Monday, April 30, 2007

Giddy Cleans Up

My last post was done this morning. This one is an update, later in the day.

After spending a few hours in the office doing the usual monthly bill paying and scheduling, I felt the need to reach into the job jar again and get another major project underway.

As I indicated this morning, the semiannual cleaning of the clothes closet and putting away of the majority of the winter clothes was high on my list of things to do.

Unfortunately, this was not a "Honey Do" chore as most men, my H included haven't a clue when it comes to properly storing clothing for the summer or winter. This would have necessitated having learned how to stack things in kindergarten which, as we all know, men were not paying attention at that age (or this age, for that matter, but that's another post).

At any rate, after leaving the office in a nice, neat condition, I opened the bedroom closet door, only to be visually assaulted by the disorder!

In the midst of attempting to create order out of chaos, in the back of the closet, I found a pair of slippers my mother had sent some time ago and slipped them on for comfort. Tres chic! You may rest assured that no animals were harmed in the making of these faux cheetah footwear.

OK, all silliness aside, I worked for several hours sorting clothes in several piles, for the laundry or to be donated or to be packed away in several locations, which shall remain secret lest anyone even think of coming and making off with my treasured snow pants or these terribly fashionable monogrammed slippers.

After all was said and done, I was quite pleased with the success of my hard work.

Even H was amazed at the difference a few hours made. Of course, he still has yet to realize how many of his favorite shirts were tossed into the rag bag!

Rainy Days and Sundays

never get me down!

If I can't work outside, I find some project that's been on my list and make the most of having to stay inside. Yesterday, H and I got a major project erased from the "Honey Do List".

Ever since we converted the smallest bedroom (the one with the best view) into our upstairs office, I have wanted to add shelves to the closet. It made no sense to have a closet that just had one shelf and space to hang clothes (we live in northern Maine - we don't need a lot of clothes; several pair of jeans and a few flannel shirts work just fine). So, off to Home Depot it was to purchase a few closet shelves. A couple of hours and a bit of sweating later, we had our office closet! And, H didn't even have to use any of his "project vernacular". Not one word bomb passed his lips! "-)

Now, if the weather would just get warm enough to get the plants outside for their annual summer vacation, I could get the rest of the office cleaned up.

Oh well, since today is another rainy day, I guess I'll tackle the closet in our bedroom. Time to get all those winter clothes packed away til October.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Spring Sunrise

We awoke to a beautiful sunrise the other day. The seas were calm and looked like glass. Too bad the water is still a bit cool for kayaking!

The reflection of the island on the cove was truly breathtaking.

Today's project is to get the rest of the deck set up. So far, I have the fountain and the pond operating again. I'm hoping the pond will attract frogs again this year as it was great fun to watch them hiding among the rocks, not to mention they ate their fair share of slugs!!
This was last year's photo of the pond area. Even though you can't see the pond itself, it's tucked in behind the daylillies.

Monday, April 23, 2007

How Soon We Forget

The snow and ice of last week are all gone! Hurray!

This weekend has been absolutely gorgeous and we have made the most of it. H and I could barely roll ourselves out of bed this morning, so much did our aching muscles scream for mercy. But, roll we did and as soon as I finish this post, it will be back into the trenches for cleaning up the flower beds in anticipation of spring color about to burst forth. Temperatures are forecast to be in the upper 70's today.

H has been busy sanding the deck and his poor knees feel like they will never be the same

Today is another day of note - H and I celebrated the 42nd anniversary of our first date! Mr. Romantic took me to the movies, and what sentimental bit of cinematic splendor do we reminisce about? Godzilla versus The Thing! Yep, that and I was treated to a delightful meal of a hot dog smothered in mustard and onions. Is it any wonder that we have stayed together for such a long time? Surely, no one else would put up with either one of us. Such is true love.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Nor'easter - The Siege Continues

This is day two of the disastrous early spring storm. The low continues to sit just off the coast and is loathe to move out to sea and leave us alone. The wind still howls outside and bands of heavy rain pelt the windows. I should be outside pruning perennials and adding compost to the beds. Bummer!

