Sunday, March 27, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Treats for Lily and Lola

A couple of weekends ago Laura and Alissa came down for the afternoon. It was a beautiful day and we all wanted to spend some time with Lily and Lola.

I gave Alissa a bunch of crackers to use as treats for them and brother, did they want them all!

Poor Alissa couldn't break the crackers into bite sized pieces fast enough :)

Afterwards, Alissa took the stand to declare the opening of a girls only club.

When I asked her what the club rules were, she proceeded to say "no hurting, shooting, teasing or being mean to any animals"!

That's my girl!

I'm linking up to Farm Friend Friday.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Scent Is Heavenly

My beautiful Clematis Armandii is absolutely loaded with flowers this spring. I thought I had killed it summer before last when I started pruning and didn't know when to stop.

Well it has bloomed better than ever this year and the sweet scent of the blossoms flow in through the windows.

I paid $7 for this plant at WalMart or Lowes several years ago and it just grows and grows and grows!

I hope you're all having a good week!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pretty Things!

Yesterday was my birthday and a friend who I haven't seen for a year took me to Panera for lunch. I love Panera Bread! It was great to catch up with her and now that I'm back up in the area, we should see each other a little more frequently.

I haven't posted about my pretty gifts I got from my family. My talented sister made me this bag. A friend showed me one that she had made last year and I loved the size and shape of it. My sister bought the pattern (it's called Baby Bow Tucks) and made one and gave it to me the weekend she and my mother came for a visit.

I don't have the patience to sew like this! Everything she did was perfect. She measured her cell phone and check book to customize the interior pockets to fit my stuff. And how pretty is the contrasting lining?

And how about this gorgeous button?!?

And she made me a pretty tissue holder...check out the curvy opening.

Laura and Alissa went shopping at Big Bloomers Flower Farm (Gail's garden center) and bought me this beautiful oxalis and put it in a pretty lavendar pot.

And she also bought me a little mushroom that I had flipped over when we were there the other weekend.

My Rosebud gave me a sweet bird. She knows how much I love birds and picked this one out all by herself.

I'll be helping Gail's husband on their rental property for just a bit Saturday morning and then will be out in the yard all weekend long. There is so much left to clean up and get ready for planting. I hope you all have a good weekend!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I'm feeling the strain of my financial situation and I suppose that makes me also feel vulnerable.

Zoe is due for her annual physical, so I had made an appointment to take her last night to get only her rabies and DHLPP vaccinations. When I learned that she would have to have a physical by the vet, I decided to decline getting the DHLPP vaccination. Because I don't want to jeopardize Zoe's health I changed my mind at the last minute and told the vet to go ahead with all vaccinations.

She looked at me and asked "money tight?". Yes, I said. For the first time in my life I've had to ask family for some help. She looked at Zoe's records and said that the DHLPP wasn't critical since she's had three sets over the years, and that she could just take care of the rabies without an exam to keep the bill to about $20. She then proceeded to give Zoe a quick once-over anyway at no charge.

I've been a client of this particular veterinary practice for many, many years. The vets there are compassionate, support rescue groups and aren't in it just to make money. I appreciated Dr. X's concern for my situation and what she gave to me, getting almost choked up before leaving.

Since I was in the "big" city, I decided to treat myself to dessert at The Olive Garden. My sister had sent me some money to help with the IRS bill (more on that later) with some extra for fabric or something just fun.

It was getting late in the evening so I didn't want to wait to be seated and just walked into the bar area. I had been sitting there for more than a couple of minutes with the bar tender making a couple of drinks and cleaning up. I hadn't been acknowledged and was watching him wondering how long he would take before doing so. The second bartender came from the back with a carry out order for another customer and after taking care of that, immediately came over to me and asked if he could help me. "You sure can", I said and gave him my order.

There was something about him that seemed so genuine. He made eye contact with me and the other customers he talked to (yes, I was watching him). There was a certain appeal to me about him. He was young - maybe in his 30's - and had a nice demeanor about him. Not cocky, but very pleasant, and while average looking, attractive to me.

