Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Semi Whole Wheat Waffles...

My friend Darcy Lee writes two blogs:  In This Season and Darcy's Kitchen Kapers .  If you haven't already discovered her, you should stop by for a visit.  She's just so gracious and I guarantee she'll have some good food for you to eat.  Just be sure to come by after work, as she's recently reentered the workplace and become an empty nester to boot!

Anyway, I shared Darcy Lee's original Whole Wheat Pancake and Waffle Recipe with you a while back (here).  It is really, really good and if you want a whole-wheat recipe, I still say you should try it.  Having said that, while Superman was home, I was looking to make waffles that were just a bit lighter, so I played with Darcy Lee's recipe and came up with the recipe below.  They turned out so well, that I stopped Superman from taking a bite and took a picture in the middle of breakfast!:

Semi-Whole Wheat Waffles
adapted from Darcy Lee's Kitchen Kapers

Makes 4 four-square waffles

1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup melted butter - cooled
2 eggs


Plug in waffle iron to pre-heat.  Pre-heat oven to 225F

Mix together all dry ingredients:  flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and soda.  Set aside.

Combine cooled melted butter, buttermilk, and eggs.  Add all dry ingredients and mix just until all dry ingredients are incorporated.

Brush butter on waffle iron and pour batter onto heated, buttered waffle iron.  Cook according to the directions of your machine.

Place cooked waffle on oven safe plate, cover with a towel and place in oven.  Cook the remaining batter, adding finished waffles to the plate under the towel to keep warm and moist.  Serve with butter and syrup!

(Thanks again, Darcy Lee, this recipe is amazing!)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Making Your Home Sing Monday - Monday Musings

Making Your Home Sing Monday
I haven't been joining in on Mom's the Word's Making Your Home Sing Monday because, well, I haven't felt I had anything to add.  This week is different.  As you may know, I just spent two wonderful weeks with my family all together in one place (even my adult son came "home" whenever he could).  It was blissful.  Our extended "family" of friends spent tons of time with us.  Then, we put Superman on a plane back to his place of work and "family time" changed to Skype calls, emails, mailing goodies to each other.  Weird, by so many people's standards, we know.

What does this have to do with Making Your Home Sing Monday?  Simply this:  A home sings when the members are true to themselves and are allowed to follow where they are being led.  Since we first came together, more than 21 years ago, Superman and I have NOT followed common wisdom.  For whatever reason, NOT following common wisdom, established paths, societal norms, whatever you want to call it, works for us.  When we listen to where we're being guided rather than following what we're told we "should" be doing, we are blessed beyond measure.  It is just that simple.  (Not having a theological discussion, so I'm not going into who is doing the guiding; you can fill in that information for yourself.) 

Don't believe me?  Superman and I started living together 10 days after our first date.  (Hey, it was the 80s!  Need I say more?)  We got married less than a year after our first date and are still going strong.  (People were taking bets on our demise at our wedding!)  We had our first child 14 months after we got married, even though we were not financially stable.  I quit my job to stay home with our kids even though we had no idea how Superman would actually support our family of 4.  (We added Buttercup after we'd decided I would quit said job.)  How did that all turn out?  Well, we've been happily married almost 21 years and I've been able to be home with the kids for 12 years.  Our oldest child has already graduated from college.  I'd say we've done pretty well there.

We sold our house in Southern California before we knew where we were moving.  Superman bought us a house in Eastern Washington that a) I had never seen and b) even though he didn't have a job in Eastern Washington and c) even though we knew not one person in Eastern Washington.  How did that turn out?  Well, Superman bought a house we've come to absolutely adore in a neighborhood wherein our neighbors became our best friends.  (They even drove across the state to help me stage an epic surprise for Superman and the kids.) Superman found a wonderful job two days after we moved into this house and it served him well for four and a half years.

Finally, despite coming from a family filled with teachers, we home-school our two younger children (and home-schooled our oldest for middle school and watched him with pride as he finished out his primary education at the local junior college before heading off to a four-year university at 17). 

