Saturday, May 22, 2010

Should I notify the Red Cross?

A double columbine...looking more like a rose or a fuchsia.

New varieties are interesting; I think I prefer the traditional columbine form though.

With all the rain (and snow) we have had lately the garden is doing well.
I've been giddily collecting coral bells lately.
They come in so many amazing colors and produce those cute little red and pink bells on a stem too.

The garden is growing fast and getting greener while my dollar pile shrinks with every trip to the nursery: my greenbacks are getting changed out for a different kind of green.

(With the way the economy is going I'm not sure the printed currency will be worth much in a few weeks anyway.)

Outside looks great.

The view from inside: not so great.

Our windows were darn near frosted looking; having to see the garden through a hazy muddy coating finally move me into action.

So yesterday it was overcast, slightly windy, warmish and perfect for the window cleaning task.
Armed with Win*ex hose spray I washed all the upstairs windows.

I was not impressed with the results.

Next I tried the same company's new product: a pad embedded with the cleaner on a pole.

Removing all the screens, I scrubbed them up and left them to air dry against the shrubbery.

I added an extension pole from the paint roller to make the cleaner on a pole long enough to reach the upstairs windows, and scrubbed up the downstairs windows as well.

The product worked well; but being finicky, I then pulled the windows out of their tracks and hand cleaned them with more product.

I couldn't quite manage to reach the outside of the stationary window half though. The few hazy spots left despite the two previous treatments (which I did TWICE) irked me, but I decided to just resign myself to imperfection.

This morning I enjoyed a (mostly) crystal clear view from all my windows.
If you would like to visit me, and have a fetish about windows being clean, please plan to drop by sometime within the next 24 hours.
After that two whole days of rain is in the forecast.
Figures, doesn't it?
Both our cars need washing too.
I tremble to think what could happen if we get them washed.
I suppose the decent thing to do would be to notify the Red Cross and the local news stations.
All clean windows AND freshly washed cars?
Monsoon rain and flooding for sure.
If we add picnic plans to the mix I suggest the local populations consider moving to higher grounds immediately.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

There are folks like that in every neighborhood

So there I was, prowling the local garden center like the gardening addicted soul that I am...
Went to the inside garden area to check on a few things to fluff up our little nest...
Only to discover that apparently I am not the only one feeling that the "nest" needs some fluffing up inside.
Seriously; it was a show-down as to which one of us saw this item first.
I was a bit dismayed to see the bird soar away and attempt to fly back outside through the automatic glass doors each time some one passed through.
I held the doors open, and made my best encouraging bird sounds hoping to guide the wee bird back to the great outdoors.
It swooped around the store, zipping inches past shoppers heads, lighting for moment before winging away again.
I finally gave up and headed outside myself.

Only to see that ANOTHER swallow perched within the store's boundaries.

As any Southern California raise person, I know for a fact that the swallows are to return to Capistrano on March 19th each year.

These birds were clearly AWOL by being here in Utah right now. They are NEEDED in So Cal to draw the tourist to spend money in San Juan Capistrano. Don't they know how fragile the California economy is right now? The well being of the entire state may be resting upon their tiny sky blue backs!

The store had placed netting about apparently in an attempt to discourage the swallows from nesting.
Apparently swallow "love and marriage followed by a baby carriage" drive was stronger than the store's defense.
Swallows were EVERYWHERE...flying, nesting, courting, pooping...
Then there was one lone sparrow calling and shivering his feathers.
He was super loud.

His nest was a super mess.

The swallow families probably hated to see that family move into the neighborhood.

Nest values must have dropped like a rock.

Some of the swallows looked better dressed than others.
After a bit I could tell which swallows were a pair; they took turns making nest building runs, one staying while the other took off in search for more mud, then that one would take off to go on the mud hunt while the other would get busy adding to their homestead.

As is so typical in every neighborhood: one couple had an artistic flair which they use to show off and make the other neighborhood nests look drab.

(Perhaps those birds had secretly been watching HGTV over the winter. Darn that old Candice Olson and her constant redesigning perfectly good interiors.)

Had this couple been watching the show about extreme house designs?

(Tonight on HGTV: A house build perched upon a single nut and bolt!)

Who could not tell they were swallows with that distinctive tail design?
I don't completely understand their coloration design: wouldn't you think the blue should be on the bottom so when you looked up they would blend into the sky, and the white and brownish parts should be on their belly so view of them from above would make them blend into the earth?
I'll have to ask God about that someday...

Bernie took a look at this picture and pointed out that it looked like it was built of ...well, you know how bird "flit, sit and sh**"?
Yeah, built of that.
Sometimes there is just no accounting for home design vision and decorating now is there?

