Little Ms. Lucille is hanging with me this morning. MickeyMouser jumped up on his perch in the studio when I went in as if to say, “Don’t even think about me coming in today, I’m staying here.”
The perch Lucy is on used to be one of those beautiful wicker etageres. The frame was perfect for lashing some rough wood pieces to for shelves for her to scratch and lie on. It had been in the bedroom at the window for them to look out searching for the outdoor kitties. It will likely end up in their catio.
Worried about the sun getting to Buster’s pond and some more inspecting of it, it was clear that it seriously needed a cleaning out. Bucket by bucket the existing water was fished out and applied to plants around. There was a moment of fear thinking Buster had been fished out too and thrown somewhere because even to the last little puddle of water, she kept hiding. There she finally was.
She was put in the bucket with some fresh water while the pond was better cleaned out and put back in once the refilling was well underway. She kept peeking up to see if I was looking at her. She’s so cute — red-eared pond slider. She was slowly making her way across a street one day where I was walking and came home to live with us.
It definitely has a leak because it was filled to overflowing yesterday.
After these images were taken, more boards were placed to keep direct sun off as much as possible with lots of places for her to eek out to bask. The recommendation is to keep a pond covered at least 75% with plants or covers to help keep algae at bay. Duckweed would be a great resolve because it would cover the pond in no time and turtles can live on duckweed. Now to work on a better cover. Oh me, oh my oh.
It seems that every single little sprout from the sweet potato has gotten roots and many already have started leafing out.
More oh me, oh my oh! Where to plant them once they’re ready??
A little time out for reminiscing when an old suitcase of my mother’s came in to be sorted. It had some memorabilia in it. This string of critters were prototypes for more that were made to sell. It was a first attempt at an entrepreneurial endeavor since I was well on my way to being sick of working retail for someone who wasn’t very nice.
It was supposed to be my turn to be the featured designer in this article but the owner didn’t like the client I had chosen to be talked about — the client’s style was garish even though she spent tons of money in the store.
I’m the one in houndstooth. It all got so very tiring.
The walnut critter on the far left, in the palm of my hand, was one sent by my cousin one year for Christmas. I thought the idea was so clever, I set about getting walnuts for the cotton-ball-pillow tummy to be stuffed into and filbert nuts for their faces and all kinds of bits and bobs to dress them up all kinds of ways. I calculated every square or straight inch of everything to come up with a per each cost and I think it was 50 cents per critter. I tried to sell them for $3 each and many sold. I would open an egg carton with a dozen of them in it, (before they got so elaborate they were just little baskets and the walnuts sat where the eggs would have.) Whoever was around would come over and ooh and awe and try to pick the face they wanted.
It wasn’t long before I would realize that it was just too much work for what was gotten and that I am NOT a real salesperson. I’m an idea person. Selling is NOT my thing.
I made $100 once and turned right around to give it to an emergency clinic when the knife I was using to clean the walnut shells slipped and stabbed the middle of my hand. I needed stitches.
It wasn’t much longer before I became aware that money doesn’t motivate me, freedom does — freedom to sit and make “mice” to my hearts content, even if they can’t be sold, just because I want to and it’s fun. The only solution to that dilemma was to need less. So here I am with no Ferrari parked in a storage unit to go out riding in when I get bored and want to show off.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Back to the work of making life the way I like it.
Tin-foil hat lady signing off. Hope you have a great day.
Buster’s pond cover has been being torn apart from raking winds over the last week or so.
That darned tarp was $25 I think. It is riddled now. All the grommets pulled away and the mesh started shredding. I really knew better, but I was rather desperate to get something up once spring started advancing.
Well, I took the second cattle panel over to try to work with it for the pond instead of another kitty thing.
I think I will order a truck load of cattle panels because I never find an end to needing one.
What had been done for Buster’s pond, this last go round, was that the tarp was lashed to both sides of the fence after being draped over the old canopy frame. That frame was rather useless too.
Is anything made worth a cent these days?
That big clump of water iris started as one single little piece. It grows like mad. I have long been trying to get a source for duckweed and there is an aquatic plant place not too far away that sometimes has it — but, once the world stopped, they weren’t open. I was going to get a rubber liner and redo the whole thing. Guess that will have to wait like everything else.
Did that sound sarcastic? Good.
So, the cattle panel got wrangled over to where it needs to be but it needs a fence post or two on the low footer side since the yard wedges at that end and the panel needs to be straight to bend into an arch. There really needs to be two arches, but we’ll start with one.
