Time to start a new quarter of pictures and tales! LOL
The 2014 July - December page is here:
Go to Portland July - December 2014

June 30, 2014

Well, I wandered around the gardens to see how much work I need to get accomplished in the next couple days... then I fainted! LOL Just kidding, but there is a lot of weeding to be done... so remember that when you look at the pictures! LOL

The Coneflowers have gotten so tall! And, now they are blossoming out, the petals are starting to bend to the earth so the center can "cone" to the sky. The bees and hummingbirds will be very happy!

The Day Lily's are looking very happy!

The Delphinium is going to bloom again! And, the shorter stalks have small little buds on them!

Mums from Mom are starting to bloom. The plants are still small, but they are giving it the "old college try". LOL

The Oriental Lily has a bloom. Many more to come. It's not as tall as it was last year, but still pretty!

The Phyglius Snow Queen is in her full glory.

The Sparkler Allium is blooming just in time for 4th of July. I believe I will dig these out in the Fall and move them to the farm. I'm not that fond of them! LOL

Curious squirrel came to see what I was doing. But he/she wouldn't let me get real close. LOL

I have many volunteer Violas and one that came back from last year.

Sadly, Echinopsis' flowers are now wilted. This photo was early afternoon. On the plus side, the three remaining "fuzzy things" are about an inch long now, so, hopefully, I will get a second blooming!

I didn't take a picture of it (shocked, aren't you?? LOL), but the white Spider Wort is now huge and is going to bloom again too! Strange year.

I shall now just kick back and enjoy my AC that my bestest buddy, David, came and put in the window for me tonight! Cody is already snoring on my bed, LOL, and Luke brought his food dish in so he could eat where it was cooler! Too funny! But, I shall sleep well tonight! :) Actually, I guess I better get to bed since I am working tomorrow! LOL

June 29, 2014
I was wrong the blossoms were completely open by 7am, not 9pm last night.

The two Coneflower plants really shot up and have started to open. The hummingbirds and the bees will be so happy! My pretty red lily's seem to be at the end or near end of their cycle.

June 28, 2014

Echinopsis began to open her blossoms this morning. They were completely open by 9pm.

June 27, 2014

I have had several heavy rain showers so far today. I find that rain isn't very photogenic!

My poor Day Lily's are getting beaten down by all this rain.

Red Dahlia is looking healthy. Apparently, it likes rain! ha

Portulaca is still doing well, with some sun and warmth they should get with the program and start growing up!

Seed Stones are starting to really poke throught the ground now. I also found my missing seed stones and planted those in the planters between rain showers!

Crow came by and was scavenging seeds from the ground. Someone knocked over the "big bird" plate of food.

Hungry Squirrel eating the bird seed. I guess the squirrel feeders are probably empty. sigh

Grapes are looking good!

I hope the ones I planted in the ground are doing as well as these Tomatoes, Cucumber and Pepper plants are!

Hmmm... that's just ugly... think I will go back inside now! LOL

This succulent is looking much better, it's losing that blue hue that it had and turning a nice green again. Rain Frog is sheltering the Moon Cactus from getting too much light... they don't like direct light.

Happy to say that the Aloe Vera plants have lost their ghastly brown hue and are now all green and healthy again. Even has some new leaves starting!

Well, that's enough of goofing off... back to household drudge now! Ugh!

June 26, 2014

Echinopsis is getting closer to blooming. These ones will be early. Last year she didn't bloom until August! So, maybe will get two bloomings this year! It rained pretty good between 3am and 630am, so, Echinopsis and her many babies got fairly wet. I put her greenhouse jacket back on the frame since it's supposed to rain for several more days off and on.

June 24, 2014

Cody trying out his new Mutt Muffs that will, with any luck, tune out some of the Thunder and Fireworks.

Yellow Day Lily finally bloomed! Has lots of blossoms this year ready to go.

Red Lily has more blossoms now. It's only half the size it was last year. *pout*

Four of the blossoms are starting to show pink and they are about 4" long now.

June 21, 2014

Wonderful morning outside today! Hazy sun coming over the hill, air is cool.

Cody took an early morning dip in his pool and then stuck his tongue out at me when I took his picture! LOL

Anyway, the cool, crisp morning put me in the mood to get the bulbs planted that I didn't get to yesterday. So, I did that!

Planted the Triplet Lily bulbs that Mom gave me here since I had moved what was there before. They sat for probably 18 mos, if not more, on the kitchen table at the farm, so I am hopeful that they will grow.

Planted the Raspberry Swirl Freesia bulbs that Mom gave me here since whatever used to be there was no longer there.

Planted these other bulbs that sat on the table at the farm in here but I have no great expectation that they will actually grow. I have no idea what they are either. The bulbs were not in very good shape. So, we'll see what happens.

Next, I decided that since the Grape Hyacinth would not be coming back this year, that it would be fine to plant some tomato plants amongst them and make use of that real estate! So I did! LOL

Since my Giant Mums are showing no signs of life since I moved them (could still be early for them).. well, planted a Cucumber plant in one Mum area and a tomato plant in the other. I think there is a Green Pepper plant next to the Cuke.

There is a possibility that the Cosmos that reseeded itself will crowd out the Cucumber... maybe not.

Still need to find homes for these tomatoes and cucumbers.

After I got those things planted, I was looking around to see what my next tasks will be.

Someone was digging in the Iris patch. That wasn't there yesterday.

Pulled the bottom sets of leaves off this Tomato. Also noticed that it looks like there is a Portulaca growing at its base. Interesting!

Art E Choke didn't survive the Winter weather so I pulled it out (took no effort to pull the stump out). I will move my bigger BlueBerry plant over to this spot when it goes dormant for the year. Very sad ArtEChoke didn't make it. :(

Something has been killing my Honeysuckle plant. Today, I noticed little tiny white things moving on it, so before I leave today, I will go out and spray it with Sevin and then cut it way back when I return home. After that, I will be moving it next to the gated Archway.

This is the next mess to get weeded out in preparation to plant the wildflowers that are breaking ground in some pots.

The blossom buds are getting longer every day! woo hoo

I took this when I was in the back of the backyard. Pretty pink flowers on the bushes back there.

June 20, 2014

Spent a good deal of the day putzing around in the garden. It was warm this afternoon, but clouds kept floating by the sun cooling it off again, so that was nice!
Today is the day to get the Red Lily's propped by up. Started out doing one thing and then changed my mind. Had to get the Spirea out of the way, too.
Here is before and after:

Propped the Cone Flowers up,too.

Red Dahlia bloomed.

Stepables plant sprouted a lot of purple flowers. It's growing on a piece of stump.

Pikes Peak Purple Penstemon looks a little perkier but the rain and hail got rid of most of the flowers. :(

As usual, I started out to do one thing (which I didn't do) and did other stuff instead. The raspberry patch was out of control, so I trimmed it back and picked rasperries... ate some on the spot too! LOL

While I was out there, a squirrel stopped by for a snack.

Birds, too! They didn't seem bothered that I was out amongst them! LOL

There were lots of bumble bees gathering pollen from the Spirea when I first went out.

It is on the top edge of the flower on the right.

Viola's are coming up all over the place. They are a busy flower! But that's okay, I like them.

Trumpet Vine is starting to bloom

Two of the yellow Mums are blooming now.

I did get the lawn mowed in the backyard. Only killed the mower twice in the still wet grass! LOL I try to take a nice "fresh mowed" picture... but they never show how nice it really looks. :(

While I was mowing the lawn by the dog house, it occurred to me that I never finished putting rubber mats down from the stairs to the dog house. So I did that next. I'm still not done with that project, but it does look nicer! LOL

Cody and Luke came to be outside with me as I was pulling the weeds and laying down the mats near their house.

The boys!

