Saturday, May 30, 2009

Howdy From Chicago

Howdy, y'all.

I'm in Chicago...and I've taken more pictures than I can count.

So far: I broke my wheelchair
Got lost
Won a propane powered weed whacker (aka: trimmer)
Gave said weed whacker to someone who could really USE it
Cussed at the lender wheelchair the hotel was nice enough to lend me.
Had a glass of wine Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday lunch... and I'm not sure about tonight's dinner...we'll have to see.

I tried to blog last night, but after falling asleep mid word for the third time, I gave it up.

More later.

See ya!

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Cup (size) of Dirt...

From Dirt du jour, who has a newsletter I get electronically:

The Royal Horticultural Society's very interesting take on....container gardening.

You might say, they get to the underpinnings of it all.

This quote had me choking on a bite of apple:

"Georgie Webb of the RHS, said, “Due to their conical shape, bras are ideal containers for turning into hanging baskets, and if you sew two together, you have what is best described as a ‘hanging bra-sket’. Once filled with compost you can grow salad leaves, herbs, alpine strawberries and even tumbling cherry tomatoes in them; the bigger the bra the more you can grow."

I wonder if Victoria's Secret will be going into the (garden) nursery business...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Susan Boyle




The Dreamer's reached the Semi-Finals.

She had a bit of a bobble, but regains her full voice. Go, Susan, Go.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bling Things

I got some exercise today. I went shopping. What do the two have in common? Well, when I go shopping, I use the chair and wheel myself. I've got to build those muscles for the Spring Fling in Chicago next week. I'm getting pretty good at not only wheeling myself around, and taking a shopping cart with me. I hook my feet on the bottom, and push it. Makes for some real work, especially when there's a lot to get and some of it's heavy. I ignore the looks I get. Even the ones that can't quite figure out how I can turn a corner and weave in and out of the aisles.
It's not as hard as you'd think it would be, and it gives me some independence and freedom to go and browse... I like browsing.

Yesterday was a lot of computer and battery stuff. I was looking for a couple of data cards for the cameras and some rechargeable batteries. When I go for stuff like that, I do a search online for what's on sale in that line. Sometimes, I end up buying online, but I do like looking at and holding two things to compare them.

'Pup and I ended up buying a new camera yesterday. I'm not sure yet who will be using it the most. I don't believe either of us want to have that discussion right yet. You have to wait for the right time for that kind of discussion, prepare your position, rehearse points/counterpoints in your head. Makes for a more rational discussion. Not that it always stays rational, we are, after all, human. But they usually START out as rational discussions.

So, I was looking for some lithium batteries and a recharger for them, and a couple of extra Li Ion batteries for the new camera. I wanted to get another data card, as an extra. Not that we've ever filled up one completely, but it would be good to have the back up, if, as has happened before, we leave one stuck in a card reader after downloading the pictures. I hate when that happens, I really do.

Then, I found these beautiful things online. Just what every lady geek should carry.
Purty, ain't they?
PS: They're on Buy.com, and my birthday is June 7th.... I'm just sayin'....

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Winner!



We have a winner! I numbered some slips of paper, put them into a basket and drew one out. The number I drew was 15...and so, the winner of the bird bath or bird feeder (Teak, Wicker and More says she may choose) is Kathy Purdy of Cold Climate Gardening. She was the fifteenth comment, and so, she has won the prize.
Teak, Wicker and More says that she can choose either prize. So, Kathy, Congratulations, and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

They're Everywhere....

My friend, V, in Los Angeles tipped me off to this: art piece she found on line. Without clicking the link, the best way to describe it is a wall sized piece of art made up of a mirror, with thin, shallow shelves. On the shelves are lines and lines of pills. Every kind of pill you can think of, from aspirin to ephedra pills to vitamins.

To be honest, I'm not sure I'd consider it High Art, but it is an interesting and strongly visual way of representing the way pills of all kinds have invaded all aspects of our lives.

It's kinda scary.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, May 2009 Part One

Welcome to the May's Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, 2009. Hosted by May Dreams Garden, blogs from all over the world check in to share what's blooming in their gardens. Head on over and take a virtual garden tour of the wonders of Spring.

A lemon yellow lantana is one of the newer GBBD introductions. I've got a few this month.


