Mutant vegetables and a spiffy pool party! Are you ready for YOUR exhale?

I actually started this week with one GIANT exhale! We’ve been enjoying friends, family and high energy activity throughout June, and once July hit…I needed to let the air out of my tires! So my posts have been sparse, but as the week comes to a close I’d like to show you just a few chill moments.

When you live in Southern California, you just MUST have a pool! Next time we invite friends and family in for a splash, we’d be very glad to have you drop by for a cool dip!

What? Not the pool you were expecting? Well, perhaps it’s a bit modest, but it fits two little girls and their very casual Papa.

I spied someone else cruising on the edge of the pool space and I suspect hoping to get in on the party. What is Darwin doing over there by the fence? ¬†Apparently his daily diet of two heads of romaine and a cup or two of broccoli isn’t enough for this tortoise.

Oh dear, now he’s expanded his diet to eating the flowers right off the vine covering the back fence!

How do you like those jaws?

He looks a little threatening, doesn’t he? If he gets much bigger maybe I can get him an agent and he can star in a horror movie.

And speaking of horror…

My vegetables were hiding from me!

Apparently while I was not-so-busy exhaling, I also didn’t carefully search among the squash leaves in the garden. You may not catch the perspective on these beauties, but they’re easily three times larger than when I usually pick them! They still taste good, but allowing them to get this large certainly steals the energy from the plants!

Who did we visit on the 4th of July? Well, my brother and his family…

Bowser is the best “little” girl! She was handling the neighborhood firecrackers with her usual calm!

Chewy has a calm expression doesn’t he? Poor little guy did need a little doggy sedative once all the fireworks began.

And then there’s Kody. He was jittery, too…but not about to take his pills! He was very suspicious that something had sneaked into his food, and he turned away! Guess he chose to white knuckle the evening, staying close to his comforting chew toy!

I needed to start my exhaling a little earlier this week, and I’m glad that I did. Gandhi said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” I love that quote, and if I were just a bit younger (and a whole lot bolder) I think I’d find a way to tattoo it on my arm! Maybe I could just practice living it?

And for you, going into your weekend and I hope finding your own good exhale…

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” Ovid

I hope we can all be breathing lighter by Monday…but I suggest we let next week sneak up on us…don’t think about that now! Debra

52 thoughts on “Mutant vegetables and a spiffy pool party! Are you ready for YOUR exhale?

    • I would love to soak up a little of the French culture and bring that awareness into my life, Sharyn. I suppose it’s not something beyond my reach, we can all savor life’s pleasures more, but it certainly doesn’t come naturally to me! I rush more than I want to, and sometimes don’t realize it until later. I’m giving it a lot of thought, though, and hoping to take this season of my life to create new awareness and habits! I’m going to enjoy reading about your experiences in France. I have a cousin who goes about once a year now…she and her husband just adore Paris! I’ve never been! Debra

  1. What a great quote. And I love the photo of your husband in the pool with his grandchildren. What a great way to spent a hot summer’s day. Wish we were having summer. We’re so cold here. Happy 4th of July xx

    • I think we need to keep that quote front and center, Charlie! We are accelerating our lives to the point of spinning out of control! But once in a while I catch myself and really demand that we stop!! That was this week, for certain. I always feel in reading your posts like we aren’t separated by so much time and space, and then when I consider we are having opposite seasons, it catches me by surprise! :-) I wish I could share a little warm sunshine with you, I really do! :-) Hugs, Debra

    • Also, I know a woman who got a tattoo for her 70 th birthday- you’re not too old by any means. She got it on her arm, just above her wrist, where her watch sits!

      • I’m not a very brave person, Speccy, when it comes to criticism! I talk a lot bigger than my independence. LOL! I’d be afraid of what my mother would say! I don’t wield that same power with my own children, you understand. They do what they want to do…and don’t wait for my disapproving expressions! :-) D

    • No, I don’t think you probably need a backyard wading pool just to cool off, do you Fiona! I keep reading about rain in your part of the world and it’s just a wonder to me! Wouldn’t it be fun if we could trade homes for a little bit? I love to fantasize about things like that! D

    • We throw big backyard parties, don’t we Frank? :-) Our K-Mart special pool!! I had to put a small fence around the vegetables…Darwin definitely found them. He is quite the forager…I don’t know if he’s really hungry or it’s just an instinct to stay on the prowl for anything edible. He eats better than some of my friends! I’ll find out on Monday what you do to relax this weekend! Debra

      • We’ve been quite busy, but the abnormal heat wave is shocking it to us … so today (Saturday) involves changing plans. Triple digits is atypical Cincinnati, let alone 3 consecutive days. I will say we had were going to the Cincinnati Pops tonight, but decided against it because of the heat. Oh well … enjoy the rest of the weekend.

