Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday Teaser

Another interesting weekly meme that I came across on my mother's blog that I thought I'd participate in this week is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.  It's really simple, just do the following:

•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"He gazed at me for a moment, probably trying to decide whether he could get away with saying no.  Then, muttering "I know I'll regret this," he followed me out of the banquet hall.

Taken from A Rose from the Dead by Kate Collins.

   A Rose from the Dead (Flower Shop Mysteries, No. 6)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Volleyball Tournament 1 of 2

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of sitting in a gym from 2 p.m. to almost 8 p.m. watching our oldest daughter play in a number of games as part of a club volleyball tournament.  They didn't do so well, in fact they lost all their games.  Bummer, but they are starting to play better as a team.  One thing we parents notice with the teams that we go up against is that you can tell the girls have been together for a while, sometimes it's as if they know what the girl on the other side of the court is going to do before she does it.  That's something that our girls are missing this season, but will come in time.  They have the skill, we just need a little improvement on the teamwork. 

While the big girls were on the court, the little girls made great use of an empty court next to us.  There were three little sisters there with our team and I think they made some new friends for the day.

They got smart and moved for a while after a stray ball headed straight to them at a pretty good speed!

I'm hoping that the girls can have fun today and do much better as a team.  I could care less if we win, but more importantly want them to play to their potential and just have a great time doing what they enjoy doing.  After all, what parent wants to spend 6 hours in a gym looking at their grumpy daughter!

Enjoy your day!

Spring Reading Thing 2011

I love to read, but you already know that.  I keep seeing various reading challenges, but at the beginning of the year I was already stressed out with enough and wasn't going to add to it.  I read regardless of what challenge someone puts before me.  I saw the Spring Reading Thing 2011 at Katrina's blog, Callapidder Days though and it caught my eye.  There's no crazy count that I'd never meet, just simply list out the books you hope/plan to read from March 20 - June 20 and link up.  That's simple enough. 

Here's my list...

A Rose From the Dead (A Flower Shop Mystery) by Kate Collins - finishing this one up
Shoots to Kill (A Flower Shop Mystery) by Kate Collins
Evil in Carnations (A Flower Shop Mystery) by Kate Collins
Sleeping with Anemone (A Flower Shop Mystery) by Kate Collins
Dirty Rotten Tendrils (A Flower Shop Mystery) by Kate Collins
Night of the Living Dandelion (A Flower Shop Mystery) by Kate Collins (not yet published, but it will be)
A Crafty Killing (Victoria Square Mystery) by Lorraine Bartlett
Sentanced to Death (Booktown Mystery) by Lorna Barrett (not yet published, but it will be)
Murder on the Mind by L.L. Bartlett
A Killer Plot (A Books by the Bay Mystery) by Ellery Adams
A Deadly Cliche (A Books by the Bay Mystery) by Ellery Adams
Buttercream Bump Off (A Cupcake Bakery Mystery) by Jenn McKinlay
A Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin
Deceived by James Scott Bell
Doesn't She Look Natural? by Angela Hunt
The Mailbox by Marybeth Whalen
Fame (Firstborn series) by Karen Kingsbury
Forgiven (Firstborn series) by Karen Kingsbury
Found (Firstborn series) by Karen Kingsbury
Family (Firstborn series) by Karen Kingsbury
Forever (Firstborn series) by Karen Kingsbury

That should be a good start.  I tend to get sidetracked, so we'll see how I do.  Once summer gets here and the girls leave for my parent's house, I have much more time to read so maybe I'll get to add to my list.  As it stands now, I average one book a week, sometimes two. 

I'm looking forward to seeing what others are reading as well, maybe I'll find new authors to add to my never ending must read pile shelves!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Flaunt your Flowers/Fertilizer Friday


I missed yesterday again, but as with the post I did this morning, I'm still pretending that it's Friday.  Otherwise I'll never get to play along with the other Flaunt your Flower participants over at Tootsie Time

I don't have a lot blooming, but I do have two new bougainvilleas that I added to the collection.  The first is another 'Torch' bougainvillea.  This one had the name 'Pixie' something or other, but the one I've had for years was sold as a 'Torch'.  It's different than the normal ones becuase it grows tall and then sends its branches outward and both the leaves and blooms are much smaller.  When I saw this one, I thought, "If one is good, then two must be better!"  Besides, I've had mine for a number of years and each winter I worry that she might not come back.  Another thing, in the years that I've had mine, I have not seen another one.  That was an additional selling point, who knows when I would find another one!

The other one is an orangish/pinkish color and I wasn't sure I had this one, but I needed it just in case.

