The 2nd half of 2015 can be found here Portland 2015 Part 2


June 29, 2015


Luke was helping me with watering duties. LOL































June 28, 2015


Cucumbers are nearly ready for picking... maybe next week.













Day-lily's and Echinacea (Cone Flowers)































June 26, 2015
I picked what berries I could find in the Raspberry patch. They seem to be almost finished for the season. Then I picked the Blueberries that are ripe and the 3 Green Beans that were ready! LOL































While I was in the Raspberry patch, I found this flower? weed? I've no idea what it is but it has the most interesting flowers on it. If you know what it is, let me know!!













Lastly, my newest food addition... I got a green pepper plant. I need to put it in a different pot or in the ground. But, for now, that extra Frog tie that was "hanging around".. now has a job holding up this plant! LOL































June 25, 2015


The boys are grateful for the air conditioner in the window of my room. They spend most of the hot days in my room! LOL












The last Dahlia I got from Mom has bloomed. I thought maybe it was going to be yellow... but it certainly is not! LOL































The yellow Day Lily's are blooming now. There are Cone Flowers behind them and Purple Butterfly Bush behind them.































June 21, 2015


While I was cleaning the backyard today, I noticed that the Trumpet Vine was laying on the ground, so I did what I could to get it temporarily up.































I watered early this morning and mid-morning I fed the birds, fed the squirrels and looked around the garden pulling weeds every now and again.
I was yanking out the plants from the birdseed that was growing, mostly on my rubber trail. But, I left this one. There is a little bird to the right on the pathway who was watching my every move! LOL































Hummingbird having brunch at the Butterfly Bush.































Honeysuckle is cresting the arch it is growing next to.































Green bean has about 8 green beans growing. They are about 4" long but need to fill in some! Kinda hard to see them in the picture.































Blueberries are starting to get blue.


Yes, I picked it and I ate it. It was delicious! LOL




























Then, I picked some raspberries and cut down a bunch of the stickers that were in the back of the berry patch.













The Rhubarb has fresh growth coming out! Yay! It's not all dead after all!


Its the little green specks in the photo. LOL




























Then I saw this nasty Japanese Knot Weed growing. The stuff is very invasive and if you don't get all the roots out, it will keep growing. I have been letting it get big enough that when I cut it's stem, there is a hollow in the stem and I pour poison down inside so it gets to the roots too. It is really a pretty plant when it flowers, gets tall too, but you don't want to let it grow.































One the brighter side, more Mums have bloomed and the Red Dahlia has more blossoms too.













And, last but not least, I checked the progress of the cucumbers. They were an inch long last I looked at them and now they are about 4" long but some have an odd shape! LOL

















June 20, 2015


I found this when I was cleaning up the back room. Very cute. Sherry gave it to me a while ago and I put it in the room and forgot to put it out. I need to get a stick to attach it to so it can go out to the frog garden.































June 19, 2015


First order of business today was to get Echinopsis outside with her companions. It went pretty well, only had one small incident, but she's outside!
I had them all up close to the house because those little fella's didn't do well in the sun last year and they got scarred. The corn plant also does not like sun on it.













The view from my kitchen window:































An hour later, I remembered that Aloe Vera and this other succulent actually liked it directly in the morning sun last time. I also determined that I need to separate the 4 cacti that are together in a bowl, but I thought I would save that treat for later. But, I wanted to get them out of the "aisle".
So I took the top shelf off on the house side and moved them to the middle shelf. (Two of the ones needing transplanting are too tall, that's why I had to remove the top shelf).
Then, I made a shelf towards the back, on the opposite side so the two that like sun directly, can get it sitting on that low shelf.













About an hour later, I was sitting in my chair out there, taking a break. As those of you who know me well might guess.... I wasn't happy with the new shelf. So, I took that shelf down and moved it forward, then added another shelf above it for more stability. Moved the succulents to that shelf and moved Corn Plant to the end. It sits up tall enough that it won't get direct sun on it even in the front row.


This is it. I'm done with this project!




























I was tired of this project hours ago. I had wrapped my butterfly lights around the middle bar, but had to move the string of lights because I added that middle shelf on that side. So, I put them around the top of the wall but needed some way to "secure" them so they would stay up there.
A year or so ago, my friend Sherry gave me some frog plant ties... to secure a plant to a support stick. Well, I have repurposed them! LOL Two are holding the ends of the light string! LOL













One is actually trying to support Corn Plant to a metal stake (you can see his feet under the leaves). And, so I wouldn't lose the last one... he's just hanging around! LOL


Cutie!




























Whilst I was busy arranging, building, re-arranging, re-building, etc the shade house, I was also making cookies for the boys. Pumpkin is very good to keep their digestive tract in proper sync.
So, I made them some Molasses Pumpkin Cookies...































And, my own concoction that I named Apple and Carrot Pumpkin Treats!































I did some other kitchen stuff, including cleaning it twice and I did manage to vacuum today. But, now I am going into "kick back" mode! LOL








June 18, 2015


I did nothing today that I planned to do, but that's okay. When I got home from the store, I decided that I wanted to reconstruct the large greenhouse, but not put the outer cover on it. Instead, I wanted to leave it open air but shielded from the sun so I can move all the cacti out there for the summer and early fall.
So, I got all the stuff down from the "loft" in the garage and looked blankly at the gazillion pieces that lay before me. Took awhile but I got things organized and started construction. I only wanted one side with some shelves for the smaller pots near the house. So, that is what I did and I have many spare parts! LOL But I think it will serve the purpose I built it for.
The "roof" is the shade that I was using on the outside of the kitchen windows.































June 16, 2015


I bought Cody a new pool today. It's a small pool for pets, about 3' diameter.























He got in it right away but wouldn't sit or lay down in it until the 3rd time he got in. He fills it up! LOL But,he is able to up and out of it with no issues.













Red Lily's are going crazy! They're such a pretty red. Very vibrant.























I moved all the live plants back to the sun from the bench.























Echinopsis has sure been producing babies! All the "nubs" are new cacti babies.













The Aloe Vera and 4 cacti in this dish have new growth. I thought I had killed them with too much sunshine last year, but they are pulling through just fine.














