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  • Don't forget to stop and smell the Roses.
  • How My Garden Grows


    iris bud blooming purple flower macro

    My irises have almost unfurled, and there’s already a very strong smell of grapes coming from them. I would, if I could, create and patent an iris scented nose insert. This would be especially good if you have smelly neighbors, or just spend a lot of time around smelly people. Simply put the iris scented nose inserts up into each nostril and voila! You smell grapes, and all the world is right again.

    I have a lot of irises this year. I even planted one that is supposed to look like a Baboon’s butt Bottom. I know it sounds a little demented, but I’m kinda excited to see that one, kwim? People are strange. Myself included.

    gerbera daisy macro flower photo leanne wildermuth

    My gerber/gerbera daisies are lover-ly. I have several in a planter that my hubby made for me, it’s my daisy planter box. People actually slow down when they drive past my house to look at the pretty flowers. I always flip them my green thumb when they do that, I’m such a show off.

    This is how my planter looks this year:

    gerber gerbera daisy planter

    They’re really sissy flowers, and require a lot of attention and babying – but they’re worth it. Now for the good stuff. I mean the REALLY good stuff. The stuff that’s going to prove that my thumb probably isn’t as green as I’d like to think!

    vegetable garden leanne wildermuth

    This is my vegetable garden. Hubby dug it up, it’s 12′ x 12′. He reeeealy wanted a veggie garden this year so I’m going to do my best. I’ve planted broccoli, cauliflower, beets, bush beans, green peppers and two half rows of spinach. We also have (off to the side against the fence) roma tomatoes and cucumber. Now, I have to tell you, I kill food. I kill it dead, and fast.

    It’s been one week and one day since I planted stuff and things are still standing up and green.

    (Pausing for applause.)

    I am hoping, if all goes well, to be eaten alive by garden bugs and sweat like a farmer woman pulling weeds by mid summer. Why on earth is this something that a girl would aspire to, anyway? All this just for a fresh head of broccoli? Maybe what I really aspire to is to be clubbed over the head and dragged away by my really long hair by a cave man. Or a military man. (There, honey, now you qualify.)

    Any gardeny advice for a newbie? Please? Tips, tricks or sprays that I should use? Special gloves? Bandanas? Ponytail holders? Knee pads? Grub identification manuals? Anything?

    Okay, well, you think about it and I’ll get back to work over here. I’ve got blog designing to do. And paintings to ship, and jeez – a whole bunch of stuff on my to-do list! (Crack that whip!)

    Mothering Moments


    kids on swingset
    The weekend was filled with those moments in motherhood you never forget. Friday afternoon Catybug “sprung” at me after school in excitement that she wanted two friends to come over. With a sigh and an eyeroll, I agreed. The inconvenienced, hates last minute plans mother in me was thinking “that new Wii ought to entertain everyone” (I really do try to avoid Drama! wherever possible.) Deep down, though, what I was really thinking was “I never got to do this when I was a kid. Say yes.” And I loaded up the car with children and we headed home.

    There was giggling and talking and more talking, as you can imagine. They played the Wii, and I escaped out the back door to get up close and personal with far too many dandelions. Of course it didn’t take long before Chickeymonkey came outside to me crying that they weren’t taking turns, so I enlisted her eagle eyes for dandelion detection and she was a happy girl.

    Just as I finished placing the pizza order (because that’s what you do, when you’re a cool mom), another of Catybug’s girlfriends stopped over on her bike. I went into “holy crap that’s a lot of kids” mode again, but it quickly dissipated and I welcomed her in. They decided to play outside, together. I sat down at the dining room table and began cutting lily pads (placemats for our Church’s mother daughter banquet) and waiting for the pizza to arrive. It was quiet in the house, and I could hear the girls all giggling and talking outside, and I watched them playing in the yard from the dining room.

    The mommy moment kicked in when they all moved to the playset. Two on the swing, two on the glider rocker, and one in the clubhouse. All of them smiling and carrying on. A sweet smile evolved on my face and tears welled up in my eyes. This is it, I thought. This is what it’s all about. I wish I had this when I was a kid, all of my friends over playing on the swingset.

    I wondered if the girls knew how precious that moment was, if they knew that they’ll be glad to have that memory when they’re adults, or when they’re lonely, missing their friends, feeling like they don’t have any, or are just having a sad day.

    At that moment, I grabbed my camera and opted to capture that moment for them and for me. I admit, I felt accomplished. I felt like I had succeeded in Motherhood and I may have even put on a little awards ceremony in my head, just for me. (And I was also in the audience, cheering myself on.)

    pizza night
    The pizza arrived and the girls all clamored into the family room around the super cool Ikea kids’ table to eat and watch TV. They gobbled up a full pizza in a matter of minutes, and of course no girly gathering would be complete without some soda spillage. I went from cool mom to maid in a matter of seconds as I went over the floor half a dozen times to get rid of the “sticky” (hate soda. HATE.)