However, not all is lost inside. I've spent my hours wisely and all the laundry is done and put back in it's place, the bathrooms sparkle, I've almost finished with the back of H's sweater and of course, cabin fever brings out the munchies in me. H has cooked up a special pot of chili to go with the Cheddar Jalapeno Corn Bread Sticks and I found a wonderful recipe for Dark Chocolate Granola Bars!

I used to love to bake all sorts of wonderful breads, coffee cakes, muffins, cookies, etc., but with my new found interest in nutrition, I find eating white flour more and more difficult, so I look to new ways to bake with whole grains and other more nutritious ingredients. I baked up the Granola Bars and I have to tell you, they are scrumptious! Now really, how bad can anything with chocolate in it be???

My apologies to Ms.Paula Deen but these did not have a stick of butter or a cup of
May-oh-Nase in them! I made a double batch and baked them in a jelly roll pan so I could take some to work tomorrow. The recipe follows:

Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

1/4 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Maple Syrup
1/4 C. Honey
2 TBSP Natural, chunky peanut butter
1 egg
1 TBSP evaporated milk
1 tsp pure vanilla
Mix all of the above ingredients together

1 C. Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp Allspice
2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
1 1/2 Cups crisp rice cereal
1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup dried cranberries
1/2 Cup chopped walnuts

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix til thoroughly combined. Press into a 9x13 pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 - 20 minutes. Score surface with shallow cuts to make bars. Cool, break apart and enjoy!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Last of the Scrunchies

For over three and one half years I have been letting my hair grow so I could donate it to Locks of Love, an organization that makes wigs from human hair for young chemotherapy patients.

We "seasoned" ladies can donate, as well, but our lovely silver locks will be sold at fair market value to offset the cost of manufacturing the wigs for the youngsters. Hair must be 10 inches, tip to tip. I was going to wait until my birthday in July to cut it, but with the gardening season quickly coming, I felt like I needed a shorter style so I could pop in and out of the shower as often as needed.

Yesterday, I took the plunge and had my 14 inch ponytail cut! It went from this:

To this:

To this:

How odd it feels not to have all that hair on my neck!

But it certainly feels good to have done something for someone in need. Working in the medical field, I see the devastation of the effects of chemotherapy and I'm happy to have helped in this small way. This personal donation was so much more satisfying than sending a check to some charity only to have most of the money spent on "administrative costs".

Friday, April 13, 2007

Moonlight in Vermont

Big Sigh!!! Giddy is finally back home from her Most Excellent Adventure Down South, and grateful she is. Like Dorothy says "There's no place like home".

We found this little garden gnome in Kentucky at a Garden Ridge store and I immediately fell in love with her - she looks just like me!!! Grey hair and all! She was welcomed home by Boo, our porch guard dog. Boo is the reincarnation (in resin) of our beloved Black Lab, Boudreaux who passed away several years ago.

I must say though, that our nation is one of beauty. We traveled through Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Western Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia; each state had it's own beauty, be it lush forests, mountains, rivers, lakes, etc. Not one state failed to impress us in one way or another.
This picture was taken about 5 a.m. in Vermont on our way home. Moonlight in Vermont is truly magical!

After enjoying the beautiful green bluegrass of Kentucky, the Redbuds and Dogwoods in bloom in Tennessee and the rolling, green hills of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, it was quite a shock to come back home to several inches of snow and huge snowpiles in the parking lot of the grocery store! I was planning on doing a lot of cleaning up in the garden, but alas, I was only able to do so yesterday afternoon as today finds us with yet another 3 inches of heavy wet stuff on the ground and a constant spitting of snow and sleet. Enough, already!!!! I have PLANS!!!

Poor Giddy's first day home found her ankle deep in snow instead of plants bursting forth in bloom. Welcome to Maine, dear Gnome! Fear not, though, as we will, however, have the last laugh when the rest of the country melts in the heat and humidity of the summer while we will be sitting in the door yard enjoying the cool ocean breezes and the sounds of happy little birds chirping in the trees.

