Good times

 Last weeks post was titled My boring life, but this week was full of good stuff.  Wednesday was book club.  I've been asking for a "man's book", one that was told from a man's perspective for a change.  It was my turn to recommend a book and I chose The Searcher by Tana French.  Unfortunately, only two of us finished it, and only two of us showed up for book club.  The member that came is one I didn't know very well, so we spent the time talking and getting to know one another.  The book was a mystery with a lot of drama and an unexpected ending and I enjoyed it.  

We were out the other day and I bought another of Tana French's books.  I also bought some cookbooks.  I love sitting down to read a new cookbook and try new recipes.  It appeals to my sense of adventure.  

On Thursday night, we went to see Jinkx Monsoon!  That was fun!  Her show was a mix of cover songs, original songs and stand-up comedy.  I love her dark wit and sarcasm!  Other than being kind of loud, it was a great show!  

I hadn't been to the Paramount theater since the 80's.  It's a very old theater that was restored just after I moved here and has seen many great performers in the years since...we just didn't see the shows.  The architecture is beautiful.  This is from the lobby ceiling.  

And, this is from the theater ceiling.

Yesterday, I got a wild hair and made pickles.  Yes, I do use my Ronco Dial-o-matic with it's zero safety features.  I would like to do some more canning next weekend, if I can find some good tomatoes.  

Couple thoughts for the day.  

Time to breed more lions.  

Everybody have a great week!  Find something you enjoy and do it as much as you can.  And, support your local lion breeder.  



My boring life

It seems like everything is either work or time in the garden or time spent with the dogs.  The beagle hurt her shoulder getting off the bed and took a lot of extra attention this weekend.  And, we found the time to get to the hardware store for the lumber to build the shelves in the greenhouse and while Rob cleaned up the garage so he can use his table saw, I puttered in the back yard, cleaning out this corner that had gotten way out of control.  I let a couple things go to seed in there and I've been pulling them out by the roots since spring.  There are utility boxes in the back corner, so I always need to keep a clear way for any repairmen to get there and have room to sit down.  I harvested about a third of the sea oats because the seed heads were weighing the plants down and covering other things.  The rest are starting to change color and will be cut soon.  I'll never let them go to seed again...I've pulled at least a bajillion of them so far.  

I bought this desert rose on half price the other day.  I kept it inside for a few days to recover and it didn't like that at all and started to droop.  I brought it outside and gave it a nice partly sunny spot and it perked up right away!

The Texas Red Star Hibiscus had a good week last week.  This plant hasn't been getting enough water because it's on a slope, so I used broken flower pots to make a small dam and built up the soil on the inside to create a terrace that I'm hoping will hold more of the water that flows through that area.  I've done that with a couple of plants that are struggling in this area of the garden.

I have tried to be really good at not buying plants and have been sticking with half price "challenges" to see if I can bring them back.  Most are there because the bloom cycle is over.  That was the case with this daylily. The label said "Stella" and I assumed Stella D'oro because of the short stature, but then it sent up a bloom scape and the flower was a double.  It's going to bloom a couple more times and we'll see if the double bloom was a fluke.  

And, I could not resist this orange echinacea that we saw at the grocery yesterday.  I have a red and a yellow and now an orange in addition to two shades of pink.  And, I have the perfect place to put it.  

Last week at work was crazy.  The company has provided us loan in help from another department.  She wants to apply for a job like mine and we're trying to make her the most qualified candidate for the next opening.  And, I made the mistake of agreeing to coordinate that.  I'm having trouble getting my team to participate, so the loan in and I are spending a lot of time together, and we're working on some pretty high-profile tasks.  Last week we completed a research project that had a surprising and not very welcome result.  But, it was good for her to see that and know that sometimes a really good idea just won't work.  We're starting a new project today and it will hopefully have a happier outcome.  

I saw this the other day and really related to it!

I guess Bewitched wouldn't do so well in today's political environment where false-christian republicans are actually afraid of witches, even those portrayed as straight, white and christian.  If there really were witches with the power of Endora, trump and desantis would be stellar dust by now.  

And, wouldn't that be a blessed day.

Everybody have a great week!  



This house is clean!

When I was young, my Dad told me that when his Mom couldn't sleep, she would scrub the kitchen floor and work through whatever problem was keeping her awake.  There was a time I did that too, but I'm fortunate enough to sleep good now, but I'm still a firm believer in cleaning (or some other project I can do by rote) to deal with stress.  There's been a lot going on and I've drawn on all my tools for dealing with it, including cleaning.  The house isn't perfect, but what house is?  

We cleaned the carpets and the upholstered furniture, I even washed the cushion covers in the washing machine.  Rob dusted.  I cleaned the leather on the recliners.  I even cut all the threads from when the cats used to scratch on the arm chair.  Floors were swept and mopped, counters were cleared.  The pile that was on the dining table and moved to a side table was moved back to the dining table...hey, nobody's perfect.  It's just so hard to keep it this way.  

