Category Archives: Mother Nature

The Heat Index Died

Iowa Environmental Mesonet-Iowa State Univ

Our actual temperature right now is 91 degrees F. The humidity is 63%.  That means we’re between the “Extreme Caution” and “Danger” areas of the chart. Oh, JOY.

 

Dump a Day

I am drinking a glass of ice water after Session 2 outside. I cut down a BUNCH of weed trees across the front yard, but I kept the session short due to the heat vs my ‘age seniority.’ :0)

 

Dump a Day

We don’t actually have window units in our house, but I couldn’t resist the picture of this kitty trying to cool off.

I have one more session in me today, and I’ll cut down as many more weed trees I can.

Otherwise, I’ll save more exercise for my yoga session this afternoon.

Did I tell you I’ll be one of the loudest voices cheering when fall finally arrives?

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Friday Thoughts

Ana Loreta Baicu – LinkedIn

My to-do list is longer than my arm today, but I’m enjoying a nice morning first.

We have the front and back doors open, creating a nice breeze through the house. We’ll have to turn on the a/c soon, since the high is supposed to be over 100 today, but I’m soaking up every minute of this. :0)

Feel the quiet. Ahhhh.

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Thoughts on a Thursday 9-5-2019

 

  • Try as you might, the cat jumps out of the planter just before you take the picture.

THIS is that cat – Smoke.

 

  • I’m watching the agonizing ‘progress” of Hurricane Dorian as it makes it way up the East coast wreaking havoc. I’m hoping it will continue moving to the east, causing as little damage as possible.
  • I did DAY 2 of renewed yoga practice yesterday, and will do Day 3 today.
  • I played in my art room yesterday, continuing the painting of yet another stained tee of mine. It seems to be coming back to life slowly. :0)
  • I am learning more about the after effects of my husband’s stroke. (“As with anxiety, anger is both a physical and psychological response. … After a stroke you might find you experience anger much more frequently, have less control over your outbursts and/or get angry over things that would not normally cause you to feel that way.” – the things I’ve read say that this may be a temporary change in personality.  Our son and I are dealing with this. It doesn’t happen often, and fingers are crossed this will pass.)
  • I am thankful that I get to spend time with my two favorite men on the planet, and that we are sharing good conversations, laughs, and hugs.

May your Thursday be full of things that fill your heart and make you smile.

 

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Filed under exercise, Health Alert, Mother Nature, playing in my art room, Thoughts on a ________

Thoughts on a Sunday

Wildlife Lovers via Sherry Dellaria McGrath

Good morning!

First, I feel guilty that our weather is pretty nice today. My thoughts are full of the people in the path of Hurricane Dorian. I am hoping that the hurricane will take a sharp turn and just give  people a lot of rain and maybe some wind and THAT’S ALL. Fingers crossed.

Second, I’m reading as much as I can find about strokes. We were extremely lucky with my husband’s. It affected his speech and his walking, but both are improving by leaps and bounds. I learned that changes in personality and behavior are common. He is experiencing hair-trigger anger, lashing out suddenly. Most of the things I’m reading say that these changes are usually temporary and fade with time. Our son is home, helping us all keep much calmer in dealing with this.

Third, I’m happy to be finished with August and beginning a brand new, hopefully cooler month. Fall has always been my favorite season. I love being able to throw on MORE clothes, rather than being too hot. I love fireplaces, hot cocoa, the rich colors all around.  I love cleaning up the yard because things STAY done a lot longer. :0)  I love sitting outside in the evening with a hot cup of coffee, enjoying the weather, watching birds, and more. Ahhh!

Fourth, our son had me laughing so hard my stomach hurt. He decided that our goldfish are playing basketball in their aquarium.

He described in elaborate detail how the fish were sucking up one of the pieces of gravel, then swimming over to the bathtub with the piece of gravel and then spitting it into the bathtub. When I laughed at the idea, he puffed up, trying to imitate the goldfish – but actually looking a bit like a chicken – acting out the playing of the basketball game. I laughed and laughed.  This is one of the MANY reasons I am thankful he came home to help us through the health challenge. He brings compassion, love, calmness, strength, and an absolutely fabulous sense of humor.

