Thursday, August 10, 2017

An abundance of Succulents and other crazy ideas

Have you noticed how succulents have been showing up everywhere for the past few years?  In all the decor magazines, design blogs, everywhere one looks.  No longer do you have to head to a plant nursery to find them, they are even sold in the grocery stores.  A few years ago I had a hard time finding them anywhere except a garden center. I thought the trend was waning, but it doesn't appear that it is.  Even if it is, I still like succulents and real ones grow pretty well in the desert climate in Boise.

I found this wrought iron shelf/cd rack about 4 years ago, at the thrift shop.  I think it is/was a cd rack anyhow.  I really love the curvy shape of it. My plan was to eventually fill it with small succulents, using a collection of bowls and pots that I already had.  It sat in a corner of the garage just waiting until I would finally move to my house in Boise.  Well this last trip, I was in Michael's one day and saw that they had their faux succulents on clearance.  A light went off in my brain, and I thought, wow, I don't have to wait for real ones, I'll just use these in the meantime.  

I'm pretty pleased with how this project turned out.  I've mixed in a few rocks that we've picked up here and there along the way.
Hubby used to roll his eyes at some of the ideas I would get. But he admits they usually turn out well, so he doesn't discourage me from buying or saving some mundane item that I will turn into something else. He's pretty impressed with the succulents.  He also really likes the metal colander I turned into a light fixture over the kitchen sink. 
 

One time long ago we were coming back from a Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas, and I spied a dead branch along the side of the freeway.  We went back and got it and were almost arrested by the Highway Patrol. Even though it was supposed to be "temporary", it is still holding up the curtain over the entry door windows, 20 years later.  Yes I have eclectic tastes and our home is a mixture of things we both really love. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

July in Idaho

Hubby and I are winding down another stay at our Idaho home.  It was unusually hot for July, high 90's and a few triple digit days.  Leaving humid Texas is always a delight...however, even though it is  a dry heat here in the high desert, when it is over 100 it is still really hot.  It's still been in the 60's in the early a.m. so we get out early, have our breakfast on the deck, then get to work.  Hubby has done a lot in the garden, thinned out a lot of overgrowth of flowers that tend to take over, redone the path that goes around the back of the garden under the pine trees. He's done a lot of basic home improvement projects, like he does every time we are here.  I have done some work in the yard, and in the house. A little bit anyhow.  Mostly I have done artwork, hung out with friends, cousins, Sister and Mom.  I've read 2 Louise Penny novels while here as well. Oh and every evening and most mornings we are visited by the quails. They are so sweet, but they move so fast it is hard to catch a photo of them. I love watching them scurry across the yard. 


 The main reason I love being in Boise, is the view of my backyard from the family room, kitchen and sun room. It's like staring at an aquarium to me, in the calm feeling it gives me. 
There are a lot of Hostas.  I want to plant more of these giant ones in the shade beneath the pine trees.  This one seems quite happy here. 

Tiger Lilies I had forgotten were there.  Discovered after Hubby cleaned and thinned out a lot of overgrowth.

We've had the joy of being here almost the entire month of July this time.  We had a family reunion of sorts a few Sundays ago.  With so many cousins living here within a 100 mile radius, the family has these get togethers often.  We miss most of them, but thankfully were here for this one.  One of our cousins was out from Nebraska for a week, so of course it was a reason for another big dinner at Aunties place. We hadn't seen this cousin since we were youngsters many years ago, so it was great getting caught up.   It was 100 that day and we had an outdoor picnic.  It was incredibly hot, but there was shade and fans running. We all had a good time.  My Aunt is 86 and her husband is 85...they have the most amazing garden, with flowers and veggies and fruits.  We've had the most delicious raspberries, that taste just like the ones I remember from childhood.

One day husband, sister and I took a day trip to Shoshone Falls, a two hour drive from Boise.  It was a nice drive, and the falls were beautiful, even though they were running quite low as it is late in the season.  The best time to go this year has been in April.  We still enjoyed it and got a few good photos. We also got to see some base jumpers at the Perrine Bridge that spans the Snake River. 




