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|Wednesday, October 15th, 2014|
Fall has finally arrived with a big wind and cooler weather. I'm still in pedal pushers and a shirtsleeved blouse, but I had to put on a light weight jacket when I went out. I had yuccas blooming a couple of weeks ago, and the orange desert bird of paradise is on it's last end of blooming.. It bloomed all summer.
The pomegranates are finally ripe and we're sharing them with the birds. They are so beautiful hanging on the bush. Any almonds on the almond tree are well hidden up high,
The olive tree has a good crop on it, but we are going to let them stay there--no curing olives this year. I wish the birds liked the olives, but they are too bitter even for them.We'll have to pick them up off the ground when the wind blows them off the tree.
My big success this year was with my orchids. For the first time several of them bloomed a second time. I guess we have finally got the right watering, double potting, and south facing windows for them. I've had several types of orchids, and I find the phalenopsis is the easiest to grow here. I've spent several years trial and error learning to be a sort of amateur orchid grower. They're beautiful, and they make a wonderful long lasting flower to decorate the house. Current Mood: listless
|Thursday, June 12th, 2014|
Last August we had my house"s surroundings Xeriscaped. The front and back yards are done in rock, and for the most part, desert plants like yuccas and agaves. My fig tree, olive tree, pomegranate, peach, and almond tree are still in the landscaping, as well as Desert willow and Desert Bird-of-paradise. The landscaper also added some Texas Ranger and Yarrow. A lot of nice blooming plants with drip watering. Overall the effect is lovely, and sure has cut down on maintenance.
My Husband had the landscapers make an arbor for the grapevine and we have gotten it trained almost completely across the arbor now. So, day before yesterday we went out and got a cute cocktail table and two chairs to go in the patio under it. Can hardly wait to put them in place so we can sit on the patio and enjoy the evenings.
It's definitely summer here. The temperature has gotten up to 102, but is mostly in the 80's and 90's so far. Pleasant, as long as you have a good cooling system for the house.
There is a Sotol in my husband's yard that is getting ready to bloom. So far it has put up a stalk about 20 feet high in about two weeks. --No signs of flowers yet, but we're waiting impatiently. This is sort of a fun time of year to watch the garden. Current Mood: pleased
|Sunday, November 17th, 2013|
It's fall here and the leaves on the trees are turning yellow and gold. The pomegranate is particularly beautiful--a vivid gold color. About half of the leaves on the mulberry trees have fallen, along with the leaves of the fig tree and the Desert willow. The olive tree still has it's leaves, but a stiff wind yesterday stripped the ripe olives off the tree and they are all over the ground.
Earlier in the season I picked as many olives as I could reach and processed them. We are now enjoying the "fruits of our labor". Home cured olives can be very tasty. I've made them off and on for many years--IF I happen to be home at the right season,and the olive tree produces enough olives. Desert climates don't always cooperate at the right seasons of the year.
This year I had my yards Xeriscaped. Lots of rock, gravel and desert hardy plants, all drip watered. It is so beautiful, and very easy to take care of. My grape vine now has an arbor to climb on, and the fruiting and flowering plants I really cared about are still intact. My Mr. Lincoln rose (not a climber) is roof high this year. I am so happy with the results the landscaper accomplished. There is even a running waterfall in the corner of the backyard.
Since we got my yard done, there have been several more Xeriscaped places in our town. I hope it will be a trend. My water bill this month was the minimum amount. Current Mood: happy
|Monday, May 28th, 2012|
|Wedding and other things--
Well, the hummingbird came back and built a new nest in the ficus benjamina. Three days ago there were two very small baby birds in the nest. The spot where the nest is located is no more than 18 inches from where we walk past the plant when we leave the kitchen door; so we have to pretend we don't see the little family when we go out and in. The little mother was amazingly trusting to build where she has, but I think she likes the patio roof that protects the nesting area.
