Monday, June 20, 2016

The Fires of Hades Have Arrived

Seriously, ya'll. It's freaking HOT. The hubs and I were running errands yesterday and snapped this...
Yep. You read that right... 120 degrees.  And, it actually went up from there. We topped out yesterday at 122. Way too darn hot. I made the mistake of trying to do some damage control in the garden during the afternoon - just a bit of water at the roots of my wilting plants... and wow. That heat.  Almost took me down. While we Arizonians joke about our summers, the dangers of the heat just aren't funny. We actually had 3 hikers and 1 mountain biker die yesterday in this heat. And they weren't unprepared or unfit - it's scary.

Back to the garden... it's still doing great! My basil has become a forest, I'm still harvesting tomatoes each day. I've got cucumbers and tomatoes, beets and turnips, several kinds of peppers. My eggplant is nearing harvest (they're so pretty!). The watermelon and pumpkins are doing great - I even planted more out in the front yard - thought it'd be a cool thing when they're ready to harvest - the kids in the neighborhood can pick their own pumpkins!



eggplant!



The puppies are doing great! Growing like crazy. They bring us so much joy! Hunter is a big water baby - he loves to jump in and just swim in circles around the pool. He also has a thing for the float - he can chill in that for long periods of time. It's so darn cute. Loki still hasn't decided to chance the pool, though he's getting more and more curious as he watches his brother splash and play. Hopefully we'll get him in soon.

Food around here has been dictated by the weather, lol. Lots of light & crisp meals - chicken salad w/veggies, stir-fry, that sort of thing. Quick and easy, light and flavorful. I've also been testing out another delivery service - Freshly. My subscription is 12 meals a week (3 dinners for three people, and 3 breakfasts). The convenience cannot be beat - fully cooked meals, delivered in a refrigerated box, and you microwave them when you need them... two minutes from fridge to table. Drawback is that the entree's don't really have a lot of flavor. That said, the breakfasts are incredible!!!! Omelettes, quiche, frittata... so yummy! I've got one more week of subscription (should arrive today), then it's back to my normal weekly food prep. Lol. The hubby is ready to have my food full time again. ;-)

Workouts have been going well. Had to switch over to Pilates for my last session since I so gracefully sliced open my heel (ugh).  Finally went and had the doctor look at it and the bugger was infected. A very painful exam and more painful tetanus shot later, it's finally on the mend. Today I will be attempting to wear gym shoes for the first time in a week. Wish me luck! Lol.

This summer, along with the insane heat, we've got lots of activity and travel. Already we have traveled up to California for my nephew's graduation party, to visit the kids in San Diego, and next month we've got a wedding, followed by another in September, with a couple trips to San Diego in between. In addition, we're shaking things up at home - one kiddo moving out on her own in July, another moving back in September. Lol. Plus lots of work changes for the hubby. It's super stressful for him, but I'm so proud of where he is, what he's built, and the opportunities that are opening for him.

So... there's my update. Hope ya'll are staying cool!





Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Trapped! Eek!

Trapped, like a mouse in a trap, like a rat in a maze, like a fly on a fly-strip....

The morning began normally enough... 6:00 am, feed the pups (they adore their morning greek yogurt and raw egg that gets added to their bowls) then head out to the garden. Prune the tomatoes, pinch off the flowers on the basil, thai basil and parsley, harvest some gorgeous zucchini, cucumbers, turnips, beets and tomatoes. Check out the growth on my beautiful sunflowers, weed a bit... the usual early morning beat-the-heat stuff.

After that it was puppy duty... keep an eye on Hunter as he swims (dude LOVES the pool!). Throw the ball for Loki (who doesn't yet share his brother's love of water). Replant the citronella that Loki dug up while I was playing with Hunter. Dry off Hunter, who likes this process as much as he likes to swim. Then it's back inside to heat up breakfast.

Two cups of coffee and a full tummy later, the pups need to go outside - out we go. Eyes on Hunter, throwing for Loki, sipping iced coffee. Time to go back in... towel battle, belly rubs, open the slider... and whammo!

See, summer has already begun here. Record temps have already been reached (118 F last weekend!), and the pests have come with the heat. The estate behind us (there's a big estate that our street of the subdivision backs to) has cows. Cows. As in moo all day long. So, along with livestock, every summer we get a boost in certain other populations - mosquitoes, bats (which are fine since they eat nasty bugs), and flies.

