Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

For the last 15  years (except last year) my husband and I have gone to the Rusty Pelican on Biscayne Bay for Christmas Eve dinner.  This year we made the usual plans and invited some friends to come with us, never imagining that the place had been ruined "renovated".  7 million dollars later, gone were the lovely white linen-covered tables, the courtly waiters, the fishnets hanging from the ceiling with beautiful colored balls in them.  Gone was the piano, the little wooden cubbies for two against the wall facing the bay.  We knew something was wrong when we approached the entrance.  No more the wooden deck like ramp with a beautiful goldfish pond next to it, covered by a wooden roof.  None of the magic and romantic touches that spoke of Miami's past on the seacoast.  We used to arrive just before dark and watch the sun go down.  Then the lights of Miami's city skyline across the bay would come on with the addition of Christmas themed decorations on the sky scrapers - and it would all be reflected in the bay..  The food was always delicious and more than we could finish - a totally delightful and special experience every year.  Until this year.

When we entered the parking area, there were 3 loose dogs - Rottweilers - just roaming around.  Perhaps that should have been out first clue.  Next, the whole entrance way was concrete and steps....all the cozy wooden ambiance was gone.  We walked in - at least they didn't cover over the wooden floors - those are the only thing that remains of what was a wonderful place to dine.  

Now, before we went, my husband called to make reservations and THAT should have been our first clue, actually.  The phone was answered by what my hubby thinks was a service who assured us that there were absolutely no available reservations, which had never happened before.  So hubby went on line and found their web site, never imagining that all was changed.  He was able to make reservations for 4 with absolutely no trouble - we decided to eat early since we assumed there were no reservations for later, so we set the time for 4 pm, figuring there would be plenty of time to watch the sun go down and enjoy the meal.  

As we entered the dining area, there was a giant wine refrigerator on either side of the walkway that went from floor to ceiling - a lovely warm blinding aluminum silver color (yes, that's sarcasm).  As we entered the dining room, I noticed all the fishnets and colored lights were gone.  It was slowly dawning on me that things had changed mightily.  The walls were bland and painted white with kitschy fifties type designs in place of pictures.  Where there had been aquariums full of brightly colored fish and low lighting, now there was a blank bright white wall.  All the dark wood interior had been stripped away - no more cozy for-two cubbies.  Even the tables were different - no crisp white linen tablecloths - and the style was reminiscent once again of bad 50's kitchen furniture.  

The hovering professional waiters were gone, replaced by teenage girls whose service was slow and haphazard (they didn't even tell us that dinner wasn't available until 5PM and handed us lunch menus).  By now I was thoroughly disillusioned.   I saw a TV hanging from a wall down at the other end of the dining area and thought, "This is nothing but a fancy schmancy sports bar now."  The last thing I want to see in a romantic restaurant is a TV hanging from the ceiling.

Now for the food.  What a disaster.  The Rusty Pelican has now become one of those poshy places that puts tiny tiny amounts of highly embellished food on your plate and charges you an arm, a leg and a couple of feet for the pleasure (I use the word loosely).  Not only does the place look like every other place in the world with no distinctive Miami feel, but the food is lousy on top of it - and very expensive.  

As we sat around the table and looked with dismay at the menus, we could not pick anything that sounded even remotely good.  First of all, it was sandwiches and salads and appetizers, mostly .  No basket of hot fresh rolls and butter covered by a heavy white napkin.  I ordered the Crab Cake(s) - the menu used the plural, but there was only one cake.  I also ordered the Calamari.  My husband found the steaks listed on the bottom right of the menu in small print.  The cheapest steak was $32.00.  We used to come to the Rusty Pelican and expect to spend about $100.00 with tip for the two of us - and leave satiated with delicious wine, food and dessert.    My friends ordered the Seafood Scallops as an appetizer and both husband and wife ordered a steak.  

When the waiter brought the Seafood Scallops, we just about burst out laughing.  We could almost find nothing on the plate but some colorful sauce.  The "scallops" were shaved pieces of sea scallop - 3 of them, covered with some decorative herbs and sauce.  When I say shaved, I mean LESS than 1/4" thick - 3 pieces.  The calamari was rubbery and the sauce was hot, as in peppery.  I cannot eat peppery food, and was not aware that the dipping sauce for the calamari would be hot, so I ate them plain.  There were about 12 breaded pieces of calamari - not bad for a small appetizer.  The crab cake tasted pretty good, but when I finished sharing my crab cake and calamari - I was far from full and I was not going to order an  expensive steak on top of the appetizers that I thought would fill me up.  Surely 2 appetizers should be enough.  The steaks came for our friends and for my husband and I had a bite.  It was overdone and not a mile within the deliciousness of the steaks at Longhorn's.  With the steak a small scoop of mashed potatoes and a small scoop of some sauteed vegetables was served - and that was it.

