In my mind, I'm five years old having a high old time wandering and wondering. In reality, I'm now in my late 60s, wowza! I tell you a lot of creativity is still to be found in this old young self. In you, too, whatever your age. Welcome to my barefoot world!
1. Who is snacking on the sunflowers? They only started sprouting a few days ago. A happy thing because the seeds were several years old. 2. Was it the snails? the slugs? the aphids? the birds? the squirrels? 3. I don’t mind sharing some of the sprouting sunflowers with the bugs and such, but not all. 4. If the offenders could only read, I’d post a sign to tell them “No More for You! Move along!” 5. The experts say that the scent of marigold drives aphids away, so this morning I planted marigolds near the sprouting sunflowers. You go, marigolds! 6. It turns out marigolds attract slugs and snails. Make marigold plants your sacrificial lambs, say some experts. The snails and slugs will feast on the leaves and flowers at night to be easily picked off come morning. 7. “Marigold or sunflower?” asked one snail to another. “Smelly thick leaves or young tender shoots?” 8. We shall see to tomorrow which the snails and slugs liked. 9. If I get my act together this evening, I’ll set out saucer
1. Some time today (or tomorrow, or the next day), I’ll pull out the oak seedling next to the mailbox. I hope it’ll be easy. It’s more than a foot tall. Could it be considered a sapling? 2. I thought it was a holly plant so I left it alone last year. Who doesn’t like holly come Christmas season? 3. It turns out we have quite a few oak seedlings growing around the house. Some have volunteered in pots, some in the ground. 4. The birds and squirrels must’ve heard me say it would be nice to grow an oak tree or two. Who else would’ve brought the acorns and dropped them at random? 5. The Husband thinks the acorns were introduced by me. I tend to pick up acorns with the intention of planting them, but they mostly are left in pockets, the car, and forgotten safe places. 6. More than likely, the few acorns I didn’t stow away, I cavalierly tossed in the yard, invoking Mama’s incantation of “If they grow, they grow.” 7. So, yeah, acorns have sprouted all over the front and back. 8. Oaks bel
Bzzz. Bzzzz. Bzz, Bzzz, Bzzz. BZZZ! Translation: Get out of our territory, dammit! So sniped the black carpenter bees as they buzzed back and forth beside me. I t was past eleven o’clock. Eating time for the bees. “Don’t sting me,” said I, snipping away at the dead daisy and chrysanthemum heads. “I just got a little more to go.” Bzzzzz. Bzzzzz. “Go ahead and eat. I’m not bothering you.” Bzzzz. Bzzzz. Bzzzzz. A honey bee landed on a daisy within arms reach. It paid me no mind. I froze while it did its thing. “See,” I said to the carpenter bees. “That’s all you have to do.” “Drink and be merry” said the honey bee as it flew off. BZZZZ!
I collected rose hips this winter, with thoughts to plant them and see if they would grow. Silly me thought I could and would remember what color of rose each bag of rose hips are. Oh well. I’m going to plant them anyway. I love surprises.
March, march, march to my own drum. A congo drum, please. It's a gorgeous California no-rain-in-sight early Spring (late Winter, if you prefer) day. I would be playing outdoors in the dirt right now if I hadn't wrenched my good knee on Friday. Maybe wrenched isn't the correct word, but the pain certainly matches the word. I stepped sideways on uneven ground in the front yard to show the Husband something when my left knee buckled. A chicken leg being snapped at its joint flashed through my head. I am very glad to report that my sense of decorum and appropriate behavior are still intact: I did not scream out in pain nor utter a curse word for the whole street to hear. Indoors, another story. Before that all happened, I was playing in the yard, deadheading, raking, trimming, planting, and doing all kinds of fun things. At one point, a robin flew into the ornamental pear tree and we had a pleasant time hanging out. The robin even let the Husband join us. We wondered whethe
I've been digging. Here a little dig. There a big dig. All over the yard, both front and back. The last several days I've focused on finding shady spots for potted succulents in the backyard. Those parched guys looked so happy and relaxed after a few hours in the shade absorbing a long drink of water. I've also been digging beds for the extra bean, tomato, and pepper seedlings that sprouted. I can't bring myself to throw them out. They deserve a chance to produce fruit, too. The Husband built a trellis for the beans to climb. Pretty cool, huh. Mama would've given him a giggle, grin, and an extra nod of well done. This morning I dug the biggest bed for the tomato and pepper seedlings. Double dig, work in soil amendment, turn soil one more time, and let rest for tomorrow's planting. Daddy would've been proud, by golly, by gee that I paid attention to how he prepared the land for his vegetable garden. That's a story for another day. Digging, shov
