Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy 95th Birthday, Dad! ..................

Today was my Dad's 95th birthday. He got to celebrate it at home with his children and one of his grandsons. We didn't have anything special - just a meal of fresh garden vegetables and fish, followed by cake and ice cream.

My Dad is pretty remarkable. He takes no prescription medicine, just a daily vitamin and occasionally a gentle laxative. He is very hard of hearing, so we have to almost yell for him to hear us. He doesn't walk more than a few steps at a time now - just enough to get from his wheel chair to his recliner or the bed.. He injured his knee playing football in high school and his arthritis is very bad in that knee. Luckily, his mind is 100% - just as good as it was 70 years ago.

There have been several times when I was told by a doctor that he probably wouldn't make it. They just didn't know my Dad. He has made more than one miraculous recovery. He always told us that he was going to live to be 100 - I think he may make it.

He lives at home and has 24 hour home nursing care. The aides who stay with him take excellant care of him and have spoiled him rotten. It's expensive, but worth it, because he gets to stay in his home and he gets wonderful care.

So, Happy Birthday to my Dad - a wonderful person and a caring and loving father. I'm so lucky to still have him in my life.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

After the storm ....................

I took these pictures after a thunderstorm we had Sunday evening. The storm clouds were dark and low to the ground. You could see blue sky and whiter clouds above the storm clouds.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tomato Crouton Casserole .........

We are still getting lots of tomatoes from our garden. I've been looking for new ways to use our bountiful supply. I tried this recipe for supper tonight and both Hubbie and I liked it. It calls for dried basil and thyme, but since I have fresh herbs from my herb garden, I substituted chopped fresh leaves.

Tomato Crouton Casserole

8 medium tomatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
8 slices bread, crusts removed and cubed
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

*Arrange tomatoes in a greased 13x9x2 baking dish. Top with bread crumbs. Combine the butter, salt, basil, and thyme; drizzle over bread and tomatoes. Sprinkle with cheese.
*Bake, uncovered at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until tomatoes are tender.
Yield: 8-10 servings

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Now, where did that mole go? ..............

Hubbie gets up early and usually leaves for work before I get up. This morning after he got to work, he called to inform me that there was a mole somewhere in the house. Earlier, Mazie Grace had cried to come in and he failed to see the mole in her mouth before opening the door. She dropped it in the livingroom and it scampered off under the sofa. He said she looked for it for a few minutes, then gave up and went to the food dish, ate, and went back outside.

I wasn't very enthused to have the creature somewhere in the house, but I figured one of the cats would eventually catch it. A couple of hours later I noticed Maggie May creeping around and looking at the electric baseboard heater in the livingroom. I got a flashlight and checked - sure enough there was the mole. I called Mazie Grace inside, since she is the big huntress in the family, and showed her where the mole was..

Mazie Grace saw it hiding in the heater, and she taunted it for a few minutes, but it wouldn't come out. Maggie May was sitting a safe distance away watching, not quite sure what to do. Mazie Grace got bored rather quickly since it wouldn't run and she left the room. I retrieved her and informed her that since she brought that creature inside, she had better catch it and take it outside.

I got a yard stick and prodded the mole so it would run out of the heater. I thought at least one of the cats sitting there watching would pounce on it. But no - they just watched it run around and back under the heater. I tried again, this time it ran under Maggie May. She made no attempt to catch it and didn't seem concerned that she was sitting on it. It ran back under the heater.

By this time, I was scolding the cats, calling them lazy and useless, and threatening to cut off their food. They didn't seem to mind - they were sitting and watching me chase the mole around with the yard stick. I finally got the mole over to the front door, opened the door, and got it outside. Once it was on the porch, Mazie Grace wanted to go out and get it. No way!

I had to have a serious talk with the girls later. I reminded them that they were cats and it was their job to keep rodents out of the house, not bring them in. Do you think they listened?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Pleasures # 6 - Cooling Off in the Pool .....

It can get very hot and very humid here in Virginia. Some days we feel like we are living in a suana. That's when I grab the CD player, a big glass of iced tea, and a towel, and head out to the pool. About 60 seconds after hitting the water, I feel like the temperature has dropped at least 20 degrees. It is soooo refreshing! What could be better than floating around in the cool water, watching the clouds, and listening to Eric Clapton. Ahhh, pure heaven on earth!
The pool is just as enjoyable at night. Then, the water feels warm - like a warm bath. I can float around and look at the stars. Living in the country means we can turn off outside lights at night and if we are so inclined, we can go skinny dipping. A quick dip before bed is relaxing.
We open up the pool near the end of May and usually close it the middle of September. That gives us almost four months to enjoy the water. The pool is a major summer pleasure for us, and we're just two "older" folks with no kids.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I was MIA, but I'm back ..........

