Gadgets and Gizmos

One of my favorite Disney version fairy tale movies is The Little Mermaid. (mostly because of some of the songs.) Can totally relate to Ariel when she sings about her collection. Thankfully, most of my gadgets actually have uses. Gadgets that are used so often, cannot understand why I didn’t have them before!!!

Mine are all kitcheny sort things. Do think there is a curling iron around somewhere and one of those eyelash curler doohicky things. However, personal grooming for me doesn’t involve primping or makeup. At least not very often!

The first super cool thing is my Pampered Chef can opener. It was a spendy thing and most of my PC items are not used often or at all. (OK< the food chopper Pampered Chef thing is used now and then..) The best thing about the opener is that the edge of the can isn’t sharp. LOVE that. Did look into getting this second item from PC, but found it was millions of dollars cheaper at Walmart. Can’t even remember what it is called, but it is mostly for draining cans of tunafish. Or other cans of this size. Used to hate trying to use the lid to drain the can. The last of these three is used at least once a week. Think it was seen on a recipe blog somewhere. The idea fascinated me and it was added to my Christmas wish list. It is such a cool gadget! Much more efficient than smashing up the burger with a fork or slotted turner (which is what a spatula is called now, at least in the US). It is called a meat chopper.

Below are other favorites. The first one has a strange name. Usually, it is called a mini serving spatula. (recall the slotted turner above?) and does have slots in it. (mine does not) They are used for brownies and other foods you need to get out of a pan–cake, brownies, and the like. The next picture has various silver pieces, which are important. They are for serving. The original pieces were purchased because the pattern was on most of my silverware and wanted to keep them similar and thought it would be fun to have them. (forgot the pie server, that was still in the drawer!) Then, after realising how dang useful the serving spoon was, went out and bought two more. One sans holes and other with. They don’t match, but are (as stated) very handy. Used to always use dinner TB or some gargantuan spoon that can be used for serving, but is really inefficient for all foods. (Kitchen TB on the end near the serving fork) The last item is something we’ve used for years. A friend from Tillamook gave it to us and we thought it was kind of odd. But, it is AMAZING. After using it once, we have tossed out any scoop sort of ice cream utensils and just use this one. Granted, it isn’t as nice on a cone, but it will work.

So, there you have it. Lots of super awesome kitchen gizmos that are as curious as the ones Ariel found, but mine have known purpose.

Houseguests

Recently found a wordpress blog entitled, I Hate Houseguests. I’m not linking it here, in case the blogger doesn’t want it linked. There are some bloggers who don’t care for that. Anyway, it made me think about some experiences in my own world.

Houseguests can be great or absolutely annoying or just odd. A couple of times we’ve had calls from people that they are driving through and need a place to stay. Once, we lived on the coast, and that family (a very nice family) stopped and it was strange to be so thankful to have them gone a day or so later!

The absolute worst time was when the boys were young and we flew to Alaska. We’d left a young man in charge of the house and said he could drive one of the rigs while we were gone. OMG!!! Our neighbor called and said we needed to get back right now. The kids were having a perpetual party and our irritable mid-size dog was loose and we had only been north for a couple of days. The young man was in charge for a week! I called another friend, who had recommended this young man and eventually it was sorted. However, there was a dent in the car and you could tell from the debris how much ‘fun‘ they’d had. Was incredibly annoyed he’d been paid. (The Craftsman returned home before the rest of us, otherwise this mom would have been beyond angry! By the time of my return, things were calmer and put back at least another week or two!)

Then, there was the time the bad guest was me. Had a BF in CA and drove down to stay with his grandma and meet his family. For some ridiculous reason the two kittens I’d adopted went with me. And, they didn’t want to use the litterbox in the corner of the room I was in, they wanted to use the long carpet next to the litterbox. I was mortified and had no idea how to clean it up and did the best I could with minimal supplies (no way was I going to ask for help, the family didn’t care for me as much as the BF did!) and left as soon as possible. The relationship went downhill, but oh gods, was that a horrible moment in my mid-twenties!!! Kittens are cute, but traveling hundreds of miles to a stranger’s house with them in tow is not a good idea.

Was there ever a time when you had a horrible houseguest or were one???

Did last week really happen??

