Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Second Best Garden There Is

This is the time of the year I start thinking about the perfect garden.

My perfect garden exists only in my dreams. 

Clean, crisp, weed-free pathways outline perfect bug-free plants blooming with flowers and heavy with produce. 

The blue sky has a few puffy clouds and a gentle breeze kicks up every few moments to encourage the leaves and flower to dance a bit.

The temperature is a perfect 70 degrees and the humidity is low as I work in the garden.  I can't even be bothered to break a sweat.


Clearly the garden of my dreams is best left to my imagination. 

Or is it?

A couple of weeks ago I was over at Chiot's Run and saw a post about Secret Garden - An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book.

Since I'm always on the lookout for creative things to doodle away the Winter with I thought "Hey...That would be fun!"  So I ordered book and the same markers Susy recommended from Amazon.  I also bought some colored pencils to mix things up.

It came in a few weeks ago and I got busy.  Whenever I find a few minutes, I stick my reading glasses on and color to my hearts content.

And I have discovered the second best garden there is. 
It's the garden in my coloring book.

There are no rules in this garden I'm creating.

Apples can be pink if I want them.
Leaves can be blue.

And there are no weeds unless I create them.

There are bugs but they are brightly colored, friendly bugs. 
I haven't gotten bitten yet.

I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying this.
It's silly perhaps.
But it will take years to complete all the pages in this book.

I get to be Silly for a really long time.

And that makes me very Happy.

So until Spring comes around I can let my creativity flow. 

My idea's for my real-life garden can simmer while I color the Winter away.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

What's Wrong Pudding Pop?

I've been really busy at work lately.  Sometimes, so busy that the only time I get to see SM is for my goodbye smooch.

The other day I came home to the puppies dancing enthusiastically at my feet, humming various tunes of welcome and saw SM horizontal in his recliner lying there like a slug.

Uh Oh.

"Hey...Are you sick?"  Placing my hand on his forehead in search of fever.

"No."  SM said looking up at me with that sad hang-dog expression.

"Well, good!" I said and kissed him where I'd placed my hand seconds before.

I went about my business of divesting myself from worker-bee mode passing SM several times noting his "blue" mood. 

Finally, I sat down beside him and asked "So how was your day?" to which all I got was a shrug.

"Did you get some exercise?"
"Did you work in the garage?"  (He's building shelving out there.)
"So kind of a do-nothing day today huh?" I laughed and stood up.

"You know you do this every year?" I pointed out.
"What?" SM asked startled. 

"Get all excited for Christmas around September and once Christmas actually rolls around you get all blue because business dries up and nobody's calling and you're bored and worried about cash flow and then you poke around the house all bummed out."
"I do?"
"Yeah, every year.  You're very predictable you know."
"Well...I'm worried about money."  SM said defensively.  The Nissan died last week and is getting a new transmission.  Can anybody say Ka-Ching?

"Oh please!  You know it's come and go this time of the year.  So it's a dry month.  So what!  Take it out of savings.  Next month will be better.  You know it's true."

And so it is. 
SM woke up the next day in a much better mood.
And the Universe responded with a job for him in Spartenburg.

Thank Goodness!!!  A blue, mopey SM makes for a very irritable Tami.

Hey...At least I didn't have to go all Cher on his ass.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Waste Not Post #3

I was out the other morning walking the dogs over at the McMansion neighborhood that's across the county road from where we live. 

It was before 5am so no one was out and the crossing was easy.

So we're walking along doing the sniffy thing when I see a bulky pile alongside the curb.  As I got closer I could see a vacuum cleaner and an outside patio set of two chairs and a loveseat.  I shined my flashlight on it and could see rust on the furniture but no breaks and the strapping looked intact.

I finished walking the dogs and went back over to inspect it further.  I sat down on each piece.  They were fine.  Just rusted.


Since it wasn't that far away I picked up the loveseat pulled it up over my head and hauled it back to the house.  And then I went and got the other two chairs.

It was a nice workout.  I was sweating by the time I got back and SM was up drinking a cuppa Joe.

"I've got an early Christmas present for you."  I crowed.

"Did you find a cat?"  SM asked.  (Geez...We really need to get him a cat.)

"No."  I said, walking through the house to the backyard where I tossed the stuff over the fence.  "Come out here and see what I've got."

It was still dark out as I hauled the patio set to the back porch.

"Look what I found."

"Somebody was throwing that away?"  SM asked.

"Well, it was curbside.  That seems to be the universal signal for come and get it."

"Seems in decent shape.  We can sand off the rust and repaint it."  SM said echoing my thoughts.

"I can get some cushions from Ikea for it."  I continued.  "And then...TaDa!  Patio Furniture!"

Just like that.  Rich mans trash is my treasure. 

I think I'll put this set under the maple tree.  It's a wonderfully cool spot to hang out at on a hot Summer day.

And just in case you were wondering, I did pass on the vacuum cleaner.

I do have my standards, you know.  @;)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Miracle Of Coconut Oil

Ginny has been battling skin issues for most of her life.  Winter is the calmer season for her with Summer heat impacting her to the point where she starts to loose hair.

