Odd weekend

It was definitely a bit of an odd weekend. Saturday evening we discovered that one of our cats was missing. We have an enclosed patio and take them out with us when we go out. Of course, by the time we discovered she was missing, she’d probably been gone for hours. We spent the evening calling and searching. Finally we gave up looking and went in, leaving the gates braced open enough for her to get in if she found her way back. I spent much of the night sitting up listening for her. In the morning she was at the front door, to our profound relief.

I wanted to dye eggs for Easter, but the eggs from our hens are brown and I wasn’t sure how they would turn out. I needn’t have worried. While they don’t turn out the pastel colors of Easter, the colors I got with plain food coloring were pretty nice.

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We had a nice Easter with the family, in a slightly exhausted manner.

Great Weekend

I had a really nice weekend. Did a few errands, gathering supplies for some new jewelry ideas. The best part was going to the Orange County Cactus and Succulent Society plant show and sale. It was a great show. I was warmly greeted at the door and everyone there was happy to share their enthusiasm for plants that grow on the dry side. My personal weakness is for caudiforms and there were lots of them to see and sigh over. I don’t buy mature specimens because I don’t always have the best luck with them, but I bought my fair share of younger ones to try my hand at.  The exhibit portion had some amazing plants, which also motivated some of my purchases.

I went to the local nursery on Sunday after lunch with Mom to get some pots for my new purchases and ended up have a conversation with the nurserymen about the group and the show. I’m really happy I’ve joined this group.

Painting the kitchen

I’m in the middle of painting the kitchen. What we really need is a remodeled kitchen. The cabinets are original equipment, circa 1975 and it’s just time. However, between vagaries of economy and employment, we don’t feel confident in spending the kind of money it would take to redo the kitchen entirely. So instead, paint, polish and few other cosmetic things to make me not want to burn the whole thing down. I hate our cabinets. First, they’re white (shh, I don’t have to tell you that I painted them white forever ago), second, the interiors are made of particle board. I can’t tell you how much I hate particle board. I loathe particle board. We had a leak under the sink and the particle board which formed the bottom of the cabinet dissolved. This is not the first place where the application of water made furniture turn to sawdust. I will make my own furniture with sticks and pipes instead of buying particle board furniture.

So anyway, particle board rant aside, I’m painting. My spouse didn’t think it was worth the effort, but I did and told him I would do it, and for the most part (things I can’t reach or are too heavy) I am. I’m tackling it in bits, a couple of hours every day after work. Unfortunately, this has left a lot of mess for over a week, but I’m getting to the point where I can put most of the stuff back. It’s still going to be a couple of days, though. Everything takes longer than you think it will. I need to wash the vertical blinds and I’m not sure how to get it done in a way that won’t leave them worse than they were before. Each job seems to expand into three more things you have to do before you can finish.

It doesn’t help that we actually use our kitchen. The Spouse makes beer, we both cook and very seldom eat out. Between us and the livestock, our floors don’t stand much of a chance. If I had known how much use that floor would get I would have gone down to bare concrete instead of using wood. But I’m making progress. A couple of hours worth a day. The bits I’ve worked on are starting to look better. I’m hoping it’ll look OK in the end.

Hummingbird Divers

I love this time of year. One of my favorite things is going on in the trees surrounding my yard. The hummingbird dive bombers are at it. Male hummingbirds, in what I guess is an attempt to impress their lady loves, fly waaaay up high and dive down past them, within inches, and then up again. I wish I had the equipment to film it effectively. I can’t even describe the noise, except to say it sounds exactly like you think it would. So these days when we go out and sit in the yard I smile every time I hear that sound. Here’s hoping for romantic success for the tiny kamikazes.

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Gorgeous day out yesterday. It’s starting to warm up from the after-rain cool. I spent much of the afternoon cleaning up overgrown and/or neglected plants and working on the endless sweeping job that it our patio.

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Had company while I worked. It kinda feels like I’m being followed around by the three stooges.

I got some sand and gravel to put decorate the succulent pots with. I think I’m going to stick with the aquarium store in the future. They charge less and their stuff is more attractive than the sand I got at the nursery. I’m still looking for pots for some of them. I don’t have enough pots for all of my most recent purchases and haven’t had much luck when I went looking. I like to have something that complements the plant and I haven’t been able to find anything but plain terra cotta. Time to expand my search area.

Captive garden

I’ve started thinking of my garden as the ‘captive garden.’ Trapped behind bird netting to keep it safe from the chickens, it’s starting to recover a bit. Just shows you how dangerous ignorance can be. They ate almost everything. They don’t like the russian sage, gaillardia or salvias, so they’re all right, but everything else they ate down to the dirt. So I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to come up with a system that will keep the chickens out and let the plants continue to grow. So far that’s bird netting. I’d like to get something a little less maddening; the netting catches on everything, buttons, rings, necklaces, plants, bricks. Everything. I’d like something a little easier to work with.

Right now I’m just happy to have something that works. To no longer spend half my time sweeping up the dirt they’ve scratched out of the planters. To have plants with leaves on them. I’ve put more than half the pots on the patio under the netting and while I was at it, made sure that I could see my favorites from my chair. I’m hoping that will motivate me to make sure to water them. I haven’t hooked most of them up to the drip system yet and it will probably be a while before I do. I still have a couple of things I need to move, then I’ll start assessing irrigation needs. Have to make sure that the plants are safe from the velocichickens, then worry about watering.