Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ugly fence

Now that spring is officially here, I've got a hankering to go out and play in the garden.  But the thing I see the minute I walk out the door is my fence. 

It's the world's ugliest fence.  It's chain link and about 40 years old and it's rusty.  I've thought about spray painting it silver, but thought that wouldn't be so kind the the environment and waste a lot of cans of spray paint.  I was wondering if I should just get a roller and go over it.  At least that might use less paint.

Anybody ever have this problem?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My lack of success as a gardener

I’ve always wanted a green thumb. Both my parents could produce flowers and vegetables by barely lifting a
finger (okay, hauling 50 lb sacks of manure might help them out a bit). They planted things and they flourished for years. I plant something and it shrivels and dies in days. (Or it’s eaten by bunnies, ground hogs or …
something mysterious we haven’t been able to identify. Probably an alien species sent to Earth to thwart my gardening abilities.)

PrimroseTake for instance the once-lovely primrose I’ve had for a little over a month. The day it arrived home it was flourishing with big purple and yellow flowers. Now it looks like this. Did I water it enough? Too much?

Mind you, I have had a few successes, but I really can’t take credit for them. I inherited a rubber tree when a friend at work retired. It existed (you can’t call what my plants do “living”) in our dining room until all but four leaves had dropped off. With nothing left to lose, I tossed it out on the deck and forgot about it. It thrived on neglect and natural rain and humidity, thinking it had landed back in its homeland. I bring it in for the winter and it goes back to existing until late spring rolls around and the threat of frost is minimized.
Then it goes back to its happy lifestyle for another three to five months (depending on when fall arrives) until I have to bring it in once again.

My Christmas cactus never bloomed and looked ill when I tossed it, too, out on the deck last May. This year it’ll bloom twice. (Although this second blooming won’t be as magnificent as last fall’s.)  I find it amazing that I haven't killed it since it came in last  October.

On this first day of spring, I’m hoping the primrose survives. If it makes it, it’ll go outside (I’m having a novena said for it). I’ve also got another cactus that can go out on the deck. So far, it has a much better gardening success rate than me.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The fun of the planning

Wednesday was shopping day.  Here we are only days from spring and the "seasonal" section of the supermarket was all decked out for summer.  Excuse me, but we still have an entire season to go before we get to summer.

But the one thing I was eager to investigate was the seed rack.  For several years, I've been trying to find Kentucky blue (pole) beans.  I've only been able to find Kentucky wonder, which were good, but not as good as the Kentucky Blue.  Yup, the store had them, and I bought three packages.

Sugar peas I usually grow potatoes in a bin, but this year I think I'm going to put them back in the ground.  Instead, I'm going to try to grow leeks in the bin.  It's the same principal, you cover them up as they grow, so they'll grow taller.  This should be fun.

But the most exciting thing is snow pea seeds.  I've never grown them before, and they're a "cold" weather crop, so I can plant them in the next couple of weeks.  (And hope the rabbits don't get them.)

Meanwhile, Sunday I'll be talking about some other plants.  Stay tuned.

CONTEST UPDATE:  t was a very tough choice for who would get the giveaway pictures -- Hubby picked Gert's name out of the hat.  Congratulations!  Please contact me at ivybend2@gmail.com and give me your address so I can mail them out.  Thanks!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A nice, BIG pot of soup

For a month or so, I've been saving the carcasses from our roast chicken dinners.  So much, so, that they were beginning to fall out of the freezer and bonk me on the head every time I opened it.  Today I figured, TIME TO MAKE THE SOUP.  I filled the big kettle with water and have been boiling the bones for hours now.

The whole house smells lovely.  The only problem?  There'll be far too much soup for our tiny freezer.  Mother to the rescue!  She has a full-sized freezer in her garage.

I am I the only one who makes enough soup to feed an Army?