Even Optunia has new paddle shoots on it!
























June 15, 2015


I checked my deck work from yesterday and determined that water puddles nicely on the finish, so I wasn't going to do any more on it.




















So, I put the rug down under the awning and some runner rugs for Cody so he maintains traction while he walking.


Then, moved the fake flowers back to where they were before.




















Moved all the live plants in pots over to the bench and tossed that nasty white set of shelves onto the "got junk" pile to be hauled away. I need to rearrange the order, though, so the Cukes and Kale get sun longer.


















Took the sunflower seeds and peanuts out to fill the squirrel feeders. I tossed some peanuts into one of the screens in the bird garden.


Crow arrived almost immediately after I did that. LOL


















I noticed the birdseed is off to a good start growing... cluttering my path.


















I also saw that apparently the frogs were partying again last night, so I had to get many of them back to a standing position and on their pedestals. LOL
































After I finished with the frogs, I got my bowl and picked all the raspberries I could reach. Of course, the biggest ones are in the center and I can't get to them. I was wearing sandals and the way was blocked by very large sticker plants.


Yum!!


















So before I left the area, I did a vegetable check to see how the plants are doing.

Artichoke is starting to look strong now. Blueberries are starting to turn blue.













Cherry Tomato and the regular size Tomato have green 'maters on them.













Green Bean has some blossoms, but something has been eating its leaves. Then, I noticed that the Concord Grape is making grapes.













The Trumpet Vine is starting to bloom. The Hummingbirds will be very happy! LOL





















So, by mid-morning it was already getting hot - a little humid, too. I retired to the house to make some food. Actually, I was hungry and decided I would put together a Spinach Salad kit that I bought and eat that. But, I didn't exactly do that! LOL


I cooked the bag of spinach in some olive oil and tossed in the almonds and craisins that came with it. After it cooked, I added the Feta cheese that was in the package. It was yummy! I ate the whole thing. LOL


















I cooked some Spaetzel noodles, added some creamy Alfredo sauce and topped it with grilled chicken slices.


















I put some broccoli crowns in a baking dish, tossed in some tiny tomatoes, shredded some cabbage and carrot, laid some sausage on top of the cabbage and poured some Zesty Italian salad dressing over the whole thing. Baked it and that will be a couple servings of dinner.


















While the sausage and "kraut" were cooking, I used the last grilled chicken breast to make some Chicken salad for sandwiches. It also has red onion, parsley, spicy mustard and mayo in it. Turned out pretty tasty.


















Last, I thought some ready-made breakfast would be nice. So, I put together two yogurt parfaits with pineapple, blueberries, and raspberries. One has cherry yogurt and the other has peach yogurt.






















That's about it for today.. at least as far as pictures are concerned! LOL

Okay, you may resume your own life now! LOL Thanks for stopping by!







June 12, 2015


I tackled the pressure washing and re-sealing of the deck today. What a pain in the butt! I am not the most patient person in the world and I lost interest in this task after the first hour in the sun. LOL I ended up using almost two tanks of gas in the pressure washer! Didn't expect that. Boy was that deck dirty, too! All the dogs fault. I ended up with wet dog fur, mud, wet leaves and moss on me. This did not make me happy, as you might guess. But the spray did, at least, cool me off in the sun! LOL
The first picture is the deck half cleaned. The 2nd one it is all cleaned off.













This one the sealing is complete, but the shade makes it look darker than it really is. It is Honey color. I will probably put a clear coat over it, I will decide in the AM. I'm just glad its over!
About when I was almost finished, I needed some more sealant. So, of course, I picked up the container to shake it.... sigh.... the lid was not screwed down on it. Yes, some areas got two coats! LOL

























And, finally, a pretty picture of my red Lily's. I love them. So pretty and vibrant!


























June 11, 2015


When I got home from the country house, I moved my poor Rhubarb plant to a new location. I hope it will do better here. It is the red spoke in the picture.

























Then I put a new hose sprinkler out and pull out the black one that was more of a dripper kind and wasn't doing a very good job. This one made everyone around it happy again! LOL If you look really close at the 2nd pic, there is a rainbow! LOL













While I was out in the gardens, I also ate a few handfuls of raspberries.

I also noticed the first bloom on the Cone Flowers (Echinacea)

























And, I repotted the yellow Rose and the pink Begonia. I hope they will like their new homes.

























June 9, 2015


This morning when I got up it was a beautiful 56 degrees on the deck. It was about 70 deg when I finally got around to going outside to do some yard work.

I watered the garden since it was still mostly shaded and not that hot out. Plus, I wanted to see how bad off that mended soaker hose was. The red Lily's had to be tied up so I could find the end of the hose. Soaker was getting water all the way to the end flowers, so I figured I need not replace it right now.












I moved on to my next chore which was the bird baths. I cleaned out both bird baths and refilled them. They were gross. Birds are very sloppy and dirty!

Next chore would be the raspberry patch. They had jumped their rock border and were growing about 3' outside of it and down on the ground instead of standing up.

























I decided that it was moving like that because the pink flowering bush was blocking the Raspberries sun. So I gave the pink flowering bush a trim.

























So, I got out the only thing I had to use as a fence to get the Raspberries off the ground and push them back. It is actually two triangular tomato cages that I took apart. But, it worked for now.

























Of course, while I was there, I enjoyed the "fruit" of my labors! LOL YUM!













I stopped to take a break and finish my coffee. Luke was outside with me the whole time. Cody was in the air conditioned bedroom! LOL But, Luke stayed outside and even layed in the sun while I drank my coffee.

























The crows were all kinds of upset when I was messing with the pink bush and the Raspberry plants. They finally calmed down when I left the area, but they were still talking to each other. This little hummingbird sat very still on the overhead wire while the bigger birds were talking!

























It was getting to be a bit warm, maybe 80 deg by now and I figured after I got the brush I had cut into the barrel, that would be enough outdoors for the day. So, I got that done, it barely fit in the barrel, but I got it all in there.

I still had the soaker hose going so I thought I would check on how well it had watered and check for a leak one last time. It wasn't watering half of the area very well. Then, I stepped into a big puddle near the leak... apparently, it was leaking quite a bit and I was irrigating the path area. Sigh.

