Thoughts on Farding*

I rather enjoy farding personally.
My farding time in the bathroom, or while I am waiting at a stop light refreshes me and helps make me feel ready to take on life.
It is hard to image, but back in the 1700's women would invite their friends to come watch them as they would fard before going out.
Personally, I think that was a rather strange way to entertain...but who knows what they would of thought of our entertainment: going into dark rooms with bags of hot popped corn where nary a word is said, all eyes glued to bigger than life strangers doing strange things.
Speaking of strange things...I just finished watching a new beauty technique: Eyelash perming.
A small bendable rod about the size of a lollipop stick is stuck to the eyelids just above the eye lashes. The top of the rod then has a sticky substance applied, and one by one each eyelash is stuck to the rod.
Next a perming solution is brushed on. The solution smells just as you probably remember a perming solution smelling. (Admit've had a perm at least once in your life. Wonder if they will ever make a come back? Probably; after all, wall paper is now the newest hot trend and that is something I thought would never be considered as a decorating element again.)
Awhile later the lashes are rinsed and release, now curling upwardly in a permanent graceful arch. So long eyelash crimper...hello one less step each morning on the pathway to beauty.
As Dolly Parton's character observed in the movie Steel Magnolias: "There is no such thing as natural beauty".
After a certain age, no truer observation can be made.
Eyelash perms will be offered at our school's clinic in six weeks. I plan to be first in line. I'm not sure how it will be to have eyelashes that have that distinctive rotten egg scent for awhile, but I am going to give it a whirl. Dye my lashes, then curl them. Perfect.
I think I'm going to love not having to mess with my eyelashes while I am farding in the morning.
*Fard: To paint the face with cosmetics.
(Thanks to RL for bringing this particular word to my attention!)

Monday, May 17, 2010


Good times at last for the Garden Bunny.

The lettuce crop has grown above his pink ear tips.

I reach around him to harvest, leaf by leaf, the makings for a savory salad each day.

Mother's Day brought a new feature to Bunny's domain:

A waterfall fountain for our deck!

Blending in well with the other barrel planters, the chuckling sounds of falling water is my current sedative against stress.

I've packed red flowers into the planters to encourage hummingbirds to linger, and planted seeds to grow small rounded carrots, multicolored radishes and various herbs amidst the flowers.

I see the makings of future lazy day snacking and plate garnish in my mind's eye as I plant.

Peanuts in shells are perched on the railing and aside the water bearing barrels to lure blue jays in for closer inspection.
So far the Jays only steal them when no one is there to see.
I have patience...eventually they will be eating peanuts straight out of my hand.
(The only question remaining is how will I take a picture of that when that happens?)
Ah is simply bliss to be out on the sunny porch with a good book and friendly feline.
Happily, the birds don't seem to mind the kitty...a blackheaded grosbeak dropped by several time.
The chicadees flittered in and out...
One 'dee even worked on his pedicure!
I was THRILLED to see a bunting.
At first I thought it was an oriole.
Thunderheads pile up over the mountain; the air fills with the scent of freshly mow lawn. Good weather inspires all the neighbors to get their lawns trimmed up at last.
Mixed in with the grass scent: the fragrance of lily-of-the-valley wafting over the fence from our neighbor's back yard. They are rarely they know what they are missing right now?
The tree on our side of the fence is a cloud of white.
Blossoms wedge themselves in between fencing.
I see the white cloud-like tree, yet need to see the individual flowers as well.

They won't last forever; a forceful wind gust tore the petals free, creating a shower of white in the garden.

The petals piled up in every crevice; snowdrifts that melted not in the afternoon sun.

The tree...the mountain...the snow.
Which was cold?
Which was warm?
The water falling on the deck burbled and called to me.
Up on the deck I put my camera and glasses safely on the low table next to the couch.
Nestled my head on the pillow
and closed my eyes.
Lulled by the sound of splashing water
singing birds
scent of flowers
warmth of springtime
I fell asleep.
Five hours later I awoke.
I think I have found at last the nap place of my dreams.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

An 80 minute drive to another adventure

This is close to the final scene of my Friday adventure.
It started with Bernie asking if I'd like to go out to the back country with him on Friday.
Of course I said yes....

See the adventure by clicking HERE.

You will be able to see a slide show with captions; it is a faster way for me to share the day with you, and better for you as you will automatically see the full screen pictures anyway!

Just select SLIDESHOW from on top of the pictures, and hit your F11 key to see the pictures full screen.

And to think this was just a little over a hour from home....