Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Monday…

We watched a special on the Ed Sullivan show last night…it featured the Mama’s and the Papa’s singing “Monday, Monday.” Guess who now has one of those annoying ear worms.*

Mmmhmm, Monday, Monday.  Can’t trust that day.


Yes Monday, Monday, which played all day Sunday, today is Monday and it’s still going strong…I need a new song playing in my head.

“Goodbye Ruby Tuesday, who could hang a name on you?”

Peach roses

The Wedding Crashers:

I can honestly say I have never before in my life attempted to crash a wedding, but apparently we did just that the other night without even trying. 

It was a beautiful Saturday night, my Mom wanted to take us out for dinner on the patio at our local golf course. 

She loves to eat outside on the deck, [with the mosquitoes….but it’s the Okanagan, what do we expect right]? 

We noticed that the parking lot was full of nicely dressed men and women in cowboy gear, none of us thought anything other then “I hope there are still some tables available, and wow it’s unusually busy tonight.” 

We walked up the steps to the clubhouse behind a group of people, and as we mingled in the lobby before heading into the restaurant, one man held open the door for us and joked about grabbing a shirt off off the sale rack by the door. 

He offered to escort us to our table inside as the crowd of people headed that way. 

It turns out he was the groom, and the crowd of people were not there just to have dinner, they were the wedding party. The cowboy boots, cute, short, flirty dresses, Stetson hats, and large belt buckles should have been a clue.

Since the clubhouse had not put up closed signs, we were not the only embarrassed ones turned away at the door.  The groom at the door was pretty nice about it, he even offered to let us in as part of the wedding crowd. 

Just call us the wedding crashers.

Peach rose with bokah background

Some timely Pinterest hints:

I have two easy to remember things to tell you, I can’t remember if I have mentioned them before..both are pretty interesting to try, and I found them on Pinterest, but can’t find my original pins.

Summer is the time when we use our pretty little vases, filling them with flowers from our gardens. 

Bean blossoms

Problem is, little vases are hard to clean, but this simple hint from Pinterest makes it a snap.

Before I found this hint, I had tried everything, denture tablets dropped into the water, small steel balls rolling around in soapy water, vinegar and baking soda, even a bottle brush…and while it worked OK.

It didn’t work great.

This hint does, and I have used it on other pieces of glass, when I want it to be sparkling clean also.

Empty out the vase, and pour a little rubbing alcohol into it, swirl it around, and rinse. 

It magically takes out all of the scum marks, and water lines so easily you will wonder how on earth you managed to clean them without doing it this way before. 

The second hint is also from Pinterest

With the summer heat all of my parsley, and beloved cilantro has bolted…and it’s almost impossible to buy seeds this time of year. 

Next year I will buy double, and plant them at 2 week intervals… sure I will try to do that but we all know how that goes. 

I’ve had to buy a fresh bundle of cilantro from the grocery store, and was shocked to find out that it costs over $1. 

That stuff is like gold, I could grow it in my garden for pennies…if I could find some seeds that is.

It keeps a few days in the fridge before going slimy and gooey, which is expensive, and no fun to clean up.  This simple hint makes it last for almost two weeks in the fridge.

When you get the bundle home, give it a good rinse, a fresh cut on the bottom of the stems, then place in a tall glass half filled with water…I like to put a plastic bag over top of it while it’s in the fridge to keep it tidy. 

Replace the water daily, and you will have fresh parsley, or cilantro for a much longer time then usual.

Mine has lasted up to two weeks.

This is amazing and it’s saved me a lot of money by doing it this way.

 *A ear worm is a song that seems to be stuck in your head, forever, at least until it’s replaced by another catchy can’t get it out of your head tune…sing it, ”the Farmer in the Dell, the farmer in the Dell, hi ho the merry oh, the Farmer in the Dell.” 

Oh, you are so welcome…snicker.

Pale pink hydrangea

MBD Meet and greet

I’m trying to post my Meet and Greet Monday bloggers at least twice a month.  The key word here is trying…lol.

Todays M&GM is Carolynn from A Glowing Ember.

Carolynn, was the first blogger I met in person when we both lived on the West Coast, near each other. 

Although my husband and I had plans to move up to the Okanagan [the interior of BC] for many years, Carolynn ended up here moving here a few months before us.  We ended up living only a short distance from each other here in the land of big skies.

