Sunday, November 22, 2009

Back Again!

Oh where does the time go?!
So I'm just going to post some random pics this time.
Buttons in the Fall leaves. She should model!

We got some really beautiful colors this year. It wasn't very rainy, so you could see all the changes. On my way to work each day there was one tree I'd pass that started out bright red at the top and each day it'd be red a little further down. Eventually the red at the top turned to orange and then yellow, and that happened all the way down the tree. I never noticed how different leaves change at different times and in different ways, until this year, I think. So beautiful. And to think, all those colors are hidden in the leaves, just waiting for the green to fade away. I don't like winter, but without the cool days we'd never have Autumn with all of the amazing colors to look at.
This is looking across our backyard.

One of the 6 trees in our backyard.

Some leaves from our trees.

I decorated our house a little for Halloween. I put spider webs over the bushes, put up Caution tape across the screen door, and I hung little ghosties in the porch railings.

This was my pumpkin. We carved pumpkins with our friends the Klavans. I got the idea from a picture I found in somebody's photobucket. (The green inside is just the candle.)

Jason's design didn't turn out quite the way he planned, so he removed the whole front, put a spider web over it, and hung a spider on it. After a few days the squirrels got to his, but they left mine alone for almost 2 weeks. We put Vaseline on all the openings to keep mold and squirrels away.

My cousin Nick Rainey got married to a girl from Utica, NY, a couple of hours from here. Jason couldn't go to the reception, so I asked my friend Rachel to come. We got lost once we got off the exit (the Google directions weren't so good), and when we finally found the church, there was no one there. So I called my dad to get my aunt's #, and I called her to get Nick's wife's family's #. My aunt told me the reception had started 3 hours before I thought it did, so even if we hadn't gotten lost, we'd never have made it. After many more phone calls I finally connected with Nick, they came back to the church, and we followed them to his wife's family's house. We visited for a few hours, and it turns out, her family used to go to the Schenectady ward. We knew some of the same people! And her sister had lived in Ogden and we knew some of the same Institute teachers! What a small world. So the gussied-up trash can is their wedding present (all things they registered for), and they were very happy to get it. :) We left there in a huge downpour, but we had a good time.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

It's been awhile...

So many things have happened since I last posted, so I'm going to try to be brief. My dad and his wife Freda came up from VA for the 4th of July. It was so fun to have them here! And so useful! My dad mowed my lawn while he was here and got us a new mower blade. Thanks dad! We invited our friends the Klavans over for a bbq on the 4th, and then most of us went to Clifton Park to watch the fireworks.

Group shot taken by Jason.

Rachel and Abigail.

Ayden (no he doesn't have a lazy eye, it's just the pic!)

Jason and Buttons (obviously). Buttons was much better this time my dad and Freda visited. She didn't shake all the time and she let them pet her (briefly).

Freda eyeing the food.

Abby getting a diaper change so she can enjoy the fireworks.

Ayden in his frog chair waiting for the fireworks to start.

Later in the month, we went up to Palmyra to watch the Hill Cumorah Pageant. We met up with my Uncle Dan and aunt Cindy, and their daughter Heather, and my aunt Naida and her daughter Lisa. It was so much fun to meet them there and see them again. I hadn't seen any of them since I moved to NY, and even a while before that. We had perfect weather, and I wish we could've spent more than just a day with them.

We went to the Visitor's Center before the pageant, and went on a brief tour.

Danny and Cindy and I. I pointed out that they were both wearing green, and we realized that after being married awhile, you do start to dress alike...

Lisa, Naida, me, Cindy, Dan, and Heather.

I was so glad Jason could finally meet them and they, him. It was a lot of fun.

Here are some pics from our garden. I'm still waiting for the big harvest, but we've been getting little bits here and there.

