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One Hawk, two gates and 8 cats

Category: Random bulletins from my brain | Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:57 pm

It has been over two years since I made a blog entry. I don't know if I have been busy, lazy or just out of things to say...probably a little of each.

I feed the birds and really well. In the front garden they can feast on any of the 6 suet blocks, 6 seed feeders and a fruit bowl I have scattered around. And boy do they make a lot of noise when the whole gang shows up. And I can always tell when a cat or hawk is in the neighborhood, there is the sound of at least three dozen pairs of wings going into immediate motion and then total silence.

One day last week they all left in a hurry so I started looking for one of the many stray cats that haunt my yard. I noticed some movement on the sidewalk just the other side of the fence but couldn't make out exactly which creature it was so as quietly as I could I stepped out on the front porch. Man, Hawks have incredibly super hearing, he spooked and took off for the neighbors yard with one of the black birds in his talons. I was sad for the bird and wished his spirit a safe journey but was happy that the Hawk had found something to eat.

One of hubbies friends called the other night to say that they had taken down a dog run in the backyard and asked if we might be able to use the chain link fencing. Hubby asked me and I immediately said the gate, I want the gate. I now have two gates that will be mounted out back to become a trellis for Lathyrus odoratus. I have never grown them before so wish me luck.

Now about those blasted cats. Our neighbors around the corner, on the next block and probably on the street behind us do not know now to properly care for pets. They believe that they just get a kitten, put it out in the yard and that is the end of thier responsibility. As a result they have found my front and back yards to be their haven, treating it as their personal litter box and a place where they can lay in wait near a bird feeder and catch a meal 'on the fly' There has been at least one litter of three born in our yard and a threesome of freshly weaned kittens that were dumped in our yard in the hottest part of last summer.

Everytime I see a trail of feathers or smell the pee, I have said I need to get a trap from the city and get rid of the blasted cats. On January 3 I finally got myself in motion and did just that. The city loans traps out for 10 days at a time, I am on my second 10 loan period. This morning I called them to come pick up cat #6. I know there are at least two more to catch...a fluffy white one and a solid black one that I spooked out of it's hiding place this morning right after the animal control officer returned my trap. It is now set and waiting. None of them have a collar with tags or a chip. And I know this will be a continuing process because the neighbors will just get more kittens to replace the cats that have gone missing.

My yard already smells better and when we have the fan in the window on cold nights we aren't being made sick from the smell. And the birds are really a lot happier...for that matter so is the one squirrel we have left. The cats have taken down and eaten at least two of them lately. Really a shocker to go out in the backyard early in the morning and find a squirrel tail laying on the ground and no I didn't not go looking for the rest of creature.

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Whatever pops into my head

Category: Random bulletins from my brain | Posted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:51 am

We had a loverly day consisting of several hours of steady rain today, totalled almost 2 inches. We needed to have been having this kind of day more often since early May.
Now we are looking at Hurricane Ike this weekend, this one just might come on north after it hits land between Corpus Christi and Galveston and be over us by Sunday. Since it appears we will be on the 'dirty side' we might get lots of rain and some tornadoes. We'll see.

Amanda is in her third week of the new job and is doing very well. She has had such a hard time finding someone to hire her since she graduated from high school three years ago. I am so relieved, plus she is taking a computer course at the local community college in how to use Flash for animated videos...I think, but then my eyes usually glaze over when she or Randy begin talking about computer in any way.

Since our soil is no longer concrete after today's rain I am hoping to get out back to pull up the Iris bulbs by the back door and put them in some pots, clear out the area in front of the window we used to leave open for Rambo to come in and out of and open those two areas up for an herb garden. Later this fall I plan to move the Cannas from the bed they have called home for the last 5 years and make that whole area an herb bed. The Canna's will become part of the rain garden out front next spring.

I finally found a source for picket fencing, Home Depot has a gothic style picket fencing that is available by special order. I have done all sorts of google searches for picket fence and come up with nothing. We were walking into a Home Depot other than the one we normally go to, last weekend to find a small window AC unit for Randy's office and there on a display outside the door were the exact panels I have been longing for. I want three panels down the property line on the north side of the yard and at least 5 more for along the front and up the property line on the south side of the yard. Now I need to find an relatively inexpensive survey company to verify our property line so neither of the neighbors has anything to complain about before we can put the fencing up. I am soooooo excited about finally finding the fencing.

