Winter Be Gone !!

Frost on the cars.

Ice on bird bath.

Ice on the fountain.We have a product called Weed B Gone so I’m appealing for “Winter Be Gone”!!  People living far and wide–here in the United States–are just as weary of this weather as I am.  ~~  Yesterday, I let the car “warm up” for ten minutes–to defrost the windshield–before driving to the chiropractor.

Give me a break?!

Garden flag

Bluebirds waiting for mealworms.

"Christmas" cactus--in March.I’m so sick of being sick!!  The weather is so-o-o-o cold!!  Gratefully, not as bad in North Carolina as many locations across the United States.  Yesterday the wind repeatedly blew over the Spring garden flag. Furthermore, problems with my almost new computer. My old camera doesn’t always respond when I want it to!!  (Just now, I wanted to take a picture of a squirrel eating the bird seed on the pink “squirrel buster” bird feeder.  Yes, it is supposed to be squirrel-proof!!  S/he is hanging upside down so feet are not on the bar that closes the feeder with the weight of the squirrel.  They are so-o-o-o clever!! )  ~~  See the Bluebirds in the trees??  Waiting for the mealworms!!  The Christmas Cactus is blooming–in March.  Many tiny buds on the tip of each branch.  A “Grow Light” for the seedlings.  I couldn’t sleep so took pictures in the middle of the night.  Twenty-eight degrees outside when I took the two pictures from my backyard.  Maybe my last picture with this camera??  (I’ve taken thousands of pictures with the Samsung I purchased–from a pawn shop–prior to my nine month, nine thousand mile trip with the T@B travel trailer–in 2010.)  Age is our Nemesis!!

Grow light on seedlings.

Grow light on seedlings.

Grow light on seedlings.

Grow light on seedlings.

Project driven !!

Actually 3:00 PM as I prepare this blog to follow that earlier blog.  Sick–or not–I love to work on “my projects.”  Yesterday (after the appointment with the chiropractor), I stopped at Goodwill.  I bought the extra sturdy Christmas tree stand ($2.), another item for an eventual “air bottom,” and the red plastic box for another bright planter.  Recently, from Goodwill (for $2.), I bought the wrought-iron wall decoration designed to hold glass containers and voitive-type candles.  I wanted the wrought-iron item for a “trellis.”  (“Yes, a ‘trellis’.”)  In less than one hour I combined the two with hardware and wood that I already had.  When the weather breaks, I’ll plant Morning Glory seeds to climb on it.  ~~  Then I moved to an outdoor project: I added another “arm” to the Bluebird house upright wrought-iron pole.  With that accomplished, I removed the Shepherd’s Hook.  I don’t want a squirrel to make a flying leap from the Shepherd’s Hook–and by-pass the baffle–to steal the Bluebird eggs or babies.

In the middle of the night–when I can’t sleep–I’m constructing (in my mind) projects for my backyard.  Now I’ve been invited to decorate an area in the front, too.  The neighbor that has cultivated that area–for years–is moving so I was the logical choice to maintain that area.

The camera is working just fine (Praise the Lord!!).  I gave it a  rest (while attending a mandatory training class between 11 and 12), and I inserted two new batteries.  I wish “this old lady” had some batteries to rejuvenate her!!!!!!!!  Fortunately, it wasn’t “too cold” outside but I was only out for about half-an-hour.  Feeders need feed, the patio needs sweeping, but I limited myself to that one outdoor project.  Gotta take care of my Bluebirds!! (I bought the necessary clamp at Ace Hardware yesterday.)

Christmas tree stand

Drainage holes

Ready, set, go!

Temporary location.

Making some changes.

Making a change.

The perfect "liner" for a metal planter.

The perfect "liner" for a metal planter.The forty-nine cent red rectangular plastic box is a perfect “liner” for a metal planter!!

Yucky Sunday !!

Planted tomato seeds under Grow Light.Baby tomato plants

Bluebird on feeder"Mama Blue"After writing the blog (below), I went back to bed.  The phone awakened me at 8:40.  I didn’t answer; they didn’t leave a message.  ~~  I’ve had my green tea and read e-mail messages.  I’ve watered the baby tomato plants, and fed mealworms to the Bluebirds.  Raining hard when I delivered the mealworms!! Two inches of rain water in the rain gauge–slightly inaccurate because the gauge is cracked due to a recent freeze. Forty-four degrees according to the TV weatherman.

