Monday, March 28, 2011

Gardening . . . .And Stuff

Hi All! xsfjsfj Is it just me or has it been forever since I last posted?? dghkdgk Lately, it seems like I have been running around like a crazy woman so posting has been a bit "out of the question." I have thought about you all though. I have WANTED to check blogs and to post but . . . that is hard to do when you aren't home or when you are sound asleep! fhjkfjk Anyway - I am doing really well on my practicum hours but not so well on my sleeping hours. I am sure it will all work itself out soon! ghklgkl In the meantime . . . the front flowerbeds have continued their transformation. Hubby has been steadily working on removing shrubs (basically one or two a day) and we actually planted shrubs yesterday. Take a look. fgjkfg This is what the bed looks like now (remember, we are only this far along on one side of the front!). MUCH smaller plants and the rock (yes, I had to buy a rock since they are rarely seen roaming wild around this area!). fhj Another view of the bed. I can't wait to get mulch on the ground and maybe a few more perennials thrown into the mix. Oh - and the last three "old" shrubs out of the picture! dghk The rock is being kept company by perennials - including black eyed Susan's, bee balm, butterfly bush, pincushion plant, and balloon flower. The new plants are so much smaller . . . They need to grow some but not TOO much!




Voice Update: My neck is a tiny bit "crunchy." I have an appointment with Susan today so I am sure it will be hurting tonight and tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Back In The Swing

Hi All!

Well, Spring Break is, regrettably, over. Now it is time to get back into the swing of life at full speed again. Honestly, I am not certain I am ready for this! Yes, it is good to see people I haven't seen during the break (it seems like forever since I last saw them!!) and I get to resume some of the fun things about my classes - like the observations. However, I also must resume the not so exciting things like researching for my paper, making videos of myself interpreting, and quizzes. Bah!

One exciting thing is that it was Hubby's birthday yesterday! He had a nice, relaxing day since he took a day off of work to "pamper" himself. He also was having some back pain (can you say digging shrubs?) so the day off helped that as well. Sadly, I wasn't with Hubby all day since I was out on observations and then at class. Oh well, at least the kitties kept him company!

Due to my early observation yesterday I didn't get in my morning walk but I did this morning. It was a nice morning for a walk - just a hint of coolness in the air and a nice breeze. Warm enough to wear shorts and a t-shirt. Some remaining spring flowers. Fresh new leaves on many of the trees. This walking thing can be addicting - even when I would rather just snuggle under the covers! I MUST stay motivated. I MUST stay motivated!

Wish me luck with that!

I hope that your week is off to a good start! Have a wonderful day today!


Voice Update: Doing well. I haven't been saying too much because everything is pretty much "status quo" lately. If you have questions, let me know!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Rock!

Hi All!

The remaining tree out front finally agrees that it is Spring!

Leaves! Tiny leaves, yes, but they are still leaves!


As you know, Hubby and I have been working out in the front flowerbed. Hubby has been digging out old, overgrown shrubs and I have been trimmng shrubs which will wait a while until they are dug up. One of my plans for the beds was to put in a big rock.


So - Hubby and I went rock shopping on Saturday and we got this.

I like it! It has some lichen on it and some holes in it. It has interest!


Around the rock are perennials. Right now I am thinking that this end of the bed will be all perennials and no shrubs but . . . that could change!

Here is the rock closer up.
Now we just have to keep up the digging of shrubs and get the new shrubs planted! Not too much more work, huh?




Voice Update: Still doing really well!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Shrubs, Shrubs, Everywhere!

Hi All!

Yesterday was a shrubby kind of a day! Hubby and I have been talking for a long time about ripping out our overgrown shrubbery in the front of our house to replace it with new shrubs more to our taste (and maybe with less of a tendency to grow a foot in a day!). Some of the shrubs were ripped out when we had out foundation fixed up but there are still several (many!) to be dealt with.

Hubby and I originally thought we would have a landscape company come in and take care of the shrubs but that changed about two days ago when Hubby decided to dig them out ourselves!


Well, the process is started. It is a bit hard to believe but . . . it is started. I began the week by trimming shrubs which might take a while to dig out (so the home owners' association doesn't complain!). Then I headed to the nursery to pick up some new shrubs and some flowers (of course!). That was my job yesterday. Here is what I came home with.
These Columbines were just too darn pretty to pass up. They will find a new home in my corner garden outside of the kitchen window where they will get partial shade.

This is one of the newbies for the front. I wanted a nice mix of leaf colors as well as some flowering.
This plant has nice white flowers to contrast with the purple of the previous shrub.

Another purple to go on the other side of the bed for some balance.

