Another Eden

A seed, some as large as a coconut, others as small as a mustard seed. They grow into plants much larger than the seeds themselves. A mustard seed doesn't grow into a coconut. It all works out as planned. The most important thing in life is the world that God made us. I don't understand how he made it work, but I'm so glad he did.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Post Thanksgiving Basketball and big wheels

Well, after rereading my post from yesterday I realized that I talked a lot about Thanksgiving and didn't really talk about anything else. Leave it to me to focus on food and leave everything else behind.

Friday night we went to the Hornet's game. They were playing the Timberwolves. They got creamed. Well, not really, they lost 86 to 79. The halftime show was by the Mapapas African Acrobats. They were fantastic! One thing I didn't really understand was the number of times that they broke into the action to do something. They upgraded somebodies seats, then they had somebody shoot for CDs from Midfirst bank, (the money kind not the music kind), Then they had somebody shoot for something else. I don't know what all they were doing, mainly because we couldn't here that well. We were after all, two rows from the back wall. Talk about up in the cheap seats!

Keith, Ryan and Jeff at the game.

Laura and Erin at the game.

Saturday, for those of you who don't live or understand Oklahoma, was Bedlam. Bedlam is whenever Oklahoma University plays Oklahoma State University in baseball, basketball, wrestling, softball, shotput, but let's face it, the only time it matters is FOOTBALL! I am a life long OSU fan (mainly because my dad and my sister were diehard OU fans and I'm contrary) plus I am a student of the OSU system, so I was naturally rooting for my Cowboys. But on the other hand. Texas Tech beat Texas the night before so if OU won they would go to the Big 12 championship against Nebraska (who we beat)and if OSU won Texas would go to the championship. And nobody wants that! Well, it worked out that OU won 27 to 21, but the last play of the game was a barely incomplete pass by OSU which had all the OU fans in the room (which was everyone else) pretty much on the edge of their seats.

We also had a mini Christmas because Keith had to go home Sunday. He'll be back Christmas but Laura and the kids will be in Las Vegas. Anyway, on of the things that Ryan got was a big wheel (actually I missed seeing the kids open presents because I was putting the silly thing together) and it was the best thing ever, according to him. I'm not sure he still thinks so since it has gotten him in trouble several times because he can't stand not riding it in the house. Papi had to put it in the shed yesterday until he could settle down and obey the rules. Most of the time I can't get him to let me take pictures of him on it but I did manage to sneak this one in. Of course right after he noticed the camera was pointing at him this is the only shot I managed to grab.

He's a cutie pie, but I think his dad spoiled him for a camera. The poor kid had a video or still camera shoved in his face for the first four years of his life.

Anyway, that about does it for now. Hopefully everyone had a good Thanksgiving and is looking forward to Christmas. Let's remember why we have Christmas, more than the toys, more than the tinsel or tree. The greatest gift we could have. Someone to love us no matter what we do. Someone to care for us when we don't even want to care for ourselves. Someone who was willing to come pay the price for our sins. I love you all because Jesus first loved me.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Kids, Thanksgiving, Basketball and running around like a turkey with my head cut off!

Well, how long has it been? I'm afraid to look. I figure Susan will tell me when she yells at me for going so long between posts.

Laura and the kids didn't fly in from southeast Missouri, she drove. Eight hours with a five-year-old and a two-year-old. She's braver than I am, that's for sure! They got in safely Wednesday night and we haven't stopped moving since. Thanksgiving on Thursday. Basketball on Friday night, Bedlam on Saturday. I'm exhausted!

I know, I got these backwards, but I'm too tired to try to fix them and although I would usually just take them off and do them over I don't wanna do that either! Our Thanksgiving was smaller than usual. Of course Susan and Jim deserted me to run off to his sisters, so that was two gone. Maw and Myrna and Megan couldn't come because Megan is getting married in the Spring on some cruise ship and Maw had to keep her strength up for that. I told her that Thankgiving at my house would be more fun than some silly old cruise but nobody listens to me. Anyway, we only had twelve counting Kathy and I and all the kids (the only ones that really count anyway!)
Here's Debbie being her usual charming self. I love the way that a camera brings out the best in people!

