Thursday, August 29, 2013

Cavalier Queen

  Sorry peeps, I have to give you a Kelly rerun. It was one of my favorites, and hopefully yours too. I will be back with you next week. Until then enjoy your Labor Day weekend (U.S. viewers). Without further ado, I bring you the Cavalier Queen!

  Years ago I used to watch the television show Sex and the City. Well, really, who didn't? In the later episodes the character Charlotte was given a dog. I took one look at that dog and said, "I want one!" I think all dogs are cute, but this one...this one melted my heart. I did some research and found out the breed name was Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

  And now, the story told from her point of view!

  Hello…my name is Alexis.  I suppose you are wondering why I am speaking to you with a British accent? Because I am the Queen, of course. I am royalty with a capital R! I demand attention everywhere I go, and I expect my peopoes to adhere to my wishes. I have my owners, as they call themselves, wrapped around my paws. Like everyone else they cringe when I enter the room. I need a lap, I need a fuzzy blanket, and I need lots of love. I am a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel peopoes. Doesn’t the name ooze with royalty?

  A couple of years after my peeps got me they took me for a ride. I, of course, was excited because I always get a lap in the front seat. Always. Imagine my displeasure when we reached our destination and I smelled many other stinky dawgs. After a few minutes with some new peopoes we left with another Cavalier. She, though, is a disgrace to our breed. She was bigger than breed standard, her eyes bulged out of her head, and she was a coward. Every little noise frightened her. 

  Shortly after we got home she told me her story. She was purposely bred big. The nasty peopoes wanted the newest, greatest things for Cavaliers. She had already been a mommy too. Wow. She was really young for that. I started to feel for the lass. I warmed up to her ever so slightly and started to show her the ropes.

  Now she is almost normal. Or as normal as she can be. They call our breed “Love sponges,” and my sidekick Savannah here takes that meaning to the hilt. She is constantly by someone’s side. She hogs every goo- goo or gaga spoken. Harrumph. I taught her how our breed is the best at making our peopoe feel the guiltiest. We do that with our eyes. Sometimes we can make them really big like the *gasp* animated dog in Lady and the Tramp.  I generally give her the evil stare, but sometimes I let her near me. Savannah loves me, and I love…me!

  Thanks for attending this meeting.   All rise, the Queen is leaving!

P.S.-No animals were harmed in the above pics! Savannah found a goose feather in the yard one day and wanted to bring it in. Alexis, of course, turned her nose up to that.

So, tell me about your pets! Dogs, cats, lizards, goldfish, whatever you may have. Just not snakes! :)  


Monday, August 26, 2013

Taking A Hike In The Blue Ridge

          Exercise was one of those things I never thought much of. Much of my life was consumed with playing sports, either with the neighbors, or as an after school activity. I lived in a rural town. Riding bikes to the neighbors was a necessity due to the distance from one house to another. Even after a knee injury in high school I continued to push the limits. My former job even seemed to be nine hours of exercise a day.

          Unfortunately that ended about a year ago. My level of exercise went from high to low in a matter of days. I know I’m not as in shape as I used to be, but I didn’t realize how much until the other day. For the first time in a while we had a day start out with full sun, and the chance for rain was low. The Charmed One had been gone for a few days because of the job, so we decided to head for the mountains. 

          One great thing about the state of North Carolina is the scenery. Within an hour or so I can be in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Three to four hours I can be at the ocean. Because of the proximity we head to the mountains a lot. One place we hadn’t visited yet was Linville Falls Gorge. That became our destination.

          My breath is taken away from me when I see views like this. Of course, when your vehicle is going seventy miles an hour down the interstate it is hard to get a good pic of the mountains, but I tried.

          We drove and drove. And once you hit those roads that become so narrow because they are cut out of rock, the curves become so sharp your grip on the steering wheel tightens, and rays of sun peek out from here or there are due to the thick forest, you know you are in the mountains.

          We arrived and quickly realized that a… er… short (snicker) hike was needed to get to the falls itself. Ok. I like to hike. The people on the trails were friendly. Some walked with their dogs. Tails and tongues were wagging. The scenery was beautiful. So, care to take a hike with me?

Sorry! Taking picture into the sun=bad pic!
        Are you tired yet? I will warn you, this short trek turned into a couple mile hike! Feel the burn?  

           It was well worth it! The air was crisp. The water was tranquil, then mad and rushing, then tranquil again. The scenery was fabulous.

           Now, our muscles are a tad bit sore today. When we go back in the fall we might even try out the big kids trail, aka the advanced trail.