We all agreed that the restaurant wasn't just disappointing, it was awful.  The waitress brought us some cards advertising their desserts, but we decided to forego that ripoff and head out.  We didn't even bother with coffee.  3 steaks, 3 appetizers and 4 glasses of wine - the house wine - the bill was $207.00 - and that was WITHOUT a tip..  Imagine if I'd actually had something measurable to eat!!

I hope people look up "Rusty Pelican" and find this post.  I dislike ostentatious and overblown show with no substance and that is what this "new", "modern" Rusty Pelican is - we all think it's more like the Shaved Pelican.

On the way out to our car we passed another couple going in.  He stopped us and asked how we liked the "new" Rusty Pelican since they hadn't been there since it re-opened.  We told them if they liked the old Rusty Pelican they would not like it now and let it go at that.
OH - and Merry Christmas everyone!!  We went to the lovely evening service at our church after dinner, so that made all the difference.

Tomorrow it's up to Lake Placid, FL to see my mother, father and sister and her Significant Other, to share a delicious dinner and gifts, and to enjoy the peace and quiet and the Old Florida feel of the place.  Last time we visited, we got up extra early and went to our favorite wildlife viewing spot.  We saw deer grazing and all kinds of songbirds and warblers, and just being out in nature was soul healing.  

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hey - It's Almost Christmas

Boy, life sure passes fast when you don't write from October to December.  I just took a short hiatus into reality, which wasn't much fun....but I'm back for today, at least. 

I'd love to write regularly, but since I work full time and feel as if it sucks all the energy out of me, by the time I get home, there's nothing left to blog with.

I'm now off for 2 weeks for Christmas Break - YAY!!!  I've got the Christmas Tree up (it's smaller this year - about 4 feet high and much easier to decorate, not to mention much cheaper), presents are wrapped (I've got to do more tomorrow).....and I'm ready to make Chex Mix and bake fudge and cookies next week. 

Meanwhile, it's Saturday night and I'm on vacation.  Hubby and I watched one of the cutest movies I've ever seen - Mr. Popper's Penguins.  I'm a penguin lover;  well, I'm an animal lover and penguins are amongst the most adorable animals ever created, to me.

I have as natural as possible a back yard in a suburban area for the critters that may drop by, and I have a soft spot for all birds (even rock doves, a.k.a. pigeons), squirrels, possums - whatever stops by.  To me, the ultimate creature as far as cuteness - I hate to use that word, but it's the only one that fits - is penguins.

A few years ago, my husband treated me to a visit to SeaWorld in Orlando, with a special behind the scenes look at the penguins.  I got to pet one - I could have stayed there all day.  They are just......adorable - I don't know how else to put it. 

Anyway - the movie, "Mr. Popper's Penguins" is totally unrealistic and is a lovely story with great real and animated penguin segments - it wins my award for "Best Nice Story/Comforting/Sweet/Funny Movie". 

Have I mentioned I love penguins?  I saw a video once of a real penguin somewhere whose owner would put a backpack on him every morning and he would walk to the local fish mongers.  The fish store owner would give him some raw fish snacks and also pack up a nice big fish in the backpack for the penguin to take home.  He lived in his own little shack full of ice.....

To be honest - in reality, I don't think any animals should be kept in captivity.  I have a Cockatoo that I wish I could bring to Australia, his native country, so he could fly free and be what he is supposed to be.....

But for total escapism, an unrealistic (at least as far as the penguins - the family story is altogether possible), heart warming story - Mr. Popper's Penguins is absolutely wonderful.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Annoying Obsession

If you've read my previous post, you know about my color/shopping issues.  My next problem is kind of hard to describe. 

For years I've wanted to be a REGULAR Bible reader.  That means a "quiet time" every morning with Bible, notebook and various (colored) writing utensils.

But every morning during the work week I get up at 6AM and I can't keep my eyes open.  On the BEST days, I actually pull out the Bible and get set up.  And then my cat jumps in my lap and knocks things down and my head is lolling backwards as my eyes close inadvertently.  And that was before I had to be at work at 7AM.  I used to doze from 6AM to 7AM in the good old days and then wake up, get dressed and be at work by 8AM.

