Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

May the blessings and promise of Easter be with us all.

Love, Pepper, Moogie, Mysti, and

Bouie Cottontail.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

April Showers and April Flowers

Have I mentioned before just how very fascinating the yard is at Moogie's Manor?  Spring has been a season of continual discovery.  Something new pops up every day!

There are several varieties of Maple.  This is the flower/seed pod from one of them. How pretty is that!

The Harry Lauder's Walking Stick that was featured here so prominently during the ice storms is interesting in the Spring, too.

My herb garden survived the gully-washer of a rain that we had a few nights ago -- and the dips into sub-freezing temperatures.  I think I'm going to give peppers -- both bell and jalapeno -- a shot. Bunnies and chipmunks don't eat peppers, do they?  After that rain, we now understand why it is so difficult to keep mulch in the downstairs flower beds.  We could have done a little white-water rafting if we had been so inclined!

Wishing you a glorious day before Easter.  I hope you get all the jelly beans your little hearts desire.  I'm off to babysit with #4 so his parents can have an early 4th Anniversary celebration.  Can you believe it's been FOUR years?!?!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Some Funnies From Today's Inbox

A wife asks her husband, "Could you please go shopping for me and buy one carton of milk and if they have avocados, get 6. 
A short time later the husband comes back with 6 cartons of milk.
The wife asks him, "Why did you buy 6 cartons of milk?"
He replied, "They had avocados."
If you're a woman, I'm sure you're going back to read it again!  Men will get it the first time.
My work is done here.
Water in the carburetor.
WIFE: "There is trouble with the car. It has water in the carburetor."
HUSBAND: "Water in the carburetor? That's ridiculous " 
WIFE: "I tell you the car has water in the carburetor."
HUSBAND: "You don't even know what a carburetor is. I'll check it out. Where's the car?
WIFE: "In the pool"
25% of the women in this country are on medication for mental illness.
That's scary.
It means 75% are running around untreated.
Husband and wife had a tiff. Wife called up her mom and said, "He fought with me again, I am coming to live with you."
Mom said, "No darling, he must pay for his mistake. I am coming to live with you.
Today's Short Reading from the Bible. 
From Genesis: "And God promised men that good and obedient wives would be found in all corners of the earth."
Then He made the earth round...and He laughed and laughed and laughed!

*rimshot*  Thank you. Thank you very much. Hope your Good Friday is full of blessings.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Foxy Fella

Elder Daughter couldn't stand it.  Tyson, their boxer boy, had never been an only dog and was grieving badly for his four-legged sister, Pippi, so guess what?

Meet the newest member of ED's family, Rusty!

He was a 10 month-old rescue from a litter that was touted as a dachshund-chihuahua mix, like Pippi. ED swears that all his littermates look like black dachshunds. She couldn't force herself to get another black dachshund yet, so she set her sights on Rusty. And he fit right in with the family -- although Grandson #5 is having a bit of difficulty learning not to get all up in Rusty's face.

Pippi is still a part of the family, though, and always will be.

So, what do you think?  Dachshund/chihuahua?  I'm pretty sure there was a fox in the woodpile.

Welcome, little Rusty Roo!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Moogie Cranks Up the BS-O-Meter: WoW!

So there's a "War on Women," is there?

Perhaps we should refer to the Meme of the Day as the "Reprise of the 'War on Women.' "  After all, the issue seemed to go dormant after the 2012 elections.  It seemed to have gone dormant, that is, at least until the 2014 mid-terms cranked up in earnest and the Left needed a hook to distract voters from serious issues. Railing on about a vicious War on Women sounds much sexier than defending Obamacare, or the IRS, or Benghazi. Or armed-to-the-teeth Federales waging a hot war on a cattle rancher in Nevada. Or the US role as a Global Super Power sinking slowly into the sunset with the Young President at the helm. Shall I go on?

The Wiki defines War on Women as "an expression in United States politics used to describe certain Republican Party policies as a wide-scale effort to restrict women's rights."

Oh. Republican policies.