So happy Sunday, happy September!

I wish you a day filled with good things.

 

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Filed under Family, Mother Nature, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring….

Tail and Fur

“It’s raining, it’s pouring;
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed and he
Bumped his head
And he couldn’t get up in the morning.”    ~ Nursery Rhyme

We’ve already reached and broken the record here in Arkansas for rain in August, and it’s raining again. We may get another 2 inches today to add to the over 11 for the month.

My husband has been gritching all summer because USUALLY we get to a point where it’s so hot with no rain that our lawn becomes ‘brown and crunchy’ (his favorite) and doesn’t need mowing. No luck for him this year. Happily, we have a nice used riding mower to make the job as easy as it gets.

I did a good job on weed whacking yesterday, going all the way around our garden, the propane tank for our shop, and behind the shop, plus the front yard, plus the area between the front yard and the driveway pad. I was planning to work on the back – and around the greenhouse today – but it looks like an inside day for us.

We’re getting ready to enjoy eating with our long-time Lunch Bunch friends. I think we decided recently we had been meeting every Friday for at least 17 years. I’m thankful to have such good, long-time friends. We’ve shared laughter and tears through the years, celebrating, or helping each other through hard times. Today our son plans to come with us!

After errands, we’ll settle in, enjoying a dry home, family, and pets.

I hope that you are enjoying your Friday.

 

 

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Filed under Cherishing the Quiet Day, Family, Friendship, Mother Nature

Toward the End of Garden Harvests

I just came in from taking a quick look at the garden, and then to the other end of our house to the tomato planters. This is today’s harvest, but it’s obvious that the super-hot weather lately has brought a halt to most of the harvests now.

We have had a wonderful time this year. We had a LOT of lettuce, radishes, and tomatoes, and were able to share some of each of these with our friends. The zucchini made big plants, and we harvested several zucchini, but I’ll read about how we can do better on these next year. I also want to plant yellow crookneck squash next time.

The cantaloupe was fun, but all we have are either green or yellowish small ones, all hard as a rock with vines spreading everywhere. I have no clue if they’ll actually continue to grow and ripen or not. Another subject for a lot of reading.  The red onions are still looking good. As soon as the weather gets a bit cooler, I’ll start looking to see if any are ready to come out of the ground.

 

Beautiful World

Of course when I was the farthest away from the house, the rain started. I toweled off when I came in, but it’s a very good thing I’m not water-soluble. :0)

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Glorious Rain

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

The sky is darkening, the storm is coming.  We – 3 people, 2 dogs, and 2 cats – are dry and happy, looking outside.  (Our goldfish are inside, but not dry. They don’t care about the weather

much.)  Happy Saturday to you!

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Crabbing About the Heat

Brightside

I just spent half an hour or so trying to prune roses and weed flower planters. I’m embarrassed that some of the weeds are taller than the flowers!  Of COURSE it’s hot outside – it IS August and this IS Arkansas, but the humidity makes the heat index 103 and it is still morning!  So, I’m TRYING to spend a bit of time outside each morning to try to get things under control. So far, the weeds are winning….

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Rain!

 

Alma Maghakyan-imgend.com-LinkedIn

It was really muggy and hot when we went grocery shopping this morning. I had pretty much decided to stay inside today when all of a sudden the sky got dark, the wind was whipping the trees’ branches around and it started to rain!

AHHHHHHHH! This is refreshing for the mind and spirit, if not actually resulting in lower temperature and humidity.

I LOVE IT!

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So Cute – But Not Here

Via Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Via Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

I’m definitely of two minds about raccoons. On the one hand, I melt into a puddle when I see pictures like this. Awwww.

The other half of me has to deal with the problems they cause us when a whole family decides that our deck is a wonderful place to eat us out of house and home. Not only do they eat every single seed of any type in our feeders, they trash the feeders!  If we had raccoons who understood the concept of sharing, or eating without leaving the feeders needing to be replaced, we would welcome them.

We saw one of our long time friends at the store recently. He had a possum on his shoulder! It was really cute, and super affectionate. He had had the possum since he/she was a baby. He also told us he had a raccoon and a squirrel who both traveled with him and his wife, and were trained to walk on leashes! He also mentioned he had 7 deer…. Such a rich, full life!

