Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Yes folks, progress, on so many levels.

Some judicious watering saved the iffy plants in the butterfly garden. I think I had mentioned that one looked like it wasn't going to make it, and another looked like half the plant might expire? Well, the plants, they are alive! It always amazes me the recouperative powers plants sometimes have.

I think I had mentioned before that after the garden was put in, and we had that big rain, all the flower buds were beaten off the passion flower vine? Well, it has new buds out and has been blooming, too! Here is a "not too blurry" photo of one that just opened up today. There is a second flower that is almost totally open, but it was really blurry. There are about 5 more buds on the vine too.


Isn't it pretty? I think it is the same color as yours, Mom? I do wonder if it will fruit or if it just puts out the flowers? I should have taken a closer look.

While I am talking about the butterfly garden, I did get a little surprise while I was out there taking photos! A butterfly!!!! Who would have thought? Nice to know that at least one has found the garden though. I got one shot, and then when I tried to get a bit closer one, said butterfly decided it was camera shy, and it took off. Here it is....


Looks like it is happy with the pentas/Egyptian Star Cluster!

On Monday we stopped back at the doc's to get them to put a date on Anne's note that allows her to go back to work. We then headed for the base and had a good chat with the HR gal. She is so nice. We expected to hear from her yesterday (Tuesday) but didn't. Anne made two calls over to try to get her, but she was out of her office and has no voice mail. Oh well. We may hear something today? Not that Anne minds too greatly having the start of work put off a little bit more?

We got quite a late start running errands on Monday, due to RAIN! More specifically, a honking big thunderstorm, with lightning so loud and close sounding that I turned off the washing machine, and decided NOT to use the telephone. As you might have guessed, it was courtesy of that tropical storm that went through late last week, that was supposed to give us rain over the weekend. It didn't. Well, not much anyway! But, it did its swirly thing, and came back over Florida on its way to the east coast. We had a lovely sunny day on Monday morning, then the clouds rolled in. The rain really pounded down, and then of course, that thunderstorm kicked in. We got 2-3/10 inches of rain out of it (total for the day)! We got two big waves of it, the one before we did our running, and another big batch of it sometime after we got home and into the evening. Yesterday was nice and sunny again, and then we had a big thunderstorm in the late afternoon/evening. We got 1.5 inches of rain and we even had some hail. It was about pea size, the big ones, not the little tiny ones! It doesn't seem to have done any damage to the plants or anything, thank goodness!

Not much else going on, so will leave you for now and hope for something else to write about soon!

Thursday, June 22, 2006


It has been one of those weird weeks again. I am glad I re-read what I wrote last, so I can more fully update!

Monday and the clog in the a/c drain line. I quickly decided that more help was needed, after I found that my addition of more bleach and water--before coffee---didn't do the trick. I called the a/c people, and amazingly, the gal said they could send someone that afternoon--hurrah! He wasn't able to get there till after 5, but he did come, and he got rid of the clog, so all is good. He said a capful of bleach down the line once a month should keep it from ever happening again. I set that up on the calendar and AOL will email me a reminder every month. I am glad to be done with that. Some boxes will go out for the trash, as they are much the worse for wear after being soaked, but nothing important got wet, so that is all okay.

Anne went to see the hematologist on Tuesday. She blogged about it on the Brain Blog, so you can check and see what she had to say. Basically though, everything came out fine. She still feels really fatigued, has the odd fevers, sore throat, etc, but at least we know she doesn't have some kind of cancer or anything. That is a real relief, as after the tumor, the standard belief that there couldn't be anything too seriously wrong has been rather strained. She sees Dr. Venero on Friday afternoon for her follow up with him.

On Tuesday I had a call from Christine and we had a nice chat. Michelle had been to the doc's for her one year check-up. She is 19 lbs, 4 oz now, and 29-1/4 inches tall! She got shots, poor baby--she wasn't happy about that at all. I don't blame her! Brian had a very long day at work, something major needing repairs and lots of work involved. He had to be at work at 6 instead of 7 as usual, and he got home just before she hung up, at 7 p.m. their time. Quite a long day for him, and not the usual work day at all. The movers were to bring their things on Wednesday, so he was to be home for that. I didn't call yesterday, I figured they would be too exhausted to want to talk. I think they got most of the things done that they wanted to before the stuff came, so that was good. I know they are glad to have their stuff and their bed. Those air mattresses don't always help a lot. Ha--just realized, she did say air mattresses! It is sure better than the floor and sleeping bags, like we always did--haha. Still, one's own bed is best, right?

