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Happy Birthday, Benny!!

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Today Benny is 3 years old.  It seems like just the other day we brought home a tiny little 8-week-old Dachshund, rescued from a bad situation, and from that day on, he's ruled the house and our lives.  He's a joy, a love puppy, the best guard dog in the world, a maniac barker, more stubborn than any dog I've ever had...and has totally stolen our hearts forever.

Happy 3rd Birthday, sweet boy!!  Treats and toys coming up...


Time Out

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I had a really unsettling time last week.  It seemed like every bit of news I read, heard, watched was either horrible, heartbreaking or anger-inducing.  Until finally, on Thursday, when I couldn't take anymore, when I realized everything was seriously denting my head, I turned it all off.  No internet, no social media, no outside influences allowed until today.

It helped.  It really did.  Maybe, for me, it's easier to imagine that things are good in the world rather than hear--in endless media loops--that things are terrible.  It might seem like the Ostrich Syndrome, but really, I prefer a little sand in my ears as opposed to mind meltdown.

So, to totally change gears, I started an embroidery project I've been wanting to do for ages. For several years I've been following an amazing embroiderer, Mary Corbet, at Needle 'n Thread.  Her website has tons of tips and videos, many examples of her work, plus current works-in-progress which she updates in her newsletter on…

Some Days

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We went from almost 90* a few days ago, to 60* this morning.  From blazing sunshine to pouring down rain.  It feels more like crazy April than gentle, flowering May.

This is how Benny is dealing with it.  Some days a guy just doesn't even want to get out of bed.  Frankly, I'm starting to feel that way myself.  Just want to pull the covers over my head and forget what's going on in the world...


Magic And Moonbeams

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Even in the midst of uncertainty, confusion and borderline chaos, Nature carries on.  No matter what calamities we humans face, the seasons continue with or without us.

Here in southern Oregon, the weather has warmed considerably--today being 87* and a bit too warm for early May--however, the veggie seeds I planted just a few weeks ago are already sprouting and the flowers are blooming in profusion all over the front and back gardens.  What might be too hot for me seems to be just right for my plants.  It's magic really how quickly things can spring into life.

Watermelon, beans, and zucchini...





Two rows of lettuce have been thinned, carrots are just getting their second leaves, my sunflowers are about an inch above ground and the tomato plant is already over 7" tall.

The flowers are also loving the weather. The orange-glow color of the poppies are almost LED bright in the blazing sun. I always let them go wild on the back slope, reseeding themselves willy nilly wherever they …

What's That Smell?

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Living on a mountain, albeit a small one, brings with it lots of wildlife, which I love.  There are hawks and eagles, turkey vultures and coyotes, squirrels and quail, even the occasional cougar.  Unfortunately, there's also deer...lots and lots of deer.  I usually don't mind, especially in the late Spring when the little Bambi babies come around, all spotted and tiny.  What I do mind is the snacking, munching, decimating of all plants, bushes and trees in the front yard.

I spend about $150 every year on deer deterrent spray to keep them from turning my naturalized front area into a barren wasteland.  The stuff is very stinky and awful to spray without getting it embedded in hair, clothes and up my nose.  It works for about a week--if it doesn't rain--and then I have to reapply it, from March to October.  Every now and then I forget and that will be the morning I wake up to find all of my lilies have been eaten to the ground, or my beautiful little Weeping Cherry tree is n…

Bits and Bobs

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Blustery April weather has led to some interesting things this week.  As if staying home isn't taking a toll, being cooped up indoors is turning out to be even more challenging.  In desperation on Tuesday, I actually dug out some lettuce, bean and carrot seeds I'd stashed from last year and, in a torrential downpour, planted them in my freshly tilled garden.  I also potted some begonia bulbs and sunflower seeds.  I was cold, very wet and dirty by the time I finished, but it was worth it to be outside, breathing fresh air and thinking ahead to the Summer months and an end to the isolation.  I hope.

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This morning I was sitting in my little office procrastinating gazing out the window near my desk.  I can get distracted sometimes by the view; today it was the little pink Dogwood tree blooming in the front yard.  Dark clouds were rolling by in the distance, but the blossoms were bright and cheerful.  Spring always feels so hopeful as everything comes back to …

Reality Bites

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I find myself losing the plot faster these days. I made it almost three weeks the first time I cracked from social distancing/isolation and had to head for the hills.  The next time, I only made it 9 days before I needed to get away again. Now it's been barely a week and I had to get outta Dodge on Wednesday.  We've been distancing for over a month now and it's getting to me.

The funny thing is, I don't mind staying home.  I can find stuff to do all day long, inside and out.  Flowers are blooming, I have a few things in the garden already planted, an enormous pile of books to read, and Nick & I get along just fine in each other's company. Benny is a constant source of amusement...and there's always Netflix.

I think the issue is that age-old human thing: You want something more when you can't have it.  I want to go shopping, see a movie, go out for Chinese, have a drink at the local pub.  Whatever.  Anything.  Just. Let. Me. Out.

Having said that however…