So, I turned the water off and put plan B into effect.
That consisted of me taking the current soaker off the spigot and attaching the other soaker hose to the first one. Then, pull on the old one to pull the new one through all the flowers/shrubs.
This did require me to have to ultimately pull some tall grass out so it would stop getting tangled up with the hose. So, I got that accomplished and turned the water back on and it was watering everything very well.

Took a look at the Rhubarb.. that stalk is definitely dead. Probably didn't get enough water way over there. But there are some green leaves down by the crown, so it's not all dead yet. I will move it today to an area it will get sun and water, probably by the tomatos and blueberries.

























And to leave you on a happy note for the day...
the Begonia is doing fabulous, yellow Rose is looking good still...













Honeysuckle and Grapes are growing well...













Cucumber, Kale, Tomatoes, Arichoke, Blueberries, and Beans are all doing great too!













When I came into the house, it was now a toasty 85 deg. That will be the conclusion of my outdoor activities until after the heat peaks at 5pm. LOL








June 6, 2015


Temperature on the back porch in the shade, at 4pm, was 95 deg. Not a lot of outside work got done but I did manage to mow this morning and feed the wild critters/birds. This afternoon, I took a walk around the garden and did pull some grass/weeds out. But it's still 85 deg and I got tired of being hot.

Tall red Lily's are starting to bloom now.

























The ornamental grass is getting pretty big... flopping around a bit. I think the little flowers are some kind of Columbine or of that family.

























I propped up the Beard Tongue so it is standing up instead of laying on the ground and also propped up the Cone Flower clump next to it. My day lily's, on either side of Beard Tongue, are huge this year. I hope they get lots of flowers!

























After some weeding, I found my Orangy-Red Dahlia, a red Mum, and two Fuchsia's growing. The first two are blooming, under the tall grass.
























That's it, lots of weeding left to do. LOL Never ending!





May 31, 2015


Just a pic of the Begonia, it's really doing quite well!

























May 30, 2015


I decided that it would be a nice this morning to try to find the end of the cement patio. Ugh!

























Took me a couple hours to find the edge and follow it for a ways. There used to be a pipe in the ground, about where the tip of the shovel is, that was used to put up a clothes line, (the umbrella style), I haven't found it yet! LOL From what I could tell, the ground had encroached about 6" over the cement in the area I was working on. I am not sure if that is alot over 20 yrs time or not.

























Anyway, it was kind of sultry out there and I was getting tired of this project, so I decided to move some fencing to give Cody more space under the grape vines. He likes to lay under there, in the tall grass, with the grape canopy blocking the sun!
Now he has twice the space to lounge in.













And, there is room for Luke, too!

























The yellow rose that will be going to the farm:

























May 25, 2015


I didn't get my lawn mowed today, but I did get the rest of the available yard debris into the barrel. So, I was happy about that. Since I had planned to mow next, I set about on my next task.... poop patrol. UGH! Hate it!

When I was just about finished with that task, I saw something I missed so I went over to pick it up. I was not prepared for this:


A huge, dead rat with maggots. OMG! I almost tossed my cookies.
























After that, I decided that perhaps I would do some weeding instead of mowing.

I decided I would start with where the Spiderwort lives and pull the stuff in the Frog Garden. They had been out partying again so I also had to put them back on their pedestals. sigh. I did notice that the mystery flowers in the Frog Garden are Mountain Bells (the little yellow flower in the picture).











Finally, I got finished pulling out the grass and cleaning up the grass in the Frog section. Seems like it took forever. The grass and weeds finished filling the trash barrel so it was a good time to stop for the day. I actually don't mind the grass growing or the other unexpected ground cover because it hold moisture into the ground and gives it nutrients. But this grass was getting really, really tall and needed to go! LOL



























I looked around the rest of the garden to see where I will attack next. I noticed that the Beard Tongue was doing great and I also noticed that my Rhubarb died.











I also saw that Phygelius Snow Queen has outdone herself and the red Phygelius (forgot its name) is hanging in there! LOL



























This is the yellow rose I bought. It's going to live at the farm to replace the one that I killed when I moved it.



























This Begonia I got from Mom is doing very well at my house!



























This afternoon, I will tend to some weeding. egad! *faint* Shouldn't be too hard because many of the flowers are blooming so I won't accidentally yank them out! LOL But this morning, I will get back to work on the 2nd Casey Sheridan book.





























May 16, 2015


YAY! The neighbors put their new fence up. It's very pretty and boy does it look tons better than that old rickety one did!



























My dinner tonight. Yum!!






























May 14, 2015


After the DSL guy left, I noted that it was quite nice outside and sunny skies. So, I decided to pick up dog poop! LMAO
But, I digress! LOL
After that I decided to go dig a hole to move the Butterfly Bushes to.


I thought behind the frog garden would be nice.


























I kept looking at the butterfly bush and decided maybe I better go see how big the stump is.

It's been there for many years. There is actually two of them that I planted close together.


























So, I trimmed all the bottom branches off and discovered that there are roots on top of the ground that are very long and thick and then they disappear back into the ground. *faint*






















I'm not digging that up or digging a new hole for it today. Nope, no way Jose! Not today.

Part of the reason I wanted to move it is because they are replacing the fence soon and I didn't want my Butterfly Bushes or the Trumpet Vine in the way of that progress. I also didn't want them butchered to get them out of the way.

So, I trimmed up the Trumpet Vine and took all the old dead stuff off and flopped it to the left over MY little fence on that side.





























I did some more trimming and removal of dead stalks off the Butterfly bushes and then used some twine to tie off the two main stalks and pull them to my side of the fence and tied them to one of those iron fence posts that was already in place... so my plants are no longer, at least temporarily, on THEIR fence! LOL





























After that, I decided that in the Fall when I can trim down those stalks.. THAT is when I will dig it up and move it/them. I decided that for watering purposes, so I don't have to change my exisiting watering implements... I would plant them here. They will go where the 1/2 barrel and cinderblocks are.













Since it was still nice out, my foot wasn't yet hurting and I still had energy... I decided to fill the yard trash barrel with cuttings from two weeks ago.


Yay! Looks much better out here!


























