Saturday, October 15, 2011

Whoa! What's Going On???

Two posts in three days? Dang... something has awakened an interest in life at least for the moment. I think I will share it with you all. Some background...Carol and I bought 4 okra plants last spring rather than planting from seed. Three died and one survived. Needless to say I knew I wouldn't get to pick enough for even a mess of okra for Carol and I so I just let it grow and watched it throughout the summer. I kept watching for the blooms because they are really beautiful, creamy white and look like a hibiscus. Okra likes to bloom early... I like to sleep late. I knew there were flowers that had to be making because they close up and that's where the babies start but my timing has just been off this summer because I haven't spent much time outside. Today I got a wild hair and went out to run the weed eater around the dog fence. I got about 2/3rds done before I had to take a break and I got to looking around at what I need to do for fall put away and clean up and happened to check out my okra to decide if I could make myself pull it up yet. I DO like watching things grow... I DON'T like pulling stuff up at the end of the season because things look so barren.

But I digress... not only was there an open flower on the okra plant, there were also buds, a couple of ready to pick okra and okra pods that were starting to break open and showing the b-b sized okra seeds. I got a couple of pictures to share with you all... Enjoy!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Family And Flowers...

You all know how I feel about family. We always have such fun and special times when we get together. We laugh, cry, tease and have been known to tell off on each other but always with love.

Left to right... Mary Catherine, the oldest daughter of my oldest brother... my sweet niece that I spent lots of summers with when she was little even before her sibs started coming along. Sometime I'll post up some photos of those times. Nancy Lu is the youngest and only daughter of my sis who passed away when she was 23. Nancy Lu was just shy of 2 years old. She was the first granddaughter after her mom and dad had had two ornery boys. She is also a Leap Year birthday girl. Then there's yours truly, leaning on my sweet Nancy Lu as I have often done in my life. My sis sent me this photo in a note and I just had to share it with you all. It was taken at Nancy Lu's home in Bethany, OK, Labor Day weekend. Mary Catherine and her youngest son (bless her heart she has four boys) drove my big brother up from Ft. Worth for a visit. My sister and one of her boys (she also, bless her heart, has four boys) also drove up from Weatherford, TX, for a visit. My middle brother, Walter, and my cousin Carol drove in from Meeker to join with us and have a mini family reunion for the day. Anyway I love the picture and wanted to share a bit of the fun with you all.

In my life, here in Oklahoma, fall and mums go together. My Carol's birthday is in September and I would imagine there hasn't been a birthday for the last 20 + years that she has not gotten at least one mum and usually several. For her 70th birthday last year she requested no gifts from friends that came to share that milestone. When they persisted her sister and I said just bring her a mum. They did just that. This one is one I brought home for her this year. There is a grasshopper hanging around on the right hand post of the flower pot.

This is one of the 70th birthday mums that we managed to keep alive through the heat of the summer.

What a payback for our efforts to keep it alive. It is a beautiful, clear yellow and has been full of blooms. Carol always has me trim off buds until the 4th of July and then one time after that she has me just pick off the buds, not cut them. Then we let 'em rip. I don't know where she got her info on doing the mums that way but it has sure worked all these years.

This is another of the birthday mums we managed to keep alive. This red isn't as densely packed as the yellow but it has really been strutting it's stuff and putting on a show for us.

We lost a couple of the other mums and several shrubs as well as our tomato and pepper plants but we are thankful for the ones we managed to keep with us until the heat wave finally broke and we started getting more normal temperatures.

I want to show you something new that is new to us...

The seeds were gifted to me by the young man that does my hair. Besides giving the best haircut I've ever had, Dude loves to grow flowers as much as I do.

I think I've told you about the quote that I've carried with me for probably 40 years...

"Not By Bread Alone: After Hippocrates", by James Terry White (1907) that reads:

"If thou of fortune be bereft

And in thy store there be but left

Two loaves, sell one and with the dole

Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul."

Dude said these are called hyacinth vines or some people call them Hawaiian bean vines.

The blooms look a bit like sweet peas or even kinda similar to little orchids.

After the blooms the vine puts on a purple seed pod and since this vine won't winter over in our Oklahoma zone 5-6 so I'll be collecting the pods to be able to grow some more next year. I'll have a lot of them so if any of you want to try these out e-mail me with your address and I'll send you some seed.

