Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wanderings of a meandering mind…

1. I painted the kitchen yesterday. In the words of Dawn’s Dad, “I’m surprised it took you so long.” I know! But it is done and looks ever so much better. I would post pictures, but I don’t have time because I am painting the living room today. I will post pictures next week.

2. I have to admit, I am liking the weather here. It’s good for my farm, which wouldn’t stand a chance in Texas, and good for Dawn, who is  able to take her dogs out to the park most days because it’s not eleventy hunnerd degrees outside, like it is in Texas. Sorry Daddy!

3. If I find any pickles in today’s harvest, I should have enough to make a couple of jars of dill pickles. With dill that I grew all by myself! I’ll have to do that tomorrow, though. (See #1)

4. My house is going to be the setting for a James Bond party this weekend! Our good friend, photog slash chef, Craig just finished reading Casino Royale and is going to recreate the decadent dinner Bond shared with Vesper. And he is making the special martini Bond named for her! All I have to do is get the kitchen clean and ready. Which I will have to do tomorrow. (See #1)

5. Since it is a theme party, there is a dress code. (I love those!) I need to look elegant next to my own personal James Bond, so I will need a new dress.  Which I will have to do tomorrow. (Hopefully after painting 2 rooms in two days I’ll lose a size or two. Gosh, wouldn’t that be nice??) (Anyway, see #1)

6. Whilst I have been sharing all the events in my life, it has occurred to me that I am way too busy to sit here and think of things to amuse you (see damn #1 which is not getting done! and what the heck? tomorrow is running out of hours, too!)

7. I woke up this morning with something to tell you, which is why I started this particular post, but I certainly don’t remember it now. Maybe tomorrow. Okay, okay! I’m off to paint already!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Did you know…

…that at any one time, 4% of women in the United States are pregnant?

…fewer than 10% of babies are born on their exact due date?

…carrying a baby “high” or “low” is dependent on the woman’s body type and can’t really tell you if it’s a boy or a girl?

…pregnant women have a heightened sense of smell, which some experts believe is the body’s way of protecting a pregnant woman from foods that might harmful to the baby?

…the average size for a full term baby is 8 pounds?

…that a first pregnancy lasts longer than any subsequent ones?

…hospitals have reported that Labor & Delivery is busier during thunderstorms?

…the average weight gain for a pregnant women is about 30 pounds?

…the average age of the first time mother is 25-29?

…that Arizona has the third highest birth rate in the U.S.?

…the Girl and her beau MJ, who also live in Arizona, are going to have a baby, too?!

…that means I have TWO grandbabies on the way?

…we are beside ourselves with happiness??


P.S. If you think I’m an excited, giggly, pain-in-the-ass around Christmastime? You don’t even want to be near to me now.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Half a calamity is better than a whole one…

I can’t write today as I am suffering from PTSD.

You see, I tried to kill my dog yesterday. I didn’t mean to! It was one of those horrible accidents that you just never see coming.

CGMan and I took the dogs to the dog park as we are wont to do. Usually it’s just me and the girls, but he was home early enough to join us on our outing. When we’re driving, I always roll down the rear window on the passenger side so Zoe can hang her head out and give me weather reports and driving advice. Phoebe just stands between the seats and pants excitedly (beware any beverage in the cup holder, I’m just sayin)

Because CGMan was with us, the girls were exceptionally excited, so I rolled down the window behind me, the driver, so Zoe could bounce back and forth, pointing out to her dad the various chipmunks and squirrels that were running across the path, and please let me out so I can get one! Phoebe is still all the while just looking around and generally excited.

We pulled into our usual spot at the dog park when a bunch of kids rode by on their bicycles. Phoebe hasn’t met a kid she didn’t like and here was a whole pack of them! Unbeknownst to me, as I was turning into our parking spot, she stood up and put her head out the window behind me, to watch as all her new friends rode away.

I was chatting away to CGMan, gathering leashes and poop bags, when I rolled up the windows and took the key out of the ignition. It was at that moment we heard the most awful gagging/crying sound. I turned behind me and saw my baby with her head stuck in the window! I screamed, CGMan jumped out and ran to the other side as I searched frantically for the keys in my lap. I managed to get the key back in the ignition and roll the window down in time. My poor Phoebe! The dog who hardly ever puts her head out the window, managed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and got herself rolled up in it.

We managed to get her calmed down and have a drink of water. Then she leapt out of the car and chased Zoe into the woods. It didn’t take her long to shake it off and enjoy her walk through the woods at the dog park. I, however, was an emotional wreck, watching her every move to make sure she was okay. It didn’t affect her appetite, nor her snoring sleeping patterns, so I guess she’s going to be fine.

