The out of towner

Rob was out of town this weekend.  I'm sure he enjoyed his visit, but Syd and I also had fun.  More fun than we've had together in a while.  She has my sense of humor, and we spent most of Saturday laughing together at things Rob would have rolled his eyes at and said 'it's all funny until somebody gets their feelings hurt."  We shopped, we went out to lunch, we talked about plants.  It was a nice chance to spend some one on one time with her and laugh about how structured her life has gotten.  The rest of the time, it felt like I was doing chores and spending time with the dogs.  Rob's beagle had her second cancer treatment last Friday and you'd be surprised at how inventive I've been at getting her to take 10 pills a day.  I have stuck those pills into everything from cat food to homemade roast beef, but I've gotten every single one into her.  

I didn't spend any time quilting or sewing or anything else.  But, I posted a picture of this quilt on social media yesterday and it got a lot of love.  The pattern is called Mosaic and I bought it more than 10 years ago.  I didn't think I'd ever be able to make the quilt, but it's all pieced from strip sets, so it was really easy.  It's hand quilted with a feather wreath in the center of each block and a grid pattern, down the center of the squares and it's lasted us a long time.  

I got two coats of paint on the greenhouse floor.  Now, that's going to bake in the heat and harden really good while we build the shelving units before I move back in.  I can see the shelves in my head and need to get them on paper so Rob can see them too.  I've given him the basic idea, now it's time to flesh that out.    I'm loving the dark gray of the floor in contrast with the light gray walls and the gray roof.  

One of Syd's co-workers is moving and was getting rid of plants.  I wanted one.  I ended up with three.  Well, three for now.  They're in such bad shape that I'll be lucky to end up with one or two.  There was a fig tree (the fruit kind) that has no leaves and Syd said 'if anybody can save it, it's you', so I took it for a challenge...but y'all, I don't know.  This one may be beyond my help.  

I put together this basket of succulent cuttings.  I've been saving cuttings for a while, but I couldn't figure out how to get them in the basket.  It's a vintage metal basket and I don't want to fill it with soil and plant directly into it, so I've always used pots in it.  This time, I lined it with a. cocoa liner and put juice bottles in the bottom of it to elevate it and then used a tray that plants came in, the kind that's molded to hold pots upright during transport.  I filled that tray with soil and planted directly into it.  It's still a work in progress, but I think it's going to be great!  There's a shelf beneath and I plan to put a pot of succulents under there as well.  

The only flower pics this week are some lilies and crape myrtle.  The garden is still full of pink and lavender flowers, but as it gets hotter and hotter, some of them are fading and being replaced by the hot summer bloomers that are getting ready to pop!

I got in a cooking mood yesterday, so I fired up the toaster oven and baked (it is far too hot for the big oven).  I made mini pecan pies and a quiche and baked rigatoni.  That will get me through a few meals.  I'm thinking we're going to have parm crusted chicken breasts with that rigatoni for dinner tonight.  I took a taste and it's delicious!  The pecan pies are too!  I had a fourth crust that I didn't think I had enough filling for, but after they baked out of the shells, I saw that I would have had plenty of filling for that one, too.

Everybody have a great week!  Find something you love and make time to enjoy it.  And, hug your pets extra tight.  You never know when you might be trying to get them to take 10 pills a day.



Working with Dad

It was quite the busy weekend here.  On Saturday, Rob took the other half of the roof off the greenhouse.  We had already talked about not trying to do it all in one day, so left it off Saturday night and put the new one on Sunday morning.  Thankfully it didn't rain.  Now all the hard part is done.  Next weekend, I'll paint the floor and then we can start building the shelving that's going inside.  And, then I can move plants back in and clear some of them off the deck.  I'll be very glad to get that done.  Sunday was Fathers day and despite feeling bad about him having to work on a special day, we worked very had and got the new roof on.  

I was the hander.  In one hand, I had the hammer and nails and in the other hand, I had the drill and screws, and whatever he needed, I handed him.  It would have been easy, but then he'd need something that wasn't either of those tools and I'd have to go get it and then he'd ask for the hammer or the drill and I'd have to go get it.  And, he'd stand there waiting.  It was so much like working with my Dad that I almost cried.  Thank God he didn't have me holding the flashlight.  I would have ended up balled up in a corner if he had.

This is the view from inside.  The gray roof makes a significant difference in the amount of sunshine  and the amount of heat that builds up in there.  The building is 12ft long and running along both sides, there will be a 6ft shelving unit.  At the back, I'll have space for soil and pots and tools.  But, the shelving units will be free standing in case they need to be moved to a shadier or sunnier spot.  In winter, there should be room for everything except the fruit trees in here.  

Yesterday, I celebrated Rob.  He's a great Dad.  Even though all this with Syd has been a pain in the rear, he's stepped up to every bit of it, putting his stuff on hold so he can help her consolidate her stuff and move and get settled.  I made a roast for dinner and frosted a carrot cake I had in the freezer and we exchanged cards.  He's not going to be here this week for our anniversary, so he gave me my card early.  Inside was a slip of paper that said "Time for another adventure" and inside were tickets to see JINKX MONSOON!  It's always monsoon season!  If you're not familiar, Jinkx is a famous drag queen.  We've followed her since she won Rupaul's Drag Race.  She's talented as a singer and comedian and she just wrapped up a Broadway musical.  She set her mind to do that and she made it happen and I am one of her biggest and most devoted fans.  And, we're going to get to see her live, on stage, in late July.  I nearly wet myself.  

