Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thankful Thursday

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  We had a few days of mighty stormy weather, but we are very thankful that there haven't been reports of serious injuries, the worst of it missed us, and that we live on a hill.  (There has been a lot of flooding.)  In between the storms, we actually have had some very nice weather, so after Mom and Dad cleaned all the debris off the deck, we had some time to go out there and relax.

IMG_9605MagsCamPlay
"Let's PLAY!"
"You're on!" 
IMG_9607CamMagsPlay
"Gonna get you, Mags!"
"Not if I get you first!  BOOM!"

Such a great way to unwind!

In other news ... Maggie made an interesting discovery!

IMG_9578MagsCamDeckFun
"Nah, I'm good.  Just needed a sip.  Thanks, Mom!"
"I had a sip earlier."

Did you know that if you take a sip from Mom's water glass and she sees you do it, she'll offer you the whole thing afterwards?  She's so generous!

Have a great day, everyone!

Cammie!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Serious Look

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  Maggie and I took Mom on a really nice walk this morning.  We hiked and trotted part of the Hudson Trail, then came up the hill that's capped off with our water tower.  The skies were really pretty, so Mom asked us to strike a couple quick poses for her.

Here's how things went:

IMG_9569CamMagsWaterTower
"Ah!  What a great walk!"
"Cam!  We should do our Serious Look!"
IMG_9570CamMagsWaterTower
"How's this?"
"Better."
IMG_9571CamMagsWaterTower
"Not bad, everybody, huh?"
"... and people think I'M the silly one around here?!?"

What can I say?  I can't be the serious one all the time!

Cammie!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Stormy Weather

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  As some of you may know, Springtime in Kansas means keep your eye on the weather (especially if you're a weather geek like our mom), and yesterday, we were in the watch area for a big storm.

Shortly after dinner, this one rolled in:

IMG_9513Storm24APR16
Off our deck, facing west

It dropped a tornado near Salina, KS, but fortunately for us, it skirted around just to our west.

The next cell that popped up spawned another tornado - this time just to our west (at Milford Lake) and was tracking our way. Our tornado sirens started going off, and Mom and Dad were following the storm closely on radar and on the radio. When it got closer, we headed downstairs to our "safe room". Here's a look at us down there:

IMG_9523CamMagsBOOM
"BOOM!"
"BOOM!"

It seemed like the right way to ride out the storm.

Have I mentioned that our "safe room" is also our Library? It's dug into the side of our hill, under our garage - so it has a concrete ceiling. There's a door that closes us off from the rest of the house and a window, but it's made of glass blocks and is as strong as cinderblocks. Pretty awesome. Might as well be comfortable while we wait for the "all clear", right?

After the tornadic part of the storm had passed and we were in the "severe thunderstorm" part, we went back upstairs. We had played enough Crazed River Otter Games for the day, so Cam and I moved on to something else.

IMG_9530MagsCamBackgammon
"I think Mom's got us, Cam!"
"No ... we still have a chance.  I need to think."

It was us against Mom.  She won this time, but we'll get her on the next go-round!

What do you all do when there are big storms outside?

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Serene Scenery Sunday

Hello, everyone.  It's me, Cammie.  Even though we just did Flower Friday, we thought we'd take you around our gardens and show you a little bit of what's happening.  Ready to take a walk around?

We showed you the Korean Dwarf Lilacs Friday.  They're still in full bloom and Mom can't get enough of them.

IMG_9492CamMagsKoreanDwarfLilacs
"Look, Mags!  A person!"
"Ooh, yeah!"

Between the sunlight and us being more interested in the neighbors than whatever Mom is saying, she has a hard time getting "good" shots of us in front of them. She snapped that one quickly, as evidenced by the fact that we look like we're sitting on a slope. Moving right along ...

Mom went shopping Friday and brought these guys home:

IMG_9341NewPlants
Plants in Mom's HR-V

From what I gather, we've got a few Gerbera Daisies, a variegated Vinca, a couple Purple Fountain Grasses, Butterfly Weed and Milkweed for our butterfly/wildflower garden, a couple varieties of Coleus, a dark, lacy Sweet Potato Vine, and some tall, spiky thing.  Except for the Butterfly Weed and Milkweed, they are all annuals here.  As mentioned yesterday, Mom spent yesterday morning pulling weeds and planting the new things!

Here's where the Gerbera Daisies ended up:

IMG_9410GerberaDaisies
Gerbera Daisies in the mailbox planter, with the Clematis 

A bunch of the other things went into the planters and some pots on the back deck:

IMG_9416DeckPlanters

They'll help fill things in a bit.  Our sage is still growing from a couple years ago, and so is some mint.  Check out this cool bud on the sage plant:

IMG_9390SageBlossom

Maggie thinks it looks like something out of a science fiction movie!  She was very interested in it.  Do you know who else was interested in it?  This guy:

IMG_9401WoodhouseToad
A Woodhouse Toad!

He jumped out and surprised Mom!  We don't know how he would have gotten onto the upper deck!  He hung out there all afternoon, then Dad caught him and took him down into the yard.  Something about us girls and temptation.  Hmm.