Those are just a few of the ways we've bucked traditional wisdom and marched to the beat of a different drummer.  Was it scary?  Not really.  Why?  Because we knew those things were the right thing to do. 

Now we're at it again.  Superman left a good job to pursue his career as a civilian contractor for the US military.  People thought he was crazy for wanting to do it and thought I was crazy for agreeing to it.  It didn't feel crazy.  It felt right.  So far, it has been.  Has it always been easy?  No.  No one promised life would be easy, however.  It is the challenges in life that help us to grow...just like that song that says "God gave us mountains so we could learn how to climb".

Still don't see what this has to do with Making Your Home Sing Monday?  Honestly, maybe you won't think it does.  For my family, however, we've discovered that listening to that guidance, even as it is steering us away from the tried and true, leads us to places we've never dreamed of going and gives us joy we didn't expect.  Going thousands of miles away from the family didn't move us farther apart as a family; instead, it caused Superman to rededicate himself to our family and our marriage and feel blessed by the life we have made together.  Having him absent from the household has helped me to remember how capable I am.  Far from being intimidated by the challenges I face without him, I work to make him proud of me and our kids.  The successes we experience make our family sing in spirit day in and day out, even if the notes we reach are the ones we expected. 

So, I ask you:  Do you allow your home to sing in new and exciting ways?  In tunes and rhythms you might have been afraid to sing?  Make Your Home Sing by being brave and following the path being put before you.  Listen to the voice that guides you to do something different.  You won't regret it.  Making Your Home Sing doesn't have to mean that your home is singing just like the neighbor's house sings, or your friend's house sings, or your mother's house always sang.  Your home is supposed to sing a song that is unique to your family, unique to the journey you all embarked on together.  Don't be constrained by expectations that are "what everyone should do", but instead free your heart to follow the path that fits your family and hear the song unique to your home.

As for me and mine?  We're doing well.  Yes, we put the head of our household on a plane last Friday, but we still feel like a family.  We're humming right along.  We're planning our next joint vacation - no secrets from the kids this time.  The tears that we shed the first time Superman flew away in January have been replaced by the anticipation we feel as we look forward to the new songs we'll be singing.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Did you miss me?

We put Superman on a plane yesterday (Friday) at noon PDT and he hasn't yet arrived back at work (right now it is 9:00 p.m. PDT the next day!).  (How is that for some serious travel time?)  It has been a whirlwind two weeks and, I must say, the best surprise I didn't mess up. (There were times I came so close to spilling the beans, it got to the point that I just stopped calling people.)  We had so much fun with Superman and Superman had a great time being home.  We didn't do anything special.  Superman just wanted to hang out at home and do "home" things.  We hit our favorite restaurants (we hit one of them twice!), we did projects around the house, and we just goofed off. 

Even though there was work to be done and we seemed to be busy all the time, it felt like the most relaxing vacation ever. 

We managed to get all of Superman's various appointments scheduled for one day so he could get those out of the way and out of his mind.  Yes, you should picture me trying to make all these appointments without my children hearing me...I was quite the covert operator.   He and the kids even worked with Mr. R. for a few days of the vacation...they had ball and Mr. R needed the help. 

So, since he's been traveling back to work, we've been settling back in at home.  We even got a surprise package shipped off to Superman right after his plane took off, so he'll be getting the package right when he settles in.  The kids have the next week and a half to savor summer and then school will begin in earnest (we've been keeping up with math and typing and a little spelling all summer long, so it won't be horrible). 
I've been getting caught up on laundry and cleaning.  (I only put my finger in the proverbial dike during the vacation.)  I've been catching up on some blogs (I've missed reading them) and I've been getting ready to post here again.  So much has been going on and I have so much to share with you (hint:  I asked Superman to teach me to use all his 'big man' power tools and he even bought me my own 'impact driver').  

I guess we're finally learning how to be the family of an overseas contractor and that feels good.  We're excited to see what the next six months brings us.