June 18, 2014
I did a little inspection of the gardens to assess any damages from the hard rain and hail. First thing I noticed was several frogs were not standing any longer and, clearly, some flowers had been trampled. Hmmmm... weather didn't cause that stuff! Further inspection revealed another clue as to the culprit but I have opted not to photo that evidence. Suffice it to say that one or both of the boys got into the garden - probably to eat the bread I threw out there for the birds - but I can't tell where they got in. grrrrrr

Oh well. What's a girl to do? LOL

One of the first things I did while the weather was nice is use my newest Lamb's Hook to hold the grape vines away from my little gate. Every time I use the gate those vines would pull my hair or grab my clothes, plus they were trying to grab the gate and I wouldn't be able to use it!

The Cherry Bushes are snapping back after the aphid attack. Everything is so green that its hard to get pictures that are very well defined of the subject of the pictures. LOL

Oriental Lilies, Cone Flowers, and Day Lilies are getting ready to bloom.

Red Dahlia and Sedium Garnet Brocade, too!

Hmmmmmm... I didn't plant that! Guess the birds wanted really fresh seed! LOL

Phygelius Snow Queen (in front of the purple violas), Spirea, and Dianthus (in front of the California Lilac) are blooming.

Most of the Red Lily's are leaning to the sides. Looks like two are laying down. I will be propping them back up with the doo-dads from Mom - when the weather is nicer and its not so wet out.

And, last but not least... Echinopsis! Her blossoms are growing quickly they are about 1 1/2 - 2" long now. Plus, I noticed a new blossom bud further down on her trunk! Now, I just wish the weather would start cooperating so I can take the greenhouse off of her! All of last years babies appear to be doing fine in the pot with her and she has at least 1/2 dozen new babies growing on her sides.

June 17, 2014

The hail really laid over my Lily's yesterday. I should have taken a picture then. But, today when I went out some were standing up again. I think 4 of them are laying down and I will have to prop them back up. Mom has some doo-dads for that purpose so I will borrow those from her.

First picture is June 13, storm was June 16, second picture is this morning (june 17).

June 16, 2014

What a nasty weather day we had this afternoon. Thunder, lightning, torrential rain, hail, brief quiet and then it started all over again.

The news guys really underestimated these storms coming through. Better get my waders out!

Cody hates loud noises, like thunder. It was not a fun time. Decided to see if my ear protection used in shooting practice would muffle the thunder noise. I'm not sure if it did, but if it did, it wasn't enough.

Surprisingly, he didn't attempt to shake or scratch off the ear protection.

The first storm went through and appeared to be headed in the direction of the farm. It was getting really dark that direction.

And, when there was a break in the storms, the Chickadee's called a meeting on the overhead wires in the backyard. They were probably trying to figure out why all of the food stations were empty except two store-bought suets that only had black sunflower seeds in them... no one seems to like those! I believe these birds are Chestnut-backed Chickadees, very common here year 'round.

June 13, 2014

Just took a few pictures of the flower/plant progress.

Some of the flower "stones" have broken ground and seem to be happy where they are. I will plant them in the ground when they get bigger.

Tomatoes, Cukes, Green Peppers and the mystery flower. Looks like only one or two Green Pepper plants came up.

Red Lilies keep blooming and reaching to the sun. Beautiful!

White Dahlia's have started blooming.

June 12, 2014

I decided to go check on all the cactus and see how they were doing outside. They had seemed to be doing okay. Well, I was wrong. My older Optunia had huge white spots on it that weren't there last night. So I looked that up and found it was sunburn and if I get it out of the sun, before it turns brown, the plant will heal itself.

So, I got out the gloves, a digging trowel, a different pot and moved it to a smaller pot so it could live indoors with some light but no sun.

Took a closer look at all the smaller cacti and they were all showing signs of sunburn... so I have replanted them and moved everyone inside.

I moved all of Echinopsis' babies into her pot and took the younger Optunia out so it could live in the house. I need to do something to give them 24/7 protection from sun - but where they will get light. In the meantime, she and her children are in a greenhouse again with a shroud. geez Louise.

In addition to Optunia Senior, these are now houseplants again:

Aloe Vera - badly sunburned

Optunia (paddle cactus), Stenocereus dumortierii (tall fatter one), Unknown Cactus (Tall skinny one) and Notocactus leninghausii aka/ Golden Ball Cactus (the short one). The only one not showing burn is the short one.

Unknown succulent and Gymnocalycium Milhanovichii Hibotan aka/ Moon Cactus (the red topped one)- both burned, but not as bad as the others.

Kalanchoe and Christmas Cactus. The Christmas cactus was badly sunburned. Before I had put them outside, the Kalanchoe which had been doing great.. suddenly died. So, I took the dead stuff out and put the container outside. Well, to my surprise, there is ONE arm of a Kalanchoe under the Christmas Cactus that is green and looking good! Yay!

So, Corn Plant has to share it's space with the cactus again.

That has taken me all day to accomplish.. well, it took all morning... lol... and it was an unscheduled, but necessary, activity. Now, on to other stuff!

June 9, 2014

I decided last night that first thing this morning I was going to pull grass out of my flower beds.... which is probably why I overslept! LOL I hate doing weeding.
But, after an adequate supply of coffee, I did just that, went out and removed grass from the large flower beds in the back, middle really, of the garden area.

I know you're probably tired of seeing my Red Lily's but I think they are just magnificent this year!

After I did the weeding, I pawed through some old lumber that I had under the Holly Tree and culled out the stuff that was no longer useable. While doing that, I also pulled out a bunch of Ivy that went crazy. But, the Ivy was not my main concern today, it was just in my way. I did pull it off the Fir Tree and away from it's base because I had plans for that area that didn't include Ivy being there.

Next on the list was to move the Iris that was in the box in the front of the garden and the smaller ones that I found. So, I finally got the big Iris out and 7 others. I replanted them over by the Iris box.

While I was digging the Iris out to move them, I heard a rustling on the plastic back there. The Boys were nestling under the flowering shrubs! I had left the gate open and they invited themselves in! LOL

After lunch, I was heading back out to dig up and move the Sword Fern that my pal, Debbie, had given me a few years back. They really prefer moist shady areas and it was now getting more sun than it used to and wasn't looking all that happy to me.
Well, I headed towards the back door and there was a somewhat large Crow sitting on the deck railing... so I watched and reached for the camera (go figure, right? LOL) Crow jumped down and pecked around in the dog food bowl. Then it started walking towards the house! I thought it was going to come in the doggie door! LOL But, it turned and started pecking at stuff, probably dog food, that was on the deck and then it flew away.

So, off I went to the back of the yard and determined that the fern area was out of control. Sigh. Fern was not happy baking in the sun.

Happened to look over and saw this:

Yum! :) Yes, I ate them both! LOL

Turned my attention back to Fern, ripped out the grass that was in the way and dug Fern out. Took it over to the "bench" under the Maple tree.

Cut off the dead stuff (yes, the leaves die off.. that's normal). Dug a big hole by the Fir tree...only hit one tree root, but I didn't damage it too much. Plopped the now trim and cleaned up Fern into the hole and filled in with the dirt I had just dug out.

I think it will like it better under the tree. Now, I need to get rid of the wretched Ivy.

June 7, 2014

Nice and cool and cloudy this morning! Love it for working outside. So I puttered around for a bit in the garden.
The red Lily is starting to bloom. It's very pretty!

The Pike's Peak Purple Penstemon has had a rebound!

And the California Lilac is really looking pretty, too! (I thought it was going to die last year so I am really excited it has so many blooms)!

One of my lighted deer has not been lighting up the last couple nights. So I went to investigate that, too. Some nasty squirrels or other rodent knocked it over. I have it set up again, so I hope it will light tonight. Stinkers.

I had planted some seeds that my pal, David, gave me in 2 little greenhouse things. Some seeds are veggie's (Cuke, Tomato, and Peppers). The others are Cacti. To my surprise, all appear to be growing! So, I have transplanted the veggie's into bigger pots and I left the cacti in their little greenhouse.