Lick, lick, lick...Chew, chew, chew is a song we all know well around here.

The vet tried an antihistamine which didn't really work and left her sleepy.  Then we tried Prednisone which did work and she's been on a very low dose ever since.

Her long whipping tail has been the bane of her existence the past few years.  At it's worst, we had to tape a lightweight pipe insulation tube to her tail for about 6 months to prevent her from whapping it into walls and doorframes and splitting the skin and bleeding all over the place.

She's been better lately but I noticed a new area at the base of her tail which had scabbed over.  Her hair was matted there and she was licking at it.

I cleaned the area as best I could and decided to apply coconut oil to it to lessen the irritation and promote healing. 

You see, I had discovered the miracle that coconut oil can be about a year ago. 

SM and I are heavy users.  He has his favorite brand and I have mine.  We use it daily on our skin and I'd never considered trying it on Ginny's skin mostly because I'd thought she'd just lick it off and make things worse. 

I used the unscented brand that I prefer and surprisingly she leaves it alone. 

I massaged the oil into the areas on her tail that area affected once a day and it seems to be helping.  The scabby area has healed and the bald patches on the tip of her tail are less cracked.

It's only been a few weeks but I'm already impressed.  I'm wondering if adding some to her chow would help.  I googled around and see some articles where folks are doing just that.

Anybody try it?

The Geek In Me Loves It

Friday, December 12, 2014

Waste Not Post #2

I got my Baker Creek catalog this week and I am In Love with the cover.

I'm going to frame and hang it on a wall in my nook.  It would look perfect there.  They folded it up when the postman delivered it so there's a big crease down the middle but I think I can get the crease to flatten out.

Anyway, I asked SM if we had some spare cashola in the bank account so I could go ahead and order.  I spent a pleasant hour trolling through the online images and descriptions and completed my purchase.

I had to laugh.  The majority of my order was flower seeds.

I still had plenty of left overs of various veg seeds from last year.  I picked up a few new to me veggie varieties but everything else was flowers.

Now I've been slowly saving seeds from my veggie patch.  I've got squash, pumpkin and lettuce seed from last years plants. 

But it's never occurred to me to try and save flower seeds.  Except for marigolds.  Those are easy and obvious. 

Why don't I save myself some money and harvest seeds from my own flowers?

I poked around and found a helpful article (with pictures) and saved it under my favorite places to remind me to do this next year.

I sure am slow.  Do you any of you save flower or veg seeds routinely?  Or are you a bit on the slow side like me and buy your seeds every year?

Monday, December 8, 2014

The "Duh" - Waste Not Post

The other day Mama Pea, over at A Home Grown Journal, wrote a post about her "Duh" moment when after years of wasting stale bread, her own personal light bulb went on and she starting freezing the bread to make croutons out of them at her convenience. 

Many of us follow MP and I thought of her this morning when I jumped in the shower and was smacking the bottle of hair conditioner against my palm trying to get out the last bit out of the plastic bottle.  The stuff is thick and I could see it sitting there, I just couldn't get it out.

After my shower I was smacking the plastic bottle of hair styling goop against my palm trying to get the last of that product out of the bottle when I had my "Duh" moment.

I grabbed some scissors and cut the bottle in half.  Then I scraped the stuff into the bottom and using the top half as a lid, put it back together again.

You would not believe how much product I've been wasting by not cutting the bottle in half. 

There's enough in each bottle to last me a couple more weeks!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Get With It Sister!

I usually like to decorate for Christmas over the long Thanksgiving weekend since I usually have plenty of down time and since SM usually goes up to Ohio to visit and usually leaves me with tons of quiet time to piddle around to my hearts content. 

Since he didn't go up this year, I got to do silly unseasonal things with my days off like work on the freaken deck last weekend. 

Although I will say the new railing adds a certain something.

Anyway, since it's my job to fling the Christmas Crap all over the house, I have had to wait until SM was ready to haul down all the boxes of said crap out of the attic.

And I waited.
And waited.
And stuck a wreath that was in the closet on the front door as a reminder.
And waited.
And bought a little cinnamon air freshener thingy and stuck it in the living room.
And waited.

And then came home from work Friday night to see this.

So I got cracking early and finished the tree and mantle area by noon.

I thought about decorating outside but other than the wreath on the front door, I'm just not feeling it.

Is it because I've gotten off to a late start and I'm developing the "Why bother"
 of old age?  

It is a lot of work stringing up lights outside.  Do you do it anymore?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Slumber Party

It's that time of the year again when sleepy puppies search for that sunny, warm spot to take a snooze.

Ginny was standing at my chair while I saw blogging, giving me the sleepy look when her "Yoda" ears go all horizontal instead of vertical.  Since she's an old girl, I went in and grabbed one of the dog beds from the other room and tossed it under the table in a sunny spot.

"Go lay down."  I told her and before she could get there, Scooter had confiscated it.

So I grabbed another bed and put it in another sunny spot and Ginny finally laid down.  Then Casey woke up from her nap on the sofa and wandered in to join the party.

You can see where this is going can't you?

SM eventually walks in and starts laughing.

"What is this?  A slumber party?"

"Grab your jammies and join the fun."  I told him.