He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31
Our new AC unit is in and working! It's been inspected three times, working great, and I'm back under the blankets again because it's super cool!! This is our new thermostat for the AC. Pretty fancy, computerized and Wi-Fi remote control from anywhere! Whoever dreamt as we read our little Weekly Readers back in the day that we would carry cell phone/computers in our hand and be able to chart our course, set our thermostats and security system remotely, and take photographs!!! I remember especially being impressed as I read the Weekly Reader circa. 1961 or so that it showed the possibility in the future of being able to see the people we are speaking with on the telephone!! Crazy, crazy!! That was hard for this sixth grader to imagine.
But just this morning we not only spoke on the phone with grandson Noah, but watched his cute antics and excitement of his celebrating a birthday today. Noah is a whopping nine years old! Happy Birthday to you, Noah!!!
With his beautiful mom.
He said the food at camp was really good and his birthday treat this morning was DONUTS and that explained why he was so hyper on the phone!!!
No, I don't think we can blame the donuts. You and your brother have always been willing to put on a great show for us!!! Sweet, cute, smart boys. We love you so much!
I've been walking each morning and see this cat quite often. This morning he/she was up in the tree sitting pretty, but just as I got my phone out, it began to come down the tree to meet me. I wasn't sure what the intent was. Cats don't bite, do they?
Just because she's so cute! Our great niece!
Our year of 2017 is half over now. But it is still half full. I have been walking each morning for the past two weeks and hope it is now my habit again. It was pleasant, although the sun has now made its way through the clouds and it is warming up to reach the forecast of 96 today. That isn't too bad for this time of year. I am hopeful that the summer will not be a scorcher.
This little bunny and his buddies have been enjoying the Purslane and
sweet potato plants on the patio.
Taking pics of the sky unfolding in so many different ways is one of
my favorite things to do.
Noah attended Camp Longhorn last week. The above pics were taken at
Church Mountain. I think this may have been one of the only times they
slowed down all week because all the other days were filled with fun activities.
Just Grandpa being silly.
Jack has a habit of running through the house and
running into things such as cabinet corners, tables, etc.
He's tough though.
The kids stayed over the weekend and requested (begged) that I take them to the mall. We made pinkie promises with each other about our little trip, setting price limits of what we (I) would buy, how long we might stay, and what shops we would visit. They were terrific. They found what they wanted in the Lego store and before we left, took a little ride on the carousel. After that, we picked up Grandpa and went to Braum's for ice cream.
Kate told me afterward she thinks she might be getting too old for the carousel. Sigh ... she's growing up.
Last week we spent the big bucks getting the back yard cleaned up and new plants put in. I am happy with the results, but as I look back at old pics and how the back yard has evolved, it seems to me that we better keep an eye on the plants and keep them from becoming overgrown so that this will be the last makeover while we live here. When we bought the house, the back yard was barren except for one ugly bush and two mesquite trees. Since mesquite trees have sharp and ugly thorns, we had them surrounded with a border and landscaping around them. It looked pretty enough, however, a lot of the plants didn't survive and then, when grandchildren came along, we realized how dangerous the yucca plants were and so had them removed and planted more roses.
Trudy searching for bunnies
The pink, red, and yellow roses were bursting with color in the spring, but they grew so big and eventually were afflicted with the dread disease known as Witches Claw!! They were ugly with buds coming out and the promise of a flower, which couldn't happen.
Work in process
I can't wait to see the grasses grow up and the Vitex come into bloom.
It is covered with blooms right now which should burst out any day now.
There are grasses and Nandina bushes in there, too.
We've had plenty of rain to soak everything in.
These are kaleidoscope abelia.
My friend, Victoria, says these will grow quickly and
cover the blank spaces.
And today, the AC guys are here to install new AC and furnace units and collect the really big bucks. Hopefully, we will sleep very well tonight and hopefully, there will be a slowing down of shelling out the dough.
Speaking of dough, yesterday I made focaccia bread again to go with a sausage tortellini dish. This bread is easy, turns out so good and is tender and tasty.