While I was putting dirt (old dirt that I emptied from various pots into a bag).. I also noticed that there was something growing in the bag! LOL So I planted it. It is in the upper right side of the group. Can't wait to see what flower grows! LOL

The cacti

Then, I planted the balls of "flower stones" that Mom gave me into two pots and kept those on the deck. I was afraid if the birds or squirrels saw me put them in or on the ground, they would come steal them! LOL They are supposed to grow various wild flowers, so when they start growing I will move them to the garden, probably by the Pansy group in the back.

And, the 2 Double Oriental Lily "Magic Star" bulbs that Mom gave me, I planted here!

While I was outside, a few feathered friends stopped in.

Thirsty Flicker!

Thirsty Starling (think it's a Starling)

This Crow came flying in with some food in its mouth and went straight for the bird bath. The seem to like to dip/dunk their food. LOL

After I had finished outside and retired to the indoors. I happened to look out and saw Luke on the deck. And then I saw this Crow come flying in and rest on the arch. It was looking for something. Or, it landed just to torment my boy. LOL

Luke sat up and was intently staring at the Crow. He likes to bark at them and since he can't get them, I think they come in just to annoy him. Anyway, I got Luke's attention and took his picture just before he took off running and barking at the Crow. LOL Oh, Crow flew away, made a circle and came back to lite on the wires at the side of the house to get Luke going again! LOL

June 5, 2014

Started off today by filling the yard trash barrel with the last of what I had piled up on the cement. Wow, haven't seen that much cement out there for eons! LOL

Off I went to Home Depot for a couple supplies to deal with the stairs. Made a 4" brick step, added a piece of 2x8" to the bottom step and just for kicks added some rubber mats from the cement steps to the dog house. I like it so I think I will get 5 more and cover the whole bricked area. Cody tested it all out and had no trouble getting up or down the stairs now.

June 4, 2014

Today I tackled the dog ramp issue. It was a cute idea, but not really a good idea. It was very inconvenient for me to have to scoot down the dog ramp on my behind and then get back up.... unless I wanted to go through the garden and over to the hose spigot. Anyway, I didn't like it anymore.

Plus, last winter in the ice and snow, it was not safe for my boys with their leg issues trying to get in and out via the ramp to go to the bathroom.

I still had my old steps from before the deck was put in so I decided to replace the ramp with those and cut an opening in the deck rail. So, I did that.

Cody did very well going down the stairs, but getting up them was more trying. So, more adjustments will need to be made to make the steps not so far apart.

June 3, 2014

Decided that it would be best, just in case, to install an outdoor blind so that I could drop it down over the cactus if it is raining too hard. They really don't care to have wet soil and if they get too much water it makes them bulgy. Well, anyway, I got the blind and finally got it attached to the house.
Unfortunately, because some children have found it a fun idea to get tangle up in the cords and have ended up getting hung in them, there are child safety things that disconnect the cords that roll the thing up, with just the lightest tug on them. I didn't know that. I thought it was just a broken piece of crap!

Well, they come from the factory like that and set on the "light tug" setting, but the setting can be changed so I did that and simply put a hook on the wall to hold the cords so the boys, and no child, could tangle in them.

June 2, 2014

Not a lot to report today. Did some this and some that, worked like a slave. LOL

The view out the kitchen window

The Columbine is outdoing itself!

I moved all the cacti out of their greenhouses and put them up against the house for sun protection and, hopefully, rain protection.

I was surprised and pleased to see that Echinopsis has many buds to grow flowers and is producing new babies again!

May 31, 2014

First thing was to allow the boys back under the grape arbor. They don't seem to eat the grapes, so I decided it was going to be okay. It's Cody's favorite place to sleep when it's hot and I'm outside. But, they still can't come into the gardens.

Good shade and tall grass, what more could a dog want on a hot day! LOL

Did a lot of weeding in the left side front garden and the left side rear garden. Although, I have to admit that I got bored with doing weeding and it's very hard on one's back... so, there is still more to do. LOL

I mostly worked on the left front garden space. While I was working in there, I found three more Iris growing under the California Lilac. I will move those in the Fall to where the others are.

I also found a little Dahlia trying to grow under the CA Lilac, so I moved it over by the other Dahlia's and moved all the Dianthus to the front.

Also while I was digging to make room from the many Mums I got from Mom.. I found the bulbs for my Minnow Daffodils and put them in a different spot to the back left corner by the Azalea.

I found two leaves growing, I believe they are snow crocus bulbs and they shouldn't even be out right now! LOL

Put some ground cover that flowers on a rotten old log that was in the garden. Hope it will grow there. It worked the last time I did that.

So, here's the before and after:

In the back garden, I planted 3 more Mums, did some weeding and moved the Hens and Chicks over there. I also cut down what I believe was a Japanese Knotweed and pour Roundup down inside it's large stem to kill it's roots. They are very pretty, but very invasive plants.

Anyway, it got pretty warm working in the sun so I was happy to quit! LOL

May 29, 2014
They're all in and sealed and whatever else they did from the outside... it's all finished.

Shelf was added at the bottom. Looks nice.

I got a curtain that is supposed to block the sun heat so hopefully it will. I have actually changed it a little bit and it looks better than what is in the picture. But I still need to hem it an inch or so.

Got some curtains for the living room, too. I'm still not satisfied with it though. But, I don't have time to mess with it too much today.

May 28, 2014

All but one window got installed today. They will do the last upstairs one tomorrow. Now that the windows are done, I need to finish painting the trim around the ones in the bedroom. No rest for the wicked I guess! lol

a bedroom window

A window in the small bedroom... aka/junk room

The kitchen window. It will get a small shelf tomorrow at the bottom to hide all that icky looking part.

May 27, 2014

I didn't get anything done outside today that I wanted to do, but I was busy inside the house. But, first, before I get to that... the boys were on Border Patrol every time they heard the neighbor dog come out! LOL

Secondly, Mom said she read that Portulaca reseed themselves. They are a very pretty flower. I had several in two pots last year and hadn't emptied the pots after they died off. Then, I had noticed a bunch of green stuff coming up so I left it to see what it was. Well, some has grown up a bit more and, indeed, they look to be Portulaca plants! Apparently, they are quite prolific!

Now... on to my main events today. Since the window folk are coming to install my windows tomorrow, it was necessary that I condense stuff and move stuff away from the window areas so they have easy access. This sounds easy enough, but some spaces are already tight! LOL But, I got it all done. Of course, it was necessary, once something was moved, to vacuum dog hair up. sigh. I have decided that since everything is in disarry, I may go ahead and reorganize things and since the curtains are down, might just as well wash them! LOL

Did the living room first.

Next, the former Cat Room got it.(there are 2 windows in there). As I was moving things around, I remembered the year a few years ago that it was renamed the FLEA room because it was infested with fleas from one of the cats (his name was Psycho.. may he rest in peace). I had bombed that room at least 3 times for fleas, I used a high wax on the floors 3 times or more to suffocate whatever fleas were in the hardwood cracks AND I had put a thick layer of cat flea powder around the baseboards of the entire room. I stopped being attacked by fleas and thought the problem was solved. WELL, let me tell you what.... I am soooooooo glad I put that layer of powder around the baseboards!!!! I must have vacuumed up a couple hundred dead fleas!! woo hoo! LOL Their life cycle should be over by now!

And, on to the kitchen. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, just moved stuff from one side to the other. Haven't seen that much clear counter space in years! LMAO

Also had to move what I could in the master bedroom and upstairs. But, I didn't photo either of those areas because they aren't terribly interesting! LMAO

May 26, 2014

When the darkest of the clouds finally went past my house, I ventured outdoors to tackle the rest of the temp fencing job.

