Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day BBQ

We didn't have anything planned for Memorial Day, but our day soon was filled with hanging out with friends.  We met a bunch of people at the park for a little picnic and hang-out time, then joined the Gimlin's for a delicious barbecue and an evening of games.  Little by little, I feel I am getting better at our card games.  I got a quirkle and a set this time!
We were pretty proud of our barbecued corn!  Yum!
Nothing like good ole barbecued burgers and chips!
Me and Steph
Robby, Ben, and Ellie (who was taking a short cat nap to gear up for the night)
Corny pictures:
(Sorry...I couldn't help myself!)
Extra corny...one in each hand :)
I like that the husk looks like Steph's hair.
It's a bit embarrassing that the corn matches my outfit.   
Ben actually did try the corn later, but I didn't get a picture.  
The only sad part was it felt like a Friday night instead of a Monday night.  Of course, the good part is that Friday comes all the more sooner!

Strawberry Festival

I didn't really know what to expect when we headed to the Strawberry Festival on Saturday.  I suppose I was envisioning fields of strawberries surrounding a Farmer's Market, but what we saw was quite different!  A fair would be a better description: tons of food, crafts, products, entertainment, and people on every street.  Although it wasn't quite a serene as I thought, it was a fun day hanging out with my hub, sis, mom, and other family who were there, and I'm glad I now have experienced the Strawberry Festival.

Excited for the day! 
Enjoying a tri-tip sandwich
You can't tell from the photo, but this table was incredible slanted, so much so that I was afraid the people sitting across from us tumble right into us.
Mmm...garlic fries and strawberry funnel cake!
I think this might be the most intense "Robby eating" picture yet.
Mom and Auntie Di rocking out to the Crisptones (my uncles)
Me and Robby
"Like model!"
Deep fried strawberries, you ask?  Yes indeed!

Tidbits Tuesday

1.  We had a spontaneously busy and fun Memorial Day weekend.  My mom, Camille, Robby and I decided on Friday that we would check out the Strawberry Festival in Arroyo Grande the next day.  My uncles were playing music there, and a lot of our family was there for my cousin Matt's 30th birthday.  It was a great time to see family, eat good food, and enjoy the beautiful weather.  On Monday, we headed to the park with friends and enjoyed an impromptu picnic time.  Later that evening, we had a barbecue with the Gimlin's.  (More on our Memorial Day weekend fun later!)
Uncle Robin and Uncle Dugie playing at the Strawberry Festival.
Our Memorial Day feast!
2.  I have a tomato!  It started turning pink last week, and this morning I picked it.  Isn't it just the cutest cherry tomato you have ever seen?

3.  No doubt you all were in suspense wondering how the detergent disaster turned out.  Let me just say it was worse than I thought.  There is no way I would have been able to blog had I known what I was dealing with!  Liquid detergent was everywhere, covering a space of about three feet deep and five feet wide and about 1/2 inch thick, most of it being under the washer and dryer.  Robby came home and somehow he managed to move those things so we could maneuver around them and wipe up (perhaps scoop is a better word) the detergent.  It took about two hours, though, so it was no easy task.  I suppose the only consolation (besides being reminded of my heroic husband) is the fact that it is very clean under my washer and dryer right now.

4.  I completed Flowers A-Z and nearly inventoried every plant we have.  I say nearly because somehow a few managed not to get on the list, either because I forgot about them or because they weren't in our yard, yet.  I'll have to continue to add to the list throughout the year.  Also, I plan on buying plants that begin with Q, U, and Y, so my alphabet is complete.  Any suggestions?  

5.  I spent a good couple of hours this week going through my clothes, shoes, and jewelry, and along with a bunch of stuff my sisters gave me, I have quite the pile.  Right now, our craftroom is practically a boutique, ready for the picking!  If anyone wants to come and check out what I have before I haul it off to Goodwill, please do!!!

6.  Last I just have to mention the fabulous weather we are having.  Thinking about visiting Visalia?  Now is the time!  70's this week!  Beautiful!!!  

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Flowers A-Z: Z is for...

Image by Keattikorn

Zinnias are a full sun summer annual, so they are not blooming in our yard yet.  When they do, they make colorful, many petaled flowers atop a bright green set of leaves.  We are really excited about our zinnias this year because we planted a ton, and all different varieties.  I am hoping that a candy cane variety will make it and have taken special care to make sure they do.  