Easy Focaccia Bread Recipe with Garlic and Herbs
Our focaccia recipe is very simple to make – no fancy equipment is needed at all. The secret to the best focaccia is a great tasting olive oil. Since there is quite a bit used, the bread really takes on the flavor. You don’t need to spend lots of money, just use an olive oil you love. For the herbs, we love a combination of thyme and rosemary, but you could use whatever herbs you love – fresh or dried. Or, omit the garlic and herbs all together and use plain olive oil instead.
A note on pan size: In this recipe we call for a 9-inch by 13-inch rimmed baking sheet. If you do not have this, you can use a 9-inch by 13-inch rimmed baking dish with taller sides.
Makes approximately 8 servings
You Will Need
1/2 cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup (235 ml) warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
1/4 teaspoon honey
2 1/2 cups (325 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
In a cold medium skillet, combine olive oil, minced garlic, thyme, rosemary, and the black pepper. Place the pan over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes or until aromatic, but before the garlic browns. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and honey. Stir a few times then let sit for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the flour and a 1/4 cup of the infused garlic-olive oil mixture. Stir 3 to 4 times until the flour has moistened. Let sit for another 5 minutes.
Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour and the salt. Once the dough comes together, transfer to a floured board and knead the dough 10 to 15 times until smooth. Transfer to a large oiled bowl, cover with a warm, damp towel and let rise for 1 hour. (It’s best to let the dough rise in a warmer area of your kitchen).
After 1 hour, heat oven to 450 degrees F. Use two tablespoons of the remaining garlic-olive oil mixture to oil a 9-inch by 13-inch rimmed baking sheet. (See above if you do not have this pan size).
Transfer the dough to the baking sheet then press it down into the pan. Use your fingers to dimple the dough then drizzle the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of the garlic-olive oil mixture. Let the dough rise for 20 minutes until it puffs slightly. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool baked focaccia bread on a wire rack.
A side note as to the people installing the AC. If workers came to my house every day, there would be no end to the number of tasks I could accomplish. There is something in me that when other people work in and around my home I cannot sit idle. I feel guilt. Isn't that sad? LOL! Oh well, I am getting lots done.
Just happened to walk past the front door to see one of the AC guys taking a well-deserved break! It is hot up there in the attic!
So many things to be thankful for. As I pulled out loads of weeds early this morning and then took a walk around the neighborhood, I was especially thankful that the past few mornings have been fairly cool. Everything looks fresh and green as we've had some good rain and may have some the next few days, too. I am thankful for good health and simply being able to work, walk and enjoy this day.
I thought this would never bloom! Yay!
The marigolds probably deserve a prettier pot
and location, but I think they are doing all right here.
I like this multi-color Lantana.
Our nephew Billy with his sweet kids.
This rubber snake wouldn't fool you, would it?
It certainly fooled the Critter Control guys when they went into our shed.
I find it humorous that the "Critter Control" guys were scared of a little snake!
We had a good laugh.
We had an even better laugh when the lawn guys came earlier this week. I happened to look out the window and saw one of them chasing the other around the yard with the snake in hand. It was awfully hot out there, but they were running to beat the band. The one finally threw the snake at the other and when he realized it was fake, he began to chase his teaser!! Too funny! The snake had originally been out in the garden to scare away birds from the tomatoes.
It never ceases to amaze me how much they enjoy our hot tub.
Amy came over to clean it out and these kids stood in the tub as it filled up with
fresh, clean, cold water!!
They still try to sneak up on and catch the bunnies.
I've been walking these past few days and hoping I can make it my habit again. The neighborhood was quiet and I'm not sure what the cats below are waiting for in the still of the morning. Mice in the drain maybe?
He seems to be keeping a lookout.
I just like this. Very patriotic.
Noah is having a great time at camp.
The lawn guys are here today and I hope to have before and after pics of their work next week. And next week, we will hopefully be having new AC and furnace units in and working! Gettin' things done and checking them off the list!