Friday, June 26, 2009

oh well

...National Pollinator Week is almost over and I am sad to say I really haven't done anything with the boys to help celebrate it. I have reasons though:

1. It is just too hot.

2. We were going to go to the blackberry farm but no blackberries yet. A freeze in April killed all the peaches, so no peach orchard either. Bummer.

3. The farmer's market is during the time they have swimming.

4. Did I mention how hot it is? I did? Well, it is hot enough for me to say it again.

5. The botanical garden is probably even hotter.

6. Our sprinkler system is on the fritz, so I have had to spend my mornings watering the lawn.

Do you really need more reasons?

Even the best laid plans...what is the end of that saying? I don't know...can't think...too hot...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Just in case you missed this:

...In response to my post yesterday:

Someday, historians will be able to tie the invention of t-ball to the start of the decline of western civilization. Baseball is a game of hitting a thrown ball, catching it, and throwing. Two or three years of glorified baby sitting and free snow cones does absolutely nothing as far as learning baseball. So don't worry about it. Just get ready for when try-outs and player drafts take place later when all the non players get culled and start taking flute lessons. -from my dad

Oh and he wrote this too:

not that there's anything wrong with playing the flute.

(Probably because 2 of his daughters played the flute. But honestly, I was not offended. It just made me laugh harder).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

i interrupt National Pollinator Week

...for an important post. Or just one for things I would like to get off my chest.

1. Boys. I thought they were supposed to be drama-free. Not like girls. With the mean-spirited "friends", the leaving other kids out, the "I'm better than you are" haughtiness. My boys are the sweetest, friendliest, most loyal friends you could ask for. But unfortunatley, that means they are going to be the ones left out, whether intentional or not. They aren't part of the click because of some reason or another. I realized yesterday, I am going to have to start having more playdates. And I am one who doesn't usually do playdates. But I don't want my kids to feel the way they are feeling.

2. Baseball. Why, oh why, do the youth baseball organizations not have tryouts? Instead they allow teams to be put together by parents and the kids who aren't on a team are "leftovers" and sadly, most of them aren't experienced. Rhett, who has played for 4 years and knows the rules of the game pretty well, just hasn't had any luck with getting on a well-rounded team. I am sad for him because he feels he has to do all the work while playing the game and other teams are filled with star players and it isn't fair because they don't get any better playing teams that have kids that mostly are just now learning to bat. Have I ranted about this before? Sorry if I have, but it just really bothers me!

back to regular scheduled posts....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


...Today I am showing you pictures of my butterfly garden. I have seen a couple of butterflies here and there and hopefully, later in the summer there will be even more. I also hope it will look even better then.

Butterflies are considered pollinators, although they aren't as efficient as bees. Alas, there population is also declining because of pesticide use, diseases and changing land uses. The US Forest Service International Program is planning on doing something about this, if they haven't already. Parterning with 4-H, Future Farmers of America and Farms Bureaus, they want to restore milkweek and prairie plants around ditches, fields and roads. They are also helping communities in Mexico and helping the younger generation learn conservation practices for pollinators, such as the Monarch Butterfly.

There are all sorts of places that you could buy your own butterfly culture to start your own butterfly habitat, but I don't know if I agree with that. I think just by planting flowers that produce a lot of nectar and not using harmful pesticides will be a way to help, don't you? Butterflies have a way of finding the flowers they need. I also tell the neighbor kids not to catch the butterflies with their fingers (rubs off their magic dust!) and not to pick the flowers.

I plan on taking the boys to the botanical gardens this week and also the blackberry farm, but because of the heat, it may have to wait. (Rhett's heat rash=no fun outside)

Oh and I did find a site where I could buy milkweek seeds. Of course, I couldn't plant them until November, but that is okay. I also found a site where there is a picture of the common milkweed:

Monday, June 22, 2009

the honeybee

(image from National Geographic)

Today is the first day of National Pollinators Week. I promise I will post everyday this week about different pollinators. The first is, of course, the honeybee. The honeybee is the only insect that produces food eaten by humans. The females are the ones who do all the work. They lay the eggs and guides the behavior of the other bees (Queen) and they forage for food, take care of the hive and perform other social functions (workers). The males are called drones and their job is to mate with the queen. After that, they are expelled. Poor males. They don't even have a stinger!

Honey is considered one of the safest foods because most harmful bacteria cannot live in it for any length of time. Of course, if babies under 1 eat honey, it can be fatal. It takes 1000 bees to gather a pound of honey.

Because bees help fertilize many of our amazing foods, such as apples, almonds, blueberries and cherries, their direct value to U.S. agriculture is more than $14 billion dollars (and it could be even more). So it is no wonder why we should be doing everything we can to save these little critters.

Here is a great video on how wild bees can help managed hives and also help pollinate crops.