My 'Vick's Plant' that my BNF, Amy, gave me is shooting out a lovely lavender bloom too.  For some reason this plant is really difficult for me, so I'm on my third or fourth go round with it.  It's a good thing she's right across the street and her plant is huge!!

A late blooming Christmas Cactus is my last flower for today.  I'm not sure why, but once she bloomed that first year, she always blooms closer to Easter now...weird.

Five Question Friday

Obviously I'm not so good with the Friday thing, but I like this...so, once again we'll just pretend it still Friday for the sake of this post.

1. Have you ever testified in court? For what?
I've never testified in court, not that I don't think it wouldn't be exciting or anything because I do.  I just run in dull circles I guess!

2. Do you still have your wedding dress?
I do not have my wedding dress and that's a good thing.  We flew to Vegas for the weekend to get married, no, not by Elvis and I do not like the dress I chose to wear.  I looked like a Catholic (which I'm not) school girl...still not sure what I was thinking. 

3. Is there a special place you like to go when you're happy, sad, stressed, etc.?
Oh my, yes!  Any of the above feelings are good reason to go to my favorite nursery or in a pinch any that is close by.  Just walking into a plant nursery can boost my spirits, calm me down or further encourage my already good mood!  The second place is the bookstore, same effect as above!

4. If you have kids, do they sleep with you? If you don't have kids...will you let your kids sleep with you when/if you have them?
My girls sleep with me only when my husband is out of town.  They used to fight over who's night it was, but now it's just the little one that jumps in and claims her spot. 

5. Do you watch late night TV?
I'd have to be awake to watch late night TV, so this one is a negative...I turn into a pumpkin at 10:30 with rare exceptions!
I'm participating in a Blog Hop hosted by Mama M at My Little Life, hop on over to join in the fun!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Writer's Workshop - An Hour To Kill

Mama’s Losin’ It

If I find myself with an hour to kill, or even if I don't for that matter, I'm going to call my mother.  My mother lives 3 states to the northeast and 800 miles away from me so if I want to talk to her I can't just drive across town.  With rare exceptions, we talk multiple times daily.  It's not that I can't go without talking to her, I just choose not to.  If by chance I do go MIA for a few days, I'll get the following call:

Me:  Hello
Mother:  Why haven't I heard from you?
Me:  I'm not sure
Mother: I'm having Mandy withdrawals
Me:  Me too, I just forgot to call

I'll call her on my way to work to tell her about my odd dreams, and she'll call me from the bookstore to tell me her  latest find.  She'll call me from Ross to tell me about a cute something or other that we need for our plants and I'll call her from the plant nursery to tell her about the "rare" finds I've found.  I'll call her to aks her if we have a book before I buy it again and she'll call me to read me the backs of the books she's either gotten in the mail or brought home.  I'll call her from the bathtub to read her something I just read while still laughing and then I'll call her again later to read it when I stop laughing so that she can understand what I'm saying.  She does the same, only I think I laugh more.  We take turns with our pity parties when they come up, we plan budgets together, talk about meals and strategize on how to get our kids to shape up or ship out.  While I'm raising two girls (14 and 10), she's also still raising two girls (17 and 14), so we really have a lot more in common than the average duo.  I call her and sing songs I've reworded that she has to then guess the real song. For instance,

Mother:  Hello
Me:  Hello, Mother, how are you mother...it's so nice to hear your voice over the phone.  You're sounding swell, Mother....I can tell Mother
Mother:  Yes, Mandy...it's Hello Dolly, again
Me:  I crack myself up

Thank God for cell phones, she won't text, but she does like to send pictures of plants back and forth and will comment on those.  Just don't try to initate a conversation via text messaging; it won't happen.  That's just asa well since I'd rather hear her voice anyways.  Sometimes I pull an  I Love Lucy voice moment and place a "person to person" call to her with my nose pinched...she loves those, my girls do the same thing. 

Mothers are a gift, even more so when you grow up and they can be your best friend.  There's not a person I'd rather spend extra time with on the phone or in person when given the chance than my mother...sorry, friends! 

This post was inspired by the prompt "You have an hour to kill on the telephone...who do you call and why." from Mama Kat's Weekly Writer's Workshop.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lunchtime Finds

As promised, I stopped by the nursery down from my office to get a picture of the blue orchid.  Take a close look behind the orchid and check out all those Pitcher Plants hanging in a row! 

Is this not the most gorgeous thing!  They have an abundant supply of Pitcher Plants this year too.