Not much else going on around here. Joel hasn't been back yet with the rest of the plants or the mulch, but it does take time. This is the busier time of the year, too, when they have to mow once a week, so the work load is so much higher. I thought Mike might start posting pictures of the plants, but since he hasn't, I might go ahead and start putting them up. If I can get some decent ones, that aren't so bright around the flowers that you can't see them.

We are back to dry and sunny--and hot, with afternoon clouds that so far haven't decided to do anything. I guess that is the way it goes.

I just went out and looked at the butterfly garden, it has been getting a little dry. Either Mike or the neighbor gave it some water this morning, so it is looking okay. Here is a photo of one of the plants, well, there are two of this, but this one shows up best. I think it is the one that I think might be called pentas?


Really pretty flowers, eh?

Monday, June 19, 2006


This past week went by so fast, it was amazing. Anne had the unpleasant experience of having it both drag and go by so fast it was a flash, all at the same time. I do find it amazing we are past the middle of June already.

I hope all the dads had a great day yesterday!! It did sound like it from the phone calls! Mike talked to his dad, and I got to talk to his mom. I hope you had a good day, Dad Walters! They are keeping busy getting ready for a visit to Jo. I know they will all enjoy that!

I talked to my dad late last night, late for me, not so late for them. That 3 hour time diffence is a help sometimes! He had a great time on the firing range with Chris and Phil. And then Mary had a great dinner for them all. I'm sure Mom and Mary had a good visit while the guys were out firing guns! Sounds like a great day! No fishing though--oh well---haha!

I called Brian, and saved him a dime (haha), as I had been meaning to call for 3 days by then and it was always either too early or too late when I remembered. They are doing well. They are thrilled to be in the house, and out of any and all temp housing! They are taking their time getting moved in, and maybe that is a good thing. He said they have already had their unaccompanied baggage delivered, and will call today to set up delivery of the rest of their stuff. They wanted time to get some things done around the house before it was full of boxes. This also gave them time to get all the unaccompanied baggage unpacked and settled, before the rest came. I am sure it is all working out for them. Michelle has her crib now, so I am sure she is happy! Brian is quite handy, and it will serve him well in their new house! Michelle isn't quite walking on her own yet, but is getting closer to it. She sounds like quite the little pistol, and I know they are having fun with her! Oh, almost forgot, they did get their fridge and washer and dryer from layaway, and Brian got them all installed. It isn't so bad camping in your house, when you have a fridge and can wash and dry clothes!

I checked the rain gauge late yesterday to find that it held a whole 8/10 of an inch! Wow! I think that was all the rain we had during the night Sat/Sun. I hadn't thought it rained that much, but then I guess I fell asleep and didn't hear most of it. Still, it is good to finally be getting some rain, and have a hope of getting the rain shortage taken care of. Sadly, I think we are just getting closer to getting the amount of rain we are supposed to, and I imagine we will be playing catch-up for a good while. It would sure be nice to see the lakes and ponds filled up again.

I am trying to get geared up to seriously get back to working on the house. I've been a bit headachy lately and it doesn't make it easy to find the oomph to get at it. Making excuses, eh? Oh well. I might get out and rearrange things in the garage, as with it the way it is, I don't want to put more out there. After almost two years in the house, the drain for the a/c finally clogged--not that we were happily looking forward to that or anything, mind you! The only good thing about it is that I found it fairly quickly and the water is backing into the garage instead of on the hall carpet as in Ohio. Mike and I dumped in bleach and water on Saturday, and that seemed to do it. I found late yesterday that it hadn't. Oh well. I was out this morning, before coffee, to do it again. One picture box is soaked and a box of garage stuff has a wet bottom, but everything else is okay--the water kindly meandered around everything else. It sure could have been worse.

