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Go to Portland Jan - June 2018

December 31, 2017
So ends a very hectic and stress-filled year.
The moon was crisp and full. I thought it was the SuperMoon but I was wrong.

December 26, 2017
The ice settled in. And I commemorated this day by falling down and hurting myself.

December 24, 2017
Christmas Eve
Quiet day and night at home. Winter was settling in.

Luke was happily gnawing on a Christmas bone from Gramma Mary!

December 18, 2017

Squirrel was busy eating scraps in the big seed catcher this morning and Crow was guarding the suet. LOL

I looked over to David's Memorial planter and it was looking pretty awful. The Marigolds had died off and looked pretty yucky. So I cut those off and put some fake flowers in there so it would be pretty again!

Then I cut back the rose and got rid of the tomato plant and put the remaining fake flowers in those pots.

The little Daffodil bulbs and the Lily bulbs have decided it's time to grow. Sigh. There were more lily bulbs in that 3rd planter. But, the squirrels helped themselves to them and I don't think any are left to grow in that pot. Stinkers.

December 12, 2107

There we go! That looks better now! LOL

December 10, 2017

Crows were having a convention on the drop lines in the backyard. I started to worry that I might have to go see if there was a body back there! LOL

I started on my venture into the garage to move things that I hope will be leaving and get some more order in there. This is what I started with:

It took a lot of moving,moving back, moving around, stacking, restacking, etc. The wood stove body wasn't bad to move around, seems it has wheels (which made no sense), and I got the dryer out and to the side. Moved a bunch of antique tools so I could get the base for the stove out. I was getting tired! LOL Got the two shelves back into the space where the dryer and stove were. Took a break when I couldn't figure out how I was going to get the body of the stove onto the base by myself.

Then, I heard my neighbor, Sam, out doing stuff at his house... so, I wandered over there to beg for help! LOL Met his girlfriend or wife and, of course, said hello to the doggie, who's name escapes me. Anyway, Sam came over to help me out with the stove body and we got it up on the base.
Oh, turns out that the only reason the body had wheels is because I was smart enough to leave it on the fridge dolly that I used to get it into the garage!! ROTFL!

Sam left right after because they had company that had arrived. And, I went back out to put the pieces together on the rest of the stove. Oh dear, it's missing some key pieces and I have no idea where they might be. sigh. Trying to find a pic of this particular stove has been a real problem.

So, I turned off the lights and called it good for today. Depending on how long I am at Toyota tomorrow, I may stop at Buck's Stoves at 68th and Foster to inquire about parts or if he would want to buy it as is or just what.
The garage looks worse now than it did before I started but it actually is more organized! LOL

December 9, 2017

A couple visitors to the backyard, Flicker and Hairy Woodpecker.

December 4, 2017

The Supermoon aka/ Frost Moon. Supposed to be bigger and brighter but didn't look that special to me.

November 11 & 12, 2017

These bushy birds keep showing up! LOL

October 29, 2017

Grapes are dying off and starting to look pretty awful, but I gave it a haircut anyway because it grabs my hair when I go through that arch! LOL

Before and After:

October 12, 2017

Squirrel came by to grab some Peanuts in the Shell that I tossed out.

October 9, 2017

When the fog lifted and it warmed up to 50 deg, I ventured outside to trim back some flowers and yank out some vines. Was a bigger job than I thought! LOL


Cutting just the Cone Flowers, 2 Day Lily's, and some Trumpet Vine and another vine... I filled the 3 largest barrels (about 90 gallons worth).


The lawnmower wouldn't start (probably from not being started for so long), so I got out the weed eater instead and used that. The grass was still really wet so the lawn mower probably wouldn't have done well anyhow. I really just wanted to find my old pathways and edges of flower beds. Which I did, but I'm probably the only one who will really notice! LOL

More After:

Grapes have excelled this year. Too bad I can't try to make more wine with all this other stuff in the way. Oh well, I picked some for grazing! Yum!

October 7, 2017

New pansy I planted in David's memorial planter.

October 5, 2017

Moved the bench box under the eaves for better weather protection. I think I will still buy a cover for it in the Winter mos, eaves aren't that far out on these bungalow houses.

October 1, 2017

Trying to get used to the new computer and where to find the stuff I use that used to be so easy. So, I took a couple pictures to post. Of course, I couldn't remember the new name for my web storage pages, but eventually found it. egad. Yes, waa, waa, waa.

I thought the Lantana died during the heat but it is blooming again and the rose sprouted 2 new flowers.

Mum is still going strong in the back! And there's one of my Bird Houses.