Next week I will get rid of this big pile.













May 12, 2015


I was trying to write on my book when I heard Cody "yipping", so I went to the backyard to find out what the problem was. Well, he was laying on some grass INSIDE the garden fence next to the California Lilac. I was not happy. I went and got the camera but by the time I got back, he had moved to the gate, where he was being greeted by Luke.











I can't figure out where he is getting through the fence, but I need to keep them out of there until the neighbor fixes their fence, which is supposed to be this week.

In looking at the south side fence, it is double-fenced, so there is no place the boys can wiggle through and they can't walk or jump over it. So the only openings to deal with on that side are the deck stairs on the north side and the arch with no gate on the south side.

Finally, I found my other baby gate and put that up on the top stair on the north end of the deck. (It has to sit on the top stair to connect with the railing). Then, I discovered I still had a short piece of construction fencing and found 3 tall piece of re-bar.

I threaded the re-bar through part of the fencing and pounded it into the ground then tied the re-bar to the arch for good measure.











At least it had stopped raining long enough for me to get that accomplished.
I'm sure the boys will not be happy with this arrangement! LOL


Update: Cody went outside to go potty around 330pm. This was his first encounter with the new gate. He tends to always go down the North stairs. I saw him go over and was watching him while I was preparing to take his picture. He gave me such a look! Like "WHAT did YOU do???" but the camera didn't click until he looked down. LOL I showed him that he had to go down the south steps but he didn't go to where the arch is blocked off so I guess they haven't noticed that part yet. My funny boy!





























May 11, 2015


Dashed out to do a couple things before any rain might start.

First up was to get my Squirrel Peanut feeder off the old fence that is going to be replaced and put it on my fence over by the Fir tree. Since I think they are living in my Fir tree, I thought this would make it more convenient for them. Yeah, that was foremost on my mind! NOT!













I also filled the sunflower seed feeders and put out new suet. While I was out in the garden I noticed that my rust-colored Azalea has new blooms. The pink one bloomed early and has since lost its flowers, so I was happy to see this one blooming now!


























And the California Lilac has lots more blossoms. I was really happy about that after last year when I had to cut off half of it because some damn bug got it.













May 10, 2015
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY ALL YOU MOM'S OUT THERE!

After lunch with Mom I had some work to do in the yard. So, I got started on that since it looked like it might rain and I wanted to not work in the rain! LOL


I planted the other Tomato plant that Mom gave me and the Bush Bean plant that I bought, over by the Artichoke and Cherry Tomato plants. My Cucumber and Kale plants are living in pots next to the Begonia. Not sure if they will stay in pots, but seemed like a good place for right now.













There was also a pot of unknown flowers from Mom that I planted with the unknown purple flowers.













The Pansy from Mom got placed in the Pansy section and while I was doing that I saw that my Oriental Lily's were coming up again. Yes, it needs to be weeded in there. I'll get to it.













The Spiderwort is finally starting to bloom (the small white flowers) and another purple Japanese Iris opened.













May 9, 2015


It was nice and sunny and cool this morning. Good for getting some outside stuff done. So, I did alittle. Also watered this morning.

Cody came outside, but he sought refuge under the grapevines near where I was working. :)













I filled the yard trash barrel with cuttings from a few days ago, but there is still probably another barrel worth of current cuttings.
Actually, I never put out the yard trash last week, so I had to fill the extra barrel with what I did today.
Then, I attacked some blackberry vines growing in the Butterfly Bush and Trumpet Vine.... that will be another barrel worth of trash.













Luke and I looked around in the garden while things were getting watered. There was a crow in the fresh birdbath water, soaking it's peanut. When it saw Luke and I it took its peanut and flew over where the ferns were getting sprinkled and dropped its peanut in the run-off!













The frogs were kinda laid back today. One was praying, one was lounging while reading in the sun, and Hippy Frog clearly got stoned last night.







































The law enforcement statues have Bandito Frog surrounded. He didn't stand a chance! LOL I found my other two cop frogs and moved them to the Cop corner for back up during transport! Bandito frog is effectively in custody and not putting up a fight! LOL


























While I was looking for the missing cop frogs, I noticed that I hadn't gotten all the flower bulbs out before I put the weed block stuff down... some are growing around and up through the holes in the "pedestals"! LOL Guess there is a real "will to live" with those things.















The (volunteer) Ornamental Walnut Tree is about 3' tall now!


























The neighbors are doing their share to feed the wildlife and making good use of that tall stump. LOL I saw a squirrel up there yesterday.


























The Raspberries are doing their thing!


























The surprise Iris from last year (ie... it wasn't what I had ordered) has bloomed. And, of course can't forget the purple ones!



































The Coneflowers, Columbines, Lily's, and Spirea are all doing very well.


























I got the mum planted with the ones I got from Mom last year. But, it was feeling pretty warm in the sun, so I will finish later.


























I still need to plant this stuff... pansy, cukes, kale, green beans, begonia, and some wildflowers (not pictured). Maybe do that this afternoon when the sun gets on the other side of my house.















Frog Thermometer/water catcher say's it is 100 deg in the sun. The thermometer in the shade says 85 deg. I will do more work later outside.


















May 7, 2015


Apparently, there was quite the party in the Frog Garden, again. But this time, things got brutal.


Sigh























I put the new seed holder out for the squirrels and larger birds, but I don't think anyone has eaten from it.


























Did a little trimming of the bushes at the side of the yard, but didn't trim down the tops yet.


























Things are starting to bloom, as you know. The red and the white Phygelius are blooming, the Beard Tongue is also.












Woodland Phlox is really filling in nicely and one purple Widow's Tear flower has appeared.













California Lilac has many blossoms now and the blue Columbine is just pretty!













Ferns are doing well under the tree and a couple more of this purple flower bloomed.













May 4, 2015


Columbine is blooming now. I hope the dark ones will bloom, too.













Delphinium and Japanese Iris managed to survive Cody laying on them.













Lots of purple Iris have bloomed now.


























And the Begonia from Mom has a pretty red flower on it.


























May 3, 2015


I planted my new Tomato plant and new Artichoke plant with the Blueberry plants. There used to be Cherry bushes in those two places that I pulled out. I did discover that there was a root from the bushes still there and it has a leaf on it! LOL So, I left it alone.













