Sunday, June 24, 2012

Everyone is a winner!!!

This is a short, but sweet post as we having intermittent cell service right thanks to my sweet daughter ~ who burned enough CDs for everyone and thanks to my very prolific yard long beans I am going to send everyone that commented a CD and some bean seeds! So please email me at - leave your email and mailing address, and I will send them to you! 
You will love the CD and I hope you plant the bean seeds..
they will feed your, family, friends and neighbors! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Wow ~ I am managing to get more than a post a week out right is a miracle! 
The "camp count down" is on! Five days till we leave for North Carolina ~ we will stay there next week and the girls are on different departure schedules as Sara is a Counselor in training and Ellen is a regular camper;  Elizabeth is a full fledged counselor and has been there for a month already...getting a paycheck and everything! I will be completely without children this
 July, and this Mama will be sad. 

When you live with three teenage girls, music becomes a big part of your life, a very big part of your life! I am fortunate, as my girls like various types of music but they gravitate towards the "oldies" (70's, 80's and 90's....there are some current bands (if they are true bands and not "pop stars") that they like, but for the most part, their preference is older music (yay for me).  Because if you are reading this, and you do not have a teenager, trust don't go anywhere without music playing! Maybe, it is the fact that we played "Oldies" (oldies to them, but music we grew up with) a lot while they were growing up...I really don't know, but all three of them like the same genres. I will never forget when Elizabeth came home from an 8th grade dance and I asked ~ "Well, how was it?"..She said "fine"...but, if they would just play music like "Build me up, Buttercup", we could actually dance to the music.  
This morning Sara made some CDs for her me (and her friends)  to enjoy while she was at camp for five weeks...and as she gave it to me, I happened to be making coffee.  This bright idea of slipping the CD into the coffee filter burst into my head....and it fit perfectly!  

 Wow..what a great way to easily keep lots of CDs from scratching as you transport your favorite CD to and from your car or wherever you are going.  Sara didn't really think it was that cool ~ and I guess teenagers wouldn't  - in fact, she said it was weird...but, I thought it was a great idea and worthy of sharing ~ so there you go...
Pin it, share it, tweet it, blog it...
prove me right to my teenager! Please! And leave a comment because I am going to do a giveaway and send two lucky commentesr a "Giddyness" CD in their very own coffee filter! 
It is named appropriately, as you do feel giddy when listening to it. The first tune is "Boogie Wonderland", followed by "I love you more today than yesterday" ~ and you won't stop dancing through the next 30 tunes! 
Comments are open until midnight on Wednesday and I will draw a name on Thursday.  If I can figure out the random generator by then, I will...if is the old fashioned,
  put your name in a hat trick! 

Our latest adventure this weekend consisted of taking the Zoric to Mississippi, where it will be docked for the next two months.  A short drive and we are at this awesome marina ~ easy to enjoy the boat, and everything else which consists of good restaurants and a nice beach!  The government just spent forty-six million dollars of your and my hard earned tax dollars to build this unbelievable marina after Hurricane Katrina wrecked the previous one, and it also imported nice, white sand so one feels like they are on the beaches of if only they could figure out how to make the water clear blue! 

Clove - our new fawn, accompanied us as we cannot leave her over four hours at this point, due to bottle feeding. She quickly got her "sea legs" (don't worry, the boat never left the dock!) and she had a ball running all over and exploring everything! 

A 'deer's eye view"

Uncle Dick ~ a long time family friend ~ was quite smitten with our Clove....
she is so interesting to sit and watch! And this long carpeted hallway
 was perfect for to frolic about. 

Finally, it was feeding time, so Ellen had to "corral" her.

Even though we didn't take the boat out, it was just enjoyable to be on the boat and relax in the sea breeze.....and the sunset was spectacular.  
We are so glad to have this awesome marina to be able to enjoy! 

A cute photo of Uncle Dick, Ellen and Clove!   

Our friends, Debra and Walton, came to visit and of course, were inducted
into the Clove club by having their ear sucked on. 
Sounds weird, but when you are on a boat, with a baby deer on it...
you gotta do it! 

Uncle Dick and Ellen again 

 Pat ~ (Gary's brother) brought their parents and they all looked so dapper
that I had to take their photo! So color co-ordinated!

