Saturday, July 20, 2013

More catching up: our summer views

Just thought I'd share some photos that I've snapped over the past couple weeks.

We had a late afternoon summer, which led to a beautiful rainbow and sunset.  My brother was down for work, and came over for dinner one night.  The kids were happy to show off in the pool (check out A's handstand!) and even had a little race.

The next few pics are just random things from around the yard.
  • seed pod from our palm trees.  I had no idea what those brown things were when we initially moved here - now I just hate seeing them fall because I know that means double time cleaning the pool (the tiny seeds come off of the twisty branch like things at the end). 
  • our severely overgrown back corner - the palms are in desperate need of a trim (we basically try to do it 3x year, but as the trees grow it gets harder and harder). The thing sticking up in the background is a mesquite tree (which is in the alley) covered with the brown seed pods.  Hate picking those up, too (also hate pulling out all mesquite that pop up around the yard - animals eat the seeds and leave deposits. Their amazing roots, that allow them to thrive in a dry climate, make it hard to pull out!) 
  • another addition courtesy of animals eating seeds: the papaya tree off to the side of our back porch area.  Sadly, the type that grow wild here aren't particularly good eating, but the giant leaves still look cool.
  • this brown anole was hanging out on our son's bike handle right outside the bathroom window, which is how I was able to get this shot.  These little lizards are EVERYWHERE - I probably see 5-6 run across the sidewalk each time I walk from the front door to our car.  They make a weird whistling sound when they puff their throats out like this, which makes up a major part of the night noise around here.  On a random side note:  while green anoles are native to South TX, these brown anoles are originally from the Caribbean & South America, but have sort of taken over now.  The native green anoles are harder to find (they're brighter and also a bit smaller), as the brown ones hunt on the ground and up a foot or two, and then green ones end up staying in trees.
  • Welcome the newest member of our family!  Hubby's charcoal grill was in rough shape, and we kept debating what to replace it with.  Everyone raves about the big green egg, but they're definitely out of our price range.  Lowe's makes a version, though, that is much more affordable (and frankly more practical, too, as it doesn't have the extra ceramic liner that you have to be careful not to let the lump charcoal come in direct contact with).  We've used it several times now (with chicken, Italian sausage, and red snapper) and the results truly are amazing.  SUPER moist food -- one funny side effect: it makes it hard to tell when your food is done because it doesn't dry out like I'm used to!
And finally, a personal update.  I had gone to the doctor about three weeks ago because I could tell I had wax build-up in my ears.  Lots of flushing, and finally got it all out.  This is a recurring issue for me, and the doctor mentioned that I might try some otc drops (used as maintenance rather than trying to treat the problem once it's already gotten bad).  Well, I tried a couple varieties, and now have a pretty bad outer ear infection (swimmer's ear). Ugh.  Went back to the dr yesterday to get antibiotic drops, but they can take a couple days to work.  I've slept approximately 5 hours total in the past two days, and the side of my face, behind the ear, and even down my neck all have noticeable swelling.  Sheesh, why can't things ever be simple with me?! I just called in to our doctor, and they're calling in a prescription for oral antibiotics (to go along with the drops I already had) so hopefully I'll be feeling better quickly...

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