Those days of missed opportunity are gone.  Forget it now.  As soon as I get up at 6AM I have to GO GO GO to be at work on time.  Unless I suddenly begin to have tons more energy at a much earlier hour, this is not going to the morning anyway.  I'm 55 and I don't think I'm going to suddenly have more energy any time soon.    Also - I can go to bed early and STILL be sleepy in the morning.  It doesn't appear to be a lack of sleep issue.

In the afternoon - I get home at about 3:45 - I'm beat.  I used to have energy when I got home, and sometimes I still do - but if I sit in my chair it is GUARANTEED that I will fall asleep, even while reading a scintillating book.  I sometimes come home and work in the yard or do laundry or cook a great meal (few and far between) and those are the days with lots of energy.  On those same days, if I sat down to read, I'd be asleep in no time. 

So here I am.......not a regular Bible reader and it's about TIME for me to make a change!!  Afternoons are going to have to be the time for now - and I have to make it happen. 

Oh - one more thing.  If the house is a mess, I cannot sit down long or concentrate on what I'm doing (like Bible study) because a voice in my head keeps making me look up and I can barely restrain myself from picking up or straightening this and that - and why bother just doing two small things when the whole house needs to be done.  I think, "I'll just do the dishes." Then I think - "I can sit down and enjoy my reading, study, etc. when I'm finished cleaning."  And then, of course, I give in and clean. Of course, the older I get, when I'm finished cleaning, I'm in physical pain and very tired, with Biofreeze on my achy parts and a heating pad.  Ain't no solid mental work going to be accomplished after physical labor.

This, I think, is the Martha syndrome.  If I could only KEEP it clean - but with 4 cats, 2 birds and a husband, including my own bad habits, it's not been possible so far.

I think maybe I have to tone down my expectations.  I want to do an in depth study, not just read.  I have a tendency to do nothing if I can't do it "right" (by my definition), and that is why I don't just read one chapter.  If I don't prepare and have a plan, I just skim the page and I'm not concentrating.  I'm thinking about the day ahead and I've finished reading and don't remember a thing I read.  Sometimes I'm aware this is happening and I start reading the chapter over, but after 2 sentences, my brain has gone down a rabbit trail again.  Maybe I have a bit of ADD?  Maybe I'm just nuts, but this inability to stick to my resolution to read every day and KNOW what I'm reading is driving me even more nuts. 

Impulse Shopping

I have what I think to be a unique "problem".   This problem has to do with color, specifically several colors in "color order" like a color wheel.

I was the child who, when receiving a box of 64 Crayola crayons, rearranged them in "color order" before using them.  And then, I would just look at them because the array of tints made my eyes happy.

I have not changed.  If I am in the Office Supply store and some clever salesperson has arranged printer paper in waves of ascending color against one large wall, I am transfixed and just want to BUY.  Worse, if there are reams of paper that have several shades available in that one package.....I cannot resist.  I have to remind myself that I have more paper than I will ever use, thanks to years of this same issue.  Next, there is the pen and pencil aisle, filled with even more danger. There is always a new company coming out with the ultimate gel pen or felt tip pen or artist's pen, and the packages are arrayed in blankets of surging color that literally call out to me, "Buy Me."  I also have to restrain myself because I have a collection of colored gel, ballpoint and felt tip pens that fills my desk, having given into this urge many times in the past. I've taken to storing them by color, no matter what type or brand they are.  All the greens together, all the blues together - and it makes my eyes dance with joy to look at them.  Write with them?  I'll probably never use them all. 

That's only one store and only one genre of purchase.  As you can imagine, every year at "back to school" time I can't resist buying some of the notebooks with beautiful colored covers when I see them displayed like this:

Then there are clothing stores.....

And stores that sell bath and bedroom supplies:

And sewing and craft stores:

I'm doomed.  So....I also have a bin with all different colors of yarn to make a granny afghan in the old fashioned style, with black edging.  I've gotten maybe 12 squares done in the past 2 years.

And finally, the piece de resistance.....multi colored lights.  Things of bright color that light up too?  It's almost too much.  A few years ago, my mother got me several light up pens for Christmas - their barrels, when a button was pressed, were clear and went through several light color changes.  The decorative solar balls in our back yard glow different colors.  So you can imagine that Christmas is a dangerous time.  There are always some colored lights in our home somewhere, and I don't mean packed up.  For the past 5 years, we have a set of tiny colored lights hung around the top of our living room walls and we put them on every night. 

