Let me just tell you what Katydid...

Saturday, June 25, 2016

For some reason, any time I hear the word "Katydid" I can't help but think, "Who is Katy and what did she do?" *laugh* Well, I'll tell you what Katy did: That little heifer (with some help from her cousin Bubba) ate HUGE holes all over my Bee Balm, that's what. For something so little she sure does have a voracious appetite. From what I can discern, this itty-bitty evil beastie is a juvenile Meadow Katydid. I shot this photo on the macro setting, and you can tell how tiny she is because you can actually see the individual hairs on the leaf. Small, but mighty - and a TOTAL pig. *scowl* Where is Cedric when I need him? The Bee Balm should (if I can keep them clear of cretins, that is) flower sometime in mid summer. Both plants are growing well - in spite of all the holes - but no hint of blooms as yet. Raspberries. :oP

I found this fun sign at Tractor Supply the other day (too true, too true!) I didn't have anywhere to put it, or I might have brought it home with me:

I painted the springs from DD's old crib, and DH helped me hang it on the wall by the feed room bed. I plan to get a narrow decorative scroll of some sort to put at the top. The plant in the planter is a Heucherella. I've been calling it the "sneeze plant", because A) I have an awful time remembering the name of it; and, B) for some reason every time I hear someone say Heucherella, I feel the urge to say "Gesundheit". *giggle* This particular variety is known as "Redstone Falls". It's a groundcover vine/cascading version. Should be gorgeous when it fills in - I can hardly wait! *bounce*bounce*bounce* I know, I know: see the sign Jen. *sigh*

I did manage to get a couple of decent shots of one of the male Cardinals - we have two or three families living just up the hill. I've been stalking him forever, but he's super quick and highly skilled at evasive maneuvers. He looks quite stoic sitting there, don't you think?

Awwww, look. He posed (just for us :o)

I also caught one of the Mockingbirds (who was - for once - not squawking at me). They relocated from the Dogwood to the Camellia bush by the kitchen window. Mr. and Mrs. chastise me daily for having the unmitigated gall to water my plants when they are busy feeding Junior. Excuse me? Did I tell you to move your nest into the front flowerbed where I spend large quantities of time bright and early? Nooo, I most certainly did not. And hello? Exactly when is that kid of yours NOT eating?!? Sheesh.

I probably could have jazzed them up a bit more, but (except for slapping on the vignettes) I left them as is straight out of the camera. I love my camera :oD

I also managed to get a shot of this long-legged fly parked on the Sweet Mint - he was bright and shiny and so very, very tiny! Ha. Rhymed it.

I'll leave you with several shots of Junior [the juvenile] Cardinal. Must be my week for juveniles, eh? I decided he just had to be a teenager. Aside from the crazy hair, he couldn't seem to sit still at all. He had a mouth crammed full of food and talked incessantly; probably about his latest crush (and isn't that just like a teen?) I thought it was interesting how his coloring shifted and changed as he hopped and popped around in the light.

He almost dropped his dinner at one point, but looked rather proud of his quick recovery (the last two shots). He finally flew off, still yammering away. I wonder if he'd like some Katydid for dessert...

As always, thanks so much for reading this far! Have a great weekend and a beautifully blessed week.

Thy cookie? It hath crumbleth.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

I haven't thought about that phrase [That's how the cookie crumbles] in a really long time. Now that I do, I realize that you don't hear anybody use it anymore. At least I don't, do you? Not sure why really; I guess it just fizzled out. Sometimes I just get so darn discouraged when umpteen things go wrong at once. Tired. I have to remind myself that this life is supposed to be kind of... Well, Crummy (ha). If it wasn't, we wouldn't go looking for the Lord. At least I know I sure wouldn't have - are you kidding? I've got stubborn independence (to the power of stupid) goin' on up in here ;o) Some days I have to continuously remind myself that in Heaven there are no grouchy, mean, rude, obnoxious or sneaky people, no health problems, no junk mail, no eyeball-crossing kidney stones (thank you chemo), no spam, no leaky roofs (yep, we found it), no fire ants, no weeds, and NO icky invisible spider webs suspended at face level smack in the middle of your path (ACK!). I'll toss in the hailstorm we had last night (which was really scary). Thankfully, we all came through unscathed.

