In my mind, I'm going on five years old having a high old time wandering and wondering. In reality, I'm going on 65, the magic age for Medicare, thank you very much! 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!
The shelled purse in the photo was the Mama's. Never was used. She had wrapped it carefully in plastic and kept it on her closet shelf. This was another item that didn't get sold in a garage sale two years ago. Ha! There was a reason for that, which showed itself today.
The purse makes a cool planter for the Christmas cactus, don't you think?
This morning I had a wonderful time imagining and experimenting while soaking in autumnal sun bubbles.
My intention was to make wreaths out of apple branches I pruned last week, but I couldn't find the green wire that I set aside for the wind chimes the Husband and I will make out of keys. I lost track of the wire on Friday. Yes, I know I should've put it away where I could find it, but that was where it was, until it wasn't.
Just as well. The apple branches didn't look exciting, so I threw them in the compost bin. When I turned around, I saw a pot perfect for the pineapple sage plant (aka Pinya) we bought yesterday. Look at the photo above to see the painted result.
The Husband said the combination of the colors reminded him of the Southwest. My inspiration for the blue was the blue in Sitting Bull's war shirt as portrayed in the movie Woman Walks Ahead. Have you seen it? It's about Catherine Weldon, the woman who painted Sitting Bull's portrait, Sitting…
This is the view of the front yard from near the bottom of the driveway. I sat behind that bush you see near the left corner of the photo. Molly the Cat was wandering somewhere in there.
I didn't plan to spend two hours this morning deadheading dried spikes on that bush,
but once I start deadheading a plant, well there I am until it's done. Some spikes were about 18 inches long. A tiny purple flower blooms at
the top of each spike. Flowers continually bloom as the spikes grow
longer. Wish I can recall the bush's name.
That's a photo of the bush from the past Spring. Hmmm, I guess the spike grows from the flower.
I came across a bloom on the potted gardenia plant. Although small, the flower gives off that wonderful delicious scent. This is the first flower in years. The buds dry before they can open. I've promised the plant that I shall pay more attention to it, which I started by immediately clipping off yellowed leaves. I wonder if she would prefer to resid…
Today's post is all about what's going on in two parts of the backyard. One part is the patio, of which first up are the strawberry plants that live in the red cooler. The original three plants gave us two or three yummy strawberries every few days or so from June to just recently. The plants also sent out more than a dozen runners. All, I hope, will provide us with more strawberries.
Back in June, I finally got brave and turned the Daddy's wheelbarrow from the 1960s into a succulents planter. Some succulents did okay, such as the red paddle plant, while others scorched to death. I've determined that it's okay to pull out a shriveled succulent, as well as plop in another succulent on Wheelbarrow Plain. I keep remembering what Mama said, "If they grow, they grow."
The Husband and I have temporarily named the four distinct spaces in the backyard, from south to north, Avocado Room, Sunny Room, Shady Room, and Geranium Room. The last few days I have been pl…
That tall tree next to the side fence is an avocado tree. It started from a seed the Mama planted.
Until last year, it was hidden by a red shed, which has me now thinking that Mama planted the seed after the shed was built in 1989, thereabouts. That makes the tree about 29 years old.
Yesterday morning a branch grazed the top of my head, so I got the pruning shears to trim it as it would get in the Husband's way.
Lo and behold! I saw an avocado, the size of my tiny finger, hanging from beneath leaves on that low branch. I looked and looked. Yup, avocados. A whole lot of tiny avocados growing! This is the first time that avocado tree is bearing fruit. Wowza!
Although Mama is physically gone, the Spirit of Mama continues to whisper to her plants.
This morning's experiment: Along with my camera, keep a pen and notebook ready at all times while I deadhead daisies in the front yard. I wanted to see if it's possible for me to re-establish an old habit of carrying a journal.
So, what did this old lady note this morning? Here were a few thoughts that got me to put down the scissors and write.
The driveway looks cleaner than the hood of the car.
The Mama would say I was stingy with the water. Proof—all the dried branches on the daisy.
Must remember to clean the hairball Molly barfed early this morning on The Husband's favorite spot on the couch.
The faint breeze from fog rolling back west, ahhhh.
Two hummingbirds. Ruby throated guy shows Anna's hummingbird guy the sea of red flowers very near me. Don't mind that human.
So, how did I like having pen and notebook on hand?
The greatest advantage, of course, is recording my thoughts rather than forgetting them.
The downside: It took me longer to deadhead the daisy bu…
Temperatures are climbing again. The weather dudes say it'll be in the high 90s our way today. As long as there's a breeze, it'll be fine. If not, well, we'll be fine. The Husband, Molly the Cat, and I, that is. I can't speak for anyone else.
