Morning Cat 20150514

AshSunSilly 201502

Most mornings, Ash comes up for some attention and all the sun she can get. Like me, she likes to be warm.

Supposed to rain today, thunder and lightning even. My fingers are crossed for a decent amount. I spread flower seed mixture out in the places that the chickens have most recently dug up. Here’s hoping they don’t get into it again before the seeds have had a chance to grow. Rain two weeks in a row. Will wonders never cease? I’ve got the sprinklers on hold, which is very unusual for this time of year.

Keeping it alive

This is one of the reasons I’ll do anything I can to keep my garden alive:

 

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and this:

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and this:

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And since reading some statistics listed in a post at Annie’s Annuals I feel a lot less guilty about it. I’m not saying there aren’t ways we can use less water, but letting my garden die is the last thing on the list.

Undeveloped land in California is disappearing fast. We losing wild spaces and mountain trees to fire and climate change. Wildlife is running out of places to live. The rule for my garden is that it has to feed somebody, be it hummingbirds, butterflies, lizards, bees or us.

Shhh

My high school is having a reunion this year. My initial thought was “Why the heck do I care?” I didn’t really have any close friends in high school. In my freshman year, most of my friends moved out of state. The ones that were left became way too cool to have time for me. It was definitely not the best time of my life and not something I look back on with fondness. I did go to one reunion, and boy was I clueless. I didn’t realize it was a “I turned out better than you” contest.” I was recently divorced and went by myself. Had a pretty miserable time.

So when one of my old classmates contacted me about attending I just wrote back that I wasn’t attending.

Then the other night my husband and I started talking about it. And he came up with an idea that I just love. Crash cosplay the reunion. I’ve been a science fiction fan for most of my life. Dress up as what ever character we like and go. Won’t matter. I haven’t seen any of these people in the last twenty years, I don’t think it’s likely that I’ll see them again in the next twenty. As I’m a bit of an Anglophile, I’m thinking Doctor Who. I have the right car for it, a little blue Mini, and the costumes can be subtle or flamboyant. If they aren’t aware of the show, they won’t know. Now, which character to pick?

Ups and Downs

Made a big mistake this year. Got chickens. I like the chickens themselves, but the stuff they do has brought me to tears more than once. They ate my garden down to nubs and kicked dirt out of the planters and onto the cement endlessly. I eventually netted nearly all the planters to keep them out. But they still occasionally get in and wreak havoc. I think that the Spouse and I have come up with a method that will be more secure and less dangerous. The bird netting I’m using now catches on everything, shoes especially. But the garden has had a hard time of it this year and I sort of cringe every time I go out there.

On other hand, when I walk around outside I feel like the Pied Piper. I have a following. And we’re having an egg dinner once or twice a week. It’s amazing how many eggs you end up with when you’re getting two or three per day.

One thing that I’ve done that I’m really happy about is add more garden blogs to my reading list. Not only have I found a bunch of wonderful new blogs to read, I’ve gotten a ton of inspiration and information about organizations and events. I joined the Orange County Cactus and Succulent Society and attended their plant sale. It’s been a lot of fun.

Finished a wedding ring this week and sent it off. It’s one of those most thrilling things for me as an artist to have someone pick your work for something that important. I hadn’t made an ACS ring in quite some time and I was anxious that it turn out well. The last time I made one there was a kiln available to me at Brea Bead Works. They’ve since had to down size and I don’t think they have it anymore. But I used several fire bricks to reflect heat and it torched beautifully. I’m very happy with the way it turned out.

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.