Showing posts with label gardening. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gardening. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Happy Hands

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic Green Thumbs
. . .and Fingers
Long ago, the Only and Older Bionic Brother and I talked about the Mama's future and what if she were to move into an apartment. It was a very short discussion.


"She'd go crazy," the Only and Older Bionic Brother said.


The Mama may be content staying home, but she needs and wants space to roam in the outdoors.  Her gardens are the perfect place and size for keeping her hands happy year-round.


I'm participating in ABC Wednesday, a meme began Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and administered today by Roger Green at Ramblin' with Roger. Today is the letter H. Click here to read other H posts.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Growing!

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic Green Thumbs
. . .and Fingers


And just like that the Mama's trees in the backyard are bursting with life.

Gee, when did the leaves start sprouting on the miracle tree?


Golly, the young apricot tree has a lot of buds this year. 


Gosh, the banana leaves have begun unfurling.

 

I'm participating in ABC Wednesday, a meme began Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and administered today by Roger Green at Ramblin' with Roger. Today is the letter G. Click here to read other G posts.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Mellow Lemon Yellow


When the Mama bought her lemon tree, she lucked out big time. Not only does it bear Meyer lemons, but it also gives forth citrons. Someone had grafted a couple of citron branches to the lemon tree, unbeknownst to her and possibly the nursery from which she bought the tree. 

Some of the citron are Buddah's hands. They're the ones that are oddly shaped, generally looking like fingers. Buddah's hands can get truly creepy looking.

Today I'm hooking up with Monday Mellow Yellows, hosted by Gemma Wiseman. Click here to see other yellow-colored interpretations of the world.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Endless Energy

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic Green Thumbs
. . .and Fingers

In the late 1990s, when the Mama was in her mid 70s, her doctor prescribed her one and only medication -- a pill for low thyroid. The doctor started her with .05 mg, a very low dosage. But, in the Mama, woooo-weee! It made her run the marathon, jump over the moon, and lift several 100-pound bags of soil every day.

Essentially, taking the medicine made her tired. And, of course, after awhile she stopped taking it.

A few months went by before I discovered she was not taking her medication. While visiting her one weekend, I noticed she was looking very tired so I checked her bottle. She was very good at not refilling prescriptions.  The bottle was the one I had ordered months ago and it was still full. The Mama admitted that she stopped taking it. Sigh. 

"Why?" I asked. She shrugged. Her usual answer to questions to which she was not ever going to respond.

"That's why you're feeling tired," I said. "The doctor prescribed this medicine so you can have the energy to do your work."

After more nagging from me, the Mama reluctantly took it.

That day, I watched her run a marathon, jump over the moon, and lift several 100-pound bags of soil. I was tired keeping up with her. The following Monday, I called her doctor and told him what happened. He mumbled that he would cut the dosage in half. All was good. She was back to just running a 10K, jumping over the roof, and lifting 50 pound bags of soil.

Last year, the Mama's thyroid levels had decreased, so the doctor doubled the dosage to the original .05 mg. I worried that she would start running around like crazy and hurt herself. Nothing happened. Hurrah!

All is good, as you can tell. The Mama no longer runs, jumps, and lifts like she used to, but she slowly and surely moves around her gardens, front and back, happily tending to their needs.


Today is the letter E at ABC Wednesday, a fun weekly meme created by Denise Nesbitt 16 rounds ago. Currently it is being administered by Roger Green at Ramblin' with Roger, with the help of his ABC Wednesday crew.  Please click here to read other ABC posts.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Mama's Daisies

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic Green Thumbs
. . .and Fingers

The Mama loves her daisies, but she complains that they're a pain to deadhead. She does it anyway so that they continue to bloom. And, bloom, they do throughout the year. I've taken to snapping off old and spent daisies off the plants in the front yard while Molly the Cat wanders about. When I started, it was to be a good assistant to the Mama. Now, I do it more for me. It helps me find zen.

One of these days, I'd like to get her some regular white daisies. Check out what colors and types she has now.


Today is the letter D at ABC Wednesday, a fun weekly blog hop created by Denise Nesbitt 16 rounds ago. Currently it is being administered by Roger Green at Ramblin' with Roger, with the help of his ABC Wednesday friends.  Please click here to read other ABC posts.