Molly Girl and I were out early this morning watering the newly planted flowers. They were only a few so I chose to use the watering can. Only six trips to the faucet, which was far enough away for me to work up a sweat. The exercise also made my knees pop. I like to think that they popped back into place. Dream on.
Sometimes as I trudge about the yard spot watering, I'm reminded of The Mama telling me how her brothers used to carry buckets of water to the field to individually water the plants. I imagined her world of long ago being very hot and dry, and water being very precious. Not so different today, is it?
Several days ago when it was cooler, I stuck two new daisy plants into the ground. The one in the photo is a t…
This spot in the front yard revealed itself to be the perfect place for geranium ivy to grow wildly upon that structure of strung branches. Originally I built the structure to be a trellis for bougainvillea in the backyard, but it didn't want to stand up straight. If I was building a raft, because I happened to be stranded on a deserted island, it would've made a perfect base for a sail.
It was back in the Spring when I built the trellis/sail. Yesterday I cut the branches so that the structure collapsed into a v-shape. The Husband thought it looked like the frame for a canoe. (Guess what I want to eventually create with tree branches.)
This morning, I set the now geranium trellis into its spot over a young geranium ivy plant that's slowly growing. I also planted cuttings from geranium vines that the Mama planted years ago. We shall see.
Previously sitting on this spot was another bunch of branches that I painted and tied together at the beginning of the year. I moved tha…
Cherry tomatoes. Red and orange fruit from the volunteers that are growing out back. Whooo-hooo!
I've been picking one, two, or three tomatoes at a time for the past week or so. Tuesday morning, I harvested that lot which you see in the photo. They all went into an onion and zucchini egg scramble I made yesterday. Yummmmm.
I have discovered that I can step over the weeds in the sidewalk cracks, while saying, "Not on my agenda." Ha!
I can walk by a rose bush and not deadhead it because it was "Not on my agenda." Ha!
The weeds alongside the side fence in the back yard were not on my agenda either, but I did put them on the Husband's.
It got him outdoors on a hot, but pleasant in the shade, day. He got a break from reading maddening and heartbreaking current events. That's a good thing. All in all, the Husband didn't mind the weeding and, before we went in for lunch, he agreed to eventually clear out all the weeds along the fence, including down the driveway. Thank you much!
While the Husband weeded I repotted our Christmas tree who we've named Mister Alton. The poor guy. He was tightly bound in his quart-size pot. It was very slow-going loosening the dirt from his roots. When he was free, …
After I finish distracting myself on the computer, I'm heading back outside. Today, I've decided is a work-in-the yard day.
First on the agenda is to pick up the bougainvillea branches that I pruned this morning and tossed willy-nilly on the walkway, effectively blocking passage to the front door. Next, I shall deadhead a couple of small daisy bushes. Then, I'll go find all the empty pots hidden under bushes and cart them to the backyard.
That done (I figure an hour), I'll re-pot the tiny evergreen Christmas tree into a larger pot. We bought it last month. Now is the time to purchase potted Christmas trees for cheap. They may be on the dry end, but with patience and sweet coaxing, they may be smiling happily by the yuletide. So I think.
I also want to prep our 1960s wheelbarrow (which belonged to the Daddy) into a planter for succulents. That will mean playing with the drill, bzzzz, bzzzz, searching for small to medium size rocks in the yard, and seeing what succulent…
Back in March I thought this volunteer plant in the front yard was a celery plant. As it grew and developed, it no longer seemed to be celery. The one stalk remained solo.
When the flowers bloomed, dill came to mind, but there was no dill aroma. Hmmm.
The Husband thought it was hemlock. I thought hemlocks were trees. Was I curious to look it up? Of course not.
Last week, friends came over and concurred with the Husband. Hemlock. Yup, that's the stuff Socrates drank as punishment for being found guilty by 280 out of 500 peers of not believing in the government's gods and for teaching his students to question authority. Interesting. It got me wondering if people could be put on trial for doing something similar today.
For a poisonous plant, hemlock certainly is pretty. I suppose I ought to pull it out soon.
Update: Thanks to Colleen of Loose Leaf Notes commenting that the plant reminds her of Queen Anne's Lace, I did more research. The plant does look like it, but it's …
Two nights ago the Husband and I felt chilled so we turned on the heater. Is this the beginning of getting older for us? Older bodies feel the cold more, I've been told. In the Mama's last weeks of being able to haul herself out of bed and tumble towards the wall thermostat, she cranked it up as far as it could go. She still didn't find sufficient warmth. Sigh.
I swerved in thought, oh well. Today is h-o-t! It's supposed to get into the 90s for the next two days. I feel a breeze kicking up right now, hurrah.
