Tag Archives: rhododendron

Random Round-up

I was putting photos into my Blog folder and looking down at the bottom of the screen I found I had over 250 pictures in the folder.  Holy crap.  So while I haven’t been posting like I used to, I hadn’t totally stopped thinking about it.  Of course, some of these pix are old, unused photos because I never got around to  writing the post I was thinking about, but there are a ton of animal and flower pictures as well.

I’ve decided to start cleaning out the folder and posting the pics that have no special post attached to them.  Ten at a time seems comfortable to me.  Enjoy!

Our rhododendron bush 2 stories high.  It no longer exists as it was torn out to put in sewage lines.

Our rhododendron bush 2 stories high. It no longer exists as it was torn out to put in sewage lines.

I love butterfly bushes. If you want something that will guarantee you lovely winged visitors, put in a butterfly bush.  I have four.  Don't be intimidated by their size.  You can cut them down to 18" inches every spring.  One year for fun, I cut off all the branches below 2 1/2 feet and any branches pointing down.  They looked like giant candleabras when they bloomed.

I love butterfly bushes. If you want something that will guarantee you lovely winged visitors, put in a butterfly bush. I have four. Don’t be intimidated by their size. You can cut them down to 18″ inches every spring. One year for fun, I cut off all the branches below 2 1/2 feet and any branches pointing down. They looked like giant candelabras when they bloomed!

Blurry but still beautiful, an Indigo Bunting.  We occasionally get these coming through in early summer.  They are so lovely, but also very shy.  I took this picture from the kitchen and he still spotted me and took off.

Blurry but still beautiful, an Indigo Bunting. We occasionally get these coming through in early summer. They are so lovely, but also very shy. I took this picture from the kitchen and he still spotted me and took off.

These are the nests of the Organ-pipe (or pipe organ) mud dauber.  Yes, that's on my house and I left them there.  They originally started this nest at face level outside my front door.  Since I experience lingering pain with wasp stings, I was not impressed.  But it totally ignored me when I opened the door which surprised me and made me curious.  In looking up this wasp I found they are non-aggressive and won't sting unless hurt. But face level at the door wasn't going to work with the rest of the family, so I scrapped off the nest and sprayed lemon pledge on the brick.  They then moved the nest up into the corner and I let it be.  Did you know they hunt spiders to put in the nest for the young to eat?  Go here to find out more about this remarkable wasp.

These are the nests of the Organ-pipe (or pipe organ) mud dauber. Yes, that’s on my house and I left them there. They originally started this nest at face level outside my front door. Since I experience lingering pain with wasp stings, I was not impressed. But it totally ignored me when I opened the door which surprised me and made me curious. In looking up this wasp I found they are non-aggressive and won’t sting unless hurt. But face level at the door wasn’t going to work with the rest of the family, so I scrapped off the nest and sprayed lemon pledge on the brick. They then moved the nest up into the corner and I let it be. Did you know they hunt spiders to put in the nest for the young to eat? The adults drink nectar from flowers.  Go here to find out more about this remarkable wasp.

I've had this cactus for an untold number of years and two years ago it finally bloomed.

I’ve had this cactus for an untold number of years and two years ago it finally bloomed.

Judging not by the throw behind me, I can have Christmas out till February, this is the week after Christmas.  How do I know?  My BFF makes pfefferneuse cookies for us every Christmas and they generally don't make it to New Year's!

Me working on the couch.  Judging not by the throw behind me – I can have Christmas out till February – this is the week after Christmas. How do I know? Check out the plate of cookies.  My BFF makes pfeffernusse cookies for us every Christmas and they generally don’t make it to New Year’s!

 

Hermit crab on the prowl.  Love these little guys!

Hermit crab on the prowl. Love these little guys!

Phalanopsis orchid from a couple of winters ago.

Phalaenopsis orchid from a couple of winters ago.

And another.

And another.

A small succulent that bloomed even before I put it in a proper pot.  Unfortunately, it was one of over 20 plants that did not make it through this winter.

A small succulent that bloomed even before I put it in a proper pot. Unfortunately, it was one of over 20 plants that did not make it through this winter.