Well, I guess it is time to finish up and try to get some things done around here! It is bright and sunny, so as long as we get outdoor things done before the afternoon thunderstorms, we should be okay. This is the time of year that they are the norm, and it sounded like there was a good chance of it today when they did the weather forecast last night. You all take care!

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Very best wishes to our favorite fathers! My dad instilled in me so many good things, I couldn't begin to list them all. He and my mom raised me to feel that I could do anything I wanted (well, as long as it was legal!), and I never felt that I shouldn't be interested in something because I was "a girl." What a fabulous gift!

I could say a whole lot more about the subject, about memories of things we did together as my sisters and I were growing up--fishing trips, camping, scouts, day trips and tours overseas, etc. but won't too much--don't want to get weepy! We always had a lot of fun, didn't we? There was always so much to see and do. And who could forget all the times we went fishing? I think the first time I can remember fishing was in Ohio, while visiting Grandma and Grandpa Maffett. Was that the first time? I seem to remember we were all pretty little? I am sure we didn't catch a thing, but had a good time. After that there was fishing in California (getting up at the crack of dawn, drinking coffee with lots of milk and sugar, that Grandma Brady had gotten up to brew before sending us all off), and fishing in Texas at the lake. Always a lot of good times, and sometimes those fish would actually bite!

Of course, there are tons of other memories of good times, that have nothing to do with fishing! But, too many to list. Still, it is fun to look back and remember all the fun times we all had together.

Oops, getting weepy. Just want to say, Dad, how much I appreciate everything. I'll say the same thing to you too, Mom---should have said it last month for Mother's Day. You all are great parents, and I am so thankful to have you!

We are a lucky extended family, to have so many great dads (and moms!) in it! Brian is already showing what a great dad he is and will be. Michelle is one lucky little gal. He had lots of great examples, growing up!

Well, it has been a quiet Sunday here so far, which is pretty much the way we like it to be! I think we had some rain last night and it is still very cloudy outside. We are still way below our normal rainfall, so can use every drop we get. Last I heard, we were still/now more than 10.5 inches below normal. Wow.

Daddy, have a great day today, and all you other dads, you do that too!

Friday, June 16, 2006


What a difference a year makes! This time last year, I was in Germany with Brian and Christine, and on this very day, 16 June, Michelle finally made her appearance! She was beautiful, of course. She gave us a bit of a worry, having to spend so much time in the neonatal ICU, with a diagnosis of encephalitis. That turned out to be incorrect, thank goodness, and she finally came home a week after her birth date.
Without further ado, a little photo tribute to Michelle, the first year!

Grandma was holding me, while I was still in the NICU.

Wow, I finally got to leave that hospital place and here I am at home! I feel awfully sleepy.

My first bath at home. I guess it wasn't too bad!

Tia made me this cute dress for the Fourth of July!

My first Halloween!

Look at me sitting up!

Well, here I am, in some place called Texas, at my Great-Grandma and -Grandpa's house. Look at that cake! Yummy.....

And today, our sweet baby is a year old. It doesn't seem possible it has been a whole year already. It sure has been a busy time, though.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Still Under the Influence?

I really thought when I got up this morning, that we were pretty well done with the rain from Alberto. The sky was very bright, so bright that I couldn't even tell exactly what kind of cloud cover was up there in the sky, just that it was thin enough near the sun that the sky was very bright. Later I was able to see that we still had big fluffy clouds, although the sky was still much lighter than yesterday.

We had a real good shower of rain, which didn't last too long. I looked out later, saw that everything was drying up and the sun was actually peaking through the clouds. Hurrah, clearing in the offing, right? I checked the rain gauge, which now held 1/10 (haha!) inch of rain. I went and tried to take pictures of the different plants in Mike's butterfly garden. I say tried, because some of them were so overexposed that you couldn't see the flowers. Oh well. Here is a photo of one of the milkweed plants Joel put in:


It still looks pretty good, despite all the pounding rain-haha.

I have been trying to identify the rest, and I am having less success than I expected. I do know the passion flower, of course, and you can see part of it in the photo of the milkweed. Mike will probably do better, especially once he has taken photos with his camera--you know those will be good!

