Winter wonderland !?

DSC03636Lorraine left Ohio (2006) because she couldn’t tolerate the winter cold, snow, ice, etc. etc.  (Really a “wimp” after 40 years living in the desert of Southern California.)  It’s nice to see the snow in the yard of a friend in Exeter, New Hampshire.  The family left sunny Florida for their traditional holiday in the old family home.  Limited heat until the furnace was repaired (burr).
Hug
I spent a week (in 2010) parked in that driveway and hours within the home of a very dear lady who opened her heart to me.  Seeing her pictures (with an e-mail message) transports me back to that wonderful time when I was traveling with my tiny teardrop trailer. Reminiscing is a respite from the continuing news regarding Newtown, Connecticut tragedy.  (I’ve spent too much time watching the TV news.)

For your entertainment, read the following blog messages:

Greetings from Exeter, New Hampshire ~~  (7/30/2010)

Portsmouth, NH, & vicinity ~~  (7/31/2010)

Sunday Outing in New Hampshire & Maine  ~~  (8/01/2010)

Life is VERY good!! ~~  (8/02/2010)

Helping the local economy?? ~~  (8/04/2010)

God Bless America ~~  (8/05/2010)

A little humor, for your enjoyment ~~  (8/05/2010)

Thank you Debbie ~~  (8/06/2010)

Power on board!!  ~~  (8/06/2010)

Accessing WiFi from my TaB  ~~  (8/06/2010)

Greetings from Rockland, Maine  ~~  (8/08/2010)

Baa Humbug !!

Broken heart

Heartache for the families of the Sandy Hook tragedy!!

I’m glued to the TV–with the marathon of details–which compounds my depression.

Cold… and rainy weather!!  I can’t take my grief into my back yard to find solace.

Ketogenic therapy

For over thirty years, I have been interested in holistic health.  The 700 Club quickly got my attention this morning when they interviewed a man who was cured of cancer.  He changed his diet!!  A ketogenic diet was the answer.  (I’ve “preached” diet for years.)  I quickly did a Google search and there are many references; here is one.  I’ll spend more time reading links after another Google search.

Landscape architect ??

Several trellis' for next season.

I actually lose sleep planning backyard projects!!  Does that make me a landscape architect–or just crazy??  I’m interested in using items I already own.  Yesterday I secured last year’s trellis behind the air conditioner (but not attached to the A/C) and will plant Cypress Vine to climb thereon.  Difficult to distinguish, in front of the A/C is a very heavy metal “fence” designed to keep a dog at the rear of an SUV.  I bought it at Goodwill and immediately recognized that it would make an acceptable trellis.  I have Sweet Pea seeds to plant there and can visualize the vine, and blooms, twining and cascading over the white metal bench (likewise from Goodwill).  On the extreme left (not in the picture) is the Honeysuckle vine and trellis.  So my vining plants are clustered in the same area.  ~~ Look at that beautiful green grass!!  I planted seed after maintenance dug up that area (replacing a drain pipe) and left it scarred and ugly.

Divided snack tray after holes were drilled.

Divided snack tray after holes were drilled.

Sturdy plastic boxes underneath to support the snack tray.

I’ve said it before: I like to be creative.  Recently I purchased gizmos”  for the bottom of planters so they have “air space.”  That was a new concept to me; I’ve used river rock in the bottom of planters.  I bought two… ($4. each “on sale”) for the large planters.  But why spend that much money ($8. each retail) for a piece of plastic when I can make my own??  I have numerous snack trays I never use (and [as you know] need to “downsize”).

Calibrachoa will eventually cascade down the side of the inexpensive (but sturdy) white pail.  ~~  On a beautiful 74 degree Saturday, the “wintering over” plants (usually indoors) are sunbathing.  Calibrachoa “starts” (in blue, and white, containers), tomato plant in wire cage (rear left).  ~~  A pictorial view of things done over the weekend.  ~~  Note the two squirrel baffles created from satellite dishes.  Observe  the tub with fresh water for the deer, and a block labeled “apple wood flavor” lick for the deer.

Calibrachoa will eventually cascade down the side of the inexpensive pail.

Calibrachoa "starts" (in blue, and white, containers.

Newest squirrel baffle--from Satellite dish--over Woodpecker food brick and suet.

Two satellite dishes over bird feeders.

Fresh water, and "apple wood" deer food at the edge of my lawn, at the edge of the woods.

Life in the slow lane !!

PhloxI’m confident the reader is tired of my oft-repeated expression: “I love my backyard garden!!”  Without the wildlife, life wouldn’t be worth living!!  The variety of birds, and the large number of squirrels, haven’t abandoned me.  I never cease to enjoy seeing a dozen, or more, birds outside my large patio doors/windows.  Moments ago I counted over twenty….  I took a few minutes to replenish feeders.  ~~  I’m not complaining.  I’m not unique.  How many other Seniors are facing the holidays alone??  The media puts an emphasis on “family”; advertisements bombard us with gift suggestions.  In my humble opinion, “K” is for kindness not a jewelry store.  Don’t misunderstand, I receive kindness here at the JAARS Center.  **BUT** I passionately long for contact with my children and grandchildren.  I get depressed at this time of year.  Repeat: I’m not complaining.  My blogs have been my diary, my journal, my documentation of events in my life.  I started this specific blog message to express pleasure with approximately two dozen birds on the lawn and feeders.  Sorry, I can’t capture the scene in a picture.~~ But, I share with you a Phlox that  is blossoming in my yard.  The picture doesn’t convey the beautiful deep purple color. 