 See, I am telling you, white sand....just like the beaches of Florida.  The government spared no expense in renovating the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.....
and I paid the taxes to prove it! At least Sara and Ellen are enjoying it!
Sadly, here is where my Nikon battery died so I had to finish the trip out with the Iphone...which did Ok...but I missed my Nikon friend. 

 Meanwhile, Clove is making friends....
She doesn't know it, but Louie is an avid deer hunter. 

Later on that evening, she took big time advantage of Ellen's free ear lobe!

We enjoyed the sunset - it really was beautiful!

Good friends and good times....great weekend!!!

Love this photo of Uncle Dick.

All good things must come to an end so we came home on Sunday...but not before 
Ellen bought a cute new running outfit. She and Sara get up at Six AM every morning and run around five miles with the cross country team.
 More fun to do when you look good! 

The deer and new running outfit walked over to visit GranE and Charlie!
They have a raised porch so you feel like you are in a bird's nest when you
are sitting outside in her "SIP"...that is fashionable
 lingo for Screened in Porch.  I want a SIP.....

Sippin on the SIP with the deer , Gary, Ellen, GranE and Charlie (and the alligator in the background) I practiced some editing with the Iphone here...not quite sure if I like it. 

Now, this morning, (see what an up-to-date-blogger I have become) I thought it would be fun to go walking with Clove while I drank my coffee.  A nice, quiet walk in the woods, enjoying the beauty of it, through Clove's eyes....big mistake!

 Holding a my fully recharged camera, Clove and a cup of coffee is not possible and something had to it was the coffee.  She has gotten quite active now!  Maybe it was her time on the boat ~ so she was very happy to be out in nature, back to perusing through the woods and nibbling on all varieties of grasses and shrubs (no azaleas :: poisonous); but, she was idea 
of a leisurely walk through the woods quickly evaporated! 

Don't get me wrong, we stopped and tried lots of things along the way...

but, the older she gets, the more she wants to GO, and TRY and DO.

Keenly aware of all that is going on around her....

Maisy came lumbering up...

and she cocks her ears at the slightest sound or movement.

Everything is on the menu....somethings she really goes for :: and others - she tastes;
 and quickly discards. 

Dirt is a favorite....they say they eat it to clean their system.  We have always had a saying
 in our family :: God made dirt, and dirt don't hurt!

She likes our barn?  More then likely,  she probably hears or smells the horses! Constantly sniffing the air, and also sticking her tongue out like a snake, she can detect odors way before she sees them.  One quick, interesting story...

The other day, she was at the end of that hall in our boat, and I got her medicine out that she LOVES because it is sweet.  She could not see it at all.  I opened it up and saw her start sniffing the air; she then takes off into a full gallop down the hall to me as she "smelled" that it was"medicine time" really was amazing!

Our dogs have been co-operating very well, and are still staying back from her...although it is getting quite confusing.  We are trying to teach Clove to "come"; and they hear the word "Come" and then when the dogs come...they get in trouble!  Poor things.

She just noticed Libby lying there. 

Our walk led us over to my garden, and I must share my tomatoes with you...maybe someone reading this can identify this brand of tomatoes or share a tried and true way of drying tomato seeds.  Here is the story ::  Mr. Vining ~ a dear gardening pal of twelve years just passed away last month.  A month before he unexpectedly had a heart attack at age fifty eight, he brought me some "salad tomato" plants.  He explained that someone had given him some twenty (yes, twenty year old seeds) and each of these plants would grow and produce about 100 - 200 tomatoes per plant....he brought me nine, so I gave four to GranE and kept five.  Well, turns out he was right on target, and we are swimming in the most awesome tomatoes that have an unbelievable taste, and are fairly impervious to our numerous insects and pestilence here in Louisiana. Only now, we only know the brand name of this as "salad tomatoes" which I am sure that he made up and it is probably some heirloom seed that has died out along the last twenty years.  We are just lucky he was able to grow seeds that were that old in the first place.  
Please ~ anyone that knows how to dry tomato seeds ~ Help...leave a comment or email that I can contact you with and then I will share this info with everyone...if I can dry enough seeds, I will even share some seeds with those that are interested and especially anyone that can help me with learning how to dry them! 

Don't have any photos that truly do it justice...but he was right - at least 150 tomatoes on each plant, and we had an awful thunderstorm last weekend that killed most of my other tomato plants ( remember my house got struck by lightning?)  and these five plants survived! 

