Blogs by Jennifer Butler
Jennifer's Home Journal
4/18/2005 9:13:30 AM
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All about the goings on here at the house where I take care of my sweet husband, our three children ... and of course, the cat.
Monday, April 18, 2005
How's Your Garden Growing, Neighbor?
Yesterday I came home with a few more taller flowering plants with bright yellow blooms for the rock lined garden along the back yard fence, another few large leafed Cannas for the back row and some more Bluebonnet seeds, two large bags of Miracle Grow enriched soil, flower food and insect repellent. Phew! I got to work right away and planted the six plants along the back, where only a few spots have shown sign of flowers emerging from my earlier seed plantings.
The neighbor was up in the top of the tree in the yard next door to him, cutting down a stray branch. He shouted, "Hello neighbor!" We discussed keeping the tree that sprawls between at least three of our yards. "It's our wild corner," I told him. The girls call it their jungle, and the birds like it. We have a little birdhouse hanging from a drooping branch under there in the shade. No, he wasn't planning to cut it down -- just trimming. He'd leave the part in our yard.
I returned to my flower bed, transplanted a few sprouts around the new plants, spread the bluebonnet seeds behind the pink Petunias (which have responded well to the Miracle Grow plant food), then I sprinkled the flower food/insect repellent pellets all over the garden, covered it with a thin layer of soil and watered. The neighbors, in the mean time, were back in their yard. They asked how things were going on my side, and I said, "Oh, I'm learning!" They find this amusing. More discussion on the varieties and needs of Azaleas from my master gardener Mrs. "Wilson" behind the fence (of which I understand very little ...), and I busily continued with my task. Then I turned on the hose in the direction of the fence and accidentally doused the neighbor. Oops! Haha! She was not offended. They handed me a Marigold and said it's for my daughter. "She thinks this is where they come from," he said. They give the girls flowers through the fence apparently. How sweet.
Well, the garden is looking better. I can't wait for those Bluebonnets to emerge. They are going to look great behind the bright pink Petunias. Hey, this gardening is really fun stuff. No ... really. It is.
Sunday, April 17, 2005
The Natural Beauty of Wood
Sometimes, we forget the true comforting effects of a natural presence in our environment. With the inventions of modern technology, many of our surfaces are now almost entirely man-made. But an intricately carved piece of wood furniture brings nature into art from, adding function and beauty to our surroundings. Our new marble topped, carved wood living room tables are such a blessing, and mostly because of the materials from which they are built.
At this point in my life, when I see artificial things of beauty that look quite real, I do wonder if they are a reflection of the ideas in other people's minds concerning me. My new bouquet of silk roses on the dinette table looks so beautiful and so real, but why must they be artificial in order to survive my un-green thumb? There is nothing artificial on me. I've arranged and supported the flowers so that they will stand up in a nice display ... There's nothing fake about that ... I've placed them in a location where they are appreciated ... There's nothing fake about that ... I've purchased them from the leading company on the New York Stock Exchange, which was founded and built by a good old fashioned small town man with real American Dream values ... There's nothing fake about that ...
So why are my dinette table flowers artificial? Why indeed.
Monday, April 11, 2005
They're So Cute!
The girls are sitting there next to each other, in their bright pink little lawn chairs, with juice, spagetti and popcorn sprinkled with parmesan, watching the "Fairly Odd Parents" show very intently. Before this, it was "Barbie as Rapunzel" and they just cheered her on ... "You can do it, Barbie!!"
The bugs outside have run them back into the house after a short time in the backyard, but I'm slightly relieved after the sandbox mess they made yesterday evening. I need to get out there myself and plant some more flowers. I bought four more six inch pots of petunias, even though I said I was going to try the fuchsia leaf plant in the windowsill. I guess I'm a stick-in-the-mud. But it will be consistent, which seems safe to me.
My husband was extra sweet to me yesterday, and I think it's because he finally read his e-mail. I've been sending him sweet little messages now and then, but he doesn't check it very often. Well, apparently, it was effective, because I got my hand held all evening long.
New and Improved Dust Buster!
Yay! I couldn't pass this one up. They've made a new Black&Decker Dust Buster with a covered filter. For about $30, I now have a hand vac for the downstairs and the upstairs, and my new, easier to empty hand vac will of course take the place of the old one down here where the girls make an all over the house mess every single day.
My husband wanted me to buy a big vacuum cleaner, because he doesn't think the Roomba counts, but he just doesn't understand our cat. See, the cat is terrified of large noisy machines that seem to be chasing him through the house, growling. If I got that big machine out all the time, my blood pressure would rise drastically ... out of the cat's horrified desire for revenge ~ to end Terrorism, once and for all! Does my husband care about the cat's feelings? No. So I have to look out for this poor feline's sensitivities despite the Lord of the Manor's wishes.
Tuesday, April 5, 2005
My Toaster Just Went UP IN FLAMES!
Ha ha! And I thought toasters were safe. And what could she possibly do to burn up a toaster, you say? Innocently enough, I was warming a taco shell. I placed it on top with both sides halfway into the toaster, just to get it warm for my daughter, who's been griping at me for a taco shell this morning, and when I went back into the kitchen, the whole thing was in flames!
Wow. I wasn't sure how to put it out without drenching my toaster, so I unplugged it and pulled the tall flames away from the cabinet and looked at it ... ummm ... put it over by the sink, dumped out the part of the taco that wasn't stuck to the toaster and looked at it some more ... ummm ... still in flames ... flour crossed my mind ... then I realized my new toaster was about to melt, so I drenched it under the faucet.
