Friday, May 29, 2009

You dirty bird you .............

I have a serious issue with one of my bluebirds. He has decided to roost on the rear view mirrors of the car and truck. As you can see from the picture this makes quite a mess. It's embarrassing to drive a vehicle with "stuff" running down the doors and mirrors. Everytime I want to go somewhere, I have to go out and wash off the car first. Any suggestions on how to stop this? I told Mazie Grace she had my permission to catch this dirty bird, but so far she hasn't.
We are suppose to get scattered severe thunderstorms tonight. So far not a drop of rain has fallen. I've heard thunder in the distance and could even smell rain in the air. It has gotten dry. We had 3" of rain earlier in the month, but none in the last two weeks. I gave the garden a brief watering earlier, but all that does is keep it alive. We need a good soaking rain.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tomato update ......

I now have tiny green tomatoes. I'm just waiting for them to turn into big red tomatoes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hooray - vacation is over ...........

I am glad Hubbie's vacation is over. I don't think I could have survived another week. I spent all day today cleaning the house and getting clothes washed. Tonight I will have to go through a week's worth of mail and pay some bills. Hopefully, by tomorrow life will be back to normal.

I like routine - it allows me to take care of all the normal tasks needed to keep the household running smoothly without a lot of thought. When my routine gets interrupted as it did last week, something always gets neglected or forgotten. This morning I faced a pile of laundry, a dirty floor, dusty furniture, and bathrooms that needed scrubbing.

My Hubbie is not the type of guy who goes out and tackles projects on his own. He has to have a helper or partner- usually me. Last week he stayed busy with several projects around the house. That meant that I was busy with the same projects. When we would finally stop for the day, I was too tired to do any of my usual chores.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy his company and I'm thankful that he is willing to work around the house. I just missed having some time to myself. He will retire in two years. When he does, we'll have to find a way to give me time alone for the things I need to do.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Vacation activities ........

Regular Deck

I apologize for the lack of posts this week. Hubbie has been on vacation, so we have been very busy. Unfortunately, we weren't busy with fun stuff or normal vacation activities. Instead, we have been working hard. We got both the deck and the pool decks stained. That took two whole days of bending over with a paintbrush. After they dried, I washed all the furniture before putting it back on the decks.

Pool Deck

We spent another day on the GTX. It would not start. We tried everything we could think of and it refused to go. We finally had to get a wrecker to take it to the shop. We haven't heard back from the mechanic, but hopefully it will be fixed by next week.

Today, Hubbie cut the grass while I pruned the shrubs in front of the house. My hedge trimmer is at least 35 years old and a bit dull, but I managed to get a whole load of clippings off the shrubs.

Tomorrow, we plan on getting mulch to put around the shrubs and then we will use the pressure washer to clean the siding. We have algae on the north side of the house and dust and pollen over the rest of it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

"Hot Mahogany" by Stuart Woods ..............

This Stone Barrington novel is not Stuart Woods at his best, but it did keep me reading until I finished. In this book Stone is mixed up in the world of antique furniture and coin collecting. He is asked by his CIA pal Lance Cabot to keep an eye on his brother, Barton Cabot, an antique restorer who was recently attacked and has partial amnesia.

Barton is also an artisan who makes antique reproductions. When one of his mahogany desks is stolen, he is unsure if it was the original worth millions or the replica. He hires Stone to help him find it. Barton's theory is that one of the men who served under him in Nam stole the desk because he was dissatisfied with his share of the contraband smuggled out of Viet Nam by the unit.

As usual, Stone manages to woo more than one woman and spends much time in the New England countryside. Stuart Woods doesn't trouble the reader with deep thought or complex characters, he is more concerned with the action. This book is not memorable, it is quick entertainment. I would rate it C-.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Woo Woo aka Ellie .........

This is my neighbor's dog Ellie. When she barks she goes woo woo, so that's what I have always called her. She lives directly across the road that goes beside my house. so she can lie on her porch and watch my back yard. Whenever she sees me in the backyard, she comes over to visit.

We have a regular routine that we follow. She comes up on my back deck and barks her "woo woo" a few times to let me know she is there. If I'm not already outside or don't hear her right away, she will lie down on the deck and wait until I see her. She is waiting for her treats. She always gets two Beggin' Strips first. Then, she gets either a sandwich left over from Hubbie's lunch or a biscuit. I hand it to her and tell her to go back home. Usually she will hold it in her mouth and take it back home before she eats it. Sometimes she eats it right away and begs for another. As you can see, I also keep a bucket of water on the deck in case she is thirsty after her walk over to my house.

My neighbor made the comment one day that Ellie had been putting on weight. I had to admit to feeding her when she came to visit. I do worry about her crossing the road though. I would feel terrible if a car hit her, so I try to keep an eye on her until she gets back home.

I miss my dogs - Black Jack and Charlie - that we lost a couple of years ago. Woo Woo has to fill in for them and receive my loving and spoiling.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Radishes from the garden ......