I'm sure everyone thinks Christmas lights are beautiful, but I think I have some sort of disorder.  Whatever it is, color, especially in "color order" like a rainbow, makes my eyes delerious.  If I'm in any kind of store that displays colors as shown in this blog entry, I'm instantly distracted and I have to stare.  I have a light up keyboard on my computer that glows in 7 different colors - I usually pick purple.  I'm just curious if there is anyone out there with the same level of color insanity???

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Decision Headaches and The Rule of Electronics

I logged in today to upload pictures that have been sitting on my desktop cluttering it up for weeks now.  Now I can put those photos in their regular storage place and get them off the desktop.  

However, when I logged in, I discovered that Blogger had lots of updated features, which is great if you have tons of time.  I work in an IT department and am constantly faced with updates both soft and hard.  When using Microsoft Word, for example, I have to remember not to click in the place I used to for a specific command - no, Microsoft has moved it around, changed the look, redistributed pretty much the same features in an "updated" package which must be repurchased.   We duly repurchase and prepare to retrain our poor employees on the changes to the software they just got used to using.  Hey - I guess it's job security, but when I come home and want to have a little leisure time on my own home computer, I find the same thing.  

Blogger changed the look of the "dashboard" - it was fine before, but someone wanted to change the look.  Ad Sense has been updated - the old one won't work as well.  Then there's Google Analytics, which instructions, for the life of me, I can't figure out.  I need software that is intuitive, i.e., it can be figured out by "playing around" for a little while.  So I said to heck with Google Analytics until I can devote the brain power to understanding their directions - which will probably be never, and by then, it will be called something else and work differently, anyway.

It's getting to the point where I have to prioritize my online choices.  Do I want to spend 2 hours trying to get some add on to work on my blog.....or do I just want to blog?

I'm a sucker for bells and whistles, that's the problem.  The bigger, faster, better, brighter, more colorful, more choices available, the more I usually like it.  But this growth phenomenon has morphed into a monster that I don't have the energy to combat.  If I had my druthers, I'd have every feature available on my blog and I'd become rich, of course, from the ad revenue.  But I need a secretary to do that and I haven't got one.  I also don't have a maid to clean my house or care for my four cats and two birds and one husband.  Time is at a premium and it flies even if you're not having fun.

I think I'll just blog.  If someone reads me, great.  If they don't, great too.  I'm going to forget about ads and linking to ads and BlogHer and other fancy dan things - and just Keep It Simple Stupid.

I've gotten to the point with a lot of many-choice items where I can eliminate the extraneous quickly.  A selection of 22 styles of drinking glasses in 14 designer colors?  Within about 30 seconds I can narrow it down to what I like and if there is more than one, another 30 seconds will decide the final winner.  But the world of computers is just too varied, changing and complicated for me to make really educated choices.

The hardware is changing all the time.  What was a fabulous processor two years ago is now totally passe.  Computers usually have a practical and useful life of about five years before it's "too slow", "too outdated", etc. 

There are new hardware inventions constantly.  Every year there is a new iteration of IPhone, then there are competitors who up the ante.  Then there is the IPad and all it's siblings fighting for first place.

How about the social sites?  There is Facebook, Twitter and a whole host of other similar sites for people to report their latest activity, like burping.

Has anyone figured out Google +???  It is an only-by-invitation Facebook competitor which makes heady claims.  Limiting access to only those "invited" is a come-on for those computer users who want to be first on the bandwagon.  I finally was able to get an "invite" and signed up.  I haven't been back.  I find it off putting that this is "invitation only", and it's no better than Facebook, which I (mostly) know how to use.  I watch younger people than myself whip through all the possibilities like posting pictures, "tagging" someone, accessing Facebook and all it's features through their phones, etc. and I just want to scream!!  There's too much to learn and I'll never have the proficiency that so many users have.

My mother always bragged about how smart I was, what a high IQ I had, etc. and now I often feel dumb as a stump, outshone by computer users who have a very shaky command of correct grammar or historical facts, but can whip through HTML and scripts and setup options like Einstein on speed.


Some Pictures from October in the Backyard

I'm going to throw a bunch of pictures up taken from my backyard during the month of October.  I've been so crazy busy at work that when I come home, my brain is fried and all I want to do is shut my eyes.  Blogging is the last thing I feel capable of doing, although I'd love to devote much more time to it.  This business of having to go outside the home to make money to survive is just not my dream, but it's a necessity.  I have SO many projects I'll never get to because all the hours of the day when I'm at my best are spent for someone else's benefit, not my own.  Crab crab crab - that's what I feel like......a big, fat CRAB.  So enjoy the pictures - they were from quiet moments when I was resting from the incredibly exhausting stimuli of this insane world.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Haven't Written in Forever

I wrote this tonight, while listening to music from Eric Bibb.  His spiritual music is grass roots, down where the rubber meets the road.