We picked up Rambo' ashes recently. I had wondered if we would get a baggie that contained a bit of him, bit of a Doberman, a little bit of a Poodle and maybe bits of a couple of cats....but I was afraid of what the answer would be if I had asked at the Vet's office. What we got was a nice condolence letter from the director of the crematorium, a certification that the remains in the box were indeed Rambo's and no one elses, a copy of the poem The Rainbow Bridge, a candle in a votive holder and a very nice cedar box with a brass plate on top with the name Rambo engraved on it that hold his ashes. Amanda came in a few days later and took the box into her room.
I still hear him barking outside sometimes and black shadowy spots on the floor make me step sideways to keep from 'stepping on him' but we are getting used to him not being here, still hurts but it doesn't hurt as much. Hard to believe that last Saturday was one month.

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What I like about FALL

Category: Random bulletins from my brain | Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 3:16 pm

Generally I like everything about FALL. I mean, what's not to like!!
The summer heat (90-100 degrees) is over for another year and even tho some days it will be in the mid to upper 80's that is not summer weather and can be dealt with.

The morning temps are in the 60's which is absolutely wonderful gardening weather, especially when your backyard garden is on the east side of the house. Sunrise is a beautiful thing, but by 8:30, 9:00 am the heat from the evil daystar is intense so gardening comes to a halt.

There has been a shift in the wind direction, it is now coming from a north/northwest and has blown the highly humid air back down to Mexico with my blessings. Lower humidity means you can walk outside and you are not glistening with sweat before you reach the car.

I can go stroll thru garden centers, taking my time to find all the good plants I want. I don't have to make it a 'hit and run' type of trip, grabbing the first plant I see or giving up and leaving with nothing because it is too hot to enjoy shopping.

And this year we are having a nice pecan crop, nothing for the last two years because of the drought but I have been finding a lot of good ones this year.

I have a list of gardening chores I can finally get started a certain degree. Kenny, our son-in-law, has been replacing the eaves all around the house, he still has the trim to replace, put the gutters back up and paint. So a lot of the available walking space in the backyard is filled with ladders, sawhorses and old wood not yet taken to the curb for trash pickup and just the general flotsam and jetsam found where men are working.

But at least now I have hope of playing in the dirt again soon.

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May the oneth

Category: Random bulletins from my brain | Posted: Tue May 01, 2007 6:03 pm

I know that as you get older the months and years just seem to fly by, but I am not 'THAT' old yet so why were January, February, March and April combined only a week and a half long?? I just hope that May thru August, the hottest months of the year for us, go by as quickly.

This summer I really do not expect to have to whine about the drought killing my plants like I did last year. We have had more rain in the last 4 months than we did in all of 2006. The lakes where water for the cities come from are back up to their normal levels, all except the largest one which is still 6 feet below normal. So even tho we will still be on watering restrictions, I will be able to water everything sufficiently.

I will, however, still complain about the temperature I am sure because I really do dislike summer. Summer is my least favorite season since I do not tolerate the heat well. The good side to a hot summer is that I will get more indoor things reading, knitting, soap and candle making and maybe I will even learn to use my spinning wheel, for all of these things can be accomplished with the curtains closed to block out the sun and the AC on the 'icicles hanging from your nose' setting for maximum comfort.

Sunday evening when the kids were here for my birthday, I took Lisa on a tour of the garden then Kenny and Randy brought out the wine and joined us for some time sitting and enjoying the view. Lisa kept looking at the TipsyPot I have and asking questions about it's construction. She sat there studying it for a while then remembered that she has several different sized clay pots in the shed. I will try to get over there this weekend to get a picture of the one she will probably build on Saturday. She also has a coffee cup totem she made after seeing mine that I have to get a picture of too.
Kenny wandered the yard looking at everything, just amazed at the lack of actual lawn. He comes from a non-gardening background and is not used to yards that have anything other than grass in them.

Nicky, the 7 yr old, loves to wander around the garden. His favorite flowers are Dandelions so I have to remember to leave a couple of them at the side of the yard when I am digging the others up. He liked the purple Scabiosa in the wheelbarrow because it looked like purple Dandelions. I showed him the two pumpkin vines that are really starting to take off and waited for what I knew was coming next....he started jumping around, clapping his hands and licking his lips. He loves pumpkin pie without the crust, me too. So I make pumpkin pie for everyone else and a big bowl of crustless pumpkin pie for the two of us. I don't expect Lisa to have the time or dog/child free space to grow a pumpkin vine so I think I need to see about putting a third plant out there so he can have all the pumpkin he wants.