...Zelcova (Wireless)
Check out that dark sky!  We've been having some crazy weather for May.
This is (we hope) the final tree to go in the middle planter.  It has not been easy getting a tree to survive though, mostly because the ones we tried were not full sun trees and that middle planter gets no shade whatsoever.  This is a full sun tree, and even though it doesn't make flowers (like the dogwood and magnolia that were previously there), it is supposed to turn vibrant red in the fall, so that is almost as good.  It is called wireless because it stays relatively small, and thus has been used under telephone wires.  Of course, it's not much to look at right now, but one day it should be awesome.

And that, dear friends, is Flowers A-Z!  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Flowers A-Z: X is for...


(Yes, I know this starts with I, but you try to think of a plant---or about anything besides a xylophone--that begins with X.)

Another plant from Debbie's garden, this is a floppy, grassy mound that shoots off these neat peach colored flowers in the spring.

Flowers A-Z: W is for...

...Wax Begonia

There are some plants on which Robby and I just cannot agree.  Pansies, are one; razzleberries are another; and finally, there are the wax begonias.  I don't know why these aren't a fave, to be honest.  They're nice little plants with a strong structure and bright colors.  Although they are considered to be annuals in some places, they are perennials here and grow to be a medium-sized mound.  We have two main varieties, one that has a bright green leaf with pink or white flowers and one that has a deep red leaf with red flowers.  The big downside with begonias is that once it gets cold and foggy, these guys turn to slime.  Besides that, though, they'll keep nice color in spring, summer, and fall.

500 Days of Feely's

Yes, this is my 500th post!  I feel like I need to have a party tonight, or at the very least eat some chocolate cake.  Thank you, my friends, family, and readers I may not even know, for being willing to read about our little life here, whether it was me crying about teaching, sharing a new recipe, bragging about my husband, attempting to critique a book, or just giving a glimpse of a day in the life of the Feely's.  It's been fun, and it's been especially fun knowing there were people who cared enough about me to read this.

To another 500 more!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Flowers A-Z: V is for Vine

Boston Ivy
This vine is a great climber and because it's isn't an evergreen, it turns a pretty red in the fall and then dies back a little.  This actually is a nice characteristic and helps to keep it a more manageable size, although this corner still is getting a bit out of control.

Creeping Fig
Another great creeper, and perhaps even a bit "stickier" than the ivy, this one is nice because it is an evergreen.  When everything else is dormant in the winter, this guy is still nice and green.

Hardenbergia (Australian Lilac)
New to us this year, courtesy of Lowe's clearance section, is this hardenbergia.  I only know what I have read about this particular twining vine, but I am looking forward to its evergreen value and lovely purple blooms next spring.  Also, once it is established, it should be a really low maintenance plant, which is always welcome in our high maintenance yard!

I already shared about this plant, but it is a great vine if you can get it to grow and be happy.  We've attempted these more than any other thing because we LOVE them, but the only two that have made it are the ones shielded on the side of the house.  We are getting brave (or forgetful) and wanting to try one more one more time near the new planter boxes.  We'll see!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tidbits Tuesday

1.  First off, there is a layer (we're talking 1/2 inch here) of liquid laundry detergent sitting behind the washing machine, and I cannot get to it!!!  My washing machine gets a little crazy when it's on this certain cycle, and I had just bought--JUST bought, as in today, three hours ago--a brand new container of liquid detergent.  I had placed it on top of the washing machine, and during the psycho cycle, the detergent hopped right off and broke.  An entire container of detergent spilled all over the laundry floor, and I can't even get to half of it because it is behind and under the washing machine!  Ahhh!!!  I'm just waiting for Robby to get home, so he can move the two ton machine for me.  This is killing me.

2. Okay, moving on...  Congratulations and blessings to Camille who graduated from Fresno State on Saturday with her degree in Psychology.  She is currently in San Francisco with Chels, where she will be working this summer, and will begin her Master's degree at Fresno Pacific this fall.  My baby sis is all growed up!
Woo woo!  Celebrating at Bobby Salazar's after the big grad!
All packed and ready to go
2.  I am still in recovery mode from our busy weekend and busy past weeks.  That, along with being incredibly sore and tired from using up our freebie personal training session yesterday, equals one worn out girl whose week already is packed!  Looking forward to Friday, a nice day off with my hub, and his extra day off Monday!

4.  The college students came over for pizza and strawberry shortcake last night, and then all of us headed to the bowling alley for some good old fashioned fun.  I actually got a strike!  I don't think that has ever happened.  Granted, my total score was under 70, but still.
Strike a pose!  (Get it??  Strike a pose!)  
Doesn't Robby look professional?  I think the bowling alley should buy this photo from me and hang it up.
5.  Okay, I tried to keep my mind off of the spilled detergent, but I can't.  I need to go and see what I can do about it right now.  Happy Tuesday, all!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Purely Divine Boutique...We Did It!