And here's Julie and Sam. Sami is one of my favorite non-related grandchildren cause of that thing on her plate. Look a little closer. Yes that is a whole turkey leg. She loves 'em. She ate that whole leg (even tho it was falling off the bone, so it wasn't as much fun) and then took the other one home with her! Anyway, Keith and Jill have known Julie forever and Debbie was Julie's nanny and now is Sami's and so they have made it over the last two or three Thanksgivings. I keep threatening that we're all going to go out but they are three reasons that we probably never will.

Actually, we had thirteen for dinner. This is my granddog, Zeus (my other granddog, Bambam, Zeus' daddy didn't come) Zeus was amazingly patient, both with Ryan who's holding his leash, and with the fact that I roasted the turkey outside and he laid right under the roaster and I didn't drop the turkey once. That probably irritated him to no end.

Here's my little sweetie, Erin. She pretty never knows what to do about Papi. About the time she gets used to me they take off for somewhere else but she has been letting me take care of her some and she usually giggles when I kiss the top of her head.

Well, that was Thanksgiving. The food was good and plentiful and although we didn't have as many souls around the table as I would have liked I love each of the ones that were there. There was food, fun, laughter and love. God was smiling on us and what else is Thanksgiving for but to remember His love and care that he sends to us.

God bless us every one (yes, I know that is from a Christmas story, it still fits!)


Monday, November 20, 2006

Party Hearty!

Good Afternoon. Hope everyone had a good weekend. Ours was fairly busy since we had to get everything ready for Kathy's work group party on Saturday and then clean everything up from Kathy's work group party on Sunday. This was most of the people that Kathy started with. A few of them couldn't make it but most of them did and a wonderful time was had by all, and they didn't hardly complain about work at all! Well, not after the first couple of hours anyway.

This is (from left to right)Keith (Brenda's husband) Brenda (one of Kathy's best friends) John (Kathy's husband {no, not my Kathy}) Kathy (John's Kathy not my Kathy) Sharon and HO (Sharon's significant other)

This is (from left to right) Kim, Marisa (Kent's daughter) and yes, that's my Kathy

This is Kent and his son, Devon

Sharon and Kim in a big hurry to leave.

So to reiterate. Kathy started work with Kent, Brenda, the other Kathy, Sharon and Kim. And a few others but since they couldn't make it why should I confuse you or myself by trying to rattle them off. Like I said we had a great time, well, I did anyway.

Laura comes in tomorrow evening with Erin and Ryan, and then Keith comes in Wednesday. We are planning on having somewhere between 13 and 25 for Thanksgiving dinner. Hmmmm, between 13 and 25. I love having detailed plans, don't you?

Well, hopefully I will post some pictures of Erin and Ryan when they get in before Thanksgiving and I'll definitely post Thanksgiving dinner pictures.

Still trying to find out if Blogger beta is going to screw up everyone's settings, if anyone has any info please let me know.

Have a wonderful day and be good to yourself.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Well, the weekend is almost upon us. Kathy and I are having some friends from her work over tomorrow so today Jill came over and cleaned house. Well, she tried to clean house and what she got done (which was a lot) looked great, unfortunately, Maddox wasn't feeling too good and when Maddox hasn't feeling good he let's everyone know about it! He wouldn't let anyone else hold him, well, I fib, he would let Kathy hold him, as long as she was walking around, mostly he wouldn't let me hold him, the little monster.

Oh well, like I said, we're having people over tomorrow even though Kathy doesn't feel all that good. She has a rather bad cold that won't let her sleep comfortably. I don't talk about it too much since I'm the one who gave it to her. I took her to the doctor today and he gave her a script for cough medicine and then we took the script to Target to get it filled and their computers were down so it was several hours before we could get the syrup and then Kathy just took it a little while ago so I'm hoping that she'll just sleep through the night and catch up a little. She told her doc to prescribe the big bottle so I would have some when she gave it back to me so I guess we know what her plan is.