UPDATED:  Superman's plane got in early (although, I did have to wonder how 1/2 hour really helped after 30+ hours of travel).  Unfortunately, his luggage didn't get in at all.  Yep, you read that correctly.  Superman's luggage (translation: his clothes!) is lost somewhere between Eastern Washington and the Middle East.  So far, they know it didn't make it on the plane in London (duh!), so now they have to figure out if it even made it to London.  Fun times.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Food for Thought

I find that the harder I work, the
more luck I seem to have."
- Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tooth Fairy Pillows

Any of you who have children of a certain age have probably had the Tooth Fairy visit your home with some regularity.  (Those of you with grandchildren might be experiencing a renewal of the relationship you have the with the Tooth Fairy  When Charming was little, any teeth that were left for the Tooth Fairy were simply wrapped in kleenex and placed under his pillow.  By the time Valiant started losing teeth, Buttercup had come along and I realized our ritual could stand to have a bit of ceremony attached, so I sewed the kids some Tooth Fairy pillows.  As Buttercup is now losing the last of her baby teeth, I am realizing that our Tooth Fairy pillows will soon be retired for good.  I'm sad to see them go.

If you haven't sewn Tooth Fairy pillows for your children, I urge you to do so.  They don't have to be tooth-themed.  So, in the hopes of inspiring you, I bring to you our much loved and soon-to-be-retired Tooth Fairy pillows.

Buttercup's pillow is made with two layers on the front of the pillow (sheer gauze over a pink cotton) and with the pillow for the tooth on the front of the pillow.

Her "note" to the Tooth Fairy is written on the back in metallic puffy paint.

Valiant's Tooth Fairy pillow was made with the embellishments and the note all on the "front" of the pillow and blue piping around the edge.  The pocket is just one of the appliques I used to decorate the pillow.   Puffy fabric paint again provided the medium for the note to the Tooth Fairy.

The back is unadorned.

This is a quick and easy project for the novice (I did them when I first got my sewing machine) and would make a wonderful gift for any child in your life.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Superman is home on a vacation he and I spent two months planning and keeping from the children so that they would be surprised.  I promised them a trip to Seattle and I told them I'd settled on a date.  What they didn't realize?  Superman was flying in to SeaTac and would literally walk into the hotel lobby to see them.  What Superman didn't realize?  Our friends drove over to Seattle with me, so when Superman walked into the lobby of our hotel at 11:30 p.m., he was greeted by family and friends.  It was absolutely beautiful and I managed to keep all the various surprises straight and secret.  Everybody laughed, cried, and hugged.  Then we stayed up chatting for another two hours, slept for a few more, then made the six hour drive home.  Then I had one more surprise:  Charming, who works full-time and didn't know his dad was coming, was asked to come by Saturday night and walked in to see his dad.  He, too, was stunned.  (Yes, Charming, I meant Saturday, even if I said Sunday and, since you showed up Saturday anyway, it worked out just fine!) 

The only problem?  I was so excited that I took NO PICTURES.  Yep, I was right there in the moment and didn't even think of pictures.  Oh, well...Superman's here for two weeks, so I'm sure we'll have some photo ops during that time.

In the meantime, forgive me in advance for my sporadic posting.  Family comes first.  Superman wants me to have some free time to "play", but I only want to play with him, so I don't know how much time I'll be spending on the computer.  Hugs to you all...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Boyfriend's Back

"My boyfriend's back; he's gonna save my reputation!  Hey, la, hey, la!  My boyfriend's back!"
Superman is home on vacation and, with all the drama that has been going on, this song has been rolling through my mind.

The Angels - My Boyfriend's Back
Uploaded by rockinbart. - Explore more music videos.

What do you think?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Daddy is always on their minds...

Dear Superman,

The kids and I read the funnies almost everyday.  When they read this, they said they thought of you.  How could I NOT share it with you?



Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fertilizer Friday - Road Trip Edition

I'm on the road today, taking a quick little vacation with my kids and some friends.  Before I head off, though, I thought I'd share some pictures of things that caught my eye this week.

