Sunday, May 23, 2010


How is it that kitties, even though they are sleeping, know that you are taking pictures of them. . .

And that they should twist and contort their bodies in the cutest way possible. . .

so that you just can't help but kiss that sweetly delicious little face?

They do it on purpose, ya know.

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Fire Garden

About two months ago, I planted a little garden on my balcony in my various window boxes and hanging baskets. When Ryan was little, he used to help his mom in her garden. He told me how he begged her to let him have his own little garden, a "fire garden", which would have only plants in fire-colored hues. She never let him. =( So when it came time for me to make my balcony pretty again, I decided to do a fire garden that he can enjoy.

Please ignore my sad lights. They need to be reinforced, that is if they still work. I have had lots of critters (squirrels) hanging out on my balcony, and being rodents, I know they are perpetually chewing animals. I wouldn't be surprised if my lights have fell victim to their gnawing habits.

The view directly out from my sliding door

Remember how the wrens were tearing apart my planter? Yeah, I didn't feel like paying 9 bucks for another coconut shell planter shell, so I just provided more support by cutting up one of the plastic pots some of the plants came in. =) Directly left of this view is a bird seed feeder, so between the birds and squirrels, by balcony gets a lot of visitors. The cats of course, love to watch them from the window. Baby, very curious by nature, is always waiting at the door to follow me outside whenever I go out to do laundry or water the plants.

He always has to investigate

A view slightly to the right of that first photo. . .

some of the window-boxes are the same

There is the wren house, a hummingbird feeder (though I haven't seen any yet) and yep, those are topsy-turvies. I'll let you know how those work. I have bell-pepper, tomatoes and tomatillos in them. My balcony doesn't get a whole lot of sun, so I am concerned with how well they will really do. I might need to move them to the front walkway where it's not so shaded by all the trees. I'd like to try to avoid that, because even though I am a friendly neighbor, I don't want my produce getting taken by others. =(

the veggies

I've been fertilizing the plants so they've really begun to take off. No baby produce yet though. That small soda bottle is for slow-watering so that the bag stays really moist.

Some flowers and rosemary for cooking

My plant gnawer is back. I don't know if its a squirrel or what, but I just noticed it about a week ago. That little yellow plant is non-existent now. Something chewed all the leaves off just leaving the yellow head. And I found it yesterday, chewed clean off, laying there in the dirt all sad and brown. =( I've begun to notice it on one of the tomatoes too. I really want to know what is doing this!
Once, I did see a female cardinal in the trees just hanging out in the branches. Then she would jump up and pull a leaf off. I watched her for several minutes just plucking the leaves off the tree and watching them fall. It seemed like she was doing this for fun, because she was not collecting them. I was fascinated when I first saw this, and thought it was pretty funny. . . until it started happening to my plants! Now I wonder if it's her. Some of the branches and things that I have noticed are being broken seem a bit thick for a little cardinal beak though. I'll be keeping an eye out! Anyhow, I think I will replace that yellow plant with some lavender. I know, not a fire-garden flower. But as I do have some herbs here, it will fit in with that scheme. =)

Flowers, red and orange with one that looks like firecrackers.

window box with begonias, thyme and alyssum

hanging baskets of flowers

The one furthest left has some begonias with other greenery.

a closeup

Some butterfly bush (left) and I don't know what that red one is called. But I love how it looks like flames!!

I love my pretty outdoor space. Hope you enjoyed it too. TGIF!

Friday, May 14, 2010

It Feels Good. . .

to stretch some pennies. I had a very big choice to make the other day. . . my dilemma was if I should take a bubble bath or not. I know, TOUGH. Well, for a while now I've been wanting to make a sugar body scrub, but didn't have a shower appropriate jar for it (I have lots of glass jars, but I don't see that working so well on the slippery surfaces). Then I was really wanting to soak the other day, with this flowery bubble bath from The Healing Garden, that is conveniently kept in a plastic jar. As I was about to run the water, a (very obvious) light bulb went off. Let's use the rest of the bubble bath as a base for the sugar scrub! I had enough for a very rich bath, but I figured a month's worth of foaming, sugary exfoliating goodness to show off summer skin was a great way to stretch it out a bit. It works great! And smells WONDERFUL. =)

jasminey foamy sugar scrub

When it runs out, I will make another batch of sugar scrub. It's really easy. . . Add 1/2 handsoap /bath gel to a jar then stir in sugar(or salt) until you get a nice paste. Use as often as you like for beautiful, healthy skin!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A sea of red

Saw this off of the freeway a couple weeks ago. Made me grab my camera the next day and take that exit to share with you all. . .

can you believe all that red?

This sea of red poppies was the entire side yard of a cute house off the freeway. You can't see how big this square is, but I'd say it was at least 50'x50'. So you can see how it very easily caught my eye. Can we just get in a little closer please?

aaahhhhh. so delicate and dramatic.

I love poppies. Now I just hear a certain evil, nasaly voice saying in a drawn out way, "Poooooppieeeeees, pooooooopieeeeees."

These remain one of my favorites.

Happy almost-end-of-the-week!

Monday, May 3, 2010

From the Mister

This weekend was pretty exciting. Ryan found one of his baby snakes that had escaped out of it's cage. It was actually his best snake, because he has a special gene for a certain type of coloring. So it was a huge disappointment when he got out about 5 weeks ago. Ryan has since started to build snake-escape-artist-proof-cages. We had both turned his apartment upside down looking for him on multiple occasions and he continued to look for him too, but given how long it had been since the snake last ate, we both feared that he had died or gotten outside under his front door. Anyhow, last week when I was visiting him, I noticed a snake skin under his toilet seat when I let it down. I immediately asked him if he had ever brought a snake skin into the bathroom when cleaning out the cages or whatever (it didn't seem likely, but I had to check) and he ran into the bathroom too to see the snake skin. It meant baby Hummel was still inside! Well on Friday night, Ryan had trouble sleeping and decided to get up and try looking for him again. Boy was he surprised to see him cruising around in his closet! The snake was tame before, but since he has been out on his own, he is pretty nippy. It's probably due to the fact that he is super hungry. . . . imagine a growing boy who hasn't eaten 6 meals. he would be grumpy too! I am sure that with more handling (by Ryan of course!) that he will calm down again. But I am SO glad that he found him. . . I now how sad it made him.
Well we were planning on going to the UT/Baylor baseball game Saturday night, so I met him over at his place so that we could drive to the park in one car and I wanted to see baby Hummel. And he surprised me with these:


3 pink/coral and 3 white. Awwwww. He remembered that they are my favorite. And that they are in season now. what a sweet guy. I am sad I didn't get pictures of them sooner. I left them at his place when we went to the game, and i didn't get them after because the game went like 15 innings and by the time we got back to his place I just wanted to go home and not go inside and get them. I wish I had, because they opened up A LOT. especially the pink ones. And since he worked all day yesterday, I didn't get them until yesterday evening. But they are still gorgeous and I am enjoying them. So is Baby.

The stinkin babe-in. (stinkin babe-in is my nickname for him)

he only got to smell them until I saw him start to open his mouth to chew on them. And which point he got a little tap on his behind and moved them out of his reach.

I love how big and delicate they are. The pink ones have those fabulous scoopy petals. while the white ones are all crinkly and pom-pom-y.

This one is the most open. You can't really tell the size of it, but it is much bigger than my whole hand open. the camera isn't quite capturing it, but the coloring in the petals is amazing. The only way I can describe it is like a watercolor. The colors blend and swirl, with the white at the center gradually growing to that vibrant pink.

I was so surprised. He is such a good Mister.