The end! LOL

September 22, 2017

Abel and Austin from First Call showed up at about 845am, yesterday, to get started on the furnace work. Super nice guys, seemed to really know their business, and laid cloth on my floor/rugs where they would be going in and out. I decided it would be best for me to stay in my room, with Luke and my computer, while they worked. Although, I did pop out every now and then to see how things were going. Mostly, I just wanted to stay out of the way and let them do their thing.
They worked pretty steadily and I don't even know if they took lunch breaks. I just supposed they took breaks at different times so someone was working all the time.

Luke was not at all happy about the noise going on with drilling and whatnot. He wanted on my bed, so I got him up there... then he decided to mall my pillows trying to escape the noises. sigh

They had a great deal of problems in moving my thermostat and getting through the wall. But, it was finally accomplished. This is a much better place for it.

The Heat... uh... heat... well, the heat thing is in the back of the house. It's much bigger than I thought it would be! LOL

The new furnace was installed and the old one taken away (thank you!). They had to replace all the duct work that was above the old furnace because it is no longer in compliance with new codes. (It was just the duct and has to be double sided duct work now). That whole unit next to the furnace was replaced as well as what is above the furnace. (red arrows in first pic). The ONLY part of my new system that I have to touch is the filter deck (yellow arrow, 2nd pic). Got to love that! LOL And, it is a double filtration system and the parts only fit in one way in one place... no way to screw it up!

Luke relaxing after a long day of folks (electricians, rodent guy, furnace guys) coming in and out all day on 9/21. All of these pics were taken on the 21st.

Today, they returned and got the duct work in for the heat thing to the furnace. Apparently, from what I was told, the unit outside is the master brain. It talks to the thermostat (for hot and cold) and delivers! My furnace is now my 2nd in command in the event something happens to the outside unit. Who knew? The outside unit has vehicle quality paint on it so it should last awhile. It is also is NOT to be covered ever. It is built to work through rain, snow, and ice and sort of cleans itself when it encounters those things.
So, I didn't take pics today because other than showing ducting and wires... it looks pretty much the same. Oh, they had to add the insulated "sleeve" into the chimney also. Looked like the same stuff that David put in for me out at the farm in that old chimney. Anyway, all is done and I'm glad that is all over. So, is Luke! LOL

September 16, 2017

My new Guard Frog!

September 15, 2017

I decided I needed to get off my butt and get some stuff done outside. Brought almost all the hoses in and put away, except the two I still wanted to keep out in case it doesn't get wetter like it should. Gathered up various outdoor electric cords and I pulled out one of the two still standing arches and moved it over with the other one behind the dog house for now. Eventually, I moved the 3rd one over to the doghouse also.

The fourth arch is currently in use so it will remain until the grapes are trimmed in late Fall. But, right now, there's lots of very tasty Concords on it!

Something seems to be sleeping in my Iris bed and mashing it down. sigh. And while I was yanking out some grass, I found this pretty red Dahlia fighting to get out of it.

September 12, 2017

When I went out this morning, first thing I saw was that another Rose had bloomed, the Mums really spread out and a bird came for breakfast!

September 10, 2017

Well, I decided to move the bench box this morning. Yeah, I know, that's shocking news coming from me! LOL So, I moved it more towards the center in that open space and filled it with frogs and other garden statues. There was one fatality, dropped a glass ball and it fell on a mushroom, obliterating it. The glass ball is fine though! LOL

September 9, 2017

My bench arrived yesterday so today I will put it together. Opened the box, got everything out, tried to read the instructions, and managed to get it together!

September 5, 2017

I expected it to be more hazy from the Eagle Creek fire this morning but it isn't too bad yet. I don't see any ash falling. But, my chair that I was sitting in yesterday is covered in yuck this morning.

The morning sun, sun going down and the moon coming up.

September 4, 2017

I was sitting on the back deck, enjoying a glass of Moscato, watching the ash fall... cute squirrel came to get a peanut from the peanut box. It got its peanut in its mouth and jumped up on the top of the fence.

Then this bird, I think it's an immature Cooper's Hawk, swooped down and scared the squirrel away... it stayed on the fence for quite awhile.
Acted like it was guarding the peanut box.... although I think that Hawk actually prefers live food.

Then, a flock of these little birds swooped in and tried to get food off the suet cages, which were empty right now. Iím not sure what they are. A little bit bigger than a finch, but not by much. Funny part is that the Hawk didn't go after those little birds!

September 2, 2017

The past few days I've been trying out this Toastmaster Snackster Snack and Sandwich maker that Mom gave me. She bought it several years ago and had never used it. So, I've been trying it out.