I'll try and get some pictures of everybody at the party. You really haven't seen fun until you've seen an accountant blowout! Sometimes they get so wild they take out their pocket protectors and run around with scissors! Ok, enough ragging on accountants.

I don't know why but Susan told Kathy that I needed to post some pictures of some silk arrangements I did (she hasn't even seen them) and when Kathy and Susan talked last night I don't know whether Susan said something about it or Kathy just thought of it but she asked if I had and I hadn't so here they are.

Anyway, I will try to post a little Sunday or Monday about the party (Susan says I have to keep this thing up so she'll have something to do when she escapes the hospital) and hopefully I'll have pictures.

By the way, has anybody out there changed over to Blogger Beta? They try to get me to change over every time I sign on and I almost did the other day but then I read something in their warnings about all the url's will change so I don't know if I read it right or misunderstood or just panicked (actually, my computer makes me panic at least once a day whether I'm on it or not. Did you know that the NSA reads everything that goes over the internet? I also heard that they have hired my high school English teacher and she is sitting at some desk somewhere and critiquing my prose! She didn't like me all that much 33 years ago and she is probably still having nightmares about the fact that I came to school on senior ditch day and the week after graduation. Boy, it just gives me the willies!) Anyway, you know it isn't really paranoia if they are out to get you.

Ok, if anybody can reassure me that my blog won't end up circling around Jupiter or something then I guess I could switch over to beta. So if anyone has any info it would be appreciated.

Take care of yourselves and God bless.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More Fall Color

One of the hardest things to remember as a designer, at least for me, is multiple season interest. There are times I get hung up on my plant-du-jure and that is all I can think about putting in all my designs. Luckily in Oklahoma there are plenty of plants that do well and have multiple season interest and I have managed to fall in love with almost all of them.

Ok, so what am I talking about when I say multi season interest? Well, it can be a lot of things. A lot of times we notice the flowers and don't really pay attention to anything else about the plant. Other times we think about the fall color. But there are a lot of things you can plant that don't really have fancy flowers or stupendous fall color that can still give you some interest in the landscape. For instance, structural interest. Harry Lauder's walking stick, or contorted filbert, does well in Oklahoma. During the Spring and Summer it mostly has a rich green color that makes a nice backdrop to other plants, in the fall the leaves turn a blah yellow and fall off soon, but in the winter time, especially after an ice or snow storm it has a structural interest that will beat just about everything else around.

In case you weren't impressed with the pics of the bald cypress the other day, here is one that is a little more into the color change.A nice reddish rust color and good even branching. An altogether wonderful tree. Great in wet spots, handles drought, can stand up to the hottest weather Oklahoma can come up with. The only thing it is picky about is that it has to have full sun. I have seen some planted in a grove style that are completely one-sided because another was shading it out.

Well, I know y'all are probably bored with it, but I don't care. I am still in love with the Chinese pistache. Great tree, grows wonderfully and has color like this.Which brings me to my other thing about multi-season interest. A lot of plants have flowers that are not really noticeable or don't last very long but then they have fruit that persists until the birds finally strip it. Chinese pistache is one of these. This is the fruit on the female pistache.Some of the trees will be completely covered in these fruiting structures and you won't even notice until a wind storm comes by (like the one the weather men are panicking about for tonight) that strips the leaves and all of a sudden you'll notice these beautiful reddish, pinkish berries all over the tree. Unless the wind is particularly hard and then you'll notice them all over your yard. Well, landscaping, like life, has it's trade-offs.