Meanwhile, the rain is back, with the addition of a thunderstorm.

I will go ahead and leave you with a cute photo of Michelle at her early birthday party, reserving the right to put it up again on her actual birthday!


Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Yes Folks, we have rain. We had rain yesterday, fortunately AFTER Joel was here doing his magic. That consisted of filling up that new bed that was dug up a week or so ago. Well, maybe it was about two weeks ago? Here is a teaser photo!

This was taken today. Despite the clouds. It started to sprinkle the minute I walked out of the house, and then after this one shot, the battery was exhausted. Fate, right? I know there will be more photos to follow, on this blog and on Mike's!

But, back to yesterday..... Joel and the guys were out and got this all set up. There will be more plants added, he says! It will be so cool, as all the plants are ones that attract the butterflies. Then, by the time I thought about going out and taking photos yesterday, the rain started. It has all been an on and off thing, brought about by the storm that is now Alberto, over in the Gulf. We are just getting rain, so no worries. It is so far north, that it won't be a problem here at all. Meanwhile, we are glad to get the rain.

It did stop now and then, so we were able to take Mike out and introduce him to his garden yesterday evening! It really does look nice, and will be a really pretty addition to the yard, even if not for the butterflies.

I forgot to check the rain gauge last night, but did by about 9 a.m. today. There was just shy of 6/10 inches in it, not nearly as much as I expected. See Anne's blog, One Day at a Time, for a photo of what it looked like at its worst yesterday late afternoon!

We have had more rain today, although not as much as I expected. From the weather reports, it looks like we are on the outer boundaries of the rain lines, so we may not get all that much more?

Well, I just called Brian. They had just finished the closing a little while ago, and they are at the house. The former owners movers are almost done there, and the former owners are cleaning as the rooms are emptied. It sounds like they will all be out of there before too long? Everything has been working out just fine, and they will just camp out in the house while they wait to get their things delivered. I know they will be really glad to get all settled in and get their stuff back again!

Well, I will leave you with a great photo of Brian, Christine, Grandma/Great-grandma and Michelle, Grandpa/Great-grandpa, Russ and Skyler, and Amy! What a good photo!
Dad Walters sent it on to us.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


It is 9 p.m. and it is still 86 degrees outside. It really didn't feel all that hot when we went out for our weekly dinner out. That is one of the things I like best about this area, it often doesn't feel as hot as it is. Good thing!

Yesterday evening we had a mini disaster, namely water on the counters either side of the sink, and under the sink too. The counters and under sink area were cleared out and mopped up--thanks for the help, Anne!-- and the quest was on to try to figure out where the water had come from. No totally obvious solution, of course. I put dishrags at the upper edges of the sink/counter area, and some paper towels long the back of the sink edge. More paper towels were spread out under the sink. No water. Nada. Some minor drips from the faucet, just below the handle, reminded me of a time when there had been some bigger drips from the same place, and I had found at that time that the said area was loose. I tightened that up, just in case that was the answer. No problems, no more drips, etc. The faucet will be replaced at some convenient time. I don't like the faucet at all, so this is a good thing--haha!

Mike did a repair job outside for me today. One of the sprinkler heads was totally missing. Long story short, Mike found a bag of old but still serviceable sprinkler units in the storage room, and was able to replace the missing head from one of them. Hurrah!!!! It is all especially nice, since it was a sprinkler that had been "missing"---buried in sand and grass. Nice to have it working again!

We had a good showing of clouds this evening, but I don't think there is any rain forecast and it didn't look like they were going to produce any, in any case. Oh well. It seems kind of strange, when so many of the other areas around us have had a good amount of rain now, and we are still without any significant amount.

I have had news from Lufkin and all is well there. A great visit is being had by all. Russ, Amy and Skyler were able to go for the day today. Christine finally got to meet them all, and vice versa, and Skyler and Michelle had a good time playing. Christine has updated both the moving blog and her blog! Michelle got to have an early birthday cake and it sounds like she enjoyed that too!

Not much else going on, so I will go for now and will hope to have something interesting to write about before long--have a good weekend!

Monday, June 05, 2006

This Azalea....

blooms to the beat of different drummer, evidently?