Look at these sunflowers!  Aren't they gorgeous?  They were on sale at my local Albertson's for the low, low price of $5.99.  I bought some for myself, bought some for my neighbor, and even bought a bouquet for my aunt.  They're just amazingly vibrant and are such a wonderful way to help me get in the mood for summer to wind down.

My aunt has a summer cabin on Priest Lake in Idaho.  Every year she invites us up to visit her while she's got her cabin open (she lives in Minnesota).  Wednesday was a beautiful day.  Fluffy clouds and blue skies...looks like a postcard, but we were sitting right there.

The kids love to swim in the lake.

Buttercup spent her entire time in the water. (Do you see how clear the water is?  It was like looking through glass.) 

Valiant even tied a bag around his cast and got into the water.

I snapped these gorgeous little wildflowers on the way up the hill as we headed back to our car.  Aren't they pretty?

Oh, and all my "clearance" plants have been planted and are enjoying life at the Nagle homestead. 

Head over to Tootsie's to see what everyone else is sharing for Fertilizer Friday this week...some gardens are winding down and some are just hitting their stride. 

Shoot Me - 25 of 52 (Hair Extensions Gone Wrong Edition)

So, my life is not particularly exciting or glamorous, but it is mine and it makes me smile most of the time.  It is not the special trips, the special occasions or the special times that really weave the fabric of our lives, but instead it is seeing the humor in every day that brings joy to my heart and laughter to my kids.

Last week, I was minding my own business, kicking back after a hard, hot afternoon working in the yard...
...lifted my hair up off my neck,

and this happened!

Yep!  Bean decided I needed "hair extensions" and set herself up for the job.

She had me good and pinned, so I had one of the kids run to get the camera and this week's "Shoot Me" was born.  (Can you tell that Bean is the social kitten?  The other ones are around, but they are quite shy and don't like the paparazzi!)

Head over to Carin's place, Forever in Blue Jeans, and join in the Shoot Me party.  52 pictures in which you are featured...you can do it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Banana Oat Bread - Delicious, but not Deliciously "Light"

I found this recipe on Momadvice a few years ago and I love it.  It is called Deliciously Light Banana Oat Bread and it is really good, even if the name doesn't fit.  It is NOT light.  It is hearty.  The oatmeal makes it more substantial and less prone to "mushiness" than other banana bread recipes.  The buttermilk makes it have a richer taste.  This is the recipe I like when I have quite a few bananas that have gone passed their ideal "use by" point.

Seriously, look at those oats!  It is so rich and hearty, it is fantastic...just don't expect it to be light.

Deliciously Light Banana Oat Bread
(from Momadvice - makes two loaves)

3 cups flour
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cup mashed banana (approximately 2 1/2 per loaf)
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)
2 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs, beaten
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

Combine dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Combine banana, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and eggs in a small bowl or measuring cup.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes  or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (mine came out at 50 minutes).

Cool on a wire rack, in the pan, for about 15 minutes.  Remove the bread from the pan after 15 minutes and cool thoroughly on the rack.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Not what she expected?

"I thought they said I getting a bikini wax...I'm so embarrassed."

The last of the newest additions to our families has been fixed...finally.  Now we have three kittens in various stages of hair-regrowth.  It looks pretty funny.

"Clearance" is my favorite price!

This time of year, our local (and, I assume, your local) Home Depot starts to clear out a lot of the plants they brought in for spring and early summer gardeners.  I always try to pick up a few perennials as well as some screaming deals on annual color to help me get through the end of summer, into fall. (Maybe I'll even get some seeds out of these, but don't tell Home Depot as I've noticed more and more plants say "propagation forbidden".)  

Yesterday I made my annual plant run and came up with these:

$3.50 a planter!  (I bought two.)   I'll trim up some of the dead leaves, fertilize them and keep them watered and have some beautiful hanging planters til the end of September. 

These were $1.50 each. (3 plants to a planter - I bought 3.)

