Our Productive Weekend

It’s Monday! And as I reflect over the weekend, I gotta tell ya, it was a good one.

Some may question what two people do with over 20 tomato plants. Well, the short answer is this. It keeps us busy in the kitchen, side by side with our cutting boards and dueling knives.

So over the weekend, we made two different salsa recipes. The dutch oven below is getting piled high with a batch we were preparing to cook for 3.5 hours. It turned out really good!

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And we made tomato bisque + grilled cheese sandwiches.

I’ve despised tomato soup since childhood, but I could eat the entire batch of tomato bisque.

We’re certainly getting our fair share of vitamin C.

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Our drainage, pavers and retaining wall project is complete, all the way around to the front of the house. Happy JOY! It’s done folks, DONE! Truly hard for us to believe as we’ve been waiting for this day for a very long time.

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The clean-up crew has a few more things to tidy and there is some happy gardening and furnishings on the way…In time…

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We’re thrilled with the productive weekend and looking forward to this new week.

Blessings – Debbie

My To Do List is Shrinking – Or Is It

Happy Friday! I hope you’re having a delightful day.

News Flash – IT RAINED TODAY! That’s big news out here in Southern California.

So this week is flying at record speeds for me. And I’m thankful my to do list is shrinking.

  • Finished editing (our nephews) Sr Pictures – will have CD in the mail tomorrow
  • Harvest tomatoes – I had a count of 78 ripe tomatoes (in the kitchen) yesterday. Big things are happening with our bumper crop!
  • The hubs ordered a food mill last weekend = we’re making a large batch of tomato bisque this weekend.
  • Spent 2 + hours each morning in the garden, it’s what I love.

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One of the things crossed off the list, is a “hair-cut” appointment (yes, I’m cutting it off) scheduled for next week. Truth be told, I’m having second thoughts. That means I have plenty of time to change my mind another 10 – 20 times between now and then, right?

The little breakfast nook is coming right along. From the succulent pots in the window, the painted fork and spoon and the hubs hung the valances for me last weekend.

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Afternoon Labor of Love – So we made salsa last Sunday afternoon. It’s something we could not wait to make with our fresh tomatoes, bell and jalapeño peppers from the garden. Good stuff right there…In fact, another batch is in the works.

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Since this is not the hubs Friday off weekend, it’s my day to play catch-up in the house before the weekend.

Cheers to crossing a bunch of chores off the list such that I can have a nice weekend of rest with the hubs.

I suppose that means it’s time to add more things to the list of thing to do. Isn’t that the way it goes?

Blessings – Debbie

Back to School and Dropping Book Club

There is no easy way to say this as my heart tugs in both directions. And I’m bummed that I can’t have my cake and eat it too. But that’s the way things work and it’s all good.

So I received the fall college class schedule and the photography class I’ve been waiting to take, just so happens to conflict with the club day and time. And I was sad I couldn’t do both. But I also realize they only offer this class in the fall/once a year. So I did the only thing I knew to do. Drop the club and enroll for the class. I did ask our group leader if I could come back after my class this fall and she said “YES”! Makes me happy.

I’m really excited about my class though. I’ve already had the teacher and he’s Good with a capital G. So I already know it’s going to be packed with a lot of knowledge. I’m so excited and thrilled he didn’t retire as he mentioned he may be doing that soon. So it’s off to school I go, next month!

This summer is filled with fun little projects. Most of all, I’m having fun playing in the dirt, painting projects, photo shoots, eating tomatoes as fast as I pick them, creating little succulent gardens and weekend projects with the hubs…

This was my photo shoot yesterday…

The Tarantula Hawk Wasp – this is the specimen I found (on the ground) while gardening. I thought it was interesting enough to do a photo shoot. And then I had to google it to find out what it was. I mean really, he’s freaking 2″ long! And the first I’ve ever seen anything like it. I also learned it’s the state insect of New Mexico. I learn something new every day…

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Remember the wood fork and spoon (painting project) from last week? Well, I got around to hanging the set in the breakfast nook.

And this morning I put together 3 more miniature succulent gardens for the window. I’m smitten with all the free pickings in our backyard.