Watering the yard is the Husband's job, which he likes to do it in the early evening. Fearing for the front yard plants, I let the Husband snore away and did some watering early this morning. No big deal. Watering gives me a chance to look at how all the plants are faring, and I discovered that some roses have dried on their stems. See the white edges on the roses in the photo. Those roses are dry. Isn't it amazing how they held their color?
Part of the pink tea rose plant leaned over the pathway to the front door, making it a sweet-smelling and annoying obstacle for us, humans. Molly the Cat had no complaints. The Husband and I considered using the Mama's aluminum tiny step ladder. It was a perfect height for holding up the rose branches. But, as is our custom, the Husband and I left the thought hanging in the air.
Last week the Husband called up to the second floor office window, "Where is the ladder?" He was outside watering the front yard. (I say "call" because the Husband and I don't like to shout or yell. We merely project our voice from our diaphragm like old-time actors on a stage. So I think.)
"I don't know," I called out from my desk about 10 feet away from the window. My hand still posed over the keyboard, I said, "I'll go look."
Fortunately the Husband called up, "Never mind."
By then I was curious so I searched for the ladder. Yup. It was pre…
"Would you move a jade plant for me sometime today?" I asked the Husband at breakfast this morning. "It's too heavy for me."
"Maybe it's too heavy for me," he said. Was he being funny? I wondered.
"I don't think so. It's heavy, but not too heavy." The Husband said nothing, merely looked at me. I continued. "I could handle it, hmpfh, if it weren't for my knees." Damn knees.
Several hours later, a rustling from the front yard broke into my concentration of whatever I was focusing on, then I heard a grunt, a clapping of hands in satisfaction, the squeeking of the front door.
"Do you want the jade plant in the back?" the Husband called up the stairs.
"Where is it now?"
"On the porch. It's heavy. I'm going to get the hand truck."
Oh oh. I needed to find a temporary spot where I could tackle the jade out of its pot without trampling on anything.
My window of opportunity to not be a procrastinator is about two hours, which is between getting out of bed and the sound of the Husband grinding coffee beans for breakfast. I like to use that time for working in the yard, front and/or back. This morning, for instance, I began with watering the volunteer vegetables—two zucchini plants, one bean plant, four or five tomato plants, and another four or plants that have yet to show themselves as really being tomatoes.
That done, Molly the Cat (the supervisor, as many of you know) and I moseyed to the front yard. Because the Husband will be watering it this afternoon my goal was to sow sunflower seeds here and there, as well as put the geranium plants that we bought last week into the ground. The geraniums took my attention first. Just in time, too. Their leaves had begun to wither. Before I could plant them, I had to rake the dried leaves and pull out weeds out of their new home. Spent poppies were also removed which meant snapping off …
Oh me, oh my. The sights Molly the Cat and I saw this morning in the front yard.
For one, that fly pollinating the daisies. Until a few years ago, I had no idea flies were pollinators, too.
Flower flies are what they're called in general. Some of them have torsos that resemble bees or wasps. I wonder how many times we've said, "Look a bee!" and it was really a flower fly. Experts say that flower flies don't sting. Hurrah! These flies also love to eat aphids and scales. Thank you, much. POMPOM POPPY DANCER
Most of the pink pompom poppies have shedded their petals. I think the pods are also cool to look at and go wowza! over. While the blooms make me think of the fluffy hats that comedian Phyllis Diller wore, the poppy pods remind me of ancient Greek soldiers in their Corinthian helmets.
WILD CELERY STALK
I was hoping that the unknown thing growing at the edge of the geranium spread would be bamboo. Nope. The nearly 4-foot plant is a wild celery plant with only one…
It's beginning to get jungly in the back yard. The persimmon trees are popping out leaves, as are the apricot and apple trees. You can't see the banana plants, but they're also shooting up leaves. When all the trees are full, this part of the yard gets quite shady. Perfect to hang out in when the temperatures soar high.
I ought to call this part of the yard the "jungle room" or maybe Room of Deep Shade. What do you think?
Last Sunday I shared with you the chair I painted that morning. There's the final product in the meadow. You may not see it at first. That's Okay. That's my intent. I don't want the chair to be obvious. I want it to suddenly be a delight in your sight. By the way, Molly the Cat hasn't noticed it yet. I wonder what she'll do when she does.
I ended up painting details onto the chair's frame. A hodgepodge of things to practice painting impressions of flowery vines, cat paws, flowers, and butterflies. Here's the back of the chair.
For the front of the chair, I decided to paint one subject rather than several. What do you think?
I love the way the chair looks in the meadow. The chair is too flimsy for anyone to sit on, except for Molly the Cat, so I asked the Husband to place it in a hard-to-get place. For humans, that is.
While the Husband and I stood on the sidewalk admiring the chair in the meadow, I thought the yard looks just how I've always drea…