Yesterday I made German Chocolate Cake Snacks (they are frosted now), Buttermilk Pancake Puffs (some with Bacon Bits) and Red Lobster Cheddar Bay biscuits. They're all pretty tasty.

Today, I made Blueberry-Cream Cheese bites on multi-grain bread and Crab Rangoon. I used the fake crab because I was not going to pay $18 for a tiny package of real crab. Besides, I like the fake crab! LOL These are pretty tasty too.

We'll see what Mom, David and Leona have to say about it all since I will be sharing with them tomorrow. tee hee

September 1, 2017

I was going to try some weeding in the former "Frog Garden" and then move the bird feeders to that area to make it harder for the squirrels to get in their food. Squirrels jump down from the maple tree branches and have a feast and make a mess. But, my back couldn't take the leaning over and the ground under the garden dirt is hard as a rock... so, it will wait for later.

So, I took a break after a short stint of weed pulling and then turned my attention to the cement patio. The cracks are growing weeds/grass quite well. sigh.

Off I went with my trusty weed whacker and cleared the patio. I was having so much fun in the heat that I decided I better cut down the weeds/grass between the hot tub and front garden and then thought, what the heck may as well cut down the Mallow that was taking over and about 2.5' tall as well as do the weeds by the house.

Gosh everything looked so nice that I quit doing that and looked around in the garden a little.

The Phygelius and the Mum are both doing great!

The Sedium Brocade is all bloomed out. Boy the Bumblebees sure like that plant! And I found this other thing growing that I have no idea what it is.

August 30, 2017

The white Mum is blooming nicely now that it's not being strangled by that ornamental grass. Grapes are starting to change color now too.

August 29, 2017

I decided to try out this Snackster machine and make some pocket sandwiches. Easy enough to make things, but the instructions/recipes are about as clear as mud with little guidance! LOL

Oh well... I buttered one side of two different types of bread and put it in the pan. Then I put some ham and cheese on one slice and Chicken and cheese on the other. Covered it with a slice of bread on each and buttered that too.

Closed the lid and let it cook for a couple minutes.

Grilled up nice and toasty, edges all sealed.

Took them out of the pan and let them cool. Then cut them up. Pretty tasty but needed more meat/cheese and maybe a touch of mayo or mustard inside.

August 25, 2017

Woke up to cool temps, blue skies and not much pains! Gotta love a start like that to the day! LOL

First I drug out all the hoses so I could do some rearranging of my watering system. As I suspected, once again, a rodent had bitten a large hole into one of my soaker hoses, rendering most of it fairly useless. Grumble grumble. However, the CA Lilac was getting lots of water! No wonder it was so happy there! LOL
Then, I decided to take the two arches down and get them out of my way. I got the one down and out of the way, but took awhile to get the Christmas lights off it and pry some other stuff out of the ground (torches, hooks, etc).

I only took the one down that was in my immediate way and it is currently living behind the dog house! LOL

Pulled out the exterior fence where the first raised planter box is. I had to tie up all the lily's and cone flowers to keep them out of the way so I could get the weeds around it, and in it, out easier. Darn weeds were choking out my beautiful Columbine plants in that planter too. But, I worked awhile, sat and rested my back, then worked again.

So, in about 3 hours, I managed to clean up a 4x4 area! LOL Oh well, at least I got that much done before the sun was on me and it got too hot out. I will pick up the weeds later.

I noticed that my Echinopsis has more "fuzzy things" forming! Maybe I will get more than a couple flowers after all!

August 24, 2017

Anderson Landscape arrived shortly after 9am. They were all very nice and once I showed them the areas of concern, they got going on it. I think they did a fabulous job. These will be the before and after photos:

Tulip Tree in the front, laying on the roof and nearly on my car:


Branches from the Tulip tree all over the place! (They were chipped and hauled away).

Looking to the East.... California Lilac, Spirea, and a very healthy tall weed! (I cut the weed! LMAO) Before and After:

Arborvitae to the South, before and after:

The bushes on the North side. There is also a Lilac to the west (left) of this picture, but I forgot to take a "before" of it. It was laying on my rickety little fence to the front.


The Northeast corner (where I had cut down all the Blackberries 6 wks ago), Butterfly Bush, and the dreaded Ornamental Grass.


They cleaned up all the leaves etc and we did a walk around. I thought everything looked terrific and I will definitely use again and recommend them to others. I feel tons better now that the major stuff is done.

August 22,2017
OH NO! Aliens, left over from the eclipse!!

