Speaking of Bluebirds

Mama Blue with mealworm

Mama Blue

Diving for mealworms

Papa Blue

Close up of Papa Blue

Mama Blue

Bluebird in Red Bud tree

For me, a great stress reliever is “bird watching.” I took my headache (Income Tax prep headache) and a sandwich to the patio. I supplied live Mealworms for the Bluebirds. I tried to stand as still as a statue so I could get some good pictures. These aren’t “professional” (pictures) but photography and bird watching are (IMHO) “good medicine.”  ~~  Click on each picture to enlarge for better viewing.

Garden of “Eat-in” !!


Ideal location for the trellis.





Squirrel eating whole peanut.




Squirrel on pink feeder.

Squirrel struggling for a whole peanut.

Squirrels on feeder.





“Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morning.” A morning after a refreshing rain (1 & 1/4 inches) that cleared the air of pollen.  (Everything has been covered with a heavy “blanket” of yellow pollen!!)  I sat on my patio and watched the birds come and go.  The squirrels were (almost) at my feet to get the whole peanuts.  There was a Hummingbird at the red feeder a second earlier but I failed to get it in the picture.  ~~  No demands on me this morning: No chiropractor appointment. I do not have to work this afternoon. I can enjoy my Garden of Eden or, as the critters might say, “garden of eat-in.”

Postscript: I’ve spent over a year developing my yard hoping to attract Hummingbirds and Bluebirds.  Praise the Lord, to my delight, I have both!!  

Create your own “air bottom” !!

Create your own "air bottom."

"Air bottom" in planter.

Air bottom for large planter.

Divided snack tray after holes were drilled.



I purchased–and used–two professionally prepared enhancements for the bottom of my large planters. My name for them: “air bottoms.” I purchased “on sale, half price” but resented the $4. price. So I started making my own from plastic bowls and trays. I’ve found Goodwill a good place to find “candidates” for this project. ~~  I save in one area to offset the expense of mealworms, black oil sunflower seeds, wild bird seed, squirrel foodetc.!!  ~~  FYI: Since I learned the merits of these inserts, I no longer use river rock in the bottom of the planters.  (I gave away about forty pounds of river rock.)

90 percent inspiration, 10 percent perspiration !!




Repositioned trellis.

Ideal location for the trellis.A few days ago (April 4th) I displayed my curious creation “trellis.”  I said “subject to a remodel.”  Very early this morning I had the bright idea that the “trellis” would be ideal on the framework for the Topsy-Turvy upside-down tomato planters.  Recently I decided I would not try Topsy-Turvy tomatoes this year. The seeds I planted sprouted under the Grow Light but quickly died.  Frankly, I spent a lot of time pampering the tomato plants (last year) and decided I lack the health and energy for the project this year.  I planted a red Mandevilla plant in a white pail directly under the trellis.  “Red,” obviously, to attract the Hummingbirds!! I believe my container garden will be a riot of color in a few short months!!

ClematisSN853045Mandavilla plant

I may have paraphrased the percentages.  (Maybe I’ll check the web for the actual quotation).  Some of my projects don’t require any hard labor, just come up with a new idea.  Look at the pictures (taken April 7th) of the front porch where I inserted hooks for hanging baskets.  See the shrub at the corner of the porch rail??  The shrub went “bye-bye” and a square green planter took its place–a planter with a pink Mandevilla plant.  It will vine all over the porch rail (if all goes well).  I ran out of planter soil (again) or the red Mandevilla would have been in the bone-color planter so it could climb on the rail next to sidewalk and parking lot.  But (IMHO) the red Mandevilla will be perfect for the backyard garden!!  Today I bought a  Clematis for the bone-color planter.  ~~  I love my gardening projects!!  I loved the 85 degrees weather today!!  

FYI:  I am always looking at the possibility that I will have to move.  I am not “a retired missionary.”  This complex was built “for retired missionaries.”  However, at the time I inquired… there were numerous vacancies.  Mine had been vacant for over two years.  I was able to rent with the stipulation that “if all the apartments are rented and a retired missionary wants an apartment you’ll [I’ll] have ninety days to move.”  Well… all the apartments are rented!!  Will I have to move??  Only time will tell!!  ~~  I’ve prepared plants in containers because FRANKLY most of the residents don’t want plants to care for.  They are very vocal about “no plants, no bird feeders, no squirrels”!!!!!!!!!!  When I move, the front and back yard can revert to mundane. ~~  (I’ll have a “yard sale” in the truest sense of the word!!)

Postscript, Thurs., April 18, 2013, 2:30 PM: I bought a new (large) bag of Miracle Gro planter soil today (after my chiropractor appointment)–and planted the Clematis after work. The plant has pushed out amazing growth while still in its half-gallon size pot.  With that large planter full of delicious soil, it should climb all over the white rail in no time at all?!  When I purchased… there were buds but no blooms. Extremely beautiful purple blossoms have appeared. (The last picture [above] was copied from a website. Perhaps–in a few months–I’ll be able to publish a similar picture of my Clematis.)

Beautiful weekend !!



Close up....

A bargain !!

I spent almost the entire weekend outdoors in my yard(s).  The pictures document the only new project: Hanging baskets for the front porch.  Flowers to follow!!  Look at the bargain price when I purchased the baskets in the Winter (from Lowe’s).  I needed to drill pilot holes for the heavy-duty hooks.  ~~  On Saturday, I filled bird and squirrel feeders; transplanted some seedlings into hanging baskets on the back patio.  Wind chimes were moved from one location to another; bird feeders were relocated in hopes the squirrels will be discouraged.  “Dead heads” were trimmed from the several Pansy flower beds.  Hey, too many tasks to identify!!  ~~ Two loads of laundry required some time; still need to put things away and make the bed with fresh-washed sheets.  ~~  True story: I was so tired last night, I was in bed just prior to 8 PM.  Then, unfortunately, I was wide awake for several hours in the middle of the night (so watched PBS-TV).  ~~  Hopefully you had a beautiful weekend too.

Another trellis ?!

TrellisTrellisThis is another one of my unique trellis.  Note the “big white boxey thing” is a collapsible set of plastic shelves that could accommodate sweaters, etc., hanging inside a closet.  Last year, a plastic owl was perched on top of the vertical pole (to scare critters away from my Topsy Turvy Upside Down tomato plants).  I had the necessary items to create this–except a PVC pipe “T” at the top of the pole.  Not a very sturdy base so this is subject to a remodel; $2. for the “shelves” (from Goodwill) and $1.29 for the “T”.  ~~  “Being creative” keeps me from being apathetic.  “What’s the use of living?”  ~~  I’m sick (really); I never hear from my family (that breaks my heart).  It’s insane that I still have hardware items I purchased in Arizona, or California, prior to my move in November 2004.

Sounds like I’m having a “pity party”??  After watching Kind Hearted Woman on TV last night, I’m counting my many blessings.  I encourage you to watch the program.  It’s a reminder that many people living in the United States of America are struggling with their day-to-day existence.  ~~  Maybe I was drawn to this true story because I was a single parent–and know the struggle.  Little boys need their Dad and he (by choice) was over 3000 miles away.  Very limited finances so “necessity was the mother of invention” (I did my own maintenance).  I hoarded items that might be useful–in the future–for a project (and still do).