Here are some ways to help the honeybee:

You could become a beekeeper, but most of the people I know won't go for that. Honestly, neither will I. So, instead plant your garden with bee-friendly plants. Did you know that Willow trees provide bees with a good source of food? They do! You could also encourage local authorities to plant bee-friendly plants in public gardens or spaces.

Buy local honey. Not only will it help with your allergies, it also supports local beekeepers and most likely would be pure and raw. If you don't have access to local honey, I would say just make sure your honey is raw, not just pure. Raw means it is not heated in any way. Heating honey destroys all the good qualities.

Bees are mostly gentle and rarely attack. If you see a swarm, do not spray it with water! Instead call the authorities who probably know what to do. Also, bees do not like the smell of alcohol or the smell of "leather" clothing. They also see dark clothing as a threat. If you see a bee hovering around you, stay calm and don't run away flapping your arms! Just calmly back away, preferably into some shade. They'll soon lose interest.

Have a bee-u-tiful day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

to our Dads

Dear Dads,

Happy Father's Day! We are sorry we aren't in Friona to give you each a hug in person. We are also sorry you won't get a card from us and your gifts won't be arriving on time.

But instead of focusing on what you won't have (us, the card or a gift), let's focus on how lucky we are to have such great fathers in our lives.

My Dad:
The other day Seth said he wanted me to watch him change the oil in my car because he thought I said it would make my dad proud. All I could remember is my dad getting so angry that I couldn't even check the oil in my car (my big brown olds). I tried and tried to get the dipstick back in the place it belonged but just couldn't. Dad was none too happy to have to do it for me (and show me how for the millionth time). So, then I got mad. We stayed mad at each other for a couple of hours. (I promise, it gets better). Then, I remember him getting up, coming into the kitchen where I now was (making a giant cookie for something that doesn't concern us in this story) and asking if he could have a little. I said no. (Well, it was for someone else). But, then I said he could have some of the smaller cookie that I made from leftover batter. He smiled. I smiled. And all the anger melted away. (See, a happy ending). So the point to this story is even though he may be proud if I could change the oil, I don't think it matters (which is good because there is little chance that I will learn, sorry). What matters is that my dad loves me for who I am and is always there for me when I need him. There are times when, as a parent, it will be so difficult to have to show your child something over and over but you do it. Because you know you have to. And Dad, you'll be glad to know that I do know how to check the oil now. I still am better in the kitchen than I'll ever be in a garage but that has got to better anyway. I Love you Dad.

Seth's Dad:
I remember when Seth and I broke up for awhile (way back in high school). Seth's parents stood back and never said much about it. A few months later, we got back together. I was happy. Seth was happy. I didn't realize (until years later) that Seth's dad and mom were happy too. In fact, Seth said that his dad told him that if Seth were to ever let that girl go again, he would kick his butt. The point to this shorter story is that Seth's dad also loves me for who I am.


Just kidding. I mean, I know he loves me and that story is true, but really the point is that Seth's dad let Seth make his own decisions and knew when he should step in and knew when he should stay by the sidelines. That has to be one of the toughest things as a parent. When do we bite our tongues? When do we say something? Sammy knew when to say something at the right time. We were back together and Seth knew it came from love. And luckily, there has been no butt-kicking because almost 11 years later, we are still together. :) We love you Sammy!

Have a wonderful Father's Day.

Love, Seth and Aimee

PS- Rhett and Noah say Happy Grandfather's Day!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


.. is spending a lot of time at the pool (so hot outside...need water...lots of sunscreen...and shade).

It is printing off coupons for prescriptions that cost too much to make sense. But coupons! Wow. I only wish I had found this out a year ago.

It is enjoying the ice cream that I made yesterday. No, we don't have a new ice cream freezer yet. We already have a small one (makes 1 quart, which really, isn't a lot). Seth wants a big one. However, I have been looking and thinking about ice cream freezers so much that I just had to get out our small one and make a batch. Yummy Chocolate Orange Mint. It was delicious last night and I am sure it will be equally yummy today. I have pictures that I will share later today or tomorrow.

It is catching up on laundry. Lots of laundry.

It is enjoying a break from sports.

It is letting the boys enjoy the wii.

It is figuring out what to do after the wii.

Have a great day.

Monday, June 15, 2009

i'm sleepless

...The past two days I have found that I don't want to go to bed. I am tired for sure, but something holds me back. I realized today why. The tree we planted in memory is a crape myrtle and I can't wait until it has flowers. They are a deep pink. I am feeling fine-- just having a little woolgathering moment or two.

I think I am going to take a nice warm shower and then try to go to sleep. I would skip the shower (since it is midnight) but I took the dogs for a walk and I smell like slobber, courtesy of Brinkley. He is a complete spaz when we walk but he has a lot of fun. I guess that is what matters. Scout is all business and makes sure I never keep up with her.

