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Archive for April, 2007

Stand off!

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Can you see the bluebird on the birdhouse on the left, and the swallow on the birdhouse on the right, on the top photo? These ‘stand offs’  go on every spring.  The bluebbirds and the swallows fly in circles,  and fight about who will live in these houses. I  buy mealy worms (yuk) and put them on the tops of these poles for the bluebirds. I just love to watch them nest and raise their little broods. T built these bluebird houses for me –  and they are bluebird houses – but trying telling the swallows that! 

The swallows, besides being so vibrant,  are a very aggressive breed. They think they are a lot tougher than they are, too. If I stand too close, very long, they start circling my head – thinking they will scare me off.  The bluebirds only become aggressive when their homes are in danger. They’ll fight off anything, if their homes or babies are threatened. The best bird battle we ever saw though, was between a bluebird and a squirrel. The bluebird was practically riding the squirrel’s back, as he chased the squirrel all the way down the drive way! And he was making quite a racket as he did it!

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When we returned home from spending the ‘winter down South’, we discovered some mother nature damage, and we’ve had to call in a restoration crew to work in the three rooms in our upstairs. T and I have been working outside since we got home, and getting estimates to have the work done inside.  Now a crew is coming and will be cleaning, sorting, and throwing what isn’t salvagable.

T and I live in the main level of our home, and basically use the three rooms upstairs for storage. Of boxes, bags, books, suitcases, extra quilts, craft materials,  christmas ornaments,  the odd pots and pans, out-of-season clothing, etc. etc. etc. (Truthfully, I don’t even know what all is up there!)

When it was determined we needed to have a crew come in to do this restoration, I was freaking.

 “Oh, no! They’ll paw through all my things and see what I have???”

I’ve pretty much come to grips with the ‘pawing through my things’ part – but wait until they see my clothes! The closet in one of the rooms is full of my clothes, and has several boxes of clothes and shoes in it, and there is a dresser full of my clothes in that room, as well.  In one of the other rooms, T built me an open closet rod, the length of the room. And it is full of clothes. This is in addition to my dresser and closet downstairs!  Now lest you think I’m some clothes horse, I’ll tell you the same thing I’ve told friends, who have commented as they helped me move, that I have more clothes than any one person they’ve ever seen.

“For one thing, you fail to realize the age of some of this clothing (go ahead, take a look at that paisley pair of slacks). And for another, if you must know, these clothes range in size from a 7 to a 14. At any given period of time, I can probably only wear a dozen items!”

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I read these gardening blogs and look at all the pictures of flowers blooming and vegetables growing – and I wonder where you all live!?!? Where ever it is, it’s warmer than where I am, and I want to move there, too! Look how tiny my babies are – and some of you are eating them already!  

It’s still between 32 and 48 at night here, and between 50 and 60 in the day time. If I put annuals out this early, or plant anything other than peas, there’s a real chance I’d be having to plant them AGAIN – after another freeze.  (Wouldn’t be the first time I re-planted!) I keep saying, we do a lot of yard work here, for very little return. I’d give anything for a longer growing season.

And it isn’t like this is warm enough for me, (Arizona thinned my blood),  to want to be working outside all day.  Although I do spend a portion of each day working in the yards and in the garden. I pretty well have all the beds cleaned now. And have my ‘yard art’ scattered around. (T hates that kind of stuff so I just sneak put a little in at a time).                                                   

I spent yesterday afternoon, either killing things or fertilizing them. WHY is it that grass will grow ANYWHERE you don’t want it to? yet is so hard to keep healthy and green in the yard?

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 Here are three varieties of spring blooms from the garden. 

 

And below is the meme that Alison, (with one el) of Inspiredworkofselfindulgence tagged me with.

If you would like to play, you have to answer all

questions with three word answers. 

01. Where is your cell phone? In its case.
02. Boyfriend/girlfriend? Some of each.
03. Hair? Shades of blond. 
04. Your mother? I miss her.                                                                                                          
05. Your father? Same as above.
06. Your favorite item(s)?
Serenity Prayer Medallion.
07. Your dream last night?
Silly, as usual.
08. Your favorite drink? Coffee with creamer.
09. Your dream guy/girl? Have no dream.
10. The room you are in?
Our living room.
11. Your fear? Doctors/Hospitals/Dentists.
12. What do you want to be in 10 years? Alive/Grateful/Energetic.
13. Who did you hang out with last night? My hubby, T.
14. What are you not? Tall, Narrow minded.
15. Are you in love? With life/people.
16. One of your wish list items? Ability to sing!
17. What time is it? Evening, seven thirty.
18. The last thing you did? Read this question.
19. What are you wearing? Blue jeans/t-shirt.
20. Your favorite book? Prince of Tides.
21. The last thing you ate? Orange Circus Peanuts.
22. Your life? A great trip.
23. Your mood? Almost always ‘up’.
24. Your friends? Are all wonderful.
25. What are you thinking about right now? Answering in threes.
26. Your car? A Honda Element.
27. What are you doing at this moment? See twenty five.
28. Your summer? Hopefully, very hot.
29. Your relationship status? Married to T.
30. What is on your TV screen? Just some dust.
31. When is the last time you laughed? Few minutes ago.
32. Last time you cried? April the 11th.                                                                                       33. School?
Oh, I wish!