Out of focus peas, and...

beans. Apparently, my veggies have a hard time staying focused. :)

And finally, our Primary had an activity at a rec center last week, and I was in charge. Jason couldn't come, and neither could Rachel's husband Justin, so I helped her with her kids. We had so much fun! There was a lazy river, a water slide, a lap pool, and lots of fountains and things for the kids to play in.

The big, yellow bucket and the colored cones all fill up with water and then dump out randomly. If you're not watching, you'll dumped on as you walk under them.

Well, not as brief as I thought, but not bad!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Imagine me a gardener!

I was so excited to start a garden this year. Once spring came I went to Home Depot and Lowes and bought all sorts of stuff to make raised-beds gardens. I mixed up my soil, but then found that the measurements were off, so I didn't have enough soil to fill my 3 boxes. So I was able to only fill one box then. Two weeks later I bought more soil mix and filled the other 2. So now I'll have a harvest 2 weeks apart, which is good. So things started growing, and I was so excited, and then last week, we got a huge storm. It had been raining off and on for days, and I was worried my plants weren't getting enough sunlight. But then we got hail and I had something else to worry about! During the big storm Jason and Buttons and I had gone to the library and it started hailing while I was inside. Buttons got scared and Jason had to carry her home. By the time we got home the rain was already slowing down, but it had hailed for about 10 min, and the hail was pea-sized. Several of my plants didn't fair so well, but they seem to be recovering all right.

Here's the beginning of my gardens. I had to drill and screw and glue and Jason and I had to wrestle with the wood (since it was cheap, it wasn't completely straight). Once we got the boxes done, I had to do the same thing for frames for wire cages to go over the boxes. Then I took chicken wire and cut it and stapled it to the frame. Finally I took zip ties to attach the sides to the cages.

Here's the 2nd box I filled. I have to cut the zip ties short still, but at least the cage is up. We have so many birds and squirrels and chipmunks and even bunnies, that I had to do something to keep them out. Around the base I find holes every day where a chipmunk has tried to burrow under (luckily I put weed cloth on the bottoms, so hopefully they can't get through to chew the roots) and birds sit on the cage looking like they're trying to figure out a way in.

Here are my 3 garden boxes. There used to be flowers and a small tree and lots of greenery back here, but it was very unorganized and since there were flower beds elsewhere in the yard, we borrowed a tiller and tilled this whole section up. Then we went through and dug up roots and bulbs (I ended up with a big trash can full) and finally had a good expanse of just dirt.

These are carrots and a zucchini plant. Since the boxes aren't very deep, the carrots won't get too long, but whatcha gonna do?

The peas I planted are apparently of the climbing variety. I put shish-ka-bob skewers in amongst them to grab a hold of, but they've been causing me great stress since they can grow up to 2 1/2 feet tall, and the cages are only 18 and 24 in tall. I've finally decided to transplant them all to the 3rd box that doesn't have a cage on it. I've been worried about the animals getting them, but I don't know what else to do. I'm going to plant them all along the back of the box and lace bird netting around bamboo stakes so that they'll have something to crawl up.

I just put in the bamboo tonight, and I decided to plant some marigolds along the sides. Supposedly, marigolds keep animals like bunnies away. I don't know if it's the smell or what, but as long as they work, I don't care! Plus, they make the whole thing look purdy!

These are my rhubarb plant and my raspberry sticks - I mean bushes. The rhubarb is doing pretty well, but the raspberry bushes have yet to make a move. Right now they just look like sticks stuck in the dirt. I bought one and our home teacher gave us the other one. The one I bought said it was guaranteed to grow, so if it doesn't, back to the store it goes!

This is the first box I planted. There were a couple of spots that nothing came up in (not sure why) so I planted potatoes in them tonight. I have peas, beets, green beans, cucumbers, radishes, lettuce, zucchini, corn, carrots, potatoes, and soon, green peppers and tomatoes. I started growing the last two inside, and they should be ready to go outside in a couple more weeks. Hopefully they'll have a long enough growing season. Next year I'm either going to start them earlier or just buy seedlings.