That's not my best news, however. In a month's time I will be getting married again to a very charming man. He has been a friend for the last 50 years, and we are very happy together. His family and mine grew up together and know each other well. I can hardly wait!
|Monday, April 16th, 2012|
Well, my yard is something of a mess right now. In the last two weeks I've had two large old trees removed from my yards. There was a large tree from the poplar family which was dying in the front yard that had to go; and there was a magnificent 55 to 60' pine tree in the back yard that was encroaching on my fence line and about to break it down. I really hated to see the pine tree go but it was necessary. Anyway the pieces of the trees falling into the yards left my gardens below in a mess. Have to get that cleaned up.
The roses are putting on lovely new growth, and the irises are about to bloom. They should be beautiful. It's been a bit late this year because of unsettled weather, but I put out my potted plants today. Now maybe the hummingbird that has nested in my ficus benjamina the last two years will refurbish her nest and use it again. We'll see. Current Mood: contemplative
|Monday, February 20th, 2012|
Last week a friend and I went t the Tucson Mineral Show--as always! It was a good show and it featured Arizona Minerals as its theme this year. Of course there were a lot of fine Azurite, malachite, and wulfenite specimens at the show. Plus all the other fine minerals that come from the state--vanadinite, calcite, native copper, cerusite--the list could go on and on.
The last of my mineral collection was sold at the show--the Borates. There was a good display of the better borates, and the Smithsonian got a nice suite of them. That made me very happy. There was also a Canadian museum that bought a bunch of them. Most people were amazed to find what good borates looked like.
The show itself was a lot of fun. We spent two days walking around the show and I doubt we saw half of it. The main show at Tucson takes up an enormous hall and arena area and it is packed with displays, dealers booths and hundreds of eager collectors looking for specimens and talking to friends.
Saturday we couldn't find a parking place at the show, so we went across the freeway to an area where it is sort of a mineral free for all--tents and dealers everywhere. Tucson is a mineral mad house the last of January and the first two weeks of February. Lots of fun, but exhausting.
A very nice book 'Collecting Arizona' came out at the show. It has wonderful mineral pictures and stories of the mining and collecting areas in the state. It will take a while to read it all and enjoy it.
All in all, it was a very good trip. Current Mood: peaceful
|Monday, January 9th, 2012|
| The New Year:
It's a beautiful day here--sunny and going to be fairly warm (in the 60's). The birds are singing up a storm, and I am going out to plant flowering Kale plants (those cute colored cabbages). They do exceptionally well here in the winter, put up stalks of pretty dainty yellow flowers in the spring, and die off in early summer. They have to be replanted every fall, or winter, but it's worth it for some winter color in the yard. I didn't get them planted earlier last fall, as things were still a bit hectic after Mother died in September. However, our very dry and warm January has given me another chance.
I spent most of December up in Washington with my oldest son's family and Garth and Tor came up for Christmas. It was delightful to see them. We had a lovely visit.
I am looking forward to this year and hope it will be much less confused than last year was. Current Mood: happy
|Thursday, December 29th, 2011|
|Sunday, December 25th, 2011|
Merry Christmas to all! May your day be joyful, and may your fondest wishes come true. This is truly a time of good will and rejoicing.
Tug and Revar will soon be here to join us for Christmas Dinner. It will be so good to see both of them. It is too long between times when we get together in person. It makes the holiday perfect that they will be here.
I'm in the unsnowy Northwest at the moment with the rest of the family up here. It's been a good season here, but dry for the region.
|Writer's Block: Merry Christmas
Hearing that my son will be able to make it to the family Christmas Celebration though he was sick earlier and wasn't sure he'd be able to come.
|Wednesday, December 21st, 2011|
|Airport Body Scans
When I was going through the full body scan at the airport I fly through--it is a small one by the way-- I found out what the scans look like because of something I wore. My advice is not to wear anything with a metallic fibre in the threads. The scan picks up on them and bounces patterns all over the scan. The scan shows only a basic outline of the human form, but the sparkles from my sweater were amazing. My hip replacement didn't show up, but the sweater did, even when we put a jacket over it to hide it. --So I got patted down again, with apologies.
|Monday, August 1st, 2011|
We never know what life will bring us from one day to the next. Challenges and learning experiences--life is one long learning experience. And as you get older and more experienced, the challenges seem to get more difficult. Supposedly we have learned enough to take care of them.
