Yesterday was super busy for me. I felt like a good walk in the morning, so Roxxie and I went all the way around. I have just been taking her on very short walks for a while now, and I just wanted to stretch my legs. As usual, she outwalked me!
DH has Sinusitis so I did the grocery shopping for this week. I didn't get out to the garden until almost dark last night. Everything needed water and I had to do it. The wind has been blowing and dried up my new plants.
I spent most of the afternoon pet sitting for a neighbor. Her daughter had to go to the Mayo Clinic for testing, so I watched Little Guy starting at 11 am. He is so cute and easy to care for. He has his own little lounge chair for sunbathing, and he takes very short walks for doing his business, usually in his own yard or adjacent properties. They don't mind. He was involved in a skirmish with a big, mean dog last year and is still having problems with his back right leg. He is extremely sweet, and getting on in years so he is kind of set in his ways like all of us. The main thing is that he loves green beans. Have you ever known a dog that loves to eat green beans? Not me, but he ate those first, then ate his kibble. I could not believe it when his mom first told me how he loved them. Then she showed me how she has them in little snack bags, along with cheese shreds in the freezer, perfect proportions, and to heat them for 30 seconds. I will go down this morning and attend to him as soon as it's daylight.
DH and I are working on a 2000-piece puzzle. I've got more watering to do when I get a chance today. I'm getting the Christmas out this weekend, maybe.
Peace & Plenty.
Yesterday was extremely busy for me. Roxxie and I did our walk around the block, and she wore her sweater hoodie. That hoodie is so stinkin' cute that I feel jealous. It is a cable knit sweater with the leather brand logo on the top back and a little ball on top that bounces when she walks. Yeah! She is styling and profiling.
I went home after dropping her off and got my loppers and went directly to Mike's house to help him trim up the Tithonia diversifolia. I asked him how much he wanted lopped off and he said he was taking it down close to ground level. I cut all the top stems that I could reach that fit my loppers, and he has a handsaw that worked for the rest of it. He told me he cuts it that short every year, it grew back 15-17 ft. Unbelievable! I brought my stash home and put a few sticks into a large tub of water and trimmed off all the flowers & stuck those into water. More on that later.
I immediately started stripping off all the big leaves towards the bottom of the sticks and the dead foliage. I put 5-6 stems into the garden close to the rain barrels and watered them really well. I then gathered up a good candidate and some seeds from my stash and headed out to the widow's house. I sowed Spotted Bee Balm, (which can be sown until the end of December) and some Tithonia rotundifolia into her new garden. Those plants will offer shade to the big Rosemary at the edge of her garden, plus they will attract bees, butterflies, and birds. No pics until the garden is more established.
After lunch I decided to make my very famous Cranberry Orange Walnut Coffee Cake. My friend Ray was having a birthday, and she loves that cake, so I was determined to make it for her. It turned out so beautiful and perfect. No, I did not get a picture of it, but maybe Ray did. I'll find out today. We took her the gifts and her cake when she had her lunch break. She does not eat lunch, but she fixes lunch for her MIL, so I knew it was a good time. We bought her a new pair of Loppers and new pruning shears. She was delighted to get new gardening tools. I told her it's not what I wanted to get for her birthday, but they didn't have what I wanted. Maybe that can be an Easter gift for next year. Wow, it seems strange to be talking about next year, but it's not that far away.
After that we headed over to my friend Donna's. Donna ran away from home on Sunday, and her son found her a good way from their house on a very busy street. She did the same thing last fall I believe it was, and she walked over to our house that time. Anyway, the street he found her on is the main throughway through this whole complex and people have been killed trying to walk up and down it. He does not know what brings these episodes on, but we both think that she is very lonely, and transfers what she watches on tv, i.e., (a crime, gangster type) movie to real life and she does not have enough real-life stimulation to keep her entertained. I told him to only let her watch good movies, like Hallmark. I mean, she is 89, but she is sharp as a tack almost always. I must admit that I have not been stopping in to chat with her because I have been so busy, but I will amend that situation. Her son said she was lying down in bed and feeling nauseous, so I told him to bring her over to our house and I would talk to her & have a nice long visit. She is a very proud lady, and dresses smart and still wears makeup. She is an inspiration to me, and I hope when I reach her age or if I do, that I will still be as able to walk as far as she does.
Those Tithonia flowers filled my biggest vase brimming full of those luscious yellow blooms, and I even had enough short ones to put in a tiny vase. My lanai smelled so wonderful, and I knew Ray would love them. I had to give her something yellow because she loves yellow. I trimmed up the bouquet and took it up in the afternoon. She loved it!