Anyway - here is a poem I wrote called, "Coming Home".

His Words are.....
Sharp words
That cut to truth

A fierce wind that
Commands the spirits of dread to vacate.

Listen to them, listen to them, o son of man.

Do you fear?
Are you like all of us, tied to these bodies of bone and blood?

Do not be a fool
Doubt not your Father…..

He is……like your earthly father….sun-burned, eyes looking toward the horizon, scanning impossibilities-
He swings you up over his shoulders, above his head.
Unafraid, leading the way, you trust him.

Doubt not your Father…..

He is……sweet like your mother, soft and comforting, all-knowing of what makes you tick
Rocking you, over and over, blue faded blouse, threads thinned, softly rubbing your face
On each backswing.

Smell the hot sun holding the earth in its embrace, sitting in the shade on the porch, rocking, rocking.

Hear your mother’s voice….your father’s voice…..crooning magical songs, songs that make whimsical pictures in your mind’s eye…….cows jumping over the cheesy moon, buffalo on the range.

Doubt not your Father…..He is where you are, no matter where the hell that is.  He goes ahead of you into the fray, from birth to death.

At death, He lingers around the edge of your vision, just waiting to be seen.  He sits in the side chair patiently, while the children of Jacob surround your bed, some wailing, some solemn.

He pulls His pocketwatch out of his bib pocket, He’s got plenty of time, Time belongs to Him.

Your vision is thinning, your children are keening, the  Medical Establishment is Doing It’s Job – waving shiny silver instruments over the blood and bone.

He leans forward, knows the moment has come.

He lovingly takes your hand and your eyes become clear, staring over the heads of the human race,
Above the ceiling tiles to the blue beyond you are racing, hand in hand with your Father.

It’s over.  Canaan is over, finished.  You’ve laid your burden down and have come home.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


This past fall I achieved one of my life goals, which is to see a Painted Bunting.  Not only was it fulfilled, but the bird and a few friends lived in my back yard for the winter, until mid May.  It was magic.

In the butterfly world, I've wanted to get Atala butterflies to my yard for a few years.  We purchased Coontie cycads 2 years ago for this purpose.  Only 2 plants because they are expensive.  I tried planting seed one time, but you have to peel the orange flesh from around the seed and after I buried them, animals and birds dug them up and finished off the rest of the pulpy flesh and the seed.  Besides, they take a LONG time to grow.  This type of plant is supposed to be prehistoric, as in dinosaur times, so they are used to lots of time.

I've also seen Atala butterflies in my yard on different occasions - one at a time.  A single Atala might be resting on a bush in my yard - I think I even got pictures of one before, but none laid eggs and the Coonties remained untouched.

Finally, this past week, I spied an Atala butterfly hanging around my yard.  Not only was she hanging around, she was laying eggs on the larger Coontie plant we have.  Most butterflies lay one egg at a time and don't take much time doing it, but Atalas take minutes, not seconds, to lay eggs, and they don't necessarily lay one at a time.  I was thrilled to see several tiny round spheres on the underside of one of the Coontie leaves after Mrs. Atala left.

This morning, either the same or another female Atala returned to my yard and laid more eggs on the other Coontie plant.

My husband immediately looked at me and said, "We have to buy more Coontie." He promptly went inside and looked up local nurseries that might have the plants - believe it or not, for a Florida native, they are very hard to find.

We located some at a large commercial nursery where I never would have expected to find them.  We tried the local ones, owned by individuals, but no luck.  My favorite nurseries are family owned, sell home grown veggies and sometimes chicken eggs, too.  They often have native plants and they aren't employees - they own the joint.  

But, anyway, we found what we needed at the Big Box Nursery.  We bought 2 more plants at $30.00 each, which, on a limited budget (which stretched to allow the purchase of an extra unplanned plant, as well as 2 smoothies) was enough for this weekend.

I'm looking forward to the Atala eggs hatching and tiny caterpillars devouring the Coonties, which will recover.  Besides, I only bought them for the butterflies - they don't exist in my yard for any other reason.

Here are some pictures. First - Mrs. Atala - isn't she beautiful?  

Here are the eggs she laid.