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cut the Stems, Then Plant Them

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic Green Thumbs
. . .and Fingers
Clip. Clip. Clip. 

That's what the Mama has been doing among her geraniums lately. Pruning off old and decaying branches so that new growth will take place by spring. Just doing her magic among the geraniums, both in the front and back yards. 


Always the recycler, the Mama doesn't throw out all of the pruned branches. No, sir-eeee, Bob. She snips off the geranium stems to plant in bare spots in the yard, front and back. They take root, then several weeks later. . .Voila! Flowers!

Which stems have a chance of rooting, you may ask? Because, I surely do. Shrugging is her answer. So, I watch her choose the stems to plant. Her selection is based partly from her many years of gardening and horticulture experience. Part is from a feeling, an instinct. And, part is from the geraniums telling her.  At least, that's what I like to think.

The Mama is humble. She is surprised as everyone else when plants under her guidance burst forth with abundant flowers and fruits. Just because she plants something, she realizes they may not grow.  She does her best to help them along, as well as hopes and prays.


I'm hooking up with ABC Wednesday today. It's the letter C. Click here to read other C posts.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bag It for Next Week

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic Green Thumbs
. . .and Fingers

The Mama saves the empty plastic bags in which potting mix, garden soil, and wild bird seed come. I'm not talking about small plastic bags. They are bags that once held 1.5 or 2 cubic feet of dirt or 40 pounds of bird seed.  Once upon a time, I threw the bags away only to learn that the Mama fished the bags out of the garbage can and hid them in the garden shed. "I can use them for something," she said,  when I found the bags.

Yup. The tiny, 90+, always-resourceful lady did find a use for the bags for her garden work. When she's in cleaning mode, which is pretty much every day, she carries a bag in which to throw leaves, twigs, weeds, and other green waste. When the bag gets too heavy, she leaves it for me to pick up and empty into the green waste recycling can. 

Some weeks, the green recycling can gets filled within two days because we've been pruning trees or pulling out vines or such. Then, the Mama tells us to bag any green remains to put into the recycle can next week.

Today, these huge plastic bags are stored in their own container next to the recycle cans. We have about 20 empty bags. Yesterday, the Mama wanted the Husband to rake the leaves off the front lawn, but he couldn't because there were no more bags. She sighed.

Ah, but this morning, she found a bag behind the shed. "Here," she said, throwing the bag at me. "Go rake the leaves."


I'm hooking up with ABC Wednesday today. It's the letter B. Click here to read other posts.




Saturday, January 10, 2015

Mama Was Up the Ladder. Again.


Sawing. Clipping. Raking. Sweeping. Pushing dried limbs, branches, vines, leaves, and seed pods into plastic bags. That's how I spent most of my afternoon.

It wasn't what I had planned. When the Husband and I left this morning to do the errands, the Mama was reading the newspaper in the living room. Ninety minutes later, I looked out the back door to see a high limb on the miracle tree precariously hanging above the Mama, who sat beside the tall ladder, stripping dried leaves from skinny branches into her bucket.

I was furious. One, the Mama had been up the ladder. And, two, I had asked her the other day, after cutting back her banana trees, if she'd like me to prune the rest of the miracle tree. "No," she said. "The green (recycle) can is already full." Good, I thought, I'd prune the tree next Thursday.  Ha!

"You know we don't like you on the ladder," I growled, throwing my purse on the ground, and hurriedly climbing the ladder to saw off the limb. I proceeded to cut away at whatever else I could reach. Knowing that I was annoyed, the Mama toddled into the house when I asked her to take her medicine. Peace finally reached my head and I went into the house to put some groceries away and change my clothes.

About ten minutes after I was back on the ladder, the Husband came out to help. He took over pruning the tree, while I stripped the branches of seed pods and cut them into pieces that would eventually fit the green can.

"Why did you do this?" I asked the Mama, after reminding her that she didn't want me to finish pruning the tree yet.

"I didn't want you to work so hard," the 93-year-old woman said.

Sigh.



Friday, November 21, 2014

Don't Take My Picture!


Lately, I've been helping the Mama pick up the leaves in the backyard. Even when it's about to rain or when the wind is being blustery. Why? Because the Mama is out there. And, she'll stay out there until she is a) satisfied that she has picked up as many leaves as she could before more fall from the trees,  or b) tired and has begun ranting about the next door neighbor's dirty tree that sheds lots and lots of clusters of red berries and skinny hard leaves, which are quite difficult to pick up.

