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

jbs mercantile: october gallery updates

i had so much fun with this one.  i do love a whimsical layout.  i also love playing with patterned paper bits and this is a design that i don't think i've used often, but i think i will now.

i wrote a little more about it on the jbs inspiration blog this morning.  thanks for visiting!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

quality literature: a short history of nearly everything

i was supposed to read this one over the summer for inservice credit at school.  i bailed on the inservice thing as that seemed like too much work at the time, but i did finish reading the book.  i enjoyed it quite a bit.  it's basically the history of modern scientific thought and theory.  you can find a more detailed synopsis HERE.  it's fairly dry but if you're into history and/or science, you may enjoy it.  i did.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

long hunter state park: summer stories

we spent a couple days at long hunter state park this weekend.  it's just fifteen minutes from home and the best place for g to go fishing.  i made the observation this last visit that it's best to frequent these parks often, at least on a monthly basis to appreciate all the wildlife they have to offer.

these photos were taken back in june when the barn swallows were taking care of their babies.

we actually had a pair of them nesting on our front porch and they were the cutest things ever.  i was bummed that i didn't borrow a zoom lens in time and the babies were gone when we got back from vacation.  they grow fast!  i snagged these photos under the pavilion where g fishes.  next year i will be prepared with the zoom lens!

i think they are even funnier when their beaks are closed.  they look like little muppets to me.

the very next day we spotted these deer in the parking lot.

and g caught a tiny toad for me to photograph.  i kinda have a thing for toads.  i pretty much think they are adorable.

in july the canadian geese stopped by for a visit.

g was into micro fishing then.  i'm not even kidding.  this apparently a real "sport" on youtube.  he bought special hooks and everything.

i like to crochet while g is fishing.  it keeps me occupied, but i can still enjoy nature and my boy.

then these last few are from yesterday.  the calendar says we're well into fall, but the weather in tennessee and elsewhere in the south would disagree.  those leaves in the distance are deceptive.  they look all fall golden, but we hiked that path over there the very next day and they were still 97% green.  maybe next weekend?

currently, g is back into full sized fishing.  this crappie is the biggest he's ever caught all on his own.  and he caught it with a duck taped cane pole.

you can see my crocheting hasn't made too much progress in the last three months.  i guess i need to take g fishing more often.

it was seriously overcast all day, but the sun came out for a few minutes and i snapped these photos.

in this one, the sky is on the flip side.

stay tuned for fall . . . :)