Next, a Julia butterfly, then a Polydamous and finally, an Oleander butterfly that looks like a wasp.

Some gratuitous flower photos - I LOVE them!!

Another weed favorite - a tiny brushy flower that comes in lavender, bright orange-red and yellow.  I often let them be if they are in amongst other flowers and not on mowable territory.  Some of those "weeds", like "Frog Fruit" and the green "Shrimp Plant" grow all over the place and are larval plants for butterflies.   White Peacock butterflies lay eggs on the frog fruit and Malachite butterflies - another butterfly I want to get into this yard somehow, along with Ruddy Daggerwings - lay eggs on the green Shrimp Plant weeds.  I have to go to a local park once I let a bunch of green Shrimp Plant weeds grow, and try to find some Malachite caterpillars.  I've seen them at Tree Tops park, but not the caterpillars, but then I have to look in a book to see what their caterpillars look like.

A Mexican Daisy (or Sunflower, can't remember which) that hasn't opened up yet.  Very modest.

Mexican Petunias are beautiful, hardy and self seeding - they will spread through your entire yard if you let them, and they are beautiful.  Below is one that hasn't opened yet.  Every day new flowers come out in the morning, and by afternoon they have fluttered to the ground.  By late evening, you can see tomorrow's buds getting ready.

 A species of Milkweed with ants on it.  We didn't have as much luck with Monarchs this year.  We had plenty of Milkweed and plenty of caterpillars, but some didn't live to make their chrysallis and we found them dangling from where they had begun to shed their skin.  Some, I fear, were eaten.  I know Milkweed is supposed to make them unpalatable to critters, but perhaps some of them get used to it and eat them anyway. I have seen Assassin bugs around - they kill caterpillars and they've taken a toll on the Monarchs and the Yellow Sulphurs.

A Spanish Needle that hasn't opened yet.  I think we have a lot of ants - maybe I should do something about them?

Don't see many honey bees these days, sadly.  Below is one fellow on the Spanish Needles.  I wish I could do something to keep bees from getting diseases that kill them, like put medicine on their flowers, but I'm afraid that's probably not feasible.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

WHAT?? 2 Days In A Row???

Remember how I said I had lots of plans yesterday? husband and I found the horse farm (thanks to him) and got the manure ("if my baby wants horse sh...., then I have to get horse sh.....for her").

The manure was in a semi-enclosed area and there were empty horse feed bags to fill.  My husband did the shoveling and I did the bag holding.  We took 2 partially filled bags (so we could lift them).  There's more where that came from!!!  

Once we ran a few other errands and got home, I donned my garden apparel - men's boxer shorts, a baggy shirt, socks and sneakers, along with my trusty new sun protecting hat from the Army/Navy store.  I raked.  I weed wacked.  I raked some more.  It was 90 degrees.  I drank a lot of water.  I rested.  I raked some more.  Finally, the piece de resistance.  I got out the lawn mower and mowed what was left.  Hubby then took over and mowed the area behind our fence (we should have built our fence farther back, but we thought we had to leave a "right of way" for the power folks - turns out we didn't.)  God only knows what the heck was growing out there.....then he mowed the front yard and we were finished.

I immediately took my bougainvillea scratched, very dirty, sweaty and hot body into the shower and washed every square inch.  After this, I drank copious amounts of seltzer water, grapefruit juice and powdered vitamin mix and crashed in my easy chair in front of my computer.

In between all this activity I found time to take my camera outside and photograph a few more flowers and growing things.  

Without further ado, here they are.  In my anti-Morning Glory choking Stephen King vine war, I noticed that the old tree trunks all the way in the back were sprouting mushrooms galore.  A few days ago we were in drought territory - not a mushroom in sight.  Today - after a few days of lots of rain.....a veritable cornucopia of mushroominess.  I couldn't get over how some of them looked like high rise condos for bugs.  I liked the color of them, too - too bad they're most likely dead poisonous. 

Next - YES - Blogger is letting me type in between photos today!!!  More flowers:

These are very very tiny pink flowers that appear for about 2 hours a day in the morning and then disappear.  I have no idea what this plant is, but I saw it growing in the grass this spring and fell in love with it.  I pulled some up and put them in a pot with good soil, and there they grow.  I want to transplant them in the same area where I have the Sensitive Plant growing - they can jockey for position.

Last - another lavender like annual and another view of my Sensitive Plant flower with it's leaves underneath it, so you can see what the leaves look like, too.

Next job - spreading some of that horsey gold around the plants that look a little lackluster.