There is one fence post in the ground at the plum tree — used when it was first planted to keep it straight. All the ties corroded long ago so that post isn’t needed there. It will have to be dug out and I was simply fried by the time it came to doing that and came in to cook something to eat.
After wrangling the panel to the pond, I draped whatever blanket was lying around over it a little and went to work on the kitties venue.
Trying to figure out a way to make a door, the old rusted wire thing, that used to be my bed box spring, was brought over and, after flopping it all over clumsily, it suddenly dawned on me that it could be bent to make a small dome to extend their playground.
There just happened to be two pieces of corrugated metal to use to secure the holes in the wire and make it better for rainy days? There’s another piece kicking around that can be cut to fit. Those two were perfect.
It would be nice to get a litter box out there where they might like to make their stinks for the strays around???
That wall should have been addressed before any of this got started — I never seem to do things right.
That metal etagere was purchased in 1973 or so for $10. It was one of those lost leaders Levitz Furniture used to have to drag people in, (remember bean bags?) It used to be gold. Can you believe it is still kicking around?!?!?
I guess some things endure.
The kitties are shortening their stay inside every day it seems. I almost slammed MickeyMouser in the back door not realizing he was trying feverishly to get back to the studio. He wouldn’t settle down until I took him back out.
This is how I get to live when they are not inside…
No plastic on any of the upholstered things and the second chair brought back out from inside the mudroom. There isn’t plastic for it.
The drape on the green velvet swivel was supposed to be a rug, but it hasn’t been finished and was useful to cover that mess of a chair until — don’t hold your breath — I learn how to upholster.
I love that chair. It’s so comfortable. And it swivels.
The chaste tree is full of bees loving the purple blossoms.
And I need to get busy like the bees and figure out when these prickly pears need to be harvested. I guess they aren’t going to be the red kind? This is the very first year it has had pears and it only happened after the whole plant toppled and regrew from what was left.
All the other pieces were planted and are just babies everywhere you look.
The world may have stopped, but I haven’t. Have you?
Let’s start our own New World without any orderers.
Hearing the trash truck in the alley was the only thing that would make me jump out of bed this morning. Once he’s there, it is no time before he is around from the back and heading for mine in the front.
A bad habit of staying up too late has been happening again. It has something to do with length or movement of sunlight in a day.
All the rooms in the house have been being left open so that there is a free flow for movement now that the kitties are spending their biggest chunks of time out in the studio — so, before they can come in come morning, things have to be buttoned up again.
Plastic goes on the upholstered things and doors get closed to rooms that they can no longer go in. That is why they get bored so easily — they can’t go flying from window to window hunting the outdoor kitties.
So they meow around, eat some, talk a lot and sprawl. In there somewhere, one or both of them want some brushing — I end up the fuzz ball.
I got most of the living room floor painted and all of the hall. Now to clean the bathroom and paint that floor and then the bedroom.
No more work was done on the catio yesterday. There is still some adjusting to do to the sudden rise in temperature. That’s always how this desert does, BOOM, heat! Yesterday there were some spits of rain but not much cooling off occurred — a little reminder of the upcoming delightful monsoons it seems.
No teapots got dusted either but here they are for you to see for the sake of telling stories — dust or not.
A video I watched somewhere in the day yesterday was of a woman speaking about cleaning out chakras (or some such) — I was searching for more about her since she was interviewing Crrow777radio.com personality, Crow.
Most of what she was saying sounded like gobbledygook to me at this time, but she did speak my language about home maintenance. She was talking about making her bed. She just closes the door to her bedroom since she will just be back in it later — “What’s the sense of making it?” was her attitude. I feel pretty much the same. It also doesn’t make sense to cover up any heat or leftover body parts from circulating air. I often take blankets out to get disinfected by the sun.
The point she was making was that there are far more important things to do than make a bed, like cleaning out body demons. “Who will ever know about your unmade bed?” she asked.
Is OCD a body demon?
The teapots will get dusted, eventually — because I like to look at them clean — especially when they’re telling me their stories.
They did get moved around a little because their placements didn’t seem quite right.
The previous post has an image of how they were before this OCD event.
That little gold cream and sugar set were something I found while spending a day with my mother in Palm Springs — sometime in the late 80s. I’ve always had less money than I could have, and I was admiring and lusting after them and said to my mother something like, “I sure would like to have them.” They were probably $20 or so, I forget, maybe $30 — that would have been more scary at that time. She said her usual thing, “If you think you are going to lose sleep over them, you’d better get them.”