Grapes are forming now, too!


























April 28, 2015


I finally took the time today, when I got home, to work downstairs in the basement and get the work out area cleaned up and arranged to be usable again. I need to get another bit of carpet though, it will look better! LOL


The front area is for Yoga and Aeorbics, the machines are in the back and far enough apart that all are usable without hitting another machine! LOL























During a break of my work duties today, I happened to notice that the Columbine is starting to bloom! It wasn't showing color yesterday.


























April 27, 2015


After I fed all the wildlife and moved one birdfeeder, I took a little inventory of what was going on in the gardens.

The California Lilac is loaded with blossoms and should be pretty spectacular if it all blooms at the same time. The Heuchera Ruby Bells is struggling, but bless it's little heart, it has bloomed. (I have found Luke laying on that flower several times, I'm surprised it bloomed at all).













More Iris bloomed. This is there first year to bloom here, should be more next year. Sweet William is just starting to bloom.













A couple of Pansy's are showing their faces.













Woodland Phlox is filling in and I saw what I think is a Spotted Towhee looking through dropped sunflower seeds for some lunch. LOL













While I was doing the rest of the outdoor work that I had planned for the day, Luke kept an eye on me from the shade. Cody opted to stay inside where it was cooler. LOL


























April 26, 2014

Picked up this pretty hanging Petunia basket today.


























April 24, 2014

They said we should get some showers today. They were actually right! LOL Rained pretty hard for a while.


























This clever squirrel got on the circular bird feeder, sat, ate, and for the most part stayed dry! LOL


























April 21, 2015


When I got home today, I happened to notice that 4 of my Iris had bloomed! What a nice surprise that was!













I also noticed that the squirrels broke one of their feeders. Ripped the top clean off it. So, I can't refill or re-hang it. Grrrrrr


























And, the small gate was open and someone had bedded down in the front left flower bed and squashed the tall flowers that were growing. Also...grrrrr!


























April 17, 2015 *UPDATE*


I hated to see all the pretty weather go to waste, so I went back out to see what I could do or finish doing. I decided to move the branches over to the cement patio where they would be easier to deal with next week.


That should fill up the barrel























Then I moved some stuff around on the deck to make it easier when I pressure wash it and re-seal it. Before and After:













I also noticed that Paula Pinkbush is blooming and some Iris are getting ready to bloom.













540pm - That's it. I'm done. I have no energy left for yard work. LOL



April 17, 2015


I set out this morning to do two things in my yard... 1) Trim Marla the Maple tree and 2) pull out the grass in the pathway through the garden and put down "roll out rubber mulch". That was the two things I intended on getting done.

Well, as per normal with me... I took one look at all that grass I want to pull out and it just seemed like a whole lot of work. I know it is a whole lot of work because I have done this before.

So, I decided to weed the garden area between Frogville and the grassy path, instead.


Before























I had a squawky supervisor all morning while I was working.


























I got tired of the weeding event, so I decided to take a few branches off of Marla so my poor Lila and Larry Lilac's would get more light. All of their flowers are at the very top above the leaves on Marla.

















Luke brought his food dish out to dine in the shade while I was whacking away at Marla. I ended up having to get my 10" tree saw out and cut one 3" or so branch all the way off. When it crashed to the ground, it knocked the head off one of my reindeer, so I fixed him back up after I trimmed the branch and got it out of my way.


Luke on the left, branches in the center/right























Doesn't really look that different in the picture, but in person it is pretty noticeable.


























I found this cute BlueBell growing under the Fir tree where I pulled out all that ivy last year.


























I sat down in my deck chair and I guess Luke was still hungry because he went in the house and reappeared with Cody's food dish and food! LOL


























When I finally went back to do more weeding, I changed my mind and decided it was a good time to put new washers in my hoses and get them out to where they belong. I had to do it differently than last year because, honestly, the frog garden doesn't need to be watered! LOL For the stuff on the North side of the back yard, I decided it would be easiest to use an oscillating sprinkler for that side.

In order to do that, all the birdfeeders had to be moved so they were not recipients of the watering and start growing their seed. That is such a mess when that happens! LOL


























I did get all but one hose in place, but by then, it was getting hot in the sun, so I gave up on weeding for now.


























April 16, 2015


After I got home today I managed to finish the trimming the bush out front and that filled the yard trash barrel. So, I wandered out back and decided I should get the weed-eating underway. I couldn't even see my brick path any longer, so I did that and did the garden area. I had some unwelcome surprises while doing the brick path... apparently, the boys thought that was a mighty fine place to go potty. sigh. But, I survived it.

Then I decided to feed the squirrels and birds. One of the squirrel feeders had broken a link in it's hanging chain and crashed to the ground. I hope someone enjoyed that trip! LOL Didn't thwart them for long, the "hat" on the snowman feeder was open and it appeared someone had been eating.

I am now out of Peanuts, Sunflower seeds and Bird seed.

It didn't take long at all for one of the teenager squirrels to find the new stock of peanuts. LOL


























I also planted some Mums, from Mom, that she no longer wanted. I was shocked at how wet the clay was when I was digging holes for the plants. I also brought home some viola's, or possibly pansy's, from Mom's and a Begonia (also from Mom's) and put those in the 1/2 wood barrel.


























While Mom and I were out and about today, I did get some fake flowers that were on sale. I decided the tall ones would look nice here:

















And, then I moved my fake roses to the copper pot on the right and put my new flowers in the center pot! I like them.

















And, now it is cocktail time and I have had enough of the great outdoors and pollen for this day.






April 11, 2015


A nice surprise today! One of my backyard neighbors hired some black guys to cut down that nasty pine tree that is up in the lines in the back corner of my yard. One of the guys had knocked on the door to let me know what was going on and that they would need access to the backyard to clean it up. I said fine just let me know and I would unlock the gate.

So, I peered out the back slider and, indeed, they were sawing limbs off. And, indeed, many were on my side. But the guy actually on the tree just dropped himself into my yard and threw it all back over the fence then climbed back up and over to the other side! LOL

I didn't get a picture of them taking the top 6 or so feet off but it was kinda cool and boy did the lines flop around!


