These were only $0.75 each (!):

Begonias (I bought 2) -

Gerbera Daisies (I bought 2) -

Dianthus (I bought 4 - they're perennials.)-

These mums were $1.50 each - I bought 3.

I'll get them into the ground tonight...I'm so excited.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bath time?

For a kitten who doesn't really like to take a bath, I found it amusing to discover where Bean was hiding...

Monday Musings - Expectations

A few weeks ago, I was stunned to discover that someone I hold affection for charged me with the crime of "humiliating" my children (they added other charges, but this is the one that hit me the hardest).  Seriously, I was floored and confused.  These individuals took it upon themselves to contact my husband OVERSEAS to make sure he knew what they thought about my parenting methods...that is right, their opinion wasn't brought to me directly.  Instead, it was communicated to someone who is 12,000 miles from home and powerless to do anything about it.   I heard about it from Superman!  Furthermore, the charge was brought by people who have had very little exposure to my typical daily life or that of my children and, yet, felt that the sliver they'd seen was enough from which to make such a judgment. 

Did I mention I was stunned?  Seriously stunned.  After I got over being offended and feeling attacked, betrayed, and defensive, I took a deep breath and tried to figure what the h*** was going on.  I began by asking people who do spend a lot of time with me and my children in varied settings and circumstances if they, too, observed that I humiliate my children.  Why?  Why would I put such a question out there for all to answer?  While I obviously don't feel I humiliate my children and I find the idea distressful, I was willing to put myself out there to solicit feedback from friends and family just in case I was wrong.  Just in case I was no longer viewing my own life with any clarity.

Not one person I asked (and I asked a lot of people because I was so concerned about the charge leveled against me) thought there was even a shred of validity to the claim.  (Trust me...I asked people who would be more than willing to say such things to my face and no one had any idea where I came up with such an idea.)  Okay, then.  I breathed a little deeper.  Then virtually all of them asked the same question:  What did you do to these people that would make them attack you so boldly?  The question I'd asked them was so absurd, in their estimation, that it was clear to them I was being targeted by these people for some other crime.  Since I couldn't begin to guess, I let that part go. 

Still, I had a mystery to solve.  I asked Valiant.  Do you have any idea what these people might be talking about?  Nope.  I asked Superman again.  Any other details you can give me?  An example cited to support the claim, perhaps?  Bingo! 

It turns out I corrected Valiant, my 14-year old, in front of these people and I wasn't gentle and kind.  There it was...I knew roughly what had happened.  I maintained my high expectations for Valiant despite the fact that there were witnesses.  I did not humiliate him, but I did call him on behavior that was beneath the expectations he has for himself, as well as the expectations I have for him.  There it was...I parented my son with no regard to witnesses.

I called my son on his unacceptable actions (I'd tell you what they were, but neither Valiant nor I can remember and Superman didn't get the specifics).   Dumping the trash, scooping the poop, math, typing, spelling, some other chore...these are the commitments my son shirks.    I'm sure Valiant didn't like it.  I'm sure he felt embarrassed to be called on his behavior.  I'm also sure he felt ashamed of himself for not doing whatever it was he was supposed to do.  So many people aren't doing the job themselves that these people don't recognize parenting when they actually see it.   How sad is that? 

My job, as I see it, is to raise capable adults.  My job is not raise adult-sized children who will NOT be able to support themselves and will be living at home when they're 30.  My job is to raise children who know how to judge for themselves whether or not they are meeting expectations and will be able to change their behavior accordingly.  

Furthermore, I expect Valiant to grow up to be a MAN, not just a male.  That means I expect Valiant to live a life in which his word is his bond.  Not living up to his word even with his mother should not be acceptable to him, let alone anyone else.

