Sunday, April 24, 2016

Tardy post

I was going to put up an entry early last week, but on Monday night Mom called.  She was sick.  Tuesday to the doctor and found she had another (milder) case of bronchitis.  So this time we kinda knew what to do:  a nebulizer treatment at the doctor's office, steroid pills and inhaler for home (and by home I mean HERE at my house). Cough pills and lots of tissues. 

She's been here since Tuesday and we both seemed to turn a corner yesterday. The wheezing has stopped, she's sleeping very well and the cough is much diminished. I think she'll be ready to go home tomorrow.   

I'm sure I caught the virus from her, but I, too, suffered less than in January.  What really caught us off guard was the fatigue this time.  We did little, no energy.  Mom napped a lot then slept through the night, night after night.  I can't nap, but did sleep long at night too, far more than is usual for me.

Yesterday we started feeling more like ourselves.

During the week I did manage to sit on the mower and get the lawns cut, some forays out for groceries, mail, little things like that.  But little else besides preparing meals.

I'm so glad that I got so much done the week before: clean/seal the deck, bread baking, taxes done, etc.  It was a good week to be sick, if something like THAT would EVER be the case.

Anyway, I'm making up a ham & scalloped potato casserole so I can send leftovers home with Mom tomorrow.  We're both looking forward to getting back to normal, although we'll let Mom skip fitness center this coming week, let her rest up a little more before taxing her system.

Right now the sun is brilliant, the breeze almost nil, the hostas spearing up, shrubs leafing out, birds at the feeder and golfers all over the links.  

More soon.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Spring at last???

If the forecast is to be belived, we may have finally turned a corner weatherwise.

The past 2 weeks were hard on all the plants that had been lulled into "spring" by March's persistent above-average temps.  

This past couple days with icy snow and temps in the teens put the lid on any blooms on my redbud or bridal veil spirea.  Those buds are just mush (like the magnolia tree that was hit while in full bloom).  What a mess.

Anyhoo, with all this sunshine right now, I'm hoping for the best.

I crawled out onto the sunroom roof and removed the skylight covers.  I moved the geraniums and B&B salvia out into the sun after languishing in the sunroom for more than a week.  And though today's temps are still shy of 50 out there, the bright sunroom is now above 70 and feels great!

So thankful was I to say goodbye to that freezing stuff, I celebrated and roasted a turkey this morning.  

Nothing says thankful like turkey! Yum!

And with more outside days ahead, what's not to love about turkey salad, turkey sandwiches, and the ever popular turkey soup right at hand for lunches.  

Yep, things are looking up (especially the temps).  Woo and hoo! 

P.S. Tried something new when I cut up the turkey.  (CLICK HERE for the story.)

Saturday, April 9, 2016


Alberta sent us a little present last night.  The clipper is still dropping snow and temps.  Bitter winds. Might get to single digits tonight.

Spring in Ohio.  Not for wimps.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Power outage

Today did not start well. At 2:45 a.m. all the electronics gave a sharp sleep-shattering *BEEP* and went dead. I checked outside. Looked like the whole street was dark. I called AEP on my emergency TracFone and reported the outage. They estimated 3 hours for repair.

I went back to bed. 

No power at 6:00 a.m. and the house was cooling down.  Thankfully it's not deep winter weather although it was only 35F outside.

I wasn't alarmed.  But I was a bit chilled and sleep deprived.  I need something hot.  Sure, I could run out for a hot cuppa Joe, but the garage door opener wasn't working and the door is too heavy for me to lift.  And it was too early to bang on neighbor's doors looking for help.  I dithered.

After a half-hour I was getting, what?  Frustrated?  Cranky?  Angry that I needed to depend on someone elseHouse down to 61F.  Brr.

Yep.  Let's put that negative energy to work.

My bad shoulder and back are not happy.  But at least I managed to get the door propped up enough to get the car out.

Now the world was my oyster.  Or, at least, a caffeine fix.

I was off to McDonalds for a hot coffee.  Originally I was just going to grab a cup to go, but it was light and warm in the restaurant and dark and cold at home, so I enjoyed the coffee there.  The coffee perked me up.  And since it was just before 7:00 a.m. the only customers where several bunches of retirees having good talks.  Real people.  Real conversations.  No cell phones. No computers.  Just real people (all were men) talking to real people.  Geez how I miss that in restaurants anymore. 

I soaked that up for a while, then topped off my coffee and headed home.  I took a different route so I could go looking for the source of the electrical problem.  

Found it.  Good grief!  How fast was that guy going that hit that brand new power pole to sheer it off like that?  *sheesh* (Bits of vehicle in lower right.) The pole is less than 900 feet from my bedroom window, but I never heard even one siren last night.  (Pine trees prevented any flashing lights.) Hope the occupants made it.

Anyway, the power came back on around 10:15 a.m. and the house is now warm, the 'fridge and freezer are humming away and the house phones are working again.


Friday, March 25, 2016

Beating Selene

Or was it the other way around?  Check this:

Wednesday was nice, warmish & very dry air.  I checked the radar and saw all the radar from Selene.  Forecasts said heavy rain would start after midnight.  I wondered what I could get done before that.

I started at 9:00 a.m. First up, I TWP'd the new framework on the last section of the privacy fence. (See Garden projects page.)  I figured at least 12 hours for the sealant to penetrate would do some good.  

After than I crawled around spreading fertilizer under the evergreens, rhodys and burning bushes.  Halfway through the neighbor boy came over (Spring break) and I gave him $$ to gather up all the down limbs and branches.  That would save my back for other projects.   Like more perennial trimming.