I vet everything by those words now… or still, and always feel my mother by my side.
So many wonderful stories in all these bits and bobs. The purple saucer was my grandmother’s. I swear we inherit color preferences with our DNA. The cup is somewhere where it looks better. I think all the little demi cups and whatever saucers they are on were in love packages from my aunt. The sets in the back I bought.
The little black lunging kitty was a gift from a boyfriend I dragged on a treasure hunt years ago. He was like a bull in a china shop — big, but like a cat the way he meandered around with grace and care. I picked it up, probably because I had an all-black cat at the time. I put it back on the shelf and he picked it up behind me, “I think you need to have this.”
Seems we need our memories more than ever now. I know I do.
That little black kitty lunged off a shelf one time and broke its lunging leg. “Should I let it go?” went through my mind. You can see what happened. I still know the man though I have to remind him of the story.
I noticed the bus was running this morning so it looks like people are trying to pretend that things are going back to like they were before the world stopped. It’s often fun pretending but I don’t think we have that luxury now.
I’m not pretending, but I still need some groceries while I can still get them.
I guess I can at least put off starving for later.
The kitties were in with me for a brief spell just before now. They tire of me easily, and that is a good thing — it’s wonderful that they like being in the studio.
I can visit them there and once the catio is finished, I can sit on the swing beside them to spend some outdoor time.
It was just too hot to think about it yesterday and I’ll really have to push myself today as it is VERY HOT again.
So, yesterday, for some reason, I got inspired to paint the floors in the living room, hall, bathroom and my bedroom again. It started with sweeping and mopping and went from there.
It’s all done by hand with a brush as I can’t be bothered with the mess or expense of a roller. I think it’s fun.
I HATE carpet. I’ve said that numerous times.
When I first got here, there was a popcorn Berber installed all over — that low-grade stuff off the roll from Home Depot. It wasn’t long before it was driving me crazy, so it got yanked out.
Under it was the original red concrete slab with black, tar-like glue in squares from having had some kind of, likely, vinyl tiles stuck on.
I lived with that mess for far too long with area rugs here and there to keep me from going totally crazy.
Finally, I got to painting all the floors.
I never tend to do things right. The style here is totally ad-lib with whatever is within arm’s reach or the store I’m in when inspiration strikes and as economical as possible.
I’ve really loved the color in the living room and hall — so went about trying to come as close as I could to it again with whatever was inside from trying to do the kitchen cupboards and the floors in there.
trying to get the shade right. The original is the darker areas.
I got pretty darned close. The above image is a corner I tried to do in the dim light of lamps last night and you can see a little patch that got missed.
Below are some of the patches under things that need to be moved out to paint under and why everything is pulled into the middle of the room in the first images.
This little book table has had several shades stroked on it trying to decide what color it wants to be. Time to get it sanded and finished. It will end up the dark blue if you can see the top of it somewhere up above.
The new shade for the floor is a smidgen darker and that doesn’t bother me one iota — so very pleased that it came out so close.
All the fine tuning going on these days has lots of stuff out on gorilla racks waiting for their fate.
The collection of teapots just can’t be parted with — but, they all got corralled to pride of place inside the big china and all the glass that was in it got sorted. Whatever wasn’t possible to be let go of, got arranged and put into the glass curio.
Parting is such sweet sorrow.
Don’t look at the dust on the fireplace in the mirror image of it. (Did that work to keep you from looking?)
The glass curio has been completely cleaned as well as all the items in it. There wasn’t a speck of dust when it was finished. The teapots were in open cabinets up high in the kitchen and are layered in dust. This is another upcoming project — but it can’t all be done in a day.
The big china doesn’t get moved — it gets painted around. It’s up enough that it can be painted under just enough to fool all the prying eyes that are never here to see it.
I matter too.
So, I read an article lately that was published sometime back, 2018ish, claiming there were experiments going on in Tucson, AZ, (45 miles west of me), to block out the sun completely, (for global warming was the claim — see how THEY use that meme). The article said that if it was successful, it would be instituted world wide or at least country wide.
WHO ARE THEY TO SAY?!!!
I want a vote.
Can you imagine?
No wonder things won’t grow here and why EVERYBODY is, (THEY claim), deficient in vitamin D.
