“ Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
I love that quote above. It says a lot about what is really important and why we should be grateful for anything that makes us smile. It is so easy to get wrapped up in problems and just the negative things out there in the world, but if you take a look around and see the things that make us all happy, we all realize that those little bothersome things are just that…little. Why waste our energy on all those things that don’t allow our souls to blossom.
So, having written that, I will start this post with some little things that bothered me this month. Little sarcasm there, it’s all about the little this month.Little insects that is. But in the end I will end this post with all the fun posts I have read over the month, which made me happy. I wish I could include more then what I have added this month, but then this post would never end. Plus, since I have written this up ( a week from actual posting it) there are new post that I have read and commented on that I really enjoyed. So best advice is to get out there and visit, there are so many really cool people out there in the world of blogging. This is another long post you guys, just thought I warn you…hope you enjoy.
You know what I should name this post, ant bites and bee stings. Monsoon season is here in our city and along with the humidity comes the bugs. We haven’t gotten to the cicadas yet, but tick tock…they are coming. Okay, I blinked and guess what, they are here. My head feels like it is vibrating. Anyone that lives in Arizona during the summer knows what that last sentence means.
As always, my pattern is early morning pool and garden upkeep. Making sure there is water out for the strays and Arizona doves and sparrows that hang out in our trees. Oh and the bees. The water dish is crowded with bees everywhere. I keep going out to refill it and they along with the birds just hang out around that giant dish of precious water.
For a couple weeks our pool was crawling with ants. My husband got bitten several times at one point when he thought he was picking up a leaf in our pool and it turned out to be a boat of ants. Some of them have wings.
Out swimming one morning I got bitten on my face several times. I know it sounds horrible and you know what, you are absolutely 100% correct. It was horrible.
I ran inside the house and told my husband “Oh my gosh, you are not going to believe this but the ants have decided to take up swimming in our pool.”
The whole pool was a mini lake of tiny black dots. And later all those black dots would become their own little islands all over the pool. Like little floating boats of horror. Pirate ants, up to no good, with giant teeth.
“ Yeah, I thought I was picking up a leaf the other day and it was just a group of ants crawling on each other” my husband said
“WHAT!, are you serious, what are we going to do?” I asked him in a panic
“Nothing, we are just going to let them be, ants are a sign you have a healthy garden” he answered. He is very positive at least, I will give him that.
I can’t say I followed his advice. I do like my early morning swims.So I tried non toxic ways to get the ants to stay in the grass. First I tried dish soap around our pool like a barrier…didn’t work.
Then I tried vinegar, still, didn’t work. I bet you those ants were laughing. I know my husband was as he watched me from the window, trying to figure out what I was up to as I tried all my “natural bug repellent” tricks.
Finally I just gave up and decided to go swimming when the ants were away resting for the day. They only came out for a couple hours early in the morning. When it heats up they go back underground. This ant problem in the pool lasted two weeks.
My insect encounters were not over yet, a bee somehow landed in my long hair and when I pulled out what I thought was a pollen ball it stung me.Should have had my reading glasses on. I freaked out when I saw my pollen ball crawl away though my hair and screamed bloody murder, running out of the bathroom about a giant spider taking residence in my hair.
Spiders always seem bigger to me. I was afraid it was going to bite me again because my whole hand was throbbing and my thumb was starting to swell up. It was still somewhere crawling around my head, hiding out in my long hair.
I am so embarrassed about that tiny fear of mine.You guys probably think I run around screaming at every little creepy crawly. That is not me at all. I have a cousin like that, and growing up with her was not easy. But look at me, I am screaming down a hallway about killer spiders. See, glass houses everyone…glass houses. I was a tom boy growing up and nothing really bothered me, except those spiders.
When my husband heard me scream, he jumped up like the whole house was under attack. Little bit of tension in our country right now with political stuff, so I don’t blame him for jumping up like he did.
Then Alley cat ran towards me meowing like she was the one injured. Poor Alley cat, she wouldn’t leave my side.
Looking up at my husband and I, as my husband tried to find the giant spider hanging out in my hair, Alley was down at our feet meowing and walking back and forth like she had to see too, like “What’s up?”
When my husband saw a bee hanging on my hair, he laughed telling me it wasn’t a spider. He gently removed it and told me it was just a bee. I could have sworn it was a giant spider. Poor bee. I am always trying to save them when they fall into the water. I took a Benadryl and along with my swollen thumb we were both out for the rest of the night.