After years of calling out the back window, "Come in, Mama, it's too cold!" Or,  "It's windy! Just wait until the wind stops." Or, "It's raining!" I now step outside, followed happily by Molly the Cat who has been cooped inside because the Mama decided it's too cold, windy, and/or rainy for her to be outdoors.   I usually head to the other side of the yard  with my favorite rake. The sooner the leaves are picked up, the sooner the Mama -- and Molly the Cat -- will come indoors.


Some days I bring my camera with me. Between building piles, I click away. Both the Mama and Molly the Cat dislike my taking photos of them. Today was no different. "Don't take my picture," the Mama said, bending to pick up another stray leaf.  Molly didn't say anything. She merely walked away or turned her back to me.

So, fine. I took a photo of my shadow. It reminded me of Peter Pan. By the way, notice Molly the Cat's tail in the picture?



Sunday, May 4, 2014

Things to Do Today


The first, okay, maybe it was the fourth, thing I did this morning before breakfast was write that To Do list.

I did finish the mystery I've been reading at breakfast. I diligently stuck with the story although I didn't care for the protagonist who was too much of an insecure whiner. But once I learned who the suspect was, I skimmed through the final scenes. I closed the book and purposely went to complete something else.

For about the next two hours, I topped off the Mama's outdoor potted plants with potting soil. It was something I had been thinking about doing for the last two summers. The other week, while the Mama was watering her plants, she mentioned that they needed more soil.

"Uh-huh," I said, glancing at them and thinking I need to do that before she got to it. Fortunately, for me, a few days ago, the Husband and I bought three huge bags of potting soil. The Mama requested one, but I bought two extra bags. Not because I was going to add soil to the potted plants but because I have plans on building a planter box to replace the broken-down one full of roses. And, I would need those bags for the new planter box.

Yup. You got it. I used up those two extra bags topping off the Mama's potted plants, and I didn't even get to all the pots. They will have to wait for another day and maybe it won't be in the distant future. 

The items on today's written To Do list? We shall see.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How's the Mama?


The Mama, as some of you dear readers know, is in her nineties. The tiny, fragile, slow-stepping Mama is doing well, thank you very much for asking. She's as fit and magnificent as the flowers and vegetables that she grows. The only medication she takes is for her thyroid. I can only hope that I haven't screwed up the genes she gave me too awful much.

This morning, I found a poem that I wrote about the Mama two years ago when she was rushed to the hospital. The Mama is amazing.


The Sleeping Mama
Slipped into her ER room.
She was fast asleep,
Hooked up to the IV, heart monitor, and oxygen.

In one moment,
she could not move
no matter how hard she tried.
And, she tried, and kept trying, to stand up.

"Walking pneumonia," the doctor said.
"Dehydration."

What did she say? 
"This is going to cost me a lot."
© 2014 Su-sieee! Mac


I'm participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this month. To check out other participants, click here. See you tomorrow.  

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Itty-Bitty Bananas


Itty-bitty bananas are growing in our backyard. It's quite amazing. Don't let that photo fool you. I took it close up. They are truly very small bananas.

Bananas have grown before, but normally they sprout at the end of summer, then before you know it, the weather is cool, and so much for the fruit. This year though, ooh la la, we may be eating bananas from our trees.
I'm participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this month. To check out other participants, click here. See you tomorrow.  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Pruning is Done

Snap. Snap. Snap.

"Mama's always finding something to snap in the backyard," I said to the Husband, as I peeked out the back door to see what she was snapping.

"She'll always find something," said he.

The temperature was in the 50s. Very cold, she would complain, if she was inside the house.

Outside, she doesn't feel how cold it is because she says she's always moving. Always doing something in her garden. She has already dug up her vegetable boxes. I won't be surprised if she starts planting beans next month and then complains a month later why it takes so long for them to sprout.

That's the Mama. Keeps her strong, I know. She is, I believe, healthier than the Husband and me right now.

At least all the trees are pruned. The apple trees. The persimmon trees. The apricot tree. The miracle tree. The avocado trees. The ornamental pear tree on the front yard. Too bad we didn't have a prune tree to prune.

