Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Help a Fellow Blogger Out, Would Ya?

Hope you all are having a happy new years eve. Obviously, I am having a lame new years eve as I am here blogging like a dork. Anyway, I need your help. My family thinks I am crazy and it is all your fault. I keep saying things like, "This lady I Internet know, in Canada(exchange England, Australia, Oklahoma, or Sweden for location), blah, blah, blah." Or, "I met this person from another tiny Texas town at Scarecrow Festival, but we have been talking (in comments) for months." What is worse, I had to explain to the spouse of the person I met at the street festival why a total stranger was hugging his wife and giving her a passion vine. Anyway, my nonblogging family thinks I have lost my crackers and you are all make believe invisible friends. We need a new name for our friendships. The all to lame, "this lady I know on the Internet," must be replaced with something more respectable, more real, and more awesome.

I came up with Internet friend and blogging buddy, but the offline humans still eye roll me. Well, even the cats eye roll me, but they are bred to be snotty.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Super Monkey

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My Mom and her best friend took the boys on a little adventure today. At first, I was like, "What about me?" Then I realized this would mean one whole day to myself- all alone. YIPEE, and the boys didn't miss me for a minute. They came home a little tired, and the above pictured monkey had motion sickness. Still, they were very happy.

"What did I do with my day?", you ask. I cleaned the refrigerator. Nope, not playing, I cleaned up the refrigerator. It sparkles.

Tell me you would be more inspired if you had hours of time to fill in anyway you desired. Seriously, tell me.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gardening Computer Game

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My lovely sister bought me this computer game for Christmas. I thought it was cute and that I would enjoy it. Well, hell, the stupid thing is crack to plant addicts. I loaded it up last night and started growing plants. When you turn of the game, the plants keep growing, or not. When I loaded it this morning, my plants were dead because they didn't have enough water and they were infested with bugs. So I used most of my money on bug spray for dead plants. Then I had to buy new seeds, because I didn't save my seeds. Down to $35 I spent all day rebuilding my nursery and saving money. I know have over $200 again and healthy plants. There is a silver lining to this new obsession, you have to give the plants time to grow. After each planting, pruning, pollinating, and selling session, there is a period of time where nothing is going on. This produces time with nothing to do on the computer. I cleaned house, gave my potted plants worm castings, and potted up five snap dragons. I acheived more in my house and yard today than I have in the past week. Now, I just wish the internet had a time out feature or I had the self control to stay off of it.

I am probably going to love this game during the cold nasty days when I cannot actually garden.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Weeding Carrots ARRRRGGGG

Weedy Carrot Bed

Gratuitous picture of Tisha

It looks like the Monkeys put too much hay in the bunny hutch
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Weeding Carrots is a job, a really bad job. Hen bit, chickweed, and volunteer lettuce have invaded my carrot bed. It is very hard to remove the weeds without pulling up carrot seedlings. This led to a very frustrating afternoon. I hope I didn't pull up to many baby carrots. I even resorted to an Internet search on "how to weed carrots." There was no miracle carrot weeding technique, just as there is no miracle weight loss pill. Still, you can't blame a girl for trying. I did come across this little gem of information, "Soil disturbance caused by cultivation exposes locked up organic material and minerals to oxygen, water, and microorganisms for decomposition." So weeding helps our plants in two ways; removing the competing plants and releasing nutrients. That explains why a newly weeded bed performs so much better. So now I have a different perspective on weeding. Even if the beds are not perfectly cultivated, the work done, however imperfectly, will improve the crop. I no longer feel the pressure from Perfect Weeding Aspiration Syndrome (PWAS). What a relief.

Do you suffer from a syndrome related to an unrealistic gardening goal? If so, please tell.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Beautiful Unnatural Winter Evening



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Today was windy but warm and nice. This evening the temperatures were in the 70's and I was able to sit on our deck after dinner. The picture are of our very nice patio umbrella. The lights are solar powered. The plants were brought out of the house this afternoon. They look a little ratty. Tomorrow they will get new potting soil and a haircut.

Tonight, we are supposed to have thunderstorm and tomorrow night the temperatures are supposed to drop into the 30's. We are very thankful for such a nice day today.

If you are still snowed in, please don't hate me because my weather is beautiful.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself, but take heart as I will be whining about the cold/wet again tomorrow.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Visit From the Little Christmas Birdie


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We had a very nice Christmas. The two sisters who are out of town were missed very much. There were great gifts, good food, and only minor melt downs. Mostly just the toddlers melted down, but I did have one little fit. Sorry.

At the end of the night we had a little visitor. He flew in while a sister-in-law as leaving. Turns out they fly towards light. He was on the tree. Then he flew to another little tree that had lights. He was totally disoriented until we turned off all of the lights in the room and left the porch light on. He was then able to make his way safely outside. This was a little touch and go as Snickers, sister’s crazy kitten, already caught one bird that flew into the house. We needed to get him out of there before the kitten killed again.