In spite of it all, I keep trying. Two sweet potatoes that haven’t been eaten quickly enough, (yet), started trying to grow again. All the slips, even the tiniest of them, got carefully removed and put into a level of water enough to help them grow their roots.
It seemed to take them minutes to begin their work of making little white fibers to reach the water near them.
I can’t see enough to get a good image if I don’t happen to have my readers on. Sorry.
There’s another day in the life of a crazy, tin-foil-hat-wearing cat lady who has to have her readers near for closeups and can’t see leaves on trees outside the way she should but doesn’t know the difference.
It’s all pretty just the same.
I’ll leave you with these images of interior design projects by Beata Heuman, (and hope I don’t get a copyright infringement slap), who happens to capture my desired aesthetic almost to a T.
Today it is 87 degrees F inside and I’m fairly comfortable with just a little fan blowing on me — though the mudroom, where I prefer to be, is likely a few degrees hotter — I’m still in it because it’s such a comfortable place to be.
The kitties came in for a tiny spell but are so accustomed to being in the studio now, they don’t want to stay in with me for long.
Boohoo — I miss the little critters, but have to do whatever I can to keep all of us happy.
Fortunately there is that great big umbrella shade Hackberry tree out where I needed to be to work on their outdoor venue yesterday, right in the middle of that day’s heat.
I started out thinking I might be able to use that old bed frame to bend the cattle panel into an arch and use some way to pull the sides in to keep the shape.
Nope. Silly me trying to be lazy.
There were just four fence posts hanging around so — they got pounded in.
Somewhere in the course of things the pounder-inner fell on my bare foot and that hurt a lot. Another time the wire fencing sprung and slammed me on the side of the head. I’m lucky to be alive it seems.
Things that happen when you insist on doing things by yourself?
If I’d been on my game, I would have put the wire fencing on the panel BEFORE I made the arch and wedged it in.
What an ordeal trying to get that wimpy fencing up and over the arch all the while it kept catching on anything it could.
It got done with a couple of bomb words.
Yes, I plan to hose that gunk off the wall and make things nicer before much longer. That chair needs painting too. It came over to stand on.
I sure know how to take a risk.
This morning there was a slinky little black kitty sprawled out comfortably, (likely to torment the kitties in the window), right under the chair staring at me when I went out to measure for making some kind of a doorway.
There was just the right length of PVC pipe to cut for legs to lift the cattle panel up to make the right height. Now wire fencing will go around the bottom and, the hope is, to make a layer of bottles around the bottom, cemented in, to keep indoor and outdoor kitties from fighting through the fencing.
This is the same system used in the front yard for those cattle panel arches. Those were painted to look pretty. There isn’t enough time or worry to bother with making this pretty since it’s over in the side yard where no one from the street can see.
Some chicken wire will go up high enough to make the wire fence holes a little smaller on the lower level.
Realizing I hadn’t taken an image of the top to show how it fits so nicely around the window and right up to the rotting fascia, the slinky black kitty had gotten back under the chair.
The studio is falling down around itself. It needs a new roof and has since I’ve been here — 17 years.
That is why it makes a nice, bad-kitty place and why all the sewing stuff is making its way inside.
I’d rather tear the roof off and make some kind of greenhouse in the long run.
So, everything is working out like it needs too — kitties out there and with outside spaces and me inside with all my sewing supplies.
Walking over to take the fascia shot, this is where the sun was, almost directly overhead.
The carport cover is not looking very pretty either.
So, while it’s so hot, I shall work on things inside.
The puzzle is finished and just a few pieces were missing. They may be somewhere around as this puzzle has been under this and over that waiting for me to get to it — probably a couple of years.
It was a thrift store purchase, so there were no guarantees.
Today I shall spread a layer of white glue over it to keep it together so that it can be turned over to glue the back. It will likely be glued to a piece of plywood to make a floating thing to use for whatever it needs to be used for.
I LOVE putting puzzles together.
Real life ones, (like why is this crazy stuff happening), catios and pictures.
So there’s another day in the life of a crazy, tinfoil-hat-wearing cat lady.
Since we started with Lucy last post, we’ll start with her again. She has her mouth open. She was right in the middle of saying something when I shot this. I think she was saying, “Don’t take me until I get my lipstick on but I’m too lazy to bother so just go away altogether.”
She got a good brushing just a few minutes before this and plopped back onto this latest favorite place to be while she is in with me.