If you've never read (or listened to) Randy Alcorn's Heaven, (here) I highly recommend it. So very, very encouraging! We had a church bible study that I couldn't make, but my friend Lori loaned me her set of CDs to listen to in the car. It was so good I turned around and bought the set for my parents at Christmas. Actually, it's on my list of thing to get for myself as well (I'm pretty sure I need to listen to it at least once a month; maybe more ;o)
Photo: One of the Mini-Mums in the feed room flowerbed (I erased the background in Photoshop).

You know what I wish? I wish would learn not to say things out loud (this post). One day? One day I will actually learn this. Clearly, using the phrase "before it gets too hot" in a recent post was an egregious error on my part. I don't think we've broken any records for high temperatures thus far, but we've gotten pretty darn close around here. It's been absolutely awful outside (blech). Is it hot at your house? Now 88° is not a big deal around here, but it's usually straight up temps at the beginning of June. What caught me off guard was the "Real Feel" 104° heat index off to the right there (and small wonder I was sweating so profusely, er, delicately. Oh, I get it - and raspberries to that. Meh. :oP Part of the difficulty stems from the rapid temperature jumps. I would much rather sneak up slowly on my seasons thank you very much (wouldn't you?) I've almost finished with the flowerbeds (hooray!), and although I have a bit left to do I thought you might like a progress report.

I had some close supervision by a Mourning Dove going on while I worked on the back beds. I got a kick out of the "Are you sure you know what you're doing?" look (apparently there was concern I might mess it up ;o) I love what the morning sun and dew did to the grass in the background.

The Sweet Potato Vine is (obviously) quite happy and fabulously trailing away:

The Nasturtium that I started from seed (and was oh-so-happy over in this post) was decimated in short order by a horde of hungry cabbage moth caterpillars (aka Wretched Evil Beasties). They also almost killed off my lunchbox Alyssum (though it's on the mend, I think). I found some yellow Portulaca on the clearance cart at Lowe's for .50¢ each - and whoop! ;o) so we've started all over again in the wheelbarrow. Happily the Gerbra Daisy is doing well:

Had some additional trouble with another evil beastie in the front bed; a totally different kind of caterpillar that burrowed in the dirt at the base of the Coneflower. Look at the difference between the two plants. He'd almost polished the poor plant on the left completely off before I finally saw him and took him out (AHA! Gotcha, you little cretin! Mwa-ha-ha-ha ;o) In case anyone else needs to know, I found an organic 3-in-1 spray (this stuff) that should prevent future invasions/infestations. Hope springs eternal!

I've been blown away by the sheer volume of plants I've found on clearance carts (in a really, really good way ;o) The bulk of my plants have ranged from .17¢ to a whopping $3.00 with the majority costing $1.00. Exciting stuff when you're on a no-budget budget. *laugh* I ordered a few plants online, which I've never done before. Shipping is rather expensive, so the school nurse and I went in "halvsies" on an order from the Grower's Exchange (here) right before the end of school. I ordered a few more from Bluestone Perennials (here), and I have to say their plants arrived in much better condition (they also offered a much bigger selection). I will definitely order from them again if I can swing it.

The bird bath was given to us by an elderly neighbor who is moving away (and downsizing). This is the bed I'm going to call the "Recycling Plant" (haha). It's mostly done, though I do need to fill one more planter and finish the lugging of the lumber. Right now it only has a back side. The container painting was a pain, but I liked the monochromatic shades of brown on the [garbage] cans and [yard] carts; they provide a nice muted backdrop for the plants. I mixed in some terra cotta pots (because they're the cheapest), and even painted two wastebaskets (which were even cheaper) the same shade. I can hardly wait for everything to fill in. *squeeee* I'll have some additional interesting details for you next week (at least I think I will!)

