Thursday, May 26, 2011

Shelters and Blooms


Here is the surprise I spoke of paddle cactus bloomed! I just happened to look over in that direction the other day and there they were. Bright and beautiful.

It's a good thing I took the pictures when I did, as I went out to look today, and the blooms were kind of closed up and ragged looking. Not near as pretty as yesterday. There are several more buds waiting to pop open and I can hardly wait. Isn't nature/God just grand? I love it.

Marilyn of Stories of NC Mountains commented on tornado shelters here in OK. I know the ones of which you speak; they are found in several yards of the older country homes. The tops are above ground, but the shelter is below ground and you enter through a kind of cellar door. The one I saw into had quite a large space underground. I would say it probably would hold a dozen or more people. You especially see them next to the old one room school houses. My guess would be they are a product of the 1900 to 1940+ era. Now days they have units you can put underground (they look kind of like septic tanks!) if your land isn't too rocky, or they have "safe rooms" that you can somehow put in your garage or inside the house.

Our ground is too rocky to allow an underground shelter, but my brothers steel container, earth contact house will work just as well. Like one of my daughters said, "thank God for crazy Uncle Tom and his tin cans!" Last night was calm, only a slight rain, no thunder or lightening Praise the Lord! We should be clear for a few days at least.

And Grammy of 13 - I'm sure my garden would not compare to yours at all. I only have tomatoes, 2 pepper plants, and my spent kale! :) But it's fun.

I continue to count my blessings and pray for those less fortunate. Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We Are Safe


Well, here it is mid-week in windy Oklahoma! I am still giving thanks to our God for keeping us safe, and praying for all the families in Joplin, MO who were not spared.
What a horrible tragedy; I cannot imagine going through such an ordeal.

We were supposed have a very severe storm last night, but the good Lord had it skip over us, pretty much. We did have lots of thunder and lightening and rain, but it only lasted a couple hours. Oklahoma City was not so fortunate; a tornado set down there and several people were killed. About 6 p.m. I bundled myself and the 2 dogs into the back portion of my brother's house in process - made of steel containers - and felt very safe. I read and napped and stayed until about 11:30 p.m. when the last cell had passed and then went home. The others stayed at home and were fine, but I say why take chances when the safe place is available?! Anyway, tonight may produce more storms and then we should be okay for a few days.

Now on to other things:

Remember the other day I posted my "pond" and quiet reading area in the yard? Well here is a shot of the beautiful pink Hydrangea I got to compliment the area. Everyone thinks it is a fake one because it is such a perfect shape. I swear to you, its alive and real!

I love it!
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This is to show you how well our tomatoes are doing. The one on the front, right, is my Cherokee black tomato, and the one behind it is Lemon Boy, a yellow tomato.

These are the little spindly ones that I got from the "corner" store. I had no idea - or hope - that they wouled bulk up and look so good. Now to see if they produce. I think they are Early Girls and something else.

Okay that kind of brings me up to date with what's going on. But tomorrow I have a really cool picture surprise, stayed tuned!

Until next time, give thanks for being safe no matter where you are, take care and God Bless.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Why Do I Need a Title????? (on blog posts)


Hi! Happy Friday! Hope it's being a good one for you. Mine is dark and cloudy and raining and thunder and lightening! But, it's in the 70's so it's comfortable. The donkeys and dogs don't think so, but that's life. Patch hides under the back porch and the donkeys huddle up under some trees trying to keep dry.

So far today I've done dishes from yesterday, vaccuumed, did my Bible study and worked on my embroidery. I'm doing more dish towels. Not a real busy day, but productive. Now for the pictures............

This is an area at the back of the back yard that Ronnie has been working on getting cleaned up and mowed and incorporated into the yard as a whole. The storage shed/barn will be behind these trees. Anyway, I raked up all the little sticks and leaves and cleaned it up. I had 3 or 4 wagon loads with my "mower" and little wagon. I think it looks pretty darned good!