I have no idea what kind of bird this is. Can anyone tell?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I Think They are Trying to Give Santa a Heart Attack


I sent the boys to bed. When I went to turn out the lights in the living room, I found the cookies and milk they left for Santa. Do you think that is enough milk to clog Santa's arteries? That plate of cookies, is it over kill? Is the Grinch video appropriate?
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Merry Monkey Christmas


The Monkeys want to wish all our blogging buddies a very merry Christmas.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rainy Day Monkey Business




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Have you ever been stuck in the house with four kids, two cats, three fish, and an obsessive compulsive German shepherd? I thought not, that would only happen in my life.

I have nieces #2 and #3. They are out of school for the holidays, but their mom and dad must work. So they are visiting us. Normally, this is not an issue. They usually play in the yard for a while, play inside for a while and generally keep themselves busy.

Today it is really too cold and too wet to play outside. Did that stop them? NOOOO. Instead they went outside and took the dog with them. They saw that the top of the water garden had frozen over and felt sorry for the fish. They broke the ice, scooped out the fish, and brought them inside in a mixing bowl. Then they let Abby back inside after she ran around the yard and got as muddy as possible. Guess what she did when she got inside, just guess...she rolled around on my newly shampooed carpet. Nice.

After getting the fish out of the house and the dog in her kennel, I discovered that someone had caught the bathroom curtain on fire with a candle. I am pretty sure it happened last night, but still.

Finally, they all settled down to playing games and making a Christmas card for their Aunt who has to return to New Mexico tomorrow.

This is only the second day of Christmas break. There are still twelve days left. Will the house get burned down? Will I go completely crazy? Will the animals end up running the household and raising my children? Stay tuned.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Abby in Winter

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We Thinks Her Nose is Cold
I found this librarian post and thought it was hilarious. Check it out.

Spoiled Cat


Trixie must have a fresh cup of water each morning. She is too good to drink out of the cat bowl. The whining to get this cup of water is the most annoying noise known to man. It is a good thing she's pretty.
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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cold Weather Comfort

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The high here today was 37. The low tonight should be in the low 20's. In this cold weather, I went on a shopping trip with Mamala and Baby Sister. This trip was to be to one, and only one, book store. Guess how well that worked out-NOT. Baby Sister and I were talked into a furniture store. Not too bad. Then Mamala did it, she said we had to pick up her pictures at WallyWorld. Now, I've got nothing against the big box giant, but on the Sunday before Christmas- RUN-RUNAWAY.

We lived, but I am bone cold. I know, I know... Aunt Debbi is a big fat whimp. You probably have weather in the 10's with hoar frost or permafrost or some other sort of horrible frost. I don't live here in Texas for this kind of weather. I live here to avoid this kind of weather. I appreciate your pictures of snow drifts and icecicles, but I know how freaking cold it has to get for you to enjoy that kind of beauty. I will stay right here in Texas, thank you very much.

So I am cold, chapped, and my hair looks like it has been through a blender. There is only one cure for cold like this - Homemade soup.

Today's soup was acorn squash and lentil.

Cut an acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and bake it for 15 minutes at 350.
In the meantime, saute 1/2 an onion and 1 stalk of celery (well chop them up first). When the onions are translucent add one cup of lentils, 3 cloves of chopped garlic, and five cups of water. Bring this to a boil and add two chicken bouillon cubs and the following herbs to taste: Cumin, coriander, thyme, and black pepper. Simmer the lentils until tender and then add the mashed, roasted squash. If the soup is too thick, add more water. If it is too thin, cook it down a little.

I had mine with a little After Burner sauce. After Burner is like Tabasco, but with habanero, Serrano, chili pequino peppers and good cider vinegar. Middle Monkey ate his soup plain. We didn't have any, but it would be excellent with some shredded sharp cheddar.

A couple of notes.

I only used half the squash because Middle Monkey ate the other half before I could get to it.

The chicken bouillon in the Mexican food section of our local grocery stores is far superior to the chicken bouillon in the soup section.

Is black pepper an herb or a spice?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Trying To Fit Gardening Into My Schedule

I really feel the need to garden right now. My body wants it and my soul needs it. The only plant care going on around here for the last few weeks has been moving plants in and out of the house and watering the winter garden. Gardening activity is absolutely necessary and soon please. But dang-it, check out next weeks schedule.