Our latest challenge deals with my 93 year old Mother, who as you know broke her ankle in March. She is diabetic and has poor circulation in her lower legs and feet, so she developed some sores on her feet that haven't healed well. Infection has involved some bones in her foot, and she is going to require an operation. The problem can be solved one of two ways--(if we do nothing at all she will eventually die of the infection.) The doctor can do surgery on her foot and remove the problem area, and we can hope it will heal. The odds are not really good. Or the doctor can amputate her leg mid-calf where the circulation seems to be better, and there is a better chance it would heal. No really GOOD choices anywhere, but we have chosen to have the doctor do the amputation, and it is scheduled for Thursday.
Mama is at peace with the operation, and whatever will happen, will happen. At a certain point in life, you become very philosophical, and put things in a higher being's hands.
I'm at peace that I have done the best thing I can do for her, though I don't really like any of the alternatives I had to chose from.
Well, life is interesting--and never dull. Current Mood: contemplative
|Saturday, July 23rd, 2011|
Well, I'm home for a full week--more of less. It's probably the longest I've been home in the last six months. After my sister died in January, I was spending a lot of time in La Mesa helping to get things organized to move my Mother up to live with me. Then in mid March Mother fell and broke her ankle (she's 93) so she has been in a Care Facility since then. So I have been bouncing back and forth between there and home ever since. It's a hectic schedule with no particular pattern, but it has kept me busy. Taking care of two different situations keeps me busy, and I sometimes wonder how effective I am at either one any more.
It is so nice to be home where it is quiet and nicely warm--not too hot currently. The nights actually get cold in the middle of the night. There is about a 30 degree change between day and night, with a breeze. Anyway, I'm back enjoying my quail, cottontail bunnies, European Ring-necked Doves, chipmunks and rock squirrels, plus other assorted birds. The House Finches still have their distinctive red heads and chests. Not quite as bright as during mating season, but still distinguishable.
After a year or more of neglect, the house surroundings had grown into a jungle, so I managed to get someone in to cut back the shrubbery and carry it off. Now at least the house looks like someone cares about it. It makes me feel much better.
Anyway, things seem to be settling down to a routine and I'm getting used to driving 600 miles (round trip) every week or so. I don't know how long it will continue. Current Mood: happy
|Thursday, February 17th, 2011|
It was a flying trip to Tucson this year since I had to sandwich it in between runs from La Mesa and home. I am moving my Mother up to live with me and it's taking many loads of the car to get everything here.
Anyway, my friend, Kim, and I went over to the Main show for a couple of days. I visited friends and looked at an Aladdin's Cave worth of fine minerals. Every year the minerals seem to be getting better.
My friend had never been there before and was overwhelmed by the size of the show, the fantastic specimens, and the prices of the specimens. I tried to prepare him for the show, but there is no way to explain it adequately to anyone without them seeing it. The show has changed from the 1960's when it used to be held in the cow barns at the old Tucson fairgrounds. People come from all over the world for the three week period that encompasses the many "shows" that make up Tucson's mineral experience.
This year I was looking for fluorite and I found four good pieces. Three of them were from various places in China, and the fourth was from Spain. There is a lot of beautiful fluorite in the world--many colors and locations-- and I think I may concentrate on collecting it for a while. Current Mood: happy
|Monday, January 31st, 2011|
I came home from Mother's house with a load of her things and a lot of books--family history and other things. When I opened the curtain to view the back yard, there were a flock of quail enjoying the bird block there. It is mostly sunflower and other rich seeds and the quail look pretty fat. They don't lack for much in this neighborhood, many people feed them. They are so cute! Current Mood: busy
|Saturday, January 22nd, 2011|
Well, life has thrown me another change. Soon I will have my 92 year old mother living with me. My sister died about two weeks ago, and it will mean that the household in the San Diego area will be broken up. Right now we all are going through everything and sorting out the things that are really important to us. I am getting things ready where I live for her to have some room for her things. As usual, things never remain the same.
