Monday, March 25, 2013


 These are very heavy rock stepping stones courtesy of one of our neighbors who had a pile of them next to his house. He said we could have as many as we want. We took 5 and used 3 for this transition from the patio on to the lawn. We set the stones in sand layered on heavy landscape fabric and finished them off with gravel.
This yard is finally starting to look like we live here!

Saturday, March 23, 2013


 This is the geranium that's taking over East Medford...up to the roof of the greenhouse and very happy in its warm digs. It will start living outside part time again soon but won't be on the patio full time until the night time temps cooperate (probably mid-May). It's so nice to be able to "winter over" a plant instead of watching it die in the fall from frost! Meanwhile I'm having to work around it.
These are seed potatoes (Yukon Gold) starting to "green" or sprout before I put them in their planter to grow. I always buy certified seed potatoes since the supermarket potatoes are treated to inhibit sprouting.  My garden angel Sonia and her sidekick Wabbit are keeping watch over everything "growy."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


 I used to get paid to write for this newspaper supplement...not a lot, mind you, but I made some "pin money" (Jack calls it 'hog money" being from South Dakota) through the years. Well, times changed and the once thick, glossy magazine has become a 12-16 page newsprint once-a-month feature, stuck in amongst the supermarket ads.
 So since I can't help myself, I write for free. It's therapeutic since I write about our life experiences. And it does help me put things in perspective.
This piece is the first in a series of three that I have written about our "adventures in downsizing." I find that if I can see the humor in our circumstances, I do eventually feel better about it. This 800 word, one page story covers when we sold our home and searched for a smaller place.
If you'd like to read the article, contact me and I'll email it to you. 

Monday, March 18, 2013


The daffodils are blooming their heads off and it makes me smile. Nothing like 'em to signal that Spring has sprung!


Normally, I don't mind having a few animal pests's the country, after all, so you expect it BUT when it comes to garden decimation, I draw the line! So we set out two traps in the pea bed and baited them with peanut butter (a rat favorite Jack was assured by the folks at the Grange) and overnight we got quite the result! These are about 7' rats (not including the tail) and very fat thanks to a diet of pea and spinach plants and stuff from the mulch bin.
I realize now that most of our problems last garden season were thanks to the rats. WHO KNEW?And that I was part of the problem by not securing the perimeter of the mulch bin so they had easy access underneath. So we'll keep trapping, expecting to get a few more this way. We'll put out the sign for them: "Bring your friends and relatives!"

Sunday, March 17, 2013


 The typical St. Patrick's Day feast was not on hand this year since I'd been down with a cold all week and never got to the market of choice for the requisite "corned beef." But no matter...I had some Costco prepared lamb shanks in the freezer for this "emergency." Actually there was a lot more of it in Ireland there was ever beef cattle, don't ya know!
So there'd it be...lamb shanks roasted with mint and rosemary, accompanied by the Irish staple...potatoes! I served it up with some fresh homemade cole slaw for the cabbage portion of the meal. It was pronounced "superb" by the local Irish Lord of the Manor.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


 What you see here is the result of a week of two people killing themselves off while still managing to dance 2 times during this project! This is the finished privacy & wind screen that we builton the south side of our patio.
 March is the best time to dig postholes so we got the 10' posts in the ground last Sunday. The rest was just a matter of putting in a 2"x12" cedar base, some 2"x4" "stringers" and some 7.5" cedar fencing which we ripped  into slats in 2 sizes, 4.5" and 3." It took about 500 screws to put it together. We finished it on Friday. I added the gravel and pots Saturday.
I added the "Crimson Queen" Japanese maple (Acer palmatum dissectum) on Sunday, after a trip to the Grange Co-op with my coveted gift card that Chris & Susan gave me last year for my birthday. I'd been saving it for something special!
The maple hasn't leafed out yet so it was easy to pot up. This is the last of our "hot tub" planter barrels made by a cooper in Healdsburg. The tree will have a nice protected and shady area. I love the enclosed and more private space. Total cost for this honey-doo was about $250, not counting the maple. It was so worth it!

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Maybe they're just sitting around waiting for another season of Dancing with the Stars...
Not us...we're back to dancing a couple of times a week so we don't look like this! You never can tell af they have their dancing shoes on and are just sitting this one out............

Saturday, March 2, 2013


I hauled home a couple of bags of the wonderful and smelly chicken manure for re-charging my strawberry bed. However, I forgot about who likes this stuff as much as the strawberry plants...a certain 4-legged fluffy pooch thinks that this is a great addition to his diet. Yummm. Dogs love this robust and full bodied!
A few barfs and a bath later, he is working through it..or should I say it's working through him! Good times!