I was tickled to find Cedric the Toad looking quite content in his new digs by the African Iris. I painted it years (and years) ago, and moved it from the front bed yesterday just for him. For those of you who do not follow us on Instagram (here), I found Sir Cedric lounging about in the tea kettle with my Purslane earlier this week; he had a definite air of superiority about him. I figured his interest in tea time must make him an import from "across the pond". Since I decided to bestow him with a "title", *snicker* I thought we'd just go the whole nine yards with it. Can you see him tucked away in there? I tried to get a closeup for you, but it was rather awkward:

If I had my druthers, (and for those of you scratching your heads, click here) I'd really prefer to get everything from local nurseries. It's a lot easier to get help for one thing, they actually know things about gardening in general, plus they are a lot more up front about native plants. More expensive, though. Lowe's has a nasty habit of selling really pretty things that don't grow here. WalMart does it, too. I found this cool two-toned Ixora on the clearance cart last time; but it isn't a perennial for our zone (a fact I forgot to double check before I snatched it up since it didn't have the informational tag on it and I was in a hurry - big V-8 to the forehead smack for Jen -  Grr). Since it was another clearance special, I won't cry if it dies though I will be quite disappointed ('cause it's neat ;o)

I'll leave you with a couple of shots of Herman the Hedgehog. He was one of those boot cleaner thingies, but all of his "prickles" fell off due to old age. I took him apart and decided to give him a coat of paint and a new lease on life as a plant stand. Herman is sporting some "Spicy Globe Basil" in a sparkly painted pot. I loved the vivid green leaves, and the mounding habit of the basil should be a fun look for him when it fills out. It's an annual though, so Herman will need a new wardrobe again next year.

Thank you for reading this far; because this post got really long! *wince* Have a wonderful weekend and a beautifully blessed week!

Ten steps forward, eleventy steps back

Saturday, June 11, 2016

You know, I make jokes a lot about us being under "destruction" (construction) around here, because sometimes that's pretty much what it feels like. It's hard sometimes trying to accomplish a multitude of large-ish projects (excuse me for swearing ;o) without such a feeling. You work until you either get stuck waiting for reinforcements (my reinforcement being DH), waiting for various and sundry painted pieces to dry (pieces that are scattered all over everywhere to dry), or because you ran out of something critical and don't have the dinero to get any more parts/pieces until the next paycheck. Mmmph. Even with all the hiccups and holdups, however, there is that hopeful glimmer shining brightly in encouragement. Said glimmer may be shining at the end of a very, very long tunnel, but the point is it's there. Sometimes it's a false alarm: that coveted light turns out to be a lightning bug. And then? Welllllll, then there are the times that light turns out to be a train: A fast-moving locomotive that squashes your burgeoning dreams of imminent completion like a bug.

I walked into the guest bedroom the other day, intent on giving the bathroom in there a quick once over. It doesn't really get dirty unless we have company. Actually, that's the one place in the entire house that stays nice all the time (well, it was anyway). Much to my dismay, I found a handful of tiny corpses littering the floor. Ick. Upon closer inspection, I realized they were termite bodies. Oh, NO. Sadly? Oh, yes. It turns out we have a plumbing leak.... somewhere. DH poked a few holes in the back wall looking; then he tore out a section of the wall in search of the leak. He tore out the sink, then another section of wall as he followed the damage. Then he went around to the other side: the outhouse. You know, the one that was almost finished? Well, he tore out a section of that wall too. *whimper* Although he found clear traces of water damage (on both sides of the wall), he still hadn't found the actual source. Then it was his turn to call for reinforcements. *gulp* After tearing out a lot more wall, they moved on to the floor and jackhammers. There are now ginormous holes in the concrete floor on both sides. The signs of water damage are increasing, but as of this post the source of it has yet to be found. It's so depressing.

So now my outside pictures look like this:

And this:

My inside pictures look like this (and why-oh-why can't guys cover stuff first? ARRGH!):

And this (see the water damage?):

Although we found this nice big hole drilled into a pipe, (seems the termite guys did it - oops) that isn't the biggest concern, though it obviously needs to be fixed. There is considerable water damage higher up in the wall, which could indicate a roof leak of some sort. I sure hope not. Yikes.

On the upside? If we wanted to put in an in-ground bath tub, we're more than halfway there ;o) Okay that was really reaching, but what do you expect? I did find a new little friend though, so the week wasn't a total bust. Isn't he cute?

As always, thank you for reading this far and have a blessed week!

P.S. For those of you who might be wondering? "Eleventy" is equal to 110 ;o)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...