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When we left last October, plants were still green, and some were still blooming. I just couldn’t bring myself to cut them all down. I did take in all the ‘yard art’, cover the patio furniture and potting bench, and clean up outside a little bit. 

I’ve been spending a couple of hours outside each day since we’ve been home, trying to get the pond, gardens, and yards ready for summer. It’s a good thing that the weather has only allowed me to be outside a few hours each day – because even those few hours are doing me in!  I had to cut down dead stalks, rake leaves out of flower beds, replant in the pond, tear out tomatoes, etc. etc. etc. I hurt everywhere. Every time I move.

I know that I’m not a ‘spring’ chick anymore (in more ways than one), but most of the time, I don’t feel like I’m over a half a century old. Most of the time, I feel like I’m still 23 years old. It’s hard, though, to feel like you are 23 years old – when you stand up from weeding and walk 10 steps stooped over  – before you can stand upright! Oh yeah, I’m paying.

 

Came home to the pond like this. We lost most of the water out of it, to below the level of the pump, which then burned out. That left plants out of the water, which then died. It’s all cleaned up now, I filled it, treated the water, and the four koi are fine. The pond always looks a little strange to me this time of year, when the surface is so bare. In another month, it’ll be covered with plants and look it’s best.

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We’re here!

We know we are home when just outside of town on the West side, are beautiful columns of natural basalt, between the lanes of the freeway. A couple years ago, the-powers-that-be got a bee in their bonnets and decided that the columns were dangerous, and would have to be taken out. Crews had even begun doing so – before the citizens starting raising hell. And thank God they did, and were heard. The columns remain. img1738.jpg

img1747.jpgHere’s our first view of our city between the hills. Just to the left in this picture, you can see the snow covered top of the mountain. We live in the foothills of this mountain. Really only 30 minutes from the valley.

Below is our view after we leave the pavement, and just before we get to our house. I missed this.

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Oh, look! The daffodils and hyacinths I planted around my fairy rock before I left, have bloomed in the secret garden! Now I know it’s spring. So glad to be home!

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Nearly home now.

With my growing excitement about hitting the road again, and moving closer and closer to home, was a little sadness – as we left my daughter’s house (Cindra‘s). We arrived in the midst of their moving out of their 4,500 square foot house. Which they had filled!  We knew that the timing wasn’t great for a visit, but I had to see them, and wanted to help Cindra. I spent two days cleaning, while Cindra and Tom packed, loaded, and hauled. I had the easy job. If there is one thing I can do easily and well – it is clean!

We left them doing the finishing day’s work (we thought) on Friday, and we made a day trip to the ocean to visit with my brother and Betsy.  We had a great time, ate seafood on the bayfront, bought fresh shrimp, and then Betsy made us a great shrimp salad dinner.  I lived beside that ocean for 17 years, so always love to go back for a visit.  And I always love to see my brother. I miss him. We are close in heart, not in geography, and we hold hands while we are together, just like little kids. It’s a good feeling.

Cindra and Tom didn’t quite get finished Friday. In fact, they didn’t finish until 9:00 p.m. Saturday! I felt so sorry for them – they’d been going from morning til night for days. I spent most of the day at their new house – visiting with the grandbabies. My Sugarplum and her best bud, left in the late afternoon, and I stayed with Bonnie-Baby and the Tween until the parents returned. I was so happy to have been able to see them all, even for a short visit. I miss them so much. And never have enough time with Cindra.

The next morning – we were on the road again. Stopped in a beautiful RV park on our way North in Washington, where they had this beautiful little what-ever-it-is. Wish I had it for my garden! I’d plant blooming vines to climb up the columns. And definitely put in something to sit on!

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 Miss Kitty still assumes her travel position when the motor home moves, (under the green chair), and with her winter-weight gain, isn’t as lively as she used to be. If she isn’t sunning in the front window, she is sleeping on her cat-nip covered scratching box. She does look just a little rounder, doesn’t she?

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That’s it for now – my next post will be from HOME!! Back to my garden!

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