And here's my first harvest! I'm so excited! I've been able to see the red tops of the radishes for a few days now, and today I pulled the 2 out that looked the most ready. I can't believe I actually grew some food! Jason wasn't as excited as I was, but that's ok. I'm thrilled enough for the both of us!

In other news, we've been doing things around the rest of the yard too.

I put down Patchmaster in several dead or bare patches of lawn to get new grass. Since it's been raining so much I haven't had to water hardly at all, and we're starting to get new lawn. In the pic, the blue-ish stuff is the Patchmaster. All the green in it is the new grass. Some stupid squirrels or chipmunks have been digging in a lot of the spots and they're really irking me. They're ripping up the new lawn, and I'm about ready to get a bb gun. Until I had a yard to work in I thought they were cute. But now I'm seeing them for what they really are - juvenile delinky-dewinks. But despite their best efforts, the grass is growing.
Jason fixed this so it looks pretty. Before, the cinder-blocks were uneven, and there were plants growing everywhere. But he evened them up, weeded and cut down all unnecessary foliage and added more white rocks than there had been to the blocks. It looks so much better! Of course, the hail didn't do these plants any good either, but they're still growing, so no lasting harm done. There are tulips that come up here in the spring, but after awhile they die, so Jason cut them down. They'll come up again next year.
And finally, this is our only flower garden with flowers right now. We had no idea what they looked like when they started coming up, but I think it's gorgeous. The orange ones are tiger- lillies I think, but I don't know what the others are. This garden is on the side of our shed. We're going to fix the wall around it so it is more even one of these days, but it doesn't look too bad as it is.
Wow this is a long post!

Six Flags

Jason and I went to Six Flags in Agawam, MA last month with the Young Single Adults from the Albany branch that we used to go to. It was so much fun! They redid the Superman ride so the first drop is longer and there are more special effects. I kept forgeting to take pictures, but I did manage to get a few. We went to the waterpark with our friends Steve and Janice (who are also married, but like us, used to go to the Albany branch), and it was cold but fun. The water hadn't warmed up yet.

Here are Steve and Janice getting snow cones. We got "fried dough" (scones) with powdered sugar. Soooo good.

Here's Jason on the balloon ride right before he threw up. That's right, he was fine on all the roller coasters, but the balloons that just lifted off the ground and went around in a big circle, made him up-chuck. To be fair, I felt like throwing up. Two rides before we had gone on an old wooden roller coaster. We got off in so much pain, that I vowed never to ride that one again. It's so jerky, and incredibly squeaky, my head hurt after, as did most of my joints. Jason thinks that was the beginning of his downfall. Once the balloon ride stopped I was waiting for Jason to undo his safety belt and get out, but he just leaned over the side and hurled. The operator was starting to come over, but I didn't want him to step in it, so I told him we were having a slight problem. He asked if we needed the first aid people, but Jason said he felt much better and we just hopped out and walked away. (Jason did apologize to the guy several times. He felt bad.) But he didn't want to go on any rides. Luckily it was the end of the day.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Our Furry Daughter

I got some good pics of Jason playing with Buttons a couple of days ago. She's such a sweetie-pie!
She wasn't very cooperative, though, and every time I thought I got a good one, she had moved at the last second.
She's a little blurry here because she wouldn't stop moving.

She loves to spread herself out and pull herself foward with her front legs. It's her army-crawl.

She really doesn't like to be held like this, but Jason keeps trying!

Look at me posting 3 times in one month!

Spring is sprung!

Today was beautiful! It was in the 80s. When I heard earlier in the week that it was supposed to be nice, I decided to do yard work. And it was WORK! We borrowed a rototiller from someone in the ward and tilled up a large strip of garden/lawn in the back by our neighbor's fence. There were some flowers there that we wanted to save, so I stuck them in pots to be replanted in the front, but the rest was all tilled up. There were so many things growing back there, with very little organization, so we decided to just begin all over again. I'm going to plant a raspberry bush back there, and some flowers, and maybe some tomato plants. We were pulling up roots like crazy (apparently things have been growing randomly for years back there, and everything is very root-bound).
If you look behind Mr. Nently in this pic (he was being forced to take a bath in the bird bath) you can see the stuff growing in the back that we tilled under.

