Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Garden Turtle and a Party

Yesterday I mentioned that I had wanted to buy something at the Affair of the Heart craft show in Tulsa a couple of weekends ago. The vendor hadn't brought it with them because their booth wasn't very large and well, the item I wanted to buy would have taken up a lot of space.

But since they are located near Oklahoma City and G5's postponed birthday party was this past weekend, we arranged to meet last Friday.

This is what they brought me - a wonderful and very large turtle sculpture made of metal.

When I first saw the turtle at their booth during the Tulsa Home and Garden Show I knew I had to have it for this little garden nook in front of our house. I can just imagine how everything is going to look next year when the hostas are bigger. (They were just tiny little sprouts last year and look how they've grown in just one season!)

We bought the fountain earlier this season and were actually looking for something a bit larger. Now I really think we need a bigger one. We'll find one sometime. I just have to be patient.

And I may just have to plan a trip to the Oklahoma City Affair of the Heart show in October (the 22nd thru the 24th in case anyone is interested). You see, this turtle has a little brother and I may just have to have him to keep this one company.

So that was Friday.

Saturday was G5's birthday party. Isn't his Tonka Truck cake cute. Son made it and G5 loved it - especially the malted milk balls in the back! In fact, all the kiddos at the party liked what the truck was hauling - and some of the grownups too.

When the party was over I drove back home just in time to bake a batch of brownies and head for the local dirt track to watch G1 and G2 race.

It was a long day and a long drive home but I had the turtle as company.

PS. In case you're looking for cute decorations for your garden and happen to be in the Oklahoma City area during the Affair of the Heart craft show, Kountry Klutter is the name of the vendor that had my turtle and they're also the ones that had the adorable balancing bugs I bought at the Tulsa Home and Garden Show.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Brownie Cones

A week ago last Friday - you know, the day our OKC grandkids came for a visit - AD and I got up early to make a quick trip to Tulsa for the Affair of the Heart craft show and get back home before the kids got to the house. I was there to buy one particular item only. Unfortunately that didn't happen - the vendor didn't bring the item I had intended to purchase.

Nonetheless, AD found a vendor (southwestpeppergrillers.com) who sold these - pepper grillers. Just cut the tops off jalapenos, seed and devein them, stuff with whatever, and set them on the grill.

But that's not what this post is about.

This griller is not just for peppers.

20 sugar cones plus

a brownie mix

makes for

these tasty brownies. I topped some with half a large marshmallow after the brownies were done. I baked the brownies at 325 degrees F. and used the toothpick method to tell when they were done.

G1 wanted a little scoop of ice cream on his sans the marshmallow. He gave it a thumbs up.

Friday, July 23, 2010

How the Weekend Ended

G5 turned 2 earlier in the month so we had a little late birthday celebration for him on Sunday. Daughter and her family came (minus G2) and AD's mother and sister drove from Tulsa to be with us.

His little cake shown here was pretty plain. I'd actually made him another one - a big cupcake cake like G1 made for his girlfriend back in June. I should have had G1 make this one too!

When I took the one I made out of the pan the bottom part of the cake cracked a bit. Not to worry - I thought a little frosting would remedy the problem. I went to work and got the large cupcake all decorated late on Saturday night. All appeared to be fine. (I should have taken a photo right then!) Sunday morning - uh, no! The cake looked like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Within about half an hour the cake collapsed totally on its side.

So out came the mixer, cake mix and pan. I hurried to get the cake in the photo baked and decorated before lunch at noon.

G5 liked it anyway. He particularly liked the cake plate. There's a button on the plate that you can push and the "Happy Birthday" song plays while lights go on and off around the edge of the plate. G5 didn't quite have enough wind to blow his candle out but he sure looked cute trying.

Sunday was another hot day! After lunch the "slip and slide" came out for some fun in the water. The bigger kids enjoyed sliding. G5 just enjoyed running through the water.