What a bizarre week to end a longer than usual month. Went to have the shadow removed from an eye, but when in the area to pay the bill pre-procedure, was told it was for both, but they would only do one. (Was so CONFUSED!!) Apparently, in the eye where the retina was torn, a Diabetic bubble was found. The doctor last week noticed it and it was smaller than the one seen earlier in September. But, still!! How on earth did my mum have tons of problems with glucose and no problems??? Granted, she had different cancers in her body, but nothing related to Diabetes. Anyway, visiting another specialist in a couple of weeks.

Me (the awesome rose quartz earrings aren’t wearable anymore. One of the threads broke..might be able to put them on hooks, will need to check!), a super neat image of waterdrops in a hopefully uninhabited web with old leaves and sweet woodruff, and a cute sunflower that somehow showed up in a small flowerbox devoted to snackdragons and petunias. (snackdragons are snapdragons, kid speak!)

The caterpillars are almost all underground. Finally had to get a different container of dirt for their cage. Too many were in it! Was wanting to release them before they burrowed, but those things are fast. (they actually take a bit more than 2 minutes to snuggle their way into the soil) Have only managed to put a couple back into the ‘wild’ and of those, two were snatched from being almost buried. The one in my hand was probably shunted back to the surface in the crowded box of soil. You can see the little horn is almost gone in this fat bumble body. Their pretty bright green turns a bit reddish and their little legs get sharp toes. Probably to help them dig better. In a single month these creatures have gone from egg to sleeping bags under the ground! There are two smaller ones left. Think it is the weather that is sending them underground ASAP. Our days are pretty nice (OK, the triple digits were not nice) and the nights are super cool. In the lower 60s to the mid 50’s. Everyone seems to be getting ready for winter. Little Bear found a large praying mantis munching down on a caterpillar he’d taken up to his grandma’s. Was completely horrified. Detest those things (I know, they are considered good luck, but give me a caged cricket instead!). Any bug with legs that long is just icky!

Saturday was supposed to be busy with outside chores. And it was. But, not the ones anticipated. For some reason a huge and unexpected windstorm hit our area and trees toppled, branches fell, a light pole at the football field was blown down, and more. No one was hurt and the damages were minimal, but it took everyone by surprise. (which was already said!!!)

Little Bear is making a shed from free recycled pallets and was grumpy he wasn’t able to finish it up before the long weekend was over. The Craftsman is working on the outside of the house, he is almost done with the window he started last Labor Day Weekend! Picked a 10 in cucumber and sunflowers, the former will go in my tummy. The latter in my kitchen window. The horse with the flowers is in the field across the road. A young lady owns the pair and one of them gets really bent out of shape if it’s left alone while the other one is being ridden! They were both in the field at this time of day.

Little Bear also found on his trail cams a three legged bear (it turns out a bear can survive a great many kinds of accidents and thrive), a bobcat, a cougar, and saw a deer jump and run from bumping noses with what we assume was a catfish. (the deer was trying to drink and just as the nose touched down, she took off. That water source has a lot of small catfish in it.)

So, September has started and fall in on the way. Next Sunday is Grandparents Day and Patriot Day (9/11) and is followed by National Day of Encouragement. Dove chocolates have mottos inside the wrappers, so think a bag of those to hand out will be fun!

On and on

So many songs refer back to the never-ending story (does anyone besides me remember this one???) or the circle of life or a life that survives against all odds. In the yard this week, found a couple of those things. A sunflower had been knocked over during a recent series of storms. It was popped in the tiny yard pond to keep the leaves fresh to feed the bunnies (they like sunflower leaves) and the thing bloomed!!!!!! Flat on the ground, rootless, and beautiful. And a cucumber plant. It looks dead with a single cucumber (it had another one that was very yummy) and some green up at the top. Then, the sphinx caterpillars are a voracious circle of life!! There are dozens and they eat and eat and eat and eat. Thinking I’ll release most of them next weekend because as they get larger, they’ll eat more and I’ll slowly lose my lead on their appetites!

I feel awful I don’t pop in here as often as I used to. I read posts by GH or Ms. Monster or Rhapsody or Gary (those are sooo tasty looking!), Becky, Peg, and poetry and military history, so I do keep up on your words. I just don’t add many of my own!!!

