Thursday, April 30, 2015


I had a mammogram at an imagining center several years ago. They put me in a laundry room to put on the gown they laid on the dirty laundry. I guess the mammogram was all right but I didn't go back. I was pretty offended by the dirty laundry.
Today I went to a place and was given a changing room with a locker and key to lock up my belongings. Everything was scrupulously clean, and the gown was heated. I'll go back to that place.

More Color

Larry loves birds and feeds them. We also have hummingbirds, goldfinches, and regular bluebirds. Larry is pretty carried away with all sorts of birds. I only like the pretty ones. I told a girl that who was watering my flowers and feeding the birds while we were on a trip. She said they probably had good personalities. It would have been funnier if she hadn't been serious.


Low-carb bread, a smear of Nutella, and half a banana is today's breakfast. I usually have this breakfast with peanut butter. I bought a jar of Nutella because we were having company. Then I forgot to offer it. So I guess I'll just have to eat it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Large Blooming Clumps

 An iris is lovely, but large clumps of them are wonderful.
 I just get one or two and they turn themselves into bouquets.
 I didn't think columbines were very impressive, but they really are fantastic.
They come in many colors.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Iced Brownie with Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream

This is what I had with my afternoon coffee yesterday. My blood sugar was 98 this morning. So it isn't awful for me:)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Bringing Plants Out

I've finished planting the flower boxes and now have almost everything out of the greenhouse. I've started planting things. It takes me a while to get the plants in the ground.
A car pulled in and a woman and her husband got out with some irises to swap.
I've got them in the ground and gave her a start of four different kinds she said she didn't have:)

Grocery Shopping

I know a couple of people who have home delivery of groceries. Pea Pods is one such service, but not the only one. I live in a rural setting where it isn't available. My mailman said the postal service is offering that service in some large cities, but it will become available within this year. My worry is that I won't want it because it will be so expensive that I'll continue to use hours of my time going places that aren't all that enjoyable.
When I was a teenager, Mama would call a local store to place her order by phone. Then I'd drive to the store with a signed check to pick up the groceries. That wasn't too bad.

Perennial Color

 My plan is to get my flower beds suffused with color without resorting to annuals. The bending and stooping required for planting stuff in the ground isn't my favorite way to enjoy spring.  But I still love the colors. So finding blooming plants that either continue to live or reseed freely at various times during the year, continues to be my plan.
Until I have accomplished that goal, I'll continue to supplement with annuals.
Blooming shrubs, colorful trees, bulbs, and perennials are my goal.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Shopping Success

Sometimes I go shopping and come home with nothing. But today all of the places I had on my list had what was ON my list...some of it at clearance prices:)
I had Starbucks gift cards and got a new travel mug, a venti latte breve, and two pounds of espresso coffee beans.
At Gander Mountain, I bought two pairs of shoes at Clearance prices...a Merrel and a Teva.
At Four Seasons, I bought dichondra silver falls, three delphiniums, and three lupines. I'd looked for those before and hadn't found them. I wanted 30 dichondra silver falls (a ground cover that is fantastic in flower boxes and baskets). The clerk counted out thirty. He put the trays down while we were getting the delphiniums and lupines. I paid for all of it, but when I got home, I only had 28 dichondra. I saw another customer looking at them and she must have thought they were on display for sale. I called them and they deducted the price of two from my charge card.
All in all, it was a successful day.
It's easier to shop if I don't have a clue what I want. Then, anything will do. But I really don't do that, so shopping is sometimes frustrating.
Not today:)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Clematis and Irises

 I've had this clematis for a long time, but I transplanted it. This is the first time it's bloomed since I moved it.
 The picture of this iris is prettier to me than the actual iris. It is one of Larry's favorites. He actually asked somebody for a start.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bare Spots

 I want this to have a cottage garden look. What is there is doing well. The clematis is blooming, the columbine is blooming, The irises are loaded with buds and the peonies, too.
The empty spots are where I had large lavender bushes. They didn't survive the fire, nor did the azalea and heather plants.
I started some lavender seeds this April. They are still tiny. I've put a lilac bush in which is nice but still small. I've tried to start delphinium, but I didn't get very many to germinate. I may have to buy plants to get them.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Civic Duty

I was notified in January that I must be available for jury duty between January and the end of April. I had to call to listen to a recording to determine when to show up. Today was the only time I had to go in other than the first day. I wasn't selected so I was home before lunch. The most difficult part was calling in on the appointed dates. Calling every Monday would have been easier than calling in three times during those months, getting the next date from the recording. But I did remember to call and show up and it's over for at least two years.

Azalea Cuttings

I rooted seven azalea cuttings from a plant that was just about dead from a fire. All seven cuttings survived and put on new growth. I didn't use a rooting hormone, just kept them moist. I put them in larger pots so they can continue to develop strong roots and more branches.