Carolynn now lives in wind swept snowy Saskatchewan, [a prairie province of Canada] with her dog Willow, and her cat Luna.  She is the proud mama of a new flock of rapidly growing chicks who hang out in repurposed antique barn that doubles as a chicken palace. 

Check out her older posts to see inside the barn, there are rumours it’s so cute my wild quail are thinking of moving out there also.

 Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer paused to take a breath

This previous post may be slightly familiar to my long time blogging friends, the subject resonates in my heart, I’ve freshened it up, so it’s worth reading again.

For my newest blogging buddies I hope you enjoy the read.

Originally posted last summer…the changes in our weather make it the perfect time to share it again.

 “Summer here is so fleeting…blink and she is gone through the door to meet up with Autumn.”

Eckie pink Summer

Mercurial, undependable, temperamental, feisty, and quirky.

She stays for a short while in our world, holding in her hands the glow from a sunset so beautiful it makes your heart skip a beat.

She is Summer, and as she whispers to you with a warm breath that blows away the clouds, you fall in love quickly and want her to stay forever. 

Her time brings peerless skies so wide they feel like they must be made of pieces of a quilt seamed together to cover the earth.

She stands there promising days of never ending barefooted bliss, soft light cotton clothing that glides over skin, sandals, flip flops and outdoor fun on freshly cut green grass, blossoms in the hair.

Scent on the breeze, tart lemonade that lives forever in our memories. 

A beauty, she has been revered, treasured, photographed, painted, written about, and sought after.  We long to meet up with her in winter, we hope for a visit in spring, and her leaving us is lamented in Autumn as we pack away our summer things.

Summer is cold, crystalized ice cream treats wrapped in soggy paper, paid for with sticky coins held tightly in pudgy childhood fists, the first transactions of impending consumerism. 

White boxy vans with colourful hunger inducing signage traverse the neighbourhoods, piping tinny music that is reflected nostalgically in parental eyes.  The jarring sounds of a tinned polka cuts through walls and windows, floating down neat suburban streets, bouncing off of the hot pavement of water parks. 

Pink eckies in the sunset

Children slip from their languid pools of heat puddled in front of TV’s, banging front doors shut, dashing off porches towards treats. 

Popsicles stain their short, tanned legs like tattoos. Rivulets of sweet melted syrup, track, and map in the dust covered skin acquired from walking on golden sun bleached grass in bare summer hardened feet. 

Summer is salty ocean waves white caps, and grey sandy beaches. Fresh water lakes filled with shiny trout sparkling in glimmers of sunlight that peer from underneath docks. It’s deep, green blue depths of scary water, learning to swim, float, and sinking like a stone.

Eckies and the sun setting

She’s bare feet tangled in flip flops in the bottom of a roughly painted boat, long grasses swaying under water as you glide softly over them.  Drops splashed from paddles skipped upon water fresh tasting on the lips, sun baked faded life jackets who’s musty smell wafts over the tropical fragrance of coconut suntan lotion.

Summer’s responsible for sprinklers spreading diamonds that cling onto branches in the backyard.  First stolen kisses, giggles, sun soaked skin, and icy cold, sweating glass.  Lanterns filled with citronella candles, plunked on picnic tables, chequered clothes, and homemade potato salad with pickles.

We measure her girth by degrees, while speaking of her with abandon, complaining when she is too intense, and wishing when she isn’t. Summer can burn you with the slightest touch, or caress you gently, and lull you into a soft nap in a cottage chair by the lake.

Flower flourish pink

And then Summer pauses to take a breath, gather her remaining energy, and gives us it all with honesty, the breathtakingly vibrant sunsets, soft glowing dawns, and days of hot golden light, that slowly ease into cool nights, and relief from the heat.

When the scorching sun carries itself lower in the sky and the fruit trees are a laden with their bearings, gone is the harsh, bright shrillness of the early season, this is summer in her waning years, warm, wise, and wistful.

August  sunsets

We know that she won’t be around forever, each moment savoured like a drop of honey spilling from the spoon.  Sweetly etched on our heart  the crunch of a home grown carrot, just pulled from the hot earth, the taste of fresh picked fruit, the singing of a bird at dusk.  The sound of the light hitting the blossoms, as a camera captures their reflection.

With a slightly regretful glance over her shoulder she takes her leave. Emptying a space for us to usher in Autumn. Glancing back with a fond look, flitting in and out of our warm days, and cooling nights, she is blowing a kiss goodbye. 