We have a humane trap that we use on a regular basis after we have clear evidence of more raccoons. We bait it with apples or crackers and peanut butter. We have to be careful where we put the trap because they do everything they can to get out of the trap – of course – and have trashed our barbecue grill cover, plants in pots, etc.

When we catch one, we put the cage into the back of our truck and drive about 5 miles away, relocating the raccoon into a nice creek that flows under the road. Hopefully, this gives him/her another chance at a happy life, reunion with other relocated raccoons – far enough away that they don’t find their way back to us….

 

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How Hot Can it Get?

This was posted by one of our local weather people on Facebook yesterday. He said today would be much the same. We are in Greenwood (left column).

On that happy note – we plan to do a lot of staying inside!

I hope YOUR weather is much more sensible.  Enjoy your Monday.

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Our Beautiful World

T.L. – LinkedIn

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Tuesday Beauty

Adam Baker – Tuolumne Meadows, California.-via Daniela Capdepoj MD-PhD-LinkedIn

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Our Beautiful World

Thomas Moran via Elena (Livia) D – LinkedIn

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Nice and Toasty

We made this mailbox decoration years ago. We haven’t put it up this year and have others scheduled, but this is the way I’ve been feeling lately. The heat indices are between 105 and 110+ degrees each afternoon. You walk outside and it feels as though Mother Nature is slapping you in the face and sucking the breath from your body.

Needless to say, we are thankful for good air conditioning in our house and vehicles, and thankful that we can choose when we go out to do the yard work, working in short sessions, with lots of resting and water in-between.

My husband and I are reasonably active – for folks our age – but this weather really shows up how different things were for us 50 years ago…  We happily go about our days, feeling pretty good and doing a good amount of work, blissfully ignoring the passage of the years. THEN – we try to do something outside, coming in wringing wet and panting after only a short time, taking longer and longer to recover with each session, reality rearing its ugly head.

I plan to tackle my to-do list today with ONE thing from the INSIDE list – vacuuming the first floor – and ONE thing from my OUTSIDE list – weed whacking. Anything more will be gravy.

I hope that the weather where YOU are is pleasant.

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Reprieve from the Heat?

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

Jeff Jett just posted this beautiful photo on LinkedIn. Since we’re under heat advisories here in Arkansas, it was so REFRESHING to see this! I hope it gives you some relief, as well as an ‘awwwww’, too.

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Solution?

I told you a couple of days ago I was bitten/stung – yet again – by fire ants while I was out working in the yard. Apparently, I’m at least mildly allergic, since my forearm swelled up, had welts on it, and itched and hurt for two days before finally subsiding. I’m ready for war.

I talked to my good friend, Nora, who sent me a solution that has worked for her. I’m going to try it and wanted to share it with you.

RECIPE:

1/4 cup Borax

3/4 cup sugar

Enough water to make a thicky syrup

 

USING:

Soak cotton ball in mixture, and put near ant nest. (Apparently, the ants are drawn to the sugar and are killed by the borax in a couple of days.)

 

I will definitely try this.  I’ll let you know if it works for me.

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Magical Moment

 

I was on my way from the living room into the dining area this morning when the view out the back door made me stop and go get my camera.  I love the way the clouds form a loose ‘rope’ between the ridge lines sometimes. Almost immediately after I took this picture, the ‘rope’ started to spread out, making a generalized fog that later burned off. But for a short moment, it was magical.

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In My NEXT Life…

I have promised my husband that in my next life, I will do everything I can to be –

AN ELECTRONICS EXPERT – defencecareers.mil,nz

 

STRONG AND MUSCULAR – so I can help haul things more easily.

 

A PHYSICS EXPERT – so I can grasp what we’re trying to do more easily – forensisgroup.com

AND –

TALLER – so I don’t have to stand on a ladder to reach everything!

He kindly says he loves me just the way I am – but tell that to me when I’m red-faced, sweating, plus huffing and puffing after helping him bring the new TV out of the truck,

  • through the garage,
  • up the steps,
  • through the gate into the dining area,
  • through the gate into the living room,
  • and across the floor to where we could set it down.
  • THEN we had to fight it out of the boxes,
  • stand it up after attaching the legs,
  • lift it up to put on the new support in front of the entertainment center,
  • and attach all the cords and wires and nylon ropes to keep it from falling….

