Thursday, April 30, 2009

Keep on Surfing. This is Not a Real Post.

Okay, nobody has swine flu. We did hose down the library and put out gallons of hand sanitizer. I have got to break myself of licking my fingertips to help separate papers.

I found an artist for my claradendron tattoo.

Maybe tomorrow I will have enough material for a real post. Possibly something about the care and maintenance of carnivorous plants. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It was a Dark and Stormy Night

No, really, it is a dark and stormy night. The weather dudes are predicting floods. As any good mother would do, I heated up frozen pizzas for dinner tonight. The dog even went on self feed and ate straight from the bag. I tried to get a picture, but as you may know, Abby is camera shy. She has learned what the thing sounds like when I turn it on and runs away. Silly dog. Hopefully, we will not be under water by morning and I can post on some flower or another. They are shutting down schools and canceling sporting events around here because of that pig virus. Wouldn't you know it, Baby Monkey has a cough. Dude, you do not have swine flu, seriously.

Anyway, stay dry.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wonder Where He Gets it From?

I didn't feel like cooking tonight so Teenage Monkey made grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for dinner. I wandered outside and found that my Mexican Bird of Paradise is blooming
I came back inside and found Teenage Monkey doing this. Sandwich flipping. None landed on the ground. I think we may have another man cook in the making.
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Monday, April 27, 2009

Maybe I've Gone a Little Overboard

It is raining, so I am indoors doing a little garden planning. This is an exercise in how much stuff I can cram into my little garden. So I started a list and now I am a little afraid.

Peppers - Habenero, jalapeno, Serrano, chili pequino, sweet bell.
Swiss chard
Lettuce - red, freckles, oak leaf, green leaf, and endive.
Onion - Red, white, yellow
Carrots - Nantes
Tomatoes - Old German, Russian black krim, yellow pear, Avivvi, san marzano, celebrity, green zebra, sweet 100, Mr. Stripey, Ladino di Panacchio, early girl and better boy.
Squash - Zucchini, yellow crock neck, ronde de nice, some other sort of heirloom zucchini that is light green, acorn squash
Corn - Not popcorn, not this year. Just sweet corn.
Yard long beans and red noodle beans
Sugar snap peas
Potatoes - Yukon gold and sweet potato
Black eyed peas
Water melon

Lemon Balm
Lemon Verbena
Basil - sweet and lemon
Thyme - English and lemon
Lemon grass
Mexican mint marigold

I won't even try to list the perennial and annuals that are inter planted amongst the food.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nightmare on My Street

I love to sleep. It is one of the things I do best. Because I get plenty of sleep, I remember a lot of my dreams. Last night I had a doozy. It was about the garden - imagine that. The whole thing was overgrown and lush, pretty much what it looks like each July. There was a beautiful mystery vine covering a little shed, that I do not have. Inspiration maybe. Then came the nightmare part. Everywhere I touched there was poison ivy. Vibrant, beautiful, red stemmed and horrifying. The whole garden was overrun with it.

After I woke up this morning and made coffee, I checked out the garden. Sure enough, in the usual places, poison ivy was starting to grow again. This afternoon, I will go outside with plastic shopping bags and pull the stuff up. The technique is simple and effective. Simply place the plastic bag over your hand, grab the weed and pull it out. Now turn the bag inside out and throw the noxious weed away. Ta-da poison ivy does not touch skin.

This is the only reason I would throw out plastic bags. I use reusable bags, but I cannot get Manly to do it. Instead of letting him throw out the bags, I save them to recycle or use them to carry my give away veggies. I have to make an exception when it comes to poison ivy. The stuff is evil and I must protect myself.

Do you have a poison ivy removal technique?
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Friday, April 24, 2009

I Married Well

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Fridays are officially my favorite day. Both Manly Man and I have the day off and the Monkeys are in school.

I have a confession, I am not the best cook in this house. Now I can cook, but Manly can COOK. Today he made chicken fajitas. It takes hours and hours for him to prepare fajitas. The chicken is marinated for at least four hours. It takes more than an hour for the onions to caramelize. The peppers are roasted and sauteed. This stuff is gooood. We ate very well tonight. Middle Monkey walked in, took a sniff, and asked, "fajitas again?" Then he exclaimed "SWEEEET."

Yes, that is a picture of Manly tossing peppers in a skillet. If I tried that, there would be peppers all over the kitchen floor.

Don't hate me because my man cooks.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Great Day at the Outdoor Education Center

I survived and nobody was buried in the bog. Thanks for you support and concern.