It's a little charred. And it stinks in here. Sigh. The next taco shells went into the oven, as usual. Never again!
Saturday, April 2, 2005
I would like to plant my flowers today, weather permitting. Yesterday, it was cold and windy for the most part, and we didn't venture out for long. At least the weed block liner has been installed beneath the large limestone rocks. That was a real feat, let me tell you, as there were medium to small rocks about six inches beneath the dirt every step of the way. The girls and I shoveled and dug, and shoveled and dug for days (of course, they only in play) and finally, the hard plastic liner was placed, the dirt replaced, weeds pulled and large border rocks set on top.
We have Snapdragons and Baby's Breath planted along the back, along with the Azaleas, and for the front, we have Moss Rose and pink Petunias ready to go. I'm thinking to add the aforementioned fuchsia flower in my windowsill as well (must purchase more of those). The Moss Rose and Baby's Breath will add variety of color, but my favorite is pink.
Friday, April 1, 2005
My Gorgeous Pink Window Flower
It's not really a flower. Its petals are bright pink leaves. Do you know the plant? Green leaves on the bottom, and bright fuchsia, petal-like leaves on top. It's gorgeous. My neighbor had a large potted one outside our kitchen window last year, and I bought a small one for my windowsill yesterday and placed it in a lovely white and blue oriental pot.
I don't know why I threw away the tag with its name, because now I can't tell you, but it's the only bright pink flower I know of that is actually a leaf. As I remember, this plant does well in dry, sunny areas. And when I placed it in the window I was kicking myself for buying petunias for the garden yesterday. Why did I get those delicate flowers again when I could have bought these? They seem much more sturdy, and I think I'll leave a spot in my garden for them and see how they do out there.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
It has arrived. Last night, after supper, when it was pitch dark outside, a small man finally appeared at the door with his truck, carrying our new sofas and coffee tables, and fortunately, a larger man accompanying to help carry them. The end tables and Grandma's rocking chair went to the guest room, and we have a person lined up for the old couch tomorrow, when it will be gone forever! Yay!
Our daughters' pennies and lots of crumbs, small objects, etc. were under the old couch when we picked it up, and I pulled out the hand vac quickly before they set down this fabulous, overstuffed microfiber piece of heaven that makes me feel like I'm at Big Comfy Couch on PBS, only in a soft shade of mushroom. Then the love seat was placed, and three boxes of marble topped tables with beautifully carved legs, which my husband attached right away.
The kids have been all over it ever since. Cheetos, cupcakes, chocolate milk and all! Fortunately, they've stain-proofed the fabric, and they've come up with some marvelous cleaners that remove anything. My son has emerged from his hiding place in his room with Gameboy in hand, saying, "I feel more like being down here now."
I wonder when I'll get to sit on it ...
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
It's Furniture Delivery Day!
The girls were chasing the Roomba around the house and I was just explaining to them that we are going to have the furniture delivered today. Of course, one of my usual very silly thoughts occurred to me just as I was speaking the words. Being "delivered" is a common Christian concept, such as being "saved," and having previously immersed myself in the spiritual contemplation of God, I frequently have such thoughts.
Suddenly, it made such wonderful sense to me! We're going to have that beautiful furniture delivered from it's place of storage, where it is unloved and unappreciated, and we're going to bring it into our home to be a part of our happiness. Wow. And not only will the new furniture be delivered, but our old couch will be delivered from our home to a place where someone else will hold it in higher esteem than do we!
The furniture will be delivered ~ loved, cuddled, and appreciated for all of it's wonderful qualities, because we are paying the price for its salvation. Sigh ... Perhaps nobody else appreciates my way of thinking, but with new furniture today, I have greater hopes of being delivered from my own dead end places in life where I am left unappreciated.
Marble topped tables ... carved wood, incredibly cushy microfiber in a lovely shade of off white ...
I'm just waiting now ...
I'll let you know when it gets here.
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Family News - Saturday, July 07, 2007
The List - Sunday, July 01, 2007
Always Leave Natural Families Intact - Friday, March 02, 2007
What to Feed the Cat ~ - Friday, December 29, 2006
Poetry Backup - Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Current Goal - Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Priorities - Monday, November 20, 2006
My Husband Has His Promotion - Thursday, November 09, 2006
Old Letters - Sunday, November 05, 2006
Christ Memorial Baptist Church - Monday, September 11, 2006
Lilibet ---- An Intimate Portrait of Elizabeth II - Sunday, August 20, 2006
I've realiZed What's Wrong With the BanKs. - Saturday, August 19, 2006
YellOW. - Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Current Bookmarks - Sunday, August 13, 2006
Costumes - Thursday, July 20, 2006
My Cat the Virgin - Monday, April 24, 2006
Time to Get that Gardening Going! - Thursday, March 23, 2006
Were Orville and Wilbur Right? - Saturday, March 11, 2006
Lookie at my Wonderful Computer Thesaurus! - Saturday, September 03, 2005
United Nations Ambassador Appointee: John Bolton - Monday, August 01, 2005
I Want to Build ... - Saturday, July 09, 2005
Sandra Day O'Connor - Tuesday, July 05, 2005
SO FUNNY ... - Thursday, June 30, 2005
Inventive Layered Skirt Revisions - Friday, June 24, 2005
Recipe for Better Chances - Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Jennifer's Home Journal - Monday, April 18, 2005