Okay - this one is sort of purple as well but it will have reddish berries eventually - a nice shot of fall color!
This isn't all of the shrubs I bought but a nice selection to show what I was up to yesterday.
Well, yesterday morning anyway! It stretched into the early afternoon and it was HOT! It was about 80 degrees and I was pretty warm by the time I was finished walking around and lugging pots out of the car! After that I crashed in the house - well, I wanted to crash but I had to clean up a "lovely" hairball. THEN I crashed and cooled down before my hair appointment.
To answer the inevitable question- my hair is looking the same as it has looked for a while - just a bit longer. I got the ends cut off so everything lies better and it feels better.
After my haircut and some more resting Hubby came home and it was back out into the fray - so to speak. More shrub trimming for me and for Hubby . . . .

This is what Hubby did while I trimmed. He dug out the shrub on the corner - a "lovely" holly shrub which we really, really don't like because it spikes us all the time.
The shrub was where the large patch of dirt is now.

Then Hubby came to the other side to help me with trimming and got a little frustrated with a shrub so . . . .


He dug it out! He also started cutting down the yellow and green shrub in the back. He doesn't like them since they have some kind of infestation.


Two out of a million shrubs down . . . well, not really a million. It just feels like that when we have to trim. Needless to say, we are NOT replacing all of the shrubs but are going with fewer. Fewer to trim. More empty space between shrubs. More perennial flowers. More watering.


So not everything will be perfect but . . . I think it will be an improvement.


Did I mention that after the first day of trimming my body hurt? However, after working again yesterday - the stiffness and stuff is much less. I wonder how it will be after today!




Voice Update: Doing well.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Walk

Hi All!

Since this is my Spring Break week, I have been back to regular morning walks and it is beautiful! Today the thermometer read 64 degrees when I woke up! There was a nice, cool breeze blowing and the day was overcast so I wasn't harassed by the sun. AND - I know this is hard to believe - I actually remembered to take my camera with me! As I walked this morning I captured some of our spring scenes to share with you.

Our trees are a mixture of buds and leaves right now. Some of the buds are bright red - like these (even though they are muted by the dull day!).

There are daffodils blooming, daffodils done blooming, and daffodils just budding.

The Bradford Pear trees are blooming . . . and some are done blooming and studded with pale green leaves!

There are other trees blooming too - like this one (sorry about the blurry picture!).

The new buds on trees just fascinate me. These were rather large buds!

Forsythia is also in that state of flux - either just blooming or mixed with greenery.

It is amazing how many different things are blooming!

These are some of my favorites! They remind me of Spring in Ohio for some reason!

Nothing better than pretty pink/purple blooms!

The day continued to be overcast throughout my walk (the sun did peek out for a bit and I almost caught it in this blurry picture!).
The breeze blew (quite hard at times) the entire walk but I was still sweaty when I got home!
It was a super day for a super walk!
Later today I am going to head out to purchase some new shrubs for our front beds (well, really only half of the beds!). Yesterday Hubby and I discussed things after I trimmed some shrubs. We have been talking about pulling everything out and starting over again. The builder put in shrubs and overcrowded them so that no matter how we trim them . . . they are just too much!
Speaking of trimming shrubs. Can you see one of the results of my labor in this picture?

Yes! A blister! I was wearing my gardening gloves while I was working but . . . I get blisters anyway. What a pain in the finger!

This is what I did. I trimmed the tall holly up to where I could reach (I need a ladder for the rest), the two shrubs around the holly, and the two shrubs to the left of the holly. It doesn't look like much but we had five bags of trimmings to haul out back!

When I came in from my morning walk I found Skor waiting for me in an unusual place. Not because he is on the piano but because he is on the very edge of the piano. He fit just perfectly there!

As a final treat, I took a movie of a Mockingbird's song for you!


Have a super day!




Voice Update: I am doing better with my exercises and massage! My voice isn't getting too much of a workout during this week but I am speaking enough to keep it on track!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Migraine and The Gnome and Mrs. Meyers

Hi All!

Yesterday was fun - sort of. I started the day with my morning walk and chat with Mom. Then I headed out into the day. Everything went really well until I was in my car on the way to the grocery store. That is when it struck. A headache.

Luckily, I had aspirin and water in the car so I took full advantage of both. Then I soldiered on into the store. Somehow, the bright store didn't soothe my headache but rather amplified it . . . into a migraine.

I completed my shopping and headed home. Once there I dragged everything into the house and put away the things that needed refrigeration. The rest was left on the counter while I heated up some lunch (thinking that my headache was due to a lack of food).