The Outdoor Education Center worked like a charm as a classroom. The traffic was easy to manage as the path is an oval traveling the whole distance of the garden and back. The students came in groups of thirty or so. We broke the talk into short explanations of garden plots and plants by me and then a man explained rain water harvesting, our water shed and the mechanics of the gardens. Then I took it back and talked about plants. Then another man talked about rain barrels. Then I talked about plants. finally a man talked about how rain gardens function. Silly boys, don't they know it is all about the plants. I really enjoyed myself. Only one kid asked if we grew pot. Another did not understand the word scented. She thought it was a verb or something. The question was, "How do you scented a plant?" I should have suggested she speak to her English teacher. Otherwise, they were bright kids and well mannered.

Sorry no pictures. I was too busy talking about plants.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Students are Coming, Be Afraid Very Afraid.

Tomorrow, several hundred high school students will be visiting the Outdoor Education Center in Kaufman. I will be there for several hours. Keep me in your thoughts. If I don't show up tomorrow night with a post, come look for me. Make sure they didn't bury me in the bog.

Seriously though, it is very exciting to be using this project for what it is intended, education. I am very proud to be a part of this project and exceedingly happy we have the dedicated master gardeners who made it happen.

Still, don't leave me buried in the bog. Seriously.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Magic Day

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Today was the day. The day that spring actually “arrived.” The Confederate jasmine is beginning to bloom and scent the air. Roses are putting on their full show. Salvias, lilies, guara, and many more are popping out buds and blooms. The weather was warm. There was that special light at sunset that seems to happen only at this time of year. The soil is moist and all of the plants are thriving. The weeds are flourishing as well, but they are so green they look beautiful too.

Watering, weeding, and planting were pure pleasure, as were the smells of spring warmed earth and freshly turned compost. It was warm enough that my hair stuck to the back of my neck for the first time this year.

This was the day. The magic day that was just perfect for a gardener.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Aunt Debbi is not in the mood for your antics.

Go outside and play.

Seriously, git out. It is a beautiful day.

Go on now. GIT:)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Yelow Rose of Texas Part II

I made a phone call and did a little more research. Apparently, sometime this year, Nacogdoches rose, which was renamed Grandma's Yellow, will be declared the offical Yellow Rose of Texas. Nothing I read claims this designation has already happened. It is a beautiful, pure, bright yellow. This is a discovered rose, so I couldn't find a date.

For more information on Emily West Morgan go here

Yellow Rose of Texas

There's a yellow rose in Texas, that I am going to see,
Nobody else could miss her, not half as much as me.
She cried so when I left her, it like to broke my heart,
And if I ever find her, we nevermore will part.

She's the sweetest little rosebud that Texas ever knew,
Her eyes are bright as diamonds, they sparkle like the dew;
You may talk about your Clementine, and sing of Rosalee,
But the yellow rose of Texas is the only girl for me.

When the Rio Grande is flowing, the starry skies are bright,
She walks along the river in the quiet summer night:
I know that she remembers, when we parted long ago,
I promise to return again, and not to leave her so.

She's the sweetest little rosebud that Texas ever knew,
Her eyes are bright as diamonds, they sparkle like the dew;
You may talk about your Clementine, and sing of Rosalee,
But the yellow rose of Texas is the only girl for me.

Oh now I'm going to find her, for my heart is full of woe,
And we'll sing the songs together, that we sung so long ago
We'll play the bango gaily, and we'll sing the songs of yore,
And the yellow rose of Texas shall be mine forevermore.

She's the sweetest little rosebud that Texas ever knew,
Her eyes are bright as diamonds, they sparkle like the dew;
You may talk about your Clementine, and sing of Rosalee,
But the yellow rose of Texas is the only girl for me.

Here are the lyrics of the song. As for an actual "Yellow Rose of Texas" I have not heard that one has been designated as the rose. I read a news paper report that Grandma's Yellow received the honor, but nothing on the Aggie Horticulture website backed up that claim. If y'all have heard something I haven't please let me know.

As legend may have it, the yellow rose was a mixed raced woman who distracted Santa Anna allowing his army to be taken by surprise at Battle of San Jacinto on April 4, 1836.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Blue Bonnets Cryin in the Rain

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Actually there were no tears just two crazy ladies who were determined to drive the blue bonnet trail. I met Nola of Alamo North at the Ennis Walmart and she drove me the whole blue bonnet trail. It rained cats, dogs, and humongous frogs. We had a good time anyway. Nola is excellent company and a great tour guide. Above are pictures of the blue bonnets, proof of frog, and Nola and me soaking wet. It was so much fun.

