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Friday, April 30, 2010

Gardening : Things I’ve Learned and Questions I Have

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Something I Learned

This rose food is amazing.  No. Really.

This rose food is amazing. It has supernatural powers. I realize it seems pricey at $8.95 for 4 lbs. , but that is cheaper than therapy when your roses turn black.

I ordered my last batch online, directly from the company ,and it was a little less. My friend Aissa and her mother brought this to me.  They are rose whisperers.

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Something Else I Learned

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A long hose is not a better hose.  It may seem like a good idea at first because you can drag it for miles.  Just don’t look behind you. You have just choked or leveled everything in its wake.

Concerns, Questions, and Dramatic Garden Worries

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I am concerned about my zinnias.  Some of the leaves are turning yellow.  I am afraid to feed them, because I may kill them. I am afraid if I don’t feed them, I will kill them.

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I am concerned about my tomatoes.  I actually have tomatoes (green). How am I going to keep varmints away from my tomatoes? Should I ask my husband to sit out all night with a big stick and night vision goggles?  I could also arm him with a flashlight, and he could look for cutter ants during his breaks. I think I will also ask him to cart my too long hoses all over the yard.

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When temperatures hit the 100’s (which is right around the corner), how will I keep everything alive? My caladiums are starting to bloom, and they are trying so hard. I want to honor their efforts. I better add them to my husband’s night shift.

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(my husband can sit here)

Questions I Have

(please answer if you can)

What flowering perennials will grow in shade in Zone 9?

What does it take to have perennial beds like Jayme at Tales From the Coop Keeper?

Is it too late to plant wildflower seeds?

Is it really important to weed your flower beds?

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I am linking to

Copy_of_001 Favorite Things Friday.25

 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

An Instant Fountain

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As a high school yearbook sponsor , I learned quickly to fear 4 things:
*looking at my roster for the first time thinking, please , please let me have another Jennifer, or please, please, let me have another Leslye
(note: Jennifer is the daughter of Nancy from Nancy’s Notes- Leslye is the daughter of another dear friend)
*proofing the final published product for the first time and finding errors
*trying to count the money we took in that morning selling breakfast tacos
and
*Trapped White Space
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With this new blog template and my photos flipping all over the page, I am trapping white space to beat the band.
It’s all over the place.
So I am TRYING TO RELAX.
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This instant fountain feature is from Overstock , and it is amazing.
Anything that holds water and is wide enough for the bamboo fountain to rest on its rim becomes a fountain.
This is a small concrete trough we used when the girls raised lambs for 4H.
I may put one in every room in the house…
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I am linking to Show Your Stuff. Just click on the sidebar button.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Guest Bedroom and a Party

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        No, I am not having a party, but I have been thinking about it.  I haven’t decided what or when, but for me there is nothing that creates a sense of urgency more than entertaining.

        This particular guest bedroom has been on my “I’ll think about it tomorrow” list for far too long. Knowing that my mother’s dear friend and her daughter were coming over  two weeks ago, ignited an inferno of activity around here.

        I had a blast.

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           I wanted something to hang above the iron bed, but I also didn’t want something heavy enough to decapitate the sleeper below.  I found this at a wonderful store in McAllen called Vida, and I spray painted it white.

IMGP1301My favorite bedding is white, and the spread on this bed is mattelesse.  It ‘makes up’ so well, and it is the perfect spring and summer weight.

        The wall color was first discovered by my friend Aissa; it is Sherwin Williams Halcyon Green.  It needed something soft, and since my favorite choice is always going to be white., I filled the room with white things (most spray painted white).

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          When it still needed something else, I decided to add small touches of pale, dusty purple. I have a pair of these milk glass urns that I got an an auction in Dayton.

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         I am pretending that the dresser is a buffet.

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        One of my all-time favorite things to use is mirrored place mats and sconces.  I ‘borrowed’ my daughter’s sconces, spray painted them white , and used them to add simple balance and faux architectural interest to either side of this painted dresser.

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        After adding white pieces, the room needed more reflective surfaces.  I love how opaque milk glass is , but the wall color seemed opaque, and I like soft sparkle.

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        I hung a Venetian glass mirror in the corner, and I added a Martha Stewart lamp (clearance at K Mart). To give it more importance and scale, I set it on top of a mirrored jewelry box I had.  After adding more dusty purple and milk glass, I added Laurie Anna’s mercury glass birds that I bought at her booth in Canton. As all of blog land knows, her things are wonderful

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        I know it is old school, but my all-time favorite end table in a bedroom is a round table covered with fabric- and I don’t mean the small kind of round table.  This is a piece of plywood I had cut, and it is propped on an old end table.  I covered it with a white tablecloth and a sheer curtain panel that had satin stripes.

        These end tables are tall enough to create the ultimate comfort.  The lamp light is high and is perfect for reading, and because the end table is at mattress level, setting your book and glasses aside doesn’t require gymnastics.     

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        My last task involved a bedroom chair I found at a garage sale in Burton, outside Brenham.  I draped it with a new white, twin size quilted coverlet- tucked it in, and let it puddle on the floor. It so comfortable and soft.

