Sunny Saturday

Went a little nuts this weekend. It was the first weekend since before Thanksgiving where it was both sunny and I didn’t have anything else that needed doing, so I spent quite a bit of time outside.

I tend to buy plants and hang onto them for a while before planting. I’m waiting for better weather or trying to come up with the perfect spot for a particular plant. I end up with up with a lot things in plant limbo; waiting for permanent homes. With the break in the rain I decided to just do it. Stop ruminating and get on with it.

I’ve been collecting succulents with interesting foliage colors for the past year, trying to get some color in the yard even when nothing is blooming. Crassula campfire is going to have a big part in the garden. It’s colors are so vivid I ended up getting several plants. I bought some at the local nursery that were very overgrown for the pot they were in. While they weren’t very pretty the way they were, I was able to cut them back and use the cut stems for more starts.

I took advantage of the sun and the extra day off and got almost all of my plants-in-waiting planted. I wandered around the yard deciding what I wanted to put where and when I made a decision grabbed my Japanese gardening knife, dug a hole and planted. The plants I managed to get into the ground before Thanksgiving encouraged me. They’ve more than doubled in size since I planted them. With all the rain we’ve gotten and are continuing to get, there isn’t going to be a better time to plant. Things will have time to develop a good root system before the heat of summer comes along to challenge them.

I spent a lot of time pulling up hardy geranium seedlings in the front yard. Until this year it had been fairly well behaved. It had come up from seed in a few places, but it was pretty easy to get rid of if it showed up someplace I didn’t want it. This year it’s coming up everywhere. It would smother everything if I let it. I’m not nearly done trying to tame it, but at least I cleared enough space for a few other things.

As I worked around the yard I noticed that I have a positive infestation of monarch larvae.

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I’m delighted. These guys are the reason I let the butterfly weed grow where ever it pops up.

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First weekend of the new year

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Made what Mom called 24 hour salad this weekend. I think most people would call it Ambrosia Salad, which I can’t think of without thinking of Edward Scissorhands. It consists of whipped cream and canned fruit and would never be something I would choose to make.

I also did something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I downloaded a recording app to my phone and asked Mom questions about family history and recorded the ensuing conversation. Her answer to my questions weren’t what I was expecting. Which is the point, when you think of it. We’re getting together for my nephew’s birthday on Saturday. I’m going to go a little early and see if I can get another question answered. She’s been looking so frail and feeling so poorly lately, this is not something I want to put off. I wish I’d started a long time ago. I was really happy with the way the recorder worked on my phone. It’s really easy to use. I just pushed the record button and placed the phone face down on the table between us and started talking. I was worried that it wouldn’t pick up her voice because she speaks pretty softly, but the recording was clear and easy to understand.

Christmas Decorations

I tell myself that I don’t have much in the way of Christmas decorations because I like things simple and serene. And while that is true, what would more accurate description is that I’m lazy. That and I have way too much stuff for things that I’ll have out for a couple of weeks per year and then have to find room to store in a closet. So I have a few things I put out. My grandmother’s ornaments, losing their silvering. I think of them as Ghosts of Christmas Past.

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This year I added some new decorations. I was hoping to put these bulbs among my grandmothers to illuminate them, but they turned out to be much too large. I found an alternative use.

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The thing that amuses me is where it looks like someone went through the holiday aisle at Target with a vacuum and they have a holiday item everywhere you look. Things hung from walls, windows and ceilings. Ornaments tucked into plants and sitting on every counter. It looks like Christmas elves barfed all over everything.

After the rain

It rained last Friday. I swear these days whenever it rains I can hear all the plants breath a sigh of relief as their roots suck up the much-needed moisture and their leaves expand.

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Sunday was almost warm and the winds had died down so I worked outside for a while. It was nice to spend some time outside.

I had a follower while I was working. This little one followed me from one end of the patio to the other as I went about my chores. I finally gave in and put some food down.

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I noticed some holes on the butterfly plant and found the responsible party

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Most of the plants I keep as butterfly larvae food sources are looking a little ragged right now. Something I don’t mind at all. I have fennel and parsley, but haven’t had any larvae show up on them yet.

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Last Christmas?

Oh crappity crap crap. My sister noticed and I agreed that my Mom is shopping like this is her last Christmas. Today she called me about having me order something for one of my sisters and she said just that. “I’m doing what I want because I think this is going to be my last Christmas.” Crap. Crappity crap crap.

Chilly

Been a little bit chilly lately, 40’s at night, low 60’s during the day. Yeah, I know, I’m lucky, no snow to wrestle with, not even any frost to nip at my plants. I think I’ve seen frost on the roof once in the last 20 years. When I was a kid we’d get frost as early as October. You can’t tell me that millions of square miles of asphalt doesn’t affect the climate. I’ve watched it happen.

Back to chilly. I’m not happy with the temperature and neither is my cat. My poor skinny cat looks for heat where ever she can find it. While friendly and affectionate, she is not usually a lap cat. If she’s feeling very affectionate, she’ll stand on my lap and lean on me for up to 30 seconds. I use a heated throw blanket at night when we’re watching stuff on the computer so now I have a lap cat. She comes into the office and stares at me until I pick her up and put her on the blanket on my lap, and then she melts into a puddle of warm, contented kitty. It’s as relaxed as I’ve ever seen her. She even let me pick her up, blanket and all, and put her on the floor when my legs started going to sleep. I’ve ordered heated mats for both cats, but they have a really long shipping time, so until they arrive, electric blanket it is. I don’t mind the company.

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