I first laid my eyes upon a man with a really weird haircut, and a strange accent, and incredibly blue eyes. I fell in love on that day. Twenty three years later we are still together, unlikely as it seems, considering that we spent only six weeks together from meeting to being married. July 14, 1990 the day that changed my life.
One day, a year ago or so, a man turned up at my office and asked if he could clean our windows. He said he would clean the windows inside and out for $10.00, and he would do it twice a month. I not only liked the idea that I would not have to clean the windows but I loved the idea of a guy and his wife getting a boots on the ground business started. I happily accepted and he has been cleaning our windows twice a month since then.
He also shares my passion for gardening and pets and we often discuss both as he is cleaning the windows. Recently he asked me if I had any Moon Flowers in my garden and I told him no. I also told him that I knew what they were because I had listened to a local radio station and a man on there announced to everyone that he had Moon Flowers blooming and anyone with a lawn chair and an hour or so was welcome to come out to his yard and watch them blooming. I was fascinated. I Googled it of course and was blown away by the way these flowers bloom.
So Frank my window cleaner said that his Mom had a ton of Moon Flowers in her garden and he would be happy to gift me one. Last week I came back from court and there was a large pot with a plant in it outside my office door. I brought it home and put it with the other containers in my driveway and promptly forgot about it. This morning I noticed that it had bloomed overnight and realized that this evening I had to be out there to see it happening. Frank had told me that I needed to look for an “Okra looking thing” on the stem, which would then become a bloom. I noticed one this evening while taking out the trash and went inside to get my Bloggie recorder. By the time I had got back outside the thing had bloomed. There was another bud that looked like a likely candidate so I sat there in the driveway with my Bloggie and waited.
I have to say I was blown away. I had heard about these things but I never thought that they would live up to expectations. I was completely and utterly wrong. They really do bloom in front of your eyes in real time. It is amazing. I would love to show you my Bloggie video that I took this evening but unfortunately my computer and my Bloggie are having a falling out right now so it is not possible. I will however link to this, which is exactly what I witnessed this evening.
If you have never witnessed a Moon Flower opening I urge you to do so, it is truly a sight to behold.
I have mentioned the “dead plant” section at Lowes several times but it is time that I elaborate on this. At my local Lowes there is a section at the very back of the Garden Center to the left which contains plants that the local nurseries have determined to be lost hopes. These for the most part are perennials that have already bloomed and are therefore no longer attractive, or annuals that are looking a bit tired and therefore unsellable. For the most part they are discounted to 50 cents or less.
This is an absolute gold mine for the dedicated gardener, especially when it comes to the perennials that have already bloomed. Sure they have done their stuff for the year, but that doesn’t mean they are done for their life. It is also a gold mine for things that are sold as annuals but actually perennialize in your area. Here in my area Dianthus is a reliable perennial, five out of ten plants come back year after year, even in baskets and containers. So true with Lantanta, particularly the Ms. Huff (I cannot describe it better than it being a confetti looking flower with pink, yellow, red, and orange petals all on the same flower). I bought a Ms. Huff lantana about ten years ago, it was a four inch pot, and it cost me 25 cents. I stuck it in the ground in the circular bed by the side of my patio and it has just exploded into the most magnificent plant I have ever known.
Every year it comes back larger and larger, to the extent that it is now six feet tall and at least six feet wide. I have to admit that this year, due to our extreme ice storms I thought I had lost it, but sure enough, when I checked the base of the dead stalks there were the shoots, coming up from the frozen earth. She is again going to be magnificent, feeding every butterfly and humming bird within miles. All for 25 cents and a tiny bit of work.
I cannot express to you how much I recommend the dead plant section at Lowes.
It is therefore hers, and she will go to any lengths to make sure that I do not take it from her. She will charge out of the doggie door at full speed and find somewhere in the yard to bury it. It is hers dammnit!. This reminds me of the dog property rules which I read years ago and by which Flossie abides as if her life depended upon it.
1. If I like it, it’s mine.
2. If its in my mouth, it’s mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
5. If I’m chewing something up, all the pieces are mine.
6. If its mine, it must never appear to be yours anyway.
7. If it just looks like mine, it’s mine.
8. If I saw it first, it’s mine.
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
10. If its broken, it’s yours.
The only rule that Flossie does not follow is number 10, because she doesn’t care if something is broken, in fact broken appears to make things more attractive to Flossie. The most miserable piece of chewed up cell phone charging cable (yes several of them) appear to be great treasures to her. No matter how many times I try to throw them away she will retrieve them from the trash bin and lovingly carry them around like a trophy.
The absolutely hilarious thing about Flossie is that when she is given something she walks away quite normally and tends to it (usually it is a bone which is a treat she and Skeeter get in the morning). When she has stolen something however her attitude changes completely, she KNOWS she has stolen something, so she prances through the house, head and tail (what is left of it) aloft, because she thinks she has got away with something, she is Flossie, the great thief, the legendary Flossie, who has a sock!
I swear I will never fully understand Boxers even after spending my entire life with them.
People are so keen to use any kind of cide, pesticides, herbicides you name it. A new study shows that Roundup, the most common weedkiller in the US causes cancer.
Don’t. Just don’t. I mean really just don’t use this poison. It ends up in our ground water and ends up killing us. Pesticides are killing our bees, and once the bees are gone then so are we. Seriously people the indiscriminate use of cides are wrecking our planet and we have to stop. Now.
There is no reason whatsoever to eradicate weeds from a piece of grass in front of your house, grass is useless, it serves no purpose, it is a water sucking, piece of trash that serves no purpose whatsoever, other than to eat natural resources.
Dig it up, replace it with native plants, that will feed not only the environment, but the local wildlife. Plant acres of Milkweed, Monarchs are dying. lack of habitat is killing them. For every acre of lawn we get rid of and plant with Milkweed we are helping the Monarchs.
Plant vegetables, your grocery budget will thank you for it. Plant bee friendly flowers, your earth will thank you for it. Plant anything but that useless piece of grass in front of your house.
If we can start a national movement to eradicate the totally and utterly useless grass that we seem to think is important in front of our houses then we can really accomplish something. Get rid of the grass now!
The county is still frozen solid. The courthouse is closed tomorrow for the third straight day, this is unheard of, even after a major hurricane, the courthouse usually opens again after a couple of days. As it is the roads are just impassable. No one is going anywhere until we get temps into the 60s at the weekend and the freezing rain and snow thaws. The last time I remember the courthouse being closed this long was Hurricane Floyd in 1999 when so many houses were flooded in the county that the workers simply could not get into work.
As for us I found out that ancient board games make really good fuel for a fire, Trivial Pursuit burns for hours! There are times when you have to do whatever it takes to stay warm. This is one of those times. At some point during the last several days I felt like the people in “The Day After Tomorrow” burning the tax code to keep warm.
This has certainly been the most brutal winter storm that we have ever seen in North Carolina. I am hoping that is it the last one we ever see.
Murdered by two felonious hounds, ably assisted by one of the cats who knocked him off his perch at the top of the closet.
He had a good long life. Born in Hong Kong in 1987 where I purchased him while I was serving there the WRNS. He then travelled to Scotland and then to the United States, living out the rest of his life in said closet where he engaged in his favorite hobby of cultivating cobwebs and dust. He is survived by his brother, Garfield the hand puppet, and his Grandfather Rupert the Bear. In accordance with the terms of his will his body will be donated to the local wild bird population as nest liner.
I was digging through some old photographs the other day (yes the old type ones, printed on photo paper), and I came across a group of my pets who have long since romped over the Rainbow Bridge. Despite the utter pain and despair when I lost them, looking at their photographs now never fails to make me smile, as I remember the wonderful times we had together.
We adopted Lucky from our next-door neighbor Thanksgiving of 1995, he was the only survivor of a litter that had suffered a bad reaction to their first shots. I kept him alive. I knew he would be mine one day. Here he is in January of 1996.
Dweebe was a magnificent beast. She was part Chow and part German Shepard but when we first got her (from a man at the Gas Station my husband worked at) she was just a ball of fluff.
Sox was adopted from Carolina Animal Protection Society when she was just a pup. We rescued Buddy from our previous next-door neighbors who were neglecting him terribly. (Buddy is the Spaniel)
Fuzzbutt also came from CAPS. Lari and her brother Curly were the result of rescuing a bob tailed kitten (who we discovered was a lot older than she looked and pregnant) from the same Gas Station that Dweebe came from.
John Cole of Balloon Juice has recently been reminded of losing his beloved Tunch, as his image graces the front of the Pets of Balloon Juice Calendar. But he, like we all do eventually, has adopted another cat, and is currently singing the praises of his cat Steve. Please visit the link below if you would like to purchase a calendar, all proceeds go to an animal rescue organization.
I think all of us pet lovers know, we may replace a beloved pet once we have lost them, but it never diminishes the love we held in our hearts for them.
I have been watching a lot of House Hunters over the holidays, due to the fact that I ran out of shows on demand that I would normally watch during a very long weekend of time out of the office. I have also been visiting some blogs that dedicate themselves to House Hunters and found them to be hilarious. Some of the quotes that come up time and time again are “open concept” “granite countertops” “closet space” and “master suite” have now got to the point that they are comical.
One of my favorite blogs, which has not been updated for a while, is
It condenses the entire HGTV House Hunters theme into one nugget of deliciousness. It also reminds me that people with a budget of $100,000 should not be expecting granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.
The best part is though when you then go on to “Love it or List It” where a couple who has bought a house no longer want to live there. (One of them usually). Usually the designer opens up the walls and the ceilings and discovers that in order to create the “open space” that the previous home owner has knocked down load bearing walls and the entire house in on the verge of collapse. This whole “open concept” thing means that homeowners are smashing down load bearing walls without any idea that they are compromising their entire house.
The greatest thing about House Hunters and all of their ilk though is that people have such high expectations. They dismiss a house because it doesn’t happen to have a powder room on the ground floor, despite the fact that I meets all of their other expectations. Let us not forget that the majority of them will more than likely be in foreclosure proceedings a year out.
HGTV has lost the garden part of it, but it is no less entertaining.
It is cold in North Carolina right now, colder than I am happy to allow Cadbury, my elderly outside cat to stay outside. Generally, when she is too cold she will come in of her own accord, but on Thursday I decided over her head, that it was too cold for her to be out there, and I scooped her up and deposited her on the bookcase where she is wont to sleep when she is in the house. She quickly snuggled down and curled into a ball and went to sleep until it was time for dinner, at which point she merrily joined the other cats in the kitchen for her dinner. Despite being hissed at from some of the other cats, she stood her ground and ate her dinner before returning to her spot on top of the bookcase, where I should add, she would always hang out with her Mum Alpha.
She has been in the house ever since, snuggling up in various places, including on my lap for a short time, but she is warm, and safe, and that is all that matters. Sometimes you have to overrule a cat’s stubborn nature and do the right thing.