Thursday, October 23, 2014

garden journal: it's a jungle out there

i love it when a summer bloomer gives out one or two lingering glorious flowers before the first frost.  these nasturtiums are amazing.  the orange is so intense.  this picture really doesn't do them justice.

we had our first frost warning last night.  i brought in my two new little herbs, but left the rest out there to fend for itself.  luckily, the frost didn't come to pass and everyone is still okay.  i was looking over my friends on the deck this evening and found three furry bees settling in for their evening sleep on the sedum that i bought earlier this fall.  

i think they are very thankful for this cozy resting place.

i found this super cute little buggy abode a couple weeks ago.  i tried to google it and it seems like it might be the residence of a potter/mason wasp larvae (probably not so cute).

be warned.  the following photos are a little on the creepy side.

i found this spider enjoying his dinner on my pepper plants.

even though he is creepy, i think he is probably doing a good job for me.  thank you mr. spider.  your services are much appreciated.

and this.  well.  i had to google it too.  i had never seen anything like it.  g thought we might win a nobel prize for discovering a new species.  but no.  this is apparently a crab spider (not to be confused with a spider crab which, trust me, is even more creepy.

the front two legs on each side are fused to create a pincer effect.  they hang out in morning glory blossoms awaiting tiny pollinators to eat.  it's a jungle out there!

linking up with manneskjur and "how does your garden grow?"

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

bryant's grove state park: i miss the warm weather already

i'm almost caught up with my slight backlog of summer posts that never got posted.  this one has me missing summer oh so much.  these were taken back in early june, just a week or so after we got out of school.  i don't know how i'm going to make it through the next six months till i can toast myself in the warm sunshine again.  i am such a cold weather wimp.

isn't this couple the cutest?  they were fishing next to where g was exploring and i just couldn't resist snapping their picture when they weren't looking.

bryant's grove has a swimming hole, so mostly we come with one of g's buddies.  the boys will swim while i sit under the cottonwood tree pretending to read or crochet.

on this day it was just the two of us.  g had brought his dip net and was on the hunt for minnows, crawdads, and whatever else he might find.

and, of course, i snapped a few wildflower photos on the way home.

black eyed susans.

purple coneflower.

 st. john's wort.

this little beauty was quite the model.  she let me get within inches and just kept adjusting her poses for the camera.  what a cutie.

ah, summer.  i love you so.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

holiday mini album: an update

goodness.  i feel like it's been so long since i last shared pages from my holiday handbook that you all have probably forgotten what the heck it is.  in a nutshell, i decided to document my one little word "holiday" in this mini-album format all year.  it was an excellent idea at the time and i really do still love it.  the problem is that i don't still like doing it.  or rather, i am too flighty to want to stick with something all year long.  herein lies the problem.  when it gets closer toward the end of the year and i start talking about my goals for 2015, won't someone please remind me that i don't like year long projects?

one thing that i will say that i totally appreciate about this project is my decision to incorporate a photo of my son and i each month.  i initially started documenting what we were into each month.  then when i got behind and didn't write these things down and thus couldn't remember what we were into, i started just asking him (and myself) what three things we enjoyed most about a specific event that month (like cub scouts, north carolina, etc.).  it's been a great way to record my thoughts and his and our different perspectives on things.  i love it a lot, really.

at this point i have begun just doing my intro page, the holiday collages, and the page of the two of us each month.  the quote collections, recipe pages, and birthday calendars will have to be added in some other year.

currently, i have this much done through mid-august (i'm sharing the best from  may and june today).

i am annoyed that i fell off the wagon again after getting caught up a couple months ago.  and getting caught up was such a struggle then, i remember, as i felt like i had lost all creativity with it at first (april was ugly).  then i found my groove again and loved my pages.  i just really hope that when i dive back in they will come effortlessly and not be a struggle.  but creativity does ebb and flow, doesn't it?

this page was to commemorate father's day.

wasn't my dad a cutie?  he's the oldest one in the foreground.

what about you?  behind on any projects/goals?  do share.  i would feel better.  :)

long hunter state park: it's come a flood

we went to long hunter again saturday and took a friend.  i told them before we left that i wanted to walk the trail before they took off fishing.  they were totally okay with that and even more thrilled when they found out that half the trail was under water.  what is it about boys and puddles?

see.  the leaves were still green.

these reminded me of sea oats at the beach.

i kept my shoes on and walked through the woods around the puddles.

i was able to get about eight inches from this snake.  at eye level too.  yes, i'm bragging.  it was moving very slowly.  the boys thought it might have been pecked by a bird.  or maybe it had just eaten.  not sure.  hope it's okay!

i was flat on my belly to photograph this little mushroom.  angle is everything.  somehow, a big stick managed to get lodged in my pocket while i was down there.  when i stood up, it drug the ground through the leaves and then fell at my feet.  i shared my favorite swear word with the birds and squirrels (the boys were quite a ways ahead of me at this point. the camera slows me down).  the irony of my bravery in front of the snake and my fear with the humble mushroom is not lost on me.

light is also everything.

savoring the last few blooms.

when we got to the bridge that spans the lake, i had to finally take my shoes off.  the water was invigorating.

a walking companion that i picked up on the hike told me that this is a persimmon.  my dad would like it.

on to fishing!

and finally i found one little tree in the parking lot that was all decked out for fall!

Monday, October 20, 2014

menu plan: chicken and vegetable soup

do you follow recipes with your soups, or do you just wing it?  i have been thinking often of late about how people cooked back in the little house on the prairie days.  i just can't imagine that recipes were quite as complicated back then.  and when you're traveling on the plains in a covered wagon with no dollar general on every corner (corner?  what corner?) well what did you use for spices and such?  thoughts to ponder.

this pot of soup was super simple and super yummy.  i've gotten in the habit of saving extra chicken broth when the occasion arises, so this one started with a package of chicken breasts plus extra broth.  the seasoning was just onion, cilantro, salt, and pepper.  carrots plus fresh corn on the cob and potatoes from homer's farm.  really good stuff.

i have once again managed to get out of the habit of cooking regularly.  oops!  you know what that means.  public accountability.  this week will be brought to you by what is left in the fridge that needs to be rescued or pitched.

this week's menu plan (starting off slow):
sunday - leftover chicken and noodle soup
monday - chicken nuggets, mac&cheese (kraft, of course), and carrots
tuesday - baked salmon, corn on the cob, and red lobster cheddar biscuit (boxed mix)
wednesday - church
thursday - steak, baked potatoes, salad
friday - cub scout campout
saturday - cub scout campout