This last week there was a series of storms in this area. It was incredibly crazy. Some places less than a half mile away got pea sized hail, the town got poured on several times, a stunning sky appeared in between, a lot of lightening again, and fires. One was close to the property owned by the family. Thankfully, it was less than 3 acres, probably. But, that area got very little rain! The cows pastured up there were a bit annoyed. Fire rigs drove through their feeding areas at least 4 times. Once to put it out and then to make sure it was out! (Little Bear took most of these pictures)

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Teasel is another one of those circles of life things. Stunning weed, depending on how you look at them!! The sun will always come up tomorrow (Annie!!) and, as we live, may we reflect light like the full moon and not a sliver, like a crescent one.

When lives do stop, they really don’t. Twain is, unfortunately, dying. Apparently, crickets can get serious viruses. I don’t want to put him down yet, because he is still moving around and chirping now and then. (it wasn’t anything from being in captivity, it was actually genetic from his mother! Google is so handy sometimes!) I’d rescued a tiny almost new squirrel that was seriously injured, but it was pretty hopeless. I also didn’t have the proper food and feeding apparatus for it (did learn that older squirrel and possum can be fed on strawberry and vanilla ensure!). We think the squirrel nest may have been attacked by a bird of prey. A number of caterpillars didn’t make it to their 12th day, but more would have been lost if they were outside in a tree! Yet, each one of these creatures were a part of my life and made me richer. No matter how long they were in my world, they changed it.

I’ve not gotten my hands on a book by this author to keep yet. But LOVE her work. And I agree with the thought at the end of this post. This month has one of the more brilliant meteor showers of the year. I’ve not seen many, but they are spectacular. Gifts from above.

“A star falls from the sky and into your hands. Then it seeps through your veins and swims inside your blood and becomes every part of you. And then you have to put it back into the sky. And it’s the most painful thing you’ll ever have to do and that you’ve ever done. But what’s yours is yours. Whether it’s up in the sky or here in your hands. And one day, it’ll fall from the sky and hit you in the head real hard and that time, you won’t have to put it back in the sky again.”
― C. JoyBell C.

To Judge, or not to Judge?

I grew up with Barbie dolls and babysitting where Playboy was a coffee table magazine next to Reader’s Digest and Good Housekeeping. My knowledge of a woman’s shape was that to be thin and busty was the only kind a male would be interested in. And that was the paramount reason for a female to exist. Mum would constantly tell us kids we were getting fat even as an adult. I was fortunate enough to be a thin teen and then young woman. Until I had babies. (no one really believes a baby will completely change your body as a woman, we always hope it will ‘get back to where it once was’ and am sure with a great deal of help, it can..maybe!) I like pretty clothes, I love lingerie (not that I’ve a reason to wear any!!lol), but I detest shopping for any body wear beyond earrings. I’ve always been incredibly self-conscious about my body because of those false beliefs I allowed to be built into myself. The Diabetic Belly, mom gut, thunder thighs, fun sized fluffy treat, winged arms or whatever you want to call the deficiencies in a body not quite like the world highlights. This is about me, a female, but this also exists in the male world. And it is just plain wrong. To see photos of myself and know I do not want to look at them or I shy from having any taken is as unhealthy as having twenty out of twenty-five selfies saved on a cell.

In books and movies women are seen as the not as important to the story characters. One of my very favorite book series is the Belgaraid. Super fun older books and I was appalled by a review of a leading character. She’s a female sorceress and absolutely beautiful, smart, loves to cook and sew, and the review suggested the authors (David and Leigh Eddings) were downplaying women. Seriously??? Did this reviewer not read the books???? Polgara is the ONE magical person no one likes to mess with. She can mend things with magic, but she prefers sewing. She loves cooking and so she does. This woman watched a kingdom she tried to save crumble and ended up creating another country, one I’d not mind one bit living in! She’s incredibly wealthy and doesn’t seem to care much. People are more important than status or wealth. Anyway, I waffled on to say how often the depiction of a woman in fantasy must be less than they could be. In the James Bond story below, which I understand is very different from the movie, the love lead character is wearing a bikini and carrying some kind of harpoon. (reminds me of a shark week eons back. The female diver was in a bikini and the males were in wetsuits!) The anthologies by Marion Zimmer Bradley (who had very icky sexual instances happen in her real world that almost make me not want to read her books anymore, almost.) often have women on the covers that don’t look at all practical for the tasks at hand. Have to agree with Scarlet Witch, this does NOT seem fair.