            Do you exercise on a regular basis? Is there a scenic destination near you? Have any of your short treks turned into a never-ending hike?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Those Crazy Signs

    The time has come! It has been a long while since I've posted funny signs that I've found in my internet image travels. I was clearing out some pics from my computer and I realized I had enough to hopefully make you laugh. Some are self explanatory, others I may add a note. Either way, sit back, scroll down, and enjoy!

What do you suppose this means? Attention! Crocodile rock area ahead? Alligator air guitar area?


I was served a huge drink with a value meal the other day at McDonald's. I believe that is totally unnecessary. And another reason one day I will write the blog entitled "The Fattening of America." What happened to getting a regular drink where you couldn't go up and help yourself as many times as you want? Ever notice they don't offer water in those dispensers?

This one is for my Mom. If you read the blog CRASH you will understand. If you didn't... What are you waiting for? :)

Now this is just disturbing. 

I found this on an Irish website. Just one more reason I love the Emerald Isle.

I have no idea about this one. A seagull is watching, don't step in the fire? 

And finally...

    There you have it! I hope you enjoyed the latest version of What The H*%# does that sign mean. Of course I'm always on a mission to bring a smile to your face. I hope this did it!

Which was your favorite? Do you have any explanations for these? Have you spotted a funny sign lately?

W.P.I.-  I even found a funny plant sign...
I couldn't help myself!

  Don't care for that one? Hows about this one?
All the rain we've had here in Podunk lately it is hard to keep up with weeding. Here's a tip: Plant cover crops. Old World Garden Farms says that planting cover crops in the fall prevents spring and summer weeds. Again, bare soil is an invitation for weeds to take root. Cover crops sharply reduce the amount of bare soil in your garden. They also form a buffer between the garden bed and any weed seeds that might fall on it. Cover crops do double duty as fertilizers for the garden, and also can act as an ecologically friendly alternative to grass lawns.

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Monday, August 19, 2013


Everyday one word in this sentence? I guess if you're an ostrich...
  Sometimes we all need a good laugh. It’s amazing how a chuckle can instantly change a mood from mediocre to good. I've always liked making people laugh. It is something I strive for. Sometimes I’m successful, sometimes, eh, not so much. Today I’m on a mission. Today I promise to have a story that will bring a smile to your face. If it doesn’t? You may want to see a doctor. They make a pill for that! (Kidding!)

  I've been in moderate discomfort for the past couple of weeks. My mood has been off because of it. The Charmed One has to deal with the crankiness. Poor thing. To top it off I’ve been working on revisions to Book 2. That is usually a love/hate episode in itself. The other night was when I reached the end of my rope. I had unplugged my computer because I was using it in another room for a few minutes. When I came back I neglected to plug it back in (part of the pain issue, bending over hurts the back!) To make a long story short the laptop shut down when the battery died. No biggie right? I save everything I’m working on. Well, I do save it, but I forget what I named it. It would be too easy to name the file Book 2 revisions. I’m apparently not that smart. What am I telling you? I have lost my revisions. I’ve checked every file on this computer, and it is nowhere to be found. I am so stupid sometimes. What is that? You best not be laughing at that. This is not the story I promised would make you laugh. This is setting the mood for you, so you can see how… befuddled… I’ve been lately.

 Two days after that incident my father started sending me texts. Now, he is goofy sometimes. He makes up his own jokes that are sometimes funny, sometimes not, but I send him an lol anyways. His texts were talking about my mother and a chicken. Who knows? Finally I sent him some question marks. It turns out my mother was driving along in her car and WHAM-O, she hit a chicken. A chicken. This is rural Western NY here, not a tropical climate where many chickens roam freely.

  Now, the jokes are endless here. Why did the chicken cross the road? In my Mom’s case it didn’t! I digress. The funny thing is is that I can see her driving along and poof, feathers fly everywhere. Now, a chicken in the road is strange enough, but after my mother hit the poor thing she kept right on barreling down the road. I don’t know where she was going, but it must have been important. She did stop on her way back to tell the owner she was sorry. She also said there were chickens all up and down his driveway. I hoped she stopped the car and walked up to his door before any more damage was done.

  This story had me laughing throughout the night and for most of the next day. She has been a good egg, if you will. I told her I put it up on facebook, and I really don’t think she believed me when I said I was going to mention it in a blog. I figure if she hasn’t disowned me by now she won’t. The next night she texted me and told me that she forgot to tell me she almost hit a chicken on a different road just a couple weeks before that. I guess there is a bright spot to this story. I believe more people are raising chickens for their personal uses. I think that is a neat thing. Now, if those people could only keep them out of the road when my Mother is driving around!

