Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Last night...

I was feeling a little guilty because Happy (the hyper dog) hadn't been walked in a couple days. He was starting to get that "look" in his eye – the manic look, not the sweet one. I was also feeling a lot bit lazy, and since I had run some errands after work, I was a lot starving. So, I took the easy/quick way out and decided to fire up the four-wheeler (after an over-the-phone refresher course with Tanner on how to start it – something he's shown me at least 10 times).

We hauled off down the road, and Happy and Digger ran along, sniffing and pooping and frolicking and pooping and running and pooping. We recently discovered they eat dropped horse grain from the pasture all day – I have no idea if this is dangerous, but do know it produces a lot of poop.

Halfway through the walk, at approximately the "white-dog house" (a landmark I'm SURE you're all familiar with...), Digger's mind shutoff. It happens a lot when we're walking. He just stops. He's not tired, because if you turn around and head towards the house, he'll start sprinting like his tail's on fire. If we're walking, I usually carry a leash and force him to finish the rest of the walk, or get annoyed and leave him sitting on the side of the road looking pitiful and insecure until Happy and I return on the back swing. But, since it was dark, and I had my handy, dandy four-wheeler, I lugged his 80 lb butt up onto the back where he awkwardly sat all stiff legged.

We carried on, although the four-wheeler was being a little weird and jerky and temperamental. (FYI, everything we have is "temperamental", which means second hand/ barely running/ in need of constant tinkering). At first Happy was very distressed and kept trying to suicide bomb the four-wheeler, but pretty soon he returned to galloping along with his tongue lolling out and slapping around. Digger got more comfortable too – a little too comfortable, because he started to slip. I was in third gear, driving with one hand in the dark on the side of the road and trying to keep Digger from going overboard.

Of course, the four-wheeler died. Of course, I was clueless on how to get it started again. Of course, Tanner was out to dinner with his boss and couldn't talk. I tried all the tricks and in a few seconds exhausted the limits of my knowledge on the craptraption. Soon, I resorted to just turning the key, and hence the headlights, on and off. Which, of course, flagged down a man in a Terminix truck. I didn't have my pink pepper spray and it was dark, so I was feeling particularly vulnerable. And even though I was on my safe little street and Tanner always says "nothing bad happens in the country," there WAS that home invasion just a few weeks earlier several miles away IN THE COUNTRY where a homeowner was SHOT and in turn SHOT THE INTRUDER. And there WAS that HELICOPTER circling my neighbor's field incessantly the other day AND I'M GOING TO BE ABDUCTED AND TORTURED!!!

While I vehemently shook my head "no" to everything the bug man said and avoided eye contact, the he kept asking me what I was doing out here in the middle of the road, what happened, what was wrong, did I need help, had I called Tanner.

Wait. What. Tanner? Finally I said (frantically), "WHO ARE YOU?"

Actually, it was our neighbor down the road. He got a job as an exterminator. I didn't know. Now I know. He went home and got his brother while I sat and waited, then got bored and started pushing the four wheeler uphill, then got tired and waited again. They came back with their mule (not the animal, but the ATV thing) and towed me away back to house. I got to sit on the four-wheeler and steer while they towed.

It was fun. And I saw a shooting star. So it ended up being a great night.

Oh. And the four-wheeler was out of gas.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Singing in Public

Have you ever been to a piano bar? I have. Twice. And that was all the experience I needed to realize that they are very fun and also potentially very embarrassing. If you are shy and hate people looking at you, let alone laughing at you, do not go. You will spend the whole time shivering in a corner, hoping and praying to the real God that the piano gods do not ensnare you in their terrible plots heartless cruelty.

Actually, you should be safe as long as your "friends" do not conspire to drag you to the front and make you fodder for a piano-wielding comic.

Luckily, I am not shy and I do not have annoying "friends." So, I was able to enjoy my piano bar experience just the way I like to - singing loud and obnoxiously from the "privacy" of my own table.

