Tuesday, December 6, 2016


 Overnight light snow piled up on our goose weather vane.
 The ground is still too warm for the snow to accumulate. 
The birdbath still has the "tiddler" in it circulating the water so it didn't freeze. Today I'll have to install the heater because temps in the 20's are predicted.

Friday, November 18, 2016


I'm flying down to the SF Bay Area to help my brother Dean clean out a gynormous storage locker that we've been paying $400 a month on. It's all of my mom's stuff that she just couldn't part with during her 4 moves in the last couple of years. So being the "thrower outer" that I am, I expect to make quick work of it...over a 2 day period. More on that at a later date. 
Meanwhile, I haven't flown since 2009 when we went to North Carolina. Seems rules have changed so I was looking for lightweight stuff to pack in my new, regulation carry-on suitcase. Easy footwear like these "Bob's" from Skechers are comfy and will pack well. 

 For my "purse" allowable carry-on I've chosen a great bag made from a rubberized vinyl that will take the abuse of being shoved under the seat while still holding lots of stuff. The straps are woven and round so no matter how much you put in it, they won't dig into your shoulders. The bag comes in about 20 colors and there is no brand name in it. I got it at a specialty shop in Jacksonville Oregon called "The Cotton Broker." And it was reasonably priced at $39. 
You can judge it's size laying next to Izzy. I could fit two of her in it! Here the cat's out of the bag!!! 

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Every year about this time we head for Taylor Sausage in Cave Junction, Oregon...a quaint and wacky town about a 70 miles southwest of Medford. I say wacky because some folk like to walk around town with a firearm strapped to their hip. So when we go to Taylor Sausage, we don't linger. In about 15 minutes we had our liverwurst, potato sausage and ham packed in the truck and were headed out of town. 
It would seem that the "sausage police" have caught up with Taylor and now they can't call liverwurst "liverwurst." It's now "Pork Sausage Roll Flavored with Liver!" WHATEVER! All we know is that it's great for sandwiches and also a real treat fried for breakfast with hash browns and eggs. Think of it as German Spam. It's not that mushy stuff they sell in the supermarket!  
So we are willing to spend the time, gas and effort ("fending off the Philistines," as Jack calls it) to get there and get this seasonal treat. All I can say is, "YUMMM!"

Sunday, September 11, 2016


That's as far as I got when I dug this beauty! I didn't plant potatoes this year but I had enough little buds in the ground from previous years that the plants grew anyway. So I thought I'd see just what I had and I found this 7" behemoth first dig! We'll be enjoying it for dinner today!  

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Mr. A is taking a well deserved nap after our morning Samba practice. We really overdid it this time...double our usual 45 minute practice! I am teaching him (and reminding myself) the basic steps of this fun dance...not like you see it on DWTS, but as a ballroom dance. We, or I should say, I want to be able to do this dance at the big gala coming mid-Sept at the Rogue Valley Country Club...black tie, formal gown, fancy orchestra lead by the maestro of the Eugene Symphony...with the "cream of Medford society" in attendance...Do let's!  
Anyway, one thing just led to another and before we knew it the time had flown by. We now have at least seven steps in our repertoire which should let us dance for 3 minutes and not bore ourselves silly. In time (if we survive this practice session), we'll add a couple more steps. You have to hand it to someone who is willing to learn Samba at age 79! Of course, he did manage to avoid learning it for 10 years! Now events have caught up with him! I always say to him when we're in the midst of learning a new dance, "One day, you'll be glad you learned this dance!" So far, that's proven to be the case.  
Future practice sessions will involve a timer so we won't go so long!
I'm pooped too! Time to put my feet up and watch an old movie!

