Saturday, August 30, 2008

Yard Work Saturday

I forgot to take out my camera when we started, but this little area below used to be my iris and daylilly garden. Over the years though the trees grew and encroached on the area and blocked off the sun so the iris and lillies had suffered the last few years. This past year only a few bloomed, so it was time to move them. Later we plan to redo this area with shade loving flowers.

So this morning, I thought before it got too hot, DH & I headed out for a little yard work. I love my flowers and don't mind all the little jobs, but heavy digging and planting are not my favorite jobs anymore, but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and get it done.

After we dug them all up and divided them, they went into several other areas in the yard. We filled in some blank areas in different areas. Here is my little red gardening wagon.
The butterfly bush was full of butterflies this morning. Just had to show you one. After it has finished blooming it is going to have to be cut back big time. It has taken over everything around it. I've loved the butterflies though!
Moving a few iris and daylillies sounds so easy, but it was hot, dirty and my rear-end was dragging when we finished. My shoes testify to the dirty part. Sorry for the blurry picture. It was so humid the camera lens fogged up, or it might have been my glasses!
The Encore azaleas are blooming again. These are nice varieties if you haven't tried them. I love that they bloom again in late summer, early fall.

Not to be outdone my regular azaleas are blooming again! I don't remember that happening before.

I took the day off yesterday so that we could take B home. We miss her so much after she leaves, but she starts school Tuesday and needed a few days at home to get ready, plus she missed Mom, Dad & little sister and they really missed her. N kept running over to her to hug her or lay her head on her leg. There is a big gap in their ages, but they are really sweet together.

On our way home last night there was a beautiful sunset. I took this as we crossed the bridge over the lake at Clarksville, near my friend Robin's house. I want to live near a lake!

And this is Sweet B. We had made a few shopping excursions while she was here to shop for school supplies, so when we got to her house she got busy putting everything together in her new book bag. Since I won't see her on her first day of middle school, she posed for a picture yesterday. Have a great day sweet girl!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


This garden or writing spider wove her web right outside my back door. I tried to leave her alone hoping she would leave on her own . However, she seemed to have set up camp and made herself comfortable and we couldn't open the back door, so I caught her in a tupperware bowl and moved her farther away from the house. In the meantime my daughter and granddaughter were totally freaked out! I'm not crazy about spiders but admire their webs and since reading Charlotte's Web, just can't tear their web down unless I run into it and get it in my hair or on my face - then it's everyman for himself! Eww!

Don't you just love the writing in the web though?

Finally my mixed hanging containers on my front porch are filled out and looking good. Now that the season is almost over!

Today we have had over 4 inches of rain (by my rain gauge). It rained very hard all day and was sorely needed!

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's Finally Friday

For some reason this has been a loooong week! The work environment is just a little tense and strange right now, which makes for long days. This afternoon couldn't come too soon.

Today was Take Your Granddaughter to Work Day - at least I decided to proclaim that it was. B is here visiting. While she is here she rotates between our house and her other grandparents. DH worked today and I hated to shuffle her back and forth for one day, so kept her at our house and took her with me. She enjoyed having a cup of vanilla biscotti coffee (very light and sweet), helping me open and date stamp mail, and making works of art with markers, highlighters, binder clips, stapler, copy machine, hole puncher, staple puller, etc. Who knew my office was such a treasure trove? She had planned to stay and eat lunch with me and then call her Aunt Amy to come get her, but just before lunch she had enough fun and decided she would go home to rest!

Tonight we went out for pizza then a little school shopping for her. Boy, she knows exactly what she likes! She's at her other grandmothers tonight for a sleep-over with cousins. We all love having her here!

Our company's health insurance provider hooked us up with Virginia Tech for a 2 year study and weight loss and fitness program. It's optional to participate, but it's free and cash incentives are being offered for weight loss. At first the sign ups were slow in coming, but everyone was apparently waiting till the last minute because they all wanted to join the last three days. It's mostly an on-line program with diet and fitness support on a personalized website with daily emails. Many people where I work don't have home computers or email so our company provided a computer and some exercise equipment and some of us have been busy helping them get email accounts and signing them up for the program. It has made for a busy week. VT provided a kiosk where we go to weigh-in and have our pictures made and this will be tracked. I hope all of us doing it together will be motivating. I'll keep you posted.

Didn't you love the Olympics last week? I missed out on a lot of sleep staying up late to watch the swimming, gymnastics, and women's beach volleyball. This week the track & field doesn't interest me quite as much, but it was horrible last night watching both US relay teams drop the baton! Since my daughter & I hope to go to China eventually when she adopts I loved seeing the sites and hearing about the culture too, especially on the Today Show. I'm normally a Good Morning America watcher, but switched the past two weeks to see as much as I could of Bejing. Fascinating stuff.

Just now - two more teams in another relay race missed geting the baton. Both the Jamaican and Great Britain teams failed to pass it off and didn't finish. How horrible to train so long and then this happen. I feel so sorry for them!

I have no weekend plans except to spend more time with B and hopefully find some time to knit.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Where has summer gone?