We're heading back to Austin, where I hear they have had 25 days in a row of temperatures over 100. When it is like that I become a cave dweller of sorts.  Out in the a.m. to do what errands have to be done, then home for the day, thankful for A/C. It takes me about a week to recover from the differences in humidity between Boise and Austin. If you've read this far, thanks for visiting me in My Own Private Idaho. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Road Trip

 
Hard to believe I have neglected this blog for so many months. Time really flies, whether one is having fun or not!  Both hubby and I have been dealing with health issues, so mostly life has been about a lot of Dr, appointments.  We are both doing pretty well at this time

We did have a wonderful road trip a couple of months ago, and I finally got around to uploading the photos just a few days ago.  We drove from Austin out to Boise, Idaho.  We have done this drive a couple of times before, in a U-Haul truck and done it in 3 days.  We decided to take 4 days and took a different route this time.  We went through a lot of country we had not been through before, or at least some of it for a number of years.  All of the photos I took were on my cell phone camera, most while travelling down the road. I think I want to buy a new camera.

Driving from Austin to Lubbock and then on through the flatlands of Texas are not all that picturesque. I think I only took photos of oil  pump jacks and wind farms.  So I don't really have any shots of day one.  We did go see Buddy Holly before we left Lubbock.

Day two found us driving across New Mexico and crossing the Continental Divide (always a thrill for me) and spending the night in Farmington., N.M.
 


On Day three, which was Saturday, we left early and drove to the Four Corners Monument, on the Navajo Indian Reservation. My Dad had always told us about visiting it several times, and thought we should go if we got the chance.




We wanted to stop at Arches National Park, but the closest we could get was driving by the entrance. There was a rock climbing convention and a Jeep Jamboree and it was absolute mayhem both at the entrance and the town of Moab.

 
 
We spent Saturday night in Ritchfield, Utah.   Leaving there early Sunday morning, there was a light dusting of snow on the ground. We had a really nice drive on a two lane state highway and there was very little traffic.  We drove 495 miles that day and arrived at our house in Boise at 7 p.m.

Here is where the video I shot, where we only saw 2 cars and a big rig, would have gone if I could have figured out how to get it uploaded. It was too large, and I guess I need software to be able to edit it. Anyhow, it was a lovely quiet drive for some time.



It was a very nice trip, we sure felt like we needed it.  Life has been pretty hectic lately, and this was a very relaxing 4 days on the road.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The colors of Idaho and Happy Thanksgiving

Last week Hubby and I returned from our trip to Idaho.  We spent 2 1/2 wonderful weeks there, enjoying an unusually warm November.  Hubby did a little yard work, we enjoyed time around the house, besides doing some home repairs and having things serviced.  We spent time with family, especially my Mom.  I was able to go with Mom and Sister to two of Mom's Dr. appointments, and find out she does have wonderful Doctors there.  She was in good spirits, especially when we all were playing the card games she loves.


 Still had roses in November
 
 
Sun rises every morning, view from our family room and kitchen
 

Turning colors and falling leaves, and some orange flowers still blooming
 
On November 17th, Hubby and I celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary.  With what we've been through lately, it gives more critical meaning to "in sickness and in health."

We have planned a very low key Thanksgiving, as neither of are very cheerful, for a variety of reasons. We'll watch a lot of football, read and watch movies, and avoid news stories at all costs.  Make of that what you will.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Oh, Hello

Sorry I haven't written. The months have marched on...Not much artwork to show, and even less to say.  The struggle with health issues continues, but now hubby has joined the club. He spent a week in the hospital after being diagnosed with Crohn's disease.  Then he had a gallbladder attack....had surgery, is recovering from both issues.  We spend most of our time going to Dr. appointments or doing research on natural things we can do to stay away from the doctors.    These are boring things to talk or write about, things no one wants to hear or read.  I suspect this anyhow.  And when there is nothing written, there is nothing to read.
 
The garden is gorgeous, from all the rain we've had in Texas,  Here's a sweet little pom from my miniature ornamental pomegranate tree.  Also a  portion of our back yard, with the sun shining through the palm tree.
 