Later that afternoon (after a rest & an Advil), I decided to get the Snapper ready early this year.  After all, the grass never did go dormant and it was starting to take off.  Installed the battery, checked the oil, gassed it up and connected the spark plug.  Vroooooooom.  What a great sound!

I checked the radar.  Selene was still hanging back so I put on the bagger and picked up a ton of the ping-pong ball sized spiky sweetgum tree seeds.  I hate those things this time of year.  It's like walking on ball bearings.  Nasty stuff.

By then I called it a day.  I was pooped.  But at least a lot got done.  Let it rain.  I would do some inside stuff Thursday.

Thursday a.m.  No rain.  Radar showed Selene still holding back.  Overnight a LOT of the daffs opened up and looked gorgeous bobbing in the breeze.  Even half of the ones I transplanted along the golf course just a couple weeks ago where opened. What a nice day.  Not at all what was predicted.

Hmmmm.  At 7:30 I gathered up all the Wednesday trimming hustled over to the yardwaste depot before breakfast (while the depot area was dry, not muddy).  I had the place to myself. *heh*

Selene still hadn't moved an inch eastward, so next I took down all the deer-deterring chicken wire from around the hemlock hedge; rolled up the fencing and pulled stakes.  And, since the Snapper was up and running, I hauled all the stuff up to the shed.  Needed a another (longer) break then.

But by 10:00 I wondered what else I could do before this 'awful storm' got here.  The mower was gassed up.  Yep.  You guessed it: mowed the side and back lawns.  That killed a couple hours.  I found a lot of deer droppings and mountains of mole hills.  Crap.  Another vermin to add to my worst enemies list this year.

Anyway, I was, again, pooped.  I rolled the Snapper into the garage, right in front of the snowblower (really, this time of year it's 50-50 which one will get action next). But, boy, the trimmed lawns really showed off the daffs!  But if this darn storm didn't get here soon, I was going to work myself into a heart attack!  Finally weather intervened.  A little after noon the winds started up and got worse and worse.  Sure it was warm (65ish), but you could barely stand up in it.  Finally I went inside.

Winds howled and whipped all day and then sometime before midnight the huge storm arrived.  By then the front it was long and thin and lasted only about an hour as it drove through dropping a mere .6" of rain.

Weather forecasting.  I want that job.... *sigh*

Anyway, I got so much done.  Yay me.  I've earned some serious sitdowns for a while.  Now everything looks nice so when Mom comes for Easter we can sit out on the deck and enjoy the flowers.  (And some nice ham and scalloped potatoes; homemade applesauce; basement greens salads and chocolate brownies.)

How about you?  Trying to second-guess this year's weather?  How's it going ... extreme warmth? Too much rain?  Under a foot of snow?  Tell me about it....

Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

More extra-early gardening

It's really hard to stay inside when this abnormal warmth continues outside.

And while you're outside, it's really hard not to get busy.

Thing is, you can get into trouble if you go around thinking that it's Spring.  Oh sure, the ground (which NEVER froze this past winter) is loose and friable and begging to be planted.  But wait.

Nighttime temps in the 20s are coming.  More rain (this time cold rain) is coming.  Snow flurries in the future.

Nope.  Not spring.  But....

You can always always find something to clean up.  I trimmed back the big Montauk daisy in the arbor bed, cut back the H.F.Young clematis and all the dead New England aster plants (lots of new growth at soil level).  I loaded up the hatchback and took it all over to the yardwaste depot - on opening day no less!  Talk about hitting the ground running this year.

Then I did take advantage of that lovely loose soil, chilly or not.  I dug up the Meyer lilac in the swing bed and planted it in the arbor bed.  I dug up the rooted Montauk daisy cutting from the overwinter bed and planted it in the Sargeant crabapple bed.  Finally, I dug up all the Palace Purple heuchera and the lace-cap hydrangea in the swing bed.  I centered the hydrangea where the heucheras were, then used the heucheras to make a nice border between the hydrangea and the rubber paver path.  

There.  I'm really ahead of the game right now so I'll have no qualms keeping inside during the cool/cold/ weather coming.  

And talk about coming!  More like charging!  Yesterday the wind was 20s w/gusts 35 mph.  Today the wind is nearer to 40 mph and almost steady at that rate!  One gust actually blew open the plastic taped over one of the leaky front bay windows.  Wow!

Hope things are a little calmer where you are.  


Hey. I've put up several updates on the sidebar pages (household adventures; garden projects; flowers; and plant propagation).  Lots of action going on there. Check 'em out.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Early plant migration

Yesterday (Sunday) I brought up the other 2 over-wintered geraniums to join the other 2 already in the living room bay window.

All looked great with lots of buds forming.

Today I brought up the 3 overwintered B&B salvia and the carton of New England asters seedlings (from saved seeds).

Hmmm.  Too crowded in the bay window.

So out to the sunroom for all.

Really?  Unheated sunroom?  So early in the season?

It was bright and the sunshine had warmed the room to near 50F which is fine for these sturdy plants.

The room was so lovely I joined the crowd and had breakfast.

After breakfast I stepped outside.


So out went the plants.  They will probably stay outside all week.


Sure.  Why not.  Check THIS out:

Crazy, huh?  And check out those nighttime forecast temps vs the 'hist avg' temp.  Wow.  I enjoying this now, but am a tad concerned about summer.  How about you, weather anomolies your neck of the woods?

10:45 a.m.  Over 50 and balmy.  Time to get out the 2016 garden jeans and put 'em to work.  Wonder how long these will last.  I've got big plans for them this year... woohaha

========== u p d a t e ==========

Found info on U.S. 2016 late spring/summer weather forecast.  CLICK HERE

Scroll down for all the maps and the final summer forecast video.