You know, I made those kinds of rookie mistakes when my children were little. No, I didn’t roll anyone’s head up in the window, but there were things that happened to make me feel like the world’s worst mom. A child falling and bumping a lip, or the super fast baby in the walker coming at the open oven door, forgetting a tooth under a pillow. But I thought now that I’m going to be a Grandma, I was past all that. That I had moved into the “wizened” phase of my life. You know, the insightful old lady who would know better than to roll up the windows without checking for her dog’s head first.

Now that I think about it, my mom left baby Skater in Wal-Mart, in the shopping cart, at the checkout. Twice.

Maybe the wise old lady thing doesn’t run in our family.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Man should forget his anger before he lies down to sleep…

…but more importantly, after he wakes up.

What is the #1 rule of a sleepover?
Say it with me, now…

Do not be the first one to fall asleep!


What happens in the party... from Dawn Custer on Vimeo.


This just goes to prove, you’re never too old for a sleepover!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Do I qualify for Farm Aid?…

I don’t mean the money, I mean the kind of aid where someone, who knows what he’s doing, comes in and takes over all  the hard work. And leaves behind jars of pickles.

Yesterday, I gave you a glimpse of my little plot of farmland and a great tune to drive you batshit crazy hum all day long. Again, you’re welcome.

Now it’s time to talk about the tomatoes. Just so you know, I really can’t be blamed for this debacle because I’ve seen that topsy turvy thingamajig and it’s just one little plant, so how bad could it be to have three plants? I like tomatoes.


Oh, good heavens to horticulture! These plants are as tall as me and don’t look to be slowing down any time soon. There are more tomatoes on the vines than I have lasagna recipes. Bring on the BLTs!


I have big ones, cherry ones and low acid ones. All. Over. The. Place.

Someone said I should can them, too. Oh jeez. I’m gonna need more jars.

Oh? and that little funny looking plant in the lower left of the tomatoes? That was a bonus.

Beets! or, beet, I guess I should say, because thank goodness for chocolate and all that is wonderful, there is only one of those. Just enough for a salad. Right? It’s not going to suddenly mutate and bring forth a bazillion beets, is it?


I also have a strawberry patch! It’s amazing how much you can cram into one little city farm. We like strawberries and so do the robins, so I have to keep an eye out there to make sure they don’t help themselves. It would be nice to think one, or both, of the dogs would take care of that little task for me, since they’re outside doing nothing anyway. As you may have noticed from the bunny assignment, they can’t be trusted.

So I run out there every now and again and give all the birds the stink eye and tell them to stay off my farm. I feed them on the other side of the yard, in the bunny flower garden, they don’t need to be eating any of my strawberries. We are hoping for strawberry pie later this summer.


I tell you, it’s hard work, this farm. It’s keeping me from doing other things that would be a lot more fun, like making grandbaby things!

If I had known about the arrival of a grandbaby before I planted this huge mutating farm, I would have planted blue bonnets or baby’s breath. Who cracks herself up? Blue BONNETS, get it?

I wonder if babies like pickles?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Green .2532 acre is the place for me….

I know I haven’t been around much lately. That is because I am now a farmer. And OMG, farmers work hard! They get up long before the sun and work all day in the heat, watching over their crops, protecting them from blackbirds, bunnies, robins and other nefarious creatures who would make the farm their own personal buffet. They weed, water and sow until after the sun goes down.

It’s a good thing I’m a city farmer, because that would just not work for me. I get up around 6:30 or 7, feed the hounds, have a cup of coffee, see what’s going on in the blog world, then head out to my farm.


My farm has no irrigation system, so this farmer has to stand out there almost every day with her coffee in one hand and the hose in the other. Standing there in pink fuzzy slippers and a powder blue robe, it’s a pretty sight, let me tell you. This morning, it started to rain just as I went out to take a picture of the crops. Figures. I can’t get rain for weeks and the morning I want to crawl around and take pictures. Oh wait, I’m a farmer, I’m supposed to pray for rain.

Here is another difference between real farmers and this particular city farmer, real farmers know that plants GROW. When I planted those little bitty plants, I had no idea they would get SO BIG. I’ve only ever had potted plants. And honestly? They were silk.

It has been quite the surprise for me to go out every morning and wonder what the hell I’m going to do with all these pickles.


That big plant that I bought from the little shop of horrors used to be 8 cute, teeny little plants. The little sign in the pot said they are pickling cucumbers, which is why I call them pickles. I may be a city girl, but I do know that pickles used to be cucumbers. I don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe a jars worth of pickles from each plant? Um, not so much.