That’s it for now!

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Giro d’Italia and Miscellaney

Random Thoughts

Woot!  The Giro d’Italia starts tomorrow!  I cannot wait!  I found out Universal Sports was offering online viewing for $19.99 and I whipped out the credit card.  Squee!!!  Bike racing ‘live’ in the livingroom!  (Hey, 3 weeks of fun for less than a stop to eat at Subway!)  For you non-bikers out there, this is the first of the Grand Tours (the other 2 are Le Tour de France in July and the Vuelta a Espana in August).  Even though this race was started in the late 1800’s this will be only the 95th edition of the race (It’s kinda tough to hold a race in the middle of a couple of  world wars.).  Three weeks, Denmark to Milan, of exciting, grueling bike racing on the flats, through the hills, and over the mountains.  Who will win? The race is wide open this year with no clear favorite.  Take a peak at this 3 minute teaser:

http://universalsports.com/2012/04/23/viewers-guide-2012-giro-ditalia/

Also coming up on my b-day next week (May 13) is the Amgen Tour of California.  They are supposed to be streaming it for free.  I cannot wait!  Yes, I know I said that already.  I’m going to be spoiled for choice.  The Tour of Cali is  a 1 week stage race held up and down the state, finishing in L.A.  The favorite for the race, Levi Leipheimer, who has won it 3 times, was hit by a car a while back and sustained a fracture to his fibula.  He has returned to training but has been having a lot of pain, so he doesn’t look likely to participate.  Levi came in second last year to teammate Chris Horner, another rider I like and follow.  When Levi realized he couldn’t finish first he began helping Horner, who was higher on GC.  One of my favorite moments from last year was the 2 of them crossing the finishing line on Mt. Baldy with their hands clasped together over their heads.  It is a tough year for me regarding this race because Levi and Chris now ride for different teams.  Who to cheer on?  Here’s a 2 min promo for Stage 1 given by Levi and a couple of shots of him and Chris (in yellow) crossing the line last year are in the first 20 seconds:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3W9ypZyTTw

** Subject Change**

Do you know  what I don’t like?  Lightning Bolts that zap right past your window with a “Flash, Crack, Kaboom!” all at the same time, popping you six inches straight up off the mattress and rattling the walls and windows.

*****

This quote jumped out at me:

“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.”  – George Sheehan

Life at Our House

Nothing exciting to report.  Spider Bait will be working this weekend and tearing his hair out trying to get a German-class video project done.  Saver of Bugs is in the middle of finals and has been hardly heard from.  (You still alive out there, babe?)

Fur Babies and Other Friends

I have to share an exasperating way in which I have been trained by my cat.  My black cat (see photo top of page), Raven, is a big baby.  And, yes, like all my critters – spoiled.  You see how he is in the picture?  He would ride around on me all day if I let him.  He is also a wuss.  We always said if a real mouse showed up, the mouse would chase him.  His favorite ‘prey’ are feathered toys or plastic milk jug rings.  He has a special ‘meow’ he uses when he ‘hunts’ and sometimes he likes to bring you his prize in the middle of the night.  This, of course, is met with a “Knock it off” followed by a boot off the bed if needed.  I do not play with animals while trying to sleep.

Raven is also our Great Black Gnat Hunter.  He can find and hunt even the tiniest of gnats.  However, about a year or so ago (I have time issues), Raven decided to graduate to bugs.  I found this out one night when he jumped up on the bed meowing he had brought me a prize.  There was a small amount of light coming into the room and I could see he was holding his head funny while patting at the bed.  Hmm, that’s different.  So I grabbed my flashlight to see what he had.  Oh, Joy.  It was a -live- wolf spider.  I think I managed a new land-speed record getting out of the bed.  Yikes!  But I didn’t think anything further about it, ’cause how many times do wolf spiders get in the house?  Then one night he hits the bed meowing ‘Prize’ and starts chasing it around the bed.  Light doesn’t move as fast as I did that night.  This time he had one of those 2-3 inch hairy centipedes, hundred-leggers we call them.  EEEEEWWWW!!!!!  That one grossed me out.  So I am now trained to sit bolt upright in bed and start turning on lights whenever I hear ‘Prize’ coming from my cat.  (Hey, Saver of Bugs, what kind of conditioning would they call this now?  I think in my day is was Adverse Conditioning.)