We had some water balloons at the house so AD filled a few for some water balloon tosses. G3 and G4 did pretty well. Girlie wasn't so lucky. Her partner was her daddy and HE seemed to keep dropping the balloons.

Fun in the water!

I thought the kiddos would certainly be tired out from playing all weekend and sleep all the way home. According to Son, that was a miscalculation on my part.

It was a busy weekend. It was fun. At least I hope the kids had fun.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kiddie Park Fun

After a stop at Sonic for a quick meal on Saturday evening, we headed to Bartlesville's Kiddie Park. 3 generations of our family have enjoyed this wonderful institution - myself (it was in a different location back then), our kids and now our grandkids.

Tickets are 25-cents each. Most rides take 1 ticket but some take 2. I had planned to purchase $20 worth of tickets but opted to start with $10. We could always go back for more. From 8:00 to 8 minutes before closing time, the kids enjoyed the rides. And I never had to go back for more tickets.

The ride in this picture is the "turtle ride". It's kind of a mini-mini roller coaster. G5 laughed and laughed all during the ride.

The airplanes are always a favorite. I imagine both Son and Daughter have rode in this very airplane at one time or another.

Girlie loved it. G5 liked it at first but once the plane goes up in the air, it starts coming down and with a slight bump. Then it goes back up and comes down with a bump. Over and over again. He definitely didn't like the bumps.

Son wasn't sure how Girlie would like the roller coaster. She rode with G3 in the very front car. I'm thinking she liked this one too.

The boat ride is another favorite of the kids. The attendants have to watch closely. Sometimes an adventurous kid will attempt to climb from the front to the back or vice versa. Not these kids - but Daughter did on more than one occasion.

Oh, the kiddie cars. These cars have seen many, many miles in their day.

The riders control the speed of the spin their car takes on this ride. Son told G3 not to spin their car very fast. He didn't want G4 to get sick.

You see, Son had a bad experience when he was young. Basically I made him ride with someone he didn't want to ride with (I thought Son was just being snooty) - and he got sick because the other boy spun the car too fast (the real reason he didn't want to ride with the boy).

The train ride is one that few visitors miss when they visit the Kiddie Park. And the last ride of the evening is always "free".

But the carousel was the last ride of the night for these kids. It was a good way to end the day.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Saturday Photo Shoot

Hobby Lobby is one of my favorite places to shop. Several months ago I found a cute little table and chair set - just perfect to have at the house when Girlie comes to visit.

I kept watching that little set, patiently waiting for a sale and one finally happened with a big enough percentage off that I felt like I could buy it.

AD painted it a pistachio green. I bought foam and fabric for seat cushions and found a round place mat just the perfect size for the top of the table.

It made a perfect prop for tea party photos.

Do you remember back in December when I posted about the Brown Mansion in Coffeyville, KS?

I thought a tea party photo shoot on the lawn with the mansion in the background would be perfect.

And it was! In less than 30 minutes there were over 100 photos on my camera chip.

There was a quilt in the car to lay on the ground for photos with all 4 of the kiddos. This is one of my favorite shots.

Along with this one.

And this one. Girlie's smile was tired by then but after over a hundred photos wouldn't yours be too?

The grounds at the mansion are pretty shady but it was very hot on Saturday. Our next stop was the sno cone shack. And I think those sno cones tasted even better on Saturday than on my earlier visits.

But we still had places to go and things to do.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Weekend Continues

There were some impromptu hide-and-seek games. Girlie always seemed to be "it".

And there were brownie cones. (I'll post more about them another day.)

Pancakes for breakfast on Saturday. The kiddos were going to need a lot of energy for all that was on the agenda.

A bubble-monster movie was not part of the agenda. That's Girlie enjoying her time in the Jetta tub.

One of the things that kept me busy last week was making Girlie a dress and her Bitty Baby, Princess, a matching one.