From there, I popped into my favorite Half Price Books.  I started out juggling all my finds in my arms and had to resort to the basket.  The book count ended up at 22 for a grand total of $44!  13 of the books were on clearance for $1 and are all a series that I enjoy reading so no money wasted there.  I got to the counter and as we were joking about it being a good addiction, I said something about picking up so many books when my coupons are at home.  The cashier was really nice and said that someone had left a coupon behind and she'd let me use it...sweet!  My co-workers think I'm a little obsessive.  Maybe, maybe not.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Teenage Torture, WWF and a Bloom

As I type this, my head is recovering (or trying to) from the torture my 14 year old just treated me to.  She is very much into hair and makeup now and it seems that I'm her prime candidate to torture.  She tries to get a hold of her little sister, but Daughter #2 is not as agreeable as I am.  I'm pretty sure there are bobby pins penetrating my scalp at this moment, but the hairspray is so thick that I'm not sure I could get them out if I wanted to!  First, she sprayed it down and after griping about "your fine hair" she got the curls the way she wanted them.  At one point I could hear my hair sizzle and threatened to hurt her if she fried my hair, "relax mom!".  Sure..... 

While I'm undergoing some Snookie hair makeover, Daughter #2 is in the next room soaking her foot hollering for me to come check something out.  She is my newest Words with Friends (WWF) partner and she scored 30 points on a word against me.  That's her largest point value for one word, so she was a little excited!  I'm still going to beat the pants off of her (in the game), but she'll get me back someday.  At 10, she can already outplay her 14 year old sister on this game so I'm sure it won't be long until the game is a little more evenly matched.

Just one more day of work for me this week...yeah!!  I put in for two vacation days to spend some time with the girls during Spring Break and am also hoping to get my back porch back in order as well as some planting done in the front yard.  Regardless of what we get done, I'm looking forward to two extra days off more than words can express!

I wish I would've gotten a picture of this orchid I saw at lunch today, it was the most incredible shade of blue!  I really wanted it, but at $49.99, it was a bit out of my price range.  I tried to find something online that compared to show you, but came up with zip, zilch, nada!  Maybe I'll stop back tomorrow and get a picture of it while I drool over it again.  In the meantime, you can see my little orchid. 

The lighting was horrible, but here's an up close look at one of the blooms. 

This is my first attempt at orchids, so we shall see.  I'm not sure how well I'll do when the blooms are done and it's just the leaves, but I'm getting a little more patient when it comes to these things.  

Hope you're all enjoying the week!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Acts of Violets - Book Review

I'm sure some of you are getting tired of me talking about The Flower Shop Mystery series by Kate Collins, but I'm not!  How does the song go?  "It's my blog and I'll post if I want to, post if I want to.  You could post too but you'd have to read the books?"  Okay, so I think my tiredness has transferred itself to lunatic, but this is cheering me up on an otherwise blah kind of a day...are you still singing?  I am! 

Back to Abby...

I skipped the review on book 4, Snipped in the Bud, but you'll want to read that one too...it's fun!

First, a bit from the back cover.

Abby has been dating Marco- ex-cop, bartender, and all-around hunk - for several months when the Pickle Fest starts. But he's still a mystery to her.  And after he disappears for a day, she's stunned to read in the paper:  EX-COP QUESTIONED IN MAN'S DEATH.  It seems the authorities have found Snuggles the Clown pushing up water-spurting daisies - and Marco was the last person seen leaving Snuggle's house.  Abby knows in her bones that he's innocent.  But why, when his life is on the line, is Marco being so secretive with her?  And who is the attractive woman he escorted to the Pickle Fest?  To do the legwork, she'll have to delve into the eerie clown underworld, where the smiles are fake and everyone has a trick up his sleeve...

My take - Is it repetitive to say that I love, love, love this series?   It's hilarious, and this installment was no different.  It just so happens that this Snuggles character was the same goon who ran Abby off a sidewalk at the beginning of the festival.  She was shocked that Marco would chase the guy down to defend her honor; even more shocked when she found out that wasn't what the encounter was about at all...a bit embarrassed too!  With sheer determination and little option otherwise since Marco couldn't exactly investigate his own case, Abby tackled this case with gusto.  She came really close this time to being the second victim, but her knight with a little k (inside humor...read the book) came to her rescue after she came to his! 

This series makes me want to quit my job and find a florist or a nursery to hire me!  Too bad my husband and check book don't see eye to eye with my idea!!  I'll just keep reading...

Hello Hot Stuff!

It took a few weeks, but yesterday I found the perfect planter for my Euphorbia flanaganii 'Medusa Head'.  I stopped by Rainbow Gardens to pick up some Coleus for the front tree bed and before I ever made it to plants, I found the perfect planter.  Meet Hot Stuff....

She's perfect, and I'll admit I'm weird and name things including plants or in this case the planter!  Her lips gave her the name, and the Euphorbia fits perfectly inside.

I can't wait to watch her fill in. I took my camera to work today to show all the girls, but I wasn't joking when I said I might bring her in tomorrow for "show and tell"!! 