Only a few flower pics this week.  The daylilies are winding down, but I was able to get a couple of nice pics as their last blooms opened.  

The Texas Red Star Hibiscus bloomed this week.  There are a couple plants in this grouping that are planted on too much of a slope and I'm having trouble getting them watered.  I'm going to have to work on that.  Should be way enough to solve with some soil and a few chunks of pottery that I can use as a dam.  

And, this little orange mini-rose that was in too much sun and nearly lost all its leaves.  If it ain't happy, then dig it up and move it.  

I put in this little flowerbed on Saturday.  It only had plants that needed full sun in it before, even though it's in almost full shade.  I brought in some things that should really like the location and in a year or two, this should be a really nice little bed with flowers for most of the season.  It's the wrong time to be putting things in the ground here because of the heat, but I think it should work in this shady spot.  Fingers crossed.  

Life with Syd continues to be a roller coaster of life lessons, big victories, and little disappointments.  She's learning to fit into a professional environment with co-workers that aren't on a revolving in and out, people she has to see every day and she's seeing how what she says and does one day affects what happens the next.  And, she's having to deal with the public in a different way.  She's getting the full taste of having a "day job" and I am here to watch.  Life is teaching her the lessons she wouldn't learn from us.  

I don't know if the repube shitshow is the same for everyone.  I'm feeling like LGBTQ+ people are being singled out for persecution to cover the crimes of the party's leadership.  I sure hope these people get their just desserts here on earth, where we can watch.  

If you wonder what that feels like, this is it.  

I'm reminded of something from Amanda Gorman.  

There is always light, if only we're brave enough to see it.  If only we're brave enough to be it.

But, we can't just be the light.  We have to shine the light on things that are wrong and people that are wrong.  I'm tired of being civilized in the face of a lack of civility.  

Everybody have a great day.  Find something you love to do and try to find a couple minutes to enjoy it.  Be kind to one another.  



I couldn't be prouder

Last week was a good Pride week.  A few things that are important to the LGBTQ+ community happened and some things here at home.  

Rob hung our Pride flag.  Of course, there's a story.  On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-gender marriage.  Many people moaned and cried that it would be the downfall of civilization, but so far, civilization has survived, and straight people continue to get married, so it must still mean something.  I was at work when the news broke.  Rob was home with Syd for some reason.  They decided to buy a Pride flag and he called the local flag distributor and bought it over the phone.  When he got there, he found out that the city of Austin was looking for a flag to fly over city hall and we had the last one.  They offered to buy it, but Rob refused.  He let the city have it and asked the city official if we could have it after they were done and several months later, after we had forgotten about it, the flag came in the mail with a letter and photos of it hanging over city hall. 

After the flag store, Rob and Syd met me for lunch and we decided to go to the registrars office to see what was going on.  We didn't know anything about getting married and had no idea what it would take.  Turns out, you can just show up and get married and we joined several hundred LGBTQ+ couples doing exactly that, overwhelming the straight couples who had actually made plans to show up and get married.  They took it in good stride and we all sat in a large room filled with chairs and waited.  And, waited and waited and waited and every couple that came out married stood at the front of the room for pictures and the crowd cheered them.  It was a magical day!  Say what you will about tuxedos and flowers and big church ceremonies.  None of that holds a candle to doing it with many other couples, in a crowded office building, with a cheerful city clerk as witness, wearing short pants and plaid shirts.  The excitement of it all was contagious.  

That day, we received what the state called an informal marriage, like common-law.  A few days later, we were formally married, in a group ceremony, and again in short pants and plaid shirts.  Sometimes I wish we'd done it different.  The big cake and the party and all our friends gathered around us.  But that's a common story.  Our story is unique, like us, and I wouldn't trade it for all the beautiful cakes in the world.  

Now I want cake.

Today, there's just one flower picture.  Another gladiolus.  This is from a small clump that's in too much shade.  I'm going to be moving them this year and exchanging them with some Siberian Iris that are in too much sun.  Funny how that happens.  

Rob got half the roof replaced on the greenhouse.  He dang near worked himself to death trying to get it done in a single morning.  I was allowed to help in a limited capacity.  Much like he'd be allowed to help me quilt...hold this, don't breath, don't push or pull or move.  Here it is with the roof removed.

And here, with the new roof panels in place.  It doesn't really look like it, but it blocks a lot of sun and as we hung panels, the greenhouse started to cool...cool being a relative term because it was hot as the devil's armpit here yesterday.  

Here it is from the outside.  It's going to look so good with the gray greenhouse and the gray house.  It's almost like someone planned it that way...and he did. 