A while ago, Tanner and I met up with one of my best friends Jenni and her husband, Dr. Ryan Daniels. They were in town because Ryan had a veterinary conference to attend. Also, Jenni and her sister, Michelle, and her mom, Mrs. Dickson, all have their birthdays close to the same time. It was a mass-celebration thing, with a little hamster anatomy and canine dentistry thrown.

We met up with the Dicksons/Daniels to crash their birthday dinner and ended up getting roped into going to Pete's Piano Bar in downtown Fort Worth. It took all of 13 seconds to persuade us. Getting to stay in a swanky downtown hotel with Jenni and Ryan sealed the deal.

Michelle with her beautiful little boy, Hayden, at dinner

At a dueling piano bar, two really good pianists, who were destined to be rockstars but mistakenly ended up at Pete's, take all kinds of requests and wage in mock competitions with a correspondingly illogical running point tallies. It sounds dumb, but it's actually really fun. People write all kinds of song requests on little slips of paper. Some are just awesome, or really bad, song requests, while some are song requests that involve a person in attendance - usually a bachelorette or bachelor or birthday girl or unsuspecting and confused older, tipsy aunt who thought she was going to a country Western bar. The poor smuck has to go up to the front and sit on a stool and be sung about, or sing along or do any number of other silly things. It's very funny for the people watching. And most of the people up front don't seem to mind either. It doesn't hurt that they have cocktails. So how do you get your song selected from all the other requests? There is cash money attached to the song requests. DUH.

At Pete's

The best part of piano bars is that awesomely good and bad, new and old, are played and its totally accepted to sing along as loud as possible at the top of your lungs, even though SOME people, ahem, singing along have no talent/are tone deaf/sing like Cameron Diaz in My Best Friend's Wedding but without the cute, blonde, skinny factor.

I've decided that despite not having any musical talent and being arguably the worst singer in the world, I am going to become a piano bar performer. At one point, the bar got into a University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech (they were included for pity) battle with fans of all the schools vying to get their fight songs played. The cash was literally cascading over the pianos.
At Pete's, one "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and one "Build Me Up Buttercup" later

So, you can find me Friday nights playing the in the waiting area at the Applebees in Weatherford.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's Been a Good Year

Last month, Tanner and I celebrated our first year anniversary. A week before our actual anniversary, Sept. 19, we headed to New Braunfels and San Antonio to celebrate.

Any time we get a chance, we head to my family's River House in New Braunfels, which has been in the Sullivan family since my dad was born – so, about 45 years ;) It's the place I feel most at home in this big ol' world.

This little guy greeted us. I thought he was very cute. One time, in college, my sister accidentally shut a huge toad in her door and it was still alive. Then she realized she had locked herself out of the house, and the toad was trapped. Waiting for the Pop-A-Lock guy was a very traumatic experience.

We love taking the dogs down to the water. They are so happy, and the scenery is so beautiful.

One of those moments of pure majesty.

Like I said, pure majesty.
(I forgot my swimsuit. So no pictures of me in my Walmart sports bra and booty shorts.)


After a day a the river, we headed into San Antonio for something a little different.

We checked out the Alamo...



and the Riverwalk.

Then we headed to Boudro's on the Riverwalk, where the table side guacamole and the fire-roasted salsa are AMAZING...

and the view is breathtakingly beautiful.

I mean, breathtakingly beautiful.

More sightseeing after dinner...


Then a little surprise I orchestrated for my hubs back at our B&B, The River Vista Hotel (AMAZING place, FYI).

The next day, we were overdosed on champagne and romance, so we invited my parents up to the River House with us. That's how we roll.

Irrelevant. He just melts my heart.

Mom and Dad took us out to dinner,

and gave us a gift certificate to Country Custom Pine in Weatherford for a new dining room table.

It was a great way to celebrate one year of being married. After it all, there's nothing we enjoy more than simply spending time together.

