Moon Shoes

Even boys who are turning into men, men much taller and stronger than their mothers,

need to wear moon shoes sometimes.  Just for a little stress relief! And I love this about almost-men - every now and then, I get that glimpse of the little boys they used to be!


Second Bloom

Time for the hydrangeas to start their second blooming! 
A few of my Nikko Blue hydrangea bushes bloom twice. Not as many blooms as the first set, of course, but still - any extra blooms are a wonderful gift! The purple/pink head in the back of the photo is an old one, once blue, now dried and papery. The new bloom will come out slowly and be the nicest bit of blue in the fall garden.



My Youngest found this luna moth clinging to the wall just outside the kitchen of our rented cabin at the lake. 

 It's had a hard night!  Check out the scratches on its tattered wing - certainly from some hopeful but disappointed bird or bat.
If I had a lovely macro lens, and was a more talented photographer, like my friend from Wildwood, I could've shown you how furry it was, but alas...
Maybe soon, though - I think a new camera might be in my future!


Just Throw It Down

THIS  makes me insane. No amount of nagging will cure this. For certain, I know what would cure it, at least temporarily - a $1 charge per item of clothing found in place other than a clothing hamper. Actually, that could be a moneymaker for me! $2 for the Sunday shirts peeled off and left behind in the truck immediately after church. $5 for the piles of socks left in the living room - since it's much more pleasant to watch TV with bare feet. The easier to scratch them, I guess. Another few dollars for the pile of socks and/or shirts left out on the front porch because it became TOO HOT to wear said items while biking/skating/mowing/whatever. 

I wonder what would happen if  I  just went around throwing my unwanted clothing down in random, high traffic areas? 

Camaraderie - that's what would happen. 
And later ... therapy.

For more Wordful Wednesday photos, go to Angie's Seven Clown Circus!



The zinnias share a bed with lots of other partners: rose campion, oriental poppies, peonies, glads and even a few pushy sunflowers. But right at this time of year, you wouldn't even notice all those other flowers because the zinnias just stop the show!

They have wonderful names like Purity, Purple Prince, Enchantress, Red Spider, Candy Cane, Paintbrush and California Giant. Here's just beginning of a bud...

...then just coming into bloom...

....in full bloom with the "crown" of florets on top.

I love the speckly appearance of this one called Candy Cane Stripe,

But the reds just knock me out! This photo can't begin to show how RED the bloom is-


Birthday at Lowe's

This year for my birthday....  This is my first birthday with a blog, so you might be just getting to know that I love my own birthday and must talk about it on and on and on  ...I got to go to Lowe's with my guys and pick out birthday gifts! A few non-plant things, on clearance, found their way into my cart - a plastic gourd birdhouse and a bee windchime with cute bell feet - both of which I eventually put back in favor of all plants. Once these go into the garden, I can enjoy them this fall and they'll be wonderful next spring and summer, too. That's a great thing about gardening with perennials: long-term satisfaction. I got two nice tall daylilies, two large ferns and two small, and three astilbes! The astilbes were 75% off - a major score! Almost everything was on sale, since we're coming to the end of the growing season. A great time to plant!


The Last Piece of Birthday Cake

When the cake is gone, your birthday is over! This special cake, originally my aunt's recipe, is only made once a year - on my birthday! I like to make it myself, though for a few years My Dear Husband and my boys made it for me. Now I insist that I enjoy making it for myself - and I do! It's a more complicated recipe than I will usually work on, but the result is worth it. I'm not sure who will get this piece, but it won't be me, since I had  more  than my share.
Orange Crunch Cake
Crunch Layer: 1 c. graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar, 1/2 c. chopped walnuts, 1/2 c. melted margarine or butter
Cake: 1 pkg. yellow cake mix, 1/2 c. water, 1/2 c. orange juice, 1/3 c. oil, 3 eggs, 2 T. grated orange peel
Frosting: 1 can ready to spread vanilla frosting, 1 c. thawed whipped topping, 3 T. grated orange peel, 1 t. grated lemon peel

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9" round cake pans. In small bowl, combine crunch layer ingredients until crumbly. Press half of crunch mixture into each prepared pan. In large bowl, blend cake ingredients at low speed until moistened; beat 2 minutes at highest speed. Pour batter evenly over crunch layer. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool ten minutes then remove from pan. Cool completely.  In small bowl, beat frosting ingredients until fluffy. Fold in grated orange and lemon peel. Place one layer, crunch side up, on serving plate and spread with frosting. Top with remaining layer (crunch side up) and spread top and sides with remaining frosting. Store in refrigerator.  
(I put the crunch layers on the bottom, you can see from the photo...)

For more Wordful Wednesday photos, go to Angie's Seven Clown Circus!


Goal Interrupted

Two things I set as goals for myself this summer: First, to open an Etsy shop. It's open and I'm  untangling the knots of shipping - UGH! But it's open! Yea! 
Second, to open our gardens for "sale" or "swap". This garden season has been unequalled as far as plenty of rain - I've never seen the grass as green as it is in any other August! The ground is usually rock hard by this time of year, but it's still wonderful out there. Perfect for digging plants to share even this late in the season! Mid-July, my sign, below, was ready with a page box on the side listing plants and prices. Last stop - check the internet for what others who sell out of their gardens might have to give as advice.  Ooops!

