Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I Have A Problem


I have a problem mom.
These guys are in my bed.
I can't stretch out.

"But you put them there turkey lurkey,
so don't give me the stink eye."

It seems that lately all I have talked about
is the garden and Howie,
but really that's all that's happening here.

I now have 4 varieties of tomatoes, zucchini, 
6 different peppers
and the herb list keeps growing.

Well, there is the reading.
I just finished 20 Ian Rankin "Rebus" novels.
That took me 2 weeks.
Now I'm reading 5 of his other books.
Then I'll be searching for another serial mystery writer.

Both the kiddos moved into new apartments
this week; from studios to one bedrooms.
Both apartments are darling
and I'm so happy for them, just wish
CA prices weren't so ridiculous.
Their rents for these wee spots are more than
what I would get if I rented my house!
Wish I could give them my house and move it there.

My greedy little birds have gone through a large
bag of birdseed in one week so I may have 
to do this every other week, due to cost.

As for the rest of the world..
I'm reminding you guys of the 
&%#$ it bucket

It's still there if you need to vent,
link above or upper right corner.
Your relatives, close buds won't know about it.
I have about 6 drafts on the orange menace
 topic that I never posted. Think I'll
take another look at em and drop one or two in the bucket.

Z

Friday, April 21, 2017

Reading Not Allowed


I just said yesterday that he was such a good boy.
Seriously?
The book is on my lap.
So is Howie.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Howie Playing I Spy


Howie being such a good boy even though
the babies are right there.
They've gotten so big, soon I won't be 
able to tell them apart from adults.


Finished up the flagstone;
didn't get too particular with it,
just so long as it keeps my feet dry.

Added a blue bird feeder under the chaste tree,
it is THE social place to be. 
Unfortunately some pigeons
found it this afternoon. grrrrrrr 

My buddy Carole asked me today if I 
was happy with the yard and I paused 
and thought, you know I am.
It has been one of the 
best decisions I've made,
after the enclosed porch.

Going out each morning for breakfast
 and reading out there just before dusk
without one thought of
"oh I need to clean up the debris,
oh the trees need trimming,
oh what a mess!"

Annie is coming by in a minute to 
check it out. First visitor since completion.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Fledging Update


Update below

These two have been hanging near 
by my front gate for over a week.
We startle each other from time to time as they 
hide, and perhaps sleep,
 underneath my white banks roses and 
take flight as I open the gate.
Tonight they sat just a few feet away while I 
worked on repairing the slate walkway
that was crushed during the 
 backyard work. 

I went out to check on them
 just a moment ago and Mama
was feeding them. I tried to get a shot but Howie 
tripped me up trying to see.
I was surprised she was feeding on the ground?
Perhaps in our horrible winds their nest 
came down?
I watched from inside 45 minutes
 but she hasn't returned
and I've got stuff to do.


I'm sitting right next to 
the flowers, that close to the babies.
The slate repair in progress;
messy looking but those lantana nearly cover it 
all summer and fall anyway.
The lantana were run over by 
machines so they are a bit behind.

Anyway cute as can be.

Update:

So I have since learned that
the parents kick the babies
 out of the nest at around 2 weeks 
but continue feeding on the ground.
Since I noticed these guys about a week ago,
I'm guessing they are 3-4 weeks old.



Here they are this morning under my chaste tree
waiting for breakfast? I hide behind the gate
when I take the photos so as not to scare off
a parent. Don't know why I'm worrying.
I'm sure this is a natural occurrence
around here, I've just never
 caught it before in 24 years, though I hear
grown doves and see babies, just never like this.
A dove has been cooing out there for awhile
but no activity otherwise.



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Get That Woman Out Of The Garden!


Some boring stuff to you folks who have easy gardens, 
but it is hard here, or at least harder.
Growing up I had gardens with my dad
 and they were so easy and 
abundant that we resorted to leaving zucchini
on doorsteps.

My first pepper is growing but so far he's a loner,
because the plant was attacked by a varmit.


Then I spied these two babies
and I think maybe I squealed when I saw them.


and of course another picture of...
can you guess?