MickeyMouser is in the studio. He gets bored very easily when I bring them in in the morning after I’ve closed off every room except the living room, kitchen and laundry and everything has plastic on.
It’s all Lucy’s fault. She keeps wanting to pee on things. So…they have been having to stay in the studio until I bring them in come morning. Meanwhile, we, (the kitties and I), are trying to build ways that they can be outside in some kind of screened in or doored enclosure.
…Two 50″ X 16′ wire cattle panels…
Some pieces of wood to try to make some doors for the front porch…
A friend helped me bring home the two new cattle panels to bend into arches just outside one of the windows of the studio. The big hackberry tree makes wonderful shade all summer long and drops all those leaves in fall to let the sun come through.
I think the kitties are going to love to be able to walk out that window and be outside safe and secure, once I get it done.
Some wire fencing was tried for making an arch and it was just too flimsy — even two layers together. I was trying to use what was already kicking around.
All the tubs filled with broken bits and pieces of ceramics, (that are planned to be mortared to this same wall along with a collection of mirrors and mirror pieces), were moved up onto the patio slab and all the leaves were raked and put into trash bins to be used for composting.
All this inspired by a little itty bitty kitty.
“Get your butt in gear, Mom!”
Still working on the inside too. Today I played with this piece of fabric to see if it will make a balloon-style valance for over the doorway to the front door.
Now that the kitties will have the studio, the house can be developed more for sewing. These boxes of things have been in the sewing room on a bookcase for quite awhile. Now clear totes are starting to be filled to bring in all the rest.
The newly filled tubs are working to keep them out of the bedroom until some kind of door can be put there — hopefully a folding pair of shutter panels. The door was removed when I first got here because it took too much space to open in.
Outside, the chaste tree is starting to bloom and it is so beautiful when it does.
Sweet potatoes looking good under the scraggly tree.
All the bottles under the table over there are going to be transferred to where the kitty cattle panels will be to cement in along the bottoms.
I really wanted to paint some decorations on the tarp before it went up on those cattle panels, but time was a ticking — too hot to think about it so it will have to stay silver this year.
And that’s another day in the life of a tin-foil-hat-wearing cat lady.
That’s Lucy — the little kitty lying on the table looking up with a multi-colored button nose. The plastic on the chair to the right of my hand is for Lucy. She doesn’t like the strays outside so pees on things to let them know who’s boss. She’s the boss. She’s the boss of me. Several less important things have gone to the landfill. That’s not a place Lucy will ever see if it’s up to me.
The strawberries were yummy. One had some bacteria bites on it or maybe it was bug nibbles. It was, after all, lying on the dirt in its pot. I ate whatever bugs or bacteria that I couldn’t see.
I’m not afraid.
I’m a little afraid of Lucy. She’s really just a sweetie in disguise though. She struts and throws her shoulder but mushes if you make her let you mush her. She probably wouldn’t let you mush her.
I just cooked my dinner without plugging in the toaster oven. Needless to say, it didn’t cook. Now I’ll have to wait.
No hurry, no worry is my slogan.
Speaking of Lucy…she was just a little itty bitty kitty when she jumped up on a trailer to ask me to bring her home with me while I was walking in her territory. Who could resist a little itty bitty kitty as cute as she is? Certainly not I, as you can clearly see.
Some people might throw her out the door because she’s ornery and likes to show the other cat’s who’s boss.
Like I said, she’s the boss of me.
I’m not willing to forget what is important.
Natural, living things are what’s important. Things that might need a little help from me from time to time.
I tried to embed some bottles in the soil for a walkway. They will be dug up before too long. They are just too hard to walk on with bare feet and just too hard to install in the first place.
A mesquite tree that found its way to me. It sprouted somewhere inconvenient and was put in a pot to decide where it needs to be later on. Lots of new growth this time of year.
An avocado tree from a seed growing in the gray pot in the middle there. It lives inside, (with rocks around it’s trunk so that Lucy doesn’t dig it up), for winter. MickeyMouser either. He’s as bad as she is about digging. Peeing too but only after Lucy does.
I’m not willing to forget what is important.
All the Palo Verde trees are yellow at the moment.
A year or so ago some baby Palo Verde trees volunteered beneath their mothers along the road through the school. I went over with a spade and dug about twelve of them up before I got too tired. There were cameras on me all the while. I wasn’t afraid. They were just going to spray them with an herbicide before too long. I ruffled all the rocks back up over the dirt I dug them out of. Several of them are doing well as we speak. A couple went into the ground here or there in the yards.