What else...I moved all of my succulents out of the greenhouse this evening with the help of hubby and the girls.  It's going to be in the 80's all week, so they need to get acclimated so they don't freak out when it hits 90 and climbing!

 Be sure to stop over at Teri's Painted Daisies to see more prickly participants!

Happy Cactus Monday!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lazy Saturday

The past two weeks have been absolutely insane at work.  First, the week before last I had to cover for a co-worker that was off for the entire week.  I'm not usually on the phones, and needless to say, I didn't get a blooming thing done.  I started this past week off a solid week behind on my usual reports, etc.  This week was no better.  We had another project to start and as a result I'm now a solid week and a half behind.  All of this to say, I haven't been online from sheer exhaustion.  I made the choice to work on the most trying report at home this weekend, since I seem to get so much more done on it when I have total silence.  I hate to (and usually refuse to) do any kind of work from home.  This time though, my sanity is worth it and I'll just suck it up and do it.  For some reason though, every time I turn on my laptop, I'm pulled to look at my favorite blogs.  I thought tonight I'd nose around for a bit and then get started.  There is tomorrow after all!

I've finished the 4th Flower Shop Mystery by Kate Collins called Snipped in the Bud.  In Snipped in the Bud, Abby finds herself as the main suspect for the murder of one of her previous law school professors.  I believe at this point, her boyfriend and co-workers have given up on even thinking she's going to keep her nose out of solving the town murders.  I really think they get better with each book, that or I just keep getting more absorbed into the storyline!  I'm reading Acts of Violets right now and as expected...loving it!   I'm trying to get caught up whole series before her new one comes out in April.  I haven't read much the past two weeks either, so I need to get it in gear if I'm going to get through all ten of them before then!

I was protesting today, so the girls and I didn't get out of bed until after 9:30 a.m. and showers weren't considered until nearly noon.  This was our first Saturday in a while with no volleyball games and I made the decision to totally waste it!  Bob was at the deer lease filling feeders, so it was just us girls for most of the afternoon.  We all went to the mall for a bit and then suprised the girls to dinner at Logan's Roadhouse. 

Enough already, if I don't get started on work, I'll never get to post pictures of my new succulents I bought last weekend nor of the front bed I hope to get done tomorrow afternoon.

Five Question Friday

Yes, I know it's Saturday, but I saw this on my mother's blog and thought it looked cute...liked her button.  While I'm at it, I'll probaby link up with Glenda's  Fertilizer Friday/Flaunt your Flowers later too.  I'll just pretend it's Friday, I'm sure it is somewhere in the world after all!

1. Do you know what your REAL hair color is?

Yes, a tiny bit more brown than what it is now.  While I color it brown, it pulls much more red the older I get and I'm quite okay with that since I always wanted red hair.

2. Do you plan ahead for summer, or fly by the seat of your pants?
I plan ahead for the summer.  Our girls spend part of the summer with my parents in Alabama so we do have to figure out dates to go and return ahead of time.  After that I like to think of my self as a "structured fly by the seat of her pants" kind of girl.  I have a plan, but that's always subject to change.

3. What is your favorite meal to cook?
Probably tacos because it's the only thing that everyone eats without complaining.  Chicken and Dumplings is my personal favorite though, both to cook, smell and eat!

4. Do you get offended by not receiving thank yous?
No, I get irriatated with myself for not sending them, but only because I enjoy writing notes/letters. 

5. How did you meet your best friend?
At church.  We've known each other 8 or 9 years and been close for probably half of that, but it's as if I've known her my whole life.  If you've ever read Anne of Green Gables, you'll understand when I knew from early on that we were kindred spirits and those are the best kinds of best friends to have.  I'm blessed to have her!

I'm participating in the Blog Hop hosted by Mama  M at  My Little Life.

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pitcher Replacements

Several months ago, I posted about the disaster with my Pitcher Plants.  Evidently, they don't take to kindly to temps below 65 degrees or so and certainly did not appreciate a night at below freezing without a heater.   I'm pretty sure this happened before my heater incident, this time I think I just forgot to turn it on.  It just so happened that I needed a walk through a nursery down from my office to calm myself over my lunch hour, and would you believe what I found for 20% off...you got it, Pitcher Plants!!   I was able to replace both of mine for what I thought was a decent price.  The larger one with the ruffles on it didn't have any pitchers yet, but it was really nice and full with the promise of plenty of pitchers!

The one with smaller pitchers has several that are brown and will have to be cut off sooner or later, but like the fat one she promises new ones as well. 

For now, they're going back and forth from the house to right outside the door.  Hopefully within the next few weeks, the nights will also warm up enough for them to move to their home under the tree.  I just adore these little guys!