Here I present the little, almost leafless azalea, which is just the other side of the bed from the one that is bigger and has plenty of leaves (you can probably see part of it in the photo). They are in the bed in front of the dining room window. The big one bloomed 2 months ago? It only had a couple of blooms on it, unlike last year, when it put on a better show. Last year this little didn't do much, but had a few blooms, and I thought it was about the same time that the big one bloomed.

The other day, we walked out of the house and I saw the buds on this one. I was amazed, to say the least. By Saturday, some of the buds had started to open, and when I saw this today, I knew I had to put it on the blog. Isn't it pretty? The photo isn't great, it is taken through the screen on the front porch! The correct angle makes all the difference.

We got almost a half inch of rain yesterday, as measured in the rain gauge! Hurrah! We still need plenty more, of course, but it is a start. Most of the areas around to the north and south of us got more--we were in the slack zone, I guess. Down just south of Palm Bay, they got 6 inches. Wow! It is to get to 90 here today--about the same as the inland areas. At least we have the breeze.

Mike and Anne made a little trip to the zoo yesterday afternoon. It started raining here not long after they left, and I wondered if they would be right back. As seems to be pretty typical of this area, they only got sprinkled on, rather than poured on like they would have been here. Glad it worked out that way! I guess they got to see the feeding of the alligators and crocodiles. They also saw the baby giraffe, which is getting quite large, it sounds like.

We got to talk to Brian and Christine, and the Walters, yesterday! I was just thinking about calling over there, when the phone rang and it was Dad Walters. We all had a really good chat. They arrived in good time, at about 2.20 on Saturday. It sounds like they had a good drive over, and not as long of one as Yahoo maps told me it would be. Michelle has already cleared off the coffee table in the family room---she isn't quite walking yet, but she still gets around on her feet. I am sure she loves walking around holding onto the coffee table. It sounds like she is going to try out the walker, too. I hope that Brian and Christine, and Dad, are taking lots of photos!!!!! I sure wish we could be there too. Have a great time, you all!!!!!! Give Michelle an extra hug and kiss for me.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

It Was a Dark and Stormy Day...

Well, not really. It started out sunny, then got cloudy, then sunny, then cloudy---if you are guessing that the weather is rather unsettled, you would be right. I really thought at times there that we would finally get the thunderstorms that they keep predicting, but so far, no dice. Oh well.

I did notice when taking a walk around the house yesterday, photographing flowers, etc, that there is still a good crop of dollar weed at the side of the house. How does that work? Too much water is what is supposed to encourage it to grow. Oh well. At least it isn't an ugly weed, so I don't mind as much!

I noticed this morning that there were more buds than I thought on the magnolia, and a good number of them opened up. I counted 4 flowers opened up--that is just what I can see from the living room window. Looks really pretty!

I am having a laundry day, I started off right, by bringing out a load and putting it in before even pouring a cup of coffee. Have you fainted from surprise? I know, it is rather unbelievable, isn't it? But, I really did. Load number 3 is in right now, with more waiting, but they won't get done today. It isn't all as good as it sounds, since I like to do little loads, with the water level reduced. I just can't stand for hours folding the resulting mass of clothes from larger loads--and I prefer to fold from the dryer, as I don't think things wrinkle as much that way.

Anne has continued to spin up a storm. I need to oil the wheel again, it has a squeak! She can definitely tell the difference between the different kinds of wool. She says this wool she is currently spinning is like spinning cotton candy, really easy.

Anne had a chance to talk to Christine on IM today! I hope their new house isn't too much of a mess when they finally get possession. Christine says that the family is packing out on closing day. It is a military family, and I can't imagine why they cut it that close, unless perhaps they are planning a door to door move? Still. I am sure that all will work out fine, they just may have the typical dirty house to clean. Oh well.

Not much else going on, but will leave you with a photo of some of the baby grapefruit, which still vary greatly in size, but are all getting bigger. I will have to go take a good look soon, and see if I have to cull out a bunch. From the quick glance I had yesterday, I might not have to cull this year, despite the number of blooms on the tree earlier on? I imagine that once I really start looking though, I will see that there are gazillions of the little things on there.