There is actually a brick path under that grass mess! LOL

So, when I was looking around I decided that it would be necessary to run the construction fence alongside the neighbors fence.. just in case and then wrap it around the existing steel post that I put in a long time ago and then over to the arch. So, I did that.

Since there was still a dog view into the neighbors yard, I decided to put this dandy piece of bamboo over their fence and inside my construction fence. No more view to the area that their dog is allowed!

While I was looking into my neighbors back yard, I saw the wife come home and beckoned her over. Told her I thought it was done and asked she bring her dog out. I already had the boys out and their noses were working overtime! LOL Anyway, she did and the dogs all barked at each other and walked quickly up and down the fences area. But, the boys couldn't get through the fence to get closer. I am sure they are quite frustrated. LOL But, now all dogs seem to have lost interest. I believe it is a success!

After I got that accomplished and put a double wire fence on the other side of the arch where the wood is. I commenced with the weed-eating.

Glorioski! The pavers are still there! Woo Hoo!!

Created a gate for the other arch to keep the boys out of the gardens. Follow the white arrow on the picture.. that is where the gate is.

Did some weed eating around the gardens and the grapes. Then did some weed pulling around the short arch where the hot tub is. Decided I had already had too much fun for one day and turned the sprinkler on to give everyone a good drink! It should fill the birdbaths at the same time!

Not too surprising... the boys now have free roam everywhere but the gardens... and they are asleep in the house in the dining room. They no longer appear to be interesting in the "other" side of the yard! Stinkers! I guess like children, if it is not taboo... they don't care any more! LOL

May 25, 2014

Got home from Mom's and Home Depot armed with a car full of potted plants and the supplies I needed to finish what I was working on. I didn't waste much time in getting to business because it was looking very much like it was going to rain and I didn't want to get wet! LOL

Got all the temp fence up and fashioned a gate for me to get through. The gate has rebar overlapping in the center threaded through the bottom line with another perpendicular in the center. As I said, is temporary.

Fence all strung and between the fence posts I threaded rebar through the fencing and pounded it in the ground too. Will make it harder for the boys to get under the fencing. It worked when I fenced off the fir tree, so hopefully it will this time

Put all the pots of flowers out in the gardens and planted the pansy's. Tomorrow afternoon, if its not raining, I will get things planted and hopefully get the weed-eating done. I also need to fence off two small areas and then I will be ready to "dog test" the work! LOL Wish me luck!!!

I was hoping to go to the farm this coming week and stay out there a few days, but my new windows are being installed Wed and Thurs so I am working Friday. Supposed to be rainy off and on Mon and Tues... so I wouldn't be able to get anything done out there. Kinda screws up that week, but I will be happy to have my new windows in! LOL

As it turns out, it started raining about 25 minutes after I came in. But, it's more like little showers.

May 24, 2014

After the boys and I got back from the trip to the vet for their shots and David's house for their baths, I was outside taking down the rest of the construction fence that I had put around my fir tree to keep the boys out of that corner. Since that corner neighbor finally put up his own fence to contain his dog(s), it was no longer necessary to be fenced off on my side. (His largest dog, who is an aggressive breed - was always breaking the fence trying to get onto my side).

In the meantime, another neighbor bought a dog. Not sure the breed but she has some Lab and German Shepherd they think. The fence on that side of the yard is not at all in good shape and parts of it I'm pretty sure that Cody could knock over very easily. (It is the neighbor's fence, not mine, so I have no desire to buy them a new fence).

Plus, on that side is a group of shrubs that the boys like to dig around and escape the heat of summer so I've been going to fence those off to keep them out of there before they damage the roots and kill them.

Since the new dog arrived, I have had to block off that side of the yard from mine to avoid "fence fighting". Since both the boys have a bad back leg, it makes them gimp around worse than normal when they have these "fence fighting" events.

So, I had to trim off and cut off the front of the bushes to accommodate the construction fence.

And, then started putting up the temporary construction fence.

Unfortunately, I got distracted for a split second by a moving branch and the 12 - 14lb sledge hammer came down on my right index fingernail. Ouchie! After that I lost interest in doing any more work on the fence! LOL Plus, I ran out of fencing anyhow so there wasn't a lot more I could do. Although it looked really bad last night, my finger is looking quite well this morning. Instead of the nail being 1/2 black, only a quarter of it is black and it only hurts when I bump it against something! LOL I will hopefully finish that temporary project today.

May 22, 2014

Rust colored Azalea is looking pretty!

Heather plant too!

More blue on California Lilac

Had to prop up the Beard Tongue

Heuchera Ruby Bells are starting to bloom

Pike's Peak Penstemon is looking quite sensational!

Sweet William is doing great too!

Woodland Phlox is filling in very nicely this year

Not really sure what this is, but it isn't the wall flower that I thought it might be. Could be a Mountain Bell that a critter moved. But, whatever it is, bless it's little flower heart, it is really trying!

And, last but never least... Luke and Cody enjoying some sun.

May 16, 2014

Views from the top!

And ground level:

May 14, 2014

I decided to brave the afternoon heat to clean and refill Cody's pool, clean and refill the bird baths, put out more seed and suet and get the other hose out for the garden sprinkler. It was kinda toasty out there. I bet it was in the upper 80's with little to no breeze.
Before filling the suet and feeders, I decided to move them so they wouldn't be in the way of the sprinkler watering. Tends to gum up the feeders! LOL I know that it will be more convenient for the squirrels to get to the seed, but they get in there anyway so... whatever! They are hungry, too.

Anyway, after I filled the seed, suet, pool and birdbaths... came back out and this crow decided he/she needed a drink and it didn't bother it that I was less than 4' from it. LOL

I was looking around at the plants and I discovered that what was killing my Cherry Bushes are a bright green tiny bug, like an aphid.. maybe that's what they are... I'm not a bug person. Anyway, got the Sevin out and doused my poor plants. I hope it kills the bugs because I don't want them spreading to the blueberries, raspberries or grapes.... or any of my plants for that matter.

When I looked closer at the planting of the Red Dianthus flowers... I sort of have a vague memory of dumping a planter of Sweet William over there... LOL So, in this photo in the front you see a Pike's Peak Purple Penstemon on the left and the purple Woodland Phlox is on the right. In the middle is the Dark Purple Columbine and the Sweet William pile.

This is a different view of the Pike's Peak Purple Penstemon and the Mountain Bells in the back.

The Beard Tongue is blooming. But the little red blooms are all on the shortest stem! LOL Hopefully the taller ones will also have color later!

California Lilac is starting to bloom! YAY!

And, this little Sweet William managed to grow and bloom! Bless it's little heart! LOL

Blue and White Iris and the Multi-color Columbine are still doing very well.

The purple Dutch Iris, another white Dutch Iris, and the Delphinium are all bloomed out.

May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day to all you Mom's out there. I hope you had a wonderful day with your loved ones. I had a great day with my Mom. :)

It was a bit overcast here today, but by afternoon, the clouds had gone away and the day was sunny and beautiful.

I took this set of garden photo's mainly so I could blow them up, print them and figure out all that is growing or showing signs of life! LOL

Back Row:

Center Row:

Front Row:

Now, on to other stuff.

I have finally figured out what this blue flower is (again, LOL). It is a Delphinium that I rescued before it got tossed into the garbage pile. Granted, it is a bit on the pathetic side, but it is still pretty and another one has cropped up this year.

California Lilac has tons of blooms waiting to happen! I'm excited because it only had one last year! LOL

There is yet another Colombine blooming. It is next to the pink one (volunteer plant) and it is a beautiful dark red (it is also a volunteer plant).

Orange Azalea is getting blossoms.

The blue and white Iris has it's first bloom.