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been getting radishes out of my garden. Delicious! Everything tastes so much better directly out of the garden.

The radishes did well, however the carrots never came up. The lettuce is very thin and is not growing as it should. I planted a few watermelon seeds where the carrots were planted and I may dig up the lettuce to plant canteloupe.
So far, my tomatoes are looking good. The first three I planted have been blooming and got big enough for the cages. The second group of three regular tomatoes and the three cherry tomatoes are growing fast. We've had plenty of rain lately, which has allowed the garden to make a good start.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Azaleas and miniature roses .......

Just a couple of pictures of the azaleas around my deck and one of a miniature rose I have in a pot in the back yard. We have had rain almost every day so far this month. Everything is so green and things are growing so fast. This is really a beautiful time of year.
I hope all you mothers had an enjoyable Mother's Day. I don't have children (except for my cats), and both my and my husband's mothers are no longer with us, so we didn't really celebrate. Our yard project for the weekend was getting some grass seed put down on the bare spots in the back yard. I have my fingers crossed that some of it will come up before it gets too hot and dry.
My garden is growing - I got radishes out of it over the weekend. Nothing tastes better than vegetables fresh from the garden. I'm anxious for a juicy red tomato.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"Girls in Trucks" by Katie Crouch .......

"Girls in Trucks" is about Sarah Walters, a South Carolina debutante, and several of her fellow Camellias. While growing up in Charleston, they are taught to be proper ladies. However, when they leave to make a life in New York City, they find themselves coping in dangerous ways. Sarah has a series of bad relationships and jobs. Two of her childhood friends - Bitsy and Charlotte - also move to New York, and we see Bitsy marry a wealthy man and become even snobbier than before and Charlotte become a drug addict. Their friend Annie stays in Charleston and struggles to find someone for herself.

I was disappointed in this book. I expected a story about southern girls and southern life, instead it's a story about girls who dislike the south and move to New York. The characters are depressing and not very likable. The book has no plot or story line. It seems to be a group of unconnected vignettes.

It took me a long time to read this book and I had to make myself finish it. There are people who have really enjoyed it, but it just wasn't for me.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mazie Grace's rainy day activity ...........

Today has been cool and rainy - not a decent day to be outside. Mazie Grace went out for a couple of hours this morning - long enough to get completely wet. She came in and spent the rest of the day on the bed in the guestroom. I believe she has claimed it as her own. Cats have a way of looking so comfortable when they sleep.

Monday, May 4, 2009

I love new books .........

Two books about herbs that I ordered from Amazon came today. They both look like they will be informative as well as full of beautiful pictures and illustrations. I will curl up in my chair with them later tonight. New books always make me happy.

We've had a wet couple of days, but we needed the moisture. It is warm today, so with the high humidity it almost feels like a sauna when the sun peeks out for a few minutes. We have a tornado watch in effect for awhile this evening, but it looks calm right now.

After doing my weekly house-cleaning today, I planted some vinca around the light pole in front of the house. I've tried different things in that spot and vinca does so much better than anything else. If I find something that works well, I will stick with it. I had 10 plants left over, so I planted them in some pots on the deck. I'll probably pick up some petunias tomorrow and plant them in pots.

I went for my annual physical week before last. I've gotten all my lab and test results back - everything was normal. I didn't think anything would be wrong, but it's always nice to be given a clean bill of health. I still have an appointment for a colonoscopy on the 13th. I'm trying not to think about it. I have put off having this done for years. This time the doctor didn't ask me about it, he just made the appointment and told me when it was. I guess he knew I would keep putting it off.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Week in review ........

I can't believe that it is Friday already - where did the week go? Seems like I stayed busy, but I don't feel like I accomplished much. Monday, Hubbie got the Bobcat and spread the rest of the pile of top soil over the back yard. Of course, that either covered up or scraped up what little grass we had growing there. We have plans to put down fertilizer, lime, grass seed and straw. Then we will cross our fingers and hope that grass comes up and lives.

Tuesday, I had to go to the grocery store and run some other errands. Wednesday, I had to run some errands for my Dad.. Thursday, I had an appointment for my annual mammogram in Richmond. I resisted the urge to go shopping afterwards and came straight home except for a quick stop at Chesterfield Berry Farm for some fresh strawberries. I spent today on the lawnmower cutting grass.

I still have work to do on my garden beds. The herb bed has been planted with twelve different varieties of herbs. I planted chive seeds in the front of the bed, but they haven't come up yet. I may get some lavender and perhaps some perennial flowers to plant in the space that's left.

I want to get the rest of the raised garden beds planted this weekend. Still need to plant two roma tomatoes, three zuchinni squash, three yellow squash, three cucumbers, one watermelon, and one canteloupe. I also have flowers to plant. It's going to be a busy weekend. We plan on going to Costco tomorrow morning. My cousin plans on visiting tomorrow afternoon. So, that means Sunday is going to be planting day.

Hope everyone has a nice weekend!