Saturday, February 28, 2009

Looking Closely

Sometimes we need to slow down and take a closer look at the little things that we are stepping passed every day.

This grasshopper reminds me that spring really is on its way:

A bit of green moss that surprises in a sea of browns and gold.

The discoloration on the bottom of this oak tree by the creek caught my eye,

...and further investigation shows that a wood pecker has been at work. That tiny little bird that may have single handily taken this mighty oak down. A practical application of the story of David and Goliath. We'll see if the oak eventually recovers.

Then again, some things are never restored to as they once were, as this rib bone (probably from a fawn) will attest to.

When you see these....

...then you know that you are near some of these Shag Bark Hickory trees.

I have some old chairs that I picked up at a Leipers Fork auction that have seats caned from shag bark hickory. It's amazing stuff.

This blue fungus is fun to look at.

I come across a little lost football in the pine needles.

Also a pretzel that hasn't been worn away yet from countless rainstorms.

An acorn that has rooted reminds us to keep believing in the future.

A new butterfly drying its wings is easy to ignore.

But some little things won't put up with being ignored.

So as we fly through life, as fun and exciting as that is, it's important to remember to land every now and then, for to dry our wings that will enable us to soar even higher the next time we embark toward the skies.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Amanda's Day

Yesterday Amanda and I took a little time to play outside. Even though I kept my sweatshirt on much of the time, she felt it was time to break out her "summer clothes." Here is a taste of what she is up to when she's outside.

First some quality time with her Bitty Baby.

Then for a ride on the redneck roller coaster.

Next it's off to throw some rocks into the pond.

Climbing to the top of the logs...

... and then a moment to rest in some leaves.

Time to head over to the trampoline!

Then on over to work on her "King and Queen" castles, being built with real stones.

Finally it was time to come into the house for a shower, lunch and a nap.

However, she napped so well that she didn't go to sleep until 2 o'clock this morning!

Looks like the joke's on me this time!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tennessee In February

I picked green as the color of our house because I knew that the winters would be stark here in Tennessee. I wanted to be able to see SOME green through out the winter.

By the end of February Tennessee has seen plenty of freezing cold weather. So everything tends to turn into one of the many color variations of gold.

Tennessee also has a lot of trees. Trees that drop their leaves creating endless carpets in shades of brown.

The leaves get caught up in everything.

Even the kitty cat blends in with the landscape.

Although even a trumpet vine withered by frost has a redeeming beauty to enjoy.

The holly berries remind me that not all is bad in the doldrums of winter.

For the promise of spring and new growth is all around if we take the time to seek it out, as blossoms waiting for warm sun so they may open await on my cherry tree.

My daffodiles can sense that the days are once again growing longer, and also to be growing warmer.

And plants that will become unwanted in the summer now give me a smile as they are the braviest of all that dare to send out blossoms so soon.

For winter is not over but is certainly just resting.

Friday, February 20, 2009


With online comes the risk of being tagged by your friends. Tagged in photos, tagged on blogs, tagged on My Space and Facebook.

Well here in the 10-OC, tagged still means tagged. Like graffiti tagged.

When the kids were little, they tagged like this....big happy, blatant tagging going on, right up the stair hall where ever one could see.

As they got in trouble for that, they went underground. Tagging in little circles or X's.

Then they began to learn to make real letters, and the tagging became even more irresistible. And they figured that no one would find them out. Clever little things.

Guess who tags in sparkly blue ink pen and has the letters "A" and "M" in their name? Kudos for trying to wipe it off as soon as she wrote it though.

Then they begin to figure out that their names have lots of letters behind their first initial. I found this tagging treatment in Jonathan's old room.

Then come numbers! In mirror images! I guess the pen was running out of ink and the tagging had to be carved into the wall. You'll find this gem in Jonathan and Timothy's old bathroom.

This one gets bonus score for neatness.....

..... a separate letter for each part of the door jam moulding.

Jonathan getting sneaky.....writing on the edges of the closet doors. Sort of subliminal because you can't see it when the door is closed....but you know it's there.

And who is getting bolder now? Like I'd NEVER figure out who wrote this one!

At least this is on the door to his bedroom. You know, in case I forget where all his toys and clothes go. He's just helping out his mom.

This it Timothy's doing. Oh ya, this wall is tagged.

You just need to shed some black light on it.

I'm totally hiding the spray paint now.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kids. Can't Tell Them Anything

So, Rick gets this sweet little weather station thing. It has a sensor outside and then a display inside.

We put the display by the front door, so when the kids leave for school, they can see what the weather is instead of guessing and then getting half way to the bus stop only to find that they are freezing or ditching jackets on the front lawn.

Well Timothy takes one look at it and I hear,


"Yes Timothy"

"Is that weather station thing supposed to work?"

"I think it does work, Timmo."

"Well that guy has a SCARF on and it's 49 degrees. 49 degrees is not cold."

"You should dress how that guy tells you."

"That guy is crazy."

Parents, we can only do so much!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Word Art

There's a cute little website out, Wordle, that will crawl your blog (or any RSS feed site) and spit out a little picture image that should sum up what your blog is about.

Here is what came up for mine.

And like the Hokey Pokey, that's what it's all about.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Gathering Kindling

Day 3 of the best weather in a long time! We were actually only one degree from matching the record high temperature on this day of 72*. Which considering it was 6* in the morning only 5 days ago, that's pretty amazing!

So outside we went again. This time I decided to restock the kindling pile. Not hard to do, just walk around the yard picking up branches that have fallen out of the trees onto the front yard areas.

Amanda, however, decided that the garden was, once again, THE place to be. So to the barn for her garden tools.

And off to dig in the nice Tennessee clay.

This is as far as I got with the kindling pile before Amanda decided to do something else.

She wanted to ride her redneck roller coaster.

From the septic tank....

....all the way down....

Oops, forgot to tell ya, that ride goes fast!

....all the way down to the pond...almost.

And for you quick thinkers, the septic tank is a holding tank and the contents are pumped up and away....not leeched down to the pond. At least that's what we've been told....