Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Backyard: 10/29/30

I know, it's a yard post.  Crazy, right?  At the tail end of October even.

Our neighbors behind us tore out the fence between our yards about a month ago.  There wasn't a whole lot of actual "tearing" to do.  I had mentioned before that it was literally falling apart.  The guy they have doing it came back a few days later to set posts, and that's where it ended.  For a couple of weeks.  They were wanting the boards to be all reclaimed wood, and I guess he was having a hard time finding enough of one thing.  But this week, the show was back up and running, and he and a buddy worked two days straight. There's still a run of boards to install at the bottom, but for the most part, it's done.
They used metal posts, which I had never seen before, and ran the boards horizontally, opposed to the more traditional vertical fencing.  The boards they used are 2 x 10's, so that thing ain't goin' anywhere anytime soon.
I think it'd look cool stained black.  ;o)

Other than that excitement, not much else is goin' on out there.
I literally haven't done a single thing in the yard for weeks.
Well, unless you count cleaning up dog poop.
But the leaves are changing, the light is different, and mother nature has a way of making even the biggest of messes, look pretty.

Can you spy the visitor in the this next photo?

Our neighbors adopted two kittens, and about the time the fence came down is when they started letting them outside.
So with no barrier, they've become quite smitten with our side of the tracks.

This guy's name is Chaplin.
He's watching the holy terror, of canine persuasion, that lives in my yard.
He hasn't been spotted yet.

He wears a bell, so I hear him a lot, but I don't always see him.
One of these days, he'll let me get close enough to pet him.
Back to the changing leaves, the blueberry bushes are so dang pretty right now.

There aren't a ton of flowers left, but the white Penstemon is still hanging on, the 'Velvet Elvis' is in full glory mode, and the 'Ayesha' Hydrangea decided to spit out another bloom.

I'm thiiiiis close to sticking the Dogwood in the ground.

I love all my little potted trees.
This guys is an Elm and he's been in the same pot for longer than I can remember.
The bottom rotted out years ago, so it's just his root ball holding him in.

Around the south side of the house, the Clematis are still pumpin' out a few blooms, and the Jasmine I transplanted this spring is still puttin' out new growth.

The potted Bald Cypress over there is earning its keep.
(We put the plywood up on the gate to keep the little monster from escaping, until she's too big to squeeze through.)

Isn't that color amazing?

Speaking of the little monster, I had better throw in a couple pictures of her, too.

Miss Libby, my little trouble maker.
She's learning, though.
She asked to go potty outside twice today, so that's BIG progress.
She's a sweet little thing, in spite of her puppy woes.

So that's it for this week.
The Dad turns the big 4-8 tomorrow.  
Then it's Halloween.  
Then it's Christmas.
Have a fantastic weekend!

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Girl's 8th Birthday: A Rainbow Party

The Girl didn't voice much of an opinion this year when it came to her birthday party.  She really wanted to have her party at a roller skating rink, so as a compromise, The Dad took her skating with a couple friends, and her brother, in the morning.  Then everyone came back to the house for a party with family, like we do every year.

She did request a rainbow cake, but no specifics other than that.  So I went with the rainbow color theme all the way around.

Nothin' too fancy in the way of decorations.
I bought some balloons, paper plates, napkins, and star picks at Target.  We had the streamers and birthday banner, then I filled in with colorful foods.

I was able to scrounge up enough flowers from the yard for a centerpiece.

I always make what the kids want for dinner on their birthdays, and she requested grilled cheese and tomato soup.
Okey dokey.
I did plain cheddar on some and smoked turkey and cheddar on others, both for the kiddos.
For the grown ups, I did grainy mustard, brie, persimmon, and prosciutto on some, and Trader Joe's Tuscan Cinnamon cheese and Granny Smith apples on the others.
I prepped all of the sandwiches in the morning, grating all the cheese (except the brie) so it would melt fast, then cooked them all on my panini maker that afternoon.
I just reheated them, covered with foil, in a warm oven.
And not a single photo.

And what kind of birthday party would it be without sugar?!
I put some fun colored candies in little bowls on the table.

I also had cheese puffs, uh-huh, and goldfish crackers.

To go with our sammies and tomato soup, I had a veggie tray and a fruit salad.

I always try to come up with a fun drink that isn't a complete sugar IV.
This time I mixed equal parts orange juice and lemonade, then added mandarin orange seltzer water.
I made colored ice cubes to go with the rainbow theme.

Don't mind the Coors Light photo bomb.

After an early dinner, The Girl opened presents.
Don't worry, there's only a couple, since I suck at people pictures.

The crew, including the puppy, all went to the park to run off some energy, then it was time for dessert.
In addition to the cake, I made rice krispy treats using Fruity Pebbles.
Um, disgusting.
My brother-in-law suggested I should have cut them half and half with regular rice krispies.
First of all, they taste just like Fruit Loops, which are equally disgusting, in my opinion, so I wasn't gonna like them no matter what.
But they were SO sweet with the addition of the marshmallows.
Not that they didn't get eaten.  There was an adult or two tearin' 'em up, too.
It kinda makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit just thinking about biting into one.
But they looked fun.  :)

I didn't do anything fancy to decorate the cake.
I rimmed the edges with rainbow candy, then put gummy butterflies on top.

It passed The Girl's rainbow cake request, and that's all that matters.

The surprise was when I cut into it.

Now that's a rainbow cake.
All in all, it was a good day.
She got her time spent skating with friends, as well as the family gathering that The Mom prefers.
Win win.
Happy birthday, Emma Rae!
For the family members reading, this old post has lots of Baby Emma photos:
The Girl's 4th Birthday

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