My yard long beans ~ I just love these things...they are so prolific! I picked beans yesterday and here we are today....more beans on the vine.
They are seriously the solution to world hunger!
Hey - I have some seeds from these left over from last year, so I will
  include these in my giveaway!!!!

Every flower produces two beans, and they grow at lightning speed...these
beans will be a foot long tomorrow,  and ready to harvest.

Squash planted from seeds....

An heirloom variety ~ white - acornish.....don't quite know the name! 

Ms. Cantaloupe :: planted from seed, and is taking over my
 garden...really - do you have to be that prolific?
You have encroached onto rows that were supposed to be for other vegetables besides you! 

However, if you produce lots of these cute fellas, I will forgive you! 

You, my purple friend, are delicious! My friend (Anne) that owns a grand farm, and grows vegetables for all the local restaurants in New Orleans like the Brennans who own Commander's Palace, and John Besh, gave me some plants and this is one of them.  She grows what the chefs request, so I am excited to be producing the "best of the best". I need to get their official name because they are so sweet that they can pretty much be eaten raw......and anyone that knows eggplant, knows that is not the case for most varieties.  I will try to get the name and share it with you! One day, I will get up to her farm and do a post on impressive! So far, our busy schedules have not meshed :: but they will!

More squash....hope I am not being braggadocios, but this is also a documentation for myself so I can remember what I grow!  I love my garden this year!  Mr. Vining helped me till ground, Gary made my rows and I planted the vegetables/seeds....a group effort! 

Finally, my Basil...... last year - I failed miserably on the basil.  Thank goodness, Anne bailed me out with her basil, so I could make pesto and freeze enough to get through the year, but I was sweating it out. We are a pesto loving family and I have tried buying it and substituting the purchased version  without even telling the family :: it did not work and they know their pesto...they called me on it! So this year, I decided to stay on top of it! 
Don't forget ::
There will be TWO WINNERS!!!!!!
"Giddyness CD" in a coffee filter case &
Yard Long bean seeds!
and anything else I get excited about!!!!!!
Just leave a comment by midnight, on WEDNESDAY, June 20th and I will announce  winner on Thursday! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Oh Deer...Another Amazing Adventure!

It is hard to become a "regular blogger" as words cannot keep up with our grab a beverage ~ depending on what time of day you are reading, tea, beer, wine or water - and sit down and is a long one!  We were all bursting with a secret.   Everyone but Ellen! We have brought her to our friend's farm and little does she know it, but she is about to become the proud owner of a baby deer!

Ellen has begged for a baby goat for the past two years, and we just couldn't go there...neither Gary or I could get excited about a goat, and I know many folks who got goats and ended up giving them away because of the trouble they caused.  Many of you who have read my blog remember our"Goat-sitting adventures" (click on adventures if you don't) with Fred! When one of our friends that professionally raises deer heard about this, he told Gary that he wanted to give Ellen a baby deer.  We thought about it for some time, and finally decided to go for only live once, right?

Here is Ellen, thinking that she is going to look at their baby deer.  She has been out here before so she still has no idea that she is about to be given her very own baby deer! 

I captured her expressions perfectly ~ Gary said, "Ellen they are are going to give you one of these babies"...and she looked at Gary and laughed like he was joking..."HA, HA DAD!"

Gary said, "No, really Ellen ~ I mean it....they are giving you a baby deer and we are going to let you have it"......she is still looking at Gary's face to see if this is a joke here....not quite sure what to believe! 

And now you can see that reality has set in....oh, how I love surprises! So fun! 

Ellen immediately got a lesson in how to feed her baby is not all fun and games.  You have to continually wipe their "booty" to make them go to the bathroom at this young age.  The Mama usually licks them while they are nursing, so this simulates what happens in nature.  You do this this every time you bottle feed them and they eat every four hours.  This is the summer that Ellen will carry a huge responsibility, and be up every four hours...around the clock! After two days of this, she looked at me one morning with bleary, sleepy eyes and said "Mama ~ is raising a baby this hard?" I chuckled and answered..."baby, this is merely a stepping stone to taking care of a
child, but a good start!"

All the work ahead of her didn't phase her ~ not one little bit....Clove (we kept her name) was
  coming home with us! 

