Friday, June 17, 2011

Horsey, horsey, on your way.....

We got to take the girls to feed horses for the first time on Tuesday.  Some one has a pasture whose fence lines the the corner of the park near their house.  We decided to go look at the horses and when she saw me feed some grass to the horse Mirna of course wanted to try.

At first she would hold it out long enough for the horse to smell it but if he got his mouth any closer, she would squeal and drop the grass.

It took me having her hold the grass with me and show her that the horse wasn't trying to her her by allowing the hose to nibble the grass from my fingers and touch my hand with his lips.  After I explained that she had to hold the grass steady so that the horse could take it from her she was so excited to try again and a gain.  She kept insisting that I procure more grass for her to feed the horse.

Each time she successfully fed the horse a handful of grass, she would say, "Sisi, I did!" and then give me a hug.

I tried to do the same thing with Gabby but even when she was holding the grass with me she would still jerk her hand away when the horse's mouth got close.  Marina ended up feeding the other horse in the pasture while Gabby looked on, wandering between us.

Oh well, I suppose even though for the most part Gabby, who is the more fearless of the two, still has her own reservations.

Well, I hope that you find something today to give you a smile!


Thursday, June 16, 2011


Ever let go and allow yourself to become a little kid again?  Ever just let yourself run through the sprinklers fully clothed because a 3 year-old asked you to?  I had almost forgotten how much fun it was to run through the sprinklers and get wet just for the pleasure of it all, especially when it's hot.

Tuesday we ran through the sprinklers for the second time in Mirna's life.  We had a lot of fun.  Last week when we tried it she was too scared to hardly even get wet until I held her hand and ran through with her.  After that she was willing to approach a sprinkler and even dance in the water.  This time we had the run of the entire back lawn.  It was a blast.  Mirna has overcome her fear of the sprinklers getting her wet!

It was nice to indulge in a little bit of the exuberant behavior of a small child and take pleasure in the simple act of getting wet to cool down. ☺


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Catching Up

Does it ever feel like if you focus on one task and complete it another one or more seem to pop up out of nowhere?  Or even if you focus on one that you are neglecting 10 others.  I'm struggling to work on and complete some of the projectson my sewing table right now, partly as a means to feel like I'm getting the things people ask me to get done and partly to have some sanity in that corner of my house.  Though in doing so I feel like I am neglecting the mess that has crept up in the office as well as the ironing that I need to get done, and sorting the portion of baby clothes that I just washed.  As you can see the list goes on and on.

This is not to complain but to illustrate how my mind works, and how sometimes this line of thinking can lead me to sort of freeze, get discouraged and then get nothing accomplished at all in the end.  Like I go to start one thing then think of another thing that may or may not be more important that maybe I should be doing instead, and so forth, then never start any of them because I cannot seem to put them in an order of importance.  Does that ever happen to anyone else?

It's just a frustrating aspect of my personality,  I think that also might be one reason I have so many projects started, and then it takes me a while to finish them.  I get them started and then run out of steam if I don't have an approaching deadline to get them done, so I stop working on them because I'm bored, them something else will strike my fancy, so I start a new project in the mean time.  I mean well and I fully intend to finish the first project, it's just that I'm eliminating the boredom factor, so in trying to work on them each, trading off I end up taking much longer to accomplish projects than I could and more often should.

I should probably just do what I did on my mission to help myself to not think of distractions like movies, books, art and craft projects, music or just random ideas for things that I had no time for, as well as being an inappropriate use of my time.  I had a note book that I kept on my desk, and later on in my mission my companions had fun looking through the stuff I had written in there as a means to keep myself focused.  I wonder if I should start a new notebook, to serve the same function.  That way I wouldn't forget the projects, etc that I am interested in and I could use that to help me steadfastly stay focused on the projects I start as well and use my time wisely as I go.  I might also be a way of remembering how much time and effort are still left to complete tasks I have already started, as a means to motivate myself to actually finish in a more timely manner.

Wish me luck!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tinted Windows

About a year after we were married and still living in my father-in-law's basement the first time, he had tint put on the windows of our bedroom and kitchen.  Why would you need tint on basement windows you ask.  Well, since the house sit basically on a hill the front of the house is at ground level, but then it slopes away downward from there so that at the back of the house where you enter our apartment it looks like it is at ground level and that my father-in-law is on an upper story.  Thus the windows at the back of the house are western and southern facing, larger and fully exposed to that lovely, hot sun.  In the winter I'm sure this is partly a god-send, as it probably helps to keep us warm, but during the summer it can make things miserable.  So yes the tint does help to keep the heat down in our home during the summer. Unfortunately, the drawback is that the amount of light is greatly reduced.

One really funny thing about having tint on your windows is that for some reason it affords you a lot more bird watching opportunities, provided you are on the inside of the glass.  I'm not sure why, but we get a lot of birds that like to perch on the brick sill outside the window and look at themselves.  More often than not this random introspection turns into a fight or an outright dominance battle royale, dependent on the particular bird.  It's so funny though to be on the opposite side of the glass and watch a bird peck at the window.