We did it, and he’s working with adding updates and programming so we might be able to watch TV for the first time in three weeks or so since we were hit by lightning!

If we can get it working properly, it’ll be a really nice gift for the 4th of July.

THEN we can worry about whether the DVR,  DVD player, and movie storage system are still working….

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“Sunrise, Sunset, Slowly Go the Years…”

Svetlana Milenkovic – LinkedIn

Inna Kashkovar – LinkedIn

 

Lake Degray – Matt Cook – AR Sunrises and Sunsets via Cindy Basnett Thurman

 

Mehmet Tayfun Dur – LinkedIn

 

Ocean Painting – “Sailors Dreamworld” – Steve K – via Yucel Ulusoy – LinkedIn

 

Stephen McGuinness – Hunstanton – Norfolk – Sunset

 

Svetlana Milenkovic – Linkedin

 

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Quiet Rain

“Enjoying The Rain” -Julian Rad

We have waves of quiet rain coming through. Our doors are open so we can enjoy the deliciously cooler breeze.  Today it’s just rain. No lightning. No thunder. No flash floods. No harmful winds. I am going to get a cup of coffee, sit in my recliner and continue reading. Maybe even stretch out for a nap. Ahhhh!

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Awe-Inspiring Trees

Amazon.com

 

GrownUps.com.nz

 

Moreton Bay Fig Tree – TripAdvisor

 

Ficus Macrophylia – Garden of Trials – Algiers-Iahsen Haddou – LinkedIn

 

Tree of Tule -Oaxaca -Mexico.- Linked In

 

Pinterest

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Adaptation Run Amok

Sony Pictures Entertainment

“Adaptation” – a change or the process of change by which an organism or species becomes better suited to its environment.

I told you that we had a bad storm and lightning or the power going on and off repeatedly combined with a circuit breaker tripping resulted in LOTS of electronics being hurt or killed. Suddenly, we had no computers, no Internet, no TV, no way to play movies….. a real culture shock and character-building exercise.

When I finally realized there was nothing more to be done about the problem, I decided to go out and work in my garden. (My stupidity on setting up the irrigation system for it resulted in NO water being sent out there, other than Mother Nature’s largesse and the plants were suddenly suffering.) There was lots of dead stuff that needed to be pruned, weeds to be removed, etc. I took my gardening stuff out there and got started, pleased that I was adapting to our new situation.

Suddenly the wind came up and the skies turned dark. The tree branches were becoming more and more active. My hat blew off and I had to chase it. The rain came down in a WHOOSH! – Mother Nature laughed at me – soaking me before I could gather my stuff and head for the house.

By the time I got to the house, I was dripping. My husband took one look at me and laughed. I was really steamed. I had TRIED to adapt to our situation, opting to be productive in the  garden since we couldn’t get onto computers, watch TV, etc., and I was standing in the utility room, dripping for my efforts. :0(   (I have since cleaned up the garden. I’ll try to post pictures tomorrow.)

I have read four books in the past two days – one by Renae Christine listing 150 suppliers of stuff for handmade products; a book by an author new to me who writes kind of like JK Rowling in the Harry Potter series, the last book in the Traveling Pants series, and a much-loved re-read of a Nora Roberts book.

I have a new Keto recipe to try tonight from the Simply Keto book – actually TWO recipes – one for Keto Honey Mustard and the other for Keto breaded chicken tenders. We’ll try these tonight and I’ll report on this and one other recipe I tried recently that’s a winner.

Latest update on our really annoying electronics problems is that the new TV should be ready for pick up Friday or Saturday.  When we get it hooked up, we should be able to tell if any other things in the entertainment center were affected. Fingers crossed that all else is okay.

My husband has continued to work with his computer after getting the new network card in mine and getting the new modem and 24-port switch installed. He has decided that we do NOT have to drive to Tulsa tomorrow for an appointment with the Microsoft people. He’ll work with it some more, test it when we have the new TV up and running, and then decide if we need to do something further.

