Monday, March 31, 2014

Blue Monday: The Obligatory Bluebonnet Post

Blue Monday is hosted weekly by Smiling Sally.
To see more offerings, or to participate yourself, please head on over to her blog.

I'm back!  Betcha didn't know I'd been gone, huh?  Well, I haven't, really -- I've been right here all along, but it's been more than a month since I posted anything here at JOYSWEB.  Actually, I've been giving serious thought to just letting the blog die a natural death, since I never really have much time for it anymore -- keeping up with my book blog (A Little Reading) generally takes first priority, and even that's becoming harder to do.  Real life just keeps gettin' in the way, y'know?

OK -- enough of that.  Spring is here!  And that makes me soooo HAPPY!  I was really beginning to believe winter was here to stay.  Of course, we really don't have much spring here in central Texas -- we usually go seamlessly from deepest winter to the midst of summer's deadly heat and humidity.  But this year we're actually getting some really lovely springy days, and yesterday was one of the nicest so far.  In fact, it was so gorgeous, the hubby and I decided to take a little Sunday drive and get a peek at the bluebonnets that are blooming now.  (Yep, we were those old geezers in the SUV, slowing down traffic right up ahead.)

Bluebonnets have been the Texas state flower since 1901
I've always loved our state flower, and I really missed them all those years I lived out of state.  This year's crop is supposed to be less impressive than most years -- not enough rain at just the right point in their development.  At least here in the Hill Country, they're supposed to be less plentiful than usual, not as blue, and not as tall.  Well, we found plenty of bluebonnets during our drive -- in fact, there were masses of them along every road we traveled.  In some areas, there were bluebonnets as far as the eye could see.  Like a river of flowers.  Really lovely.

A carpet of bluebonnets somewhere near Bertram TX

Hard to get photos, of course, because the shoulder on a busy highway really isn't a great place to stop and explore.  But we did manage to find a couple of places to pull over and get a few snaps.

This display was seen on Hwy 281 near Marble Falls

At one stop, we found a little Texas flag someone had crumpled and abandoned.

So we shook it out and set it up.  Cute, huh?  (And for you eagle-eyed native Texans: Yes, I think it IS upside down -- the white stripe should be on top.  Probably not made in Texas.)

Not so cute -- someone also left another memento among the blooms. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm a little tired of all those valentine hearts and all the red and pink we get for Valentine's Day.  So here's a bouquet of my favorite flowers - yellow roses.  Hope you have a happy day, together with your special sweetie!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Unconscious Mutterings: Week 574

This week's mutterings from LunaNiña:

1. Vex :: miff, rile, peeve

2. Ghost :: Patrick Swayze (sexiest ghost ever)

3. Detail :: the small stuff

4. Furthers :: adds to, aids

5. Foxy :: Patrick Swayze (do I see a theme developing here?)

6. Hybrid :: combo, mongrel, vehicle

7. Maximum :: most, utmost, ultimate

8. Wonderful :: my wonderful Hubby (you thought I was gonna say Patrick Swayze again, now didn't you?)

9. Munch :: Richard Belzer (actually, I think he's pretty foxy, too)

10. Organize :: my main goal for 2014 -- should be written ORGANIZE!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Our World: Must Be Winter!

It's VERY cold today here in the Texas Hill Country.  It was very cold yesterday, too; I'm pretty sure it didn't get much above freezing all day. And I believe it's supposed to be even colder tomorrow.  Brrrrrrr!!!!!

I know that the whole country is having a really bad winter this year, with blizzards in the north and out west, and frigid conditions along the eastern seaboard.  And, of course, it's nowhere near that bad here. But in this part of the world, we're ill prepared for this kind of cold lasting as long as it has this winter - December was colder than normal, too.  It's turning out to be the coldest winter we've had in 20 years.  When we were shopping at HEB the other day, the young man checking us out said he couldn't remember it ever being this cold this long, and I'm sure what he said was true. A whole generation of kids have grown up here, not knowing what a real winter is like.

The Austin area power companies have been issuing warnings about using too much energy at certain times of the day, and say we should turn the thermostat down to 68 or lower at night. We've been keeping ours around 70, so I guess we'll need to do some adjusting.  The hubs has taken to wearing woolly socks and the heavy sweaters he thought he'd never wear again, once we moved back to Texas.  And I've ordered some flannel nighties from LL Bean.  Flannel nighties!!!

Needless to say, I stayed in all day yesterday - well-known weather wimp that I am.  Except for about a minute during the evening when I wrapped up and ran outside to take some photos of the frozen water in our birdbath.  These were the best shots, but it's still a little hard to see - those bubbles are frozen under the ice.  (Oh, and those are decorative birdies - not frozen real ones!)

I do worry about the animals and birds in this kind of weather.  Fortunately, it's not likely to last too long - the sun will melt all that ice, and we'll all feel a lot better.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Blue Monday: Just One More

Blue Monday is hosted weekly by Smiling Sally.
To see more offerings, or to participate yourself, please head on over to her blog.

OK, I promise this is the LAST post about Christmas!  I know, I know....Christmas is over and the New Year is already a week old.  Isn't that amazing?  Tempus sure does fugit.

Anyway, we've got nearly all the holiday decorations cleared out and stored away now.  Just about the last reminders are my Christmas bears that I put out every year.  They always get to stay around a little longer than all the other ornaments because they're just so cute I can't bear (did I really say that?) to part with them.

The two Paddington Bears are wearing their bright blue duffle coats, perfect for this frigid winter we're having.  They're both Salvation Army adoptees (like most of my bear collection).  I've written about Kringle Bear before.  He's almost thirty years old now!  But the years have been kind to him.  Unlike my little childhood teddy (I've written about him too) - he definitely shows all the love he's received over the years. But he still has his lovely blue button eyes, and this year he's sporting a nice blue necktie.

Generally, he lives in a box in my closet, all wrapped up in acid-free tissue. But I thought this year he should get to come out and take his place with all the other bears in his new home.  He likes the company.  And it's really COLD in that closet.