  Did that bring a smile to your face? What is the strangest thing anyone could hit on a road near you? Do you raise chickens? Do you choose organic and/or free range chicken products? 

Thursday, August 15, 2013


  Close your eyes and think back to the time when you got your first computer. You were excited to explore all the ins and outs of this new contraption. You got set up with an internet provider and discovered the whole wide world at your fingertips. It was an exciting time. Did you feel like a kid at Christmas? Did you sit wide eyed in wonder? Do you remember what you explored first?

  It was a time when everything seemed so new. With that newness came a faster way to communicate with each other, a faster way to send and receive mail. The wonderful world of email opened up a whole new way to send letters, or inquiries. Were you excited to exchange email addresses with your friends and family? I was. I loved this new fast form of communication.

  I keep thinking about that movie with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. No, not that one, the other one, You’ve Got Mail. Right now all I can hear is that little voice saying those words. I remember coming home from work and turning on the computer to see if I had any emails. I felt like a kid in a candy store. The anticipation that I may have a letter from someone had me feeling giddy. Did you feel the same?

  Here’s my question… Where did those emails go? When did emails go from something personal to something soliciting? My emails have gone to pot. My eyeballs actually almost fall out of my head if I open my email to find something personal from a friend. Sending a letter has become a lost art. Worse, some emails I do want end up in my spam. Ugh.

  I know part of this is my fault. I do give certain stores my email address. I don’t mind getting an email advertising sales or whatever once a week. When that becomes more than once a day I unsubscribe. I’m part of LinkedIn. Recently they felt the need to start sending emails on a daily basis that I had no interest in. Unsubscribe. Bath and Body went from one or two a week to one or two a day. Unsubscribe. Writer’s Digest sends out stuff a couple times a week. When WD Partners send me solicitations daily I went in and Unsubscribed from WD Partners. Barnes and Noble, I’ve had enough with you. Unsubscribe. I’m part of a group on Goodreads. They send emails daily. Unsubscribe. As a matter of fact let me get out of the whole group. Writers that I signed up for a contest a year ago and never again, unsubscribe. Writers that I’ve never heard of that I get emails from… Unsubscribe. The people that are giving my email address away, unsubscribe.

  I think you see where I am going with this. I miss the good ole days where I got an actual letter in my email. I may not get phone calls from solicitors anymore. I believe they have all moved on to nagging people through email. I give certain people/businesses my money. Even though I do that it doesn’t mean I’m inviting you to my personal computer.

  Do you receive real letters via email? Has your inbox turned into a junk box? Have you stopped doing business with a certain company because of their obnoxious emails? Do you unsubscribe only to find yourself continuing to get more emails from said company? Am I over reacting?

Weekly Planting Information- By August, most perennial gardens look more than a little weary. You can tidy up a bit by clipping off spent flowers, but sorry-looking foliage may be all that's left. Yet even on the hottest days of late summer, a garden can be ablaze with color. With careful planning you can have good color all the way up to fall. Mix hardy annuals with later blooming perennials to maintain color throughout the hottest late summer days. Right now I have sedum and asters that are getting ready to pop.       

Monday, August 12, 2013

Long Overdue Tattoo

  Have you ever got so far ahead of yourself it seemed to take forever to catch up to where you pictured yourself being? Have you set out on a quest to accomplish something only to find yourself still trying months, or years, later? Did at least one of you answer yes? *sees someone nod their head* Phew, good. I knew I wasn’t the only one.

   I seem to have become a professional at this very thing. I started this blog; got myself a website, opened a twitter account, and started the Kelly Ryan Watson page on Facebook. (Have you ‘liked’ me yet?) Why did I do those things? Because I am a writer. I wanted to start building a platform for when I become a published writer. Now, years later, sometime later, I’m still waiting for that dream to come true. Maybe I got a little ahead of myself, or maybe I am not moving along as fast as I should, or maybe it is a combination of the two. Who knows? I am still moving forward toward that dream. It will happen one day, I’m sure of it.

  There, I’ve said it. I sometimes read my dang bio’s on these websites and wonder if I am an imposter. Did I bite off more than I can chew? Should I have written my little tidbits differently? Probably, but I am just waiting for the day I can go in and change them to read author, and not, soon-to-be author. All in due time.

