17 August 2014

Fields of flowers

The Queen Anne's lace has been very prevalent this year, probably because it's been so dry. I have been admiring fields of them where they have been planted as cover crops and a couple vacant fields that happen to have no trespassing signs (damn).  I tried to figure out whom I could ask for permission to photograph in the fields, and I even called a few businesses.  

I was not able to get permission (blah blah liability blah blahity blah).

AND THEN! I found a public space with a small flower field.  

01 August 2014


Outlander, the TV show adaptation of my favorite book series officially comes out in one week, on August 9th.

The "Outlander" series spans the genres of romance, science-fiction, history and adventure in one epic tale. It follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945, who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743 Scotland. Upon her arrival, she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. But when Claire is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate relationship is ignited. Now Claire's heart is torn between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

It feels like I've been waiting forever for this, when it has been a bit more than a year since it was first announced.

It's been fun to follow along online with the casting process, and roll my eyes at the other fans who whined about who was cast or how they weren't going to fit the roll.  I figure let's wait and see how they do before we decide if they're good or not.

Starz is releasing the first episode one week early and for free!

You can see it on Starz Play (click on Outlander and scroll down). (Starz Play will allow you to watch on a computer, or you can download the app for your Android or Iphone or tablet. You have to have a Starz subscription to watch anything but the first episodes of their shows - the first one's free.)

Right now there are several previews/trailers and later tonight/early tomorrow morning (midnight on August 2nd) the first episode, Sassanach, will be available. 

I am thinking I'll probably stay up late to watch it...for the first time.

How about you? Are you going to watch it early or will you wait until August 9th and the official release?

20 July 2014

Carus and Scout

A friend has been giving Carus riding lessons and another friend is allowing her to ride her horse, Scout.

Scout is such a sweet horse! We love him.  Carus was exclaiming the other day "my horse!" when I tried to pet him. She halters him and leads him into the arena.  Then she brushes him and cleans his hooves and helps with saddling and putting the bridle on.  

She is doing really well.  This week she was released from the lead and had to do some exercises where she would stop Scout with his front legs as close to the orange cone as she could - and she did really well with it stopping him at just the right moment several times.  

And it hasn't taken Scout long to figure out that time with Carus means cookies. 

I am so thankful for good GREAT friends!

05 July 2014

Independence Day

We hosted a BBQ yesterday - good food and better company - made me happy.  

But I found a lot of contentment later that day, after the BBQ, watching fireworks with Carus.  Adam didn't want to go and Robert stayed home to keep an eye on Leia who does not like the booms at all.  

Near dusk, we went down to the school. It has a very large field; actually it is more like five very large fields together.  The town's firefighters block off half of it and put on a fireworks show for the town for free -- they do accept donations.  I have no idea how much ordinance they have but they do put on a good show for about 30 minutes.

The streets surrounding the school have cars and trucks parked along them, extending blocks and blocks away. Those closest to the field have people arranged in chairs around them or sitting in the truck's beds.  The houses nearby have their families and their friends arranged on blankets and chairs in their yards, porches, and decks, and in driveways.  These are big fireworks that can be seen for miles, and heard even further.  

The fields of the school start getting visitors around mid day with those wanting to stake out their spots early and continue to fill as the sun sets.  They have a sound system set up with music playing -- a mixture of pop, country, and rock -- and surrounding those speakers are dancers, toddlers and young kids in the charge of older siblings with the occasional adult shaking it up with those half their size.  All are dancing in that way where it doesn't even matter if your rhythm matches the music, all the joy is just in the moving.  

Blankets and chairs are spread out in groups, and there is lively conversation and laughter everywhere.  There are also dancers, one or two, spread throughout the groups here and there.  There is a long line for the one port-a-potty. (The other two are blocked off. I don't think it was done on purpose, just sort of happened).  There doesn't seem to be any negative feelings - no complaints about bugs (because mosquitoes had a smorgasbord to choose from), no complaints about the long privy line, and very minimal childish whines of "when will it start?" There was a line for a food cart with firefighters dishing out refreshments.  I didn't go closer so I don't know what exactly what was available.  The line was long enough for it to appear popular though. 

As the sun started to dip behind the mountains, the excitement built.  The buzz of conversation took on an electrical charge, each person feeding off the other's anticipation.