No, I can’t get that close to the Bluebird(s).  The pictures were taken from inside the apartment–and cropped for these close ups.

Postscript, same date, 1:00: I think the Bluebirds are sitting in the nearby trees waiting and watching for their next feast.  Or they may recognize the “tap, tap, tap, tap” sound of the plastic dish (from the house) against the glass mealworm dish.  Note that “Mama Blue” doesn’t have the beautiful color of “Papa Blue.”  (The last picture from last Summer–before the upgrade to the Ultimate Bluebird House.)


Watson (the computer)


‘Twas the middle of the night, cold, rainy, couldn’t sleep!!  I watched a PBS NOVA presentation about the computer named Watson.  I was–and am–fascinated by what I saw.  So fascinated that I felt compelled to get up, wrap a blanket around me, and check my computer for additional details.  Here is the link to Wikipedia’s description.  I’ll check more links.  Now I have a greater appreciation for the genius behind the Google search engine (and Ask, and Bing).  ~~  Have you noticed that I have “a love affair” with the computer??  I love the challenge of preparing blogs, adding pictures, creating websites and building documentation thereon.  Most recently, I have spent endless hours compiling family history on  They (Ancestry) must have a super computer (similar to Watson) that finds information regarding an illusive ancestor.  I have an inquiring mind and I’m delighted with the information gleaned from tonight’s late night TV viewing.

Ice on Bluebird bird bath.FYI: I’m still sick!!  I was in my pajamas all day (yesterday).  First it was the accident–in Florida–and then a cold or bronchial infection (which just won’t go away).  Not one of my better months!!  Our yo-yo weather doesn’t help: Very few nice warm days.  I returned (from Florida) to find one-half inch of ice on the water containers in the back yard.  Snow on February 16th.

Worthless trivia !!

Garden flagBackyard purchases receiptsFor what I’ve spent on my backyard garden, I could have taken a cruise!! However, a cruise is only a few days; I’ve had one-and-one-half years of enjoyment with my backyard garden. ~~  I didn’t have to work this afternoon; it is extremely cold outside (so I can’t work in the yard).  Although I have mountains of things that need my attention, I spontaneously decided to calculate the total spent on my backyard.  Now I can “downsize” by shredding the receipts (LOL)!!

Last I heard (from the weatherman), last night broke an all-time record for this date.  It got down to 24 degrees!!  We were cautioned to cover our “sensitive” plants–and I did!!  My “handy-dandy” indoor-outdoor thermometer is in the camping trailer so I can’t tell you the temperature at this hour (2:30 PM).  I think the temperature was expected “to hover in the 30’s today.”  And this is the second day of Spring!!  How awful!!  I am celebrating Spring with a new garden flag (just outside my front door).

Bluebird house with squirrel baffle.

Continuing the subject of “worthless trivia,” I was consulting receipts to calculate the cost of the “penthouse” for the Bluebirds. The pole was free, but old, and needed a coat of black spray paint. The awesome Bluebird house–so I can open doors and see inside–cost $59.  The newly installed baffle was $25.; the blue “dishes” (for mealworms) were $15. each.  The hanging bird bath was about $45. (but couldn’t find that receipt) and the “water wiggler” was $35.  I’m not figuring the cost of the cement base disguised in the large planter full of Pansy plants.  It’s impossible to count the cost of Mealworms over the last year (and Mealworms aren’t cheap!!).  ~~  A year ago I was struggling to mount a Bluebird house, and praying I could attract a pair.Bluebirds are starting a nest. I was thrilled when a couple of Bluebirds adopted the house and made two nests.  I’ve spent the Winter feeding them–in hopes they would choose the “penthouse” I have prepared. Last Saturday I was ecstatically happy to see that they are preparing a nest.  I’ll keep you up-to-date regarding eggs and babies.  (Hey, why not check my activities in March 2012? Just click on March 2012–to your right.  Depending on when you read this, you may have to go to your right and scroll upwards to Archives.)