Having lived and worked as a professional during a time when women's rights were genuinely restricted, or marginalized at best, and recognizing gender discrimination when I see it, I'm calling BS on this one.

Is there an imbalance between the wages paid to men and and those paid to women? I have no doubt. Is it caused by one's reproductive parts? Unlikely. It's more plausibly the result of differing skills, experience, and any number of other variables. Does it always smell "unfair?" Probably.

Would a shiny new (in addition to the laws and regs already on the books) Federal law prohibiting employers from paying men and women differently for similar work see an end to such practices forever and ever? If you believe that could happen, I'd like to offer you a ride on my prize-winning, thoroughbred race-Unicorn at a discounted rate. Just drop me a check in the mail.

It's difficult to believe that people are so shallow, uninformed, and gullible that they would jump onto this bandwagon. It's almost as difficult to believe as watching War on Women "opponents" prattle on about their cause with a straight face. They can't really believe what they're saying, can they? They have to know that it's all just a Game of Politics? District of Columbia Sleight of Hand. Hot-Button Pole Dancing. The Capitol Hill Razzle Dazzle.

Come on, people! You're being played for patsies. Grow up!! There are legitimate issues out there.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Being "Thankful For My Family" Doesn't Begin to Describe How I'm Feeling Right About Now

 The funeral was yesterday.  My heart broke for those parents whom Fate had led to sit in front of an open casket, draped with both a folded American flag and an Arkansas Razorback flag, bearing the body of their 24 year-old son. My heart broke for his siblings.  My heart broke for the love of his life and mother of his child. For his siblings and extended family. For his brothers and sisters in arms. For his church family. For every parent in that room.

The slide show celebrating his life brought both tears and laughter. The three different preachers got their message of salvation across. The music was both iconic and touching, ranging from "Amazing Grace" to Kenny Chesney to Christian rap, among others. I must admit, I've never heard Christian rap before. It was interesting.

The whole service exhausted me. And it terrified me, as you will see, with good cause.

SIL#2 and Younger Daughter sat beside #2's mother in the front row.

The evening before, Wednesday evening, my precious young family was on I-30, on its way to the visitation, in stop-and-go rush hour traffic.  #2 was driving their 6 day-old Toyota Venza while YD sat in back with 10 month-old Grandbaby#5, without wearing her seatbelt so she could more easily tend to #5. (The car was their second brand-new car in less than a month, by the way, because the first one turned out to be a genuine, irreparable, dangerous lemon. This one was much better.)

SIL#2 had come to a safe stop, along with the flow of traffic, and (fortunately) within a reasonable distance from the car ahead of him, when YD saw him coming. She flung herself over the baby the split second before she felt the impact.

Daughter was slammed around the back seat; SIL#2 smacked his head on the windshield, even though he was wearing his seat belt. No air bags deployed. Thank God for a strong car seat -- a little fear was the worst that the Grandbaby suffered. The new car was, of course, rendered not drivable, but SIL managed to get it limpingly to the shoulder anyway, and without being driven into the car in front of them..

The unlicensed, non-English-speaking driver, with no insurance, who plowed into them at 50 mph in stop and go traffic told the State Trooper, before he was taken away on a stretcher to be treated at a hospital at taxpayer expense, that he had just consumed "solamente tres cervezas." (Only three beers.) And, we all know that "solamente tres cervezas" probably means several mas cervezas than tres.

Is my rage showing?

Pepper pulled into the driveway from running with Grandbaby#1 just as I was pulling out, so he hopped in the car with me and we got to the kids, during rush hour, in record time. I took #2 an ice pack. I'm not sure it helped him, but it helped me to be able to do something.

Today, the day after that sad, sad funeral, just remembering that phone call from Younger Daughter and its aftermath has opened the spigot on my teary faucet. I have sent up countless prayers thanking my good God for sheltering my family and preventing what might have been. My Facebook post thanked God and Toyota for their safety. The kids went to the ER later Wednesday evening with #2's father and his wife and checked out fine, but for the whiplash. They took a goofy photo there that showed them trussed up in neck braces, grinning and flashing thumbs up. YD texted the pic to me and Elder Daughter, captioning it as this year's Christmas card photo. I think the good drugs had kicked in by then.