I had 8 or 10 seeds that I basically just put at the northeast corner of the trailer thinking it's already June and I don't know if these will make or not... If I had known then what I know now I would have also put a trellis with them. They are climbers and have gone all over. It's been great. Even in the heat the vines flourished. They were in the same bed as the mums so they did get watered but I was totally astounded at how well and how fast they grew. They new leaves are light green with purple veining.

These are the purple seed pods and there are a bunch of them. I would be interested if some of you that live further north would be able to grow this vine as it seemed to sprout from the seeds quickly and grew fast as a weed and all over the place. I didn't mind that because I like the looks of a wilder garden but next year I'll put a trellis for them to climb. I have an idea for one I'd like to make myself that I think would show off this little beauty. I'll keep you posted on that little project.

Well I've sure been way longer winded with this post than I have been in a long time and you know what? It feels pretty good! Maybe the meds are getting me back to somewhat my old self.

Let's hope so... and let me know if you want to try out some of these hyacinth vine seeds.

Monday, October 10, 2011

More Spreckles, Anyone?

I had such fun with my last post that I decided to post up my second choice photos...

Spreckles is such a cutie that I figure you all won't mind some photos that aren't quite as good as the first batch I posted. Not that they were great, just maybe a little sharper and such.

My silly girls were barking and Jenny was checking to see who was making all that racket. Spreckles was still eye-balling that tall thing with the black box in front of her face.

Here's one I snapped as Jenny was walking up to check for treats and the baby was paying close attention.

Are you sure it's okay, Mom? I want to meet this new person...

Mom says, dang, no treats I'm back to the grass but Spreckles had more studying she wanted to do.

She was really concentrating and taking me in so I was really careful to not make any sudden moves and just talked to her quiet-like telling her she was as sweet as her little momma.

We've had several inches of rain the last two days so I expect when I go out next week there will be some green grass in the photos. I was going to take pictures of the ponds out behind the house but they were down so low it was depressing so I chose to do the happy baby post instead.

Friday while I was there they had a semi load of hay delivered and that's the first time in a long time they've had to buy hay but the heat and drought of the summer is one of those things that the farmers and ranchers have all had to deal with this summer. So if you see beef prices increasing you all know their expenses went up---- a lot this year.

So you all enjoy the 'seconds' of Spreckles and Jenny out on a beautiful fall day and I'll get more pictures when I go out in a week or ten days again.

Happy Monday, y'all!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Remember when I wrote about the new surprise baby? Way back in July... the 9th and how I had to get out to the country to take some photos to share of the little cutie patootie?

October 6th and I finally got out here for a visit. Took my camera out this afternoon and, just for you all because you are all so special to me, I took a bunch of pictures and she is even cuter in person. Or donkeydom or real life or whatever.

Here's the cutest 3 month old I think I've ever seen. Donkey or human. But then I tend to be prejudice towards four-legged critters because I don't have to worry about changing poopie diapers if I'm stuck alone with them for any stretch of time. Babies know, like cats, when people aren't comfortable with them or their poopie diapers, babies not cats. I wouldn't change diapers on a cat either but I digress...

We are talking about this little cutie.


Check out these wonderful ears, the fuzzy forehead and the cute little nose... a baby's curiosity.

I love how she and her momma would act like they were grazing, all the while checking out that 2-legged critter with a funny black thing in front of her face...

I love how the little fuzzy butt stayed real close to mom while checking me out. I squatted down to be less imposing to the little girl and I talked to sweet Jenny who remembered my voice and ambled over to see if I had brought her treats like I did when I was living out here. I didn't have any but by mom coming to me Spreckles was way more comfortable for her photo shoot.

Okay, Ms. Gardner... I'm ready for my picture to be taken...

While this is not the best photo of her I had to put this shot in because I was telling Cuz and Walter how the way her fur was growing on her face made her look like she has 'mutton chops' growing down her little cheeklets.

Anyway, my girls and I are enjoying a couple of days of unfettered (unleashed) walks, the girls are smelling every leaf and blade of grass and are enjoying their strolls with Spud and sometimes Lucky, my cousin Carol's Jack Russell indoor dog and the found Lucky with the gimpy paw who watches over things on the outside.

It's been too long since we've been out to visit in the country but with the extraordinary heat of the summer and me feeling so lousy for so long... well, it has been too long away. After watching the girls run and buck with Spud I won't be staying away this long again. I will need to get treats for Jenny and Spreckles and start the spoiling again. It's too much fun to scratch their long ears.