Saturday, August 30, 2014

Gathering in August

Is August over already?  Apparently so!  That's what the calendar is indicating and that's what Cheryl says over at Thinking About Home, and I'm pretty sure they are both telling the truth! August is typically sweltering and sticky in these parts.  Not so this year.  I don't think we made it into the 90's one single time. You aren't hearing me complain about that! Just like every month August had its ups and downs.  I'm sensing a trend.  I think it's called life.  Or at least it's called my life. So let's take a tour of my August, shall we? 

At the beginning of the month we had a picnic at the home of my husband's and son's co-worker.  Of course I took potato salad!  My family loves my potato salad.  I wouldn't ordinarily take pictures of food like this, but I HAD to send a picture to my daughter to say See what you are missing by living so far away?   She didn't take the bait. 
After the picnic we brought the twins home with us so that Mommy and Daddy could stay a little longer and have a kid-free night.  First order of business was a bath!  After that they had a grand time playing cars in front of the living room window.  They like being able to see everything going on outside.  And of course there was a snack.  Fruit.  That's the only snacky thing I can keep in my house. They seem fine with that. 
Bedtime requirements are as follows... Levi has Froggy and Blanky. Froggy is for cuddling, Blanky is for chewing.  Liam has Baby and Chocolate Baby.  Both for cuddling.   (Let me insert here... Liam named the darker monkey Chocolate Baby.  Until recently they were both just "Baby".  He's an observant kid.  I'm sure there is a connection between the name change and his learning the difference between milk and chocolate milk.)  

My hydrangeas did not make the showing that I had hoped for this year, but there were a few blooms.  I love the transition from chartreuse buds, to creamy petals, to lavender flowers.  This picture captures all 3 stages at once.

When I cut back the spent peonies in my flower bed I had this little surprise waiting for me... a volunteer petunia!  Since this picture was taken the plant has thrived and produced more than a dozen blooms.  I didn't plant it, I wasn't expecting it, but I sure do appreciate it.  Some of the flowers have even more pink striping on them.

Now THIS is something that really made me happy.  My beloved crape myrtles.  They are just babies now but I can imagine them being tall and full and beautiful.  I thought they had died so I was very excited to see them start to produce buds.  All three shrubs are making a very good show despite their slow start. 

 I don't mind a bit of creepy stuff.  Actually, sometimes I quite enjoy it.  Especially when it lends itself to a macro shot.  Not my best, but they can't all be winners.  Feel free to scroll right on past this next picture if it isn't your cup of tea.

This has been the year of the squash in my garden.  Our zucchini and yellow summer squash produced so much more than we would have guessed.  Now it is time for the Seminole squash to do its thing, and it is taking over the place!   Our shed is about 20 feet long and 8 feet wide.  The vines from this one plant are already wrapping around toward the front.  We have 2 other plants that are conquering their patches as well.  I have a feeling that the people with whom I shared seeds are either thrilled or cursing me, depending on their mindset.  But to them all I say "You're Welcome" because these squash will make a tasty dish come winter.

Here was a fleeting opportunity... watching a mother house swallow teaching her babies to fly.  There were 4 babies.  Three stayed close to the Mama, one was fiercely determined to do it all by himself.  The pictures are horrible because I had to take them through a dusty window but I couldn't open the door lest they be startled before they were ready to take the leap.  

My husband and I celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary in August.  One of the things we did to mark the occasion was to take a boat ride to Tangier Island.  Stewart bought me a Coke at the boat's snack bar.  I thought it had a very appropriate message.  He and I really have become best friends over the years.  One of the tiny islands in the Chesapeake Bay on the way to Tangier has this one lonely chimney.  I found it to be terribly romantic in a Wuthering Heights sort of way.  It had us both imagining what life would be like if we were to live so isolated.  We decided that we would enjoy it as long as we had a reliable motor boat and the internet access wasn't cost-prohibitive.  

August brought with it the need to refocus on our diet.  Will we ever learn moderation?  I doubt it.  So until we do, I try very hard to keep our food tasty and interesting.  I came up with this golden beet and fennel salad that really hit the spot on one of our warmer days.  Cold and refreshing!

One morning in late August I noticed dozens of spider webs out my front door in the grass.  They looked like small, hoary pieces of cotton candy.  They were all rather jumbled messes of silk, not at all pretty once I got up close.  And then I noticed this one.... 
Now that's my kind of spider!  Neat and tidy.  It was the only one out of all the webs to look like this.  Another pleasant surprise! 
Okay, I know this post has surpassed a decent length but I have to share ONE LAST THING.  August 30th marked the last day of a challenge that I issued for myself in the spring.  Thirteen weeks of consistent exercise, 6 days a week. Here's the chart that I used to keep myself on track... 
I also met my goal of swimming enough laps (74) to constitute a mile.  You might be able to see that in week 2 I started out with only being able to swim 10 laps.  I progressed fairly quickly and enjoyed it all the while.  The best exercise is the exercise that you will actually do.  And if you have fun doing it, that's all the better! 
My September schedule is a bit fancier...  

I used to think that if I could create the perfect schedule for myself that I would no longer need a chart, that it would just become part of my routine.  Not so!  I have learned that I am obsessive very goal oriented, externally motivated, and I become bored quite quickly.  I always just thought I was lazy.  That's what I was told, anyway.  I suppose I am lazy to some extent, but I am learning to work with who I am and what I've been given rather than against my talents.  
It isn't about perfection, it's about direction.   
Okay, now that you have endured this, it is time for you to click on over to Cheryl's blog and see what she and some of her other friends have been up to this month.  That's what I'll be doing! 
Thinking About Home



  1. If I weren't so lazy, I promise I'd be inspired. What I am is impressed with your commitment to health and feeling good. You certainly will have plenty of squash this year. Have just as wonderful a September!

    1. I wish I were committed enough for it to be easy! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Vee!

  2. The boys continue to be adorable...but (sniff) look older in these photos. I love their bedtime requirements. Nothing wrong with a little routine. :)

    Amelia won't come home for potato salad?!!

    I, too, am impressed with your diligence and your charts. I'm not sure which I admire more. No wait...I do know. I admire your diligence more, because I might be able to come up with a color-coded chart, but I'm a long way from your fitness routine.

    That was a perfectly beautiful web...great photo!

    Thanks for linking up again this month! It's such fun to join in your "moments."

    1. Who doesn't come home for potato salad?!? Crazy girl! haha
      Thank you for hosting this gathering every month. Some months are a little more reflective than others but they always give me pause to appreciate things that I might have otherwise forgotten.

  3. P.S. Oh, the swallows! What a treat to be able to witness that!
    P.S.S. (I feel like I am in junior high with my "P.S.S.") Happy anniversary!!

    1. I forgot to mention, there were 2 other adult swallows flying around as if to encourage the fledglings. So cool!

  4. With or without many blooms, your hydrangea photo is beautiful. So nice to see your surprise petunia and the crepe myrtle looks promising. Congratulations on meeting your goal--that shows wonderful self discipline! And your twins are so cute. Love the picture of them playing cars by the window.

    1. The hydrangea photo showed so much more than it did through the viewer on my camera. I love when that happens! Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  5. No wonder we haven't seen much from you on here lately. You have been so busy with a very interesting, productive and rewarding month! And, the picture taking - great pictures!!! You must have lost some pounds. Let us see a picture of you with your fit body.

    1. I haven't really lost many pounds. Just tightening up a bit. Don't hold your breath waiting for those pictures! haha