  There is another tidbit I stated in a blog a while ago. Did you read my rant entitled Ink Or Leather? I told you all I was either going to get a tattoo or a motorcycle. *a big smile comes across my face* Well, to prove I am not full of hot air, I am actually following through and getting one of those things this week. I’m a little bit nervous but a whole lot of excited! And because my Mom does read these I have to tell you what it is, because if she thinks I’m getting a motorcycle she will worry from this point on. Worry not, Mom. Your daughter is getting a tattoo this week!

  I made the appointment yesterday, then I sat and wondered if my tattoo choice was correct. Then I wondered if where I am putting it is right. Then I just smiled because I am happy I am getting one. I have wanted another for quite some time, and just never really had a good idea of what I wanted. After scouring and scouring Pinterest and the internet I have narrowed it down to a couple. I am happy with either, and am 95% sure which one it will be (modified just a little). But, I thought I would ask you as well…

  Should I keep with my pen name? (Although I am very much Irish, my real name does not have Ryan in it. My great grandfather was a Ryan, and the name sadly got lost along the way.)
It is not going on my side.

  Or, since I am a horticulturalist, should I go with something like this?
Not quite like this, but close.

  I’m all smiles because I love these.

  Oh, and did I tell you my tattoo artist has a British accent? *sigh* Do you know how much I love an accent? And did you know my current heroine may have a slight addiction to tattoos? Can you see that this trip is not only for my own satisfaction, it may be a little research project as well? 

  I’m super stoked about this. I’m sure I’ll have to follow up and show you all a pic after it is done! That is, if you want to see it.

  Do you get a few steps ahead of yourself? What’s the last present you gave yourself? Do you like either tattoo? Which do you think? Pen name or horticulturalist? Do you follow me on here or Facebook  (If the answer is yes, THANK YOU!)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Picture This With A Samsung Galaxy S3

  If you are new to my blog, or rant as I like to call them, WELCOME! My name is Kelly, and I am addicted to plants. And writing. I kid. I am a horticulturalist by trade and a writer by dream! Er, I'm a writer as well. I rant on Mondays and Thursdays. At the end of Thursdays ramblings I always include what I like to call Weekly Planting Information, or W.P.I. I try to cover different plants, so the information varies. 

  I live in Podunk, North Carolina. Usually the summers are hot, humid, and dry. Back in early June my rain barrel was empty, and I just knew we were in for another of our famously dry Summers. Well, then I went on vacation. I set up a sprinkler system for some plants I had not put in the ground yet in an area where I had planted new ones earlier in the Spring. I had a friend come and check on the vegetable garden and a couple other planting beds. Of course, when I went away the rain came. And it hasn't left yet. It has been the wettest July on record here, and August's weather is looking a lot like July's. That means two things... 1)I can't keep up with mowing the grass, and 2)The plants are VERY happy. (Exceptions are being made for the gardenias.)

  I have also developed an addiction to taking pictures. I recently joined Instagram and I can't stop looking for the perfect picture. All the pictures I take are from my phone, but I think it takes better pictures than my digital camera. (I've already dropped hints about a possible camera for a Christmas present!) So today I wanted to share with you. Because I'm giving like that! All of these pics were taken either at my house or somewhere I have visited this Summer. I hope you enjoy...

  This I just took Wednesday. Pictured is my favorite flower, Hot Lips Salvia. They change colors from white to a mix of white and red to red.

   Next is a pic of a Swamp Hibiscus. I took numerous pictures of this one trying to get it just perfect. It hasn't happened yet.

   Here is one I am proud of. I saw two on the plant while I was eating lunch. I went out there to try a get a picture and another flew in and landed. I hope you enjoy as much as I did. The plant is a Hyssop.

   Next is a Purple Coneflower. I cannot tell you how many pictures of them I have taken, but they are so beautiful it is hard not to. This is just one. 

  To me, the colors of the Swallowtail are amazing. I've been thankful to have many butterflies and hummingbirds this year.

  The raindrops lingered on this St. John's Wort. I couldn't resist taking a picture or ten of it.

  There you have it. Some of the pretty flowers and winged wonders from gardens I've been around this year. I'd say the rain has done wonders. Who would've thought flowers could be so pretty! 

  Do you have a green thumb? Do you enjoy the visual splendor flowers create? Are you a visitor to Instagram? What is your favorite flower?

W.P.I.- The key to properly watering plants is all about paying attention. That's because there are no hard or fast rules. Determining whether a plant needs water or not is always a judgment call. It depends on the type of plant, the type of soil, the weather and exposure, the time of year, and many other variables.