AD had a project to complete too. I found this former flower pot holder at a second-hand store. The moment I saw it I just knew it was meant to be Girlie's little settee. AD cut a board to make a sturdy seat covering the place the pots are supposed to go. Then he sanded and painted everything.

My plans were to make a cushion for the piece but when I was in Hobby Lobby to buy the foam and fabric I came across the perfect decorator pillow instead. And it was on sale at that. 50% off. It was exactly the color I was looking for and the exact dimensions that was needed. Who could pass up a deal like that.

And that meant a photo session on the front porch.

Hold onto your hats. We're just getting started.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Full Weekend

I've been out-of-pocket for awhile now. Did you notice? Last week was a very busy one around the house and this weekend was very busy.

Son and his kiddos (G3, G4, G5 and Girlie) came for a visit and there was a lot of things I wanted to do with them.

Over the next few days I'll share bits and pieces from the weekend.

They arrived on Friday afternoon. AD had bought some Pop-its and some sparklers for them to have here. Kind of a late July 4th celebration.

They've seen big fireworks displays before but they've not had any kind of fireworks of their own. Granted, Pop-its and sparklers are pretty tame but G3, G4 and Girlie sure got a kick out of throwing the Pop-its down on the ground.
Riding 4-wheelers is always on the agenda.

G5 enjoyed riding his dad's trike. I don't think it looks bad for it's 39 years. And it's seen its fair share of riders over the years. They just don't make 'em like that anymore.

We all loaded up on 4-wheelers and the golf cart for a trip to the pond to feed the fish. My camera never seemed to be pointed in the right direction when a fish would come up to the surface for a snack.

Friday night we had plans to go to the Kiddie Park in Bartlesville but a storm came through. So the day came to an end after the kids got their first experience with sparklers. Girlie wasn't so sure about them at first but finally warmed up to them a bit.

Saturday was the busiest day of the weekend. Tomorrow I'll share some of the things we did.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mexican Bean and Rice Salad - My Way

I found a recipe for Mexican Bean and Rice Salad on allrecipes.com. I want to share my version with you but you can find the original version here.

Mexican Bean and Rice Salad My Way

2 cups cooked (and cooled) brown rice*
1 (15 ounce ) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained well
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained well
1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
4 to 5 green onions, chopped fine
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large tomato, diced
A few jalapeno slices, chopped fine**
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin
juice of 1 lime
1/4 to 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing

Mix altogether and chill thoroughly.

*I've given this recipe out to several folks and they always ask about the amount of rice. If it's 2 cups of rice before it has been cooked or after it has been cooked. The measurement is AFTER the rice has been cooked.

**I prefer a little heat so I used about 5 or 6 slices of pickled jalapenos from a jar. You can adjust to whatever heat you prefer your salad to have.

Another nice addition would be diced avocado but that would never fly at my house as I'm the only one who will touch avocado. And this recipe makes a LOT of salad.

I've had many requests for this recipe. I hope you like it too.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Something's Gotta Give - And SOON!

My June 29th post was about 2 little birdies' heads that we spotted in the barn swallow nest.

Five days ago I posted that it was about to get crowded because there were actually 3 little birdies in the nest.

Early yesterday morning AD hollered to come, quick! It looked like our little babies were about to take flight. They were up on the edge of the nest. Well, I didn't get there in time because they were back down in the nest by the time I got there.

This morning I did get there in time. Look at how those scrawny little babies have filled out in just a matter of about a week!

But what's this!?!?!? There are actually FOUR babies in the nest! Something definitely has to give - and soon.

I know they're getting ready to fly away and find new homes. It will be a bittersweet time for their momma - and AD and me, too!

PS. This next little bit about the baby that is the second from the left in the nest. It's a teensy bit graphic so feel free if you just want to skip this next part.

Just after I turned my camera off and put it down, #2 little birdie turned around, stuck his teeny, tiny hiney over the edge and - you guessed it! - did a #2 on the patio below. AD said that baby's momma didn't raise no dummy. There's no messing in her nest.

