Horticulture Friday !!

The local Lowe’s has about a dozen large rolling racks full of mark-down plants.  The freeze that killed my Begonias probably affected Lowe’s plant inventory?! I bought fifteen plants today–most were just $1.00 each.

It’s a conspiracy: I had a long message all typed out and then “poof” it was deleted!!

As I was saying, I bought fifteen plants and planted three. First: shopping; second: brought my printer from my RV site storage and set it up; third: CARE Health Fair meeting; fourth: planting plants but not enough “day.” It is 7:00 PM and a strong chilly wind is blowing and it drove me indoors (although I planned to plant as long as there was daylight). More rain forecast for Saturday and Sunday; yuck!! It will be six days before we have another warm day like today.

I’ve started a planned experiment. Remember the Nature’s Head composting toilet I bought last October? I have two identical Calibrachoa (Million Bells) plants in two identical planters, hanging side by side on a Shepherd’s Hook. It will be interesting to see if the plant with compost will grow better than the one in identical soil without compost.

I was “too busy” today to think about pictures. True story: The camera never entered my mind. Strange because I usually have it handy.

Busy Thursday !!

Spring garden flagAn old saying “Make hay while the sun shines.” I’m “making progress” on a bright sunny day!! The side yard, and back of the trailer, have been unsightly (IMHO) but the weather has been my enemy. I couldn’t work in the yard. I’ve received more visitors lately and felt embarrassed by the clutter. Much has been accomplished; it’s 3:00 PM and I need to “take a break.”  ~~ I should take more soggy wet rugs, and towels, to the laundry room; I should…, I should. Maybe later?! (So many things got wet in this last storm.)

My “break” was interrupted by the maintenance supervisor saying “You need to get busy with the weed-wacker.”  So I was in the yard for half-an-hour and appealed to him to put the “Y” on the faucet so I can attach the garden hose, and eventually water the plants. (Not now, so soon after the hard rain.) My purchase, brass “Y.” Every time I turn around, a new expense. Tomorrow a new friend and I will go to Lowe’s for some bedding plants. (The Begonias planted on February 23rd were killed by the recent freeze.)


Heaven help me!! Using the weed-wacker is a lot of work!! BUT I need to master the project; maintenance won’t do it!! “They” mow the yards with a riding lawn mower. Because I have “so much stuff” in my yard “they” can’t get in. Therefore, I have to maintain my yard or give up “so much stuff.” Honestly, I’ve never used a weed-wacker and I severed the line several times. I needed to re-thread and re-spool several times. Fortunately the do-it-myself projects (though the years) provided the necessary mechanical skills. Frankly, I didn’t finish the job; I quit!! Boy am I tired!! Too tired to fix fresh broccoli, salad and mashed potatoes. I think I’ll head over to the dining room for a burrito.  (Shame, shame on me; shame, shame on the cook!! Really poor meals!! OK, OK, I talked myself out of a burrito; I’ll fix the wholesome food. ).

Happy Wednesday !!

Five Bluebird eggsA very happy Wednesday, indeed!! Look what I found in the Bluebird house. I am thrilled!! Frankly, I thought it has been too cold and too rainy to “start a family.” Five weeks from how, however, the weather may be ideal when the babies fledge.

It’s a conspiracy ?!?!

Kitchen area

On March 16th, I wrote “I take two steps forward and slide three steps back.” Yesterday saw a marvelous transformation of my living room-kitchen area.  With all the marvelous floor space (echo: “marvelous floor space”) I vacuumed thoroughly and used the crevice tool, too. (Yes, I used my Halo vacuum cleaner that wasn’t an appropriate donation for the Silent Auction.) More on-my-knees as I cleaned the carpet with Resolve High Traffic Area Carpet Foam. I took the three “scatter rugs” to the laundry room and invested a couple of dollars to get them clean. They were not quite dry when I brought them home so I draped them over planters in the yard. BUT (here’s the conspiracy theory) it rained again last night. Not a lot; just enough to get the rugs wet!!

Dining areaLiving areaIt is another dark gloomy day as I write this (9 o’clock). Because of “re-arrangements,” my back is turned so I can’t see the street and people coming and going. Notice in the second picture that I have my decades-old office chair at the side of the table. Previously I was using a big dining table chair at the end.  There is “decades-old” plastic between the carpet and the chair wheels. That was lugged-in from the yard and scrubbed. A similar plastic is under the glider-recliner chair (brought in from the yard and scrubbed) but it was larger and required work. With my heavy-duty long-handle tree-limb clippers, I removed about fifteen inches along one side (now turned to the back, of course). Why have plastic? So the black wrought-iron base doesn’t blemish the carpet. (I can’t argue with success; I’ve done it that way for years!!) Notice the rust-color towel on the glider-recliner? That towel is over thirty years old, never used, elegant luxurious Egyptian cotton. Why do I cover the chair? Because over-the-years (especially when it was in storage for fifteen months) the simulated-leather became sticky!! So-o-o-o, I lubricate the material with WD-40 and I cover the chair. (It’s a very comfortable chair!!)

Furthermore (yesterday): I had to make changes in the position of the shelves on the black wire rack (see it behind the office chair). Now I have a place for the plastic magazine files. Those contain Birds and Bloom magazines, Escapee magazines, and gardening books.

Bluebird on mealworm feederThat’s my news for this morning, all the news worth publishing. ~~ I’m using the Canon camera (so no time and date stamp) because I’m out of AA batteries. It’s a conspiracy?!

On the bright side (on a gloomy day), a picture (taken yesterday) of a Bluebird at the mealworm feeder.

Good ridance !!