On the portion of the field that was blocked off, firefighters had been hard at work setting up the cakes of display fireworks and arranging their safety equipment -- just in case.  (One year there was an incident where one bundle tipped over and shot the mortar off along the ground. No injuries or fires, but a reminder of how dangerous explosives can be.)  Their hook and ladder fire truck was next to the field with the ladder suspended and a large flag hanging from the bucket. The flag barely waved, there wasn't much wind.  It wasn't a very hot day - warm, with a light breeze that was dying as the sun went to bed and the humidity was rising.  

Finally, the sun went down, shortly after the predicted start time of 9:30 p.m. and as the Star Spangled Banner started to play over the speakers, the fireworks began, both coming to a crescendo together.

The show continued for about 30 minutes with a lot of the usual suspects and a few pyrotechnic displays I haven't seen before, with the lights of each glitter and flare illuminating the smoke trails of the ones before it, which was lovely itself.

At the end of the show, Carus and I packed up the blankets we brought to sit on and cover with (prior years got a lot cooler than this year) and joined the crowd slowly exiting the field to walk the 5 or 6 blocks back to where I parked the car, and headed home.

(The video below is a teeny bit of the fireworks at the beginning of the show. If you can't get it to play, click here to view it on Instagram. )

27 June 2014


I'm procrastinating going to bed.  I don't want to. Though I'm tired and I'm sure I'll be out like a light the second I actually lay down and close my eyes.

I'm procrastinating a lot lately.

The going-ons around here:

Garden is doing great. I've harvested more lettuce than we could eat and gave some away.  As well as some carrots, kolhrabi, and chives. The radishes are pretty much gone.  Broccoli florets are starting to show up so I'll soon have those to put up.

Green beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers are in.  As well as some herbs, more strawberries, and pumpkin.

(slideshow of Yard and Garden 2014 Flickr album, click arrows on either side of photo)

The kids have been out of school for the summer and rotting their brains with too much TV, video games, and other fun - like mustache straws.

Carus has been learning to ride thanks to some amazing friends (who loan horses and teaching).

Robert and I spent our 13th anniversary at the beach and it was a GLORIOUS weekend.

And of course, there is work and other boring stuff.

28 May 2014

So you know...

Well apparently because Flickr some changes to how their photo embedding works and now the photos I post here do not show up in emails.

SO!  Until I figure something else out...

If you'd like to see the photos, you will need to click on over to the blog to see the photos in the latest post (this post does not have any pictures).

**Each email will have a statement at the bottom that looks like
Posted By Blogger to Just a little . . . R & R at 5/26/2014 09:53:00 PM

and that statement contains a link directly to the current post. 

26 May 2014


So far I've only been able to harvest radishes out of the garden.  And I got a kitchen scale to weigh my harvests this year because I'm curious...or weird...or crazy...or all of the above.  I just think it would be fun to see how many pounds of produce I can grow.

This 5 ounces brings my total radish harvest total this year to 13 ounces (harvesting 4 oz twice before).  I don't have much more radishes to harvest and I'm not planting more as I have green bean and tomato seedlings to go there.

Or I will when these pop up.

I plan on planting radishes again in the fall, along with my other cool weather crops, and this time I'll try successive planting.  This amount of radishes is just about right for us for 3-5 days depending on the amount of salads and snacking, so I could plant a couple rows for harvesting about a week apart.  Each square in my bed holds 6 rows of radishes.

We removed the hoops from the bed this past week too as we are staying above freezing at night and are in the 70s and 80s with the occasional 90 during the day (Fahrenheit).

Garden bed 1 was planted without string lines to help me keep things neat and after this weekend of really nice weather it has gone crazy!  I will be putting in lines soon because bed 2 looks so much neater.

The broccoli was supposed to be ready to harvest this week, according to a tracking app based on when I planted the seeds, and it's no where near that.  The broccoli is in several places, but the largest ones are in the back there, taller than the clump of kohlrabi that I never thinned out.  I have problems thinning out seedlings - I don't want to throw away a plant that has potential of growing food. Which probably goes hand in hand with my problems throwing food out of the fridge. I don't like wasting food and will do all I can to prevent, including not thinning seedlings.  It might take longer for those kohlrabi to mature to harvest-able size, but I haven't had problems (yet) with harvesting the bigger ones and letting the littler ones stick around longer to be picked later.  (Speaking from experience growing radishes and carrots for a few years now.)

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