My Garden

I like how my tire garden is progressing. The strawberries and blackberries look lush. The irises look good. I have a columbine blooming and a lot of flower seedlings have sprouted. The dill I planted last year is in three of the tires this year.
I planted cucumbers in some of the tires, planning to drape them outside the tires as the vines grow. Larry says they will take over the strawberries. I think I can prevent that and have cucumbers hanging down the sides of the tires. If Larry is right, I'll rip the cucumbers out. 
I am thinking about planting a few nasturtiums in the ones that don't have cucumbers, letting them trail down the outsides of the tires.
Larry really thinks gardens should be in rows.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Greenhouse Lunch

It's breezy and cool outside so I brought my low-carb pepperoni mozzarella toast out to the greenhouse.
I like my outside places. I can sit on the porch some days in the spring. But the greenhouse has a lot of seedlings to transplant into larger pots. When it isn't so windy and cool, I'll move the transplanted things onto the porch to harden off.

Columbines 4-15

 I want to paint columbines but couldn't find any folkart images that didn't look flat. I've been waiting for them to bloom so I could get pictures.
 It's still a question whether I'll be able to paint them even with pictures.
I have more varieties but they are single colors.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Gray Day

Today was gray with rain off and on. So I weeded flowerbeds and planted marigolds and nasturtiums. I have a lot more seedlings to plant, but those were the biggest ones, so I started with them.

Soft Colors of Spring

I like the greens of early spring. The yellow is a good crop of weeds in fields that will be planted later. They do no-till crops here so the fields of plowed brown don't happen here.

Flower Boxes- Late April 2015

The cuttings I started in the fall are in the flower boxes now. I put the trimmed disposable diapers in the bottom and then moisture-control potting soil. They always look pitiful when I first put them out. By the end of the summer and early fall, they will be so full they will over set and land on the ground.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Layers of Colors

Foreground to background: spirea, Japanese maple, dogwood, The light green of newly opened leaves
In reality, there are more colors, but these are in the picture.
I love this time of year. Well, yeah, the strawberries and asparagus are good, too.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Can God Heal Me?

Volunteering is mostly easy. Sometimes I am faced with people who seriously need a chaplain. I try hard to explain I'm not a chaplain or a priest.
Today a woman wanted to confess her sins. I asked if she is Catholic. She said she is Baptist. I told her to confess her sins to God. Nobody else needed to hear. I ended up getting to hear it anyway. So then I asked if I could pray with her and tried to get her on a higher note.
She desperately asked if God could heal her. I had to say I thought He could but it might not be His plan. But He could help her bear her burdens. Listening to the heartache of others is the most difficult part of volunteering. None of this was short and she was crying. I didn't feel very helpful.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Scratched Eggs

Easter is over so I took the scratched eggs out of the display window at the hospital gift shop.  A woman who works in surgery ordered some. A lady from PT stopped by and asked about them. I said I had two left but if she wanted to see more, she could look on Pinterest, typing in "scratched eggs."
She said, "When I want some, I'm coming to you!"
Our Mothers' Day display is generating some interest, too. It's kind of fun.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Japanese Maples

The Japanese maples have put on their spring foliage. They are beautiful.

Purple Iris

These are the first to bloom in my yard. Others have put up bloom spikes, so more color is coming.

Wild Violets

These are growing in the woods. They are pretty, but they are invasive and have to be dug out. They aren't in the yard yet. I don't think I'm going to dig them up when I find them in the woods.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Small Holiday "Baskets"

The small painted tray with gift shred in it was one I had. The seven unpainted trays were made for me by Larry from scraps of poplar. 
The line up on the futon contains my "to do" list. I only managed to get one thing off the futon today. I did other things instead.
The green knitted pile is knitted together to make a circular scarf in a spring color for a cool spring morning. So I finished something on my list.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Some Days I Feel Wealthy

I had cooked white asparagus when we were in Germany and a nice neighbor showed me how. This year our asparagus started producing for the first time. The first batch I cooked wasn't great. I cooked it in a small skillet. Some of it was hard.
The second batch I cooked today. I bent it, holding each end. When it snapped, I discarded the cut end and kept the tip ends.
Then I used olive oil and kosher salt flakes and put it in the toaster oven until the tips were dark.
It was delicious!
Thanks, Rich:)
We also had slaw, baked beans with red hot sausages, and strawberries with sour cream for dessert.
 The weather was perfect. I weeded a bit, used the weed whacker some, and generally had a perfect day.
The picture shows the asparagus that wouldn't fit on the toaster oven tray. I put the excess in one of those green bags that preserves freshness. We can have the same thing again tomorrow. Hurray for leftovers.