And yes, they did kill all the others in the long run. I wish I’d taken more time to bring more of them with me.
I refuse to forget what is important.
If we forget what is important, it won’t be long before we have cameras and waves like a blanket over us and tracking our every move and nothing of nature left to see.
My home is somewhat tiny — 1024 square feet if memory serves. Of course that doesn’t count the studio which was, at one time, a double garage it seems. It was badly converted to be a grandmother dwelling by previous owners of this property and the realtor who refurbished things before putting this house on the market took all the crumbling elements out and it was left as somewhat of an open room. It has been many things since I’ve been here, but I digress. It is falling apart and the kitties like to be out there during the day.
I’m sitting in my favorite little room, the mudroom — it’s the size of a prison cell but I could feel quite happy living in it. It’s almost 7 pm and there is a fan blowing from the living room to cool me just enough to be quite comfortable.
Crrow777radio.com episode 50 is playing in the background as I try to wrap my mind around all that has happened these last many weeks now.
I refuse to use any current memes or try to capitalize on a manufactured event — so suffice it to say, I’m a little happy that what has happened has happened because it woke me up a little more than I have been and gave me a new lease on things that have long been important to me. I wear my tinfoil proudly. I wish everybody would. This has made it very possible to see how many aren’t.
A sense of purpose had been evading me, but not now.
Anyway, after taking about 20 shots around the yard, they’re now uploaded and descriptions will be added to them.
The plastic blinds below have lasted for 17 years now and are just about as good as new still. They were the ones off the rack that it used to be my job to cut for clients when I worked at Home Depot all those years ago now — 1993 through 2000 — just long enough to earn the full value of a 401K plan, take the money and run.
The blinds were taken out of the window just days ago now and were washed very well by hanging them over a PVC pipe between spaces in the cattle panel arches. They are nice and clean now as is the window and the sill.
There were two pieces of a now vintage Waverly fabric making unfinished panels on the sides of the big window that came down to be washed and this sheet was split in half to use in the meantime. This stripe seems to be a little more soothing. We’ll see. There are some old hankies and doilies that are pretending to want to be on it.
All non-essential things have been being taken out and made ready to be gotten rid of — donated or given away — some things up for purchase on Etsy or somewhere in the long run. They are currently living on the gorilla racks that were lined up in the back yard to use to make a catio. After washing the cupboard shelves, essential things will go back on them. Some painting is getting done as well.
That pinkish paint was after dumping gallon after gallon of hoarded oops paints into a 5 gallon bucket. It’s been being used for things here and there — whatever strikes a fancy. There is an equal amount of a turquoisey color that may get mixed with this to make enough to paint the whole exterior of the house once things that want this color on them get painted???
Below is a rose bush that went in the ground after struggling in various assorted containers for years and years. It’s very temperamental but at the same time very robust. It waxes and wanes and keeps on ticking. It forces my attention. That is a good thing. I love this little rose bush. It has flowered once or twice. A nearby neighbor has them all along his fence that bloom all the time. I really DON’T have a green thumb. I REALLY have to work to keep things alive.
I’m not complaining.
The romaine lettuce is also temperamental but I’m delighted it’s still growing. I’ve only eaten a few leaves. I have a very hard time making myself eat my greens. I know I really should.
I’m also very intent on accumulating more seeds now that we can see we really need to pay attention to that aspect of living — growing our own food — so if they all bolt and go to seed it won’t be too disappointing. These all showed up here after all previously saved seeds were willy nilly broadcast everywhere to see what would grow and where it might want to. The garden table and chairs were brought over to make a nicer looking shade element since the lettuce plants absoposolutely DON’T like direct sun.
Aren’t they pretty little things?
All the mustard weed was lopped and dropped to act as a little bit of ground cover so that is the dry yellow elements you will see all over.
An online friend, (Hi Heidi, if you’re visiting), sent me a teeny tiny elm tree sometime back. I nursed it in a pot and put it in the ground as soon as the timing seemed right. It has been faring quite well and I am encouraged. (Thanks Heidi and your red canna is still alive and looking good as well.)
More drying mustard weeds around it hoping they will help with evaporation rates??
Several potted things got bigger pots and all got moved to be under the #ScragglyTree again for summer. They seem to like that spot the best this time of year.
Anything to keep them happy. The plan is for more of them to be put in the ground and crowd things, as much as possible, come fall.