Oh no, wait, those are my solar lights! LOL

August 21, 2017
Solar eclipse photos are here

August 20, 2017

Nice and cool out, thin cloud cover. I like it!
Perfect for putzing around in the backyard!
Cleaned the yard up first... no pictures taken. You're welcome! LOL

Went out and fed the squirrels and birds. Then, filled the birdbath and Luke's pool.

Soggy Doggie, he likes to play in the hose while I'm trying to fill the pool etc. LOL

The Anemone is blooming very well! The white Mum is huge and starting to bloom. I'm glad that ornamental grass didn't manage to choke it out.

There was a bumblebee dining on the Sedium Brocade, but I don't think it was getting much since it is barely blooming.

While I was out, I noticed that there was fruit to be picked. Blueberries, Raspberries, and wild Blackberries.

They will be served on my Chocolate Gelato I plan on having for dessert tonight! Yum!

Almost all the buds have bloomed on my rose plant on the deck. I also took a picture of my garden piggy (tee hee), except now it is a cactus piggy!

August 17, 2017

More of the Anemone have bloomed, but it's not really a photogenic kind of plant! LOL The Sedium Brocade is getting ready to bloom, despite the grass/weeds.

Got a nice close up of a rose, three have bloomed since yesterday! I don't know what this weed is but it sure is hearty. Think I first became aware of them when we lived in Boise, ID. My brother, David, and I would eat those little green buttons! They're very tasty! Wish I knew what it is called though.

8/18/17, UPDATE! The weed has been identified. Thank you for the link cousin Karen! It is called Mallow

And, to top off my day... this male hummingbird paid a visit and made himself available for a picture! LOL

August 16, 2017

Three stages of the birth of a rose! One bud, One opening and one in bloom!

August 15, 2017

I was sitting out under the awning on the deck. It was nice just sitting and looking around. Well, it looks like I might only get three blooms on Echinopsis, I had to move her and must have knocked off some of the furry things. Drat! Pretty yellow rose is going to bloom again! Yay!

A Flicker came to visit.. it was waiting for me to go away! LOL It wanted to eat or drink but didn't really want my company to do so!

Trumpet flowers are already starting to die off and make their pods. Seems early, but I could be wrong.

August 9, 2017

The Anemone September Charm is finally blooming! Yay!

August 8, 2017

It was past time that I did the bush trimming in the front and at one side of the house. So, that was my main quest for today. These are the before and after pictures of the side yard, garage front, and front of the house:

I filled the two largest yard trash barrels with the cuttings from the side yard (which included some large blackberry vines). The rest of the piles will go out two barrels at a time every week.

You might have noticed that I didn't trim all of the Camelia at the corner of the house. I didn't finish it because I found a nest in there, like a birds nest. I couldn't see if anyone is living in there without the ladder, so I just left it for now. Seems like the wrong time of the year for any nesting to be going on. But, it was getting very hot, I was getting tired and didn't feel like dragging the ladder around.

I did notice when I was trimming the Camelia's that the stupid things have buds on them AGAIN! I also noticed that the Tulip Tree has Tulips on it and that is the first time, in the 23 yrs I've lived here, that it has grown tulips AFTER the leaves came on!! What a weird year!

And also in the news, Echinopsis... It looks like I will have 3 to 5 flowers this year. Those brown fuzzy looking things are what turn into flowers. She has a bumper crop of babies growing on her and I notice that this one baby is a multiple "birth"! LOL

July 30, 2017

After it got too warm this morning to be working outside (I got done with what I wanted to accomplish), I decided it was time to attack more stuff in the garage. There was stuff in the garage that I am incorporating into this house that I brought down from the farm and today was the day to start. LOL
First, I removed the old cheaper silver pot hanger that was in the kitchen (I took the cast iron pots off a week or two ago). And put the the copper one in its place.
I bought the copper one with a gift certificate I received when I retired and put one copper one at the farm and used one at this house. Now they are both up here. Next, I added the copper bottom pots and skillets that I am keeping from the farm.

Looking good!

In doing just that one simple task, I emptied a large box and cleared off one shelf in the garage. I also have started a new box for Goodwill to go next week, or perhaps the week after when it's not triple digits outside.
So, as they say, killed 3 birds with one stone with that! LOL

I also am keeping the copper bottom 1 cup measuring cup, it's very cute! LOL And I'm keeping this Guardian Service Ware small casserole, I think it's cute too!

Next box was full of Apothecary Jars, some need new seals and I kept the ones I wanted, the rest (since this kind are not big sellers on ebay or amazon) will go to Goodwill. I was going to keep the yellow and copper canister set and the S & P with copper lids, but I decided not to. As well as the colander/strainer. None of those are big sellers either, they will go to Goodwill. I haven't checked on that old hand grind ice crusher yet.

