathroom floor more than once. I was still busy because I had to run Amanda to work, make two key lime pies and a tub o' baked beans for the party that night. We really had fun but I didn't swim- I conveniently had a sinus infection. I really do and I feel crummy but it was also the "dreaded-church-swimsuit thing". I should probably buy a "mom-kini". You know, all the mom's have them. Cute little tops with a skirt bottom. I wear a FL bikini, not because I look fabulous in it but because I don't want to have a white stomach. So, anyway, I didn't swim.

Oh and you should insert driving Amanda to work and switching cars with her etc. on Tues, Wed, and Thurs. Gaaa!

Today- I took Amanda to work but we left early so that we could go to the mall (awww). She found a pair of jeans that fit her perfectly and she'd been thinking about them for over a week so she knew that she must have them. She also scored a dress that was $80 (maybe) for $7 at Express- she was really, really happy. Then I picked up Chloe from school, brought the girls home and took a 15 minute nap- but I kept waking myself up snoring. Then I went *back* to Cool Springs to pick up Travis so he could leave his car for Amanda to drive herself home. And he took Chloe to orientation so I can fix dinner. I feel like I'm in a race or something.

The really nice thing about Chloe being in school so early is that I'm up earlier and have time to do lots more stuff in the morning like water my plants and run errands. But wow! This is kind of hectic.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Guess What I Did Sunday

Why, I went with Amanda to have her head shots taken, of course.
I'm not so crazy about the shots of her in yellow but this one is good.

I much prefer the ones of her with the blue background in long sleeves. Isn't she pretty?
The photographer declared her to be a natural and the easiest subject she'd had in a long time- with perfect teeth. It must be good genes because she's had no dental intervention.
So here's my movie star. The next step is to get an agent. Ooh, and while we were there one of the Miss TN contestants was there having some modeling shots done. She was really pretty but was declared to be a "blinker". That really has nothing to do with anything but it was interesting. It took about 2 1/2 hours total in which time I read some magazines and just hung out while Amanda was having her hair and makeup done- which she hated btw. The studio was cool and was on Cannery Row in Nashville if you're familiar with that area. It had original windows and exposed brick and felt very loft like. And after the shoot we went to Moe's for a late lunch. It was really nice because we hadn't done anything together in forever. All in all it was a pretty cool experience and I was glad I could be there for her.
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Saturday, July 19, 2008

The First Day of Second Grade

Ah, school time again. No need to frantically check your calendars, Chloe is in a balanced calendar school this year. I mentioned in March or April that she'd been accepted to a new school and after much prayer (and maybe a bit of worrying) she started on Friday. Technically Thursday was the "first" day but it was merely an orientation/paper filling out day but was counted as an attendance day. I'm not sure why they do that but it's genius. We were there for 30 minutes but it counted as a whole day. Well, probably longer than that because we got there fairly early but since it's a new school and it's a *lot* bigger than her last school I wasn't taking any chances on us getting lost or being late. Did I mention that school starts at 7:40? I'm not sure if I mentioned it before but the Buttons aren't exactly morning people. It's not uncommon for the girls to stay up until midnight during the summer and sleep until 10am or after. And unfortunately I'm not disciplined enough to get us on a better schedule than that. Plus it's summer and we like to sleep in. I think this will be good for us though.

Anyway, the first day of school she was sooo excited. She made two friends the day before plus her new teacher gave her a hug as soon as she met her. It's a vast improvement over last year so far and I'm excited. I actually got teary eyed as she hugged her teacher. I felt very relieved and thankful since I spent so much time being unsure about changing schools and I really wanted her to do the academy at church. But on the way to school I felt like I should pray for her. It's not that I never do that but I don't do it often on the way to school. And about 9:30 I found out why. I got a call from the school nurse saying that Chloe was in her office with a tummy ache. She said there was no fever and that she'd asked Chloe if she was nervous to which Chloe replied, "I don't get nervous". And she told her that she had made friends, etc. I was unsure because Chloe hasn't been to the school nurse for anything more than a bandaid but told her to send her back to class and see if she felt better after lunch. But I got a call again at 11:30 and decided to pick her up. And later that evening she started throwing up and did a couple times through the night and several times this morning. Bummer. She was pretty disappointed because she missed school- which she's totally excited about- and she missed shoe shopping. She actually tried to convince me that she was OK for that. So that's where we're at this morning. It means that she can't go to church tomorrow but should be OK for school on Monday. Hopefully, we'll be able to get some shoe shopping in before then.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Guess What?

OK, do you remember what I just said about really truly loving Alton Brown. Well he's going to be here next month. *Sigh* I really wish I could go. But here are the deets if any of you would like to go.


Christy is having a no pants summer and Tisra is having a no microwave summer then the Buttons are having...wait for it...a no cable summer! Yes, it's true. I have to give up HGTV and Food Network for a whole summer, sniff, sniff. But I think we're having much more fun than if my kids sat around at night and watched me watch Good Eats. And I really, truly love Alton Brown. So here are some pictures of what we're doing instead.

We finally went to Fort Granger which you can access through Pinkerton Park (just a little FYI, they're showing Ratatouille on August 23rd at 8:00 and find the other movie nights and times here). It was a little disappointing that the fort wasn't still standing but the hike was very nice and was easily doable by the little ones. Besides the extreme humidity (and I'm talking FL humidity here) it was perfect.

