Monday, December 31, 2012



Saturday, December 29, 2012

There's Something Happening Here...

What it is ain't exactly clear...

Do you see it?

Mesh lights....

And, an extension cord...

And, a multi-plug stake...

All dragged out into the yard.  This is THREE TIMES THIS WEEK!!

They belong over there on the far left...peeking out from behind that tree.

Other areas are unplugged, too.

I blamed the deer.  I always blame the deer.

 Mr P thinks it's something else.

But, what?

It's getting a bit strange.  And, very annoying.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Oh What Fun.......

For the first time in years, we had all the grandkids together for Christmas.

Our daughter and her family, moved from North Dakota, to Kansas.
Much easier to drive down for the holiday.

She's had some health challenges this year.  But, things are looking much better.

We went to our local Trail of Lights.   It's small town fun.
Lots of lights...a yule log to roast marshmallows and a hot chocolate stand.

Even and big light tree....

...for twirling.

Santa was very good to all of us.

I did the table this year, in a sparkly winter theme.

A simple twig wreath and a sprig of rosemary, finished off the napkins.
For some reason, I didn't get photos of the kids' table.  It was more candy  & Santa themed.

A cold front blew in and dropped the temperature 40 degrees.....again.
That's not so easy on this old head of mine...

We had a really good time.

Hope you did, too.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas...2012


Saturday, December 22, 2012

We're Still Here....

The World didn't end.

Seems the predictors were wrong.....again.

Glad all the work of decorating for Christmas, was not in vain.

Hope things are going well, in your part of the world.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Are You....


This two-sided ornament, from Jim Shore, lets us show which way we're facing.

But, we better watch out.....Christmas will be here soon!

Have a great weekend...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chilly Today.....

We had a few hours of Winter.

Yes....20F degrees.  It had been 19F, when I pushed the button on the coffee maker.

This monitor is on the window sill, in the kitchen.  That's why it shows so cold inside.

It'll warm up later.  And, I'll have a lot of mushy plants to clean up.

Hope you're keeping warm.


Monday, December 10, 2012

It's Already.....

the 10th of December.

Yep....time's moving fast.

After being hot yesterday, today dawned clear and cold. 
Good old Texas weather.
The rain missed us....again.

We've been off visiting in Kansas again.
Great photo opportunities there.

We were there for birthdays.  Both Kansas grandkids have birthdays in the same week,

And, we had to get in some middle school basketball.

We had some nice sunsets.

And, enjoyed the Christmas lights.

We had a really nice time.  Now back to getting ready for the holidays.

How was your weekend?


Friday, November 30, 2012

The Colors of Fall....

The last day of November.
How did that happen?  Seems like time flies faster and faster.

We have some fall color this year.
That's not always the case in Central Texas.  

The Blanco River, that was so low from the drought last year, is showing lots of color.
Those are Cypress trees.  The do make a mess, when all those tiny needles fall.
But, they make a pretty show first.

My neighbor Elli's Bradford Pear is putting on a show, too.

The leaves blow around and decorate the neighborhood.

Across the dry creek in back, these trees make a pretty view.

It's been very dry, again.  We haven't had measurable rain here, since September.
That's not a good sign.  Winter is supposed to be our wet season.

The deer are hungry.  That makes all our landscapes even more vulnerable.  
Gardening here is hard enough.  We just hope some rain will come soon.

I hope your November is winding down the way you like.

Have a Great Weekend...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cold Morning...

It's cold here, this morning.

The birds are fluffed up, trying to stay warm.

Not to worry, though.  It's going to warm up quickly.

Hope you're warm and cozy where you are.

Happy Gardening...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks....

Hoping for the happiest of Thanksgivings for everyone.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Joshua Tree.....

I recently posted about our trip to the Palm Springs area...
for a golf tournament. 

We've been making this trip for years.  And, for years I've been saying we need to go see 
Joshua Tree National Park.

This year, we drove out.  Went first to the Grand Canyon, and then swung by 
Joshua Tree, on our way to Indian Wells.

It was certainly worth the trip.  In fact, I'd like to go back to see more of the park.

There are forests of these 'trees'.

The Joshua Tree is actually a yucca...Yucca brevifolia.  It got it's name from 
Mormon settlers who came across this part of the Mohave desert, back in the 1800s.
They were reminded of the Biblical story of Joshua reaching up to the sky in prayer.

These trees grow up to 49 feet high.  They have prickly foliage and a bark
that makes it actually look like a tree.

There are no age rings in this tree, though.

I like to do a lot of research before we go on any trip.
I knew we wouldn't have a long time here, so I wanted to see the best places.

Reviewers said that you shouldn't miss Keys View.
You can see all the way across Coachella Valley...where we were headed.

When we stopped at the welcome station, the ranger told us a good place to see is
Barker Dam.  It's a dam built around 1900 to hold water for cattle and mining.
They did some gold mining here.

I'm glad we stopped here.  It's quite interesting.

The slightly more than one mile trail winds through these amazing boulders.

I like rocks.  And this place is a rock lover's delight.

Huge piles of rocks.

How amazing what nature does.

The dam is at the back turn.

A mixture of concrete and stones.

The ranger told us that Big Horn Sheep come here to graze.
We weren't lucky enough to see any.

There's an old...and, interesting...water trough here.
At least, I think that's what it is.

The view from here is pretty good, too.

Joshua Trees are not the only things growing here.
The trail goes through this little grove of oaks.  It's nice and shady and cool here.

Maybe because this is in a desert, the leaves on this oak are very small.  
It's hard to tell here, but the leaves are just a bit larger than a quarter.

There are lots of these less-than-friendly looking cacti.

And, taller ones.  I think this might be a Teddybear Cholla.

And, this shrub was really nice.  Look at that great bark.

Of course, I didn't take a photo of the sign beside it.
I think I remember the name being some kind of 'apple'.
The signs here gave common names....when there were signs.
If they're going to bother, they need to have the botanical names, too.

As you can tell, we weren't the only ones along this trail.  
It was a bit like walking on a beach.  Hard walking through the sand.

The area ahead here looked almost like a 'landscaped' patio area.
Too bad I forgot to take a closer photo.  Nature is a pretty good landscaper.

There are some petroglyphs from the Cahuilla people.

Native peoples lived here.  There is a natural spring in the park...Mara Oasis..where they got their water.
The plants provided food for them, and for animals.

The boulders give some shelter here, as well.

Those are some big rocks!

Those piles of rocks were one time mountains.  Erosion over many years, left only the boulders.
As if some giants dumped truckloads of rocks.

President Franklin Roosevelt named this a National Monument in 1936.
It was renamed a National Park, in 1994.

Can you tell I was impressed by this place?

We ran out of time, so we didn't get to see a lot of things.
There's an old ranch, a mining site, the oasis, an area known as the 
Cholla Cactus Garden...and on and on.

We have to go back.

The main entrances are along Hwy.62, just north of Palm Springs.
We went in at the west entrance, in the city of Joshua Tree.
There's an east entrance, in Twentynine Palms.
And, you can drive all the way through the park, down to I-10.

It's worth the trip.

Have a Great Weekend...