We're talking apocalyptic clouds of flies.

Serious end of the world swarms of flies.

Flies that end up inside my house.

This inevitable yearly pestilence is what caused my morning debacle. Each year we try everything we can to deal with the nasty buzzing black be-winged bodies. We've done sprays (short lived - should have read the ingredients - hello, asthma), we've tried all natural fly traps (Hunter loves them and ends up smelling like dead fish, which leads to Loki and I smelling like dead fish, and seriously yucky showers). We even have one of those electrified fly swatters (Bill has way too much fun with this one, and NO, that is NOT a fly on my knee, damnit!!)  So... this year I thought, screw aesthetics - let's hang those ugly fly strips everywhere. Every.Where. And I did.

I hung fly strips in windows, corridors, and my personal coup d'e-tat, over the back sliding door where the buggers are coming in from. Now, I used a little sense here - I didn't hang it right in the doorway, I hung it just to the right of it. Where no one would accidentally walk into it. Yep, that's what I did.

So, following the towel battle, belly rubs, and door opening to herd everyone back inside, the boys got a little frisky, rolled around a bit, then charged me. Me. Who was only standing in the door, innocent of any crime. Boom! 90 lbs of combined pups hits me and knocks me sideways while they continue their rough-housing in puppy-glee. I snicker, turn to slide the door closed and Whoop! Pulled up short. WTH? I can't move! Why can't I move?? I reach back and...

EWWWW!!!!! That long strip of nasty fly stuff is now STUCK IN MY HAIR!! Yuck!!!!!

Being well and truly trapped in the fly trap, I very calmly call for my daughter (read: SCREAM).

What? she calls back to me from her bedroom.
Help, Help, HELP!!!! I gently and zen-ly reply.
Mom, What???? she responds, very irritated, still from her bedroom.
HELP, HELP, HELP!!!!
She's now moving from the bedroom, to the hallway, to the kitchen...
Oh My God. She stops dead.
Then she laughs.
Get over here and get me out of this!!!!!

After entirely way too much mirth, Bethany managed to disconnect me from the trap, but my hair is now ewww-gross sticky.  Ah, c'mon. Is it too late to go back to bed?

And now, if you'll excuse me, I believe I have a date with a shampoo bottle. And maybe a pair of scissors. EWWWWWWW!

Happy Wednesday.





Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Memories, Memorials, and Puppy Madness

I hope your Memorial Day weekend was wonderful! Ours certainly was. We got to spend time with the kids, and the pups - at one point we had six running around. It was chaotic and fabulous! I loved every moment!
Loki, Hunter and Bear - looking innocent
There were lots of fun memories shared of our recently lost loved one, with much laughter and some tears, We expressed appreciation for those in service to our country, including family & friends - and respect & gratitude to the ones who gave all. We looked at vacation photos, including so many war memorials we saw throughout out trip. There is a beautiful sadness and elegance to the way heroes are honored.

We had lots of food, fun, and sun. Even ending the weekend with an epic water volleyball game. I still say it was a draw - no matter what the guys say. Lol. It's always so good to have my family gathered close. We were missing a few, Ariel and Bethany were both away, which was a bummer. Still, it was a full and phenomenal weekend.

This week has more fun and family - We'll be driving up to Sacramento for my nephew's graduation party. How the heck did he get old enough to graduate from High School??? Oh dear! We're heading to San Diego first, then driving the rest of the way with Shi and Jared. It's going to be awesome!

In garden news, my sunflowers are blooming, I've got 3 pumpkins growing fast, with more on the way. Zucchini is still flowering like crazy, but so far it's only male flowers - hopefully I'll be seeing the female ones soon and my peanuts are flowering, too! I love looking out from the patio and seeing so much growth and productivity. For someone with such a notorious brown thumb, this is truly a miracle. Lol. Plus, my little gnome village is so fun!



Today I'll be adding to the garden, doing more work swapping out my spring stuff (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli) for the summer stuff (green beans, more sunflowers, and maybe a few other beans), more mulching, a bit of weeding. I'm looking forward to it. But first... more work, errands, and I've got a much needed appointment with Kayla ;-) I'm still sore from the last one, lol.

Though I know today is no longer Memorial Day, I'll end this post with my most profuse gratitude for those who's sacrifice has provided the freedom I experience every day.