I forgot to tell you that before lunch I managed to rake up another large bag of leaves and add it to the leaf corral. It went down some after that last rain. Everything in the garden is looking good and I'll be watering the Bleeding Heart Vines again this morning. I want all of them to survive.
Peace & Plenty.
I made a few more seed packets this morning. I have to shop today for glue sticks and also some heavy string or thin rope. I will need the rope to make my fresh green swags and garland. I need the glue for my seed packets. The scotch tape is not working this year. Different paper. Thrift store here we come!
Yesterday afternoon I sowed more Tithonia seeds in my own garden. They may not come up until it warms up again, but when they do my other garden plants will have things to climb on and the Tithonia will give shade for the hot spring weather.
Our Thanksgiving was wonderful. So much food, and selections. Good company, love, and friendship. I really enjoyed not having to cook that whole meal for just the two of us. Ray is a great cook and she had things that I have never had before. Roxxie Roo gave me plenty of love and I repaid her with a nice walk. It was a perfect day.
So, I've been reading my Mary Engelbreit book and getting decorating ideas for our home. I want fresh garland and swags and greenery in and around the house this year. I tried it when we first moved to Florida, but the hot sun quickly made all the greenery look dried up. Yes, I know you can buy artificial garlands, but it's just not the same. Hopefully I'll find the supplies I need at my fav thrift store today.
I'm off to the kitchen to make Cranberry, Apple, & Walnut Bread. Yum!
Peace & Plenty.
My friend gave me this Poinsettia.
Container of Tithonia seedheads.
I made this snowman ornament holding a tree and a broom.
On Monday I decided to try out my New to Me Leaf Blower and blow all of the leaves over to the house next door. The reason for this was that my Leaf Corral was starting to get full, and I already had another huge bag to go into the corral. I know that eventually I will take up every single leaf and save it, but I just wanted to get them out of the yard for one day.
Oh, that leaf blower works great. It has several speeds and I only used two of them. I have been needing a leaf blower for years, well, ever since we bought this house. Our real estate friends gave us this one. That huge Sycamore tree puts off quite a few hundred leaves every fall/winter. I like to rake sometimes to keep me in shape but come on!
A gusty wind came up yesterday and blew all the leaves back into my yard. Instead of being in between our house and our neighbor's house, they went to the back yard in front of the Lanai and covered the sidewalk, planting beds, and yard. Not only that, but the dinner plate size leaves are beginning to fall, and that wind was really blowing hard yesterday and many more came down. I will take pictures of my full leaf corral today and the size of the leaves. It's funny but yesterday in Barb's backyard I looked at one of her neighbor's Sycamore trees. It's much taller than our neighbor's big Sycamore tree, but the leaves are so much smaller.
My back was breaking when I finished, but I got it done. My leaf bag is full, the Leaf Corral is full and the leaves are weighed down by my big Crepe Myrtle branches that I saved last spring. I knew those would come in handy and this is their 3rd job since I cut them. First they propped up the Bougainvillea branches so they wouldn't sprawl so much, then some of them propped up the Tithonia that the hurricane almost uprooted, and now they are being used as weights. Love it!
Some of the Bleeding Heart Vines that I got from Peggy are starting to show signs of coming back to life, especially the ones with a good root system already in place. The other ones had some roots, and of course their leaves quickly died from the shock, but I trimmed all those off yesterday and I have hope that they will grow this time. I'm watering them twice a day.
Pics later today. Peace & Plenty.
My leaf corral.
The Milkweed seedlings.
The raised bed with many Dill seedlings! I love dill!
My Mango tree in the raised bed box. I'll have to pot it up soon.
I knew better than to start the caterpillars in a jar. I knew there had to be a reason why I never did it. To me, the best way is the natural way. This morning when I went out and looked in the jar, all of the Milkweed had been eaten down to the nub and I cleaned out the jar, (the poo) and put in a fresh stem. When I came in from my morning gardening chores that stem had been eaten almost entirely. What to do, what to do. I knew I wouldn't have enough for another day so I called my friend Barb and asked if she could take them. She said yes. Barb has lots of patches of Milkweed all over her yard.
This afternoon we took over what we thought was only 3 caterpillars, but there were actually 6. Some of them were so tiny. I guess my eyes are getting bad. Anyway, Barb released all 6 into her Milkweed patch and they were eating when I left. She is so good. She feels the same way I do about not putting them in a jar.
Before we left, she dug up 7 or 8 volunteer Milkweed plants for my garden and some Cosmo's to boot. That Milkweed seed is carried by the wind all over her yard.
I took her a large cutting of Tithonia diversifolia so she can have some in her garden. She's happy, I'm happy. All is right in the Monarch world. I have every confidence that those Monarch's will eclose and maybe she will get to watch some of them.