The food was eaten and the headache actually ratcheted itself up at least two notches. Due to that, I headed to bed. Three and a half hours later I was awakened by Hubby sitting on the edge of the bed. I hadn't even heard him come into the house!

The headache was still there so I got up and took some Excedrin and then burrowed under the covers again.

Another three hours later I emerged with only the dull remains of a headache. Hubby and I enjoyed a nice dinner (with Hubby's homemade spaghetti sauce) and some conversation before it was time to head back to bed for the night.

This morning I woke up with the hangover feeling from the meds but no headache! My morning walk was refreshing (if a little brisk at 41 degrees!) and it was a good time for me to dive into a new podcast.

The podcast is called The Gnome and Mrs. Meyers by Susan Klein. The book is read by the author and is interesting. The basic premise is that a recently widowed woman is surprised by the appearance of a House Gnome in her living room. A real, live gnome! The gnome asks to stay at her house for three months after which the woman will get a wealth of gems in payment. Since the widow, Mrs. Brenda Meyers, needs money after her husband's long illness she agrees to the three month stay. That is when her adventure begins.

Despite the rather lack-luster reading voice of the author, the story has me hooked with its whimsy and unusual plot. I can't wait to find out what happens next!


Voice Update: Still hanging in there. Hopefully today will be better (without headache and with time for exercises!).

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Cat, A Game, and a Kiwi

Hi All!

Welcome to the first day of my Spring Break! Even though I am in college I am not doing the "traditional" college spring break of going somewhere warm and partying all week. In addition to being allergic to the sun, for some reason, staying at home and taking some naps sound more enjoyable than partying 24/7. I must be old!

Anyway - I am looking forward to seeing where this week takes me. Maybe a little work (classwork never ends despite the break from classes!), a little fun (yet to be determined), a little relaxation (can you say afternoon naps?), and a little more time with family (hello Hubby!).

Today I corralled a few pictures I have taken but not had time to share . . . .

I know you recognize this critter. It is Skor - my mischievous cat who thinks he is still a kitten!
I took this picture to show you the look I get when I am trying to get ready to get out the door. It is so nice to have a supportive kitty at home!

Recently, I bought this game. My favorite Aunt Donna is a scrabble fanatic and when I saw the commercials for this I immediately thought of her. Then I decided to buy it to see what it is like.


I have been enjoying the game - so very different from the regular scrabble game. The next time I head up to Ohio for a visit I will take this with me to show Aunt Donna to see what she thinks.
Like my Kiwi?

Actually, the purpose of the picture was to show you the nifty little tool I got with my Kiwi purchase. It is a knife/spoon. Perfect for kiwi eating on the go!

I am inordinately thrilled with this little "freebie." I regularly take kiwis with me to eat before classes and this will make life easier and a little more interesting!


In other news, I am listening to some new music I downloaded from Amazon. The SXSW festival is taking place in Austin (I am not too familiar with the festival . . . I know, shame on me! However, it is a place where new music and new films are presented to the world. I know that much.) so Amazon has several samplers of music which is being presented during the festival. FOR FREE! So, of course, I downloaded them. There is a mix of music styles on the samplers and I am enjoying listening. True, some of the music isn't exactly my "favorite" but . . . it IS free!


Free music is such fun!


Speaking of free music, I got fifteen free songs with my annual subscription to the local musicals. The songs are from musicals and they are neat! Not a bad gift. And, again, free!




Voice Update: Amazingly, my voice is holding its own despite my lack of attention. Honestly, I have been taking a few additional minutes to take care of massage and exercises but I am not at the "normal" length of time for these ministrations. That is another thing Spring Break will be good for!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The "After" Picture

Hi All!

I accidentially forgot this picture - the real "after." Does the house look better or worse? Does the remaining tree look lonely? Can't decide!


Before and After

Hi All!

Yesterday I had an all day assignment - very interesting and with new interpreters so even better! 129.75 hours. It is creeping up there, isn't it?

Tonight is my midterm in Interpreting 2. Honestly, I am a bit nervous since it will be a video thing and my videos haven't been too great for this teacher. Oh well. All I can do is all I can do. Right?

On to other topics. I thought I would show you the "before and after" of our front yard tree.
Here is the "before." I took this picture the morning of the day the guys came to take down the tree. Can you tell which tree is the "sick" tree?

Unfortunately, I didn't feel comfortable taking pictures while the guys were working but, believe me, it was impressive. They had the tree down and cleaned up in less than thirty minutes! This is all that remained.

Here is close up of the trunk that remained. Counting rings either showed the tree was 17 (tree guy counting) or 15 (Hubby counting). Either way, way to young!