After touring the blue bonnet trail, we had lunch at a very good Mexican restaurant. Then we went and visited the few craft booths that were open. The weather really put a damper on the vendors. We both bought beaded book marks. Then we went to Nola's lovely home and had a nice visit. I got to see all of her plants and flowers and of course brought some home. I scored purple oxalis, hyacinth bean vines, a succulent. I met Chili the wonder Dachshund. Sweet little puppy he is too.

I had such a nice time and look forward to visiting again.

Thanks Nola.

This is also my On The Streets post hosted by VP.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


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Yesterday I shared my blooms. Today I will share my vegetables. The picture shows the collards, dill, parsley and rosemary I will share with the library ladies. As much as I love the flowers, it is the food that really drives my gardening urges. I have given away dozens of bags of greens, lettuce, and herbs this spring. This has been the most productive cool weather garden I have ever grown. Raised beds seem to have made all the difference in the world.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April GBBD Bring on the Blooms

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is back and we are covered up here at Aunt Debbi's Garden. We have iris, petunias, and passion vine.

We also have bloomin bushes. The antique roses are loving the recent rains and the mock orange smells like heaven.
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Thanks again to Carol of May Dreams Garden for hosting.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Eggs, They are Everywhere

It happens every year. We have a lot of decorated boiled eggs. I made egg salad for dinner tonight, but that is going to get old fast. I like Scotch eggs. So I will make a few of those tomorrow. I am going to try to pickle a few, but then what?

Anybody have any great ideas?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Monkey Easter Y'all

Mitchel says, "HI"

Mario is not happy to have a rose on his noggin.
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Conversation with 3-year-old niece and brother after niece catches Manly Man hiding Easter eggs. The audience is our whole family including a bunch of preschoolers.

Niece in tears, "Uncle Manly told me to go back inside, but I saw the Easter eggs and he was touching them."

Me, "Uncle Manly is not stealing the Easter eggs. He is protecting the Easter Bunny so you won't scare him off."

Me to Monkeys' Uncle (my bro), "Go help Uncle Manly."

Monkeys' Uncle, "I came over here to relax, not to hide eggs."

Me, "YOU ARE NOT HIDING EASTER EGGS. YOU ARE PROTECTING THE EASTER BUNNY SO THE KIDS WON'T SCARE HIM OFF!!" He has two girls and he still doesn't get it. Seriously.

I don't buy that plastic Easter basket grass. That stuff is evil and will turn up in the weirdest places. Even though I did not buy it, there is some on my bathroom floor. Whyyyyyyy?

Guess what happens when Baby Monkey warms up his boiled egg in the microwave? Go ahead, guess.

Somebody help me. Please help me.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Late Arrival

This little daffodil showed up late this year. Seems like it had a bird name. Duck? No. Goose? No. Can't remember. Sorry the picture is over exposed. I took it in the dark. Yes, I was wearing my pajamas. It is not just Joy. Do you know what it is?

Teenage Monkey has developed a man voice. Really, he is scaring his aunties on the phone. I hear, "Wait Meme, it's me Logan, don't hang up, you don't have the wrong number." Then I have to speak to a totally rattled sister wondering what happened to our little boy. He got a piece of glass in his foot tonight. He brought me a pocket knife and a bottle of peroxide to help him get it out. Seriously, I am not doing surgery on my kids foot with a pocket knife and a bottle of peroxide no matter how deep his voice is.
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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Icy Hot Patches are from Heaven

I am beginning to fix up my garden. Yesterday, I bought and moved 797 pound of blush Austin Rock. The first picture is what it looked like before I started.
Here is the first bed finished.
This is #1 supervisor. She did not lift a paw, but obviously did not approve.
Here is supervisor #2. She didn't life a paw either and is looking a little disgusted at the whole situation.
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Obviously, after moving 797 pounds of rock, my back was not happy this morning. Two Advil and an Icy Hot back patch and I was much better. I think I am in love with the Icy Hot patch.

Now lets all go over and see what James and Shala are giving away today.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mother Nature, Please Accept My Appology

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Well, I had a fit and fell in it yesterday about our late freeze. Now I feel really bad about all the nasty things I said about Mother Nature. Today is lovely. The temperature is the nice kind of warm on the cool side and something smells wonderful. Turns out it is a combination of roses in bloom and petunias. Somebody should make a perfume based on these scents. I took a stroll around my yard and found that many of my roses are blooming. I feel like a bad teenager who talked back to her mom. I ought to be grounded.

Thanks Mother Nature. Sorry about yesterday.