I had shown him a few weeks ago how to rub certain plants with this fingers and smell his fingers ....lavender, mint, rosemary and the lemon balm in particular. So he was instructing Lisa on the proper way to do it when she came out. She really liked the lemon balm, I gave her some cuttings to use in making a pitcher or two of tea and I will dig up one of the smaller plants for her to plant in her yard.
Last winter I designed a Harry Potter garden for her but we just never got the chance to get it started this spring. I think next October she and I will have to designate a weekend specifically for doing that.

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Friday? Yeah, yesterday was Friday.

Category: Random bulletins from my brain | Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 2:58 pm

I woke up yesterday thinking it was Saturday, Randy is off every other Friday therefore I spend that entire day reminding myself it is Friday and not Saturday. I like loosing track of the days.

Amanda's new boss called Thursday and asked her to start a day earlier than planned. She was tired when we picked her up but I think she had a good time. As a newcomer she was on the cash register where she had to actually talk to people and smile. She hibernates in her room a lot and not used to smiling so much so even her face was tired by the end of her shift.

Randy and I had errands to do. Went to Home Depot for mulch and two rolls of that weed barrier cloth stuff for the future Lantana bed.
Potting soil for the old recycle bins to plant the mint in that I bought a few days ago.
Some 2x4's for sawhorse legs so I can set up a work table outside and get some things sealed before putting them outside and some shutters painted for my room.
Two 4ft square pieces of MDF board, one for a project of his and one to eventually become a table top for the patio table frame we found years ago when doing some curbside shopping. He is going to round it off and I'll paint something on it.

And a plant. Can you believe I wandered thru the gardening section drooling over some beauties and only bought one plant. I would have bought more but you see, Randy was with me and I do my best plant shopping alone, when I can really take my time then come home and put them out back before Randy sees just how many I bought. I bought a Nandina...I know some landscapers call them vile but this one suits my purpose perfectly. I have a section of chain link fence that needs a shade plant as a privacy screen.

Out to the backyard for me now, seedlings to water and plants to plant.

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Even if I didn't get to garden

Category: Random bulletins from my brain | Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 3:23 pm

yesterday was a fun day.

Sat outside at picnic tables with Nicky's class for lunch. We sure were wishing we had thought to bring hats to shade our eyes. Nicky had his chicken nuggets, fries and coke and played with the bobblehead doll of a character from one of the childrens shows that came with his kids meal. He didn't talk very much, just seemed to bask in the attention received from grandparents and aunt....he knows how to enjoy the moment. He did totally ignore the little girl sitting next to him who spent her entire lunch time facing him and watching almost his every move, ignoring her parents who were sitting with her.

Lunch with Austin was inside, thank goodness. He and his Dad had been on a Boy Scout camp out last weekend so he told us all the jokes and about the skits they did. Austin had to get glasses a couple of weeks ago and while they do look really good on him, he also looks older in them. He is growing up too quickly.

Amanda also got the job she applied for. We were beginning to think it wasn't going to happen. She starts Saturday and even tho it is at a food place, Quiznos subs, she is excited to have money of her own.

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I don't like this February

Category: Random bulletins from my brain | Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:28 am

It hasn't rained enough to measure in my really large rain gauge, it hasn't been cold enough to even notice, no snow on the ground like Feb 14, 2004 but yet nowhere the same number of pleasant working outside in the garden type of days as last year either.

So why do I hate this February? It is trying to kill me....or at least cause me great bodily damage.

Feb 7th I had a wonderful day working in the yard, then fell while taking limbs to the curb and couldn't move for a few days without pain in my back.
Feb 12th I thought I was recovered so got out the vacuum cleaner to do the cleaning I couldn't do for the previous 5 days, did more than I should causing my back to continue hurting, preventing me doing gardening for yet another week and a half.

Feb 23, Randy and I started on the complete and extreme makeover of my potting area. Got everything moved out, I swept the fallen leaves out of the area in preparation for more roofing shingles as flooring for the new potting area.
Randy had gone into the house for something, I got the area swept and knelt down to pull some weeds....I don't know exactly what order things happened, but I think it was like this.

I had a feeling I shouldn't be at that particular spot at that particular moment in time.
I heard a sound to my right.
I think #3 was the realization that the last fence panel was falling but it might have been tied with #4 or a nanosecond after, which would have made it #4.
The next thing I knew the 6 ft x 8 ft wood panel fell onto the back of my head, knocking me down and pinning me under it. My second or third 'first thought' was I had better get at least the top half of my body out from under this thing or Randy will really get panicky when he comes back out.
I was laying on my back when he hit the back door on a dead run.
The fence panel scraped a my you know how much a head wound bleeds????