The Raspberries (in the back) are doing well and loaded with "berries-to-be"; the purple Iris are doing well for their first year in that spot; my Cherry Bushes that have been doing great... appear to be dying. Those brown leaves that you see in the front of the picture... is the top 2' of the Cherry branches. I didn't see any bugs on them, except one Ladybug so I don't know why they are suddenly doing so badly. :(

Last, but certainly not least, my most recent gift frogs have taken their positions in the garden. Tall solar frog is now in the bed that I have to finish weeding and hanging frog is on the light post next to the South arch. Hopefully, it won't rock and roll too much in the wind because that cow bell attached to it might get annoying to the neighbors... and my boys! LOL

I took a couple pictures at Mom's house in the front, so go ahead and take a look! Mary's Place

May 10, 2014

The blue and white Iris is really growing and spreading out.

White Dutch Iris bloomed and there is a purple one getting ready to bloom. That blue flower is getting ready to burst open, too. I still need to figure out what it is.

This is a pretty flower. I'm sure it is the Columbine family, but I don't know what kind of Columbine it is. The leaves look like Columbine leaves but it doesn't have the same kind of "tail" that the other Columbine flowers have. Pretty anyway! LOL

The Colorado Blue Columbine is a very striking flower. I can't wait till it opens more. Very Pretty. But the other Columbine are also very pretty with all three colors blooming at the same time in the same place!

May 9, 2014

Wasn't the prettiest day out today!

But between rains and winds, the sun would peek out and birds would come visiting. I think this is a thrush but I'm not sure, doesn't really look like the other pictures of thrush that I've seen.

May 7, 2014

When I went out to put out suet and birdseed/squirrel seed, I noticed that the Iris had started blooming, more Columbine are blooming, the Widows Tears are blooming (not as big as Mom's are) and the Viola's are all very happy in their places.

Lots of the plants are just green leaves right now.

I still don't know for sure what the red flower is. It is of the Dianthus family (Dianthus, Sweet William, etc). I, apparently, didn't write it on the planting diagram. What was there was a Gaillardia and that pink flower is not that. The little white flowers (there's pink ones too), are Mountain Bells.

Woodland Phlox is filling is very nicely. Very happy to see that!

May 5, 2014

The Maple tree, Pink bush and Larry Lilac are looking good! Lila Lilac and the other Lilac are also blooming, but I gave Lila a good "hair cut" so she doesn't have a lot of blooms this year.

One of the frogs Sherry gave me. His light changes colors at night.

May 4, 2014

Fortunately, we got the work done at the farm before rains came. But this was just ugly on my way home and it looked worse to the southeast.

May 3, 2014

When I arrived home, there was a package from my pal, Sherry. Inside was a solar frog, a hanging frog with a bell, 4 dish towels or hand towels and a cylindrical piece of cloth with frogs on it and elastic on both ends (a plastic bag holder). Really love it all! Thank you, Sherry!

May 2, 2014

It was a really nice day today. There was a high level cloud mass that filtered the sun, but it was warm and nice to be outside. If working, it was a bit too warm at times. lol

Since I had to go to the vet and get drugs for the boys, I loaded up the large container of flowers that I made for Mom and decided to drop those off on the way home as well as some left over Petunia's and Impatiens.

Unfortunately, some jerk on the freeway caused me to have to slam on my brakes, so the pot of flowers toppled over. You can imagine the mess in the back of my car. grrrrrrr

So, when I got to Mom's, I replanted the flowers into the pot and got most of the wet/damp dirt out of the car. It looked good at her house. Then I planted the extra's that I brought into pots for her, transplanted one or two that she wanted moved to a bigger pot, and took home some plants that she wanted to get rid of.

Mom bought us both lunch. Halibut fish and chips at Mikes! Very tasty and very filling.

When I got home, I planted the Viola/Pansies that she no longer wanted into a new pot. I think they will like it there, they were pretty root bound in the old pot. The other two I'm not sure if they will grow, we'll see.

I don't think these are the Gaillardia that I thought they were. They were yellow with red last year! LOL

The Rhubarb has gone nuts. I really need to cut it down. I guess I will review the Rhubarb recipes that Mom has been sending me and start trying them out very soon!

I also made me a little temporary gardening workbench. I may turn it into a permanent feature on the deck, but not with that nasty shelf thing under it! LOL Can we say "you might be a redneck...." LOL

After I cleaned and filled the birdbaths (and gave Luke a good soaking - he likes that, LOL), I decided it was time to put the birdhouses out on the Bird House Tree. That was my final act for the day.

May 1, 2014

Happy May Day!

While I was working outside today, I noticed that all three of the bushes I butchered have new leaves growing. Amazing.

Pink and Yellow Columbine is almost bloomed!

This Columbine is a volunteer.. going to be pretty! LOL

I am repurposing some of the ugly green or black plant pots that come from nurseries etc. I spray painted one with copper and turned it upside down so that I could put some frogs on it and see the frogs over the flowers!

These are the other two I painted today.

Back to the garden! LOL

The Gaillardia is really getting big! I wasn't sure if it was still alive, but I guess it is!

I also thought this Woodland Phlox died but it seems to have bounded back after all!

This section of Red Lilies, Cone Flowers, and Columbine is growing like crazy. There is something else in there, but I don't know what it is yet! LOL

Honeysuckle is getting ready to bloom.

Raspberries really filled out this past week.

Most of the pink flower bush that I trimmed up is starting to bloom.

Made a Mother's Day planter to take to Mom's, it should fill in and look much nicer soon! LOL

While cleaning out planters, I found this little tree growing. So, of course, I dug it out to see if there was any nut attached to it. Sure enough, it appears to be a Filbert tree! They're not called Filbert's any longer though, they are called Hazelnuts. Much more "trendy" sounding. But it's still a Filbert! LOL

April 30, 2014

First Columbine bloom!

April 29, 2014

I moved the platform portion of the "Stairs to Nowhere" into the bird garden area. Much easier on my back, when it hurts, to use that as the platform to put seed in the various feeders and suets.

April 27, 2014

Amazing! Luke was in the doghouse!

April 26, 2014

When I woke up this morning, I was thinking about the new windows I will be getting in a month or so. Everything has to be moved away from the windows so the workers won't have things in their way. I can understand that. But as I looked into the "junk room" where I put things that I don't want to deal with at the time.... I realized I had a job ahead of me to smoosh everything together enough to give clear passage and workspace for those two windows.

I did find the two small plastic green houses that I used last year for awhile and decided that maybe it would be safe to move all the cacti from that room and to the outside if I put the greenhouses back together. So, I did that.

Princess Echinopsis and Sir Optunia have been outside for a bit with a sheer curtain to protect them from the sun until they get re-acclimated. Unfortunately, with all the rain we've been getting, they have probably been getting more water than is needed. SO, one of the little greenhouses is now protecting them from the rain, providing warmth during the day (hopefully the night too) and the curtain is still in place for sun protection.

All the other cacti are under cover in the 2nd little green house. I hope they will be okay. I did lose two cacti and one succulent while they were in the house.

April 24, 2014

With all the alternating days of rain and sun, things have been growing like crazy in the gardens. Some of the plants appear pretty stubby still, but they are getting buds on them ready to bloom.

I was surprised and happy to see the Columbine had come up and is getting ready to bloom.

The mystery Iris from last year has long leaves, but the flowering part is only about 6" tall!

Purple Iris has a blossom coming on. It's not as short as Mystery Iris, but it's not as tall as they were last year. Maybe because I moved them, they didn't grow as hearty. Next year should be better when they feel more established.

The purple Viola volunteers are doing very well and seem happy together in their 1/2 barrel.

Yellow volunteer Viola's perked up and are also doing well in their new home.

I have forgotten what this is. I figured it out last year and didn't write it down. sigh. It will have lots of blue flowers on it though when it blooms!

April 22, 2014

This April weather is making it very hard to get things done outside.
They said it might hail... and they were right.

April 21, 2014

Things are hopping in the garden. All the frogs are out. Many of the plants have come back to life and my scrawny Azalea is in full flower mode!