I love you, Tanner.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

These are the words I would say

I used to think it was really super-duper mega-mondo dorky to listen to Christian radio. Even though I was a Christian (FYI, I still am), I thought the songs were really, well, bad. Musically speaking that is. I remember being shocked to hear the Houston Christian radio station playing in the apartment of my former youth leader and cool music connoisseur, Kirsten. ("Kir" rhymes with "ear," not "err" – this is important to avoiding Kirsten's wrath. You will find out why avoiding her wrath is very important in just a couple sentences.) If you know Kirsten or have visited her blog, you know she's anything but dorky. Hello, she plays roller derby. Case and a point.

This morning, one of my close friends, Jennifer-the-huntress (I like to befriend with girls who do things like bodycheck people on roller skates or shoot fish with a bow and arrows), text messaged me to check in and see what's up. Then I got a text from my mom about Thanksgiving with my Grandma. (Apparently, people don't like the sound of my voice.) That and some other things that have happened recently – such as a phone call from my best friend since high school, a visit with an old friend from college, a bossy message from my sister, and a Facebook post by Debbie Ballew, someone from Tanner's hometown who we love very much – got me thinking of all the friends and family in my life who I don't get to see very much now that I live in Siberia (aka North Texas). I miss them. I love them.

I don't know if the music has gotten better, if I've gotten more dorky or if I've gotten over that pretentious music-snob phase people sometimes go through – Oh my gosh, you don't know who ::insert obscure band name here:: is? But now I enjoy listening to Christen radio. The lyrics inspire, convict and encourage me, and a song, "The Words I Would Say," that I've been hearing on the DFW Christian station lately seem not dorky at all, but just right for how I've been feeling today.

Three in the morning,

And I'm still awake,
So I picked up a pen and a page,
And I started writing,
Just what I'd say,
If we were face to face,
I'd tell you just what you mean to me,
I'd tell you these simple truths,

Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here,
Take your time and pray,
These are the words I would say,

Sidewalk Prophets

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Tribute to My Cat

Our wonderful cat, Striker, has been missing for a week, and sadly, I don't think he's coming back. I've been holding out hope that he's stuck up in a tree or just wandered too far from home, and I suppose that is still possible, but it's probably unlikely. Striker loved, and I mean LOVED, his food and his cozy cat naps in the house. We let him outside each night to do whatever it is cats do all night, and he always returned in the morning like clockwork, meowing to be let in for breakfast. He loved going outside, and the times I tried to make him an indoor cat were miserable for both him and me. But no matter how much fun he's had out in the great outdoors, he's never been gone for more than a day.

Baby Striker (and his spotted belly) with his best friend, baby Bella

video

I really, really loved my cat. For those of you who don't like cats, and I realize there are many of you, that may be hard to relate to. I understand. I used to not like cats. I grew up (as in I felt this was until I was 22) thinking my friends' cats were scary and always waiting to ambush my ankles from under the bed or jump off a dresser onto my head. Then I got Striker, and I realized how unique, clever, entertaining and even sweet a cat can be. Even in their aloof independence and self-indulgence, they have an attractive quality – they're nobody's fool. And when a cat deems to bless you with his affection, it's a special gesture you are always excited to receive.

The sweetest, cuddly sleeper. Striker used to sleep on my chest when he was little.
When he got too big, we resorted to spooning.

This loss has been really hard for me to handle, especially in the mornings and evenings. I've found myself bursting into tears when I go to the back door in the morning to let the dogs out, caught off guard that Striker's not perched on top of the grill waiting to be let in. Same thing in the evening when I come home from work, I'm used to him being right there at the door waiting for me. It's a meowing, calf-rubbing, gray and black welcome wagon I've been accustomed to being greeted by everyday for the last four years. As dramatic as this sounds, until today I didn't know how I was going to get over it and "move on" so to speak. I can't expect everyone to understand how I feel. A lot of people just aren't "animal people" or "cat people," and some who are also happen to be better dealing with the inevitable loss of a pet.

Places Striker loved to curl up over the years: under the Christmas tree, in the bathroom sink,
in a wicker basket on the sewing table or in the storage shelf, on the wicker patio sofa, on the
sofa arm, on stacks of paper, on wet clothes I've laid out to dry on the bed, on the hood of the truck ...