Out with the  “Papa Bear” chairs; in with the “Mama Bear” chair!! I’m so thrilled with all my valuable floor space!! A few hours ago, I could hardly wiggle my way through the living room-kitchen (with six chairs). Now (7:00 PM) I am going to sit in my wonderful comfortable glider-recliner (third picture) and read. (A kind thoughtful generous young man transported my glider-recliner from the mini-storage unit. PTL!! He took the large chairs to their new home.) ~~ On second thought, here are two pictures from my easy chair.

Rocker recliner

Huge rocker recliner

Glider recliner


Valuable space

All that open space; a good view of the Bluebird house.

View from my glider-recliner


Night view of the glider-recliner

Morning view of glider-recliner

Close up of glider-recliner


Postscript, Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 9:00 AM: Oh, what a beautiful morning; oh, what a beautiful day!!

The comforter

Round tuitThe “clean up” project prompted me to shift things around. The comforter would have eventually found its way to my bed “when I got ‘a round tuit’.”  It has been packed for twenty years; it was too large for my twin bed.


The comforterClose up of the comforterComforter on bed from hall


My mother, Pearl Showalter Frantz, had a large wardrobe of polyester dresses (polyester was popular three decades ago). Some of my “genealogy cousins” made this comforter from the fabric in the dresses. I can look at the various squares and visualize my mother in that outfit. A pleasant memory.


Cross & IcthusToday I’m grateful for “The Comforter” that has been in my life for over six decades. Where would I be without my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?? I shudder to think where I’d be!!

The Comforter Comes

by Danette Kettwich

Meet me here my emotions run so wild.
Calm the heart of your frightened child.

Lord, this battle seems more than I can take.
Embrace me Lord as I’m about to break.

Rush of emotions to vast to contain.
Struggles surround like a drenching rain.

Draw me close to the calm of the cross.
Freedom I’ve gained much greater than my loss.

Father, I’m broken, Jesus hear my pleas.
I lay it down as I fall here on my knees.

I don’t know why You’ve brought me here.
There’s a plan I know, as You calm my fear.

This path has brought me closer Lord to You.
I know You hold me, You will see me through.

“Pride goes before a fall”

Have you heard the old saying: “Pride goes before a fall”? Yesterday I was “proud” of my accomplishments. Today I’m on my knees (literally) as I tackle another project.  In “The Lake House” blog message I mentioned my rain-soaked bed. However, today, I realize the problem has existed for a period of time. I’m heartsick because the tops of the chairs are probably permanently scarred from mold. ~~ I feel like I take two steps forward and slide three steps back!! (I’m not having a “pity party”; I’m still counting my blessings!!)

Blemished tops of chairs

Three chairs, tops are blemished

Indentation in carpet

Indentation in carpet

Trying to dry mattress pad

Trying to dry mattress pad

Everything's dry under the bed

Three chairs upended on bed


The last picture was taken eight days ago but the chairs have been there for a month. Had I checked… I might have discovered the problem sooner?!

The mold and mildew await my attention in the T@B trailer.

The Lake House

Well, more like “the lake trailer(s).” (I just watched that movie, on DVD, a couple of days ago.) It has been raining hard all day!! ~~ Forced to stay indoors, I accomplished an enormous amount of “organization.” I sorted accumulated paperwork, and magazines, and have tamed the paper tiger.

Standing water next to planter

Flooded side yard

Flooded yard

My Carriage and flooded side yard


Postscript, same day, eleven PM: When I started to crawl into bed, I discovered a large puddle of water on my bed!! Standing water!! Apparently, one of the two sleeping bags I’ve been using is “water-resistant” so it prevented most of the rain water from soaking the mattress. However, lots of cold damp surfaces and I’ll be spending the night in one of the huge recliner/rockers. Things are damp in the cabinets over the bed; I hope I can find a dry blanket to wrap up in (or a beach towel). Honestly, this is totally unexpected; naively, I believed the trailer was in excellent condition. ~~ Sucker punch!!


Postscript, next day, Sunday, March 16, 2014, eight AM: Miserable night!! Why is a nap in that chair “comfortable” but all night “unbearable”?? At 3:00 AM I got a miserable cramp in my leg, threw off the blanket and stood up; checked the clock (with time and temperature) and inside temperature was 80 degrees!! The little electric heater–focused on the soaked area–had turned the trailer into an oven!! In a few days, this will be a humorous incident; this morning it’s a pain in my back (and shoulders, and neck)!!

Even as I penned those last words, looking out the trailer windows at standing water and dark gray sky, I’m counting my blessings!! My new next-door neighbor confided in me that they have multiple major situations!! Three birds singingAll around me (at CARE), people with severe health problems. ~~ In spite of rain-soaked yard, birds are singing (and I “hear” them).

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Smiley face two thumbs upFurthermore: “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” The two huge rocker/recliner chairs will find a new home; I’ll have more space in my living room. I decided I’d try the second metal bookshelves and I consider it “do-able.” I wish it didn’t cover the window; I’ll refrain from using the next-to-top shelf. It was impossible to bring the larger metal folding bookshelves into the trailer (I measured). I’ve spent the entire day arranging and rearranging. I emptied several boxes of books!! I created a place to hang my little carpet sweeper and Swiffer duster (in the bedroom). I prepared a “bumper” so the “pocket door” does not get stuck in the recessed area (so I can close the door and visitors won’t see the cluttered bedroom). ~~ I feel as though I made some progress today: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Small carpet sweeper

Pocket door repair

DVD's in shelves

Second metal bookshelves


Moved the wire shelves

A place for my printer


Spring garden flagPostscript: Oh yes, I changed garden flags (earlier) and found a place to store my dozen (or more) garden flags (in the trailer).