Friday, August 11, 2017

Very Busy With A To Z

But let's start with a quick healthy lunch.   So often when I get busy I hate to stop and take time to eat, especially if I am working outdoors.  However, today I made myself go inside and put a quick salad together.   Grabbed from the refrigerator.

Lettuce
Tomatos
Avocado
Green Onions
Red Kidney Beans
Artichoke Hearts
Pickled Beets
Real Bacon

And topped it off with High Priced, High Calorie Girard's White Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (0n sale).

Sinful 120 calories  (mostly fat) for one 2 Tbsp serving.     To be more accurate - - - healthy before adding the dressing!

And then, a little bowl of Red Cherries for something sweet.

Most of my recent hard work has been outside.   No surprise there!  Still have a little more power washing of some of the sidewalks.  Lots of clean up of weeds,  downed tree limbs and leaves  and tree trimming of what I can reach and with ladder.  I will be calling a Tree Trimmer man tomorrow to trim the Cedar Tree branches over my garage.  And, I still must get someone to clean the roof and spray for mold, moss and algae on the roof shingles.  Plan to use highly rated Wet&Forget.

Two wonderful things happened this week that I must share with you.  First, when I went to the Post Office to pick up my mail,  much to my surprise,  I received A Class Action Case check for $150.00! On many occasions I am tempted to NOT open each and every piece of mail.  But, I won't give that thought any time in the future.

Second,  and most miraculous is that a young man who is the son of the man across the street who occasionally takes my yard waste to the dump for me has returned SOBER and CLEAN following a year and a half relapse with serious drug addiction.  I first met him a few years ago when he first became CLEAN.  He is such a likable young man and I was so surprised and crushed when he relapsed.  He reunited with an old girlfriend who is still using and moved away.   He had been working with his father and is now back again working with his father. On occasion he and his father have done work for me.  They attend the church across the street and there is a tremendous support system.  I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw him and talked with them on Tuesday.  There were lots of big hugs and rejoicing. God is good !!!

Until next time.

Mary

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Have You Ever Done This

DUMPSTER DIVING
Well, maybe not quite like that!   But, how about picking things up at the dump that have been put aside for whoever may be able to use them?    On a rare occasion I may see something that I can give a second life to and have a home for.    This item was in perfect unpainted condition so I grabbed it - - - as if I needed something more to store in my already stuffed garage that is bursting at the seams!

Take a look.   It will be perfect to store some pillows in or other things, on my patio that I have new plans for next year.   I want to put a rug and canopy out there in the springtime.   I am hoping to get my very old (30 years) iron patio furniture spray painted this year before the weather turns too cool.
The is the rug!  Yes, I weakened when I got caught up looking at Wayfair Sales.  And, I know what canopy I would like to get.  It is a lime green that will go well with the shades of green.   I know, I know, my budget is skinny but this project is giving me some needed enthusiasm about "getting a life" in the not to distant future!  I feel that I must meet some people and begin to enjoy togetherness again.  Life is such a mystery!  Time will tell!
And this is the canopy on my wish list.  It is 10 feet by 10 feet.
A few years ago, I had a patio canopy and it was really nice to eat outside and enjoy nature and the fresh air.  Or, just sit and relax or maybe read a book.

The spray paint project is always fun for me.  I always enjoy it.  Now, I just have to buy the paint for the patio furniture.  I already had the green paint that I used on the basket.

It is so funny how some of these posts come together differently than what we think.   This post evolved just because of a can of spray paint !!!

Are you enjoying your weekend.  It is a lot cooler here.  Thankfully.

Mary  

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

OK Now - Where Was I When The "Computer Gremlins" Last Came To Visit

One thing that I know for sure is that I have been very busy and getting a lot of different things accomplished along with many (way to many) frustrating hours in my "Computer Repair Room".   How is that for creating a new room in my house?  Not really.  After many periods of despair and feeling defeated,  I finally have my computer devices and the Internet "singing the same song in harmony from the same hymnal".  And, I am getting closer to using my new Windows 10 computer all the time.  It really is a nice machine.  I still have to transfer a lot of data.  Call me crazy, but I get very restless when my computer isn't working correctly, especially if I get myself locked out.  Lately, passwords have been driving me cuckoo.  In the past I seemed to be able to remember most of them but now I have had to change some and I am getting them all mixed up !!!  -  even when I write them down.  Is my age starting to play havoc with me ?  It better not be.

