September is all but gone already!

autumn-quotography72

By all these lovely tokens,
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather,
And autumn’s best of cheer.
~Helen Hunt Jackson

 Wasn’t the first of September just last week? I really don’t know how the months slip by so quickly. With October just a short one week away, we’re quickly falling into Fall. Temps are suppose to cool a bit this coming week. Right now, it’s only 61F at 10am. The windows have been thrown open and the AC turned OFF!

I found some signs of early Autumn last week. You can see them HERE. I hope to make it to a park with the grand girls for the main event in a few weeks.

Entrepreneur celebrated a birthday this past week. The Golfer couldn’t make it but The Recruiter, Peanut, Twix and his parents joined us. He says it’s no big deal, but I’m thankful for every day….especially birth days since the cancer scare of a couple years ago. We also celebrated Peanut’s 8th birthday earlier this month.

I hope you all have a wonderful, Autumn week.

Playing Quotography along with Kelley

The calendar says it’s Autumn but the temps say it’s Summer.

Autumn! It’s here! Or is it?

The calendar says today marks a seasonal shift with the first day of Autumn. The Autumnal Equinox….when there is almost an equal number of daylight and moonlight hours in the day. Woo Hoo! Bring on the apple cider, pumpkin-spice everything, boots, jackets, cozy sweaters, and the warmth of crackling fire pits.

But my weather app says this:

2016-autumn-equinox-1 2016-autumn-equinox-2

A bit of a disconnect. All week the temps have been in the upper 80sF with heat a head index in the 90sF.

But Autumn’s coming….I know she is.

single-red-leaf

The Fall asters are blooming. A little different color than the usual Autumn bronzes, golds and crimsons.

aster

The burning bushes are beginning to burn.

burning bush-leaf

To hurry the season along a bit, I bought some mums for the front porch. Looks like they are just waiting to explode into full bloom.

orange-mum

Hurry up little bee. Those dreams of more honey are almost gone.

honey-bee

So, Happy Autumnal Equinox to everyone in the norther hemisphere.

May you harvest the light and keep it burning brightly in your heart, so that when the deepest darkness of winter is upon us, you will remember the summer sun.
~Teo Bishop

LTTL & Quotography: Red

red-quotography-72
Red is the ultimate cure for sadness.
~Bill Blass

and hummingbirds….definitely hummingbirds.

I’m finally playing along again with Kelley and Quotography, and Lisa at Life Thru the Lens! Twix went down for a nap and I made the executive decision to grab the camera and go outside…specifically looking for Red.

The calendar says the first day of Autumn is later this week, but the thermometer still says it’s summer here in middle Missouri. Temps are in the upper 80sF with the heat index in the upper 90sF. Not very conducive to Autumn thinking.

The hummers were impressive this year. They buzzed around the feeders all summer and are still going strong. I figure they are beginning to migrate south and are catching a quick bite along the way. So, the feeders will stay up for a while.

I decided to take time the next couple of months for a Women’s Bible Study class on C.S. Lewis. We’re specifically talking about Mere Christianity and The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. He’s such a favorite of mine, and his story of how he walked away from Christianity and became an atheist…only to be drawn back to faith through logic and reason. Much of his writings make my brain hurt. Did you know “Jack” (as he wanted to be called) was the first Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at the University of Cambridge? That means he must have been an extremely well-read person. Good and bad, fiction or fact…he read them and gained insight, discernment and a respect for differing points of view. I may write more on Jack as the study gets further into the details of his life and writing.

But for now, I’ll just leave you with one of my hummers….just to make you smile.

Playing along with Kelley and Quotography, and sharing with Lisa at Life Thru the Lens

An August calendar in September

Well, I did it again. Or, more accurately, I didn’t do it again. It was September 6th before I realized I had not done my monthly calendar. No surprise. It’s been a wild summer.

august-2016-72

You might not know it by this calendar selection, but aside from our sitter services for Twix during work hours, the grand girls are not here much anymore. And it’s quiet in our house. Veeeeery quiet….especially after 5pm. It’s a strange feeling, and we’re slowly adjusting to our new routines.