Of course, there is the lemon tree. However, I can't see any limbs sticking out that may be driving her buggy that they must be cut. But, then, what do I know.

I've been on the tall ladder quite a lot this winter.  Been enjoying it, too. The Husband's back mended just in time for him to get into the act a little bit.  Pruning is a family affair could be our motto.

Happy New Year, Dear Readers!



Monday, August 5, 2013

Sweet, Sunny, and Sour


This has been a great summer for the Mama's backyard jungle. Trees, vines, and plants are producing like crazy. This is just a bit of the Mama's bounty—Sweet Asian pears, sunny sunflowers, and sour, but yummy lemons.

Today, I'm participating in the photo meme, Monday Mellow Yellows, hosted by Gemma Wiseman. To check out other participants, please click here

P.S. 'Tis the month of the Mama and Molly the Cat.




Tuesday, July 9, 2013

www.su-sieeemac.com

I just love it when technical things come together. After all, I am a non-techie, regardless of what others may say.

Early this morning, or late last night (depending on your point of view), I received an e-mail saying that my domain names had expired and if I wanted to keep them, I need to renew pronto. So, that I did. I decided to forgo the URL for the old blog and purchase a domain name for Don't Be a Hippie.

Purchasing su-sieeemac.com was quite a cheap thrill, I tell you what. 

su-sieeemac.com? Yep. I figure I can always use the URL for something else down the line, should I ever cease writing Don't Be a Hippie. For once, I'm looking ahead.

Anyway, a few minutes ago, I keyed in the right combination of words and numbers to have Don't Be a Hippie appear in the browser when I plug su-sieeemac.com into the appropriate bar. Whooo-hooo! Another cheap thrill.

I think I will count this feat as a Doing 60. The little things count, too, in my book.

So, as not to totally bore you with today's nothingness: How about these sunflowers in the Mama's garden?


Monday, April 15, 2013

The Miracle Tree

The tree on the right is the Miracle Tree. If you look closely, you can see
the Mama behind the rose bush.

The First Husband gave the Mama a package of seeds that a Native American tribe had sent him as part of a fundraising campaign. Mama, always the curious horticulturist, sowed them in her backyard. From those seeds grew the Miracle Tree, which today is more than 20 years old.

It would be monstrously huge  if the Mama did not cut it back nearly every year. She can't stand the idea of the branches hovering over the roof or even being near the gutters. No matter how much it gets hacked back in the late fall, its branches are full and ready to provide sufficient shade for the summer heat.

During its early years, the Miracle Tree produced a lot of seed pods. Let me repeat: A lot of them. The seeds are flat and shiny and difficult to clean up once they're on the ground. Every year, Miracle Trees sprout some where new in the yard. Most times, the Mama pulls them out.

The Miracle Tree is not its actual name. The Mama and I like to call it that because it grew from a few seeds. We are not sure what the tree is  called. The Husband and I have seen trees that look like the Miracle Tree in Hawaii. Koa trees, I think they were called. The Miracle Tree could be a Mimosa Tree or related to it. Herbalists make a tincture out of the Mimosa flowers. An acupuncturist had me take the tincture to help mellow me out. (I was a bit angry when we first began our sessions. But, then he was always late. That's for another tale. Maybe.)

The Mama says that Miracle Trees grow in the Philippines. The old folks, she says, harvested the leaves and flowers to feed to the pigs. And, some of the women made purses out of the seeds.

Check out other A to Z Challenge
participants by clicking here.

On some days, the Mama gripes about the constant trimming she must do to the Miracle Tree. She threatens to pull it out now and then, but I doubt she will. She enjoys sitting beneath its shade in the summer. And, now, she has a new purpose for the tree. Last year, she planted a chayote at the foot of its trunk, just to see what might happen. Chayote vines grew upward into the tree and produced a large crop of chayotes to the Mama's delight. Last week, she planted several of last year's crop around the Miracle Tree.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Blossoms


The apricot tree had fewer blossoms than last year.

"You pruned too much," said the Mama.

Sigh. I needed to cut the low branches so I wouldn't get stabbed in the forehead or the Husband wouldn't get poked in the chest as we wandered through the yard while following Molly the Cat. I also wanted to clean up the tangle of branches now rather than later when it would be too difficult to do.