This past Saturday was the Purely Divine Boutique and Brunch, the event that has consumed my time for the last three weeks at least!  My cousin Kara (the organizer of the event) asked me about a month and a half ago if I would be willing to share music and some words with the women attending.  I said yes (what a great opportunity, even if it was a bit terrifying!) and immediately knew what to share.  Quite a few years ago, I had written four songs that tell the story of Ruth and through these songs had attempted to capture the tone and theme of the story.  For Saturday, I wanted to share the story, paying special attention to the amazing theme of emptiness to fullness, then sing the songs.  Perhaps at a later time I'll explain more of what I shared, but for now I wanted to show some pictures of the day.  

The morning began early for me, Stephanie, and Jessica, as we left here around 7:00 am to be in Fresno by 8:00.  All of us had to set up our little stations.  By 10:00, women were arriving to peruse the incredible hand-made items.  Brunch was served around 11 or so, and I begin sharing about an hour later.  After that, women had the rest of the time to shop!

Steph's gorgeous "Any Way Wrap" 
Jessica and Steph next to their booth "The Crocheted Heart" with ZooBoo (Jessica's baby line) and Made by Steph
My table and CDs!  It was quite the ordeal getting these finished in time, but it happened, and I was so thrilled to have 25 of them go home with women!  Plus, it was great making a little money...which pretty much paid for the whole production of them :)
Steph's awesome crocheted earrings that sold like hot cakes!
Some of Jessica's adorable crocheted baby items
The banquet room, all pretty and ready for eager-to-shop women
Me, Jessica, and Steph getting ready to enjoy our delicious brunch
My awesome cousin Kara introducing me, mentioning how as little girls, we would often turn our patio tables into stages where we would sing!  (She held on to the embarrassing story about me telling her that I got to be Ariel instead of her, and she had to be some other dumb mermaid.  Yeah, that was saved for the end.)
Sharing the story of Ruth
What a day it was!  I feel absolutely honored that Kara asked me to share and trusted me to do it!  (Risky!!!)  Even though I was nervous and even though I know it wasn't perfect, I know I pleased God by doing what He wanted me to do, and that's a very good place to be today.

Thank you all who were praying for me and for those who were able to attend and support me!  It means so much.

Flowers A-Z: T is for Tomato

Not many T's are growing in our yard.  I've already posted about my tomatoes, but since then, I have about fifteen baby tomatoes growing.  Sadly, my tomato plants still look kind of sad.  I finally bought some food for them, so we'll see if that helps.  It also could still be poor weather for them to really take off.

There are no U's in our backyard, either.  I suppose I could have posted pictures of the two umbrella tree houseplants, but I didn't think of that until now.  It seems from here on out the letters get harder!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Flowers A-Z: S is for...

...Sea Pink (Thrift)
These are new to our yard this spring, and I love them!  I also love when I stumble across any plants that are featured in the Getty's Central Garden, and this is one of them.  The little green mounds send off tall pink flowers all spring.  The plant stays relatively small, about 1x1, and dies back after its growing season. Plus, the name is just too cute...sea pink!

Robby really likes snapdragons, a full sun annual which grows well here from fall to spring and even early summer.  He chops them down a few times during their growing season and they continue to make more blooms, producing a fuller "bush" than before.  He usually brings them inside for me to enjoy!

...Salvia, salvia, and more salvia!
Common sage
Dwarf salvia
Wendy's Wish
Hot Pink
I don't know how it happened, but somewhere along the way we have somehow accumulated at least eight different types of salvia, so these are just a few to show.  We also have a deep purple and pink/white salvia, as well as a salvia that shoots purple spikes and one more type of sage.  These plants are just awesome - beautiful, colorful, great scent, and pretty hardy.  Except for the herbs and the dwarf salvia (which was sold as an annual), all of ours returned after the frost and do just fine through the summer as long as they have plenty of water and drainage.  (Hardly anything in our clay soil gets drainage though, so these are tough little guys!)  Hopefully we have as much luck this year!

I know nothing about strawberries except that I love them and wanted one in my yard.  I have picked a few berries, and though they are small, they are surprisingly sweet!  A spontaneous strawberry bush popped up elsewhere in the yard.  Not sure how that got in here, but it's welcome!