Archive for April, 2010

T-shirt Friday

Once again it is T-shirt Friday over at Nursemyra’s place.

This is a t-shirt that my dad gave me a couple of years ago.   It fits with the Dragon Theme of The Havens, and certainly fits my mood on particularly menopausal days.

And yes, one time it made it into the washer with a load of whites that got bleached.

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I try to visit Syncopated Eyeball on a regular basis.   She posts a rather wonderful photograph (or series of photographs) every day.   I was inspired by her post today to go around and capture a few of the faces that are found in rocks around The Havens.

This one is by my front door.   I was quite pleased when I found the “hat” rock for this fellow.

Right inside the front door on the plant shelves is this grinning visage.

This personage is in the labyrinth.   The rock that makes his ear came from North Carolina.

Some people find this face out in the day lily bed disturbingly like a snake.

This one isn’t a rock face, but a piece of drift wood that my mother in law collected on the coast of Northern California.   Seems like a very weatherbeaten cowboy in a hat to me.

That’s enough for now, I suppose.   I have some errands to run — looking for raspberries for the new raspberry bed.

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Blessed event

I reported earlier on the robin couple who decided to use the stored pruning ladder as a nesting platform.

The last couple of days it seems like the incubation period might be over, she wasn’t so assiduous about sitting on the nest, etc.   Yesterday I was hanging up the hose on the hose rack so Jim could mow (again), and lo and behold, a little fuzzy head peered over the edge of the nest to see what was going on.

So today I got the other ladder out and climbed up it so I could get a shot into the nest.

I count four beaks amongst those numerous pin feathers, so I would say this particular nest was a success.

Papa Robin was not unaware of my activities, and while I was up there came to see just exactly what I was doing.   Actually, he was flying around my head threatening to flog me and peck my eyes out.   Then he landed on the nest platform and I was able to pop off this shot.   Sorry I cut off his head, but he wasn’t amenable to posing and with the camera over my head pointed down I was not able to make a great aim.   Take my word for it, his expression was not a happy one.

I decamped shortly thereafter and removed the second ladder from the area.

I do muse sometimes on the irony of providing habitat and being happy that the birds are raising chicks successfully while at the same time deploring the habit the birds have of depositing seeds all over my gardens.

I guess you have to take the bad with the good, and this is pretty much all good.

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Blue Period

Over the years I have noticed that at certain times the garden seems to be saturated with one color.   When fall comes and the place is inundated with goldenrod, zinnias, wild sunflowers, and other gold flowers, it seems the whole world is dressed in yellow.   Similarly, there seem to be times when everything is pink, or red.   There are actually gardeners who plan, design and achieve entire gardens that sport one color all year long.   I have never had the discipline to achieve such unification, although whenever I have come across it in other places I have admired the effect.

In my garden I have noticed that there is a “Blue Period” that happens after the daffodils have wound down and before the irises get going.  It is when the ajuga and the wood hyacinths are in the ascendant.

A few other flowers add their notes to the blueness of it all.   Jack frost Brunnera:

Baptista (False indigo):

Well, this year the Blue Period lasted about two minutes, and then the poppies started up.

The irises, not to be outdone, have thrown themselves into action.

If I didn’t suffer from “Rainbow-itis”, I could certainly have managed to extend the Blue Period longer by not planting so many colors of irises.   There are lots of beautiful blue ones.  You can see that the peonies are not far behind them.  They’ll be out soon too.

In the back gardens, I turned my back on the clematis and they went berserk.

The strawberries have set fruit.

Over in the Rock Garden, the dianthus are just winding up for their display.   They are accompanied by the candytuft, snow in summer, and gold alyssum.

Have you noticed anything in all these latest photos?  No?   Here, let me make it more clear.

Still don’t get it, not quite?

Oh!   Now You See, don’t you?   Yes.  The neighbor’s maple thinks the weather is just fine and has gifted me with about eleventy gazillion presents.   I realize that the Norwegian Silver Maple is a lovely shade tree, grows fast and all that, but methinks it is just a source of weed seeds.   Actually, the spectacle of my gardens bedizened with all this fertility is making me blue, just a little.   Like I don’t have enough to do without weeding nine gazillion baby maples out of my gardens, because I figure that maybe two gazillion won’t sprout.

I actually found myself wondering what would happen if I got out the shop vacuum and applied it to the rock garden.  I may just go out and see.

There’s never quite enough to do around here.

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Life’s a beach

There has been entirely too much excitement around here.

While he was in the hospital, my father’s brother died.  I would say he was a certifiably Rich Uncle, but I’m not expecting any windfall from that because he had a perfectly good spouse to leave his estate to; and that is as it should be.   No matter that my uncle’s spouse was another man.  In my book, if you are in a committed loving relationship, it doesn’t matter what the assortment of sexes are.   You are married in my eyes, no matter what the State thinks.   The State is an idiot anyway, and far too subject to the vagaries, fears, and intolerance of its citizens to be trusted.   Too bad the lawyers are involved in the definition at all.   But there you go.  They are.   To quote the Eagles:

“The more I think about it Old Willie was right,

Kill all the lawyers; kill ‘em tonight.”

Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh.  I’m sure there are good, moral, righteous lawyers out there.

There are other illnesses and near deaths going on in the vicinity, and I guess it is just the stage of life I am in that makes it feel like it is all too close somehow.

The economy here in the area is starting to improve, but while it is no longer on “life support” it has definitely only made it into rehab and is ambulatory only with the aid of a walker.   (If you don’t mind me pushing a metaphor to its limits. . .)  I alternate feeling hopeful with despairing that my client base will ever grow again.

Most of the time we are okay, although the recent visits to Costa Rica really pushed it to the limit.   We didn’t know when we made those plans that our tenants were going to change overnight from regular and responsible to invisible and insolvent.

What they did was they came and paid their March rent, telling us they had decided that life and business would be much better for them in Oklahoma, and they were moving there.   They loaded up their dog, the bedroom suite, a couch, their clothes, some other items, plus all the hand tools they could fit into their truck and trailer.  They left behind virtually everything else, telling us sincerely that they would be back “in a couple of weeks” to get the rest of their shit.   Of course, they also told us that they would be completely out by May 1, and that they planned to pay their April rent.

We haven’t seen hide nor hair of them since, they have not been returning calls on the cell phone which we have the number for and which gladly records messages.   Needless to say, they didn’t pay their April rent.

As it is, legally we have the right to dispose of their abandoned property about ten days into May.   Perhaps we will realize enough from a sale to repay us for what they owe us; that would be real nice.  Meanwhile, we have a whole house full of very nice furniture, square dance clothes, collectibles, a couple of sewing machines, an entire home office.   Any cleaning of carpets will have to wait until after the furnishings are gone.   Then maybe we can rent the place out again.

Meanwhile, my darling husband does not feel right about just disposing of all this rather nice stuff without having some sort of conversation with its owners, so he has gone on a road trip to the far western side of Oklahoma to see if he can find a.) them and b.) out what the heck is going on, assuming that they are going to find it in their hearts to be more truthful than they have been so far.

Needless to say, the situation dictates that we are taking a big hit on the old savings account, which is very disturbing.   We’ll be okay.  That is why we have one, after all, for emergencies, although I have a tough time seeing our tenant’s irresponsible actions as an emergency.   But the bills must be paid, lying SOS tenants and all.

Still, it is unsettling.   I won’t be comfy in my mind until Jim is back from Oklahoma.

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