Friday, May 29, 2009

What a Difference a Few Days Make

Picture #1 - that's BAAADDDDD!!!! That's last Thursday, May 21....and I'll admit I was very very concerned!!!

Pool guys came Friday and by noon Saturday it looked more like Picture #2. Picture #2 was taken today, Friday, May 29. It's still cloudy, but I've had everything checked and my chemicals are "perfect"....just need to wait for sunshine and heat to make it get clear. After a 44 degree overnight temperature a couple of nights ago, it may be awhile before I can get in it anyway!!! It's NIPPY!!!!!

This Picture #3 was taken May 11...that was the first little sprout that came up in my elephant ear pot.

And Picture #4 was taken today...I have 6 plants and they're growing so fast you can just almost stand there and watch them get bigger! I'm very pleased with them!!!

It's been a very busy past few days....bottom line, my son is moving back to Hutchinson from Texas. I'm delighted!!! I don't know that he'd say he's delighted...but I think he's feeling relief from some unnecessary stress that was in his life. (NO....not a woman..... he's EXTREMELY happy with that relationship!!!) Anyway, he'll be moving back within the next week or so and I'm pleased about it. 'Nuff said!!
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Work in Progress

Well, I talked a couple of friends of mine, Lee and MaryLou, into transporting 5 landscape timbers in their van. I bought 4 a couple of weeks ago and learned that an 8' landscape timber will NOT fit into a Honda Fit! I had to leave the tailgate and UP, in fact, which wasn't something I really wanted to do. First thing I've found about the Fit that I don't like. There's absolutely no place to "tie down" the rear hatch...unless you'd go up to the license place and that puts a rope or whatever across real paint...and that just "ain't gonna happen!" today Lee and MaryLou and Wally (their little dog and Schiz's best buddy) hauled some timbers and 5 bags of mulch home for me. After a good deal of sweat and several glasses of iced tea, here's the finished project. I was using black plastic under the mulch when it occurred to me that I was preparing to throw away the heavy plastic bags that the mulch came I started using it instead! I'm pleased with the final outcome.

And here's my potful of elephant ears! Aren't they growing like crazy? Yesterday I took the plastic bag off for good (I've been putting it back over them at night). I think that's THE way to get elephant ears to sprout: greenhouse them!


Look at this next picture...see that teeny-tiny little nubbin sticking up at about 2 o'clock...that's the fourth sprout coming up. (If you click on the picture it'll magnify and you'll be able to see it.) New just today!

I also removed the pool cover today. I'm saving that for another blog. I took pictures...and they're not PRETTY pictures!!! Hopefully when the "pool guys" get here tomorrow to open it, they'll be able to straighten it out. Scary! Doesn't look like anything anybody would ever want to get into. I added chlorine back in March (after having a water test done)...and I think I probably should have checked into doing it again in April. I'll add pictures tomorrow. Hopefully after it's all clean and looks beautiful!
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Sunday, May 17, 2009


Look at my baby tomatoes!!!! Only two so far, but lots and lots of blooms. I'm so proud of them :)

And do you see the THREE sprouts in the elephant ear pot? My green house method evidently worked...and I will be using it again in the years to come.
I probably needed to see some sign of gentle life today. Earlier this afternoon a friend and I went to see "Burn After Reading". I was confusing John Malkovich with Quentin Tarantino (I know, they look nothing alike..but they both have that "I-wonder-if-they're-really-acting-or-is- he-really-that-demented-and-evil quality)...but this movie is very very like Pulp Fiction to me. Different story, but the same "this causes that causes this" and pretty soon you're back to square one. Violent in parts...and usually you're laughing at things you're not sure you should be laughing at!
We had a rather "private showing"...there were only 6 people in the theatre. I think there were 8 when it started, but there was a man with a boy sitting behind us and I think they must have left early. I didn't expect much of a crowd as the weather today is absolutely perfect and I'm sure most people are doing "outside" stuff. We'd planned to go Friday evening and a hail storm rolled in, then Saturday evening my friend had a card game to go to, so we decided this afternoon would be fun. And it was!! I can't say I recommend the movie, but I did enjoy it..but it does have some sexual references and offensive language that may upset some people. Don't take the kids...but it's pretty funny. George Clooney and Brad's hard to go wrong!

Friday, May 15, 2009

More on the back yard

Blogger wouldn't let me (or I'm not smart enough to figure out how to) post more than four this is a continuation of the earlier blog.

Up front I want to say that I'm open to suggestion, advice, comments, etc....

The spreading cedars are SICK!!! They look even worse in person. My opinion is that it's because I trimmed them too early (thinking it was spring)...and then we had an 18" snow storm! It seems to me they're getting greener...but I'm not sure. I don't like fact, I intensely DISLIKE them....BUT...I don't really want them to die because that would mean I'd need to remove and replace them with something...and that's a lot of work! Any suggestions???? Please feel free to either email me or leave me a comment!