Sunday 38 degree high, must go shopping for the last three gifts.
Monday 41 degree high and have to work in the afternoon
Tuesday 54 degree high, but this is the last day Baby Sister is going to be here from Albuquerque.
Wednesday 64 degree high, but have to work in the afternoon
Thursday Christmas..falalalala...
Friday 66 degree high, but it might rain. If it doesn't rain, I will garden.
Saturday 66 degree high. Wait...wait... I don't see any other obligations or bad weather predictions. Yipeee...I am going to garden like a crazy woman.
Sunday 58 degree high, but I bet I will be recovering from Saturday.

In addition to the above responsibilities I will assume that the Monkeys will want food, clean clothes, and parenting. Oh dear.

How are you fitting in your gardening fix?

Friday, December 19, 2008




This cat is on a roll. I finally caught Tisha in the act. She is trying to get my quilt patches out of that container. All this time I have been blaming this stuff on the Monkeys. Naughty kitty.
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Content Warning: We Have a Killer


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If you are squeamish don't click on this post. If you are squeamish and already clicked on this post, click away right now.

When the weather cools down, unwanted critters try to move into our home. They are not welcome and always meet a swift and violent end at the paws of one of the Manx cats. Tisha caught her second mouse of the season. She is quite pleased with herself. We are quite pleased that the mouse is no longer in the house.

Domestication of Monkeys

After these little exchanges, I am going back to bed.

Middle Monkey, "Mom, You know what is cool?"
Me, "What?"
Middle Monkey, "At night, I put my clothes in the hamper and in the morning, they are clean and in the dryer."
I think, "Dandy, they believe in a Dirty Clothes Fairy that comes every evening and takes care of the laundry."

Baby Monkey, "Mom, a couple of nights ago, I organized the Christmas presents for you. Yours are in back, mine are in front, Teenage Monkey's are on the left, and Middle Monkey's are on the right. I saved a place for Daddy."
I think, "Wonders never cease. I got just what I needed - a very tidy Christmas tree."

Me to Middle Monkey, "Go brush your teeth."
Middle Monkey after a few minutes, "Somebody stole my toothbrush and I can't brush my teeth."
I think, "Why the hell would somebody steal your toothbrush?"
I say, "You are not going to school without brushing your teeth, that is nasty."
We go find the tooth brush.

Somebody help me....please help me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Critter Misbehavior

Have you ever heard someone say, derisively,"Get a job." Well, be a stay at home mom for a few years and watch what happens when you return to work. The humans will do their best. They will demonstrate the ability to feed themselves and produce clean clothes. The fur balls, on the other hand, have a different spin on the departure of the stay at home mom. Abby, Internet Police Dog, became ill the first day I was away from home more than three hours. Yep, she made a big stinky mess in three out of five rooms of our home. Unfortunately, the bunnies had a bad day too(sob). Tisha, the original Manx, held on by her claws to the back of my chair. She ran off the German shepherd, tried to bite me, and had a fit when Manly Man removed her from the room. I do not intend to be a stay at home pet mommy. Seriously.

Christmas Meme

I bootlegged a Christmas Meme, because I am lame today and just felt like doing a meme. So here goes.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper because Manly Man wraps all the presents and I get to eat bonbons.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial and artificially white.

3. When do you put up the tree? Day after Thanksgiving

4. When do you take the tree down? January 2nd

5. Do you like eggnog? Yep and Our Friend Ben has a great recipe.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? This is hard. Mom always made every Christmas so special. I did really love a pair of tennis shoes I received in 6th grade.

7 . Hardest person to buy for? Dad.

8. Easiest person to buy for? Monkeys.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? I have three.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? What are the cards you speak of?

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Clothes two sizes too big.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Not the Jim Carey movie, but the old TV special.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Whenever Manly Man makes me.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas ? Ham, broccoli, cheese casserole, stuffing, deviled eggs. I gained five pounds just typing that.

16. Lights on the tree? blue and clear.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Silent Night. I also want that Crazy Christmas CD.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Home.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen… Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen… and Rudolph, of course. Don't cheat do it yourself.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? One on Christmas Eve the rest Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Insane shoppers and bad traffic.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I love all of my cobalt blue ornaments. Manly Man, mom and sisters have all given these to me.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Ham.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Wellies and Dr. Seuss videos - Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton Hears a Who, and The Lorax. Oh yea, peace and goodwill towards men.

I don't tag anymore, so if you want to play just copy, paste, and fill in your own answers. If you do play, leave me a comment so I can check out your answers and link you up.

If anybody comes up with a Christmas Gardening Meme, I would love to see it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Little Furry White Heartbreak

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We lost a bunny tonight. It was one of the three borne last last spring. I went out to feed them after work and found him. He was gone. How am I going to tell the boys? It just seems awful to have this happen at this time of year. Normally, there would be a funny story about my misidentification of his gender, but not tonight. This was the sweetest of the babies. He loved to be held and stroked.