The other day I ran across a song on FB. There are three versions. A longer one for the artist’s album, a short one that shares exactly why the song was written, and a flash mob version of the song. I’ll share the last two here:

It is a bit hard to hear the youngster as she mumbles the reason the lady at the store didn’t think she belonged in a bikini. I so agree with Jax. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. This second video, I always cry. Because I was and still am that little tiny girl Jax greets at the end.

I know there are some changes out there, but they are slow. It amazes me how women were starting to gain ground as humans and citizens in the 1880 and quickly lost it, especially after WWII. Ladies Home Journal was a part of the rise and fall of women in America (I have notes on this phenomenon, but not sure where). Publications, social media, and dolls all contribute to the overall image of humanity. (Those don’t all concern women!) It is incredibly easy to judge someone by their shape or tats or clothing, it is easy to be torn down by those who judge, and it is wrong. I could meander off into a preaching mode, but I won’t. (aren’t you lucky!!!???!!!)

Bless you for who you are and enjoy each person around you. Because if we were all the same fruit, this world would be one heck of a dull salad!!!

Confusion!

Was thinking about how easily things are hidden in our world. How other things only exist in certain circumstances. How something may mean one thing, but does it really??? How only when we look for something can it be found..usually!!!

GH uses a lot of hilarious funnies on her blog with crazy photos that may not mean what they seem to. When I read, I find many phrases I need to stop and think (and I sometimes blink, because they are just too odd!). I recently ran into ‘Tender eyes.’ Seriously, this wasn’t a zombie story!! (although, I think zombies eat tender brains and eyes are probably more of a cannibal thing. Unless they are fish eyes, which anyone can eat!) Then, there were ‘tall foaming goblets‘. Those reminded me of an old-fashioned bar sign! This one just made me laugh out loud. (also eyes, but probably not copied exactly because I forgot which book it was in!) “His eyes were hard brown pebbles.” It made me want to put them in a garden! Seriously, eyes or hair can be like something, but even then, it is a tad dubious. Hair like a raven’s wing. Does this person not know that ravens can get fleas and ticks and mites? And how often wing feathers are broken? Yes, raven feathers are shiny and black and I get one needs to pump up descriptions, but sheesh!! And euphemisms in erotica. My land!!! A turgid member could be a congested person in parliament, but probably not. (adjective: swollen, distended or congested)

Then, you discover easy to plant seeds aren’t exactly. Radishes (which I don’t like, but the leaves look pretty) are ridiculous. In a children’s book by a favorite author, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle gave radish seeds to a mom who had a son with an aversion to cleanliness. She planted them and pulled them til the boy decided to do more than splash water on his skin. The radishes I planted up at the MiLs house grew, but not exactly. They can get too spicy if left in the ground too long, they can crack if they don’t get enough water, and they like cool weather with lots of sun. The radishes in my yard are huge leaves, which I like, but it is annoying. Mine are in an area with lots of water and sun, hers are in full hot sun and don’t get lots of water. Hers are super ball sized cracked globes that Little Bear said aren’t too bad. The peas in full sun are not a crop at all. I realised they need full sun and cool temps with a lot of water. Beans also need warmth, but not really warm. The cucumber are doing ok, but they are hidden inside the vines and I need to be careful when watering them. If I hit a little cuke, it will fall off and die! I’ve always admired the lovely flowering vines called a clematis. I’ve never gotten one to grow. Those, the roots need shade and cool, but the vines need a lot of sun. Then there is this thing called ph, which has to do with something in the soil. Gardens are science and most of mine is hit or miss. Perhaps I should be careful with cleaning chemicals in the house! Hit or miss works best when things don’t combust.

Then, there are the things in our world that are truly camouflaged. Not the odd shades of pink or purple that I adore, but are not exactly a camo pattern. Real ones. Little Bear has been keeping his rabbits cool with misters and fans, creating an ecosystem the frogs love. They have different designs and colors and are often super hard to find. Polyphemus moths are not exactly camouflaged, but they can blend in a bit. Many babies are hidden by the patterns on their fur. And then you have killdeer birds who put their nests any which where and freak out if you get too close with their wounded wing thing. (Although, one ridiculous nest was right on the edge of the driving path.) If you look, you can find them. But, you need to look!