We live in a society wherein the expectations for individual behavior and responsibility, let alone those we have for our children, are so low as to be non-existent.  We have "adult" children who never leave their parents' homes, even if they move out for a little while, they come back or continue to get extra "help" from Mommy and Daddy.  (Think I'm harsh?  Even the new healthcare law has a provision for us to provide health insurance to our "children" until they are 26 years old because it is not "fair" to expect them to provide for themselves!!)  We have mothers who are constantly making excuses as to why little Tommy can't be held responsible for his own actions and fathers who are willing to give up the fight to parent their own children.  We have babies for whom all financial support comes from the tax-payers because it is not "fair" to expect their parents to step up to the plate and actually act responsibly.   In short, our societal expectations are so low that it is no wonder I was condemned as "humiliating" my child(ren) because I actually acted like a parent.  I actually have expectations for their behavior and I stand by those expectations.

I stand firm that expectations matter.  I'd rather have my children come back to me and say that my expectations for them were too high than to have them come back to me and ask me why I didn't think they were good enough to reach the peak.  Think expectations don't matter?  Wes Moore thinks you're wrong and has an amazing example to prove it.  The Other Wes Moore:  Two boys in the same horrible circumstances...one was raised with the expectation that he could and would do more and one was raised that circumstances were too much for him to transcend.   Guess which one surpassed all expectations?

As you can imagine, Superman and I have had numerous conversations since the charges were leveled against me.  Superman has also had numerous conversations with our children when I'm not around, just to be certain I'm not hiding anything.  He still feels confident that his family is well, but his last few weeks have been more stressful than necessary.   I think it is really sad that this element of watchfulness has been added to our lives.  I wish I could say I'm not angry anymore, but I'd be lying.  I'm still feeling angry, hurt, betrayed, and disappointed.

So, what do you think?  Do you have high expectations for your children or do you think we're too hard on kids as it is?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Food for Thought

"Everyone who got to where they are
had to begin where they were."
- Richard Paul Evans

If you never start the journey, no matter how slowly, where will you be a year from now?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Friends and dishes...

Do you remember when you were younger...high school and just beyond?  Friends were people you went dancing with, went shopping with, talked about boys with.  Years go by and you grow up.  Your needs and wants change.  You don't go dancing and shopping is more likely be about heading to Home Depot than heading to Nordstrom.

Friends still find a way to warm your heart though.  It makes you feel special to know they're there, even if they are just as busy as you are.

Remember this picture and my incredulous post about my latest phosphate-free dishwasher experience?  I seriously wondered if I'd be forever more hand-washing my dishes.  I was obviously forgetting about my friends.

One friend emailed and offered to share her contraband dishwasher powder, even going so far as to being willing to be my dealer.  How sweet was that?  She skirts the law and I reap the benefits...now that  is friendship!

Another friend emailed and offered to ship the "good stuff" directly to me from Texas.  Wasn't that wonderful?  Another friend willing to be a black-market dealer...can you ask for more?

Another friend was quick to email me with what worked in her mom's house (said house is in our water district, so it matters).  I was just so touched.  (Oh, and I'm envious that it works in her mom's house, because that combo didn't work in mine.  I hope her mom a) knows how wonderful her daughter is and b) knows how lucky she is to have clean dishes!)

And yet another friend handed me two samples of the product that works in her house.   It was like a drug deal that was free (and legal).  I slipped the "package" in my pocket and went about my business.  I was feeling the love, I tell you!  Anyway, I went home and tried the Finish Powerball as soon as we got a half a load full of dishes.  (Seriously, I figured when I rewashed them, I'd only have to wash half a dishwasher full.  Can you tell I had low expectations?)

Imagine my surprise when I opened the dishwasher and pulled out clean dishes, clear glasses, and sparkly silverware.  Not to get giddy, but I still wasn't convinced.  Nope, I filled the dishwasher completely and put the second sample to the test.  It worked.  Seriously worked! 

I don't know if it was the blue layer, the white layer, or the cute little red ball in the center, but it worked.  Woot!  What a win!  Not only did I get to be surrounded by the warmth of friendship, but my dishes are clean.  But don't take my word for it, judge for yourself.

