Wednesday, November 25, 2015


 With the help of a ready-made Trader Joe's wreath, I decided to enhance it with succulent cuttings. 
 The succulents are from my babies in the little greenhouse. I had to talk to myself to take them from their mamas but I've always wanted to try this. Included are aeoniums, graptopetalums, senecios, graptoverias and kalanchoe. The good thing is that all of the cutting will probably survive and I'll be able to root them after wreath season. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015


 This is the new addition to my kitchen least it seems like it has a permanent place on the counter since I brought it home. It's just so handy for me since it is a 2.5 quart crock pot. Great for 2-person meals and the white crock makes it so much easier to see what is going on inside. The doohickeys on the top of the lid are clamps for securing the lid for travel, in case you're wondering. It has the basic "LOW, HIGH, WARM" crock pot settings.  
 My miniature rose is blooming just before we get a killer frost. That means I'll have to put it inside. Since it shows no sign of going dormant yet, a deep freeze could damage or kill it since it is in a pot. I must have fertilized it a bit too late in the season or it just hasn't gotten the message. 
Luckily the weather guessers have modified the forecast a bit so it appears the next big system "Cara" (now that they are naming winter storms) will not be as nasty as earlier predicted. So low temps will stay in the mid 20's and not the teens. We're hoping this year to get a later winter "bug killer" storm after all the plants are asleep. 

Monday, November 16, 2015


YOU KNOW YOU HAVE IT WHEN...1) The rake in your hands looks like an instrument of torture, 2) Even though you put the leaf blower on low, it's still too damned loud, 3) Your garden gloves don't get dry overnight and are damp and cold when you put them on, 4) A cup of coffee and a sit down by the fire are even more appealing than usual, and 5) You can watch an entire NASCAR race without going outside even once! Yep, I have it big time. It usually stikes in November, just as I am facing the LAST leaf cleanup. So I do only the minimum clean up...getting the leaves blown off the patio...and ignoring them on the lawns or paths or even in the gutters. WHO CARES? I'll wait for that week of warmer weather (or "false spring" as it is called) in February to finish cleaning out the beds. 
Now where did I put my slippers?   

Saturday, November 7, 2015


 The article today "below the fold" in our newspaper hit me between the eyes like a dead mackerel! The "BIG DIGS" is a mansion under construction in the quaint gold rush town to our west...Jacksonville. It seems a couple from California struck it big when they sold 4000 acres of land in the coast range near La Honda, CA to some kind of land conservancy for 21 million bucks. So they did what a lot of Californians do...moved up to Oregon to build their dream home. 
"Okay Kathy," you say, "just get over it!" I probably could EXCEPT THAT THIS DREAM HOME IS OVER 43,000 SQUARE FEET! Yes, you read that right...I don't have too many zeros on that figure...
Turns our the kitchen alone is 2100 sq ft. The "butler's pantry" is almost the size of my entire home. And no, there are no plans to make it a destination resort, or B and B or a maternity hospital. This is a home for one family. 
To say that I'm appalled is putting it mildly. What are they thinking? Who needs 14 bathrooms? Think of what good they could have done with a small portion of that money and still built a "modest" 10,000 sq ft home! s     

Friday, November 6, 2015


 It's that time of year that reminds me of that Dr. Seuss verse: "Poor Ali Sard, he has to mow grass in his uncle's back yard. The faster he mows it, the faster he grows it!" 
With us, it's raking, blowing, sweeping leaves from our two big maple trees that just about makes us go nuts! The faster we rake 'em, the faster they fall! 
We grind some of them and dig them into the raised beds. This year I thought maybe I'd just skip the grinding part but my under gardener saved the day! Maple leaves are actually harder to grind because they are so thin and light. They also get soggy in a light rain, unlike oak leaves. So we had to get to the grinding before another storm moves in this weekend. Just the way to spend a nice sunny fall day!
 Jack, my faithful under gardener, grinding away. 
 Most of them make it into the bucket!
The bin is almost full of ground leaves but the trees are no where near done. Me thinks we'll be doing this again next week. Hoping for lots of wind from the northeast to blow the leaves into the neighbor's yard but it will probably come from the northwest! 
Time for a coffee break and a hot shower!