There were flat brick-like paving stones buried under the edge of the fence, so we pulled those out, and we also got rid of a small tree. It already looks so much better out there, and nothing's even planted yet!
Once Jason went to work at 2 I cleaned up and got started in the front garden. There are two, one on either side of the porch. I'll take some pics and put them on here one of these days. There were a total of 6 bushes in the 2 gardens, but they didn't all match. One side has 3 of the same, but the other side had 2 of another kind, and 1 of a third. We decided we wanted a more symetrical look, so a week ago I uprooted one bush, and today I did the other 2. It's a lot of work to uproot a bush, especially when there are 2 layers of weed cloth that have been there since the dawn of time, and they're covered and innundated with roots. So first I had to get rid of the weed cloth and then dig out the bushes. By the time I was done with that, I was pooped, so I called it a day.
Earlier Jason was washing the birds' cages outside and one of our parakeets, Samson, flew away. His wings were clipped, but he can still glide if he starts from off of the ground, so we had no idea where he went. We searched for 1/2 hour or so, and some neighbors even helped us search. I gave up after awhile, and eventually started crying. I was really bummed. Jason didn't want to see me unhappy, so he kept looking. All of a sudden he tells me to get the cage because he found him! I was so excited. He was on our neighbor's porch across the street sitting on a chair. I had looked in their bushes below the porch, but didn't look on it, because I didn't think he'd go that high. He was probably sitting above me the entire time. Jason held the cage up to him with our other parakeet in it, and he hopped on Jason's finger and then into the cage. And the peasants rejoiced! Samson acted like nothing happened and started cleaning the other parakeet.
Sorry this is so long, but it was a long day! We also borrowed a chainsaw from the same ward people and we (mainly Jason) cut up the limbs from the ice storm, and got them stacked in the front yard for the city to pick up. I feel like we're finally making progress on the yard!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


So we went to FL a few weeks ago to visit Jason's mom. It was so nice to get away to the warmth for a few days! Jason's mom took us shopping and got me several things. Then Jason paid for his mom and I to each get a pedicure. The last time I had one was for my wedding, so it was a real treat. We went to the beach one day. The water was pretty nippy because it was only March, but I still went in up to my waist.
The place was packed! So many people of all ages and sizes. We saw sooo many women and girls who should never wear bikinis wearing them, and we saw an old man or two in a speedo. Ew!
Jason and I took a walk down the beach to see the sights, and saw some of the wildlife...
Jason wasn't part of the wildlife, but he was good to look at! (He's wearing his mom's sunglasses and visor because it was so bright there.)
Jason's been wanting me to get a new suit for months, (for some reason he didn't like my old one. I thought it was fine) so when I was down there his mom bought me this one. Usually I wear shorts with a suit, because I feel too exposed otherwise, but this came with a little skirt on the bottoms, and it was just perfect. It was so nice to wear a suit and feel covered enough without having to add shorts or a wrap!
The water was so beautiful. It's amazing that it's such a different color from the water around here, namely the Hudson river!
This is the dog Jason's mom is fostering. Her name is Ebony and she's about 12 years old. She doesn't walk so well, so Jason's mom got her a dog stroller that she takes her everywhere in. Some of the stores even let her bring Ebony in them since she's so cute. Jason's mom hopes she never gets adopted, because she's gotten so attached to her.

FL was so nice. It was so nice to go on a vacation where we had very little planned. We slept in, we went for walks, we took naps and watched TV (a guilty pleasure since we don't have TV), and just generally relaxed. Thank you Connie for bringing us down there!