And Patsy...if you're reading this....all that greenery along the fence is day lilies and year, OK?

And here are the two peony plants that I thought I had completely dug out last fall. They are under a big yew bush and behind the shed. Between the shed, the two sides (corner) of the privacy fence and the bush, they get very, very little sunlight. And yet, they have buds on them.

My friend Pat promises to take them off my hands this coming fall. Goofy Things!!!

I really love growing things. But I'm afraid I'm not very good about it. I tend to plant things (like the cannas) and then decide I really should have cleaned the bed of grass and weeds BEFORE I planted. I kind of think if they're going to be strong and tough and live here, they need a little competition! Maybe not, huh??
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The Back Yard

Just a little update to show you how "the plants" are looking today. I've got ABOUT 45-50 cannas up and showing now. Here to the right are just a few. I'm going to put down some more landscape timbers and then plastic and mulch around them I think.

And here's the baby elephant ear plant. It's growing very rapidly!

The tiny clematis is one that I moved and nearly killed last year. It's just in the worst possible place...but it's blooming!!! My neighbor has a HUGE one that grows up over a big arbor and it's just gorgeous. That's my goal...but I don't think this is the right location for it!

Here are a few of the black-eyed Susans....and that one to the far right is one of two giant purple zinnias that Patsy gave me. The other one is at the other end of this plot and is doing quite well. I had planned to use them around my little pond, but didn't get moving on it fast enough and the zinnias needed to be in the ground.
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Thursday, May 14, 2009

The count of cannas is now up to 41...41 of the 71 bulbs I planted have already sprouted. Some are 4" to 6" tall and have the rolled leaf ready to open!!! And my little nubbin of an elephant ear has probably about doubled in size since it's last photo. My tomatoes are covered with blooms, some beginning to hang down and look like they want to become little Roma tomatoes!!! My cucumber vines are looking good..not very big yet, but still alive...and at my house, that's worth something! My peonies...that I thought I'd completely dug out last year...are back and looking great...with pretty good sized flower buds on them. Not sure if they'll be open by Memorial Day, but at least they're headed that way.

Yesterday Mary and I rode to Partridge and back..about 20 miles. There was a strong headwind on the way out...very strong...but we flew coming back!!! Great tailwind. Makes it worth the effort going out.
Today we chose to meet on the bike path and rode out to Hendricks Hill and back. Hendricks Hill is about the only "natural" hill we have within just a few miles of town. It's a pretty good hill!!! We have viaducts and man-made hills...but Hendricks is a good old sandhill hill! This was the first time we've done it this year and Mary commented that it was harder than she'd remembered. I didn't think it was as hard as I had remembered...but...Mary doesn't shift a whole lot. She prefers to "muscle it out" as she puts it. I, on the other hand, figure somebody put that grannie gear on there for me to use. I kept shifting down until I was out of gears...and then went to the little grannie of the front and pretty much just "walked" my way up the hill...not fast, but as long as I'm on the bike and it's still moving forward, I'm happy! We wound up with a super good ride and about 19 miles. These aren't long rides yet...but the weather this year has been really strange. It's still pretty cool most days...and it's been rainy-looking too. We said yesterday that "real athletes" do this rain or shine...but I don't think we're "real athletes"...we're just trying to keep strong and healthy.
We talked today about how many people we know that have had various surgeries and it's incredible that both Mary and I have missed that misfortune. Again...I repeat...we should all count our blessings! Whenever you feel that something bad is happening to you...look at others around you and COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

May Flowers!!

This lovely bouquet was given to me last Friday by my friend Pat. She brought my sister and me each a beautiful sweet. Thank you, Pat!!!!

Then these hostas are coming up great again this year. This house "came with" some
really nice hosta plants. Big hostas!!! I don't know what the other plant in the picture
is but it looks like a geranium...however, they come back every year even though
they're left outside year-round. Have tall, spindly pretty little pink bell-like flowers.

And this is one of the 34 or so cannas that are coming up. (I planted 71!) They're doing GREAT!!! Hope they continue to crowd their way into the world...they aren't exactly planted in the best possible places.

And this is my TODAY'S JOY!!!!!!

This is the elephant ear that is planted in that pot with the plastic over it in my last blog. The one my sister asked if I was trying to cook it. They're supposed to be jungle plants
and it evidently liked the moist, warm environment....because today.....

See that itty-bitty yellowish-white nubbin....that's an elephant ear!! There are several planted in this watch for further updates as birth occurs!
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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers' Day

Happy Mothers' Day! In Hutchinson, Kansas, it's a rather overcast, dreary day. I think our temperature is about 56 degrees...not cold, not warm...just dreary. Good sleeping weather (I know!!).