Progress at the Cemetery Burial Plot has been good.  Last week the surrounding curbing was completed and the workman even can to my home (which is only a five minute drive from the cemetery) and picked up a lot of the rock from my garden to use for a little decorative touch on the top surface of the curbing.  For what it is worth  -  it gives it a little personal touch.  The next issue is to decide on the head stone.  We have been talking about using one of the large rocks from my garden as the headstone.  I thought it would be less expensive but that is not the case.  Most of the large/boulder rock that I have is granite and not a very good rock for engraving.  However, the workman pointed out a rock in my patio rock wall that is called Columbia Marble that may work well.  We'll just have to wait and see how all this goes.
Look at the huge size of the boulders setting around my garden.  They are from the excavation of the property before the house could be built.   I really like them.

How crazy is this?  A few weeks ago on an impulse I bought 2 little 4in. by 4in. plants, one a tomato and one a zucchini.  I didn't get them planted right away and they would dry out, I would water them and that went on for a few days before I got them popped in the dirt.
 And look,  I sure was surprised to see this beautiful zucchini and below is a beautiful tomato.
I like these surprises.  Hopefully, there will be more to come.

Another large outdoor project is underway.   I have English Ivy covering the one side of the pathway that stretches along where the water flows when we have heavy rains. It's a ditch that I lovingly call The Creek.




Can you see my bridge at the distant end of My Creek?

English Ivy can be very invasive and the time had come to corral it. More importantly, since the area was covered with cedar tree seedlings and an invasive plant called Wild Perennial Sweet Pea I decided to remove the surface of the ivy and the other offending plants and then allow fresh ivy to once again cover the slope. See that little purple spot. That is the purple (no fragrance) wild sweet pea flowes that have been spreading their long tentacles all over the ivy.
As you can see, I only have a small portion left to clear.  This is time consuming work especially since my methods of accomplishing many things is quite different than a very abled body.  One without a back injury!  I usually sit on the ground on a nice large foam cushion and cut away all the surface roots with a hand pruner.  I usually can only work for about two hours at a time.   I am like a little turtle just creeping along and then marveling at how much I get accomplished!   And, of course, since I really like being outdoors  -  it works for me.

This is the Iris and Chrysanthemum flowerbed with bluish/purple Petunia border months ago.
 And now, it won't be long and the Yellow and Maroon Chrysanthemums will be in full color.

My power washing of the moss covered cement is almost completed.  I delayed finishing because my neighbors were visiting their second home next door  and the power washer makes a lot of noise. They were here for over a week.  So, I can soon finish that project.

More project updates next time.

I hope you are enjoying your week.

Mary

Monday, July 31, 2017

At A Loss For Words

The month of July has been filled with one California fire after another.  There are so many burning at this time that I have lost count.  The following photos (from Cal-Fire and local citizens) were taken of new fires this past weekend in my county and the next one over.

These photos are startling and at the same time - quite magnificent.   Just look at this first photo taken by a homeowner near one of the fires.
It is so shocking to see these photos and realizing that this is taking place at this time and it is only about 25 miles from where I am.  That is about 40 minutes away.  It is the area where I go to do my shopping other than groceries.
There have been new evacuation orders and one house has burned.   And, of course, many many acres have burned.
So many people are being affected by these fires and it seems that there will be more to come.   Fire personnel are coming into the area from all parts of California.  And, yet there are other fires still burning.  The fire near Yosemite National Park is nearby and still burning.   The Fire Departments are doing a fantastic job with the unrelenting fire season.
Evacuation Centers are being set up and animals are being transported to the Fair Grounds.
Positive Energy and Prayers are needed for all involved with this crisis.

Take Care Everyone.

Mary

Monday, July 17, 2017

I Need Some Cooling Off

From the Heat of the day, Yes - - - But that wasn't the main cause of me heating up.

Have you heard of Computer Problems ? ? ?