I am sure the kids were asking “Where’s mom?” and all my husband would have to say would be Bee and Benadryl. They know that stuff knocks me out. Even the stuff that says non-drowsy. Yeah, right.
Oh, and my succulent project did not work out the way I had hoped. Remember that from last month. Well, guess what happened?. Samburger Hamburger looked at it one morning and decided it was a fancy potty box of some sort and left a little treat for us all. I had to throw the whole thing out. Now I just have little pots that are impossible to scratch and use as a cat box.
Sammy is also the cat that just can’t make up his mind. He wants in, you let him in, then he wants out a minute later, then back in and back and forth he goes like a baby that just discovered what happens when they drop their bottles over and over. This cat does not understand the concept of guilt. He just does whatever he wants.
My husband put a big sign on the door one morning calling Sammy a big liar. The photo is kind of dark down below because it was very early in the morning when I walked into this little spat between my husband and my son’s cat. Think I was still rubbing the sleep from my eyes after a long night of streaming the new season of Stranger Things when I walked into this mess.
You see, I have this huge heart, so I will open and close, and open and close that door all day making excuses for my son’s crazy cat. Excuses like “How long has poor Sammy been out in the playroom?” or “Who left Sammy in the Playroom?”, and “Hey, Sammy needs to use his box, let him in”. Then there’s my husband’s favorite excuse from me, “Poor Sammy look at him, he is hungry, he needs to eat.” My husband always says the same thing…”HE JUST ATE!, that cat is such a liar”. Welcome to summer time in Phoenix everyone, we all get a bit cranky. It’s my husband who loves Sammy the most. You should see those two together.
Our garden is slowly melting away. There seems to be a main subject with this post, yeah, you all get it, it’s hot. We only got one more batch of tiny tomatoes this month, enough for two salads. At least the corn and grapes are still surviving.
The tomatoes and flowers have sadly skipped town. They are done with this heat, they have officially checked out. Unless you like sun dried tomatoes that is. Or maybe tomato raisins.
There was this little flower from a cacti that popped out. I am still getting those. They are so pretty to me.
The chickens have also checked out. Well, a little break that is. They are not laying as much. But we did get eggs one day from all of them. My mother-in-law down the street asked for some the other day so my husband took her some. We get both white and brown eggs but my mother-in-law only wants brown. Think it’s because she only got brown eggs as a kid growing up in Italy, so that’s what she likes.
” You know brown taste better.” she always says. But I can’t tell the difference.
If you have ever seen that show Everyone Loves Raymond, that is our life. Well, kind of. I have a daughter and son, not twins. My brother-in-law lives around the corner from us, not with his mom and he isn’t a cop.
My mother-in-law even looks like and talks like the mom on that show. When I told my kids about this vintage sitcom and showed them, they thought it was funny. My daughter said it was creepy how close it resembled us all.
Anyway, we all live in the same neighborhood and when my mother-in-law needs something we are very close…walking distance. Oh and my brother-in-law is the favored child. Sadly we lost my father-in-law a few years ago but he also was very similar to the father in Everyone Loves Raymond, although he looked more like Seinfeld’s dad in that sitcom.
So the chickens are taking an egg laying break and that’s okay. We all need breaks now and then. My husband made them some frozen chicken Popsicle concoction, and they loved it.
I saw it on the kitchen table before he gave it to them wondering what it was. “It’s good for them” my husband told me excited that the chickens actually started eating it. Hey, those feathered dinosaurs will eat anything.
Remember when they were this tiny. So cute. They are still cute in their own way. So fun to watch. They all have their own personalities.
My needle felted project is this…I know, it isn’t very pretty and what the heck is it anyway? Well, it is suppose to be a cat, at least my attempt at it, but I haven’t gotten around to finishing it. I started though, so hopefully you will see a cat in the future. This is needle felting in the early stages. Keep up with it and eventually something will come to shape.
I finally got around to painting some rocks (future post) and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. My kids bought me a book last Christmas on this art project and one day when the temps and pollution was just too yucky to go outside, I decorated rocks. I used paint pens. Here they are. Some are designs from the book I tried to copy freehand and after trying to copy other designs, I gave up and just started doing my own.
Some fun items I bought this month shopping second hand are…this old music box from Japan.
An Italian cookie jar.
And a really old sugar bowl from England. I just realized I got items from all around the world.
Our up-cycle furniture piece is this old grandfather clock. No one wants them anymore, so they are being given away everywhere. It was free.This is my husband’s project and he is a bit more relaxed with finishing things. He wants to add shelves to the inside. I bet it will be nice when he finishes it.