I’m slowly regaining control over my house…one room at a time. The Recruiter is 99% moved out, but still has pockets of possessions that have not been relocated yet. Entrepreneur is already making noises about downsizing, but I need a few years of enjoying my space before I even consider making a change.

So, the garden is, for the most part, done for the year. The pool has been drained and the toys put away until next summer. I’m mapping out some landscaping changes to tackle when the temps cool a bit more. And I need to get back to walking 2-3 miles every day or so. My exercise routine took a back seat this past year…but the stress eating did not.

I hope your summer was enjoyable. Even though temps will tend to stay warm for another month, I’m sorta looking forward to some cooler days.

 

 

Walk with me?

So, what is this thing called blogging and how does it work? Once again, I’ve been MIA for far too long. Life events the past few months feels like we’ve been drinking from a fire hose and I gotta tell you, we’re T.I.R.E.D. I’m slowly trying to get back into the swing of things here in the blogosphere.

But today, I’d like to stroll with you around the grounds and chat a while. Along with the stress the past few months, I’m becoming increasingly frustrated with world events. How about you? The election is looming and our choices are a narcissistic opportunist or a criminal so slick she seems to get a pass for very questionable activities. It’s really sad this is the best the two main parties can come up with for candidates. Where are all the “statesmen”? I’m extremely worried about the future of our country regardless of which one wins. The debates and non objective follow-up analysis from the media should be entertaining frustrating nauseating interesting.

morning glory

This? This is a Morning Glory. I saved some seeds from last year and threw them in a pot last spring. They took their own sweet time coming up but are going strong here at the end of summer. The cool blue color is refreshing against the 90+F temps.

Going back to politics for a moment…..I don’t understand why anyone would want to run for office in this day and age. It seems like as soon as someone announces their candidacy, the skeletons simply cannot fall out of the closet fast enough. And that’s all the media want to focus on. Let’s just ignore anything of substance….let’s focus on how much dirt can be uncovered,  how much mud can be slung, and what new, catchy, derogatory names can be adopted. And have you noticed, when a candidate has absolutely no plan, their focus becomes primarily on character assassination of their opponent?

bee

The Rose of Sharons are completely out of control. For 15 years, one Rose of Sharon bush lived peacefully in a flower bed off the driveway with a cedar tree, perennial geraniums and day lilies. However, in the last few years, Sharon has started proliferating like a bunny. That bed is now almost completely covered with volunteer Rose of Sharon bushes, which would be okay except they are starting to grow into the cedar tree, and are crowding out the perennial geranium ground cover. But the bees and hummingbirds love them. This carpenter bee was so laden down with pollen, it was flying in slow motion.

A new semester has begun and I’m, once again, an instructor for Strategic Campaigns. This is the capstone course for students graduating in the strategic communications department. I have 17 students this semester who really have no idea how much work awaits them. And I can already see managing client expectations is going to be a problem.

rose of sharon

Twix is two and a half and continues to keep us on our toes with such phrases as, I can do it!; Let me do it!; Don’t help me! Her newly-found independent abilities is entertaining….and frustrating at the same time. Her problem-solving abilities are mind boggling. Every time I turn around, she’s carrying a chair somewhere in order to get to something that has been put (what we thought was) out of reach. And the complete sentences that come out of her mouth will make your head spin. She began a sentence the other day with, Actually…….

mantis

This little guy hitched a ride on Entrepreneur’s car and ended up relocating to our yard. I’m sure he found a smorgasbord to whet his appetite. I also have a toad that lives in  a couple of aloe vera plant pots. Mental note: check the pot before brining it inside for the winter.

pantry

So you might wonder what I’ve been doing that’s kept me away from you all for so long? Well, here’s part of the reason. The garden yielded 17 quarts of canned green beans, a mixture of quarts and pints of pickled beets, pickled okra and dilly beans. The corn, once we got it tied up after the rains, rewarded our effort with 10 quart jars of golden deliciousness in the freezer, plus we had more than enough for corn on the cob dinners. But, no bell peppers….which made me sad. On the other end of the spectrum, the okra is still going gangbusters and I swear one could stand and literally watch it grow. I’ve started giving it away as I have about ten, gallon bags frozen in the deep freeze already and two more gallon bags in the frig. I’m looking forward to putting that little plot of ground to rest for the year.