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A closer look.

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And this afternoon, I have household plans…Plans that don’t look so pretty in pictures. But I’m going to feel great having these things accomplished.

Happy Wednesday, Peeps!

Blessings – Debbie

Monday Morning Succulent Creations

Little succulent gardens – One of the many things on my heart since the day we moved into our new home. And I finally got around to getting my hands in the dirt to create a couple of miniature gardens this morning.

I dug out this old rusted plant stand that came with the property and created a little succulent garden with baby succulents found in the backyard.

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Turns out, I had so much fun creating this garden, that I made another as well. The best part, everything was free!

This is a shot of the above garden from the top.

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The next succulent garden found a new home on the upper terrace.

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A close-up of my little hanging garden.

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I’m certain there will be more little gardens to create in the future.

Until next time…

Blessings – Debbie

Another Week

Hey you guys! Guess what? The weekend is moving along way too fast. And we’re taking each minute to enjoy, relax, garden, grill and rest.

So, another week has passed. A time to focus on the images (there’s a lot) I took of our nephew back when he was visiting in May.

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And to slow myself at feeding time around the lilies. Love our yellow and white goldfish.

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And to slow down even further to enjoy the little things. The heart of the daylily thru my eyes.

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On a serious note…Or not…

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Duck Lips – Since it’s been the “in thing” (for some), I thought I should at least have a go at the ever so popular (or not) expression. + I think it’s great to have on the blog (when I’m 90 looking back over life) as evidence that I got involved. I heard (what do I know?) the best duck lips are formed when you say the word prune.

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And now, I think I’ll get back to gardening and focus on the cool things I want to add to the to do list this week. I believe there is more painting involved. Should be fun!

Blessings – Debbie

Wet Paint

I know, I haven’t been around for a while. But it doesn’t mean I’m not here. I am.

After our fun-filled weekend in LA, I decided to take a break.

I needed a little time away from my camera too. Time to unwind and get back into the swing of things.

Time for rest and gardening and figuring out when to tackle a couple of painting projects I want to accomplish this month.

Time to enjoy the 3-Day Holiday weekend (Independence Day) with the hubs.

Friday night (Independence Day) we decided to watch a movie – The Piano. And sometime during our show I began to hear noises. And I asked the hubs if he would pause our show. I said “I hear something, do you?” The hubs responded “oh, that’s the fireworks.” Duh! 🙂 Then we had a look-see outside, but we were not able to see anything from our yard.

And then we decided to make the rest of our weekend as uneventful as possible. In fact, the cars remained in the garage all weekend. Just what we needed.

Although, we had the little work crew working on (what seems) our never-ending backyard project. We hope to have it finished in the next week, two at the most.

Oh, another thing. We never jumped on the Glee bandwagon. That is, until this weekend. We started watching season 1 from the very beginning and we were smitten from the start! So much so, that the next few days turned into a Glee marathon topped with popcorn and other goodies.

Monday was all about catching up on the weekend laundry, gardening, cleaning and food shopping.

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Today I’m working on one of my projects involving paint.

I picked up this wooden set at an estate sale a month or so ago. And the idea is to paint them white for the kitchen.

As of this afternoon, they have 3 coats on the upper side.

I hope to have them finished and hanging in the kitchen tomorrow.

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While I’m in the middle of a “do not touch – wet paint” sort of day – It’s a great day to be outdoors painting.

Blessings – Debbie

Gardening + Beach + Root-Rot

Just so you know (up front), the root-rot has nothing to do with gardening. And everything to do with “my” roots, literally.

This past weekend was one of those really nice three day weekends with the hubs. It’s the kind of weekend I love where we spend time gardening, living outdoors, cooking on the grill and eating outdoors.

The hubs picked his first round of jalapeño peppers.

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And our first round of corn. Actually, we had fresh corn a couple of times over the weekend.

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He seeded his peppers + added a concoction of cream cheese + spices + sharp cheddar cheese + bacon. He said they were yummy. I do know this, they had to be good. And I wish my tummy were able to handle these things like it used to. Oh well…

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The corn was yummy too! In fact, the hubs did a fine job serving up yummy meals over the weekend. Trust.

