Posts tagged ‘Gardening’

Seven Quick Takes

Let’s see if I can do an entire quick takes without talking about Jansen or pregnancy…

Remember in kindergarten and you’d have conversations with your friends about your favorite color or favorite animal or favorite way to scrunch your socks?

The other day we were in the car and Stephen started making this awful noise with his throat. It was like a low grumbly groan. I asked what he was doing. He said he was making a noise, and kept going. It was awful. “Please stop making that noise. It’s disgusting.” He replied, “Man!! But it’s like one of my favorite noises!” I asked him if he was six.

Here’s a fun fact. I mentioned that one of our former foreign exchange students was in town. Last week she went to Austin with some friends and told us that she was able to get into bars and drink. Since Europeans swap their dates, it looks like her birthday is February 11, 1989 (2-11-89) when it’s actually November 2, 1989 (11-2-89). Stupid Americans!

Does anyone know how to go about selling a clunker car? We have one that isn’t really drivable but I know there are people out there that buy them. How do you find those people? How do you transfer the title. You guys are the smartest people I know and you always have answers. Don’t let me down!

(Yes, I know we could donate it. We did that with our last car. That’s a last resort because we are poor and we could use a few hundred bucks.)

For the most part, our garden has been a failure this year. All of our tomatoes have been eaten by ants or snails or aliens, we’ve only harvested a whopping 5 strawberries, our broccoli and carrot seeds were dug up by the squirrels before they even had a change to do anything, and I realized I don’t even really like parsley all that much.

But, ladies and gents, we grew a cantaloupe! A real live, edible cantaloupe! I didn’t take a picture of it when Stephen picked it because it was small and looked funny and I was certain that it was full of bugs or poison.

But Stephen said he thought it was ready, despite its tiny size. So he picked it and carefully cut it. He took one bite and didn’t like it. I smelled it and it smelled like Heaven. We realized that Stephen never likes cantaloupe so he can’t really be the judge. I was too scared to try it because, well, what if it is poisonous and I kill my baby all because of a tiny cantaloupe? So I did the only thing that seemed rational. I took it to my dad. He tried it and said it was good and not deadly. My uncle tried it and agreed. So then I tried it. Fantastic! I’m so proud!

I got a coupon for a free snack sized Dreyer’s Slow Churned ice cream. I got it the other night and came hom and had it after dinner. LAME. First of all, it’s like the size of a shot glass. Second of all, it’s lighter than air. They advertise that it’s 1/2 fat, but I’m sure that’s because the other half of the container is filled with air. Not a fan.

Over the weekend I read Love the One You’re With by Emily Griffin. I’ve previously read her other three books Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and Baby Proof. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Something Borrowed but I read Something Blue because I bought them as a set and I couldn’t just ignore an entire book. That wouldn’t be fair. (Books have feelings, you know.) Then I borrowed Baby Proof from a friend of mine (I still have it… about 2 years later…) and I kind of liked that one. In fact, I’m about 95% sure that’s the book I read the name Jansen, although it was spelled Janssen and used as a last name. (This doesn’t count as a Jansen reference.) So when I saw she had another book out, I wanted to read it. My SIL gave it to me for my birthday back in November and I just got around to reading it. HORRIBLE. I hated it. My hatred for it is probably magnified because I’m married, but I think I’d hate it even if I wasn’t. Anyone else read this book? Did you hate it?

I had a really long, weird dream last night. I won’t tell you all about it but I do want to mention that at one point in my dream, we found out that my friend Lyndsey was on the cover of US Weekly. I’m not entirely sure why but I think it had something to do with “chic Texan attire.” She was wearing a white fedora with a silver top and sparkley silvery white long shorts with heels. I don’t know…

July 9, 2010 at 8:34 am 15 comments

My Reality

I’m not sure why our nation is so obsessed with reality television. I don’t really enjoy it. I watch Jon & Kate Plus 8 when I turn to TLC and it’s on. (I’ll ignore the obvious discussion we should have about the turmoil in their relationship because it’s not the point of the blog. And while you know I’m not really one to (quote) stay on task (unquote), that’s just not a wound I really want to pour mounds of salt into right now. So.. moving on.) I own the DVDs too. And the book “Multiple Blessings”… but that just makes me obsessed with the Gosselins, not reality TV. And of course you know that I love The Biggest Loser. Maybe “love” is an understatement. But that’s neither here nor there. I still claim that I’m not a reality tv junkie.


There are so many shows that just follow families around. Are their lives really that interesting? Sometimes I wonder if people would watch my reality television show. What would we call it? “Royal Treatment: Life in Hurst Castle”? That sounds much more interesting than I actually am. I think that if someone gave me a reality show, some exec in some fancy office would lose their job. Probably the first time Rookie licked her butt. Or maybe right after the camera showed me cross-stitching while wearing my pirate patch on the couch while Stephen played “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” on the piano. In May. Someone would definitely lose their job.