Monday, September 5, 2016


 The first week of September is proving to be a cool one here in the Rogue Valley, so I'm taking advantage of that by running the oven at 275 degrees for a few hours each day to roast a tray of tomatoes. I use parchment paper to keep cleanup easy and lots and lots of olive oil. I also use dry salad dressing seasoning sprinkled over them. 
They come out of the oven smelling wonderful. I just let them cool and then freeze them in plastic bags for future use in stews and sauces. The intense flavor really boosts a basic tomato sauce and adds so much to a crock pot meal. They're also great spread in sandwiches.   


I mentioned in a previous posting that I had too many succulents to shoehorn into the mini greenhouse so I have brought in several to hang out all winter on my antique marble-topped sideboard. I found it at a restaurant in Soquel and begged them to sell it to me. I'll probably rotate these plants so they get enough sun in the winter from this southeast facing window. I use a liquid fertilizer called "F-1" to encourage them through the bleak months. Last year the Christmas Cactus, on the far right in the stand, bloomed at Christmas and into January. It started life as a little 4" pot from Trader Joe's a couple of years ago.

Thursday, September 1, 2016


 It's that time of year again...when I know that I have too many tender plants and too little space in the greenhouse for all of them. Unfortunately, that means committing "horticide." Some just have to go! You'd think I'd figure this out, but no! I buy more plants and pot up more succulents every year. Things that I just have to have to complete my collection. 
Here are a few of the survivors (for now). I do cut back stuff and put more plants into one pot to take up less space. But there are always a few new ones that I have to squeeze into my 4' x 6' greenhouse. Not to mention the geraniums that I have to kill off since they are way too big to winter over. I keep "starts" of each for next year. And of course there's the lemon bush that takes up most of the floor space on one entire side of the greenhouse or greencloset, as I call it. The good thing is that it forces me to prioritize, kinda,sorta. 
This year I moved some of the larger succulents indoor to my only southeast facing window. More on that later.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


 Sometimes despite our best intentions, thing go wrong. When I rescued this bunny I may have already sealed his fate. He was small enough to slip under our gate and get into the garden. Evidently when I was watering, he jumped out of the bushes and the cat (forever now known as "The Perp") saw him and caught him. She managed to break his neck by the time time I got the bunny out of her mouth. BUGGER!!! 
 THE PERP...whose butt got swated and who knows she is on the top rung of the "fecal ladder" at our house!
He will have a special place in the garden, darn it! 

Saturday, August 20, 2016


I was watering the big flowerbed next to our driveway when I saw a bush wiggle and a little baby "bunny" jumped out (actually a jackrabbit, classified as a hare). He didn't like all that water on him. He tried to get up the driveway toward the street but I was just able to catch him.  These aren't my hands or the bunny I caught but he is the same coloring except mine was half this size!...way too little to be left on his own yet. He struggled a bit but I got him to calm down by petting him and rubbing his ears. I turned off the water and put him back down under the large juniper bush where his mom left him.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Here it is mid-August and we're still without ripe tomatoes. We've had onesies, twosies but...
To say it's been a weird weather/gardening year is an understatement. A heat wave in early June with triple digits, 2" of rain and cool temps in July, and an August where night time temps have been in the low 50's up here in the hills. I think the tomatoes are confused! But it looks like we'll finally get some hot weather for a a few days and maybe the yellow will turn to red or pink. Hope so. I have a feeling that we'll have a lot of ripe tomatoes all at once in September! 

Monday, August 15, 2016


 Got milkweed? I do! My neighbor in the yard next to me planted milkweed a few years ago in order to attract Monarch butterflies. Evidently it was "plant it and they will come." Then she moved out and left her husband AND the milkweed. For those who don't know (me included) the milkweed multiplies and is very invasive. So now I have milkweed invading my yard. I pull out most of it because it comes up everywhere. I have left a few plants by our common fence.  What you are looking at is the seed pod formed from the flowerhead where the butterfly lays its eggs. They hatch inside and live on the stuff in the big fat 3-4" pods. Then they come out as a big fuzzy worm before they form a chrysalis and turn into a butterfly at some point.   