The middle of September, we went to Indiana for a long week-end on business, then took a couple of extra days off to meet up with a friend from Columbus, Ohio.  While in Kendallville, we visited the Mid-America Windmill Museum.   It was dark and stormy most of the day, but it was still interesting. One of the business functions was held there.



 We went to the United States Grand Prix this past week end.  The weather was perfect, high 80's during the day.  Record crowds reported of 200,000. There were 80,000 for the Taylor Swift concert after the race. We did not stay for the concert.  The stage was in an open field area, with no seating except the grass or standing.  We decided we are a little too old for those conditions.  So...we missed our (probably) one and only chance to see Taylor Swift. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Making slow progress in the rut that I'm in



 
I'm busy but never seem to have anything to show for it.  This is what's been in my view most weeks, one or two days a week.  Since most of my Drs. are located in the same big conglomerate, I've finally started asking to make several appointments on the same day if possible.  Then I can just hang out there all day, going from one office to the next.  Yikes.  I have two appointments tomorrow, one right after the other. One is the yearly Mammogram and the other is the bone scan to see if there has been any improvement from the meds I've been taking for a year.  The same meds that the hospital said NOT to take because they raised my blood pressure, and helped contribute to the heart issues.  But now that I am taking meds to lower my blood pressure, I can go back to taking the ones for osteoporosis. So the one cancels out the side effects of the other, that seems to be the way this works. When I told the internist I was distressed about all the meds I am now taking, she suggested I might be depressed, and offered up yet another prescription, which I declined. I'm pretty disillusioned with the medical community right now, and would like to run screaming from the entire bunch.

On the upside, I make sure I am getting to my exercise class 3 and sometimes 4 times a week. I think that is more responsible for me feeling better than is the medication. I do admit that some of it is necessary, but I sure don't like taking so much. My ultimate goal is to get off some of it.  Hubby and I have gotten back to our juicing routine on a regular basis and both feel better for it. 

I haven't posted much because there's just not much to talk about except my health.  I haven't done any artwork, just tidied and moved my supplies around.  In that process I have discovered a lot of unfinished projects, which has given me some inspiration. Nothing finished to show, but maybe one of these days.  I'm mostly playing with washi tape...that can be very meditative, don't you know?

Since I'm taking photos with just my cell phone, I'm not always happy with the outcome.  But I still haven't taken the time to go and shop for a new camera. The Texas sunsets have been spectacular, but it is still hard to capture them with a photo.  Both of these were taken from my front porch, first one off to the right, and the second straight on.






Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Taking things easy


Above photos, December 15. Leaving Boise, Arriving Austin.

The past month has been pretty much of a blur. I was able to go on my planned trip to Idaho and spent two weeks there. Doctor had told me to get a lot of rest, and that is pretty much what I did.  Spent time with my Mother and other family members. Spent a great deal of time just sitting by the fireplace drinking hot beverages and relaxing.  Hubby did most of the cooking plus took very good care of me.  It is really hard for me to sit back and let anyone do things for me. It always has been, which is part of my persona, but things need to change.  After the heart attack and all the meds I am on, I do feel really tired most of the time.  So I guess I am getting pretty good at this resting thing, simply because I have no choice.  And when I do have a choice, things are going to have to be a lot different from now on.

I've been back home almost a little over a week, and have had several doctor follow-ups. I'm back at aqua yoga, and I have had to modify quite a bit and it still tires me out.  I've been told it's expected so I am going with the flow and taking things one day at a time.  If I sound blue, it's probably because I am, but I think it will pass as I feel better.

Fortunately hubby and I don't get too carried away for Christmas anyhow. This year will be even less than usual and it is just fine. I have these 3 little lighted ornaments in the bookshelf in the family room and that is it for d├ęcor.  Oh except for wrapping a string of wire lights around one of my succulents on the hall table.  Ha.  We have lots of candles, they are battery operated and come on when it gets dark and go off 6 hours later.  So there is no need to get stressed about Christmas, because it will come and go without us.  I have been to no retail establishments since coming home except World Market and Target and they were very quick visits.  These little lanterns are from World Market and are new this year.

 
Little brown succulent in glass terrarium
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