Sunday, June 30, 2024

A Garden Update

Thanks to all for the well wishes and suggestions for my pumpkin growing adventure. One developing fruit appears super healthy and a little larger (!) every day.

I wonder when the blue skin will become evident...

To my delight, more and more female flowers are appearing on the two largest plants. The fact I started everything but our Swiss chard from seed makes this season even more special.

Cool, huh?

My netting has been protecting the plants overnight. Finished eating a farmers market cantaloupe I tossed the rind into the backyard jungle as compensation to our deer.

Every morning I get to see adorable little bees marching upward to freedom. It never fails to make me smile.
Isn’t it neat that we have a pollinator named after the insects’ favorite pollen source? Do you think the bees wake up as if they’d been on an alcoholic bender, wondering where they are and why they never made it home?


Saturday, June 29, 2024


I don’t know if you’ve even heard about the spoof disaster series involving man eating sharks getting pulled into a waterspout and raining down on unsuspecting citizens. Seeing the first (also maybe second), I found the premise delivered a fun and silly popcorn movie night.

Well, Terra discovered my cute stuffed shark, an adorable reminder of those films. This is probably not the healthiest (communist Chinese made) human toy for pet play. However, she appears to use her paws more than teeth. I didn’t know cats batted prey out of the air like that.

Wouldn’t she make a great huntress? Do you think I should be on the safe side and take the stuffed animal away?


Friday, June 28, 2024


My husband and I hope my successful seed starting early this spring pays off. Almost all the tomatoes and peppers look promising.

I remain most excited about my Jarrahdale pumpkins. This blue variety is said to have tasty roasted flesh/seeds besides being decorative.

They did receive damage early on which I now believe almost certainly to have been done by grazing white-tailed deer. Since that discovery I go out in the early evening and cover them with netting which gets removed early the next day (well, as early as I’m willing to tumble out of bed).

Do these stems appear bitten off to you?

On the subject of tumbling, adorable pollinators tumble over one another within each pumpkin blossom (!) and often overnight within the netting. My latest video is below.

I have my fingers crossed that the bitten off stems don’t introduce disease or that insects attack. The season is yet young. Wish me luck.

Aren’t these little bees adorable? Don’t you hope and pray that pollinators facing extinction is vastly exaggerated?


Thursday, June 27, 2024

This Woman Groomed the Tiniest Poodle in the World

This video is not short but I couldn’t resist sharing. Feel free to just enjoy the opening.

Do you tend to notice that men often walk the tiniest pooches while women often have more massive pets? Do you think it’s a security issue for a lone female out walking?


Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Welcome to the Neighborhood

After reading Andrew’s post about nice neighbors I decided to share my latest experience. This past Monday evening I sat outside enjoying the night air when the newest homeowner next door called out, “I have some things for you.”

She offered two rather expensive items I could very well use but tried to decline. I conceded after hearing about her online auction addiction. She bids on unnecessary things just for the rush of getting cheap purchases. That knowledge and trading a few jars of homemade pickles made me feel better. Now I have a lovely garden arch and giant patio umbrella needing assemblage.

This event happened after my recent effort to cheer up a woman who lives a few blocks over. I walked over carrying a cute, smiling, cartoonish anthropomorphic sunflower complete with green arms and legs. Upon receipt of my silly gift, she began weeping.

The stories of mistreatment by some neighbors and even her own family break my heart. Sometimes they sound unbelievable. I stopped by today on my way home upon spotting her and her husband outside. Like me, she works hard doing yard work and I wanted her to know about my recently purchased handy weeding tool.

This made yanking weeds a hundred times faster and easier;
I think the handle on my Amazon purchase is longer...
Aren’t good neighbors a tremendous gift? And do you believe in Karma?


Saturday, June 22, 2024

Giraffe Chiropractor at Oakland Zoo

My husband found this amazing video I need to share. Sad to say, his brothers didn’t bother opening the link he sent them.

How can anyone be too busy for such a short, adorable video? I think they missed out, don’t you?


Wednesday, June 19, 2024

One Classic Ride

I lifted weights today after a long lapse. My excuse for avoidance has been gardening duties and this heat wave put a halt on that. But then I bought a fast food lunch. Oh, well; two steps forward, one step back. Right?

My unhealthy craving paid off in the form of sighting a gorgeous classic car. Its kind owner allowed a photo.