...and on the new dog beds -- pictures taken the night he disappeared. :(
Can you tell who was the king of the house?


As Tanner said the other day, I just have a lot of "heart" when it comes to animals. I love animals. I love being with animals, working with animals, writing about animals, etc. I love loving animals. I get more joy than many people probably do from their pets, and I also have a lot of sorrow when they're gone. I struggle with letting go of the sadness. Of course, time helps to heal. But today I found myself with a new perspective that I'd never considered before. One that helped heal me.


I was reading in Genesis this morning. I'm trying, for the bizzillionth time, to read through the Bible in one year, which involves reading a few passages each day. I was reading about how, just like man, God created all the animals from the ground (or the dirt of earth) and breathed life into them. God brought them to man to name them all, and God charged man to rule over every bird, fish, and beast of the land. When God was looking for a suitable helper for man, he turned first to look through the animals he had created before deciding on woman (lucky us, *wink ). From the beginning of time, we've had an intimate relationship with animals, and God has blessed us by giving us charge over his creations.


It doesn't mean I don't care my cat is gone, but after reading that this morning, I had a conversation with God that helped me to feel a great peace. If it makes you laugh a little that I had such an intimate and heartfelt conversation about a cat with the Creator of the Universe and Savior of Mankind, that's OK. But that's one of the things I love most about God. I can turn to him for anything, no matter what it involves, a great mountain that needs moving or a tiny little cat that I loved.



Dear God,

You created everything. You worked in all your wonder and power to make all things. You deserve all the glory and all the honor and all the praise.

Thank you for creating Striker. Thank you for creating him with his spotted belly and gray and black stripes and big eyes. Thank you for making him unique and for giving him a personality of his own. Thank you for giving him the instincts, agility, speed and athleticism that make cats amazing. Thank you for bring him into my life.

Thank you for allowing me to be a steward of the animals you've so masterfully created. I'm grateful for the gift and responsibility of caring for them. It brings me great joy. I thank you for gifting me with the patience and compassion to do a good job of it, and I ask for more of each.


Even though it hurts to lose something I loved, Striker, I give you thanks and praise in my sadness. You give and you take away. You remind me that no matter how wonderful something is on this earth, no matter how great a joy Striker brought me, nothing is greater than the gift of knowing you. I treasure my pets, and I thank you for bringing them into my life. The relationship I have with each of them, no matter how sweet, can't last forever. But I can forever count on you to be there for me in good times and bad. My relationship with you is forever, on this earth and after this life.


I'm so glad I can come to you to than
k you for this little creation. How wise and wonderful you were when you made the earth and everything in it, including my sweet Striker.

Amen

Things I will remember about Striker:
Coming out of nowhere like a bat out of hell, scaring the crap out of me, running up a tree like a crazy banshee, turning around and running up and down several more trees, then jumping on the roof.

Coming out of the wood work from where ever he was hiding whenever I tapped a wet cat food can with a spoon.

Meowing constantly for his food, but getting lazy and just opening his mouth without making a sound.

Climbing up on my belly, kneading my belly pudge with his claws, and curling up for a nap. (Always made me feel fat.) :)

Sitting on my chest and purring so loud and so deep it reverberated through my whole body.

The stage where he would get in the shower every time after I got out to drink the water and get his paws wet.

The time he got sprayed by a skunk, I gave him a bath, and he was so angry.

Playing with Tater's or Happy's wagging tail like it was a cat a cat toy.

Epic wrestling matches with Bella.

How he loved his Greenie cat treats.

How he loved to lay in the sun shining through the windows.

The time I lived in an apartment and took him for a walk with a harness and leash on -- he ran up a tree and I had to tug him down with the leash.

How he used to kill baby moles, snakes, and lizards and bring them to me.

How we always had to raise all the blinds in the house enough for him to get on the windowsill and look outside during the day -- if you didn't, he destroyed the blinds in protest.

