Thursday, July 30, 2015

Fighting Drought for my Roses

I'm putting a small sprinkler on the dirt near my roses for long enough that the soil around the roots is soaked. Then I'm putting these old newspapers that I've soaked down and covering them with pine bark nuggets. My roses are blooming, but it's so hot and dry that the blooms start drying out immediately. I'm hoping this helps keep the roots cooler and deters the evaporation of water.
We'll see.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Low-carb Sandwich

I used low-carb bread, pork from the loin cooked on the rotisserie, a cucumber grated into sour cream with two cloves of garlic, minced, and a tomato from our garden. I sliced a cucumber and dabbed some of the sour cream-garlic-cucumber dip on it. My supplements are on the plate so I won't forget to take them.

Miserable Weather

When it's this hot and dry, my plants droop and it's too hot to drag a hose around. It's not so bad inside or even on the porch in front of a fan, but it's awful dragging water hoses around and then watching Larry scuff at the dirt with his shoe and hearing I didn't water enough.


We are under a heat advisory...again...still. I didn't volunteer today since my car's air conditioner is iffy. Getting into a car that has been sitting on the asphalt in a parking lot is bad enough, but the thought of no reliable air conditioner makes me a wimp.
The "weather station" we have said it is 99 degrees outside and 79 degrees inside. We'll turn on the air conditioner when it's 80 degrees inside. We have the fans going and it really isn't unpleasant. The windows are treated to keep rays out. The walls are 2/6 and insulated. The attic is insulated.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Blackberry Paths

I hope I haven't cut off all the canes with next year's berries, but I cut paths through the blackberry canes today. Then I cut them into smaller pieces so they could be more easily disposed of. While I was out there, I deadheaded day lily stalks. I'm not finished with the day lilies, but they aren't quite finished blooming.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Drying Herbs

Today I started trying to dry herbs. I'm starting with basil. I have several others I think I'll try. I'm not sure it's a good idea, but I'd rather they didn't go to seed yet and our tomatoes are just starting to ripen. If I don't cut the herbs back, they'll go to seed before I get to use any with the tomatoes. So I think if I cut them back, I'll still have fresh herbs when I have enough tomatoes to play with.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Wanted Greek Food

 We had a big sale on meat at our local Cash Saver. One of the things we got was a pork loin for $15. I cut it in thirds, putting two in gallon ziplock bags and the last on the rotisserie. I found my meat thermometer and cooked it until it was beautifully crispy. I covered the raw meat with Greek seasoning.
I went to the local bakery to buy a flat bread but it was closed due to doctor's appointment. So I cut up a cucumber, dabbed something I threw together and called tzatziki. I still had some feta dip I made a couple of days ago.
Tomorrow I'll try the bakery again because I wanted all that together. It was good as it was:)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Drive Way

A guy pulling a trailer pulled into our drive, roared down it to the other end, and continued to pick up a guy with a weed eater. Our drive isn't a public road, it isn't maintained by the county, and he was driving like crazy.  It was really annoying. We don't have children or pets, so there was no danger, it was totally insulting though.

Right before Payday

I used to have to seriously modify my shopping right before payday. Now I have another "right before" thing to consider. My data package ends on the 21st of the month. So for the week before I try to decide if I should download a book because I have lots of data left, or stop downloading or posting pictures on my blog. For the last couple of months, it's been like shopping before payday...don't download, don't post.
So today is the 22nd and I feel comfortable again. I downloaded an audio book and I am posting:)
I'm not a big fan of budgets, so I called to find out how much it costs for a bigger data package. So far, I'm sticking with the one I have. There's nothing wrong with a budget. I just don't like it much.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Stir Fry

Today I made a stir fry with ground chuck, onions, peppers, cabbage, mushrooms, carrots and a bag of baby spinach and kale. I had a little left over roast I cut up and added to it.
I put soy sauce on it when I ate it. It was really good. Larry ate some and said it was good but he thought I was going to buy a bag that said stir fry on it. He acted disappointed. All my ingredients were fresh. I thought it was better than a bag.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Lab Results

We had our consultation about our lab results today. We were both good. Larry had the best A1c he has had since he's been going to this doctor...several years. His was 5.9 and mine was 6.0. Our cholesterol numbers were good. He had improvement in a couple of other numbers that we hadn't realized weren't good.
That was a big relief. My glucose monitor has been acting up. For example it said my blood sugar was 13 this morning. So I didn't have any idea how my numbers would be.
Bayer sent me a new one but the doctor had to write a prescription so I could get the strips that go with this new one. I was glad that the insurance covered them. When I saw the person at the pharmacy for my consult, she asked if I had any questions. I asked if I am supposed to do anything differently. She said it works the same. I said they sent me some testing solution. She said to read the directions. That was simple enough.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Porch Flowers 7-15

While I was watering them this evening, a king snake crawled out of one of the flower boxes and crawled off the porch. I guess it didn't like the cold water.

OPK 7-15 Pebble Isle Marina

Ella May and I taught with Kelly and have maintained a friendship even though Ella May and I have retired and Kelly teaches at a different school.
 Her children are delightful. The baby is only two months old. Ella is five and Alex is four.