Then it got too hot in the garage to work out there. But, I did empty 3 large boxes, move stuff I know I'm keeping to a cubby hole in there and put tools and stuff on the shelves I just emptied - which cleared out a spot to move 3 large items out of my way.. that are staying here... but not till it's cooler! LOL

Think I will just chill out most of the rest of the day and tidy up the kitchen this evening.

July 24, 2017

A Western Tiger Swallowtail came to visit today!

July 18, 2017

I decided to dig out that wretched Ornamental Grass that is taking over. I will never buy that stuff again... what a nightmare. I started digging and the root system is so dense that it's difficult to get it out. But I did manage to get some of it out.

July 17, 2017

Discovered a white lily in my red lily area! I have no idea where that came from! LOL

Looks like Echinopsis will give me up to 5 blooms this year, the flowers come from those fuzzy looking things on her. One of the babies growing on her has babies growing around it! Never seen that before!

July 16, 2017

Blueberries are all ripe again, I will pick when I get home tomorrow. The grapes are filling in more, they should be turning blue the end of next month.

Butterfly bush is in fully glory now and, of course, so is the Trumpet vine.

I wish the Delphinium's would bloom. (I think that's the name). Keeps sending shoots up with buds but still no blossoms. I got the tomato inside a cage and gave it more dirt and some vitamins.

July 15, 2017

The Coneflowers are looking wonderful this morning and this psychedelic web was by the grapes.

Later in the evening, Luke was making himself comfortable on my bed! LOL

July 9, 2017

Blueberries are looking good. They're bigger this year. I will pick some for Mom for her birthday. Daylily's are still going strong. The plants are huge!

Grapes are filling out and the Lamb's Ear has seeds (I think) forming.

Trumpet Vine is blooming all over the place. Unfortunately, so are the Raspberry and Blackberry plants I needed to cut back.

A frog that shares my sentiments! LOL

July 7, 2017

First order of business on this cloudy and cool morning was to load up the 4 yard trash barrels AGAIN... this makes the 4th time. But I am happy to report that the pile is now gone! Woo Hoo!

I got so excited about getting that mess cleaned up that I decided to get out the weedeater and go in search of my brick path! I did find the path and guess what?? I started a NEW pile of yard debris! LOL

The Day Lily's are still looking good and the Coneflowers are starting to open.

I gave the grapes another trim around the arbor and I noticed while doing that, that this flower is finally going to flower. I forgot what Debbie told me it was but the plant is huge.

As my final outdoor act of today, I picked Blueberries and Raspberries. They will be wonderful in the morning with yogurt!

July 5, 2017

The first anniversary of brother David's death. Hardly seems possible that a year has gone by.
His memorial flower pot:

July 4, 2017
Happy Birthday America!

Luke is ready to lounge and the Day Lilys were looking very pretty!

July 3, 2017

Luke was happily eating more of the beef BBQ ribs that David made just for Luke! LOL

July 2, 2017

First mission for today was to remove the fenceline on the south side of the garden area. I like it better without the fence but now I will have doggie doo doo in there probably. Oh well, it took much longer than I thought it would because there was actually a double flimsy fence and plants/grass had grown through it, had to trim the Lilac trees and cut down some healthy wild Blackberry plants. But, it did get done.

I was happy to see that many of the Day Lily's were open this morning and looking quite cheerful! The poor Honeysuckle is desperately trying to get away from the Grape leaves and other vines.

The Trumpet vine is blooming all over the place, it's a bit out of control. It is really pretty and the hummingbirds and bees love it, but it is growing where I don't really want it to be. I thought the Butterfly Bush was done blooming, but it had a brand new spike on it today!

I had to rip out some of the Lambs' Ear to free the fence I was taking out. So, I decided to put it in a planter to see if it will root again and survive.

After I picked the new ripe blueberries and the new ripe raspberries, I turned them into a wonderful, healthy, breakfast with yogurt and some peanut butter! Yummy! And the Apple Fritter was good too! LOL

Well, here it is the 2nd half of the year already! So, I'm starting a "Part 2" page for 2017.

Go to 2012 Portland
Go to Portland Jan - June 2013
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Go to Portland Jan - June 2014
Go to Portland June - Sept 2014
Go to Portland Oct - Dec 2014 2014
Go to Portland Jan - June 2015
Go to Portland July - Dec 2015
Go to Portland Jan - June 2016
Go to Portland July - Dec 2016
Go to Portland Jan - June 2017
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