In more than one place, I found direction to make sure that our  homeowner's insurance covered this venture. I got the uh-oh feeling right then. And I was right. Our insurance company wants more money than I would ever make to keep our coverage while making any sort of plant transactions on our property. 

The sign is in the basement - it is a GREAT sign, though, so I thought I'd post it so that somebody could see it! The blue letter pattern is photoshopped into the letters from a picture of one of our own Nikko blue hydrangeas - thanks to My Amazing Husband! 

Maybe we'll find a loophole over the winter and I can try again next spring. I was really looking forward to the "swap" part.


Lake Time

Lake Cumberland was wonderfully relaxing! Our rental pontoon was all we needed for a day of fun on the water.

The fishing was fine...

 the junk shops were amazingly entertaining...
and we all got roundly sunburned. 
A great time was had by all --- even the teenagers! 


127 Sale

Highway 127 - The World's Longest Yard Sale - what a way to spend a Saturday! We hit the "corridor" at about noon, and didn't even make it further than two miles in about 5 hours. I bought a tiny pair of  etched stemware, a porcelain teacup, some old glam earrings - they don't match, but they're amazing, a small book of 'Wartime Meat Recipes' - from WWII, and several kitchen linens to use for apron making.  These may reappear at some point in the Sweet Annabelle Etsy shop - for sale, if I can give them up.
And all these fabulous photos for FREE!

The antique dealer who used to be a lepidopterist displaying her love of all things cicada by sporting one on her lovely white hair - just for us!
One of my favorite sellers displayed many interesting carvings like this Mr. Toad...
...but this apron-wearing cat won my heart! Too bad - by the time I made my way over to him he was sold - pretty steep price though - $75. I wouldn't have taken him home for that, but I did (do) love him. He's supposed to be holding a silver tray in his paws.
Lots of Santas everywhere!
I think I've met this bear at a homeschool co-op...JUST KIDDING!!!
And ... that looks like ... could it be ... no way ... a pile of poo!  Yes, more than one fake pile of poo scattered among this seller's merchandise. Hmmm....
I  DIDN'T take a picture of the female seller who suggested to My Dear Husband that he buy a mink short coat for me. Not for me to wear, mind you - she went on to describe what he might do with me on that $30 coat.      uh-yeah-she-did      I covered the tender ears of My Youngest, and we kept walking.

All in all, the strangeness, sunburn and sweat was worth it - I'll be going again next year!


Basement Beetle

My husband found this beetle crawling across our basement floor. 

Yes. It. Was.

That's My Youngest's hand there to help demonstrate size - it's HUGE. What the heck is that?!?!?

Our basement is what we lovingly refer to as "the dungeon" and houses the washer/dryer and the dry goods shelves. Once I was sure I found what I believed to be snake poo in our basement, and I refused to go down there for a few months. Not even to do the laundry...

I don't ever find the creatures that my husband does down there. Giant spiders, unidentifiable centipede thing-y insects, and now - this enormous beetle.  Maybe I never spot them because I'm deliberately squinting so I can't see as clearly as I might. Maybe the Good Lord is keeping my husband from enduring another basement strike on my part. But I think I'd have been able to hear this one crawling or, ugh, flying nearby. 

The obvious next question:  Is it a mama? 


Look At That One!

We don't really try to be in Gatlinburg when there happens to be a car show, but that's how it turned out a few years ago. We were in town for a few days with our boys and more of the extended family. Once you fight through the traffic, park, and make your way into town, though, it's GREAT! There are benches along the main street - just right for our little boys to sit on and watch the muscle cars go by.
 "Whoa!" "Wow!" "Did you see that flame job?!"


For more Wordful Wednesday photos, go to Angie's Seven Clown Circus!


Little Boy Faces

What a cute little kid! It's My First Son on the front porch at our house. Judging from the mums, it's fall and he's probably going to turn 4 very soon. My Oldest is not a big smiler. He's more of a grinner, if you know what I mean - teeth are not usually included in his photos. But he does look especially happy in this - it's one of the family favorites.
When my boys were little, I felt a little bit intimidated by big, teenage, almost-men whenever confronted by them. Now I know that I was just fearful of the unfamiliar, as would be natural when encountering a previously unseen species of cat, or dog ... or ape ... It's new! It's different! What does it want? 
What's it going to DO??? 
How silly of me!  Those were just some other mom's little boys, helplessly grown much taller than expected. So now, when I meet nearly-grown males in the grocery, at church, at the movies, I peer into their faces and try to discern what they looked like when they were little, tiny hand-holders.  It's a fun game that also tends to freak them out just a little, and I find that greatly entertaining.

Try it with this recent photo of My Oldest - do you see the little boy in this big young man?

Just a few thoughts from a ...