Are you looking forward to Autumn? I think I might be ready for it soon. I seem to be hearing the call of cute boots and cuddly sweaters from my closet.

lantana and chair

So, The Recruiter, Peanut and Twix are now officially moved into their newly-renovated home. Peanut started a new school and is less than thrilled about the situation. But, I’m hoping she will adapt, in time. Twix comes to our house during the weekdays while mom is at work and, mercifully, still takes naps.🙂

So, that’s where I’ve been for many, many weeks. I’ve tried to stay active on Facebook, but that’s more like “hit and run” postings. Perhaps once it gets colder I’ll have more time to contemplate deep thoughts and put into words. I have a lot of those thoughts floating around in my head. But, for the foreseeable future, I think I’ll be living hand-to-mouth and trying to keep my head above the time commitment waters.

How was your summer?

 

 

 

 

August Photo Challenge: Black and White

photo blog challenge

Another month has flown by and here it is, time again for PJ’s photo challenge. This month’s prompt was Black and White. I love black and white photography and the depth of the tonality that can be seen in the absence of color. And while it was tempting to just take photos and turn them into black and white ones, I tried to mix those with some that were really black and white.

Black and White #1
Children and flowers. They go together perfectly when you have a camera in hand….provided you can successfully capture them just at the right moment.
Twix BW

Black and White #2
Ditto #1
Peanut BW

Black and White #3
The Recruiter has a Black and White kitty named Darby. And, yes, this shot captures her personality perfectly.
Darby

Black and White #4
This beauty was seen at an area butterfly palace. I rarely see true black and white butterflies.
BW Butterfly

Black and White #5
As I was considering my fifth photo, it suddenly dawned on me that the solution was right in front of my eyes….every. single. day. My kitchen countertop is quartz and definitely has black and white swirls.
Quartz counter 72
The muse said you can do better, so I pulled it into Photoshop and tried to make it look more like a texture.
Quartz counter lite 72
Then, the muse prompted me to find a photo and try it out. So I pulled one from our recent trip to Florida. This is the above texture used with a soft light filter.
Intracoastal wine72
I like the idea, but the texture is not exactly where I want it so I’ll keep tweaking it….in my spare time. Yeah, right. I really just said that to keep the muse happy.

Black and White Bonus
This black and white kitty is no longer with us. Midget passed to the Rainbow Bridge late last year. She was Darby’s sister, but not a twin. But I always thought she was a very pretty black and white cat….but if you rubbed her fur the opposite direction, she had calico coloring.
Midget

There’s my Black and White five for the month. Please take time to visit PJ’s place and see what inspired the others this month.

Month in photos: July (aka: the Twix edition)

July 2016

Peanut was gone for summer visitation at her dad’s for the entire month of July so she is conspicuously absent in these photos. But Twix had a great July. From the pool to shucking and eating corn on the cob to playdates at the park, she didn’t want for entertainment.

True to form, July flew by with barely a blink of an eye. The temps turned off HOT with heat indices around 110F and the humidity so thick you could almost see the steam rising out of the ground. Because of all the rain we had in June, we rigged up wires running the length of the corn rows; effectively “sandwiching” the stalks between the wires to hold them up until the corn matured. We salvaged a fair amount of corn on the cob to eat for summer dinners. I’ve frozen 13 quarts, which isn’t going to be enough for winter, but it’s better than nothing. I’m going on 17 quarts of green beans canned and tucked away in the pantry plus another 9 pints that I pickled for The Recruiter. More fresh beans are in the frig for summer meals. Okra is coming fast and furious. I swear, you could stand in the garden and watch the stuff grow right before your eyes. Tomatoes got off to a rocky start but are ripening faster than they can be eaten.

All in all, the garden has been a success this year…but it’s been almost impossible to keep up with it this year along with all the work being done at The Recruiter’s new house. Reno continues with new paint, trim and floors. The kitchen has new appliances and some minor reconfiguration of a few cabinets.

Peanut came home yesterday and we’re all so thankful she’s back safe and sound. Just in time to get ready for school! She’s not too happy about missing out on most of the garden corn, but perhaps picking the thousands of cherry tomatoes that are ready will appease her this week. That….and some time in the pool with Papa.

I hope your month was full of summer fun.