Thursday, April 23, 2009

Brown thumb? maybe not.

I've always considered myself a brown thumb. I've pretty much killed every plant I've ever lay eyes on. Even a cactus. My mom is the gardener, not me. I've never really had much interest in it. Plus, it's like...a lot of work. When we moved to this house 4 years ago, my mom bought me an African Violet. I placed it on my kitchen counter and it's been happy there ever since. It even blooms. Which I understand is pretty rare. I also have a few plants geraniums, roses and other plants that are watered on a timer and require very little to no maintenance by me. I don't consider that being a gardener or having a green thumb. The sprinklers water them and they grow. I just look out my window at them. :)
Anyway, last year I decided to go ahead and try to grow some herbs and maybe some vegetables. I have a very, very small yard/patio so my options were limited. No watermelon, or anything that needed a lot of space. I decided to grow tomatoes and a few herbs in pots. I was amazed that I was actually able to keep them alive (with the help of my kids) and very much enjoyed harvesting fresh basil, and cherry tomatoes all summer.
So as spring was approaching this year, I considered doing it again. However, there is this looming cloud hanging over us which may lead to us having to move. You all know my house is for sale. It's always in the back of my mind that we may need to pack up. So because of that, I kind of thought--eh? why start a garden if I can't enjoy it? or give it all the attention it needs?
Well, I threw all that out the window. I couldn't help it. I figured, as long as I grow them in pots, then I can move them with us if necessary. Right? I went over to The Wal-Mart last week and picked me up a cherry tomato, basil and Italian parsley plant and some potting soil. They only had one basil plant left. I planted two last year and felt like I really could have used more. I was disappointed they only had the one. So we head inside and I see a wall full of vegetable, herb and flower seeds. I'd never grown anything from a seed (except for maybe in 3rd grade science class) and thought, what the heck?
And look! They're growing!

Anyone need any basil? I think I'm going to have plenty. I think I started these on Sunday and I put them in the window sill in the kitchen and watched every day. By Wednesday morning I thought for sure I'd done something wrong because I saw no change. But then I was preparing dinner that night and to my! They are growing SO's almost like you could see it happening right in front of your eyes. Every hour they look different.

On the other end of the tray I'm starting green beans. These too are growing really fast. The one you can see here is almost completely upright now...and I just took this picture maybe an hour ago. It's completely satisfying to see something grow right before your eyes. In fact, I think I'm going to go back, get another tray and more seeds. This time maybe a bell pepper or jalapeno or something.

Anyone else planting a garden this year?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I've not been a good blogger lately. Not just writing my own blog, but commenting on others. Just lazy I guess. I DO read, I just haven't clicked over to comment. I'm sorry!
We've been pretty busy around here the past week or so. First it was the Easter picnic up at the ranch...which I don't have any pictures of. *sigh* Because I forgot my camera battery on the charger at home. *grrrr* It's sad, but I literally felt naked without my camera. And my family noticed it too...they've all gotten used to me being the family photographer! I found myself stealing my sister in law's camera just to be able to take some pictures. But despite all that, it was a good time. More people than we expected, good food, dirty kids...all that fun stuff!
The next day the boys went back up to the ranch and Megan and I went on a hike with Rachael (my SIL), her daughter Caitlin and their horse, Galaxy. You KNOW Megan was in heaven. She rode Galaxy almost the entire time except for the 5 minutes she let Cait ride. :)

The rest of the week was busy just with normal stuff. Jake was on Spring Break from school so we had one day as a play date with some friends from church. On Friday we went to see Monsters VS. Aliens in 3D. It was kind of a cute movie, but the 3D-ness was not so cool for me. By the end of the movie I had a major headache. Kind of like motion sickness. No more 3D movies for me. I could not wait to get out of there.
Saturday we went to yet ANOTHER Easter picnic at another ranch.