My Chenille plant is in bloom,

and the Butterfly Weed, caterpillar-less for now. I'm a bit glad, as this is a 4 year old plant, and for the last two, it's been eaten down almost as fast as it can put on leaves. I need for it to go through and set some seeds so I can scatter them around the garden.


A shy flowering maple...

And now, for something completely different:


Nope, this isn't a picture of flowers.. mostly. The big philodendron is blooming. This is a view of the "new" side yard, with the two trees taken down. I asked the man to leave the stumps, as I'm planning on hanging feeders or making a bird bath on top. I don't know. It's hard to think what to do, just yet.


See? This is what one philodendron bloom looks like. It's about 14 inches from the top to the bottom.

This is what the other side of the "new" side yard looks like now. I just haven't quite had the....go ahead...to get'r done. It just looks so, very, very shocking to me somehow.


The hibiscus is blooming in the new sunshine it's being given.

As is my water lily. It's bloomed several times so far this last month or so.


The Confederate, or Star Jasmine is blooming well and smells heady and sweet. It likes the new sunshine too.

My Peacock ginger has done its resurrection trick. Two weeks ago, this looked like a pot of dirt. Alas, you can also see that it is a favorite snack of snails. Curse them!

The canna is blooming.
And Esperanza.


Making its debut to Bloom day is some Jacobinia. I've had this plant for three years, but it's never been in bloom for Bloom Day before. It looked better before Chuckles the Wonder Dog used it's bed as a, well, bed. The bed was covered all winter, to protect the hyacinth bean and the Jacobinia. Chucky, being the opportunist, discovered that getting under the cover made for a soft, warm bed. There used to be two more of these plants, but their service as a dog bed was a final one. Sigh.



Maid d'Orleans Jasmine...it and the Angel Wing jasmine bloom for most of the year.


The 4 0'clocks are back up and blooming. I think these overwintered as tubers. I thought they'd bitten the dust.. as this bed, though NOT covered for the winter, was another favored sleeping place for Chuckles.

Oh, yes, the tomatoes are still ripening. I believe I've eaten about six today, and I'm not keeping up. I have a feeling I'm going to be giving a few away here and there, soon.
Hopefully, this will make me popular.

Always Look Twice

Pay attention to the claims a product makes. If it seems easy, it might not be. Research and reviews like Apidexin reviews can help you decide what's right for you. When 'Pup and I were writing to one another online, we shared a lot of things. One of them was caution. Each of us sounded good to the other, but we were...careful. Even ten years ago, there had been stories about people seeming to be one thing online and another in real life.



When I finally met him, he was...well, pretty much like he was online. Seems I was too...



He started proposing marriage about the 4th date or so.. I said no for a lot of dates. Then, one day I was thinking and I realized that if 'Pup suddenly left my life, I would be hurt, sad and heartbroken. It made me understand that my "no's" could perhaps, someday become "yes".



He kept asking.. and one day I surprised him by saying "yes". You should have seen his face...

Saturday, May 09, 2009

A Give Away!!

Edit: Contest will close entries on Friday, May 15, 2009...

This is a first for me! I've not gotten to give away many things, and this feels like "the big time" to me. You see, I was contacted, recently, by a company named Teak, Wicker and More dot com. They've offered to provide an item for a give away, and y'all are going to get it. Well, one of y'all is going to get it....

The item for review will be provided by Teak Wicker and More, purveyors of outdoor furniture.

And, what have I chosen for you?


A Dragonfly bird feeder. This feeder is on a post and, to me, looks as if it could double as a shallow bird bath, or perhaps a good place to put pebbles and some water for butterflies to drink. Personally, I may be ordering one of these, or something similar, myself. The specs on this item are: (from website)

Bowl shaped
Verdigris finish
Adds charm to any home or garden
(I agree, I like the looks of this too)
Includes 17" stake
Made of metal
Dimensions: 9" Diameter x 16.5"H




The birds already use the disappearing fountain as a bird bath, and I enjoy watching them there. I've wanted to set out a place for butterflies to puddle, feed or drink, so that might be another option for the feeder.


However, as I have a resident cat and two dogs, I will probably be hanging my butterfly station somewhere close to a place I like to sit.