THAT leaves our clothes washer, which decided to throw a fit today at the end of the first load. It sounded like a jet was trying to land in our living room. I ran in and shut things down. My husband will download the PDF of the manual that goes with our washer and dryer and see if he can figure out why the spin cycle has lost its mind, whether we need parts, or WHAT.

All of this from ONE storm…..

We are doubly thankful that more wasn’t affected. We are also grateful that we can sit in a dry home reading good books while we repair or replace the things we lost.

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A Storm is Coming

It’s as black as night outside right now, ready to storm. Before it got dark, I got out and took some pictures in the yard I wanted to share with you.  This is one of our Rio Samba rose bushes with Impatiens around the base.  We have two other Rio Sambas, but for some reason, their leaves are turning yellow. I’ve sprayed them with fungicide plus all purpose rose bug killer, hoping that will help them.

 

I love the red roses on this bush. It seems quite happy at the moment.

 

This is one group of phlox. I love these. They come in a lot of colors. We have  a lighter pink shade and this one. I’m afraid if it rains hard, these will be beaten down.

I have to tell you about my stupidity of the day

I checked my veggie garden and noticed the plants weren’t getting enough water. My husband came out to help me trace the water from the outside rural faucet we have out to the garden. It turned out that I had forgotten about a “Y” connection of hoses we have and it was turned the wrong way. The water wasn’t going anywhere, much less to the garden! We fixed it and tested it. On the way back to the house, Mother Nature rained on us….

 

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It’s Going to WHAT?

Our weather forecast is the pits. The ‘weather weenies” as my husband calls them are saying that Greenwood, Arkansas (where we are) could get 6 to 8 inches of rain in the next 7 days, starting today. When you look at the map above, we’re in the bright red blob that says, “6” – 8″.  Even if we ONLY get 4″ – 6″, it’ll be a big problem for a lot of good people.

It’s times like this when I’m really glad we live on top of a ridge line, but many places in Arkansas and Oklahoma have already flooded, are trying to pick up the pieces, and really don’t need any more rain.

I hope the weather guys aren’t upset with me, but I REALLY HOPE THEY ARE WRONG THIS TIME.

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Perspective

Animal’s Look

Yet another rainy day. It was foggy, too, when we awoke this morning, but that has mostly gone. I MAY be able to do a bit of work outside later, but I’m not going to hold my breath. I’m switching to my INSIDE to-do list.

I feel guilty for gritching a bit about the rain. We are so lucky. Our house is dry, sitting on top of a ridge line in Arkansas, when so many good people are suffering from a 500-year flood. The Arkansas River finally crested at around 20 feet above flood stage. MANY people have had damage to their homes and businesses – or complete loss – in Fort Smith, Van Buren, and other towns in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Some of the roads and bridges are reopening as the water recedes, leaving the devastation clear.

AND, while I gritch about another day of rain, others in the U.S. are dealing with drought and wildfire!

Perspective is all.

“It’s good to shut up sometimes.” ~ Marcel Marceau

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And the Lilies Bloom!!

We have a really good chance of more severe weather this afternoon and tonight, so I got out and cut some of the lilies that are blooming in one of our planters.

Here are more of the yellow ones in the planter.

 

And I HOPING that this beauty won’t be harmed by the storms.

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Lunch Bunch

Thrillist

It would be NICE if the Lunch Bunch gruesome threesome actually were this young and were actually at the beach, but we’re grateful for what we can get. :0)

This is closer to what we ACTUALLY look like, but it’s what’s in your heart that counts. :0)

Today will be a special Lunch Bunch because, besides the three of us and my husband – who pretends to preside over his ‘harem,’ sitting at one end of the table, Kay’s daughter, LaDonna, is visiting from Albuquerque, and Kay’s husband is taking the week off from work – a VERY unusual thing – so it will be even more fun that usual!

We’ve had severe weather this week, with our friend Linda the closest to the actual tornado that touched down. I don’t think any of us had any damage, although another friend of mine lost a maple tree in her back yard.

So we’ll celebrate being together, being alive, and feeling feisty today!

I hope that YOU are weathering the storms, tornados, wind damage, flooding, and flying hairballs well, too. My heart goes out to all the people who are having to pick up the pieces, trying to put things back together.

