Tag Archives: plants

Is It Spring Already?

A beautiful pink rose is opening up.

When I look at the calendar, I see that it’s January 7. Definitely winter.

A red rose struts its stuff.

But when I check out my front yard, I see spring!

The pink roses complement their red counterparts.

There are so many Knock Out roses blooming that it doesn’t seem like Old Man Winter is about to hit us with some cold weather next week.

But if the forecasted lows of 30 degrees do actually interrupt the Houston area’s much-loved (by me!) mild winter, I just hope that all our rosebuds and roses continue to flourish. They warm us with their beauty and the belief that spring really is around the corner.

A red rosebud soon will be a pretty flower.

Bloom, Bud, bloom!

Another addition to my extended family

Baby Kate joins dad Ken, mom Becky, and big sister Lily. (Photo by Grandpa Howie)

Speaking of new blooms, my oldest niece Becky gave birth to her first child Wednesday! Baby Kate joins dad Ken and Lily, the Beck’s stepdaughter. And she gives my great-nephew Zeke another cousin to play with. My oldest sister Fran is the very-proud grandmother. Welcome to the family, Katie!

Our Bloomin’ Front Yard

A purply and red rose cohabitate in our front bed.

Looks like the warmer weather finally is here to stay! Which figures, since the high school track season ends this week for my #2 son.

Our roses are developing at different rates. I'm partial to the partly opened ones.

With the temperatures so nice last Saturday, the Mister and I checked out our front yard landscaping.

Rosebuds like these are the promise that we'll see more beauty soon.

Our roses look spectacular! They’ve been blooming all month and are a beautiful addition to our yard. However, January’s freeze executed our lovely, short-lived ixoras (Ixoras, we hardly knew ye!), so they exited their beds via the Mister’s shovel.

The Mister gets to planting.

In their place, we planted a colorful spring mix of flowers sold by ProGrad. And, yes, unfortunately, “we” did equal both the Mister and myself, much as I tried to get out of it (as usual). Why?


There were worms all over. Ugh! Too bad the Mister and our #2 son weren’t going fishing. Plus, I don’t like getting my hands dirty. Not when I have my camera to handle. My role is supposed to be photographer; the Mister is our gardener. But he wasn’t falling for that old excuse this time.

Pinkish flowers

In our typical procrastination fashion, we were, ahem, about 10 days late planting the spring mix.

Love these magenta flowers!

Fortunately, most of the blooms survived and have added even more color to our front yard.

Slurp slurp!

A healthy dose of water helps the flowers grow. Hopefully, the spring mix will thrive before our hot summer forces them to give up their reason for living. Until then, we plan to enjoy our bloomingly beautiful front yard!

Random Thoughts About Flowers, Target, and Lying

Roses from our new front landscaping

Roses from our new front landscaping

True confessions time: When Frank of  Frank’s Nursery was recommending plants and flowers for our new front yard landscaping, I must admit I had two main requirements for what we would choose: First, killability (the Mister and I need the hardiest flora possible to withstand our lame gardening abilities). And, second, photographability (I think I’m making up the -ability words today). With my beloved Nikon f/2.8 105mm macro lens, I wanted flowers that I could be up close and personal with. Pretty stuff that would look great in a blog.

More roses from our new landscaping

More roses from our new landscaping

Which is why when Frank suggested pink and red roses, I told him, “Bring ’em on in!” There’s just nothing like beautiful flowers, such as roses, and an f/2.8 lens to bring out great bokeh (that wonderful blurred background) in photos. I’m hoping to enjoy photographing the new flowers (which also include a couple esperanza bushes that haven’t bloomed yet, as well as ixoras) for as long as they survive their stay with us!


Cold thoughts while shopping

Was the temperature set on freezing at my local Target (when it was 80 degrees outside) the other day to try to entice those of us in south Texas to buy warm winter clothing? Most of us were wearing shorts, short-sleeve t-shirts, and sandals as we meandered through aisles filled with long pants, long sleeves, and coats. We probably won’t need warmer clothes for another month or so . . . and then we might only wear them for a month or so.

The strategy didn’t work for me—I still bought shorts for the boys, who refuse to wear pants. And then I hustled out of the store to warm up!


Random movie review

The family went to the “cheap” $5 movie yesterday morning to see “The Invention of Lying.” I really liked Ricky Gervais in “Ghost Town,” so I had high hopes that this flick, which also starred Jennifer Garner, would be equally as good.

Total disappointment! Two thumbs down!! But the boys, who appear to have no actual taste in movies, loved it.

Here’s the premise: The movie is set in an alternate reality where no one can lie. But Gervais’ down-on-his-luck character discovers that he can bend the truth. And, as it usually does, lying gets him into trouble.

Yes, there were some funny parts. And it was great seeing Fionnula Flanagan, who is Daniel Faraday’s mum in “Lost,” cast as Gervais’ character’s mother. But some parts (especially the beginning when Gervais’ character meets Garner’s at her apartment for a blind date) are so distasteful and so unnecessary (like the one F-word), plus the movie was just plain boring. It was a waste of an interesting premise.

And that’s the truth!