This hanging bird bath looks like it might fit the bill for either a feeder (fruit passed it's prime, especially watermelon), or a drinking station. For the drinking station, I'd fill it with some sand and pebbles and keep it moist. It would probably be a hit with bees too, and I know I'm on the "where's water at" map at where ever the hive is... they come to the water gardens and precariously hang onto the side, or sit on a lily pad to sip water to take back to the hive. A water source for them is essential during the summer, as they use it to help keep the hive cool.

I like the decorations on the hanging one as well as the bird feeder. They've got dragonflies on them. I like dragonflies, they eat mosquitoes and anything that will do that is my friend forever.

So, what would you make with one of these? A bird feeder, a bird bath, a butterfly station?

Leave a comment and I will print them out, and draw from a hat for the winner.

Friday, May 08, 2009

The Afters

I have "Before" pictures here and there in the blog, where I have pictures of the (formerly) shady side yard on the East side of the house.
I say "before" because now, there's an "After".
The younger Ash coming down. Right on the neighbor who had be complaining that it was shedding too many leaves in her rain gutters. This is the tree that was butchered so bad by a man who claimed to be an expert tree trimmer, last fall. The neighbor wanted more branches trimmed and as they were, the tree just looked so pitiful... I cried and told them to cut it all the way down.
Y'all, really. I cried. Poor tree.
Right to the right of the green ladder, there HAD been an old Ash tree. It had several dead branches, and every season the number of dead BIG branches had increased. It was time. It had been the only tree I was afraid of during hurricane IKE.
Another look at the take down.

Things are being cleaned up, slowly, as I seem to have a hard time even looking into the side yard where the young Ash used to be.
I keep telling myself that there are upsides to a suddenly sunnier side yard. I can grow more vegetables. I can grow some fruit trees. The Confederate Jasmine (see the above picture) will be happier and bloom more and earlier.
It's going to take me a while to process the change. Sigh. Anyone know where I can get a couple of Paw paw trees?

That Time of the Year

I love spring and summer. Not only is it nice and sunny and warm, the fresh vegetables and fruits are either ripe or getting ripe. I love fresh fruit, and won't buy tomatoes from a supermarket anymore. They just aren't the same, no indeed they are not. This is also the time of the year I cut back on any vitamins or diet supplements. With fresh fruit available, and me willing to eat it, I just need the calcium and perhaps some iron.

Summer tastes good.

So do my tomatoes!

PS: If I seem to be making rather too much about my tomatoes, please understand that the last two summers have been almost total busts for tomatoes here. Last summer was so bad, I don't think I got any tomatoes except for a small handful of cherry tomatoes, before the vines succumbed to a bad wilt. This year, the plants are big, hale, hearty and fruitful. And I'm eating tomatoes and will be bringing my mom some for Mother's Day on Sunday.

Life can be good when it tastes like tomatoes.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

On a Sunny Day


Chucky the Wonder Dog poses nicely.


And a basket full of tomatoes was picked. A couple of them were really big.



Also, they had a tendency to be somewhat...odd looking.


Best of all, no slugs got their slimy shells on this bunch. My extermination campaign has been successful! No chemicals were used, just manual snatching up and throwing them.. hard. Much crunching ensued.. no more munching.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Gifts

It's time to be looking for things for Mother's Day. Sigh, you have no idea how hard it is for anyone to buy a present for my mom. With five kids, she's gotten just about anything a mother could get for Mother's Day presents that you could imagine. Plus, I like to get her something nice, so I keep my eyes out for a sale whenever possible. Even so, it's challenging. I suspect that this year, we'll be down and doing some yard work/gardening as part of her present. Well, that and hopefully, I'll have some ripe tomatoes and some squash ready for her. Both of them are sure fire ways to her heart.

Hey, y'all ought to look at this mini shredder I found. 'Pup and I tend to go through shredders. We shred a lot of things. Makes good compost, actually. Our last shredder died an ignoble death not too long ago, and papers that need to be shredded are piling up. Things tend to do that, in this house. When two pack rats get married, collections tend to occur spontaneously, copiously and untidily. Especially the untidily part. Organization outside of our jobs are not our strong suits. It's a struggle for both of us, and I think we use all of our small abilities at organization FOR work.

There just ain't much left by the time we get home, and it shows... sigh.