Yippee! Aren't they bright and clear?  As you can see, I will not be driven to life on the lamb.  No life of crime will be necessary.  No exorbitant shipping costs will be incurred and no friends will be inconvenienced by my dishwasher dilemma.   Shiny clean dishes and good friends.  Does life get any better than this?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fertilizer Friday - Evening Edition!

Phew!  Fertilizer Friday already - where does the time go? What a busy day...I Skyped with Superman this morning, the last of our kittens has now been fixed, my back was adjusted by my amazing chiropractor, and I even managed to go to lunch with a bunch of the ladies in my neighborhood.  Still, it wasn't dark when I got back from picking up the kitten from the vet, so I headed outside with my camera to show you some of our mid-summer garden progress.

Look at this lily.  I got these bulbs on clearance from Home Depot last year and really had no idea what would come up.  This bloom is already four days old and it has been HOT here...still, it is gorgeous, isn't it?

My neighbor gave me this plant.  I can't remember what it is called, but I keep moving the pot around to see where it will shine in my garden.  The reddish leaves make it stand-out amongst the rest of the greenery.

The zucchini and pumpkin plants are doing well, too.  They're actually loving the heat...we just harvested 3 zucchini last week.

The koi love it when I add water to the pond...too bad they won't pose for pictures!

The apple tree is bearing so much fruit, now I have to figure out how to save it from the birds!

Even the tomatoes are getting into the act.

Finally, these orange day lilies have been blooming beautifully...see?

There you have it...the Nagle5 garden Mid-summer 2010.  What is going on in your world these days?

Reality Check...

When good home decorating meets three bad little kittens:

Sigh.  Not quite the look I was going for, but since I did it, I haven't found a kitten halfway up a panel.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Shoot Me (24 of 52) - Broken Wrist Edition

I haven't been keeping up with my Shoot Me submissions because life keeps getting in the way.  That's not to say I don't think about them...I just find it hard to put myself in front of the camera (still).  The kids and I were clowning around today, though, and I thought I'd share the results:

A broken left wrist...oh,no!

Oh, wait...are you sure it's mine?

Nope, it's Valiant's.  Poor guy.

Yes, it's true.  A week and a half ago, Valiant broke his wrist.  We just found out yesterday for certain that he won't need surgery on it (phew!).  Here's the story I'm supposed to tell you:

"A box full of kittens was left in the middle of the street, in the path of an on-coming semi-truck.  Valiant being, well, valiant raced into the street in the face of certain peril to rescue the poor, unfortunate kittens and was clipped by the semi truck, leaving him with a broken wrist and a boxful of healthy kittens." 

The true story involved a scooter and our driveway and isn't nearly as interesting.

Head over to Carin's at Forever in Blue Jeans and jump into the Shoot Me party.  Trust me, they won't mind if you miss a few weeks here and there...they still let me play and 7 posts behind!

They DO Exist! (Strange Facts)

No, I'm not talking about Santa and the M&M guys.  I'm talking about huckleberries.  If you're not familiar with the Pacific Northwest, you may not have ever had these little beauties.  Apparently, they are difficult to cultivate and so remain a rarity.  A cousin of the easier-to-cultivate blueberry, huckleberries are much more flavorful than their blue cousins and range in color from crimson to deep purple.  Given their rarity, many people have never heard of huckleberries outside of Huckleberry Hound (for those of us of a certain age) and a saying that most people don't really understand:  "I'm your huckleberry" means "I'm the right person for the task/job".

In fact, when we first moved here, Superman thought I was joking when I said I was so excited to taste huckleberries again.  He told me there was no such thing as a huckleberry.  Well, I guess the joke was definitely on him.  In fact, huckleberries are the official fruit of Idaho (who knew?) and are one of the fun signs of summer in this region.

Buttercup recently went huckleberry picking and came up with these shiny beauties, as well as some wild raspberries.  After we ate our fill, there were not enough to bake with, but they made an awesome addition to a fruit smoothy.  It was so good.  There you have it, proof positive, they DO exist.