Every plant in your house or garden is probably unique in its water requirements. The only way you can accurately determine if you do or don't need to water, and how much water to apply, is by assessing the needs of that particular plant. Fortunately this is easy to do — even for a teenager on a hot summer day. You just need to check the soil.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Dream Home

  I'm sick of using the word I in these ramblings. I know, I know. Even writing those hurt a little today. You see, I'm not an it's-all-about-me type of person. I have to use them in these ramblings because I'm trying to get you to know me a little bit. But every now and then I like to make it all about you instead. Today is one of those days. 
  I also realize that people come here and read these ramblings, but apparently they are more shy than me. I ask questions at the end, but hardly anyone ever answers. I understand shyness, trust me. But there really is never any right or wrong answer. Really. Honestly. Today I am giving you yet another chance. Because today we are on a pretend-we-can-live-anywhere trip!

  That's right. Let's pretend you won the lottery. You could choose anywhere you wanted to live.

  Would you choose a city? And if you did, what city would it be? Big city or small?

  Would you choose mountains?

  Or would you choose beach?

  Maybe you prefer the suburbs...

  Or is it the country you like?

  That brings up another question...

  If you could live anywhere in the U.S., where would it be?

  If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
:) Here's my answer to that question!
  Thanks for playing along! Feel free to answer any or all of the questions! Come on, you can do it! 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Handle With Care

  Right now I am sitting, listening to the sound of rain hitting the roof. My dogs lie on each side of me and snore gently, making me want to join them. There is no other sound, just dogs and rain. It is nice. Really nice, and I am thankful for such a peaceful moment. My mind spins as I try to figure which way to turn this rant, and the quiet is slowly replaced with a distant hum. Soon I will have to get up. Soon the quiet will disappear, being replaced with clanging and banging. Right now I am at rest. When I am up I’m commonly referred to as a bull in a china shop.

  I don’t know how I became this person I am. When I was younger I took ballet and gymnastics. I had some grace. I wasn’t star quality, but I was okay. I was athletic. One needs certain balance and prowess to be suitable enough for the athletic world. I had it. I just don’t know where it all went.

  I have become one of those people that can’t be trusted to catch or carry anything breakable. I think I should be condemned from hand washing certain glasses that can’t go in the dishwasher. Listen, if they’re not allowed in the dishwasher, Kelly shouldn’t be allowed to touch them. They are way too fragile for these hands. Case in point, after breaking a couple champagne flutes, wine glasses, and shot glasses from our old set of nice breakable glassware I purchased a new set of beautiful, fragile, wine glasses. It was a set of four. Was is the key word in that sentence. I found out that granite counter tops are not very kind to any type of glassware. It took no sympathy on me when I misjudged the distance from the sink to the counter.  

  I wish I could stop there, but I can’t. I drop things. All.The.Time. I’m not joking when I say that I drop at least one thing a day. Some days it is nothing major. Others… Well other days I swear you can hear the smashing from miles away. I have to have a cover for my cell phone. The last one was one of those you-can-run-over-it-with-a-Humvee-and-it-won’t-break kinds. That though, was a little too manly. Now, with this phone I have this nice case. See that black strap? I can tell you I’ve dropped that phone and was lucky enough to catch it by that little black strap. At least four times.
Black strap saves the day!

  Did I tell you I run into things, too? Yes, that’s another one of my talents. I misjudge where furniture, pets, or people are. Once I hear a grunt or yip I know I’ve inflicted damage with my not so graceful anymore self.

  Sometimes I wonder if there is something wrong with me. Why don’t my hands grasp properly? Why don’t my eyes see that there is a dog tail there on the floor where I’m going to step? I’m not sure of any answers to these questions, but I do know that calling me a bull in a china shop is mostly accurate. I just cringe when I hear it.

  I truly think these can sometimes be cute little quirks that I may add to one of my heroines one day. I’m always looking for different types of quirks, other than the usual. Maybe I have to look no further than my own house!

  I’m enjoying the peace now. Soon I will have to get up and make dinner. Let the clanging begin! Keep your fingers crossed!

  Do you get peaceful moments throughout the day? Do you drop things all the time? Do you do quirky things, or know someone that does? Care to share, this writer wants to know!

  Weekly Planting Information- Many people think orchids are among the most fragile of flowers. They do like to have certain temperatures and humidity. They even prefer their growing media to be just so. With all that being said a little education and you can grow orchids with the best of them. I once visited an orchid farm and the owner was more than willing to assess and choose what might be the right orchid for the customer. She even offered classes to educate people more about the certain requirements that make orchids happy. Even though it may be considered a fragile flower it is a beautiful one. Do you think these hands could handle one?