From what I read on Google the Farmer’s Almanac, every little yellow flower will be a pickle. And these crazy plants will keep making pickles until they die. In the winter.

That’s the other thing! I figured since I was a farmer, I should maybe learn how to can my own pickles. I mean, how hard can it be? (I swear, someone better put that on my tombstone, because those words will be the death of me)

So I bought a canning pot and 12 jars.


Oh, another thing you need for pickles? Dill. You can’t just use the store bought dill. No, of course not. You have to grow your own.


I feel a bit like Bubba Gump when I talk about my pickles; we got dill pickles, bread & butter pickles, sweet pickles, garlic pickles, jalapeƱo pickles, salt pickles, kosher pickles…

I have other plants on my farm, too.


CGMan picked out this little banana pepper plant at the farm store (otherwise known as the nursery- not to be confused with a baby nursery, which is the kind of store I’ll be hitting in the near future, because that’s what Grandmas do. That and can pickles). I asked him why he wanted a banana pepper plant, he said he likes them. So. I have harvested 5 peppers from this one tiny little plant. How many has CGMan eaten? Zero.

I’m not a pepper person, per se.

You’re welcome.

As I was saying, I don’t know what to do with banana peppers and neither does CGMan, apparently. Any suggestions would be helpful. Just don’t tell me to can them. All 12 of my jars are for pickles.

Guess what these are?


Brussels sprouts! There are 8 of these cute little guys, too. I don’t know what I was thinking. I buy a pound at a time from the grocery. Did I think each plant would produce a little less than a  pound or so?  Not so much. Here is what I learned about them…


Yeah. That’s a lot of Brussels sprouts. I mean, I like them and all, but really? I’m seriously thinking major giveaways this year. I know you all would just clamor for a pound or five of Brussels sprouts, right? Please?

Don’t even get me started on the tomatoes! We’ll have to discuss them tomorrow, because they are worthy of their own blog post. Geez.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a row to hoe, or some other farm type thing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A kitchen-dog is never a good rabbit-hunter…

When I lived in Austin, oh so long ago, there was never a shortage of critters in my yard. We had raccoons, possums, lizards and let’s not forget my personal favorite, scorpions!

Everyone told me how happy I would be not to have those critters in my yard, here on the east coast. Well, guess what?

They were right!

For the record, let me say, I did not plant this flower garden. The ladies who lived in this house before us were totally into flowers. It’s been great, because they planted flowers to come up at different times during the season. Every day is like a beautiful surprise when I go outside. I wish I could take the credit for them, but I cannot. However, I do water them every day so they will stay alive. That counts, right?


They also had these great raised beds where I decided to plant my farm. Look how much it’s grown!


I planted marigolds in the farm because I know there are bunnies in the area. I’m told they don’t like the smell of marigolds. And plus, I have dogs. Who needs a scarecrow when you have dogs, right?


I know it looks like she’s asleep, but let me tell you, this dog is on high alert for any critters that might find their way into the garden or the farm. Well, sort of.


Because this little guy has taken up residence in the flower garden. I know I should chase him off, but I can’t do it. After having  rat-faced possums, peeping raccoons and the big freekin lizards on the patio, I just can’t bring myself to shoo off the cutest thing that has found it’s way into my yard since Zoe was a puppy.


Even if I did see one of the tall flowers fall over, tiiimmmberrr-style, just this morning.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Is it weird in here, or is it just me?

There once was a bulldog with nothing to fear
when all of a sudden “evil” appeared

For hours she stared
to prove she’s not scared

but actually it showed she’s quite queer.



Thursday, June 2, 2011

If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, you’ll be hard to beat…

-- Herschel Walker

Over the holiday weekend, I had my first GTP* session. It was intense, let me tell you.

There was lifting…


Lots of walking…

IMG_1259 IMG_1264IMG_1285 IMG_1302

The food in the chow hall was okay, but sometimes it just misses the mark…


The agriculture class was exceptional…

IMG_1267 IMG_1271IMG_1283 IMG_1284

There was even an equestrian riding class!…


There was another riding option, but truth be told, some of us are just too pretty …


All in all, it was a great weekend. I learned a lot of great new things. Like, no matter how much I shake them up, I don’t have to clean them up. I learned that we have our own language. For example, when I say wanna cookie?, it really means How about two four cookies before naptime?? Oh, there’s more, but I don’t want to give it away. It’s kind of a secret language, known only to those of us in The Club.



*Grandma Training Program
Thanks, Ella, for letting me practice on you and your parents.

So, what did you do over the holiday weekend?

Wordless Wednesday…with some words…

I like wordless Wednesdays. It gives me a chance to show off some pictures that I have cramming up my phone. Let’s see, since you’ve alread...