Friday, April 10, 2015


I went to the doctor for a checkup today. I'm 3/4 in. shorter than I used to be. I don't feel shorter. Maybe everybody I know is getting shorter, too.


This is the best picking we've had (ok, the second) so far. A lot of it will be too hard, but I washed it, broke the hard parts off, and stored it in the crisper in one of those green bags. We ate out tonight at a new place. The food was good and there were a lot of customers. I hope they make enough money to fix up the place.
Tomorrow we'll have our asparagus.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spring Colors are Here

The ground cover doesn't stay bright and colorful long, but it is really cheerful while it's here.
 Japanese magnolia and dogwood trees
Japanese maple and Japanese magnolia

Today I found out that when the pollen is high (like now), I should wash my hair every night so I don't deposit pollen into my pillow repeatedly. I guess I'll wash my pillowcases tomorrow and wash my hair at night from now on...until the oak trees stop putting yellow stuff everywhere.

Cleaning Under the Lawnmower

This is a wonderful addition to a lawnmower. He connects the hose, turns it on, turns on the lawnmower, and it whips water around under the carriage. 
What a great idea!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Stupid Birds

The hummingbirds are back. One flew so close to me, its wing hit my head. I'm sure that's better than being stabbed with its beak, but I like my space. So did the bird, evidently. I guess it's time for me to move to the other porch.

Say the Word--Wednesday

We stopped by the Staff of Life bakery and cafe. Because it says it is a vegetarian place and teaches cooking, I would never have stopped there. But Larry wanted to stop, so we did.
It had the air conditioner on and soft piano music playing. Nice. There were large cloth napkins...nice...but not all alike. The plates and other dishes didn't all match but the effect of the various furnishings and other supplies were more art deco than thrift shop.
It was stocked with the most wonderful yeast pastries I've seen in a long time. The carrot cake was great, too (Larry said). They didn't have real coffee, just instant decaf (really?!!) so I had water.
They have a menu with food listed. I don't know how good it is (cabbage po boy doesn't sound tasty to me).
I told my friend I was willing to go there with her to try an entree. She said to say the word. So I said Wednesday.
I asked the checkout lady if that was her kindle I saw charging. She asked me to repeat it. I did. She questioned, "Candle?" I said I guessed it wasn't.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Low-Carb Pizza Toast

I used low-carb bread, pizza sauce, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese. I toasted in the toaster oven. I would have let the cheese brown a little except I was hungry.
Two of those slices were mine.
Good enough to have again...and again.

Hit of the Party

The lady who bought my carved eggs for a secret pal Easter present said they were the hit of the party:) Nice to hear.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Different Placemats

I washed the other place mats. The table looked sad to me without them, so I pulled out bright yellow place mats to use until the others dry. The walls are pale yellow and the wood is beautiful to me.

Loud Rain

The rain was so hard and loud that I had to turn up the sound on my iPod to hear the story.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Spring Stuff

 I guess we need to watch the asparagus carefully. It grows fast.
 The strawberries are starting to bloom.
The blackberries are coming along nicely.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 4, 2015


Our asparagus has started to put up spears. We planted it three years ago and haven't eaten any yet. But we will be able to eat some this year. The asparagus bed is supposed to produce for two to three decades. I've been trying to find perennial things that grow in this area. There doesn't appear to be all that much except things like blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries.
We are excited that the asparagus plants are still alive. They look really bad during the winter. In fact, two days ago they looked dead. But today we have several spears that are at least six inches long:)


It is impossible to keep the joy of a visit separate from the sadness of departure. I enjoyed the visit tremendously, but have spent the whole day sad that it is over.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Gray Heron Grill

We went to Pebble Isle Marina today. It wasn't as warm and sunny as we've been experiencing, but we braved the breeze and sat outside anyway. It was a bit cool for feeding the fish, but we did anyway and had some success.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Turkey Fryer

We bought a turkey fryer several years ago. I've used it a lot, but not for a turkey. Every time I bought a turkey, it was too big for my fryer.
So I bought a turkey breast and fried it. It was very good, but it looked pretty ragged by the time I was finished with it. I have some ideas for next time. This time I took it out twice to check to see if it was done. I just started cutting it. Too pink, put it back in. By the time I decided it was done, it looked like a casualty from a forest fire. But it was cooked and crispy:)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Jonathan is learning to drive the gator. Both of them are

Discovery Park

 The dinosaurs are nicely displayed.
 The aquarium displays are nicely done, but the little tunnel to crawl through lets kids climb into a bubble inside the tank.
 The stocks are always fun.
 The military exhibits were a big hit, too.

 The building with interactive exhibits is only part of the park. There are many separate parts to go through and learn from.
 This is a picture of a grist mill.