Animal depredations

I was reading today in It’s Not Work, It’s Gardening’s blog about issues with wildlife. It reminded me of the issues we have with our yard.

We have our own squirrel issues. It does not, thus far, bother with the bird feeders. We only put thistle seed out and I don’t know if they’re worth the effort. It has, however, been systematically raiding my macadamia nut tree.


My husband thinks I should just let it be, but I don’t think he knows that it will strip the tree before any of them are ripe.

I also have problems with a fertilizer eater, except it’s not wildlife. Spud, my red-footed tortoise (captive bred) thinks that my organic fertilizer is tortoise candy and will eat any I put around the plants underneath the compost in the fall. He also has a taste for my sneakers.

Spud 201204_aa

There are occasional forays by racoons, but they mostly eat the fish out of the pond. I stopped buying expensive koi and started buy feeder goldfish at a twenty five cents each. Much more economical and I don’t end up heartbroken when my favorite butterfly koi disappears.


Finally started back in on the kitchen project. Which was basically to paint the kitchen and cover the cabinets and drawers in wood grain wallpaper. The cabinets were white on the bottom and a sponge paint on top, which I did years ago. I’d like a whole new kitchen, but with things the way they are, it’s better if we hang on to the money. The Spouse’s company got sucked up by a major conglomerate a few years ago and they have the wonderful habit of laying people off where ever they can. They like to do it around Christmas. So this is a stop gap to keep me from hating the kitchen more than I have to.

But the whole project expanded, like most projects do. Every task suddenly revealing four other tasks that needed to be completed before I could finish the first thing. Then the whole thing was interrupted by vacation, preparing for vacation, going on vacation, recovering from being sick while on vacation. Several other short projects that still managed to take up most of a weekend. With all that, the cupboard doors have all been sitting on the floor in the kitchen for nearly two months.

Yesterday I finally papered three cabinets and put the hardware back on one set. I’ll hang them today. I’m anxious to see how my plan turns out. I was very tired of the sponge finish and nothing in our kitchen should be white. When you cook at least twice a day and also make beer, white surfaces get to be pretty tiresome.

Weekend Fun

Went to the Orange County Cactus and Succulent Society show and sale on Saturday. That was a lot of fun. Went a little over what I’d budgeted because they actually had pots this time, some of which were really lovely. So I had to get some of those. I haven’t been able to find many pots that I like lately so I glommed on to the ones that I found. I really like caudiciform plants, plants that develop large trunks and roots, but they tend to be really expensive. So I cruised around the show looking for interesting plants and then trying to find beginner versions that I can afford and try to grow up into something interesting. This is my second show so far and there’s always new and interesting plants.

There was one guy that actually discouraged me from buying a plant. He said that it rotted easily. And I have had trouble with that in the past, so I didn’t buy it. That’s a pretty good example what a lot of these people are like. They’d rather make sure a plant was homed properly than make a sale. Crazy, but my kind of crazy.

So now I’m trying to decide which plant to put in which pot. I set the plants in the pots I think might go together and look at them for a while to decide whether or not I like the combination. I wish I’d thought to get the business card of the person who made most of the pots I bought. I really would like some more of them. I want all of my plants to have good homes.

Vacation photos

I did take a few, very few, photos and all of them were shot with my phone, since I couldn’t be bothered to haul out the good camera.

20150627 Beach day 3b

I’m not totally unhappy with them, all things considered. Mostly that I felt pretty crappy while taking them.

20150629a Lighthouse bay bridge

20150701b Path to the beach

No more chickens

After more than a year our homeowners association finally caught on to the fact that we have chickens and made us get rid of them. Fortunately, that process was about as painless as it could be. I put an ad on Craig’s list and found a home for them the next day. In talking to the people in advance and since they took them, I think they found a good home. Some of the responses I got were more “I’m looking for a chicken dinner” than “I’m looking to keep hens for eggs.”

I’m very torn. Half of me misses them a lot. They were silly and great fun to watch. It was interesting to observe their social nature. The other half of me is doing a little happy dance. I can take the netting off of my garden, so that I will actually be able to garden and I will be able to plant whatever I want where ever I want. All the great plants that I just resigned myself to losing or hid behind netting can come back again. My greenery loving self is very happy to be able to indulge in its addiction.