Monday, June 19, 2017

HAMMERED ON FATHER'S DAY

 While working on yet another Saab V4 engine rebuild, the unthinkable happens.... 
 Those pesky stuck rocker arms...using a hammer...not so good when it slips!
 The engine is turning out nicely, as usual...
Mr. A...no stitches required...and as he said, "It will ride up with wear..."

Saturday, June 3, 2017

NOT SPIRALING OUT OF CONTROL....

 I LIKE TO TRY A NEW PRODUCT FROM TRADER JOE'S EVERY TIME I SHOP. THIS TIME I FOUND CARROT SPIRALS IN THE FREEZER SECTION. WHO KNEW? I DIDN'T HAVE A PLAN AS TO HOW I'D USE THEM BUT I WAS INSPIRED TODAY TO ADD THEM TO A CROCKPOT FULL OF SAUTED SWEET ONIONS AND COUNTRY STYLE PORK RIBS.
 THE RIBS ARE ON TOP OF THE ONIONS, ALONG WITH SOME DOROT GARLIC CUBES, TERIYAKI SAUCE AND BBQ SAUCE.
THESE CARROTS ARE IN A FROZEN CLUMP SO I JUST PLOPPED THE ENTIRE PACKAGE ON TOP OF THE RIBS. WE'LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM AFTER A FEW HOURS OF SLOW COOKING. BY THE WAY, THESE CARROTS ARE FROM ITALY! AS I SAID, WHO KNEW?

Monday, April 10, 2017

MINI DECKS FOR POTS


                                   
 Gosh, I love 2"x12" cedar planks! They make the best "mini decks for pots. I like to group my pots because it makes it easier to water when it heats up here in the Rogue Valley. Plus, I don't have to level each pot individually...I just level the deck and add a variety of pots. The perennials make up the most of what you see since it's too early for annuals. I'll add a Chamaecyparis obtusa Filicoides (Fernspray False Cypress) a nice pyramidal evergreen to the big pot next to the house. Hopefully I can find one at the nursery this spring. (I've always been glad I took Latin in high school!)  
Evidently no garden is complete without a gnome...and I finally found one that isn't so cute or painted hideous colors. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

HAPPY APRIL DAYS!

 We're reeling here in the Rogue Valley from more than one...more than two...up to five days of NO RAIN WHATSOEVER! Somebody up there finally turned off the spigot! So the "smart" tulips waited until now to bloom.  
These are my "pink and green" tulips...according to the label on the bag when I bought them...looking very orange and yellow to me! Oh well, they do spice up the early spring garden which is mainly white and shades of green at this point. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

CRANING MY GARDEN NECK...

Okay, so I made a quick stop at Tuesday Morning...right next to TJMaxx. I was looking for more bunnies and found a couple. But on my way to the check stand I passed "temptation alley" and saw these metal beauties.
 I made a quick U-turn and replaced the bunnies on their shelves. I opted for these lovelies...even if they were made in You-Know-Where. They just looked so natural. And it saved me from succumbing to ah...the pink bird thingies for some added height and interest. 
This one just had to be by the birdbath and I placed the other one among some osmanthus bushes. I wonder if it will scare away the little birds? 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

GRAINSATIONAL

 My  undergardener and I went to an "industrial" antique store. I was looking for unusual stuff that I could repurpose in the garden. I found lots of items that I loved so it was hard to focus on just one or two due to budget constraints. I settled on this grain mill (it works) even though I wasn't thinking about another antique for the house just then. But it was too good to pass up and too good to put outside. 
Originally I thought I'd put a plant on it, but ended up for now using it as a candleholder on the hearth.  It is sitting on a rubberized pad because my trusty undergardener thought he should "oil" it thinking that I was going to put it outside. So he used some old stinky motor oil. When he learned of my intentions to use it INSIDE, he had to douche it out with simple green. Oye!
That's my mom's old oak sideboard in the background...the only piece of the furniture that I was able to get...but the best one in my view. The rest of the set (table and chairs) was handed over to a nephew without a bye or leave from me.
So I'll have to go back to "Coop de Ville" soon and get some actual garden stuff...metal sculpture, old iron hooks and galvanized watering cans, maybe an old bench...stay tuned!

Monday, March 13, 2017

GRAVELICIOUS!

 Early spring is gravel time here at Angelcrest Manor. With this year's rains, I was sure wishing that I had done this last year when we were both a year younger! The weather guessers predicted a few days of no rain and temps above 50, so I took the leap of faith and ordered it. 
My trusty undergardener is hard at work with the flatpoint shovel and wheelbarrow. I keep saying, "Repeat after me...it will be so nice when it's done!"
This time we got 6 yds of a crushed pea gravel for the entire backyard garden area. It seems that I got lucky as I was wishing for a brown gravel instead of the usual grey stuff. Turns out this gravel is light tan...a nicer look for sure!
As it dries, it gets even lighter so it will reflect more light. 
So after 3 days of hauling this stuff, we've taken a day off and are trying to recuperate. I keep saying, "The worst is over." Looks like we still have a couple of yards left for the side yard and bird feeder area. "Oh goodie," says Jack. Oye! Well, it's good to be outside and think about other stuff again!