1. I've been working in the yard the past few days. It's getting where I prefer being outdoors. What am I talking about? I've always rather be outside. It was when I was living in San Francisco that I got used to being indoors. After all, I can walk around without shoes. 2. Speaking of being barefoot. Last night we watched Sayonara , starring Marlon Brando, a 1957 film based in Japan about the prejudice against interracial relationships, in particular, marriage (Heavens to Murgatroyd) between American military men and Japanese women. There was also a hint of lust between a Japanese man and an American woman, which probably drew both an aghast! and a titillated hmmm from the audience. 3. There's a similar theme in the musical South Pacific . In one scene, the American officer, who's in love with an island girl, and the American Army nurse, who's horrified the deceased wife of the man she loves was an island woman, commiserate about having to foll
"Do you think someone might report our backyard as a nuisance?" "Nobody can see back there." answered the Husband. "Snoops can," I said, thinking about that drone we saw one afternoon turning around above our house. I wondered if it had followed us home. The bastard. As Mama liked to say after I said something weird, but quite entertaining to her, "You have too much imagination." "It's nobody's business how our backyard looks," the Husband said. I imagined him word-sparring with a snoop. The Husband, my hero. At this particular point in time, the backyard looks like a colorful junkyard in the Spring. I find its look comforting. It's familiar to a time past. It gives me strength to keep on keeping on. I wonder if that's how Mama felt when she played out there, growing her vegetables and tending to her flowers. It's my turn now to transform the backyard into a fantasy of my making. I have
"Why are you cleaning? "asked Molly the pinky-nose (wild) Cat, as she scrambled among our feet, the broom, and the vacuum cleaner. "Are we having another party?" Nope, it's the 23rd, our monthly housecleaning date, a 2020 venture. So far, so good. With the Husband and I working together, we're done in a couple of hours. So it seemed today. Sweep. Dust. Vacuum. Scrub. Molly made sure she was somewhere else. This is what you see when you walk up our driveway. Sorry, I don't remember the names of anything that's not a rose, daisy, spider plant, California poppy, canna lily, jade, or uhm, I think that's it. Geranium! How I can forget geraniums? We have pink, white, red, bi-color, vine, bush, smelly, and not smelly at all. They live in the front yard, too. They're up towards the house so you can barely see them in the photo. I have a decent success rate of propagating geraniums for someone who goes on intuition and by hit-and-miss.
1. Been working in the yard, I have, I have. It's so much fun, especially when the Husband and Molly the (wild) Cat are hanging out there with me, doing whatever they do. (By the way, the Husband took my photo.) 2. "How did you get out there?" asked the Husband when he saw Molly sitting on the front steps through the screen door. "Did you climb the fence?" 3. Oh, oh. I forgot that Molly came out the front door with me earlier today. I get easily distracted, which means I need to come up with a system to remind me that Molly is still wandering around the front yard. 4. Thankfully, Missy Girl forgave me. So I think. She laid on my lap for a while. 5. Good medical news #1 that I got on Monday: Doctor Eye has me down in mid-May to remove the cataract in my other eye. Whoooo-hoooo! 6. Good medical news #2 that I got this afternoon: The result of my routine mammogram is normal. Yippieeee! 7. The Husband and I voted yesterday by mail-in ballots. Yaa
It certainly has been awhile since I've peeped my sweet peepers out of my not-so-dark hole in the ground. I love the way you say things, Jeana, of The Ched Curtain . You, too, Widders, of Widdershins Worlds . Thank you very much for wondering outloud if I was still kicking. :-) So, what was I doing while silent crickets and frogs took over the blog? I've thought about things such as why girls couldn't also be made up of "snips of snails and puppy-dog tails", and wondering if anyone has coined future fossil fuels yet. I've raked at least two years worth of dried leaves from beneath the flowers and plants in the front yard. Not to say, learning yet again that I, no, we need to rake leaves right after they've fallen. Also prune brittle and drying branches. Deadhead the flowers, too. And, pick up the fallen fruit sooner rather than later. It certainly has been a long time since I've strung sentences together for fun. I am simply dancing with
Despite the current state of our world and the fruit flies in the backyard, I am enjoying the summer with the Husband, Molly the Cat, and Friends. Yes, that is a bureau in front of the house. It was Mama's, one of the first pieces of furniture Daddy bought her in the late 1940s. I brought it outside earlier this year but only got around to painting it in June. I like to think Mama's Spirit is okay with that. On Saturday, my high school graduating class held its annual Class of 1971 Scholarship fundraiser. For the past 10 years or so we have awarded a $2,000 scholarship to a graduating senior. We're the first, and still only, class to have established a scholarship at our high school. Pretty good for us, slackers. Yes, we were when compared to the achievers in the class on either side of us. That's okay, look at us now. Go '71 HayBalers! For the fundraiser's silent auction, I donated this one-of-a-kind, perfectly imperfectly handcrafted coffee cup cozy.