Spring flowers


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Good Orange

 Howie and I were enjoying our
morning ritual today under the pergola 
and I look over to my right.
(forgot to show this part yesterday)
This is the walkway behind the 
enclosed porch and the open porch,
 and follows around
to the south side of house.
I spied some orange!
The good kind, not the menace. 



These were not open yesterday.
 I'm over the moon.
I never thought it would work
 so I planted a bunch in too small of space
 assuming maybe one would live.
So I'll either have to train up or replant.
It's as if my green thumb 
long dormant has returned. I have tomato plants
and 1 green pepper.
(that project may be a failure)
Anyhoot I am so happy.


I have a half dozen of these guys 
that travel back and forth along the wall.
They sleep and hide behind my birdhouses.
Howie sees one and dead stops
as if he's a real pointer spaniel.
He watched us all through my coffee and juice.


My project list is growing.
I'm energized by the near completion
of yard, still want to paint the 
dog run fence and I may paint the front
 of the gate into the yard 
to match my front door. I think 
the pop of color will be good.
 I'll get some more posies and
24 bulbs coming soon. 


6 colors - 4 of each
They are a shorter variety
and will front all the beds
 on the side and partial back.
I also bought a fig tree
which everyone says 
won't make it, but I'm determined.

Mine will be in a pot
so that it can be moved to help it survive... hope



I have to paint re-touch bathroom,
 and kitchen cabinets, re-paint garage floor
and as always still purging down.
Got my taxes done yesterday
and returned 15 books to the library,
 and picked up another 12.
I'm on a roll!



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Share a Cuppa


C'mon by in the early morning
and share a cuppa
or wander by in the evening for 
some red or white.

The majority of labor is complete
and now I can 
putter with posies 
while my two fountains
provide a soothing backdrop.
Here's a first look.
IG folks already had a peek.
















The yard is set up so it can 
easily convert to a dining area in the pergola
with additional tables around the perimeter.

First gathering will be the kids 
sometime this month.
Ben is hinting at barbecue.

Howie and I are headed out for breakfast.
Hope your day begins 
as lovely as ours.

Z

Friday, March 31, 2017

Almost landed in OZ



Probably not exciting for you but I'm thrilled to
 have light along the walkway once more.
I had hard wired lighting there for years but the cost 
of the bulbs was ridiculous
so out it came, and solar added instead.
Plywood still down protecting my bricks,
and about 30 minutes ago,
the guys were back finishing up 
footers of the pergola, and setting trellis wire
 and maybe, just maybe, I will be close to the finish line.

When installation is delayed like this
and the budget creates changes,
you have mixed feelings
because you're uncertain what the 
original plan was,
and will this all still work out?
Mostly you just want the damn thing done.

The city had sustained winds 
between 65- 80 mpr last night and it was 
rough going and loud 
and lots of folks had damage.
I lost a couple decorative pieces in the yard, 
but nothing major.
Around 10 pm I looked out to make 
sure I wasn't in the Emerald City.

Happy Weekend 

Z


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Of Course Issues



So of course we ran into some trouble
and some rain, and out of stock plants,
and a late run to the emergency vet for Howie.
The $$$$ washer wasn't enough of a challenge universe?
So you added a 450.00 vet bill?
Howie will be OK, I am grateful,
but jeez quit kicking me when I'm down.
Now another week and a half till completion.
Patience Suzan Patience

But aren't the bricks nice?
The guys were doubtful, 
but ended up loving them.

Howie will be plunking me with his cone,
for at least a week.

I need wine.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Super Son


I thought I heard a soft knock- nope, guess not.
Then text from son saying 
Happy Washing Machine day!
Ben knew I was a little down about having to
buy a new washer last weekend on top of all
the expense of the yard re-do.
I took a pic of new washer and texted it back.
The next text said did you get your package?

I SPRINTED to the door because the last time
he did that, he was standing on the other side of the door.

This time, no Ben, but there was this from Amazon.
2 hour delivery- amazing!

I never splurge on quality ice cream
and NEVER Tide due to cost so, 
what a treat and what a 
Super Son!

I am so bloomin' blessed 
with these kids,
it helps me deal with all the other crapola.

Tomorrow begins the installation of nearly
 40 plants including a couple trees,
and my new brick patio and pergola. 
Many, many issues popped up but
we worked through them all.