This is another little area in the back yard that we worked on and I raked up. It made a perfect spot for my "pond" and a chair; and a place to get out of the sun and sit and read or just be.
I love it. Since this picture, I bought a beautiful pink Hydrangea and potted it and put it out there. Will take a picture when the rain quits! ha

And this.........ta da.....
is my first harvest of Kale. Remember we only had 4 little plants..........well, yesterday morning I went out and picked 2 quart bags full! Will have some for supper tonight; I can't wait. I love Kale. Having never grown it before, I don't know if the plants will keep producing or if it's a one shot deal. I guess time will tell............unless one of you can tell me!

And here we are back at my cactus patch! Now there are about 19 flower bud pods on the paddles. I can't believe how they are growing and getting ready to bloom. Apparently, below the bloom a fruit forms, and it is edible. I'm hoping when they bloom I can snap a picture and show you all.

So, that's the end of my pics for today. I did want to comment on tomorrow and those crazy cultists who are saying it's the end of the world..........apparently they don't read the Bible. At least not the part that says no one will know (or can predict) when Jesus will grace us with his presence again. Enought said about that.

Last, but by no means least, Sunday is my baby girl's 40th Birthday! How time flies. I hope you have a really awesome day Sonja and pray that God blesses you with many more birthdays.

Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mid Week Musings


Gosh, I can't believe it's Wednesday (the 18th) already. Seems like just yesterday I posted something, but since a couple of my dear cousin followers are asking why I haven't posted, I guess I'd better get with the program!

These 3 pictures are of our road that washed out during the rainy storms. It happened twice within a week! The trench that you see going across the road in the last picture was about a foot deep and a foot wide. As you can imagine, it was impossible to get my van out.

The County Commissioner for our area is supposed to come out next week to check out the situation and decide what to do to permanently fix the problem. i.e. put in a new culvert or make a flush cement crossing. We would prefer the cement crossing, but they say they are concerned about using that as people try to cross when the water is running deep and fast. Now, we are the only people living by this and I think we know we'll see.

This shot really looks like a nice little creek area..........too bad that's not what it is! We are due for more possible rain this week, so here's hoping it's just sprinkles!

One more little story. The other night/morning - about 3:00 a.m. - I woke up and heard a noise and the dogs barking. I lay there in bed for a minute or so trying to figure out what was going on. Then I heard a bang, and then a kaboom! Then I got up and went to the back door, which was open a little, and the back porch lights were on. I poked my head out and saw nothing. Then Ronnie came around and said he had shot a raccoon that had been on the porch. The dogs had cornered it and chased it down into the yard and that's where Ronnie shot it. Then Tom showed up with his gun asking what it was. The dogs were no where to be seen, so Ronnie went off looking for them. Didn't take long and here they came, all excited. Into the house they bounded and Patch had blood all over his white hair so he had to be washed up - luckily it was raccoon blood - but Ronnie did find an injury between some of the toes on one of his hind feet that was bleeding. Then I noticed blood on my arm and found it had come from a wound on Salli's nose. It wasn't real bad either, so we just washed it up. I think they were very luck that they had minor injuries. That darned coon had been getting into the bird seed and suet blocks that were on the porch, and any other things it thought edible. The dogs seemed to have worked as a team to capture him and so they got cookies after the clean up!

And of course, having gone to bed early, I was wide awake when it all settled down. Had some computer time for 2 or 3 hours then went back to bed for a nap. Sorry I didn't get any pictures of the culprit - dead or alive!! Ahhhh, Country Life........

Well, that's all for today. I promise to do more tomorrow. Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the 13th


Friday the 13th.........doesn't bother me at all. Guess I'm not superstitious; it's just another day. And I haven't seen a black cat or broke a mirror either......... BUT....