Here they are feeding the fish pieces of bread.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Volunteer Meeting

We had our quarterly volunteer meeting today and voted to donate an ortho recliner for the swing bed patients at the hospital. That will give our hospital a total of three. I feel really good about that.

Praying Mantis Conversation

I've been keeping an eye on a small brown praying mantis. It is really fast and can catch small flies sometimes. I've tried to feed it but not successfully. Larry has decided to speak Spanish to it. He doesn't really speak Spanish other than a few phrases he picked up at the bowling alley...friendly-sounding stuff. The praying mantis doesn't seem to talk back, but when I misted it, it wiped its eyes. Cute.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Wrong Size

Cargo pants are my new favorite. I've about worn through two pairs and ordered a new one. Unfortunately, they didn't have my size or the next size up so I ordered a pair two sizes bigger. They came today and were perfect except they wanted to slide off. I took up the waist and decided to enjoy the bagginess of the rest. I went online and ordered another pair, same color but they had the right size this time.

Lab Work Today

My blood monitor has been giving erratic readings for a couple of weeks, from 171 to 17. I replaced the batteries and still got two divergent numbers within one minute of each other. So I called the number on the back of the monitor and talked for 40 minutes to a representative. After punching a bunch of buttons and telling him what it said, he said the monitor is all right, I'm doing everything right, the strips are all right, and he is going to send me a coupon for another monitor. If everything is all right, I shouldn't be getting odd readings. I shouldn't need a new one. Oh well. We had lab work done today and I will be interested to see what the lab results indicate.
I fertilized a flowerbed today and then saw Larry fertilizing two of the vegetables in that same bed. I hope they survive.  I like mixing some of the peppers, tomatoes, etc., in with my flowers. They get more care than anything in the real garden, plus they have better drainage. We'll see if they survive. I just put a weak solution of liquid fertilizer on things. He uses pellets. Maybe they won't be burned.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Awfully Warm

I didn't do anything with my flowers today except water them and pick little crawly things off the herbs. Usually it gets cooler when the sun starts to go down, but today it was hard to decide if it was any cooler.
My neighbor told me yesterday that if I put as much time in on vegetables we'd have a lot more to eat. I told him if I liked vegetables, I would. Usually I plant tomatoes and peppers. This year I added cucumbers to my flowers. I've only recently decided cucumbers are edible. I think it is because zatziki has cucumbers in it.

Another Praying Mantis

We have a small brown praying mantis on the back porch. Yesterday we found this large, bright green praying mantis on the front porch. I haven't been able to find this one today. The brown one is still on the parsley plant catching small flies.

Friday, July 10, 2015


You have the wrong number.
Yes, again.
When somebody tells you that you have the wrong number, don't hit redial.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

DIY Laundry Soap

I made my laundry soap today.
2 cups Borax
2 cups Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
2 bars of Fels Naptha soap, grated.
I mixed the above with 1 gallon of boiling water, poured it into a five-gallon bucket and stirred for a while, then added four more gallons of water. I stirred it a little more and then put them into five large, clear, plastic containers.
It's the third time I've made it. One batch lasts us eleven months.
I bought six bars of fels naptha and did the dry mix for the next two times. I bagged the leftover borax and washing soda into gallon ziplock bags, labeling it. The first time I made it I left the borax and washing soda in their boxes. Eleven months later I had to chip the stuff off as it had absorbed humidity from the air.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Cleaning the Refrigerator

Today my major goal was eating leftovers from our preparations for our visitors. That was not a difficult chore.
I finally did some weeding in the carport garden. For several days it has rained in the afternoon which is when I like to weed that section. It's in the shade in the afternoon. I'm nowhere near finished, but at least I didn't put off working on it today:)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Like Exercise Equipment

I have six bags of pine bark nuggets and a gallon of paint. I need to weed the carport flowerbed and put out the bags of nuggets. I'll need more, but that will get me started. I need to sand some places on the porch and paint. Larry said I didn't get the right paint, but it's exterior and blue, so I don't see what the issue is.
The thing is, buying the stuff indicates a need to do the tasks. Too bad that isn't all that is required. I don't want to weed or paint, I just want it to be done. So step one is getting the stuff. Check.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Keeping My Stuff Together

This is a tray I painted today. It is awkward to try to get everything in and out quickly when it rains. But this way it is organized and easily transferred inside or outside.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Praying Mantis at Lunch

 This little praying mantis is growing fast. We've been watching wondering what it is eating. We still don't know what it caught, but it is definitely eating something.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Fuzzy Caterpillar

I don't know what this fuzzy caterpillar will be next, but it has feathery parts, not just same-size fuzz.

Little Herb Garden

 I decided I like the smell of herbs well enough to plant some on the back porch. Basil, dill, and parsley are pretty small so far.
This is parsley that I bought at WalMart instead of starting from seed. I found a little praying mantis this morning.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Knockout Rose Strip

We have intermittent showers now, so I started tossing lime, fertilizer, and epsom salts to the knock out roses. There were so many tall weeds that I decided had to be pulled that I didn't finish the fertilizing. I hadn't sprayed with bug spray or worn gloves because I hadn't intended to get in there, but just toss the stuff in. So I'm somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 finished with that strip. Maybe tomorrow I'll finish between showers.