My Journey Along the Narrow Way

Posts tagged ‘summer’

I’m Sailing Away…

I’ve been a little lazy about writing lately.  Actually, I haven’t written a word since way before our cruise.  So let me start with our wonderful trip.

Bud and I have been planning and talking about going on a cruise for our 25th anniversary for literally years.  Because of that, we were both sad when we found out Bud would be in Korea for our 25th anniversary.  After he returned from Korea, we decided this was the year.  We decided on a 7 day cruise leaving from New Orleans and going to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Montego Bay.

We left in late August right around the time Hurricane Isaac decided to come into the Gulf of Mexico.  We left and the first full day was pretty rocky due to the Hurricane.  Despite having the seasick patch on, I still got pretty sick the first day.  Once I took some more medicine and we got around 400 miles away from the hurricane, it was much better.  Also due to hurricane, our itinerary was flip-flopped and we started at Montego Bay. 

We decided to do excursions at the ports since we were newbies.  In Jamaica we went on a tour that took us through the beautiful countryside, holding a stingray, and then swimming with dolphins.  It was amazing.  The dolphins were so much fun and one took a special liking to me and gave me a BIG FAT KISS on the mouth!  The people were wonderful and the food was great.

The next day was Grand Cayman which I fell in love with.  It was the most beautiful place with the most beautiful blue water.  We did a tour here too which included a ride to Hell where we got to send out mail from the Hell Post Office, then we went to the Tortuga Rum Company where we had double chocolate rum cake (YUMMO), then to the Turtle Farm where we got to hold some cute turtles, and then finally to meet a boat that took us 30 minutes out to the stingray reef where we swam with and held huge stingrays.  They were so soft and lots of fun.  When you hold them they just look up at you.

The next port was Cozumel.  I want to go back to Cozumel again because we were at a different port than Carnival usually uses and we weren’t able to do a lot of what most people get to do at Cozumel.  We walked around, shopped, and then went to Margaritaville.  It was nice and relaxing for Bud and I. 

The sea days were so much fun and I know it’s cliché but I did have the time of my life here.

It was an absolutely fantastic 25th anniversary trip and hopefully it is the first of many wonderful cruises in our future.

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Growing and growing and growing…

Here is an update in picture of my garden. We are finally getting some produce!!!

Still Growing…

For someone who hated even the thought of yardwork or gardening, I’ve now been working on my veggie garden for about 3-4 weeks and I LOVE it. I have also started learning a lot about what to do and NOT to do. All the plants have been growing by leaps and bounds. They especially seem to like this hot weather we have been having lately. I even had to go buy a few more cheap planters and transplant the tomatoes so they could really start to spread out.

I also learned that strawberries like LOTS of light. The topsy-turvey for the strawberries started out on the porch. I finally figured out they were dying one by one because they weren’t getting near enough light. So I moved the remaining ones (3 plants) to hanging off the fence near the rest of the garden and they seem to be doing much better.

We used seeds to plant celery and I’m pretty sure we planted way too much in a small place. They are just now coming out so I might need to cull some out before too long.

The squash is also growing like crazy. I have a bunch of plants at this point and no produce yet, but I think that’s exactly where everything should be at this point.  Several of the plants did start flowering this weekend so I’m taking that as a good sign.

Digging in the Dirt…

I’ve never been someone you could consider a gardener. I never aspired to be one either. I didn’t like working in the yard and frankly didn’t really know how to garden. Every now and then I would get out the planters and buy some flowers and plant them; but that was pretty rare. I do have to say I’m a “Powerball Plower” on FarmTown on Facebook but somehow I don’t think that counts.

This past weekend all that changed. I had been pondering planting a garden for awhile. The thought of fresh vegetables has been calling me for several years. Bud’s parents have been growing veggies in their garden for several years and sharing the overflow with us. I have come to learn that nothing tastes quite as good as freshly grown produce.

Saturday I got up early and took Bella with me to Home Depot to purchase some plants. We got lots of veggies and some fruits too: several different kinds peppers, tomatoes, onions, herbs, watermelon, carrots, celery, etc. I don’t know a thing about this so I probably got some things that shouldn’t be planted now. However, I took the shotgun approach and just got some of everything. I also had some seeds that I used too. We even got a Topsy-Turvy planter for strawberries and one for peppers.