Monday, March 15, 2010


According to the calendar, tonight is a new moon.  I probably won't be able to see it because the weather calls for rain and cloudy skys ALL WEEK LONG.  Still, rain will bring the flowers, and I can't wait to get out in my garden and start cleaning up from the winter and planting my veggies and annuals.  Of course, in this part of the country that means another two months.


But I'll leave you with a picture of the new moon anyway.  I can always dream about it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


For many months now, I've had a grocery bag hanging from the door knob on my office closet.  It's not unusual for bags (gift, grocery or canvas) to hang from door knobs in this house.  In fact, once, when I still had a day job, my husband sent me pictures of every bag on a door knob in the whole house.  It gave me a very welcome laugh at work.

But this bag had treasure in it.  Forgotten treasure. 

I tend to buy little pictures in gold frames.  Don't ask me why--I have no idea.  I guess I just like them.  But the thing is, I've run out of wall space for these treasures.  So how about a give away?

Goldframepix Here they are.  All you have to do to enter, is leave a comment. and on Friday I'll pick a comment at random and announce the winner

Ivy sig

Friday, March 12, 2010

I love you, Mr. Robin ... but ....

We've had mild temps for the past week (mild being over 40).  The snow, that's been at least two feet deep for at least six weeks, has finally started to melt (or evaporate--I'm not sure which) and slowly my yard is beginning to reappear.  Of course, now it's supposed to rain for the next week, but that doesn't bother me as much as snow.  And, for writing purposes, it's much easier to work when it's NOT sunny and pretty outside.

Daffydills The daffodils have poked through the dirt, but even that isn't much of a sign of spring.  Last year my daffy daffs poked their little heads out in January.

What really makes it seem like spring is one the way?  Birds.  Suddenly there are a lot of birds around.  And they're tweeting.  AND WAKING ME UP BEFORE I WANT TO BE UP AND AWAKE.

Robin Of course, this is just a prelude to April when there'll be even MORE birds sitting on the pine tree outside my bedroom window and starting to squawk about 4 a.m. and continue until at least 7.  Cute as they are, hopping around the yard, looking for worms or looking for building materials for nests, couldn't they sleep in until 8 or 9 and THEN become industrious?

Oh well.  I suppose it's a small price to pay for sunny days and warm temperatures.

If you live up North, have the birds returned to your town?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Doesn't Everyone Want To Smell Like A Toilet Deordorant Cake?

Why is it whenever I like a product--really like it--it gets taken off the market? (Garlic flavored "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter," Reynolds plastic wrap with the easy slider cutter; ice tea flavored Gatorade?) And if they don't take it off the market, they "improve it."

Lots of things DON'T need to be improved, and I ran across one yesterday when I went to ... ahem ... color my hair.

Old 116a I've been using Nice'N Easy #116A for about 18 years. Okay, I tried to be a redhead for a while, but even though there have been redheads in my family, it just didn't suit me, so back to #116A it was. I've been very happy with the product. They changed the conditioner a few years back, which was okay (but they give you a million times more than you need, and I usually just toss out the newest tube.)

Nice and Easy Hubby always complained about the smell. "Ick--like chemical green apples." I got used to it and after a couple of hours, the bathroom doesn't smell anymore and life goes back to normal. Yesterday I used the NEW AND IMPROVED Nice'N Easy #116A and ... quite frankly, it stank. Stank like those little deodorant cakes you hang from the side of the toilet bowl. But ... eventually the odor dissipated and life went back to normal.

EXCEPT -- I could smell my hair. Just a whiff now and then, but it's really Toilet deordorant revolting. I took the cat to the vet and all the time wondered ... can the vet tech smell my hair? I was awakened in the middle of the night and what did I smell? MY HAIR. LIKE THOSE LITTLE DEODORANT CAKES YOU HANG FROM THE SIDE OF THE TOILET BOWL.

I've been quite happy with this product for almost two decades. Maybe this bottle was a fluke. But next time I use it, if I end up smelling like a deodorant cake, I'm switching brands.
Anyone got a suggestion?