I want to think the Mama understands all that. But, all she can think of right now is that we will have fewer apricots to eat this year.


Check out other A to Z Challenge
participants by clicking here.
"Next year the tree will have a lot of blossoms," I said.

She didn't say a word. 

We can only hope.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring! Spring! Spring!


A glorious first day of Spring to you, dear Readers. It's overcast with the hope of more rain, rather than just sprinkles, in my neck of the woods today. Having a nice steady, but gentle on the fruit blossoms, beat of rain would be perfect for right now.

Yesterday, the Mama sowed her bittermelon seeds in a pot. That means the time for the Husband and me to start preparing the Mama's veggie garden plots is very, very near. If the Mama still had her strength and endurance, everything would've been done a few weeks ago. That's okay though. She has been distracted with transplanting different flowers from elsewhere in her back and front yards to the one particular patch of ground that you see in the photo below.

"I want all flowers here," she said."Lots of flowers."

It's gonna look amazing.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Doing 60: Planting Garlic

Garlic cloves all in a row—kinda.
The Mama definitely has something-to-plant radar.

This morning, I decided to plant the garlic cloves that were sprouting on the kitchen counter. I always wanted to grow garlic, just for the heck of it. Hmmm, I may have inherited the "mad horticulturist" genes from the Mama. Anyway, I put the chosen garlic in a yogurt container (which was probably the clue to the Mama that something was about to be planted) and put the container out on the back step. I would plant them after I picked some lemons.

The lemon-picking task quickly created the additional task of pruning the branches that were touching the tops of the apple tree. To the Mama's delight, because that meant she'd have something fun to do in the garden.

As I was walking by the Mama at one point of fetching pruning tools, she had this where-is-that-thing-I-wanted? look on her face. I thought it was the empty basket  for the lemons that I was holding, so I gave that to her and continued down the path to the lemon tree.

"Do you want me to plant the garlic?" she called.

I turned and saw her holding the yogurt container, wondering how did she know there was something to be planted in there. I had asked her earlier how deep should garlic be planted, but I never said I was going to plant some. When I was picking lemons, I was figuring whether to plant the cloves in pots or directly in the ground. And if in the ground, where could I do it without getting into the Mama's planting space.

"I want to plant them, " I said, waiting for her to argue that it would be better for her to do it because I don't know what to do.

But, nope. That didn't happen.

Without a hesitation, she said, "You can plant them in the box where the Filipino onions are." Then, she proceeded to show me how to plant them. Just stick the clove into the dirt, butt end down, and be sure not to cover the top.

Wow. A first. She gave me a bit of her prime growing space, without me whining.

So, after I pruned the lemon branches,  helped the Mama clip them into smaller pieces for the green recycle bin, and put away the ladder and pruning tools, I planted the garlic. Darn fun, it was. Loosen the soil, add compost full of worms from the compost bin, stick the babies into the ground, and sprinkle them with two yogurt cartons full of water.

As I admired my planting job, I realized that I'd committed myself to caring for the garlic babies until later this summer when they would give us fruit.  Gulp.

Yes, this is another Doing 60  for me.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Doing 60: Planting Banana Trees


Last week, I planted my first banana trees. That's another Doing 60 for me.

The banana trees are transplants from the Mama's banana grove in another part of the yard. Click here to see where they originally stood. They were the clump on the far left side. 

Usually, I dig out the banana trees and leave them for the Mama to replant. No more. Not that the Mama can't do it. But, why let her have all the fun, right? Besides, I need to increase my strength, if I want to keep up with her come veggie gardening time.

The Mama supervised the job. I lugged them across the yard, one by one. In the photo, the banana trees look like they weigh nothing. Hah!

The Mama marked the spots where she wanted them. And, I dug.  Ping! Rock. Ping! Another rock. Ping! Ping! I enjoyed the challenge of getting the rocks out. It was so much easier than sitting in front of the computer screen and trying to think of a word that would precisely describe what I needed to say in a sentence. Ping!

It was very satisfying to place each plant into its hole and cover the hole back up with dirt. I forgot how much I like to play in the dirt. "Don't put the rocks back in," reminded the Mama now and then. She made sure the banana trees were snugly in the ground, and then made water canals around them.

I feel like naming the banana trees. Pilar, Maisie, Zebby, and uhm, LaLa, perhaps?