Quite honestly, I’m not sure why someone at WordPress hasn’t pulled the plug on this little number here. Certainly there is some sort of relevancy clause. “Blogger must have a minimum of one (1) relevant story per 2000 words. Failure to do so will result in termination of blog, leaving said blogger all alone at her desk, fighting back tears and wondering who will read an email about the slightly entertaining (but totally pointless) event that happened last night.” I bet the WordPress execs (does WordPress even have execs?) are sitting in their offices, hanging their heads, wishing they paid closer attention to Field of Dreams. They should have known… if they built a free site for people to write freely, crazies like me would flock to them. Their fault really. They gave me a blog. But about that tv show…


What would our show look like? Here are a few of the activities you would see on this week’s episode:


  • Stephen on the couch spitting ice cubes in the air for Rookie to catch in her mouth. Over and over.
  • Me making banana chocolate chip muffins while wearing my pirate patch. Then forgetting to set the timer. Freaking out when I remember that I have something in the oven. Seeing that they aren’t done and leaving them in a little longer. Then freaking out again because I forgot about them again. Pulling “slightly toasted” muffins out of the oven. Eating them anyways.
  • Stephen and Rookie running laps inside the house. Stephen hiding behind corners and jumping out at Rookie. Rookie hopping on and off the couches and pouncing at Stephen.
  • Me watering my garden full of weeds.
  • Me watching the last 4 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy on the laptop in the front living room and crying my eyes out. Meanwhile, Stephen in the main living room watching something educational on Discovery.


Wow. I don’t think my life is that boring. I am quite fond of it actually. But I can see how, from the outside, it might look lame. And pointless.


Much like this blog.

May 29, 2009 at 9:20 am 11 comments

Updates and Links

Today is one of those days we both hate. I don’t have any stories that I care to share, so you have to read about a bunch of stuff you may or may not be interested it. And, sadly, you don’t know if you’re interested until you read it. So, sorry if none of the topics below interest you.


-Our friends Jim and Sarah are coming into town on Friday. We are so excited. We planned this little weekend months ago and it seemed like it was years away. I can’t believe it’s already here!


-Speaking of Jim, check out his garden. I’m thoroughly impressed. While his garden looks like it’s actually bearing fruit, ours appears to be bearing grass. Lots of grass. And weeds. Mad props to Jim for doing his homework and planting a successful garden. No props to Stephen and I for randomly planting seeds and ending up with grass and the beginnings of beans and cucumbers. We know we need to pull the weeds but we’re too scared… what if some of it is actually a veggie? We wouldn’t know the difference! So hopefully Jim’s expert eye can give us a hand this weekend. Jim, please be gentle when you tell us that we actually have nothing of value in our garden. Let us down easy…


-I’ve mentioned The Five Love Languages before and I’ve told you how great of a book it is. Check out what my friend Amanda has to say about it. She mentions that her and her fiance have opposite love languages. this is pretty common…. which is why it’s so important to learn your spouse’s love language. If you know me well, you know that I don’t like touching. Hugging is fine, to a certain point. I was never one of those girls in middle school that walked down the hall with her arms linked to her BFF. I’m terrible at cuddling. I hate to be held. It’s so sad. This is especially sad since Stephen’s love language is physical touch. So after reading the book and realizing that he feels loved when I touch him, the same way I feel loved when he does the dishes or mows the lawn, it was shocking. It definitely made me more intentional about hugging my man! (I know, Stephen, I am a work-in-progress!)


-Sometime in the next couple weeks, Roots and Rings is getting a facelift. One day you’ll come to the site and everything will look different. I’m so excited about it, I just know you’re going to love it. And if you don’t, don’t tell me!


-In an effort to keep things fun and interesting around here, I would love to hear your thoughts. With Biggest Loser being over, I was thinking about adding in another weekly post. Take a look at some of these or throw out some ideas of your own. I thought about a weekly recipe, but I already have the recipe blog. Just look there if you want a recipe! I will continue to do Props!, but this is not a weekly post. It’s a whenever-I-darn-well-feel-like-it post. So be creative and let me know what you want to read about it. After all, if you’re coming here to get your daily dose of R&R, I want to make sure you’re getting your fill!


-Rookie still looks ridiculous. And now I’m scared that her hair isn’t going to grow back. She has an under coat of fine fur and an over coat of coarse fur. Does the over coat of a dog grow back?? Does anyone know? I think I’ll vomit if it doesn’t.