Well, as you may recall, last fall I purchased a new laptop with Windows 10.   I use it part of the time even though I have not learned about all the great things it can do.   My older laptop has Windows 7 and was bought in 2010.    With a lot of tinkering, I have been able to bring it back to good working order.    Because I have not transferred everything to the new laptop, I find that I frequently use the older one.   It is not without it's issues.   But, I guess it is like an old pair of slippers.   They are not perfect but that ol' familiarity has a strong draw. 

I like having two computers (and have had for many years) because I use one computer to problem solve when one is in my "repair shop" !

OK, let's get to the topic of this post.   Last night, all of a sudden Windows 10 would not connect to the Internet.   After trying several attempts a message comes up and says that it will no longer be available and I will be notified later about what to do.   With all the scams that occur unexpectedly, I really did not know what to think.   So, I "closed up shop" for the night and decided to return to the very annoying situation in the morning. 

Much to my surprise, there was an email in the morning from Comcast saying that there is a technical issue with the Wireless Gateway in my home (it is an older device) and they will send an upgraded model replacement that I will have to activate.  Wow, I hope this event turns out as good as it seems at the moment.   After being "burned a few times" I believe I have become a little cynical ! !
In reality, Windows 7 has been having delays in connecting to the Internet.  Hopefully, the new device will take care of that issue also.


Until Next Time.
Mary

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Close To Home

California Fire Season is in full force - unfortunately!    As well as other places in the nation.


Yesterday, very close to my home a grass fire burned about one acre .   Actually, it was on the road that I always take to go to the grocery store.  Not much more than about a mile away.  Thanks to the quick action of the Fire Department it did not spread further or involve any homes or other structures. But, that is what I call  -  to close for comfort.

Sadly, there have been many fires already this season in this County. With the Hot Hot Hot weather and the Dry Vegetation we certainly are at High Risk.  One of the fires this past week burned 50 acres and the cause was the use of a Weed Eater.  Evacuations were underway.    Such needless devastation pictured below. .   There are so many causes for these disastrous fires but I am sure we all can be more mindful of our own actions that may be careless.


Unfortunately, the government funding for weed eradication along the roadways has been reduced and the owners of a lot of the larger older ranches are unable to maintain their land for various reasons like being elderly and financial.   And, of course it is so important to ensure that you have defensible space clearance around your home and any structures from 30 feet to 100 feet. It provides a good buffer space between a wildfire and your home.  A couple years ago when this area had a huge wildfire that destroyed  hundreds of homes it certainly seemed to me that the houses with defensible space were given more attention when choices had to be made by the Firemen regarding which properties to work at saving.    We all need to do our part!

Let's also take care of our forests and our forest creatures!


Wishing you a Safe and Happy Week.

Mary

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Dirty, Dirty, Dirty Work And A Few Flowers

With the excessive rain this past winter my cement driveway, sidewalks and patio now have a heavy coat of green/black moss.  It not only looks horrible but additionally it is dangerous because it is slippery. It has been several years since I have had to power wash the cement.  I already have the power washer and it does a good job but it is very time consuming.


I can only power wash for about two hours at a time because of my back/leg pain level.  And, I have already spent eight hours on the project.  I think I have about two to four hours more before it will be finished.


The cement is looking so much better.  And, it certainly feels nice and clean and certainly a lot brighter. I wanted to decorate my patio but I could not get motivated.  I think it may be that it just didn't feel nice out there.


What a huge difference the cleaning is making.   Additionally, the filth tracks into the house. However, I usually do not wear shoes in the house since I work out in the garden a lot.


The SLUDGE is really awful.  But, soon it will all be gone!  



A few more flowers caught my attention when I was deadheading some of the garden.  SOOOOO  Pretty!



And, then I noticed my photos of the next flowers and how similar they look in the photos I took a few weeks ago.


Well, another week has almost flown by.   Sometimes it doesn't seem possible that we are already in the middle of 2017 ! ! !

Take Care Everyone.

Mary

Monday, July 10, 2017

Just Turned Two Years Old And Brother Turned Four

I couldn't help myself and had to share this little sweetheart photo of my Great Granddaughter.  From what I understand, she is a little shining light when she enters a room with a big smile  -  -  -  and she is FEARLESS!      I find it very amusing that her Daddy was hoping for a second boy when they were expecting.     This little gal can sure give you a "run for your money".   Quite a bit more confident than her big brother and she already has a definite opinion on most things.   Some, would say,   "A hand full".   I say,  Go Girl!  Girl Power!