    Within a few hours (and a lot of yawning on my part, since last week was not a good week for sleeping through the night at my house), the girls parents had arrived, they departed and my girls were left with sad faces because their friends were gone. It was a late night for them, and we had an early morning ahead of us as our Church’s mother daughter banquet was scheduled for 10am Saturday and being on the committee meant I had lots of stuff to do to prepare, and had to arrive early.

    There were over 100 women in attendance. 100 place settings at 15 tables. The theme was “puddles of fun” and the tables were set up like a pond, with lily pads under each place setting of food, that consisted of a cored and sliced apple opened for the lotus, a scoop of either chicken or tuna salad in the center with a gummy frog on top, all surrounded by fruit and set on a large lettuce leaf. Dessert was blue pudding with smashed nilla wafers and a frog – and the centerpiece (my Saturday morning task) was 2 fish in a fishbowl on top of a lotus and lily pad. Some of the place mats were froggy tic-tac-toe pads, and all the kids had fun and stayed entertained with those.

    One lucky person had a fish drawn (by me) on their cup, indicating the winner of the centerpiece fishies. Everyone had a fun time and only one fish bowl was left unclaimed – they now reside here with our bird, guinea pig, rabbit and dog. I don’t expect their lifespan will be a long one, I tend to kill goldfish pretty quickly. I’ll keep you updated and you’ll all be invited to the stool-side ceremonies when the time comes.

    The speaker talked about women. The changes in what society thinks “beautiful” looks like over the course of centuries. How sloped foreheads were “in”, corsets, shaved eyebrows, boyish rectangular figures, and long necks. How today, we feel the pressure to be beautiful in the way society has deemed what beautiful is for this period. She said we need to remember that we are all beautiful, because we look like what we look like. And that we are God’s perfect creation. It’s so true, and so easy to forget, isn’t it? We were all made exactly how we were meant to be, and I don’t know many people who are happy about that when they look in the mirror. We do need to remember that we are what we are, and honor that.

    She went on to talk about the passage to womanhood. She told a story about how when she was young, she heard her mothers razor calling out to her from the shower – and went in and proceeded to shave her legs for the first time. If she had only known that she would have to continue to do that for the rest of her life, maybe she would have waited!

    She talked about her first purse, and other “firsts” that made her feel that she was earning her way to womanhood. Catybug and I giggled over many of her stories, because she has already come into some of those things – particularly the shaving – and the blood and skin loss – and she could really relate. Chickeymonkey, the lucky one, is still little. If I could just *keep* her little … I imagine that three hormonally challenged girls in one 1400 square foot space isn’t always going to be pleasant.

    Thinking back to when you were a young girl – when did you feel like you were more of a “grown up”? What moment did you think “NOW I’m a big, like mom.”

    And also? You are beautiful. You. ARE. Beautiful.

    We Wii!!


    We are FINALLY owners of a Wii gamesystem. Thanks to my daughters BFF’s parents who were at the right place at the right time today and picked it up for us!

    Of course I was immediately dreaming of a personal trainer game, and guess what? THEY’VE MADE ONE! Wii Fit – with a gazillion fitness activities, including huuuuuuuuuula hoops! Rock on!

    Totally getting this….

    Do you Wii? Any games you highly recommend? Accessories?

    Love Me Anyway.


    chiapoo chihuahua poodle mix puppy' class=
    I did not finish Emily’s portrait today – it’s still wet, and under a fan to speed up drying time.

    You’re just going to have to settle for this cute-a-licious Copper puppy head tilt eye-candy today. I hope you don’t mind?

    A Tiny Puppy


    chihuahua poodle mix chiapoo male puppy

    Yes, this is our new puppy. He belongs to Chickeymonkey, officially, as she’s the only one in the house without “her very own” pet – she just wanted a pet she isn’t afraid of. How could anyone be afraid of this little dude? He’s a long haired Chihuahua-Poodle mix, they call ’em ChiaPoo’s. His momma is 5lbs, daddy is 3.5lbs, so he’s not going to get much bigger than this. He’s had a nice bath, his toes are clipped and filed, and he slept in a little ball next to my head last night. (And he’s curled up in a ball in my lap right now).

    Say it with me now, c’mon… “awwwwwwwwww”.

    ..and a Happy New Year!


    happy new year from and her whole family of critters!

    Here’s to a New Year filled with a lot of smiles, a lot less hardships, more valuable lessons and hundreds of days to cherish. A year filled with great things, a year to follow your dreams, a year to revive the talents you might have given up on to take the safer path. Trust a little more, grow in your faith, and make those annual baby steps toward becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be.

    We wish you a sense of peace, understanding and love in your life this year, and look forward to the next 366 days. (It’s a leap year!)