I love summer!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Am I Too Late?

For the 4th of July? I suppose the biggest news is that we left for Birmingham with 5 Buttons and a Sophie. But we came back with 5 Buttons, a Sophie and a Bailey! Isn't she sweet? She's about 8 weeks old now and was a stray that my mom's next door neighbor found. Or rather, Bailey found her. The neighbor was at church and Bailey walked up to her and meowed- it had to be pitiful because she was only 5 weeks old then and when she meows now it's pitiful. Angel (neighbor) just happens to work for a vet and he checked her out and gave her shots and gave her a clean bill of health. And, of course, Amanda wanted her. So she's Amanda's cat- that lives with us. And, yes, she's in the clean clothes.

We were also able to see my brother and his family. I've actually seen them 4 times in the last year. I think that's a record since we moved away. There was a big cookout to celebrate my parent's 40th wedding anniversary so we saw lots of family on Friday. We also visited my Grandma again. She's in hospice care now but that's a good thing for her because they let her have more medications to manage pain and that type of thing. She was very happy to see all 14 of us

(my family, my brother's family and my parents) but she tires quickly so it was a short visit.

I also came home with a partially finished quilt that my maternal grandmother started but didn't finish before she died. It is completely hand sewn and my mom has had it for quite a while but she doesn't quilt and neither do I so I'm not sure how to remedy that but I'll think of something. I'm not going to get a quilting frame for this one quilt and I surely don't have room for it but maybe if I get a big enough hoop I could quilt it like that? I love the aqua that grandma used and I think it's pretty cool that I could finish something of hers. It will probably take a long time for me to do it but I really do want to finish it. Just don't expect too many updates on my progress, K?

Sunday, July 06, 2008


I have finally finished and delivered Tisra's Christmas present to her. It all started last year when Tisra, Mary and I decided we'd do a handmade Christmas, which I'm sure I mentioned. So I decided that, among other things, I'd do a painting for each of them. Mary's was easy peasy but Tisra's- not so much. I can honestly say that it was the most re-worked, frustrating painting I've done to date. I thought I took more pictures of the mayhem but I can't find them. The closest I could find is simply when I painted over the stems of the red poppies. Initially, the painting was the red poppies you see, only with an oddly shaped, bright blue vase positioned on the right side of the canvas. I wasn't sure about it as I painted but a lot of times if I just leave it alone and come back to it then I'm OK with it. But it didn't matter how many times I came back to look, I still hated it. This was the day before the Fadely/Button/Kelso Christmas party and I realized that I just wasn't going to finish in time. So the Fadely's and Kelso's got throw blankets instead with a promise of paintings to follow.

I bought opaque white to cover the blue vase and the flower stems that, I swear, looked like bamboo. I was seriously questioning why I decided to give a painting as a gift to an artist at this point. But in a happy accident (I have several of those when I'm painting) the background ended up looking textured which is what I wanted to begin with but hadn't acheived. Then I painted the brown vase (Tisra's favorite color) and connected the stems to the poppies. Then I questioned why in the heck I put the poppies completely at the top of the painting. I also wanted to use a glazing technique because the stems of the sunflowers pictured above turned out really flat and I didn't want that to happen again. I mixed acrylic medium in with the paint to make the glaze but it also helps to slow down the drying time- acrylics dry pretty quickly. So, I applied several coats of glaze/paint to a bunch of poppies and stems and here's the finished product.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A Pathetic Little Post

Is all that I can come up with right now. I've started two posts in the last week but I just wasn't feelin it, you know? So I've been up since 5am (my back hurts) and I would really like to take a walk since it's only 63 degrees outside. It's supposed to be 90 today though and I know I have to take advantage of it while I can. So here are a few pictures of what's going on around here. I'm trying to squeeze lots of fun and happiness into the days because Chloe starts her new school in 2 weeks and one day. I'm sad now but when she gets that big 3 week break in October, I know I'll be happy about it.

The happy highlights include a super awesome date night at Arrington Vineyards. It's a beautiful place to have a picnic and we had the perfect spot on a grassy hill overlooking the vineyard which was also the perfect spot for watching the sunset. Beautiful chocolates from Schakolad that my sweetie brought home for me last night. A sweet photo of the girls that I took at the park. And a picture of a dragonfly that looks like a bi-wing airplane. I tried to get a closer picture but he was on to me and took off. I've seriously never seen a dragonfly like that before. There is also some gardening going on. Does anybody have a good recipe that involves basil? Because I really have a lot of basil. And I'm crossing my fingers that my sunflowers make it and bloom soon. Several have been snatched from the front yard by something that likes small sunflower plants. One day they're there and the next day they're gone. I shouldn't get so emotionally attached to plants but it really bugs me. Ooh, and I saw a deer in my backyard last week! To be more precise she was a doe- that was bigger than I am. Travis cut down a lot of wild brush that is taking over our backyard but we left it there until we had time to drag it to the curb and she was eating some of it. I picked Chloe up to see her but she must have heard us because by the time I got to Halle so she could see, the doe was gone. She was beautiful. And I didn't get a picture.

And now my time is up, I think I'll take the girls with me on that walk.