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A Good Day

We had a productive day today –

  • we shoveled the potting soil back into the finished planter before the rains started
  • we hauled the bricks that were holding down the tarps over the potting soil and cleaned up work area
  • we got our errands done, with the rain starting on our way home
  • I scrubbed part of master bathroom upstairs (need to finish tomorrow) – got distracted by –
  • I tried on multiple pairs of jeans and finding SEVERAL pairs that were too large – :0)
  • I added the too-large jeans to the Veterans Thrift store bag donation
  • my husband loaded ammunition for our good friend down the road from us

The predicted severe thunderstorms came and went without causing damage. At one point the sky was so dark I couldn’t see that it was raining when I looked out the window, but I could HEAR the thunder and could see the lightning, and could see the rain streaming down the windows. The wind was really whipping things around, but things have cleared up now and the sun is shining! (I just checked to see if our greenhouse was still standing and it IS. :0)

My husband is asleep in his chair in the living room. That sounds really good, so I’m thinking of doing that, too.

I hope YOU’VE had a good day, too.

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Aftermath of the Severe Weather

Photo by Fort Smith Police Department

Yesterday, when our weather radio alerted us that we were under a tornado warning and that we should take cover, an as-yet unofficial tornado hit the south side of Fort Smith, one city away from where we live in Greenwood, Arkansas.  This is one of the pics showing the damage.

Reports today are saying 30 to 40 homes were damaged or destroyed, trees downed, roofs of businesses torn off, power out, etc. The good news is that no one seems to have been hurt or killed.  I hope our governor can declare an emergency and release Federal funds for those who need it.

Even though my husband scoffed at the weather alert, I’m really glad we have the radio. We are under tornado ‘watches’ all summer long, so I don’t pay a lot of attention to the run of the mill alerts; but when they say a rotation has been confirmed and is heading toward Greenwood, I DO!. I’m very grateful that we haven’t found any damage.

In fact, today is a gorgeous day – sunshine and 80 degrees. My husband and I laid more bricks on our planter this morning. We should be able to finish it tomorrow. It’s been 30 years since we built the planters and our skills have deteriorated since then. We will be delighted if the planter is sturdy, holds the dirt in, and we can plant beautiful things in it, regardless of how it looks. :0)

After we rested and drank water, I went out to my garden to weed. The weeds really love Mel’s Mix, the soil alternative we use in the raised boxes, so I had a lot to do. I did finish that, though, and after resting again, mixed up a 2-gallon container of KilzAll, the wonderful weed killer that was recommended to me a couple of years ago by a good friend in Tulsa. The container is a pump-up variety, so I can murder a lot of weeds without killing myself as well. I used the whole container on the weeds UNDER my raised boxes in the garden. As soon as I have them under control I’ll get more wood chips to spread over the fabric weed barrier we put down several years ago.

After we finished laying bricks this morning, I came in and washed my hair in the kitchen sink. I came in after weeding really hot, huffing and puffing, my whole head wet. I washed my hair again, hating to walk around with dirty, yucky hair. Now I’ve come in from murdering weeds, my whole head wet again, and I look like I’ve been run over by a truck. I refuse to wash my hair more than twice a day, so my poor husband will have to put up with me the rest of the day. There are more weeds out there calling my name – so I’ll probably go out one more time and spray another container-ful before I call it a day.

I hope that Mother Nature is being kind to you today and that you’re enjoying your Sunday.

 

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Flying Hair Balls!

KSFY.com

We are under a tornado watch the entire day, tonight, and into tomorrow morning.

It was sprinkling just slightly, with rain looking imminent this morning when we woke up, so we spent about half an hour cleaning up our ‘rebuilding-the-brick-planter’ work site, putting away tools, the partial bag of mortar, papers from the bricks we hauled, etc. We’ll wait and see what the situation is after the rains have come and gone before doing anything more.

We’re disappointed because we wanted to finish the first planter today.  A challenging job, though, is even less fun when you’re trying to beat the clock, betting against Mother Nature.

I’m going to get out and try to get my garden weeded before the rain, and then we’ll batten down the hatches and hope we don’t have damage from the storm.

I hope you’re safe wherever you are today.  Happy Saturday!

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