Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Look at the Weeds I'm Growing

Last week, or so, when I burned the boxes
... I introduced to you all 
a friendly neighbor down the hill:

I haven't seen him since that day ...
which is unusual because he liked to walk up here 
to check the progress of the garden.

Anyway, today another neighbor came over
to look it over.

She had talked with Ted the other day,
and she asked him about it.

He shrugged it off by saying, 
"Aw, she's just growing weeds up there."

I planted my first seed seventeen days ago
... look at the weeds I'm growing.

Of course, to give Ted proper credit
... in that same blog I did confess
that he thinks this garden experiment is insane,
and he also thinks I am crazy.

I love it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Monday, May 30, 2011

My Oldest Miracle: The World Traveler

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I finally heard from my oldest miracle today. 

I am in Laos safely :) 
I cannot even begin to describe it, but I love it here. 
This week is going to be amazing. 
 I'm so glad and thankful God allowed me to go on this trip! 
It's day one, and Laos is already impacting my life. 
I have a calling.

Praise God ... my baby is safe.

Those are the kind of  words that will bring tears to a mother's eyes ...
happy tears. 

 I am happy she has found her calling, and will pray fervently 
for God to help me support her and her dreams.

I cannot wait to hear ALL about it. 

I hope she is taking pictures.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

She went to Barcelona, Madrid, and Paris
back in March.

She took a ton of pictures there.

I only have a few snapshots of that trip
... right now, anyway ...
but I will share more, when I get more.

I think it's hilariously ironic
that in March 2010, 
I was nervous about her 
... ha ha.

I love my oldest miracle very, very much.

I just want her safe
... she is still my baby girl.

I am blessed
... beyond measure.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Smart Mama

I'm proud of myself
... I solved a problem by using my head.

My clothes dryer got hot ... real hot.

My clothes dryer tumbled ... real good.

So why was it taking up to three hours to dry clothes?

I looked behind the machine, and the tube-thingy wasn't bent or crushed.

I shimmied the machine away from the wall, and pulled the tube-thingy off
... it was clear.

I walked outside, and checked the vent-thingy out there
... it was clear, too.

Hmmmm ... what in the world?

Think, think, think, think.

I pull the tube-thingy off the machine 
... and, lo and behold.

A bird flew into the vent, and all the way up the tube
... and built its nest IN the dryer.

Smart mama ... both of us, if I may say so.


I am loving our little adventures here.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Strawbale Seedlings are Coming Along Nicely

At last count, I had these strawbale seedlings:

77 pea
8 pumpkin
7 cucumber
22 corn stalks
4 spinach
2 swiss chard
71 okra
6 cantaloupe
24 cherokee wax bean
10 blue lake green bean
23 calabacita
9 basil
5 yellow squash
10 grape tomato
1 jalapeno
5 radish
8 watermelon 

I take photos with my cell phone.

These snapshots were from last Sunday, the 22nd, before the storm hit ...
and before I lost cell phone service.

Service was down for three solid days ... I'm not sure how we got service back, 
but I am glad it has been somehow restored.

It is my understanding, hundreds of towers were destroyed.

Other photos from last Sunday were of two projects I had.

One was painting an old, rusty wire shelf thingy ...

... and the other was painting the upper-window on my shed's door
so nobody can see into it, and also figuring out how to 
cover/close the missing bottom panel.

I used an old towel, some epoxy, and lots of duck-tape.

Got real, real tired of the stray cats ripping open my trash bags
after sneaking into that bottom entry ... 
it's been about a week since my creative fixer-upper, 
and I'd say the pesky problem is solved.

So far.

Here is a snapshot of my youngest miracle's 
Dill and Zinnias.


The final two pictures are of last Sunday's sunrise 
... the calm before the storms.

On a final note,
my oldest miracle is somewhere on the other side of the world.

She SHOULD be in Tokyo by now, maybe, I don't know
and it's driving me bonkers.