When I was posting pictures of our dogs the other day, I forgot to post one of our cog. (That would be our cat who thinks he's a dog.) He is not black, but rather a Tiger. So here he is, laying under the front porch bench looking like he owns the least this little part of it. He is declawed, front and back, but it doesn't stop him from catching birds, mice, whatever. And he follows you around just like a dog does; and answers to his name and comes when you call him. Now how many cogs do that?!

These 3 pictures need to be put together horizontally, and then you can kind of see the new pasture for my donkeys. It's the area on the far side of the driveway. Ronnie and Tom worked all day yesterday moving the fence lines and making the area more than double what they had. They now have about 2.5 to 3 acres in which to roam.

The problem is, however, they so far refuse to cross into the new parts. They will not go past where the old fencing was. They are so smart (?) that they know there was a fence there and that it was electric, and they can't - don't cross the line. Too funny.

I'm sure in a couple 3 or 4 days they will venture out into it. The grass is new, and tall and just waiting for them to enjoy it. Hopefully they will cut down on their hay dinners - which last all day by the way. :)

We had more rain, hail, and thunder and lightening last night. Washed the road out again. But they came and sort of fixed it AGAIN today. I wonder when they will do something more permanent instead of wasting money on gravel that washed away???!!!

Until next time, take care and God Bless. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In The Back


I seem to be fixated on the back yard this week! Maybe because it is finally coming into it's own, and looks like something you could enjoy!

These two, Patch on the left and Salli on the right, are the keepers of the outdoors. It is their job to keep the wild critters, i.e. skunks, possum, racoons, armadillos, fox, coyotes, deer, and the occasional stray cow or horse away from our plants. Now that is a big job! And they do it quite well, with minimal barking during the night. You just gotta keep the cookies at hand and everybody's happy. And don't make fun of Salli's big ears........that's her Blue Heeler showing. :)

And this is my "new" old rider mower (w/o a mower deck) that I use to get around the acreage. The little wagon is great for hauling the branches and sticks I rake up to the burning pile. You might recall I had a different Troy Bilt mower a while ago, and it quit running when it sucked up a tank of gas into the engine - literally. So it needs some work. Ronnie found this one for $25 and it runs great for the interim. And it even came with a mower deck that we might put back on. But for getting around without the pain of my artifical hip and bother of my COPD, it works great.

A few posts ago I featured my paddle cactus we found out in the weeds. They had little shoots on the rim of the paddles, and look at them now! I cannot believe how fast they have grown. I guess all the rain and then heat we had really did a number on them. It's so interesting to watch them grow. We had 90 yesterday and 89 the day before that and clouds today, with possible thunder/rain storms tomorrow or tonight. Spring is so changeable!!

So that's if for now. I thank God for the blessings he has given me, and His patience in my discovery of them. Know what I mean? Until next time, take care and God bless.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hobby Lobby


Boy, what a great day we had Saturday! Went to Muskogee to do some shopping and really had a good time. Ronnie dropped me off at Hobby Lobby while he went on to Lowe's to get some oil and stuff to fix up my new "mower rider". Picture of that later. Anyway, I had never been to a Hobby Lobby store before, so it was really quite a treat! To my West Coast readers, it is a combination of a Ben Franklin and Michaels......only bigger!

This is one of the things I bought......purple flip flops and some beaded strips to decorate them with. BLING!!
What a fun thing; the flip flops were $1.54 and the beads were $3.99.....go figure! So now I have a pair of $5.50 flip flops.....nice.

If you look very, very closely, in the front middle tree you can almost see my string of bling hanging in the tree. It's orange and crystal hearts and beads about 3 feet long, and they just kind of blow in the wind like a mobile. Pretty cool!

And this is my Lemon Balm patch, which Ronnie finished putting stones around. I found that kind of funny, because I had purposely left it open in front so he could mow around it easier. Oh well, you can never figure men out. I got this orange pin wheel at Hobby Lobby too. They had some huge ones too. These things were on sale at 1/2 price.

