Thursday, June 14, 2018

Grill and Gecko

Juvy watching the world go by

Even though it's hot here now, our backyard still looks refreshing to me.
I'm very glad we revamped it 
(with my parents' generous anniversary gift of the chairs and table last March!)
I get joy out of looking at it every single day.

We made another update by adding a new grill!
Our old one caught on fire awhile back, and we don't grill very often,
so we just never got a new one.  They're good to have, though, so Greg did
the research and found this beauty!

He courageously assembled it even though it was 108 degrees!
He drank lots of water and stayed in the shade.

Doesn't it look nice?

It got even hotter this week!

We're expecting it to cool off now, and we're hoping
for the monsoon to start early this year and bring us more rain 
than we've been getting the last many years.
We're excited to be expecting RAIN this weekend, starting tomorrow!

Claude has been on high alert the past couple of days
since she found a large gecko in the garage and brought him in the house

I picked her up (praising her for being a brave huntress, of course!)
and she let the gecko fall.  He then immediately ran under the fridge.
I figured he wouldn't ever come out and he would die under there and we would
have a stinky fridge, but he did come out.
In the process, he made mysterious slithering noises, which Stephen heard
and to which Stephen responded!
Stephen grabbed the gecko first, grabbed him, and carried him to the master bedroom, 
setting him loose on our bed.

Mr. Gecko ran behind our pillows, where I was eventually able to apprehend him (after quite some chase!) and escort him off the premises.
My dear friend Cindy was here and captured this photo:
isn't he cute?!

Claude is still spending a lot of time by the fridge because she didn't see 
Stephen run away with the gecko.

There has been a lot of cuteness around here.

Two cats: one little, one big:

Juvy and Stephen


And there has been a lot of cooking.
I have been feeling like having lots of healthy tasty food stocked up in the fridge.
I was happy to be able to pass on a bunch of frozen tastiness to Cindy, who
hurt her thumb badly and would have had a hard time chopping and cooking stuff.

I'm happy she's vegan, too, and that she appreciates simple delicious plant food.

Tonight I made a lentil pasta casserole and from-scratch hash browns.

 My hash browns turned out perfectly for the first time!

Even looking at this casserole always makes my mouth water.  It's GOOD.
It feels like a vegan comfort food or the vegan version of chicken noodle soup.
It's got turmeric, pasta, veggies, and a creamy sauce.  Plus, it's pretty!  MMmmmmm!

I hope you've been eating tasty things lately!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Getting Warmer: Birds, Sunset, Swimsuit, Dress

What's going on around here?
I've been chugging along!

I shipped six binders this week, I did a bunch of cooking, I filmed a good video,
I cleaned the house, I spent some time with my Gregory and our sweet baby cats, I hung out with my friend Jen, I got new tires for the Cube, I did some 1:1 Team (special needs team at church) stuff
 . . . it was a busy week! 

I continue to try to balance working hard with spacing out (I'm still about 60% energy-wise, so I need to be cautious.  I am mindful so that I enjoy what I'm doing and do the most important things).

isn't that the prettiest scissors?!
find it here

Even though it's warm here now (it reached 107 today),
I go outside with Juvy in the mornings, and it's beautiful.

Especially the sky.

We have a mourning dove nest in the back Chinese Elm tree. 

There's also one in the front sweet acacia tree!
(Greg took the follow bird photos).

Here's a really cute long-tailed grackle.
He looks very smart!

Here is a verdin nest.  We have about four of these adorable round nests
in our front acacia tree.  These birds make one next to sleep in and one nest for the babies.

Here's a cute little verdin.  He's eating a worm!

A couple of evenings per week, we water the trees (our watering system is pretty ancient and it leaks everywhere, so we water with hoses instead).  The sunsets have been pretty.  It was 100 degrees while I was watering the backyard trees, but it was pretty reasonable because the sun had gone to bed.
I wouldn't want to run a marathon or anything, but it wasn't bad.

I guess I'm probably slightly acclimated to heat, 
having lived in the Arizona desert for 23 years, though!

Allistair was taking a nap on my stationary bike, so I left it out.
While I was outside, he was gazing at me sadly through the sliding glass door.

Aerodynamic (and annoyed) . . . 

Stephen enjoyed drooping on the couch arm while watching birdies 
through the kitchen window.

Isn't he cute?!

We've had plenty of snuggles this week, but Allistair hasn't been satisfied.
He wants more snuggles!!!
Right now as I'm typing this, Claude is on my desk, Allistair is in a chair right next to my chair,
Stephen is on the bench at the end of the bed in my office, and Juvy is on the bed.
I'm surrounded by glorious fuzzy cute sweet loving cats!!! 

This week, I had the yen to cook a lot of different things.
I tried this new recipe for crock pot baked beans.

They turned out tasty!

I also tried to make a Chipotle-style rice & bean bowl with fajitas -
the salsa I used didn't sit well, though.
Everything else was good, so today I ate the leftovers with all-seasons salt instead of with salsa
and things were fine!

I haven't done much shopping lately.
Reason 1: Mom not here to inspire my purchases and have fun with!
Reason 2: I haven't felt well enough to be out and about much.
Reason 3: Summer isn't my favorite season for clothing because here in the desert,
I just want to wear as little extra soft clothing as possible.
During my resting times, I have done some online browsing. though. 
I ordered this dress, though I'm hesitant because it doesn't have sleeves.
I wore one like this for my college graduation!
product photo
find it here

Here's my dress (and me!) in 1995:

Thanks to my dear sweet Mom, who took these photos!

That was a VERY HAPPY time in my life.

I was very proud of that summa cum laude medal - in only three years!

Hope you enjoyed that little flash-back to the past!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Happy National Doughnut Day!

I didn't find out about National Doughnut day until it already WAS
National Doughnut day (today!), but I still made doughnuts anyway!!!

I topped some with coconut shreds,
a couple with mini chocolate chips,
and one with crystallized ginger.

Here are some beautiful doughnuts from times past . . . 

Maple glazed doughnut with coconut shreds and mini chocolate chips
(recipe here, though I always adapt and use applesauce instead of oil):

Maple glazed doughnut with crystallized ginger:

Peanut butter doughnut with chocolate coating:

Hope you got to eat some doughnuts!
If not, why not make some?!