From Tokyo she catches a flight to Bangkok,
and from Bangkok she goes on into Laos.  

I just want her to get her precious feet on LAND, 
and let her stay there, safely, a while
... so I can catch my breath.

My heart is in my throat.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Well, Goodness Gracious

Well, goodness gracious .... Day/Round Two.

By the way, still no cell phone service.

~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Update 2:oo pm

 Tornado Sirens going off again ... warning signal.

We are packed, prepared, and ready to run if need be.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

UPDATE 3:00 pm

Okay so the last wave kinda changed direction, and missed us ... or, well, the nasty stuff did ... radar says another wave is heading our way ... so, my dear beloveds, your prayers and thoughts are working :)
((( hugs )))

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Updated: Bad Weather Ahead

Click on photo for larger image ...
the red dot, with the red arrow pointing to it, is Alton.

I'll be back to make my regular blog post.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Update: 9:30-ish

City of Alton's Tornado Siren
just went off ...
seek shelter.

Will continue to update as circumstances/time permits.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Update: Monday, May 23 - 3:45 am

First of all,
I want to let everyone know
that when I made the first post
around 6:45 about the bad weather
heading our way,
I did NOT know Joplin had been hit so hard.

In fact,
I did not know Joplin had been hit at all.

Nani and I had been working outside most of the day
and, as always, I use my cell phone as my camera.

Ever so often, I have to stop what I am doing,
and send the pictures to my email ...
because my phone can only hold so much before its full.

I began sending a couple of pics around 4:00 ...
pics I took early this morning of the seedlings and the sunrise.

Normally, I can send one picture a minute.

Around 5:30, and I have the emails to show this,
the delivery of my messages were real slow.
I had to re-send several times because the delivery would fail.

It took FOREVER to send one picture.

I completely lost all service around 5:45.

(click on image to enlarge ... then backspace so you won't lose your spot on the blog)

(I just found out the tornado hit Joplin around 5:30.) 

Around 6:30 I came inside, and got online to check our local weather
... and that is when I saw bad weather was heading our way
 ... and that is when I made my initial post here.

I still didn't realize how bad ... or I wouldn't have left the girls at home,
to walk to the grocery store.

(I bought lighter fluid, to start another fire tomorrow in the drainage ditch,
and some more watermelon and squash seeds ... and some soda.) 

At the grocery store, all I heard was people talking about
how bad the storm was.

No one knew about Joplin yet, or if they did,
I didn't hear any talk of it ... and I was listening.

I heard a lot of talk about hunkering down, and people wanting to hurry home.

I got home about 8:30, and put Nani in the bathtub, and started supper.

At about 9:00,  the neighbors rushed over to tell me just how bad it was
... and told me they would have called, but they hadn't had cell phone service
the past few hours.

Me either .... weird.

About 9:15 the tornado sirens went off.

Neighbor ran back over, and told us that was just the warning siren
... but start getting ready to go.

If the siren went off again, they would take us to the shelter.

We all put on sweatpants, sweatshirts, and kicked off our flip-flops
 ... and put on tennis shoes.

Laura packed a small bag.
Nani packed a bag of coloring books, and her Spiderman mask.

I put my Bible in Nani's bag, and put on my contacts
... so I could see ...
didn't want my glasses flying off my face
if it got as ugly as it sounded like it could.

We were ready to go.

I went to shut off the computer, and looked at the radar again ...
made the "update" post here, and a couple of posts on Facebook.

The wind began picking up, pretty bad actually,
and we gathered on the front porch
... to run if/when the neighbors honked.

The girls were scared.

I gathered them into my arms, and then stepped back and held their hands.

And said a simple prayer.

You can read what I said, below, in the comments
I brought over from Facebook.

The neighbors never honked ... the sirens never went off again ...
and the winds died down, and the rain softly fell.

We stood there, amazed, and watched the occasional light show.

After about 30 minutes? I don't know how long ...
I booted the computer back up, and looked at the radar.

The storm, literally, passed over us ...
there was "orange, red, dark red, purple" radar colors
all around us, but Alton remained in the green.

Here were the five snapshots I was able to send to my email
before the storm shut down my phone.

(It's still down, by the way.)

This morning's sunrise.

And, a sweet corn seedling ... with a drop of morning dew.

All is well at Mama's ... pray for Joplin, and keep them in your thoughts.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Month Ago ... then, Today ... and, One Year Ago

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

This house had been abandoned for a long while 
before I unexpectedly came along
to clean it up, and turn it into a home again.

One month ago, April 21st, was the City of Alton's 
Clean-Up Day.

I was really excited about this day.

This was the special day the city would come by, and 
pick up dang-near everything you need to get rid of.

Including brush, cardboard boxes, and tree limbs.

I know, because I called and asked.

They WANT their city to look clean, and nice.

I worked real hard to get ready for that big day
... I WANT my house, and lot, to look clean and nice, too.

So I piled a lot of brush and limbs, and all my cardboard boxes, 
into a neat pile for the clean-up crew.

Well, as neat as can be expected for a girl 
... who also has a little girl helper ...
to do those kinds of things.

I ... we .. were so proud of my ... our ... achievement.

Most of those boxes had two or three smaller boxes stuffed into them. 

... back to a month ago ...
they never picked it up.

I was sad.

They told me it was too dangerous 
for them to stop on the blind side of a hill
... which I fully understand ...
 but, they also told me,
if I would move the piles to my driveway
... where they pick up my weekly trash bags ...
they would be glad to pick up from there, instead.

It never occurred to me that I was supposed to 
block my entire driveway with that huge mess.

But, even if it did occur to me to block my driveway with that huge mess,
my driveway still sits on the same blind side of that same hill.

I was frustrated AND sad.

I honestly would have rather heard
that they just didn't want to mess with all that stuff.

I wouldn't blame them 
... really ...
I didn't want to mess with all that stuff either.

Who would!?

Still, I entertained the possibility of "calling their bluff" 
by moving it all to my driveway just as they had asked.

But, like a good girl, I shrugged it off.

No big deal.

And I did, eventually, decide to take matters into my own hands.


All the boxes went into the drainage ditch.

I started dragging limbs to the 
burning drainage ditch, too.

But, I gave up on them after a short while.

I ought to have plenty of wood 
for my steak burning sessions 
for a little while.

I think.

I will have to resume that part of the looming chore
at a later date ... at least all of those dadgum boxes are gone.

They were a constant reminder of the original packing 
... and the original move ...
and they put unnecessary strains on my heart. 

Anyway, it was neat to be able to set fire within city limits 
... that is a no-no in Texas ... 
... of course, Texas almost burned to the ground last month, too ...
but I digress.

I didn't need permission, or a permit, or anything.

You might have noticed a man 
in a few of the snapshots ... that is a friendly neighbor 
who likes to walk up to the place 
every chance he gets
to check out the "goings-on" of my insane garden.

Today he showed up to make sure I didn't burn my house down,
and to look over my insane garden again.

He can't believe it.

He'd already been up here earlier.


So, anyway, this is Ted. 

He thinks I am, literally, crazy.

However, if you could hear him yell at his dogs 
when he lets them out to go potty 
.... nevermind ...
goodness, I crack myself out.

He is, literally, a nice feller.

Here is a pretty shot of a calabacita seedling 
... with smoke billowing in the background.

And here is another snapshot 
... same subject matter, but you can see 
the charred drainage ditch.

Anyway, so, that covered one month ago and today.

But what happened a year ago?

One year ago, today, I was on a wonderful trip with my father.

Here is that blog post.

I found some of the rocks we gathered from that adventure,
and wanted to share.

And here is tonight's hazy/smoky sunset ... taken almost too late.

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