Last evening I decided to get my pond underway. I didn't do a very good job of it. It's crooked. Now I'm thinking I'll let a good downpour of a rain come and settle the dirt I put in around it, then reseat it and level it out. No? Well, then maybe it'll just be unlevel. The plastic covered planter has elephant ear bulbs planted in it. Someone asked me recently if I was cooking them. No...I uncover them if/when the sun comes out...but elephant ears seem to take such a long time to come up that I thought that maybe if I created a greenhouse for them, they'd sprout sooner.

The three little clumps of greenery are zebra grass...I really like it! It'll be about 3 feet tall and waving in the breeze before long. Horizontal stripes...neat! I also planted some marigold seeds (because I had them) around the edges. I think I need creeping phlox or a vining ivy to cover the crummy fit of the landscape timbers however.

In other parts of my yard I now have 32 cannas "up"...the tallest may be about 4"...others just little points peaking through the dirt. I planted I'm expecting more to arrive.

My Roma tomato plants look pretty good. They even have several blooms on them. And I have two hills of cucumber plants...I'm going to try to convince them to climb a trellis up the side of the shed.

I've also planted zinnias and have tons of day lilies and iris up (and blooming). My black-eyed Susans are looking great..coming back from last summer.

The pool gets opened in 12 days...seems late when I think May 22, but seems too early when I check the temperature outside. I'm anxious for warmer temperatures and to get past this "storm season" weather.

My son called this a.m. and wished me a Happy Mothers' Day...hope you've wished your mother a good day too!!!
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Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day

Happy May Day!!!

Back in the old days, when I was a kid (when Bully was a calf) we used to take May baskets filled with flowers and candies to friends' houses and knock/ring the bell and run away. So this morning I took this cute little crocheted basket that I bought at a garage sale a week ago, filled it with a few pieces of peppermint, stuck an iris in the top of it (only thing I have currently blooming other than chives)...but then I called Patsy and told her I was bringing it over. I didn't ring and run! We had a very brief but pleasant visit, and it was just a fun moment or two. I've already told Patsy this so I'm not divulging any dark secrets, but I only gave a dime for that little basket. The garage sale people had a big box full of these and little parasols for ten cents each. Isn't it a shame that someone obviously spent hours on these adorable little things and now they're being sold for a dime each? But, being the buyer, I was delighted! I immediately thought of Patsy when I saw it. It's her "kind of stuff"!! And, I got to see her MANY plants that she has started inside (and so far has refused to introduce to the wonderful Kansas weather - Today, May 1 - 48 degrees...kind of cold, pretty windy, very little sunshine, maybe rain later....Hello, Kansas!...but I wouldn't even consider living anywhere else!!!) And then we did a little tour of her front yard looking at the many plants she's put there. And THEN, she gave me two purple zinnias to plant. I plant zinnias every year...I really like them a lot...and I've planted some this year. They're up and minuscule!!! The ones Patsy gave me actually look like plants! I've got a special place all planned out for them.

Segue to garage sales.....last week I went garage saling. I love garage sales! One person's trash is another guy's treasure!!! Last week I bought a 4' x 2' kind of bean-shaped hard plastic pool liner...the kind you see at Lowe's and Home Depot?? I gave $3 for it. Then I went to Ebay and bought a fountain pump for $4 so I can have a little waterfall. I've got my sister collecting Missouri rocks for me and another friend is going to bring me some shale rocks from his ranch down by Howard, Kansas. All I need to do is dig up the zebra grass, build that area up and support it, dig a hole for the pool and line it with sand to keep it level etc. and rig up the wiring, then put the rocks around it and plants....sometimes I wonder why I do these things. I have decided I won't put fish in it. I did that a few years ago and would bring the fish in during the winter. And the fish would die...and the water would get mucky...and once it grew little scaly things on the fish. All in all, not a good situation...for the fish or me! So no fish, just plants around it. And I can rinse it out or pour bleach in it or a chlorine tablet and not worry about killing the fish.

I went garage saling again today. I bought a gopher (like the one in Caddyshack) that is battery powered...either to give to my sister or tease the dog with...for $1
I bought a stuffed limp Eeyore for Schiz (my dog)...because she's spoiled rotten and only has 6,000,000 toys and needed one more - a quarter.
I bought a leather horse for $1...that I think I may Ebay...or give to my cousin who's a horse enthusiast! It really IS neat!
I bought a vest for a quarter.
I bought a box fan that seems to work perfectly for $1. It's for my sister.

Like I said, I really enjoy garage saling. The gal I bought my car from wanted a vest similar to one I was wearing when I bought the car and I found her one for $1. She then said she'd just give me a list of stuff to watch for that she wants! Ha-ha! I'm already shopping for a dozen other people. Sure glad Zippy gets such good gas mileage!

I took supper (chicken and noodles) to my friend Sherrie earlier today who just had surgery and has only been home about a week. She's doing very well, but still has quite a ways to go. She'll soon start 6 months of chemo. Sherrie's one of the sweetest, genuinely good, nicest gals in the world. Please include her, as I have, in your prayers.

On that note...I think I need to go raid the refrigerator or something!
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