The night before last I heard ‘Prize’ from Raven but he was still in the doorway, so I swung my pillow in his direction and hissed ‘NOOO’ at him.  So he hunkered down in the doorway and ate it.  My BFF says that when a cat eats a hundred- legger it sounds like they’re chewing rubber.  I guess that’s as good a description as any.

You know what’s really creepy?  Every once in a while when I make the bed, I’ll find a spot on the bed spread covered all over with little legs…

Out in the Yard

Our header today is another columbine that is just coming on in my yard.

And I grabbed these 2 photos as well:

My geranium starting to bloom

One of my Rhododendrons

Mug of the Day

Sleep, Glorious Sleep

Random Thoughts

I had nowhere to be today.  A never-ending boatload of stuff that needs done here.  I really need to crank down on taking back this house.  But I had nowhere to be, no one to pick up, no stores to go to, nothing.  I have, however, had a lousy week of sleep and the tank was low so I slept in.  And actually slept, for nearly 12 hours.  No cats woke me up, no dog barking, no trucks or chain saws, no mystery phone calls.*   Just sleep.  My word how different the day looks when you’ve had a good nights sleep.  It was wonderful.  I got up around 1 pm., lingered over my breakfast/lunch and my blogs and didn’t hit the shower till 3.  A little time on the couch (see Fur Babies), dinner and Psych, and then I got some work done.  Laundry.  I wanted clean sheets and jammies so did that load and came back upstairs to find a cat had puked on my bed.  Sigh.  So the bedspread was going  to have to get washed as well.  Which means it won’t be dry till like 11:30.  Grrrr.  But, oh, well, right?  I’ve had a good nights sleep, I can take it.  And even though it was getting dark,  I went outside to get my hands in some dirt ’cause I needed to get in the dirt.  I feel much better now.  Hopefully, tonight will be a peaceful night as well and tomorrow I’ll conquer the world.

“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.”  – Buddha

* For a couple of days I was getting calls from the Elementary school.  I could never get to my cell phone fast enough and I don’t have a mailbox set up so I had no way of knowing who was calling.   I talked to the secretaries and they were confused as well since I have no children down there and haven’t been doing any volunteer work.  Then it hit me while I was in the ‘thinking room’ (bathroom), the IEP coordinator works out of the Elementary!  So I left her a message and sure enough, it was time to schedule my son’s last IEP meeting (he will be a senior next year, wwaaaaaaaahhhhh…).

Fur Babies and Other Friends

A leetle nappers:

Life At Our House (late night addition)

Do you see that frothy goodness?  Tomorrow there will be sourdough bread!

Out in the Yard

Our header today is a dwarf rhododendron.

Also, today I needed to go put my hands in dirt and get something done, even though it was getting dark.  So I weeded some window boxes that don’t sit in windows.  Last fall I had thrown some sprouting garlic in one rather than throw it out.  Here’s a picture part way in the weeding:

And – Ta Da – some of the garlic survived the winter in a box.  I have sprouting garlic in the basement from some that was given to me last fall and I threw some cloves in to fill the blank spots.  No, I’m not trying to grow giant heads.  I can’t eat bunches of garlic anymore.  So having some wee heads, where all I have to do is break off a tiny clove to throw in with my eggs suits me well.

Notice I’m losing light at this point.  But I am determined to do one more box and get my lettuce in.  So think of the top picture as a starting point again (weeds) and then I planted the lettuce I had purchased.  By street light at this point.  It would be nice if I could actually get a real garden in this year, but at least I’ll have a wee bit of lettuce and spinach (hopefully tomorrow).

I really need to get back out in the yard.  It was such a relief to be out there in the dirt that I didn’t want to come in even though it had gotten dark.

My Mug for Tomorrow

And after my daughter and I get done grumbling about her grandmother over Skype, I’m going to be heading for bed.  Hopefully for another good night’s sleep.