Kim, Rach, Johnny, Pete's mom
This one was much bigger than our picnic. There were easily over 300 people.

egg toss
We had a great time though. There was a big pond that Jake pretty much staked his claim on the entire day.
Jake and Grandpa (Pete's dad)
He was in heaven with fishing, collecting rocks, tadpoles, guppies, crawdads...all that fun little boy stuff. It was pretty warm that day so in the afternoon all the little redneck kids got neked and waded in the pond like good little country kids do. :)

And the liquid courage was flowing nicely with the there was a bunch jumping in the pond and many others getting picked up and thrown in! Thank goodness it wasn't me!

The last few days have been hot. And I don't mean like kinda warm. No. HOT. As in yesterday it was 100*. In April. Yeah. Now I'm all for warm weather, but 100* in April is pushing it just a little. This weekend is supposed to be back in the 70's though.
On my agenda this week:
try to get organized for Pete's business
fold a mountain of laundry
work on Pete's brochure (wah! this is harder that it seems)
find a way to keep realtor's from freely opening my door and walking in my house unannounced.
Sleep at least one night without being woke by: 1) a kid 2) a dog 3) a smoke alarm, or 4) by some weird dream. I have lots of weird dreams.
I guess that's it for now!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Crazy day

Have you ever seen a cupcake like this?! Seriously, how cool is that? A rainbow cupcake. This was from the party at Jake's school today. Please excuse the frosting under my thumb nail. :)

All you do is make a yellow or a white cake mix, separate it in 4 bowls and add the food coloring. then just layer the colors in the cupcake liners. How cute! It didn't taste all that great...but whatever. I don't think the colors had anything to do with the taste. Probably just a junky cake mix.

And check this out:

This was the kids lunch. 1/2 a bagel schmeared with cream cheese, an apple mouth, strawberry nose, blue berry eyes...and well the rest is pretty obvious. But aren't they cute? The other mom's and I were all saying how this will only be cute for another year or so and then it will be dumb. You know, to the kids. Kinda sad. Of course no one hardly ate these cute little bunnies. They were all too concerned about what was inside their eggs from the egg hunt earlier.
It's been a crazy day around here. I was ready for a nap by 1:30. First I woke up around 4:30. Our little dog, Nacho was barking ferociously at something. Nacho hardly ever barks so we knew something was up out there. And Maggie (the one who always barks) was not making a peep. Then in between the barks, we heard this other strange noise. So both Pete and I decided to get up, go downstairs and investigate. We're not exactly sure, but we're almost positive that Nacho is a Rat Terrier. When we went out to the kennel, both dogs happily came up to the gate. So we knew they weren't sick or anything. Pete said "What is it Nacho?" and he ran right over to this spot on the side of the house, stuck his nose up in the air and started barking away. What a smart dog! I guess there was some sort of critter that got itself stuck in between the slats of siding. I don't know, but that dang dog was obsessed. There was no turning him loose of that critter. In fact, he kept going all day and ended up chewing up the side of the house. Bad dog!
I went back and layed down after the dog inspection, but didn't really go back to sleep. The alarm was going to go off at 5 anyway. So I ended up just getting up after Pete left. I ran Jake to school at 8, came home and had coffee, only to turn around and go back to school at 10 to assist with the party. After school we ran to Costco and then to Safeway to get all the provisions for our party tomorrow up at the ranch. Hosting a party is really hard work! Not to mention expensive. But it will be fun. After coming home from the stores I started loading up the fridge with all the goodies and of course...I'm in a hurry because I've got to get the kids a snack...Megan is really, really whinny so I know she needs to go to bed....and what do I do?? Drop a brand new glass jar of yummy BBQ sauce out of the fridge and onto the tile floor of my kitchen. That's when Mommy Dearest first made her appearance. *sigh* It really wasn't a big deal, I was able to salvage most of the sauce. It just happened to happen at the wrong time and kinda sent me over the edge for a minute. No one was injured, just frantic screaming from me "GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN! GLASS ON THE FLOOR!!"
After that I put Megan to bed and proceeded to cut up 5 thousand strawberries for dessert tomorrow. I thought my hand might be permanently stained red. It's not.
The rest of the day was mostly uneventful. Aside from much whining and crying from 1 boy and 1 girl. Thankfully, Grandma called and invited Jake to come spend the night at her house. Hallelujah! I may have too eagerly accepted the invite and promptly dropped him off. :) By the time I got home it was time to stick the little one in bed.
Now it's quiet. I can breath. Pete is on his way home. Tomorrow is another big day, but should be lots of fun. We have probably 300 eggs for the kids Easter egg hunt tomorrow! The guys are going to shoot clay pigeons. (I might's kind of fun!)
Happy Easter everyone! Remember, it's not just about the Easter Bunny either. He died on the Cross for you (yes you) and for me.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