Even though I don't have any little ones at home anymore, it's hard not to realize that school is starting. School supplies rule in the stores and advertisements, all my coworkers with kids are in the midst of all the preparations, and my granddaughter is anxiously awaiting the start of middle school. She still has a couple of weeks before she starts, but lots of kids start back this week.

It seems like summer just started. We took a short vacation in May and the weather was great, and there weren't lots of crowds, but since wee've worked all summer it seems to have just disappeared. I actually missed the heat and crowds of Disneyworld or the beach - and especially taking our granddaughter with us. Next year she has already put in a request to go on a vacation with us - and she wants to go to Chicago to the American Girl store. We'll see.

I wish I had taken my camera tonight to our knitting group. Lots of gorgeous projects! I'm going to put it in my purse for next time. We had a big group tonight too.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

It's Referral Time - Babies!

China has issued the latest monthly referrals. For most of these families this is the culmination of a 3 year wait so you can just imagine how exciting it is for them to see these special faces for the first time.

Check out the cuties here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wedding Reception Surprise

Best Wedding Toast Ever!!!! (Amy's Song) - video powered by Metacafe

I "borrowed" this from another blog - but it is priceless. The bride thinks a member of the wedding party is going to give a toast. Talented friends!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

When it goes well.....

knitting is relaxing, empowering, satisfying. But, when you hit snags, knitting can be frustrating, maddening, humbling, and cause normally placid human beings to become crazy! I am trying to learn magic loop sock knitting and doing a new sock pattern. In retrospect I shouldn't have mixed the two. Also, Friday and Saturday I knitted on a long car trip, which is a challenge in itself. I have two patterns, one for the sock and one explaining magic loop and they kept sliding out of my lap, hitting bumps and going around curves also can be cause for disaster. While turning the heel, picking up stitches for the gusset, and getting my stitches realigned on the needles I ripped out three times before I think I finally got it right. My language was not always PG rated!

My son is in the Navy and was scheduled to go out to sea for seven months August 26th. He was out to sea for a month recently for training and broke his hand while doing his job. At first they thought that wouldn't change anything about the cruise, but now have decided he would be more of a liability than an asset with a cast on his hand, so he has been reassigned. I'm so relieved! I always worry for him, but I also hate for his family to be here alone. They've done it twice before, but now there is another child and that makes it harder.

This weekend we traveled to Norfolk to see them and for daughter-in-law's birthday. We first went to a Japanese Hibachi restaurant for a birthday dinner.

Bethany, Nikki, Janet, Jon. Nikki loved the show the chef put on and also the food! She is a great eater. Janet and I both fed her from our plates and she ate the whole time we were there.
When he lit the fire on the grill however, she was scared to death - but in a minute was laughing.

Bethany and me.

Bethany and Grandaddy.

King Neptune and the bandstand at the boardwalk. If you haven't been to Virginia Beach, it is a great place for families. I wish I had remembered to get a picture of all the bikes for rent - large enough for families.

Popular playground area.

View from the boardwalk.

Can you see the lights around the palm trees?

On Saturday, we went with them to a birthday party at their friends' house. Bethany loved the pool, but Nikki wasn't so sure. She hung on to Bethany for dear life for the first few minutes. After she got a little more comfortable she loved it!

It was a great weekend, but I needed today to rest.

My daughter's cats must have had a hard day yesterday - they needed their rest today too! This is Lily and Chloe.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Crape Myrtles Everywhere

If you don't live far enough south for crape myrtles to grow, I'm so sorry! I took these pictures just during the 10 minute drive between my house and work. They are everywhere here and add such beautiful color to even bland landscapes. One color I didn't come across today, but have seen here in town are beautiful lavender ones. I have one of the most common fuschia colored ones, but am coveting one in purple!

The white ones bloom first and this one is about done!

A smaller pruned tree at the church up the street.

These are bigger, older trees, and yes I do drive by the cemetery everyday!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Quiet Weekend

During the week it seems like I go to work, come home, then go back to work. Some mornings when I walk in the office it seems like I just left. At home I get just the necessities done, like meals, some laundry, watering flowers, and hopefully some blogging and knitting time. Sometimes I feel like I'm wishing my life away wanting the weekend to come!

Then the weekend comes and (I know all of you can relate) there is plenty to do - cleaning, shopping, errands, cooking. But - it is on my time and at my own pace so I can deal with that. It would be nice to have one more day though. Lots of companies are starting 4 day work weeks to save their employees gas money, which is a great idea. Wish we would do that.

This weekend we had nothing else planned, and no visitors, so I was able to catch a couple of sales yesterday (this was no-tax weekend in Virginia), and worked on my socks. I love the magic loop method of knitting socks. I wasn't so sure at first, but love it now. No more worrying about dropping dpns and I haven't had any ladders either (knock on wood).

With the Olympics starting this next weekend, we are enjoying all the specials on the Travel Channel about China. I plan to travel with my daughter when she goes (although there is such a slow-down now that could be years), and it is so interesting to see places we read about on the adoption blogs and that we might get to see eventually. Samantha Brown had three really good specials, one each on Bejing, Xian, and Chengdu. This week the networks will be there and we should get to see more.