Even my glucose is annoying. The Freestyle Libre sensor can be 5 or 10 or 50 different from a Contour Next blood test. Tomorrow night we are hoping to see the movie about Elvis. We’ll take the 56 Mercury because it screams Elvis (although, Elvis’ first movie was in ’56, it wasn’t when he first became famous). I’m not in teen age love, but I’m definitely ‘All Shook Up‘!

A Bug’s Life

The caterpillars have enclosed, or climbed out of their cocoons. All three survived, which was entirely gratifying. After pruning the volunteer maple to almost nothing to feed them, it was nice to have a 3 for 3 success rate! (and the maple looks splendid this year, so maybe the pruning wasn’t as bad as it might have been!) The black field cricket, Twain, seems to like John Phillips Sousa as much as ABBA (and Michael Crawford). He chirped in time to a few marches when we were watching ‘Stars and Stripes, Forever‘. Oddly, he’s not as fond of music from CATS! Maybe he knows cats like to chase crickets. On July 2, there was a very long impressive thunderstorm, the 3rd Charlie and Alpha enclosed, the 4th we released Alpha in the clear afternoon after a stunning amount of morning rain, the 5th Pee Wee showed up, and today, the 6th, Charlie and Pee Wee were set free. I did keep eggs, but am not entirely sure I want to feed nonstop for a couple of months again!!!

Meanwhile, enjoy the beautiful images of raindrops and yard life!

Alpha, Pee Wee, and Charlie (photos are in order). The males have very large antenna, so they can find their mates. Oddly, incest isn’t that big of a deal with insects, so hoping the two eggs I got are fertile since Charlie was with each of the males at one time or another. (I think I’m hoping!) I didn’t release Charlie with Alpha because I wanted to see if there were more polyphemus moths flying around. She was alone in her mesh container yet, Charlie’s pheromones might not have worked as well as they should have when we put it outside on the 4th because the fireworks in town may have thrown the scent off. Alpha is also a different color than the other two, because colors can be different. These lovely creatures will live only a few days. Kind of gives a whole different meaning to a biological clock ticking. The poly female has just a couple of days to release a scent to attract males, mate, and lay hundreds of eggs!!!

What a Wonderful World:

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you.

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.

Pushing Jell-o uphill

I keep saying I need to visit the internet more often and I really really do. After being off for a few weeks, I learned one of my best friends from college has ovarian cancer. She’s lived in China the last several years and is hoping to return to the states soon. Not sure what will happen to their two cats, but she’ll be home. I read an article she shared about women’s health and was so frustrated and angry. A woman in NY was not feeling good. She’d had pain during sex, her tummy was becoming bloated, and she was experiencing several other things she felt were odd. She visited an OB/GYN who told her that as women age, sex can become painful. Her pap smear was normal and she should return in a year. A bit later, her pain was so intense, she visited an urgent care clinic. The nurse sent her to Emergency and the nurses there had her seen immediately. She had stage 3 ovarian cancer. My friend has had to push hard for several months and through different doctors to try and determine what might be wrong with her.

Pushing doctors to look further isn’t right. Had to do that with mum. Not that they had to look further, but that they would give her different options for pain. (that pain pump was an incredible little machine!) GH (a WP blogger with a quirky sense of humor!) has had to push her physicians to get them to help her. It angers me. For me, I’m constantly told my wonky leg is in my head (ok, that is a GREAT word picture!!) and that I’d be absolutely fine if I lost weight and drank more water. Oddly, I did visit an eye doctor last week. I kept having a shadow appear in my vision and it absolutely drives me bonkers! With or without the glasses, it is there. Turns out that sometimes after a cataract surgery a ‘scar’ can form and it needs removed with another short surgery. I’m glad that doctor saw what I was seeing and found an answer beyond losing weight and drinking water and aging. For me, they also add Diabetes and MS as reasons why my back aches or my hip hurts or I have headaches. I’m always wary of online helps, but I’ve decided to try some supplements. Maybe they might help with neuropathy. I ended up doing some research to learn what might be causing mouth sores. A change in toothpaste helped that, til I bit the inside of my mouth while eating!!!! (Apparently, sodium lauryl sulfate isn’t as good as it might be!)

