Alligator Pool

There is a theme going here......Alligators! It all started with the pool we swim at with Gma and Gpa (Anna calls the pool we go to with them "Gpa's pool"). There is a big Alligator in the children's pool there that Anna loves. 
Well yesterday when we were at Fred Meyer I spotted this pool.....on sale....whoo hoo! 
And then of course there is the alligator swim suit! 


:: Okay, so not everyone uses the little blue pool for water :0) Actually we did last year, but this year we've moved on to sand. 

:: Notice the tarp in the background to keep the unwanted cats out......hey, at least its not a blue tarp :0) 
:: I asked her to give me a smile and this is what she gives! (Another words, hurry up mom, I want to get back to playing!)

:: I have to say, I think I'm in shock....this is two days in a row that she has played in her play yard BY HERSELF.....could it be that my little girl is growing up? 
Oh, and everyone should be happy to know that we bought her a new pool since this one has been taken over by sand......An alligator pool that squirts water.....she's quite excited about that! 

Hope everyone had a great day. I spent more time out in the yard......I think I am actually done planting things now....whew! I'll try to get my act together tomorrow and get some yard pics. 

The Start to Summer....

:: Here is a pic of Hank looking quite annoyed that there is ANOTHER squirrel in the tree! It was a close one the other day....He almost caught a squirrel!......he was chasing it around the base of the same tree he's staking out in this picture. I had to interfere and chase off the squirrel. I think the squirrel just wanted to play with Hank. 

:: Today was a big day.....for me anyways!....for the first time Anna played in/on her playset at length without me having to be up in the playhouse with her. Yahoo! I put a blanket down for her and took a bunch of inside toys out to the playhouse and whataya know!....she actually sat out there and played for a good hour! Sweet relief is what I say! She was having a great time throwing a tea party for her stuffed animal friends. Happy day!
Now, we'll see if we can get a repeat tomorrow ????? :0) 

Flowers Around the Yard

:: Big pot on the front porch. I like to decorate for the 4th of July, so I always like to put red, purple and either yellow or white in this front pot. Looks great when it comes time to decorate.
:: One of the pots hanging on the garage....there are two, one on each side of the garage door. I bought these little color pots from Fred Meyer for $9.00 each and transfered them in to my hanging pots......great deal and they look great!
:: One of the groups of Allium planted around the yard.
::Close up of an Allium......just love these....they are so pretty and delicate.
:: I have these pots hanging on a hook above our lower patio. I don't think I've ever had yellow petunias before. I bought the Petunias at Home Depot for $5.00 each and added some lobelia for more color.

:: It was a big yard work day today.....mowed the lawn....whoo hoo! all three sides of the house done!.....that's an accomplishment! Weeded my garden area and planted some tomato plants and pepper plants.....I'll be planting more in the garden but ran out of steam for today. I planted a flat of marigolds that my mom-in-law grew in her green house......she gave me three more flats of flowers that I hope to get in the ground tomorrow. And, even managed to get in some play time with Anna. Now Michael is BBQing our dinner, I'm going to eat and maybe pass out!....LOL!
Hope everyone had a great day! Until tomorrow enjoy the pics of the flowers :0)

Yard work and more yard work!

:: This is a pic of our lower patio area.....its kind of hard to tell, but I was taking the picture to show off my red letters that say "RELAX". I had Michael paint them for me last year......the letters were purchased from JoAnn's (fabric store). They were plain pine, but I wanted RED! 
::The blue bike is one of my favorite yard father-in-law gave me that. I'm sure everyone thought I was strange when I asked if I could have the old blue bike, but I had plans for it! I planted a red petunia wave in the basket this year. It will be so pretty when it starts to fall over the edge of the basket. 
:: I just painted the black tool box a couple days ago and plan to plant some seeds in it....probably trailing nasturtium. 
:: Last year I only had one pot in this spot and I planted morning glory seeds in it.....WOW!....they took off like crazy. So, this year I figured if one pot was nice THREE would be better, and I planted more morning glory seeds. I hope they do as well as last year. 
:: This is how you find our cat Hank most days during the summer.....I'm so glad we were able to buy him this patio furniture! LOL! Lately he has been using it more than us! 

Is DEET safe to use?....

After the long winter we had (WA state) our family is more than ready to spend every sunny moment we can outside. Every one in our neighborhood has noticed that the mosquitos have come in force this year. So, the first thing I did was grab the insect repellent!.....then I started to wonder if DEET is all that safe? I went to a few different web sites, and here is the info I found:

What is DEET?

DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) is the active ingredient in most insect repellents available in the United States that are applied to the skin. DEET was developed more than 50 years ago by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for use by our military. It was registered for use by the general public in 1957.

What is West Nile Virus? 

West Nile virus is spread by infected mosquitoes, and can cause serious, life-altering and even fatal disease. Spring is here, as weather warms up remember to check around your yard and dump out standing water where mosquitoes can lay their eggs. Stock up on repellent for the warm days ahead, too.

Which DEET concentration should I use? What product should I select?

DEET-based insect repellents are available in a range of concentrations from5 percent to 100 percent. A 5 percent product will provide approximately 90 minutes of protection and a 100 percent product approximately 10 hours. The "effective" time increases as you increase the concentration of DEET.

Does DEET cause cancer, birth defects, or genetic changes?

DEET-based products have been subjected to rigorous scientific scrutiny over many years.  These tests have continued to confirm that consumers can use these products with confidence, according to product labeling directions for ALL family members. Additionally, tests confirm that DEET does not cause cancer, birth defects, or genetic changes.


Is DEET an insecticide?

DEET is not an insecticide and neither kills nor harms the pests it repels. DEET interferes with the mosquito's ability to detect the carbon dioxide our bodies release.

Can I use a DEET-based insect repellent and sunscreen together?

The effectiveness of both insect repellents and sunscreens are dramatically reduced when users apply them at the same time. Decide which is your top priority at the moment-protection from insects or from the sun-then apply either a repellent or sunscreen, plus use other measures to reduce insect and sun exposure. Some manufacturers produce a specially formulated product that combines both DEET-based insect repellent and sunscreen. These should be used with the frequency of repellents, where you re-apply only as needed to exposed skin areas.

There is more information out there. Here is a link

We have a new pet....

:: A Caterpillar named Softy.

She has been asking for a Praying Mantis for a pet, but thank goodness Daddy found a caterpillar and Gma and Gpa's house (grandma and grandpa for those that don't speak fluent Anna). 
The Praying can order a kit with 100 eggs!!!........Whoo hoo for the caterpillar! Now at least she is a proud mama of Softy and maybe she'll forget about the Praying Mantis eggs. Brother! 

Memorial Day Weekend

:: Memorial Day is traditionally May 30th, and observed the last Monday in May. The day was established to honor the fallen heros who have defended our country. We enjoy freedom today because of the father, brother, son, or husband who never came home. This weekend has also become known as the official kickoff of summer, but let's also remember the true meaning of Memorial Day. 

:: Every Friday before Memorial Day my Grandma and I (and now Anna too) go around to the cemeteries where we have relatives buried and put out flowers. This is my Grandma (Anna's Great Grammy) putting flowers on her parents graves. 

:: Here's a little funny......every year we dig out the weed patch also known as my Grandma's grandparent's graves (my great great grandparents). Well today when we arrive I see this little stone on the corner of the family plot with the arrow......So out of curiosity I step out 8 paces to where E. B. Hyde is supposed to be, and it appears that "Old Eugene" would be mixed in with our family.....I don't know why but this really gave us a laugh. The caretaker of the cemetery came over to chat with us while we were weeding and asked if we knew anything about the stone marker, which gave us another laugh. Now he too is curious and is going to look in to it for us. I looked all around and couldn't find another marker with Eugene's name and dates on it. Sure hope the mystery can be solved so Eugene can be respected properly. 
:: I had to take a picture of the gate, because it is new. This little old cemetery really needs some love, so I'm happy to see there is a new entrance. (I'm starting to think maybe I really do take a picture of everything!....hee hee) 

Hope everyone enjoys Memorial Day Weekend! 

Under Construction

:: To say the least!
:: Anna checking out the heavy equipment.
:: This WAS our road. 
Our road is under construction! It has been an interesting couple of weeks around our neighborhood. There is really only one road that leads in to our neighborhood (unless you count this narrow bumpy road that runs up behind our development as a road.....and when I say bumpy, what I really mean is holes that will swallow your car bumpy!)
Anna and I have been walking down to see the progress....the city is having new water mains put in. 

Green Houses Galore!

What a GREAT day! Anna and I, and our dear friend Linda, went to four different Nurseries/Green Houses today! I guess I was feeling brave by dragging Anna through all of them, but she did really great. Thank goodness almost every place we went had wagons that she could either pull or sit in....whew! (meant for hauling your plants of course, but in a pinch they are great entertainment for your children) 
I REALLY wish I would have taken my camera, because there were some definite Kodak moments, plus the nurseries were all so pretty! 

The above picture is what I brought home today........I had to use some serious restraint, because there were so many nice plants that were begging to hop in the car with us! 

So, with my fingers crossed I am going to say, I hope to get them and some of my MANY seeds planted tomorrow........I say fingers crossed, because it will depend on how accommodating Anna will be with MY plans. She is 3 after all! Sometimes she can't quite figure out why its okay for me to step through the flower bed while I'm planting or weeding, but it isn't okay for her to walk through the flower beds all over my plants....oiy!

The Sky is Falling!

:: This last picture was taken the morning of May 18th, 1980 before the eruption. 
If you lived in the Pacific Northwest on May 18th, 1980 you will remember this date. 
Do you remember where you were when Mt. Saint Helens blew her top?
I was 8 years old playing in our yard waiting for the Fairchild Air Show to start(the planes would fly over our house during the show). I remember it was 2:00 in the afternoon and the sky was as dark as night....really eery feeling. Then, the ash started falling. People didn't know what to think. 

Here are some facts about that day:
May 18, 1980 dawned clear and bright.  It was an amazingly beautiful day for May in the Pacific Northwest.   Being a Sunday, there were only a few loggers, campers and scientists in the area.  Many of these people had been lulled into a false sense of security because of the mountain's recent silence.  Not even the scientists could predict exactly what was to come.   

At 8:32 a.m. a 5.1 magnitude quake struck one mile below the mountain. While there had been literally hundreds of earthquakes at the mountain since March 20th, the unstable north face could not sustain another. Within moments the largest landslide in recorded history removed more than 1,300 feet from the summit and swept away almost the entire north side of the mountain.  The elevation of the mountain dropped from 9,677 feet to its present day 8,363 feet.  What was once the 9th highest peak in Washington state was suddenly reduced to the 30th highest peak.  The intense high pressure/high temperature steam that escaped, instantly turned more than 70% of the snow and glacial ice on the mountain to water.  This massive movement of rock, ash, water and downed trees swept into Spirit Lake and down the north fork of the Toutle River Valley at speeds in excess of 175 miles per hour.

Mt. St. Helens is on an ocean-continent subduction boundary (the Juan de Fuca plate is subducting under the N. American plate). Mt. St. Helens is an active strato volcano. The easiest answer to what caused the eruption is that a body of magma moved into the shallow part of the volcano between the first earthquakes and minor eruptions in March, and by May 18th had become so pressurized that the north face of the mountain failed and this magma was able to erupt. The slow moving collision of the continental rock of North America and the Oceanic Rock of the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate, which is slowly moving beneath the Pacific Northwest is slowly refueling Mount St. Helens for another eruption.  Scientists estimate that there is a large reservoir of magma four miles beneath the crater. 

Sometimes you just have to laugh!