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I am linking to :

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

I Love Irregular

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        If a tree falls in a forest…
Never mind.
This happened during the night, and Mr. and Mrs. Clueless continued to sleep soundly. I mean after all, it was only RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR WINDOW.
        Our conversation this morning.
My husband, casually:  “Did you see what happened to your tree?”  (Somehow during the night I gained full ownership.)
        And so it is a new day- a new world at my house and in my yard.  I think that is one of the reasons why I love this place so much.
        It is so IRREGULAR.
        I love irregular. 
Case in point.
Many,many years ago, when we lived in San Antonio, I went to do a little shopping at K Mart. I then heard the siren’s call.
“Attention K Mart shoppers.”
All of a sudden there was a blue light special and women began swarming a center aisle table of men’s, irregular, double knit pants in hunter green. 
        I grabbed a pair, paid the sale price , and headed home.
What was the irregularity?  The zipper was an inch long.
        Our house was certainly irregular when we bought it, my flower beds are loved but weeded irregularly, I preferred irregular students, and my favorite decorator fabric is at the back of the store, of the irregular variety.
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        My irregular tree splitting apart last night revealed the sun this morning. 
        God likes irregular too.
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“Barn’s burnt down…
now I can see the moon.”
                           -Masahide
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Sunday Favorites: I Can Say This I Am a Teacher

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        I am linking to Chari’s Sunday Favorites in celebration of its 1st birthday.

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        If you see a teacher during spring testing in Texas, give them a hug; it is TAKS time.
        Here we go again with faulty reasoning and skewed thinking .
        We can hold teachers accountable for a multitude of responsibilities, but whether our kids are smart is not one of them.
        We can hold them responsible for opening doors to that intellect, enhancing that intellect, and even for teaching our children how to use that intellect.
        We can hold them accountable for awakening that intellect and for inspiring a thirst for learning that can't be quenched.
        I just don't think we can expect them to install that intellect.
        I also believe that intrinsic motivation and curiosity far surpass extrinsic motivation any day of the week. I do not believe that the thought of a specific reward, the day of the exam, will determine whether or not a student does well .
        I do not believe that student A thinks,

'I am going to answer these questions incorrectly because no one has offered me pizza , in order for me to do otherwise.'
        Unfortunately, the preparation necessary to master this form of state testing is not usually geared to awakening a lust for learning that today's world demands .

        Just take a look at the faces of students sitting in TAKS tutoring sessions to see what I mean. Expressions of feigned indifference or anxiety ridden terror, yes. Light bulb moments of understanding, painstakingly nurtured by the TAKS tutor, yes.
        Just know that there are a multitude of reasons why students may fail the TAKS test, and it may have nothing to do with how smart they are or how successful they will become.
        Our world is filled with brilliant, highly successful adults whose high school record didn't meet someone's standards.
        Blaming a teacher exclusively for student performance is a little like blaming a car manufacturer for how someone ultimately drives a car: safely or dangerously.
        However , having said that, I know without a shadow of a doubt that every teacher across the street from where I live is giving it their best college try- in fact more than that- regardless of what anyone else says or does.
        That is the purest form of intrinsic motivation.
        They believe they are responsible.
        So when you see a teacher, even if you no longer have children in school, say something. Go out of your way. They have already earned it, regardless of what the scores say in May.

 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thank You Notes During the NFL Draft

        In case you didn’t know, apparently my husband holds an important position with the NFL.  He is monitoring the draft on television.

True confession:  I am too. I enjoy watching it because I think these young men have worked hard and are now being rewarded.  My favorite part though is watching their parents- especially their mothers.

        So, I am taking this opportunity to write some very special thank you notes.

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        I was fortunate enough to win a giveaway for this beautiful pewter napkin holder and napkins in my favorite colors (blue and white) from Kat at Low Tide High Style. Isn’t that a great name for a blog?

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When I first visited her blog and read this line in her header, I thought wow…

                       Finding Beauty in the Simplest of Things

Thank you Kat!

        I recently received this gracious recognition from Marguerite at Cajun Delights.

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        I don’t know where to start in singing Marguerite’s praises. As a blogger (and in real life I’m sure), she is the most generous, gracious, fun loving, best cooking lady with the best recipes , who lives in the great state of Louisiana, where I sometimes think I belong.

Note:  I do have a relative on my father’s side of the family named Free Love ,who was from Louisiana. So as my father says:

I came by it honest.

        I just wish Marguerite would let me follow her around , going to everything she goes to and eating and drinking everything she does.

        Thank you Marguerite! As you always say,

Let the good times roll, cher!

        And now to all of you who have ever visited my crazy blog. 

        I am amazed each day by all of you.  Yes, you.

        Thank you

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Garden Green

IMG_0685        I had no idea three years ago, when a vendor at an antique mall said,

“I have some green dishes you might like”, what an understatement that would become .

IMG_0683             Not all green calls me; however, this green does. Why? Because to my eye it is garden green.

IMG_0687                I have also given in to the fact that I like to use white as a secondary color, which provides me so many opportunities to use my milk glass.

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        This is the garden I have been working in today.

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            Last weekend at the flea market I was able to find an addition for my small collection of garden-like pottery.

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         Enjoy your garden today.

         I am linking to the following parties.

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