While the guys were cleaning up the mess on the other side of the fence, I peered through a hole in the fence to ask a question. One guy came up from beside the remaining trunk and surprised me, but we laughed about it!

I told them that I still have some branches from when the electric company folks had been out cutting on that tree, but that they were too big for the yard trash and I had no way to make them smaller. I pointed them out to him and he said to toss them over the fence, no problem, they would haul them away with the rest of the tree. Hallelujah! LOL

They haven't cut the remaining 6' trunk down yet, which is good because I think it is holding that nasty fence up. (The fence belongs to the neighbor. Maybe this means he's going to replace that fence too!!) *fingers crossed*


The boys new.. old.. sleeping arrangements:


























April 9, 2015


I managed to get the backyard mowed, but it was still a bit on the wet side. At least its done. Tomorrow I'll do the weed-eating and mow the front yard.

While I was looking around in the gardens, I noticed quite a few things are coming to life, which is good! I also noticed that apparently the frogs were partying last night and were passed out laying on the ground! LOL I put them back up.


I was especially happy to see how good my Azalea is doing. It looked a might peaked earlier, but now it's blooming like crazy and even making new leaves! Yay!























The silly Rhubarb started growing, but it has flowered, which it shouldn't be doing! LOL






















Lilac is blooming






















I still can't remember what these are, but it was nice of 3 of them to come back! LOL

























Woodland Phlox is just getting started.

























Grapes are starting to unfurl their leaves. Cody likes to sleep under it when it is fully dressed in leaves and blocking the sun! LOL

























I put this shelf thing together, but it turns out I need it to be about an inch wider across. Dang!























April 4, 2015


It finally warmed a little outside so prepared my sign to put in the Frog Garden, hereinafter called Frogville (population 50 ` established 2015). LOL















April 3, 2015


I have had two signs custom made by Carla at Bedlam Country Crafts I have been very pleased with her work and she's very responsive to what I wanted to do both times.


My new sign arrived today. Pretty!




















March 31, 2015


Well, they said it would hail and they were right.















March 24, 2015
Several things are popping up in the gardens now. Yay! LOL


The tall lily's, Coneflowers and Columbine are all coming up nicely.




















Pink Azalea is blooming which is a surprise because I thought it had died! LOL




















The blueberry plants (on the right) and Cherry bush plants are all sporting blossoms. The Iris patch behind them is about 2x the height they were last week.




















Even the California Lilac has a couple blossoms!




















I took a birds-eye view of the backyard and close-up of my Frog Garden.















March 12, 2015


As per normal, the Tulip tree looked great for almost a week, but now it is shedding quickly. It is covering half of my front yard and I'm sure the gutter is probably full too. I'll clean that mess up tomorrow and clean the gutter before the weekend rain comes.




























Amongst my other duties of the day, like laundry and poo patrol, I filled the yard trash barrel with the last of all those branches I had to clean up! YAY! Now I can work on MY stuff.























And, I transplanted a lily that Sherry gave me and put up fence around the bed that the Lily's, Columbine and Coneflowers are in. You really can't see it in the picture but, it's all there! LOL























March 10, 2015


I put Jackalope, Deputy US Marshal, out in the garden with Sheriff McBird and his posse.























And I moved Hammock Frog to a better position so he gets more sunlight and the bug on his nose will stay lit longer at night. LOL























The Tulip Tree, in the front yard, at night.























March 9, 2015


My Deputy US Marshal Jackalope arrived! Isn't he adorable?!



















March 7, 2015


Beautiful day out today in the mid-60's, clear skies and plenty of sun. Of course, it was frosty this morning so I didn't go out to do anything until about 1030am. tee hee!

Got all that nasty Styrofoam ready for further disposal, filled the recycle barrel to near capacity with cardboard (mostly), sprayed the "Moss Out" on the front lawn and took the garbage out. What a fun day! LOL

I thought I would start clearing stuff off the deck because I do need to power wash it this year. I moved the other three birdhouses to the birdhouse tree.























Then, I set up some chunks of wood and moved Sheriff McBird and his posse to the wood chunks under the Bird House Tree.























I thought that ended the "garden decor" and was going to start moving stuff off of the deck to put away until later.

Oh dear... I forgot about these frogs that were stored under the bench. *faint*























So, of course, I found space for them in the frog garden. NO MORE FROGS! (There's no more room! LOL)















And, last, but certainly not least, I rehung the sign Mom got me last year!























March 5, 2015


I did a couple things on my to do list but then I veered off track and planted the frog garden. tee hee! My newest frogs are not out there yet because I haven't put sealant on them yet. There will barely be room for them! LOL

This is the before and after:















And a close-up panorama:























March 3, 2015


More frogs arrived for the Portland garden decor and some decor for the farm.















February 26, 2015


Frog birdhouse arrived. It will join the others on the birdhouse tree.























February 21, 2015


I see you followed me from Mom's place! Congrats! You follow directions very well! LOL

There's really not much to say here. I did notice that the Pink Hyacinths are starting to blossom. The Camelia started blooming last week or earlier. And I noticed that my Daffodils, some of them have bloomed. Every thing is about 3 weeks early this year!











When I had arrived home, the temperature wasn't bad, so I decided to fill the yard trash barrel. I did that. But, the stupid east breeze had picked up and was making me quite chilly. I am done being outside for today. *shiver* LOL





February 19, 2015


Gary Grasshopper and Diana Dragonfly arrived today. So cute! The will live at the farm.























February 15, 2015


It was so pretty out, 62 deg, I did some trimming and other outside clean up. I love this bush in the corner when it blooms but it also shades my raspberry plants so they don't grow as well. Of course, they aren't doing well this year anyway since the tree trimmers dumped branches on them and trampled them at 3am one morning. :(























I did notice that two flowers have bloomed in the garden. One is a crocus but I can't remember the name of the other purple flower.















February 2, 2015


TGIF! Lobster dinner day!! Woo Hoo

The boys and I got to David's around 1145am, I think. Was a rainy drive but the rain wasn't that bad.... it was all the spray from the vehicles on the freeway that made it not a great drive! LOL

Anyhow, we got there. Cody fell down getting out of the car. sigh.