'Tis but a flesh wound' and other than a headache off and on today I have been feeling pretty good.

I think it will be at least Sunday before we can get the makeover completed.

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New recycle cart/new planters

Category: Random bulletins from my brain | Posted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:00 pm

Nice big and blue, 95 gallon lidded cart on wheels to put the recycle items out for pickup, to replace the two 18 gallon bins we have been using for several years. Our's was unceremoniously chucked into our yard this morning.

We have an even larger green, lidded cart on wheels for regular garbage pickup. Because I recycle everything that can be recycled our garbage cart only goes to the curb about once a month. But the recycle bins are there almost every week, unless we forget to put them out.

Recycle pickup will only be every other week now, but with such a large cart that won't be a problem. Unless of course I forget to put it out, then it might be. One of my neighbors never recycles anything so I could borrow hers if that happens.
This means that on windy days I won't be going out to catch milk jugs and cereal boxes as they fly down the street...on rainy days I can now put out the cardboard and paperboard which they won't pick up if it gets wet.

Also means that since the city doesn't want the bins returned to them I now have two 18 gallon, already drilled with drain holes bins to plant mint in under the large hackberry tree. I never seem to have enough mint and in the small pots I have been using they dry out too often.

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Can you say.....Arctic Front ??????

Category: Random bulletins from my brain | Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 4:21 am

Wednesday, sometime in the evening the arctic front is supposed to move thru us and it sounds like it will be similar to "epson salts thru a widder woman". (I don't know where that saying came from, but I like using it, warped aren't I) It will drop the temperature 10-20 degrees in an hour and continue dropping until we reach a low overnight of 38. Then....then....then....the high on Thursday is not supposed to be above that 38 degrees and dropping down to the mid-20's Thursday night. First hard freeze of the season and winter doesn't even start officially until Dec 21.

And...And....And...the weatherman on tonight actually said the "S" word. Okay, it was Sleet he said (not Snow) but he also mentioned freezing rain....there is a difference, sleet is balls of ice mixed with rain, frozen on it's way thru the layer of cold air several hundred feet above ground and freezing rain freezes as it hits the ground and becomes a layer of ice.

I am totally aware that most sane individuals do not share my thrill about this upcoming weather....I live with two of those party poopers. But tell me now, is being sane all that much fun really?

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Saturday - aka Hither and Yon

Category: Random bulletins from my brain | Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 3:36 pm

Saturday started out slowly, dishes and laundry and the computer. When Randy finished installing the Ham Radio in his truck then waxing and polishing the truck we left (in my car) to run some errands.

Lunch at Burger House, it was the first time for us and really liked the burgers, I loved the seasoning on the fries.
We went to our favorite Herb Shop, an old house painted purple and in a part of Dallas that is scary at night. I got some dried Mint, Marjarom, Red rose petals, Mugwort and Lavender to make Sleep Pillows for gifts this year.

Then we remembered that the Tower Record Store chain is going out of business and who can resist a sale when it comes to music??? I found the soundtrack from Practical Magic, a The Best of Rod Stewart CD that I had been wanting and a DVD of "The Point" for the grandsons.

On to Office Depot for a black ink cartridge for my printer. We were getting into the car to leave when a car pulled up out front, a young man got out, ran in and grabbed the lifesize cardboard standup poster of NASCAR driver Carl Edwards who drives the 99 car sponsored by Office Depot. He stuffed into the back of the car, hopped in and and the car took off. We weren't paying much attention to what was happening until we noticed him coming out with the poster. The store had a lady greeter at the door, she came running outside and a customer on the way in wrote down the car's plate number...we didn't even see that much.

Went to the grocery store, have you noticed how taking the family to the grocery store can sometimes make the national debt look like pocket change when the checker hits the Total button on the register? When we leave I remind one and all that the words "but there's nothing in this house to eat" are not to be uttered where I can hear them.
After supper I spent the rest of the evening sitting on the couch zoning out in front of the TV.

After working in the yard all Friday afternoon, then sitting in the car and walking around so much yesterday, my back and legs are screaming at me this morning. So today, even tho the backyard is calling my name, I think I will make those dream pillows and see if I can make some quills from the Grackle feathers I picked up out back and do some glass painting with them.

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