April 20, 2014

And some more frogs from Mom. Pretty cute!

April 15, 2014

Frogs, frogs and more frogs!

April 11, 2014

I thought it might be nice if I got out to the garden and did some clean up, weeding, moving of plants and put some nice frogs out!
This is the before:

I dug out the Monster Mum and the Large Mum and moved those to the back where wildflowers were last year. Then I put a fence around each one to help hold them up if they get big like last year!

Then, I went to work pulling megatons of weeds and grass out of my flower beds. As each area got cleared, I added some nice froggies and solar lights! I moved all the little viola volunteers that I found to a wood pot and I moved the yellow viola's and a few volunteer purple viola's to the "seeder" planter.

And, from this distance, it scarcely looks like I did a darned thing! sigh

But, my poor ol' body is telling a whole different story! All I have left is the front three sections to clean up. There are still frogs, toadstools and birdhouses to go out. Need to move the Honeysuckle to a new home and also the sword fern. Just not today! LOL

April 8, 2014

I got some spray paint to renovate or repurpose some old nursery type pots. I chose Hammered Copper, Dark Teal, and Paprika. I think they turned out quite pretty since they started out black!

April 7, 2014
I saw this pretty little flower out front. It's never been there before and I didn't know what it was. But, thanks to my friend Debbie, I now know that is it a Vincas Major or Minor... aka/ Creeping Myrtle!

April 6, 2014
Lady Echinopsis and Sir Optunia are now outside again. Since I don't want her to get sunburned, I made a filtered screen for her so that the morning to 1pm sun won't burn her. In another few weeks, she should be able to be outside without any problems since she is sheltered from the really hot afternoon sun.

April 3, 2014

First things first, had to move the "Stairs to Nowhere" out of my way. But since I can't move it alone as one piece, had to take it apart first.

Then, I got the arch up and in place. Of course, it isn't where I was originally going to put it, but I like it better here. tee hee
Looking east to the back of the yard and west to the street:

April 2, 2014

Turned out to be a very nice afternoon and it was dry but cloudy before that. A bit chilly, too, until the sun came out!

I am preparing an area for where a nice arch with locking gate is going to go, but that is a bigger job than I anticipated. But, I made a dent in some things that need to be done first.

While I was out, I noticed that the single yellow Viola volunteer that I brought home from Mom's last year, is already outdoing itself!

And, purple Viola's are cropping up all over the place!

Red Lilies are looking good (left side of the box).

The Iris are coming up nicely and the Cherry bushes are doing very well. Whatever is in my soil, it seems to agree with them.

March 29, 2014
I had written a cute little story to go with the squirrel photos, but I'm getting tired of typing it... so suffice it to say, the squirrel was eating, almost fell out of the tree and then looked around to see who might be watching. The other squirrel was eating everything that the first one dropped. Then, the first one moved to the bird feeder where he/she could hang on even in the wind, and the other squirrel ate what got dropped. Then the little gray squirrel came running down to get in on the food!

They said it was going to rain, they were right. It did.

As the rain subided from that squall, the flickers, sparrows and a crow came to dine.

The boys opted to stay inside while it was rainy. Luke had a nap on my bed, on my pillows. And Cody opted to stay in the living room and hide his face in his toys.

And then the sun came out. End of story.

March 28, 2014
Well, I am so friggin' tired of yahoo and it's current temperamental issues. I think I shall have to find a new web hosting service. This will be my 3rd attempt to update info/pictures for March 28 and March 29. Frankly, I'm getting tired of retyping it all.

So, here is the rainbow from today:

March 26, 2014

My latest frog acquisitions arrived today. Yes, I know, I wasn't going to buy any more, but they were too cute!

And I got this for one of the downspouts to run through when it rains. There is one frog swimming, one getting ready to dive in, and two with an inner tube waiting their turn to get in the water! Very cute!

March 25, 2014

The Tulip tree has blossomed. It's pretty when it is all flowered out, but they don't last very long and they create a horrible mess when the petals fall off. At least after the petals start falling, it leafs out and is great shade from the afternoon sun on the front of the house.

March 24, 2014

Another very nice day out! I decided today I would get the bird garden in order to where it is more convenient for me and, of course, nice for the birds. So, I moved all the bird feeders and suet to one area. This way I can also see my lighted reindeer without things in the way!

Then, I moved the skinny metal arch to the entrance of the gardens. I will let a few of the grape vines crawl up on it, but not very many, they get too heavy! Of course, I had to cut back the Passion Flower and the Jasmine to move it.

So, with that arch out of the way, I can see my birds while they're eating, squirrels too!

If the Jasmine comes back to life, I am going to move it to the base of the tree branch that has the hummingbird feeder and let it grow on that branch.

And the Passion Flower, if it comes to life, I am going to put at the base of the Birdhouse Tree and let it wrap itself around that large branch.

Not long after I vacated the area, the squirrel came to visit! LOL

March 23, 2014

Luke's skin allergies were getting out of control and making him itch, so today was bath day. He didn't want to stay in the tub so it was becoming a battle. I won! LOL Then, he wouldn't have anything to do with me. But, after he was dry, I let him in the main house area and he chose to not be bothered on my bed! LOL

And my little visitor is found in this position looking down the stairs, frequently!

March 22, 2014

It was so nice out today. Sunny and warm. Just right for working outside!
So, I decided I was going to get those nasty wild blackberry vines out of my tree and bushes. It took much longer than I thought it would and I think I built up some muscles playing tug-o-war with the vines! LOL But, after I got done, the view of and over the fence was much better. The birds are pissed because they liked to hide in the bushes, but they'll get over it. Squirrels too!

Now I just have the mess to clean up. Drug most of it over closer to the house for easier access to cut it up and put it in the yard trash barrel. There is another pile still over by the Iris field. (NOTE: by the next morning, the birds were living in the pile of branches that I am going to cut up. LOL)

March 21, 2014
After all the rainy, drippy days, with sun breaks to get things going. We are finally going to have a few days of NICE! THAT should get the pollen moving around. :( LOL So, I decided after the frost went away this morning that it was time to weed eat the garden path and the area under the bird feeders. So, I did that. Then, I pounded the plastic borders down in front of the plants while the ground is nice and soft (it is only soft and easy to work in for about 3 wks during the year... now is that time).

I decided that I would give the boys a bit more space to romp in. So I took the old short arch that was in the "wildflower garden" and moved it to the fence line between the dog house and the hot tub. I atually wanted to make it a couple feet taller so I could walk under it, but that just wasn't going to happen, no matter what I tried. Along the fence in front of the flowers, I put the short hanging plant hangers in the center of the parts of the fence that dumb and dumber can get their heads through. I think I will hang solar tea lights from them.

The part of the fence that I removed from the where I put the arch, I put on the opposite side, added a couple more pieces and made ME a gate should I want to get in there.

Luke coming through the arch to see what I am doing!

That was all I did today. Took about 4.5 hours, but it doesn't look or sound like much work at all! LOL Oh, I also wrapped the Christmas lights around the new arch since that was the reason that I decided to put the arch there in the first place... I wanted to keep my lights up and working and take the little fence down for the boys. They think they are pretty special now that they have access to a portion of the "yard" that they were banished from! LOL (They are!)

March 16, 2014

A few plants are blooming and many are starting to "green up" again. Ah, yes, Spring is in the air.... unfortunately, so is the tree pollen right now. For those of you with allergies, I know you understand my love-hate relationship with Spring! LOL

March 10, 2014

What a wonderful and welcomed surprise to see this morning when I was leaving to take the boys to the vet. They are growing at a front corner of my house.

The Camelia's and Hyacinths out front have also bloomed.

Not a lot was going on in the backyard. The Iris all have new leaves, the little blueberry plants are getting a ton of new buds and the Cherry bushes are getting a ton of buds on them too! Maybe this year they will make some cherries!