I gave the boys some real bones that I brought along. They get so excited to go to David's house and they hadn't been for a ride anywhere for quite awhile. SO I figured gnawing on meaty bones might be good for their extra energy.


























We watched the news while the boys calmed down, eating their bones. Then, it was bath time! LOL Cody's post-bath picture didn't come out so well, but Luke you can see quite clearly he got a bath.














Around 200pm, dinner arrived!



























The box was opened.























Looked like dinner had a rough trip from the East Coast, it was pretty disheveled.
























But, all was well - Lobsters, Shrimp and Steak. Yum! We decided that dinner would be at 5pm. Sat down to watch a movie, Enforcer, and enjoy some home brew. Movie was good... so was the home brew! LOL Dinner remained in the box to thaw out for a bit.























Then the time came to get started with making dinner. Steaks were put in the Rotisserie, Shrimp and sauce was opened for snacking on while cooking. They were pretty big ones and very good.















Cody stayed in the kitchen just in case there was any "clean up" necessary. (He's such a helpful boy! LOL) Luke retired to the couch to watch some tube.
















David got the Lobster's and they were put to death in a nice hot bath. Unfortunately when I snapped the picture I didn't catch the lobsters going into the water.
Cody remained ever vigilant in the kitchen, just in case he was needed. LOL















I got the dishes out and on the table. In no time, dinner was served.
















We gobbled down our dinner and we were stuffed (I brought a doggie bag home and no, the dogs will get none of it! LOL)



























We cleaned up the dinner dishes and then retired to the living room for more grog and movies. We watched Defenders of the Galaxy, I think. (I'm not good with remembering the names of movies!) But, it was another good one.
At some point during the 3rd movie, the boys decided that they wanted to take over the couch... so they did! LOL John Wick was also a good movie.























So after the 3rd movie it was time to hit the sack. Home brew was gone and we had some Bud Light to finish the evening. David lifted Luke up onto my bed in the guest room and he stayed there all night.He is quite the bed hog but having him up there next to me was like having a heater going! LOL Cody slept on the carpet and he woke me up at least 2 times in the wee hours to go outside. Ugh!
It was raining pretty heavy and steadily all night. I think I heard the sump pump turn on a couple times.

February 7, 2015: I finally got up around 745am and turned the coffee on. David got up not long after that. So, I had coffee and some danish for breakfast. David got his first cup of coffee, while I was on my second one, and was trying to decide if he was going to stay up or go take a nap! LOL
When it appeared there was going to be a break in the rain action, I decided it was time to go back to our own house.
Traffic was really light at 930am going north. For that matter, southbound wasn't very heavy either.






















It started raining a little just before I got to my exit off the freeway.






















About a 1/2 mile later, it began raining more steadily and heavier.























But, we got home just fine. I unloaded the dogs and other stuff. Fed the boys their breakfast. Checked emails. And will soon do my remote work next so I don't have to mess with it tomorrow. I will dine on a nice steak sandwich for lunch.

The boys and I had a wonderful time with our best friend. Good company, good food, good booze and good movies... what more can a person ask for??

His cat, Buddie, reportedly is traumatized with the dog smell in the house and having been kept out of sight in David's bedroom (for her own protection -LOL) for the time we were there. Poor girl. (She'll get over it! LOL)






January 26, 2015


I decided to try some "balloon wine" with the juice from last season's Concord grapes. So, after talking to Mom (who made some years ago), I went to Steinbart's and got the gizmo that replaces the balloon and won't explode! LOL The lady at that store said to put a little Vodka in the gizmo. So I did that.
I had found some "recipes" online and decided what I was going to do. The jug on the left has 2 quarts of juice and water; the other has almost 4 quarts of juice and very little water. And you add some sugar and some yeast. Many of the recipe's I found said to put 4 1/2 cups of sugar in but one guy only uses 1 cup... I put one cup in each. I don't like sweet wine.
Anyway, it has been percolating for a couple days now and boy is it active!
The juice went into the jugs in an amber color and they are now all cloudy.
But, that's okay because that cloudiness is really many many tiny bubbles working their way to the top of the jug.
When they get to the top, they go up into that gizmo and through the vodka to finally escape through the top of the gizmo. No, I do not know the correct name for the gizmo.
The beer is brewing and looking good also! LOL



















I was going to take this new garden decor to the country house, but I have decided to keep it in the Bird Garden area at the city house. Cute, huh? LOL























January 20, 2015


My first sign of Spring! The daffodils have come up through the brick! LOL























The second sign of Spring... the boys are crowding me out of my bed! LOL























January 17, 2015


The weatherman was right... it's raining steadily today! LOL Only a few birds came out to eat, but I can hear lots of them chirping out there in the shrubs. One good thing is that the rain will fill the birdbaths for me!















At least the clear squirrel baffles seem to keep the smaller bird feeders fairly dry. They don't keep the squirrels out of the seed but they makes a pretty decent rain bonnet!























Now, the more important stuff! LOL
This morning was the morning to get the beer wort out of the keg.


The Keg. Once the product to make the wort is in the keg, it sits for 2 weeks, but no more than 3 weeks.




















Sanitized the bottles and caps.




















Since I had to wait 10 minutes for the bottles to finish sanitizing, I got out the sugar and carbonation tablets.




















Each sanitized bottle gets 1 teaspoon of sugar and one carbonation tablet before the wort goes in the bottle.




















Next, the bottles get filled.




















and capped. With a gentle turning of the capped bottle to get the sugar to start disolving.




















Ewwwww... thats whats left in the bottom of the keg! Yuck!




















So, everything gets cleaned up real good and it's ready for a new batch to get started.




















The bottles are placed in a box, with no light, where they are at room temperature. They will sit there for another TWO weeks before it is carbonated and ready to drink. I hope they turn out well after a month of waiting on it!






January 14, 2015


The second bed was on the porch when I got home, so now both boys have new beds and they are the same color so there should be no arguing about who gets to sleep where! LOL















While I was walking back to work from having coffee, I took a few more pictures around downtown.
The next 4 pictures are statues around the 9th Circuit Courthouse. In the summer there is water in the cement tubs. In order, there are Bears, Beaver, Deer (I don't remember what the animals in the tub are) and Seals. There are also small round cement tubs with ducks in them but I didn't take a picture of those.




