Hopefully something today struck your fancy. If not, just scroll down and look at the pictures of Sophie again. Once you see her, I’m confident you won’t stay mad at me for long!

May 20, 2009 at 11:18 am 6 comments

(A Title-less Pointless Post)

Since today is Good Friday and nobody has to go to work except me, I’m not going to write a fancy schmancy post. I’m sure you’re all out working in the yard, running errands, or visiting family. For the select 4 people who will read today (Stephen, mom, dad, Lindsay), here goes nothing:


-I have had a few people tell me that they are intimidated by the Crock Pot. Oh people, you are missing out on one of the great glories in life. Think back to those wonderful days in high school where you come home and the house smells delicious. You know your mom has been in the kitchen making something wonderful. You can have that with the Crock Pot. Throw it all in the pot in the morning and when you come home from work, it’s done! For you morning people (Jim), this is perfect. Wake up. Cut up your veggies. Make your seasonings. Do whatever you need to. For us non-morning people (me), do this at night. I put all of my stuff together in the pot, put it in the fridge, and then in the morning I just add the wet ingredients and go. And because you are slow cooking, the flavors are delicious. There is almost nothing better than carrots that have been cooking all day with your roast! So take the plunge! (I just made a roast on Monday. Will post the recipe here later today.)


-Do you want to know why my husband rocks? Well, for many reasons… but here’s a specific. He is one of those lucky souls that doesn’t have work today. If I were him, I wouldn’t set an alarm. I’d sleep until my body felt like waking up and then slowly start being productive. Not my man. He set his alarm for 6:45. Got his sweet butt out of bed and went to Starbucks to get me a mocha and a muffin! Oh I love him!! (Thanks Esteban!)


-I’m pretty sure I’ve discussed this but we have trays of herbs and veggies growing in our house. Stephen built a raised garden and filled it with a great veggie blend dirt. Today he’ll transfer the plants into the garden. Want to know why I’m annoyed? Half of my parsley didn’t grow. And my dill went limp and is tangled. I think I’ll plant some new seeds directly into the garden. I’ll spread them out a bit more to see if that helps.


-I’m baking my first carrot cake this weekend. I’m in charge of two desserts for our Easter lunch. The first is this amazing Oreo dessert that I made for Stephen’s b-day (will add this to the recipe blog at some point). I thought I’d give a carrot cake a try. Sunday is also my MIL’s b-day and she loves carrot cake. And also, I thought that making a carrot cake on Easter was kind of cute. Wish me luck. If I fail, I may never do it again!


-My cousin had a baby yesterday. Little baby Sophie Grace! She’s quite early, she wasn’t due until the middle of May. She weighs 3lbs 8oz! Precious precious baby!!! Say prayers for her and momma! She’s doing just fine, no complications. Praise God!


-My church had a member of Jews for Jesus come to church last night for Maundy Thursday. The presentation was fascinating. I encourage you to google it and learn a bit about the Jewish culture and Passover. I hope you all make it to church tonight and focus on what today is all about. I know many like to avoid it so they don’t have to “feel bad”… Yeah, it’s sad. Yes, it’s pretty depressing. But it’s important to acknowledge. You (and me of course) put Him on that cross. So at least take a minute to focus on what He did for you. “The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”


-We got our tax return on Wednesday! I never updated from my previous post, but thank God I had made a mistake. I had my dad review my taxes and I had left off our property taxes. So we got a bit more than $39! Whoo hoo!


-Does anyone in Houston have a good Handyman? We are thinking about removing our shower and installing a new one. We’ll need to move some plumbing. It’s a fairly big job. One we’d rather pay someone to do it than have Stephen waste a bunch of his free time on it.


Have a fantastic weekend!!!

April 10, 2009 at 9:27 am 8 comments

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I love children’s book. You could probably figure that out when I posted about my Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I don’t just love them for the nostalgia factor, I genuinely love them. I loved them when I was a child and they never did any wrong, so I continue to love them. There was Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Stinky Cheese Man, and all those Amelia Bedelia books. My favorites were the Shel Silverstein books, the Berenstain Bears, and Tomie dePaola. I don’t really know if Tomie dePaola was actually that well known. Do any of you know who he is? My first grade class read Legend of the Indian Paintbrush and then we got to meet him. Live. In the flesh. A think at that point, that was the highlight of my life. We got a picture with him in the newspaper. Maybe it was just the local paper but, hey, what difference does it make to a first grader?!


Another favorite was Eric Carle. Man his books were great! I loved The Grouchy Ladybug. And now, all of a sudden, The Very Hungry Caterpillaris eating it’s way back into the spotlight. It’s a great book. Why wouldn’t you love it? The pages have holes in them! And it’s much more interesting than any normal book because the pages are different sizes. No wonder it has sold a bagillion copies! Apparently this is the 40th anniversary of that book! I know this because one of my many addictions is Google and last week I opened Google and was delighted to see this:


The Best Google Logo in the history of all Google logos!