The folks that gave us Clove have an amazing array of animals...this is a flying squirrel that Peggy rescued and keeps in her living room.....he is cute as a button and not much bigger than one, but was fairly shy so that is about all I could photograph of him.

As I was trying to coax the squirrel out of his house, look who strutted up to the window and said "take my picture"!  This photo doesn't do him justice, as it is through a window, but seriously, what a showoff! 

After he was satisfied that he had been thoroughly documented for the blog, he
proudly strutted off! 

 My eye was then drawn to the other albino peacock with babies was running by! I moved fast and got the photo, (a little blurry but you get the idea).  She actually had three babies and when they hatched, mama peacock took off and left two eggs.  Peggy took the two remaining eggs, incubated them, hatched them and is raising them in her bathroom!  She said that she can't re-introduce the babies she hatched to the Mama, so now Peggy is the Mama!

Right outside the front door is a goose that is steadfastly sitting on eggs...unfortunately, there is no male goose around - but she is a nesting Mama so she is determined to sit on eggs, unfertilized or not. 

So Peggy and Wayne have taken their duck eggs and put them under her! Every time they find duck eggs, they just stick them under her and she will be their incubator this summer! Nothing disturbs her...not their dog, not me with a camera in her face, not a thousand strangers walking all over, it is truly amazing. 

Here is a little better photo of the white female peacock and her chick.

If you think outside is amazing...inside is just as spectacular!  The tree you see inside has stuffed turkeys mounted like they are roosting in it.  I need another whole post for the house, so we will move back to Clove now! 

Here is Ellen, with her two new best friends, and their precious grand-daughter! Besides taking care of all the wildlife, you will always find these grandparents with anywhere from two to five grandchildren hanging out at this oasis of fun. 

We took Clove to visit GranMona - my ninety-five year old Grandmother who still lives at home  and LOVES animals.  I had been promising to bring Maisy to visit her, but decided that surprising her with a visit from Clove would be even better! 

A true animal lover, GranMona was we all are, by Clove.  She said in all of her ninety-five years, she has never had a deer in her living room! It was fun, and she really enjoyed our visit...what a cool grandmother I have! 

Ellen just listened to GranMona's stories and hung out with Clove as Clove nuzzled and licked.  Deer are the most lovable, kissable, snuggy little creatures ever.  All they want to do is bury their little faces in your neck and lick you all over.  Sweet, Sweet, Sweet....

This is my Uncle Ray - as soon as he got wind of the deer in the living room, he ran right over to see this too....I guess this opportunity doesn't present 
itself too often - It took GranMona ninety-five years! 

Here I am, with Clove and GranMona.....I am so close to my grandmother.  My father died when I was twelve, and I really treasure our relationship as it is a special part of that connection with my Dad.  I chose to go to college in  Louisiana and because my grandparents and uncle/aunt lived here and I wanted to really get to know them well. And I was the best decision I ever made as it led me to my  husband, then my children, and my life "Only in Louisiana"! 

and now CLOVE! 

Speaking of wonderful grandmothers...I feel she is truly like my mother after 23 (days away from 24)  years of marriage .  My gardening pal and life in general pal, she is an animal lover too! Mother of seven children, it didn't take long for her to
scoop Clove up and hold her like a baby! 

Sara and Brett - Brett's comment was "Geez ~ I have just been  trying to convince my mother to let me get a puppy!"

Even Dad got into the action! 

My favorite thing to do is to walk her in the woods......our woods are so beautiful and she loves to go poking through them, quietly and gingerly exploring. 

I am usually walking through the woods, on a mission to go somewhere ~ and now, we sometimes spend five minutes in one spot with her sniffing and tasting all the tidbits on the ground.  The sights and sounds of the woods have come alive in a whole new way for me. We have all gained our share of bug bites and chiggers, as we can't put on bug spray now....she licks and nuzzles all of us so much that we are worried it would make her sick, so we have to brave the woods "Au naturalle", and I have the chiggers to prove it.  I have started putting my rubber boots on in hopes that will deter some of the little fellas from finding their way to my most embarrassing areas! 

You can see Ellen scratching here! Yesterday, we ran to Target for supplies, and I wasn't thinking and scratched in a place that a chigger should not be....(let's just leave it at that) and I heard "Hey Layne" of my good freinds was right there! I immediately turned red all over and couldn't decide if I should explain or not, but in the end just let it go! 