I spent as much time as I could stand in the garden.  I know that it's a heat wave for everyone right now, so. I doubt many of us spent much time outside, but I tried.  Mostly it was to water, but I got a couple other things taken care of.  I think we're done with the greenhouse structure and the next thing is getting the shelving built.  I've submitted plans and Rob has looked them over.  He might have gone a bit overboard with the lighting, but as he said, if I'm out there in the dark, I need to be able to see what made that rustling sound in the corner.  I saw the lights from the living room and went outside to see what was up and caught him coming out.  It does kind of light up the yard.  

There's not much happening in the yard.  Everything is battening down for the hot summer.  Spring foliage is dying off and new foliage that's tougher and able to stand the sun has emerged.  And, I keep watching the water bill climb higher and higher.  The little lizards have hatched and everywhere I go, there's a tiny one looking at me.  I can barely see them until they move.  

Yesterday, I decided to make samosas.  They're an Indian appetizer and I filled them with a spicy potato and pea filling.  We sampled three yesterday and I froze the rest.  I could have eaten the filling as a meal.  I didn't do so good with the dough.  It's too much like pie crust and I forgot to add the salt.  And, I used the air fryer instead of deep frying, so they're not crispy.  A friend brought some to Rob and I noticed that when I air fried them, they were not crispy either. I plan to air fry a couple of mine and send them back to her for an evaluation.  

Everybody have a great week!  Find something you want to do and enjoy it.  Learn something new or find a way to let the stress pass through you.  If we hang on to everything that's happening in the world, we won't be able to enjoy what we have now before it changes again.  



Short week

For a short week, it sure was busy.  I spent as much time as I could over the holiday in the garden.  It's settling into summer and the plants that can't handle the heat are dying back and new plants are pushing forward.  We have a loan in to help at work.  But, they loaned her to us for more hours than the asked for and now, we're scrambling to find things to keep her busy.  That took away from time to do my job, so the loan in that was meant to help me get more done didn't.  She's with someone else this week, so hopefully, I'll be able to catch up.  

In the garden, the elephant ears are doing well.  They've found a good spot.  I remember that an Aunt grew these behind her house, between two trees.  It was a thick clump of them and I loved watching them wave in the breeze.  These were behind my greenhouse, but when we cut a tree a couple of years ago, they were in too much sun and I lost all but one bulb.  I put it in this pot and it has divided, so now I have two.  

And, this tiny yellow rose that's about as big as the last knuckle on my pinky.  

This white spider lily came from the neighbors when they were prepping her house to sell.  I've lusted over these lilies since I moved in.  The new owner isn't interested in the yard, so may not even notice that they've bloomed in front of her house.  

I was working last week and turned around in my chair and saw the miniature quilts on the wall and they caught my eye like I hadn't seen them before.  Not sure why that happens sometimes, but I've been enjoying them since.  Here's the one that really caught my eye.  Lots of color, but still warm and fall like.  

And, this one from a kit I bought on vacation several years ago.  

Okay, that's it for me today.  It's time to get ready for work.  Everybody have a great week!  Do what you enjoy and enjoy what you do!



Something to celebrate

Most of last week was spent focused on the beagle, so I really don't have much to talk about.   Rob was out of town and when he got back, I had to give him some sad news, and now we're doing the whole "go out with a bang" thing, much like we did for our friend Linda a few years ago.  It's how we roll.

Here she is, waiting for boiled chicken...or bean dip, can't remember which.  Because who needs to diet, right?

In other news, the yard is looking great!  The sprinkler was running on Saturday and the yard was full of birds and Syd made a comment.  My reply was "my sprinklers are my milkshake, they bring all the birds into my yard."  

This is a bad photo, but the swamp lily is having a great year this year.  Better than any I can remember.  

And, I love this little short crape myrtle peaking out through the phlox.  

I'm not feeling the July 4 thing this year.  It's hard to celebrate America's "freedom" at a time when republican fascists are trying so hard to strip my freedoms away in the name of their false religious beliefs and to keep people from seeing the crimes they're committing and their plans to gut the country of all the wealth and put it in their pockets.  And, their stupid sheep followers are good with all of it, so long as the fascists keep telling them what poor sad victims they are.  Well, you know what, we're all victims of changing times.  "Straight white christians" are no exception.  And, the gays aren't here to eliminate the SWCs.  We're just ready for them to sit down and shut up because we universally acknowledge that they're no better than the rest of us and we're not going to do what they say anymore.  

I love this:

Everybody have a great week.  I'm going to enjoy the days off, but I won't be celebrating America's freedom until I start to feel like the full measure of that freedom applies to me again.