I ended up ordering a full blown dinner to take home, but ate some of it there. I can't remember the last time I've had dinner out and I felt like I deserved it. It was my sister's treat and I appreciated it. So I sat there and ate a little, but packed up most of it to enjoy this evening. I had dessert and coffee, which felt luxurious. As I sat there, I watched the first bartender, who did finally talk to me a little. It was almost 9 o'clock and I still had things to do before going to bed, so I didn't hang around after I had finished.

I wanted to say something to the young man who had waited on me and when I saw the opportunity, I signaled for him to come over. I told him that he had been very kind. He seemed a little surprised and thanked me immediately and said that he had enjoyed waiting on me. As I left, he told me to have a nice evening.

I wasn't feeling sorry for myself for sitting there alone. I rarely get lonely. But the kindness that was shown to me by two individuals - one a complete stranger - touched me so much that I almost cried. Silly? I don't know.

The quote kind to strangers, for you never know what battle they are fighting... kept going through my mind all evening.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spring Flowers and Sweat Equity

Ahhhh spring - things are blooming all over the place and it's such a beautiful sight. We aren't out of the woods here yet; some of our biggest snows have happened in March.

My forsythia is huge as ever. I even pruned it a little during the winter.

I don't have a lot of daffodils, but what few I have are in full bloom. Well, except for the ones I transplanted; they're just tiny green things this year.

My tulip magnolia has tight buds all over it, and some are about ready to open.

My iris grew about 3 inches over the weekend!

I'm saving the best for last. Remember I told you I was helping Gail's husband clean up a rental property and taking merchandise from their nursery in lieu of pay? Well, lookie what I this a beauty or what!?!

This double wide arbor has the sweetest gates that actually close. I'm leaving them open though so I can hang things on them.

I have GOT to finish my walkway this spring. It looks even worse now that I have this beautiful arbor.

My sister and mom were here over the weekend and DS helped me put up this gorgeous piece of architecture. I took them to Big Bloomers (Gail's nursery) and they really enjoyed themselves. There are so many things there that we all wanted, so I will be helping Gail's hubby a few more weekends :)

Now to do some chores before it's time to go to bed. I've already made a new shelf and hung it in the laundry room. Another repair job thanks to the cats over the weekend. If it isn't one thing, it's another with all these crazy animals!

Friday, March 4, 2011

This Will Make You Smile!!

Each morning, I usually check CNN when I get into work. Sometimes you can find stories that you don't necessarily hear about on the news at night. I mean, God forbid if we actually heard some good or postivie news.

Anyway, check out this story. I'm definitely going to think about this when I feel old and am hurting. He's an inspiration!!

93-Year-Old Bag Boy Loves His Job

You have a good day now, ya here? :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Starving The Farmers? Really?

OK, I realize my blog has taken on a different direction lately. Things are getting out of hand and I believe in passing along information about topics that are important to animals, the environment, and society that promote a common-sense way of doing things. Mostly, I'm a tree hugger from way back and like to feel I'm making a contribution to "the greater good".

I just read a post on a farm blog that somehow led me to this article, a commentary on programs being cut in New York state.

I've been so concerned with my own survival the last couple of years that I haven't had the energy to do much else. Now that things are getting a little better for me, I feel I need to help make some changes. And don't think one person cannot make a difference, because we can.

While I'm on the subject, I'll let you all know that I've recently stepped up my own game as a responsible custodian of this planet. I am no longer using paper napkins; I've replaced them with some cloth napkins that I sewed up last week.

I will also be making my own earth friendly laundry detergent this weekend using 20 Mule Team Borax, Ivory soap and Oxi-Clean. It's cheap and easier on the enviornment; you can find several variations of the recipe by doing a search on-line.

I'm using fewer plastic baggies and am going to start using good old-fashioned waxed paper to wrap my sandwiches in. The enormous swirls of plastic in the ocean should concern everybody. If I'm made a permanent employee in my current position, I want to push to get rid of bottled water this department buys (about 4 cases a week = 96 plastic bottles) and have a water filter system or cooler put in.

And...I am making a conscious effort to buy more American-made things when I can. I can thank Diane Sawyer's challenge for that one.

We can all make a difference by changing one little thing in our daily habits and routines. So take a minute and think about what you can do in your own home routine that will have a great impact somewhere down the line. Just like a smile can be contagious, so can leading by example. Think Globally and Act Locally!

I hope you all are having a good week. Spring has popped in my yard with pretty forsythia in bloom - woo hoo!