I apologize for the poor lighting...
Can you believe the condition of this 1967 Cadillac Fleetwood? Isn’t it incredible that the original owners (according to the driver) have maintained and driven the car all these decades?


Monday, June 17, 2024

The Big Chill

The other day I decided to inventory frozen foodstuffs. We’ve been stocking up on sale items, especially buy-one-get-one-free (!) deals, which I often proceed to repackage in vacuum sealed bags. Yet regardless of packaging I like to rotate items from the cellar to the kitchen, putting newer stuff in the deep freezer.

I decided utilizing a portable cooler would aid my efforts and thus toted fresh purchases down the stairs. Then I went further, stashing newer pork items at the bottom, older ones atop, and putting the entire cooler inside. Before finishing up I heard my phone announce a text message.

But where was it? I looked on the main floor all the while knowing it to be futile. Finally, I remembered. That wheeled cooler has outside pockets to hold shelf stable items like my smart phone. ~shakes head~ I’m also grateful for not having buried the cooler under a whole lot.

Whew! My husband would’ve put me in the deep freeze if my awesome cellular phone became damaged. I promptly disassembled the Otterbox brand case and thoroughly dried all three pieces. By the way, there is still another unused layer; I don’t like carrying it on my waist and the part with the clip is too big for my everyday fanny pack and most purses.

Have you ever seen the 1983 flick “The Big Chill”? And can you recommend another protective phone case brand?
What a great cast...


Sunday, June 9, 2024

Another Duh Moment

I’m having fun with a plant identification app on my phone. It’s called PlantNet and seems to be extremely accurate. Just this morning I decided to take an image of one of my shade tree’s fruits and realized a very silly mistake. It’s not a buckeye tree at all but a common horse chestnut. ~shakes head~ Somehow my memory got twisted around over the decades.

To my surprise, PlantNet also identified this
as the peculiar squirting cucumber...

Then again, I feel somewhat vindicated after stumbling upon this article. Horse chestnut and buckeye trees resemble one another as they’re in the same genus. And there is so much more I’m learning!

Fun facts:

My tree is the red variety, meaning it has rosy flowers versus white. A woman who saw it in the spring of 2023 not only pulled over to inquire about it, she brought her mother over this past April.

And it’s a hybrid between the red buckeye (!) and white chestnut.

The English call the nuts ‘conkers’. And I understand why after being pelted during that very windy day. lol Thank heaven they’re small and quite soft.

A tasty fall treat for deer, the seeds are toxic to most mammals, including horses. Thanks to this article from the UK I learned two things about the name.

One, a fallen leaf creates a horseshoe shaped scar on the twig, complete with what look like nail holes. I’ll have to look for this come autumn.

And before modern veterinary medicine, crushing conkers released a medicinal compound that, while toxic to smaller animals, helped relieve horses suffering a cough.

Last but not least, harvested seeds are supposedly easy to cultivate over winter. I may have to try this if only for fun.

The entire tree gets covered by these...

Weren’t so-called primitive peoples incredibly inventive? Do you think a horse chestnut sapling would make a nice gift?


Saturday, June 8, 2024

A Teeny, Tiny Flying Gem

This morning I did some garden chores and spotted this damsel fly. What a lucky discovery; most folks (my husband included) would never spot such a tiny creature.

Here is a photo, as well. I apologize for the blurriness.

Doesn’t that blue color pop? Can you imagine being such a minute yet vibrant and valuable being?


Thursday, June 6, 2024

Gardening Fun

These are some random photos I’ve accumulated recently. I hope you enjoy them.
A Cool Fungus
A Tropical Tree Given By a Friend
Wild Strawberries Discovered Beneath
Invasive Prickly Lettuce Plants
Not From My Garden, an Interesting
Vegetable Drawer Discovery
These Nonviable Buckeye Tree Fruits
Pelted Me a Week or So Ago
Yuccas Planted by Former Homeowners
3 + Decades Ago (!) Continue Thriving 
What a Vibrant Insect Relaxing on a Rose

Have harvested vegetables ever sprouted in your home? Did you feel safe eating them?


Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Enchanting Abandoned Witch House Of A Famous Artist - What Happened Here?

Since this video is long, I watched it at a higher rate of speed. Old, abandoned structures fascinate me and I felt my time well spent.