These plants are over 6' and have several pods. So I'm hoping for a nice "crop" of butterflies , maybe in September. I suppose they will stick around for a short time and then head south to maybe Pacific Grove or Mexico. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016


Right on schedule, the summer doldrums have hit...they usually do in August...my absolutely least favorite month. I picked up a copy of Ladies' Home Journal...haven't read one in years...and discovered an article about Dorrie Jacobson, an 81 year old ex Playboy bunny with a style blog called seniorstylebible.com.  It's full of good advice, starting with "Love yourself." 
I figure if she can look hip at 81, I ought to be able to get it together at 72! Some other recommendations include putting on your makeup first thing in the morning and wearing something you feel good in. I've been trying that for some time except when I'm mowing lawns or doing dirty messing about in the garden. Otherwise, even if it's walking the dog or going to the grocery store or post office, I try to look put together. 
So even if you aren't as far gone in the age department, do check out her blog.  

Friday, July 29, 2016


 Here I am with my WWII "flyboy!" We were asked to perform for a retirement home grand opening, also with the Southern Oregon Jazz Orchestra, our favorite dance band. 
 We decided to "kit up" for the event and look as authentic as possible. So here's Jack with his captains bars and wings, looking so dapper...all the ladies were agog! Nothing like a man in uniform, I always say!
Weatherly Inn was the place and we had a good appreciative audience. They even took video of us. We also made sure to dance with some of the residents. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


  My mom Esther on the right and her sister Deliah, taken this year. My mom is 95 and Dee is 93.
Here they are in Mound, Minnesota. They lived in a cottage on Lake Minnetonka, outside of Minneapolis. This was probably taken in the late 1920's or early 1930's. Their maiden name was Mugrdechian, as my grandmother Luella White married an Armenian refugee from the genocide of 1915 waged by the Turks against the Armenians. Somehow he managed to escape. I've never been able to find out how or just where he came from and how he ended up in Minnesota of all places. I have cousins I've never met with the last name of Mugrdechian all over Minnesota.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


 Chicago Peace
 Fragrant Cloud
 Scent from Above
 New Dawn
Sunset Celebration


We call this little device "the tiddler." It keeps the water in the birdbath moving with its little tiny buzzing disc sort of like a miniature milk frother. It's battery operated. The bird folks at Wild Birds Unlimited say that birds are more attracted to moving water. I like it because it keeps the water cleaner by moving the debris to the edge where I can easily get rid of it. 

Monday, May 2, 2016


 Chris and Susan sent us a great combined Mum's and Dad's Day present...a really great weather station. 
 We decided to install the outside unit at one of the few clear spaces in our yard where trees don't interfere with the rain gauge. We probably won't get accurate wind readings since it's not on a 30' pole.
 It does all the functions including rain, barometer, wind speed and direction, humidity and of course temperature. 
It looks like some kind of thingy from outer space. We installed it in the rain....seems fitting!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


My mulch bin seems to be a perfect spot to grow potatoes...even if it's not on purpose! It will be interesting to see if I get a crop this fall. I'll just keep adding my kitchen scraps to the top layer and leave the potato plant alone to do its thing. I'm guessing that this plant grew from an "over the hill" old potato that I added to the kitchen scraps during the winter. 


 Yes, it really is early this year. My "Secret's Out" rose or any of the hybrid tea roses has ever bloomed this early! 

 This is a "Salt & Pepper" iris. 
 Apple Blossom Weigela  
 Clematis and Goldchild ivy makes a smart combination
Clematis montana bursting forth on the garden entrance arbor. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


This is a first for me...after living in the Rogue Valley for 45 years...I have a rose blooming in April. Yeah, no biggie if you live in California but here...it's unheard of. And this isn't a greenhouse trick...this is my regular Julia Child yellow tree rose that lives outside all the time.
  And the clematis that usually bloom in May are bursting out as well. We've already had all time record-breaking warmth this month... up to 91 degrees in the valley.