A whispering of leaves. . . Plop! Sometimes, after the sound of trembling leaves, goes a ping! against a ladder, a bench, a table, or the shed, followed by a thud. Rustle . . . ping! . . . plop! I wonder how many times Molly the Cat has had a near miss with a fallen lemon or apple or avocado or apricot or Asian pear. The Husband says that Missy Girl knows precisely where to lay herself down in the backyard. He's right, Missus Lady. Purrrrrrrrrrrr. This has been a good year for Mama's fruit trees because of the winter and spring rains. All the trees have been continually aborting themselves of immature seeds and fruits so that the fittest may live to full development. Plop! The lemon tree is a different story. We can't reach the top branches, thus when the fruit ripens, plop! The two apricot trees had branches heavily laden with fruit that they snapped. Giving baskets and box lids full of apricots to several friends didn't make a dent to the t
i That apricot tree grew from a seed that Mama ate and planted, which came from her Blenheim apricot tree. That makes this a second generation tree, but not necessarily a Blenheim according to some experts. The apricots are delicious, Blenheim or not. ii I can forget something I thought of minutes ago because I climbed upstairs to the office so I could plop it into the computer. Where are pen and paper when I need them? iii Two Sundays ago we stayed overnight in a faraway place and it wasn't because one of us had to have surgery. Hurrah! That's what our last few overnighters had been. Not two Sundays ago. We drove straight across the state to Shaver Lake in the Central Sierra Nevadas. A lot of driving that we weren't used to, but it was well worth it. iv How fun it was to zig and zag, to go down a road with matured abandon (mature abandonment? oxymoron phrases, both?). Left, right, right, right, left. . .too late. oh well, turn right, this road runs paralle
1. I just turned on the computer so as to maybe write a post. How long has it been? 2. A City water department employee told me over the phone that the $150 credit on our utility bill was for the deposit we placed when we opened the account, which is returned after three years at an address. I don't remember forking over $150, nor does the Husband. 3. I called the car rental place for a pick-up. It's a free service, so why not? We've been renting cars the past few months to get to the Husband's eye appointments up in the crazy freeway world of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Husband's cataracts were destroyed and he can now see 20/30 in his right eye and 20/25 in his left eye without glasses. 4. Sudoku is my newest addiction. I did 5 or 6 puzzles this morning. Yesterday, lovely friend L dropped by with a Sudoku puzzle magazine in LARGE Print. Whoooo-hoooo! 5. Pride vs. Prejudice by Joan Hess is what I'm currently reading. Today I learned that the woman accuse
Snip, snip, snip. The past two mornings I've been trimming the daisy bushes in the front yard. A lot of daisies to be deadheaded. I chose to wait for the California poppies to go to seed before starting the task, so I reasoned. Snip, snip, snip. Glub, glub, glub. A female Ruby-throated Hummingbird has been Molly the Cat's and my companion these past mornings. She, the hummingbird, loves drinking the flowers of the Hot Lips Littleleaf Sage by the driveway. Cool name, Hot Lips. Remember Major Hot Lips Houlihan? Click, click, click. "Want to see a hummingbird's nest?" I asked, as I plucked the camera out of the bowl in the hallway. The Husband got up from the breakfast table and followed me out the door. I discovered the nest minutes before in the tree in the front yard. That's an upside to deadheading daisies. I think the hummingbird was used to my presence because she didn't seem to mind that I was standing nearby. Click, click