Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Still around...

It hasn't been a great month for blogging. Life is super busy at the moment, plus these last two weeks of school seem to be dragging on and on and on. I'm so glad this awful year is over, and I'm really looking forward to my seven weeks off. It's sorely needed, for lots of reasons. One of the things I'm really looking forward to is spending more time reading blogs and commenting and writing more often than once a week!

In leiu of writing a lot of uninspired drivel today, I'll just leave you with some pictures I've taken over the last week or so with some brief context. I'll be back for real sometime next week. I hope everyone is well and enjoying the start of summer! (Or winter, if Sarah is reading) 

Our beautiful niece and her husband were visiting family in North Carolina last week. They made a special trip down to Florence last Friday afternoon to see us. They currently live in Portland, Oregon, where Melissa is finishing up law school. It was so good to see them! And as you can see in these photos, Marco, George, and Poppy were thrilled to see (or in Poppy's case, meet) them, too.

Speaking of Poppy...

What a sweet, smart dog she's turning out to be. George is starting to have fun playing with her, too. Who can resist this face?

On to a couple of garden pictures. My tomatoes are starting to flower, and I'm still getting bagsful of beautiful fresh lettuce.

My bee balm is over 4 feet high, and it's about to flower. The zinnias have a few buds getting ready to open.

And finally........Marco! I know he has more fans than all the rest of us put together out there. :) Here he is with a little "snuggle teepee" someone sewed for him...and then another photo of him on the porch the other day.


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Sunday morning harvest

I have a lot of lettuce at the moment that needs to be picked and either eaten or given away. It's getting to be too hot for lettuce, plus I need the space.

I pulled a few carrots to do a size check, and they're still way too small to harvest. These tiny ones will be a sweet, tender addition to a salad, though.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Just saying hi

 Hi friends!

Please forgive my lack of commenting on your blogs lately. For some reason when I try to leave a comment with my phone (which is how I do it about 75% of the time) suddenly I get a prompt that says "sign in with your Google account" but when I try to press the link to sign in, nothing happens. I can't figure out what's wrong. I've been so busy lately that it's hard to find time to sit down at my desktop computer so I end up reading on my phone when I get a few spare minutes. And then I can't comment on about half the blogs I read. The other half are just like normal. Why does Blogger have to keep being weird and changing and stuff? It's so annoying!

Work has been so busy and stressful. I've had even more tasks dropped in my lap, so to speak, and I just can't keep up with the workload. We have a temporary acting principal finishing out the school year, and I think I'm going to have a conversation with him soon. Even though he won't be our permanent principal, he works at the district office and he's a very good leader. Already we're wishing we could keep him permanently; he has an air of quiet authority and leadership that's making the school run so much smoother than it has in a long time. I feel sure if I go to him with my concerns, he'll do his best to intervene for me. What we really need is for a good new office assistant to be hired to help take over some of the tasks I simply don't have time for anymore. I'm doing the job of about 3 people at the moment and I need some relief. 

But! School will be out in two and a half weeks! I don't recall ever being this anxious for a school  year to end. Two months of gardening, spending time with the dogs and Marco, taking naps, and watching crap tv sound like heaven right now. I'm hoping for much better things next year.

Since I haven't shared one in awhile, here's a new picture of Marco. I took it on the back porch yesterday. Isn't he beautiful?

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Girls' trip

 I got a surprise call from my friend Marla's husband the other night. With Mother's Day coming up tomorrow, he had an idea for a gift for her and he wanted some input from me. He had the fantastic idea of paying for a girls' weekend away for her and two friends (me and Martina) anywhere within driving distance that we want to go. How awesome is that?!

 He asked me to come up with some ideas that he can present to her tomorrow as her gift. We talked it over, and he said he's willing to pay for either a nice hotel or a bed and breakfast "as long as ya'll don't book the penthouse" ha! We'll each pay for our own food and entertainment.  I've never had a getaway with girlfriends before and it sounds heavenly!

One of the better ideas I've had is to go to Raleigh, NC. There's currently an interactive Van Gogh "immersion experience" (click here) in town and it looks fabulous. Not only that, but I'm very familiar with Raleigh, since my in-laws live there, and there are tons of great things to do in addition to the Van Gogh exhibition. 

If not Raleigh, we have plenty of other options within driving distance: Charleston or the beaches, Asheville, NC or any of the surrounding mountain areas, even Savannah. As soon as Toyo tells Marla about it we'll be able to get together and make plans. She's going to be thrilled! The trip will probably happen in late June or early July, so we have plenty of time to talk it over and decide. 

I'm very, very excited!

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Gardens and puppies

What a busy week it's been. Work has been okay. Although we're still in limbo as far as who our next principal will be or what's going to happen, everything has been surprisingly quiet. Very few students or parents have even asked about what's going on. I'm very grateful for that. 

I got most of my garden planted last Sunday! The only things left are some peppers and cucumbers that are still too small to go out. I ended up with a dozen tomato plants, two each of the following varieties: Aunt Ruby's German Green, Brandywine, Classic Beefsteak, German Pink, Gold Medal, and Bonnie's Best. I put in four sugar snap pea plants, basil (between the tomatoes), and a row of green onions. Once the sweet banana, jalapeno, and cayenne peppers and the cucumbers are planted in a week or so, I'll be done. The carrots are almost ready, and I'm still getting lots of lettuce. I pulled up the last of the radishes on Sunday to make room for the snow peas.

Now for a Poppy update! (That's what you're all waiting on, isn't it?)

We're so pleased with her. Having such a young pup has been a new experience for us. She's so smart! And spunky. She annoys George half to death, though. He's fine with her until she jumps on him and nips at his ears and face with her puppy teeth, and then he snarls and runs away. We're doing our best to teach her to act a little calmer around him, but she's got that crazy puppy energy that she's just going to have to grow out of. We don't interfere when he corrects her, just like we didn't get involved when Ginger had to put him in his place back when he was the crazy new puppy in the house. In this case, payback is literally a bitch. :)

Today Princess Poppyseed lost her last baby tooth! Gregg saw it fall out and he picked it up and texted me a picture of it. (Maybe the tooth fairy will have to come see her tonight). She's growing really fast. On Saturday she goes back to the vet for a booster shot, and it will have been three weeks since we first took her. She weighed 24 pounds then; we're certain she's pushing 30 pounds by now. Everyone seems to think she'll be between 40-50 pounds when she's done growing. 

Her little canine teeth were the last to go. 

She always runs out to the fence to greet me when I get home from work, even if it's raining, like it was in this picture.

Here's a photo of her with all the sticks and pinecones and half-chewed up toys she assembled on the porch rug. Running in and out of the dog flap into the backyard and gathering stuff to drag back inside is one of her favorite things! See how long and lanky she's starting to look?

Last, I forced her to take some selfies with me this afternoon. She wasn't especially interested, but was a good sport about it.