How he LOVED to give kisses on my nose and lips -- he'd lick me with his scratchy little tongue.

How if you scratched his belly, he'd get all hyper and attack your hand.

How if you scratched his booty, he'd bite you cuz if felt so good.

How he'd wriggle and wiggle on the floor and pull himself along the carpet with his claws when he was hyper.

How he'd temp and tease Digger by randomly licking him, biting him, or clawing him.

How he was so darn cute and funny, very cuddly and loveable, and very bad ass and independent.

I will miss him a lot. More than I can say. I'm so glad to have had him.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Routine Failure

Obviously, regular blog posting is a routine or habit that I just haven't gotten the hang of. With my last post dated June 6, I'd venture so far as to say I stink at it.

The odd thing is, I absolutely love routines and habits (good ones, not "bad" ones like biting your nails or drinking a fifth of gin before work each day).

Anyways, routines can be all comforting and cozy, like having a glass of Sleepy Time herbal tea each night before bed; healthy, like working out three-five days a week, doing a self breast exam each month or taking your vitamins each day; spiritual, like getting up early every morning to read your Bible and pray; creative, like sewing five quilt squares a week; efficient, like cleaning one small area of the house (such as dusting the ceiling fans) each night instead of saving the whole house all for the weekend; beautifying, like applying Jergens gradual tan lotion, anti-cellulite cream, anti-wrinkle cream and anti-fugly cream each night.

I love routines! I love the idea of them, the security and regularity of them. I love adopting them, and I apparently love FAILING at them. In case you haven't figured it out, the preceding paragraph is just the teeniest tiniest itty-bittyiest sampling of a list of habits that I have at one time (and some, many times) tried to implement and failed at. Some are more important than others, obviously. And, it's apparent blogging once a week (who thought it'd be so hard?) should be tacked onto the list. I envy people who are very routine-oriented. It's so, well, all of the adjectives listed above. Who knows why I'm so awful at regularity (those who know me well, too well, realized this applies to me in more ways than one). I'd like to blame my parents or drinking water with fluoride in it, but the truth is it's probably just because I'm not perfect. I'm a fallen wreck who just happens to pull it together sometimes, and that's OK. I've come to terms with it. (Fluoride did cause this little brown spot on my front tooth though.)

While I'm OK with my routine failure, I get over it and keep unsuccessfully trying, it does disappoint me often. I created this blog as a way to keep our friends and family updated on Tanner's and my goings-on and as a way to have a creative writing outlet. In that sense, I've failed both my family and myself. I am sincerely going to try to be more regular, but if history repeats itself... let's just say, be patient with me.

I do need to take one small moment to brag. There are a few healthy habits I've been able to form, and I'm ready to give myself, rather me and Tanner, a pat on the back. We say "I love you" every day, and we mean it. And, we look for ways each day (well, most every day) to show that we mean it. The reward? We celebrated our first wedding anniversary on Sept. 19 of this year.


Our 1st Anniversary on the San Antonio River Walk

Here's to a great year with my wonderful husband. It wasn't perfect, and it wasn't perfectly documented in bloggy land as I'd planned. But it was full of love, laughter, learning and lots of happiness. Marrying Tanner was by far the best thing I've ever done (besides being born, but I don't remember that so well), and something I plan to see through until the day I die. I can't think of any other way I'd rather spend my life. When I look back on all that I've experienced this past year – how I've grown in wisdom, humility, love and joy; how I've been blessed with hours upon hours of quality time with a man I love more than I can express; how God's stirred in my heart and walked alongside me – I realize there are a lot more important things in life than remembering to embalm yourself in beauty products each night.

Amen.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Hear Yee, Hair Me!

Important alert: I love my new hair cut! If you don't love going to the salon and getting your hair done, then something is seriously wrong with you. Seriously. We can't be friends.

I mean, Hello! You get a head massage, really fancy and special-smelling shampoo and conditioner, and you hair is magically softer and cleaner than it ever is at home. It's miraculous.