    Leanne & Family
    (Dusty, Cocoa and Quintin, too!)

    Merry Christmas!


    Merry Christmas 2007

    Wishing all of you a very blessed Christmas, full of love, peace and thankfulness.

    Hugs to you and yours!

    The Christmas Rush


    You’d think that with all the running around and the recent worries and stresses in my life would help keep those Christmas Cookies from hanging on to my hips? Absolutely not. Lard is lard, I suppose. Listed in the sweetest of recipe ingredients or on my rear, it seems to have it’s ultimate destination ingrained in the tiniest of lardlike molecules. :grumbles:

    I have my post-holiday work cut out for me then, as I have just 21 days after Christmas (that’s 21 birthday gift shopping days to you, friends) to get back with “the program”, which is basically reaquainting myself with those single serving meals and packing away my cookie sheets for next year. My goal is to hit my comfortable weight by my birthday, smack in the middle of January. Wish me luck. And quit sending me Harry & David!

    Today, I make my annual dough ornaments. I gave the recipe a couple of years ago but here it is again, for those of you who are :cough: bored today and want something creative and fun to do!

    2 cups flour
    1 cup salt
    1 cup water

    Knead, add more flour to make it really doughy if needed, sprinkle water to make it more pliable as needed. Roll on very lightly floured surface, cut shapes using regular cookie cutters of your choice, bake at 250 for 2 hours.

    Handy & Creative Tips:
    – Roll them out on the backside of a non-stick cookie sheet so they don’t need to be transferred to the sheet.
    – Fill in any cracks with water, smooth with your finger.
    – Use a straw to punch out holes for ribbon before you bake them.
    – Once completely cooled, paint them using metallic craft paint, or use a shimmery iridescent glaze over a solid color.
    – Glue foil to the back to reflect the lights on the tree
    – Use glitter sparingly to make them shiny
    – String with ribbon and hang them on the tree!

    Other things I have to share today before I forget:

    • This plugin. This plugin is called the “One Click Plugin Updater”. Once installed and activated, and provided you’re using the most recent version of WordPress – all you need to do is visit your plugins page every now and again and scroll to see which plugins need to be updated, click to “update automatically” and that’s IT. How much easier could it get? There are a few plugins, unfortunately, that aren’t loaded into the plugins directory in such a way that they update automatically. Those need to be updated manually (and you’ll know, because the “update automatically” prompt will not go away). Other than those – it is a sweet little plugin and it will make your blogging life just a little bit easier!
    • I am still decorating my tree here on my blog. Just a couple of ornaments left! Eek!
    • Christmas cards have been sent. Do let me know if you get yours by Christmas – so I know how much earlier I need to get my butt in gear next year! If I don’t know you well, just keep hanging around and I’ll nudge you next year for your address.
    • Mom is home from the hospital! She is happy to be home. She’s still having some blips but I’m told that it’s a side-effect from her meds, so once she is off of them she should be back to her snarky old self – only able to breathe and not have any more chest pain. Yay!
    • Catybug (my little stage queen) was asked to do a reading at Church this Sunday. I found her the most beautiful (and stylish) dress and she is so excited – she gets to read the whole story of Jesus’ birth. My favorite Christmas carol, O Holy Night, will be played on piano while she tells the story. I cannot wait, it is going to be so beautiful! Send kleenex. Love, A Proud Momma.
    • I got a new phone! Whoot! I know. I’m retarded to be excited about a phone. But wait! Let me explain! I’ve had a prepaid Verizon phone for years, just before Mark left for Iraq. While mom was in the hospital though, I blew through well over a month’s worth of a regular plan fee. THAT is retarded. When I found out that “In” minutes are free, and that most of the people I talk to are on Verizon, then I just outright had a “duh” moment. I signed up for a plan online, got a free phone, free activation and now I’m blowing cash to be all cool with my ringtones. Yes, I downloaded O Holy Night! :PHere are my first four downloads:
      – 1234 (TV Version)
      – O Holy Night (Martina McBride)
      – My Stupid Mouth (John Mayer)
      – How Great is our God (Chris Tomlin) – they have this titled wrong, took me forever to find it!

      My only change would be John Mayer’s song – the lyrics that play when the phone rings should be “My stupid mouth, got me in trouble- I said too much again…”, but what plays is “I’m never speakin up again, it only hurts me”, and my choice would be WAY funnier for a ring tone.

    There’s my random blabbering for the day, I do hope you enjoy it – now I must go make some orny-mants before Christmas has passed and/or I don’t know what day it is. (I thought yesterday was Thursday. All day. And I missed a family gathering. Love, Retarded Girl.)

    I hope your Christmas preparations are going well?

    Get in the Christmas Spirit!
    Now Playing : Oh Holy Night

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