I hope that everything works out well. I have been hoping that she would live with me for years. It will mean a big change in all our lifestyles, but I look forward to having her here.
Life is never dull. Current Mood: hopeful
|Tuesday, December 21st, 2010|
|Odds and ends
It's another dark and dreary day here. The rain has been with us for the better part of a week and everything is thoroughly soaked. Water everywhere--it's great! We haven't had any major flooding here yet, but more storms are moving in. It looks like Thursday may be the only day I can safely get over the Tehachapi pass, so that's the day I plan to travel (me, and half the countryside, no doubt.)
I got a shipment of books yesterday to sign. Got them signed and I will send them back to the publisher post haste. So far I've been told that there have been very favorable reports on it. That's always nice--we wanted it to be something that would entertain people. My family all like it too, and they're some of the main people I wanted the book for.
I wish we could have seen the lunar eclipse from here last night, but we are under a thick cloud cover. Wouldn't you know it, our sky is clear for maybe 350 nights a year but... Oh, well!
Well, the house is clean and I'm making Christmas candy and cookies. It's been so long since I got a chance to do that, that I'm really rusty. --Have to check the recipes twice, and I'm still waiting to see if the pralines set up properly. It's sort of fun anyway!
At last, it's beginning to feel like the Christmas season! Current Mood: creative
|Saturday, December 18th, 2010|
Well, I'm home for a few days, and delighted to be here. It's been quite a year and I have probably spent more time elsewhere than I have spent at home. Travel can be fun and seeing other places is exciting, but it takes absence to make you realize just how nice it is to be home. --Even by yourself! Or maybe that's the reason to enjoy it--silence, peace and solitude. A time to think and collect the many paths of your life together.
Today is a dark, cold, and rainy day; a good day to be indoors getting the last of the Christmas presents wrapped. It has been raining for a couple of days and nights now--a nice slow rain that soaks into the sandy soil here and gets the wildflowers ready for spring. We don't get rain here on the high desert that often, so it's good to see it when we do. And we're thankful for it when it comes. If we get some more rains during the winter it may be a good year for wild flowers. That is, unless we get a snow late in the season. You never know quite what to expect on our desert.
All in all, it's been a busy year. I sometimes wonder if I wouldn't be happier if I'd been able to skip some of it, but I suppose it was all important in some way. I do hope that the New Year will be a bit more orderly. However, I think it will be just as exciting. Current Mood: creative
|Saturday, November 20th, 2010|
We've had a nice touch of winter weather blowing through. It is cold and windy and just the slightest bit rainy the last few days. --And the weather is supposed to continue getting worse for the next couple of days. Snow is expected for the mountains that surround us.
I brought several flowering kale plants home from Bakersfield and I hope to get them planted before I go to see my Mother for Thanksgiving. They look a lot like purple centered cabbage plants and they add a bit of color to the garden in the winter. I also got a couple of packets of violas to plant on the way to the front door. It always delights me that these plants will take the cold windy weather we have up here on the high desert in the winter.
Mid week last week I startled about 20 quail in the back yard. It was wonderful, I haven't seen that many quail here in a few years.
It always amazes me that every year the weather changes from Fall to Winter within a week of November 17th. You can count on it. Now we can look towards spring and wait for better weather. Current Mood: cold
|Wednesday, November 10th, 2010|
Well, yesterday was a lovely sunny day so I went out to plant some chrysanthemums and dig some weeds. There is a bit to be done since I was gone so much of the summer.
However, today is a typical desert Fall day. It's still sunny, but the wind is blowing like mad and unfortunately it's a cold wind. It is rapidly cooling off everything, including the house. --Too many windows and too little insulation in the walls, built before modern standards of energy preservation.
I guess it's time to start cooking. That will help to warm the house--and me, too. Current Mood: cold