I went to a new salon today, which can be scary sometimes. But I knew I was in good hands today because TJ has cut and styled the hair of my friends.

I already had long, brown hair, and I still do after the cut. So what's the big fuss? Now my hair is a richer, darker color; has fun layers and movement; and lots of depth with awesome highlights.
(Yes I realize this is the most conceited, silly, and globally unimportant post ever, but shut it, because I'm really excited about my dern hair.)

If you live in the Fort Worth area, you'd be insane not to check out Magnolia Avenue Salon and ask for TJ.


Layers! ( And big ol' pimple.)


Highlights! (And head-tilt to conceal big ol' pimple)

As an added bonus, I was also able to catch lunch with Brandi, who happens to be TJ's girlfriend and the sister of one of my best friends and bridesmaids, Colby. In addition to her fabulous connections, Brandi is a super cool girl in her own right, and I'm hoping we'll be able to hang out some more since we're sorta in the same area. I'm also hoping Brandi is reading this so she can see how I'm creepily planning our future relationship, in public, on the internet...



Thursday, June 3, 2010

Before and After

Shrubberies

Is it just me, or did this bush by our side door look like one of those Komondor dogs?



Ya know, one of these:



Anyways, here's what it looked like after I got to it with some hedgers that Tanner
got me:


So our grass is dying in spots, but the bush looks a lot better! We also trimmed
the tree, but need to get back in there and get rid of all that new growth at the bottom.

Here are some more shaggy bushes. These were in the front:



Don't even get me started on where the Dish people decided to place the satellite:
right smack dab in the front of our yard. I wasn't there that day, needless to say.

Here's how it looked after I got done trimming:


I might have went a little bit overboard. But the goal was to give them a shape,
and then let them grow out to a more natural look.

Garden

Remember our wee garden?




Well here it is now:


It's out of control! Those are the cucumber plants that are growing
out of bounds. And that ridiculously tall weed looking thing on the left,
that's dill. I'm thinking I should trim it back, but not sure. We've got more
squash and zucchini than we know that to do with.
(Gosh, Happy, flip your ear over for goodness sake.)

Patio

Before, we were just a little country:



Now? We're those neighbors:


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bye Bye's

If you're interested, you can click over and read the last post I made on the "On Staff" blog at my former place of employment, Horse & Rider magazine. Wow...it hasn't really sunk in yet that I don't work there anymore.

Hope I don't accidentally drive the ol', familiar 74 miles to Denton Monday morning instead of the 31 miles to Fort Worth.

YEAH RIGHT!

http://onstaff.blogs.equisearch.com/2010/06/see-ya-later.html

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

She's baaack...


Boi-oi-oing

This is me sitting in a coffee shop in Dallas with my laptop. I am officially BACK and better than ever.

And by "back," I mean back to bloggy world. And by "better than ever," I mean 8 pounds heavier, less one job, plus a new job, and suffering a breakout on my chin related to the use of oil-laden (as opposed to oil-free) sunscreen.

The Friday before Memorial Day was my last day at the magazine Horse & Rider, where I've worked for the past 2 years. Next Monday is the first day of my new job at the magazine Quarter Horse News. This Tuesday through Friday is the first and last week of my current job: taking time to do whatever the HECK I want to!

On today's agenda: venturing away from my newlywed sanctuary, Weatherford, and traveling deep into the Eastern hemisphere,a.k.a, Dallas. My wedding rings needed their 6-month checkup and cleaning (which is more frequent than I clean my ears) at Diamond Doctor in the Dallas Galleria. My girly-gab tank needed filling by a lunch with Tara. And my city-girl soul needed satiating by sushi and a movie with Jessica. And, despite the fun I've had today and the fun planned for the rest of the day, my inner pessimist needs to tell you:

3 Reasons Why I Hate Dallas:
1. I can not park my truck. My truck was not meant for European-luxury-car-sized parking spaces or streets crowded with ding-dongs trying to parallel-park while wearing 5-inch wedges and pencil skirts on their lunch break from behind the counter at Nordstroms. My truck is very angry and wants crush every other car insight.
2. My ideal bee-bopping around town outfit does not consist of pearls, a Ralph Lauren button down, pastel-colored chino shorts, and boat shoes. Therefore, I am an outcast. I also have no Greek letters on the back of my car, on my purse, on my flip flops, or tattooed across my forehead. = double outcast.
3. I only ordered ONE )gasp) medium-sized drink at the coffee shot I have spent 1 1/2 hours at on the computer, ("And you're total is a whopping $3.75," I was informed), and I can't suffer the hateful glares any longer.