Adorable - worth every chigger, and mosquito bite, and lets not
 forget the fire-ant piles that we step in either!

It was my birthday....and a very nice friend brought me these beautiful roses...the girls cooked a wonderful dinner and had some of my closest friends over for a relaxing and easy celebration of my (shhh) 48th birthday. They worked hard to give me a great party and it was perfect! It means a lot that they care enough to plan a party to help me welcome  another new year.  
But, I think Ellen might have received the best present of the day! 

The next day, some of Ellen's friends came to spend the night and hang with Clove...

 Reagan discovered that Clove has a passion...a very
  big passion....for earlobes! 
 In particular,  Reagan's earlobe...she will suck on any one's earlobe, but if she has her choice ~ she will always go to Reagans.  And, being the good sport that she is, Reagan let her suck, and suck ...and suck until I think there was no feeling or blood left in her ear...Clove just couldn't get enough of that earlobe.  I think we need a pacifier for her (or a rubber model of Reagan's ear!) Or, maybe Reagan can come live with us and give Clove her earlobe on a daily basis?

Switching gears for one minute  - you can take a break and refresh your beverage because we still have a ways to go with this long post of mine!  Look at this Zucchini! Remember when I said Gary's mother was my gardening pal?  Well, I am green with envy now because she is way out gardening me in the zucchini area...she had already grown one mammoth one that I didn't get to photograph but here is a second ginormous least eighteen inches long! The other one was probably two feet long....I wish we had a fair to enter them into because we would certainly bring home a blue ribbon. 

 I gave her this little, bitty ole plant for Mother's day ~ won't make that mistake again :) ~ and look what it has become...that is one zucchini plant that is producing Guiness World record sized zucchinis!

She also finds seeds of wild flowers, transplants them and they grow into these beautiful, blossoming, amazing works of art.....sigh...all I can do
 is learn from the master ~ and take photos! 
This is a wild hibiscus.

Another dragon fly photo on the wild hibiscus - I have a "thing" for dragon flies. 
I just think they are so pretty.

Back to Clove  - This past weekend....the rain moved in.....rarely do we have heavey torrents of rain that come with little to no breaks...but that is how this weekend was.  

Clove wanted to go out, but we could barely find any time that it wasn't downright pouring.  Then, even worse then the constant rain, we saw a flash, ~ and boom ~ no power.  Our house had been struck by lighning. When we have no power, we have no water as we have a now we are out in the woods, in the rain, in the dark, with no power....and the girls were never happier! 

Estatic that they could check being struck by lighting off their bucket list, they made up a lightning dance.  Here they are in their "lightning pose"!

Clove was the only one that wanted to go out! 

All the games were brought out and played.

I put my thinking cap on to figure out how to heat Clove's next bottle...and came up with this!  A chafing dish and sterno....along with the bottle, we heated my
 morning coffee and a little pesto pasta for lunch.
I had to laugh when i heard one of the girls beg their mother to let them stay another night, in a house with no a/c, power or runnimg water!

Around two o'clock, the skies cleared, the power came back on, and Clove
 went back out for her well deserved walk. 

She is getting to be fairly good on the leash...mostly she walks us! 

Wait, that is not Clove ~ but it was such a pretty photo of Doc that I had to share it. 

Here is how you will find Ellen at night, curled up with Clove in her kennel! 

or letting her suck on her earlobe - the next best thing to Reagan's ear when she is not around.

Clove also likes to must be the salt because she will wash you down if you let her. That is why we can't wear bug spray, and are careful about what we are putting on our bodies now! 

Ellen discovered that clover flowers are her very favorite treat to eat.  She gobbles them up and will come to you when you have them in front of her. 

She is still trying to figure out what she liked and what she doesn't like..and just like a baby, wants to put everything in her mouth and taste it. 


We taught the dogs to stay a good distance from Clove and they are actually respecting our wishes. Clove would love to interact with them, but for now, until she is bigger, we decided that they have to stay back.  All we say is back and they hang fifteen to twenty feet back and 
watch with great interest. 

One happy girl ~ and one happy deer! 

Always looking for that earlobe! 

Ellen was trying to train her to come by holding out clover and saying come...

 Enticing....but not quite enough.

Now that's more like it....the earlobe will get her every time! ,