Health tip for the month is all about mushrooms, the edible ones. I don’t know anything about poisonous mushrooms, just the ones they sell in the grocery stores. I am putting all my trust into them. We use them in our sandwiches, with scrambled eggs and salsa. And in place of pasta, just add sauce to the top of the mushrooms and eat like that. For more healthy living tips check out Dave’s post on 9 tips to living longer, healthier and happier ( https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/78453234/posts/2342329051 )
What else have we been up to- Christmas in July shopping for adorable ornaments like this little hedgehog. He is at home with me now.
And a visit to a beautiful lake surrounded by a town full of antiques (more detailed post to follow on that).
But we never got a chance to check up on Our Little Red House. Have a bit of a solar problem at the moment. We are waiting for word on that. Until then I thought I share a photo from one of our neighbor’s yards up there. Doesn’t it look like BB8 from Star Wars?
Oh, and one more thing. I have discovered the spam section on this blog. I never really paid much attention to it before. My daughter who helps me with this blog saw I had a ton of spam “Mom, you have to get rid of that” so I clicked on and apparently there is a lot of Amoxicillian out there, robots that act like humans with compliments (hope that was actually spam, if not…so sorry for deleting) and then there were actual bloggers with nice comments. I usually try to comment back something, even a thank you, but in Spam it only lets you approve or delete. Unless I am missing something. Thought it was funny and wanted to share that I really am so not a techie (hope that is spelled right). So glad my two grown kids are.
Here are the followers that were in my Spam section-
One person that my daughter said was a robot. So if you weren’t a robot and an actual human being, thank you for the kind comment and offering a donation to my site. Please use the donation for a local food center, homeless shelter, or children’s home in your area instead. I already have everything I need in my life and if I don’t then it just wasn’t meant to be, this is why all those little extra things that happen in my life make me happy. In my heart I know what is truly important. Anyway, I tend to not encourage the “BIG” donation sites that you see on commercials all the time because I don’t trust them. A lot of corruption going on out there with people taking advantage of others sadness and misery. So please find something in your local area to volunteer at, or help in a way. Thank you.
Dees Platter- Savor and eat
Thank you Dee for the kind comments. I would love to be able to cook like you.
Thank you Renee from heart tokens for the Barnabus award nomination. I never follow rules as well. You are such a sweet person, I understand that part. One of Renee’s questions was What is your favorite artistic form or expression?
I am obsessed with anything that has to do with photography. I even ended up marring a photographer. I think it is so cool that these artist out there, go out in the world and capture all that beauty they see with their eyes. Photographers have a different way of seeing things and the ones that share that with us always amaze me. Even writers amaze me, because they can take you to a place describing in detail through words, the art they have in their hearts and souls. But photography will always be my favorite. I drive my family nuts during the holidays when I ask to look through old family photos. It beats fighting over politics. Those little moments captured on paper (now screens) are immortal moments of time.Again, thank you Renee , if anyone would like to participate please check out Renee’s site and read the story about her friend .
Okay, here they are, my favorite bloggers this month. As always, it is getting harder to keep up with all the post out there. I know I am missing so many good post, so if you have a favorite or one you would like to share, please leave a link down in the comments to share with us all.
First I would like to congratulate Manuela, Frank and Emmy from Restless Roots. I always call Emmy, Emma, not sure why but I do, need to work on that. https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/124673962/posts/16075 ) Congratulations on being published in Mother Earth News magazine. Hope you all get a chance to read their article on building their dream log home ( https://restlessroots.com.files.wordpress.com/2019/07/building-our-dream-log-home.pdf )I have been following their story for over a year now and I will never forget the first time Manuela visited my site. I discovered her site one day exploring wordpress for like minded bloggers and when I saw her site I just fell in love, it is amazing. I post a lot of favorites from Restless Roots. I can’t help it. Between their adorable dog Emmy, all that beautiful nature they photograph, surrounded by animals everywhere, who wouldn’t love living that dream. Such a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing this adventure with us all.
Their most recent post is full of all kinds of animal encounters, it’s like a national geographic show. John https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/153374080/posts/2087, think I know where all the snakes have been hiding…in Nova Scotia. Better hide your frogs everyone. I do hope that snake problem over there clears up.
Favorite new follower-
Charlotte Hoather- ( https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/8778990 )
WOW! What a beautiful voice you have. Opera singers are amazing. Thank you for stopping by for a visit. My husband and I listened to your singing while making breakfast the other morning.