hmmm..where to start?
Here I go staring at a blinking cursor again....
12 days ago a little girl went missing in my small-ish town. Eight year old Sandra Cantu just seemed to have vanished into thin air. Hundreds and hundreds of people began looking for her. Her picture posted on every lamp post and every stop sign in the city. We all prayed she would come home safe and sound. The police searched several homes and issued search warrants, but never seemed to indicate any real knowledge of what might have happened to this little girl. Ten days after her disappearance, her tiny body was found in suitcase dumped in a near by irrigation pond. I'm still getting goosebumps and a lump in my throat every time I think about it.
We all remember the names Polly Klaas, Elizabeth Smart, Steven Stainer and more recently Caylie Anthony. But never ever have I felt so disturbed, so bothered by, or just so affected by a child abduction. Maybe because this happened literally right on my own turf. Maybe simply because I'm a parent. I guess it's both. I've heard these stories like this many times before. But it's always someone else, somewhere else. It's very scary to think there is someone, a monster, out there right now living among us. Not to be naive...I know there are bad guys everywhere. But what happened to this's just....not supposed to happen. To anyone.
I can not now, nor will I ever understand how anyone could do something like this to a child. Right now they are not saying whether this is a pedophile case or not. They aren't saying what happened to her, but one can only guess. But be stuffed in a suitcase and thrown in a pond??! FOR WHAT?! I am so sad and I am so, so angry.
What I've been so moved by in the past few days is the real outpouring of support from the community here in Tracy. When the authorities scaled back the search for Sandra, volunteers went out posting signs and searching for her anyway. There have been nightly prayer vigils in front of her neighborhood. And since the announcement of the discovery of her body, the size of the make-shift memorial for her---I've never seen anything like it.
All this recent news has sparked a greater awareness of "stranger danger" among all of us here in Tracy, I think. I've always felt safe here in my neighborhood, but I never let my kids go anywhere without me, or without an adult. Jake isn't allowed to play outside unless there are other kids out to play with and I always have my windows open so I can hear what's going on outside. I have two sets of neighbors who are firemen. Yesterday one of them organized a party for her son and all the kids on our street to watch a "stranger danger" movie. It was a great idea. I know it seems silly to do it just because something bad happened, but if not now, then when? You know?
Well, here I am again...written all this but don't seem to know exactly how to end it. I guess just make sure you hug your kids tight and make sure to teach them about strangers. And say a prayer for Sandra Cantu's family. I can not even imagine what they are going through right now. I pray they can find some comfort knowing their baby girl is with Jesus. And I pray they find the person that did this.

Monday, April 06, 2009

P & C.

P: How do you spell certainly?
C: C-E-R-T-A-I-N-L-Y.
P: Ok that looks right.
P: But you spell certain c-e-r-t-E-n.
C: Uhhhh. No. Certain and Certainly are the exact same word only one has an L-Y on the end. (in my head: DUH!)
P: Are you positive?
C: Um no. Actually, I'm certain.
P: ha ha. no really, are you positive?
C: Yes. I am certain that certain and certainly are the same word only one is a verb and one is an adverb.
P: Huh?

*just wanted to add that I'm in no way trying to make my husband look stupid, nor do I think he is. This is just an example of a typical conversation between us: two people who never like to be wrong.