This looks like it could be a clematis but could just as easily be a weed. It stood out because the sun was making it a feature. I will keep an eye on it. There are so many things that have flown in on the wind or with a bird and they always seem to be the survivors. They are always welcome.
Speaking of volunteers — mama chaste tree has many, many offspring. They will go in here and there come fall as well.
Container alley again under the Scraggly Tree.
You can see the arm of the plastic Adirondack chair, bottom right, that got painted the pinkish color that was mixed. A clear coat was sprayed atop the pink and it is doing well getting hosed off for birdy poo poo quite often.
Finally took the initiative to corral as much good soil as could be found around to put some of the sweet potato slips in to see how they will do in a container. There are many more that need to find homes in the ground.
This lilac is in a pair of tires and is hard to keep happy. The black tires, it seems, heat up too much and dry out the soil quickly but it’s scary to think of transplanting it. It came out of the ground for the same trouble once upon a time.
Hey, it just dawned on me, the tires should be painted white!! As Gru would say, “Light bulb.”
Washing one of my Aunt’s doilies. It’s under my coffee cup most days so it gets pretty brown from time to time.
Mama chaste tree seems to look better this year. Maybe the stick pile has been a benefit? That piece of fabric was put over the sticks for the stray cat that likes to lie upon them.
Some bean seeds were broadcast everywhere the end of winter and most aren’t looking like they will go the distance. One does. No matter. They are nitrogen fixers and anything that can be useful to improve soil with debris and roots is good with me.
Someday I may figure out how to grow food.
Strawberries came over to be under the cattle panels for late afternoon light and shade most of the day. The grapevine is trying, trying, trying. More sweet potato slips still growing on the left of the strawberries.
The water lily just perked right up the minute it started warming up. There are three flowers open and another one coming. There are tons of snails and it seems that they are doing a good job to eat up the dead debris and algae??? Keeping an eye on them.
The container they are in is a makeshift thing that was built with jars, wire fencing, a furniture blanket and black garden plastic when it was clear that Buster the-girl-turtle was going to continue to gobble it up as quickly as it grew. Her pond now has tons of aquatic iris doing well and tons and tons of snails there too. Not sure if she is eating snails or not. She still gets her turtle food. The irises are to manage the algae by utilizing it for nutrients. So far, so good. A tarp is up over her pond now, but there is plenty of sun on either side for her to bask morning through evening as she pleases and enough to benefit the irises.
The water is still a little murky but not awful. Things are looking good.
The water evaporated enough and the black plastic was taken out of the second pond with the goal of trying to use concrete somehow to improve that one to see if her big pond can eventually be made better.
So that’s a day in the life of an old tinfoil-hat-wearing cat lady who has a new lease on life.
Hope you’re doing well and feeling good.
Life is what we make it is more clear to me now than ever.
And, here’s a video WELL worth the time to watch it:
I’ve been trying for all the years I’ve been at this address, (17), to get dandelions to grow. After ordering seeds and an online friend sending me some of hers, they are finally starting to show up here and there. I leave them completely alone in hope that they will proliferate all over the place to help improve soil conditions wherever they will grow and for a forage food for me and all the pollinators that love them too, once they do.
cool, shady area – one little dandy trying to grow
I can’t imagine anyone not loving dandelions.
When did humans start thinking that they know more than Mother Nature — pulling and spraying and killing everything that gets in the way of how they want things to be?
Years ago, when I was in California, I had a back yard filled with dandelions. I was brainwashed to think they shouldn’t be there. It’s amazing how manipulated a human can be. I spent time meditating while I pulled the flowers off of as many stems as I could, thinking I could thwart them, and, eventually, I did. Before long, I had almost no dandelions. Saddest part of it all was that all those nutritious flowers went into the bin for fear they’d dry and their seeds would blow up through the wind if I left them lying there on the ground to finish dying. I guess I can be happy I left the roots in the ground.
Getting out of diapers isn’t always easy.
I also learned, the hard way, how better to prune and also that it isn’t always a good idea to do it at all, period.
This little Anna Apple tree came home and lost an arm right away, just being juggled around while finding her final place. Turned out to be kind of a good thing in that it made her easier to place because the side that broke off allowed for her to go very close to the sidewalk in the narrow back yard.
It’s been here many years now and just last year it became clear that some pruning was in order because her limbs were hanging to the ground.
She got a really good hair cut and has come back beautifully will lots of apples this year.
