Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's December--Oh my!

We had grey drizzly weather most of last week, with the first hard freeze of the season. We were supposed to have gotten 1 1/2 inches of the white stuff last Thursday. The grands were so excited--with talk of an early release from school, and the expectation of actual snow. We waited and waited. Finally, around 12:30 we had about 10 minutes of flurries, and then the sun came out. They were so disappointed. But, their teachers all let them go outside to play and catch snowflakes on their tongues while it lasted. We have had grey drizzly weather off and on all weekend with lots of fog. Yesterday late afternoon, it cleared again, and I was able to get a shot of the sunset.

I know most can relate to the craziness of December that I am feeling. It seems after Thanksgiving, time speeds up, going faster and faster as the days become shorter and shorter. This week, we have had a wedding shower, a Christmas party, and an old friend stop in town for a visit. Thankfully there were several of us that worked on the shower together, but even so, I made 4 dozen cupcakes and two batches of truffles.

The Bride-to-Be's colors are called Truffle and Pool. I just had to make the truffles with a color name like that! I thought the cupcake turned out rather well with the little pearl dragees
I found to sprinkle on top.

We still have another Christmas party and then my mother will be flying in this weekend if her flight isn't canceled because of the weather.
I hope that I can find the time to stop even for just a moment to catch my breath once in awhile and enjoy a few more sunsets like I was able to do yesterday. I think what made me feel a little calmer, was getting out and planting the last of the bulbs that have been waiting patiently for me. I hope that you will be able to find quiet moments throughout your day to stop and breath--and enjoy the season.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

November Butterflies

Sitting, talking after dinner Thanksgiving Day...

What is Bo telling my son? Was he complaining that Dr. Shane said no more table scrapes and a limited amount of food is unfair? Yes, Bocephus has been put on a diet!
The butterflies were thick on the marigolds. I would like to say there were hundreds, but probably more like 20 - 30.

The Bees were out enjoying their Thanksgiving feast too.

TThe Copper Canyon Daisies are putting on their show of the season.
We had a lovely restful Thanksgiving Day with much to be thankful for...
Son is employed again after being laid off for 6 months...
Daughter has gotten a full-time teaching position, when other more qualified teachers are still looking for work...
Frisky is hale and hearty...
and most of all, my mother is recuperating from her heart scare. We still haven't gotten the last word from the specialist, but from what we have heard so far, everything is fine. She is planning on being here the 12Th of December to help with the Christmas festivities.
We have so much that we take for granted to be thankful for.
I am thankful for getting to know so many of you!
What are you most thankful for?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Frisky Cheats Death

So much has happened within the last two weeks, I scarcely know where to begin. Forgive me if this post is disjointed, but it seems to be a jumble in my head, which I am sure will be somewhat confusing. I have been in the Quad Cities for the past week. My mother underwent an Angiogram. Thankfully, she did not need to have an Angioplasty done, but she developed complications from the procedure, which wouldn't close up and clots formed. The nurses had to apply constant pressure for twenty minutes at a time. They kept her overnight and did an ultrasound before releasing her. I stayed with her for a few days after to drive her around and also to try to keep her from overdoing too quickly. That proved to be my hardest challenge, but she seems to be doing well, and best of all, the doctor said she can still travel here to spend the Holidays as she usually does.

I am now officially obsessed with Rattlesnakes! Frisky was bitten two weeks ago on the weekend. It must of just happened when we first saw him with his face and head swollen. When we checked on him later, he had a huge knot about the size of a golf ball, right between the eyes. and was no longer able to sit up. Thanks to the wonderful staff at Round Rock Emergency Animal Clinic, he not only survived, but is showing no ill effects. The staff was amazed at how quickly he recovered and began eating that night!

He was weak and tired for a few days, but I think that was more from the pain killers they gave him than the actual bite. I think once the venom was out of his system, he bounced back very quickly. We did not treat him with the anti venom, but with antibiotics and pain killers along with fluids to help flush the venom out. It is a terrible decision to make, but the with a price tag of $1500.00, not including the other medications and critical care he received, we felt it was all we could do.