And, this is big brother, having a bite to eat while taking a break from fishing. They get along well as brother and sister and certainly seem to be enjoying their childhood.    He looks so cute,  like a Mini Old Man with his flannel plaid shirt, outdoor clothes and sturdy boots!


They sure grow up fast.    It would be wonderful if I could spend more time with them.  However, I feel blessed to have them in my life.

I decided to do something that I remembered that I did for my Granddaughter when she was little and I am going to do it for these precious Great Grandkids.  I am writing a letter on fun looking stationery to each one of them.  They need to know about "snail mail" and how it was in days past. I hope they will be amused. If not now, maybe when they are older. My Granddaughter still mentions the little notes she would receive from me. We never lived close to each other. So, it helped. I also would send her stamps and personalized return address labels with a picture of the breed of little dog she had. Thus, I also received sweet little notes from her.    A win - win!  The little (love) things that are important.

Happy New Week to all of you.  It is a little cooler today. Thank goodness.  However, temperatures over 100 are predicted for the coming weekend.

Mary

Saturday, July 8, 2017

From This To This - Hollyhocks


I have loved Hollyhocks for a long time. And, here are a couple that I planted last year. They were looking so healthy a couple months ago in April. They had not had the attack of the dreaded Japanese Beetle which are one of the most voracious eating insects with many host plants. And, those beetles work fast. When I first noticed in the beginning of June the little puncture holes in my beautiful big green leaves I could clearly see four adult beetles. Fortunately, I had some organic neem-based pesticide handy and that helped tremendously to eliminate the "visitors".


They grew nicely and looked like they were soon to bloom.


And, looking healthy with good looking leaves at the top and minus all those little holes.


And, look at us now!   Tall and blooming.  See, the stars I added at the tips of the stalks so you can see what I am showing you?

I like the grouping of flowers including the Daylilies, Dusty Miller, Garua (which the bubble bees really love) Hollyhocks and the Rose on the right, nearby.      I just learned that another common name for Garua is - - - Beeblossom.  Makes sense, to me.


These are a Double White Hollyhock named ICICLE.


Quite Lovely - - - - - - I think!     Bright sunshine makes photo taking a little challenging!

Cooler temperatures are predicted for today at 103 degrees!

Happy Weekend.

Mary

Friday, July 7, 2017

Today

These flowers would have looked nice with my 4th of July blog post with the red, white and blue Patriotic theme.  I guess they are more of a lavender/purple and deep pink with white ones.  But, aren't they pretty?  Yes, they are from my garden. The white glads are certainly more robust than the others and they are planted in a different area. Soil and light exposure sure makes a difference in the garden.   I have always enjoyed the beauty of Gladiolus.  And, I am so happy to have them growing again in my garden this year.


It's a very very hot day, again, today.   If I miss a spot watering I certainly know about it the next day. For the most part, my garden is all hand watering. The limited sprinkling system on the one side (where the valve broke) hasn't worked for the past two years. I just have not had the time to work on it.  But, on the other side of the house, several years ago I made a watering system with PVC that generally does a good job, especially when I run out of time. It is not the most water conservative method but on occasion it sure helps.

Sometimes gardening (for that matter, living) on a tiny budget sure - - - - - I guess it is best that I don't say the word that fits best ! ! ! ! ! !    I think you get my point!

(photo from three years ago)

Buy the way, the broken water valve has been temporarily repaired by me. First, PVC glue was used but did not control the leakage, not heavy duty enough.  Then I found some plumbers epoxy putty that I remembered I had in the garage. Boy! does that stuff work and it sure gets hard if you can control and stop the water that may be flowing. Surface must be dry and you have to work fast. Hopefully, in the not too distant future, I can hire someone who has time to work on my "water issues"!

How about ending with another photo of my Gladiolus from last year in a more formal and fun arrangement.  Yes, I do enjoy creating floral vignettes. I guess I should do it more often.


I hope you are enjoying your summer day and looking forward to your weekend.

Mary

I Think I Got Bumped To The Bottom

I Think I Got Bumped To The Bottom
Did I do Something Wrong?