So far we've had come to visit (that I've seen that is):
- the male of a breeding pair of Gabel's quail that lives in our cul de sac (he's come back at least two or three times at either one of our bedroom windows)


- a male American robin (though I'm sure he's come back a few times too and always to our kitchen)


- a Chipping sparrow


We've also had at least one casualty to our tinted windows (but he could have flown into the tinted windows upstairs at my father-in-law's) and that was a male Broad-billed hummingbird.  It was really sad, we just found his little body dead on our sidewalk.


What with our woody area beyond the back fence that lines the banks of the canal we get a lot of animal and bird life, on a regular basis.  I've seen jays, sparrows, robins, hummingbirds (thanks to the chestnut tree particularly), all sorts of bees, chipmunks, and I think we occasionally get racoons (though thankfully they only leave poop behind instead of property damage).  It's actually kinda fun to think what kinds of natural visitors we get.  I can't wait to see what other bird species I can identify.

Happy nature watching!


Monday, June 13, 2011

A Dog She's Not Afraid Of

Mirna has always been at least a little nervous around dogs even small ones, ans she has seemed even a little scared of the bigger ones.  I'm not sure where the fear came from other than perhaps a big dog barking loudly when they were on walks when she was smaller perhaps, heck I think her mother might even be nervous around those bigger dogs too.  The funny things is that Gabby loves dogs, so I'm clueless as to how that all happened.

When we got to the park on Tuesday, there was a family with a Yorkie Schnauzer mix puppy (adorable!!!) that both girls were so intrigued by.  Mirna insisted on holding it and they could not stop petting it.  We had to explain how to hold the puppy and that one does not throw the puppy, but in the end she didn't want to stop holding it.  The little four year-old that owned the puppy was very protective, and followed Mirna everywhere.

In the end I told Marina she would be lucky to get out of there without Mirna wanting to take the puppy home, but it all ended well.  I think they eventually wanted to go play on the slide and the puppy was forgotten.  It was just so fun to see her around a dog she wasn't nervous about.  With the exception that I think her parents aren't too keen on having a pet, Mirna would love to have a puppy.


Saturday, June 11, 2011


I thought I would do one of my garden "before and after" posts for you. However I will be comparing this year to last year.  Amazingly enough it doesn't look like the same area, you'll be surprised.  I'm still learning about the amount of sun the various parts get since as the sun moves the big tree covers more of the bed.  I've decided that to know truly how much sun I should try to document at which point in the day the shadow covers each area.  This way I will be able to determine better where to put plants that need more sun and other that prefer more shade.

It's also been a job to take care of the milk weed type plants that we have in this yard.  My father-in-law loves them, and so to placate him I've chosen to keep some as feature plants, but the go to seed early and are pretty prolific, so I have been trying to make sure to cut off the flower/seed parts as soon as they appear.  They also have a rather long spongy tap root that will break off if you don't pull it right or dig deep enough around them during their removal.  The problem with this is that the the remainder of the root will inevitably grow a new shoot and leaves the following year and then you have to try to dig them up again.  A problem I didn't quite grasp last year, and so now the area that I clean up last year has a number of them that have grown back and I am slowly getting them out.

Mosquito season has officially arrived and gardening at about any time of day in our back yard is tricky as we have a canal just 10 ft behind our back fence.  I'm not sure how our neighbor's sons who are always out building and gardening handle it, because for some reason the bugs seem to love me.  So now I'm resorting to working in long sleeves and pants with lots of bug spray.  My husband jokes some times that he's going to buy me a hat that has a mesh that hangs and protects your face just like a beekeeper hat.

Anyway, enough chatter, and on to the before and after shots! 



I hope that you have enjoyed examining my work so far.  It's been grueling but awesome.  I can't wait until I can see what the next year brings with the garden!


Friday, June 10, 2011

A New Bed

A little girl, dear to my heart, was so excited to show me her "big girl" bed when I visited on Tuesday.

She had to show me how she slept in it and her new mesh canopy.

It's so crazy how fast children grow.  Pretty soon it'll be Gabby showing me her "big girl" bed.  Marina says that Mirna is more serious in her attempts to style her hair and pretty soon I don't doubt that will spill over into clothes as well.  Where does time go.

For now we will just have to celebrate them and how sweet and cuddly these precious little girls are.  And how the world is so new to them.


Thursday, June 9, 2011


One thing I miss about train rides through the french country side are fields of sunflowers, lavender and....poppies.


If you've ever looked at the work of Claude Monet and his works depicting the scenery around his home Giverny as well as early paintings of his son and wife you'll notice the poppy fields and how pretty they are.

These two photos were taken on my mission outside of Nîmes, France in May of 2005.

That was something I truly loved about southern France.

Our small "field" of poppies is blooming right now and it's very pretty.  Though not the traditional red of the countryside in Provence, the orange is stunning against the green.  ☺