Friday, January 30, 2009

Darkening at Dusk

While the temps are warming up here, it's been overcast and rainy all week; currently, it's only 56*, and the temps are supposed to drop again over the weekend, so let's enjoy the warmer days while we can - this is a rainy day shot, taken Monday nite in my backyard.

Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn whatever state I am in, therin to be content ~ Helen Keller

Photobucket To see other sky watchers, or to play along yourself, visit Crazy Working Mom

You can visit even MORE skywatchers, HERE

Post positive

So, those of you who are familiar with me from my other blog already know that I participate there in "Only the Good" Fridays; this is an effort begun by my cyber-pal Shelly over at This Eclectic Life, to post good things on Friday in order to "spread optimism around the Net like a virus". I LUV this exercise, and try to find some uplifting news to share each week in that vein. But, I try to keep those entries very 'generic', if you will, and share some good that's good for ALL my readers, ya know?

But TODAY....Today I found a great effort sponsored by Susanne over at Living to tell the Story that I just LUV:

It's a place to come on Friday's and think back over your week and just post about 5 favorite things from your week. It can be anything that tickled your fancy over the week. Favorite quotes, posts, happenings, scriptures, recipes, pictures, etc., etc.

Wonderful!! I think this is a great way to end the week, and so, I'm posting my first Friday Fave Five, right now!!

1. Well, Obviously it's this wonderful little meme...Friday Fave Five (I actually "found" it when I was doing my Simple Woman's Daybook entry; another little weekly project I enjoy!)

2. I actually made a weekly menu and we STUCK TO IT!! Now, *that's* a major feat in this house, folks! But, with the Mister now on a bi-weekly pay schedule instead of weekly, it was a much needed change of habit...hopefully, one that sticks!

3. Meatloaf. I luv meatloaf! And, ya know why?! Cause it's never the same twice - at least in MY kitchen! - it's a 'hearty' meal, and there are ALWAYS leftovers for sandwiches...yum! (this week's creation was just some onions, mushrooms, breadcrumbs and a drop of soy sauce for some 'punch!'...easy-peasy, and SOOO tasty! I think we just might have those hot meatloaf sandwiches for dinner tonite!)

4. I got ALLLLLL the trash, recyclables and yard waste out to the curb this morning (I have a bad habit of missing them some weeks!) including the smelly, ol' kitty litter that I changed out completely yesterday...

5. I am happy & healthy; I have a wonderful mister, two fabulous hounds and a terrific manx kitty to share my days with; I have a sweet, loving mother and wonderfully witty friends; I have a house at the beach, food in my cupboards and Spring is on the way!! What's NOT wonderful about THAT??!

Now, head on over to Susanne's Blog and tell everybody about YOUR Friday Fave Five!
May your Friday be Fabulous!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bath time (Tackle-it Tuesday)

Just another mundane tackle here this week folks - gotta tackle that laundry (which, I'm happy to report is *almost* finished! - Just towels & sheets left to do); gotta tackle the kitchen sink (put those dishes away and all that); and, perhaps, this afternoon, I will tackle the bathroom - one that is much needed, I'm afraid.

Not only the tub/toilet/sink need to be cleaned, but I really need to clean off those shelves, and I GOTTA clean those mirrors! (We had some freezes here recently - I *told* you it's been COLD at the beach! - so that's why the plant is hanging from the shutters!; also, notice the mister's jeans on top of the towel chest!) Hopefully, I'll be back later this afternoon with better, cleaner, "aftershots" (or, not)

In the mean time, if you'd like to see some completed tackles, or if you would like to participate, head on over to 5 Minutes for Mom, and start tackling!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Blue Blooms

I'm not really sure what these little blue blooms *are*, but they make a pretty ground cover in my side garden! (identification would be appreciated)

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but, scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable. ~ Joseph Addison

To find more beautiful blooms, or to post an entry of your own, visit Today's Flowers

Simple start to the week ahead

FOR TODAY (Monday, January 26, 2009)

Outside my window...there's fog so heavy I can't see to the road, but the temperatures are looking *much* better, with high's expected in the mid-60's.

I am thinking...I can't WAIT for the weather to get warm (and stay warm!) every day; I'm a spring kinda gal!

I am thankful two hounds, who give me unconditional love and who make me smile each and every day!

From the learning rooms...Today marks the beginning of Chinese New Year, the Year of the Ox. Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later.

From the grocery trip yesterday as I had planned, BUT I do have a weekly menu all planned out; meatloaf tonite, swiss chicken and quesadillas later in the week. Now, to see if I stick to it!!

I am wearing...Levi's, a gray Jaguar sweatshirt, and gray slipper-socks.

I am creating...a new photo "gallery" along our hallway - now, I need a few more picture frames, tho, so the 'project' is on hold until I can get my hands on some!

I am stop in at my neighbor's later today, as she had a Dr.'s appt. this morning and she is rather worried about the results of the scans. Prayers that her issue is benign would be appreciated!

I am reading...right now, I have two novels on the go: first, I'm reading Edith Wharton for the first time, and am about 1/3 of the way thru "The House of Mirth", which I must say is more entertaining than I had first imagined it would be! I'm also reading "The Edible Woman" by Margaret Atwood (on of my favorite authors) and I'm finding both reads to be quite similar in their tone and subject matter.

I am hoping...that the Steelers win the Superbowl

I am hearing...The Morning Show on the television in the living room, and one of the hounds eating breakfast in the kitchen.

Around the house...well, its Monday, and that means back to the daily chore routine...I'm feelin' a bit under the weather this morning, so I think I may just do the "regular" stuff (make the bed, do the dishes, etc.) and call it a day!

One of my favorite things...the quiet of the early morning hours, just as the sun is coming up over the horizon...

A few plans for the rest of the week: nothing really, except the regular routine...and, waitin' around for Sunday afternoon (Go STEELERS!!!)

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

If you would like to take part in your own weekly daybook, visit The Simple Woman's Daybook for all the details...

Friday, January 23, 2009

weather, looking up

Another cold January day here at the beach, although it IS getting warmer; We are expecting temps in the high 60's today, and nothing below 47* through the night. (This photo was taken at Dutton Island Nature Preserve, along the Intra-coastal , just down the road apiece...)

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. ~ Anthony J. D'Angelo

Photobucket To see other sky watchers, or to play along yourself, visit Crazy Working Mom

You can visit even MORE skywatchers, HERE

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Daily Grind (Tackle-it Tuesday)

Nope, no big tackles going on here today, folks, just the normal routine chores - that means;

~ Clearing the sink of (clean) dishes, and cleaning up the kitchen (done)
~ doing laundry (this is *almost* done; one load of sheets left to dry/fold/put away)
~ picking up the living room (done)

Then, I am gonna go (back to) curl up on the couch with a lap blanket and my dogs; grab another cup of hot coffee, and finish reading the James Rollins book that has me completely enthralled with its story!!

How about YOU? What are you tackling today? Be sure to visit 5-Minutes for Mom to see what others are doing, and perhaps play along yourself! Whatever you tackle today, I hope its terrific!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Small splashes of color

today's blooms are 'Super Elfin Red' impatiens, still flowering on our front patio

Slender joys often repeated, fall as sunshine on the heart. ~M. Tupper

To find more beautiful blooms, or to post an entry of your own, visit Today's Flowers


FOR TODAY (Monday, Jan. 19, 2009)...

Outside my window...It is still dark outside; the sun hasn't yet peeked up over the horizon. It's been colder than usual here at the beach, but there is promise of sunshine and warmer temperatures later today.

I am thinking...that I am going to enjoy participating in this weekly journal-like carnival, "The Simple Woman's Daybook". What a great way to begin one's week, with reflection on your thoughts regarding how to embark upon it...

I am thankful for...our little, humble abode.
Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home. ~ John Howard Payne

From the learning rooms... Jan.18-25 marks the 8th annual Hunt for Happiness Week, sponsored by the Secret Society of Happy People. The idea is simple - to encourage people to actively seek happiness during the week. A stop at their homepage will give you ALLL sorts of ideas for celebrating; from handing out I-Spy coupons, to coordinating "happy" projects for an entire classroom - they even offer a "31 types of happiness project" to garner your participation. [Okay, so this is one of the prompts that can be skipped, and as I have no children, I suppose that would be the easy option - perhaps the preferred one - however, I am a firm believer in the fact that one should learn SOMETHING every day of one's life, regardless of age or child-rearing status! So...I'm going to try to utilize this prompt as well, if at all possible. ]

From the kitchen...I made a batch of brownies last night. As I've said before, I'm not very good with creating weekly menus ahead of time, but it seems it may be time to *get* good at it; with the mister's paycheck coming bi-weekly now instead of weekly (Happy New Year), I venture that it would be more cost effective - not to mention time-saving - to plan a menu instead of making daily runs to the grocery store. We shall see if that plan gains fruition.

I am wearing...As I just climbed out of bed less than 30 minutes ago, my current ensemble consists of red woolly slipper-socks, red plaid flannel PJ bottoms, a grey "Axemen" t-shirt, and a plush, pink housecoat. (did I mention its been cold here?!)

I am creating...a new blogspot for the furry folks here at our cottage.

I am pour myself another cup of coffee and peruse some of the other participants entries for "The Simple Woman's Daybook"

I am of James Rollins 'SIGMA Force' novels, entitled "Black Order"; typical macho, testosterone-filled, espionage, thriller type story....and, as is usual with his novels, I'm lovin' every minute of it!

I am hoping...that the Steelers win the Superbowl!!

I am hearing...blessed silence, right now. It's nearly 5a.m., the hounds are asleep on the couch and I can hear them breathing....

Around the house...things are pretty quiet. The mister is already off to work; the hounds are sleeping on the couch, and I'm debating rather to make another pot of coffee. Not much that needs to get done today, which leaves plenty of time to finish reading that novel!

One of my favorite things...Febreze Air Effects spray, Spring & Renewal scent. (it smells so-ooo good!!)

A few plans for the rest of the week: Not much on the agenda for this week; I have a bookbox and a bookring book that need to resume their travels, I want to work on "spring cleaning" my living room (in concert with Organized Home's Grand Plan Challenge), and (hopefully) write out a menu-plan for the next two weeks and shop accordingly!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

The right idea at 5am

Friday, January 16, 2009

January in Florida

Sky Nothing but bright, sun-filled skies here in north Florida; we are experiencing the lowest temperatures that we have had all season this week - with lows dropping down into the high 20's, and the high during the day not expected to reach up above 60 - but, as you can see, not a cloud in the sky!

Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves. ~ James M. Barrie

Photobucket Hey! I just found another sky watchers meme over at Crazy Working Mom's; this one seems a bit more intimate and, I'm gonna submit this, there, too - I hope there's no *rule* against THAT!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day (Jan '09)

Well, today, is the 15th, and so I wanted to start the new year by participating in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day over at May Dreams Gardens; Those of you who are regular "gardening bloggers" prob'ly already know about this, but for you newbies-like-me, this is a monthly gardening photo carnival hosted by May Dreams Gardens on the 15th of every month. I had planned to start the year by posting some blooms from around my garden, but, sadly, I took a look around yesterday, and there is nary a flower to be found...well, save the fading blooms on my amaryllis:

The ones from last year's batch haven't even bloomed this year, but my narcissus are trying to bloom, and I hope in a few days I might have some pretty flowers to show from them. I *do* still have bananas in one of the trees, and a bromeliad (I think - anybody know??)with an interesting-looking seed pod...

After reviewing some of the other participants entries, I'm not sure I should even post my paltry pics; But, it is winter time tho, even here at the beach...they're telling us to bring in all the potted plants and outdoor pets, so THAT's how you know its winter in these parts!

Anyway, if you want to see what's bloomin' in January in some other spots around the blog sphere, do be sure to visit May Dreams Gardens; And, why not share a snapshot or two of what's bloomin' in *your* yard! (If you do decide to play along, please leave me a comment, so I can come visit your garden spot!)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A worthwhile challenge (WFMW)

Have you all heard of Well, if you haven't yet, you should check it out (there's a little linky there in my sidebar -->); they have everything for getting your house organized, from menu planning, to recipes for homemade cleaning products, to how to cut clutter and save time around the house; it really is a great site, but, what I'm especially excited about is their 2009 New Year Grand Plan Challenge. While it actually began on January 11th, the challenge is to work through a 14-week plan "to clean and organize a spring-clean house for the New Year. " so "By Spring, you'll be ready for outdoor fun." That sounds like somethin' that COULD work for me - and, getting my spring cleaning done BEFORE spring certainly sounds promising...

So, I intend to try and follow along - first mission: the entryway/living room; as I don't *have* a separate foyer, I am combining the tasks of the first two weeks. I don't know yet if it *does* Work For Me, but I sure hope to find out!

Wanna share what works for you? Be sure to check out Rocks In My Dryer, and see what works for all this week's participants!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Three-dimensional cleaning (Tackle-it Tuesday)

Well, it's gonna be a cloudy, rainy day here at the beach, my friends, and *that* generally puts ME in a mood to curl up on the couch with a warm blanket, a hot drink, and a good book - (the hounds are always 'up' for a good afternoon nap!) - BUT, it *is* Tuesday, one of the first in the brand new year, and, so it is time for;

My tackle today is to clean out the fridge!!