      • Your heatwave is making the national news, Frank! It just sounds terribly oppressive. I think it is wise to cut back on activity for now, but I certainly hope you found ways to unwind and wait this heatwave out…it has to break soon? We hope?

      • It supposed to break Sunday evening for us. Storms or not, hoping for some rain in the transition. Next week will be comparatively wonderful … 80s! …. Interestingly, the heat wave is with so many international visitors in town for the World Choir Games.

    • I love the quote, too, Rita! It needs to repeated often–to myself in particular! Our little granddaughters couldn’t have enjoyed a bigger pool any more than they did this one! Such simple pleasures! Have a great weekend, I do hope! Debra

  2. Debra, there are some very tasteful tattoo sayings like this one on Pinterest, with photos. Maybe you should go for it!!

    It is wrong to covet, but I love that pool. It is just my speed. :)

    • I love a good tattoo…on other people. I’m completely chicken, Andra! I must openly admit to being entirely too much of a conformist, concerned with what my mother would say! :-) Our pool was a K-Mart special! We are such high rollers, aren’t we? :-) I highly recommend…D

    • I had to share pictures of our pool, Meg. My neighbor has a beautiful pool and spa, and always has a house full of guests! I have said for years that I’d be afraid to have a pool simply for that reason…the entertaining would double! So we have been teasing about our great backyard asset! :-) My brother and sister-in-law really love their doggies, and they are definitely part of our family! :-) Do enjoy your weekend! Debra

    • Isn’t he just the funniest thing! We are so amazed at the fact he seems to have personality! It would be difficult to describe, of course, be we sure see him as amusing! I enjoy sharing him wit my blogging friends! :-) D

  3. Ha! That could be my Tom in the pool playing with Kezzie instead of your Jay. Tom is also called Papa. Isn’t it fun? Your post is such a “slice of life” kind of moment with all the things that matter, Debra. Isn’t it amazing how rapidly the members of the squash family can grow?

    As for next week, as Scarlett O’Hara would say, I’ll worry about that tomorrow.

    • I am glad we can share the fun of being grandparents to little girls, Penny. I have to watch myself sometimes…I could do nothing BUT talk about how much we are enjoying this stage of life–the children definitely are shaving some years off of us, I think! Or maybe I just like to pretend! I am doing what I can to plan a little less and not be quite as tied to the clock. My nature is to plan everything, but living by the clock and calendar is making time seem to fly even faster, so all I can claim is I’m doing what I can to not start thinking about tomorrow while I’m in today. I’m glad I don’t have to reveal how well I’m doing with that! Ha! :-) I hope you enjoy your weekend immensely, Penny! I hear it’s been more than a little hot your way! If you need a pool…$20 at K-Mart! LOL! Debra

  4. Your grandgirls would have enjoyed a puddle if Granddad was sitting in it with them. The best gift we can give them is our time.
    I got my first — and only — tattoo for my 50th birthday. It is on my back, between my shoulders. I was always concerned I’d tire of one and then be stuck with it for the rest of my days. No problem. I rarely think of it and actually see it even less.

    • You are right about how accepting children are when adults, maybe in particular grandparents, give them attention and acceptance. Our little ones are so young that we can do no wrong–so far! I believe we can count on good relationships across the years, and we often say that’s what we’re investing in, but it will be a hard day for me when they get old enough that a $20 plastic pool and a silly grandpa aren’t the center of their universe! Ha! I just have to make this stage last as long as I possibly can! And about tattoos…they fascinate me! I even got hooked for awhile on the television shows L.A. Ink/Miami Ink…the story behind the art people chose to wear was often very moving! Thanks for sharing, John. And I do hope that you get the cooling trend I saw you predict over at Celi’s! :-) Debra

  5. Do you have any idea how good that pool looks to a Brit?! tempting!!
    Just love the quote from Gandhi, very timely. And I’m going to try and not think about next week, can’t promise but I will try.
    Hope you have a delicious weekend Debra :)

    • I would ordinarily be uncomfortable flaunting our weather in your face, Claire, but I think you live in such a beautiful setting, you can take it! Ha! I’m sure the warmth would feel so good to you, though. Wouldn’t it just be wonderful if we could trade places occasionally and experience the differences! I’m trying very hard not to run ahead these days…I have so many little commitments, most of which aren’t burdensome, but I’d like to not run ahead quite so much! For me that sure does take practice! I hope the weather warms for you just a bit, Claire, and your weekend is lovely! Debra