Speaking of temptation - here's one of the Purple Fountain Grasses:

IMG_9417PurpleFountainGrass

Apparently, it will be much taller than the railing there before too long.  Oh.  The "temptation" part?  Let me just say that is a mighty tasty ornamental grass and that I couldn't help it.

Remember our Beth Lily of the Valley?  This is a Beth Lilac bush:

IMG_9391BethLilacs
Beth Lilac

Mom planted it two years ago from a tiny cutting.  It's nice and healthy, and in a year or four, it will have lovely white lilacs on it!!!

Here is one of the perennials Mom planted last Fall:

IMG_9393HummingbirdMint
Hummingbird Mint

It has really taken off in the past month, so Mom is really excited!  For those who've never heard of Hummingbird Mint, it is also called Agastache; you can learn more about it at this link!  It will attract Hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees!

Our Snowball Viburnum has also taken off and is now in full white bloom!  Check it out:

IMG_9422CamMagsSnowballViburnum
Me and Maggie, posing very nicely!

Here's another look:

IMG_9502MagsCamSnowballViburnum
Maggie and me!

Lastly, Mom has something of a history of making us and our great-brothers and -sisters pose on the porch.  You probably remember the shots from Christmas - but she does it in the warm months, too.   She put a grouping of the plants she bought in a big planter out there, so ...

IMG_9431MagsCamPorch
"Oh, not this again!"
"Sigh.  I know.  Oooh!  I like me in this pink collar!"

We eventually (OK, a day later) were a bit more cooperative and gave her this shot:

IMG_9496MagsCamPorch
Mags and me, giving it our best shot

Can you see the plants back there?  It's the spiky thing, a Coleus, and a dark Sweet Potato Vine. Mom said they'll all get really huge by the end of the Summer!

I hope you enjoyed the garden tour and feel nice and serene now!  Have a lovely Sunday!

Cammie!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Late

Hello, everyone.  It's me, Cammie.  Usually, we do our post right after we get back from our morning walk, but today we're late.  Why?  Well, after our walk, we all sat on the deck to enjoy the beautiful morning, then "someone" went out and dug in the garden until it was time to clean up then make everyone lunch.  And because of that, we're late.  Right, Mom?

IMG_8564MagsCamStare
"Yeah.  Right ... Mom?"
"We're going to need our own computer, if you're going to be this way.  And thumbs.  And a cookie or two."

Anyway, that's why we're late!  As a result, we should have nice pictures to show you tomorrow for Serene Scenery Sunday, though!

Have a lovely Saturday!

Cammie!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Flower Friday

Greetings to all! It's me, Maggie! Today, we're joining with our dear friend Dory for her weekly Flower Friday post! Let's have a look around our front yard!

Right outside the garage door, we have our Korean Dwarf Lilacs. They are in full bloom right now and smell so good!

IMG_9243MagsCamKoreanDwarfLilacs
"Sit by the lilacs.  Got it, Mom."
"The neighbor's practicing disc golf, Mags!"

For the record, Mom didn't say anything about looking at the camera ... so that's a hit on her, not us!  Anyway, the Korean Dwarf Lilacs aren't as "showy" as some of the other varieties we have, but they sure smell wonderful!

Over in the corner of the front garden is a GREAT bush Mom and Dad dug up and transplanted a couple years ago.  It's our Snowball Viburnum!

IMG_9194MagsSnowballViburnum
"Very nice!  Almost in full bloom!"

When they reach full bloom, they'll be solid white - just like real snowballs!  Isn't that cool?!?  We'll show it to you again, once it's in full bloom!

We have a few different varieties of one of Mom's favorite flowers in the garden - Lily of the Valley.  New to the garden this year is "Beth" Lily of the Valley!

IMG_9197BethLilyOfTheValley
Beth Lily of the Valley

Mom's friend Beth gave them to her as cuttings last fall, so this is their first bloom here!  Aren't they pretty?  Mom loves special plants like that that remind her of friends.

Speaking of which -- here is another grouping of some Lily of the Valley plants:

IMG_9295MagsCamMMLilyOfTheValley
Me and Cam in front of the Lily of the Valley

Let's go in for a close-up!

IMG_9201MMLilyOfTheValley
Pink Lily of the Valley!

They are very special to us for two reasons, three if you count the fact that Mom just loves them!  (She carried Lily of the Valley in her wedding bouquet.)  One - they're PINK instead of the traditional white.  And two - they were sent to her by Molly's mom way back in 2009!  Actually, they were sent by Molly's sister and brother, Maggie and Mitch, both now angels, to our great-brother Zim!  You can read all about it at this link.    We call them our "M & M Lily of the Valley"; they remind us of Maggie and Mitch, and what special friends they were.  Here's what makes them extra-special this year - they bloomed the very day Molly and her mom and dad said good-bye to Mitch.

IMG_9298MagsCamLilyOfTheValley
Me and Cam in front of the M & M Lily of the Valley

Now that's beautiful!

One odd thing I wanted to show you before I close - the Peonies.  They aren't in bloom yet, but I thought I'd show them to you anyway.  Check this out:

IMG_9204MagsPeonies
"Wow.  Thrown in jail!"

I'm not sure what they did, but both groupings of our Peonies have been put in jail this year.  I'll check with Cam and see if she knows what happened.  I'll keep you posted.

We hope you enjoyed our version of Flower Friday!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher