Monday, May 16, 2016

Life with Boys

We had a lazy weekend around these parts.  I ran some store, crickets, Lowe's, birthday shopping for my Chip.   But there was ALOT of downtime.  We played lots of cards, watched a movie, cooked some meals, bird watched…basic hanging around.

This morning at 7:35 a.m. Chip is laying in the floor of my office talking about how unprepared his theatre group is for their performance today.  He is dreading it.  Then he says as if a light bulb went off in his head "Oh, I need to wear khaki pants tomorrow for Athletics."

Me:  "Can you wear your khaki shorts?"
Chip:  "No.  It has to be pants?"
Me:  "Can you wear your black dress pants?"
Chip:  "No, mom.  It has to be khaki pants."
Me:  "Well, you don't own a pair of khaki pants."
Chip:  "I don't?"
Me:  "No. Do you ever remember wearing khaki pants?"
Chip:  "No, I guess not."
Me:  "I sure wish you would have told me that this weekend, when we had some free time."
Chip:  "Oh.  Well, I just remembered.  We can go after school."
Me:  "You have practice after school."
Chip:  "Can you go?"

This entire situation does not surprise me at all. In fact, I am going to count my lucky stars that is isn't Tuesday morning at 7:35 when he tells me he needs the pants.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Scenes from the Backyard

Me and Chip started a backyard transformation a month or so ago that has brought us so much enjoyment this spring!  We started by cutting back all the gangly, straggly, dead, dying, messy growth.  Chip wielded an ax like a real lumberjack and chopped down anything I pointed out that needed to go. 

Hello, Chipperjack. 

Then we got a raised vegetable trough to plant some veggies in that wouldn't be hard to reach, weed or could be peed or pooped on my our furry friend, Astro.   We painted it a pretty orange color, filled it with four tomato plants, a jalapeƱo plant, some basil, parsley, cilantro and some delicious smelling chocolate mint! 

Next we cleaned up all the patio furniture, got some new pillows, a water fountain, a table top fireplace and an outdoor carpet. 

We added some lights to enjoy our space at night. 

We spread 30 bags of mulch!  

Put some cool red stars on the fence. 

Planted lots of plants, put in a bird bath. 

Now, we spend lots of mornings and afternoons doing this…..Birdwatching!   We added a variety of bird feeders and watched our backyard come alive. 

Hummingbirds are frequent flyers. 

We have many woodpeckers.  They visit the feeders then hang out in the trees. 

They travel in pairs.  Can you see one on top of the limb and one underneath? 

We have sweet little chickadees. 

And this squirrel that was my arch nemesis until I figured out how to keep him out of the bird feeders.  Now I feed him nuts, apples and corn.  He is actually very entertaining. 

We have seen some really cool birds.  We have a Texas Bird Guide and love trying to identify the birds  we see.  Hubby thinks it doesn't count if you don't get a picture, so we are keeping the camera out on the kitchen counter for easy access.  This is a house finch. So pretty! 

This is a a cardinal. We have named his Stan.  He visits many, many times a day and we have even started to recognize his sweet bird call. 

This is Stan's wife, Ozzie.  They travel together and sometimes even feed each other. 

Woodpecker on the corn.  I also put shelled nuts in this feeder and the BlueJays keep coming back until  over and over again until every nut is gone.  They wiped me out in seven minutes flat one morning! 

Mystery bird.  We can't figure out what this one is?  We each think it is something different. 

I even put a bird feeder outside my office window.  Two woodpeckers entertaining me during a teleconference or two. 

Astro enjoys all the time we are hanging out in the yard. 


Titmouse taking a bath.

Veggies are growing. 

Flowers are growing. 

Look at those tomatoes!  Can't wait! 

Everything is healthy and happy.  Weather has been pretty mild with plenty of rain.  I am sure summer will be a different story! 

Here is my friend, still occasionally checking to see if he can get some seed out of this bird feeder. 
 He can't! 

This pair made their first appearance today.  This is a male and female lesser goldfinch.  
Who knew they lived in the neighborhood? 

Iris bloom. This plant is one from my house in Alabama, which I originally dug out of either Louise's yard or Joe's sister, Auntie Al's yard.  It has been to all my houses.  Makes me happy. 

Rose bushes were stellar this spring. 

Can you see the lizard? 

Cardinal on the feeder with the squirrel baffle.  That old squirrel boy is baffled and cannot climb up the pole or figure out how to jump on the feeder!  Victory!!! 

My gardenias started blooming this week.  Takes me right back to Vimy Ridge Avenue in Norfolk Virginia where my grandma and grandpa's backyard had gardenia bushes.  They also had some rose bushes with tiny pink roses, a clothes line, an old bathtub full of worms for fishing, a fig tree and a freezer full of frozen strawberries with sugar on them.  It was paradise for a kid when we were lucky enough to visit their house in the summer.  Funny, how a simple smell can transport me back over forty years like it was yesterday.  Gardenia's always remind me of my momma too!  Her favorite flower.

Harry came home from college on Mother's day (YAY!!!) and Chip was proudly showing him everything we had done in the backyard.  He looked around and said "It's like someone finally started giving a damn about this backyard."  Cracked me up! 

Hope you enjoyed sharing a little bit of the joy that we have found right in our own backyard.