Feels like April

The local TV weatherman said “Feels like April.”  Today’s temperature will reach 74 degrees.  ~~  As I prepare this blog, thirteen or more doves are enjoying seeds scattered in the grass.  A squirrel is running through the birds to scare them away because the squirrels eat the seeds too.  Earlier, four squirrels at the same time on various feeders.  Better than TV (in my humble opinion).

Sometimes I feel very guilty for enjoying my backyard (and spending money on my backyard) when people are still suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy.  On the 700 Club TV program (at 9:45), I’m watching a segment regarding Breezy Point, NY, folks without electricity five weeks after the storm.  Operation Blessing is still on the scene doing clean up and serving meals.

Count Your Many Blessings !!

Today I am reminded to count [my] many blessings.”

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Refrain

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

Refrain

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

Refrain

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Refrain


Best laid plans….

You’ve heard that old sayingBest laid plans of mice and men?!  I had every intention of posting pictures of my backyard busy weekend.  Something radically changed yesterday regarding preparation of a blog.  Did WordPress make a major change?  I had a similar problem almost one year ago with Blogspot.  ~~  I accomplished so much this weekend!!  It has been  unseasonably warm with 66 degrees yesterday.  I haven’t heard the high for today but weatherman predicted a similar temperature.  Tomorrow is likely to reach 70 degrees!!

Recently I read (on the Internet) about planting Phlox and Daffodils in the same flower bed.  Due to my transient status, everything (except the Honeysuckle plant) is in planters and plastic containers.  I transplanted a Phlox–separated into three clumps–into a large planter, and added Daffodil bulbs.  The package was sold as “22 bulbs” but I still had 20 bulbs and faced the question “Where do I plant these?”  Today Daffodil bulbs were planted at the top of the  plastic containers, weighted bases, for the framework of my Topsy-Turvy upside-down tomato planters.  With the remaining bulbs, I planted singularly in attractive small planters.  Those planters are currently in the backyard but when (if) the Daffodils bloom I can put them in the front yard.

The Phlox came from mark-downs at the back of Lowe’s.  (At the time I didn’t even know what it was but it had pretty purple flowers.)  Likewise (from Lowe’s mark-downs) two Petunia plants that I have watered but had not given a proper home.  Yesterday, I planted them in two of my cone-shape hanging baskets.  Those two had provided faithful service but had been shelved when their Petunia plants were discarded.  OK, they look a little shabby but may have another few months!?  I created new plastic liners from heavy-duty plastic bags and transplanted the Petunias.  Gorgeous!!

In the extremely large planter (from Goodwill) I planted California Poppies.  The planter will eventually hold Scarlet Runner Bean plants next Spring, and Poppies will be ideal at the base of the vine (in my humble opinion).  The seeds may not germinate because at least nine years old.  I discovered them while “downsizing.”  

I trimmed old flowers from the Pansy plants.  I gave everything a soaking!!  My indoor “starts” were outdoors enjoying the sunshine.  The tomato plant seems to grow several inches every time it is outdoors!! ~~   I filled all the bird and squirrel feeders.

Several pictures I specifically want to show you: A new squirrel feeder.  This feeder was on-sale at the “going-out-of-business-sale” at Lancaster, South Carolina, K-Mart.  Even with a 30% discount I wasn’t going to pay $17.49 for a squirrel feeder.  I had already paid for the organic planter soil (50% discount) when I told the clerk “OK, I’ll take it.”  Yesterday, I removed the old wood feeder from the little chair and secured the new metal one.  The squirrels were not intimidated by the change.  Why a little chair?  Because I have to bring the feeder in at night so the raccoons don’t devour the food.  Some critters I pamper, some critters I discourage!!

I got more-than-enough exercise the last two days!!  I ache all over from bending, stooping, climbing, lifting and carrying heavy bags of soil, etc., etc.  I took some time this afternoon to sit in a comfortable chair, on the patio, and plan the arrangement of planters for my Spring and Summer container garden.  Oh, two more projects: I created another baffle to discourage the squirrels from reaching bird feeders.  Another baffle created from a satellite dish!!  This one had been behind my apartment for over four years; the companies never pick up the dish when a customer cancels or moves!!  Less than $5. for the hardware after I drilled a hole in the center.  (Metal squirrel baffles are $25.or more.  I know because I had to replace plastic ones that a squirrel can break.)  ~~  At Goodwill, recently, I found a rusty old wrought-iron chair.  I’ve been searching for one!!  The seat was removed and the chair will be sanded and spray painted.  One of the large plastic planters (that looks like half a barrel) will sit on it.  The other two “looks like half a barrel” planters will be in close proximity on different levels.  I got this idea at the garden shop at Biltmore Estate: Stagger the height on similar planters or several dissimilar planters of various size and height.  ~~  I’m so anxious for Spring so I can put the plans into action, and plant… and watch grow!!  Lord willing, I’ll see the Daffodils in less than three months, and Poppies in four months.

Too bad I can’t post the pictures.  I’ll have to do additional research to see if I can go back to my original process of preparation.

~~~~~~~~

Comment: After several hours of trial and error, I was able to post the pictures (at midnight).  **BUT** things are not back to my familiar “normal.” If or when you click on the “thumbnail” size picture, it appears enormous!! The picture seems to become an individual blog where visitors can leave a comments.  Duh!!  That’s not acceptable, in my humble opinion!!  Request: Please comment on the blog and not on the picture.