Busy weekend !!

I’m still sick!! (Extremely bad cold, I think.) However, I spent hours in the sunshine–in my backyard–and accomplished a lot!! Pictures: #1, Tomato seeds planted and under a Grow Light; #2 & 3, $5. “Squirrel Buster” Bird feeder from Goodwill (#4, $35. at Lowes); #5 & 6, Creating air bottom(s)” for planters (make my own for $1 or less. Why pay $8. or more?)  #7, Ready to install squirrel baffle below Bluebird house; #8, Baffle.  #9, Surprise!! The Bluebirds have started a nest!!  #10, I love my Bluebirds!!  #11, Fresh water for the critters; #12, Transplanted Calibrachoa from a smaller planter; #13, Refilled the bird feeders; #14 & 15, Near the end of a busy weekend!!  #16 & 17, Surprise, surprise, the Christmas Cactus has a lot of tiny buds and one bloom!!  #18 & 19, Daffodils have tiny buds after our delightfully warm weekend!!  ~~  No pictures, but I also planted Nasturtium seeds outdoors–and small pots indoors.  ~~  I did two loads of laundry, washed dishes, and prepared a healthy salad.  ~~  It’s 8:45 and I am exhausted!!  I’ll be in bed early (won’t stay up to watch “The Good Wife”).  ~~  Sick!!–but very happy with nesting Bluebirds, Christmas Cactus (in March), and late Daffodils!!  Oh yes, the Honeysuckle vine is sending out new growth (that discarded–looked dead–plant that I adopted last Fall).

Planted tomato seeds under Grow Light.

Squirrel Buster Bird feeder

Squirrel Buster Bird feeder

Squirrel Buster, at Lowe's

Creating "air bottom" for planters.

"Air bottom" in planter.

Before the baffle.

Squirrel baffle below Bluebird house.

Bluebirds are starting a nest.

Bluebird house with squirrel baffle.

Fresh water for the critters.

Transplanted from smaller planter.

Refilled bird feeders.

My backyard.

My backyard.

Christmas Cactus ready to bloom--in March!!

Christmas Cactus ready to bloom--in March!!

Daffodils finally ready to bloom!!

Daffodils finally may bloom?!

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Bergoglio often rode the bus to work, cooked his own meals and regularly visited the slums that ring Argentina’s capital. He considers social outreach, rather than doctrinal battles, to be the essential business of the church.

He accused fellow church leaders of hypocrisy and forgetting that Jesus Christ bathed lepers and ate with prostitutes.

“Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit,” Bergoglio told Argentina’s priests last year.

Bergoglio’s legacy as cardinal includes his efforts to repair the reputation of a church that lost many followers by failing to openly challenge Argentina’s murderous 1976-83 dictatorship. He also worked to recover the church’s traditional political influence in society, but his outspoken criticism of President Cristina Kirchner couldn’t stop her from imposing socially liberal measures that are anathema to the church, from gay marriage and adoption to free contraceptives for all.

Read more:

Knock, knock, anyone home ??

Sorry about the lack of details about the recent trip to Florida.  Quite honestly, I have been sick and lacked the energy to tackle the “sit down” job.  It is a beautiful weekend, weather-wise, and I desire to be outside in my garden.  BUT my tired body just wants to curl up in a blanket, with hot tea, and “do nothing.”  I believe my body was struggling to recover from the accident–so my resistance was low–so I was susceptible to catching a cold.  I’m taking some remedies from the drug store (against my bent regarding holistic health).  This too shall pass!!  Just wanted you to know why I am a “no-show.”

I did spent some time in the yard yesterday.  For the first time during my residency, I searched a route so I could get to the area below my yard.  It is too steep an embankment for me to climb!!  I needed to regain a $32. purchase (March 6th).  I believed it was secure but a clever squirrel might have sent it to the woods far below–and then consumed the delicacy?!  The small green bird feeder disappeared months ago…, the “baffle” went down in a recent windstorm.


Incline behind my yard.

Bird feeder

New $32. bird feeder "cage."


Rescued three....

Back to work.