More on My Darned Watch

Shut me up!

My precious Apple watch, making me happy with its bright changing colors, while telling me useful stuff. I believe this is my ugliest strap.

For reasons I don’t really understand, I am still all fascinated by my Apple Watch. Besides, I need something to write about that’s not my current real fascination: the history of the old house in Cameron that we just bought. More on that later.

Awards. Ooh ahh. They motivate me.

The watch is one in a long series of fitness trackers I’ve used. While they haven’t turned me in to a lean, mean, exercise machine, I find that I’m one of those people who will put in a little extra effort “just to make the watch happy.” I was actually surprised to see how much I enjoy setting goals and making them, winning dorky “prizes,” and comparing myself to friends (though I only have one Apple Watch friend, my spouse).

Continue reading “More on My Darned Watch”

Pushing Past Fears: Party Time

The past two years have been a time for me to push past fears and try many things I haven’t wanted to do in the past. I won’t whine and whine, but there’d been a period where I lost a lot of friends and was feeling bad about it, so I was not being very social. I kept to myself and just hung out with my ranch friends and one or two people in Austin.

I have a welcoming heart, even if I’m scared to show it sometimes.

Because of this, I never had the open house I’d vowed to have when the Bobcat Lair house was finished. We had dinner with one or two friends, but that’s about it. I didn’t want to hold a party and have no one come.

Very proud that straightening up the kitchen gave me an idea of where I can display my Starbucks mug collection.

But, I meditated on it, talked to some wise people, and totally escaped my cocoon of self pity. I came to the conclusion that things just happen with friends and acquaintances, and I don’t need to try to figure out why. Instead, I need to live my life full of openness and welcoming to everybody, whether I’m their favorite person or not.

Continue reading “Pushing Past Fears: Party Time”

No Place Like Home, Really

This weekend I spent a lot of time indoors at the ranch house, because the weather was not very good. As a consequence, I spent more time than usual in the seating area part of our great room (it serves as kitchen, dining room, living room, and Lee’s office).

Even after rearranging our furniture, the room holds plenty of dogs and guests.

As I relaxed and enjoyed our candles and various dogs, it occurred to me that maybe Feng Shue has something going for it. Just making a few changes in how out furniture is arranged has increased my well being.

Lee and a dog in the “old man chair” that makes him happy and somehow makes the bedroom feel less vast and cold. Yes, I do make the bed. We just woke up.

I admit that I really never felt comfortable in many parts of the house until recently. The bedroom seemed cold and vast until Lee brought in a love seat and Big Old Man recliner. We both have nice places to sit now, and there’s plenty of dog space, too. The new window coverings also bring in needed warmth and intimacy to the space.

Continue reading “No Place Like Home, Really”

Meadow of Meadowlarks

When I woke up this morning, my Facebook feed was full of beautiful pictures of the heavy snowfall in North Carolina last night.

Gina’s puppies didn’t even wait for daylight to check out all their snow. Photo credit: Gina Loffink

My friend Gina has two labradoodle puppies who experienced the joy of snow for the first time, and I just had to share her photo of their adventure.

Here it’s just wet and cold, but still beautiful. When I looked out the front window this morning, it looked like the ground was moving. My binoculars revealed there were dozens and dozens of Eastern Meadowlarks bobbing and hopping in the meadow.

If I go out and take pictures, they’ll fly away. So here’s a stock photo.

It’s great to see them in such large numbers, because they are one of the species in decline due to loss of habitat. I’m happy to say that our meadows full of native plants (and tasty bugs) are just what these guys want!

Meadowlark migration from Giphy.

Welcome, winter visitors! Migrate here any time!

Weather: Why I Started This Blog

The dogs do like it when the runoff becomes a stream.

Did you know I originally intended to mostly write about the weather and flowers in this blog? I guess it’s taken off a life of its own, where I share whatever I’ve been pondering at any time.

The driveway puddled up impressively, but it’s already getting better since the rain let up.

But weather! Yes! We’ve had 2.25 inches of rain in the past two days, which means that yet again, we have lakefront property and a raging stream.

At least Walker’s Creek didn’t come over the bridge, though the neighbor kids’ school bus got stuck yesterday and they had to bring in another bus. At this moment, I can see the creek from my desk window, a thing that only happens w hen it the trees have lost their leaves AND there is a flood.

The rain means even big old Alfred comes inside. He didn’t bother our houseguest, Matt, at all.

This year’s been a big one for flooding. I hope it doesn’t get too much wetter over a number of years, or we won’t be semi-arid anymore and different plants will thrive. I’ll be here watching if it does.

It’s Darned Damp

It’s been raining since yesterday afternoon. Apparently a big cold front is on its way, so I should be glad it’s not snowing. Nonetheless, I’ve been wandering out in the rain looking at houses and such. 

Because I love you, my dear blog readers, I even went out to check what’s blooming and interesting in this soggy soil.

The first paperwhites struggle to hold their heads up in the rain.

I was so overjoyed to look out behind my office house to see that the paperwhite narcissus (narcissus papyraceus) were blooming that I ran through a LOT of puddles to take a photo and pick a stem. Glad I am wearing my fabulous waterproof shoes.

They look pretty droopy, but they tell me that in a week or two it will be glorious back there. I hope my friend Martha likes them, since she’ll be living in this house soon!

This little guy is only like 8 inches long, at most.

On the way back in I saw this poor, damp baby snake. This is not a great time of year for snake birthing. Maybe it’s an adult of a small species. It was identified by iNaturalist as a rough earth snake; at least that was the closest one I found. I hope it makes it to a warm den.

Continue reading “It’s Darned Damp”

Should We Torture Plants with Lights?

It is the time of year when some of us go a little crazy with decorating for the various holidays involving bringing light to the darkness in some way or another (Christmas, Yule, Hannukah, and more). Seeing all those lights, candles and blow-up characters does life one’s spirits when driving home in the dark. (I admit, I’m actually more fond of lights and less fond of blow-up things, which look so sad during the day when they are deflated.)

Never thought I’d decorate an aloe plant.

This year, we’ve brought more light to the darkness than usual, thanks to our love of battery-powered lights and a gift of a lot of regular lights that my coworker no longer wanted. 

After this photo, I also electrified Rudolph. We have so many lights.

We did put a few lights on the deck and door, but most of them are in plants, both outdoors and indoors. I even bought NEW plants to stick lights on (and I hope they will live a long time and decorate the house the rest of the year, too).

Continue reading “Should We Torture Plants with Lights?”