Have you ever had one of those days? You know, where you feel like for every step forward you take you've taken 10 steps backwards. OIY! That has been my day! 
You see I am determined to get to my yard work and Anna is equally determined to distract and interrupt me as much as she can so I can not get to my yard work. 
Anna and I had to run some errands this morning, which put us behind schedule on getting her down for her nap.....that's never good! If you don't get her down within her usual time she thinks aha!....maybe mom forgot and I don't need a nap today. Why not just let her skip the nap?.....if she doesn't take a nap by about 6:00pm she turns in to a owly little tornado. 
So, by 4:00 I get her in her bed and I quietly skip outside with my monitor in hand, and sun screen and bug spray applied. I think Whoo hoo!...Finally! 
As I get about the third dig in the dirt with my shovel I hear her crying.......BIG SIGH!....and I think I even said OUTLOUD, "oh for Pete sakes!" (I'm sure my neighbors don't even think twice when they hear me talking to myself....I think I do it a lot.....LOL!) 
So, I put down my shovel, take off my gardening gloves and since I'm determined to get back outside once I've calmed her down, I tip toe through the house with my dirt filled yard shoes.....that is always quite a site.....and I just vacuumed the other day, so I was really trying not to get a speck of dirt on my clean floors. 

I get to her room and she is upset because her bed covers aren't just right. (In my mind my eyes are rolling and I'm thinking I took off my gloves and tip-toed through the house for this?!) Brother! So I give her a hug and kiss and remake her bed and she sits up and says, "I think I don't need a nap." (Again to myself I say, think again're taking a nap!) Instead I gave her another kiss and said, well you better get your nap done so you can play outside later. 

Well apparently she knows better than I do....she didn't take a nap and I didn't get to go back out to the yard without her. Another Big Sigh......
Maybe tomorrow. :0) 

(The above picture is of one of my flower beds taken a couple years ago. I thought the laughing rock was a good fit for today's post. Sometimes you just have to laugh or you'll scream or cry!)  

Lilac Parade

:: Last night we went to the Lilac Parade. As we were waiting for the parade to start I was wondering to myself why we didn't come to the parade last year....then I remembered, it was 95 degrees last year! This year the weather was perfect, 70 degrees :0) 

:: As all of the parade vendors are marching by with their over priced annoying plastic trinkets for sale of course Anna says, "mommy, can I get one?" I was delighted when she picked the orange "spider" ball. It was far less annoying than the big (HUGE) blow up cartoon characters. 
:: This picture doesn't do this float was one of the showiest of the floats. 
:: This picture cracks me up. "Are you tired Anna?" She says, "no, I'm not tired."
Look at those eyes....they say differently. :0) 

Before we went to the parade last night the conversation at our house was about what time we should head down town to find our spot along the parade route. Parade start time was 7:45, so of course I wanted to go down as early as possible to ensure we had a good spot. Michael's idea of early is 5 minutes before the parade actually starts. oiy!  When you've been married long enough you learn to choose your battles, so I agreed to go down much later than I preferred knowing that we were probably not going to have very good seats. Well, don't tell him I said this, but his get there late theory really panned out! We had great seats and for the first time ever at any free community event we sat next to some great people! Whew! 
The people who had been there hours before us to stake their claim on the curb were nice enough to let Anna sit down in front of them.  

Flashback Friday ALREADY! (where did the week go?)

:: LaConner Tulip Festival Spring 2004
:: Danielle was 11, and Michael 9 (now they are 16 & 14)
:: How times have changed....that camera had FILM in it!
:: This is one of my favorite pictures ever!


My freshly weeded flower beds.....

:: Lower flower bed behind the house. (above)
:: Front flower bed along the driveway. (above)
:: The other front flower bed along the driveway. (above)
:: Along the side of the house. (above)
You might be thinking why is she posting pictures of her flower beds when nothing is in bloom???...well hold on, don't be thinking I've gone and lost my marbles (the few I have left hardy har!) I was thinking it will be fun to see the progression over the summer months. I'll take these same shots once a month and post how things are coming along. (it just occurred to me that people are going to think I have way too much time on my hands if I'm thinking about taking pictures of flower beds.....actually, I don't, I have priorities and my yard is one of them) :0)