I also got a big book of iron on embroidery transfers (my reason for going in the first place), some new embroidery thread, a glass jar, and some small craft paint brushes. Ronnie came in and he got a stick on alphabet pack. I'm telling you, you could spend hours in that store; I'll definitely have to go back...........alone. With lots of money!

So of course after leaving there I had to go to WalMart to buy some flour sack dish towels (10) so I have something to do. The things like that were way too expensive at Hobby Lobby. Probably much better quality, but also a much bigger price; like $18 for one dish towel! And after that we went to Applebee's for early supper. It was a good meal and we got sucked in to getting dessert. We had the 2 for $20 deal and we thought it included dessert (like most places do) and so when they asked if we wanted dessert we said sure. Well, it was not included and the "lava" chocolate cake and ice cream dish was $5.99!! We shared it and it was good, but we weren't sure it was $6.00 good. :)

All in all, it was a great afternoon. I wish there could be more days like that.
Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day


Happy Mother's Day to those who are and those who are to be! Seven Mother's Days have gone by since I lost my Mother, and I still miss her! I suppose one will always miss loved ones, especially Mothers.

My middle daughter called me this morning and we chatted for an hour. That was a nice surprise, as we don't talk on the phone very often as she is busy raising her 5 children and working too. She works at home - a medical transcriptionist - but it takes a lot of her time.

I was out in the back yard and couldn't resist taking a photo of my kale; it is growing really good! And the tomatoes don't look to bad either. I am so anxious for the tomatoes to mature so I can taste a "real" tomato and SAVE MONEY! Unreal what they charge in the stores.

Apparentlyl the dogs are doing a good job of keeping critters out of the box garden at night, as none of the plants have been destroyed. I know whenever I hear them barking during the night that there is something running around out there, be it coons, deer, possum or armadillo. Good job garden body guards! The sun is shining so bright it makes my tomato patch look dry and desolate! It really isn't.........

I am looking forward to a nice supper of grilled flat iron steak, pasta salad, green beans,Italian bread and later strawberry shortcake. Hope you all have a great evening. Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Rock Garden?


It's been a few days since I posted; that should tell you there's not a whole lot going on of interest up here atop Winter's Holler! The rain was horrible; we got approximately 14 inches in a couple of days. Very depressing.

Not to mention our road is still washed out and we have not seen any county road crews out to fix it. We got my van out one day, but then it rained some more and now I can't get it out. It's the pickup or 4 wheeler if you want out! Kind of cramps my style...........

Sunday we went to Checotah and stopped to visit with some friends. Kathy and I tromped around in her yard looking at her garden and flowers and getting soaking wet feet wise. But, she gave me a big bunch of Lemon Balm, and so that is what's in this little space. We divided it in half, hoping it would spread more. This area is nothing but cut down weeds and dirt, and I think it would be great to haul some of our huge boulders in and place them around in the open area behind the lemon balm and then plant different flowering plants amongst them. Make a real rock garden, instead of what I did here.

This is the same bed just a different hue with the sun I guess. Anyway, I found directions on line on how to dry the lemon balm for making tea. So that should be fun. It seems it (lemon balm) is good for a lot of things that ail you, i.e. (in)digestion;lowering blood pressure; easing stress and depression; etc. And it is safe to consume with other medicines. It is of the Mint family, and the lemony smell is great.

My friend Kathy likes to dry it and then says her house smells like she did some deep cleaning!

So, we have sunshine today and the rest of the week, with a 20% chance of rain a few days, but hopefully it will pass us by. The 80 temps will be much appreciated!

If I don't get on here again before the weekend, I hope all the Mother's have a great Day this Sunday. Try to take it easy. :) And thank God for giving you the opportunity to nurture. Sometimes I feel like I am not acknowledged by my children, but I know they have their own busy lives to contend with. What counts is that they are here on this earth!

Until next time, take care and God Bless.