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Then Monday rolled around. First up, I had plans to visit the fair with my girlfriend. However, we learned (over the weekend) the fair was closed on Monday.

Then I made a plan to have my blood-work done. The reminder (see image below) was attached (Sunday evening) to the right source as a reminder to stay away until after my blood-work was finished. Somehow I forgot about my reminder early Monday morning as I was making breakfast and lunch for the hubs. And then is when I accidentally tossed some fresh watermelon my way while making his lunch.

Oops!

May as well bring on the coffee too after a stunt like that. So I did.

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And just like that, I made a new plan, while enjoying my coffee. It’s my philosophy, when one plan fails, make a new one.

Worked for me, as I went to the beach.

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Enjoyed a little sand between my toes.

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Truly enjoyed shopping along the boardwalk.

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Does shopping get any better? Well for me, I’m not much of a shopper to begin with. Should you see me at the mall, you know it’s one of those once every six month sort of visits, when I really need something. And once I nail what I need, I’m out of there.

However, should you see me in and out of old shops filled with antiques, or shops with pottery and art, or any sort of funky cool stuff. Look out, I could stay in places like that for days…

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Then Tuesday rolled around. I was so excited for Tuesday! Never-mind the image, I did some crazy stuff to it in Photoshop just for fun cause that’s the way I roll.

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But the reason I was so excited is…it was time to take care of root-rot! I love the fact that my hair is growing, but those pesky grays have a way of making themselves known. If you know what I mean. Now that that’s taken care of, I’m sure I’ll be sharing some more stuff soon. Stay tuned!

Blessings – Debbie

Summertime

Is For…

  • Enjoying nice long days
  • Dinner on the patio
  • Firing up the grill for things like shrimp, chicken and burgers…

I cleaned up a mess of these guys for dinner last evening.

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  • Finding my way to bed somewhere around 9PM and waking sometime around 5:30AM. I love my waking hours in the light and sleeping when it’s dark.
  • Changing nail polish every 4 or so days. This was the color applied yesterday.

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  • Enjoying sunset hikes with the hubs. Images taken this week with my cell.

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  • Bumping into Neighbors – It’s fun to bump into neighbors (on our way home) on these summer sunset hikes. They were interested in seeing the progress in our backyard, so we had them over + she brought us a nice sack of fresh fruit from their garden. We shared tomato plants + red pepper plants with them.

We’ve had several neighbors check out the place this week.

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  • No AC needed for the month of June – Loving our cool So Cal breeze
  • Fresh produce from the garden
  • The hubs planted pumpkin over the weekend – Here’s what it looked like yesterday.

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Here’s what it looks like this morning. We are big fans of these little greenhouse type trays to start plants. We pick them up from Home Depot.

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  • Beverages and visits on the patio
  • Reading good books – This month, the book club is reading “The Art Forger by Barbara A. Shapiro – two thumbs up = I’m loving it! It’s where my nose will be a good chunk of today.

Happy Summertime, Everyone!

Blessings – Debbie

A Weekend to Remember

I remember so many wonderful things over the weekend. So I guess it’s time to document these precious memories.

Memories like this rose blossoming – it was fun to watch over the last couple of days.

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And catching this vivid pop of purple. I’m not really fond of this plant, but I think the flowers that shoot up are simply spectacular.

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The dragonfly found a new place to rest. Last weekend the hubs and I used a sledgehammer on a faux rock. And the old supports are the last thing standing. Turns out, the dragonfly loves his new perch.

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Another form from a different spot.

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This guy has been soaring in the yard for years. I’m a bit sentimental but had the notion to shoo him away get rid of it. Turns out, the hubs has a bit sentiment too. I think he stays.

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Projects – Outdoor projects continue and work is still being done on the side of the house. The guys dug a new trench and pipe was tied into the backyard for proper drainage to the street. We look forward to next week new progress on the project.

While they were here, we had them chop down the smaller faux rock. It’s exciting to see things evolve around here, making this home sweet home our own.

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There was a bit of weed pulling and rose deadheading.

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Tomato picking and eating. Talk about the yum factor, let me tell you, that guy was so good!