I must apologize for not being around this week. Hubbie has been on vacation which means that we have been busy with projects and day trips. I'm ready to send him back to work so I can rest.

Our major project for the week was putting lattice under the shed. We bought the lattice back last fall when we got the shed and it has been on our "To Do List' ever since. We still need to make the railings on the ramp. I'm hoping it won't take as long to get to them. We store our lawn tractors and equipment in this shed, therefore the need for a ramp.
We cut grass, edged stepping stones, trimmed, and got other yard chores done. I got a ceiling fan to go in my study and had Hubbie put that up. Then Friday, we used the pressure washer to clean the siding on the house. The garden has also been keeping me busy - we're getting loads of tomatoes and cucumbers.
We had plans to get up early Saturday and go to Luray Caverns. Then we were going to ride around the western part of the state, spend the night somewhere, and come back home tonight. Hubbie got called in to work at 5:00 Saturday morning and did not get back home until 1:00 this morning. We had thunderstorms Friday afternoon and a tornado tore down power lines to the west of us. When lots of consumers are without power, they will call those on vacation to come back to work.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

I have been presented with the Honest Scrap Award by Lilla at Rhymes With Vanilla. If you've never visited her blog, I suggest you do so. You will enjoy it. Here are the instructions that came with the award:

The Honest Scrap award is not one to hold all to yourself, but must be shared!

First, the recipient has to tell 10 true things about themselves in their blog that no one else

Second, the recipient has to pass along this prestigious award to 10 more bloggers.

Third, those 10 bloggers all have to be notified that they have been given this award.

Those 10 bloggers that receive this award should link back to the blog that awarded them
"The Honest Scrap" award.

So 10 true things about myself that no one knows - hmmm.......

1. No one who knows me personally (hubbie, family, or friends) knows that I have a blog.

2. I never eat plain white bread - only wheat or grain bread.

3. I don't enjoy shopping - its a real chore for me.

4. I don't like parties or being in a crowd of people.

5. I'm an optimist - the glass is always half full for me.

6. I don't miss my job - I worked in banking for 35 years which in my opinion was several years too long.

7. I have a love for all types of animals and creatures.

8. I like to work logic problems.

9. I don't like chocolate - honestly, I don't.

10. I'm mechanically inclined. I can usually figure out how things work and can make repairs myself.

So now you know a little more about me. I'm suppose to pass this award on to 10 more bloggers, but I'm only going to name 5. I know a lot of bloggers don't like to participate in awards, so I will understand completely if you decide not to respond. These folks have very interesting blogs, so give them a visit if you have the time.
Autumn's Meadow
Country Roads
The Erstwhile Librarian
Peevish Pen

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer Pleasures # 5 - Tomato sandwiches ......

Lately I've been getting lots of tomatoes from my garden. That means it's time to have tomato sandwiches for lunch. Tomato sandwiches are one of the pleasures of summer.

Every year I look forward to having fresh home grown tomatoes from the garden. Tomatoes that you buy in a store, even those labeled "vine-ripened", taste nothing like home grown ones. I like to keep my tomatoes in a basket on the kitchen counter. I think they taste best if they have not been refrigerated.

I've been getting lots and lots of cucumbers. The squash aren't as prolific, but we've had enough to eat. Both the squash and cucumbers are beginning to die back. The tomatoes are approaching their peak and the green peppers are looking good.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer Pleasures # 4 - Cloud watching ......

I have always loved to lie on a chaise or in the hammock and watch the clouds. They are constantly changing and morphing into new and unique shapes. Some will simply disappear and new ones will form. They move across the sky in varying speeds and directions. It's fun to imagine what the various shapes resemble.
When we were kids, we would go to the creek behind my grandmother's house every afternoon in the summertime. There we would remove our shoes and go wading in the water. We had strict orders not to get our clothes wet. Almost every day someone would "accidentally" fall into the water and before long all of us were wet. On the way home, we would stop in the pasture and lie on our backs in the sun to dry. While drying, we would examine the clouds and imagine all sorts of things in the shapes. We could make up stories using the clouds as characters. If a thunderstorm was brewing, it was fun to watch the clouds get dark and angry looking. Ever since then, cloud watching has been a summer traditon for me.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Summer Pleasures # 3 - The smell of fresh cut hay .....

I love the sweet smell of fresh cut hay. I wish I could bottle the scent and use it as a home air freshener during the winter months.

My cousin cut the hay field beside my house last weekend and baled it yesterday. Almost everyone makes the big round bales these days. When I was a kid we had the square bales. They would be gathered from the field and packed into the hay shed or barn to keep them out of the weather. We would make tunnels though the bales and play in the hay. It's a wonder we weren't bitten by a snake or crushed by falling bales.