A short visit, never long enough, leaving us with gentle faded memories, tan lines, bug bites and bliss.


Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

Flower flourish pink


Monday, July 21, 2014

Check the number and dial again

There I was, paging through tiny bits and pieces of paper frantically turning them over, peering at them and discarding them as fast as my eyes could focus early in morning. 
Nothing was what it seemed, I couldn’t read my own writing, the ornate scribbles may or may not have been A or a W, or just a doodle.Butterfly on eckie pink
Frustrated by my fruitless search I wanted to toss them all up into the air. 
Bootsie sat at the bottom of the chair, next to my bare feet, plaintively meowing for breakfast.
His I’m a hungry cat voice escalating from soft as a kitten to the growl of a tiger in accordance to my anxiety levels ramping up. 
Meows didn’t help me find the password that I was searching for any faster, but they did get him fed, and that’s all he cared about.
Shuffling more papers and trying to ignore the roar of the lion under my feet, unfolding, and fluttering through pages of multiple books nearby on the computer desk but no solution was found there. 
“Shhhhhhh” I told him as a particularly noisy meow startles me from my search reverie.
I gave up, thought maybe a break would help..he chowed down happily.
I resumed my search among the pieces of paper. 
And realized I was in big trouble if I couldn’t  find this password.
Dialling for what?
Remember rotary dial phones….if you are a certain age you might remember misdialing a phone number, hearing the recorded voice telling you to “please check the number and try again.”
There was little that you could do to make a mistake other then plunk your finger into the wrong equally spaced plastic circles and dial the wrong number.
Our technological advances are supposed to make life easier, but it’s more complex now.  
Long streams of passwords are not easily memorized,  with 2-step verification, hacking, and other computer worries a far cry from the old check the number that the disembodied voice used to intone.
Butterfly on cone flower
It all started with Picasa
Since I’ve been using Google’s Picasa to bring order to the many thousands of images in my computer I’ve found it’s easier then scrolling through my other editing programs, I like the format, everything is nicely lined up and organized. 
Only problem was, Picasa wasn’t updating properly.
And neither was Google Auto Backup…
The last time photos were added was in early June, it is now late July.
Since then I had taken, oh…about a thousand more photos, which weren’t showing up, and that meant I would forget about them. We all know that the first step to blog post inspiration is finding the appropriate image to trigger something in our brain, and it all flows from there.
Yellow cone flower
It was on my 2 do list…no really it was
Problem was I needed to sign into Google again.
And the real problem was, I couldn’t remember my Google password for the life of me. Which meant I would have to change it …again.
It’s a complex phrase just like the experts tell you to use. Or how to turn something easy to remember like “My Dog Has Fleas Since He Went Into The Garden In 1970 into:
You end up with a long convoluted password that you have just created to deter nasty hackers from getting into your accounts, and it’s easy enough to remember that you won’t have to write it down.
Take the first letter of each word in your phrase, add some punctuation, throw in a numeral or two…fill out your password form, and voila…a password that they tell you will be much harder to hack.
And hard to remember, especially if you forgot to write it down, thinking, oh, of course I would remember that, who’s not going to remember “My Dog Has Fleas…”
Me, that was.
Not that my password was “My Dog Has Fleas,”  that would be akin to having 1234 as a password….which apparently is one of the most popular ones out there, next to “password.”  I can’t blame anyone for doing that, after all, if your dog had fleas, would you want to remember that every time?
Butterfly and bee
This is not your Grandma’s polka
So in comes 2 –step verification from Google, and it’s not some kind of fancy polka dance, it’s meant to make it harder for everyone, hackers or even you, to get into your account.
It requires a verification code sent to your cell phone before you can sign in.
Only problem was, it was 5 am, Bootsie was hungry because I was up early, and the other phone was using the charger.
Bootsie is a cat, we don’t have a dog, fleas or not.
My cell phone was dead.
I needed to change my password to get to my photos, because if I can’t find my photos.
I can’t write a blog post without…. 
We all know that fresh photos are what trigger new blog post ideas.
After I changed my password I could get to my photos but I also needed to change the password for Windows Live Writer to write a blog post.
Which also required 2-step verification. 
But I couldn’t get verification because my cell phone was dead.
Welcome to technology.
 I think I need a flea bath.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams