Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Guinea Fowl Eggs

These are the first guinea fowl eggs I've seen. I'd never seen guinea fowl until we moved to Tennessee. One wandered into the yard and stayed for a while. I've heard they are great for keeping a yard free of ticks. A volunteer came by today to give me these (and another goose egg) to blow out, dye, and carve. Obviously I don't just like to decorate eggs at Easter.
The eggs are small and I was told they have a tough shell. I haven't done anything with them yet, except wash them. I don't know if all guinea fowl eggs are mottled-looking or not, but I think the dye effect will be interesting.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


When I was a kid, I'd look up words to see if I was saying it wrong or the person on television or wherever I'd heard it. I still do that. Today I looked up "peony" because everybody around here calls it "pea ON ee). I wanted to know if that is an accepted pronunciation according to the dictionary. It wasn't listed as an acceptable pronunciation in the online dictionary I used. If it had been listed, I would have tried to say it that way. But it wasn't. So, of course, I then had to decide if I should mispronounce it to avoid sounding like I'm "different." Can't quite get there. They are just going to have to think I'm wrong since obviously if all of them say it that way, I'm the wrong one.

Not a Cardinal

There were about four of these flitting around. I liked how it looked in the dogwood (yeah, needs to have the dead wood trimmed out of it).
Larry said it isn't a cardinal because it has no crest. He said it is a scarlet tanager. I looked up scarlet tanager online and it has a black wing.
He looked it up in the bird book and it turns out it isn't a scarlet tanager, it's a summer tanager. It is a little smaller than a cardinal with no crest, but the same intense red. Larry says it is just passing through.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Lots of Steps

We have been on flash flood alert for a day or so. I've gotten a bunch of steps in digging up things since the ground was so wet it was easier. We have nineteen asparagus plants up so far.
When the ground is this wet, walking around outside is tricky because stepping in a mole tunnel is muddy.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Deer Guard

There are azaleas more full of blooms, but this one is doing pretty well since Larry started covering it with chicken wire to keep the deer from eating it. It looks better from a distance since the chicken wire shows up better up close.

Trying Something

I'm checking to see if resetting my computer to April 15 is helpful for speed of loading my pictures. It was. So before too much time elapses, I want to download a couple of audible books:)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Crawled Around

I tried to post this picture last night but it was too slow. I'm using an old laptop and it is doing fine.
I put the knee pads on and crawled under the west side of the porch. I took a flashlight so I could find the faucet for the west porch. I found it and turned it on. When I managed to get back out from under the house, water was pouring down. I thought that maybe I'd left the faucet on the porch on so I walked bent over to get out from under the porch, around the house, up onto the water.
So then I had to go back under the house to turn the faucet off. I couldn't tell what was leaking (gushing), but I think it is going to require a plumber.

Yellow Strip of Weeds

 The farmer who grows crops on some of our land hasn't planted yet this season. He doesn't plant cover crops so weeks take up the slack. We had a purple strip first. When they finished blooming and dried up, these yellow weeds took over. I don't know what it is, but it looks nice.

Two New Plants

 These were new last year but this is the first time I've seen the ground cover bloom. It has grown nicely. There are three patches of it, all blooming.
I thought the giant hosta had not survived the fire and winter, but it looks lovely! It is bigger and lusher than last year.

Different Breakfast

Yesterday I made hamburger patties with ground chuck, diced bacon, Worcestershire sauce, and an egg. I made about half a dozen. This morning I microwaved one and put two soft fried eggs on it. Low carb and enough different that I enjoyed eating it.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Knee Pads

I crawled under the house to turn on the water for the front porch faucet. It hurt my knees so I ordered knee pads from Amazon. They arrived today. I haven't crawled under the house on the other side yet for that porch faucet, but I tried putting them on and kneeling on the tile floor. I think I'm going to be able to face the other side. My other plan was to get in the car and find a kid who wanted $5.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Here Today

The white bushes to the right are spirea. They are in full bloom right now but it is supposed to rain several inches in the next few days starting tonight so the delicate blooms will probably be beaten off. The little green lump in front of the spirea is a peony that has buds that aren't yet opened. 
The yellowish-green trees are oaks and putting off a lot of yellow pollen. I washed my car yesterday hoping to see out the windshield. I was afraid the windshield wiper would just make a smeary mess.
So the same torrent of rain that will damage the spirea display may get some of this awful pollen out of the air.
The dogwood can still be seen in the background. Their blooms are not so fragile and may survive the rain.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Some Joys of Warm Weather

I got my first tick.  I'm spraying bug spray on myself now hoping to avoid more ticks and red bugs (chiggers). I've seen poison ivy. I crawled under the house to turn on the water to the front porch. I've been enjoying spring unreservedly until the tick. Hydrocortisone is my friend.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lilacs and Iris

 We've planted several lilacs. This is the first year we've gotten any blooms. The plants are about knee high but I'm very encouraged by the blooms.
These short purple irises are the first to bloom. It's good to see them because I know we'll soon have lots more:)


Last year I planted several columbine plants. These were in the flowerbed that burned off this year.  The fire took out several plants but the columbines look wonderful.
There are more about to bloom, but these have a head start!

Monday, April 21, 2014

I Wanted Pasta

I wanted pasta with our Easter meal. Bartoli puts out jars of sauce that are reasonably low-carb and quite good.  It takes eight minutes to cook the Dreamfields elbow macaroni.  Drain it and stir in the sauce.  It is quick, tasty, and also good as leftovers.

My Picture Came Through Finally

The picture took forever to load today, too.  But I wanted it recorded and saved so I stuck with it.. I'm not very good with arrangements, but the white of the dogwood blooms and red of the old glass vases made it a cinch, even for me.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Flower Arrangement

Well, I've spent over 30 minutes trying to put a picture on this. I'm going to try once more.
It didn't work this time, either.
I don't usually do flower arrangements, but today I put dogwood into a red glass vase.  It is beautiful. Maybe tomorrow I can post the picture.

Happy Easter!

Well, I decorated inside with my precious stuff. But my Japanese maple outside gets the plastic eggs. We have a chance of vicious winds without notice, so even though I could decorate enough real eggs to put on an outside tree, I'm pretty sure I'd end up with the strings on the tree and a pile of egg shells on the ground.
I wasn't going to put these out, but Larry didn't want me to give them away. There are a couple of toddler foster children nearby. I thought they would enjoy putting them on and taking them off. But Larry likes decorating outside.  Well, he likes it when I decorate outside.
The ham is in the oven, sweet potatoes are ready to put in, turnip greens are cooking (and smelling great), and I have Dreamfields macaroni sitting on the counter to cook.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Egg Tree and Eggs

I put plastic eggs outside on a Japanese maple. But these eggs are handmade. Some of them are over 15 years old. It isn't easy to keep eggshells (and move them!).

Friday, April 18, 2014

Ant Poison for Breakfast

I found a large ant hill on my mulch pile. So I bought instant grits because that is supposed to kill them. I don't know if it is going to work, but twelve packages of instant grits is just too much temptation.  So far, ants 4, me 1.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Not French Fries

I adore fresh pineapple. Larry cut up a fresh pineapple and the strawberries. I added a couple of bananas and splenda. The pineapple and bananas aren't low-carb. So I've been comforting myself with the knowledge that it isn't french fries and I don't eat it every day.  But I will be eating it for the next couple of days. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

After the Frost

The Japanese Magnolia blooms didn't enjoy the frost, but the ground cover, dogwood blooms, redbuds, rhododendrons, grape hyacinths, and the few irises that are ready to bloom all look good.
We went to Memphis today so the dermatologist could check Larry's nose. So with volunteering and going to Memphis, I haven't had time to check the strawberries.  Tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Frost Tonight

 I hope the 27 degrees forecast tonight doesn't ruin the ground cover. I have three patches about like this one.  I love the color and it has spread a lot from the small pot I put out three years ago.
This is the only rhododendron blooming right now. I think the buds still unopened will be all right with the low temperatures, but this one probably won't get to hold the blooms long.

Monday, April 14, 2014

One Day

 These two pictures were taken from about the same angle but at different times of the day. But the Japanese maple is more open today.  Just one day made a big difference.
This was that view yesterday and the Japanese maple's leaves were showing but not yet really open.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Camilla Fire Damage

The bottom of this camilla bush is scorched. But it looks as if it will survive.
We have one azalea that looks fire dead and one that looks as if the winter cold may have killed it. We're waiting to see it they put out from the roots. 
So far it seems that all the gardenias are either dead from fire or cold.

Tennessee Trees in April

Japanese magnolia, dogwoods, Japanese maple trees aren't the only lovely trees in Tennessee right now, but these are ours today.
This is a crepe myrtle. It doesn't have leaves, much less blooms right now, but the trunks are interesting colors.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Today's List

Today was a busy day.

 I brought the egg tree over and stuck it on the library table with the rest of the Easter stuff. Maybe tomorrow I'll arrange the eggs more evenly and put it somewhere else. I got it in the house today...and dusted and vacuumed so it wouldn't look awful with dust around the decorations.
 The weather was nice with no swirling wind and rain so I was able to get a little done outside. I thought with rain last night the raised bed of strawberries wouldn't need water so I sprinkled fertilizer around and decided to water it in anyway. Dragging the hose and then putting it back on its hanger was my least favorite part of that little exercise. I washed the patio tables, too, so that looks better.
I'd been putting off blowing out a goose egg but decided I wanted to make a cornbread to go with the bean soup I'd made. It took an hour to clean out the egg. It would have been simpler if I'd used a larger screwdriver to make the holes. The cornbread was very yellow, but that was the only difference I noted from using a chicken egg.
All the seeds I bought are planted now except the half dozen or so packages of sweet peas. They are supposed to be scarified or something and I've been putting it off because I haven't done it before. I've read of several different methods. Well, I also haven't put out the seeds that I gathered last fall. I'm thinking I'll wait until after the frost date and just broadcast them.
The grape hyacinths are planted around the pitiful bulb garden I'm working on. I got half way around it last year about this time and finished the border with the ones we dug up this year.

Friday, April 11, 2014


A lot of our trees aren't leafed out yet, but Bradford pears, cherry trees, redbuds, Japanese magnolias, maples, forsythia, and daffodils are everywhere. Dogwood trees are starting to open but aren't white yet. They are greenish, then ivory, then snow white. So soon we'll have showy, snowy dogwoods everywhere, too.
Then we had a thunderstorm followed by a double rainbow.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Volunteer Appreciation

I don't usually go to the volunteer appreciation teas because it annoys me that they have sugary snacks nicely decorated. So, make a special trip in, get my picture made and drink water and eat a few nuts. But we'd scheduled our quarterly meeting right before the volunteer tea so at least it wasn't an extra trip in. It is nice that they want to honor us.

Grape Hyacinths

 Every year we go out and dig some grape hyacinths from a field on our property. They naturalize here and Larry found a patch the first year we lived here. I was amazed he found the patch because it's just in that one place. We can only find them when they are blooming; the rest of the time they look about the same as the green onions we have everywhere.
 Larry is pretty concerned that we not dig up all of them, but I don't think we could get all of them if we tried.
The ones I've planted in flower beds grow well. They also seed into the grass. Since Larry likes daffodils in the yard, it seems the grape hyacinths are fine there, too.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Get Some Milk

I told my husband to get some milk when he went to the doctor's office.  Then I looked in the refrigerator to see if we were really out.  We weren't. I dreamed we were out and it was real enough to me that I really thought we were.  I'm glad I checked. I've dreamed my husband did something that made me mad and when I woke up I was still mad at him....I knew it wasn't real and it was still really hard to get over the mad. I'm really not wild about dreams.  Mine aren't inspirational, they're annoying.

Hummingbird Scout

The bird guy on the radio talk show my husband likes said it is time to put out a bird feeder for hummingbirds as they send out scouts to find food and evidently they go back to report to the main flock. I saw our first one today hovering around the door to the could see the colorful flowers through the glass door.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Usually there are a lot of cardinals at the bird feeders, but today every direction had cardinals scattered about.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Shopping Fiasco

I went to WalMart to buy two things...carb smart popsicles and cajun trail mix. The trail mix is a little high on carbs but I mix it with almonds so I have a snack with two different things in it to lower the carb count and increase the fiber.
They didn't have either one of the two things I went for.
I went to four different WalMart locations over the course of a week and finally found the trail mix. I asked about the Carb Smart Popsicles...they aren't carrying them anymore!
Kroger carries the carb smart popsicles but a different flavor than WalMart's. It's still good but I had been getting the popsicles from both stores because it gave me three choices of flavors.
Keep on, WalMart. I'm having fewer reasons to make that stop.


Wildflowers are doing great right now.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Easter Display

The pot with the flowers in it we bought at an open market near Dubrovnik. The ceramic things I made a long time ago. The two wooden eggs I got at an egg market in Germany. The runner we got in Bruge, Belgium. 
Mostly I only decorate for Christmas. I still need to put my egg tree up but I gave away most of the eggs and will need to carve a few more. Mainly I keep one of each motif I like so I won't forget about it.

Saturday, April 5, 2014


I planted six blackberry plants last year and the fire burned the stalks off.  I was afraid they were totally dead.  Five of the six have put out new growth.  I don't think we'll get blackberries from them this year, but at least I won't have to buy more to replace these.  Maybe the sixth one with put out soon.
The black on the dirt makes it necessary to wear closed in shoes rather than sandals to avoid ruining socks and spending a lot of time trying to get soot out of my toenails!

Low-Carb French Toast

I have been in the mood for French toast. So I had to buy sausage because I like sausage better than bacon with French toast.
Then I used low-carb bread, dipped the bread in the egg and half and half mixture, sprinkled it with cinnamon and a little nutmeg, put butter and sugar-free syrup on and enjoyed something that was on my low-carb diet and was not an omelet:)
The crystal lite orange drink went with it nicely.
Yea, breakfast!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Fitbit Badge

Yesterday I got a 15,000 step badge on fitbit for the first time.  
Part of the reason was I went to the doctor with a friend and walked while she waited and saw the doctor. The medical complex had a nice little pond with a sidewalk around it.


To the right of the martin house, in the fence row, are a couple of deer.  There were at least five, but I only got two of them in the picture. The weeds are about all that's green on the ground so far.  The grass is trying, but still has a ways to go.
Most of the trees still don't have leaves on them, but they are starting to show signs of life.  I like the way the light shines through the new leaves.  As the season continues, they will darken and thicken and lose that translucent look.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Long Leaf Pine

 This is what the smaller of the long-leaf pines looks like after the fire.
But it is apparently still alive and trying to grow. I hope so.  We brought two small ones back from Chelsea. This one we accidentally ran over it with the gator but it survived.  Maybe it will survive its exposure to fire.


All of our gardenias look like this.  They probably aren't dead, but I'll be seriously surprised if we get any blooms this summer! This is from icy weather, not the fire.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Large Hail

Ping pong sized hail is predicted for tomorrow.  It didn't say ping pong ball sized but surely it isn't ping pong paddle sized. I'm supposed to go to town with a friend who has a doctor's appointment tomorrow.  I wonder if she'll still want to go with that weather projection.

Kindle Hide and Seek

I downloaded a podiobook at the hospital yesterday onto my Kindle.  It downloaded, but it took me a while to find it once it disappeared from the downloads place.  Finally I found it under music but it said it only had two of the "songs." This afternoon the rest of the episodes appeared in the music section.
This doesn't sound efficient, but last time I tried this I totally filled my Kindle storage because I couldn't figure out where the Kindle had put it so downloaded it over and over. And over. So I did better this time and maybe it will be quicker next time.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Mini Tire Garden

The volunteers at the hospital are an interesting bunch.  One of the ladies who just turned 80 said she liked my idea of the tire garden to plant my strawberries high enough to pick without bending or stooping down so she told her grandson to gather her up some motorcycle tires as they would not be so heavy! I like it that she's 80 and still interested in stuff. The other one I work with on Tuesday is 88. She's the one I met at the art class. She talked me into learning to knit. She's been learning to crochet so she can make a throw to give to somebody in a rest home. She could knit one but the others in the class are crocheting theirs so she decided to give it a try.

Goose Eggs

Today a friend at the hospital brought me two goose eggs.  I guess it will take just one of those to eat for breakfast.  I can't believe how big and heavy they are! I wonder what color I'll dye them.