Meanwhile, the weather has finally changed to summer during the day. Not liking the 90 degrees, but low 80’s and 70’s isn’t too bad. Nights are still in the 50’s, though. Had to plant the beans twice because so few came up. The peas look fairly strong…except for the 3 The Craftsman accidentally used the weedwhacker on!!!! (it was only the tops, but sheesh!!!) The summer flowers are starting to pop out. Was a bit annoyed with the daisies. They aren’t supposed to be taller than 14 inches and are at least 3 feet!!! Which means the underground sprinkler is going to nail them when it is finally turned on. I’ve also decided I want some more poppies. The front beds are scattered with bright CA ones and in back there are orange and white ones. The tiny bed with sweet peas and nasturtiums is just going to have to get some new soil and fertilizer. That strip of ground grows very little and what little that does grow is often spindly. The mock orange was splendid this year and those poppies. WOW! Little Bear thinks they are messy. Because of the dark pollen that falls on the petals! The cucumbers are doing ok and the tomatoes look really good. So far!!!! There is a great deal of time between bud and harvest!!!!! The purple salvia was a rescue plant. One of the best parts of garden stores is rescuing plants at the end of the season.

The squirrels are still entertaining us. There is definitely a love hate relationship with them. They’ve been lax on snacking off the corn cobs lately, so Little Bear affixed some dried fruit to a wire he hung off the cobs. (the fruit was forgotten in the fridge and had gotten a bit grainy) He also caught one of them in the live trap he’d set to capture opossum. Those are considered an invasive species here in the PNW and so far he’s caught 5 little ones near the rabbits!!!! They are so darn cute, but the adults will eat baby bunnies and so he catches them to inhibit their grownup activities.

One of the more interesting things I’ve done lately is frying food. Donuts, actually. They were cake donuts and turned out surprisingly well. The apple fritters weren’t as good, but that was because of the apple part. Seriously, if you need to add an ingredient, please say how much! 2 large apples or even 3 isn’t really a measurement. Not all varieties of apples are the same size! Eventually, I found a site that added 4 cups, but that was after I made the fritters! It was rather easy to fry, not as terrifying as I’d imagined. The worst part was having the correct sized pot. Mine was actually too large and the thermometer was barely sitting in the oil! Actually, the very worst part was getting rid of the used oil and washing the pot! Ended up pouring it into a zip baggie and disposing of it. If only I’d had a Mr. Fusion and could have used it in there! All in all, I’ll stick to muffins and things baked in the oven. (oven baked donuts are not as good at all!) Strider’s birthday is this weekend and even with him on the East Coast, I’ll still make a cake. Probably Red Velvet cake mix with homemade frosting.

Below photos are from Little Bear in May. (they are taking AGES to load!)

Laughing out loud!!!!! We have a black house cricket in a container and he seems to enjoy chirping along to ABBA. Little Bear came home from work and asked why I was listening to Disco. Told him Twain seemed to like it and he just looked at me. Then he said, ‘Should we get him striped bell bottoms for his back legs?’

Technology and Stuff

Ms. Monster said she missed my posts, Podman and Chirp have moved from their church, and Rhapsody is back from her journey similar to my Alaskan one. So, my excuse isn’t much more than technology. I write dozens of posts in my head and never manage to get them anywhere else. Because I get so tired of technology!! The desktop is nice to use, but I’m lazy. And I miss photos. My camera chip stopped allowing me to remove it from the camera (had some kind of warning the last time I inserted it in the card slot!) and the darn thing uses a usb cord different than any we have around here and it obviously didn’t come with the cord. Seriously. A $5 cable I can only get online. Sheesh. At any rate, I finally have some pictures I can share.

And stuff. The kids from the East Coast came to visit. It was lovely to see Strider (and his GF). He’s not been here since ’16. They drove over in just over 40 hours, stopping a few times due to pouring rain and even some snow! Have been doing a LOT of yard work. Mostly with flowers, but did plant a few other things here and there. In between some transplanted sunflowers are peas and I have beans in one of my lasagna beds. I need to go outside and add diatomaceous earth again. I wish the stuff would work faster, but maybe there are just too many bugs? Went with the guys to a car show and stayed much longer than planned. Also purchased a book. One I’d read ages ago, but didn’t actually own. Another novel by Robin McKinley called Spindle’s End. Yes, a Sleeping Beauty story, but with quite a few twists.