The flowers (mostly roses) in the collage are from the top left clockwise are Maggie, some rose that grew from the wood stock of a grafted tea rose, Duchess de Brabrant, Sombreuil, can't remember the name of that antique rose, Mutabilis bush, Mme Joseph Schwartz, a yellow snap dragon and Abby's butt, in the center is a sage that is shrubby and stands about 4' tall.

Now go over and see what James and Shala are giving away today.

Monday, April 6, 2009

!@#$%&* Stupid Weather

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So, it is April but Mother Nature doesn't seem to care. We are supposed to get down to 29 tonight. We covered up the tomatoes and did the move the plant dance for the eleventy billionth time. Tomorrow, we will drag them all outside again. Hopefully, this will be the last time, but don't count on anything. Mother Nature is messing with me, seriously.

No go on over to Double Danger and check out James and Shala's give away. They much better blogging company tonight.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


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Here are the plants I scored at the seminar. From the back going counter clockwise, Shasta daisy, black and blue salvia, nana coreopsis, rocket salvia, bronze fennel, 2 elephant ears, black beauty eggplants and purple cone flower. The elephant ears, salvia, and purple cone flower are for the outdoor learning center. The rest are mine all mine.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Whew, Glad That's Over.

Ever work work work work work on something then it happens and boom over. The seminar went well. The speakers were good and the plant sale and auction were successful. I made it to the niece's baby shower late, but I got to see all my beautiful nieces and precious grand nephews. There are two relatively new grand nieces by marriage that I need to get to know better, but time will take care of that. I am worn out and feel deflated. Guess what, I don't have a single solitary thing on my schedule for tomorrow. What a relief.

BTW, Nobody bid on the wall hanging so it came home with me. I could have just gone to bed last night. Durn.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Quilt for the Seminar

I did it again. I waited until the last minute to finish the quilt wall hanging for the silent auction at our master gardener spring seminar.
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The top picture is the quilt at 4:00 this afternoon. The bottom picture is the quilt just after midnight when I finished it. In between 4:00 and midnight I helped set up for the seminar, attended my baby sister's birthday party, and quilted and put the binding on the quilt. Now I need to wind down and go to sleep so I can get up at 6:00 am.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thing to Do Around Here in April

VP posted another You Ask We Answer (YAWA) edition on things to do around her neck of the woods. As a YAWA A.P.E. Texas Branch correspondent I feel the responsibility to tell you of a couple of things we can do around here at this time of year.

First I hope to see some of you this Saturday at the Kaufman County Master Gardeners' Spring Seminar at the First Assembly Church of God Church at 3401 S Houston St Corner of State Hwy 34 and FM 1388] in Kaufman, Texas. 8am registration. Program begins at 9 am. No attendance fee/ pre registration is not required. Seminar will include a Master Gardener plant sale, as well as the sale of Orchids and Earth Kind Roses, a silent auction, refreshments, informational booths and a photography contest [2 -8x10 photos per entrant. Photos must be submitted during registration between 8-9 am]. Speakers will be Lynn Ackerman, Master Gardener: Gardening with Cactus and Succulents; Dotty Woodson Ed D Extension Program Specialist- Water Resources Texas AgriLife Extension Texas A & M System: Home Irrigation Systems; Pat Abramson, Master Gardener: Gardening with Herbs. If additional information is needed, please call 972-932-9069. I will be the crazy lady selling plants.

The Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival will run 4/17-19. I am planning on attending on Friday and hope to get a bunch of other north Texas garden bloggers to meet up with me there.

Finally, Dallas Blooms will run through 4/12 at the Dallas Arboretum.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Think I Survived April Fools Day or They Just Can't Find Me

I hid out all day at the library. Right now, it is 20 minutes until midnight on April fools day. So far, they have not got me. I took preemptive action and poked myself in the eye with my garden journal last night to get sympathy and avoid April fools shenanigans. I think they are all asleep. Just to be safe I am staying up until midnight. If I don't post tomorrow, somebody come find me. They are evil pranksters and cannot be trusted. I am not paranoid. Seriously.

Google Translate Makes Garden Blog Reading Even More Fun

A few weeks ago, I took an advanced google search class for my job at the library. I had used it before, but was reintroduced to google translate. We have many Spanish speaking patrons and this little tool makes asking questions a little easier. No magic bullet just one more resource.

How does this apply to garden blogging? Well, I love the photography on the blog Garden Life . His English is very good. My Japanese, not so much, er, at all. Now I just highlight his text, copy, move it over to google translate and boom, I can read what he is writing. Now I can enjoy the thoughts and words as well as the photos.

There are more blogs on Blotanical written in languages other than English. Now I am off to enjoy their blogs without the language barrier.

Give it a try.