It is NOT how they wanted it to be,
nor how I planned it to be,
it IS close to what I wanted, 
and it will do.

I have never had the luxury of just doing
anything exactly as originally planned or wished for.
I always have to start with what is affordable
and I work backwards from there.

( when we last visited)


SO smaller patio,
different design of plants,
fingers double crossed and 
eating ramen next couple months.

Reveal next week, I hope.

Enjoy your spring

Z



Sunday, March 19, 2017

I Put My Bra On

Thought I would Honor 
my Mom's Birthday today by doing this again,
posted 3/19/2013
posted 3/19/2015
so once more with feeling, 
or third time's the charm,
and I still hate bras.


I put my bra on this morning,
so I had every intention of getting a lot of work done.
Doesn't everyone gauge their day by their undergarments?

I suppose I have a weird relationship 
with bras harking back to my first weeks of nursing.
Sending your hesitant but determined husband
 out to a specialty store for the "well developed"
in downtown Vegas, serving the 
uh.."specialty girls",
two days after delivery of your first born is 
challenging and hilarious.

Imagine him standing in the store,
explaining that no "regular"nursing bras I had
purchased pre-birth were even remotely large enough.
With the clerk hollering out directions, 
I have the phone perched in the
crook of my shoulder while measuring beneath, across,
up, down and around to aid the store in selecting the
over the shoulder boulder holder required
to hoist and rein in those babies;
a 44 EEE did the trick...
scaffolding required
prior size 36 B



No one is normally able to write their name
with breast milk, 
in cursive,
on the bathroom mirror, 
at a distance of 3 feet,
are they?
Picture grasping in both hands an unruly garden hose.

...and because some of you have just asked "why?"
He had made some snarky remark about them 
"not being that humongous"
and post birth hormones got the best of me, 
and yes, I did aim just to the left, 
off the mirror,
 for just a second, 
that's a lie..
I got him good...

Back to this morning.
Justice went through her terror cacophony
at around 5:30 so I got up and put on my bra.
Went outside to water the garden,
made some coffee, and started redoing
 some pincushions I had not sold.

Ran the vacuum, did two loads of laundry
and by now the bra straps were bothering
me, so I pulled them through the sleeves
`a la flashdance and let them dangle:
reassessed about 5 minutes later
and pulled the whole damn thing off.

These days spandex is more about
 gravity than girth, lon.gi.tude? no
though a definition of la.ti.tude
(scope for freedom of action) 
seems to fit

no other humans around
why bother?
gravity damage occurred long ago
after 32 months of nursing

Wave free my girls,
to and fro flapping in the wind....
insert mental image of American Flag flying
atop a local Terrible Herbst Station.



throw in the slap slap sound..

happy weekend girlfriends.



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Holy Rootball Batman




Just praying I've done the right thing.
I'm pretending the ghost shape is my Dad
supervising.

I hated removing living plants,
even the sick ones, but I knew it was necessary
as I simply cannot keep up 
with a high maintenance yard.

a - I will have more sun for sure.
a - I can see the house behind me a little more.
a + I will have over 40 fewer bags of leaves each year,
and countless hours less blowing and sweeping.
a + I will not fall out of a tree again.
(2- 2+ an even score)

I am still nervous as can be about the process
and the funding of it, especially the funding.

Enjoy the weekend guys

Z


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Roses Never Fail


Every year my roses do not disappoint.
Much needed color this year with
 the majority of my yard torn apart.
 Hopefully the next two weeks 
will see some action.
I'm beyond ready to be done.
I have raked a half ton of rock,
removed nine huge bushes, just me and a shovel,
(each taking between 30 minutes to an hour)
and filled 28 -33 gallon trash bags 
with 20 year old bark, twigs, leaves and branches.

Now
If we could just get started
on rerouting sprinklers, tree removals
and plantings and new 15x15 patio.
They're fitting me in between BIG jobs.
I'm practicing patience.
I need more practice.
You can see the one completed wall on
my IG.
Click on upper right

Saturday, March 4, 2017

JUSTICE


It's been a year today that 
Justice left us.

This is one of my favorites of her snuggled up to Libbey
who died 12 years ago. Justice always loved Libbey,
and I think she ignored Howie because to her
 he replaced Libbey. Howie of course
 loved Justice regardless and was licking her face 
as she passed.