Ok, speaking of fruiting structures. Lantana is one of my favorite perennials. And one of the reasons is its fruit. The berries start out green and then turn anywhere from pink, red, blue, purple or black. And all on the same plant! Wondrous!As far as cool fruiting structure go, there is really none so cool as moonflower vine (the one related to morning glories, not the datura). It is an annual, so it's kind of a hassle to keep planting it, but this year we were trying to have something on the arch while trying to get rid of the passion flower. Yes, I love passion flower, but there is also a butterfly larva that loves it and they stripped the vines last year so that it looked really ugly and didn't flower at all. And while I love having the butterflies and to do that you need something for the larva to feed on, what they are feeding on doesn't need to be right on the front walk so that everybody in the world sees it first thing! Anyway, here is the fruit for moonflower.Is that the coolest thing or what?

Now you don't have to know what the plant is to notice how pretty something is about it. This is off a vine that my neighbor has. I don't know what it is, don't particularly like it because it is filled with thorns, don't notice when it flowers because they are small and blah, but during the fall it has these all over!And the birds love them as much as I do. Maybe more.

Ok, last but not least. Until a few years ago, the state flower of Oklahoma was the mistletoe (then since the State legislature didn't have anything more pressing to do, since life here is so idyllic) they changed it to the Indian blanket. Anyway, the mistletoe is supposed to be a parasite that will kill a tree (not true, it roots into the bark crevices and is fed by bird poop) and I will admit that it isn't all that attractive. Though you have to give it props for that whole kissing thing, and according to legend (don't know if it is true or not) the reason it was made the state flower in the first place is because some settlers wife died and he put flowers on her grave for her birthday every year in January and the only plant he could find green around his cabin that time of year was mistletoe so he petitioned his representative to honor it (all together now, AAAAAAWWWWWWW). Anyway, you have to admit that it looks kinda cool when the trees are bare and it has the berries all over it. When it's low enough to see the berries.

Sorry it's a little blurry, there is only so much that photo-pro can do after you crop so you can see what you're supposed to be looking at.

So, that pretty much is all I have to say for now. Laura and the kids will be here in about a week. So then I'll have Ryan and Erin to play with and irritate with my camera. Until then, Take care of yourselves and be nice to someone that you usually don't notice today. It just might keep them from going over the edge.


Friday, November 10, 2006

A bit of color, a bit of Maddox

This is actually a week old post. I posted it to Multiply and Multiply promised to post it to Blogger. Multiply lies. Anyway, most of the news will be old to just about everybody. But here goes.

Well, what's in bloom? Not much, and what is in bloom is usually so unobtrusive the only thing that notices the flowers is the wind. But there is plenty of color left in Oklahoma right now. We are just starting to think about fall, and not thinking hard since today the high is supposed to be about 75. But I was out running around this weekend and saw some color to show y'all.
Is there any question why I love Chinese pistache? Not only is it one of the most hardy trees for Oklahoma, it can stand being planted right by the street without tearing up sidewalks or dying from the exhaust and it has fall color like this! Absolutely wonderful.
Another favorite, crape myrtle. You get flowers throughout the summer, from white through pinks and reds to purples, fall color like this and when you tree the plant up, such beautiful bark interest in the winter!

And now for one I don't particularly like except in the fall. Bradford pears are usually weak limbed so they split in windstorms (and one thing we have in Oklahoma is wind!) in the Spring their flowers... well, they just stink! Rotten fish wafting on the breeze. But I have to admit, their fall color is impressive. Reds, purples, and even in years of drought (which Oklahoma also has), they show their color well.
I'll put more fall pics in my album.
The only thing more fun about fall than the color is Maddox. Jill, Jeff and Jeff's parents, Diane and Harvey, took Maddox to Haunt the Zoo last night and brought him by so we could see his costume.

He's not real happy about the mask, actually he's not really happy about the costume, but he's still cute as the dickens!