Have a great weekend, ya'll!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Special Bond

I love this photo of Son and Girlie.

I think of this picture when I listen to my favorite cd, Josh Turner's Haywire, and hear his song I'll Be There.

I'll Be There

When you need picked up 'cause you fell down
Need a piggy back ride or a birthday clown
Need a song to take you to sleepy town
I'll be there.

When you need a coach or you need a fan
Need a castle built out of ocean sand
Or a rainbow chaser, I'm your man
I'll be there.

I'll be a tear dryer, a paper airplane flyer
A monster runner-offer if you get scared
I'll be a sap, I'll be a sucker
A story maker-upper
Anytime, anything, anywhere
I'll be there.

When you break your heart or skin your knee
Need a big ol' hug or a bowl of ice cream
I promise you can count on me

I'll be a heart mender, a prayer sender
A hoper and believer when it's all up in the air
A strong and steady shoulder
I'll be a secret holder
Anytime, anything, anywhere
I'll be there.

If you need a frown turned to a grin
Or you need a hand just to hold your hand
Need a daddy or you just need a friend
I'll be there, I'll be there, I'll be there.

- Phillip White and Steven Dale Jones

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

It's About To Get Crowded

I was watching Momma Bird feed her babies the other day. Just look at that juicy worm!

While the one baby bird was being fed the other one seemed to be hollering that it was his turn to eat.

When all of a sudden Momma Bird turned to her left!

What?!?!?! There's a third baby in the nest?

It's sure to get crowded in the nest before long.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Let's Party!

I'd like to wish everyone a very happy Independence Day! Whatever you have planned I hope each and everyone has a SPECTACULAR day.

One year ago today I decided to venture into the world of blogging. And I am so glad I did! I have met many wonderful folks from across this great land of ours.

Many of those whom I have met have become wonderful bloggie friends - friends I would never have met otherwise. What a blessing!

So, if you feel so inclined, I invite you to have a virtual brownie and let's do a little celebrating!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sno Cones, Vampires, Werewolves and a Legend

The Sno Cones: Instead of going to see Eclipse on Wednesday I opted to go scrapbooking for the day and then, later in the evening, AD and I drove to the sno-cone stand. He chose Mai Tai and of course, I chose Twilight with cream. Twilight was a blend of black cherry and tutti fruiti flavors. I was very good but I still think I like the original one I had - Pink Elephant - to all the others I've tried.

The Legend: Yesterday we planned to drive into town to see Russell Crowe's version of Robin Hood, then do a bit of shopping. I know. We're way behind on seeing this movie but we rarely go to the movies and when we do we most often wait until they are relegated to the "cheap" movie theatres. It was a good movie. Kind of long. A different story than what we've seen before. It certainly made me curious where this particular story came from.

After Robin Hood was over and we were leaving the theatre AD asked if I wanted to go see Toy Story 3. I had mentioned I'd like to see it on Tuesday evening.

Vampires and Werewolves: Well, since he was up for another movie I said I'd really rather see Eclipse. Probably not what AD wanted to hear but he was a good sport about it. Was it too late to catch a matinee? It was 4:20-ish. AD said we could try if I really wanted to see it and we zipped on over to the other theatre in town.

We got there just at 4:30 and there was - get this - a 4:30 showing! I asked if the feature had started yet (sometimes they don't show any trailers - just go straight to the feature) and the girl said no, the previews were just starting. Then I asked if the theatre was sold out and she said no, there were still plenty of seats left. Great!

We by-passed the concessions (we usually do) and found some fairly decent seats. I thought the movie was the best of the 3 so far.

While it wasn't on AD's list of movies to see I don't think he exactly hated it. Maybe because of the action scenes or maybe because there were more guys there this time including someone he knows from his job.

By the time the movie was over it was getting late and we needed to get something to eat. So no shopping happened. Maybe today we'll do that - after the mowing is done.

Wishing everyone a spectacular 4th of July holiday!