We just barely get enough “chill days” for this variety to grow here. That is one of the few benefits to living here — we are higher up than some other Arizona places. I’m a little jealous of Tucson as they can grow citrus and avocados — but that is the only reason to be jealous of Tucson.
It’s starting to warm up enough to feel almost hot during the mid afternoon parts of the day. Today I put a tarp on the cattle panels that form an arch over the sidewalk that leads from the gate to the house. I put a piece of wire fencing between the two arches so the tarp could go over the whole thing.
You can see a corner of it in this image:
Lately mustard weeds were lopped and left to cover bare ground wherever they were growing but only as they appeared to be drying out and were through with the value they were to the bees — the earliest nectar available here for them. The roots were left to feed the livestock in the soil — bugs and microbes.
Right after they finished, the Aloe Vera all flowered and the bees just love them, as do hummingbirds which are starting to show up also.
The purple table set came over from the corner plot of this compound as it is being cleaned up to reconfigure Buster’s pond, (girl turtle). It is now placed just so to shade a patch of romaine lettuce that sprouted from some saved seeds I broadcast everywhere hoping they would find a place they liked.
As a followup of the post just before this one, here is the prickly pear starting to flower. Sure hope I get to know how prickly pears taste.
Very soon after I took over this property, I noticed a little prickly pear cactus growing out of the hollow of one of the footer blocks of the fence in the yard I refer to as the #SouthFortyTriangleLot — it’s shaped like a wedge and it is on the far side of the property away from the main house.
That was in 2003.
Can’t remember exactly when I noticed it growing but I watched it and watched it as it grew. It seemed to grow very slowly for very many of it’s early years There might even have been a time or two that I thought it had died. Suddenly it found its footing and just took off until that fateful day it collapsed because of its own weight.
It could be two years now that it got so big it toppled. The biggest hunk of it just fell to the ground. Eventually, I was able to separate all the pieces and went about laying them all over in various assorted places around the property, wherever they made sense to be growing — some inside the fence and some outside. I don’t think any of them didn’t take. I have Mickey Mouse-looking prickly pear plants all over now with their new paddles growing from the pieces that sent roots into the dry desert sand just like they were supposed to.
The mummy plant took off again like a race horse as soon as the big chunk fell off and she is now even bigger than she was before — it happened in what seemed like no time. I was just amazed.
All through the years, she has never, never produced a pear. Look at her now!!! Mama Mia, prickly pears galore!! Some new paddles again this spring too.
Bug on a paddle, oh no!
Pears and pears and pears
Is that how prickly pear cacti have babies — topple and root on the ground?
Where it all began
The strings in the above image are the anchors for the tarp that goes over Buster’s, (the girl turtle), pond.
Permies.com has a great forum “Prickly Pear are the Perfect Permaculture Plant for Parched Places” describing some of their many benefits: “The mighty prickly pear. Great for vegetable, fruit, dyes, living predator fences, erosion control, medicine and drought insurance. Talk about stacking functions!”
One of mummy’s offspring behind the pomegranate tree already has quite a few new paddles growing. All that was done was the broken off and healed paddles were laid on the dirt with the side with signs of roots growing from the areole to the dirt.
All these years now trying so hard to grow food. It is NOT easy in a desert. I’m thrilled to have all this propagation of prickly pear. I understand the paddles make something very good to eat and, of course, the pears are very loved. Here is a group in my area teaching all about it: Desert Harvesters.
I’m ever more conscious of how important growing food is and am stepping up my efforts, not that I haven’t always been trying. I am just now not giving myself any leeway to get the slightest bit lazy.
Just at the beginning of the coming spring, I took all my saved seeds and broadcast them all over just to see what might like to grow where. It’s a lot of fun watching. I also planted a lot of the little trees that have been several years in a nursing condition — under shade in pots. They started telling me they wanted their roots in the ground, so I obeyed. They are my dictators and I love them telling me what to do. They are the only ones who are able to get away with it.
Plums for me and the birds
Pomegranates for me and the bugs and flowers on the pyracantha for the bees
As some things are fading away, like the beloved #ScraggleTree, new things are getting started. All the little trees went in wherever they fit and I will see how things go. I hope they all survive and I just have lots of pockets of shade that things might just like to grow under.
Try, try, try. If at first you don’t succeed, try try again. It’s all so much great fun.
The poor old ScragglyTree
The sky as blue as blue can be above the ScragglyTree
Weeds thrown over the fence from the parkway to bury somewhere — trench compost style