Actually, thank you to any new followers I received this month. Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit.
Favorite travel adventures-
Hugo Morel- exploring around Caye Caulker Belize ( https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/44727986/posts/2343190959 )
Maria-Pink flamingos ( https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/119740072/posts/1876 )
Veronica- ( https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/133962643/posts/4378 )
This time Veronica took her little girl with her. Your daughter looks just like you, she is so pretty.
Favorite advice for summer time fun for kids-
Simple Wendi- ( https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/135830530/posts/2503
Haven’t had a chance to check Wendi’s book out since I not sure how that works. I will have to ask my techie kids when they get home. I am still stuck in the paper book world. Anyway, I love Wendi’s site because she is such a creative soul. She writes beautiful poetry and her comments are so sweet. I think that is so cool that she has a book on how to be frugal during the summer time when it comes to entertaining your kids.
Favorite home projects-
A Jeanne in the kitchen- kitchen remold https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/144003363/posts/3808
Also Jeanne did something really kind, she took some lunch to a friend of hers that is recovering from an injury. That fried chicken looks so good. https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/144003363/posts/4015
Michelle-blessings by me https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/158474517/posts/2834
Michelle and her husband are fixing up a 1946 home. I really enjoy reading about this and seeing everything you guys have done. Your spider nightmare made me laugh. I can relate to that.
John Jonasson-old barn https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/153374080/posts/2033
SW-yard and pond- https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/138883059/posts/2927
She also took some stunning sunflower photos with bees, so pretty https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/82639578/posts/2344750353
In Diane’s kitchen- mulberry cobbler ( https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/60744094/posts/233120357 )
Favorite spiritual posts-
Starrcreative- ( https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/68038995/posts/14575 )
Favorite family posts- it’s all about 4th of July, picking strawberries with adorable little babies, Giant pool toys, and braiding rugs with a little girl.
Willow Creek Farm- ( https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/39994902/posts/7121 )
Just another day at the farm- ( https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/53402019/posts/2343326478 )
Chandra Lynn- ( https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/40457263/posts/11692 )
Lisabongean- ( https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/9530163/posts/2344774616 )
Lisa, I want to paint wooden fish with grandma and hang out with those cute babies. What a fun summer you all are having.
Favorite art and craft project-
Tilly Collins 40’ fore forty- 40 day drawing challenge ( https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/160623063/posts/823 ) So fun keeping up with all your drawings. You have inspired me to keep drawing. I started last month with a doodle from Chandra’s post and wrote about it https://wordpress.com/view/ourlittleredhouseblog.com and continued from there. I have enough for a whole coloring book now. I just take a fine point permanent black marker and doodle away when I am taking a break and watching a movie at night. If I make a mistake it stays and I just work it into the drawing. It is so freeing that way, not worrying about a sketch or drawing, just free handing everything that pops from your imagination.
Favorite blogging advice-
Peculiar journal-https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/95827331/posts/2360802003 did a re-post from a post by Renard. Try saying that fast three times in a row, remember, writing isn’t my strong area, I like to think it’s my DIY’s. Think you all get the point though. Anyway, check it out, it is great advice for any new blogger starting out https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/95827331/posts/2342242646 and one of my favorite tips from Renard is that it is okay to take breaks from blogging. That is so true, I took a break last summer so I will be taking a break again, this August/September.
I will be offline from blogging but I will have some pre-sceduled posts new and old throughout the month that my daughter will be taking care of. I hope you all have a wonderful summer. Stay safe, happy and healthy out there in the world where ever you may be. See you all sometime in September, hopefully with all kinds of fun Arizona adventures, shopping posts, recipes and fun DIY’s. And just for giggles, maybe an occasional rant now and then to mix things up.
Whoops, can’t believe I forgot the most important part of my monthly posts…my prayers for others. Seems to be a pattern with me, this forgetting the best part. I know some may feel uncomfortable about prayers, especially if you just got through watching A Handmaids Tale (creepy show that one) so please no judgement. I do not know God in the way that some others may have experienced, if that way was negative that is. That is very sad. I only know God through Love and kindness. I don’t hate anyone that is different then me, or has different beliefs. Just passing on some love and kindness out there in the world . We need that. So my prayers go out to anyone who is reading this and needs some extra help with life. There are people out in the world who wake up not feeling well, money struggles, family problems and separations, work issues, political issues, health problems as well, whatever it is, my prayer goes to you. God bless you all and may only good things come your way from this moment forward. Happy blogging everyone from all of us at Our Little Red House.