The Best Google Logo in the history of all Google logos!


Now, to a child or a naive adult, it appears that Eric Carle’s intention with this book was to teach children the days of the week, numbers, and the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. After some experiences yesterday, I’m certain this isn’t true. I think that Mr. Carle was a gardener. I think he came home from work after a tough day of drawing picture books and as he was unlocking his back door, he glanced back at his garden. There stood a sad, brown stalk of something that might resemble a tomato plant. In shock he ran over to it. “What could have happened? I swear I just watered you! And we just got rain. Surely you aren’t that thirsty!” Eric was right. He had just watered his plant. After further inspection he found a small green caterpillar. “Well that sucks! And you suck! Normally I’d just move you to another place in the yard but, nope, not this time. You’ve pissed me off something awful and now you’re going to get squished under my shoe.” Eric was mad. He felt betrayed. Just the previous day he’d moved the caterpillar off the plant onto the hibiscus. How did it find it’s way all the way back? Did the caterpillar only hunger for the sweet flavor of tomatoes? He squated back down to inspect the damage. That’s when all hell broke lose. Caterpillars. Tens of thousands of caterpillars. Okay, maybe just tens of caterpillars. They were all over. Hiding under leaves, too lethargic from a day of tomato feasting to run away. One by one, Mr. Carle picked the disgusting gluttons off his plant. And one by one he squished them under his shoe on his white cement.


Mr. Carle went inside and used his anger as energy and inspiration. He drew and he wrote and he wrote and he drew. And he finished with a masterpiece. A beautiful story about a caterpillar eating all week. Eating cake and ice cream and a watermelon. But with a stroke of bitterness, he made certain that this caterpillar would never get a taste of a sweet homegrown tomato. Then, to add insult to injury, he gave the beast a stomachache and turned him into a butterfly.


Too bad this story has already been written. What are Stephen and I supposed to do with our anger??

March 31, 2009 at 11:48 am 7 comments

A Watched Pot

It’s really quite amazing what can happen when you aren’t paying attention. To prove my point, I’d like to point out that it’ll be April in two days. I’m not really sure how that happened. Wasn’t it just Christmas?! It’s almost Easter! I’m not really having that much fun, why is time flying so fast?


As many of you know, Rookie loves squirrels. Or she hates them. I’m not sure which is true… all I know is that if she’s outside she chases them and if she’s inside she barks hysterically at them. It’s really a lose/lose situation for us. We can’t let her outside to chase them since we are still missing a significant part of our fence. So she’s stuck inside, leaving paw prints and puppy nose prints on our windows. Since it was a gorgeous weekend, the squirrels were out in full force, frolicking around in our front yard. Rookie was running to each window that faces our front yard, fussing and barking. I finally went to the front living room to try to calm her down. I sat by the window with her. This, shockingly, seems to settle her down a bit. What does this have to do with a watched pot?? Well as I was sitting there staring out the front window (which I very rarely do) I noticed that we have tiny vines curling around up around the beams on our porch. Clearly I don’t spend much time staring out my front window because these vines were probably 6 inches high. I’m sure that according to green thumbs and gardening guru’s, these vines are considered a nuisance but I thought it was kind of cute!


I think there are a lot of pots we watch on a regular basis. Weight, bank account, to-do lists, investments, success, etc. I’m sure you have a few pots of your own. I urge you to quit watching them. It’s not healthy. And it’s certainly not entertaining! I know, it’s easier said than done. And I’m not really one to talk. I’ve recently learned to quit looking at the “Remaining Balance” line on our mortgage statements. That pot won’t boil until our kids are out of college! (When I was little, I always thought mortgages were good things. In Monopoly, you got lots of money when you mortgaged your property. Nobody ever told you that you’d need to make monthly payments on that for 30 years! I thought MOnopoly was supposed to be an educational game. I wonder if we can blame the housing crisis on Parker Brothers…)


This morning I saw a pot boil. Over the weekend (when I wasn’t watching!) I officially reached (and passed) the 5000 hits mark on this site. As a new blogger, that’s pretty exciting! So thanks to all of you for reading and for continuing to read!! And many thanks for the comments and emails!


-Do any of you Houstonians have an eye for design? If so, please email me.
-Does anyone know where I can find a tall, skinny cabinet for our bathroom? I’m having a hard time finding ones that are over 5 feet.
-My cold is almost gone! There is minimal mucus today. And last night I slept on only one pillow and slept through the night with only a half dose of NyQuil!

March 30, 2009 at 10:27 am 7 comments


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