And, of course, there was a squirrel scavenging in the bird garden area. tee hee!

And, last but not least, a beautiful rainbow appeared looking to the east.

I take these as the signs of true Spring... that it has arrived and March really will go out like a lamb! (but, I'm keeping my fingers crossed to help! LOL)

March 9, 2014

Well, it is a slow news day! But, thought I would share these little cuties! Mom got them for me. They are frog truffles with a mint coating. Cute and tasty! LOL

March 4, 2014

The newest additions to the frog family compliments of my Mom. Pretty darned cute and they are actually on 18" metal sticks. The fan in the one frog actually turns in the wind.

March 2, 2014

Mother Nature is such a tease... a beautiful day, then a rainy day, then a windy week with more rain, then a nice day and then, there was today. LOL

I do try to remember that when March comes in like a LION... it will go out like a LAMB!! I can't wait!

In contrast to the entry for February 28.... It was cold this morning and imagine my surprise when daylight arrived and I saw this:

February 28, 2014

Was a fairly decent day outside. Saw several different kinds of birds, a few squirrels running about. Mostly, I think they were waiting for me to fill feeders of various types! Which I did.

First customer to the Peanut bowl! :)

And these little Narcissus were waking up and putting their little daffodil faces to the sun! :)

February 22, 2014

Last Fall, I didn't have time to mess around with making Jelly or juice from my Concord Grape harvest. So I froze them, whole, (after washing them, of course)on a cookie sheet (1 layer) and then put the frozen grapes into Seal A Meal packages and put them in the freezer. I was going to make jelly today,so I juiced the grapes last night. But, jelly-making sort of fell through and, instead, canned 6 quarts of juice. Next it will be either wine, jelly, or both! LOL

February 21, 2014

Squirrels were scavenging birdseed. My squirrels are well fed between the birdseed and the peanuts I give them. But the birds are also well fed.

February 19, 2014

It got very quiet out in the "bird garden" and about an hour or so later, I spotted this big fellow out there. He is a Cooper's Hawk. They eat smaller birds... buggars. So the little birds must have gone into hiding until he left the area. They are pretty though! :) Pretty big too.

Where is everyone? Who dat?

February 18, 2014

OMG!! The bird feeder grew a tail! LOL

February 15, 2014

Boy, rainy day today. This squall was coming in heavy and sideways for awhile! But it was washing away the left over snow and ice so I'm good with that!

February 11, 2014

Daffodil found time to work it's way through the snow and let me know that Spring has arrived! (I hope) :)

February 10, 2014

When I first looked out this morning, I noticed that there was steam rising from the birdbath. It doesn't show up very well in the picture, but you can see a little of it.

So I went upstairs to get a look at how much water was inside the birdbath through the skylight. Since it was mostly melted, I decided it was safe to open it. Then I knocked off all the icicles! :)

There we go! Birdbath is still half full and there is not a bird in sight, so I will let the rain fill it instead of me!

There was one lone squirrel trying to forage whatever might have been left by the hoards of birds from yesterday. I don't think he/she was having a tremendous amount of luck.

Robin showed up and sat on that arborvitae stump for about 10 minutes or so and left.

February 9, 2014

The power company, considering all the problems we are having in oregon right now, got my power back on in just 2.5 hours and I was glad. Both of the boys piled onto my bed with me to sleep, but we were startled when everything came back on at 01:10 AM. So, turned things off and went back to bed. Was grateful to hear the furnace crank up!

So, when I got up for the day, I was greeted by this scene in the back. Was still frozen tundra, but icicles were starting to drip so that was a good sign.

Boys needed to go out, so out they went. Slipping and sliding across the icy deck and sliding down their ramp to the yard. Luke didn't stop in time and crashed into the doghouse. Cody led the potty patrol and broke through the ice layer into the soft snow underneath... sunk up to his belly in some areas. Considering how long-legged he is, I found that startling. Luke just followed behind Cody so he didn't have to slide any more. Both had difficulty getting back up the ramp. But they made it.

After their first adventure outside and since I couldn't break the ice on the deck to remove it yet, I used the kitty litter that I still had to give the boys a little traction getting in and out. That worked pretty well for their next trip out.

About noon, I could tell that the ice on the deck was gathering water under it, so decided it was time to try again. The ice was kinda thick!

So I was able to scrape two trails and their ramp free, or mostly free, of ice.

And, the roof is melting now too. It is still encased in ice, but the icicles are getting longer! LOL

The water on all that ice makes if very slick, I hope people are staying home and just letting mother nature take care of itself.
I also hope it really does warm up to the 40's tomorrow and rain like hell to wash all this crap away.
I can't wait to see how things are at the farm which is substantially higher in elevation than this house. :)

Since I was stuck in the house, I started watching a movie called Fargo... omg... what a lame movie and lame acting!

I also watched Star Trek II and that was good. Of course, I had already seen it but it was still good. :)

Crow was cawing it's little heart out at the very tip top of the fir tree. He/she has a healthy set of lungs. LOL

The thermometer said it was 40 degrees out and when you turn it on its side it has a 1/4 inch or so of ice on it! LOL I just thought that was interesting.

February 8, 2014

When I looked out early this morning, I thought the hill behind me was looking rather pretty.

And there was this pretty bird getting a drink. I had to lighten the pictures up because it was still kinda dark out and even using the flash on the camera didn't produce a good picture. This is a male Varied Thrush. Common in the area, from what I read.

After there was more light out, squirrel came down to get peanuts

There's a squirrel in there, too! lol

American Robin stopped in for a drink around 8am as the snow was starting to spit from the sky again.

This noisy crow was squawking like crazy while the other one was trying to get peanuts out of the broken birdbath

This is the other one. LOL

I put out more sunflower seeds on the snow, they gobbled up the first ones I put out and there are a ton of birds in my yard! Anyway, I'm sure they appreciated it.

Then, I noticed this lone Varied Thrush. It was being pretty obnoxious to the little birds and chasing them away when they would get a seed to eat. Stinker.

And, I guess these Starlings had a party to go to because they were getting a quick bath in. So cold out and windy, can't believe they actually got in and splashed around in that cold water. Its not like it is a hot tub! At one point there was about 6 of them in there splashing around! Goofy things!

A little later in the afternoon, I walked out to the kitchen to see how the weather was and this was my view of the door. Yes, the freezing rain had started.

Early evening I tried to break up the ice by the door and doggie door so it wouldn't freeze shut. The ice was already about 1/4" thick.

Icicles were forming and the freezing rain was coming down steadily.

Of course, the whole deck is encased. I will try to break it up tomorrow.

As I was finishing up on today's pictures in here... the lights went out. It was about 1020pm. Called the power company and the notice on there said it would come back on by 130am... so me and the boys crawled into bed.

February 7, 2014

Ended up with about 4" of snow at my house. I wonder how much the farm got out there in the foothills! So, I ventured out this morning and brought in all the empty birdseed containers and the suet containers. A little before that, I had thrown out some torn-up multi-grain bread for the small birds since I only have shelled peanuts and shelled Sunflower seeds left. And I had to give them more water in the heated birdbath.

They appreciated the effort! LOL

The Crow and ScrubJay appreciated that I uncovered the shelled peanuts for them. (The peanuts are in a broken bird bath).

As soon as I put the fresh suet out, this sparrow was the first one to my homemade suet....

Unfortunately for the sparrow, this Starling had other ideas for that suet.

Then it's friends joined.

And even more came, one waited in line but the other two new ones took off for the trees to wait.

Supposed to get another 4" of snow starting this afternoon, but it hasn't started yet. I did get out and shovel the snow off my porch, steps and the walkway... in case there is that much snow again, I would like to be able to get out of my house! Mind you, I have no where I need to go... its just the principle of the thing! LOL

Starlings were hiding out in the bushes for awhile... they are the black blobs in the twigs.