Lots of things happened last week.  Pat Robertson died.  Good.  Here's a reminder of the evil this man spewed.  Wil Wheaton wrote a short piece on Pat getting to heaven and trying to cut the line at the pearly gates, only to be left waiting tens of thousands of years before being admitted to hell.  It was fun speculation, although I'm pretty sure the destination for Pat is hell, no matter how you slice it up.  Very few people will ever deserve it more.

And trump was indicted.  He's such a slippery, slimy worm of a person that he'll probably delay this until the resurrection.  But, the first step is the indictment.  His indictment and Ken Paxton's impeachment give me hope that the repubes and starting to see that they can't make a right by voting for the wrong person.  I saw this and thought it was appropriate to the situation.  

I noticed last week that when I was bad mouthing repubes, I kept saying you, as in you can't be my friend and vote for people that would hurt me and my family.  I'm going to stop using you in that context because I don't mean you.  I can't imagine that any self-respecting repube is still reading my thoughts (and if there is, why???), so I'm switching from using you to using "them".   Because in this story of us and them, we are us and we are fabulous!  And, they are not.  

Everybody have a great week!  Celebrate the victories.  Celebrate diversity.  Celebrate being who you are and enjoy what YOU decide to do.



Pride and daylillies

 This week was busy.  We had the first hurricane in the gulf on the first day of hurricane season.  Thankfully, it was a big nothing, but I hope it's not a sign of the year to come.  Work has been very busy due to a LOT of requests for assistance by people all over the company.  I joked with my boss about how hard it is to be one of the popular kids, but in truth, I love it.  I love having my memory tested and can proudly say that I am still firing on all eight.  I enjoyed spending time with Syd this week.  We've settled into our own daily routine and generally stay out of one another's way.  We're getting lots of rain, which is doing the garden good, but it meant I only got to spend a little time out there and the rest has been spent inside, sorting through what I own to decide what I should continue to own and what I need to send away.  And, I learned how to make coffee in a French press...who knew I'd been grinding my beans to finely for all these years.  It's been a good week.  

I've had a variety of daylilies bloom.  This one is 'green'.  I put that in parentheses because there seems to always be someone with no imagination that reminds me that they're really yellow.  And, they are, but they're close enough to the green side of the spectrum that they come off as green in the right light.  

These are the same way.  I love growing green flowers and one day, aspire to a green rose.  Flowers aren't supposed to be green, that's what foliage is for, so when I can find a green flower, I generally try to grow it.  

This bold red one showed up.  I don't know where it came from and the flower is small, but it has a LOT of impact.  

This is the new one I bought on the half price rack at the garden center a couple weeks ago.  I think they marked it down too soon because it still had a scape and unopened flowers.  But, I didn't mind getting it for half price and look at that flower!

I know we aren't supposed to like the common orange ones anymore, but look at this double orange!  

Okay, one last plant.  These are Echinacea.  I have a ton of pink ones, both the easily recognizable dark and a light shade of pink.  But, I also have these two, a red and a gold.  They've gotten off to a little slower start because I was afraid my garden didn't have the right sun and I erred on the side of too much shade, but they've been moved and are thriving now.

Subject change:  When Linda passed away a few years ago, I inherited a couple of random sugar bowls and creamers.  I use them for appetizers at the holidays and fill them with olives or pickles or a dip.  I rounded the corner in Goodwill on Saturday and saw a creamer and it looked very familiar and I thought I had the other piece.  And, for $3.50, I was willing to find out.  They matched!  Does it matter?  Did I need another sugar bowl and creamer?  No, I did not, but it was a fun adventure and I couldn't wait to get home and see if I was right.  Adventures come where I'm willing to find them, I guess.  

The adventure of living with Syd continues.  There was much weeping and moaning when she realized we were serious about charging her rent and utilities.  (don't judge me, that money is what we're going to use as deposits when she gets her own apartment).  She got caught short on her first check because she started spending money like we were joking and when I asked her to pay up, she wasn't left with much in her account.  Oops!  First lesson learned.  And, that's exactly why we're going through this exercise.  She needs to understand exactly how much she has to spend when she's out on her own and while she's living with us is the perfect time to figure that out.  There was some attitude and I left Rob to handle that part, because I don't react well to angry sarcasm and she was throwing shade like it was baseballs.  By the time they were done, we all sat down and had a nice dinner together.  I think she figured out really quick that anger was not going to get her money back.  

June is Gay Pride month, otherwise known as homophobe discomfort month.  And, if you're wondering why that's so important, here's a reminder.  

I will not go quietly into the night.  I will not hide because it makes this wanker uncomfortable.  I will stand up and fly my pride flag and wear my pride bracelet and my pride shirts and I will proudly show as many people as I can (and in my 60 years, that's been a lot of people) that gay people aren't perverts.  We're not after children (we're leaving that to the clergy and politicians).  And, we're not going to hide and go back into the closet without a fight.  Marsh P Johnson threw a brick at Stonewall.  I think I'm brave enough to throw another if I have to.  

It doesn't matter whether a person is actively homophobic.  Anyone supporting homophobes and their causes is a homophobe and cannot be my friend.  As my Mom used to say, guilty by association.  

Everybody have a great week!  Even if you're not participating in Pride month, encourage those that are!