There is much to be accomplished in the garden before the inevitable onslaught of the dreaded black flies. Once the temperatures are above 50 degrees, they descend upon us in hordes and DEET becomes our best friend. We have tried countless other remedies, but only DEET and a good net for my gardening hat will deflect them. I seem to be getting a bit immune to their bite, however, as I don't develop huge welts anymore when I'm bitten. Gratefully, they don't stick around too long and we only have to deal with them for about six weeks.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Sunday with the Grands was Fun!

Yesterday was one very fun day. We started the day with an Easter Egg Hunt with the kids, planted a mini garden with them and Brian and Amy served up a wonderful dinner of pulled pork, smoked spareribs, beans, coleslaw, and ambrosia salad. Unfortunately, our fun had to come to an end as we had to head back home on Monday.Ashton found lots of eggs!

Grandma Giddy helped plant pole beans on the deck supports and sunflowers on the side of the house.Ashton and Kaiya were great help with the digging!The highlight of the day was definitely finding the worms!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Grands are Grand!

Ashton and Kaiya love watching Noggin, but I think they really liked helping Grandma Giddy in the kitchen!

We've been having the best time with the grandkids! Yesterday was once again a bit too cold and windy to get out and plant our mini garden, but Ashton and Kaiya helped me prep for supper. Ashton pared the cucumbers, I sliced them and Kaiya counted the slices as she put them into the bowl so we could make cucumber salad. We also cut up a big bowl of mixed, fresh veggies to go with our grilled pork tenderloin for a yummy supper later on.

Grammie got a big hug from Ashton after helping with dinner prep. He was a real trooper. The poster on the fridge is advertising Brian's band's gig on April 13th.

Of course, we couldn't help but tell a few tales about his Daddy. Ashton was very surprised to learn that Grandma was Daddy's mother! Daddy Brian is an up and coming musician in Nashville. His band is Cowboy Fabulous and you can catch a few tunes at their website

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Adventure Continues!

It simply wouldn't be a visit to Louisville without H visiting with his "Wort Hog" friends! They are some of the original members of the Wort Hog Club at the Bluegrass Brewing Company. Brew Master Dave Pierce has won many national awards for his finely crafted beers and the Hogs have been enjoying them for many years. H had a great reunion with them at the Tap Room in Louisville.

After arriving in Nashville, we were delighted to see our cute grandkids again. Little Kaiya seemed to love the sweater Grandma Giddy knitted for her. Unfortunately, it will require a bit of alteration since she couldn't get the neck over her head!

Ashton wanted to get outside right away to dig in the dirt and plant our garden, however, the weather was not cooperating. After a long stretch of warm weather, the wind and cold had returned and being outside was not pleasant. Instead, he amused himself by hiding in the tote we brought all the presents in. Typical kid, they like the box better than the present!

Hopefully, tomorrow will find us with a bit of sunshine so we can get the bean teepee started. We also brought the kids sunflower seeds and Ashton has promised that he will call and keep Grandma Giddy informed as to the progress of his plants. We shall see!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Giddy's Most Excellent Adventure

Today finds Giddy sightseeing. During a brief stop in Louisville to see some of the sights after having not been here for a while, we walked around the river front in Louisville and found the Belle of Louisville readying herself for the annual race for the Golden Antlers. We're hoping she'll win again this year! The city is once again gearing up for the Run for the Roses - The Kentucky Derby. Fever pitch has not yet set in, however, we remember the excitement in the city during the days leading up to the 2 minute horse race.

After a wee rest from the long trip from Maine, Giddy drove another hour south to see Mom and Dad. Giddy was astounded at the warm weather and greenery surrounding her! The redbuds and dogwoods are in bloom and it's green every where you look. Unfortunately, we also experienced another southern bit of charm - a really nasty spring cold front and severe thunderstorms.

However, the next day dawned relatively bright and clear and we enjoyed a lovely visit with the parental units. Giddy found herself drawn to Mom's lovely gardens and was photographed frequently, consorting with various other garden residents.
Giddy and St. Francis discussed various issues relating to flora and fauna.

Giddy found a nice high spot in the garden from which to survey the plants poking their heads out to greet the spring sunshine!

After conferring with Froggie, Giddy was pooped and decided to call it a day.

Stay tuned for further adventures of Giddy Goes South!