Bella and I spent hours digging in the dirt, planting, watering, etc. It was a blast. Bella eventually went inside to sleep (jet-lag). I continued “playing in the dirt.” There was something so basically satisfying in planting. Just pushing the seeds down in the rich dirt makes me feel good.

I can’t wait to see how excited I will be when the seeds start coming up. It all is a miracle…the beginning from a small seed, growing into a big plant that produces something to eat.

I will take some pictures soon and I plan to keep everyone posted. I don’t know how much of my plants will come up, but I am still glad I am now officially a “gardener.”

Summer, Here I Come!

Since it’s almost officially summer, I was thinking I would kick it off by writing about an incident that happened last summer at the lake.

My friend Cindy and I had decided to spend a girl’s weekend at the lake at Cindy’s lake house. Since her husband, Avery, was working, we took Cindy’s three dogs with us. One of the dogs, Mabel, was under a year old at the time. She is a boxer so she is really stubborn and hard-headed.

Mabel

Mabel

Just to tell you how hard-headed this dog is I need to tell you what happened that morning. Cindy and I were piddling around outside and we brought the dogs, including Mabel, out to run around and swim in the little inlet they have on the property. Usually if all three dogs are swimming in that area they will stay right there.

Well we turned our heads for just a moment and when we looked back Mabel was gone. Of course we were in full “freak-out” mode because Mabel is actually Avery’s dog and now we had gone and lost her! So we ran all around looking for Mabel. We were really concerned because Mabel has this bad habit of swimming out into the lake way too far. I finally decided to get in the truck and ride down the road a ways seeing if I could spot her. I got to the end of the road where there is a boat-storage place or something of that nature and low and behold there was Mabel – swimming in the middle of the lake following a flock of ducks. Of course I yelled at Mabel and I swear she just glanced my way quickly and then turned her head away from me and started swimming even harder. I about yelled myself hoarse before I finally got her back on shore.

When I brought her back to the house, Cindy proceeded to beat her butt and then attached her to the chain secured to the house so she couldn’t go anywhere. Mabel was so mad at Cindy…she wouldn’t even look at her and completely ignored her the rest of the day

A few hours later, Cindy and I decided to get in the lake and just float around on floats. Cindy had her other two dogs, Molly and Watson (who are both Jack Russells) on a float with her. I was floating on a noodle and decided to get Mabel and let her swim too. It was really funny because she would only come to me and was still ignoring Cindy.

So I got Mabel and put her on the noodle too. Mabel has these ridiculously long arms so she knows how to sling them over the noodle and hold herself up and float. She was facing me and we were just chilling there floating. Every now and then she would put one arm around my shoulder and just shoot Cindy these ugly glances.

As we were floating along, I felt something graze the back of my thigh. I was trying to figure out how Mabel’s tail had gotten around my leg when it happened again. This time, however, it didn’t just graze my leg; it bumped into it and then rubbed my leg as it swam by. From the amount of time it took to go by, I realized this thing had to be around 1 ½ to 2 feet long! Well of course I went into pure panic mode and let out a scream….which was a BIG mistake. As soon as I screamed Mabel began to climb up my body. She was now in full panic mode as well!

So there I was, trying to swim as fast as I could to the dock and Mabel was steadily trying to climb up my body and sit on my head! I was freaking out and she’s freaking out and what was Cindy doing? Laughing so hard she was crying. I finally make it to the dock, which was in reality only about 5 feet away but it seemed to be about 5 miles. We got up on the dock and Mabel runs one way and I go the other. My upper body was now covered in scratches and gouges where Mabel has gotten me with her toenails. And Cindy? She was still floating there laughing so hard she can barely talk. Finally, she can get some words out and what does she say? “I’m so glad I was in the lake because if I was on the dock I would have wet my pants laughing so hard!”

Wow…what a friend. And good to have for help in a crisis….NOT!

As I am writing this, we are getting ready to go to the lake for the day with Cindy and Avery. And, I know two things: I am probably going to get the willies when I get in the lake and swim AND Mabel is NOT floating with me again! Other than that: Summer – Here I Come!