You can just see the tip of her tongue
sticking out. It always did to varying degrees.
I love how she looks blissful sleeping with her pal.

I received the nicest note from Lap of Love this 
morning, a remembrance of her passing. This is the
Dr's practice that came to our home and showed
 such tenderness and empathy
during the euthanasia.

So today I celebrate Justice

and Libbey 
and Gadget
and Buffy
and Sargeant
and Murphy
and Sunday
and Bandit
and Napolean
and Bozo
and Magic
and Samantha
and Chester
and Mac

who loved unconditionally
and make it impossible for me 
to live without an animal to love, be loved by,
 and to care for.

Howie and I, 
we're a team


both of us gray
and 63 and 77.



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Glorious Green and Blue

Green thumbs and blue skies are making
 for many happy hours 
in my garden. After 24 years I am overhauling parts 
of it once more, and hopefully for the LAST time. 
If you click on my sidebar pic of my yard
 you can see it as it was in 2010.
I realized I've never really shown
 the two largest beds?
Wait for it, they're coming.
I'm adding a huge used brick patio
 and pergola and redoing all the beds
which had begun to look sad and done in.
I've got tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, parsley 
and basil going so far, plan to do more.



The brick walkway runs along
 the north side of the house
and I have concentrated the majority of vintage pieces
 and small pots all along here.
I had a huge pile of giveaways that
 my friend Paula came and rescued.
They filled her car. Yay!
 Years ago she had said "IF you ever get rid of
backyard stuff I want first dibs."


Nearly everything  out here I've had over 25 years,
and it has "aged" thru sun, rain and snow.
It's all a bit compacted. We'll see if this works or 
perhaps more will go.
The brick topped table you see with
 the granite bowl sitting on
it is my potting bench. The bowl is for 
the throwaway bits as I plant.
The lidded box holds tools and such.

My aloe you see here is an example of sad. 
It was in the ground and looking so pathetic, 
so I'm giving it one more chance at life.



Cindy, I ended up with one of the skulls...See?
The trunk is from our beloved ash tree we had to cut down
in the front yard. I have photos of each first day of school 
with the kids standing in front of the tree.
I had to save a part of it.
The other part is under the sundial
in second photo.


This is the keeper pile I am moving 
around the side of house until 
we are done with the beds and patio.


 This is the condition currently of the back bed.
I've ripped out 85% over the past 2 days.
 I hope to finish today. All the "keeper" pile stuff was
 once along here. Howie rubs against and under all
the bushes and then scratches for hours in the evening.
Making him wear his sweater stops most of it. 

 I had planned to paint the walls
but the cost of that threw me way over budget,
and I'm not up to it to do myself just now.
Once the beds are simple and clean I can go back 
in and do it later, or not.


I've been absent for some time.
I just could not deal with the 
mess of our government on here,
and the rest seemed too trivial for me.

 I preferred to take action,
 make calls, donate and write letters
 rather than just vent out to the universe.
I have set goals for myself of how much to do 
each day to stand up and take action.
I will not be silenced, I'm just choosing
to directly impact if I can.

This has made me feel better, and
now I can enjoy once more the simple
days I prefer. I've gone through
 another author's complete series
 in the past two weeks. 
Elizabeth George.
Started Friday on the complete
series by Deborah Crombie.
I'm on my fourth.
I'm still searching for another Robert B Parker.
Sadly there is no one so far for me.

Wishing you blue skies

Z

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Small Change

Small changes 

I tidied up the postal boxes and
eliminated most of the Z's. 



This took less than 15 minutes
for a fresher look.

Folks can be overwhelmed with the scope of a 
major purge or change.
I still recommend beginning with
 the 15 minute timer method,
I've mentioned here many times.

Another 15 minutes in the den,
clearing desktop and small bookshelf
and I'll be happy.

Thank you President Obama and 
Michelle Obama. Thank you
 Vice President Biden and Jill Biden.

Your intelligence, compassion, dignity,
decency and passion for public service, not 
self service, has served us well.
Our country needs you more than ever.
Please don't go too far away.
Rest up and then lead us forward
into perhaps the fight of all our lives.