Then, the next day the stump grinder man came with a huge machine - again, I didn't take pictures (not doing well, am I?) but chips were flying everywhere so I hid out inside during the process. When he was done this is all that remained.
Almost like the tree never existed.
Sad in a way.
Voice Update: Still doing well despite my lack of interest in my exercises. I have no doubt that I will pay the consequences soon!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Hi All!

Okay - I must admit that I have been busy but I must also admit that I am facing a case of blogger block. I just have no clue what to blog about. It seems like my entire brain is so focused on my school stuff that I don't have room for anything else!

That is such a strange circumstance since my brain is normally doing about three trillion things at a time. I wonder what is going on!

Yesterday the arborologists arrived to take down our sick tree. They also trimmed our three other - healthy (presumably) trees. There were three men and then really took care of business. In less than an hour and a half they had the sick tree down and cleaned up and had trimmed the other trees. They were very efficient. You could certainly tell that they had done this before!

Today the stump grinders are supposed to come. Soon the poor, sick tree will be only a memory and an image in digital pictures!

I sort of miss it.

I sort of don't.

In other "news." On Sunday I went to see the Collin College production of Rent. The production was interpreted so I had the opportunity to earn hours towards practicum and the chance to observe the interpreters. Rent is such a complicated show that it was neat to see how the interpreters handled it. Very neat.

Now I am listening to the soundtrack from Rent as I type this. I can just close my eyes and imagine the interpreters working away.

Have you had a chance to check out the programming on the new Oprah channel, OWN? I have had fun watching the behind the scenes stuff on Season 25 of the Oprah show (this is probably not the correct name of the show but . . . you get the idea). It shows all of the work (well, probably only part of it in reality) that goes into each show from scheduling the guests to research to filming. I am fascinated! Then, last night I caught an episode of In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman.

Again - fascinating.

Now, I am not ready to really get into watching all of the shows but so far, the channel looks like it provides good information which I find interesting. It will be fun to see how things progress.

A commercial during the Dr. Berman show sparked an interesting conversation between Hubby and me last night. The commercial was for an episode of a show that looks at different "parts" of American culture. This particular episode was looking at Christianity and homosexuality.

Hubby and I have discussed out feelings about Homosexuality now and again and have also discussed our views of Christianity (we are both Christians). I thought it was interesting that Hubby was upset that shows like the one advertised make Christians look like they are intolerant. He feels that shows like this only perpetuates the "common feeling" that Christians can be bashed with no consequences. He also was a bit upset that shows like this might make homosexuals uncomfortable attending church when churches should welcome anyone who wants to attend.

A lot to think about.


Voice Update: Well, I am pretty much ignoring my voice issues right now. Yes, I do some massage in the morning and again at night but . . . not as much as I should. I have lived with SD for long enough to know that I am heading toward some rough times if I continue to ignore it!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Fond Farewell . . .

Hi All!

It has been so long since I last posted that I almost forgot my blogger password! Imagine that!

Yes, I have been one busy woman for the past week - heading out to assignments early in the morning (usually before Hubby had to head out and sometimes before he even got up!) and trying to get as much experience as possible. I am now up to 118 hours (out of 200) so I am slowly getting there!

Because I have been so busy with assignments and class, I haven't really had much time to do much else. However, I did manage to stop at Wally World yesterday on my way home. I know, exciting!

Well, during this week things have been happening. The trees in the neighborhood have burst forth in their beautiful spring finery and the clusters of white and pink flowers never fail to make me smile - even after a long, long day! There are spring flowers popping up all over - daffodils are the main attraction. The cheery yellow flowers are accenting the awakening grass and promising a lovely Spring.

The weather has been lovely as well. It has been in the lower 70s most days with a nice, clean breeze. This is the kind of weather I wish could stay all year but I do know that soon the temps will climb and it will be "Hello Texas Summer!" all over again! I am so not looking forward to that!

This weekend I promise to spend some time catching up on all of your blogs - I really am interested but haven't had time! I hope everyone is doing well.

Next week will probably be busy as well but Hubby and I will have to take a moment to say goodbye to a friend.
This tree - which looks so healthy in this photo - is being cut down. It has ceased to be healthy and, in fact, has ceased to really be alive. So - it is going. It will be so strange to not have it in the front yard anymore.


So long, old friend! It has been nice knowing you!




P.S. I hope this post makes some sort of sense - I am not feeling too clear brained today so I am not sure if anything I say (or type) makes much sense!


Voice Update: Still doing really well. My neck and shoulder muscles continue to give me problems by being tight but . . . I just keep working on them.