Tree Tuesday: Pick a color, any color! Or not. . .

The trees in East Texas have reached their peak of fall glory and are now quickly losing their leaves in the rainy days and north winds.  However, as I enjoyed the fall color on my local travels, I noticed at least one type of tree that doesn’t just turn one color.  It turns at least three colors!
My parents say it may be an ornamental pear tree.  I don’t know.  If you do, let me know.  All I know is, its leaves turn various colors of orange, red, and gold and it is beautiful.  Photos just don’t do it justice.

By the way, this tree stands in a Whataburger parking lot where it was watching me buy my bacon and cheese taquito and large unsweet tea with extra ice.  A girl has to charge up before wrapping gifts all day!

I like to think the tree says to itself, “There are so many pretty fall colors that I can’t choose just one.  So I will turn every color!”  You go, tree.  My kind of gal.



AT HOME MONDAY: It’s Fall, Ya’ll!

Even if it doesn’t feel like it!  Go away, 90 degree temps–we are ready for some cool!  I usually wait until October 1 to get out my fall decor, which requires a trip to the storage building and sorting through all the plastic tote boxes to find it all.  Last year I got it down to five boxes.  This year I want to downsize to four.  Hm. . .I wonder if that is possible?

But I didn’t wait to haul everything out this year.  As soon as the autumn solstice was announced by the calendar and weatherman, I dragged hubby out to help me gather the boxes.  Taking each item out one by one is like seeing old friends again.  But I will be ruthless.  If it doesn’t make me smile, out it goes. . .

That said, I just love seeing all the new fall decor in the stores and find it difficult to restrain myself from collecting more and more!  But my favorite things are always the vintage, well-loved finds that I discover while foraging at antique shops, flea markets, and garage sales.

Here is one of my favorites–a grinning little fellow I found several years ago at an antique shop in Waco, Texas for only $4.00!  I stopped there to stretch my legs during a business trip.  

That kind of stop is SO much better than a convenience store. . .you just have to hope they have a restroom as well.

Back to the cat–is he not the cutest thing?Don’t you love his Cheshire cat grin?  He’s either REALLY happy or he is hiding something!

I’ve almost finished my scaled-down fall decorating now. I just need to purchase some pumpkins and gourds and mums and such, and hope that the weather realizes that fall is here.  In a few days I will be traveling to Indiana where the weather did get the message:  It’s Fall, ya’ll!




AT HOME MONDAY: Autumn dreams. . .

Will autumn EVER get here?  As a former teacher,  I would never have said those words because they meant wishing for school to start!  Although I generally enjoyed returning to school every August, a few more weeks of vacation would have certainly been welcome. . .

Now, all I can think of is cooler temperatures with crisp nights and the possibility of going outdoors without becoming a sweaty, oily-faced, hair-drooping mess.  At least this summer hasn’t been as bad as the Summer of 2011 when Texas found itself in the drought of a century.  Yes, I realize that this century is still new, but last summer was HOT and DRY!  Lakes, rivers, and creeks dried up, trees died, and paint peeled.  I don’t remember reports of windshields breaking, though.  That really happened back in 1980, when the sliding glass doors on our one-bedroom apartment shattered with such a large crack that I thought someone was shooting at us!  Maybe windshields and sliding glass doors are made of tougher stuff these days.

I really despise the summer heat and will do almost anything to avoid being outdoors for very long, even curtailing my shopping.  Naturally I don’t spend any time in my yard after 9 a.m. or before 8 p.m.   As a result, the plants with such promise and beauty that I eagerly bought back in the spring begin to suffer when the temperatures climb above 90 degrees.  For some reason, they don’t survive very long without regular watering.  I have streamlined my flowers so that they can be watered from the backyard deck or the front porch without me having to stand there for more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time.   The faucet and hose for my deck plants is actually on the deck so that is pretty easy.  And with a soaker hose along my front porch, all I have to do is walk to the end of the porch, kneel down, and reach to turn on the faucet.

Too bad my soaker hose blew out.  The very nerve!  And this is my second one!  The first one blew out as well!  Do you think it might have happened because I leave them out all winter?  Who wants to dig out a soaker hose from among the mulch, fallen leaves, weeds and plants, lizards, beetles, spiders, and cat poop?  Less trouble to go buy another one every year or two.  Wonder if the hoses will eventually turn to mulch?

Why couldn’t the newer soaker hose have at least lasted through one more summer?  Now, in the hottest part of August, I am forced to stand outside for a half hour or more just to give my stupid azaleas their necessary drink.  (Don’t worry, they didn’t hear that.)  I didn’t realize the soaker hose wasn’t functioning until those poor azalea bushes began to turn brown and crispy.  I figured I better start watering if I don’t want to replace every single one of them next spring.

To add to my discombobulation, my mother’s lush and green flowers scornfully harken to mine from across the yard, leering in their abundant blossoms and full leaves.  They get water in abundance, even in the hottest weather, because my mother doesn’t mind the heat.  She gets cold if it dips below 85 outside.  Oh well, maybe if I give my plants a little pep talk next time I water, they won’t notice the Garden of Eden next door.  Even this poor hydrangea which would desperately love to produce flowers if it wasn’t concentrating so hard on getting a drink. . .

Can you see the dead cow skull?  No tumbleweeds, though. . .
And for all you plant activists:  don’t worry, I watered immediately.

My outdoor cat Lucy meows louder when its hot.  It isn’t her cup of tea, either.  Can you see the scowl on her face?  Wonder if the first freeze might be early this year?  We would both be much happier. . .

Ap ril