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Happy Father’s Day Wishing – I called my pops to wish him a very Happy Father’s Day. And found this old faded out pic that holds priceless memories of pop, me and my brothers. He was taking us to bedebye. Love that he always had room for us and he still does with all of his heart.

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Friends – Friends invited us to their home for dinner last evening.

And when the “Hostess With the Mostess” can strike a pose in the midst of lobster preparation with all the fixins’, she’s pretty amazing. What a tasty meal last night!

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Fun with friends…

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You guys, now it’s time to pay close attention. See this bouRsin box? Well it’s not just any old box. It holds something very special. The Garlic & Fine Herbs GOURMET CHEESE is nothing short of a party in your mouth. So I just HAD to take this image such that I can find it in Trader Joe’s during my next visit.

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I love the festive handle on her cheese spreader gadget.

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And while I’m visiting Trader Joe’s, I plan to pick up a package of this too! And hey you guys, if you have a Trader Joe’s, and you have not tried these packages of cheese, I urge you to give cheese a chance. I’m telling you, SO good!

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I can’t think of anything more exciting to nibble on while preparing dinner. The olives were SO good too!

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+ A few veggies and a fiesta dip I made up to share.

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The hubs took the reins over the grill while Jerry looked on.

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I think this is the part when they decided it was time to flip the lobster.

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And peace was signed. And all was well.

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And the lobster was looking good! Image shot before the flip…

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Time to take those bad boys off the grill…

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The hubs adding holders for the sweet corn.

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Let us eat! All I can say is this – Everything was positively delish!

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Sweet Kitty – I’m just sad my camera scared Kitty and this is the only shot I was able to get.

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We truly had a wonderful weekend worth remembering.

Blessings – Debbie

A Stroll Does the Soul Good

An early morning visit in the garden on a pretty Friday morning, does my heart and soul good.

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Seeing this rosebush covered with roses is truly a sight to behold. Especially since it only bloomed not even a handful of roses last year. My hat is off to fertilizer and all the beauty that happens when the roses are loved.

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I had my little stroll following the sprinklers this morning. Perfect timing!

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Then I checked on the produce patch. And what I really want to do is pluck this ear of sweet corn and eat it raw, right there in the garden.

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Remember the image of this guy a few days ago? Well it’s getting so big! I also noticed quite a few more melon coming along. Fingers crossed for some good summer sweet watermelon.

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I’m so glad it’s Friday. For a number of reasons. A: We have gardening plans up our sleeves this weekend B: We’re making chicken Fajitas and rice for dinner tonight C: It’s FRIDAY! What more can I say, the weekend fun is about to commence!

Happy Weekend Friends!

Blessings – Debbie

In the Garden

Our three-day weekend was filled with good things. We did a bit of shopping for the garden – dinning out – resting – working in the garden – oatmeal chocolate chip baking – cooking together, the hubs makes killer shrimp tacos + I make killer garnish = we make the best team – planting in the garden = I transplanted 11 “pup” sago palms – we stopped at an estate sale and I picked up a little something (decor that I want to paint white) for the kitchen and the hubs paid for it = $5.00 – I used a sledge hammer “I used a SLEDGE hammer!” The hubs helped to coach me on how to better swing it, makes me happy he lets me do these fun things along side him + it got my heart rate up = great workout – Had a bit more work done on the pavers + the boys dug a trench out to the road to complete the drainage for the project – the hubs had a dental (cleaning) appointment and I took a nap in the waiting room (you should have seen his grin when I woke up) – And Monday morning the hubs said “I could use another 1,000 weekends like this.

And just like that, it was Monday.

I shot a picture of the leader on my way home. Yes, one hand was on the wheel. Both eyes on the road. The other hand in my purse digging for my cell. And I managed to get a shot. Then I just had to throw it in Photoshop for a bit of an edit. How fun!

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We had a visitor again last evening. It looks like our fake decor egret is not holding up his end of the deal. Guess it’s time for me to move it again…

So it’s been a year this week that we added fish to the pond. In this amount of time, we’ve lost a total of 4 to the egret and heron. Not too bad, if you were to ask me. As we will always live with this sort of threat…And I’m thankful yelling works when all else fails…

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The hubs knows just the place to look when I’m nowhere to be found, this morning.