The boys had their first day of boredom. It was hot outside, none of their friends were around and I was busy (see other post frome earlier today). Rhett went to bed thinking life stinks. I told him it is all in the attitude of the person and tomorrow has to be better. But what I was thinking was, "You got to watch tv, play the wii and play with your toys all day! Why does life stink again?" Sigh. I feel old.

ice cream sounds great in this heat

...For Father's Day, Seth wants an ice cream freezer. I am very excited about this. Recently, I have found this recipe, which makes me want to get this book and I am definitely going to start reading his blog. (Don't you love when I send you to link after link? Just thought I would give you something fun to do).

Today though, I am going through my many, many magazine recipes and deciding what to keep and what to recycle. I love cooking new things and baking yummy desserts that I have never tried before, but how many recipes for hot molten lava cakes must I have to realize that I haven't made them yet and probably won't as long as I have a neighbor who can make them wonderfully. (I don't like competing). So, bye-bye. (All except one). And no more polenta recipes. I have tried to like it and tried hard to make it but, well, it just isn't happening my friends. See you later recipes for the cornmeal mush.

And I am going to just keep one recipe for meatloaf (the one we like best) because really, do I need to try 10 of them? No. Also, no more recipes for pasta. I have a wonderful cookbook (Giada DeLaurentes) that has all my favorites so I know I won't be trying anything else.

Do you see why I need to be going through all my recipes?

It is a good day to do this because it is hot outside. It is only going to get hotter but the rest of the week, we have to be outside for one thing or another. Today, we don't. So we won't.

Oh and I can't forget to tell you how the boys did on Saturday. Noah swam in his first swim meet. He only competed against one other child (The 6-year old division is very small) and he won 1st and 2nd in the breaststroke and freestyle, respectively. He was so excited! I was proud. He made it without stopping once and also put on some speed! Yay! He also played in his first t-ball game and did really well. He hit the ball hard and although he didn't see much action in the outfield, he stayed alert (meaning he did not play in the dirt!).

Rhett played in his first baseball game as well on Saturday (during the swim meat so he did not get to participate in that). He caught a fly ball and tagged a player out. He also hit a double! Seth was really proud of him.

Grandparents, I am just letting you know that I will be emailing you a schedule of games just in case you want to come watch. Who wouldn't want to watch in the near 100 degree heat and humidity? I don't know. ;)

I'll try not to stay away from the blog so long this time. Hopefully, I'll snap some pictures this week too.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

banana allergy and other things

...Last night, I was eating a banana and the top of my mouth started itching! This has happened before but only if I eat a banana, whole and by itself. So today, I looked it up and I guess because proteins in fruit are similar to proteins in pollen, many times one can get an allergic reaction when eating a specific fruit, especially during allergy season. Huh. Learned something new today!

Week one of summer just flew by. The boys are enjoying every moment: playing in the sandbox, swimming, staying up late, sleeping in, watching tv in the morning...everything a kid wants to do all year round but only get away with it in the summer.

I am enjoying it too. I am exhausted but it is good. I am getting many things checked off my list and I even have time leftover to do some fun things too. I think not watching tv at night has really made me more productive. Since there is nothing on, I do laundry or clean instead.

Hopefully, in a week or two I will show you pictures of my butterfly garden. The flowers are beginning to bloom. Still no butterflies, but it is early. We have seen many birds from a hummingbird to a cardinal in the backyard where our bird feeders are. Their sweet singing gets me out of bed in the morning.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

and so summer begins

...Happy Summer everyone! It rained last night (sorry, Friona folks if you did not get rain as well), so it is very cool this morning which means we are skipping Swim Team practice. The boys have it at 8:30 in the morning and yesterday they were almost blue! :) I know in about a month, we'll be wishing it was this cool.

We have been keeping busy and having fun. Today may not be too fun for the boys--it is errand day. Post office, grocery story, dry cleaners and maybe Ulta if I can squeeze it in. Have you ever tried to go to a beauty store with two boys. Well, it is exactly the same as when my mom went to the fabric store with her son (and I admit, I wasn't to happy to go either!). Rhett and Noah act like the whole store is cursed and if they go in, they'll turn into a girl or something.

I have already done my annual reading of Harry Potter. I read the last two books again last week. I want to make sure I am ready for the movie when it comes out in July. But after reading those books, I am always unsure of what to read next. Is there anything that will capture my attention like those did? Or make me care? So, I decided to read a classic, A Wrinkle in Time. I am embarrassed to admit that I have never read it before.

The boys are very picky on what they want to read. Noah only wants to read chapter books which is funny to me. He thinks he is such a big boy and picture books are just too short. Even though I think that he would love to read those. But who I am? Just his mom. Rhett only wants to read books about mythology right now. Percy Jackson is his Harry Potter. Nothing else is good enough. I want him to read Judy Blume and Beverly Clearly, but no. If it doesn't have the Sea of Monsters, then it doesn't interest him. :) (I am loving that they are both love reading!! It is so awesome!)

I guess I need to get ready for another day. Have a good one everyone!