  6. I like that…let next week sneak up on us. Don’t think about it now. I need to do that. ;) And I love the pool. It reminds me of my mom’s house and the pool she has for the grandkids. (Which my dad likes to enjoy on his days off too!) :)

    • I think I would probably really like your parents, Kristy! We seem to have a lot in common, even if it is just being crazy about our grandchildren! And I’m really doing what I can to not spend weekend time thinking about commitments and deadlines that come due next week! It isn’t easy to turn “off” but I think with practice we can get better at it! :-) Debra

    • My brother and sister-in-law are about to become grandparents for the first time, and we hope the doggies aren’t too upset by competition! They are currently the “children” in the home! :-) I think I’m still trying to exhale, Kate. I am not quite getting my usual bounce back, but I was going way too hard, so maybe things are just equalizing. All is well, just a little slow! :-) Debra

    • Our tortoise Darwin has been a big surprise to us, Kellie. He was the size of a half-dollar when he first came to us. He just keeps on growing! And we have discovered he has quite a bit of personality! :-) How wonderful to have the experience of being an educational docent at at zoo! I would assume you had some very exciting moments along the way. Being with animals and children almost always equals excitement! Debra

  7. Dear Debra, I so like the occasional posting that catches us up on what’s been happening in your life–little tidbits, anecdotes, the stuff of life. I feel so sorry for animals who are frightened by the fourth of July fireworks. Their ears must ring painfully.

    Thanks for the encouragement to take a breath. It felt strange not to post on my blog this morning, but I’m really into writing now and like James Brown says, “I feel good. I knew that I would!!!!”
    Peace.

    • I’m so glad to hear from you, Dee, and I did wonder if you’d post! I am very pleased that you are following your desire to write and work on projects that are in keeping with your new goals, and I know you will continue to find your efforts satisfying! Just keep it up, and do check in with us once in a while so we can keep cheering you on! You are inspiring, merely by being dedicated to following your heart. You seem to do that well, Dee! Debra

  8. Well.. you’re certainly “resting” with a crop that size.. they’re enormous!! And your pool.. that brings back such lovely memories of our (much tinier) wading pool we bought and filled when our kids were toddlers.. they’d have loved your pool!! My gosh.. it’s big enough to snorkel in!! xoxo

    • We do have the best wading pool on the block, Smidge! :-) At least I think so! Ha! Yes, my crop of overgrown vegetables was a big surprise, since I thought I was keeping an eye on things! I guess I wasn’t being very careful, but I’l be more alert now!

    • Aha, Celi! Your response DID end up in Spam, but I have set you free! I’m so sorry…it’s not like I see you having a lot of time to spend working on this! Hope the issue just resolves itself very soon, my friend. D

  9. The pool party looks like fun! :) I am exhaling now as we had visitors leave today, so was busy for the past four days. Enjoyed all the photos, they made me smile. :)

    • I’m glad you can exhale now, Marie. I’ve had a lot of company in June and I think I’m still recovering. I enjoyed each one, but even under the very best circumstances it can be a lot of work…I think just visiting for long periods of time can deplete me a bit! Now you can begin Monday with a free spirit! D

    • I hope you’re feeling some better as Monday launches a new week! I was talking to a good friend over the weekend who has a bad cold right now, too, and could easily point back to how she’d been overdoing it lately! Our bodies do trip us up when we go too far! We all do it! I think we need to keep reminding ourselves and each other that we’re not machines!:-) D

  10. Debra, I’m a bit behind in my blog reading due to my little Ginger, but I wanted to say great post. I enjoyed all these quotes on slowing down, especially the Gandhi one. My exhale can come now that Ginger seems to be getting better or at least stabilizing. Thanks for sharing this bit of your life! Karen

    • I’m so glad that things are normalizing a bit for Ginger! It really is upsetting and totally disruptive to other areas of life when we are caregiving! I have been racing entirely too much this spring and now early summer. I’ve had so many events and even too many “good things” to fit in…so I’m really trying to listen to my own best advice on that! I love the Gandhi quote, too! I’m glad we can encourage one another, and I do hope Ginger continues to improve! Debra

  11. You’ve been so busy blogging Debra I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Thanks for sharing the marvelous Gandhi quote. I must remember it…
    I love the photo of grandpa in the pool with the girls :-)

    • Glad you’re able to stop by, Rosie! It can really be hard to stay caught up, I know! Almost impossible at times…but we do the best we can. Thank you! The pool is a fun diversion…we had the girls again this weekend and it was too cool to even get the pool filled! What is with this weather, huh? Not that I’m complaining about that! :-)

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