Goodbye Snowball.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How I Avoided an Avalanche of Random Crap


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If you are sick of hearing southerners whine about the cold weather, you might want to click out of here fast. Above are a couple of pictures of my little water garden with ice covering most of the surface. Manly Man broke the ice this morning and repositioned the air hose. I like the picture of the bubble and the leaf caught in the ice. The fish are hanging out on the bottom ticked off.

I did not go outside in this mess. There is ice on the roads and the schools are closed down. We simply cannot function if there is anything frozen on the road. Lots of Texan's drive trucks. Trucks do not have enough weight in the back end (unlike Aunt Debbi) and they tend to slide around. We like to stay inside and off the roads when the weather is like this.

So what does a wimpy Texas gardener do when there is a little bit of frozen stuff on the ground. She stays inside and cleans up the catch all room. "What is a catch all room?" you ask. It is the room that contains the washer and drier, laundry baskets and hampers, my sewing nook, filing cabinets, school supplies, books, TV, computer, desk, large piece of multi use exercise equipment, other exercise accouterments, a big container of garden club paraphernalia, another bookshelf, dog kennel, animal feed, and all kinds of junk the family has just off loaded into this room.

This is the room where I spend most of my time. I do laundry, sew, blog, and watch TV in this scitzophrenic room. I do not watch much TV in the living room because there is way too much testosterone in there and I don't want to watch hockey or Survivor Man.

I have not really sorted through all the crap in this room in about a year. It was beginning to feel like all the stuff was going to create an avalanche and crush me to death. After a few hours, I am about a third of the way through the mess and feeling a little safer.

How do you fill your time when you cannot garden?

Monday, December 15, 2008

December 2008 GBBD


It was so cold today that I only could stay outside long enough to find one blooming plant for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day hosted by Carol of May Dreams Garden. This picture was taken at 9:00 o'clock tonight in freezing cold temperatures. I had to come back in as my fingers were hurting. Thanks for hosting this great event Carol.

As some of you may know, I started a new job last week. It is a position as a library clerk at a tiny local library. I don't feel comfortable blogging about the people that use the library. Let's just say it is very interesting and I love it. As I use the library myself, I will post about the books.

If you live here in the cold cold areas of the U.S. how are you staying warm?
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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Windy Weather Wisdom

It was extremely windy here today. My face feels burned and my lips are chapped. The temperature, however, was wonderful. It was impossible for me to stay inside. I just had to get out into the garden. Here are a few observations regarding things you might not want to do in the garden during a windstorm.

1. Sift compost, unless you like compost up your nose and in your hair.
2. Scatter seeds. Pretty sure those seeds are in the county just east of here.
3. Prune roses. Ouch!!!!!
4. Underestimate the hair tangling abilities of high wind on long curly hair. Ouch!!!!
5. Use a leaf blower. This is absolutely pointless.
6. Forget to close the door to the rabbit hutch. Well, this is always a nono, but bunny chasing in high wind is just wrong.
7. Leave the backdoor open. Kitchen full of leaves, not nice.
8. Water into the wind. Yes, yes, nice and wet.
9. Pick up blown over potted plants over and over and over. Just give up already until the wind is gone.
10. Spread blood mean and bone meal on newly made beds. I am pretty sure that blood meal up the nose is not a good thing.

Maybe I should have flown a kite.

Hope you had a great day.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Salmon Queen Scabiosa Seed Trial

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I received my seeds from Jodi of In the Garden This afternoon. I am very excited. She sent good direction for starting the seeds and a list of questions for reporting our findings. This will be the first time I participate in a seed trial. I have tested roses for the Earthkind project.

I need to quit blogging and send Jodi an email to let her know that the seeds are here.

In the above picture I made my first attempt at adding text over a photo. Still learning here people. Obviously, the font needed to be larger. Maybe next time it will be legible.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ring Around The Moon


This is one of those times when I wish possesed better photography skills. There was ring around our bright full moon. This made for a most beautiful evening sky.
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The Crazy Thing Is.....



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Texas weather is insane. The temperatures are ranging from freezing to sunny and warm. Two days ago, there was sleet. We had two nights below 30 and now it is supposed to be above freezing for two or three days and then back to freezing again.

This is the second time, I have brought the potted plants inside. Tomorrow, I will take them all outside again. Then Monday, I will bring them all back inside.

The crazy thing about all this plant moving, I own a greenhouse. It is a really nice greenhouse. I just don't want to drive five miles to visit it everyday. I would rather make the Monkeys help me move plants in and out and in and out.

The fish survived just fine. Since this afternoon was warm, they were swimming around close to the top. Guess what I just figured out? You can actually take better pictures of a water garden at night with a flash. Okay, it is not a good picture, but this is the first image I have been able to capture of the goldfish. The two you can see are Ketchup and Yang. Ozzy is sleeping it off on the bottom.

Where are you overwintering you container grown plants?