I've always thought this was an interesting sculpture. I'm not sure what the building name is. But, check out the placement of the man's hand to the woman's body.























The first statue is at Lawnsdale Park, which sits between my building and the Multnomah County courthouse. The elk sits in the middle of Main St between 3rd and 4th. I read somewhere that originally he faced the opposite direction... looking to the river instead of the city... but when it was taken down to fix damage or something, they put it up the wrong direction and there it has stayed... looking into the city. At Christmas he wears a big wreath around his neck.












I intended on taking more pictures today but it was so bloody cold and windy, I didn't go wandering. These are things I see on my walk to the Chiro and back to the office. Maybe next time! There's tons of statues and old buildings and stuff downtown. Some statues are just ugly blobs, in my opinion, but I like the ones that actually depict something real. I'm not a "abstract art" kind of gal! LOL







January 13, 2015


Arrived home from the farm and since it was so nice out and not too cold out, I decided to tackle the branches that the electric company left in my yard. It wouldn't annoy me so much... but it's not my tree they were cutting on! They should have dumped all that crap in my neighbors yard, where the tree lives.























But, I digress... I decided it would be best to get the all branches out of where they were (on my Raspberry plants and my Iris tubers). What a mess and a fight I had with those branches all tangled up to each other, the living plants and the damn Blackberry vines. But, I finally got everything moved to the cement, closer to the house, so I can more easily whittle away at getting rid of them.















Then I filled one barrel for pick up tomorrow. It hardly made a dent in the pile, so I didn't bother with another picture! LOL

The back corner, where the branches were, looks so pathetic.























It was a beautiful day out though. Mid-forties for temperature. Great for working outside.























January 10,2015


I ran out to the store and got the things I thought I needed to finish the dog project before the bed would arrive. I had such a mess out there I figured that it would take all day to clean it up, get things into garbage bags and put stuff away. I finished what I was doing shortly after the Patriots vs Ravens game started.
So, everything is ready for the new bed to get here. Appliances are now in the cupboard under the microwave. The pots and pans are back up on the ceiling. The large cupboard is 97% food. Had to move the bigger white chair out, which is fine because it's not that great. (It will most likely go to Goodwill). There are 3 bags of trash ready to take to the farm to deposit in the garbage can out there. Moved the boys water over by Cody's bed and moved the garbage can back closer to the kitchen as well as the recycling bins that I had inconveniently moved to the garage.










































Cody seemed fine with his bed where it is.





























Cody likes having his water next his bed because now he doesn't have to actually get up to get a drink! LOL Luke sniffed around for a few minutes and then laid in his bed.













So, I am now ready for the bed to arrive today. I decided to check the FedEx site and see if anything changed for delivery date. Well, it just left Camarillo CA today, so it won't really be here until the 14th.

Oh well, at least I am ready for it when it gets here.





January 9, 2015


I braved the rather cold breezes to ensure that my wildlife was fed. Some of the little birds actually came down to eat while I was about 3' from them! Was way cool! But, when I moved, they all flew into the bushes. So, I did what I had to do and left. Next time I looked out a large crow and small squirrel were playing "stare-down" over the bucket of peanuts. Was really funny to watch them. If the squirrel moved in one direction the crow would move adjacent to block it's path! Anyway, didn't get any pictures of that but it was pretty funny! Oh... the crow won! LOL













So, then, I decided to try some rearranging to try to accommodate the arrival of the second orthopedic bed. It didn't really go too well. sigh
This is what I started with:






























I moved things around in what I thought might work. I had to empty the big food/ appliance cupboard... well, it was almost empty, I left the appliances in it. Popped something in my upper back moving it. Also, while moving the large cupboard to the right about 4"... the thing hanging from the ceiling with the pots and pans hanging from it... well, one of the hooks decided to give way and it crashed onto the top of my head nearly knocking me out!

























But, I did move a few things around and had one hell of a mess to clean up.















By the end of this day... I was hurt, frustrated, dirty and not happy. The idea didn't work out and I still have no idea where I'm going to put the second bed. The second bed arrives tomorrow. I may have to get an addition added to the house. sigh
I can live with this, but it makes the kitchen feel claustrophobic.





























Cody seemed fine with his bed area and, in fact, is still in his bed.
Too bad for him that things ARE going to change... as soon as I figure out what to do.





























January 8, 2015


I walked up to Starbucks at the Pioneer Square to have coffee with my pal. Unfortunately, he wasn't available. Dang! So, I got my coffee and headed back to my office. I took a few pictures along the way. I was disappointed that I didn't see the Portland Mounted Patrol downtown this trip.


Pioneer Courthouse is the 2nd oldest federal courthouse west of the Mississippi. Construction started in 1869 and was completed in 1875. It has had several upgrades over the years. It looks like it is getting some more updates around the cupola. It is a beautiful courthouse, inside and outside, and currently the home of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Courthouse webpage. Checkout the views from the cupola.
























Downtown on my trek back to my office.





















United States District Court and the Multnomah County Courthouse.
















January 7, 2015


It was a bit foggy going in to work, moon was trying to shine through the fog and the overhead lights were assaulting my eyeballs.


























January 5, 2015


You know how I hate to whine or complain... *snicker*.... but, I so miss the days when you could go to the store, buy an appliance, bring it home and use it immediately. This is the new vacuum I bought.


























About 40 minutes and several cuss words later, I got it all together and working. (Cuss words frequently help when trying to force pieces to fit together and snap together as they are supposed to! LOL)


























So now that all the trash is picked up from the building of the vacuum and distributed to the proper barrel for further removal... I have now lost interest in doing the vacuuming.
Had I not had to waste nearly an hour building it and cleaning up the mess... and just been able to bring it home and use it... the house would have been vacuumed in that amount of time, top to bottom.






January 3, 2015


It was quiet in the garden area, no chirping, no squirrels - seemed a bit strange. The view was less than beautiful.




























Then, I saw the reason it was so quiet....






























Happy 2015!!


Start of a new year, so it's also the start of a new page!


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