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She’ll be in the garden.

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Inspecting the daylily at all angles.

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And spying a daylily just before the bloom…

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Checking to see how the red bell pepper begins to form.

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And the roses…

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Oh, the roses.

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They truly have a greeting all of their own.

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And just like that, the early morning hours are past and we are well on our way into Tuesday.

Which means, I think it’s about time to get on with a few of the nitty-gritty things, as I just heard the washing machine stop.

Thank you for stopping by on this beautiful summer day.

Blessings – Debbie

To Do

As in to-do list.

I started the day with a number of things on my list of things to do.

First up – Clean the pond. I don’t believe I’ve talked too much about how I like to keep the pond free of debris. But it’s one of those things I strive to do daily. Not because it’s a necessity, I just enjoy it better when it’s clean.

The daily cleaning = netting out any leaves or debris that may have blown in overnight.

Today was the day to actually get in with the fish. During the summer months, I like to dip in about once a week to clean out the lilly pads and flowers that are no longer bloom. Something like deadheading the lilies and pads.

It also tickles me that the fish actually come swimming right up to me the moment I get in. They let me pet them and we’re like best buddies. And if I stand in one place for a while, they begin to nibble on my skin. The whole experience truly makes my heart happy.

Here’s an image I shot of one of the babies. I can hardly believe they are a year old this month. Yup, he was born in the pond last year.

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I also wanted to give the roses some attention. I gave some a little extra TLC with a dose of coffee grounds. And while I was at it, I thought I’d shoot an image of the roses, but in a different perspective. I love the array color throughout the garden.

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And I took an image of this plant. It bloomed this week for the first time this season. Soon it will be loaded with pretty flowers.

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And then I had other things on my list.

Things like returning an item back to the store. It wasn’t a painful task, but it sure felt like it. It’s one of those things I’ve been procrastinating. So it’s a relief to have that little pesky thing crossed off.

And picking up some items at Bed Bath and Beyond. I was particularly excited with this stop as I had three 20% off coupons + one $5.00 off coupon + one $25.00 gift card. I’ll say I made out really well today.

One last stop at the grocery store for some much needed grub and then home sweet home.

My list also included some household chores, laundry and ironing. Done, done and DONE!

And then I got to do something that wasn’t on my list. I took a nap. Because my peepers were heavy, so I gave them a rest. And that sure did a body good.

And now we’re heading into a nice 3-day weekend. I’m really looking forward to it, as we have a few fun gardening things on our weekend list of things to-do.

Cheers to To-Do lists and getting things crossed off.

Happy Weekend Friends!

Blessings – Debbie

What Caught My Eye

Good afternoon friends! It’s a glorious day. The hubs is on the mend. Knock on wood, I still feel like a million bucks. And that gives me reason to celebrate right there.

So today, I decided I would shoot a few things that have recently caught my eye.

First up – the climbing rose over the arch in the garden. This guy has made some really nice changes since we started fertilizing this year. The buds keep a coming and the roses burst with joy.

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Beefsteak Tomato – My eye has been all over this guy the last few days. I think this is the largest beefsteak we have on the vine so far.

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As I passed by these heirloom cherry tomatoes, in front of the roses – I had a thought that the roses would provide a pretty background. That said, I decided to shoot because it caught my eye.

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Anybody out there know the name of this really pretty tall blue flowering grass? I just love how it has spilled over with flowers since the spring.

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Love…

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Love…

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And love…I couldn’t decide which image I liked the best. So I used all the above and this guy below.

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Love when the agave begin to bloom…

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We have oodles of daylilies preparing to burst.

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And finally, this fallen leaf in the bottom of the old rusted-out wheelbarrow truly caught my eye.

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It was a nice little break to stop and capture a few of the things that have caused me to pause over the last few days, weeks and months.

Thank you for visiting.

Blessings – Debbie

In The Last 24 Hours

We had a visitor last evening.