Katriona’s theory was that cats were one of the few members of the animal kingdom who had a strong artistic sense, and that aggravated chaos was the chief feline art form, but she had never coaxed a straight enough answer out of a cat to be sure. It was the sort of thing a cat would like a human to think, particularly if it weren’t true.” “Consistency is the first thing you should be suspicious of in a cat.” (pages 107 and 279 in S.E.) Note: Mittens should be smaller…..

And the garden. Good gracious!!! The Fern Peony was the only one of the peony that bloomed. The other one has robust greens, but it never ever ever ever does much more than that. The white iris I just noticed has fallen over, so need to go outside and rescue that. I had thought the block of wood I’d placed at its base would have held it in place, but nope. The roses are some of the most fragrant lovelies. The Craftsman isn’t fond of them, though. They are rather prickly and get in the way of mowing. I did come up with a creative way to lift them….We shall see how they survive wind! (The lines in blue are my lifting technique.)

I also decided to plant some flowers up at the mother in law’s. She’s not able to do much anymore and well, I thought some flowers would be fun!!! I only hope the earwigs don’t devour them and that they grow to fill in the area a bit. Hadn’t realised how large the spaces were and annuals are not on sale yet!!! (Oh!! Didn’t realise I’d forgotten to take an after photo!! Will do that and add it later. Also need to get photos from Little Bear. He was able to capture pictures of hummingbirds and other wildlife not found in town.)

Meanwhile, need to sort the iris outside and frost the chocolate chocolate chip zucchini cake on the counter with perfectly perfect chocolate frosting. The muffins were left in the oven too long and are a bit hard. They should soften up in a container! (I hope…) Also need to make dinner. Will water things later. However, I need to find another hose nozzle. While using the old school finger in the hose trick, managed to drench myself!!!!!! It wasn’t cold outside, but damp clothes are well, damp! Other than that, not much going on in this world of EO. Am so thankful this year my eyes are not seeing through a gas bubble and that I can weed and dig and play in the dirt. And read. (still think my glasses prescription is off a bit, but they work ok!)

Catch you all sooner than later! (Odd, that first one is another one that looks odd in this block format.)

Easter Week

I picked, I shared, I covered, I played, I cooked, and I laughed! Poor Garfield should have kept on his snow gear and I shouldn’t have changed out the silver snowflakes for raindrops. April Showers have been a bit elusive so far this month, although it didn’t matter to the daffodils! Many of those early bloomers went and bloomed in spite of what was going on around them. Because I was looking at the forecast that was NOT only a couple of flakes, I went and cut many blossoms out of the gardens. Then, I gave away several dozen and had quite a few left to keep inside to brighten the kitchen with spring colors. Little Bear was startled those ‘bells on a stick‘ had such a strong scent. (hyacinth)

(Odd, that squirrel has lost its face and some of the flowers are missing!!! And those picture ratios are off. Piffle!!) Hoping those are fixed when this is done being edited…Blogging does have some odd quirks. Kind of like our weather this last week!! As noted above, I did cover the remaining flowers and some of those didn’t make it. The tarps were too heavy with the snow and then the water from melting snow, some tarps were black and made tiny greenhouses that cooked the tulips touching the tarps, while others did just fine under their covers! The hyacinth and daffodils are gone, but the tulips are starting to really show off. The parrot tulips, which are surprisingly fragile, are coming along nicely. I’ll share tulips next time! Below are a snow covered ‘Basket of Gold’, a hyacinth I didn’t pick, pear blossoms, my earliest tulips (I picked many, but not all of them), and an almost invasive plant called Snow on the Mountain.

The squirrel had discovered where the window feeder was moved to and annoyed Mittens as she stalked back in forth in front of the window. On Sunday evening, it was moved up a bit, Monday, the tree rat managed to leap for it! The critter is one determined squirrel!!! I also made a snowperson that lasted all of Saturday before melting away on Easter Sunday. Actually, there was a tiny white blob left in the yard when I was outside this Tuesday morning! I used spent daffodils for the eyes and nose and purple strawflower for the mouth. The ‘hair’ is lemon sedum (also rather invasive!).