Frisky is a feral cat we rescued as a kitten. I am convinced his strong will to live and tenacious spirit is what kept him alive. The vet said the fact that he was bitten on the nose, was in his favor, and if he had been bitten on a foot, he probably wouldn't have survived. My daughter researched on line as much as she could, and based her decision to not give the anti venom on reports, that it is not that effective in cats.

Needless to say, it has dampened my fervor to garden. I have literally left no stone unturned in the garden, and have found several snakes, but none were poisonous. Above is a Thailand Pepper that somehow grew in an Agave...try as I might to extract it, the sharp needles of the Agave have made it impossible.

This seems to be the only way I am able to view the Moonflower...I am too afraid to be out after dark now!

We have had some light frosts that have nipped the Morning Glories, but still blooms.

Not only do the sunny blooms of the Sunflower charm me, but the symmetry--the geometry of the seed heads amaze me.

Granddaughter Libby, first on left. First dance recital of the year. She has had to make the switch from gymnastics to dance after a back injury after nine years of gymnastic lessons.

Here we are, at the beginning of this jumbled mess of events--The San Antonio Botanical Garden tour I went on with the Austin Garden Bloggers.

I think this was my favorite display--the Children's Garden. They each made their scarecrows as individual as their garden plants.

The blossoms on this cactus looked just like little miniature pineapple.

I thought the cactus and desert gardens looked lovely in the midst of the Live Oaks.

The reflection of the Bald Cypress trees of east Texas in the water and the textures of the knobs of the Cypress tree roots at the water's edge was beautiful.

And here is the view of the Bald Cypress across the pond.

A lovely Dragonfly sculpture in the midst of the pond, which made me think of Becky.

I am in love with the Pink Muhly Grass. I bought four plants on this trip, which still haven't been planted yet.

This just looks like Texas to me.

A nice place to rest a minute before continuing on our tour.

I loved the playfulness of the sculpture both in subject and placements.

One of the dogs that greeted us at Madrones, a private nursery we visited, that opens by appointment only. I think the thing that struck me so strange, was our host at this nursery, commented on that he didn't feel the need to caution us on snakes as they were now all hibernating!
The very next day was when Frisky was bitten.

The Pomegranates were so beautiful--in shape and color.

There was so much more at the Botanical Gardens that I wanted to cover on a post, but so much has happened in a short amount of time, I feel I could never do justice to that wonderful trip. It was fun to get to meet some of the garden bloggers, and I hope
to have another opportunity to get to go on fun field trips with them again.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Three Faces of Jacob's Coat and Some Very Confused Bees

My picture taking abilities (or lack thereof) don't do justice to the lovely color of Jacobs Coat. I guess I could blame the camera--yeah, that's it--if I only had a better camera...

As a bud, it is yellow edged in a Tangerine Orange.

It turns to an orange blossom with a buttery yellow center.

Lastly, it becomes a pink blossom with white at the heart.

I'm not quite sure what these bees are doing. Are they tanking up before frost? Are they confused, thinking they are hummingbirds?

The feeder is right outside the back door, and there are so many bees buzzing about, I am afraid to let Loudon out until they settle down. They have been working on the feeder for two days now.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall Color

The Mexican Marigold Mint is one of the stars of the garden right now.

The Marigolds are a big part of my Fall color, even though they have been blooming all summer.

Lots of little critters are busy collecting and harvesting, getting ready for winter.

This is the first year I have really had a lot of marigolds, and they have been worth it. I hope the seeds I have been saving are viable, because I love having them this time of year.

Aster with Purple Heart behind it.

Oh my! Looks like I need to do some dead-heading!

The Jacob's Coat is putting out more blooms now that we are enjoying cool weather and rain.

The birds have missed some berries on the Virginia Creeper.

I love the way it vines over the fence. I hope my neighbor feels the same way.

Our backyard backs up to 7 neighboring yards...One 'neighbor' in the corner has taken it upon herself to tear down anything that peeps over the fence! This is my last surviving Hummingbird Vine given to me by Nola at Alamo North.
I love the warm afternoons, with lengthening shadows, that turn into the cool nights of Fall. They seem to stretch endlessly between frequent showers now. I find I lose myself to them gardening. Planting for next Spring, mulching, reworking beds. The holidays always catch me by surprise and I find myself rushing to do all the inside cleaning, cooking, and shopping at the last minute because I can't tear myself away from the garden a second sooner than I have to.