The guy down below is our fake decoy egret for the fish pond. The guy up above, just flew in. I actually ran out there and yelled at him right after I took this blurry shot.

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This morning – things moved along as usual. I made breakfast and lunch for the hubs while he was getting ready for work.

Made a cup of coffee as soon as I bid farewell to the hubs.

Sat down for about 30 min for a little reading with my coffee.

Then went out to the garden.

And spied this little crimson sweet watermelon for the very first time. And as I looked, I noticed a few more babies. Did you know these guys can reach up to 25 pounds? No matter the size, we’re just hoping for some sweet homegrown melon this year.

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And then I went over to check out the tomatoes. It seems they are changing by the day too. Here’s a few of our little cherry tomatoes.

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Our red bell peppers are growing too.

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And just about the time I was getting ready to pay a little attention to the roses, I hear from down below “Honey, I’m home and I don’t feel so good.”

So I dropped what I was doing and ran down to see what was wrong.

Turns out he was violently sick and asked if I would take him to Urgent Care right away.

I would have done anything to make his illness go away, so off we went to get him some help.

Soon, the nurse gave him dose of Zofran. After a while, he was still terribly sick so the Dr. ordered another dose + a nice IV to keep him from dehydrating.

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After about 20 or so minutes he was feeling a lot better.

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While he was enjoying his IV, they were working on his blood samples in the lab.

As it turns out, his blood work checked out just peachy. And he was sent home to rest, drink lots of clear fluids, rest and hopefully shoo this flu bug away.

The hubs seems to be a bit exhausted but feeling so much better this evening. And that makes me one very happy wifey.

Later this afternoon, we had an exciting find in the pond. We both spied the two (very small) catfish our nephew added to the pond just four weeks ago (yesterday). It was a happy moment let me tell you. I still can’t believe they were in hiding all month.

While I don’t have an image of our catfish, here’s a fun picture I took at dinnertime this evening. They have me wrapped right around their little fins and I think they know it too.

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I close the day with a grateful heart and much to be thankful for.

Blessings – Debbie

Bits and Pieces

Getting Overhauled

Well I’m up for new lenses.

I could already tell my eyes were failing. Turns out, I am in dire need of a bit more oomph. You have no idea how excited I am that I’ll be seeing crystal clear soon! Totally “LOOKING” forward to it.

As of last Thursday, my frames were shipped to the lab.

And I feel blind wearing my old frames/lenses from 3 years ago.

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The nose piece hurts my nose – Band-Aids are applied to either side (see image above) for relief. Now all I need is a little sympathy. Perhaps the string orchestra, or even a little violin would work.

On the bright and cheerful sunny side of life, at least I have my old computer glasses. While the prescription is weak, I can still see for reading and computer work.

News to me – I found out I have asteroid hyalosis in my left eye. It’s a benign condition, but something my Dr. will monitor.

The hubs and I both had such a positive experience with our new Optometrist. So much so, that we can finally say the search is over (for our Eye Dr.) after 4.5 years out west.

Monday Happenings

A stroll thru the garden first thing this morning was such a blessing – I especially find our roses add cheerful greetings. I started applying rose fertilizer (every two months) this year and the difference is huge. Trust. And apply to your roses if you haven’t already.

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So far we have 14 roses and I’m looking to add more. In fact, I was talking to the hubs over the weekend of how I would like to start some roses from seed in the near future. It sounds much more exciting than purchasing from the local nursery.

Water drops (from the sprinkler) on the rosebud this morning.

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Lunch

I can’t think of a better place to have lunch in the summer. Or in the fall. Or in the winter. Or in the spring.

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The sound of birds chirping and the waterfall are all the music I need to enjoy this yummy salad. The only thing missing, is fresh tomatoes from the garden and the hubs. I really wish we lived close enough for him to come home for lunch.

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While having lunch, I played with the camera. And took this shot of the bubbles on my glass. It’s crazy the little things that cause a girl to put her fork down to play.

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Other Monday chores include laundry and a few other household things. Things that may or may not make a pretty picture. And that’s all I have to say about that.

Back to work! And wishing the very best to you on this first Monday in June. Can you believe it’s June already?

Blessings – Debbie