Friday, February 24, 2017

HEARTBROKEN

We had to say goodbye to our kitty Izzie. We've had her since she was 8 weeks old. You don't realize how much a cat can become part of your everyday life from the time you wake up until you go to bed. We are reliving that now and missing her. But she is in a better place where she doesn't have to suffer from failing kidneys or liver. There will never be another one like her! Our thanks to Chris for finding her in Roseburg and bringing her to us as a tiny little kitty. She had a good life and  had some great adventures in Chico and Medford. Chase misses her a lot and you can't tell a dog that his best buddy won't be coming home. We have a nice place reserved for her in the garden where she'll feel the sun as she slumbers.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

REMEMBERING...

When I came across this small glass pitcher among a box of glass items in my mom's storage unit, I snapped it up and put it into my box of stuff to take home. I remember this little pitcher sitting on my mom's kitchen windowsill for over 70 years, holding bits of succulents or perhaps a rose or sweetpeas from her garden. I can't remember its origin but I believe it is Italian and hand blown. I think someone gave it to her. 
I have been waiting for the daphne to bloom so I could make use of this vase. It's funny what you remember and what is meaningful as the years go by...now it graces my kitchen windowsill.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

PLUMBING THE DEPTHS OF PLUMBING

I've been spending lots of quality time with plumbers this week as they cut away my old one piece tub/shower  and put in this Maax brand modular one. It is quite well finished. But we added this embellishment above it. 
They've made some major improvement in pre-fab showers! They've added ledges for plants and soaps and a corner bench and grab bar. As my former mother-in-law used to say, "Don't you just feel like a queen!" Yes, I sure do!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

LUCY AND ETHEL

A new laundry pair! These Electrolux babies are fantastic. Jack said that they were expensive enough to have names, so I call them Lucy and Ethel. 
Unfortunately my old Bosch washer was a mold factory! Wet laundry was left in it by our Medford tennant when we were living in Chico and the door gasket was permanently affected. I couldn't stand the smell any longer and I the mold spores were bad. So out it went, along with the dryer and now I don't have to worry about mold. This new washer has a better system and a little door spring that lets the air into the washer to help dry it out. 

I also learned that most detergents and additives build up a thick residue on the outside of the inner washer drum, which adds to the smell and encourages more mold. The liquid detergent the appliance store recommends is called "Excelsior." They offered a discount on the detergent when we bought the laundry pair, so I bought 2 boxes. It is also sold on Amazon. The amazing thing is that you use only about 1 tablespoon per load! And you don't need fabric softener either! The results have been great...renewed life for my towels and bedding. Who knew?  

BITE ME!

A new chair for my Valentine! The dark chocolate leather is so convincing that I've been craving a good bite of Lindt intense bittersweet chocolate ever since we got the chair. I keep thinking that the chair should smell like chocolate instead of leather! 
After 30 years of faithful service, Jack tried to donate his old Ekornes chair to Goodwill or the Restore. They wouldn't take it. The leather was worn thin. Luckily as he was going to put it in a dumpster at Mark's business, a guy came out of the office next door and asked if he could have it. He said, "My ex-wife left me with an old couch, a coffee table with a broken leg and a cat." He really needed a chair. He is probably sitting in the chair with the cat on his lap watching the Superbowl right now! And Jack is in his new chair snoozing right now! We're all happy! 

Monday, January 23, 2017

GOT A PLUMBER?

A nice place to be on a cold winter day is my heated greenhouse. The geraniums like it, too!
But what's on my mind today is plumbing...precisely fixing the main bathroom shower. Right now it's a tub/shower combo, which means you have to pull a lever on the tub spout to divert the water to the shower head. A pain normally and really stupid when all you want is a shower! And the diverter doesn't work properly so water still comes out the spout and just dribbles out the shower head. Time for a plumber. 
Never mind that there are tons of plumbers listed in the DEX and online...just try getting one to call back! Well, one did...not one that I called! I'm thinking that many plumbing companies just want to do commercial and construction jobs and not piss-ant residential jobs, so they refer. He'll be out Thursday to give us an estimate. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

ANSWER THE STUPID PHONE!

I treated myself to a cell phone before my trip down to the Bay Area. I hadn't had one for several years and I knew it would be a steep learning curve. But how hard could it be? They're intuitive, right? So I learned how to send a text and attach a photo. I learned how to place a call. I learned how to take photos and send them. I learned how to access my email. My teachers included a nice man at the airport whilst we waited 5 hours to leave on a flight, my brother Dean, and my son Chris.
But what I didn't know how to do, it seemed, was answer the phone. I figured I just had to press the green circle with the phone receiver in it. Simple, right?
But everytime that I got a call, I would do that and I couldn't get the phone to stop ringing. It would always go to voice mail. Then I'd hear the message and either phone or text back. I thought that there must be something wrong with the stupid phone.
But I looked up the phone user manual and finally on page 48 of 145,  titled "Receiving calls" I read the instruction: "When a call comes in, drag (the green circle with the phone handset icon) outside the large circle to answer the call." Okay, I asked, What large circle?" So I had to call myself from my land line. Seems that when the cell phone rings a funny large freaking green outline of a circle appears when you tap the green circle. It is about half the size of the screen, so you really have to drag the green circle far enough to get outside the flashing circle. Yeah, so intuitive if you were born a lot closer to the 21st Century than me! Oye!
Evidently I have a lot more capability on this phone than I'll ever use unless I plan to send a rocket to Mars...
Good times!