Well, the only other interesting thing we did over the weekend was bring the tropical plants in. Amazingly enough we only brought in 14 and put a half-dozen in the cellar. Maybe that isn't amazing to you guys but just a few years ago we had 60 something potted plants that we had to find places for. Trust me, by February, Kathy was going nuts to get them all out of the house! One or two in the bedroom or bathroom isn't too bad, but when you can't turn around without getting slapped in the face with a leaf (or worse, a thorn) it gets a little irritating. We were a little later bringing them in this year but the weather has been so mild and the porch is so protected that we just left them out there.
Susan is doing well the last I heard. They got all the tumors and she is quietly (for Susan) recovering. I went up to see her Friday but Kathy and I decided to let her rest over the weekend. We'll bother her later. Thank you all for your prayers for her, and my daughter and my mother and me and Kathy and all our kids and grandkids and... Well just thank you.
Take care of yourselves and be good to someone today.

Grandkids can wear you out~

Ok, apparently Blogger and/or Multiply hate me, or hate each other, or get miffed when I go to one or the other one first or something! Supposedly, Multiply will let me cross post to Blogger and supposedly when I post to Blogger I can copy it to Multiply. Well, it DON'T! Several months ago, my daughter, Laura got me on Multiply so it would be easy to pass pictures of the kids back and forth, and I started blogging on Multiply. Well, then Susan
decided that I needed to blog to Blogger so she could send friends over to read my rants and raves (not exactly sure why they would want to) and that way people that don't want to don't have to join Multiply. So now I have two blogs with mostly the same stuff on it and I was thrilled when Multiply said that it could cross-post. Well what usually happens is nothing, and if something does cross post it won't take the pictures with it, and after all, nobody wants to read this stuff, everybody wants to see my grandchildren! Anyway. That's why I haven't posted to Blogger for a few days because I was waiting to see if Multiply would send it over. Well, guess what? It didn't so here is another copy of my post from Wednesday and I will post another copy in a few minutes of what I posted on the fall color. But for now, the important stuff!

A note about names. Kathy and I are a blended family. So when our grandson Sabastian (who is now eleven) started to talk he thought that Kathy's name was Kathywayne, because that is how everybody in my family talked about us (Kathy and Wayne said....). So I became Grandpaw Wayne and Kathy, weellll, Kathywayne. So now Natasha calls her Kathywayne and we assume that Ethan will as well whenever he decides that people can be trusted enough to talk to. When our grandson Ryan was born, Jill and Laura tried to come up with cute names for everyone and I get called Poppy and Kathy Nana (for quite a while we didn't know if Ryan wanted Kathy or a banana) but then as Ryan aged he kinda put a Hispanic spin on my name (why a kid growing up in Qatar would say it with a Spanish accent who the heck knows) so I started writing it Papi. And we are assuming that since that is about the only name Maddox has ever heard me called then he'll start calling me Papi. But then when Abby and D'Artagnon lived with us for a while after D'Art graduated Tasha was just starting to talk and Abby tried to get her to call me Papi (because she thought it sounded a little more elegant than Grandpaw Wayne) but she decided that my name was Peepaw and that was that, she won't call me anything else. And you know Peepaw is so much more elegant than Grandpaw Wayne.

Well, we kept Maddox Saturday night (Jill and Jeff came and got him Sunday morning) and we kept Natasha and Ethan Tuesday night (Abby and D'Artagnon came and got them about 10:00). And all I can say is that those little things are exhausting! Kathy and I didn't get anything done Sunday because we were so tired and I went to sleep as soon as they came and left Tuesday. Why is it that I could take care of three kids and get everything else done and still have a life when my kids were little and now I can't even watch one kid for a few hours without taking a three hour nap?

Maddox's other grandmother taught him a rainy day game, go and play in the van, so he thinks that's what you do anytime there is a van available.
And of course the most fun and Nana and Papi's house is the stairs!
Peepaw is ok but what the heck is that flash that keeps lighting up the room?
And the most fun Natasha can have is playing in the bath.
Post bath, chewin' on the dragon.
Anyway, we had loads of fun with the kids, Laura and Erin and Ryan are coming soon so I'll have pics of them for Thanksgiving. I think I'll go take a nap and rest up.
Be good to someone today, and do something for yourself.