Monday, April 12, 2010

New Life

I am proud to announce that on Saturday, April 10th at 5:15PM Tanner and I were blessed with new life! Nope, I am not pregnant. I just like to blog in ways that give everyone our moms the opportunity to think that we might be pregnant. I need attention. Besides, how creepy would that be if I announced the exact date and time of the conception of our child. "Ohhh, that's why she didn't answer my phone call." TMI.

Nope, the new life was in fact a bundle of plants and seeds that have become our NEW (lywed) garden. It was similar to a birth, though, in that planting the garden involved the woman doing all the work while the man stood by watching and offering "helpful" suggestions.

Plants and herbs for our garden.

Too be fair, Tanner wasn't able to help, because of his sprained ankle. But he hopped on his redneck power skooter (the four-wheeler he's been using to get around the yard), grabbed a beverage, and cheered me on from the sidelines. While the above doesn't look like much, it quickly filled what we thought was a generous-sized garden. Turns out plants are all demanding and antisocial and want to be 12 to 24 inches away from each other. That eats up a lot of space. So, our eyes were bigger than our garden, oh well. The plants were really inexpensive at our local store, Dillards, ($1 per vegetable plant, $1.75 per herb plant) so it was OK with us that a couple plants didn't make the cut.



Of course, Tanner tilled up the garden last weekend, which was a lot of hard work. I was mysteriously absent for that part. I think I was inside the house doing all our laundry by hand and making homemade cultured buttermilk. Or I was watching L.A. Ink on DVR. I can't remember which. This Saturday, Tanner and I planned out the arrangement of the garden together, (naturally, Tanner had the best vantage point to determine the layout, as he was perched atop his hillbilly wheelchair throne), then I dug holes and planted, fertilized, and watered. We ended up with (starting from the back and working our way forward) eight tomato plants (eight plants bearing a vegetable that makes me gag), carrots (these were seeds), banana peppers, jalapenos, some kind of mild green pepper that looks like a jalapeno, cucumbers, zucchini squash, and yellow squash. Zucchini is the diva of the garden. She can NOT be within 6 feet of another zucchini. Pah-leeze.


For the wee herb garden, I got some dill, oregano, basil, cilantro, thyme, and rosemary. Unfortunately, I left the rosemary at Dillards, and ever since then I have been scheming some non-confrontational way to go back and get it. A normal person might be honest. Ya know, walk in and explain how you paid for your rosemary but accidentally left it at the store. But since I'm irrationally afraid they won't believe me and will force me to fork over another whopping $1.75, the temporary plan is to steal a plant from the sidewalk. But it's not really stealing, I paid for it!

I'm pretty happy with the results so far of our first garden. Tanner's friend Scott will be adopting two jalapeno plants who didn't quite fit. I hope he gives them a good home. And we'll be planting some okra in a large pot. That will be a crap shoot. The spinach and spaghetti squash seeds didn't fit, so we'll plant them in late summer or early fall. I was a little disappointed when, after all my hard work, the plants hadn't sprouted any vegetables by Sunday morning. But, I guess I'll give them a little more time to prove themselves. I'm just glad we didn't plant all seeds, like Tanner's other friend Jason, who says he has ONE sprout to show as of yet for all his troubles.

Another plant related thing (the last for a while, I promise), here are some of the Indian Paintbrushes growing on our street and some of the bluebonnets around our River Haus. It's wildflower time in Texas!










 

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