They were stiff and sore yesterday, and SIL#2 still has a pretty impressive goose egg on his forehead, but they could have been so, so much more worse off. I can't imagine the panic that SIL#2's mother must have felt when she got that call from #2 explaining why they couldn't make it to the visitation.

The stress level at Moogie's Manor is running pretty high right about now, and we can't really put all of this behind us until Tuesday. We will bury that young man in the VA Cemetery on Tuesday -- the first day available for a burial. Pepper worked his contacts to smooth the process for the parents. Thirty-five years of military service pay off in the most unusual ways sometimes.

So. I need to turn my thoughts to happier places in my mind. How about more Spring flower pictures?

This is the bed in the side yard.  We put in the geraniums and croton earlier in the week. The pop of color makes us happy.

This is another view of the bed. The Son and his family gave me that Bottle Tree for Christmas. I really like it. Annnnd, I've added a couple of bottles to it since Christmas!  ;-)

I love the white azaleas beneath the Japanese maple at the top of the driveway.

This is the white dogwood and its companion Japanese maple beside the front door as seen from the dining room windows. I took this pic yesterday because gazing at this natural beauty reveling in the filtered sunlight gave me such a sense of peace.

Tell your loved ones how much they are loved. We are not promised tomorrow.

I hope this is the end of that Case of the Creeps I posted about in March. I think I'll go play in the dirt some more.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Little Dirt Under the Fingernails Can Be Pretty Therapeutic

A Louisiana friend swears by the notion that on gorgeous days like today, by day's end you should smell like dirt. Pepper and I are doing our best. Spring is bustin' out all over at Moogie's Manor!  Look at these gorgeous trees that greet visitors from their spot next to the front door.

When we moved in late June, the Japanese Maple was identifiable, but I didn't really pay much attention to its companion tree.  We didn't realize that it's a magnificent, mature white dogwood until a week ago.  Wow! What a color contrast! There are Encore azaleas, too, and we put in an orange Hibiscus a few days ago (because I'm pretty sure the big Firecracker plant didn't survive the winter). I can't wait for the peonies to bloom!

There was not a whole lot of dirt at Moogie's Mansion, and that caused me to have to grow my herbs in containers where they didn't always survive the brutally hot summers. So, I'm understandably super excited to have tons of rich soil, brimming with friendly earthworms at the Manor!  You probably can't tell from the pic, but in the two beds I've put in sweet basil, lemon thyme, rosemary, both curly and flat-leaf parsley, lavender, chocolate mint, and chives!  They're already growing!  I'm thinking that I need to add a little cilantro and dill now, too. There's also a new baby gardenia in the curve of the back bed to give us a little gardenia action before I plant JB's in the front side-yard next fall.  I'm letting it grow strong in the controlled indoor environment before subjecting it to the whims of Mother Nature.

We lost our minds yesterday and went to Home Depot (which honors the military discount now, by the way, so they no longer have to bite me) where we invested in three flowering fruit trees and a pink dogwood. Pepper planted them this morning while I was out, so he'll be stove up for a few days.  He put the peach next to the hibiscus and hydrangea we planted earlier in the week. I also added some solar landscaping lights.  I'm looking forward to this evening to see how the configuration looks.  That's a good thing about solars -- you can move them around if you need to. And, you can bring them indoors when you have a power failure and don't want to bust out a bunch of heat-generating candles. (Helpful Tip of the Day!)

We also got some hanging baskets for the deck and colorful plants for the containers. One of them is a fern. I'm a little leery of the fern -- I've never been successful at keeping them alive in baskets, so we shall see. This one will be in a nice shady spot when the trees get through leafing out so it at least stands a fighting chance.

It's good to immerse oneself in happy, life-affirming things after a week like this. Please think of Younger Daughter and SIL#2 tomorrow -- the funeral will be in the afternoon.

Then go play in the dirt.