The Starlings finished off the homemade suet in no time... and they were arguing over the last tablespoon of food in the cage

And, yes, the snow did start up again!

Wind whipped up again too

Can't hardly see that I did any shoveling on the walkway. LOL

The snow kept coming, but it was the small dry stuff so it wasn't really piling up much.

The boys went outside to bark at noise. I could hear young kids playing in the snow close by... apparently, so could Cody and Luke.

But night fell and the kids went away... so then they wanted back in. LOL

So, they came in and thawed out.

And, the snow kept falling. When I went to bed there was maybe 2" of new snow.

February 6, 2014

Well what an interesting year this is starting out to be. I can't even remember the last time that it snowed in February at the valley floor!

But that is just what is is doing, with the temps in the 20's and then dipping to the teens tonight...oh, and the East wind certainly is an added thrill! NOT! LOL

Backyard around 830am

So anyhow, it was just spitting snow, sleet actually, when I peered out at 830 am. My wild birds were really going after the heated bird bath to drink... so, I went and refilled it, it was nearly empty

Lots of sparrows and cowbirds and others were scavenging on the ground where bird seed had fallen from the wind whipping the bird feeders around. It's hard to see a lot of them because of their color and leaves/branches etc that are the same color!

The Starlings came in a bit later and did their best to eat the suet and hang on! The wind was whipping things around pretty good. They were all "fluffed up", too!

The boys were warm and dry in the house, of course!

Wasn't that bad when the wind was calm, that wind is just vile.

Squirrels are in their tree and I haven't seen them at all this morning!

Around 10am, it was snowing pretty good, but the birds were still scavenging.

Things were getting whiter out front, too!

The boys wanted outside around 5pm, so I let them out and then looked out the front door... lots of white out there! LOL Still coming down hard, too.

Cody ran out, did his thing and then waited at the door to be let in... the doggie door WAS open, mind you! LOL

Luke stayed out a few minutes longer... but look at that face! LOL

The view out the back at 630pm:

February 2, 2014

Crow came to visit today.

January 25, 2014

Finally finished preparing the frogs and toadstools for Spring. Five of them will be discarded this year due to breakage. Guess I will have to buy replacements! LOL Also got all the birdhouses ready. Two need to be sealed but that only takes a minute or two. Two will be discarded because I can't fix them. I won't be buying any more wood houses, they seem to be not well made. The frogs and toadstools are living in the garage until I put them out in the Spring.

I tore down the greenhouse that was on the deck because it was doing really bad in the wind and a couple frogs were lost when they fell off the shelves in that wind. I was using it as a storage place to keep the statuary out of the Winter weather because it sucked in the Winter as a greenhouse. So, I am reclaiming my deck! LOL

I took down the mini Christmas lights from the birdhouse tree and ran them down the fence line and over the arched trellis. Then, I moved the deer to a different location.

January 20, 2014

Today I did some more frog painting and lacquering.

The "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" trio.. two of them needed faces again. The frog that is bending over and has "Welcome" written across his butt needed just a few touch ups. These are their pictures from when I first got them.

And this would be the Slouchy frogs and a Trio of frogs on the bench from when I first got them. They needed some serious attention this year.

So, I repainted the slouching frogs, repainted the "no evil" trio faces, touched up the Welcome butt, and repainted the trio on the bench. The trio on the bench got a total new look because I couldn't match the color that they were originally and they were a mess. (They now look like Alien Frogs waiting for the mothership to retrieve them! LOL)

January 19, 2014

A few of the garden frogs needed some sprucing up before the new season begins. So I have started the task of repainting some of them and the ones that are still good will just get a coat of lacquer so they survive the heat and rain of Spring - Fall.

First, William the Welcome Frog became Wilma the Welcome Frog. tee hee!

Next, Frances and her Froglets got a color change and I added some nice "bling"

I was going to repaint Trixie Turtle's shell because it had faded so much, but just lacquering it seems to have brought the color back so I won't try to paint it this year. She will be returned to Mom soon since that is where she lives. :)

A bunch of others got lacquered this morning and all are drying. I think there is only 4 others that need new paint jobs because they lost their faces and that sort of thing. But, that probably won't happen today. (It is, after all, football championships day today!) So I went out early in the cold and got the yard trash barrel filled up so I wouldn't that hanging over my head! But, with the exception of Frances and her froglets, all the others just got lacquered up.

GO BRONCO's and GO '49ers

January 12, 2014

Well, there is no yard or garden news to report. Which is not surprising since it is Winter! LOL

So, I decided to share my food fixing with you! Yeah, kinda lame, I know. LOL

Most of last year, I spent Sundays watching football and making my meals for the week. I am doing that again, but this time I will share it with you! Last year, I lost about 35 lbs eating this way, but then I kinda slacked off for a few months and am now ready to get back to it. (And, yes, I am healthy as can be).

For breakfast is a container of yogurt, a scoop of Whey Protein, a spoonful of Peanut Butter and a cup of fruit. I did not take a picture of that.

For lunch this week, there is grilled Chicken sandwiches with some light mayo and Swiss cheese on whole grain bread; Cowboy burgers (patty, onion, dab of bbq sauce, swiss cheese, and 2 pieces of thin-sliced bacon) on a Keizer roll; and French Onion soup. The soup will be eaten with 1/2 of a chicken sandwich. That leaves me one or two days to go out to lunch if I want to.

For dinner there is Spinach salad with Craisins and Feta cheese - those are a meal by themselves; Half large grilled chicken breast with whole grain rice mixed with Kale, Celery, Green Pepper and a little Soy Sauce and either Honey-glazed Carrots or Green Beans Almondine; Hamburger patty with the same stuff as the grilled chicken.

Snack time! Fresh Pineapple, Whole grain crackers, Apples, Avocado, Turkey roll, Cheese, modified Apple Crisp, Banana dessert, and a sweet and spicy popcorn mix. Generally, snacks consist of cheese, crackers, and fruit twice a day. Late night munchies are the popcorn mix or a piece of turkey roll with crackers and cheese.

And, my personal favorite - Devils On Horseback! Dried Prunes stuffed with a whole almond and wrapped in thin sliced bacon. Drizzle with honey and a little brown sugar, top lightly with Cayenne and bake. Yummy! But you don't really want to eat very many at a time.... helloooo... they are PRUNES! LOL

And, of course, I don't forget my boys! I make their wet food every week too. It is ground turkey, mixed veggies, and rice with Italian seasonings. They love it and the vet approves of it!

When the football game is over and the Bronco's have soundly slapped down the Chargers (I hope), then I have this mess to clean up.

However, I shall indulge in one of these to watch the game with and then face the mess! LOL

I'm sure you've seen the Stonewave Microwave cooker on TV ads. Mom gave me one of the ones she had purchased and the recipe book. I have to say I am pretty impressed with it. Particularly neat if you are a one or two-person family. Recipes are all quick, easy and amazingly tasty! The apple crisp, french onion soup, green beans almondine, honey-glazed carrots, banana dessert were all made with that little cooker and none took more than 5 minutes start to finish.

January 5, 2014

My poor gardens, they look so pathetic in the Winter months. We had a heavy frost when I woke up this morning.

The boys don't seem to mind the frost, however! LOL

January 4, 2014

To ring in the New Year, and mostly because it wasn't too cold or rainy outside, the Arborvitae got a severe trim. They were about 16 -18 feet tall, but they are now about 8 feet tall. Even with three of us working and no breaks being taken, it took about 3 hours from start to finish.

Before and After

We got everything squashed down into the truck and trailer and they hauled everything off to the dump

I hope everyone had a safe and sane time ringing in the

The boys were excited with anticipation of festivities. LOL

Go to 2012 Portland
Go to Portland Jan - June 2013
Go to Portland July - Dec 2013
Return to the Main page