Look at that; It's so bad that the batteries on my camera gave out!

So...that's the plan. Clean OUT the refrigerator; clean UP the dishes that this is sure to generate; And, cleaning DOWN the counter-tops and kitchen surfaces. A 3-D Tackle-it Tuesday! I'll return here later today (I hope!) with the AFTER effects!


A rainy afternoon, well spent! (It's a bit barer now, but it's clean)

What are *YOU* going to tackle today? Whatever it is, may it turn out terrific!

Monday, January 12, 2009

big, beautiful blooms

While I'm not spending as much time in the garden these early January days, I found this weekly meme that can give everybody a bouquet of flowers, no matter what the calendar month!

(My flower for today is a pretty, coral Fancy Hibiscus from my front yard!)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Garden Talk for January

Well, there's not much gardening to DO at this time of the year, even here in sunny Florida!

The colder weather is a great time to clean the outdoor potted plants of leaves and debris, before having to bring them inside or into the greenhouse (if you are so blessed!).Outdoor tropical plants (schefflera, croton, dieffenbachia, pothos, philodendron) should be protected from temperatures below 55°F and citrus from temperatures below 28°F. And, make sure you continue to water everything during these drier, colder months - including the birds and squirrels. (It's also a great opportunity to add bird houses to your yard, so they can have time to weather before spring.)

Now IS the time to transplant any plants you want moved for the upcoming spring (we have two camilia bushes we're going to have to move again) No pruning though - only dormant shade and fruit trees. And, you should prune poinsettias and holiday mum plants before setting them into the landscape. If you happen to have flowering spring bulbs, now is the time to get them in the ground as well; remember, if you live here in N.Fl./ S.Ga., you should have had them chilled in the fridge for the past 8 weeks.

Annuals that can be planted in January include: calendula, carnations, foxgloves, pansies, petunias, snapdragons, statice.

Since they return year after year, perennials are a great addition to any garden; Perennials to plant this month include African lily, amaryllis,calla, day lily, gladiolus, spider lily, walking iris.

If you want to plant peppers and tomatoes in March, you should plant your seeds indoors, now, as it takes 4 to 5 weeks to grow small transplants. Veggies to plant now include beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, mustard, potatoes, radishes and turnips.

And, as you make your way thru 2009, remember:

Anyone who has a book collection and a garden, wants for nothing. ~Cicero

Planting made easier (WFMW)

Okay, so I luv plants and flowers. My MIL knows this, so every year at Christmas she gets me Amaryllis bulbs to add to my garden. This year, along with my amaryllis (and some paper white Narcissus from my BIL) she included

Coir Fiber Coco Peat Disks, an organic potting medium made mainly from natural coconut fibers, that are entirely organic, nutrient rich and manufactured from renewable resources. And, not only are they used by flower growers, but are also used a a bedding material in commercial worm farms and golf courses because of its water retention qualities.

And, they are oh-so-easy to use! Just place a disk at the bottom of your container, add three cups of WARM water (it will stay hard if you use cold) and let it sit for 15 minutes. When you come back, your pot is FULL of planting mix, and you are ready to plant those bulbs!!

Pretty, huh? And, now, even easier to achieve! Pretty AND easy - THAT Works For Me!!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

That hot spot (Tackle-it Tuesday)

So, my first Tackle of this year is simple (baby steps, right?!) - that "hot spot" in our dining room; you know what I'm talkin' about, that one place in the house where everything seems to accumulate like flies on ...honey.

Well, *our* hot spot, is the side table in our dining room:

I know - that's just awful, isn't it?! Especially now, as the mister was home on vacation over the holidays, so that was 10 solid days of compilation (I do little-to-no housework when he has some time off...see the quote at the bottom of the page!)

It's actually a very nice, antique drop-leaf maple table. Of course, you can't TELL that, as it is so piled high with crap, that you can't SEE it!! But, that will be corrected TODAY, my friends! I will report back with an update, later in the day (I hope!)...

~~~~~ *that's* better! Now, I can at least see the top! BUT - not only THAT - I also picked up the living & dining rooms, cleaned the kitchen AND did all the dirty laundry! I am on a roll, boys and girls!!...

Need some inspiration of your own to get up and tackle something today? Be sure to head on over to 5 minutes for mom, and see what others are tackling this new year...

Happy Housework!!